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Archive for March, 2010

If you are trying to lose weight but are not succeeding and are feeling discouraged then either insulin resistance or leptin resistance could be to blame.

Both of these health syndromes can impede your ability to shed unwanted pounds. If you are struggling to lose weight or to control your weight then for you weight loss assistance may take the form of modifying your diet, adding more exercise to your routine and taking certain medications in order to combat insulin resistance.

Leptin resistance can be overcome with adequate exercise. While increasing the amount you exercise does not work for long-term weight loss, a proper diet and a greater level of physical activity can serve to correct a problem with leptin levels.

Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance is a health condition in which the body creates insulin but is not able to use it in the proper manner. Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas. It works with the body to use glucose for energy. Glucose is a type of sugar that is the body’s primary source of energy. Insulin supports the body into turning glucose into fat. It then makes it possible for the fat from the cells to be blocked from being released into the bloodstream.

For various reasons the body may become less sensitive to its own level of insulin which causes more fat to be produced. It also makes it more difficult to lose and/or control weight.

To combat this problem dietary modifications are in order. A diet that is low in sugar and low in carbohydrates will keep blood sugar levels where they were supposed to be. Exercising on a regular basis will increase insulin sensitivity. This makes the body’s insulin that much more effective. In some instances a physician may suggest that a patient take medication in order to lower their blood glucose levels.

Leptin Resistance

Obesity has been connected to low levels of a hormone called leptin.

Leptin resistance is when the wrong signals are sent to the brain. In other words, low levels of leptin send a message to the brain that the body is not full. A person who has a low leptin level never feels satiated, no matter how much food they consume. This leads to binge eating, emotional eating and difficulties losing weight. What happens is that the hormone stops doing what it is supposed to do and it transmits a message to the brain to eat more and more food.

If you have never heard of leptin before then you need to know that it is a hormone that is responsible for controlling energy levels.

Leptin suppresses appetite, regulates body temperature and increases energy in the body. Leptin is associated with body fat. It tells the brain how much energy the body has and how much it requires. When you know that you are full or are still hungry that is the leptin doing its job.

Researchers have discovered that a proper diet and regular exercise have the greatest effects on reversing the damage done by leptin resistance. Low carbohydrate and high protein diets are beneficial as is a diet that contains good fats. This can facilitate weight loss and help to fight leptin resistance.

Snacking as little as possible is recommended as is eating three nutritious well-balanced meals throughout the day. Eating plenty of protein with every meal can help to control cravings as well as to regulate blood sugar.

Samantha

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You probably know what metabolism is but what about metabolic syndrome? It’s been estimated 1 in 4 people suffer from metabolic syndrome and don’t even know it.

Metabolic syndrome (also called insulin resistance syndrome or syndrome X) is a health condition that can doubles a person’s risk of having a heart attack or a stroke. It can also double a person’s chances of developing some types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), asthma, cholesterol gallstones and fatty liver disease.

The unfortunate new about metabolic syndrome is that many of the symptoms of the condition are quiet and unassuming and not noticeable to the person who has the condition. They are also often not noticeable to the outside world. The good news is that losing weight and adding a brisk walk to your daily routine may be all that is required to slow the start of this syndrome, or to stop it all together.

This also includes many of the health problems that go along with it.

An individual who suffers from metabolic syndrome has a combination of three (or more) potential health factors. These health factors include:

• High blood pressure
• Excess body weight
• High blood sugar levels
• High levels of triglycerides
• Low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol

Having one of these risk factors can increase your chances of having a heart attack, a stroke or developing diabetes. However the more factors you possess the greater your potential is for suffering from any of these serious health conditions.

Metabolic syndrome is believed to be inherited to a certain extent. However, medical researchers have not come to any concrete conclusions on this subject. This syndrome is suspected to develop from insulin resistance.

Scientists are not completely clear as to why insulin resistance develops and therefore are even less clear about metabolic syndrome. One thing that is certain is that living a sedentary lifestyle and being overweight (or obese) can contribute to the start of the syndrome.

Losing weight can make you less likely to fall victim to metabolic syndrome. In the same way, reversing the syndrome can be as simple as adding more physical activity to your routine and losing weight. Weight loss can have many advantages for all aspects connected to metabolic syndrome. These include improving your blood fat levels and your resistance to insulin.

Starting and maintaining an exercise program is the most significant thing you can do to send metabolic syndrome packing.

Making dietary modifications is also helpful for weight loss clients. Basic changes are all that you need to do. To reduce your LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase your level of HDL (good) cholesterol switch from eating unhealthy saturated fats to healthy monounsaturated and  polyunsaturated fats including olive oil, peanut oil and canola oil. These healthy fats can also be found in foods such as avocados and a variety of nuts.

Check out the Mayo Clinic web site for more information on Metabolic Syndrome.

Samantha

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Stress and anxiety is very real and there’s no escaping it entirely. The key isn’t to try to rid stress and anxiety but to find ways to manage it effectively.

Here we look at the top 10 ways help you control anxiety and stress better so you don’t feel so overwhelmed and drained.

1.    Eat healthy foods:

Eat foods rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It is also important to consume fiber and essential amino acids. Consume fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, low fat dairy products and fish. Stay yourself away from foods that can do you nothing but harm.

2.    Exercise on a regular basis:

Exercise is good for more than just keeping your heart strong and keeping your body in shape. Exercise is excellent for relieving stress and anxiety. Look for opportunities to add more physical activity to your life. Not only will exercise help to relax you but it will also help you sleep better at night. For those who feel they’re so far out of shape or don’t have time consider a program like the Pace 12 Minute Fitness Revolution Progam.

3.    Meditate your stress away:

Meditation involves a state similar to sleep where the body and mind are quieted and become completely focused on a person’s internal world. Meditation is a type of inner consciousness where you must block out everything in your surroundings in order to concentrate on your breathing.

4.    Add yoga to your life:

Yoga is a physical and mental discipline that is an amazing stress/anxiety reliever. Yoga is a set of exercises made up of stationary poses as well as a variety of movements. It also combines deep breathing to lend itself to a manner of relaxing the mind, body and soul. Use this Ancient Practice to Create Harmonious Living in Your 21st Century Life.

5.    Be mindful of the present:

Mindfulness is all about living in the present moment and relishing it with no thoughts of the past or future intruding on your mindset. Mindfulness as stress relief can be as simple as going for a walk and focusing on every step you take, to the exclusion of everything else. Mindfulness is often thought to be a type of meditation.

6.    Use EFT for stress reduction:

EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique (or Emotional Freedom Tapping). It is an alternative treatment with psycho-therapeutic roots that is based on a theory in which stress and negative emotions disrupt the body’s energy field and therefore need to be released. The release comes by way of tapping the fingers on specific points of the body. Discover more about EFT Tapping and How to Train Your Fingers to Perform Therapy here.

7.    Visualize a calmer state:

Close your eyes and focus on a particular scene in your mind. Imagine yourself placed in a stressful situation where you remain calm, cool and collected. The power to visualize yourself being relaxed and able to cope well with stress is not easy to do but it can become easier the more you work at it. Visualization can help you to imagine stress disappearing from your life!

8.    Try deep breathing exercises:

Deep breathing comes from deep down in the abdomen as opposed to more constrictive breathing that comes from the chest. Deep breathing is a stress buster that can bring instant stress relief. The good thing about deep breathing exercises is that they are easy to learn and they can be practiced anywhere. You can find more information about Breathing for Meditation here.

9.    Relax with progressive muscle relaxation:

Progressive muscle relaxation involves tensing and relaxing the different muscle groups throughout the body, just not all at the same time. Begin with your face muscles. Tense them and hold the muscles in place for approximately 10 seconds and then allow total relaxation to set in for 10 seconds. Continue to do the same thing as you work your way down your body. This is a very basic way to let tension go.

10.    Be realistic about the realities of life:

Be realistic about what you can and cannot do. It is easy to become overwhelmed if you say yes to everything that is asked of you. Practice the art of saying no. Don’t take on more than you can handle as this can lead to a tremendous stress overload.

Samantha

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Is healthy eating your way of life? If not then beware when stress and anxiety come calling! Improving your eating habits can minimize stress in your life.

Begin your day (every day!) with the most nourishing breakfast possible:

Studies have proven that people who eat breakfast are less likely to overeat later in the day and are less inclined to pack on the pounds. Eating breakfast also helps you perform better at your job and deal with all of the stressors that await you at home. Give your brain the fuel it needs.

Keep well hydrated:

Drink lots of water throughout the day. In fact drinking a glass of water when you first get out of bed in the morning is an excellent way to get a jumpstart on your day. The body loses water constantly by way of sweating and urinating and therefore needs to be replenished.

This is even more important during the hot, humid summer months and also when you have fallen ill. Lack of water can leave you dehydrated and therefore cranky and less able to cope with life’s many pressures.  A well hydrated body copes better with stress than a water deprived body does. The average person needs 96 fl ozs of water per day – but this includes water from foods so take in 64 fl ozs of drinking water.

Variety is the spice of life.:

Get into a habit of eating a variety of different foods with your meals. Make sure that at least five servings are fruits and vegetables. Keep in mind that your body is not picky about the kinds of fruits and veggies you eat. It will gladly accept the nutrients and vitamins from whichever ones you choose to feed it! Aim for plenty of green, leafy vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and kale.

Colorful vegetables tend to be high in nutrients and minerals. Whatever you do, eat your vegetables at meals and enjoy fruit whenever you can. Be creative about your meals. Mix up a zany salad and add fruit to yogurt, your cereal or porridge in the morning, etc.

Eat your share of fish, lean meats and whole grains:

Include plenty of lean, high protein foods in your daily diet such as lean meat, fish, chicken and beans. Stay away from salty and processed meats. Also eat grains, whether they be in the form of wholegrain cereal, breads etc. Grains provide the body with fiber, iron and B vitamins and are therefore a necessity for everyone. Just be careful on carbohydrates as you should aim for foods with a low GI-Index. You need all of these things to be as stress resistant as possible!

Take vitamins on a regular basis:

Vitamins are no longer just for those who don’t eat properly. Everyone, no matter what their daily diet is can benefit from taking vitamins to supplement their regular intake of food. Consider a multivitamin that will provide you with everything you require. In particular, when you are under stress you need to supplement your diet with the B vitamins.

Samantha

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Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an important nutrient used in the production of cellular energy and also known as the king of antioxidants. Discover more here.

Since it was first discovered research studies have proven that this vitamin-like substance can be used to treat heart disease, congestive heart failure, boost the immune system, slow the aging process, increase energy levels and can prevent many of the side effects that are common with drugs taken to lower cholesterol.

Healthy Heart Helper:

Coenzyme Q10 is found in every cell and tissue in the human body. The highest concentrations of it however are found in the organs and tissues which must work the hardest including the heart and the liver, among others.

Studies have shown that individuals who have heart problems have very low levels of CoQ10.

CoQ10 has been shown through studies to aid vitamin E in keeping LDL (bad) cholesterol as low as possible. It also helps to prevent oxidation and maintains a healthy balance of oxidative stress. What this means is that atherosclerosis (or hardening of the arteries in layperson’s terms) is much less likely to occur in a person who exhibits high levels of CoQ10. For improved heart function or to maintain proper heart function, Coenzyme Q10 is tops!

Energy Level Elevator:

Not having enough energy is a common problem for many people. Many things play a role in depleted energy levels including not consuming enough of the right foods (in other words, a lack of micronutrients), inadequate water consumption, a lack of sleep, working too much and stress.

Coenzyme Q10 is located in the inner layer of the mitochrondia of cells which is considered to be the energy powerhouses. CoQ10 is a substance that is very much like a vitamin in nature. It is required to process oxygen and to create energy. Cells need this energy to grow and be strong.

Taking a supplement of Coenzyme Q10 helps to replace what your body has lost. In fact it has been shown to improve not only energy but also overall performance and muscle recovery time in those who play professional sports.

Antioxidant Assistance:

CoQ10 has tremendous antioxidant potential and is believed to be effective in the fight against aging and disease.

Due to the fact that Coenzyme Q10 can be found in every cell in the body, it acts as one of the body’s strongest antioxidants. It fights back and defends the body against the attack of free radicals. Free radicals damage the cells and cause cellular death. They are also believed to accelerate the aging process of the body and the mind.

As a person ages their body produces less and less of this powerful nutrient. In fact it has been estimated that by the time a person reaches their early thirties approximately 57 percent of the CoQ10 in their body is gone. As a result of this, Coenzyme Q10 is considered to be one of the most significant nutrient supplements that adults over the age of 30 can take.

Energy production is essential to life and that is what CoQ10 is all about. Scientists believe that a decline of CoQ10 may play a significant role on how aging affects the human body. This miracle of life nutrient may not only slow aging but it very well may also have direct anti-aging effects connected to it.

If you fall into the age group that can benefit from adding Coenzyme Q10 into your daily nutrient intake then discover more about  CoQ10 here.

Becca

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Foods considered with a low GI help you lose weight and maintain the weight loss. They require a lesser amount of insulin which is good for blood sugar levels.

Foods with a low Glycemic Index fill you up a lot faster which means that you end up eating less at a sitting.

Individuals who suffer from diabetes are usually the first people to be encouraged to choose low GI foods for their daily diet. However many people are confused as to what a low glycemic index diet really is.

It is generally assumed that such a diet is one that involves as few processed foods as possible. While processed foods are not good for you processing is actually only one factor that plays into the glycemic index. What processing does is it pre-cuts glucose chains and makes then into smaller units that the body can digest faster. However this process does not always work as it is supposed to.

Here we look at some other factors that help to determine whether a food is GI low or not. Once you know what these factors are then you will be aware of them when you do your grocery shopping and plan your family’s meals.

One of these is acid. Vinegar is a perfect example of this. Acid reduces the rate at which food exits the stomach. Eating a dill pickle with a sandwich or putting vinegar on slices of cucumbers can help accomplish this. Sour dough bread would leave the stomach more slowly than would white bread. The former is also larger and a great deal thicker than the latter so would be an excellent choice!

The types of carbohydrates you eat also make a difference. Both fructose and lactose must convert into glucose and this slows down the process. This would include milk, yogurt and the majority of fruits.

The structure of a carb matters as well. For example, starches are composed of tightly packed glucose chains (known as amylose). These carbs are more difficult to digest and are therefore considered slower. This makes them low GI foods. An example of these is lentils. Then there are carbs that have looser packed glucose chains (known as amylopectin). These carbs are easier for the enzymes in the digestive system to digest and they are faster. An example of this is sticky rice.

Soluble fiber is a low GI food. However it must be the gummy and viscous kind of fiber. This type of fiber slows the absorption process from the intestines.

The cooking method you choose has something to do with the GI level but it does not apply to everything you make. For example, when it comes to potatoes boiled potatoes are slow and in moderation can be considered a low GI food. On the other hand, a baked potato would be a high GI food. The brand of the potato also makes a difference as well.

You can find a table of common foods and their Glycemic Index here.

People trying to lose weight cna benefit from a low GI diet and you can discover more about implementing a High-Speed Fat Loss Program here.

Becca

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Erika Slater, CH is holding a special 6-week Group Weight Loss Hypnosis program in Whitinsville, Massachusetts to support MS and Brain Tumor Societies.

There is less than 3 months until swimsuit weather and and this is a good time to start on a program to get some pounds off – and keep them away – before the warmer weather arrives. The program starts on Wednesday March 17, 2010 between 7:00pm – 9:00pm, and runs each Wednesday at same time for six weeks.

Whitin Community Center in Whitinsville is donating the facilities and Erika is donating all her time. All proceeds will go the National Multiple Sclerosis and Brain Tumor Societies.

Erika explains, “While many people go on a diet plan to lose weight and exercise the missing component of a weight loss program is changing your eating habits. A diet on its own doesn’t tackle the reason why you overeat. And while you can lose weight initially on most diet plans, if the issue why you overeat isn’t tackled then in no time you’ll be back to the weight you were before you started.

This sounds all too familiar to me, and those of my friends.

Erika continues, “This is where this special program takes over. MyLose Weight with Hypnosis – The Right Food in the Right Amount at the Right Timeaddresses the stress and emotional eating that is the true indicator o whether you’ll be successful and not whether you use Weight Watchers or South Beach Diet or ‘take your pick.

If you live in the region where these classes are being held then consider registering for the program. The cost is $200 per person for the fill six week class and includes 6 hypnosis sessions and bonus CDs for reinforcement sessions at home. Group classes are a great way to tackle weight loss as you’re surrounded by people who have the same goal as you.

For more details and to register for the class go to the  Group Weight Loss in Whitinsville registration page here.

You can also contact Erika directly using the information at the page if you have any questions.

Samantha

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