Here is a great article that you might find helpful on your weight loss journey to the $10,000 reward offered by Minerva 🙂
How Diet Doctors Lose Weight
By: Sandra Gordon
Ever felt that everyone except you is losing weight, but when you try their dieting tricks, you don’t have the same success? You may not be doing anything wrong. It could be that those strategies just aren’t a good match for you. Achieving your goals is all about finding the specific lifestyle fixes that work for you—not your neighbor.
Kickstart your weight-loss plan with these strategies from top diet docs. You have nothing to lose but weight.
Start with sneakers.
Everyone knows that it takes a combination of diet and exercise to lose body fat, but researchers now believe that it’s best to tackle exercise first. “Once you invest time in a daily workout, you’ll be motivated and have the feeling of well-being necessary to make the more difficult dietary changes,” says John Foreyt, Ph.D.,director of the Nutrition Research Clinic at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
Set ambitious exercise goals.
Instead of saying“I will exercise three days a week,” plan to exercise every day, even if you know you won’t make it. Most of us only accomplish 60 percent of our weekly fitness goals, according to research from the College of Public Health and Health Professions at the University of Florida in Gainesville.So if you plan to work out for an hour every day, you’ll probably make it to three or four workouts a week.
Find a groove.
Blocking out an hour or two for a sweaty workout takes dedication, especially when you’ve got little ones to tend to. Make the prospect a little more fun by buying an MP3 player or an iPod. A recent study from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey found that women who listened to music while walking lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t. The music-listeners walked more often each week and adhered to the full program, which also included weekly dieting and group meetings, says the study’s lead researcher, Christopher A. Capuano, Ph.D.
Limit tempting high-fat foods.
For a while, conventional wisdom urged the no-diet approach: Don’t avoid tempting foods like chocolate ice cream, because avoidance only leads to cravings and results in bingeing. But in studies, those who actually followed this method ran into trouble. “The reality is most people trying to lose weight can’t give themselves permission to eat problem foods,” says Daniel S. Kirschenbaum, Ph.D., director of the Center for Behavioral Medicine & Sport Psychology in Chicago, and the author of The Healthy Obsession Program.Temptation just creates difficulties. Effective weight controllers limit their exposure to these foods by not bringing them into the house. They also eat other things that are lower in calories and fat, but comparable in taste, he says. Choose replacements such as chocolate sorbet instead of saturated-fat-packed chocolate ice cream.
Keep your diet simple.
Most successful losers are unadventurous when it comes to eating. “Too much variety actually stimulates your appetite,” explains Hollie A. Raynor, Ph.D., R.D. assistant professor of Research at Brown Medical School in Providence. “If you’re faced with a ton of options, you’ll likely eat more just out of curiosity.” (Or perhaps because the various choices are right there, tempting you.) Curtail your dietary diversity by preparing dinners at home instead of eating out. Stick to cooking a few tried-and-true family-favorite recipes with a wide range of nutrients, and rotate them often.
Overestimate your calories. Most dietersunderreport the calories they consume by a third and overreport the amount of exercise they do by half, says Foreyt. Keeping an accurate journal allows you to objectively analyze what you’re eating and why. “But even more than that, keeping a record helps you stay committed to your goal,” says Kirschenbaum. When you do guesstimate, round up by a few hundred calories.
Target weekend calories.
A recent study found that on the weekends, we tend to eat about 82 calories more per day than on the weekdays, most of them from fat and alcohol. That doesn’t sound like much, but after a year, it adds up to more than two pounds. Weekends are usually a time to let it all go; but losing weight is a precise numbers game, so you can’t really afford to loosen the reins too much. Skip the extra margarita and find other ways to relax.
When you overindulge (and you will, because you’re human), don’t beat yourself up, but don’t slough it off either. Instead, “consider what led you to overeat, and think of ways to ensure that it doesn’t happen again,” says Kirschenbaum.
Taking a problem-solving approach reinforces your sense of accountability, a key factor in losing weight. For example, if you scarfed down a tray of cookies at a mommy-and-me playdate, was it because you skipped lunch?Were you nervous about meeting the other moms? Once you think you’ve nailed the cause, formulate a plan for what you’ll do differently the next time you encounter the same situation.
Daily weighingis a winningweight-loss strategy, according research from the National Weight Control Registry, which tracks more than 4,000 people who have lost 30 pounds and kept them off for at least one year. “It’s essential to know where you are and where you’re going, up or down, poundwise,” says Raynor.
Minor weight gain (up to five pounds) is acceptable if you’re trying to maintain, because it could be traced to monthly water retention. “But if you’re actively trying to lose weight, gaining more than that over a week is a red flag that your calorie intake or exercise plan needs some tweaking,” says Raynor.
Make a connection.
A good support system may help you make better diet and exercise decisions by boosting accountability, says Raynor. A recent study found that people who got support through face-to-face meetings with a counselor or through an Internet-based program regained less weight than participants who didn’t use either. “If your weight goes up 5 pounds, someone’s there to say, ‘what are you going to do about that?’”says Raynor.
Take eight (hours).
Short-changing yourself on sleep lowers the level of the hormone leptin—this can increase your desire to eat and decrease your ability to burn calories. To lose or maintain weight, there’s an ideal sleep zone of about eight hours a night, say researchers. According to the National Sleep Foundation, an estimated 71 percent of Americans get less sleep than that on weekdays. If you have trouble getting that much sleep because you’re parenting duties extend well into the night shift, try to snatch a nap during the day instead of reaching for a cookie.
Sandra Gordon is the author of eight books and has written about health and nutrition for nearly 20 years for custom publications, Websites and major magazines such as Parents, Family Circle, Fitness, Redbook, Self, Vitality, Cooking Light, More, ShopSmart, American Baby, Shape, Ladies’ Home Journal, Cooking Light, Woman’s Day, Parenting, Krames Staywell, and Harvard Medical School, among others.
And while you are trying to lose a few pounds don’t forget to take care of your skin as well. Check out this great article as well.
The 10 Commandments For Younger, Healthier Skin
By: Kristen Arnett
Beauty Expert Kristen Arnett’s 10 Commandments for Younger, Healthier Skin
1. Thou shalt drink often of pure water.
You may already know that the body’s composition is 2/3 water. If you skimp on replenishing your cells with the necessary hydration, they will effectively shrivel up and function slower, which will make you look older, faster.
The standard rule is eight, 8oz glasses of water per day, based on an average for both men and women. But if you have more body mass, exercise a lot, if you’re pregnant or there is any other factor that takes you out of the “average” range, then you probably need more water each day. The good news is that water is cheap with powerful benefits. So let your cup runneth over!
2. Thou shalt protect thyself from the sun.
Yes, let there be light (and plenty of it), but put on a hat and some sunblock when directly exposed. From skin damage to cancer, there are some pretty good reasons not to fry yourself for the sake of a tan or to ignore the seemingly innocuous grey winter days.
For fair-skinned folks, damage can begin after just 15 minutes of sun exposure. While it’s important to get healthy amounts of sunlight for its vitamin D, you do your skin a favor by getting it during off-peak hours, before 11am and after 2pm. Even on cloudy days protection can be important as UVA rays, the ones which cause aging, are penetrating the atmosphere and possibly your skin.
3. Thou shalt not cake on the makeup.
Somewhere in Texas there is undoubtedly a list of beauty commandments that contradicts this notion. Verily, I say unto any followers of the “pancaking” sect: Coating the face in a layer of foundation or packing on powder dulls the skin, and it often settles into fine lines which accentuate the appearance of age. Many foundations also accelerate the aging process because their formulations keep the skin from “breathing” properly, which is necessary for the overall health of the skin.
4. Thou shalt rest plentifully.
The less sleep you get, the less chance your body has to renew and regenerate during the nighttime. If you’re sleep deprived, or not getting the ‘right’ kind of uninterrupted sleep, you will look tired… and old.
Generally, the hours before midnight are the most important because there is a greater propensity for deep, non-REM sleep. Going to bed late and sleeping in late won’t compensate for those lost pre-midnight zzzz’s. The ideal amount of sleep is considered to be 8 hours, but the point is to let your body have enough time to do its crucial repair and refreshing work …that’s why we say, “get your beauty sleep.”
5. Thou shalt remove thy makeup every night.
If you are skipping cleansing your face at night, you are hosting a bacteria fest. Mascara and eyeliner residue can cause eye irritation and possibly infection. Foundation residue can clog pores. Dirt, pollution and other grime from being out in the world are not doing you any favors either. If you aren’t changing your pillowcase regularly, then bacteria is piling up there, too. So take 60 seconds and get your face naked before bed.
6. Thou shalt resist the temptation of sugar.
Put simply: The presence of sugar in the body causes inflammation in the cells, which isn’t good for them for a variety of reasons. According to research by renowned dermatologist Dr. Nicholas Perricone (The Wrinkle Cure), inflammation is the main contributor to wrinkles, blotchy red skin and acne. Beware: This inflammation-causing ingredient can be hidden in some unassuming places. Fried foods or carbohydrate-filled starches (like potatoes and white rice) convert into sugar.
7. Do unto your face, as you would have your face do unto you.
Meaning: Stop being so rough on your face! Your skin doesn’t take kindly to being scrubbed, tugged and pulled, especially the thin skin around the eyes. Many people rub their eyes way too hard when they feel itchy, dry or tired, and they do it habitually without realizing how much collective damage they are causing. Gravity and age are doing enough on their own, so don’t assist their progress by pulling unnecessarily.
8. Thou shalt rebuke harsh cleansers.
Having a “tight, squeaky clean” feel after you wash your face is the first indicator that your cleanser is too harsh. Cleansing the face with detergent-based soap strips the skin of its natural oils and leads to imbalance in the PH levels of the skin. Over time it speeds up the appearance of aging. Yep, even those of you with very oily skin have to be careful. Start by tossing anything with the ingredient “sodium laureth (or lauryl) sulfate”, a foaming agent, found in just about every soap (even toothpaste).
9. Thou shalt avoid toxic activities.
Toxic activities include smoking, drinking alcohol, being lethargic and eating a diet lacking nutrition. Eating nutrient rich foods is what helps your cells regenerate properly, and since that happens from the inside out, what you eat today will show up on the surface 2-7 days afterwards.
Referencing commandment #6 (avoiding sugar), many people aren’t aware that adult beverages, particularly mixed drinks, can be as sugary as eating a giant piece of cake.
And laziness is a recipe for decay. Exercising is essential to stimulate circulation and keep your body tuned up, and sweating helps release toxins. All that leads to clearer, healthier and younger looking skin.
10. Thou shalt not covet another’s skin. Thou shalt laugh. Thou shalt love thyself.
These three commandments are lumped together because they are directly related to self-esteem, an essential component to looking healthy and young.
Coveting another’s skin: Please don’t torture yourself by wishing you looked like someone else, especially if you are referencing images in a magazine. Every print image has been airbrushed to perfection, and that’s not a realistic goal. It’s futile to draw comparisons between you and others because of the countless, unique mix of variables like DNA, hormones, major life stresses, all of which affect how we age.
Laughter: It is a cheap and effective beauty treatment. Laughing sends signals to the brain that release “happy chemicals” such as serotonin. Those happy chemicals contribute to vitality and vigor which exudes through our skin as a healthy, youthful glow.
The final and most important commandment is to love thyself. Loving who you are, the way you are, and treating your body well brings a light into your face that is more radiant than any cleansing, exfoliating or moisturizing routine could offer.
An internationally renowned, celebrity makeup artist, Kristen works on advertisements, magazines, and fashion shows in New York, Milan and Paris. As the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of GreenBeautyTeam.com Kristen has focused her talents on raising visibility globally for healthier beauty.
Check back tomorrow for more great articles from Minerva Place 🙂