Have you ever stayed up late working and felt hungry around midnight, so you hit the fridge for a sandwich? Do you wake up earlier than normal and end up eating two breakfasts because you’re hungry when you wake and then hungry at your normal breakfast time? Well, if so, you can probably see why either can’t lose or maintain weight. When you stay awake longer, you have more time to eat, and that can end up causing weight gain.
Actually, a new study was just published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, as reported by Forbes. It revealed participants who slept less than 6.5 hours or more than 8.5 hours had a higher percentage of body fat. Quality sleepers had less body fat and poor sleepers had more fat. Participants who walked and went to sleep and woke up at the same time every day had a lower percentage of body fat.
This study suggests if you go to sleep and wake up about the same time every day and you’re able to get quality sleep, which includes the right amount of REM sleep, you should be able to lose weight or maintain it much easier.
It’s not only about what you’re eating during your wake hours though. It also has to do with body chemistry. It seems as though sleep benefits many operations having to do with processes body fat. The researchers from the study believe sleep effects physical activity, appetite, and hormones. They also believe sleep increases ghrelin, which is a hormone that controls food cravings. It also decreases leptin, which has to do with signaling your mind when you’re full. If there’s not enough of the hormone, you could eat more than you need, which will lead to over eating and gaining weight.
If you need any more reason to sleep more, it can also protect you from Alzheimer’s. Sleep detoxes the brain of a protein that has been found in excess in patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
So if you are struggling to lose or maintain weight, get some sleep. Sleeping is important to your health and as you are trying to be more healthy by losing weight, you might as well add to that for more health benefits.
Most people who want to lose weight will start running. They will lose a few pounds when they first start, but after a week or two, their weight loss may stop. They may complain that no matter what they do, they can’t lose weight. The problem is the running, despite what most people believe.
Research on Running for Weight Loss
A study by the University of Tampa did a study that showed running consistently on a treadmill only helped participants lose weight initially. After about a week, they wouldn’t lose any more weight. The reasoning behind it is that a person’s body gets used to the running, so it doesn’t need as much energy to run, which means they don’t burn as many calories.
Weight training is a good way to lose weight because lifting weights causes a person to experience micro tears in their muscles. The repair process uses up energy, which burns calories.
Weight lifting also builds muscle, which means even in resting state, the body burns more calories.
Let’s go back to running now though. Running at a constant pace for a long distance will do nothing for weight loss efforts, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t run. A study by the University of Western Ontario found participants who did four to six sprints for 30 seconds burned more body fat than those who ran for up to 60 minutes.
It’s the type of running that matters most. You need to push yourself. Getting on the treadmill and setting the pace just beyond what you can do will cause your body to work harder, and that will burn calories. You may not be able to run as long, but you will end up burning more calories.
That’s the whole point of exercising at the gym, isn’t it? You want to work out to burn as many calories as possible. If you go to the gym and do the same thing every single time you go, your body will not burn the number of calories you want and need to burn to lose weight. You need to challenge your body. The more you do, the more you’ll lose. It’s as simple as that.
You’ve been doing so well with your diet. Thanksgiving is right around the corner though. You know you’re not going to be able to stop yourself from eating all of that yummy sweet potato casserole, stuffing, turkey with gravy, and the desserts. So what do you do? Succumb to dealing with the extra pounds after the holidays? No, you don’t have to do that at all.
Thanksgiving Weight Control
Don’t just throw your diet out of the window because Thanksgiving is coming. You can eat everything you want, just as long as you stay in control of how much you eat.
That’s the problem, right?
There are a few things you can do that will help you control yourself.
Before you set out to Thanksgiving dinner at a relative’s house, have a healthy meal at home. Make sure you load up on veggies and protein. That’s what is going to make you feel full for longer.
It’s important to drink a lot of water too. The more water the better because you’re going to need it to start cleaning your body out of all the food you’re going to eat.
When you get to the Thanksgiving feast, look it over really well first. Take it all in as you walk by. Before you start spooning it all on your plate, think about what is being offered.
What do you really want?
Only choose to eat the things you really want. If you don’t care so much about the mashed potatoes, then pass right by them. If you don’t really love turkey, take the smallest piece possible, so you can say you had turkey on Thanksgiving and then move on.
You don’t want to throw away waste precious calories on foods you don’t love. It’s better you waste them on food you’ll appreciate.
As you reach for the foods you want the most, remember portion size. Only give yourself an amount that is the size of your palm. I know, you want more, but the more you put on your plate, the more you’re going to eat.
Start with the palm rule. When you sit down, you may have four or six different foods on your plate that you can start munching on.
As you finish your food, sit for a few minutes. Let the food settle in your stomach. Have a conversation with some people, and then gauge how you feel.
Don’t forget dessert. If you haven’t had dessert yet, you’ll have to save some calories for that as well. If you’re not famished, don’t reach for seconds, but wait for the dessert.
Continue to drink water through the dinner and into the night. Have a glass of wine if you would like because it’s all part of the holidays.
The Morning After Thanksgiving
The next day get right back on the diet you were on. Don’t even look back at all you ate the day before. Since you controlled yourself, you’ve eaten much less than you could have if you had let loose on the food.
Before you know it, you’ll be right back on track to losing weight and reaching your weight loss goals.
I’ve been dieting on and off for years. It’s hard to keep a constant weight when there’s so much yummy food everywhere you turn. So, the weight has come back on, and it’s time to shed it, especially with the big holidays coming around.
The only way I can lose weight is to count calories. I fit in exercise when I can, which isn’t much since I lead a busy life, like everyone else in the world.
One of the worst things about dieting for me is feeling depleted. I can’t function as good as I do because of the reduction in calories.
The other day I was at the store, and I found a Yogi tea called Blueberry Slim Life. It’s a type of green tea with other herbs mixed in.
The great thing about this tea is I don’t have to put sugar in it. I usually always have to put sugar in my tea because it’s too bitter for my taste. The blueberry in this tea really is good, and it’s enough to make me not have to sweeten.
After drinking this tea, I found myself to be a bit more active. I noticed I wasn’t so tired and fatigued as I usually am when I am dieting. I wasn’t as hungry either.
The tea advertises the ability to energize and a support a dieting program, so it makes sense I felt this way after drinking it. The only thing is I usually don’t get the responses most teas say they give you. That means this tea must be super effective.
It is an herbal too, so it’s not approved by the FDA or anything. It’s natural though. It contains the following:
- Ginseng and Eleuthero Root Extracts
- Garcinia Cambogia Fruit Extract
- Propriety Blend of Herbs
- Organic Green Tea Leaf
- Organic Bilberry Leaf
- Organic Hibiscus Flower
- Green Tea Leaf Extract
- Stevia Leaf
- Organic Amla Fruit
- Organic Belleric Myrobalan Fruit
- Organic Chebulic Myrobalan
If you’re concerned about caffeine, it only has 35 mg, which is significantly less than what is found in coffee.
Give it a try. You may have the same effects as I did. I drink at least one cup a day, and especially when I am out of calories and need something to fill the void.
All the tabloids could talk about when Kim Kardashian was pregnant was all of the weight she was putting on. The poor woman couldn’t have a baby in peace because of the scrutiny about how much she was gaining. There would be pictures of her getting bigger and bigger, and all tabloids could say was something along the lines of, “Is her eating getting out of control?”
It’s sad that as a society we are obsessed with people’s size. Even when a woman is pregnant, growing a human being inside of her, she stills has people criticizing what she is feeding herself and her baby.
With all of this being said, Kim has been doing well getting her body back post baby. She has reportedly lost 25 pounds so far, and she continues to try to lose more until she is happy with the way her body looks, versus what the scale says.
She tweeted her fans she is using the Atkins diet to lose weight. She’s concentrating on eating more vegetables and lean meats. She’s getting her fats from health avocados and nuts.
You would think she would be starving herself to lose all of that weight in a short time. However, she reports she is eating as much as 2,000 calories a day, and on some days, 2,200.
So, what exactly is the Atkins diet? Let’s look at it:
Atkins diet restricts carbohydrates. When carbohydrates are restricted, the body goes into a state of ketosis, which means the body starts to burn fat for fuel. The bonus is when the body is in ketosis, it ends up feeling less hungry too.
With the Atkins diet, you eat pure protein and fat. You eat red meat, fish, fowl, and cheese. You can’t have more than 20 grams of carbs in the first two weeks. You can’t violate these conditions in the first two weeks because all you’ll do is end up ruining the process of turning your body into a fat burning machine.
After two weeks, you are free to eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, which all contain carbs. The trick is to increases these foods gradually, so your body continues to lose weight, as you eat more carbs.
The easiest way to start the Atkins diet is to set up a meal plan with snacks. As long as you eat what’s on your Atkins meal plan, you’ll be successful and start seeing the fat melt away.
One of the first things doctors tell women when they prescribe birth control pills is they might lead to weight gain. This can make a lot of women contemplate whether they want to take it or just chance pregnancy. Most chose the pill and fat over pregnancy, but is the pill really to blame for the fat?
Many studies have been conducted over the years on the effects of birth control on weight. The problem is some studies come back as showing the hormones do lead to weight gain, while other studies show no correlation.
For example, the Centers for Disease Control looked at 70 studies, and not one of them showed the birth control pill lead to weight gain. According to researcher Dr. David Grimes, many people blame the pill for weight gain, but people usually gain one pound a year as they age.
With all of the studies showing there is no correlation, it’s hard to point the finger at the daily little pill. It’s difficult not to when looking at studies like the one at Texas A&M University. The researchers there found women on the pill had 60 percent less lean muscle. This is a significant percentage. The study also found that women had lower level of muscle building hormones too. So as you can see from these results, the pill does have some effect on women’s bodies.
With Depo-Provera, women are twice as likely to become obsess in just three years. This was reported in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
If you’re currently on birth control pill, and you believe it’s having an effect on your ability to lose weight, speak to your doctor. She will likely perform a thyroid test and discuss other birth control options, which won’t have an effect on your weight. It may be the one thing that is standing in between you and your ability to lose the weight.
Image by: ParentingPatch (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The Paleo diet has grown in popularity over the past couple of years. So many people have jumped on the Paleo train, you would think it was some miracle weight loss strategy.
It’s no miracle, but it is a weight loss strategy. It’s just a way to eat healthfully, which is what everyone should be doing anyway.
With the Paleo diet, you eat certain foods your body needs anyway. You ensure you are getting the nutrients you need to remain energetic, slim, and healthy.
The following are what you would eat according to the Paleo diet:
- Lean Proteins
Lean proteins are low fat meats like chicken. It’s also fish, which has good fats in it.
- Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables have a high level of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
- Healthy Fats
Healthy fats are monounsaturated and Omega-3s. They are found in nuts, seeds, olive oil, and fish.
A typical meal consists of 4 to 8 ounces of lean protein, several servings of vegetables, and then healthy fats. It’s recommended to eat three to four meals a day like this, and to limit fruit servings to one or two a day.
You’ll notice there are no grains, dairy, or even legumes mentioned. The Paleo diet doesn’t regard those foods as vital to health. Lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats are adequate to get all of the vitamins and nutrients the body needs to functional optimally.
Paleo Health Benefits
Those who follow a Paleo diet are more likely to:
- Have stable blood sugar
- Burn fat
- Have clearer skin
- Have better teeth
- Improve sleep
- Have more energy
- Experience efficient workouts
- Not suffer from allergies
You won’t know if a diet will work unless you try it. Since this one focuses on a healthy diet and not starvation, it’s a good one to at least try out for a month or so. You can then decide if it’s right for you and your lifestyle.
Image courtesy of rakratchada torsap from FreeDigitalPhotos.net
You’ve spent the last 9 months eating, so your baby would get all of the nutrients he or she needed to grow. Now, you’ve had your beautiful baby, and you’re looking at your body thinking, “Ummm…what happened?” The good news is you can get your pre-baby body back. It’s just going to take some time and work.
Change Your Eating Habits
The first thing you’ll have to do is pay attention to what you’re eating. If you’re still eating all of the sugary foods you become accustomed to while pregnant, it’s time to stop. The sugary foods are keeping your from losing weight, and some research suggests it could make you want to eat more too.
Making dietary changes isn’t the only way to lose the weight. You’ll need to get more active. That can be difficult while taking care of a baby, but try to incorporate your baby into the exercising. You can take him or her for a walk, or a run if you have a jogging stroller.
Stress Makes It Hard – Do the Best You Can
Many times, it’s the stress that causes new mothers to eat and not exercise. Eating yummy foods is what relieves the stress, and all of the sleepless nights end up making you to tired to do anything. It’s all normal. What you need to keep in mind is you just need to do as much as you can the best you can. If you don’t exercise one day, don’t just throw it out all together, just try to go the next day. If you don’t eat well one day, don’t stop your healthy eating all together, just try better the next day.
Taking care of yourself now will help you have enough energy to care for your baby. Set up a plan for your new lifestyle and try to stick to it as much as possible. It will be hard at first, but the more you try, the easier it will be over time.
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici from FreeDigitalPhotos.net
If you’ve been looking at your weight gain wondering why you’ve been gaining so much, or you’ve told people that you have an insatiable appetite, you may want to learn about fructose. Most people have no idea about the effect of fructose on their weight. They don’t even realize what contains this sugar. Gaining knowledge about fructose could change your whole life because it could have a profound effect on your weight.
What Is Fructose?
It’s a monosaccharide, which is a simple sugar. This means that your body is able to use it for energy to get you through your day.
Back in the day, it was believed that fructose was better than regular sugar. This was because it didn’t raise blood sugar, also known as having a low glycemic index.
That’s all over now. The tables have turned on fructose, and it’s now worse than regular table sugar.
Liver processes fructose. When someone eats too much fructose, the liver isn’t able to process it all. That leads the liver to turn it into fat and release it into the bloodstream. The fat that accumulates in people’s bloodstream is known as triglycerides. You’ve likely heard this name before if you’ve had your cholesterol checked.
High triglycerides increases a person’s risk for heart disease. It also increases the chances of the person becoming overweight. It has an effect on the a person’s appetite, which makes them eat more than needed.
Where to Find Fructose
Now that you know what fructose can do to you, you need to know where you can find it. Fruits and vegetables have a small amount of fructose in them. These are the ones that have a large amount:
- Soft drinks
- Sauces and salad dressings
- Processed snacks
Learn More about Fructose
This is just the beginning of the knowledge on fructose. For more information, we recommend this video Sugar: The Bitter Truth. It’s made by the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine and the presenter is Robert H. Lustig, M.D.
Most people have heard that they shouldn’t skip breakfast if they are trying to lose weight. There’s been a lot of talk about how eating breakfast helps you not eat as much throughout the day. However, that isn’t true.
What Research Is Saying About Breakfast and Weight Loss
Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have found that it doesn’t matter if you skip breakfast or not when it comes to losing weight. What matters is what you’re eating in a 24 hour period.
So where did the original idea that you need to eat breakfast to lose weight? It’s likely that the small studies were performed that didn’t show a strong correlation, but enough of one that convinced people it was correct.
It’s All About Calories
It’s all about calories, and it will always be about calories. You can eat whenever you want, but it’s staying below your caloric needs each day that will make you lose weight.
So basically, if you skip breakfast, you just need to make sure you don’t overeat the rest of the day to make up for that meal. Simply keep track of the calories you’re consuming with breakfast left out.
Actually, it would probably be easier to lose weight without eating breakfast because you don’t have the extra calories in there for breakfast. Think about it. If you usually eat 300 calories for breakfast, and you end up not eating it, you can use those calories some other time during the day. So you can eat a little more for lunch and dinner…
The only reason people ever said anything about eating breakfast is because some people get really hungry if they don’t eat breakfast and that makes them overeat later in the day. As long as you are in control of how much you eat, you’ll be okay with skipping breakfast.
Image courtesy of Marcus at freedigitalphotos.net