Good Fats and Bad Fats

It was only about a decade ago that all fat was considered bad for natural weight loss. However nowadays fat is divided into two different categories – good fats and bad fats. The good fats are essential to heart health brain functioning and healing. The bad fats cause all kinds of ailments including diabetes, cancer and heart attacks.

Contemporary research shows that you can make yourself sick by cutting all fats from your diets. The good fats are called unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats are divided into two categories – monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Both types can help lower elevated cholesterol levels. Monounsaturated fats have a dual purpose – helping to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) while raising levels of HDL (good cholesterol) at the same time.

Monounsaturated fats also have a slight edge health wise over the polyunsaturated kind because they are thought to be more stable biochemically and less likely to cause free radicals to let loose in the body.

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Still polyunsaturated fats are not worthless. They are a fantastic source of essential omega-3 fatty acids. These types of acids are found mostly in dark leafy greens, nuts cold-water fish, flaxseed oils, vegetable oils and some types of seeds. Our bodies cannot manufacture essential fatty acids. Consuming these fish, seeds and nuts is the only way for our bodies to take advantage of their benefits. Essential fatty acids are thought to lower blood pressure, combat LDL (bad) cholesterol, protect the brain and nervous system and have healing effect on the body in the general.

Most cooking oils consist of unsaturated fats. Two oils are a superior choice for cooking because they contain optimum levels of monounsaturated fats. These two oils are canola oil and olive oil. These are the only two oils you should be cooking with if you want to lose weight.

However it is important to remember that whether fat is classified as good or bad it still counts as a calorie. That does not mean that the oil has fewer calories. Whatever type of oil you are eating it will always be one hundred percent fat.

The worst fats are found in meat and dairy. These are called saturated fats and are found mostly in dairy and meat products. You can tell a saturated fat from an unsaturated or monosaturated fat because it remains solid at room temperature. Eating these types of fats on a regular basis also has the effect of directly raising your LDL (bad cholesterol) as well as the count of your total cholesterol.

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Fad Diets to Avoid

fadMost weight loss diets are actually fad diets that are repackaged to us as the newest and latest way to lose weight. A good example of this kind of resell to the public is the Zone diet. The Zone Diet sounded novel when it first came out but it is actually based on food combining principles from Asia that have been around for thousands of years. Another example is the South Beach diet which is based on the Stillman Diet from the sixties.

So how do you tell if a fad diet is a truly just a repackaged trend?  First of all if it is based on the way cavemen eat or on the foods eaten in the Bible it is likely to be a bit bogus. That type of diet is based on food deprivation and vegetarianism and both types of weight loss methods have been around for thousands of years. Basically if the diet is based on eating mostly protein and no carbs, carbs and no protein or no fat it is not a healthy diet.

It is also a fad diet if it is based on eating only one food such as a grapefruit only diet or fatty foods only diet.  You just don’t get all of the nutrition that you need eating this way. You need to eat a variety of foods in order to stay healthy.

The South Beach Diet, the Zone Diet and the Atkins diet are high protein low fat diet diets. These types of diets induce ketosis to accelerate weight loss. Ketosis is an abnormal body process that occurs during starvation. Ketosis causes fatigue, constipation, nausea, and vomiting, none of which are part of a healthy lifestyle. The long-term side effects of ketosis are documented to include heart disease, bone loss, and kidney damage.

Crash diets dehydrate you, low calorie diets put your body into starvation so you can’t lose one more pound and high protein diets stress your kidneys and clog your arteries.

unhealthy-diet-e1352873643736You do need both protein and fat in the diet as both serve important metabolic and physiological roles in the body. Fad and crash diets, such as the ones described above are not only unhealthy but they are also cause rebound weight gain. Also most diets cause an initial weight loss but the ultimate result is that you gain all of the weight back the minute you go off the plan.  If you don’t gain it back within a couple of months, you are likely to gain it all back plus a bit more within a year.

Core Exercises to Lose Weight

coreCore strengthening exercises are also sometimes called abdominal-strengthening exercises. This is because when you strengthen the core stomach muscles you also strengthen the back and midriff. There are many benefits to having a strong core and one of them is that a strong core can help you lose weight.

The benefits of abdominal strengthening exercises are not just limited to helping you lose weight. They also ease the back and perhaps even get rid back pain and strain. Doing tummy strengthening exercises also keeps your organs in their rightful places and helps speed up weight loss.  They can also increase your all over flexibility as well as your ability to twist from side to side.

The stronger you abdominal muscles are the less likely you are to sustain a back strain or back injury or develop a hernia.  Although a trimmer waistline is a side effect of doing these exercises the real benefit is a stronger back. This in turn can allow you to exercise harder and longer. Of course the more you exercise the more weight that you will lose.

So just what are abdominal strengthening exercises? You might just know them as sit ups. Professional trainers also offer classes in gyms that employ the use of medicine balls or air filled exercise balls to perform abdominal strengthening exercises. You could also try taking a class like aquavit or Pilates to try and strengthen this part of the body as well.

Abdominal strengthening exercises may also be of some assistance if you suffer from back pain. Of course before embarking on any exercise program with the intention of trying to heal back pain it is important to consult with your doctor or a physical fitness expert first.

Remember not to go too far when it comes to core strengthening. Abdominal strengthening exercises can give you a washboard stomach complete with ripples but if you are not fond of this reptilian look then is sure to moderate yourself while you exercise.core1

However if you are really overweight you may be a long way from looking “cut” as the result of these exercises. Instead you just might want to get to the point where your belly does not look prolapsed as the result of weight gain. This simply means that your stomach muscles start to hold your organs in place like they are supposed to so you don’t look like you have a beer belly.

Weight Loss Exercise and the Elderly

elderlyIf you are older and trying to lose weight you cannot use the years that have gone by as an excuse for not exercising. Even if you are over sixty five years old and suffer from conditions that you think might prevent you from exercising you can still get fit.

Studies show that people with diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis and heart disease need to get off the couch and start moving. The weight gain caused by being sedentary can make your condition worse.

If you are not sure if exercise is safe for your health or if you are currently inactive, check with your doctor before you begin any kind of program. This should also help with any concerns you may have about whether or not it is harmful for you to exercise.

You will also feel safer exercising if you are well prepared for it. Make sure you have had plenty of rest, that you have had enough liquid to drink and that you are well fed before expending any energy. Your clothes should fit right and be suitable for exercise and your shoes should also have good arch support so that your calves and feet do not get sore.

If you are sick or recovering or simply not been that active you should begin slowly. Start with the exercises that you are comfortable performing. Walking is the perfect activity to start with especially if you have not exercised in long time.  Starting slowly prevents you from getting sore and it also decreases your chances of overdoing it and straining yourself. It does not take much to begin an exercise program despite your age. All it literally takes is making that first step.

You need to of course check with a doctor about how much exercise you can get away with especially if you are recovering from an operation or have a chronic illness. However in general it is thought that doing some type of aerobic activity for at least half an hour every day will do wonders for keeping you fit. checkup old woman

Examples of aerobic activity are walking, swimming, and bicycling. You should also do resistance, or strength training two days per week unless you are advised not to do so by a physician. This type of training will help you burn off extra calories even while your body is sitting at rest. Furthermore weight training builds stamina and strength and is not as hard on the heart as the aerobic exercises which raise the heart rate.

Can a Weight Loss Program Make You Fat?

wlThere are hundreds of special diets being sold to Americans right now and many of them have the negative effect of making you fatter as opposed to slimmer. There is the blood type diet, the high protein diet, the raw food diet, the low fat diet, the low-carb diet, the low sodium diet, the high fiber diet, the low calorie diet, and the cabbage soup diet, the grapefruit diet, the South Beach diet, the Atkins diet, the Slim Fast Diet and many more. The problem is that not a single one of these diets is healthy for you in the long run and may even cause you to gain even more weight than ever.

The reason these diets are not healthy for you is that they do not reset the hypothamulus. This organ produces hormones that help control your weight. This dooms you to just get fatter and fatter. None of them cures hunger. In fact they just leave you feeling hungrier because many are based on calorie deprivation. Only a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and full nutritious meals can help reset the hypothamulus.

Most importantly, no matter how much weight you may lose doing these programs, none of them get your body to release stubborn fat deposits.

Counting calories is the not the answer! In other countries people eat way more calories than Americans and still manage to stay slim. Depriving oneself of calories not only makes you sick but it makes you fall off the diet all together.

Throughout the world people eat lots of carbs, tons of salt, drink beer, wine, and other alcohol, eat ice cream and other deserts, have bread and still remain skinny. Nobody drinks diet sodas. Nobody eats low fat food only. They eat all they want and do not gain weight.

How are they able to do this? The answer is that the food is produced differently than in America. In America, for example, beef is injected with bovine growth hormone and loaded with antibiotics and other drugs. The beef is fed genetically modified, chemically produced grain and ground up dead animals. This is a toxic stew that you consume full of chemicals, hormones and drugs. It is not the actual beef that makes you fat. It is the additives.gmo

The problem with beef in the U.S. is just one example of what is wrong with American diets. Eating naturally, organically and with an eye to reading the label on foods is the better part of a sensible and effective natural weight loss plan.