Everybody wants to lose weight fast. Yet, all the diets that claim you can lose 10 pounds in 10 days or drop an entire dress size in hours rarely live up to their claims, and if they do, it’s probably not worth the risks.
Although fast weight loss is improbable, it’s still the goal of many. And thanks to shows like Biggest Loser and Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss edition, losing weight rapidly not only seems achievable but almost expected.
This excitement, however, comes at a price. With contestants now speaking up about some of the incentives and processes used to keep ratings and weight loss high, it only drives home the true realities of overly fast weight loss.
In a recent interview with James Garrison, the self-proclaimed whistle-blower and former contestant of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss edition, Garrison claims that what you see on air isn’t always the reality. From diet pills to forced dehydration, Garrison paints a unpretty picture of extreme weight loss that most Americans don’t see on screen. However, it happens, and while it attributes to huge amounts of weight loss each week, it may be doing more harm than good.
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Weight loss is a touchy subject. It’s not exactly something you want to bring up in the company of, say, a friend who could stand to lose a little weight- especially if that conversation is directly geared at them. Although you may have good intentions, it’s not always easy to show concern for your friend’s weight without insulting them, but it is one worth having if you do so in a sensitive, non-judgmental way.
In fact, discussing the critical health risks that could be avoided by losing weight can be a very thoughtful thing to do, especially if you offer to change your way of eating, too. After all, there is always room for improvement in any meal plan you might follow.
Because of the difficulty of conversations like this, people may opt to avoid the topic all together. However, according to a recent UK poll, most individuals attempt the conversation anyway, the likelihood of which was related to the type of relationship. The UK poll results showed that men were more likely than women to talk about weight with their friends while women were more likely to talk about it with their spouses. People were also more likely to talk about the subject as their age increased.
Although it’s not the most pleasant conversation to have, it could possibly be the best gift you could give a friend. By encouraging small, achievable lifestyle changes and joining them in the process, you could find yourself at the beginnings of an even stronger and more meaningful friendship.
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If your goal this new year is to give up soda or sugary drinks, you may be interested in switching to tea. From green tea to black, tea is a great beverage option to consider when plain old water just won’t cut it.
Tea has been around for thousands of years and has been associated with various health benefits for just as long. Depending on what tea you choose, some scientists believe that drinking this type of beverage can result in weight loss, stroke prevention, improved memory, reduction in cancer risk, improved cardiovascular health, better blood glucose control, osteoporosis prevention, less tooth decay, improved immune function, and decreased risk of certain neurological diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Not all teas are created equally though and it’s important to know which teas are the most beneficial. Additionally, some of the health claims associated with tea still remain to be proven. As continued research develops, hopefully the exact benefits of all tea can be clearly identified. In the meantime, lets go with what we’ve got. Even if some of the health claims fall short as research progresses, most teas are low in calories, are hydrating, and are rich in antioxidants. This makes them a wonderful replacement for higher calorie beverages consumed throughout the day.
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The beginning of January is often considered the season of weight loss due to the many individuals who choose to embark on this type of mission as soon as the new year begins. In fact, fighting the battle of the bulge is one of the most common new year’s resolutions set year after year. And although it sounds like a good idea at the time, very few people actually follow through with this sort of resolution. In fact, a third of individuals will give up on their lofty weight loss dreams by the end of the first month.
This year, instead of focusing on becoming thin, why not focus on improving your health and shrinking your waist instead. Although it may seem weird to focus on the size of your waist this year, it’s often considered a better indicator of health and it’s quite common for individuals to achieve an appropriate waist size before they notice numbers changing on the scale.
The fat that collects around your middle can often lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes if too much is present. Although you can’t specifically target this area of your body and only lose weight here, individuals often see their abdominal fat stores shrink by 10-30% when they lose as little as 5-10% of their overall body weight. This means that your waist measurements may fall into a healthy range even before you hit your desired weight.
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Wouldn’t it be nice if you could ditch the food rules, eat what you want, and still achieve a healthy weight? Well, it may be possible. That is, if you follow the 80/20 principle.
The 80/20 principle is a guideline that encourages individuals to eat healthy 80% of the time while leaving 20% leeway for those less healthy choices. This allows you to incorporate all the foods you love into an eating plan, even the worst of them, (Twinkies, anyone?) without feeling guilty. Although this sounds too good to be true, many nutrition experts have found that this concept has helped many individuals fight the battle of the bulge over time, yet knowing a little nutrition know-how and keeping yourself accountable is pretty much essential if you want this concept to guide you towards better health.
First, you have to realize that this principle is a general guideline and not a precise equation that should be used at every meal. Instead, it suggests that if an individual gives their best and eats as nutritionally as they can, successfully sticking to this plan 80% or more of the time will result in success. Or in other words, you don’t have to be a perfect eater to successfully reach your healthy living goals.
And that’s a good thing according to nutrition expert and author of Nutrition at Your Fingertips, Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN. Zied who says that “by giving people permission to indulge in small amounts of nutrient-poor but delicious foods like candy or cookies, they may feel less deprived and perhaps it will motivate them to try to include more healthful foods in their diet.”
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