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Archive for the ‘Weight Loss’ Category

FAT LOSS: VARIABLE FACTORS

Friday, May 8th, 2009

Climate. The effects of cold on the fat loss response to exercise have been studied extensively and have been reviewed by Professor Roy Shephard of Toronto University in Canada.9 Basically results show that repeated and prolonged moderate exercise in a cold environment creates a greater energy deficit than in a warm environment. Shephard’s group demonstrated this with Canadian soldiers on manoeuvres in the Arctic. The fat loss of these men was compared with that of soldiers in mainland Canada in the summer, whilst on an identical dietary and exercise regime.

Explanations for the extra effects of the cold include an altered sensitivity of catecholamine receptors, and increased thermogenesis through shivering. Endurance activity in the cold appears to have specific fat loss benefits, although this effect seems to be less well developed in men than in women. Exercising in the Arctic is obviously the extreme situation, but it probably carries some lessons for fat loss in extreme conditions. Exercise in the cold may give added advantages in therapy for obesity, provided vigorous exercise is not attempted with cold muscles.

Conversely, over-heating by rugging up with warm clothing while exercising, as is often done in an attempt to ‘sweat off fat, may be counter-productive for fat loss. The loss of sweat may result in some weight loss but much of it will be fluid loss.

The body maintains an optimal core temperature of around 37.5°C. In a hot environment, the body has to work to prevent its core temperature from rising. However, the human system for cooling (i.e. Sweating) is passive and costs little extra energy and there is also a natural decrease in energy use to allow dissipation of heat For this reason, techniques of over-heating (i.e. such as saunas and steam baths) are likely to have little long term effect on body mass other than a decrease in body weight through loss of water from sweating.

Myth-information. It is usually believed that heat treatments are better for fat loss than cold. However, it takes less energy for the body to passively cool itself than it does to maintain body heat. Theoretically then, a freezer would be a better fat loss treatment than a sauna bath.

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OVERFATNESS: TOTAL BODY MASS AND HEALTH

Friday, May 8th, 2009

Overfatness has typically been inferred from measures of body mass, such as weight or body mass index. Mass is not always a good measure of fatness, because of the influence of muscle and other lean body tissue. However, measures of body mass index (BMI) still show a correlation with disease risk, and particularly mortality levels, or the risks of premature death. Mortality levels have a ‘tick-shaped’ association with BMI with the highest risks of mortality at increasing levels of obesity over a BMI of 25. There is also a slightly increased risk of mortality at BMI levels below 20, which is largely explained by the presence of existing disease and smoking, both of which are causes of lower weight and higher mortality.

Fat is the highest source of food energy that can be obtained (9kcal/g compared with 4.5kcal/g for carbohydrate or protein), so fatty foods would have had survival value in a hunter-gatherer

environment. Relative risk (RR) is an indication of the proportional increase in risk of disease from a standard measure of 1.0. Hence, a RR of 2.0 means the risk of contracting that disease is twice that of someone with a normal BMI.

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RECOMMENDATIONS FOR WEIGHT LOSS: BINGE-PROOF YOUR LIFE

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

If you’re prone to bingeing, don’t worry. You can stop it and take control of your eating habits. But first you must understand why it happens. What sorts of things cause you to overeat? For some people, the cause is stress, loneliness, anger, or sadness. For others, it’s dining out with friends or having a good time at a party.

Reading your food diary can help you recognize and anticipate the emotions or situations that lead to your binges. As you become more aware of what’s setting you off, you can avoid those situations and find other, nonfood sources of comfort. ©

If you feel that you are heading for a binge or if you catch your- ^ self in the middle of one, you can still stop it. Simply walk away— <s-leave everything where it is and get out of the house. A brisk walk «* around the block can give you time to think about what’s making <5 you want to eat. Once you get back home, you’ll have a new perspective on the situation, and you may realize that you’re not interested in eating after all.

There may be times when you’re nursing a craving—say, for chocolate mocha almond ice cream—that you have no choice but to go ahead and help yourself. Not to a huge bowl, mind you. And definitely not to the whole carton. Scoop out a single serving and put the rest back in the freezer. Then really that ice cream. Let each spoonful melt in your mouth and wash over all of your tastebuds.

When worse comes to worst and you indulge in an all-night bingefest, don’t berate yourself afterward. You have to accept what happened and move on. There’s no point in kicking yourself because you messed up. Just be sure to add a half-hour to your next workout, and be extra careful about what you eat for the next few days.

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