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A collection of articles and comments on Diet & Exercise

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7 Simple Steps To Weight Loss

October 3, 2005

eDiets and eFitness can help you set up a health-and-fitness plan to meet your needs. But first you must take the first step. Click here to get started.

By Michael Stefano
eFitness Guest Columnist

Weight loss, or more specifically, weight management, demands a multi-faceted approach. From eating only at scheduled times (versus overeating when stressed) to using a favorite treat as an incentive, latest research suggests losing weight can sometimes be more psychological than physical.

Ultimately, you are what you eat, but the driving force behind that ravenous appetite needs to be dealt with if you're to have any chance of reaching your ideal body weight.

Below are seven techniques to help you gain control over your body weight. Use them to help outline your own weight-management system.

Step 1. Control Your Environment

Here you seek to surround yourself with healthy alternatives and make sensible choices.

  • Shop only when full.
  • Shop from a list.
  • Avoid prepared foods.
  • Eat only at scheduled times.
  • Accept no food offered by others.
  • Store food out of plain sight.
  • Always eat in the same location.
  • Use smaller plates.
  • Throw away leftovers.
  • Consume low-cal snack prior to party.
  • Don't get discouraged if you occasionally slip.

    Step 2. Change Simple Habits

    This step involves very simple changes that require a gentle effort.

  • Chew thoroughly before you swallow.
  • Leave some food on your plate.
  • Prepare only one serving at a time.
  • Pause in the middle of your meal.
  • Focus all attention on eating (no TV, radio, etc).

    Step 3. Provide Yourself With A Reward

    You'll find out self-gratification can be a powerful tool, learn to use it.

  • Seek help from friends and family.
  • Use self-monitoring as a basis for reward.
  • Plan specific rewards for specific behavior.

    Step 4. Employ Self-Monitoring

    Tracking behavior allows you to make informed, accurate decisions based on previous behavior. Keep a food diary that includes:

  • Time/place of each meal/snack.
  • Type/amount of food consumed.
  • Who is present during meal.
  • How you feel before and after.

    Step 5. Give Yourself A Nutritional Education

    Learn as much as you can about what's in the food you eat.

  • Use food diary to identify problem areas.
  • Make small changes that you can continue.
  • Learn nutritional values of foods (read labels).
  • Decrease fat intake, increase complex carbohydrates.

    Step 6. Incorporate More Physical Activity Into Your Day

    Your body can't register the difference between routine activity and formal exercise. But exercise obviously provides greater results.

    Routine

  • Increase routine activity.
  • Increase use of stairs.
  • Keep record of distance walked.

    Exercise

  • Start with a mild exercise program.
  • Keep records of all workouts.
  • Gradually increase frequency, duration, intensity.

    Step 7. Think Positive

    Success, in just about any endeavor, requires a positive attitude, with an initial focus on small, achievable successes.

  • Set reasonable goals.
  • Focus on progress, not setbacks.
  • Avoid terms like always and never.
  • Recognize irrational thoughts and dismiss.
  • Set weight goals (both long and short term).

    The preceding seven steps will help you form the basis for a sensible weight-loss program. You can incorporate all, or just some, of the suggestions listed to help you realize your health, fitness and weight-loss goals.

    Michael Stefano is author of The Firefighter's Workout, which features more than 50 exercise illustrations. To learn more about Mike Stefano and his fat-burning, body-sculpting programs, click here to visit his website.

    The fitness pros at eDiets can show you how to combine exercise and nutrition to get the best results. This is what you’ve been looking for. You will need to make the commitment, but isn’t it time to finally take care of you? Click here to get started.

  • Source:   http://www.efitness.com/news/article.cfm?article_id=15749&code=2421

     

    HEALTHY BONES

    September 28, 2005

    For years, conventional doctors have drilled into women’s minds that the only way to achieve strong, healthy bones is to supplement with calcium or eat calcium-rich foods, primarily dairy products. In reality, your bones are complex structures that consist of much more than just calcium. In fact, about one-third of your bones' weight is made up of a protein matrix that contains a variety of minerals and nutrients, including sodium, magnesium, copper, potassium, zinc, and manganese, as well as calcium. But often, even with this knowledge, many doctors act as if your bones are just “calcium sticks,” and disregard the crucial role these other substances—and good lifestyle habits—play in keeping your bones strong and healthy.

    As a woman, you probably know how important it is to maintain strong bones. But you may not know what to do or how to begin. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to help ensure healthy bones now, and for the future.

    Healthy Lifestyle, Healthy Bones

    First and foremost, good health and strong bones begin with exercise. Weight-bearing exercise helps build bone mass and strength. I recommend weight-bearing workouts such as walking, biking, tennis, or jumping rope. I also suggest you try weight training. Start off with light weights—3 or 5 pounds—and increase the weight as you get stronger. If you haven’t been exercising regularly, it’s important to start off slowly—about 10 minutes at a moderate pace. Gradually increase your workout time to 15–20 minutes. Work towards a goal of exercising for at least 30 minutes a day, most days of the week. The bottom line is that making room in your life for exercise will benefit your bones, as well as your entire body, and improve your mood, energy, and overall outlook on life.

    In addition, diet plays a huge role in bone health. Stay away from foods that are naturally acidic or that cause an acidic reaction in your body—including white flour, sugar, highly processed foods, red meat, dairy products, citrus fruits, vinegar, and coffee. When you ingest these types of foods, your body’s natural buffering system draws alkaline minerals (such as calcium and magnesium) from your bones to help bring your blood and tissues back into a slightly alkaline, balanced state. Needless to say, this causes certain minerals in your bones to become depleted. To maintain the balance of minerals in your bones, choose a diet high in alkaline foods, including flaxseed, whole grains, cantaloupe, melon, free-range chicken, green vegetables, sweet potato, corn, beans, raw seeds, and legumes. For a more in-depth list of common foods and their pH, click here.

    Also, watch your protein intake. Your body can only handle 40–60 grams of protein per day. Anything higher than this may weaken bone because digesting and eliminating protein's by-products can make your body more acidic. Choose your protein wisely. I recommend avoiding red meat and instead eating vegetarian sources such as beans and peas, as well as omega-3 fatty acid fish like salmon and tuna up to twice a week. Pick those brands that have been tested and shown to contain minimal mercury and other toxins.

    Supplements for Strong Bones

    First and foremost, along with eating a diet high in alkaline foods, I encourage you to use an alkalinizing product, which can help boost the effectiveness of your body’s buffering system. I recommend using a blend of sodium bicarbonate (200 mg) and potassium bicarbonate (400 IU). Bicarbonate is your body’s most prevalent blood buffer.

    Also, as I stated earlier, calcium alone may not be enough to keep your bones healthy. First, start by taking a strong multinutrient every day, which will provide a good foundation of vitamins and minerals to help you maintain healthy bones. You also need to supplement with a variety of specific bone-building minerals, all of which work best if taken together. Make sure you’re taking the following bone-friendly nutrients every day in the specified amounts. The combination of your multinutrient and bone supplement should total the amount in parentheses:

    • Calcium (1,000–1,500 mg)
    • Magnesium (500–750 mg) Note: For best results, make sure your calcium:magnesium ratio is 2:1
    • Manganese (3–7 mg)
    • Zinc (15 mg)
    • Copper (2 mg)
    • Silica (40–50 mg)
    • Vitamin D (800 IU)
    • Vitamin B6 (120–130 mg)
    • Vitamin B12 (250 mcg)
    • Folic acid (1200 mcg)
    • Vitamin C (500–1,000 mg)

    You can find these vitamins and minerals, as well as other important Daily Balance Bone Revitalizer. One ingredient I’m particularly excited about is Rehmannia glutinosa extract, an herb used in Eastern Asia that I am very familiar with and have recommended to my patients for years. Rehmannia is believed to support the optimal balance between kidney and bone health. Studies also suggest that Rehmannia may stimulate osteoblasts (cells that build bone), while helping to reduce osteoclasts (cells that break down bone as part of the bone modeling process).

    The Hormone Connection

    Your hormones play a huge role in keeping your bones young and strong. Estrogen can help preserve bone mass by blocking osteoclasts, while progesterone actually stimulates osteoblasts. Unfortunately, both estrogen and progesterone levels decline as you enter menopause. If you’re in menopause, consider having your hormone levels tested. If tests show that your hormones need to be balanced, work with your doctor to come up with the best hormone balancing program for you—preferably using natural alternatives such as black cohosh and progesterone spray or cream.

    To learn more about balancing your body’s pH and keeping your bones strong, visit my Web site at drlark.com.

    Here's to your health!


    Susan M. Lark, MD

    SOURCE:  www.drlark.com

     


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