Posts Tagged 'food'

Fat

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Most of us are focused on fat. It is all that we hear about these days. Since the time we are kids we are told that fat is bad for us. Some people are more worried about calories than fat. To be honest you should be worried about both. You need to make sure that your diet isn’t full of junk food. You should be getting your calories from foods that are good for you. Who cares about not eating any fat, if all your calories come from sweets? I’m not sure how much I believe fat is the bad thing we make it out to be. I’m starting to believe that carbs are the real evil in the diet empire. I really do think this is why so many people are overweight in this world.

Think about it like this. How many cultures in the world eat bread? Most of them eat some sort of bread. Bread for some people is the focus of the meal. In the old days, women spent all day long making breads. This is also true with pasta in some regions of the world. A lot of places eat some sort of pasta with every meal. What about rice? The same thing. The Irish and potatoes? The same thing. These are all carbs.

Most people eat these every day of their lives. I think we are addicted to carbs. I know I am. I eat so much bread and other carbs that I don’t know what I would do without them. That, adds a tire around the waste line. I’m not saying that carbs are worse than fat per se. I mean, fat has its problems too. You eat too much of it, you are getting yourself ready for a heart attack. I mean, your body can only handle so much of them. We have all seen young men get heart attacks at an early age. So, we know that fat is bad.

Not all fat is the same though. Some fat is worse than others. Let’s talk about these different kinds of fat. We have items that are lower in saturated fat. These would include meats and cheeses. They don’t have as much fat as the items we will be talking about next. On the other hand, you have items that are more saturated than meats and cheese. These tend to be anything deep fried. They will include, donuts, french fries, potato chips.

The second is what you need to stay away from. These are high in calories. They also will clog your arteries. I hate to say it, but the good stuff in life has its risks. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t ever eat these items, but eat them in moderation. That is the key. Don’t eat them every day, but once per week. Don’t go hog wild on a whole bag of chips. Instead, get a small bag that is enough for one or two servings. This way, you won’t be tempted to eat the whole bag.

Oils such as olive oil are low in sat fats. You should use these when ever you can. Keep in mind though, you should only use a little of oil. Make sure to always use non stick cookware. This is a must and a great investment for your health. By using non stick cookware you won’t have to use as much oil when cooking. If you get the good stuff, you might not have to use any at all. I think that you should watch your caloric intake as well as your fat. I would say that they should go hand in hand. I would pay close attention to how much carbs you are eating each day. I know that I sound like a broken record, but I do think people are too dependant on them. They are a good source of energy, but you will feel burnt out if you eat them too much. I think you know what I am talking about. You feel like you need a nap all the time.

There are also health risks involved with a diet high in fat. You are at higher risk of having sugar problems and heart disease. Plus a whole host of cancers that most people don’t have a risk for. People who eat high fat diets also have skin problems. I think people who eat too much fat have very bad complexion. Their skin almost looks like leather.

I hope that you don’t finish reading this and think that you should cut out all of the fat in your diet. That isn’t my intent. Instead, you should look at the big picture. You can eat some fat, just don’t go licking a block of lard as a refreshing snack on a hot summer day.

Fat, yet fit

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Is there such a thing as being fat, yet fit? Can fat people get away with overeating by keeping their muscles trained and strong? The Mayo Clinic says they can’t. It seems that all those extra pounds mean extra trouble no matter how much exercising is performed each day. Fat is simply not good for the heart.

The big question was: can overweight people stay healthy by working out on a regular basis? It sounded like a legitimate question because exercising just fifteen minutes every day makes a tremendous difference for fat people. Blood pressure goes down and cholesterol levels drop, leaving the person in question in a better mood because of the extra energy. One might almost say that it’s not that bad to be fat if you’re feeling great and you’re heart is not threatening to split your chest and jump out every time you go up a flight of stairs.

However, the experts from the Mayo Clinic say that being overweight is a risk factor for many health conditions and that exercises simply make you healthier for the moment. Exercises cannot lower the risk of developing diabetes later on and are not a surefire way of preventing heart problems. Whether you’re exercising or not, those extra pounds have got to go.

On the other hand, an interesting results of these studies was the fact that people who don’t exercise are just as much as risk, regardless of their weight. Our bodies are meant to endure a certain amount of physical exertion every day in order to function correctly. Simply maintaining a healthy weight without regular exercise is not enough. You have to get off the couch and start on some brisk walks. Thirty minutes a day five or six days a week are just what you need to stay healthy for many years.

eDiets.com

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Once again we have a good example of a polarizing diet. Some people love eDiets.com and want to spread the word, while others loathe it and vow to spread the word. ItТs the clash of dieters over whoТs right and whoТs wrong about this program. While this is also the case with many other diets, eDiets.com has been particularly good at annoying both existing and prospective customers due to their УcreativeФ approach to billing. However, this problem is not related to the dieting itself and if you donТt mind spending some cash, you might have a very good dieting experience.

The really good part of the diet is the flexibility. eDiets.com is based on the idea that different people need different approaches to dieting and strives to provide alternatives. Those who cannot stick to the eDiets.com eating plan are free to choose the Atkins, The Zone or other eating plans, which are included in the eDiets.com website. Some people find it better to go with a combination of eating plans or simply to make up their diet as they go. We are all different beings so this is a very good idea. On the other hand, dieters donТt get a lot of information on which foods are good and which are bad outside the eating plan.

The really bad part of the eDiets.com is the unfortunate manner in which they handle the financial part of their business. From discounts which are not taken into account, to fees and charges that are not readily apparent during the sign-up process and on to the auto payment deduction that goes on even after one has cancelled the subscription and the staff members who claim they never got any cancellation order, this is one diet you want to be careful about. While itТs true that many clients did not complain about such practices, there is a vocal minority of dieters who had to fight to get their money back from eDiets.com.

In the end you are the judge. If you donТt mind the costs and if you donТt plan on dropping out after a couple of days then you might actually get along with the eating plan and lose a lot of weight. If, on the other hand, you donТt like what they recommend you, then you are going to have some problems with the $25 early cancellation fee, not to mention having to make sure they are not going to charge you again and again after the cancellation.

Do Men Burn More Fat than Women?

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Men and women are not built the same way. There is something different in our bodies due to the way hormones change the balance between muscle and fat and shape the size of our bones to respond to different needs later on. In men, the testosterone hormone determines the size of bones, causes hair growth and deepens the voice. It also regulates the size of the muscle mass, which it turn regulates the metabolism. The more muscle mass, the faster a person burns the calories obtained from food, which is one of the big differences between men and women and between overweight people and those who are fit.

It’s an easily recognizable fact that men and women training side by side do not have the same results. Recent studies have found that women gain weight faster than men and that they have a harder time getting rid of it through exercise. It seems that women have the misfortune of being stuck with the worst part of the weight loss process and also with having to work twice as hard as men to stay in shape. And since this is no easy task for men, you can imagine how bad the ladies have it.

Another thing that makes it even worse for the ladies is the modern obsession with a thin body. Repeated attempts to drop the extra pounds teach the body to hang on to the existing fat and so weight loss becomes harder and harder as the years pass, while the women become more and more desperate and willing to try even half-baked ideas that should simply be avoided. This leads to dieting that makes the person thinner, but not healthier. Quite on the contrary actually, since there are enough emaciated, rail-thin ladies around to serve as example.

A recent study published by the BBC showed that 62 obese women who exercised 4 hours per week and learnt how to cook healthier meals felt a tremendous improvement in their self-image. They lost only 9 pounds over three months, but their blood pressure, cholesterol and heart rates were far better. And they felt much better. So, maybe women should start to move away from achieving a certain weight to just staying healthy and feeling good regardless of weight. Maybe this is indeed the future of the weight loss industry: to help people feel better about themselves instead of harming their bodies while chasing a dream.

Diet secrets of Hollywood stars

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Diets come a dime a dozen in Hollywood. They practically fall out of the sky. Any doctor or layman who manages to have an original idea or, at least, a new twist on an old idea, and is marginally successful in selling it to the public is thinking of setting up a shop in Hollywood. There’s probably no other place on Earth where diets and any other idea that could keep a body slim are so venerated as in Hollywood. Hundreds of young women and men (and some of them not so young) employ personal trainers and are up to date on the latest dieting trends because it’s good for their jobs to do so.

The general public is also interested in finding out the dieting secrets of movie stars and singers. They think that actors might have some tricks up their sleeves if they manage to stay so slim and good-looking through the years. Actually it’s not quite like that. Actors and singers are normal human beings. They have their unique genetic make-ups which means that no single diet works for everybody. So each one of them tries a couple of diets in order to find out which one suits him or her. Moreover, not all Hollywood stars stick to their diets. The crave for a treat does not discriminate.

Celebrities don’t have some sort of secret knowledge that opens the path to a beautiful body. Most of them get their tips just as the rest of the people do. They hear them from hairdressers and make-up girls. They get them from agents and publicists. Or they follow the latest fashionable trainer or dietician, just as they pick up on the latest philosophies or mystical experiences. Moving from Atkins to cabbage soup is not more complicated than dropping Buddhism in favor of Kabbalah. Some stars hire people who know a lot about diets to make these decisions for them.

All these famous people have to deal with the same kind of issues we all do. Sticking to a diet is hard on them, too, so they eat things they shouldn’t and resent the fact that they can’t do it all the time. They worry about the effects of such and such diets on their skin and they don’t look all that great all the time. But for every star there’s a small army of lighting experts, make-up artists, beauticians, image editing and visual effects people who work hard to make sure that the faces we see on screens and in magazines look perfect. No blemishes, no unsightly skin, no sagging anywhere. Just perfection.

One thing that could be said for Hollywood stars is that they work harder at their diets than most people. It’s very important for their jobs and popularity and so they try really hard to stay in shape and look good everyday. They’re not dieting experts and it’s unrealistic to expect them to be so. They’re good at other things and we’re content with them being that way. So, the bottom line is that there really is not secret to Hollywood dieting. Just the will to carry on and the struggle to stay fit.

Diet myths debunked

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The dieting world is full of myths, hearsay and soundbites. We all have heard them a thousand times, but does that make them true? Is it really a good idea to ban sugar completely from your diet? Is it really a good idea not to touch fat and alcohol ever again? This seems to me like an invitation to failure. Too few people can swear off certain foods forever and stick to the oath. The rest of us need a little treat now and then. And there’s nothing wrong with getting a treat once in while, provided that treats don’t happen every day.

The basic idea of any diet is to eat food that contains fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its current weight. This way, the body is forced to use the accumulated fat in order to make up for the energy it doesn’t get from food. But a diet also has to be tasty and nutritionally sound. Simply banning certain types of foods and ingredients is not a solution because anybody following such a diet will have to acknowledge sooner or later that he or she wants those foods and ingredients badly and a relapse into the old eating habits becomes inevitable.

People should also learn not to put their faith into meal replacements, such as Mypoplex, Slimfast or Eat-Smart. These combinations of low-fat and high-protein substances cannot substitute a proper diet. They should never be used for more than 4 four weeks in a row. Calories are important to the body and nobody can go on for long without them. Cutting calories out of the long-term nutrition is a huge mistake because the internal organs and muscles need them to function. Using meal replacements for a week or two, as a shock treatment, is fine. Relying on them for two months is asking for trouble. And the same goes for single-food diets, such as the cabbage soup diet, because they are based on the same idea.

Another widespread myth is the idea that the best approach to weight loss is a low-carb, high-protein diet. This is one of the myths that emerged from the Hollywood slimming industry. Nearly all movie stars and singers are on some such diet. However, this approach is not exactly good for you because a diet low in carbohydrates and calories forces the body to use existing carbs located in the liver and the muscles. In time, this diet leads to weight loss mainly from water stored in the body, instead of fat, and also strains the internal organs.

And people should not be so afraid of potatoes, bread and pasta, the leading sources of carbohydrates. Carbs are actually good for you because they quell the feeling of hunger without bringing in too many calories. So you can safely eat moderate amounts of potatoes and bread as long as you don’t use butter or sauces, which are laden with fat. Naturally, you also have to pay attention to how these foods are prepared. French fries are not a low-fat food. Still, a high-carb, low-fat diet is far better than banning potatoes and bread from your daily meals and it’s also easier to stick to.

Drinking a certain quantity of water every day is a good idea because it keeps the body hydrated and fills the stomach. Water also keeps the intestines healthy by facilitating the movements of undigested food to the exit point. However, simply drinking water does not trigger weight loss. There is only one way to lose weight and that is to burn up the existing fat and water cannot do that. Nor should a diet be judged solely by how much weight is lost per week. Some people claim that a diet can be considered effective if the weekly loss of weight is above two pounds. Frankly, two pounds per week is a lot of weight to lose and you can be sure that not all of it is fat, but also the lean tissue that makes up the muscles.

Another myth claims that fat is absolutely bad for you. It’s not. Quite on the contrary, the body needs some fat in order to get the important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K circulating through the cardiovascular system. Moreover, fat also brings into the body the essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6 that cannot be synthesized in the body. The word “essential” means that these fatty acids simply have to be present in your daily food since they play an important role in your health. The recommended dose of fat is 35 percent of your daily calories.

And last of all comes the idea that a diet or eating plan is enough in itself and does not have to be coupled with exercising. But exercising is the most effective way of burning up the extra calories stored as fat. Simply sitting at your desk all day long is not going to do the trick, regardless of what diet you’re on. Remember that a diet that has plenty of food (the right kind of food) and plenty of exercise is far better than sitting on the sofa and drinking cabbage soup every six hours. It works faster and is less stressful to your body.

Diet Comparisons

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Probably the most important things people want to know when they think the time has come (again) to cut some of the daily food intake is which diet is the best. Although we are all different beings, we all share the same goal: a diet that can make us thin in no time at all. Some sort of miracle pill or eating plan that makes fat go away and never ever return. That’s actually the second part of the big wish: how to make sure that all the weight lost through dieting stays lost through the years.

The more diets published in magazines and on the Internet, the more people are confused about what dieting really means and about the right way of bringing your body back in shape. The growing number of overweight people has turned weight loss into an industry like never before and the market is growing every year. It seems that nowadays all one needs is a fashionable idea and a flair for marketing in order to make a lot of money or garner a lot of popularity by proposing some sort of weird diet, despite the lack of professional expertise in this field.

And there is a LOT of diets out there. We’re going to go here only through the best-known diets, since a review of all the diets floating around the industry would be beyond the scope of this article.

So let’s start with one of the latest fads of the dieting world: the Atkins diet. Pretty much everybody’s head of the Atkins diet, largely due to the flood of articles praising the extraordinary results, not to mention the loads of good mail from satisfied customers. The biggest thing in favor of this diet is that it lets you eat high fat dairy products like cheese and butter. However, the Atkins diet has fallen from its lofty perch over suspicions of increasing the risk of heart diseases, not to mention the proved fact that bigger number of followers complain of diarrhea, weakness, muscle cramps and rashes. The debate over the scientific fundamentals of this diet is still raging.

Next comes the Zone diet; another well-known eating plan. This diet is the brainchild of Barry Sears and it’s all about eating the right mix of foods in order to reach the proper hormonal balance. This state of balance, which is called the “Zone”, lets the body take in calories and use them through the day without putting anything aside as fat. Unfortunately, this diet does some serious discrimination among foods without any scientific basis. Starchy vegetables, whole grains and beans are banned, although these foods are not in conflict with the principles of the diet. The American Heart Association says the Zone diet lacks essential nutrients while promoting high-protein foods.

The Jenny Craig diet is next on the list. One of the longest running diets, Jenny Craig started this business in the early 1980s and it’s still around. The basic idea of this diet is a trade off: you don’t have to choose recipes, do the shopping and the cooking, but you have to buy the Jenny Craig prepackaged food. And that runs to some $100 per week. Plus the membership costs. Plus the vegetables and fruits which are not included in the prepackaged food. If you can afford it and if you can stick to it, the diet is pretty good. However, similar low-calorie foods can be bought at the grocery store and you don’t have to discuss this with a Jenny Craig expert that insists on your eating the prepackaged food because he gets a percentage of the sale price.

From sunny Florida comes the South Beach diet. This one has the right idea and wrong approach combination down pat. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of people have managed to lose weight with this diet and it actually works. But the question is: can you really stick to it? The first phase of the diet will eliminate most foods containing carbohydrates from your daily consumption. Fortunately, this phase lasts two weeks. Unfortunately, second phase focuses on a half-hearted return of whole grains and fruits and lasts… as long as necessary. If reaching the desired weight takes you one year, then that’s exactly how long this phase is going to last. And if you don’t like the foods allowed by this diet then you’re out of luck. There are no alternatives.

And yet another veteran dieting program around is Weight Watchers. This is actually one of the best diets around because it puts all the management tools in the hands of the user. If you are really committed to losing weight, you have all the information you need to do it. And a lot of people who are going through the same thing are going to be there to help you. If having company during difficult times helps your willpower, then you are probably going to lose all that extra weight. If, on the other hand, you don’t like the idea of being constantly under peer pressure, then this diet is not for you.

As you can see from this short review, there are a lot of diets out there, dozens more than we’ve been able to cover here. The best thing to do when choosing a diet is to do as much research about it as possible. See what people who tried it have to say. Then see what doctors and dietitians have to say about it. Between those singing praises and those trying to prove the diet wrong you can probably get the truth yourself. Still, pay special attention to what the doctors have to say. If they tell you a certain diet will put your body to risk then think twice before trying it.

Coffee

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Every day people around the world drink millions of cups of coffee. It has become a staple of life. We see a StarBucks on every corner. Is coffee really this good or is it so addictive? I think it is both really. I think good coffee almost has a sexy taste to it. It tastes rich and full bodied. Not many things can compare to it. Maybe chocolate, but that is another article all together. You love to drink coffee. You love a good cup of steaming hot Joe on a cold morning. Watching the steam come off the coffee as it snows outside is a very relaxing thought. Is coffee good or bad for you? Well, I think it depends on who you ask.

Usually what you will find is these scientists are paid by a company that wants to prove a point. Simply put, they pay the scientists off.

As in all things, you must drink coffee in moderation. A cup or two each day isn’t going to be bad for you. If on the other hand you are drinking a pot every hour, you know that it will have an effect on you. I have known people who drink coffee like this. They drink it from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed. This is common in alcoholics. Let’s talk about some of the bad things about coffee.

Coffee stains your teeth.

We all know what the color of coffee stained teeth are. It is up there with cigarette smoke stained teeth. You can buy things to whiten your teeth. I would suggest though that instead of trying to whiten your teeth, you cut back a little on the brew.

Bad breath.

Have you ever had a whiff of the breath of someone who is a heavy coffee drinker? It smells horrible. I would rather smell shit with flies buzzing around it.

It raises stress levels.

Too much coffee can raise anxiety levels. When this happens, you can become stressed out. This shouldn’t be news to you. Have you ever seen how much a person shakes after they drink too much coffee?

It can raise the risk of a heart attack.

While science is still somewhat out on this, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise. If it elevates the heart and blood pressure, too much of it can’t be a good thing.

Sterility.

Yes, it can effect the little guys swimming in your semen. It can actually lower your sperm count. I know that may sound too weird to be true, but it is.

Stomach problems.

People who drink too much coffee may have some stomach problems. The caffeine irrates the lining of the stomach.

Here are some of the benefits of coffee.

It prevents prostate cancer.

This is too weird, but it is true. Coffee contains boron, which is a chemical that helps curb prostate cancer.

It is a good social drink.

You don’t drink alcohol? Well, people go to the coffee house to chat all the time. A cup of coffee could be a good reason to go out and meet new people. A cup once and while can’t hurt. You never know, you might meet a good friend over that cup of Joe.
It helps wash down a meal. In many cultures it is impolite to either start a meal or finish one without having a cup of coffee. No one is certain that coffee actually helps the digestion process, but it sure tastes good after a meal.

As with all things in life, you need to do things in moderation. If you feel that you are over doing it, you need to cut back on the coffee. I know that coffee might taste good, but in the long run you are doing yourself more harm than good. Just keep in mind that one or two cups per day isn’t going to hurt you.

Break the Bingeing Cycle

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One of the biggest enemies of a healthy weight, a clear mind and a lifestyle free of guilt is bingeing. Every once in a while some people seem unable to stop themselves from eating or drinking to excess. At the end of the bingeing period, they fall into the other extreme and go on a purge phase that is just as bad as the initial bingeing. The feelings of guilt and shame that characterize the purging period fuel the next binge and so everything becomes a cycle of self-destruction as the individual vacillates between extremes instead of living a normal life.

Bingeing means eating and drinking not because one feels hungry or thirsty, but because some unpleasant feelings that cannot be repressed force the mind to seek comfort. Self-indulgent overeating and drinking is usually a way of trying to bury emotional problems even deeper, but this kind of quick fix doesn’t work. The problems don’t go away and the bingeing – purging cycle goes on as long as the person in question can keep doing it. Punishing yourself with a purge does not stop future binges. It just reinforces a cycle of indulgence and punishment that grows stronger and stronger.

The most important thing is to find out what is it that pushes you to binge. It’s not hunger that prompts people to eat enough food for a whole party of twelve, which means that it must be something else. Some basic dissatisfaction with life or some stressful situations push us into doing a thing that we usually end up regretting later. It takes courage to look into that matter and see what is wrong. It takes willpower to put an end to this behavior and breaking the cycle. But it all starts with the question “Why?” and goes on from there to find a solution.

Resorting to professional help should not be seen as a sign of weakness. If the bingeing – purging cycle has gone on for some time, then it’s pretty clear that the person in question cannot stop it by him or herself. Therefore professional help may be required to get to the bottom of the problem and changing the harmful behavior. There are also books dealing with bingeing and how to stop it by understanding the reasons behind the compulsion. So, if going to a psychologist may seem like too big a step to take at once, then reading a book written by a professional is a good alternative. Actually, anything that puts an end to denial is a good alternative.

Bottled Water

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When I think of bottled water I think of hot tennis players gulping it down between matches. There certainly is a stigma about bottled water. Sometimes I think that one of the things around it is, rich people drink it. We see all of these rich famous people on television drinking it. Bottled water certainly has become popular. There is no doubting that. I go to the store and I see more brands than I can keep track of. I’ll admit that I have drank a few bottles of this stuff in my day. Mainly I get it if I am out and not near home to get a drink of water. If I am out walking or exercising and don’t have a water source near by.

Is bottled water a rip off? The short answer is yes. There is nothing great about it. The only thing that is great about it is how it has been marketed. They tell us it is the best thing that we can get. It is something we all should drink. You have to keep in mind that these companies are in the business of making money. Their goal is to sell you bottled water. Even if you don’t need it.

Is bottled water better for you than tap water? No, it certainly isn’t. In fact, most bottled water is just tap water. It is filtered and purified so it doesn’t have the taste that the water from your tap has. Anything that will get you to drink more water is great. Though, you must realize that it is nothing more than a waste of money. You aren’t getting something that your body will jump for joy when it gets.

You have to watch what you buy though. Some bottled water has things added to it. Sometimes they will add sugar or other flavorings to it. If it doesn’t taste like pure water, there is something added to it. Sometimes the water will come from a spring or a mountain river. Is this any better for you? Not really. There might be some minerals in it that tap water won’t have. But for the most part it is just the same, but more expensive.

You like the taste of bottled water but you don’t like the taste of your tap water. What do you do? For starters, I would suggest that you don’t run to the store to get more bottled water. There are many products that you are use to filter your tap water. One of my favorites is the pitcher with the filter in it. I’m sure you have seen these on television before. When you pour the water, it goes through a filter.

These tend to be less expensive and easy to use. It doesn’t take much brain power to be able to fill a pitcher with water. Check your local shop, I’m sure that you will find one there. There are also filters that you can put right over your faucet. These tend to be the best thing to use. They are easy to use and easy to replace the filters. You can get these at any Wal Mart or store like that.

There is always the water filtering system. You know, the ones with the pellets and all that garbage. Personally, I think these are a pain in the ass. I don’t know why people get these instead of the smaller faucet units. I know that some people have to use these because of the condition of their water. Sometimes the water is too hard and you need to soften it. Though, that does sound like a plot for a porno movie.

If you don’t like the taste of your water, try filling up the empty bottles that you have from the bottled water with tap water. Stick them in the ice box and get them nice and cold. You will notice that when cold, the water has a different flavor. You might find this to be drinkable. I know your wallet will thank you.

The problem I see with the bottled water is, it is too expensive. They are charging you an arm and a leg for something you can get next to free. Why should you pay for it? Well, you shouldn’t. I don’t know why people don’t feel guilty for buying bottled water. It is one step up from going to a whore.

You should stop drinking the bottled water and see how much money you save just for one month. I find it crazy that there are people around the world dying of starvation and disease and we pay a dollar or more for a bottle of water. That seems so crazy to me.