Weight Loss Article        Natural weight loss

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Natural Weight Loss - the Basic Understanding


"Exercising without maintaining a balanced diet is no more beneficial than dieting while remaining inactive".

People believe in myth that they get heavier day by day by eating too many calories. Calories should be a consideration, but
overall they are not the cause of obesity. If calories alone were the reason we become overweight, we should all be thin. But
unfortunatelly we are not. What makes us overweight is the different amount of fat we eat. Thin people tend to eat less fat and
more complex carbohydrates.

Let's us understand the meaning of some of the words:

Calorie - a unit of energy in food. Foods have carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.  Carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram. Proteins
have 4 calories per gram. Fat has 9 calories per gram.
Metabolism - is the processes in our body  that turn the food we eat into energy our body can use.
Weight control - is to achieve and maintain a healthy weight by eating well and getting regular physical activity.
Carbohydrate - a major source of energy in our diet. Carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram.  There are two kinds of
carbohydrates: 1)simple carbohydrates (sugar) and 2) complex carbohydrates (starches and fibre).  The carbohydrate are found in
foods such as: breads, cereals, fruits, vegetables, milk and dairy products. Foods such as sugar cereals, soft drinks, fruit drinks,
cakes, cookies, pies, ice cream are very rich in sugar.

Fat - is a major source of energy in our diet. Fats have 9 calories per gram. Fat helps our body absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K, and
carotenoids. Fats that are in foods are combinations of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated fatty acids. Saturated fats
may cause blood cholesterol to increase and increase the risk for heart disease. Other fats, such as unsaturated fats do not
increase blood cholesterol.
Protein -  provides calories to our body. Protein provides 4 calories per gram. Protein is an essential nutrient that helps to build
muscle, bone, skin, and blood. The protein can be found in foods like meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, beans, nuts, and
tofu.

Cholesterol - is a fat-like substance that is made by our body and is found  in animal foods such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and
dairy products. Cholesterol is carried in our blood. When cholesterol level is too high, some of the cholesterol is deposited on the
walls of our blood vessels. After some time, the deposits may build up causing the blood vessels to narrow and blood flow to
decrease. The cholesterol in food tends to raise blood cholesterol, which increases the risk for heart disease. Total blood cholesterol
levels above 240 mg/dl are considered high.  Levels under 200 mg/dl are considered good.

High blood pressure - is another word for “hypertension”. High blood pressure increases the risk for heart disease and stroke. Our
blood pressure rises and falls throughout the day. An optimal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mmHg. When our blood pressure
stays high and is greater than or equal to 140/90 mmHg, then it is considered high blood pressure.

Be Active!

We are leading more sedentary life nowadays without acknowledging the importance of being active. If you diet without any
exercising it often happens that you may get fatter with time. Although your weight may initially drop while on diet, such weight loss
consists mostly of water and muscle. When the weight returns, it comes back as fat. To avoid getting fatter over time, you have to
increase your metabolism by exercising regularly. Without effort and action you will not succeed. Losing weight demands
preparation, effort and commitment.  If you want to reduce your body fat you have to focus on increasing the amount of exercise
you get rather than decreasing your food intake. Just being more active in general are things that more effectively burns calories
and reduces body fat. Also you have to drink lots of water, between 6-8 glasses a day.
Certain moods and circumstances cause us to eat even if we are not hungry.  Anger, boredom, fatigue, happiness, loneliness,
nervousness, anxiety, etc... all may trigger an eating response. Our bad habits are hard to break. We have to make some daily
commitments and meet them each day whether we feel like it or not. These daily commitments will help us form good habits.  

Try to Develop New Habits

1) Eat three meals a day and plan your healthy snacks daily.
2) Eat slowly by putting down your eating utensil between each bite until you have swallowed the bite.
3) Do not do anything except eating when you sit down for a meal. Make yourself aware of the food you are eating. Do not read,
watch TV, talk on the phone, work, etc.  
4) Do not buy any junk food.  
5) Serve yourself on a smaller plate.
6) When you are tempted to eat while feeling bored, try to take a walk or a long bath, read a book or write to a friend.
Benefits of Exercise

1. Increases your fitness level.
2. Increases the strength of your bones.
3. Makes your heart a more efficient pump by increasing stroke volume.       
4. Maintains, tones, and strengthens your muscle.
5. Increases the efficiency of your digestive system
6. Improves your sleep
7. Improves control of blood sugar
8. Elevates your metabolism so that you burn more calories everyday.
9. Decreases your blood pressure.
10. Increases the amount of blood that flows to your skin making it looks and feels healthier.
11. It makes you feel GREAT!


Metabolism

Metabolism is the process of converting food into energy. Metabolism happens in your muscles and organs and the result of it is the
burning calories.
You can boost your metabolism if you:
1. Always eat breakfast! Skipping breakfast slows down your metabolism.
2. Eat earlier in a day, preferably at least four hours before bedtime.
3. Snack frequently! Complex carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, and grains) fuel your metabolism and prevents you from
becoming too hungry. The hungrier you are, the less control you have over what and how much you eat.
4. Eat more carbohydrates  and less fat! Carbohydrates boost your metabolism and have fewer calories per weight than fat.
5. Do some type of aerobic exercise like walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, dancing, etc. on a daily basis.
6. Take a brisk 10 to 15 minute walk in th emorning or in the evening. This boost your metabolism even more!
7. Tone your muscles with weight training three days per week.  
8.Avoid alcohol! Alcohol depresses your metabolism and stimulates your appetite.
9. Tone your muscles with weight training few times per week.
10. Drink plenty of water a day. Your metabolism needs  water to function properly.                                            
Quick Fix & Hollywood Diets Do Not Work!

Traditional
diet have taught us that to lose weight we must count calories and to keep track of everything we eat. Diets tell us
exactly what and how much food we should eat. Although dieting can help us lose weight (fat, muscle, and water) in the short term
it can never become our lifestyle that we can continue through our life. The truth is they do not teach us how to deal with our
cravings or how to cope with our feelings of hunger. Eventually, we become tired of the hunger and the lack of energy and we quit
our diets and gain back the weight we have lost. What we really need is clear information that will help us develop a healthier
lifestyle we can live with for the rest of our lives.

Only 5 % of people who go on diets are successful. The 95 % of all traditional diets fail because when you go on a low-calorie diet,
your body thinks you are starving and it starts storing fat by slowing down your metabolism. When you stop dieting, your
metabolism is still slow and inefficient that you gain the weight back even though you may still be eating less than you were before
you went on a diet. Also the low-calorie diets cause you to lose both muscle and fat in equal amounts and when you eventually gain
back the weight, it is all fat and not the muscles.  

For long-term good health, you need to move away from low-calorie diets and focus on some physical activity and good nutrition.
Exercising on a regular basis and eating less fatty products will help you look and feel better.
Making gradual, simple changes in your diet and physical activity will make great improvements in your health and well-being.


Diet Myths

1) Myth: Traditional diets work for permanent weight loss.

Fact: Traditional diets are not the best way to lose weight and keep it off.  You may lose weight at first but diets that strictly limit
calories are hard to follow for long. Most people quickly get tired of them and regain the lost weight.

2) Myth: Starches are fattening and should be limited when trying to lose weight.

Fact: Many foods high in starch like bread, rice, pasta, cereals, beans, fruits and vegetables (potatoes) are low in fat and calories.
They become high in fat and calories when eaten in large portions or when covered with butter, sour cream or mayonnaise. Foods
high in starch called complex carbohydrates are an important source of energy for your body.

3) Myth: Certain foods, like grapefruit, celery, or cabbage soup can burn fat and make you lose weight.

Fact: No foods can burn fat. Some foods may speed up your metabolism for a short time, but they do not cause weight loss.

4) Myth: Dairy products are fattening and unhealthy.

Fact: Low-fat and non-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese are just as nutritious as whole milk dairy products, but they are lower in fat and
calories. Dairy products have many nutrients your body needs.

5) Myth: Becoming a vegetarian is a sure way to lose weight and be healthier.

Fact: Choosing a vegetarian food with a low fat content may be helpful for weight loss. But vegetarians like non-vegetarians can
make food choices that contribute to weight gain, like eating large amounts of high-fat, high-calorie foods or foods with little or no
nutritional value.