What Types of Weight Loss Programs are Most Effective?

When it comes to weight loss programs, there are literally thousands of different businesses that are vying for your money, many claiming to be the “most effective” or the best for your money, or the easiest to follow. However, how does the weight loss help competition really shake out when it comes to being truly effective at helping participants shed weight and keep it off?

Well, after an analysis of the most popular types or programs out there – the private help programs such as gyms and personal Doctors, to the commercial, publicly available options like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig, there was a definite finding that one was better than the other.

The commercial weight loss programs actually won out as the more effective of the weight loss or weight maintenance programs.  The study results actually suggested that Doctor weight loss programs really may not help patients to lose weight. Perhaps it is because in public, commercial weight loss programs, there is SO much help out there in the form of weighing in at meetings (a great incentive to keep the pounds off), to peer support and meal ideas.

Heck, Weight Watchers and some of of the other commercial programs even have deals with popular prepackaged foods like frozen TV dinners and other prepared meals and snacks that shows the amount of points of whatever other exchange program they have going right on the package to eliminate the guess work and make it much easier for the client to stay on the diet.

And apparently, this study is a great endorsement for Weight Watchers whether they meant to be or not, because the biggest winners in weight loss and maintaining that weight loss were the people enrolled in Weight Watchers.  This doesn’t surprise me as I have several friends who follow the Weight Watchers program and have successfully kept extra pounds off for several years.

 

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by EatingToLive - December 18, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Categories: Diet and Weightloss News   Tags: , , , , , , ,

Getting Your Diet Back on Track After Thanksgiving

It’s that time. That infamous “intermittent” time between one big holiday and another – both of which are known for gluttony and tons of food being available everywhere you turn.  Many people find it really hard to get back on track not just right after Thankgiving, but even right after Halloween, and then all the way to the new year.

The winter months are when most of us tend to pack on many of the pounds that we fluctuate with throughout the year.  Many cite the reason as the holidays, which are pretty much everywhere you look.  The smells of the holidays, the constant temptation to bake and cook comfort foods, and the gifts we get, the endless holiday parties and gatherings, the gift baskets we partake in at work.

All of this ends up really adding up. Then…we find we can’t stop after the actual holiday itself is over. We find that we really biologically GOT USED to all the extra fat, salt and sugar in our diets. We go on a sort of withdrawal after we’ve let it all hang out for a few weeks, days or even months.

It is almost like withdrawing from a drug because our body can often violently protest in the form of cravings and hunger that seem out of control when we first take these fattening foods away.  Foods full of trans fats, salt and sugar have been proven time and time again to actually have addictive effects on the human body.

One of the ways I find it easiest to help me through the first few crucial days (or heck, even hours) of a withdrawal period is to take a non stimulant appetite suppressant patch. I like to use hoodia or green tea (the kind that’s not hyper-caffeinated) to help me get through the serious hunger pains and the ridiculous carb and fat and sweet cravings.

Also, doing something productive, such as cleaning out the closets, working on a project you’ve been meaning to get to, or moving around the layout of a room (or painting a room) can take your mind off of food and put it on something with a positive, productive outcome.

Exercising lightly is important as well. You may not want to partake in an all out sweat fest on the first day or two back on the wagon as it can trigger serious hunger, but at least make sure you are getting light exercise to help curb your hunger and cravings.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by EatingToLive - December 14, 2011 at 12:11 am

Categories: Dieting Trends   Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Getting Your Daily Greens?

Let’s face it. Even those of us with the best of intentions occasionally have a day where we might be a little lacking on the greener side of things. Let me clarify. By “green” I don’t mean necessarily that exact color. What I mean is your fruits and veggies.  The foods that give you nothing but pure, unrefined nutrition and allow you to “eat your water” with their high water content and hydrating abilities.

Oh yeah, and their weight loss and health benefits!  But I digress. You know we’ve all had those days when maybe we’re traveling, or it’s the holidays, or something prevents us from having a fruit or vegetable with each and every meal – which is how we should be eating every single day.

For those lacking days, I’ve come up with a solution for myself personally. I make sure that I drink my daily greens in a powder form, mixed with some fruit juice or vegetable juice. There are plenty of green powders that mix up things like barley, wheat grass, and other very green grasses and nutrients chock full of nutrients like chrlophyll, vitamins and minerals.

Some of these green powders even contain fiber or added probiotics to help keep you flushed out and everything “moving right along” – just like veggies do. However, they still don’t work as well as real, whole fruits and veggies do in that regard – take it from a person who knows.

I sometimes will mix the powder up with a sugar free based drink, or maybe with some orange juice. It goes down much easier when it is paired with something very sweet that covers up its rather bitter “green” flavor.

 

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by EatingToLive - December 10, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Categories: Dieting Trends   Tags: , , , , ,

Is Alli Even Worth It?

Alli is a fat binding diet pill that came out as a non-prescription alternative to its prescription twin Orlistat.  It’s just a slightly milder formula of the same fat binding pill that you take three times a day with meals. It is supposed to help your body pass fat through the body without digesting it.

This in turn helps you to lose weight and to help keep fat off undesirable areas of the body.  It simply passes right through your body, into your stool, which is part of the reason it has such a reputation for having embarrassing side effects.

These side effects include leakage, excessive gas and diarrhea. These symptoms get much worse the more fat you eat, so the company that makes the drug advises against consuming a lot of fat, and keeping it to a limited amount of grams (no more than 15 per meal) in order to avoid these types of problems.

However, some people have said that even though they stuck to that guideline, they still had the issues with the gas and the bloating and leakage and so forth.  There are plenty of horror stories online if you ever care to read any of the more unsavory stories of people’s experiences with Alli.

On the other hand, some people do say that Alli has helped them to lose weight. They say that it has helped them to get in the habit of reducing their dietary fat intake, and has also helped them develop the discipline they need as well as the taste to go away for high fat foods. Why? Simply because they were too embarrassed to endure the possible symptoms of eating fat!

What are some options to fat binding products like these that inevitably end up coming out the “other end”? Well, there have been some very promising studies done on green tea lately that show it may actually have a slight fat binding effect.

The study showed the mice who were fed a diet of vanilla shakes AND a green tea pill with every meal actually excreted more fat out in their stool versus the mice who were simply fed the shakes with nothing else. They also tended to maintain their weight better than the mice who did not get the green tea supplement.

The thought is that the ECGC contained in green tea actually helps to bind the fat and take it from the body better than nothing at all.

 

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by EatingToLive - December 6, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Categories: Weight Loss   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Nutrient Rich Avocado

Avocados are delicious and filling.  Whether eaten plain or used in a guacomole dip, they have a rich creamy texture that is, undoubtedly, appealing.  Avocados are not necessarily a low calorie food.  One half of an average avocado contains approximately 125 calories.

One cup of pureed avocado contains 384 calories and 297 of those calories is from fat.  That fact sounds unhealthy but it is not.  Avocados have zero cholesterol.  A one cup serving of pureed avocado provides 63 % or 16 g. of dietary fiber.  It also provides 5 g. of protein, 7% of the RDA for vitamin A, 34% for vitamin C, 3% for calcium and 8% of iron.

Avocados, ounce for ounce, are a very nutrient rich food.  The calories in an avocado contribute nearly 20 vitamins and minerals and healthy plant compounds to your nutritional intake.  While avocados seemingly have a high fat content, 75% of the fat is unsaturated.  Avocados contain the good kind of fat.

Avocados also contain lutein which is a carotenoid that may help to maintain eye health as we age.  Another bonus to selecting avocados as part of a healthy diet is that they naturally have a low sugar content.  A one ounce serving of an avocado has less than 1 g. of sugar.

Avocados can help individuals stay within the Heart Association’s recommendations of limiting sodium and eating 4 1/ 2 cups of fruits and vegetables per day.  Also, avocados can help you to concentrate on monounsaturated fats.

Avocados are sodium, cholesterol and trans fat free.  Monounsaturated fats can help to lower bad cholesterol levels.  For people trying to maintain healthy eating habits, avocados can be used to substitute for butter or mayonnaise on sandwiches.  The creamy texture can add moisture and flavor to sandwiches and be a healthy addition with zero cholesterol.

For dips, the use of avocados in place of the more fattening, cholesterol laden choices such as sour cream or cheese bases, can reduce your cholesterol intake dramatically.  Avocados are a good choice for anyone who needs to address weight management, diabetes control or cholesterol control.

Avocados can be an excellent choice for baby foods. Because of it’s creamy texture and mild taste, it could be one of baby’s first fruits to enjoy.  In addition to this use, avocados can be used in salads and recipes with chicken and guacomole.

When choosing an avocado at the market, look for a ripe one.  A ripe, ready to eat avocado will yield to gentle pressure, but will not feel mushy.  Make sure you only gently squeeze the avocado since the avocado may bruise if you apply too much pressure.

If you pick a ripe avocado, you will need to eat it in a day or two.  You can select a firm green avocado if you want one to eat in about 5 days.  Just store the firm avocado at room temperature.  If you need to slow the ripening, store your avocado in the refrigerator.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by EatingToLive - December 2, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Categories: Foodie Stuff   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Paleolithic Diet Gaining Ground

Have you heard of the new trend toward eating like our ancestors from thousands of years ago? It’s basically being called both the paleolithic, or cave man diet. It is named after the period of history where man pretty much subsisted on only the foods that are “allowed” on this diet.

The foods that are allowed are primarily vegetables and meats. But you aren’t allowed to have any refined carbs, grains, sugars, not a lot of fruit, and basically not a lot of carbohydrates. Sound an awful lot like other diets out there? That’s because it really is, with the new spin on it to add the removal of processed foods.

All of these new diet trends are really just spinds on diet regimens that are already out there. What’s to like about the paleo or paleolithic diet?  Well, it does remove a lot of the processed garbages out of your diet. It also loads you up on lean proteins while excluding the heavier, fattiers cuts of beef and concentrating instead more on chicken, turkey and fish, which are all very lean protein.

There are also some nuts allowed on this diet. The diet really focuses on eliminating the processed stuff, which is good for you. The big draw of this and similar diets is that you don’t have to focus so much on calorie restriction, but are instead encouraged to eat as much as you want until you are full.

The rub of course, is that you can only pick from a limited menu. But aren’t people who tend to eat the same foods all the time typically thinner than others? Yes, that is true. However, variety is sometimes the spice of life, is it not?  That may be the only thing you really miss on this diet.

The nice thing is that you do get to eat until you’re full, which seems like the natural thing to do, so that is part of this diet that I think is really appealing. For me personally, I hate to be hungry when dieting and if your sole way of losing weight is dropping calories, then you will be starving a lot.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by EatingToLive - November 28, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Categories: Diet Reviews   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just wanted to take this time to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. Remember, today is a day to indulge and THEN get right back on track the next day. None of this two month long indulgence streak this year, promise!?  At least that’s what I like to tell myself….

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by EatingToLive - November 24, 2011 at 10:46 am

Categories: Foodie Stuff   Tags:

Best Low Fat Healthy Butter Spreads

This is really an opinion piece that includes my favorite recommendations for lower fat buttery spreads. These are a great alternative to the one and only real butter. I love real butter too. I just want to watch my calories on some occasions. When I do indulge in the real thing, I buy ONLY organic butter that is salted.

Not only does organic salted butter have a far superior flavor, in my opinion, to non-organic butter.  It also does not contain the high amount of toxins that the non organic stuff does. Why does butter that is not organic have toxins?

Well, any fatty part of an animal, including their milk byproducts, act as a sort of magnet for toxins in the body. The same goes for humans. Many of the toxins we take in via our environment and our food go straight to our fat stores.  They can also leach into human breast milk, as evidenced by the massive amounts of things like parabens and other toxins found in female breast milk.

So, it is best to choose organic.  Now, let’s get to our picks for the best buttery low fat spreads.  First and foremost, I like the line of Earth Balance butter spreads. They offer vegan solutions to butter. My favorite is the olive oil spread. It is vegan, and it really still tastes like butter.

Their spreads have a rich buttery flavor that makes you feel like you’re eating the real thing.  They contain about 20 less calories than real butter per serving. Sure, it’s not as much of a fat and calorie savings as some lower fat versions, but what it lacks in calorie restriction, it makes up for with rich flavor and great spreadability.

Another, which doesn’t have hardly any flavor but is great on calories is Land ‘o Lakes low fat buttery spread. This one is really dry and hard to spread. It also doesn’t have much flavor in my opinion, but it works if you’re looking for something very low fat and low cal.

I guess when I’m looking for lower fat options, I’m also looking heavily at flavor. Sometimes these low fat items really don’t help that much because you have to slather so much on to even get any flavor.  Sometimes, if you choose the ones with a little more fat and calories, it works itself out because you don’t have to use a lot!

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by EatingToLive - November 20, 2011 at 10:49 am

Categories: Low Cal Ideas   Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Avoid the Winter Pattern of Over Eating

The winter is upon us. You know what that means. I know I sure do, because I’m already experiencing it in full force for some reason.  It’s an increased appetite. I guess that when the weather starts to grow cold, the leaves start to fall, the days get shorter, and the sky turns mostly grey, we look to food as comfort and as sort of an entertainment.

Let’s face it. Food adds “color” and spice to our lives. Its rich tastes, different textures and experiences, and scent, really add interest to our lives.  That’s why so many people have a hard time watching what they eat in the winter time. For those of us that live in cooler climates or areas where the weather change is pretty apparent, when the winter time kicks in, so does our appetite for bad foods.

Many times, starting with Halloween, we begin on a binge that tends to last all the way through to New Years. Not coincidentally, Halloween is also the time that most states turn their clocks back and the days become shorter.  This does mess with our circadian rhythm, or sleep patterns, which can also throw off our appetite and eating habits.

One of the ways you can help with this winter time tendency to eat more and to eat bad foods is to get light therapy in your life. You can either visit a tanning bed (only safely, no burning and no over doing it whatsoever, and yes I realize this is controversial), get some sort of a bed that emits UV light without tanning you.

Simply getting this light therapy can help lift the spirits and dampen the appetite. Studies have shown in many ways that SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, is largely due to inadequate sun exposure, which includes the actual light received by the eyes. Something about this light helps trip our positive feelings.

You can also supplement your diet with a good herbal appetite suppressant such as Hoodia or green tea. Both offer natural appetite suppression that can help you get the help you need to suppress the ravenous beast within from constantly sabotaging your weight maintenance goals.

Another way to suppress your appetite in the winter time is good old fashioned exercise. Exercising helps suppress the hunger hormones that are released more in the winter by elevating the feel good chemicals in the body.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by EatingToLive - November 16, 2011 at 10:35 am

Categories: Appetite   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Enhanced Broccoli Offers Greater Nutrients

Scientists in Britain have successfully created a hybrid version of broccolil that is supposed to be even healthier and pack a bigger nutritional punch than original broccoli.  It took them fourteen years to create the cross-bred version of broccoli, but they finally did it and were able to file a patent on the new breed of vegetable.

The broccoli is supposedly not genetically modified (non GMO), so it may still appeal to the purists who do not want to eat GMO foods or produce that is grown this way. Genetically modified basically means that the basic genetic makeup was messed with in some way at the inception of the growth of the veggie.

The new breed of ‘super’ broccoli is supposed to taste a bit sweeter because it does not have as much sulphur in it. Sulphur is actually a really healthy component of broccoli and other sulphur rich veggies like cauliflower, cabbage and brussel sprouts, so I’m not sure why they reduced the sulphur content in the broccoli.

However, the new super broccoli has much more of a nutrient called glucoraphanin.  Glucoraphanin helps to break fats down in the body, and so is thought to be excellent for heart and brain health, and a great diet aid since it can help you maintain a thin waistline.

Where can you get this new enhanced super broccoli?

Right now, this super broccoli is only available in certain select stores in Texas and California so far here in the US. It may be available more widely in the country where it was created, the UK, but details were not available.

Broccoli itself, the normal kind, is a super food. It contains so many vital nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, as well as beneficial fiber, that it helps maintain heart health and ward off cancer. It is important that this veggie be purchased organically if at all possible.

This is because broccoli is eaten as a whole food. It is not peeled before eaten, so it has not protective layer from the pesticides that are repeatedly sprayed on it. It also can absorb the toxins from the soil since non-organic soil contains toxins left over from years of pollution.

 

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by EatingToLive - November 12, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Categories: Health News   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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