June 24, 2008 [Volume 2, Issue 15]
Not a subscriber?      Archives      Unsubscribe      Update e-mail address
In this issue of To Your Health:
Weight Loss 101
What's Your Excuse?
Start Right Stay Light

Weight Loss 101

Low carb, no carb, low fat, raw food or prepackaged – which diet is your current favorite? In the quest to lose weight and live a healthier life, we have become addicted to following the latest trends in the diet world.

When the latest trend appears, we automatically think it's what we've been looking for the entire time. Some people seem to find the right fit and the results are amazing. For the rest of us, we might see some short-term improvement, but soon revert to our old habits of eating on the run, missing meals and not finding time to exercise. No matter which diet or combination of programs you choose to help you lose weight, there are a few common threads linking all effective diets and weight-loss protocols. Focus on these common concepts and take the first important steps toward a healthier lifestyle.

Most weight-loss protocols generally focus on limiting what you shouldn't eat and decreasing the amount of food you should eat. Some diets have their own spin on what which types of foods are best to eat (or avoid) to achieve optimum weight loss. These diets have been successful for people who consume meals high in processed foods, limit the variety of foods they eat and/or often eat on the run. The guiding principle to remember is to introduce better mixes of foods into everyday meals. This helps your body change the way it uses food to make energy.

We also have to get more involved with our food choices, particularly when to start and stop eating. Diets do this by emphasizing the elimination of excessive eating, sugars and unnecessary calories, while introducing different food options that support weight loss instead of weight maintenance. Diets promoting foods higher in protein help by slowing down sugar absorption and providing essential amino acids for muscle growth. High-complex-carbohydrate diets help reduce appetite by prolonging the feeling of fullness (satiation) and improving intestinal movement.

Fasting or eliminating allergenic foods can help cleanse the body when done for a short duration. They also help decrease possible inflammatory responses to foods while giving the digestive system time to heal so problem foods can be reintroduced at a later date. These types of restrictive diets should be done under the care of a physician or dietitian, due to complications that can arise if used too long or in the wrong circumstances.

While considerable focus is placed on the types of foods we are or are not eating, liquid intake can be just as important. Empty calories in soda, additional caffeine and stimulants from coffee, and even excessive water consumption can leach out essential electrolytes from the body. The overall idea with restricting what we eat is to decrease the amount of energy used to break down what goes in and increase what comes out – namely energy. It also can help with certain medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease and chronic allergies, all of which have a strong correlation with food intake.

A secret about the scale is that it doesn't care how much weight you gain or lose, or if it's accurate at all. So much emphasis is placed on the measurements we see and less so on how we feel. Changes in numeric measurements should be slow and gradual, which indicate healthy weight loss and ultimately is the best way to keep the weight off. Dramatic weight loss often leads to rebound weight gain once people begin to slip from their program's strict regime. Positive improvements such as increased energy, more restful sleep, changes in how clothes fit, and improved attitude toward continuing lifestyle modifications are all steps in the right direction.

Diet, exercise, and weight-loss trends seem to change over time, but our goal to win the battle against the bulge remains constant. Looking beyond what you're not eating and drinking is important in any weight-loss program. Consistent exercise, dealing with life stressors, and settling realistic goals are keys to successful weight loss. So, the next time you hear about a new diet program, think about how it's different from and similar to all the rest. It might just help you choose the right program for your lifestyle goals and long-term health.

Read More

What's Your Excuse?

While not as entertaining as a David Letterman Top 10 List, this one can help you put your health into perspective. Do you use any of these excuses when the topic of exercise comes up? If you're not exercising, you've likely used some or all of these excuses at one time or another. That's a problem, not only because it means you're not getting enough exercise, but also because your lack of action may be contributing to other unhealthy choices that affect your life.

So, without further delay, here are the top 10 most common exercise excuses:

10. A general sense of apathy. "I don't really care about exercising. I work hard enough every day that I don't need an exercise routine."
9. Low on the priority list. "I have a lot of important responsibilities and exercise just isn't a priority right now."
8. Embarrassment. "I'm so out of shape, I'm afraid people will laugh at me at the gym."
7. Health issues and/or chronic pain. "I have a bad back, bad knees, etc., so I can't work out without severe pain." (This one might actually be a decent excuse – but are you doing anything to alleviate your pain besides taking medication?)
6. Lack of a routine or boredom with the current exercise routine. "I never know what to do at the gym. I don't like doing the same thing all the time."
5. Location, location, location. "There just isn't a gym that's close to my work or home."
4. Budget issues. "It's just too expensive to join a gym and buy all the necessary gear (clothes, shoes, iPod, etc)."
3. Bad experience. "I had a bad experience at the gym (with a personal trainer, dirty gym, obnoxious members, etc)."
2. Lack of motivation. "I'm too tired to work out at the end of the day. I just don't have the discipline to commit to an exercise program. Isn't there a quick and easy way to get in shape and lose the weight?"
1. Don't make the time. "With kids, a husband, a full time job and aging parents, I just don't have the time to exercise. It's not even on my radar at the end or the beginning of the day."

How many of these excuses are stopping you from exercising regularly? Whether it's one or all 10, now's the time to stop making excuses and do something about it.

Read More

Start Right Stay Light

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, particularly if you want to keep your weight down. A study of almost 7,000 adults from Cambridge University in England found that although both breakfast eaters and non-breakfast eaters gained weight, those who did eat breakfast gained less weight. And a study from the University of Minnesota that investigated eating patterns among about 2,000 adolescents found that while approximately 25 percent of teens – mostly girls – skipped breakfast, those who ate breakfast regularly took in more fiber and less saturated fat as part of their regular daily diet.

Research suggests eating breakfast increases energy and concentration throughout the day. It's also a good way to avoid those feelings of "starvation" that overwhelm you when you're deprived of food for too long, which usually increases the chance you'll pig out on junk food. Here are some quick healthy breakfast suggestions from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and About.com:

A bowl of whole grain cereal with one-half cup nonfat milk (add some fresh berries for a sweet treat), one hard-boiled egg and a glass of water.
A slice of whole-grain toast with 2 tablespoons peanut butter and a 10-ounce glass of nonfat milk.
An omelet ( two eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes, green onions, peppers and 1 ounce of low-fat shredded cheese) with an apple and a glass of water.
A cup of low-fat yogurt (mix in some fresh berries or low-fat granola for variety).

Read More

Thank you for subscribing to To Your Health. If you have received this newsletter in error or wish to unsubscribe, you may remove your name from our e-mail subscription list at www.toyourhealth.com/newsletter/TYH/unsubscribe.php.

Update your e-mail address
To update the e-mail address your newsletter is sent to, click here.

If you have any questions regarding your subscription, please complete this form at www.toyourhealth.com/newsletterhelp/TYH.


The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of chiropractic, acupuncture, massage therapy, medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. MPA Media is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.