Archive for the ‘Weight Loss’ Category

MINDFULNESS: THE KEY TO THE MINDFUL-EATING PROGRAM

Thursday, July 14th, 2011
The fundamental concept underlying my treatment program is mindfulness. Many people are not aware of this term or what it means. If you have heard of it, you probably associate it with meditation and stress management. In fact, Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn of the University of Massachusetts Medical Center pioneered its well-known use with patients suffering from stress-related medical problems such as hypertension, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.
Mindfulness is not a new idea. It is an ancient concept that is the central component of meditation. Mindfulness is a state of mind that will help you gain control over your emotions, thoughts, and behavior. It will put you back in charge of your eating.
Mindfulness is awareness. It is not simply paying attention but a deep, focused awareness of yourself and your surroundings on a moment-to-moment basis. It is paying attention, on purpose.
Most of our eating occurs automatically, without real awareness. This is true whether you are eating low-calorie, nutritious foods or two candy bars. I mentioned earlier that when people binge they often do so in a robotlike, “spaced-out” manner. This state of mind is the exact opposite of mindfulness and one that is designed to keep you feeling out of control. Food is in charge, not you. Together, we can put a stop to this and put you back in control of your eating and your life.
Mindfulness will provide you with the opportunity to change your relationship with food and, eventually, your dependence on food. You will learn to heighten your awareness of every aspect of your life as it relates to food and eating. We will be applying mindfulness to your thoughts and emotions associated with food as well as to your hunger and appetite. To stop binge eating you must first become mindful of your automatic reactions related to food.
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WEIGHT LOSS: THE THREE MACRONUTRIENTS: FAT

Monday, June 13th, 2011
For the past few decades, we’ve been bombarded with the message “Fat is bad food!” Every women’s magazine, every sports magazine, every men’s magazine, every health magazine includes at least one article or advertisement about how the consumption of fat will subtract years from your life by causing degenerative disease, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes. To listen to the experts, you would think fat isn’t an essential part of the human diet.
We’ve already learned that it’s no accident that nature distributed fat abundantly throughout the food chain. Fat is an extremely beneficial food. For example, fat is used to build hormones, some of which regulate blood pressure, heart rate, vascular dilation, blood clotting, immune response, and the central nervous system. Fat makes up a substantial part of the cell membrane of over three trillion cells, making the cell wall permeable so that nutrients can get into the cell and waste materials can be excreted from the cell, and rigid so that the shape holds firm against the pressure of the surrounding environment. Along with protein, fat acts as a receptor on the cell wall to invite nutrients and hormones into the cell.
Fat keeps the skin soft and supple and helps to avoid premature wrinkling of the skin. Fat is an excellent energy source, particularly for the heart. And fat keeps the metabolism running fast!
We need fat in our diets. The problem comes when we eat far too much of the wrong types of fats.
An important rule of thumb I personally follow is that I never eat anything that has been put together in a chemist’s lab, including new food artifacts like the “fat substitute” Olestra. These substances are toxic. They do not build the type of long-term, vibrant health I want for my body. They do not perform all those important functions listed above. On top of that, they taste bad!
The types of fats you want to include in your diet are the raw, unprocessed vegetable oils like extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil, and the oils from nuts and seeds. You need to include the fats found in fatty fish like mackerel, salmon, and halibut. These oils are extremely beneficial in protecting the heart and nourishing the nervous system. I encourage all my clients to include at least two to four tablespoons of raw oils in their diets each day by making salad dressings from olive oil, by using flaxseed oil in their morning protein drink, and by eating vegetables that are rich in essential fats (avocados and nuts and seeds, such as sesame, almond, and other nut products). Flaxseed oil is a nutritious oil from flax that can be purchased from your local health food store. Be sure to keep it refrigerated. It oxidizes rapidly if not preserved carefully.
You will need to include about half the amount of fat as your protein requirement, gram for gram. For example, if you require fifty-five grams of protein per day, you will wish to enjoy about twenty-five to thirty grams of fat. If you require seventy-five grams of protein, increase that amount to about thirty-five to forty grams of fat. Don’t worry too much about the fat content of the diet. If you are eating whole, natural foods, the fat will balance itself out without your help. Just restrict yourself to the healthy fats described above. Potato chips, ice cream, and deep-fried chicken must not be included!
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IMPROVINGMUSCULAR STRENGTH AND ENDURANCE: METHODS OF PROVIDING RESISTANCE

Friday, April 15th, 2011
There are four commonly used methods of applying resistance to develop strength and endurance.
• Body Weight Resistance
Many different techniques can be used to develop skeletal muscle fitness without relying on resistance equipment. Most of these methods use part or all of your body weight to offer the resistance during exercise. While these techniques are not as effective as external resistance in developing muscular strength, they are quite adequate for improving general muscular fitness. Activities such as sit-ups, push-ups, and pull-ups use both concentric and eccentric muscle actions. These types of resistance activities are convenient – no special equipment is needed – and are generally sufficient to improve muscle tone and maintain the level of muscular strength created by this type of overload. But they will not help you to make significant strength gains.
• Fixed Resistance
Fixed resistance exercises provide a constant amount of resistance throughout the full range of movement. Barbells and dumbbells provide fixed resistance because their weight (amount of resistance) does not change as you exercise. The advantages of fixed resistance exercise include the portability and low cost of barbells and dumbbells, the common availability of fixed resistance exercise machines at university recreation/fitness facilities and health clubs, and the existence of numerous exercises designed to strengthen all the major muscle groups in the body.
• Variable Resistance
Whether found at a health club or in your home workout area, variable resistance equipment alters the resistance encountered by a muscle at various joint angles so that the effort by the muscle is more consistent throughout the full range of motion. Variable resistance machines are typically single-station devices (e.g., Nautilus, Hammer Strength’ but some have multiple stations at which muscles of the upper and lower extremities can be exercised (e.g., Soloflex). While some of these machines are expensive and permanently placed, other inexpensive, portable forms of variable resistance devices are sold for home use.
•Accommodating Resistance
With accommodating resistance devices, the resistance changes according to the amount of force generated by the individual. There is no external weight to move or overcome. Resistance is provided by having the exerciser perform at maximal level of effort, while the exercise machine controls the speed of the exercise and does not allow any faster motion. The body segment being exercised must move at a rate faster than or equal to the set speed to encounter resistance.
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CRITICAL PERIODS FOR FAT GAIN: PHYSIOLOGICAL

Friday, May 8th, 2009

Breaking through plateaus. The first process in dealing with plateaus is an acceptance of the fact that this is a normal and natural process. Provided there is no increase in fat mass, the plateau can be countered by attacking the causes. Dietary and exercise habits should be revisited and physiological adaptations to change can, at least theoretically, be ‘shocked’ into change. In terms of exercise load this will mean making physical activity less efficient by changing:

• intensity—increase the speed a regular movement is carried out

• duration—carry out the exercise for longer periods

• frequency—move more regularly (e.g. by adding ‘incidental’ exercise)

• type—vary walking with cycling, swimming, aerobics etc.

With food intake as the other side of the energy equation, plateaus might be countered by:

• decreasing energy intake—but only where this is still high

• increasing energy intake—by re-feeding where intake is excessively low (i.e. under 1000 kcal/day), and has been so for long periods

• decreasing fat intake further

• reducing alcohol intake

• changing food type—eating foods with which the body may not be familiar.

These changes might help an individual break through a plateau then restart and continue reducing fat. The introduction of resistance training as a form of exercise at this stage of a program may also be useful (if desired by the client), not only because of its ‘shock’ value, but also because of the potential maintenance of lean body tissue which can help counteract the physiological adaptations leading to plateauing.

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