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Myths and Facts About Losing Weight

With so many facts and fiction about fat loss, it is not surprising that people get confused which advice to follow. Although this article is not intended as an exhaustive source of information about what is true and what is false about fat loss, we hope that it will help you to distinguish myths from facts.

Myth: Don’t drink much water, you will get fat.

Facts: Natural water has absolutely no calories, so it can’t be converted to fat. Actually, water dissolves fat. Besides, water is vital for the proper functioning of your body. If there is a relation between drinking much water and weight, it is a very indirect one and water can’t be blamed for that. When you drink water and it stays in your body, it’s absolutely logical that your weight will be higher but after a couple of hours, when water normally leaves your body, you will not have more fat because you have drunk water.

Myth: Exercise makes you eat more.

Facts: Sure, when you exercise, you lose energy but that does not mean that right after going out of the gym you must head to the restaurant. Experts often recommend that you neither eat, nor drink gallons of water at least 2 hours after physical activity. So if you don’t eat after you have been exercising, you will not gain weight.

Myth: Diet only is enough to lose fat.

Facts: Unfortunately, it is not as simple as that. After you have been on a diet for some time, even if there had been positive results, there is always one point when even if you don’t eat at all (which is absolutely not recommended), your body refuses to use more of its fat reserved and you can’t lose a gram more. At this point, or even better from the very beginning, you must include exercise, because diets alone can’t burn enough fat.

Myth: There are magic diets and pills.

Facts: Too good to be true. Magic diets like „eat this and this and 10 a.m. sharp, don’t eat this and this and you will have the body of a god“ are really naive and besides keeping your mind busy through the day, other positive results are unlikely. The same applies to pills. Unless you have a serious metabolism disorder, which is a medical condition and needs to be treated by doctors, not by you, pills are not the lazy way to great body.

Myth: When you exercise hard, you can eat whatever you like.

Facts: This is the opposite to the dieting myth but the grain of truth is the same. Even when you exercise hard (2 or more hours a day) you still need to take into account what you eat and when you eat it. 2 hours of active exercising might burn enough fat but if you have a giant pizza and a huge bottle of Coke after that, forget about the positive effects of the stay in the gym – you will still have fat (though presumably more muscles as well).

Myth: You can lose fat only in a particular region of your body.

Facts: If you have seen many people with thin legs and a fat belly, or the opposite, more likely it is so not because they want it but because this is their body structure (which they probably don’t like at all). When you lose fat, this happens in a pre-defined order. First, fat disappears from the face and the breasts. The belly and the hips come next. The thighs and the upper-arm usually are the last ones affected and for many women these areas never become fat-free.

Myth: Diets and exercise are universal.

Facts: People are different and diets and exercise are not an exception. While there are universally true facts about dieting and exercise, more often than not, successful and sustainable fat loss is achieved when you are hard-working and diets and exercise are tailored to your needs.

Myth: You can lose fat once and forever.

Facts: This hardly ever happens, though there are cases when one has been fat during puberty and as an adult his or her weight is in the norm. But for adults, losing fat means a constant struggle to maintain the achievements, so you can’t rely on the fact that you will make some efforts, drop your excessive weight and then there will be no need to do anything.

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Dr Akilah El  is a certified personal fitness trainer, nutritionist  and also holds a PhD degree in Naturopathic Medicine. She has been helping people all lover the world successfully achieve their weight loss and fitness goals for over 10 years. To learn more about how you can benefit from her easy to use weight loss and fitness programs go to: http://www.celestialhealing.net/weightlossintro.htm

Sitting All Day Is Worse For You Than You Might Think

Yes, exercise is good for you. This we know. Heaps of evidence point to the countless benefits of regular physical activity. Federal health officials recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, like brisk walking, every day.

Studies show that when you adhere to an exercise regimen, you can improve your cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure and improve metabolism and levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. You can reduce diabetes risk and the risk of certain cancers. And, finally, exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight, which can boost all of these benefits even more.

But now, researchers are beginning to suspect that even if you engage in regular exercise daily, it may not be enough to counteract the effects of too much sitting during the rest of the day.

Epidemiologist Steven Blair, a professor of public health at the University of South Carolina, has spent 40 years investigating physical activity and health.

“Let’s say you do 30 minutes of walking five days a week (as recommended by federal health officials), and let’s say you sleep for eight hours,” Blair says. “Well, that still leaves 15.5 hours” in the day.

Many of us, he points out, have sedentary jobs and engage in sedentary activities after work, like watching television or sitting around a dinner table talking. When you add it all up, Blair says, “it’s a lot more sitting than moving.”

Blair recently headed a study at the University of South Carolina that looked at adult men and their risk of dying from heart disease. He calculated how much time the men spent sitting — in their cars, at their desks, in front of the TV.

“Those who were sitting more were substantially more likely to die,” Blair says.

Specifically, he found that men who reported more than 23 hours a week of sedentary activity had a 64 percent greater risk of dying from heart disease than those who reported less than 11 hours a week of sedentary activity. And many of these men routinely exercised. Blair says scientists are just beginning to learn about the risks of a mostly sedentary day.

“If you’re sitting, your muscles are not contracting, perhaps except to type. But the big muscles, like in your legs and back, are sitting there pretty quietly,” Blair says. And because the major muscles aren’t moving, metabolism slows down.

“We’re finding that people who sit more have less desirable levels” of cholesterol, blood sugar, triglycerides and even waist size, he says, which increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease and a number of health problems.

‘Our Body Just Kind Of Goes Into Shutdown’

Dr. Toni Yancey, a professor in the health services department and co-director of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity at the University of California, Los Angeles, has worked for years on developing programs to motivate people to get up and move.

“We just aren’t really structured to be sitting for such long periods of time, and when we do that, our body just kind of goes into shutdown,” Yancey says.

She recommends routine breaks during a full day of sitting. Her book, Instant Recess: Building a Fit Nation 10 Minutes at a Time, offers readers a guide to integrating such activity into the corporate boardroom, school classroom and even at sporting events.

But even if your work site doesn’t engage in routine hourly breaks, there are things individuals can do at their desks to break up a day of inactivity and get moving, even if just for a few minutes. Yancey recommends a few minutes of movement every hour.

And she suggests sitting on an exercise ball instead of a desk chair, adding that it helps strengthen the core while improving balance and flexibility. It also requires more energy, so a few calories will be burned.

It may not sound like much, but an Australian study found that these types of mini-breaks, just one minute long throughout the day, can actually make a difference. You can simply stand up, dance about, wiggle around, take a few steps back and forth, march in place. These simple movements can help lower blood sugar, triglycerides, cholesterol and waist size.

“If there’s a fountain of youth, it is probably physical activity,” says Yancey, noting that research has shown benefits to every organ system in the body.

“So the problem isn’t whether it’s a good idea,” she says. “The problem is how to get people to do more of it.”

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Akilah M. El, N.D. is a Naturopathic Doctor and board-certified Master Herbalist with a private practice in Atlanta Georgia and Berlin Germany. Join Dr Akilah El on Facebook and Twitter 

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5 Ways You Can Reduce Your Cancer Risk

Cancer is one of the leading killers among women after cardiovascular related incidents. Many of the cancers diagnosed can be prevented through very simple lifestyle changes. Here are five easy ways that you can begin to reduce your cancer risk today!

 

Keep Your Weight In a Healthy Range
Sometimes when we’re at the doctor’s office and we look at ‘ideal’ weights, it can be a bit discouraging because you may not necessarily fall into that range even though you are leading an active lifestyle. Instead, focus on having a Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9. Anything above 24.9 can result in hormone fluctuations and insulin markers that can trigger cancers in the body.

Watch How Much You Consume Alcohol
Too much alcohol can result in an increased risk of both breast and colon cancers in women. The alcohol triggers hormonal changes and can lead to poor nutrient absorption in the colon. Keep your intake of alcoholic beverages to just one a day to avoid these complications.

Exercise!
Cancer hates nothing more than an active lifestyle. The American Cancer Society says that exercise alone can decrease your chances of colon cancer by 30%. Their suggestion is at least 30 minutes a day; five days a week to reap the cancer fighting rewards.

Eat As Little Processed Food As Possible
The chemicals used in today’s food processing can trigger hormonal and digestive responses in the body as well as the processed food tends to lack important nutrients needed to keep your healthy. Aim to eat as fresh and natural as possible to avoid these chemicals and hormones, and get all of the nutrients your body needs.

Quit Smoking!
According to The American Cancer Society, over 30% of deaths from cancer related illnesses are cigarette smoking related. Not just lung cancer, but bladder, kidney, mouth, esophageal, and other cancers are related to cigarette smoking. But if you make the commitment to quit today, your cancer risk will be cut in half in as little as ten years.

So there you have it. By making these five lifestyle changes you can start today, your chances of getting cancer are greatly reduced. When you think about it, seems pretty minor to make these little adjustments to give you a better quality of life for many years to come. Personally, I have some risk factors for certain cancers in my family, so when I heard that there were simple things I could do to minimize my risk, I jumped at the chance to give them a try. Which one are you going to try first?

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8 Sneaky Ways To Burn Calories Without Going To The Gym

Activity is not just about “exercise,” it’s about moving your body more all day long. This type of light activity is essential, whether you’re a card-carrying couch potato or a marathon runner. Growing evidence finds that too much sitting harms your heart health. Worse, that damage is not easily undone by jumping on the elliptical trainer for 30 minutes in the morning if you spend the other 23 ½ hours sleeping and sitting.  A recent study of 1,579 people found that people whose jobs require more than 6 hours of chair time a day are 68% more likely to wind up overweight than those who sit less.

The solution: Stand more. By using these tips you’ll be in motion more all day long. That alone could be enough to help you shed stubborn pounds for good. 

1.  Limit yourself to one TV show: Watching TV is a great way to unwind. But when it comes to the tube, there’s such a thing as too much downtime. The average American tunes in for 3 hours a day, which is really bad news for your waistline, especially when you consider that watching TV burns only slightly more calories than sleeping. Harvard researchers have found that every 2 hours spent watching television increases the likelihood of obesity by 23% and raises your risk of developing diabetes by 14%. Trade 1 hour of TV time for one long walk, and you can slash your obesity risk by 24% and lower your risk of diabetes by 34%. 

2.  Step it up: There’s a reason an exercise machine called the Stair-Master exists: Taking the stairs is really, really good exercise! In one study, exercise scientists calculated that by taking just two more flights of stairs (up and down) each day, you could burn off 6 pounds in a year. Find excuses to make multiple trips between floors at work (using a restroom on another floor is one way) and at home.



3.  Walk the halls at work:
When you’re stuck for ideas at work, get up and walk the halls. Stand and stretch during phone calls. Twice a day, get up and walk to talk to a colleague instead of e-mailing. Stanford University researchers calculated that if you were to walk across your office building and back to talk to a coworker instead of spending the same 2 minutes e-mailing, you could spare yourself 11 pounds over 10 years–effectively avoiding the “midlife spread.”

4.  Stand at your desk: Here’s a very simple move that every office worker can do: Stand up. Sitting at your desk for an hour burns 63 calories. Standing burns 127, twice as many. If you have a cordless phone, you might even be able to pace a bit, just to get the blood flowing even more. Many workplaces are now offering drafting-style tables and high chairs for office workers, which gives you the option of working on your feet most of the day and sitting down to take breaks (instead of the other way around–standing when you need a break). Ask your human resources manager about them. You’ll be surprised how much more energy you have when you spend your day on your feet rather than in your seat.

5.  Sitting at desk on swiss ballGet on the ball: Sit on a large stability or Swiss ball while checking e-mail in the evening. It’s an easy way to engage all of your muscles for 15 to 20 minutes. You might even be inspired to do a few stretches and crunches after you log off.


6.  Fire the maid and gardener:
All those services that you hire to make your life easier can also end up making you heavier. Small daily tasks, like weeding the garden, mowing the lawn, trimming hedges, and cleaning house, can add up to an aerobic workout. In a 2-year study of 230 overweight and inactive men and women, researchers at the Cooper Institute, an aerobics-research organization in Dallas, found that those who spent 30 minutes a day raking the lawn, taking the stairs, and walking from far spaces in parking lots achieved the same improvements in fitness, blood pressure, and body fat as those who went to the gym for vigorous exercise 20 to 60 minutes at a time, 5 days a week.

7.  Prep yourself slim: Cooking is a great wayo burn calories. Slicing, dicing, and braising burns twice as many , in fact, as calling your Chinese takeout place. Because you’re in charge of the ingredients, cook with metabolism-boosting ingredients like those from the Active Calorie Diet. Limit takeout and delivery to two meals a week, tops. 

8. Consider a stepper: Office workers are ideal candidates for a portable mini stepper like the Stamina InStride Electronic Mini Stepper–essentially, just two small Stair-climber  -like pedals without the giant machine attached. Research from the Mayo Clinic found that workers who used these clever step devices while making phone calls or answering e-mail burned an extra 290 calories an hour–enough to burn off more than 40 pounds over the course of a year if they used the machines just 2 hours a day. The strategy is a little unconventional but worth considering. The stepper is relatively inexpensive and small enough to slide under your desk when you’re not using it. Stepping is also something you can do while watching TV at night.

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To learn more about other weight loss tips or to have a personalize fitness program created for your weight lost goals browse through our fitness page by clicking here

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Couch Potatoes Have Higher Risk of Having A Heart Attack After Sex

Sex and exercise can trigger heart attacks in older people who don’t get much of either, a new analysis finds. The risk is low, but it’s a good reminder that slackers should change their exercise habits gradually, especially in middle age.

People who exercise regularly have a much smaller risk of having a heart attack immediately after sexual or physical activity, said lead author Dr. Issa Dahabreh of Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

“It would be really bad if someone thought our paper means people should not exercise,” Dahabreh said. “If anything, it’s the opposite.”

The analysis, appearing in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association, combined results from 14 studies involving more than 6,000 patients.

The studies involved only people who’d had heart attacks or had died suddenly from a heart problem. The studies looked at what the people were doing during the hour or two before their heart attacks and compared that to the same people’s activity on normal days with no major heart problems.

That study design is used to try to answer the question, “Why did the heart attack occur now?”

Physical activity and sex increased the risk of heart attack by a factor of about three, according to the analysis of the pooled results. Exercise increased the risk of sudden cardiac death by nearly five times. The researchers didn’t find a triggering relationship between sex and sudden cardiac death, that is, a sudden death from a heart problem.

The risk for any one person is extremely low.

“If you were to follow 10,000 people for a year and if they all decided to increase their physical activity by an hour a week, you could expect to see two to three more heart attacks,” Dahabreh said.

That risk is offset for most people by the benefits of exercise. The more frequently people exercise, in general, the less risk they have of exercise or sex triggering a heart attack.

Most of the patients in the studies were in their late 50s and early 60s, but the findings are a cautionary tale for people in any age group who are slowing down.

Exercise might even be considered cross-training for sex, said Mercedes Carnethon, a heart disease researcher at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, who wasn’t involved in the research.

“Engaging in regular physical activity is a requirement for maintaining a long, safe, healthy sex life,” Carnethon said.

“If this isn’t more motivation for people to maintain some degree of physical activity, I’m not sure what is,” Carnethon said. “Get out and walk. Do something.”

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