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Variety, Balance, and Moderation
There is no secret to healthy eating. Be sure to eat a variety of foods, including plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grain products. Also include low-fat dairy products, lean meats, poultry, fish, and legumes. Drink lots of water and go easy on the salt, sugar, alcohol, and saturated fat. Good nutrition should be part of an overall healthy lifestyle, that also includes regular physical activity, not smoking, and stress management. If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation.
5 Success Essentials-Physical Movement 10 Good Reasons to Exercise
Well and Good : What happens when you stop exercising
Getting physically fit takes work
Monitoring Exercise Intensity Using Perceived Exertion
A Walk A Day
Cross Training for Fun and Fitness
Exercise workouts different for men and women
How Can I Be Motivated to Lose Weight and Exercise?
Twenty minutes of extra snoozing a night may prove a fat buster. Doctors at East Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, USA, studied 1,000 volunteers and found those who were of normal weight – having a body mass index of less than 25 – on average slept for 16 minutes more a day than those who were overweight or obese. They say that hormonal changes that increase appetite may result from insufficient sleep. The researchers also found that men tended to sleep for 27 minutes less every day than women on average.The findings of the study are published in Archives of Internal Medicine. In December, a separate study found that those who slept for five hours a night had higher levels of the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates appetite. The Independent 13 January © Global News Services Ltd
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General Tips on Weight Loss
Burnout and Emotional Exhaustion
Depression and Weight Loss
Losing Weight―Permanently: Secrets of the 2% Who Succeed
Beating the Yo-Yo Effect
The Perfect Girl
Write Yourself Thin
Food and Feelings
Forgiveness and Disordered Eating
Principles of Forgiveness
Fad Diets-AHA Recommendations
Fad Diets: Seduction and Deceit
Fad Diets: Limited Success
Want Weight Loss Success?
Exercise Your Trust Muscles
The Fat Facts
According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) in their 1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHAMES) “an estimated 64 percent of U.S. adults are either overweight (33 percent) or obese (31 percent).” “This report is alarming given that obesity has been shown to promote many chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, several types of cancer, and gallbladder disease,” said Dr. Julie Gerberding, CDC director. A new study by RTI International and the CDC published in Obesity Research, estimates that U.S. obesity-attributable medical expenses reached $75 billion in 2003. Half of this is paid by taxpayers through Medicare and Medicade.
Think about that! Being overweight or obese is extremely serious, and possibly deadly. Let’s look at some specifics, with help from the Weight Control Information Network:
Diabetes – Eighty percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight. It’s thought that obesity puts a strain on cells, making them less able to handle sugar in the bloodstream.
Heart disease – Being overweight puts a strain on the heart and circulatory system, causing them to not work right. This can lead to chest pains, abnormal heart rhythms, stroke, sudden cardiac failure, or death.
High Blood Pressure – Overweight people are more likely to have this, as well as cholesterol problems (high levels of LDL, the “bad” cholesterol, low levels of HDH, the “good” one).
Cancer – is linked to being overweight, including cancer of the colon, esophagus, kidney, and uterine, and postmenopausal breast cancer have all been linked to excess weight.
Osteoarthritis – Being overweight places excess load on joints, cartilage, and bones, causing them to wear-down. Also, there is research suggesting that excess body fat may cause inflammation, raising the risk of osteoarthritis.
In other words, being overweight can have dangerous consequences for your health and therefore should be taken very seriously. The good news is that you can do something about it. Just losing 10 pounds will help.
Quoted from: Centers for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health
Studies: Never too late to diet, exercise
By Rob Stein
The Washington Post
Reprinted in The Seattle Times Sept 22, 2004, page A4
(Comment-if diet and exercise can help those in their 70’s-90’s, how much more can it help those who follow these principles while still young)
It is never too late to eat well and exercise every day, according to four new studies that found healthy lifestyles can produce dramatic benefits for the body and mind even among the elderly.
Although much research has demonstrated that a good diet and regular physical activity are potent promoters of health, the four studies released yesterday found that the effects extend into old age, sharply reducing the risk not only of heart disease and cancer, but even of dementia.
“A lot of times older people get the idea that, “What’s done is done. It’s too late for me now,” said Meir Stampfer of the Harvard School of Public Health, who co-authored an editorial accompanying the research in today’s Journal of the American Medical Association. “This says, “It’s not too late to have a big influence.'”
One of the studies found that elderly people who ate a healthful diet, exercised regularly, drank alcohol moderately and avoided smoking slashed by more than half their risk of dying from any cause, while another found that the same diet improved blood-vessel function and reduced inflammation. The two other studies produced the strongest evidence yet that simply walking everyday goes a long way toward keeping the mind sharp and warding off dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
Taken together, the new studies provide some of the most definitive evidence to date that relatively simple, inexpensive lifestyle changes can dramatically improve the health and well-being of the elderly, experts said.
“This package really provides a lot more data supporting the whole concept that lifestyle matters,” Stampfer said in a telephone interview.
The findings are particularly important because of the rapidly increasing number of Americans who are elderly, a driving force behind skyrocketing health-care costs in the United States.
“The most important message for the public is, the combination of all these factors can have an enormous impact,” said Perry Hu, a geriatric medicine expert at the UCLA School of Medicine. “It’s really the combination of factors that will benefit older adults the most.”
In the first study, the most comprehensive attempt to date to assess the health effects of various lifestyle factors among the elderly, researchers followed 1,507 healthy men and 832 healthy women ages 70 to 90 in 11 European countries for 10 years.
Those who led the most healthy lifestyles were more than 50 percent less likely to die from any cause. A healthy lifestyle consisted of a so-called Mediterranean diet, which is rich in grains, olive oil, vegetables, fruits and fish and low in meat and dairy products. It also included about 30 minutes of moderate activity a day, such as walking; consuming about two or three alcoholic drinks a day; and not smoking.
Each of those lifestyle choices alone had a dramatic effect on health, individually reducing by more than on-fifth to more than one-third the risk of dying from any cause, the researchers found. Overall, 60 percent of all deaths, 64 percent of deaths from heart disease, 61 percent of deaths from cardiovascular disease and 60 percent of deaths from cancer5 were associated with failing to live that kind of life, the study found.
“This says, “Even if you are older, you have to pay attention to your diet and look at your alcohol consumption, physical activity and smoking,’ ” said Kim Knoops of the Wageningen University in the Netherlands, who led the study. “It can have a big impact on your health and longevity.”
The Mediterranean-diet study found that it improved blood-vessel function and reduced inflammation in people suffering from an increasingly common condition known as the metabolic syndrome, which boosts the risk for heart disease and diabetes.
The two remaining studies are the first to follow large numbers of older men and women over time to determine whether the amount of physical activity they did, including walking, affected the health of their minds.
In the first, researchers followed 16,466 women participating in the Nurses’ Health Study, an ongoing project that has produced a number of landmark findings. The women were in their 70s and early 80s, those who reported the most physical activity, including walking, scored significantly higher on tests measuring learning, memory and attention than those who reported the least, and the more active they were the better their cognitive functioning, the researchers found.
Our data do support the contention that being active does protect your brain,” said Jennifer Weve of the Harvard School of Public Health, who led the study.
In the second, researchers followed 2,257 men ages 71 to 93 participating in the Honolulu-Asia Aging study form 1991 to 1999, specially examining the relationship between daily walking and the risk for dementia. Those who walked the least – less than a quarter-mile a day – were about twice as likely to develop dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, as those who walked more than two miles a day, the researchers found.
Although neither study examined how physical activity might protect mental function, other research suggests it may improve blood flow to the brain or perhaps promote brain-cell growth and connections between neurons.
Weight Loss Survival Skills
Article by Jennifer R. Scott, of About.com
Australian outback, schmoutback. If you’re talking about a true survival challenge, you’re talking about weight loss. The tests: Surviving going to a buffet and choosing the salad bar instead. Choosing to exercise during the one hour you have to yourself. Staying motivated when you hit a plateau…. now there’s a challenge!
I’d like to share my core weight loss survival skills with you this week. I feel these are small changes that are crucial to my success, and I am sure they will continue to be necessary when I enter maintenance.
1. Downing diet soda. I am a guzzler. The waitresses at my favorite restaurants probably hate to see me coming because I take the concept of “free refills” to the extreme. It is not unusual for me to gulp down three or four glasses of soda at one sitting. Once I decided to add up how many calories those sodas amounted to. Can you believe I was drinking more than 2000 calories a day just in soda? After years of swearing that I would never drink diet sodas, I switched. I couldn’t stand diet sodas at first, but the more I drank them, I got used to them, and now I actually prefer some diet sodas to their high-calorie counterparts.
(Thin for Life strongly recommends the use of water, not diet soda)
2. Exercising when I don’t want to. Sometimes I can list a dozen things I could be doing instead of exercising. It’s hard not to give in. “Well, I really do need to reorganize my closet. I could get ready so much more quickly in the mornings if everything was grouped together by colors.” The only thing that gets me to exercise when I don’t want to is to think about how I will feel afterwards, knowing deep down that I have done something that is far more beneficial than color-coding my closet.
3. There are also two other tricks I use to “force” myself to exercise. One is to focus on the benefits besides weight maintenance. For example, when I walk on my lunch break, I remind myself that it’s to get fresh air after being stuck in the office for four hours and to get moving after being seated in front of my computer for a half a day. I know that it’s good for my mental health and emotional well-being to get that break and fresh and air, and the brisk walk keeps me from getting the afternoon dullsville syndrome.
4. Another way I get myself to just do it is to go ahead and change into my exercise clothes, even if I think I don’t feel like exercising. Most of the time, I’ll go ahead and break a sweat since I’m dressed for the occasion. Granted, sometimes it doesn’t work; once in a blue moon I’ll end up doing nothing but watching TV. Subconsciously, I think I believe that channel surfing can be considered an aerobic activity if I do it wearing spandex! But nine times out of 10, I feel obligated to finish what I started and I hop on the treadmill or pop in that exercise video.
5. Pack up a portion. I read this tip years ago in Prevention magazine and I recently started putting it to use religiously. We all know how massive portion sizes have become in restaurants. Cut your fat and calories in half by dividing your meal into half as soon it is brought to your table and put it in a container to take home. It cuts down on how much you are consuming in one sitting, and provides you with a meal to heat up for lunch the next day.