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For a very simple and easy way to lose weight, try boredom. This is the conclusion of s study done by the University of Buffalo in New York State. People who eat the same meals every day consume fewer calories as they become less interested in their food. In a trial, women were give macaroni cheese for one week; by the end of the week they were eating 100 fewer calories per meal then they normally would. However, eating the same meal just once a week led to the opposite effect; calorie consumption increased a little bit every time.
“Reducing variety may be an important component of interventions for obesity” said the researchers.
There are lots of tips and ideas for those wanting to lose weight on our website here.
A new government initiative would see the size of biscuits reduced and the recipes made healthier in a bid to reduce our waistlines.
In a nutshell, here is the DDW summary: nanny state sees population getting fat. Nanny state dreams up crazy scheme (involving at least 8 committees and large sums of taxpayers cash) that will make us fatter and make the food companies more money.
Subsequent to the report everyone eats twice the amount of biscuits, believing them to be tiny and now healthy. Struggling A&E departments are overrun with heart attach victims. Big food doubles profits due to higher margins due to higher prices and smaller product. Politicians receive large sums or donations fro big food to carry on the good work.
But don’t worry, it’s just a proposal. That’s what governments do. Come up with proposals. Debate. Change mind. Vote against. Go on long holiday. Get paid. Yay!
It may have been fairly chilly up until this week, but the summer is just around the corner, and most of Britain knows it.
Swimsuit fear has already kicked in, as many start to count the calories this week, shows research.
XLS Medical a weight loss aid company, did research showing that 50% of the UK population will start a diet in preparation for their holiday. A 12-week diet starting today will have you in shape for the start of the summer holidays – Wednesday, July 18.
Juliet Oosthuysen, spokeswoman forXLS medical, says: “As a guide, dieters should aim to lose around one to two pounds each week. Research shows that dieters are far more likely to maintain a healthy weight long term at this rate.”
With this steady target in mind, those who start today could lose up to 24 pounds (just under two stone) in a sustainable and healthy way.
Now might indeed be the time to start thinking about the summer bikini. Leave it later and the temptation to try a faddy diet like the Atkins diet or the Ducan diet may be too strong; but beware. Weight lost too quickly and/or through the wrong means will lead to physiological and psychological changes that mean you will be unable to hold the weight off. Indeed, research shows that you will most likely end up fatter than when you started…not a good look in a two piece. Slow and step by step changes to eating are the easiest to stick too, and are also those that are more likely to become habitual.
Oosthuysen says: “Instead of thinking about the weeks and months ahead on your weight-loss journey, simply concentrate on what’s immediately in front of you, such as, ‘What am I going to cook for dinner? Shall I walk to the shops or take my bike?’”
Dr Matt Capehorn, clinical director at the National Obesity Forum, also commented, saying: “Starting a diet now gives dieters a reasonable time frame in which to lose weight steadily for their summer holidays. It’s important not to fall into the trap of last minute crash dieting, which is often unsuccessful and can play havoc with blood sugar levels and appetite cravings.”
As a result, he explains, dieters can end up gaining weight as they struggle to cope with changes brought on by such extreme measures.
It is also important not to neglect the role that activity plays in weight loss. Even without a structured exercise program, small changes to your routine can add as much as 500 calories a day to your energy output; take a look at our article on NEAT (non exercise thermogenic activity).
And remember that one of the best ways to increase daily energy output is to build lean muscle through strength training.
Nutrition for children is often seen to be less important that eating in adults. They are growing, after all, so surely they can have what they want? Not entirely. The most recent large scale survey in the UK reveals some startling facts; 25% of boys and 33% of girls aged between 2 and 19 are overweight or obese. The trend is upwards and shows little sign of slowing. Obesity has been shown to shorten life by an average of 9 years and costs the country around £2 billion a year. In addition, children who are overweight are much more likely to stay that way into adulthood; our tastes are shaped by what we eat when we are little.
The rise in overweight children has also added an element of safety in numbers. Parents are becoming so used to seeing children who are overweight that they are failing to recognise the condition in their own children. A recent study at the University of Plymouth revealed that 3/4 of parents failed to recognise an overweight child, more than half of fathers perceived their child’s weight to be “about right” when in fact they were obese and one in ten parents expressed concern that their child was underweight when in fact they were overweight.
The basic reason for this increase in child obesity is of course that children are eating too many fatty processed foods while not doing enough exercise.
Use the following tips to ensure your child grows up a healthy and happy weight:
We all have been told that white bread is bad for us. But how bad? The answer is very; one slice contains the same as 4 sachets of sugar. one bagel is the same as 4 slices of white bread. TRy to encourage bread avoidance and encourage whole foods.
Children should only eat a handful of carbohydrates in a single meal. If cooking pasta or rice try to make sure that it is the wholemeal variety which has more fibre and will release its energy more slowly.
Be careful and aware about salt. There is more salt in nearly every type of precessed food than you would imagine. 4-6 year olds should only have 3g a day. Two slices of toast with butter contain nearly two thirds of that. One serving of ketchup contains nearly 1g. many cereals contain more salt than a bag of crisps. Read the label!
Sugar is also everywhere. Seemingly healthy fruit smoothies contain the same amount of sugar as a full fat coke. Cereals are again guilty, containing lots of hidden sugar, the exceptions being Weetabix, shredded wheat, all bran and porridge. All fruit juices also contain large quantities of sugar.
Celebrities, nutritionists, scientists and trainers have all warned about the dangers of starchy processed carbohydrates.
As a stone age being, we evolved to crave these sources of energy as they are the ones most easily digested and converted into blood glucose. More bang for the buck as it were, as these carbohydrates are easily used by the body for energy; particularly useful if you need an instant demand for energy in order to escape a sabre toothed tiger.
But fast forward to the new millennium and our sedentary lifestyles mean that although we are still super efficient at storing energy, especially from starchy, processed carbohydrates, we just aren’t using as much. All the easily covered fuel is not being used for energy, so instead is stored as fat.
Governments and big food have also played their part. Mass farming techniques and subsidies coupled with uninformed government advice on nutrition led to a huge increase in the amount of starchy carbohydrates consumed post war and in particular through the 1970s.
In 1977 the McGovern committee released its “Dietary goals for the United States”. Although their recommendations had little scientific grounding, government in the US adopted them. Despite widespread scientific condemnation at the time, the advice was to increase carbohydrates eaten to 50-60% of energy intake. This corresponded to a large rise in obesity rates that continue to this day.
This advice still resonates today. We are programmed to believe that a meal should be built around pasta, potatoes or similar starchy carbs. These foods contain no nutrients that can’t be found elsewhere often in superior form. Many fruits and vegetables contain similar carbohydrates but also contain more micronutrients and fibre. Fibre is important as it means that the carbohydrate in food takes longer to digest, slowing down the rate at which sugar is released into the blood. This in turn produces less insulin, the main fat storage hormone.
The same properties are found in whole unrefined carbohydrates like brown rice. These foods, along with a diet rich in protein with plenty of meat, fish, eggs, pulses, unprocessed fats like butter, plant oils, vegetables and fruit provide a much healthier diet than the traditionally favoured pasta, potatoes and bread.
Couscous is not the only healthy, fibre rich source of carbohydrate. Look instead to the Middle East for interesting and healthy grains.
By Robert Atkinson
Despite government and media bombardment that we all need to have five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, many modern celebrity endorsed diets warn that fruit should be taken only in moderation or avoided altogether. But surely fruit is good for us, right?
As with all things nutritional there is no right or wrong answer, but a trade off between different benefits and downfalls.
Fruit is, in essence, very healthy and good for us. It contains large amounts of vitamins and nutrients that aid the immune system, help keep skin glowing and provide a good source of carbohydrate. Fruits provide plenty of soluble dietary fiber, which helps to ward of cholesterol and fats from the body and to get relief from constipation as well.
Fruits contain many anti-oxidants like poly-phenolic flavonoids, vitamin-C, and anthocyanins.These compounds help keep us protected from oxidant stress, diseases, and cancers; they also help the body develop capacity to fight against disease by boosting our immunity level.
Fruits provide plenty of soluble dietary fiber, which helps to ward of cholesterol and fats from the body and to get relief from constipation as well.
However, for those in show business or who need to get rid of as much fat as possible (for example if you need to look good in a black PVC catsuit in 6 weeks) then fruit is actually to be avoided. Fruit contains fructose. Fructose is a sugar. Sugar, when consumed, ids readily converted into blood sugar, causing a rapid rise in BGLs, or blood glucose levels.
When blood glucose levels are high, we deal with this potentially damaging high level of sugar by releasing insulin. Insulin is a storage hormone (or chemical messenger) that instructs the cells to move this energy into storage, namely in the muscles, liver and fat cells.
Thus, logic dictates, that the more we can reduce our insulin reaction to food then the less fat we will store. Now, simultaneously, when insulin is present in the blood stream, we reduce the amount of fat that we burn. As blood sugar levels are already high, is there any point metabolising fat to be released into the blood for energy? Nopt really. This would be like trying to put more petrol into the car when the tank is already full.
So..we eat fruit containing fruit sugars. BGLs rise, insulin is released and we start to store fat while ceasing to burn it. Thus to burn the most fat and get ready for the catsuit, we need to limit our insulin reaction as much as possible. So no sugar and no fruit.
Thus in some situations fruit can indeed be bad, but for most of us mere mortals it is good and healthy, especially if we try to stick to fruits with a low glycaemic index, like apples, blueberries, blackberries, grapefruit, cherries and strawberries. Be careful with bananas, oranges, pineapples and melons, as these contain more sugar.
The World Cancer Research Fund reports that alcohol is second only to fat in its calorie density (how many calories contained per gram) and makes up nearly 10% of total calories taken in by those that drink. It also contains no nutrients, so is classed as empty calories. The implication is that when trying to lose weight and get fit, many dieters only pay attention to food, ignoring drinks. This leads to underestimation of calorific intake and a failure to lose weight.
The charity has unveiled a “booze calorie counter” ; it reveals that a pint of lager is the same as 3 chocolate digestives. A glass of wine is the same as a small Kit Kat.
The WCRF also warned that after smoking being overweight was the second biggest cause of cancer, and that recent studies have shown alcohol to be a cancer risk itself.
Our personal trainers at Diets Don’t Work all all experienced in the different ways of cutting down drinking in clients that are trying to get slim and fit.
The habits that we are trying to break have usually been built up over many years. This slow process means that the actions have become adopted by our subconscious and become automatic. A good example of this subconscious automatic behaviour is looking left and right when crossing the road; changing gears while driving. When you were learning to drive this action was difficult and most certainly required concentration. But after several months or years the action becomes embedded within the subconscious and becomes automatic. This is just like our bad habits. It also explains why techniques like hypnotherapy and NLP are effective against long term habits like smoking – they address the problem in the unconscious mind not just the conscious one.
Logic dictates that something built up over years will be difficult to undo in a day, week or even month. Here are some steps to help you be successful.
1 – Change is a process. Be patient. Habits that have taken years to learn may also take a while to undo. Some habits and addictions may require effort for years, perhaps the rest of your life. So be patient, and stick at it for the long term.
2 – Get help. It can be unrealistic to try to change on your own. Get the help and support of friends and family. In many cases professional help may be needed. A personal trainer, hypnotherapist, behaviourist, therapist or doctor may be the difference between success and failure.
3 – Just pick one resolution. Spreading yourself too thin can lead to failure. It’s better instead to pick one thing you would like to change and focus all your energy on that.
4 – Plan ahead. Don’t necessarily wait until New Year’s Day. Start at a time in your life when there are not too many pressures around; begin planning by noting down things you would like to change. Pick one. Then note down what you might have to do to change it and any obstacles you may encounter.
5 – Small steps. Don’t kill it at the start. Cut calories a bit at a time. Jog for 2 minutes, walk for 1. Build it up from there. Making it too hard at the start can lead to failure.
6 – Expect setbacks. Giving up after a small setback is very common. Weight loss is a good example. We do not lose weight at a consistent rate regardless of how good we have been. You may have had a really good week, but the scales don’t reflect this. The key is to have another really good week, and more than likely you will get nearly 2 good week’s worth of weight loss. We see this in personal training clients all the time.
Good luck, you can totally totally do it! Really. If in doubt, get help!
Results in a new study by the University of Florida have been hailed as “incredible”. Medical researchers at Florida State University asked female test subjects to eat 75g of dried apple every day for a year. This is the equivalent of 2-3 Granny Smiths. In the results their LDL cholesterol (low density lippoproteins, the harmful kind that cause hardened and clogged arteries) fell by a quarter on average. It is believed that this result was a result of the powerful anti-oxidants contained within apples.
Apples are also one of the best fruits to eat, as they have a lower glycaemic index than most fruits. This means that they contain less fructose, which will limit the amount of insulin produced after eating them. This means that the calories within the apple are less likely to be stored as fat and more likely to be used for energy.
Swedish researchers have discovered that a nitrate found naturally in the green leafy vegetable boosts muscle power. This discounts the traditional theory that Spinach is great for you due to its high iron content.
Scientists at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institutet carried out tests on mice, discovering that nitrate found in high quantities in spinach boosts the production of two proteins in the body essential to muscle strength.
In the study, the team placed nitrate directly into the drinking water of a group of mice for a week, at doses that could realistically come from a normal diet.
The mice given the nitrate developed significantly stronger muscles due to a increase in two proteins found naturally in the muscles and used for storing and releasing calcium, which is needed to make muscles contract.
While no effect could be seen in the slow-twitch muscle fibres (these are used for moderate exercise usually at less that 60% of maximum effort), the scientists saw a clear change in the fast-twitch muscles used for strength and more high-intensity exercises.
Translated into human terms, consuming nitrates increases the muscle strength available for activities like lifting weights, sprinting up a steep hill and other power based sports. It also boosts endurance.
A week into the experiment, the team examined different muscles on the legs and feet with the most dramatic effect being observed in the extensor digitorum longus muscle, which extends down the tibia (the weight bearing bone in the lower leg) and the flexor digitorum brevis muscle of the foot.
“We were rather surprised by this ‘mighty mouse’ as the muscle strength in their legs and feet had dramatically increased after seven days,” the research group leader, Dr Hakan Westerblad, said.
Late middle-aged and elderly mice were deliberately chosen. The researchers hope their findings will be most beneficial for aged people with muscle weakness and muscle diseases and help develop new treatments. The research team aims to carry out studies on humans soon.
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