Copyright 2006 Donovan BaldwinMany people in America today try all sorts of things in pursuit of healthy, permanent weight loss. Unfortunately, they mainly seem to try fad diets, diet pills, celebrity diets, the grapefruit diet...you name it. In fact, stick an adjective or noun in front of the word "diet", and you might be the creator of the next diet craze.While someone might temporarily lose a few pounds with a "diet", diets are not successful when it comes to permanent "weight loss" and healthy weight loss.As they say, I have some good news and some bad news.The good news is that there IS a known and proven way to achieve significant, healthy, permanent weight loss. More good news is that, although some modification to what you presently like to eat will be necessary, extremely drastic changes are seldom required. Oh, yes, you might have to learn to substitute something you don't like that much right now for something you do like, but, in time, you can get accustomed to this, and even learn to like the new flavors and foods. I know. I've been there.The bad news is that, along with modifications to your eating habits, you are going to have to become more active. Dare I say it....?You will have to exercise!The benefits of exercise is an article in itself, and I have written elsewhere about how exercise can take many forms, so there is no need to lock yourself into an unpleasant or painful exercise regimen. What I really want to do here is give a small pitch for the practice of yoga as my exercise program of choice. Remember, however, my exercise program of choice might not be yours. As much as I like yoga, you will have to decide if yoga is right for you.Before I speak specifically about yoga, let's just list some of the known benefits of regular exercise in general. Exercise...>Reduces the risk or affects of many illnesses and conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, arthritis, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis to name a few. Some studies even show possible reductions in the risk for some cancers.>Elevates mood and reduces depression.>Helps maintain healthy bones, muscles, joints, and nervous system.>Delays affects of ageing, making seniors more mobile and self sufficient and less likely to fall prey to injury or illness.>Reduces risk of premature death (sounds like a big one to me).>Helps maintain a healthy weight.Okay, since any good exercise program can provide these benefits, what does yoga have to offer that makes it special?In addition to providing the basic benefits of exercise in general, yoga does have a few specific things going for it.1. Despite the apparently agonizing contortions seen in every yoga book, the benefit is in the attempt to achieve the position. The models in the books arrived at their present level of ability over time, and many a skilled practitioner of yoga today began in the same shape you're in right now. It is okay to modify a position or to come out of it a little early if your body is not ready yet. The regular practice of your best version of the movement or position (asana), combined with yoga breathing techniques (easily learned) will produce progress over time.2. No personal trainer or special equipment is needed, nor is it necessary to go to the gym or even out in public at all. You can do yoga naked if you don't have a pair of gym shorts, and a carpet is just as good as a yoga mat...at least at first. Yoga is actually so simple that it CAN be learned from a book, although it certainly wouldn't hurt to get guidance or training from a certified instructor.3. Yoga is relaxing and relieves stress. Not only is this of great personal value in today's world, but if any part of your weight loss problem is stress related, and I can almost guarantee some relationship, the stress relief offered by yoga can ease that portion of your weight loss journey.4. In addition to being good for your health for several reasons, simply learning yoga breathing and practicing it regularly can help you burn fat.5. As you begin to progress in your ability to better perform yoga poses (asanas) you will notice a sense of control, of mastery of life and self, which will become more evident. This new inner strength will aid you in facing difficulties, including temptations concerning eating and your new eating behaviors. You will also find yourself more forgiving, not only of others, but of yourself as well, and when you slide a little, you will be better able to shrug it off and get back on your path to success.6. With more progress in your yoga practice, you will begin to experience new feelings of health, strength, and well-being. These feelings will in turn motivate you to take even more control of your life so that you can continue your progress with no desire or temptation to return to the way things used to be.Nothing is perfect for everyone, but, as you can see, the practice of yoga does have some benefits to offer which may make it valuable in the pursuit of healthy, permanent weight loss.
Everyone, regardless of how disciplined they are with their diet, will from time to time fall victim to cravings for one food item or another. For people trying to lose weight, these cravings are even more of a challenge to deal with than for someone simply maintaining their weight. Regardless of whether or not you are trying to "lose weight" however, cravings can be the one thing that makes you break your normal dietary habits and overdo the calories you usually try to do without. Most people know that getting some kind of exercise and eating healthy, low-fat foods is the key to maintaining good health, but with the hectic and hurried schedules so many people have these days, sometimes eating right and getting exercise can be easier said than done. The best way to insure against dietary disaster when you do get those cravings throughout the day is to plan ahead and use a little strategy. For one thing, try to plan 5 to 6 small meals with one to be eaten around every 3 hours of the day and make it a point not to miss any of them. It takes an average of 2 hours for the human body to digest a meal, so by the time you start to feel a craving coming on, its almost time for your next meal anyway.Make it a point to drink plenty of water. Quite often, feelings of hunger between meals are really your body trying to signal thirst. By keeping a bottle of water with you all day and making it a point to take constant sips throughout the day, you will keep hydrated, feel better, and eliminate one common cause for cravings to happen.When you are at home, always try to keep some fresh fruit on hand. If you are hit with a craving, fruit is a better choice than cake or chips. Also, make a fat-free dip and cut up some fresh veggies like carrots and celery and keep them in the fridge. This will give you another quick and healthy snack that you can just grab and eat during a craving.Never go to a party, a meeting, or any event where there will be food available on an empty stomach. This will set you right up to over eat when you get there. Always eat a small meal or at least eat a good, healthy snack before you go as this will help to stop cravings from hitting you while there. If there are certain snack foods that you really enjoy, dont try to completely cut them out. You will only overindulge in them when you cant control the urge to have them later. Plan these snacks into your day, and just make them snacks that you have once in a while and in moderate amounts when you do. Remember that just because certain food items are fat-free does not mean they are calorie free. When turning to fat free snacks, be careful of how many calories they contain and adjust your portions accordingly. It is very easy to assume fat-free is safe and go way overboard on them.The next time you are hit with cravings, remember these little guidelines and you will be able to deal with them without ruining your efforts to maintain healthy eating habits.
It doesn't matter who you are in the world, your body needs aerobic exercise. A healthy body and quality way of life requires it. It has many of pros and will help you perform greater in all aspects of your life. So what are the benefits of "aerobic exercise" ?More effective implementation of the lungs by raising the oxygen transported to them and the heart using this oxygen more efficiently are a few of the advantages of aerobic exercise. The word aerobic translates to with air, or with oxygen. Exercise that is less intense and longer in length is aerobic. 15 to 30 minutes is about how long the big muscle group should be continuously worked when an athlete does aerobic exercises. The mission of the athlete is to maintain a maximum heart rate of around sixty to eighty %. Swimming, cycling, light running, and walking are just a few aerobic exercises. These activities should be able to be done without someone having to gasp for breath. If you cannot carry on a short conversation while exercising, you possibly are turning it up a notch by anaerobically exercising.Working a certain group of muscles for an allotted amount of time to achieve your target heart rate is the objective of aerobic exercise. This works the heart more efficiently and has the body expend a greater amount of calories. Often people will hit the aerobic curve. This is when you begin working out and raise your intensity to the top then decrease gradually. Keeping a continuous heart rate is more effective. The lungs and heart endure for more time and work more efficiently when they are trained. People who perform aerobic exercise on a routine basis will have to exercise longer to reach their target heart rate as their endurance is increased. People who are just beginning will get to their target heart rate fast until their body gets used to the workload.An aerobics class could be a good start for people who want to reap the rewards of aerobic exercise and aren't positive how to begin. Both higher and lower intensity exercises are available in an aerobics class. The class instructor will show class members how to proceed with these moves either way. How much you carry your arms and legs up during the work out is how the intensity is measured. Athletes should do the level of intensity according to their level of fitness and the regularity of their aerobic sessions.While in an aerobic exercise work out, the body sends more blood and oxygen to the muscles. It is not smart to stop suddenly from an aerobic session. This can lead to dizziness and muscular spasms. After a relatively intense work out, a cooling down session is always a good idea. If someone gets too tired during an aerobic session, they can run in place for a little while until able to go on. Work outs that are higher in intensity and shorter in time is called an[*_*]. The body wears out faster and creates muscle more actively with anaerobics. A lot of sports are categorized as an[*_*]s: soccer, downhill skiing, weights, basketball, and football. Another example is running or sprinting. The body will more likely be sore at the conclusion of an[*_*].To picture that often we don't do [*_*] is wild because it has so variety of benefits. It helps control and decreases body fat, raises our whole stamina, gives us extra energy, assists in our resistance to exhaustion, tones our muscles, and increases our lean body mass. It also aids us mentally by lifting mood, decreasing anxiety, reducing depression, reducing tension, and helping us sleep better at night. Who cannot benefit a bit from all that?These are benefits that people could all use.This type exercise is no doubt essential for cardiovascular fitness even if it may be a little difficult at first. A healthy body requires regular work out sessions and is an ongoing process. People who have already achieved good cardiovascular condition can keep this by exercising at least three times weekly. People who are trying to decrease weight and elevate their level of health should work out four or five intervals a week.
Gastric bypass (also called bariatric surgery) closes off a large portion of the stomach, leaving only a pouch the size of an egg. Gastric bypass works by restricting food intake. Patients feel full after eating small amounts of food. Fewer calories are eaten and weight is lost. Gastric bypass patients typically lose 70% of their excess weight, most of it in the first year after surgery.Gastric bypass surgery combines the creation of a small stomach pouch to restrict food intake and construction of bypasses of the duodenum and other segments of the small intestine to cause malabsorption (decreased ability to absorb nutrients from food).There are two types of gastric bypass surgery: Roux-en-Y "gastric bypass" (RGB) and extensive gastric bypass (biliopancreatic diversion).Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is the most common gastric bypass procedure performed in the U.S. First, a small "stomach pouch" is created by stapling part of the stomach together or by vertical banding. This limits how much food you can eat. Next, a Y-shaped section of the small intestine is attached to the pouch to allow food to bypass the duodenum as well as the first portion of the jejunum. This causes reduced calorie and nutrient absorption. This procedure can now be done with a laparoscope (a thin telescope-like instrument for viewing inside the abdomen) in some people. This involves using small incisions and generally has a more rapid recovery time.In extensive gastric bypass a more complicated gastric bypass operation - the lower portion of the stomach is removed. The small pouch that remains is connected directly to the final segment of the small intestine, thus completely bypassing both the duodenum and jejunum. Although this procedure successfully promotes weight loss, it is not as widely used because of the high risk for nutritional deficiencies.Gastric bypass operations that cause malabsorption and restrict food intake produce more weight loss than restriction operations, which only decrease food intake. People who have bypass operations generally lose two-thirds of their excess weight within 2 years.There are risks associated with "gastric bypass surgery" . People who undergo this procedure are at risk for: pouch stretching (stomach gets bigger overtime, stretching back to its normal size before surgery), band erosion (the band closing off part of the stomach disintegrates), breakdown of staple lines (band and staples fall apart, reversing procedure), leakage of stomach contents into the abdomen (this is dangerous because the acid can eat away other organs), nutritional deficiencies causing health problems.Gastric bypass operations also may cause "dumping syndrome," whereby stomach contents move too rapidly through the small intestine. Symptoms include nausea, weakness, sweating, faintness, and, occasionally, diarrhea after eating, as well as the inability to eat sweets without becoming extremely weak. Gallstones can occur in response to rapid weight loss. They can be dissolved with medication taken after the surgery.The limited absorption of vitamin B12 and iron can cause anemia. The lack of calcium absorption can cause osteoporosis and metabolic bone disease. People who undergo this procedure are required to take nutritional supplements that usually prevent these deficiencies. The more extensive the bypass operation, the greater is the risk for complications and nutritional deficiencies. People who undergo extensive bypasses of the normal digestive process require not only close monitoring, but also lifelong use of special foods and medications.Low carbs, the bottom line: you may lose weight quicker on a low-carbohydrate diet than on a diet to cut calories. However, don't expect to lose as much weight as diet books say you will and remember that the risks of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and osteoporosis for people on low-carb diets have not been tested. There's plenty of research that shows the way to go is moderation in eating a diet rich in fruits, veggies, beans, whole grains, seafood, poultry, and low-fat dairy products.
You see the razor-thin models gracing the covers of magazinesyou watch actors and actresses on the big screen who seem to never gain a pound. And you wonder: How do I differ from them? You may be surprised to learn that a number of famous people at one time had difficulty maintaining a healthy weight. But they were able to conquer their problem, thanks to a new-and-improved, healthy view of eating. You may not realize it, but there is a certain psychology at work in successful weight loss. It is no surprise, then, that the magazine Psychology Today has explored the issue in-depth. In October of 2004, the magazine posted an article on its website detailing the experiences of Diane Berry, a nurse practitioner who studied women who had shed at least 15 pounds and had maintained their weight loss for an average of seven years. The women shared some important things in common. For instance, they all achieved their weight loss through either Weight Watchers or TOPS, which meant that they had a firm support network as they tried to maintain their weight. The group meetings were highly important, because they learned to recognize that they were certainly not alone in their struggles with weight. The women were also quite unusual because up to 90 percent of individuals who have lost weight end up putting it back on within five years. Another common trait of these women is that they appeared to undergo a profound mood shift as they made the transition from fat to thin. From all indications, they appeared to be depressed when they were heavy but, as they attempted to lose weight, their mood brightened. For these women, healthy eating became a habita habit they refused to break. They themselves recognized the tremendous role that psychology plays in weight loss. They refused to give in to negative feelings of frustration and denial and chose a positive path instead. The women also made it a point to weigh themselves regularly so that they could chart their progress. And they recognized that maintaining weight loss would be a lifetime struggle. They knew that they could not attempt a weight loss program then put it back on the shelf. They had to learn new eating patterns that they could continue week in and week out. In some cases, they likened their struggle to that of an alcoholic. In other words, they recognized the gravity of their problem and took steps to correct the situation. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of these womens experiences was the fact that their weight loss actually came in spurts. At times, they regained their weight, but they did not let that deter them from their final goal. They simply viewed their setbacks as challenges that they needed to overcome. This may be the key psychological trait that separates successful dieters from unsuccessful onesperseverance. In essence, these women were able to change their personalities in a positive way in order to achieve their long-term weight loss goals. Another interesting aspect of this study was that it showed that the women who had undergone weight loss transformation were genuinely happy. This shows the tremendous psychological impact that weight loss can have on an individual. Once an individual is free from the burden of extra weight, he or she is better able to meet the challenges of life head-on. The dieter benefits from positive reinforcement, as relatives, friends, and co-workers congratulate him or her for the weight loss. In this way, losing weight can be quite a life-affirming experience and can lead to a more optimistic outlook on life. It must be noted here that the psychology of weight loss is a complicated matter. There is no single ingredient that can turn a fat person into a thin one. However, recognizing that there is a psychological component to successful weight loss may, in fact, be half the battle. Once an individual recognizes that he or she is engaged in a psychological fight, he or she is better able to do battle. By retraining oneself to seek healthy approaches to diet, one can, in effect, mold oneself into a new individualone that no longer lives to eat, but simply eats to live.