If you just can't suppress the daytime yawning and you can barely keep your eyes open in those long meetings, it may be more than a sign of disturbed or inadequate sleep.
Reuters and MedPage Today report that a new study from Pennsylvania State University concludes that excessive daytime sleepiness could also be a signal of depression or diabetes--even among those who just don't sleep well at night or suffer from sleep apnea.
The researchers randomly chose a sample of 16,500 men and women from central Pennsylvania who ranged in age from 20 to 100 years old. Of these, 8.7 percent suffered from excessive daytime sleepiness. Although the researchers considered a number of reasons why these people were so sleepy during the day, they found that it was most strongly associated with depression, obesity and metabolic factors, rather than sleep disruption during the night.
Among those with excessive daytime sleepiness, depression was by far the most significant risk factor. The likelihood of being excessively sleepy during the daytime was more than three times higher in those who reported they were being treated for depression, reports Reuters. There was also a strong link between daytime sleepiness and diabetes; diabetics were almost twice as likely to report excessive daytime sleepiness as non-diabetics.
Obesity and smoking also boosted the likelihood of being sleepy during the day. There was a "dramatic increase" in the prevalence of excessive daytime sleepiness when the body mass index reached 28, the researchers reported. A BMI of 25 to 29 is considered overweight, while 30 or higher signals obesity. Excessive daytime sleepiness was also more common in people under age 30 and those over 75.
The study findings were reported in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
Get the rest you deserve!
Relieve headaches, neck pain, muscle stress, snoring and more with the world famous "Makura Miracle Pillow"(tm) buckwheat hull pillow.
Use coupon code AFD8 for and 8% discount on any order of $25.00 or more.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
If you just can't suppress the daytime yawning and you can barely keep your eyes open in those long meetings, it may be more than a sign of disturbed or inadequate sleep.
"Today, when I look in the mirror, I see a healthy, active person. My knees don't hurt like they did seven weeks ago. I really do feel healthier now. This is a big change for me-a change for the better. I want to enjoy my retirement. I thank Jorge for my success. I am now on the right path for an active lifestyle."
-Dona Buth-Lost 20 Pounds
Most of us pay close attention to the clock. We set an alarm to wake us in time for work. We strive to leave work by a particular time in order to beat rush-hour traffic. We structure our lives around the time we need to pick the kids up from day care, soccer practice, and play dates.
Yet too many of us seem to get out of sync when it comes to eating. Rather than having an eating schedule, many people tend to eat only when it occurs to them. They rush out the door in the morning, forgetting to eat breakfast or intentionally skipping it to save time and calories. They get swept up at work, and realize at two or three in the afternoon that they haven't eaten lunch-and for many people that is their first meal of the day. They complete errands and other tasks after work, only remembering to eat dinner when they are too hungry to stand it.
When you eat is critical. As I mentioned in chapter 1, it's essential that you know that successfully losing weight and keeping it off is all about timing.
Yet most people use bad timing by eating sporadically. You eat sporadically anytime you allow more than 3 hours to pass between meals. This causes the body to switch from a fat-burning mode to a fat-preservation mode. Instead of fat, the body burns muscle tissue and your metabolism plummets as a result. This leads to fat gain.
So to get thin, you need to create a consistent eating schedule. That's the secret way to lose weight and keep it off. What exactly does this mean? You may be wondering again, "Is it just about eating every 3 hours? Is that all there is?" The answer is no. Although this program is very simple, there's a little bit more. You see, the key is that it must become automatic for you. Your eating schedule must become effortless and easy. It's all about learning how to use my Visual Timing™ formula.
The power of Visual Timing™ will free you from your past dieting failures. You will at last have an enjoyable and automatic way to eat everyday. Specifically, I promise that by following the 3-Hour Diet™ you will lose up to 2 pounds a week from your belly first and bring back the joy of eating!
The Power of Visual Timing™
The goal of Visual Timing™ is to make eating every 3 hours completely effortless and automatic. In this way, you will not only lose the weight, but keep it off long term. How will Visual Timing™ do this for you? Visual Timing™ involves two critical secrets.
Secret 1: The 3-Hour Timeline™
The first key is to learn when to eat. This involves learning when to start eating, how to keep going through the day, and when to stop. Chapter 5 will help you do all this, by uncovering my 3-Hour Timeline™ system. This simple visual planner will help ensure that eating on time (what I call cruise-time) becomes effortless and automatic for you. In this chapter, you will learn how to create your ideal eating schedule. This is very important because you will never have to worry again about when you should eat. You will know exactly when to eat every day. Automatically your life will become simpler and your mind will have one less thing to think about. It's all about one word: simplicity. The 3-Hour Timeline™ will make sure you start eating at the right time in the morning, keep eating on time throughout the day, and stop eating at the right time at the end of the day. You will love it.
Secret 2: The 3-Hour Plate™
In chapter 6 you will also learn how to eat anything with my visual all-new 3-Hour Plate™ system. This super-simple eating method will ensure you never again have to deprive yourself of carbohydrates, proteins, or fats. It will give you true freedom. Then, in chapters 12 and 13, you will find my all-new food lists and yummy meal ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner. All the meals you make-whether you follow my suggestions in chapter 13 or create your own with the guidance of my 3-Hour Plate™-will be healthy and delicious. You'll eat from all of the food groups: proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. That's right. Carbs are not off-limits. Remember from chapter 2 what happens to lean muscle when you don't get enough carbohydrates? You lose up to 25 percent of your muscle mass. That will never happen again. You'll also never crave foods that are off-limits-because no foods are off-limits! Just imagine eating chocolate, bread, or fast food. You will never feel the need to cheat, sneak, or binge. Good eating will finally be yours to have!
Ensure your Success
Okay, so now I want to help motivate you to your success. This will ensure that you stay inspired to succeed. You see, sometimes we can have the best tools in front of us that could change our lives, but because we think we can't do it, we don't do it. What you must do right now is prove to yourself that you will achieve success with the 3-Hour Diet™.
How are new habits and ideas born? How do you become so certain that you can do it-that you will do it? You do so by changing your belief system about what you can and cannot do. Yep, because if you think you can, you will. And if you think you can't, you won't. If you are thinking right now that since you have failed at every other diet in the past, and odds are you will fail here too, then you have sealed your fate. You must not let that happen.
You will do this in two steps that help you break away from any negative thoughts and help you use positive thinking to meet your goals. By the time you are done with them, you will feel your confidence truly soar.
The 3-Hour Diet: How Low-Carb Diets Make You Fat and Timing Makes You Thin
Buy this book at Barnes & Noble
Fitness magazine was launched in 1992. Each issue includes a wide range of articles from the latest news in medical advancements to seasonal advice such as how to improve your body for bathing suit season or how to avoid holiday weight gain. Calorie charts and weight loss tips will help you get on track and stay on track with a diet. Learn how to tone up and strengthen every part of your body and read inspirational articles on how other people have improved their lifestyle. Each issue features beauty supplies and the latest fitness gear. Fitness magazine has reached a readership of 6.4 million readers.
Fitness - only $13.97 - 61% savings from Cover Price at Magazines.com
This magazine provides tips and advice for women to integrate getting in shape and feeling good into their busy schedules. Every issue of Women’s Health focuses on health, fitness, weight loss, nutrition, sex and relationships, emotional well-being, beauty and style. Step-by-step photographs of weightlifting and resistance exercises are provided for visual direction. Women’s Heath provides great day-to-day workout and diet plans that are easy to follow, understand and implement!
Women’s Health - only $9.97 with coupon wintermags
en’s Health is a lifestyle magazine that offers information to help you look good, feel great, and take control of your life. Each issue features tips and articles on fitness, health, career, relationships, nutrition, weight-loss, muscle building, sex and general interests. Each issue features special reports in the world of health advancement or news of a similar nature. The fitness section features workouts for all areas of your body. The health section includes articles ranging from sleeping better to healthy foods. Men’s Health also features reviews of the latest in music, movies, video games and books. There is also coverage of travel, with the best destinations, accommodations, attractions and more. Men’s Health is well rounded and will suit your needs whether you are looking for a whole-body workout or just want to learn how to prosper in your personal relationships.
Men’s Health - only $20.00 - 56% savings from Cover Price at Magazines.com
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
For the first time a practical diet has been created that harnesses the blood-pressure-lowering potential of healthful foods. This diet works because it contains the amounts and combinations of key nutrients needed to lower blood pressure. It lowers blood pressure as much as most prescription blood pressure medications, and it works for men and women, whites
and blacks, young and old. It is named the DASH diet after the landmark study, called "Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension," that proved it lowered blood pressure to a much healthier level within 14 days. The name of the diet also hints at its speed, because it is fast-acting as well as effective.
So confident are we that the DASH diet can improve your blood pressure that at the very beginning of this book we issue a "14-day challenge": we challenge you to spend two weeks eating the DASH diet -- hearty meals of familiar, common foods with an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products in a prescribed combination of servings -- so you can see at the end of that time how your blood pressure has improved significantly. When you see how much it has improved, we believe you will want to continue the DASH diet for the rest of your life.
If you have been taking blood pressure medication, your doctor may eventually be able to take you off it if you're willing to remain on the DASH diet. Of course, under no circumstances should you go off your blood pressure medication without clearance from your health-care professional.
The DASH diet was developed for people who have high blood pressure (also known as hypertension), but there is a strong argument to be made thateveryone should eat the DASH way. Blood pressure naturally goes up as you age, and the likelihood is that if you live long enough, you will eventually develop this condition (half of Americans over 65 years old have high blood pressure). Following the DASH diet enables you to halt this process.
The DASH diet is simple, but at first it may not seem easy. It involves changing eating habits you've learned over a lifetime. But the fact is that it's do-able, and in this book we provide you with all the information you need to follow the DASH way of eating. With the DASH diet you won't need a calculator every time you prepare a meal. It is based on easy-to-understand servings of whole foods, not x milligrams of this nutrient or y grams of that mineral. Simply put, we did the hard work for you.
Our focus is on nutrient-rich whole foods, instead of the nutrients themselves, making our diet available to everyone. This is not a diet just for a small group of highly motivated people who are dedicated enough to figure out how to get precise amounts of minerals and other nutrients into their diet.
The DASH Diet for Hypertension not only provides information on how the diet works but gives you sensible advice on how to make the principles of the plan part of your everyday life. If you want to take us up on our 14-day challenge, you can turn first to chapter 9, where daily menu plans will make it easy for you to start immediately on the DASH diet.
In the second half of the book, to demonstrate that healthy eating can be not just nutritious but delicious too, we have also provided 62 recipes created by our experienced nutritionists. All our recipes were taste-tested to make sure the ones we chose for this book are the very best.
Concluding the book are a number of practical resources, including a form to help you keep track of what and how much you eat. One of our goals when developing this diet was to make it easy to follow, and that includes the language we use to explain it. For those interested in more academic accounts of the DASH diet, a reading list of scientific journal articles can be found in Appendix D.
By selecting this book, you've taken a major step toward improving your health. Not only does the DASH diet treat and prevent high blood pressure, but it will reduce your risk of several deadly illnesses, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, and osteoporosis. It will also make you feel better, both mentally and physically. Those are not false promises but assurances based on scientific evidence.
There's nothing holding you back. So go to it. This could be the beginning of a new life dedicated to better health.
Chapter 1: Introducing DASH
The Isosceles Triangle Diet. The Bacon Grease and Beer Diet. We haven't heard of either of these diets, but it wouldn't surprise us to learn they existed! No doubt about it, our society has an insatiable appetite for wonder diets that will cure all our ills -- and the wackier the premise, the better. There's no reason to think people with high blood pressure are any different, especially when you consider this medical condition is so serious that it is a leading cause of heart attack, stroke, enlarged heart, and kidney damage.
If you bought this book hoping to find a blood-pressure-lowering diet with a nifty formula or handy-dandy gimmick, you'll be disappointed. The same goes if you're seeking a diet to lower your blood pressure based on some oddball theory. In a day and age when uncomplicated is unfashionable, our diet isn't high-tech or even low-tech. It's no-tech.
What our easy-to-understand blood-pressure-lowering diet has going for it is that not only is it safe, natural, fast-acting, and hearty enough that it won't leave you hungry, but more important, it works -- and we have proved it.
This is no small achievement when you consider how much hype and hyperbole surround the field of health and nutrition. So many wild claims are passed off as fact. A good number of the diets being foisted on the American public by seemingly reputable people simply don't work, while others are plain dangerous -- whether their promoters are promising to help us lose weight, live longer, or beat cancer.
Our diet to lower high blood pressure, on the other hand, was tested under carefully controlled scientific conditions. It was the subject of two of the biggest clinical research studies of their kind ever done. The studies were conducted at several of the nation's finest medical institutions under the auspices of the prestigious National Institutes of Health. More than 80 physicians, nutritionists, and technicians were involved, along with 800 study participants.
The goal was to harness the power of certain whole foods that contain the key minerals and other nutrients that we believed have the ability to lower blood pressure. This combination of nutrients had never before been tested in a "regular folks" diet.
The men and women who participated in our study followed the special diet we created. The results were beyond our wildest expectations. Our diet lowered participants' blood pressure as much as a typical blood pressure medication, and it did so quickly -- within 14 days of beginning the diet. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the DASH diet, in this chapter we'll share some of the personal success stories of individual study participants.
Take Melody Smith, for example. She is quite typical of the person with high blood pressure who participated in the DASH study. After being diagnosed with high blood pressure 10 years ago, this 42-year-old computer software salesperson tried several antihypertensive medications to keep her blood pressure down. However, Melody hated the side effects of the medications, not to mention their high cost. Sometimes she stopped taking her medications without her doctor's permission. That's when she asked us about participating in the DASH study. Melody was skeptical when she started the study but hopeful she would find a natural way to improve her blood pressure. Imagine Melody's surprise when she was informed that after just two weeks eating the DASH diet her blood pressure had dropped from 144/94 (in the "high" range) down to 132/88. The blood-pressure-lowering effect she got from the DASH diet was just about what she had gotten from the drugs she had taken before -- but without the side effects. Equally important for Melody, her doctor agreed that she no longer needed to take antihypertensive medications.
The medical implications of the DASH diet are profound. If, like Melody Smith, you are one of the tens of millions of Americans with hypertension, lowering your blood pressure will enable you to significantly reduce the life-threatening consequences of this disease, including heart attack, stroke, and hardening of the arteries.
The DASH diet will help you even if you don't have high blood pressure right now. Blood pressure tends to go up the older you get, and by their mid-sixties more than half of all Americans have high blood pressure. Following the DASH diet will help you avoid this eventuality. This is not an issue just for older people. Since blood pressure naturally starts going up in the teen years, it's almost never too early to encourage young people to start incorporating the DASH diet into their lives.
You are especially likely to develop high blood pressure if your blood pressure level is in the "high-normal" range or if you have a family history of high blood pressure. Again, eating the DASH diet can reduce the likelihood you will develop high blood pressure if you are predisposed for these reasons.
Another DASH success story is Charles Runnel, a 64-year-old retired chemistry professor. With blood pressure in the "high-normal" range (136/88), Dr. Runnel was a prime candidate for developing hypertension before he enrolled in the DASH study. Two weeks after he started eating the DASH diet, his blood pressure had dropped to 126/80. Like numerous other men and women with "high-normal" blood pressure who continued eating the DASH way after participating in the DASH study, Dr. Runnel avoided the virtual certainty he would eventually develop hypertension.
For both Melody Smith and Charles Runnel, taking medication for their blood pressure was a big issue -- Melody wanted to get off her medication and Charles wanted to avoid starting one. In fact, most people who have high blood pressure are eventually prescribed medications that are often expensive and can have unpleasant and possibly harmful side effects. If you're on blood pressure medication and would like to get off or if you want to avoid ever taking medication, the DASH diet may offer more good news:
* If you have stage 1, or "mild," high blood pressure and you are not yet taking blood pressure medications, following the DASH diet could lower your blood pressure to the "healthy" range and help you avoid the possibility of ever having to take drugs for blood pressure (see the table on page 14 for classifications of the different stages of high blood pressure).
* If you are taking medications to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level and your doctor thinks you should keep taking them, following the DASH diet may help you keep your blood pressure in the healthy range on fewer medications or lower doses.
* If you have a family history of high blood pressure or "high-normal" blood pressure (again, see page 14 for classifications), the DASH diet can be an effective preventive therapy and may help you avoid ever having to take blood pressure medications.
Remember, never change your medication or stop taking a medication without first getting clearance from your doctor and having your blood pressure properly monitored.
In addition to its role in lowering blood pressure, our diet has other important benefits. The foods in the plan help to lower the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis. Surveys of the men and women who participated in our study showed that the diet actually made them feel better, physically and mentally. This is what the DASH diet can do for you:
* Lower your blood pressure in 14 days.
* Lower your cholesterol.
* Reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
* Reduce your risk of osteoporosis.
* Increase antioxidant levels in your system.
* Improve your mood and quality of life.
Above all, though, this is a diet for lowering blood pressure. Although high blood pressure is very common, it is also widely misunderstood even by those who suffer from it. Before we take a much closer look at the DASH study, it's important to learn more about the deadly disease that made this diet necessary, which we'll do in the next chapter
Take the 14-Day DASH Diet Challenge!
We want to get you started as soon as possible on our lifesaving diet. For that reason we are issuing you our "14-day challenge." We challenge you to eat our simple diet of nutritious foods for two weeks and see the difference it makes in your blood pressure. Believe it or not, your blood pressure will drop significantly to a much healthier level.
If you have "mild" high blood pressure (stage 1), your blood pressure may go down to a level where you can go off your medication if your doctor says it's okay. If you have more severe high blood pressure, your blood pressure may go down to a level where you may be allowed to reduce your blood pressure medication dosage, making it easier to keep up with your drug regimen.
Sticking to the DASH diet will keep your blood pressure down, and it also has a host of other profound physical and mental health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, and various cancers. For all these reasons, eating the DASH diet can literally save your life.
Skeptical? Don't believe a straightforward diet could have as powerful an effect as high-priced medications? Then take the 14-day challenge!
How do you take us up on our challenge? First, schedule an appointment with your doctor or nurse to get your blood pressure tested. Then start eating the DASH diet. At the end of 14 days, get another blood pressure reading. If you've stuck to the diet, your blood pressure will have dropped to a much healthier level. If you continue to eat the DASH diet, your blood pressure will stay at a healthy level.
Why are we so confident your blood pressure will respond? Because we achieved these results in hundreds of men and women who participated in the DASH study.
Keep in mind, the 14-day challenge may not be for everyone. Some people with kidney problems may not tolerate the amount of potassium contained in DASH foods. If this applies to you, talk to your doctor before starting the diet. But for most people the DASH diet is a healthy eating plan that has been proven to lower blood pressure. For guidance on easing into the DASH diet, refer to page 117.
And remember our admonition to get clearance from your doctor before making any change in your medication regimen.
The DASH Diet for Hypertension
Copyright © 2001 by Thomas Moore, Laura Svetkey, Lawrence Appel, George Bray, and William Vollmer
Buy this book at Barnes & Noble
Trampoline Workout System
The exclusive Trampoline Workout System gives you a fun, motivating low-impact cardio workout that also cleanses your body of toxins by increasing your lymph system circulation. Challenge your cardiovascular system, increase oxygen intake, shape and tone legs, hips and glutes, and burn fat with our motivating 35-minute workout on DVD (included) with seven-time Ironman, competitor and elite personal trainer Jonathan Roche. The Jump Counter keeps track of jumps made, workout time and approximate calories burned. Grab the removable padded handle for stability. With sturdy steel construction and high-tension springs with cover. Imported. Available online at Gaiam
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
One of the best indicators is your Body Mass Index (BMI), which you can find in the table below.
Just run your mouse pointer down the left column to your height, then across to your weight. Your BMI is the boldfaced number directly above or below your weight.
In the example shown, someone 5' 6" who weighs 186 pounds has a BMI of 30. That's overweight, but not quite obese.
BMI table courtesy of www.dietpower.com
The Healthy zone (in green) is where the average person's health risks are lowest. Your healthiest weight may vary, however. Ask your doctor.
To move your BMI into a healthier zone...
..consider using Diet Power's personal weight and nutrition coach, which you can try FREE by downloading now. Diet Power is only diet software that "learns" your metabolism. DietPower is the world's most effective and fun-to-use weight-management software, designed to help people get in shape, balance 33 nutrients, track calories burned in exercise, and fight nutrition-related disease.
Try DietPower FREE for 15 Days.
The Hormone Revolution
But powerful as they are, hormones don’t act on their own. They are in effect handmaidens of the brain, which is the commander in chief of all body operations. As hormones surge through our bloodstream, they’re delivering instructions, generated mainly by our brain, to cells in various sites in our body. (They also deliver information from cells to the brain.) They are the brain’s major intercommunication system for transmitting essential information from cells in one part of the body to cells in another. And there are a lot of them flowing through our body at any given time—we currently know of more than two hundred hormones, and we areconstantly discovering more. Within the last ten years, scientists have discovered at least nineteen hormones that help establish and manage appetite and weight alone. And we’ve uncovered a few other surprises that have turned our old concept of hormones upside down and inside out.
We used to think that hormones were produced only by nine endocrine glands—the thyroid, parathyroid, pancreas, adrenals (2), gonads (2: ovaries and testes), pituitary, and pineal—and that the hormones these glands produced each had only one function. The ovaries and the testes, for example, were thought to be involved solely in reproduction; the adrenals were meant to regulate stress; the pituitary monitored growth; and so on. But over the last decade, we’ve discovered that hormones are not only produced by the endocrine system, but are, in fact, secreted by other parts of our body, as well. Hormones are released by the stomach, skin, bones, white blood cells, even our extra belly fat—in fact, almost every part of the body can produce some hormones. That makes for a lot of chemical messages running through our body and a lot of hormonal interaction. Contrary to old-school thinking, no hormone is an entity unto itself. Each one impacts the others, and that mutuality plays a huge role in the way you feel on a day-to-day basis. There are four major hormone groups in terms of function and what they do for you, and even though they cross over into other territories, these categories are their home ground:
Sex hormones (estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone) are the big guns—the hugely important hormones produced by your ovaries that we’ll be focusing on throughout the book. As a woman, the levels of your sex hormones shift more frequently and more dramatically than most of your other hormones, creating a delicate balancing act with one another and with every other hormone in your body. We’ve always known that the sex hormones influence reproductive status and define gender, but we’ve only recently discovered that they are much more all-encompassing than had been previously considered. The powerful effects of estrogen on the brain; the rather limited abilities of progesterone in areas other than the uterus; and testosterone’s ability to help build muscle, regulate sexuality, and act as a building block of estrogen coalesce to form a fragile relationship that has a tremendous impact on your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Sex hormones are, in fact, largely responsible for establishing and maintaining a considerable part of adult functioning.
The metabolic hormones (aka energy hormones): This group, which targets all metabolic processes and monitors and regulates our physiology, includes the thyroid hormones, insulin, growth hormone (GH), and many others. Their job is to regulate how we use our calories—the ones from our most recent meal as well as the ones we’ve stored as fat. They decide if we need to store our calories, use them to build more tissue, or burn them to keep warm. And they ensure our health and survival by monitoring our need for energy.
Regulatory hormones: These hormones (aldosterone, melatonin, parathyroid hormone, and others) help us maintain body temperature, regulate the amount of urine we produce, adjust to changes in time zones, and monitor the amount of oxygen in our blood. They’re the hormones that control how we function in environments ranging from frozen mountain peaks to sweltering deserts. When they’re out of balance, they can cause bloating, insomnia, fatigue, sweats, and more.
Stress hormones: which include cortisol, epinephrine, and norephinephrine, among others, are produced mainly in the brain and adrenal glands and serve as our body’s alert system. They fire up when something is threatening our health or survival (this includes our need for food and water, temperature stability, and general well-being). When stress hormone levels are briefly elevated, they promote memory formation, motivation, and energy production. When they’re chronically elevated, on the other hand—a situation that’s increasingly common in our fast-paced, multitasking world—they can become toxic and adversely affect our emotional state, memory, and even sleep patterns.
All these hormones operate in your system like a finely balanced mobile. Just as every part of a mobile is interconnected and shifts when one section moves, each of your hormones is interrelated to the others, and a shift in the level of one will invariably affect the level of another, as well as the overall balance of your system. There’s a constant breeze moving the mobile pieces, too—the environment. (Toxic chemicals in our food, water, and air can disrupt the natural rhythm of our hormones.) When your personal “hormonal mobile” is well balanced, you feel your best and your health flourishes. When the pieces are tilting too much one way or the other, you get symptoms of hormonal imbalance like sexual dysfunction, mood and sleep disorders, and cognitive problems. And when the mobile is severely askew, serious problems, disorders, and diseases are likely to set in.
THE INTRICATE INTERWEAVING OF HORMONES
The sex hormones are in the center of a woman’s hormone mobile because they play the central role in her hormone balance. Aside from their role in reproduction, they provide key functions within each of the other hormone categories. Testosterone, for example, fulfills an energy hormone role by stimulating muscle growth, which helps a woman’s body burn more calories. And when estrogen levels are high, they can promote fluid retention, even though fluid balance is technically a regulatory hormone function. It’s these kinds of crossovers that make sex hormones so powerful and their balance so vitally important. And because these interhormonal relationships are hugely variable and complex, sex hormone imbalances can manifest as symptoms that may appear to have nothing at all to do with the sex hormones themselves. Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone play multifaceted roles in mood status (anxiety and depression), temperature changes (hot flashes and night sweats), appetite (cravings), sleep (insomnia), and other regulatory functions.
A good example of one abnormal hormone level causing an imbalance with others is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a common disorder (it affects at least one in ten reproductive-age women) that’s usually caused by an abnormally high level of the hormone insulin. Typical symptoms of PCOS are weight gain, acne, excess hair growth, and irregular menstrual cycles. The latest evidence suggests that the high insulin levels actually cause the ovaries to produce excessive testosterone. Once the insulin problem is treated, the other hormonal imbalances often self-correct without additional treatment.
Another classic example of hormone interdependence is when one hormone prevents the message of another hormone from getting properly delivered to the brain. This block deprives you of a particular hormone and triggers an imbalance. Too much estrone (the “bad” estrogen), for instance, can block estradiol (the symptom-relieving “good” estrogen) from entering a cell, effectively producing symptoms of estradiol depletion like hot flashes (more about that on page 223ff.). When hormones multitask successfully, all systems run smoothly. It’s only when they fail—when your body has exhausted its ability to increase production of a diminished hormone or convert enough of one hormone into another—that your brain sends you a warning sign in the form of a symptom. Those “whispers” are hormonal messages transmitted by the brain to let you know that you’ve got a hormonal imbalance—and that you should do something about it.
We actually experience minor brain-hormone alerts on a daily basis. Take perspiration, for example. When it’s hot, a reflex initiates perspiration to produce a cooling effect. That in turn results in bodily water loss. Since your health is dependent on maintaining a balance between water and temperature, if you perspire excessively, your brain, which is always monitoring water loss, initiates action to reduce the risk of dehydration. It sends a hormonal message in the form of antidiuretic hormone (ADH) to your kidneys to slow urine production, which reduces water loss. If you keep sweating, another alert is eventually triggered—thirst. That, of course, motivates you to drink and replace the lost fluid. Drinking means you listened to the whisper and took action. Your brain acknowledges your response by quieting that whisper.
The bottom line is this: When all your hormones are in sync and in balance with themselves and other hormones, you feel your best—you think more clearly, move more fluidly, and have more energy. When they’re not, you can experience all sorts of problems, some profound, others that manifest more as a general malaise. You may not feel horrible or sick, but you just don’t feel great. Unfortunately, because subtle symptoms of hormonal imbalance are hard to articulate or even consciously acknowledge, many imbalances go unrecognized and untreated. Learning how to recognize symptoms of imbalance and alleviate them is one of the goals of this book. Let’s start by taking a closer look at each of the sex hormones and examining just how they’re able to exert such a powerful influence on your life.
THE SEX HORMONES
Your sex hormones (estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone) are produced mainly in your ovaries and to a lesser degree in other organs and tissues, such as your adrenal glands and body fat. From a chemical standpoint, they’re steroid hormones, which means they’re produced at a slow, regular rate, have a more lingering effect on their target organs, and are oil-soluble. (More about the importance of that in a minute.) Sex hormones are also built from one another—that is, by simply binding to the right enzymes, one hormone can become another. That’s an important aspect, because it’s what makes it possible for one sex hormone to be converted into another, which helps them remain balanced and allows cells to function even when the levels of a particular hormone are low. Your brain constantly monitors your hormone levels and sends a signal to convert one hormone to another when it decides the conversion is necessary.
ESTROGEN: MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Estrogen is actually a group of three hormones: estradiol (which you produce in your reproductive years), estriol (which is produced only during pregnancy), and estrone (the dominant estrogen of menopause). Of the three, estradiol is by far the most important because of its sweeping effects on your brain and body. It’s the one that most people are referring to when they talk about estrogen per se, and the only estrogen that impacts your brain. (Throughout the book I will be referring to estradiol whenever I use the term estrogen.)
ESTRADIOL: THE “GOOD” ESTROGEN
Although estradiol is produced in the smallest amounts of all the sex hormones, it fulfills more functions in your system than any other hormone. It controls, monitors, or modifies well over 300 bodily needs—that’s ten times more tasks than those of most other hormones! The only other hormone that comes even close in terms of importance is testosterone—and it contributes to only about 110 functions. Estradiol (which is produced solely in your ovaries) promotes neuron growth and causes positive mood changes, healthy sexual lubrication, and normal sleep patterns. It hardens bones, dilates blood vessels, and keeps your skin wrinkle resistant. In addition, it improves your sense of smell, keeps your hearing sharp, and helps you maintain your balance and coordination. In short, it has a huge effect on your brain and entire well-being.
One of the truly momentous effects of estradiol is that it slows brain aging by stimulating nerve growth, functioning, and healing. And it’s one of the most powerful antioxidants that the body produces—twice as potent as vitamins E and C combined. In fact, we now think that one of the reasons women age more rapidly after the onset of menopause is that they lose the antioxidant properties of estradiol. Estradiol’s antioxidant abilities allow it to diminish the production of cell-damaging free radicals, which are essentially unstable molecules that accelerate the aging process; increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and blood clots in the legs (deep vein thrombosis); and contribute to dementia and other brain diseases.
ESTRONE: THE “BAD” ESTROGEN
Although it’s relatively harmless in normal quantities, large amounts of estrone in your body can inhibit the abilities of estradiol. The excess estrone effectively blocks estradiol from binding to the cell receptors and renders the estradiol ineffective. This deprives the brain—and you—of estradiol’s formidable benefits. (When one hormone crowds out another like this, it’s referred to as a competitive inhibitor.) Obesity-related symptoms such as blood clots, heat intolerance, and sweating are often a result not so much of estradiol deficiency as of an imbalance caused by too much estrone preventing estradiol from doing its job. Because excess quantities of estrone stimulate the liver, it can also cause gallstones, and because it promotes ongoing endometrial cell division, it increases the risk of vaginal bleeding and endometrial cancers.
Estrone is associated largely with menopause and is often the dominant estrogen in obese women. This is because estrone is made primarily by fat cells, and in aging women the fat cells continue to produce this weak estrogen long after the ovaries stop making estradiol. Because estrone doesn’t have nearly the potency of estradiol, it can’t help much in terms of relieving brain-related hormonal symptoms like hot flashes, mood disorders, and sexual dysfunction. In truth, estrone’s only major value is that it can be converted into estradiol.
ESTRIOL: THE ESTROGEN OF PREGNANCY
Estriol is the least potent and certainly the most limited of the estrogens. Its activity as an estrogen is about a thousand times less useful than estradiol. That’s because the only time it circulates in your body is during pregnancy. Estriol is, in effect, a waste product; it’s your body’s way of getting rid of some of the excess estradiol you produce during pregnancy. (Pregnancy is the only time you actually produce excess amounts of estradiol; most of the time it’s too little, not too much, that’s the problem.)
Dr. Robert Greene's Perfect Balance: Look Younger, Stay Sexy, and Feel Great
by Robert A. Greene
Buy this book at Barnes & Noble
Monday, January 28, 2008
If you want to lose weight and not gain it back, the most effective way is also the most difficult: Eat less and exercise more. According to a review of dozens of clinical trials, this approach really does work for the long haul, reports Reuters Health.
Conducted by Minneapolis-based Nutrition Concepts by Franz Inc., the study determined that cutting calories--with or without exercise--is the most effective way to lose weight and keep those pounds off for more than four years. Even so, the weight loss numbers aren't all that dramatic. After analyzing 80 weight-loss studies, the researchers found that the amount of weight lost at most was 11 to 19 pounds.Typically, some of that was gained back over time, but when people made lifestyle changes that resulted in eating less and exercising more, most of the weight loss was maintained over the long haul.
Study leader Marion J. Franz, a registered dietitian and health consultant, says that the dieters who used either calorie-cutting alone or in combination with increased exercise, typically hit a plateau after six months. After that, they gained a few pounds back, on average. Franz says the goal at that point should be to maintain the weight loss.
Dieters often become "frustrated," Franz and her colleagues write in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, because they think that if they maintain a lower-calorie diet, the pounds should continue to drop. "This appears not to happen even when weight-loss interventions are continued," Franz writes. "However if weight-loss interventions are discontinued entirely, weight regain is likely to occur."
The FIRM: Fat Blaster This workout will shape your entire body with weights while its high-intensity cardio phase delivers maximum calorie burn. Fat Blaster includes a stomach-flattening abdominal routine, complete warm-up and cool down. Intermediate to advanced.
GNC Mega Men® Sport Multivitamin Bonus Size (216 Caplets) for $34.99
Features a proprietary sports blend that includes Green Tea, Ginkgo Biloba and key amino acids. This scientifically designed formula also provides B-vitamins that are essential for carbohydrate metabolism and energy production.*
Enhanced with essential amino acids known as branched chain amino acids (BCAA). BCAA help to reduce the amount of protein breakdown during intense exercise.*Includes a premium blend of antioxidants that protect the body from cell-damaging free radicals. Consumption of antioxidants such as selenium, beta-carotene and vitamins C and E can protect the body from excessive production.* Supplies key minerals such as zinc and chromium that are involved in carbohydrate metabolism and glucose utilization.* Minerals play an important role in maintaining health and are involved in key processes in the body.*
* Timed-release caplets provide a gradual release of vital nutrients.
GNC Mega Men® 50 PLUS - Bonus Size (144 Caplets) for $39.99
The premium vitamin and mineral formula for men over 50
Vitamins and minerals play an important role in the adult years of men. Therefore, it's important for men to focus their attention to vital nutrients needed to address common health concerns such as prostate, heart and overall health. Eating right and choosing proper supplements for nutritional insurance are extremely important. Mega Men 50 Plus supplies superior ingredients with emphasis on antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to safeguard a healthy diet and active lifestyle.
Heart & Eye Health
- Vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid play an important role in maintaining cardiovascular health.*
- Provides lutein and bilberry to support for eye health.*
- Combines saw palmetto and lycopene to support prostate health.*
- Includes B-vitamins that are essential for carbohydrate metabolism and energy production.*
- Copper which is involved in the production of cellular energy.*
- Features DHEA, one of the most abundant hormones produced in the body and is
a precursor to other hormones.
- Suppies L-arginine, a building block of nitric oxide that helps maintain blood vessel
- tone and plays a role in sexual health.*Includes zinc, an important mineral required for normal reproduction function.*
- Offers protection from excess free radicals that can destroy healthy cells andpromote the cell aging process.*
- Combines a premium free radical protection blend with antioxidant vitamins, alpha-lipoic acid and green tea.
GNC Women's Ultra Mega® ACTIVE Multivitamin - Bonus Size (216 Caplets) for $34.99
Premium performance multivitamin for active women
- Energy production
- Electrolyte replacement
- Bone health
- Antioxidant support
- Timed Release
Adequate nutrition is essential for both optimal health and athletic performance. In face, proper nutrition during training is one of the keys to success. Working out can deplete the body of important nutrients, particularly minerals and water soluble vitamins. Exercise can also increase oxidation that, in turn, increases the production of harmful free radicals. Women's Ultra Mega® Active is the premium formula for physically active women whose bodies demand more from a daily multiple vitamin.
Proprietary Performance Blend
- Combines green tea, gingko biloba and ginseng with branched chain amino acids (BCAA). BCAA help to reduce the amount of protein breakdown during intense exercise.*
Metabolism & Energy Production
- Provides B-vitamins that are essential for carbohydrate metabolism and energy production.*
- Supplies key minerals such as zinc and chromium that are involved in carbohydrate metabolism and glucose utilization.*
- Features key electrolytes including potassium and chloride, which help to regulate body fluids.* Intense exercise and inadequate consumption can result in a loss of these valuable electrolytes and may lead to muscle cramping.*
- Provides 500 mg of calcium and 600 IU of Vitamin D. These important bone-strengthening nutrients are essential in the development of healthy bones and teeth.* Adequate calcium in a healthy diet may reduce the risk of osteoporosis later in life, especially or teen and young adult women.
- Enhanced with A premium blend of antioxidants including phytonutrients such as lutein, lycopene, astaxanthin and zeaxanthin that offer additional antioxidant protection.*
GNC Women's Ultra Mega® 50 PLUS Multivitamin Bonus Size (144 Caplets) for $39.99
The premium vitamin and mineral formula for women over 50
Includes nutrients to support:
- Heart and Eye Health
- Energy Production
- Bone Health
- Healthy Aging
Timed- Release caplets provide a slow gradual release of vital nutrients.
Vitamins and minerals play an important role in the adult years of women. As hormone production begins to drop sharply, women over 50 need to become more attentive to issues concerning bone density and heart health. Lack of energy and cognitive function are also common concerns. It is necessary for women to focus their attention on vital nutrients needed to address these health concerns. Eating right and choosing proper supplementation for nutritional insurance are extremely important.
Heart and Eye Health
- Offers Vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid that play a role in the maintenance of normal homocysteine levels important for cardiovascular health.*
- Includes policosanol, clinical studies indicate that policaosanol may help to maintain normal, healthy cholesterol levels.*
- Provides lutein and bilberry to support eye health.*
- Supplies B-vitamins that are essential for carbohydrate metabolism and energy production.*
- Contains minerals that are involved in key processes in the body including metabolism.*
- Provides 500 mg of calcium, 600 IU of vitamin D and 100 mg of magnesium, adequate daily intake of dietary calcium is critical to protecting and maintaining bone density.*
- Enhanced with essential nutrients required for healthy bones and teeth.*
- Combines a premium free radical protection blend with antioxidant vitamins, alpha-lipoic acid and green tea. These ingredients offer protection from excess free radicals that can destroy healthy cells and promote the cell-aging process.*
- Includes phosphatidyl serine which may reduce the risk of cognitive dysfunction in the elderly. Very limited and preliminary scientific research suggests that PS may reduce the risk of cognitive dysfunction in the elderly. FDA concludes that there is little scientific evidence supporting this claim.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
From The Volumetrics Weight Control Plan Copyright © by Barbara Rolls, Ph.D.
Four-Cheese Vegetable Lasagna
Yield: 10 servings.
Nutritional Information Per Serving.
Energy Density: 1.1.
Carbohydrate: 30 g.
Fat: 6 g.
Protein: 18 g.
Fiber: 3 g.
Sodium: 562 Mg.
Good Source: Protein, Calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C.
Lasagna can be a heavy, caloric dish. This one is both flavorful and lighter. With plenty of vegetables, the energy density plummets, which allows this tasty version to be made with real Parmesan cheese and lower-fat cheeses, rather than fat-free cheeses, and still provide nearly 1/2 pound per serving for under 250 calories.
12 uncooked lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups chopped broccoli
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced carrot
1/2 cup chopped red or green bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup sliced green onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups low-fat (1 percent) cottage cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Jarlsberg cheese or part-skim Swiss cheese
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 cups commercial fat-free spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and set aside. (If you are using "no-cook" noodles, omit this step.)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until hot. Add the broccoli and the next five ingredients; sauté about 5 minutes. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
Combine the cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, Jarlsberg cheese, and spinach in a large bowl; add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Mix thoroughly.
Spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce on bottom of a 13-inch x 9-inch x 2-inch baking dish coated with vegetable cooking spray. Arrange 4 lasagna noodles over the sauce. Top with half the cottage cheese mixture, half the broccoli mixture, and half the remaining spaghetti sauce. Repeat layers, and end with a layer of noodles. Spoon the remaining 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce on the noodles; sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake 45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Slice in half lengthwise, then in five equal widths.
Yield: 6 servings.
Nutritional Information Per Serving.
Energy Density: 1.1.
Carbohydrate: 17 g.
Fat: 10 g.
Protein: 19 g.
Fiber: 3 g.
Sodium: 424 mg.
Good Source: Protein, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A.
Serve this for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup sliced zucchini
1 cup cooked medium barley, made according to package directions but without salt
1 cup chopped red or green bell pepper
1 cup sliced green onion
4 large eggs plus 8 large egg whites (or 2 cups egg substitute)
1 1/4 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 medium tomato, seeded and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons salsa (optional)
2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream (optional)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Pour the olive oil into a 9-inch oven-proof skillet or quiche dish. Add the mushrooms and zucchini to the skillet. Bake for 5 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove the skillet from the oven, and layer in the barley, the red pepper, and the green onion over the mushroom-zucchini mixture. Top with tomato slices. Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees F.
Combine the eggs and egg white (or egg substitute), ricotta cheese, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor; process until smooth.
Transfer to a bowl, and stir in the spinach. Pour evenly over the vegetables in the skillet; press down lightly on vegetables to allow egg mixture to seep through layers.
Bake the frittata, uncovered, for 35 minutes or until puffed and set. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting into wedges. If desired, top each serving with 2 tablespoons salsa and 2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream.
Note: If you make this dish with 8 whole eggs instead of egg substitutes or egg/egg white mixture, it adds 30 calories per serving.
The Volumetrics Weight Control Plan
Copyright © by Barbara Rolls, Ph.D.. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Buy this book at Barnes & Noble
Thursday, January 24, 2008
A breakthrough antioxidant energy formula, FRS contains powerful nutrients and key vitamins to help you naturally increase energy and stay healthy. Whether you’re dieting, starting an exercise program, or just looking for a healthy boost, FRS can help. FRS also was the winner of the 2007 World Beverage Congress’ Best Health Initiative award, is endorsed by Lance Armstrong and supports the Lance Armstrong Foundation as a corporate partner.
Power your life with FRS.
Boost your physical, emotional, and mental health! Try FRS Free*.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
From The Volumetrics Weight Control Plan Copyright © by Barbara Rolls, Ph.D.
Welcome to The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan, the first book to use breakthrough new research on the science of satiety to help you control your eating habits. What is satiety? It's the feeling of fullness at the end of a meal, the feeling that you are no longer hungry. The more satiety you feel after a meal, the less you'll eat at the next one.
Satiety is the missing ingredient in weight management. Cut calories by simply eating less, and you'll feel hungry and deprived. You may be able to stick to such a diet for the short term, but to become successful at lifelong weight management, you'll need an eating pattern that lets you feel full with fewer calories.
The primary way to do this is to get smart about your food choices. For any given level of calories, some foods will have a small effect on satiety, others a large one. The right food choices will help you control hunger and eat fewer calories, so you can lose weight, keep it off, and stay healthy.
There's no secret to weight management: Consume fewer calories and burn more in physical activity. You can't lose weight without controlling calories. But you can control calories without feeling hungry. Feeling full and satisfied while eating foods you like is a critical component of our approach to weight management.
The basic strategy of Volumetrics is to eat a satisfying volume of food while controlling calories and meeting nutrient requirements.
The Foods You Choose
Which foods should you choose?
Surprisingly, foods with a high water content have a big impact on satiety. But you can't simply drink lots of water, whichquenches thirst without sating hunger. You'll need to eat more foods that are naturally rich in water, such as fruits, vegetables, low-fat milk, and cooked grains, as well as lean meats, poultry, fish, and beans. It also means eating more water-rich dishes: soups, stews, casseroles, pasta with vegetables, and fruit-based desserts. On the other hand, you'll have to be very careful about foods that are very low in water: high-fat foods like potato chips, but also low-fat and fat-free foods that contain very little moisture, like pretzels, crackers, and fat-free cookies.
Why is water so helpful in controlling calories? It dilutes the calories in a given amount of food. When you add water-rich blueberries to your breakfast cereal, or water-rich eggplant to your lasagna, you add food volume but few calories. You can eat more for the same calories. This property of foods -- the calories in a given portion -- is the core concept of this book. We call it by its scientific term, energy density.
Water is only one of many food elements that affect satiety and energy density. In addition to water, fiber can be added to foods to lower the calories in a portion. It provides bulk without a lot of calories. So by strategically increasing the water and fiber content of meals-with the addition of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains you can dramatically cut the calories per portion -- you lower the energy density. On the other hand, the component of foods that increases the energy density the most is fat. Fat has more than twice as many calories per portion as either carbohydrate or protein. So if you cut fat, you can lower the energy density of a meal. You can combine these strategies: Increase the water and fiber content of foods while lowering the fat content to get satisfying portions with few calories.
This book is based on recent research showing how foods affect hunger and satiety, which in turn has led to new ways to manage weight. Each of the major elements that makes up food -- fat, carbohydrates, protein, water -- has an effect on satiety. So do other dietary components: sugar, fiber, alcohol, and sugar and fat substitutes. In the next part of the book, we explore these influences in detail so you can learn the basic principles of choosing a lower-calorie, more satisfying diet.
If you've suffered through dietary deprivation to lose weight, you may find it hard to believe that you can eat more food, feel full, and still reduce your total caloric intake. To make our program work, some people, if they choose lots of foods that have only few calories in a portion, may actually have to retrain themselves to eat larger portions than they do now.
We won't ask you to greatly restrict your food choices. You won't have to cut out all the fat from your diet, live on rabbit food, subsist on foods on a "free" list, or avoid any food. Volumetrics allows a wide choice of foods. You'll be able to eat bread, pasta, rice, beef, chicken, fish and seafood, dairy products, vegetables, and fruits.
To do so while cutting calories, we'll show you how to make changes such as adding vegetables to a risotto, or choosing fruit over fat-free cookies for dessert. You'll also gain greater understanding of the kinds of foods that are deceptively easy to overeat, whether it's cheese, chocolate, raisins, or pretzels. We won't ask you to ban them. That's not our style, because it's not a style that works. Instead, we will give you specific strategies so you can enjoy them without taking in too many calories. Volumetrics is not really a diet at all, but a new way to choose satisfying, lower-calorie foods.
While we emphasize lowering the energy density of your dietary pattern because that's the best way to eat a satisfying amount of food, we don't want you to get the impression that energy-dense foods are "bad" or "forbidden." Who wants to go through life without chocolate? Favorite foods, even if they are high in energy density, have a place in your dietary pattern. But you will have to plan for them. If you rely on the body's satiety signals to stop you eating chocolate, you'll consume too many calories. So you'll need to satisfy your hunger with foods of lower energy density, and then enjoy high-energy-dense foods in appropriate portions. If the meal itself is satiating, a half-ounce of chocolate is a satisfying ending.
The Volumetrics Weight Control Plan
Copyright © by Barbara Rolls, Ph.D.. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Buy this book at Barnes & Noble
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
We all would like to lose weight and get in shape with a minimal effort. That's how the fitness informercial makes billions per year, promising miraculous results without breaking a sweat.
If you are not fooled by their claims then you know you have to work at getting in shape and losing unwanted pounds. So where do you go for a challenging workout? If you are into walking and running, during the temperate seasons you can get your cardio exercise in the great outdoors.
But to get a total workout that is not limited to moderate weather, you will need to either join a gym or equip your home with fitness equipment. The major advantage of a home gym is convenience. And it is convenience that can result in a more focused exercise regimen. Home gyms are growing in popularity. In 2000 over $6.7 billion was spent on home fitness equipment.
Granted health clubs have the advantage of working out with other like-minded individuals. And if you are the type of person that needs inspiration from others, the health club provides that environment. Of course, for singles it is a great place to meet the opposite sex.
The disadvantages are time wasted driving to the health club, waiting in line to use equipment and costly membership fees. I personally like to work out first thing in the morning. My time is limited due to my work schedule. The extra time required to drive to a health club would deter regular workouts. Exercise for me is not a social activity. I want to burn as many calories and strengthen as many muscles in as little time as possible. In my case exercising at home is more practical.
Designing a Home Gym
If you decide that working out at home makes the most sense, the first consideration will be the location. You may choose the basement. But if it is dark and damp, this is not an inspiring environment. Another consideration is an extra bedroom or part of a family room or den. You want an inviting location that is well ventilated and provides sufficient light. For those that like to keep up with the latest news or the soaps, a room with a television would be appropriate.
If lack of space is a consideration, there is fitness equipment like folding treadmill or compact home gyms that minimize required space.
Selecting the Proper Equipment
In determining what fitness equipment to purchase, you need to define your goals and consider the type of exercise machines that can help you reach those goals. Numerous homes are littered with unused exercise equipment that substitutes for clothes hangers. Too often people buy informercials equipment that is that latest fad. They discover that the exercise bores them, and that the equipment is poorly built and does not deliver on the promises.
Another common mistake is buying cheap equipment that provides an unsatisfactory workout and frequently requires repair. This is particularly true when purchasing a treadmill. A cheap treadmill is unstable, noisy and can be a shock to your joints.
There are tips on buying various types of fitness equipment:
For walkers and runners a treadmill is a logical choice. And the good news is the recent models are built for endurance and a pleasurable cardio experience. A Treadmill is the most efficient equipment to burn calories and lose weight, that is why they are the most popular.
You'll want a treadmill with a motor that is continuous duty with a rating of at least 2.0 HP. Continuous duty motors give you constant maximum power. Non continuous motors are unable to run smoothly for an extended period of time.
Select a treadmill that accommodates your stride with an adequate length and width. The deck should be at least 18" x 53". If you are a runner and tall, you may want to consider a "stretch" model. The deck should have a reasonable amount of cushion for minimal impact on your feet, ankles and knees. Several manufacturers offer extra thick cushioned treadmills as an option.
For variety you'll want a treadmill with incline control and computerized programming. Incline control simulates an uphill climb, while the electronics can be programmed to create a diversity of running or walking experiences.
Multi-station home gyms provide health club quality strength training in the comfort of your home. Depending on the model you can get over 50 exercises. A home gym offers a complete strength building workout for the entire body. And as the name implies, multi-station home gyms allow for more then one person to workout at once.
Look for equipment that has a natural resistance feel. The quality of the cables and pulleys will make the difference and will guarantee longevity. That smooth feel is usually lacking on so-called home gyms that rely on bands or bows rather then actual weight racks. In addition, you want a gym that has ergonomic features. The shape and location of pad, pop pin and pivot point should feel natural.
Elliptical trainers offer a no-impact workout that exercises numerous muscle groups. This is achieved through the dual cross-trainer arms combined with the foot pedals. Elliptical trainers provide the following advantages:
Time Efficiency - The dual action of arms and legs optimizes energy expenditure. Requires less time to achieve more results.
- Weight Bearing Exercise - Builds bone density and burns calories more efficiently.
Inhibits the onset of osteoporosis.
- No Impact - Safe for joints. Ideal workout for people with back, knee, hips and joint problems.
- Low Maintenance - Less impact means less wear and tear.
- Small Footprint - Does not take up valuable floor space.
As with treadmills, elliptical trainers vary from K-mart specials to health club quality. It is important to find a motorized machine that has a natural stride and is built to last.
This is a just a short list of potential home fitness equipment. It can be supplemented with staionary bikes, free weight, steppers, aerobic videos, rowing machine and countless other products.
Determine your goals (lose weight, build strength, etc.), then narrow your search to the appropriate equipment. The selection needs to be based on what will work for you, not what will be the best for hanging laundry.
You can purchase Treadmills, Elliptical Trainers and Home Gyms Factory Direct at SmoothFitness.com.
Order online and have your own fitness equipment delivered to your home.
Monday, January 21, 2008
From The Volumetrics Eating Plan : Techniques and Recipes for Feeling Full on Fewer Calories Copyright © by Barbara Rolls.
Fed up with fad diets that ask you to give up your favorite foods? Tired of feeling ravenous when cutting back on calories? Searching for a sensible, healthy way to manage your weight? Welcome to Volumetrics! With this weight management plan, you'll learn how to fit your favorite foods into your day while eating nutritiously. Perhaps the best news of all is that you'll discover why eating more, not less, of certain foods can be the answer to losing weight and keeping it off.
I am not going to promise that managing your weight will be easy, but I will show you how to make it healthy and sustainable. If you have found that your weight has been creeping up over the years, you are certainly not alone. More than half of all adults in America are overweight or obese. We are surrounded by a huge variety of tempting high-calorie foods, and we are less and less active. For most of us, it is difficult to avoid putting on weight in this obesigenic environment. To resist the almost inevitable weight gain over time, you need sound strategies. I will show you what recent research reveals about how to choose foods that will help you to maintain or reach your optimal weight.
First, let me share with you some information about why I am qualified to direct you to the best food choices. I have spent my career studying eating behavior and weight management. As a professor of nutritional sciences at Penn State University, I train students and conduct research funded by the National Institutes of Health. My lab includes a large research kitchen and dining area. For our studies, people come to the dining area to eat. We test how different properties of foods such as calorie density, fat content, or portion size affect how much people eat, how hungry they feel, and what affects the enjoyment of the foods being eaten. Our studies have lead to a better understanding of which foods can help curb hunger without adding extra calories. It is exciting to be doing work that has an impact on the biggest health challenge we have ever faced as a nation -- the obesity epidemic. This book gives me the opportunity to take what we have learned in the laboratory and translate it into a sensible, easy-to-follow eating plan that you can use. I look forward to telling you about the basics of healthy weight management.
Volumetrics is an eating plan based on the latest research on how to control hunger while managing calories to lose weight or to hold steady at your current weight. The plan also helps ensure that you are eating a balanced and nutritious diet. Often, when people decide to make the commitment to lose weight, they forget that the foods they eat affect a lot more than their weight. When you are eating fewer calories than you normally do, it is more important than ever to eat a good balance of nutrients. Because you are eating less, you are already at higher risk of not getting an adequate amount of key nutrients. Dieting is the worst possible time to cut out entire food groups. Although Volumetrics can be used to help achieve your goal weight, it is not just for those who want to manage their weight. Since it is a practical guide to nutritious and satisfying foods, it will help to establish habits associated with eating well for optimal health.
Weight-loss clinics across the country are using Volumetrics. Both physicians and dietitians love it because it is a healthy, sensible weight management program.They tell me that their patients are asking for simple and practical advice, as well as recipes to help them achieve and sustain their weight loss. This book will give you just that. It is intended as a companion to The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan. You can read more about the science behind Volumetrics in that book.
This book is filled with simple tips on how you can enjoy delicious food while managing your weight. After being introduced to the basics of Volumetrics in this chapter, you will develop your personalized weight management plan in Chapter 2. A big challenge for me has been to show you how to fit Volumetrics into your busy life. I know when I come home from a day at work, I don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. In Chapters 3 to 14, you will find recipes for tasty, easy-to-prepare dishes. In addition to the recipes, I give you a variety of tools to help you follow the Volumetrics Eating Plan:
* Techniques for modifying your favorite recipes and incorporating more volumetric foods into your diet.
* A menu plan to give you structure as you learn about what and how much you should be eating. If you find it helpful, you can continue to use this plan -- personalize it to suit your preferences.
* A variety of quick meal ideas in the menu plan.
* Modular lists of foods that are equivalent in calories to help you add variety to your menus.
* Self-monitoring charts to keep you on track.
For those of you who like structure, I have included a menu plan in Chapter 15 to guide you through your first month of Volumetrics eating. In the long run, I want to teach you the principles of healthy eating for weight management, so you can apply them no matter the situation. I will show you how to find an eating pattern that is so enjoyable that you will want to sustain it. I can assure you that, if you eat the Volumetrics way, you will be eating a diet that fits with the recommendations of the major health organizations in America and that will help you to lose weight or keep extra pounds from sneaking up on you.
The Volumetrics Eating Plan : Techniques and Recipes for Feeling Full on Fewer Calories
Copyright © by Barbara Rolls. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Buy this book at Barnes & Noble
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Act now and buy these fitness products on sale today. This equipment not only looks great, but will make you feel great too!
TOP LEFT: Sharper Image Portable Mini Cycle 2.0 - Now only $59.95! Tone legs and arms with adjustable resistance. Features pedals for legs and hand grips for arms.
BOTTOM LEFT: Multi CoreFlex Body Gym - Now only $59.95! Two-in-one resistance exerciser flattens your abdominals as it delivers a therapeutic workout for lower-back pain.
TOP RIGHT: Sharper Image Mini Step and Flex - Now only $59.95! Compact stepper with resistance cords for an upper-body workout.
BOTTOM RIGHT: JumpSnap Ropeless Jump Rope - Now only $59.95! The best calorie-burning exercise is with this jump rope...with no rope!
Saturday, January 19, 2008
PURELL 4x6 Photo Desk Caddy with 8 fl oz Pump Bottle Hand Sanitizer Black
Store America's No. 1 brand of instant hand sanitizer at your desk with this handy desk caddy. Kills 99.99 percent of most common germs that may cause illness. Works in a little as 15 seconds. No water or towels needed. Specially formulated moisturizers leave hands feeling soft and refreshed.
PURELL Pal Instant Hand Sanitizer Desktop Dispenser with 8 fl oz Pump Bottle
Purell® Hand Sanitizer Desk Accessories Choose from the PURELL® Pal or PURELL® Desk Caddy (caddy holds one 4" x 6" picture). Each accessory comes with a full size 8-oz. pump bottle of PURELL® and educational materials to help you combat germs in the workplace. Accessories are refillable with an 8-oz. PURELL® bottle, when you run out. PURELL® kills 99.99% of most common germs that may cause illness, in as little as 15 seconds. Dermatologist tested, dye-free. PURELL® Pal with 8-oz. Bottle
Friday, January 18, 2008
You might want to talk to your doctor about taking vitamin D supplements. People who do take them appear to have a lower risk of death from any cause, according to a new European study that was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Previous research has suggested that vitamin D deficiencies are associated with a higher risk of death from cancer, heart disease and diabetes--illnesses that account for 60 percent to 70 percent of deaths in high-income nations. "If the associations made between vitamin D and these conditions were consistent, then interventions effectively strengthening vitamin D status should result in reduced total mortality," write the authors, Philippe Autier, M.D., of the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France and Sara Gandini, Ph.D., of the European Institute of Oncology in Milano, Italy.
The study: Autier and Gandini analyzed 18 separate randomized controlled trials of vitamin D supplements involving 57,311 participants. They evaluated doses of vitamin D ranging from 300 to 2,000 international units, with an average dose of 528 international units. Most commercially available supplements contain between 400 and 600 international units. Over an average follow-up period of almost six years, 4,777 of the participants died.
The results: Individuals who took vitamin D had a 7 percent lower risk of death than those who did not. In the nine trials that collected blood samples, those who took supplements had an average 1.4- to 5.2-fold higher blood level of vitamin D than those who did not.
Why does vitamin D lower the risk of death? The authors admit it's not known, but suspect the vitamin may inhibit some mechanisms by which cancer cells proliferate, or it may boost the function of blood vessels or the immune system. "This is the first study that shows that taking one vitamin has an impact on mortality," Autier told HealthDay News. "If you want to increase your vitamin D intake by taking supplements, it looks like a great idea."
----from the editors at Netscape
Nature's Bounty Vitamin D-1000 IU Tablets
Vitamin D helps promote healthy bones and teeth and plays a role in the maintenance of calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood. This high-potency Vitamin D supplement also assists in maintaining a healthy immune system.
For adults, take one (1) tablet daily, preferably with a meal. As a reminder, discuss the supplements and medications you take with your health care providers.