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Monday, April 30, 2007

Setting Realistic Goals for Weight Loss

There are lots of reasons for people who are overweight or obese to achieve weight loss. To be healthier. To look better. To feel better. To have more energy.

No matter what the reason, successful weight loss and healthy weight management depend on sensible goals and expectations. If you set sensible goals for yourself, chances are you'll be more likely to meet them and have a better chance of keeping the weight off. In fact, losing even five to 10 percent of your weight is the kind of goal that can help improve your health.

Most overweight people should lose weight gradually. For safe and healthy weight loss, try not to exceed a rate of two pounds per week. Sometimes, people with serious health problems associated with obesity may have legitimate reasons for losing weight rapidly. If so, a physician's supervision is required.

What you weigh is the result of several factors:

  • how much and what kinds of food you eat
  • whether your lifestyle includes regular physical activity
  • whether you use food to respond to stress and other situations in your life
  • your physiologic and genetic make-up
  • your age and health status.

Successful weight loss and weight management should address all of these factors. And that's the reason to ignore products and programs that promise quick and easy results, or that promise permanent results without permanent changes in your lifestyle. Any ad that says you can lose weight without lowering the calories you take in and/or increasing your physical activity is selling fantasy and false hope. In fact, some people would call it fraud. Furthermore, the use of some products may not be safe.

A Realistic Approach

Many people who are overweight or obese have decided not to diet per se, but to concentrate on engaging in regular physical activity and maintaining healthy eating habits in accordance with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, emphasizing lowered fat consumption, and an increase in vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Others — who try to diet — report needing help to achieve their weight management goals.

Fad diets that ignore the principles of the Dietary Guidelines may result in short term weight loss, but may do so at the risk of your health. How you go about managing your weight has a lot to do with your long-term success. Unless your health is seriously at risk due to complications from being overweight or obese, gradual weight loss should be your rule — and your goal.

Here's how to do it:

  • Check with your doctor. Make sure that your health status allows lowering your caloric intake and increasing your physical activity.
  • Follow a calorie-reduced, but balanced diet that provides for as little as one or two pounds of weight loss a week. Be sure to include at least five servings a day of fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains, lean meat and low fat dairy products. It may not produce headlines, but it can reduce waistlines. It's not "miracle" science — just common sense. Most important, it's prudent and healthy.
  • Make time in your day for some form of physical activity. Start by taking the stairs at work, walking up or down an escalator, parking at the far end of a lot instead of cruising around for the closest spot. Then, assuming your physician gives the okay, gradually add some form of regular physical activity that you enjoy. Walking is an excellent form of physical activity that almost everyone can do.
  • Consider the benefits of moderate weight loss. There's scientific evidence that losing five to 10 percent of your weight and keeping it off can benefit your health — lower your blood pressure, for example. If you are 5 feet 6 inches tall and weigh 180 pounds, and your goal weight is 150, losing five to 10 percent (nine to 18 pounds) is beneficial. When it comes to successful weight loss and weight management, steady and slow can be the way to go.

For many people who are overweight or obese, long-term — and healthy — weight management generally requires sensible goals and a commitment to make realistic changes in their lifestyle and improve their health. A lifestyle based on healthy eating and regular physical activity can be a real lifesaver.

Determining Your Weight/Health Profile

Overweight and obesity have been associated with increased risk of developing such conditions as high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease.

For most people, determining the circumference of your waist and your body mass index (BMI) are reliable ways to estimate your body fat and the health risks associated with being overweight, overfat or obese. BMI is reliable for most people between 19 and 70 years of age except women who are pregnant or breast feeding, competitive athletes, body builders, and chronically ill patients.

Generally, the higher your BMI, the higher your health risk, and the risk increases even further if your waist size is greater than 40 inches for men or 35 inches for women. There are other ways, besides BMI, to determine your body fat composition, and your doctor can tell you about them, but the method recommended here will help you decide if you are at risk.

Several other factors, including your medical history, can increase your health risk.

See your doctor for advice about your overall health risk and the weight loss options that are best for you. Together, decide whether you should go on a moderate diet (1200 calories daily for women, 1400 calories daily for men), or whether other options might be appropriate.

Once you and your doctor have determined the type of diet that makes the most sense for you, you may want to choose a product or a plan to help you reach your goal. Consider: b If your doctor prescribes a medication, ask about complications or side effects, and tell the doctor what other medications, including over-the-counter drug products, and dietary supplements you take and other conditions you're being treated for. After you start taking the medication, tell the doctor about changes you experience, if any.

  • If your treatment includes periodic monitoring, counseling or other activities that require your attendance, make sure the location is easy to get to and the appointment times are convenient.
  • Some methods for losing weight have more risks and complications than others. Ask for details about the side effects, complications or risks of any product or service that promotes weight loss and how to deal with problems should they occur.
  • Where appropriate to the program, ask about the credentials and training of the program staff.
  • Ask for an itemized price list for all the costs of the plan you're considering, including membership fees, fees for weekly visits, the costs of any diagnostic tests, costs for meal replacements, foods, nutritional supplements, or other products that are part of the weight loss program or plan.

Where To Get More Help

The Partnership for Healthy Weight Management is a coalition of representatives from science, academia, the health care professions, government, commercial enterprises, and organizations whose mission is to promote sound guidance on strategies for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.

Partners with information that can help you with issues about overweight and obesity or design your own healthy weight management plan.

Have a great day and God bless!

Small Steps for Your Health & Weight Loss

Choose healthy foods, make healthy meals, be active 30 minutes a day ... these are just a few of the long list of actions you can do to get to, and stay at a healthy weight and prevent type 2 diabetes with weight loss. It's not easy to do all of this every day living in today's fast-paced and fast-food world. It seems even harder if you have a lot of changes you need to make.

It's easier to make healthy lifestyle changes one step at a time -- over months and years. Think of each small step as one piece of your effort to change your habits for the better and for good. Making changes one step at time gives you your best shot at getting to and staying at a healthy weight and preventing type 2 diabetes.

The good news is that making just a few small changes to eat healthier and be more active can make a BIG impact on your weight and health. This tip sheet helps you learn how to make these changes step-by-step.

Is your health at risk?

People around you may tell you that you have a problem with your weight or health. But what do you think? If you don't believe you have a problem, you will not likely make the effort to make changes. You may even resent or be angry at the people pushing you to change. If you do believe you have a problem, you will likely succeed. Step number one: accept that you have habits you need to change.

Are you ready, willing, and able to change?

To succeed at making lifestyle changes you need to answer YES to the question: Are you ready, willing, and able to change? The experts say that for people to change, making the change must be important to them. In other words, you have good reasons to change. For example, you want to live long enough to see your grandchildren grow up. You must have more reasons to change than reasons not to change. The experts also say that you must be confident -- believe that you can change.

To succeed, take what you want to do and break it down into small steps. Then think about a few actions you are ready, willing, and able to change. Leave other habits that you don't feel ready, willing, and able to change for another time.

What are you ready, willing, and able to change?

To answer this next question, think about your current eating and activity habits. What foods do you buy? How active are you? Try to keep honest food records for a few days to get a true picture of what you eat. Based on your current habits, start with a few changes that are easy to tackle. Select changes for which you most want take action and will make the biggest impact. Perhaps choose one change that has to do with eating and another with activity. Remember; don't try to change everything at once.

For example, maybe you tend to eat a bowl of ice cream every night while you watch TV. Can you switch that ice cream to a healthier snack? Maybe fruit or a small bowl of cereal? Or just a smaller portion of ice cream. And can you take 15 minute break from the TV and go for a walk?

For each goal, think about four things:

  1. How long will you try this goal? Keep it short.
  2. Is it easy to do in your regular daily life? Keep it realistic.
  3. Is it limited in scope? Be specific.
  4. How often will you do this?

Keep your goals realistic. Don't try to do too much too quickly. Let's look at three examples of realistic goals:

  • Eating: For the next month (how long), four days each week (how often) I will eat two pieces of fruit a day -- one at breakfast and one as an afternoon snack. (realistic and specific).
  • Eating: The next five times (how long) I go to a fast food restaurant (how often), I will order a small French fries and a single hamburger, rather than a large French fries and double hamburger (realistic and specific).
  • Physically active: For the next month (how long), four days each week (how often) I will take a 15 minutes walk after lunch three days a week (realistic and specific).
  • Notice that the eating goals are not "I will eat more fruit" or "I will eat healthier." The activity goal is not "I'll walk more." These goals aren't specific like the examples above.

Set 1 to 3 goals at a time. Write them down. Put them in a place where you will see them often -- on the refrigerator, your bathroom or bedroom mirror, or in your purse or wallet.

Did you succeed?

The last step is to see how you did at making the change. Once the time you set is over, look at the goals you set. Ask yourself these questions: Did you succeed? Did you set your sights too high? Did something happen in your life to keep you from being successful? If you were successful, give yourself a BIG pat yourself on the back. (Or maybe a trip to the movies!)

Wait, you are not done! Making a change for two weeks or a month does not mean that it will stick for life. It's so easy to slip back to your old ways. Practice the new habits faithfully. It will take months before they become your way of life. If you weren't successful, try again. Revise your goals or choose easier ones. Make sure they contain the four parts of setting a goal that's within your reach. Make sure you want to make changes in this area and that you believe you can.

What is your next step?

Start the lifestyle change cycle again. Choose a couple of new goals to work on. Slowly, goal by goal, over time you'll be eating healthier and being more active ... and you'll be at a healthier weight. You'll also be on your road to preventing or delaying type 2 diabetes.

Have a great day and God bless!

Food & Portion Size for Weight Loss

Getting Started

If you want to lose weight, cutting calories is a good place to start. This does not mean you have to stop eating your favorite foods. It does mean eating less.

“Portion control” means:

  • See how much you eat

  • Decide how much to eat

  • Cut back on portion size

Keeping Track

Start by seeing how much you eat. Find out by writing down everything you eat each day. Be sure to write down what you eat and how much. Do this for at least three days. You can use our Food & Activity Tracker or just keep a list on a piece of paper. Many people find that they eat more than they thought!

Serving Sizes

Look at your list and compare to the serving size guide below. How does your list compare?

Here are some serving size guidelines:

  • Meat, fish, poultry – 3 oz. (about the size of the palm of your hand)

  • Cheese – 1 oz. (about the size of your thumb)

  • Milk, yogurt, fresh vegetables – 1 cup (about the size of a tennis ball)

  • Bread – one slice

  • Rice or cooked pasta – 1/3 cup

  • Potato or corn – 1/2 cup

  • Dry cereal – 3/4 cup

You may find that your serving sizes are much bigger. If so, it’s time to make a change! Get started by using measuring cups and spoons to serve your food. After a while, you’ll be able to “eyeball” the amount.

Food Pyramid

Compare your list to the Food Pyramid below. Use it as a guide to how many servings to choose each day from each group. Here are some questions to ask:

  • Are your portion sizes too large?

  • Are you eating enough vegetables?

  • Are you eating too much meat?

Remember This

Don't feel bad and think you have to lose a lot of weight and burn fat fast. You only have to lose 5-10 lbs. to lower your chances for diabetes. If you have diabetes, losing 5-10 lbs. could help you manage it.

Have a great day and God bless!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

How to Read a Nutrition Label

Brought to you by

Remember being a kid and tearing open the cereal box to get the special decoder ring? Today's cereals should come with a ring you can use to crack the code of their nutrition labels. For those who understand its secrets, the nutrition label holds valuable information for winning the war on fat. Since there is no special ring, we'll give you the skinny on reading nutrition labels.

Beware of the Front Label Tease

"Heart Healthy!" "Enriched With Calcium and Vitamins!" "Low fat!" The front label is where manufacturers can say whatever they want. But when you look at the nutrition facts on the back you might wonder if the two labels refer to the same product. "Speed read the front label and go straight to the nutrition facts," says Kerry McLeod, author of The Last Diet Book Standing.

She tells WebMD why the following front label terms should be red flags:

  • Fortified, enriched, added, extra, and plus. This means nutrients such as minerals and fiber have been removed and vitamins added in processing. Look for 100% whole-wheat bread, and high-fiber, low-sugar cereals.
  • Fruit drink. This means there's probably little or no real fruit and a lot of sugar. Instead look for products that say "100% Fruit Juice."
  • Made with wheat, rye, or multigrains. These products have very little whole grain. Look for the word "whole" before the grain to ensure that you're getting a 100% whole-grain product.
  • Natural. The manufacturer started with a natural source, but once it's processed the food may not resemble anything natural. Look for "100% All Natural" and "No Preservatives."
  • Organically grown, pesticide-free, or no artificial ingredients. Trust only labels that say "Certified Organically Grown."
  • Sugar-free or fat-free. Don't assume the product is low-calorie. The manufacturer compensated with unhealthy ingredients that don't taste very good and, here's the kicker, have no fewer calories than the real thing.

The Nutrition Facts Label

Serving Size

Start your label reading adventure by looking at the "serving size" printed right under "nutrition facts." Portion control is an important part of weight management, but don't expect food manufacturers to make it easy for you. Pop-Tarts, for instance, come two to a package. The label says one serving is 200 calories. The catch is that's for "one pastry."

Label reading is easy when a package states there are one or two servings. It's the fractions that will send you to the calculator. For example, the label on a 6-ounce can of StarKist Tuna in water says one serving is 2 ounces (drained) so you might think the can holds three servings. But because you drain off some weight, the can actually contains 2.5 servings.

And how realistic are those printed serving sizes anyway? The South Beach diet recipe for South Beach Chopped Salad With Tuna calls for a 6-ounce can of water-packed tuna, and that's for a single serving of salad.

Calories and Calories From Fat

Next you'll see how many calories are in a serving and how many of those calories come from fat. A 2-ounce serving of tuna has 60 calories, 5 of which come from fat. If you eat the whole can, multiply these amounts by 2.5 for a total of 150 calories and 12.5 fat grams.

Nutrients by Weight and Percentage of Daily Value (%DV)

If you're counting fat or carbohydrate grams, you're familiar with this part of the label. It shows how much of each nutrient is in a single serving by weight in grams and by %DV. This symbol refers to the recommended daily allowance for a nutrient based on a 2,000-calorie diet (you'll see that some nutrients, such as sugar and protein, don't have a %DV). Fats are listed as "Total Fat" and also broken down so you can see how much is saturated fat, i.e., the kind you especially want to limit. Unfortunately, the label doesn't distinguish between natural sugars, such as those found in fruit, and added sugar.

The U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition says the first nutrients listed on the label --total fat, cholesterol, and sodium -- are the ones most Americans get enough of or too much of in their diets. And one of the most overlooked nutrients essential for good health is fiber.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are listed by %DV only. Pay particular attention to vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron. They're listed first. The FDA says most Americans don't get enough in their diets.


Ingredients are listed in order from the greatest amount to the least. Just how much of a "fruit breakfast bar" is fruit? McLeod advises leaving the product on the shelf if the terms "enriched wheat flour" or "sugar" appear before "fruit." She also offers this rule of thumb: the fewer the ingredients, the better. "If there's a long list of scary ingredients you can't pronounce, you might want to put it back." Some labels also show you the total recommended daily allowances of nutrients for a 2,000-calorie diet.

The Important Term That's Not on Labels

A desire to lose weight may be the main reason you pay attention to what you eat. But eating to promote good health should be a consideration as well. Labels can help. In 1993, the FDA required manufacturers to list saturated fat and cholesterol on nutrition labels. Now the issue is trans fats.

Studies show these trans fats sabotage good cholesterol and boost bad cholesterol, triglycerides, and lipoproteins that clog arteries and cause heart disease. They're also suspected of playing a role in diabetes and cancer. But you won't find trans fat listed on many nutrition labels, at least not yet. The FDA has given manufacturers until January 2006 to list them. Some manufacturers have already complied. Meanwhile, the code words to watch for in the label's ingredients list are "partially hydrogenated."

Trans fats are everywhere you find processed foods. McLeod, who lives in Gainesville, Fla., reads -- and understands -- nutrition labels. But she didn't always. "I thought I was eating nutritious foods." She was shocked when she pulled the packaged foods from her pantry and refrigerator. "I threw out most of it. Trans fat was in almost every single packaged food item in my house."

Label Reading on the Run

On your way home from work you stop at the grocery store to pick up dinner. Researching labels isn't a priority. You want to grab the goods and go. Here's a label-reading shortcut. First, ignore the "sell" on the front. Go straight to the back and look at %DV. According to the FDA, you should look for nutrients you want, such as fiber, to represent 20%DV or more, and nutrients you should limit, such as fat, to represent 5% or less. Next look at serving size. If you'll eat twice that amount, then double the %DV numbers, or if you'll eat half the amount, then halve the %DV numbers. Remember that DV is based on 2,000 calories a day.

In general a diet containing 1,000 to 1,200 calories per day is what is recommend for most women trying to lose weight and a diet containing between 1,200 and 1,600 should be chosen for most men trying to lose weight.

When you're in a hurry, maybe the best you can do is compare three brands of the same product, such as chili. Thankfully, manufacturers tend to standardize serving sizes. For chili, it's 1 cup. So when you check the different brands for %DV it's easy to see which packs more of the nutrients you want and less of those you don't want for weight loss.

Have a great day and God bless!

Beyond Snack Packs: 22 Healthy Bites

Are 100-calorie packs really your best bet for healthy snacking? Dietitians weigh in.
By Kathleen M. Zelman, LD, RD, MPH

Consumers are turning to 100-calorie snack packs -- of crackers, cookies, chips, and more -- in record numbers. Obviously, many see these convenient little bags as a great way to control calories and keep them from polishing off whole bags of less-than-healthy snacks.

But is this new food category -- which has gone from $0 to $150 million in sales in less than two years -- really the best bet for those trying to eat healthy snacks and control weight? WebMD put the question to several dietitians.

How Healthy Are 100-Calorie Snack Packs?

The 100-calorie packs work best when it comes to foods we should enjoy in limited amounts, says health columnist Carolyn O’Neil, RD.

"A snack like nuts is perfect for 100-calorie packs, because lots of folks tend to mindlessly eat larger servings," says O'Neil. "And even though nuts are nutrient-rich, they could contribute too many calories if the packs were not portion-controlled."

That goes as well for sweets, which are a weakness for many dieters. Sweet treats like 100-calorie ice cream bars and cookies are a great way to have your cake and eat it, too -- as long as you can stop at one.

"I support the 100-calorie packaging to help with portion control, but if consumers think it is fine to eat more than one, it negates the benefit," says Milton Stokes, MPH, RD, chief dietitian at St. Barnabus Hospital in Bronx, New York.

Stokes says that packaging items in smaller containers can help control mindless overeating.

"Studies show the larger the container, the more people eat," says Stokes. "So by reducing the size of plates, bags, and containers, it should help us reduce the amount we eat."

American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Marisa Moore, RD, likes 100-calorie products for their portion control, convenience, and ability to satisfy a sweet tooth. But because many of these snacks lack fiber, she says, they won't stave off hunger for long.

"The 100-calorie snacks lack staying power, and as a result can lead to premature hunger and a higher calorie intake in the end," she says.

She'd rather see people choose snacks that provide needed nutrients while taming hunger. For example, she says, "in only 160 calories, a serving of almonds is satisfying and provides heart-healthy fats, fiber, and calcium."

Baylor nutrition professor Suzy Weems, PhD, RD, is concerned that 100-calorie snack packs are just another way to give us license to eat empty-calorie foods we don’t need.

"We need to focus on foods that are needed for good health, and while these snacks are controlled in calories, they tend to provide few nutrients," she says.

Author Elisa Zied, RD, recommends planning your snacks based on foods that are missing in your diet. If at the end of the day you have met your quotas for all the food groups, then enjoy a 100-calorie snack pack -- but just one.

Dietitians' Picks for Healthy Snacks

Dietitians agree that the best snacks satisfy hunger while helping meet our daily dietary needs, especially for fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy.

"Look for snacks that contain protein with healthy carbohydrates and fats, and eat your snacks slowly so they fill you up," says Weems.

Here are 22 portable and healthy snacks that make the list of dietitian’s weight loss favorites:

  1. Half a peanut butter sandwich on whole-wheat bread
  2. Low-sugar, whole-grain granola bars that have at least 3 grams of fiber
  3. Whole-grain crackers or whole-wheat tortilla with hummus or nut butter
  4. A handful of unsalted or lightly salted dry-roasted nuts
  5. Individual unsweetened applesauce with a few dry-roasted walnuts
  6. Small apple with 2 teaspoons peanut butter or 1 ounce low-fat cheese
  7. Ants on a log -- celery with nut butter, topped with raisins or other dried fruit
  8. Half of a single-serving string cheese with a small piece of fruit or a few whole-grain crackers
  9. 4-ounces to 6-ounces of low-fat yogurt or yogurt treat
  10. High-fiber dry cereal with a few nuts or seeds and dried fruit (put this in a baggie for a make-your-own snack pack)
  11. Individual packs of carrots, celery sticks, or apple slices, with a protein source like a tablespoon of nuts, nut butter, or low-fat cheese
  12. Pretzels and low-fat cheese
  13. Whole-wheat cracker sandwiches made with natural nut butters
  14. 1 ounce of lean meat and a few whole-grain crackers
  15. 3 ounces low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese and a few whole-grain crackers
  16. 1 whole graham cracker and 1 teaspoon nut butter
  17. Raw vegetables with 1/4 cup low-fat ranch dressing
  18. 100-calorie pack of low-fat popcorn rich in whole grains and fiber
  19. Handful of tortilla chips and salsa
  20. 100-calorie ice cream treats
  21. "Skinny" latte (made with low-fat or skim milk)
  22. Small bowl of whole-grain cereal with skim milk or low-fat yogurt
Have a great day and God bless!

Canned Energy

You can’t walk into a shop these days without seeing several brands of energising drinks lining the shelves. Should you indulge, or are you better off looking for a natural pick-me-up? Dr Wynnie Chan investigates

At first, their appearances were sporadic, but now instant energy drinks such as Red Bull and Lipovitan dominate supermarket shelves, dance clubs, bars, gyms, universities – the list is endless. These drinks contain various combinations of carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and other substances, including caffine, taurine (an amino acid) and glucuronolactone (a natural substance produced by the body when glucose is broken down).

Some of them also contain herbs like royal jelly and ginseng, which are believed to combat stress and fatigue. The drinks’ manufacturers claim that their products will increase physical endurance, improve reaction speed and concentration and boost mental alertness. They also say that energy drinks can increase overall well-being, stimulate metabolism, improve stamina and help eliminate waste from the body.

Most energy drinks use the substances caffeine, taurine and in some cases, glucuronolactone to achieve this quick energy fix. All three of these exist naturally in foods or in our bodies but are present in much higher concentrations in energising drinks, which may be cause for concern. The amount of caffeine in these drinks was reviewed by the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) a few years ago and it was determined they were safe for general consumption.

However, the committee found that children who consume two cans daily of such a drink may become irritable and anxious. The drinks are also not recommended for pregnant women as the effect of caffeine on the fetus is still unknown.

Taurine is naturally found in seafood and meat and is believed to help detoxify and cleanse the system. Results from human studies published in the Journal of Preventive Medicine and Advances in Experimental Biology and Medicine have shown that very high concentrations of taurine helped lower blood pressure in patients with hypertension.

A recent study published in the journal Amino Acids also seems to show the benefits of taurine. They discovered that among a group of endurance athletes, those who had an energy drink containing taurine and glucuronolactone improved their performance, compared to those subjects who had energy drinks without caffeine, taurine or glucuronolactone. The SCF does not, however, have a position on whether or not the amount of taurine present in energy drinks is safe.

Energy drinks can also help you burn fat fast and increase your fitness level.

Have a great day and God bless!

Friday, April 27, 2007

How to Get Rid of Belly Fat

What is that thing that’s been growing around your mid-section since you started college? Is it a beer belly? Is it belly fat? Is it tummy fat? Is it a gut or a beer gut? There are so many names for the fat at builds up around our stomachs, is it any wonder why it’s become a national obsession? But don’t misperceive our obsession with fat as war on fat.

A little body fat is actually good for you. It keeps you warm and helps your body maintain a sufficient core temperature and nutrients when we get sick and can’t eat. Personally, I like the little tummy I have, and I’d rather it stay that way—little.

So, I’ve started working out. Evidence is starting to prove the theory that lifting weights (anaerobic exercise, or weight training) and using the Stair Master (aerobic exercise) will help you get rid of that extra weight around your midsection.

A healthy diet is also a good idea for weight loss and how to get rid of belly fat. So, I’ve summarized here a list of things you should take into consideration if you’re serious about losing that tummy:

Reducing the amount of calories you consume is the most effective way to get rid of belly fat. Really, when it comes down to it, losing any kind of fat, no matter where it is on your body, requires you to consume less calories than you body needs. This lack of calories will set into motion the processing of excess body fat to make up for the lack of calories. But don’t go all crazy about it. Starving your body of calories is only good to a certain extent, after a point you begin to do damage to important things, like your central nervous system.

There’s a reason they call it a “beer belly,” and drinking less beer, or quitting drinking altogether, will help you lose belly fat. No matter who (or how good looking) the drinker is, beer is bad for a number of reasons. The most obvious reason is the caloric content of beer. The less obvious reasons are the inflammation of the pancreas and liver, and the bloating that often accompany the over-consumption of alcoholic beverages; this includes alcohol mixed with sweet, sugary liquids like soda.

Consuming less food loaded with sugar will help you to lose tummy fat. Sugar is a big one. The sugar found in junk food and soda is the kind of sugar that burns quickly, unlike those sugars found in fruits and vegetables, which burn more slowly. If your body is processing sugar to create energy, and you’re not using any energy, those sugars will be converted into fat for later use. If you’re going to enjoy sweets, enjoy them right before you use the Stair Master.

There’s nothing wrong with strengthening your abdominal muscles, but it won’t get rid of belly fat like magic. You may want to consider not only working out your abs, but also working out your shoulders, pectorals, back, and arms to help create a more shapely “V” figure, which will help reduce the appearance of your belly. Keep this in mind: bulking up your muscles requires fewer reps (about 8) and fewer sets with greater weight. Building leaner muscle requires more reps, more sets, and less weight.

Daily exercise and walking will definitely get rid of belly fat. Going for a walk after a big meal or enjoying a dessert is never a bad idea. When Natasha and I were in Europe, we ate our fair share of delicacies, but we didn’t gain a single pound—in fact, we actually lost weight—because we walked everywhere. We walked from the train station to our hotel, and from our hotel to the restaurant, and from the restaurant to the museums, and from the museums to the…well, you get my point.

Belly Fat Burning Exercises

As I mentioned in section four, there isn’t really an exercise that will get rid of your belly. Certainly, exercising your abdominal muscles is a good idea, because building any kind of lean muscle will improve your body’s ability to process calories more efficiently.

The more muscle you have, the more calories you body needs to maintain those muscles. If you keep your caloric intake to a minimum, then your body will start to use the fat on your body for energy, thus reducing the amount of fat hanging from your belly.

And strengthening your abdominal muscles will have two effects: first, it helps you build muscles that will help you burn more calories during the course of the day, and second, larger abdominal muscles tend to stretch the skin around them, tightening your belly and reducing the amount of belly that sags over your waist line.

But here’s the catch: only working your abdominal muscles isn’t going to do much for you. You should definitely consider joining a gym and working on a weight lifting routine that works as many of your muscle groups as possible, and a daily aerobic routine to help you burn the fat you already have.

Have a great day and God bless!

Belly Fat and How to Beat It

Of all the e-mails I get sent every day, by far the most common - from men and women alike - are questions about how to lose stubborn belly fat.

A pot belly... love handles... the spare tire... call it what you will. It seems to be the area of your body that you'd really like to do something about.

Read on, and I'll explain why belly fat is so bad, and what you can do to get rid of it.

Not only is a firm, flat stomach the ultimate symbol of sex appeal, researchers have found that losing abdominal fat is one of the most important steps you can take to stay healthy for life.

Most people realize that excess fat is unhealthy, but the key is where the fat is distributed. People with apple-shaped bodies (fattest in the abdomen) have a greater risk of heart disease and diabetes than those with pear shapes (fattest in the hips, buttocks, and thighs).

Several studies have found a link between abdominal fat and markers of chronic inflammation [1, 7, 8]. The research is based on a relatively new idea that fat is an “organ” that produces substances — such as leptin and cytokines — that can affect your health [2]. In other words, there's more to the fat around your waist than what the scales and mirrors reveal.

What is inflammation and why should you care?

Most doctors will tell you that the best way to avoid a heart attack is to lower your cholesterol. What they won't tell you is that routine cholesterol tests identify less than half of all patients who are at risk for heart disease.

In other words, a patient can receive a "normal" cholesterol reading one day and still suffer a heart attack the next. The truth is that many cardiologists believe we should be looking beyond cholesterol.

As scientists delve deeper into the fundamental causes of heart disease and other illnesses, they are starting to see links to an age-old defense mechanism called inflammation. This is the same biological process that causes the redness, swelling and pain if you cut a finger

Inflammation is a vital process in the first line of defense against disease. But problems begin when, for one reason or another, the inflammatory process persists. If you want to learn more, the BBC Radio 4 program Frontiers has devoted an entire episode to the topic of inflammation.

One way to test for inflammation is to measure levels of C-reactive protein in the blood. Elevated levels of C-reactive protein are linked with a higher than average risk of heart disease.

What's interesting is that higher C-reactive protein levels are linked with body fat, especially the belly fat stored around your waist [1, 3, 4].

Fat in the midsection is stored deeper inside your body, in and around the liver and other organs. It's called visceral (pronounced viss-er-al) fat. Fat in the hip and thigh region is mainly stored just under the skin. This is called subcutaneous (pronounced sub-cue-tain-ee-us) fat.

What's the solution?

It won't surprise you to learn that the best way to lose abdominal fat is to eat right and exercise regularly. And there's a growing body of research showing that the fastest way to burn off the fat from your belly is with a combination of weight-training and aerobic exercise.

Some evidence for this comes from a six-month study of thirty obese women [6]. They were assigned to one of three groups: a control group, an aerobic exercise group and a combined exercise group.

The aerobic group did one hour of cardiovascular exercise (60-70% maximum heart rate) six days a week. The combined exercise program involved weight training (3 days a week, Monday, Wednesday, Friday) and aerobic exercise (3 days a week, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday).

Here's what the combined exercise program looked like:

  • Monday — Weight training (60 minutes)
  • Tuesday — Aerobic exercise (60 minutes)
  • Wednesday — Weight training (60 minutes)
  • Thursday — Aerobic exercise (60 minutes)
  • Friday — Weight training (60 minutes)
  • Saturday — Aerobic exercise (60 minutes)
  • Sunday — Off

As you can see in the table below, the combined exercise group lost almost three times more abdominal subcutaneous fat and 13% more visceral fat than the aerobic-only group.

A one-year study of men shows similar results [5]. Thirty-six men with coronary artery disease were assigned to one of three groups: weight training plus aerobic exercise, aerobic exercise only, and a control group who did nothing.

The drop in total and abdominal fat were higher in the combined exercise group (-11% and -12%, respectively) than in the group who only did aerobics (-2.4% and -0.7%, respectively).

So, what does all of this mean for you?

Belly fat is stored energy. To get rid of the layer of fat that's currently hiding your abs, you need to burn more energy (calories) than you eat on a regular basis. And hundreds of sit-ups or crunches simply don't burn enough calories to make much of a difference to the appearance of your waist and stomach.

"The truth is, getting six-pack 'killer' abs has almost nothing to do with training," writes Tom Venuto, author of Burn The Fat Feed The Muscle. "It has everything to do with low body fat."

If you've seen pictures of Tom, you'll know he has some of the best abs in the business and knows the truth on how to get rid of belly fat.

"Some people might argue that I was just blessed with good genetics in the ab department, which may be true," says Tom. "But based on my experience with others who have less favorable genetics, I still believe that developing the abdominal muscles is easy. The hardest part is getting your body fat low enough for your abs to show."

Have a great day and God bless!

Food Court Survival

Cheryl Koch, M.S., R.D.

Last weekend I was shopping with my family at the local mall. After several hours of running from store to store, my 3-year-old son declared it was time for lunch.

Like many hungry shoppers, we headed for the food court to make our selections. Unable to unanimously decide on a single vendor for everyone in our group, we all went our separate ways in search of nourishment. What we ended up with were contrasting plates featuring the good, the bad, and the ugly of fast food fare!

How do you find the best choices in a circle of unhealthy and fast-food options for weight loss? Are there any diamonds in the rough? Let's consider your best bets:

Chinese: Among the mostly fried selections in this cuisine, it's best to stick to vegetarian or mostly vegetarian dishes. Order steamed rice (brown is better than white, if that's an option) to add some bulk to the meal. If you want to cut calories, stay away from fried items — fried rice, egg rolls, and sweet and sour chicken — and avoid dishes with heavy sauces or lots of nuts.

Burgers: Choose a salad with grilled meat and low-fat dressing instead of a burger with all the toppings. You could save as much as 500 calories, not even counting the fries. An alternative is a grilled chicken sandwich without mayo or cheese. If you really must have a burger and fries, opt for the smaller kids' meal. It may be a basic cheeseburger but you will be surprised how it fills you up.

Subs: Select a six-inch sub (or share a larger one) with an all-veggie or a lower-fat turkey or ham filling. Get it on whole-wheat bread if that's an option. Skipping the cheese could save you as much as 100 calories. Avoid tuna or chicken salad subs because the mayonnaise adds calories and fat. Opt for oil and vinegar as the dressing.

Pizza: If the pizza is made to order, stick to veggie toppings and ask for less or no cheese. If the pizza is pre-made, select a slice of vegetable or plain cheese pizza. Consider adding a salad to your meal to avoid going for that second slice.

Mexican: Doing without sour cream, guacamole, and cheese on your taco is tough but there's always low-fat salsa if you decide to skip the high-fat items. Avoid cheese-filled options, and skip the fried tortilla chips and refried beans because they're often fried in lard.

Have a great day and God bless!

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is a type of eating disorder not otherwise specified and is characterized by recurrent binge eating without the regular use of compensatory measures to counter the binge eating.

Binge Eating Disorder is characterized by:

* Frequent episodes of eating large quantities of food in short periods of time.
* Feeling out of control over eating behavior.
* Feeling ashamed or disgusted by the behavior.
* There are also several behavioral indicators of BED including eating when not hungry and eating in secret.

Health Consequences of Binge Eating Disorder:

The health risks of BED are most commonly those associated with clinical obesity. Some of the potential health consequences of binge eating disorder include:

* High blood pressure
* High cholesterol levels
* Heart disease
* Diabetes mellitus
* Gallbladder disease

About Binge Eating Disorder:

* The prevalence of BED is estimated to be approximately 1-5% of the general population.
* Binge eating disorder affects women slightly more often than men--estimates indicate that about 60% of people struggling with binge eating disorder are female, 40% are male (NIH, 1993).
* People who struggle with binge eating disorder can be of normal or heavier than average weight.
* BED is often associated with symptoms of depression.
* People struggling with BED often express distress, shame, and guilt over their eating behaviors.

To learn more about eating disorders and help to burn fat fast for weight loss just visit my weight loss site for the #1 information online.

Have a great day and God bless!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

10 Tips On Losing Weight Fast

Before jumping into a diet, you must determine your ideal weight. This will be your guide on your weight loss journey.

"Fast" weight loss doesn't imply that you drop 50 pounds overnight; a few pounds can take months to shed and for obese individuals, it can take years to lose the desired amount of weight loss. How fast you lose weight will depend on how focused you are on your diet.

Here are some simple steps to help you lose weight:

1. Before dieting, you must know how many calories you normally need in a day. If you are sedentary, multiply your weight (in pounds) by fifteen. If you are moderately active, multiply your weight by seventeen; if you are active, multiply your weight by twenty. This will give you the average calorie intake you need per day.

2. Remember to eat your fruits and veggies! You need at least five servings of them per day - doing this will put you on the right track to a healthy body, because fruits and vegetables have beneficial fibers, vitamins and antioxidants. They also fill up your stomach fast so that you don't overeat and take into many calories.

3. Monitor the quantity of food you eat. Avoid high-calorie foods and eat in small portions. A helpful tip is to chew your food slowly because this makes digestion easy on your body and you will also be less likely to overeat.

4. Don't skip meals. When you want to lose weight it may be tempting to starve yourself - but eating small amounts of food frequently can help you maintain a healthy, balanced calorie intake throughout the day. Also, your blood sugar level will be adversely affected if you don't eat often. You can even divide the standard allotment of three meals into five or six smaller meals.

5. Fresh fruits and vegetables are ideal - packaged and processed foods have high sodium and fat content. You are more likely to lose weight if you eat naturally fresh foods.

6. Don't limit your food intake too much. Go ahead and indulge yourself; eat your favorite treat. It's okay to have that slice of birthday cake at the occasional party. Just make sure to eat in moderation and use those special desserts as rewards, instead of enemies, to your weight loss experience.

7. Don't always believe everything you read on a food label. "Fat free" does not necessarily mean low calories. The same wisdom goes for foods that boast "low sugar" or "low carbs." Glance over the nutrition label - there you'll find the calorie count.

8. Try to limit the number of juices and sugary beverages you drink. Instead, drink eight glasses water a day - this flushes out your body's toxins and waste.

9. If possible, keep a food journal. This will help you keep track of your calorie intake and will be a daily reminder of the types of foods you need.

10. Don't forget to exercise! Thirty to sixty minutes of physical activity a day will ensure your health and help you lose weight (and not to mention, firm up those muscles). Weight-bearing exercises are especially great ways to burn those pesky calories.

Kathryn Whittaker

Kathryn Whittaker has an interest in Yeast Infection. To access more articles on Yeast Infection’s or for additional information and resources visit this Yeast Infection related website

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Why Olive Oil is the Ultimate Healthy Fat

Whether in Rome or at home, do as the Romans do: Make olive oil a staple. If you already eat the Mediterranean way, you know that the oil not only tastes good but that it is good for you and for achieving weight loss. It's an amazing source of antioxidants, capable of dousing inflammation, defending cells from menacing molecules, and more. Here's the latest on this superhero food.

Olive oil's cancer-preventing powers are lab legends. Which substances get the credit? Polyphenols, for one -- these potent plant antioxidants protect against cancer-causing cell damage. But it also looks like the oil's monounsaturated fat has anti-cancer effects, which means olive oil packs quite a one-two punch! Some people-proof: Check the lower rates of breast, ovarian and prostate cancer among Southern Europeans -- whose diets flow with olive oil -- compared to their northern neighbors.

There's virtually nothing better than the big "double O" when it comes to your heart. Olive oil ups good HDL cholesterol, lowers bad LDL, and reduces other harmful blood fats (triglycerides). And that's not all. It also reduces inflammation, another contributor to cardiovascular disease.

Speaking of your heart, how's your blood pressure? If it's not below 120/80, you need to get it there. And yes, olive oil plays a role. It can help enough to reduce the need for daily meds. Those potent polyphenols appear to dilate arteries, which brings blood pressure down. (Always choose extra-virgin olive oil, by the way -- its minimal processing preserves the maximum number of antioxidants and heat-sensitive vitamins.)

"Great taste, less filling" -- that light beer slogan rings true for olive oil. While ounce for ounce, all oils have the same calories, olive oil has a fuller flavor so less is needed for tantalizing taste. Plus research shows that overweight people who eat a diet with some fat -- including olive oil -- are more likely to shed pounds than those who slash fat. Why? Oil's rich flavor makes it easier to stick with the program.

If you're prone to headaches and wary of overdoing ibuprofen, try routinely dressing your salad or crisp-tender veggies in extra-virgin olive oil. It contains oleocanthal, a natural compound that, like ibuprofen, blocks pain-producing and inflammatory substances -- but without the risk of stomach upset. While daily oleocanthal doses aren't the painkiller's complete equal, they could lower your risk for heart disease, cancer, arthritis and possibly Alzheimer's. Quite a trade-off.

Have a great day and God bless!

Low Carb Diet - The Way To Weight Loss?

Learn Weight Loss Information on Low Carb Diet - The Way To Weight Loss? article will help answer your questions on Weight Loss Information. We at specialize in Weight Loss Information, Weight Loss Tips and Fast Weight Loss. Our weight loss tips in "Low Carb Diet - The Way To Weight Loss?" will help you gain more Weight Loss Information. We at provide the most up to date weight loss news, weight loss tips and weight loss articles. If you have questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Everybody you know is on the latest weight loss bandwagon: The Low Carb Diet. They’ve seen the astounding results on the scale and have lost 10+ pounds in a short period of time. So you want to join in on this also?

Before You Start Take Time to Look at How the Body Works with Carbs:

It is true that the weight that is lost starting out on the low carb diet is a lot in a short period of time, but most of the weight that is lost is water and carbs that are stored in your body. Carbohydrates are stored in the muscles. Each gram of a carbohydrate that is stored in the muscle is also stored with 3 grams of water. When you cut out carbohydrates your body uses the stored carbohydrates in your muscles for fuel. As these carbs are used up the water that is stored with them is taken out also, so the result is weight loss at the beginning of a low carb diet and some inches lost due to the depletion of carbohydrate stores in your body. As the carbs and water leave the muscles the muscles become depleted and loses volume.

Once carbs are added back into the diet the muscle take up these carbs along with water, so if the carbs are reintroduced into the diet in a couple days time the initial weight that was lost will be regained.

Your brain requires carbs for energy also. The brain uses 400 calories a day just for the standard thought process of staying alive. So this is 100 grams of carbs a day that is required for one body function. Any movement that you do for longer than 3 minutes requires carbs to be used for energy.

When carbs become scarce your body goes into a state of ketosis, that is the process of the body breaking down fat into ketones for the brain to use as energy because not enough glucose is available for the brain. The results of this can be loss in energy, fatigue, irritability and a slower thought process. Thus affecting your ability at work or school.

Eating Carbs But Not Gaining Weight:

You can eat carbs and not gain weight. It is in the choice of carbohydrates that you consume that will make the difference. Including more vegetables and whole grains in your diet and eating less simple carbohydrates like sugars that are in soda, candy, processed and refined foods will help you in losing weight and burn fat fast. Paying attention to portion sizes will also help. Pasta is an easy trap for eating to much carbohydrates.

If you like pasta add vegetable to you dishes, since vegetables are good carbs and have fiber in them they will help fill you up faster. Eat a salad with every meal, but pay attention to what you put on your salad, stick to low fat versions of dressings, like Italian and Vinaigrettes. Creamy dressing when they are low fat can be loaded with sugars to take place of the fat, so it is important to pay attention to the nutritional values of dressings.

Another way of using carbs in your body is weight training. Weight Training requires your body to use carbs for the exercise and to repair muscles after your workout. Finding a requirement in the body for the carbs that you eat is a great way to use the carbs that are consumed. By finding the requirement for use of carbs you do not need to worry so much on how many carbs that you consume but just the types of carbs. Always remember that no matter what sugars in abundance are not good for your body or your weight loss goals.

Have a great day and God bless!

Mediterranean Diet: Lose Weight Quickly, Easily & Safely

Learn Weight Loss Information on Mediterranean Diet: Lose Weight Quickly, Easily & Safely article will help answer your questions on Weight Loss Information. We at specialize in Weight Loss Information, Weight Loss Tips and Fast Weight Loss. Our weight loss tips in "Mediterranean Diet: Lose Weight Quickly, Easily & Safely " will help you gain more Weight Loss Information. We at provide the most up to date weight loss news, weight loss tips and weight loss articles. If you have questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

If you are looking for a way to lose fifty pounds in two weeks, a high protein diet, a low carb diet, a fruit diet, a no fat diet, a blood type diet, a juice fast, a diet named after a place in Miami, a grapefruit diet, a cactus diet, a coffee and cigarette diet, a diet that includes sweets, a diet based on your body type, a diet based on an ancient religion or a diet based on your hair color, then this article is NOT for you.

Fad and crash diets, such as the ones described above are not only unhealthy but they also cause rebound weight gain. Also most diets, even though diet gurus write them, cause an initial weight loss but the ultimate result is that you gain all of the weight back the minute you go off the plan. If you don't gain it back within a couple of diets, you are likely to gain it all back plus a bit more within a year.

Crash diets dehydrate you, low calorie diets put your body into starvation mode so you plateau so you can't lose one more pound and high protein diets stress your kidneys and clog your arteries.

So how does one achieve weight loss?

There is only one answer to this question.

You need to expend more calories than you are taking in. Restricting certain foods, eating so-called fat burning foods, or dehydrating yourself with special pills or teas does not do it. It is simple math. The only way is to eat a little less and exercise a little more. Here is the equation below:

Eating Less + Exercising More = Weight Loss.

This is not a magical formula, it is just logic. It is also not a fast way to lose weight. As I have mentioned before, this is not an article about how to lose ten pounds in three days or 30 pounds in a month. It is about safe, healthy weight loss.

In order to lose weight safely and without putting yourself at risk for such health hazards as dehydration, kidney failure, malnutrition, exhaustion, nervous dysfunction, tooth loss, dull hair, wrinkles, cellulite, sudden heart failure or stroke and lose the weight so that it stays off, you should lose no more than approximately two pounds a week!

Although that might not sound like a large amount of weight to lose it actually is! If you lose 2 pounds a week that means you can achieve a weight loss of ten pounds a month! If you only have twenty pounds to lose then your weight loss is not only quite rapid, but you have the extra guarantee that it will stay off because you have followed a sensible exercise plan that did not involve starving, exhausting or depriving yourself. If you are willing to drop your impatience and desire for immediate gratification and stick to an exercise plan and healthy eating habits, then a Mediterranean Diet is for you. Remember being slim is only good if you are able to enjoy it!

Do You Need to Lose Weight?

Fascination with Fat

If you want to lose weight, you first need to assess whether you need to actually lose weight or are simply a fashion victim. Unfortunately this society is fascinated with fat - who has it and who doesn't. As we are persuaded by so many images in the media that persuade us to believe that you can never be too thin, many of us are bad judges of our actual body weight.

If you are under the age of eighteen and reading this book, the first thing you need to do is consult with your parent about your plans to lose weight. Have her make an appointment with a physician so that he can indicate to you whether or not you are a candidate for weight loss.

If you are an adult, it is possible that you may not be overweight and are just trying to be, as Bridget Jones put it in Bridget Jones Diary "a stick insect with eyelashes." It is also very possible that you know you need to lose weight and burn fat fast but have no idea where to start.

If you are obese and you know it, then you have to check with a physician first to see how your health is before you embark on any exercise program or plan. The same is also true if you have any kind of medical condition but especially a thyroid condition or heart condition.

Some physicians may not recommend a weight loss program for those who are over 40 as due to genetics and hormonal changes some people naturally just round out or gain weight in a way that simply cannot be changed. If your doctor tells you your spreading hips are due to menopause or genetics, believe him! It is not clever to fool with Mother Nature.

Have a great day and God bless!

EFT for Weight Loss - How to Stop Eating from Fear of Not Getting Your Share

Learn Weight Loss Information on EFT for Weight Loss - How to Stop Eating from Fear of Not Getting Your Share article will help answer your questions on Weight Loss Information. We at specialize in weight loss information, weight loss tips and Fast Weight Loss.

Our weight loss tips in "EFT for Weight Loss - How to Stop Eating from Fear of Not Getting Your Share " will help you gain more Weight Loss Information. We at provide the most up to date weight loss news, weight loss tips and weight loss articles. If you have questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Do You Sometimes Eat Because You're Afraid You'll "Miss Out" on Something Wonderful Otherwise?

Have you ever finished a huge meal, Thanksgiving dinner for instance, and being so stuffed you couldn't possibly eat another bite, when suddenly someone showed up with another dessert? Did you suddenly find just a bit of space to eat a little more? That's eating out of fear; the fear of missing out, the fear of not being part of the group (everyone else is having some and you want your share too) and it has nothing to do with hunger.

This same thing can happen with any feeling -- you may feel exhausted. You had a rough day at work, a traffic jam on the way home, a flat tire, and now you have a headache. You are bone tired and want to do nothing but sleep, when suddenly the phone rings. It's a call saying, "You've just won a million dollars! Can you come right down to pick it up?," and you're rushing out the door with your coat half fastened, you're so excited you can hardly wait.

What happened to your headache? Probably it's gone or is now just a faint memory. What happened to your exhaustion? It's long gone too, replaced by a new surge of energy because your beliefs about your energy level just changed. All belief shifts happen that quickly.

The first belief shift you must make is in allowing something as simple as the EFT methods to work for you.

They are helpful beyond belief, and that is why you must temporarily suspend your judgments and give it a try. Most people find they are reluctant to use these methods once they learn them simply because they don't really want to end their overeating habits at all. If you find that is true for you, then use EFT to dissolve those issues too, and eventually you'll be a person who can eat what they want, and maintain a healthy body weight.

We all want better health, but sometimes our inner desires are stronger than our outer. You don't have to know why you do the things you do to solve them. Do a round of EFT first, then go ahead and eat whatever you want. You may just find you don't want it with the same intensity as before.

I promise if you just give it a try, you'll experience an unexpected result. For example, you'll start to get up to move toward the kitchen, even when you're still full from dinner because you've done it a thousand times before. This time though, you'll stop and remember that first you want to do a round of EFT. Then just sit down, take a few minutes to get control of your breathing, relax, do a quick round of EFT, and see what happens.

EFT Ideas for Breaking the Fear of Missing Out Eating Habit

"Even though I want to eat ______, even though I'm not really hungry, it's okay and I'm okay with myself."

"Even though I can't break this overeating habit, I deeply and completely accept myself anyway."

"Even though I can't feel satisfied unless I'm stuffed, I deeply and completely accept myself."

"Even though I can't wait to eat the ice cream (or whatever is your food choice), I deeply and completely accept myself."

"Even though I'm afraid if I don't have some, I'll never get any, I deeply and completely accept myself."

Don't be afraid to say what you want. This is not an affirmation, and you won't be installing the desire. If you don't believe me, try it and see. I will say things like, "Even though I can't wait to eat the whipped cream and I know it's going to be delicious and I love it more than anything because it's just the best thing in the world. Oh, how I love whipped cream." (I might not even do the I'm okay part).

Then, recheck your SUD level (the intensity level - you did not it first, right? If not, that's okay, but now note how much you want that treat food right now.) Is the intensity a bit less? If it's still high, do another quick round. Go ahead. It takes less than 30 seconds. You can spare 30 seconds, can't you?

Do you Believe You Can End Faulty Eating Habits?

Think about your belief in your ability to break this simple habit. The habit of eating when you're not hungry. The habit of needing to feel stuffed to be satisfied. You can break the pattern, even if you don't believe you can. It happens when you first simply stop eating a little sooner. You may still have over eaten, but your level of stuffed can be lessened, and you'll begin to learn to know when you've had enough, too much, or way too much. Start by learning to leave one bite on your plate. (Even the tiniest bit counts, whatever it takes to leave a bit, it's a start).

I know, that idea may seem radical, but it's a great way to discover how you've eaten everything on your plate because it's a habit to do so. Even if you only leave one pea, leave something on your plate. Secondly, just because there is more on the serving plate, don't think you need to take more food. Wait a few minutes. Settle in. Get comfortable with the feeling of satisfaction. Get in touch with your hunger levels to burn fat fast.

I remember learning to recognize my hunger levels and the shock (and dismay) when I'd realize I'd had enough but half my food was still on my plate. I learned to ask for a doggy bag, take it home and eat in the next day. I learned to sometimes fix myself less food. I learned half a sandwich is sometimes enough. I learned a piece of fruit can satisfy my wildest hunger, for now, while I wait for dinner to cook. I learned, and so will you, when you just start to pay attention.

You can still have it all, but maybe you'll eat half now and half later.

Small shifts in your beliefs about what you can accomplish may take a bit of time, but when you do make the shift it will seem sudden and it will be permanent. Ask anyone who's lost a lot of weight and kept it off, and they'll tell you, "I don't know, something just suddenly clicked." You can experience this click too.

Start Noticing How Often You Eat Without Hunger

Start today by noticing how much food you're being offered when you aren't hungry. Can you take some and save it for later? Just because it's the holiday season, it's not an excuse to eat everything in sight because you'll be starting to lose the weight in January. Why put it off until then?

Get more in tune with what you do day-to-day and you can let go of the fear of either suffering through another diet or gaining more weight, or losing it and then regaining it. You don't have to choose between stuffing or starving. You can learn to eat good food, enjoy it more, and melt into the shape you truly are meant to be to burn fat fast.

Have a great day and God bless!

Sunday, April 22, 2007


Can Coffee Help You in the Fight Against Diabetes?

Coffee reduces diabetes risk among pre-diabetics by over 60%, according to a new study from the University of California at San Diego. The study is the first to expand evidence on diabetes risk reduction to those already glucose intolerant, a precursor to full-blown diabetes.

Published in the November issue of Diabetes Care, the study revealed that coffee offered protection at the same, significant levels for those beginning the study with high fasting glucose levels, indicating pre-existing glucose intolerance, as it did for those with normal levels. In fact, those with elevated glucose levels showed a lower risk of developing diabetes than those starting out with normal glucose tolerance.

Reduced Risk

Past or current coffee drinking resulted in a diabetes risk factor of 0.38 on a scale where 1.0 is average risk in the general population. That means risk was reduced in coffee drinkers by 62%.

Uncovering the first evidence that coffee also reduces diabetes risk among pre-diabetics, the risk level came in even lower, at 0.31, for the subgroup with impaired glucose. That means pre-diabetics reduced their risk of developing the disease by almost 70%.

These results were independent of age, sex, exercise, body mass index, smoking status, daily alcohol intake, and hypertension. Unlike other studies, they were also independent of the number of cups of coffee consumed daily.


The research team, led by Besa Smith, engaged a study design not used in prior research on coffee and diabetes. The team first separated those with impaired versus normal glucose levels using an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT). In this way, coffee’s protective effect could be assessed separately for each group. The researchers concluded the study with a second OGTT to ensure accuracy in diagnosing those who had developed diabetes.

The study followed 910 non-diabetic adults for an average of eight years. Of that group, 593 had normal glucose at the beginning of the study and 317 had glucose intolerance. Coffee drinkers drank an average of 2.8 cups per day.

For more interesting research on coffee for health, weight loss and how to burn fat fast please visit my website.

Have a great day and God bless!

Can Coffee Help You Get in Shape?

Coffee Benefits

If you’re planning on using exercise to get yourself in shape for summer, you might want to drink a couple of cups of coffee first. In a study recently released, researchers at the University of Georgia in Athens found that the amount of caffeine in two cups of coffee cut exercise-induced muscle pain in half while aiding in weight loss.

The group studied nine college-aged women who were given caffeine or placebo at 24 and 48 hours after performing what is called eccentric exercise. The two intensities of exercise tests were actually designed to cause soreness in the subjects’ thigh muscles, or quadriceps. It is interesting that the harder the women exercised, the more effective was the caffeine at relieving their muscle pain. Those who consumed caffeine one hour prior to the more difficult exercise test had 48% less pain than the placebo group, while the women who consumed caffeine prior to the less difficult test had 26% less pain than the placebo group.

The authors wrote: “Eccentric exercise occurs when skeletal muscles produce force while being lengthened. For example, the biceps brachii muscles act eccentrically when a cup of coffee is lowered from the mouth to a tabletop.

This experiment found that caffeine (equal to approximately 2 cups of brewed coffee) could produce a large reduction in pain resulting from eccentric exercise-induced, delayed-onset muscle injury. This finding may improve the quality of life of individuals who experience skeletal muscle pain after engaging in unaccustomed, eccentrically biased exercise.”

According to Dr. Victor Meridakis, “If you can use caffeine to reduce the pain, it may make it easier to transition from that first week into a much longer exercise program…. but you have to apply some common sense and not go overboard.”

For more information on weight loss, how to get rid of belly fat, and burn fat fast methods just visit my site and be amazed!

Have a great day and God bless!

Friday, April 20, 2007

How Functional Coffee Can Help You Attain Fitness and Weight Loss

by Jose Antonio PhD

What’s the first thing over 100 million Americans do when they wake up? If you’re one of the many java-addicted consumers, you probably make a beeline for the coffee brewer and with your eyes half open, brew up a fresh cup of the aromatic brown elixir. Now despite the rumors that have circulated from Boston to Beijing, coffee is actually a healthy beverage that is consumed by billions around the world that aids in weight loss.

Certainly, if you take a common sense approach to whether coffee is safe (or not), it would be perverse to withhold the provisional assent that it is indeed safe considering that billions of individuals drink it every day.

Furthermore, the key ingredient in coffee, caffeine is actually an amazing substance that has a wide variety of functions. For instance, caffeine improves performance and endurance during prolonged, exhaustive exercise. But it also promotes gains in short-term, high-intensity athletic performance. Caffeine decreases your perception of pain during exercise. This might explain why fitness competitors routinely down a cup of java right before exercise! Caffeine also improves mental alertness and reduces your perception of fatigue. Moreover, habitual intake does decrease caffeine's ergogenic properties.

Coffee – the amazing elixir

And you might be surprised to hear that coffee itself may be a health food (see Side Bar COFFEE – The Newest of Functional Beverages). For instance, we know that regular consumption of coffee decreases the risk of type II diabetes. A recent study examined the long-term relationship between coffee consumption and other caffeinated beverages and incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus: The Nurses' Health Study and Health Professionals' Follow-up Study.

Scientists tracked 41,934 men from 1986 to 1998 and 84,276 women from 1980 to 1998. These were free of diabetes, cancer, or cardiovascular disease at baseline. Coffee consumption was assessed every 2 to 4 years through validated questionnaires. What did they find?

These investigators documented 1333 new cases of type 2 diabetes in men and 4085 new cases in women. The authors found an inverse association between coffee intake and type 2 diabetes after adjustment for age, body mass index, and other risk factors. In other words, those who drank the most coffee tended to have the least risk of diabetes. Even more intriguing, total caffeine intake from coffee and other sources was associated with a statistically significantly lower risk for diabetes in both men and women; meaning that decaffeinated coffee may not be as good for you as the caffeine-filled. The author’s concluded that the "data suggest that long-term coffee consumption is associated with a statistically significantly lower risk for type 2 diabetes."(1)

The Amazing Trio – Energy, Performance Enhancement, and Fat Burning


Perhaps the most common reason for ingesting caffeine or caffeine-containing beverages is the pick-me-up effect has. For instance, one study examined one hundred and forty-four volunteers (72 male, 72 female, mean age 21 years) and had them consume breakfast (cereal versus no breakfast) and caffeine (caffeinated versus decaffeinated coffee).

They found that those who consumed breakfast cereal had a more positive mood at the start of the test sessions, performed better on a spatial memory task, and felt calmer at the end of the test session than those in the no breakfast condition (lesson: don't skip breakfast:)). Consuming caffeine improved the "encoding of new information and counteracted the fatigue that developed over the test session."(2)

Performance Enhancer

Caffeine is the most versatile and effective ergogenic aid (i.e. something that enhances exercise performance). A prominent exercise physiologist, David Costill, Ph.D., performed the ground-breaking study on caffeine and exercise 26 years ago! He took nine competitive cyclists (two females and seven males) and had them bike until exhaustion at 80% of V02 max. (Note: V02 max, also known as maximal oxygen uptake, is a measure of how well your cardiopulmonary system functions).

Each subject consumed coffee containing 330 mg of caffeine 60 min before the exercise or a placebo (decaffeinated coffee). Following the ingestion of caffeine, the subjects were able to perform an average of 90 minutes of cycling as compared to an average of 76 minutes in the placebo trial. This reflects an 18% increase! They also found that subjects burned more fat (aka lipolysis) as shown by measurements of plasma free fatty acids, glycerol and respiratory exchange ratios. In fact, fat oxidation or burning was significantly higher (107% greater) during the caffeine trial (118 g or 1.31 g/min) than in the placebo trial (57 g or 0.75 g/min). Also, the perception of effort was much less in subjects after consuming subjects indicating that exercise felt easier.(3)

Other research has confirmed the performance-enhancing effects of caffeine.(4-7)


A recent study looked at energy expenditure, fat oxidation or burning, and norepinephrine (NE) kinetics (i.e. how ‘adrenaline’ like hormones are metabolized) after caffeine or placebo ingestion using placebo-controlled double-blind conditions. The dose administered was 5 mg of caffeine per kilogram of fat-free mass (which is mainly muscle and bone). Translation: For the young men, they consumed about 350 mg while the old men consumed about 295 mg. (Therefore, the young men had more FFM than the old men).

They studied 10 older (65-80 yr) and 10 younger (19-26 yr) men who were moderate consumers of caffeine. Caffeine ingestion resulted in similar increases in both the old and young men for plasma caffeine levels; thus both young and old absorb caffeine equally well. Metabolic rate or energy expenditure increased similarly by 11% in young and 9.5% in the older men. According to the scientists, "older and younger men show a similar thermogenic response to caffeine ingestion, whereas older men show a smaller increase in fatty acid availability after a caffeine challenge. These metabolic differences are not related to alterations in norepinephrine kinetics or fat oxidation." (8)

A recent study presented at the International Society of Sports Nutrition Conference in Las Vegas showed that a functional coffee beverage that also contained bitter orange, hydroxycitric acid, and chromium produced a significant increase (up to 30%) in metabolic rate. (9) This particular study is the first presented on 'functional coffee' (i.e. coffee with added nutraceuticals).

The Judgement on Java

Clearly, consume coffee or caffeine can have a myriad of health benefits ranging from increased mental and physical performance, enhanced lipolysis or fat burning, to an improvement in health (e.g. decreased risk of type 2 diabetes). With the advent of functional coffee (i.e. nutraceuticals added to coffee to enhance it’s health benefits), the future of java is indeed bright.

Table 1. Caffeine Content in Beverages

Coffee1 cup60-150 mg
Decaffeinated Coffee1 cup2-5 mg
Starbucks Coffee®8 ounces250 mg
JavaFit™8 ounces300-400 mg
Starbucks® Coffee Latte16 ounces70 mg
Tea (loose or bags) 1 cup 20-50 mg
Hot Cocoa 1 cup 6 mg
Cola drinks12 oz can 40 mg

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How to Stop Overeating

Try these tips for getting more satisfaction from fewer calories for achieving weight loss.

By Elaine Magee, RD, MPH

Babies are born knowing to eat when they are hungry, and stop when they are comfortable. But as we grow up and are exposed to fad diets, advertising, food used as a reward, etc., many of us unlearn this beautifully balanced way of eating and begin to overeat.

Yet eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are comfortable is one of the keys to healthy eating and living, says Linda Bacon, PhD, nutrition professor at the City College of San Francisco.

Much has been written on the "eating when you're hungry" side of this equation. But how do you learn to stop when you're comfortable if you've lost touch with this over the years?

Overcoming Overeating

Experts say there are things you can do to make yourself more likely to stop eating when you are comfortable. They include:

  • Eat slowly. This isn't a new concept; remember all those familiar dieting tips like "sip water between bites" and "chew thoroughly before swallowing"? These were all aimed at slowing us down when we eat. Research led by Mark Gold, MD, at the University of Florida at Gainesville has shown it takes 12 or more minutes for food satisfaction signals to reach the brain of a thin person, but 20 or more minutes for an obese person. Eating slowly ensures that these important messages have time to reach the brain.
  • Be aware. "Be more attentive about the whole eating experience; don't eat when you are driving or at the computer," advises Bacon. When we're distracted or hurried the food (and calories) we eat tend not to register well in our brains. Jean Kristeller, PhD, a psychologist and Indiana State University researcher, suggests a brief premeal meditation to get centered before eating so you can more easily derive pleasure from your food, give the meal your full attention, and notice when you've had enough.
  • Make the first bites count. Bacon believes that maximum food enjoyment comes in the initial bites. "After a few bites, taste buds start to lose their sensitivity to the chemicals in food that make it taste good," she explains. Satisfying your taste buds by really savoring those first few bites may help you stop eating when you're physically comfortable.
  • Keep up appearances. Using a smaller plate and paying attention to the presentation of a meal can increase your awareness of the food in front of you and help you stop eating when you are comfortable. "The brain looks at the plate and decides if the portion is adequate," says Gold. "It takes some time, but the smaller the plate, the smaller the portion."
  • Choose satisfying foods. Steer away from foods that give you a lot of calories for very little volume, such as milk shakes, cheese, and chocolate, Gold recommends. The higher the fiber, protein, and/or water content of a food or meal, the more likely it is to be satisfying in your stomach without going overboard on calories. (More on this below.)

What Makes a Food Satisfying?

Research during the past decade suggests there are three factors that help make a meal more satisfying: the weight of the food, the amount of protein, and the amount of fiber.

A revolutionary study done by researchers at the University of Sydney in 1995 noted that of the 38 foods tested, certain foods scored higher in satiety. Top-scoring foods included whole-meal bread, grainy bread, cheese, eggs, brown pasta, popcorn, all-bran cereal, grapes, porridge, baked beans, apples, beefsteak, ling fish (a type of cod), and oranges. All of these foods are high in fiber, water, or protein.

And which foods tend to have low satiety scores (making them much easier to overeat)? These would be foods with large amounts of fat, sugar, and/or refined carbohydrates, like potato chips, candy bars, and white bread.

'Satisfaction Score' for 20 Common Dishes

So is there a way you can determine how satisfying your favorite foods are likely to be? A mathematical formula calculates a satisfaction score for a food. First we give a serving of a particular food points for its weight divided by calories (multiplied by 4 to give it significant point value). Secondly we, add the number of grams of protein it contains. Finally we add the number of grams of fiber towards eating healthy and so you can burn fat fast.

Have a great day and God bless!

High-Protein Menu for Weight Loss

Trying to stick to a low-carb diet? Try this sample menu to get the balanced nutrition you need while still meeting your weight loss goals.

By Kathleen M. Zelman, LD, RD, MPH

Everyone's needs are different, which is why the National Academy of Sciences recommends a range of 10% to 35% of calories from protein. If you're eating a higher-protein diet, try daily menus like this one to get the most nutrition from your low-carb lifestyle.

Eating a balanced meal for improving fitness and to burn fat fast is the absolute best way to achieve your weight loss results.

Sample Menu Nutrients (depending on portion size)

  • 1,500-1,600 calories
  • 46% carbohydrates
  • 22% protein
  • 30% fat

Yogurt fruit crunch with:

  • Low fat yogurt (8 oz. or 1 cup)
  • Sliced fresh fruit: banana, strawberries, blueberries (1/2 cup)
  • Low fat cereal (3/4 cup)
    Orange juice fortified with calcium (6 oz.)

Vegetable soup (1 cup)
Spinach salad with:

  • Fresh spinach (1 cup)
  • One hard-boiled egg
  • Sliced, grilled chicken breast (3 oz.)
  • Shredded carrots (1/2 cup)
  • Sliced mushrooms (1/2 cup)
  • Dried cranberries (2 tablespoons)
  • Crumbled feta cheese (1 tablespoons)
  • Chopped almonds (1 tablespoons)
  • Low calorie dressing (2 tablespoons)
    Whole grain crackers (4 to 6)
    Sparkling water with lemon

Roasted Pecan Salmon [see recipe below]
Steamed asparagus with lemon (1/2 cup)
Brown rice with chopped red pepper (1/2 cup)
Mixed green salad with cherry tomatoes and light vinaigrette (1 cup w/ 2 tablespoons dressing)
One whole-grain roll
Iced tea (unsweetened)

One cup skim milk and 1/2 cup berries blended with ice to make a shake.


4 salmon filets (4-6 oz. each)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons seasoned breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons chopped pecans
1 teaspoon parsley
Wedges of fresh lemon


1. Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper. Place skin side down on baking sheet.
2. Combine mustard and honey, brush on top of salmon.
3. Mix topping of breadcrumbs, nuts, and parsley and sprinkle over salmon.
4. Bake at 400 degrees 10-15 minutes or until flaky. Serve with wedges of fresh lemon.

Nutritional Information per serving: 265 calories, 29 grams protein, 9 grams carbohydrate, 12 grams fat, 1.6 g saturated fat, 4.7 g monounsaturated fat, 4.3 g polyunsaturated fat, 78 mg cholesterol, 0.4 grams fiber, 282 grams sodium and 42% calories from fat.

Have a great day and God bless!

Plan Your Day to Lose Weight

Making lifestyle changes doesn't come naturally. To change your weight loss eating and exercise habits, you've got to plan - to make it happen.

By Jeanie Lerche Davis

You're running late, flying out the door. You might skip breakfast: the cereal box is empty, and the milk's gone sour. Forget taking lunch: there's peanut butter in the jar, but you are out of bread. Exercise before work? You've got to be kidding. It's a typical hectic morning, at the beginning of a typical jam-packed day. What happened to those resolutions to exercise more, eat healthier, lose weight? It's easy for them to get lost in the daily shuffle.

In a perfect world, we could accomplish all this by the time our busy day starts:

  • Jump out of bed by 6:30 (or earlier).
  • Get a good chunk of exercise, 20 minutes or more.
  • Eat a satisfying but healthy breakfast: fresh fruit, high-fiber cereal, low-fat milk.
  • Brown-bag a wholesome lunch: more fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt, whole-wheat bread, homemade vegetable soup (maybe that you prepared last night).

It's true -- with a little planning, this could be your reality to burn fat fast. Your morning rush would go more smoothly, and your weight loss efforts would stay on track. You bounce out of bed, knowing what your next move is - all day, all week, all year.

"If you leave exercise and healthy eating to chance, it's not going to happen," says Milton Stokes, RD, MPH, chief dietitian for St. Barnabas Hospital in New York City. "You're responsible for you. Use your personal digital assistant to set your day - gym time, dinner. Make these things pre-meditated - so it's not like a surprise, you've got an extra hour, should you go to the gym or watch TV. If you don't plan it, you won't do it."

Planning for Weight Loss

Planning helps you build new habits, says Barbara J. Rolls, PhD, the Guthrie Chair in Nutrition at Pennsylvania State University in Pittsburgh and author of The Volumetrics Weight Control Plan. "Without planning, you're always going to be struggling - trying to figure out how to eat what you should. You'll end up making yourself eat things you don't want to eat. Eating will always feel like work."

Indeed, planning involves discipline - and that is a key trait that is evident among the "successful losers" who belong to The National Weight Control Registry. They have maintained a 30-pound weight loss for at least a year - and many have lost much more, and kept it off for much longer.

"It is very difficult to lose weight and keep it off - and people who succeed must have discipline," says James O. Hill, PhD, the Registry's co-founder and director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. "People who are most successful plan their day to ensure that they stick to their eating plan and get regular physical activity. It takes effort to be successful in long-term weight management."

Goal No. 1: Plan Your Daily Food

First, take note of every bite of food you have during the day. Don't forget that run through the supermarket - all those tasty samples you couldn't pass up. "A food journal is the single best thing you can do," says Gary Foster, PhD, clinical director of the weight and eating disorders program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "You become more conscious of what you're doing. It helps you monitor yourself, and make corrections in mid-course."

Dietitians call it a food journal. But really, it's research for your plan of action, he explains. You'll see where you need improvement. "Plans work better than platitudes," Foster tells WebMD. "Instead of 'I'll exercise more,' make it 'I'll walk tomorrow morning at 7 a.m.'"

Keep it simple. Journals don't have to be labor-intensive, he says. Focus on your high-risk time slots when you're most likely to get off course. Example: You know you eat junk at night, or that you snack after 3 p.m., or between lunch and dinner. Just keep notes during that time period. You'll quickly see problem habits: banana split vs. banana, the whole container of nuts vs. a handful.

Set specific goals. You can't just tell yourself to eat less junk food after 8 p.m. Be specific - 'I'm going to substitute popcorn for potato chips.' That way you know exactly what to do. There's no question.

Use weekends wisely. "When things are a little quieter on weekends, you can think about the upcoming week," says Stokes. "Decide what you're going to eat. Go to the market, so you're a little ahead of the game. You can even prepare food on the weekend and freeze it, then pull it out during the week."

Consider your options. Keep lists of healthy foods and meals you love, and plan accordingly, adds Elisabetta Politi, RD, MPH, nutrition manager at the Duke Diet & Fitness Center at Duke University Medical School. "I advise people to think of five different breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Then you'll have some freedom - you can choose from your favorites. But your eating will be more structured. That's what's important."

Shop wisely. A well-stocked fridge and pantry can make it easier to grab a healthy snack or prepare delicious meals that are also good for you. Keep basics like these on hand: low-fat milk and yogurt, eggs, peanut butter, a variety of fresh fruits (include berries and grapes) and vegetables (include carrots and celery), soybeans, garlic, whole grain pasta/bread, fish, and high-fiber cereal.

Plan healthy treats. Low-fat cheese or yogurt, hummus with veggies, and fresh fruit are great choices. Keep them at home; take them to the office. That will help you eat the right foods when you're starving - especially in the late afternoon, during drive time -- and when you finally get home at night.

Do it yourself. These are great prepare-ahead healthy meals that will keep you feeling full and help you control your weight:

  • Make a dried-fruit-and-nut mix for emergency snacking. (Be wary of granola, since it typically has lots of sugar, says Stokes.) Pack small amounts in a little plastic bag - great for the car or office.
  • Cook a big pot of homemade vegetable soup, which can be frozen for several lunches or dinners.
  • Try smoothies - blend low-fat yogurt and fruit - for a grab-and-go meal.
  • Mix up big salads or a pasta primavera with lots of veggies and whole-wheat pasta. Prepare large quantities so you can have a moderate-sized helping for dinner and then have leftovers for lunch the next day.

Buy healthy frozen entrées. "These have really improved," says Rolls. "They have more whole grains in them now, and they seem to be getting tastier. If I'm traveling and can't get to the grocery store, I make sure I have frozen entrees on hand."

Don't limit yourself. It's OK to eat breakfast food for snacks, lunch, or dinner. "You can eat a hard-boiled egg or cereal any time, not just breakfast," Stokes advises.

Goal No. 2: Plan Your Exercise

First, talk to your doctor - especially if you are overweight or are at high risk for heart disease, advises Thompson. Your doctor may suggest that you ask a fitness trainer to develop a workout plan that best suits your needs.

Analyze your morning schedule. "You'll find there's a lot of free time there," says Gerald Endress, ACSM, fitness director at Duke Diet & Fitness Center at Duke University Medical Center. "People tell me it takes them two hours to get ready for work. It's not that they're prettying themselves up - they're basically just wasting time. But when they start exercising in the morning, they find they use their time better. One guy told me he got to work 20 minutes earlier on days he exercised. If you've got a structured period of activity, you know to keep things moving."

Set your program. Decide what works best for you, such as 8 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. "You don't let anything interfere with that," advises Thompson. "That's not to say once a month something comes up you can't exercise. That's OK. It's when you're making excuses three, four, five days in a row -- that's a problem. It's got to be the highest priority because it's your health. Continue with your quick weight loss program and you will have success."

Know your options. What kind of exercise - or physical activity - will get you out of bed in the morning? A yoga video, walking, a workout session at the YMCA? Figure out what will motivate you.

Tackle roadblocks. Is inertia a problem for you in the morning? "When the alarm clock sounds, it's easy to hit the snooze button," says Bryant. A workout buddy can provide motivation. "If you know someone is waiting for you, counting on you, you'll go. Once you go, you're happy you went. Once you get past that inertia, you're glad you did the workout."

Don't think of it as "early". It's a mindset issue, says Foster. Setting the alarm 30 minutes early should not be a negative in your day. Give it a positive spin. "Quit thinking of it as getting up early. Your day starts when the alarm goes off. That's how you should think of it."

Remind yourself. Put yellow sticky notes on the fridge or the computer - like "get off the bus four stops early - Mon., Wed., Fri."

Reward yourself. "Establish a goal for your workouts - daily, weekly, monthly goals," Bryant advises. "When you've done those workouts, accomplished those goals, pat yourself on the back." He suggests going out and buying a favorite DVD or CD, or even getting yourself that iPod you wanted! "Rewards help keep you motivated," says Foster.

"Planning helps you overcome the unpredictability of daily life," says Foster. "Having any plan, even if it's a bad or ineffective plan, increases your confidence in accomplishing the task at hand. Just the fact that you've thought it through means it will have some effect."

Have a great day and God bless!