The Atkins Diet

The Atkins diet was created and first introduced in 1972 by Dr. Robert C. Atkins. Dr. Akins believed that diets high in sugar and carbohydrates were the cause of obesity, high blood pressure, fatigue and diabetes. Instead, he promoted eating a diet high in protein and fat and low in carbohydrates. The critics of the Atkins diet contend that eating a diet high in protein and fat is a recipe for heart disease and other food related illnesses.

The Atkins diet is a strict diet that, if not followed to the letter will not be as successful. The most restrictions for what can and cannot be eaten is found in the beginning stages of the diet and then you are allowed to relax a bit with what you are allowed to eat towards the end of the diet–although there really isn’t a stopping point if you want to continue to see results. But certain foods will never be a part of your meals again on this plan and that is added sugar, refine grains and junk foods.

Like other weight loss plans, the Atkins diet works in stages. The strictest part of the Atkins diet is the Induction stage, which is the first stage where you are limited to the amount of carbohydrates that you can eat. The carbs that are allowed are from vegetables. The stringent reduction of carbohydrates is to cause the body to go into a state of ketosis. When the body is in a state of ketosis it begins to burn stored fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. A rapid amount of body weight is noticed during the Induction stage because the body is using fat burning fat instead of carbs for energy. The length of each stage can vary based on the individual’s body weight. The Induction stage is typically two weeks.

The other three stages of the Atkins diet are OWL or ongoing weight loss, Pre-maintenance and Maintenance. These remaining stages are geared to help an individual find their body’s ideal carbohydrate tolerance. To do this, participants are allowed to reintroduce small amounts of carbohydrates to their system. Their weight loss will decrease to a normal level of one to two pounds and if they begin to gain weight they will cut back on the carbs. Theoretically, as long as they say within their body’s tolerance for carbohydrates they won’t have to worry about weight gain.

Many people have found success in losing weight with the Atkins diet. They have reported having more energy and a boost in confidence. But, unfortunately, many have regained that weight plus more over time. One could argue the fact that people will eventually regain the weight simply because it may be difficult for people to stick to this way of eating over time. Although some people have reclaimed their previous weight the Atkins diet is still going strong and research has showed that the Atkins diet has been more successful in helping people lose weight than many of the other diets on the market.

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Isometric vs. Isotonic Exercises

Isometric Exercise

Isometric exercise is a strength training exercise. Strength training exercises are meant to help build endurance, tone and strengthen the muscle groups. Isometrics are those exercises that work the muscles with resistance and without moving their position. In order words, when an isometric exercise is preformed it is done so in a still stance position rather than in a moving position. For example, a plank is in the isometric group of exercises because there isn’t any movement with the plank. Your body stays in a plank stance and works against the resistance of your own body weight for a given count before resting.

Isotonic Exercise

Like isometric exercises, isotonic exercises are also a form of strength training. Isotonic exercises are usually preformed with free weights but can be done on exercise machines also. Isometric exercises move the muscle that is worked during a given exercise. For example, bicep curls work in a close and open fashion and the muscle moves in the process. An example of an isotonic exercise that uses your own body weight is a squat. The muscles in the legs shift as the body moves up and down in the squatting position.

Isometric vs. Isotonic exercises

Isometric and isotonic exercises both work the muscle to produce effective results. Isometric will be suited more for someone who wants to tone up her muscle without the bulk. Isotonic exercises may be better suited for someone who wants to increase the size of the muscle and not just to tone the muscle. Both men and women can perform either types of exercise with favorable results. It really is just a matter of which outcome that you seek to determine which exercise group is best for you. In fact, you may find that including both isometric and isotonic exercises in your workout routine to be beneficial to achieve stronger and toned muscles.

Benefits for Women

Women who include isometric or isotonic exercises to their workout routine find that they lose weight faster.  Muscles take up more space than fat and in turn help the body burn more fat. Although muscle weighs more than fat you are much leaner and stronger with muscle mass than if you don’t replace the fat. In fact, muscles are said to burn up to 35 calories a day in comparison to fat which only burn 5 calories per day.  In addition, many isometric exercises can be done with the use of your own body weight, which means you can do them in the comfort of your own home.

The differences between isometric and isotonic exercises are in the movement of the muscles themselves. Both exercise groups work to improve the dynamics of the muscle but just in a different way. Everyone, but especially women and men over 40, should do some form of strength training to help build muscle mass and to build strength and endurance overall.

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The South Beach Diet

The South Beach diet is considered at the top of the list for weight loss programs. Its primary goal is to show you how to lose weight by limiting certain carbohydrates. The south beach diet teaches you how to distinguish between the good carbs and the bad carbs. Based on the Glycemic index that says when you eat carbs with a high Glycemic index you increase the sugar in the blood rapidly, which causes the highs and lows which brings on fatigue, and leaves you feeling hungry which can lead to weight gain. It is a vicious cycle that the south beach diet can teach you how to avoid. The South beach diet teaches you about foods that you can eat that have a low Glycemic index. These foods when eaten are broken down into glucose, like high index carbs, except that low index carbs are released much slower into the blood providing your body with a slow and continuous source of energy. In addition, you are left feeling fuller and less likely to carve sweets and ultimately lead to weight loss. The south beach diet is so popular because it promotes so many foods you can eat as opposed to focusing on the foods you aren’t allowed to eat.

South Beach vs. Atkins Diet

The Atkins diet was created by a cardiologist and introduced in 1972. The Atkins diet contends that if you stay away from carbs and eat more protein and fat you will lose weight. Like the south beach diet, the Atkins diet has stages. The Atkins diet has four stages while the south beach diet has three. The critics of the Atkins diet may find the south beach diet easier to swallow.

Stages of the South Beach Diet

Phase one lasts for two weeks and promotes eating until your hunger is quenched. You can eat all cuts of lean meat and fish. Eating lots of vegetables is also encouraged in this phase. You are not allowed to eat sugary sweets but you can eat sugar-free healthy sweets. Fruits, bread, pasta and rice are not allowed during phrase one. The goal of phrase one is to eliminate cravings by eating until satisfied. You are allowed two daily snacks, one just an hour or two before lunch and another mid afternoon to help with the cravings. You should notice a significant loss of weight in phase one.

In phase two of the south beach diet you won’t have as much weight loss as in phase one but you should have steady weight loss. At this stage you should be more aware of what to eat and what not to eat. You should also be more comfortable with your new way of eating. At this stage you are allowed to reintroduce diary, fruits and whole grains in small quantities.

Phase three only begins after you have reached your goal weight. At which time you should be comfortable with making healthier food choices. This would be considered the maintenance stage of the south beach diet and you must still refrain from eating saturated fats and other processed foods in order to maintain your new healthy way of life.

Benefits of the South Beach Diet

The most obvious benefit of the south beach diet is weight loss. Weight loss can be beneficial on so many levels, not just for vanity sake. Obesity is the number one cause of so many health problems and taking control of your weight means taking control of your health. As the weight dwindles away so will the food induced illnesses.

Tooth decay is caused by eating sugary foods and with the South beach diet you don’t have to concern yourself with that because these yummy tasting problem causing foods are not allowed.

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Raw Foods Diet

The Raw Food diet is a diet that doesn’t consume foods that are cooked. In fact, cooking your food puts the food in a dying state. When that dying food is eaten it causes the body to age and to breakdown or to die faster. Cooking the food kills the enzymes in the food that can help digestion. When the body has to digest food that isn’t raw it causes the body to overwork.  A diet is considered raw if it consist of at least 75% uncooked foods.

A raw food diet can include beans, potatoes, grains, seeds, nuts, sprouts, fruits, vegetables, and seaweed. Often times, food is dehydrated to make a variety of combination of raw foods. Meat isn’t usually included in a raw food diet because eating meat can cause uric acid in the body which can crystallize and cause joint pain and other ailments of the body.

Supporters of a raw food diet encourage this form of lifestyle because of its many benefits. Increase of energy, better digestion, clearer skin, reduced risk of numerous diseases including, heart disease, high blood pressure, allergies, asthma and many others are all benefits of eating a raw food diet.

To effectively practice a raw food diet there are some equipment that is recommended.  A dehydrator is used to process the raw food.  A juicer is used to make fresh, raw fruit and vegetable juices and to remove the pulp. A blender or food processor is used to chop the vegetables and fruits as a way to save time although it can be done manually. Other items, such a as glass jar and bowl for sprouting and soaking seeds and grains will also prove useful.

The raw food diet may not be for everyone although everyone can find benefit in it.  A western diet may make switching over to a raw food diet challenging at first. It is recommended that you slowing work the raw food diet into your way of life as not to cause too much of an uneasy process. One way to ease into a raw food diet is to eat raw one day a week and eventually work up to two and three days and so on. Another suggestion for converting to a raw food diet is to add more vegetables and fruits to your daily meals and to eliminate the amount of meat that you eat.

Becoming a raw food dieter will take time and effort. You must first realize the importance of eating foods that promote life as opposed to foods that promote death. Reading articles like this one and many other reading materials available is a good start in the right direction to becoming wiser and healthier with the raw food diet.

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More about the Kaiser Diet

The Kaiser diet is put forth by Kaiser Permanente a reputable health benefits company with a strong reputation in health management. The popularity of their name may be why success on this Kaiser Diet is considered a possible feat. Backed by medical science, the Kaiser Diet is monitored by medical professionals that work with all participants of the diet every step of the way. It is clear from the beginning that you will not be left alone on this diet and that with your persistence to complete the program you will reap the benefits, not only from loss of weight but taking on a healthier lifestyle.

Skeptics of the Kaiser Diet might compare it to other diets that promise to help you lose weight but doesn’t take into account that it takes the part of the partaker to make any diet a success.  In order for any diet to be successful, you must stick with the plan and many diets are so strict that it is almost impossible to keep up with it. Some say that is the major reason why so many people fail on strict diets like the Kaiser Diet and other similar diets. But where other diets fail, the Kaiser diet succeeds because of its well thought out medially backed management weight loss program.

Any partaker of this medical management weight loss plan will go through a four segment program extended over 20 weeks with supervised menus. The Optifast supplements are also used with the Kaiser Diet as well as protein shakes and protein bars. You will also have weekly coaching sessions and group sessions to attend that will teach you how to eat and maintain your weight. The last phase of the 20 week program consists of you learning how to eat regular foods again so that you can keep your new figure.

The Kaiser Diet is more than a diet it is a way of life. Sure, you will lose weight but there are other benefits to this diet. For example, with this diet you gain better health.  In fact, the Kaiser Diet suggests that this weight loss plan will also reduce certain types of cancer, heart disease and strokes. The Kaiser Diet plan prides itself on long-term medical research and that may be why they can make such claims. Each participant receives labs, blood work and is monitored on a regular basis to ensure that each participant is doing as well as they should on the Kaiser Diet.

Although the Kaiser Diet is medically driven it is still recommended to seek the okay from your primary physician before starting any weight loss plan and exercise program. The  Kaiser Diet  is also fee based, which means that each lab test, supplement shake and counseling session  must be paid for in advance and may not be covered by health insurance. However, if your finances can manage, and you want a proven weight loss program, this may be the diet for you.

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Magnesium and Its Effects On The Body

Magnesium is a mineral found in the bones and organs of the human body. Traces of magnesium can also be found in the blood. It’s one of the foremost important minerals that are needed by the human body. Without it, many health conditions can arise, such as seizures, muscle spasms and restless leg syndrome. Magnesium supports the development of healthy bones and muscles as well as normalizes sugar levels in the blood.

Magnesium deficiency is found most often in undeveloped countries. In the United States a magnesium deficiency is possible but highly unlikely in a healthy person. Low levels of magnesium are usually associated with certain diseases such as Crohn’s disease. A person who experiences an excess of a vomiting can also have low levels of magnesium present in their body. Alcoholics are known to be magnesium deficient when the majority of their food intake is replaced by alcohol consumption.

Signs of magnesium deficiency may include vomiting, anorexia, and fatigue. Other symptoms may include a drop in mood as well as an irregular heartbeat. Depending on an adult’s weight the average consumption of magnesium should be between 270 and 400 mg. And men require more magnesium than women. Two food sources that contain high levels of magnesium are green leafy vegetables and halibut. Beans, nuts, whole grain foods also provide a good source of magnesium to the body.

People who participate in strenuous exercise may experience muscle spasms and cramps, which may be a sign of low magnesium levels. To replenish the body of magnesium you could take magnesium supplements in tablet or liquid form. However, a diet high in fruits, green vegetables, lentils, and potatoes both yellow and sweet, and various nuts including almonds, would provide enough magnesium required. The average American diet is below the recommended levels of magnesium; however, not enough to be considered deficient.

Too much magnesium can be just as bad as not enough magnesium in the human body. Toxicity can occur if the body has an over abundance of magnesium from a non food source. Symptoms that accompany too much magnesium in the body may include difficulty breathing, nausea, diarrhea, and severe abdominal cramping.

The body would be at a disadvantaged without the proper levels of magnesium. The entire body would be affected, not just the bones. Magnesium supports the body’s ability to produce protein and energy. To ensure that you are getting enough magnesium try to eat plenty of vegetables, whole foods nuts and drink plenty of water. Water contains a high level of magnesium as well. If you are concerned that you are not getting enough magnesium you can always add a magnesium supplement to your diet. However, daily recommended levels of magnesium can easily be obtained through natural sources. In fact, natural food sources are recommended as opposed to non-food sources.

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Benefits of Sunscreen

Damage from the sun can cause premature aging. Wrinkles are caused by the breakdown of collagen in the skin. When the skin is exposed to as UV rays from the sun the collapse of collagen occurs. Sunscreen creates a barrier between the skin and the sun’s rays. Caucasian skin is more vulnerable to sun damage; however African-American skin can also be affected by the sun if not protected. People with darker skin have more melanin. That melanin protects them from sunburn; however, the skin is still at risk for skin cancer under extreme exposure to the sun’s rays.

The primary ingredient in sunscreen is either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Both ingredients are designed to block UVA and UVB from the sun. UVA can cause premature aging and UVB can cause sunburn. A sunscreen consisting of at least 6% zinc oxide or titanium dioxide is recommended. These are just two ingredients that make up the complex combination of ingredients in sunscreen to protect the skin.

The two most obvious benefits of wearing sunscreen are to block the UVA damage to the skin and to protect the skin from sunburn. But sunscreen protects against skin cancer as well, including melanoma. Many lotions on the market are now including either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to add extra protection and moisturizing properties in one bottle.

Too often people make the mistake of not wearing sunscreen and they put themselves at risk unnecessarily. Whether it is direct sunlight or tanning rays, sunscreen should be applied in both cases. Don’t make the mistake of wearing cotton as a form of protection because it is the equivalent of wearing SPF 5 as opposed to the recommended SPF 15.

Sunscreen can irritate the skin of young babies and therefore should not be used. Instead, avoid exposure to the sun when it’s at its highest and cover the baby with protective clothing. This includes cloudy days as the sun’s rays can still be damaging.

The critics of sunscreen feel that somehow sunscreen increases the chance of getting skin cancer. However dermatologists argue that the improper use of sunscreen can lead to the increase chances of getting skin cancer. The sunscreen when applied must be reapplied after 2 to 3 hours. Often times, a person wearing sunscreen SPF 50 may feel that they are protected all day when in fact the sun screen will wear off over time. And when it does that person is no longer protected.

Although sunscreen provides added protection from ultraviolet rays, it doesn’t offer complete protection. Preventive measures should be taken to avoid direct sunlight over long periods of time, especially for skin that is more vulnerable to sun damage. Any time the skin tans, it is a direct reflection of UVA exposure. And long periods of this type of exposure can lead to many skin cancers. According to the American Cancer Society over 1 million reported skin cancer cases were directly related to exposure to the sun. Sunscreen, combined with protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts and hats with brims and sunglasses all aid in the protection from sun damage.

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Isometric Vs. Isotonic Exercises

If you’re new to exercise and working out you may or may not have heard of isometric and isotonic exercises. Chances are you are more familiar with the exercises then you are with the terms themselves. Both exercises are forms of strength training. Strength training is an excellent way to build muscle tone and endurance. Women in their 40s and older can benefit greatly by including strength training in their exercise routine because after a certain age women tend to lose muscle mass. Isometric and isotonic exercises both promote muscle mass, which can also assist with weight loss.

Isometric exercises work the muscle with the use of resistance whereas isotonic exercises work the muscle through contraction. Both forms of exercise are beneficial to the improvement of endurance. However, isometric exercises are known to build strength in the muscle and isotonic exercises build shape and size of the muscle.

Isometric exercises allow the muscle to stay in one position or stationary. With these type exercises the body is held in a certain position to gain strength in the muscle that’s being worked. Pushups and planks are two examples of isometric exercises. Isometric exercises can be done without any special equipment although there is equipment that can be used to do these forms of exercise. You might remember the exercise where you position your body as if you’re sitting in a chair against the wall and you are expected to hold this position for as long as you can, this would be another example of an isometric exercise.

Isotonic exercises are better known as weight lifting exercises. Anything having to do with lifting weights is considered an isotonic exercise because the muscle lengthens and contracts during the exercise. Isotonic exercises can be done effectively with free weights as well as weight lifting machinery. The results from lifting weights can be achieved with inexpensive dumbbells or one’s own natural body weight just so long as the muscle is moved. A squat is an isotonic exercise and as the person lowers towards the ground the muscle contracts and when they rise the muscle lengthens, which is known as movement and makes it different from an isometric exercise where the muscle position doesn’t change.

The argument of which one is considered better really depends on the results that you seek. Bodybuilders tend to favor isotonic exercises because these exercises can build muscle size. People that don’t want to build muscle but wants a tone and sculpted look favor isometric exercises instead. Isometric and isotonic exercises can be done together to achieve the best results. When working the two programs together, consider working each muscle group at a time using both isometric and isotonic exercises in your routine. You may want to work one muscle group two days a week and the other on two different days allowing the first group’s to get rest. With the variety of exercises from each work group, you’ll never have to worry about being bored with your exercise routine.

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Egg Whites Vs. Whole Eggs

Many people believe that egg whites are much healthier then eating whole eggs. However, this may not be true according to several studies recently conducted. In fact, the yolk of the egg is said to be the most nutritious. Eating the yolk of the egg means eating more calories than in egg whites. Nevertheless, it doesn’t change the fact that the yolk provides nutrient that the body needs.

The yellow part of the egg is called the yolk. Yolk contains an ingredient called lutein, which is an antioxidant. Antioxidants are known to be beneficial to the human body and if a yolk contains antioxidants, some may ask how can it be unhealthy?

People with high cholesterol have been led to believe that eggs contribute to high cholesterol. High cholesterol is associated with heart disease and in some cases strokes. However, cholesterol come in two parts; there is good cholesterol, which is called HDL cholesterol and there is bad cholesterol which is called LDL cholesterol. A recent study proved that eating the whole egg actually caused an increase in the production of good cholesterol in the body as opposed to the individuals that ate egg white, which showed no increase or decrease in cholesterol levels. So, based on this study it would seem that eating the entire egg would prove beneficial.

Advocates of eating egg whites would also argue that eating a whole egg would be more fattening than eating the egg whites. Egg whites may have less calories than whole eggs but consuming the whole egg keeps you a lot fuller longer than egg whites; thus, causing you to eat less. Some would argue that eating the whole egg would assist in weight loss because you would feel less hungry after their consumption. Whereas if you only ate egg whites you would require more food to feel satisfied.

Not all eggs are equal. The farm eggs where the hens are free to roam and eat organically are much better than grocery store mass-produced eggs. Cage free hens produce eggs with harder shells and deep yellow or orange color yolks that is full of nutrients. Mass-produced or grocery store eggs come from factories that hold their hens in a dark and unpleasant environment and as a result produces a much inferior egg.

When you throw away the yellow part of the egg, called the yolk, you are throwing away all the nutrition that you would not receive by just eating the egg whites. Researchers have not found that eating the yolk increases cholesterol levels that contribute to heart attacks and strokes. The only thing found is good nutrition housed in the yolk that the body can benefit from. However, differences have been noted between organic and non-organic eggs. The organic egg should be chosen over the non-organic egg whenever possible. So whether you are eating egg whites or the entire egg, if you are purchasing mass produced eggs, you are eating an inferior egg.

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Kaiser Diet

Like many diets, the Kaiser Diet promotes a swift way to lose weight. Nevertheless, it is a strict diet and strict diets have been known to be less successful because most people can’t or won’t follow them as prescribed. The Kaiser Diet, also known as a weight management program, works similar to other diets where you must follow a set menu plan before you can see the results you seek. Unlike many of the other diets, the Kaiser diet is backed by reputation and experience.

The Kaiser Permanente name is well respected and is best known for providing health benefits. With a name like that, one might feel that the Kaiser Diet is more creditable than the other diets on the market. However, Kaiser doesn’t guarantee results as individual results may vary. As with any diet, it requires much effort on the part of the participant to make this diet a success. What makes this diet different from the rest is its medical support. Participants will never be left to go it alone. In fact, regular lab work is conducted and vital signs and progress is monitored.

Although the Kaiser Diet doesn’t guarantee the same results for everyone, it does promote being able to assist participants with losing 40 pounds while on the diet. That is impressive by any weight loss standard. In addition, the emphasis with the Kaiser diet is not only on the weight that you can lose; it promises that participants will be in better health. Different from other diets that promote weight loss, the Kaiser Diet is medically supervised. Furthermore, you will receive weekly coaching and diet supplements to help you reach your goal weight.

The Kaiser Diet consists of four sections that extend over a course of 20 weeks. Within the first 16 weeks you are given a low fat menu, which incorporates an Optifast meal replacement menu, to follow. Participants are also supported and monitored by a medical professional throughout the program. There are also weekly group sessions that you may attend to learn better behavior skills towards a better lifestyle. In the last four weeks of the weight lost management program, you transition over to regular foods and are taught how and what to eat to maintain your new healthy standard of living.

Like most diet plans, there are fees associated with the Kaiser diet and unfortunately these fees may not be covered by your health insurance. If your budget allows, and you are willing to follow the plan to the letter, the Kaiser diet may be right for you. Any concerns associated with losing weight rapidly are diminished with the medical supervision of this weight lost management plan. You are provided with all the information needed to embark on a healthier way of life. You will never feel like you are alone on the Kaiser diet because of the supervision that is received as well as the support from one-on-one counseling and group sessions.

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