Saturday, August 27, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
The Harcombe Diet is a relatively new diet in the every growing market that promises to deliver your dream of losing all of that excess body fat while not leaving you hungry from lack of food. Is the Harcombe Diet recipe for successful weight loss or is it just another fad diet? What makes it more special than something such as the popular Medifast Diet Plan or numerous other programs?
The Harcombe Diet is broken up into three different phases which I think is to help keep you motivated by having set goals. They also teach about different aspects of dieting and get your body use to the change. Very much how the Medifast Diet hits you hard at the start, turns the diet into a habit and then slowly weens you off the supplements and substitutes.
Phase 1 is a very short phase that is used to promote an initial rapid loss of weight and to kick-start you into the routine of beginning another new diet. The phase is kept short to stop candida, food intolerance and hypoglycaemia from knocking your motivation levels down and stopping you from completing the diet. Many Medifast participants have the same problem while they get use to the reduced calorie intakes.
Phase 2 is the actual long term weight loss part of the diet and is what will hold the key to reaching your final goals. It is aimed to reduce fat and the cravings caused from the effects of candida, food intolerance and hypoglycaemia. By reducing these cravings you have a greater chance of eating healthy once you have stopped the diet.
The last step, phase 3, is much the same as what is recommended for success with the Medifast Diet Plan; it lets you slowly stop using the diet and lets you begin eating normal but still healthy foods. You won't get hooked on the nasty foods such as chocolates and cakes but still have the will power to have them as a treat every so often.
The Harcombe Diet recipe for successful weight loss is very similar to Medifast's approach. The difference being that with Medifast the food is provided for you so there is less chance of coming off the rails. Speak to your dietician and see which one is best for you.
You can find more information about the Harcombe Diet as well as news, reviews, tips and advices of Medifast and general weight loss and fitness here: Harcombe Diet Recipe.
Feel free to have a browse.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
The recent revolutionary Hibernation Diet created by a British pharmacist and a nutrition expert caught my attention by making a powerful connection between poor sleep and obesity. It advocates incorporating mild resistance exercise and a healthy, wholesome, and balanced diet void of highly refined, processed foods such as white bread, pizza, burgers, chocolates, beer and sugar, and suggests taking a generous spoonful or two of honey at night, either as a warm drink, a smoothie or straight from the jar. This fascinating honey hibernation diet promises to help us sleep and lose weight at the same time by using our biology and working with our bodies, rather than against them - "recovery biology". A new approach to fat metabolism, it requires no straining from aerobics exercise, no wearing out on a treadmill and no pounding it out in the gym. Sounds too easy, too miraculous or too far-fetched to be believable?
Natural honey when taken prior to bed is believed to be able to fuel the liver, speed up fat-burning metabolism, ease stress hormones and help us get a better night's sleep. This oldest natural sweetener also contains a wide variety of vitamins, including vitamins B6, B1, B2 and B5, and minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, sodium and zinc, anti-oxidants and amino acids, the building blocks of proteins.
What I learnt about the Hibernation Diet is that honey provides a fuelling mechanism for the body at night, keeping blood sugar levels balanced and letting your recovery hormones get on with burning fat stores. This proposition that honey reduces blood glucose level was published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in April 2004. However, to most people, it seems to defy common sense since honey comprises two sugars, namely glucose and fructose in a 1:1 ratio. Moreover, eating late at night is often discouraged by many people who believe that during bedtime, metabolic rate is low and the body cannot burn calories and would easily put on weight. Being a honey enthusiast, I naturally wanted to know more about how the hibernation diet works scientifically for the good of the body.
I read that when sugars are absorbed from the gut into the blood they are first absorbed by the liver, which is the only organ in the human body with the fructose enzyme to process this sugar. In the liver the fructose is converted into glucose, stored as liver glycogen or human starch, and released only if and when blood glucose falls.
Fructose also triggers the glucose enzyme in the liver allowing the liver to take in as much glucose as it requires. This has been referred to as the Fructose Paradox. In other words, fructose lowers the Glycemic Index of glucose; fructose enters the liver and opens the gate for glucose entry preventing a rapid rise in blood glucose. This natural blood glucose regulator found in fruits, vegetables and honey, regulate blood glucose levels and stabilize blood glucose to maintain a regular supply of glucose to the brain.
Some simple questions that the hibernation diet expert asks to check if the liver has fuelled up well for the night:
- Do you wake regularly during the night?
- Do you have night sweats?
- Do you experience acid reflux during the night?
- Do you get up to go to the bathroom during the night?
- Do you feel nauseous in the early morning?
- Do you wake up exhausted?
- Do you have a dry throat in the morning?
- Do you get night cramps?
- Do you feel weak in the early morning?
If "yes" is the answer for any of these questions, it could mean that instead of burning fat and repairing muscles, your body has produced a stream of stress hormones while you've slept.
The hibernation diet also goes on to explain how fructose in honey fuels the brain which is the most energy demanding organ, burning up to 20 times the fuel of any other cell in the body. We become exhausted after having to concentrate for a lengthy period. That's why we often hear that mental exhaustion is worse than physical exhaustion. The brain needs glucose to survive, however glucose occupies a large amount of storage space and there is no room in the brain. And the liver is the only organ that can both store and release glucose into the circulation. This is why looking after your liver glycogen amount by ensuring that the liver and the brain are well provided for both in the day and at night is so critical. Any fall in blood glucose is detrimental for the brain. The adrenal glands to be activated and the adrenal hormones if overproduced can lead to conditions such as heart disease, osteoporosis, obesity, diabetes, poor immune function, depression and other distressing health problems.
What I find inspiring to read is that we burn an amazing 70% fat during rest, 35% during low level exercise, 20% during moderate exercise, and a low 10% during intense exercise. During sleep we should burn fats. However, if the liver is not fuelled prior to bed, we release stress hormones from the adrenal glands which raise our heart rate and blood pressure. These hormones instead of burning fat, degrade muscle and bone. The liver must deliver 10 grams of glucose every hour -- 6.5 to the brain, 3.5 to the kidneys and red blood cells. As the liver capacity is only 75 grams, most people go to bed with a depleted liver, activating the adrenal glands and do not recover. And if you do not recover you do not burn fats. The hibernation diet essentially aims to encourage people to reap the benefit of your body's own natural recovery system and optimize their recovery biology or fat burning biology, as explicitly termed by the author who believed that this diet is not only to a healthy weight but unlocking energy resources you never know you had.
Ruth Tan runs the popular website Benefits of Honey at http://www.benefits-of-honey.com which is an immensely rich, quality resource on honey and its benefits, and a plethora of health-related issues. To discover how incredibly intelligent natural honey is, and why this super-food must be differentiated from all other forms of sugar or sweetener, visit this Honey Resource.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
People following the famous Atkins diet often encounter an unexpected and unpleasant side effect - Atkins diet bad breath. It's not their imagination that the diet causes an unpleasant odor on the breath, and it's very difficult to get rid of the problem while remaining on the diet. That's because this particular type of bad breath is not caused by the usual things.
Most cases of bad breath are caused by the production of volatile sulfur compounds (VSC) in the mouth. Anaerobic oral bacteria live in our mouths by the billions. They derive nutrition from food particles, sloughed off skin cells and other body proteins. When certain species predominate - species that produce VSC as a byproduct of metabolism - an unpleasant odor on the breath results. In the case of Atkins diet bad breath, the odor is not coming from the mouth and it isn't produced by the metabolism of bacteria. It's produced by the person's own metabolism.
The Atkins diet is based on severely restricting carbohydrates in the diet - especially in the early stages, dieters are allowed virtually no carbohydrates at all. Since carbohydrates are the usual source of energy in the body, their restriction forces the body to look for other sources of energy. It turns to stored fat - fat cells that most dieters have in plenty. When the human metabolism starts to break down fat cells for energy, a process called ketosis, ketones are produced as a byproduct and this is the agent of Atkins diet bad breath. Ketones are expelled in the urine and in the breath. In the breath, they are detected as a distinctly unpleasant odor - bad breath.
It's difficult to resolve the problem of Atkins diet bad breath as long as you stay on the diet: as long as your metabolism has no carbohydrates to break down, ketones will be produced by the breakdown of fat. Indeed, ketosis is the aim of the Atkins diet in the first place. In later stages of the diet, enough carbohydrates may be added to alleviate the problem; however, some dieters will have to settle for more carbohydrates and slower weight loss if they cannot tolerate the halitosis.
Breath freshening products may provide some relief and won't compromise the diet as long as they do not contain carbohydrates. For this particular problem, the products such as lozenges and breath strips that have a strong odor, usually mint, to mask bad breath are the best choices. Many people, however, will find it difficult to continue their use over the long term. For persistent Atkins diet bad breath, the best solution may be to find a different diet.
R. Drysdale is a freelance writer with more than 25 years experience as a health care professional. She is a contributing editor to Atkins Diet Bad Breath, a blog dedicated to the treatment of bad breath.
Monday, August 8, 2011
The muscle lining the lower esophagus (the tube carrying food from the throat to the stomach) opens for passage of food and liquid to stomach and otherwise remains closed so as to prevent stomach acid reflux from reaching the esophagus. When this muscle with such specialized function for some reasons gets weakened, stomach acid is pushed back into esophagus causing symptoms like heartburn, chest pain and regurgitation. If the stomach juice gets into the respiratory tract, cough, hoarse throat and respiratory problems can occur. This problem of weakening of the esophageal muscle known as Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is caused due to various factors including certain kinds of food.
The diet to prevent or control acid reflux constitutes basic foods like cereals, fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products. Some individuals may not tolerate the citric acid present in foods like tomato and orange and for them use of a vitamin C supplement is recommended. The recommended food groups for controlling acid reflux include all kinds of vegetables, fruits like apple, banana, melon and berries and low fat or fat free milk and yogurt. In fact, the diet should be free from fats and oils and fish, meat, chicken, bread, grains, soups, sweets and desserts in the diet should have low fat content. Among beverages, herbal non-mint decaffeinated tea is recommended besides plenty of water and fruit juices without citrus.
What to Avoid
The esophageal muscles are weakened by nicotine and so avoid tobacco. Hard candy and chewing gum should be avoided as they involve swallowing more air leading to burping and reflux. Whole milk, chocolate, fast foods and oily, creamed, fried or fatty foods aggravate the reflux condition and hence need to be avoided. Taking caffeinated or citrus foods and drinks should also be limited as they irritate the esophagus inflammation. Cream-based soups, carbonated beverages and foods like sausage and bacon need to be kept out of the acid influx preventive diet.
Copyright - James Mwangi 2009.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
The quickest diet that you can follow, in order to achieve the greatest number of pounds lost in the shortest period of time, with the least amount of sacrifice or dietary readaptation is the calorie shifting diet.
While on this diet, you can expect to lose at least 9 pounds for every 11 days, or upwards of 20 pounds per month. Unlike other diet regimens that require you to reduce your calories, reduce your carbohydrates, reduce your fat intake, or reduce anything else, the calorie shifting diet allows you to eat as much food as you desire until you are fully satisfied, at each meal, but not until you are too full. In fact, you are required to eat four full meals each and every day, as long as those meals are spaced out by at least 2.5 to 3 hours in between each. While on this diet, you will be required to eat a healthy blend of food from all four of the major food groups.
If this type of diet regimen sounds too good to be true, and seems antithetical to the conventional wisdom of "eat less to lose weight", then you would be pleasantly surprised to learn that the calorie shifting diet is based on the principle that it is possible for us human beings to manipulate our body's metabolism at will, simply by restructuring our diet in such a way that we shift the type of calories that we consume, from meal to meal, rather than the quantity. In doing so in the proper combination, you can literally induce your metabolism to switch to "fat burning mode" and begin to tap into your body's fat stores for energy.
Another distinguishing feature of this diet that leaves many people feeling extremely satisfied and maintains a high level of motivation to sustain it, is the fact that you are required to take a mandatory 3-day break from the diet plan every 2 weeks, in order to give your body a chance to rest and stabilize from the rapid weight loss you will have been experiencing.
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Thursday, August 4, 2011
Many people curious about starting a low carb diet wonder if there are side effects they need to be aware of before getting started. Many also wonder if there are harmful low carb diet side effects too, so let's look at the most common side effects of low carb dieting, and talk about whether any of these are harmful.
Some of these low carb diet side effects can be problematic for people with health conditions, particularly if they're taking medications for those conditions. Often the side effects are good, but you need to be aware they can happen and talk to your medical care provider because they'll need to monitor your progress and possibly change, reduce, or eliminate medications as you progress.
For instance, a very common low carb diet side effect is lowered, or more even blood sugar levels. This is an important low carb diet side effect for any diabetic, particularly ones that take insulin shots or medication. Since low carb diets can drastically reduce your blood sugar levels naturally, your doctor may need to adjust your medication levels to compensate for those changes.
Another low carb diet side effect is of course losing a lot of weight. This by itself is not technically a side effect, but related effects of losing weight can include regulation of blood pressure, easing or disappearance of digestive tract problems, and resolution of breathing problems too.
If you're taking high blood pressure medication, then the side effect of having that lowered from eating a low carb diet will need to be addressed by your doctor or medical care specialist. The same applies for digestive troubles, if you experience resolution to those problems as a low carb dieting side effect, your doctor will need to adjust or eliminate the medications you take.
Now if you don't take medications for conditions such as those listed above, you may still experience low carb diet side effects, but they're likely to be ones you're happy to have.
Common, "good" low carb diet side effects include reduced cravings for sugars and starches; increased energy; reduced bloated and gassy, upset stomach feelings; improved bowel movements; regulated blood sugar levels and blood pressure levels; loss of excess water retention; and of course, loss of excess body fat.
There are some low carb diet side effects that are not harmful, but you need to be aware of them because they are uncomfortable at best. These low carb diet side effects are more common during the first one to five days on the diet, and are side effects of your body adjusting to your eating changes. These side effects can include headaches; nausea; dizziness; lethargy or low energy; severe sugar cravings; irritability; and constipation.
There are also a couple of women specific low carb diet side effects. In the first week or two of your new low carb diet, you may experience oddities with your monthly menstrual flow. Usually this side effect lasts a short time though, and is caused by your body adjusting to the new eating lifestyle you've chosen. A great low carb diet side effect comes later: Women's menstrual flow is usually reduced, and there is generally much less pain or other problems involved while you're on a low carb diet.
Many of those early low carb diet side effects can be reduced by drinking extra water and getting plenty of rest, plus making sure you don't go hungry. In rare cases these initial low carb diet side effects can last as long as ten days, but usually they're present from approximately the third to the fifth day of your low carb diet.
For more information on Low Carb Diet Side Effects visit http://www.lowcarb.healthanddiettips.com
Monday, August 1, 2011
The Hospital 3 Day Diet, which is also known as the Birmingham Hospital Diet, has become popular due to claims that the diet was created as a means of enabling patients intended for surgery to lose up to 10 lbs in weight over a period of three days. Other sources attribute the origin of this diet plan to the University of Alabama.
It should be noted that these institutions do not make that claim and do not accept any responsibility towards those who follow the diet.
Notwithstanding the uncertainty of its origins, there is little doubt that this simple diet plan has become widespread and that many people have used it, often coming across the weight loss strategy under one of its many names. Apart from the Hospital 3 Day Diet, it is also known as Alabama 3 Day Diet, 3 day Tuna Diet, Tuna Fish Diet, 3 Day Cardiac Diet, and others.
A key element of the Hospital 3 Day Diet is that it contains a low daily calorie level of about 1,000 calories with specified ingredients to provide the protein, carbohydrates, fat (very little) and other nutrients that we need to survive. For a full description of the menu plan, do a quick search for my article "3 Day Tuna Fish Diet - Menu and Diet Plan".
In brief, the plan outlines the foods to be included for breakfast, lunch and dinner over a three day period.
There are many reports of weight reduction from those who have followed the diet. The amount of claimed weight lost during that time varies, as might be expected with so many differing metabolisms and food requirements being involved. However, a minimum weight reduction of at least 2.5 lbs does seem attainable and likely.
Much of the weight loss from a diet of such a short duration probably comes from water loss. As well, with a calorie count of about 1,000 this would be well below normal requirements for most adults, so energy expended would also account for some of the loss.
However, whilst not a 'starvation diet', the Birmingham Hospital Diet is likely to generate user problems if continued beyond the recommended 3 days. For instance, it is normal for our bodies to make adjustments when a food shortage is detected. This is a survival mechanism which protects us when little food is available, as in times of famine. The body slows metabolism and conserves fat stores to enable us to survive longer with less food. This actually makes it harder to lose weight, we have less energy and tire more easily. Not a satisfactory long term condition!
Although there may be some short-term loss advantage, the feelings of hunger experienced by the end of the diet encourage extra food intake after the diet has been completed. A better alternative is a program that does not produce a craving for food, does not cause the body to slow its activities, and takes into account nutritional requirements so that changes in eating habits would allow fat loss to happen over a longer period and be lasting.
Rather than following a simple, low calorie diet plan, losing weight over an extended period allows other tactics to be employed in the plan, such as 'calorie shifting', placing greater emphasis on fat loss and adequate nutrition. This is more likely in the long run to provide health benefits and sustainable weight loss.
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