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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Lose Weight Smartly With The Top 10 Ways To Reduce The Amount of Calories Per Day

There are two only ways to lose weight – burn more calories than you eat or eat less of them. That sounds very simple right? So why is it so difficult to lose the weight?

Well, with these top 10, easy-to-follow tips we help you to reduce the amount of calories per day painlessly, so there are no more excuses...

1. Change to lower calorie varieties of the foods you would normally eat.
Switching from full cream or whole milk to low fat or skimmed milk will save you around 56 calories and 6.5g fat a day if you use about 1/2 a pint a day. Over the course of 12 months, this minor change can save you 5lbs of body fat! Just think of the other changes you could make – yoghurt, margarine, crisps, mayonnaise, salad dressing and even garlic bread all have lower calorie versions. However always remember that fat free doesn't mean calorie free! Lots of reduced fat products have extra sugar added to maintain the taste and texture we enjoy, so it is advisable to read the nutrition labels carefully to make sure the lower fat version isn't actually higher in calories or worse more unhealthy than the original product!

2. Snacking smartly.
Plan in advance what you eat in between meals. Do not leave it to chance and end up attacking what is in the nearest vending machine! Take your own snacks with you! Choose low fat, low calorie snacks, like cereal and milk, crackers and breads, popcorn, rice cakes, wholegrain cereal bars, veggie sticks, dried, tinned or fresh fruit and low fat yoghurts.

3. Eat breakfast.
Perhaps it sounds strange to say ‘eat to lose weight', research has indicated that eating breakfast prevents excessive eating throughout the day. Choose low glycemic foods with lots of fiber. It's also a great way to kick-start your metabolism to start burning calories from early in the day!

4. Watch how you cook.
Reduce or cut out entirely fried foods and use the minimum of oil when you griddle, when you sauté or stir-fry. Don't say goodbye to your favorite meals - simply cook them in the oven instead of in fat! Boiling, steaming and grilling are low fat ways to cook.

5. Choose leaner cuts of meat.
Limit your purchases of processed meats like bacon, sausages and sausage-type luncheon meats like pepperoni or salami if you want to cut calories. These processed foods contain additives that push up the cloric values. Rather choose the leanest cuts of meat that you can afford and always remove the skin and fat from poultry. Choosing white meat whenever possible is healthier than red meat.

6. Add a smarter starter.
Start your meal with a large salad or a bowl of vegetable-packed soup to fill you up and prevent over-eating at the dinner table.This will help you eat less which is good for you.

7. Reduce your portion sizesby one third.
Try cutting down by a third. You more than likely don’t need those extra calories and you definitely don’t need to feel quite so full. It helps to try to eat a little more slowly so that you will begin to feel full as you eat. In the beginning this will take a bit of getting used to but you will get used to it! Obviously, whatever calories you save depends on what you are actually eating, but over time this could save you pounds.

8. If You are eating out you don’t have to finish what’s on your plate.
Cancel your membership to the clean plate club, especially when you are eating out or having take aways. Restaurants and fast food joints always serve way too much food. It needn't be necessary to waste half your meal - doggie bags are a great way to enjoy two fair-sized meals instead of pigging out on one portion.

9. Be more food aware.
Start by reading food labels. Sometimes it is difficult to know which foods loaded with calories and it’s easy to get caught out with clever marketing by food manufacturers. Read articles about food and nutrition in the newspapers, magazines and on the internet. You can’t cut calorie intake without nutrition know-how.

10. Watch your drinks.
Youwill be amazed how drinks can add to your daily intake of calories. Take a typical day, a glass of orange juice atbreakfast (72 calories in 200ml), a cup of coffee with sugar at break time (20 calories), a can of coke in the afternoon (129 calories) and a couple of glasses of wine with dinner (approximately 200 calories). This is not exactly excessive but the total is around 420 calories! If you consider that most people need to be under 2000 calories per day then this can be significant. Watch the serving sizes when drinking juice or milk and try to stick to water as much as possible. Try gradually reducing or giving up sugar in your tea and coffee and switching to low sugar drinks for a week. It will make a big difference to your calorie intake.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Delicious Healthy Recipes To Help You Lose Thigh Fat

Here is a recipe for a delicious healthy recipe to help you lose thigh fat, I got from my friend Nicole Chows website. http://healthychow.com I really find Nicoles site to be very helpful in coming up with new ideas to make eating healthy food fun. As an example check out her recipe for her Easy No Bake Fruit Tart. I slice of this tart is only 200 calories. Who said healthy food can't be fun? Check it out and don't forget to visit her website.

Easy No Bake Fruit Tart

For the no-bake crust:
1 1/2 cup of oatmeal (I used the quick cooking oats, not instant)
2 TBSP of smooth Barney Butter ( I used the samples from my HLS swag bag ? you can use any nut butter you see fit)
1/2 cup of unsweetened, natural applesauce
1/4 cup of unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze
2 TSP of ground flaxseeds (I used Trader Joe?s whole golden roasted flaxseeds that I ground)
few shakes of cinnamon
pinch of sea salt

For the filling (I like to call it, Lemony Coconut Ricotta Cream):
1 cup of nonfat ricotta cheese
2 TSP of organic golden honey (I used Nature?s Promise brand)
1 TBSP of organic shredded coconut ( I used Woodstock Farms brand)
1 TBSP of lemon juice
dark chocolate shavings (I used Lindt Excellence 70% cocoa bar)
16 oz. of organic strawberries, hulled and sliced thin (Trader Joe?s ? again!)

The Method
1) In a mixing bowl, mix your oatmeal, barney butter and applesauce. Once that gets well blended, add in your almond milk (Almond Breeze). You might need to add in a splash more, to loosen the mixture. Mix again. Then, add your shakes of cinnamon and pinch of sea salt.

2) Once your oatmeal mixture is well blended, spread onto a pie plate with the back of a spoon. Make sure to spread the mixture evenly, and get the sides as well. Then, add a few dashes of cinnamon to top it off.

3) Now here comes the waiting part?Place your tart ?crust? in the fridge overnight (I actually left mine in there for close to 24 hours). You want to give your tart crust time to set. The moisture from the almond milk and applesauce will soften the oatmeal, so don?t worry about having dry oats. However, as the always helpful and ever so clever, Brandi, mentioned to me, the oatmeal is going to be ?thick and chewy? and not hard and crunchy. I actually love the chewiness of the crust. It reminded me of a cross between an oatmeal cookie and a granola bar. Hello??YUM!
4) Now, it?s time to make your filling. My good friend, Laura, gave me the idea of pur?eing the ricotta in a food processor (I used a blender) to give the ricotta a creamier texture. Thanks Laura! So, in a blender or food processor, add your ricotta cheese, coconut, honey and lemon juice. Pur?e until you get a nice and creamy texture (it won?t take much). You might need to scrape down the sides and stir a little between each blend in the blender/food processor. Another tip here, my sister, Michelle (hi Michelle!), said an immersion blender would have been best in this sitch. (Thanks Michelle ? Christmas is coming up ? hint, hint)

5) Set your ricotta cream aside. Take out your tart crust from the fridge and start layering your fruit. I used strawberries, but feel free to use any fresh fruit you?d like. A combination of fresh fruit would have been great here ? I?m thinking kiwi and blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, peaches and strawberries?you catch my drift?

6) Once your fruit has been layered ever so carefully on your crust, it?s time to start spreadin? the new?. Just kidding! Start spreading your ricotta cream over your fruit layer. I left the outer edge of my strawberry layer uncovered to make it a bit more aesthetically pleasing?me thinks it worked!

7) Using a veggie peeler, start shaving some chocolate onto your tart. I only used a light dusting of chocolate ? but feel free to make the chocolate shavings as thick as you?d like. Some dark chocolate chips would be fun here, too! Or, instead of the chocolate, you could sprinkle some more of the coconut.
8 ) I?m sorry to have to say this, but you?ll want to place your tart back in the fridge for another 30 minutes or so or long enough until everything is well chilled again. Once your tart has been chilled, cut and serve!

Serves 6
I really liked how this tart came out. The fresh strawberries (which were sweet enough on their own) were a great complement to the lemony and coconutty taste of the ricotta. The texture of the chewy oatmeal crust was a pleasant twist and gave the tart an interesting depth. While this recipe got its start from the breakfast cookie, I can easily see this being eaten for dessert, a snack or perhaps even dinner (if that?s the way you like to roll). The crust is hearty and filling while the ricotta gives the recipe a kick of protein. Plus, each slice of this tart was less than 200 calories. Not bad! With this breakfast, dessert, snack or whichever you want to call it (seems like this is starting to become a trend ? hi Lauren!), you can be good and healthy even if it feels like you?re being a little tart?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Is Losing Weight Your Main Goal Or Did You Have Something Else In Mind?

I think that you want to think about that one for a while. Is losing weight your main goal, or did you have something else in mind? The reason I ask is because I find that sometimes people are confused (including me) as to why we want to lose weight in the first place.

For example, Mary looks in the mirror at her body. Bulges are everywhere. I need to lose weight fast she says to herself. What is her motivation? To lose her fat bulges, or to fit into her clothes. Does she have to lose weight before her wedding day, or some other big occasion when she will be in the spotlight?

You see the thing is that many people don't actually have a reason to lose weight, other than they hate the sight of their fat bodies. This is probably a recipe for disaster. If the goal is weight loss only then you will probably fail at reaching your goal because ti is not specific enough.

However if you have a specific goal with a deadline, you are probably more likely to achieve your weight loss goal. You need to be decisive when you set your goals for losing weight. If Mary wants to lose weight before her wedding day, then she has two things already in her favour.
  1. She has recognized her problem and she has a strong desire to lose weight
  2. She has a deadline to work with. (Wedding Day)
All she has to figure out is how to get there. Obviously the more time she can give herself to reach the goal the better for her. Especially from a health perspective. She would be ill advised to adopt a rapid weight loss strategy which may put her health at risk and possibly hijack her own wedding. So following FAD diets are out of the question. The best way to lose weight is to do it gradually. Approximately 2 - 3 pounds per week is the best. However up to 5 pounds a week is also OK if you follow the right Diet program.

So if you want to know which program is right for Mary it depends on the length of time she has until the big event. If she wants to lose weight before her wedding and she has 5 or more weeks to do it she definitely wants to try Strip That Fat Diet Program. Using this system she will lose 2 - 3 pounds per week guaranteed. That can be a guaranteed 10 - 15 pounds over a 5 week period. Most importantly that will be permanent weight loss.

If her time is shorter like 2 - 3 weeks then all is not lost. Mary can still lose 10 - 15 pounds weight before her wedding day by following the plan at Fat Loss 4 Idiots. Many people consistently testify to losing at least 10 pounds in 14 days. So there you have it.

What is your plan for losing weight. Is it to lose weight for summer, or do you have to lose weight because of a health condition like high cholesterol, diabetes or colon problems etc? Remember that so long as you have a good reason to lose weight, it can be done if you follow the right weight loss strategy. I have mentioned two excellent weight loss plans Go take a peep now at both of them and decide which one is the best for you.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Can You Burn Fat Cells Fast?

Have you ever seen some articles on the internet that say that your body can burn fat cells? This is a lie or just plain ignorance by some people. We have a finite amount of fat cells in our bodies which happen to be more in some people and less in others. What this means is that we cannot burn fat cells as some people suggest. What we can do is to burn the fat inside those cells, so that we have less fat in them. Read on for more information from the following article by esteemed author and founder of Burn The Fat Feed The Muscle - Tom Venuto

The Incredible Shrinking Fat Cell - What Really Happens When Body Fat is Burned?
By http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Tom_Venuto Tom Venuto

Earlier this week someone in our discussion forum wrote, "I haven't "LOST" any fat... I know EXACTLY where it went! I got a chuckle out of that because I "got" the joke, but truth is, most people really don't know how fat cells work, how the fat burning process takes place or where the fat goes when it's burned. It's actually quite a complex biochemical sequence of events, but I'll explain it as simply as possible, so by the end of this article, you'll be a "fat burning" expert!

When you "lose" body fat, the fat cell (also called an adipocyte) does not go anywhere or move into the muscle cell to be burned. The fat cell itself, (unfortunately) stays right where it was - under the skin in your thighs, stomach, hips, arms, etc., and on top of the muscles - which is why you can't see muscle "definition" when your body fat is high.

Fat is stored inside the fat cell in the form of triaglycerol. The fat is not burned right there in the fat cell, it must be liberated from the fat cell through somewhat complex hormonal/enzymatic pathways. When stimulated to do so, the fat cell simply releases its contents (triaglycerol) into the bloodstream as free fatty acids (FFA's), and they are transported through the blood to the tissues where the energy is needed.

A typical young male adult stores about 60,000 to 100,000 calories of energy in body fat cells. What triggers the release of all these stored fatty acids from the fat cell? Simple: When your body needs energy because you're consuming fewer calories than you are burning (an energy deficit), then your body releases hormones and enzymes that signal your fat cells to release your fat reserves instead of keeping them in storage.

For stored fat to be liberated from the fat cell, hydrolysis (lipolysis or fat breakdown), splits the molecule of triaglycerol into glycerol and three fatty acids. An important enzyme called hormone sensitive lipase (HSL) is the catalyst for this reaction. The stored fat (energy) gets released into the bloodstream as FFA's and they are shuttled off to the muscles where the energy is needed. As blood flow increases to the active muscles, more FFA's are delivered to the muscles that need them.

An important enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL), then helps the FFA's get inside the mitochondria of the muscle cell, where the FFA's can be burned for energy. If you've ever taken a biology class, then you've probably heard of the mitochondria. This is the "cellular powerhouse" where energy production takes place and this is where the FFA's go to be burned for energy.

When the FFA's are released from the fat cell, the fat cell shrinks and that's why you look leaner when you lose body fat - because the fat cell is now smaller. A small or "empty" fat cell is what you're after if you want the lean, defined look.

It was once believed that the number of fat cells could not increase after adulthood, only the size of the fat cells could increase (or decrease). We now know that fat cells can indeed increase both in size (hypertrophy) and in number (hyperplasia) and that they are more likely to increase in number at certain times and under certain circumstances, such as 1) during late childhood and early puberty, 2) During pregnancy, and 3) During adulthood when extreme amounts of weight are gained

Some people are genetically predisposed to have more fat cells than others and women have more fat cells than men. An infant usually has about 5 - 6 billion fat cells. This number increases during early childhood and puberty, and a healthy adult with normal body composition has about 25 to 30 billion fat cells. A typical overweight adult has around 75 billion fat cells. But in the case of severe obesity, this number can be as high as 250 to 300 billion!

The average size (weight) of an adult fat cell is about 0.6 micrograms, but they can vary in size from 0.2 micograms to 0.9 micrograms. An overweight person's fat cells can be up to three times larger than a person with ideal body composition.

Remember, body fat is basically just a reserve source of energy and fat cells are the like the storage tanks. Unlike a gas tank in your car which is fixed in size, however, fat cells can expand or shrink in size depending on how "filled" they are.

Picture a balloon that is not inflated: It's tiny when not filled with air - maybe the size of your thumb. When you blow it up with air, it can expand 10 or 12 times it's normal size, because it simply fills up. That's what happens to fat cells: They start as nearly empty fat storage "tanks" (when you are lean), and when energy intake exceeds your needs, your fat cells "fill up" like balloons (not a pretty picture, is it?)

So you don't actually "lose" fat cells, you "shrink" or "empty out" fat cells. Since fat cells can not only get bigger, but also multiply, you have be diligent and consistent in your fat-burning lifestyle because even after you shrink your fat cells, the cells are still there (in your thighs, lower abs, etc), waiting to be filled up with more fat again, if you're not careful...

So stay active to keep burning fat and avoid consuming more calories than you burn, and your fat cells will get shrunk and stay shrunk!

Tom Venuto, CSCS, CPT, is a natural bodybuilder, certified personal trainer and author of "Burn the Fat, Feed The Muscle,” which teaches you how to get lean without drugs or supplements using secrets of the world's best bodybuilders and fitness models. Learn how to get rid of stubborn fat and increase your metabolism by visiting: http://www.burnthefat.com

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