Its a fact: Overweight or Obese people DO NOT LIKE mirrors or ANYTHING that reflects back to them as to how others probably see them physically. Many heavy people go as far as removing all full-length mirrors throughout their home in the attempt to avoid seeing their reflection and finding more reasons for self-loathing. They think that removing the full reflection will ease some of the harsh self-criticism. The reflection of (say it with me) from here up (your hands below the chin to signify the bottom line) is the only thing a heavy person wants to see reflected back. This is what I did for years, and to my DEMISE at that! Had I kept a closer view on my reflection, maybe I wouldnt have let the pounds pile on as they easily did for so long. But that is my 20/20 hindsight, as they often say, right? The first thing I did after my surgery was buy a cheap $12 full-length mirror so I could keep an eye on how my body was changing. OH, let me tell you, how I cringed at the reflection I saw! I wiped tears away from my eyes as I knew that NOW I had the tool through the RNY bariatric weight loss surgery to get rid of the excess weight. But it was a hard reality to face that reflection.But as the pounds kept dropping, I began to learn to love my new reflection. Sure, I saw draping skin, lack of tone, and countless other flaws I could list to fill a New York City phonebook; but the good news was that I was losing weight and my body was shrinking! And not only did I learn to appreciate the reflection in a full-length mirror, I also learned to STOP AVOIDING reflective glass! There used to be a day when I would walk past a huge store window as fast as I could so I couldnt see myself in the glass reflection and I certainly didnt want others seeing it either! As I was losing my weight so rapidly, I got in the habit of stopping and actually looking at myself in reflective glass at the store, a restaurant, and even marble walls in offices. My husband seemed to, one day, had enough of this behavior and came right out and said to me, You are becoming too vane! As shocked as I was that he didnt understand me, I said, Im not vane I have to make sure that its really ME in there I dont know what the NEW ME looks like half the time. He then slumped in semi-shame at his remark and agreed that its even hard for him to keep up with how the new-me appears. Another reason why we dont recognize ourselves is because our shrinking wardrobe changes so often, we dont know its us in those clothes! To further prove this point of not recognizing our own reflection, I want to share the following capsule that illustrates this point perfectly. This was one experience that a friend of mine had:She says, I want to a restaurant for a big birthday celebration. Across the room, I saw a woman who looked so familiar to me. I couldnt stop staring at her, and I noticed she stared back at me a lot too. I asked my husband if he knew who the woman was across the way, but he couldnt locate who I was talking about. I grew more and more intrigued with this woman who I knew for a certainty that I knew her from somewhere. As the night progressed, I noticed that she even had some family members who looked familiar to me and THEN THE LIGHT BULB went off. I WAS LOOKING AT MYSELF IN THE REFLECTION OF THE MIRRORED WALL! Talk about embarrassed! I must have spent a good half-hour wondering who that woman was, and all along it was ME!As you continue to lose weight, your reflection will change, and youll have to look at it again and again at the risk of appearing vane to others. Like I told me husband that day he called me vane, I further explained that one day my image will remain unchanged by "weight loss" and I wont need to look as often since I can recognize myself. So if you havent yet done so, get a full-length mirror in your home and take a look at yourself each week. Learn to recognize every curve, bump, bulge, etc. Then as you downsize in your body, youll appreciate it more because youll know the former you better then had you not learned to look at your reflection.
You have all been through it before, the family wedding is coming up next month and you cant seem to fit into that suit or dress because you have put on too much weight. So you must lose at least ten or more pounds quickly. Losing weight quickly is not advisable as most of the loss will be muscle tissue and water; you put on the weight slowly (usually over years) so normally you should take it off slowly and then you will know that the majority of the loss will be body fat.But you have a problem here and the clock is ticking so you will have to diet pretty hard to meet your target weight loss. Lets look at that first, you all know that diets dont work; they send the body into starvation mode, a survival mechanism from long age when humans faced periods of famine. Going too low in calories causes the body to lower its metabolic rate, which reduces its ability to burn fat. At the same time, hunger signals increase and you quickly start to crave high-energy foods loaded with fats and sugar, the same foods you are trying to do without.Research shows repeated dieting actually makes it harder to lose weight and easier to put it on because when you dump the diet and return to normal eating habits the drop in metabolic rate caused by the diet means that your old habits actually represent an excess in calories. Not only do you regain the fat stores just lost, but also you may even gain an extra bit. Knowing this, you really dont want to put yourselves through this rigorous process, but for this special occasion you will. First though, you will have to boost the metabolism that has been lowered by the dieting. To do this you will have to perform a "Strength Train" workout to generate that initial spike in your metabolism. By increasing the lean muscle on your body by using Strength Training, your metabolism will increase, burning fat along the way.The strength training technique I use requires just twenty to thirty mins per week. Gone are the days of the five-day a week program with 6 to 12 sets per body part that, method has never worked. One short intense strength-training workout a week will elevate your metabolism more than you ever thought possible. While the calories expended doing exercise are important, the increase in metabolism especially after strength training continues long after the exercise is finished, burning calories at the same time. The two main components of this technique are the intensity of the exercise and the recovery after the exercise. Infrequent, short, high intensity weight training sessions, followed by the required amount of time to recover and become stronger is what is needed to increase functional lean muscle and lose body fat. The way to lose body fat and maintain muscle is to have a food program for life. Quality food and more energy output are the basics youll need to go for. Bulk foods that fill you up and dont fill you out, foods that are low in fat and sugar which arent refined should be the ideal.Small frequent meals should be consumed during the day each containing a little protein to maintain muscle mass and energy levels. A high quality broad spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement should also be taken on a daily basis.As before get the calories from high quality food but if you cant, utilize a blender to make concoctions from skim milk with whatever additives you want to use, just as long as you keep count of the calories for your daily total.Now use these blender mixtures and solid food for your daily feedings. Spread it out over many small meals a day instead of the traditional three meals a day. The way to keep track of "weight loss" is to buy a calorie counter and record your daily calorie intake for a week. Now average out how many calories you consume a day with the use of a seven-day eating plan and calorie counter, once you have this figure subtract 1000 calories and this will be the target number of calories you will be aiming for. Remembering that one-pound of fat contains 3500cals, losing 1000 calories a day will total 7000 for the week, which equals two pounds lost by dietary means alone. Another technique for low calorie eating is to watch your fat intake as this has the most calories. Incidental activity is also very important if you want to lose this amount of weight in this short period of time, by increasing incidental activity you can burn at least another pound a week The best exercise for the purpose of fat-loss is fast walking either indoors on the treadmill or outdoors. Walk until you are mildly puffing and hold that rate until the allotted time. If your aerobic activities leave you panting or breathless, your going too hard, your energy is coming from your carbohydrate reserves and not from your fat stores. Try fast walking for one hour a day every day of the week. Well there you have it, as an experienced trainer I wouldnt recommend this type of program to my clients. The weight loss is just too quick and the program would be very hard to maintain owing to the very low caloric intake.I advise my clients to decrease their calories by just 500 per day (and no more) below their maintenance levels and they will be losing 1 2 pounds of body fat every week, safely, without craving and without too much disruption to their lifestyle. Remember, think long term here and thats between 30 and 50 pounds of fat lost in six months. Any faster and all you will be losing is water and precious muscle tissue.
Its OK for Weight-Watchers to Over-eat at ChristmasThe upcoming festive season can be a major headache to weight-watchers due to the temptation that started confronting them the moment the stores went into holiday mode. Dieters should never forget that they are human first and weight-watchers second, and that humans do submit to temptation; its a natural phenomena and nothing to feel guilty about.The secret to not being left out at Christmas starts around now with a few simple rules.Rule 1. For every 3,500 extra calories that you consume you will gain one pound (450 grams)Rule 2. Set a maximum limit that you are prepared to gain during the holiday. Not forgetting that what you gain you must also lose after the holiday.Rule 3. Start now to identify foods that you love and check the calorific value per serving. Also check the serving quantity. This is where most weight-watchers hit trouble; they set the serving quantity themselves rather than accepting what the experts say.Rule 4. When you have identified the special foods that you like calculate how many calories, in total, that you will consume (above your normal calorie intake) and plan to eat that amount and only that amount extra.Rule 5. Over the holiday move your exercise pattern up to the next level. - If you walk for 30 minutes each day normally, increase it to 45 minutes during the holiday period. You can make this three 15-minute walks if this suits your schedule better. Naturally if you can make it one-hour exercise that is even better but do not over-extend yourself, particularly if you have a medical condition.Rule 6. Now set the program that will make this extra weight go-away after the festive season. For each pound you wish to lose each week you need to burn off 200 calories each day by exercise and eat 300 calories less each day. 500 calories each day is easy.Visit this link to determine how many calories you burn on various exercises:http://www.recipesmania.com/calorieexerciserate.htmlIn the developed world the average daily calorie intake is 3,500. The average adult needs 2,000 calories each day to remain healthy so you must never drop below this intake.The great thing about calories is that although there is only one way to receive them FOOD. There are two ways we can lose them LESS FOOD and MORE EXERCISE. When you understand that simple equation you will take back control of your weight.Note: Never try to lose weight at a rate greater than one-pound (450 g) each week. More than this and you will put it all back on again within a few months.This article is copyright David McCarthy 2005. You may reproduce this article on your website or ezine in its entirety only with no additions.
These healthy diet tips will keep you on the right path. Although healthy people are generally at a natural weight, this is not about dieting and losing weigh, its about lifestyle. The mainstream seesaw of dieting is a moneymaker that doesn't address real health issues and concerns.One of the best things you can do for your body is eat at least twelve servings of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables every single day. These foods are packed with the things that our bodies need; natural, non-synthetic source of Vitamins A,B, C, and E, disease fighting antioxidants, minerals like potassium, calcium, phosphorous, and copper.These days too many Americans get their vitamins from synthetic sources that are isolated and chemically induced. The best way to get this nutrition is from the good earth, directly from the source, from fruits and vegetables. If eating that many vegetables seems overwhelming, just think about the colors. Get your blue and purples like blueberries and plums to reduce the risk of cancer and protect your urinary tract. Eat green vegetables like broccoli and celery to protect your bones, teeth and eyes. Consume your whites like mushrooms and onions for healthy heart function. Eat foods like oranges and carrots to boost your immune system from the yellow and orange fruits and vegetables. Finally, get your reds from foods like apples and beets for memory function and heart health.All of these fruits and vegetables have healing qualities and you'll feel the difference. If you can't eat this much or don't have the time, drink juices made from a vegetable juicer, a great way to get the nutrients you need.In addition to eating fruits and vegetables, cut down on saturated fats from processed foods and switch to unsaturated fats from nuts like almonds and vegetables including avocado. In general however, cut down on fat in your life and your heart and body will thank you for it. Speaking of processed food, begin to rid yourself of any processed foods. And of course, drink water so that you are flushing the toxins out your system and staying hydrated.Use these " "healthy diet" tips" as a general guide to healthy eating, not fad dieting.
What's the greatest threat facing our civilization? (No, it's not the Islamic jihad.) It's obesity. Due to its attendant health and economic costs, scientists predict that obesity alone will topple economic and social structures, induce a wide range of dire diseases, and drastically cut short Americans' life spans.These are more than another set of statistics -- they predict things that can and will affect you, your family, your health, and your pocketbook. If you are among the two thirds of adult Americans struggling to escape escalating weight gain, (or even if you're teetering on the edge with ten persistent pounds you can't seem to lose), as a physician, I recommend that you take action to lose weight and protect your future health.And I have good news for you. I've developed a simple plan to help you lose weight automatically based on a new scientific breakthrough.Despite the abysmal failure of conventional medical approaches, this plan is different because it's based on recent, groundbreaking scientific research, research that I predict will totally revolutionize weight loss and change the landscape of medicine as we know it.Many of the answers to our weight and health problems are buried in thousands of research papers. With the aid of a number of very brilliant thinkers and scientists, I've gathered and synthesized the greatest advances in medical science over the last 20 years -- advances that usually take decades to get incorporated into medical practice. Translated into a simple program that has brought easy, sustainable "weight loss" to thousands of people, you can access them today.In the recent past, many pundits theorized that society-wide weight gain was due to our genes. In a sense, they were right, but genes only tell half the story. We share the same genes as our hunter- gatherer forebears who foraged in the woods and hunted wild game 20,000 years ago. What's changed is the environment within which our genes operate.Up until modern times, man's natural environment supplied the foods we were genetically programmed to eat. But with the advent of industrialized agriculture and food production, we began eating mass-produced and processed foods that genetically program us to add pounds.Here's how:Food is information -- not just calories -- and food information speaks to our genes, turning some genes ON and other genes OFF. That's why it's genes, not calories, that count.Until recently, scientists believed that the critical mechanism for weight loss was caloric intake and expenditure -- you eat little and exercise hard to lose each pound. But that's hard to do and harder to maintain, recent scientific studies reveal (and no doubt not surprising to anyone who has tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully to lose weight).Using the caloric mechanism for weight loss is a bit like manually cranking a lever to open your garage door inch-by-inch and then having to hold the door open. Wouldn't you rather push the button that activates the circuitry to open your garage door automatically?To do that for weight loss, you have to access the master biological mechanisms controlling weight loss and weight gain. Using those mechanisms opens the door to automatic weight loss. The recent scientific discoveries I've assembled decode the instruction manual of our basic biology. At last, we can control the master mechanisms: our genes themselves.The new genetic science (called Functional Medicine) teaches that our genes interact intimately with our environment. Every bite of food we eat, every thought we think, every stress we experience, or toxin we inhale carries a specific message to our genes, turning them on (or off), and telling them how to behave.As a result, our genes are programmed moment-by-moment to actively create either weight loss or weight gain. Scientists have tracked exactly how all the different foods trigger the messages sent to your genes. With that knowledge, you can give your body the foods that work in your favor -- and avoid ones that don't.For instance, for decades, people were warned to avoid fats at all costs, but now we know that the type of fat you eat is more important than the amount of fat you eat. The new science traces the biological impact of good fats, like the omega-3 fatty acids (contained in fish, fish oils, certain nuts and many other foods) and bad fats like the trans-fats contained in many processed foods.What researchers found is that good fats turn on your body's fat burning genes and bad fats turn off the fat burning genes. When you consume EPA or DHA, both omega-3 fatty acids, they access a metabolic gateway called the PPAR receptor, to activate genes that increase your metabolism, help you burn fat, and assist you in processing bodily glucose more effectively so that foods won't get stored as fat.It's as if the EPA and DHA opens up an extra lane on your hormonal superhighway, making for a smooth and easy route towards slimness and health. That's why, for automatic weight loss, I recommend adding EPA and DHA (both found in fish oil) to your diet, beginning today. On the other hand, unhealthy transfats (such as found in many processed and fast foods) act as a metabolic roadblock to low carb, and if you eat them, you may find yourself crawling along at a snail's pace, going nowhere.These are just two of the hundreds of ways that you'll learn to awaken the fat-burning code hidden in your DNA. In my new book, UltraMetabolism, due out in March, 2006, you'll discover a wide range of foods that tell your genes to shed pounds, while learning to avoid the many other foods that tell your genes to pack on the pounds. Eating the foods right for your genes allows you to literally program your body to lose weight automatically, even as you sleep!And that is the key: be simply learning to eat the foods that ignite your body's fat burning engines, and avoiding the foods that snuff out these engines, you finally begin the process of working WITH your body, instead of against it -- something that all fad diets fail to do, which is why they all fail in the long-run.But, because UltraMetabolism teaches a simple plan to harness your body's own powerful fat burning forces -- ones that have evolved over millions of years -- you are actually programming your body to lose weight, automatically.Why struggle and suffer with ineffective diets when you can actually teach your body to be slim and healthy? With the simple two-step plan I've developed, you can program your body to lose weight automatically. In the first step, you eliminate all of the bad foods that slow your metabolism, make you feel lethargic and lead to disease; in the second step, you add the good foods that crank up your metabolism, boost your energy and revitalize your health.Twenty-first century "low carb" is easier than you've ever dreamed. And it's something that I am confident about since I've treated over 2,000 patients, many of whom have experienced the very same automatic low carb that I've described here.My message to you is simple: If you want to fit into your jeans, you have to learn to fit into your genes!Mark Hyman, M.D.