The Diet Bible: For Weight Loss, Exercise & Healthy Eating For Life

Discussion in 'Fitness & Nutrition Archives' started by Filmboy44, Dec 16, 2003.

  1. Filmboy44

    Filmboy44 Guest

    Nutrition 101: How to Eat Healthy

    Most health experts recommend eating a balanced, healthy diet to maintain or lose weight. But what is a healthy diet?
    The basic components of a healthy diet include the right amount of:

    Protein (found in meat, poultry, dairy products, eggs and beans)
    Fat (found in animal products, sweets, Plant Oils (Olive, Peanut Flaxseed, and "junk" food)
    Carbohydrate (found in fruits, vegetables, pasta, rice, grains and peas, beans and other legumes)
    Vitamins (such as vitamins A,B,C, D, E and K)
    Minerals (such as calcium, potassium and iron)
    What Are Calories?

    Of these six nutrients, only carbohydrates, proteins and fats provide calories. A calorie is a measurement, just like a teaspoon or an inch. Calories are the amount of energy released when your body breaks down food. The more calories a food has, the more energy it can provide to your body. When you eat more calories than you need, your body stores the extra calories as fat. Even a fat-free food can have a lot of calories and can be stored as fat.

    What Are Proteins?

    Proteins are nutrients that are essential to the building, maintenance and repair of body tissue such as the skin, the internal organs and muscle. Proteins are also the major components of our immune system and hormones.

    Proteins are made up of substances called amino acids -- 22 are considered vital for health. Of these, the adult body can make 14; the other 8 (called essential amino acids) can only be obtained from what we eat.

    Proteins are found in all types of food, but only meat, eggs, cheese and other foods from animal sources contain complete proteins, meaning they provide the 8 essential amino acids.

    Your daily diet must contain enough protein to replenish these amino acids. Thus, if you are vegetarian and do not eat food from animal sources, you need to eat a variety of plant proteins in combination to ensure that you get enough of the essential amino acids.

    How much protein people need on a daily basis varies. Experts recommend that approximately 12% of your total daily calories come from protein. That equals 40-70g per day for the average healthy adult.

    However, over the course of a day, the average American diet includes almost double the protein needed to help maintain a healthy body. Using the chart below, you can easily calculate how much protein your body needs.

    Protein Needs
    Suggested Daily Grams of Protein Per Pound

    Sedentary adult

    Recreational athlete

    Competitive athlete

    Teenage athlete

    Building muscle

    Athlete restricting calories

    Most the body can use (upper limit)

    Is Any Fat Healthy?

    A certain amount of fat in the diet is good and necessary to be healthy. However, nutrition experts agree that most Americans should eat less fat than they currently do especially saturated fats. Research shows that excessive intake of fat, especially saturated fat, and cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease. Eating too much fat also causes excess body weight, since a gram of fat has about twice as many calories per gram as carbohydrates (see below) and proteins. (There are 9 calories per gram of fat compared to 4 calories for protein and carbohydrates.)

    Fat is made up of compounds called fatty acids or lipids. Depending on their chemical structure, these fatty acids are called monounsaturated, saturated or polyunsaturated. Saturated fats are the "fattest" fats and are the unhealthiest fats to eat.

    Thus, problems with too much dietary fat come when 10% or more of your daily calories come from saturated fats such as those found in meats, dairy products and butter. This practice can lead to high blood cholesterol levels, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Each person will need a different level of fat in their diet - they should use primarily fats with Omega 3, 6, and 9 Fatty Acids. These are found in both Monounsaturated Fats, and Polyunsaturated fat. Fish supply omega-3's, as do ground flax meal, flaxseed oil, and many nuts (almonds, walnuts and others). Omega-6's are found in most vegetable oils, like corn and safflower as well as Olive Oil. Since we tend to use these oils in cooking and processed foods, most of us usually get plenty of omega-6's.

    Eating fish a few times per week and snacking on nuts regularly will give your body the fat it needs. If you do that, you can ease into eating foods with healthy fats and not fear the fat grams on food or supplement labels. Remember that you're doing your body good by eating these foods. With an active lifestyle, there's no need to fear the fats.

    Monounsaturated Fat is an organic compound, especially an oil or fatty acid, containing only one double or triple bond per molecule. Foods containing monounsaturated fatty acids may decrease the amount of LDL cholesterol in the blood and include olive, peanut, canola, and avocado oils. Monounsaturated fatty acids like Peanut Oil, Olive Oil (MUFA) help lower LDL cholesterol, the kind that can build up on arterial walls and increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.

    Polyunsaturated Fat is composed of long-chain carbon compounds, especially fatty acids, having two or more double bonds between the carbon atoms. Foods containing polyunsaturated fatty acids help reduce blood cholesterol levels and include sunflower, soybean, sesame seed, and corn oils and cold-water fish such as salmon. Flaxseed Oil is primarily made up of Polyunsaturated fat. It has omega-3 fatty acids which are highly protective against heart disease. Flaxseed oil and fish oil are two concentrated sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed oil is a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid, which has been shown to be beneficial in both heart disease and breast cancer. lignans are phytochemicals which are found in omega-3 rich Flaxseed oil. Usually the manufacture will list if it has been added. There's some evidence that lignans (natural estrogen-like chemicals) reduce the incidence of cancerous prostate tumors as well.

    Important Note: Oils & Fat especially Polyunsaturated oils must not be heated highly or exposed to light. Do not use them for cooking. When purchasing these types of oils - including Olive Oil purchase them in large steel containers or dark black glass, or dark black plastic. Light and oxygen can easily damage the Omega 3, and Omega 6 fatty acids in these oils. Always get oils which have been freshly "Cold Pressed or First pressed", and make sure the oils are not processed beyond this. No preservatives, chemical additives etc. Use Organic Oils as well. Fresh ground natural nut butters which are filled with both Polyunsaturated, and Monounsaturated fat must also be unprocessed, though these can be exposed to light as the nut butter itself protects the oils.

    What Are the Unhealthy Fats:

    Trans Fatty Acids: Hydrogenated fats found in margarine and shortening, and processed foods made with these fats, contain trans fatty acids (TFAs) that act much like saturated fats in raising heart-disease risk. For this reason, the American Heart Association's latest dietary guidelines combine both saturated fat and TFAs into one category and recommend we limit intake to less than 10% of calories.

    Where do TFAs come from? Margarine and shortening are liquid vegetable oils made creamy when manufacturers convert some of the unsaturated fats into saturated ones. To do this, hydrogens are added to the long strings of carbon atoms that make up the fat molecule, hence the term "hydrogenation" or hydrogenated vegetable oils.

    Hydrogenation hardens a liquid vegetable oil so it looks, feels, and acts like butter. Consequently, the processed oil doesn't ooze out of cookies or corn chips, spreads on an English muffin, and is the current fat of choice for frying everything from chicken to french fries at most fast-food restaurants. These benefits combined with improved shelf life, low cost, and the "100% vegetable oil" on the label promising a low-saturated fat alternative to butter were primary reasons why margarine has sold two to one over butter for years.

    But hydrogenation does much more than just add a few hydrogens here and there. It generates unnatural fats by altering the form of up to one third or more of the remaining unsaturated fats, so their natural "cis" shape is transformed into an abnormal "trans" shape. These unsaturated trans fatty acids are the problem.

    TFAs, in amounts typically consumed by Americans, alter basic metabolic pathways, and raise total blood cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol) in much the same way as saturated fats. Large amounts also might lower HDL-cholesterol levels (the "good" cholesterol). Any or all of these changes increase heart-disease risk.

    The potential health risks of TFAs wouldn't be an issue except that we're eating a lot more of them than we think. Up until the turn of the century, the naturally occurring TFAs in meat and dairy products comprised a small portion of the diet, just a few grams a day. Today, Americans average about 10 to 20 grams of TFAs daily. While even these moderate intakes pose a health risk, it is easy to consume 20 grams just from snack foods alone and daily intakes of up to 100 grams are possible if a person regularly eats potato chips, cookies, crackers, or fried fast foods. Do not consume anymore then 10% of your daily calories from both Trans Fatty Acids and Saturated fat combined. This adds up to 200 calories or 20 grams of both combined for a 2,000 calorie diet daily.

    The evidence against TFAs is so convincing that a movement is in progress to require manufacturers to list TFA levels on food labels, just as saturated fats are now.

    To cut back on TFAs: Read labels and avoid foods that contain "partially hydrogenated vegetable oils." Also avoid foods fried in fast-food restaurants, from doughnuts to french fries.

    If you must use margarine, choose diet or whipped margarine that contain less TFAs than tub margarine (though tub margarine does contain less TFAs than stick margarine). Look for brands that state no TFAs, or that list water and/or liquid vegetable oil as the first ingredients.

    Make your own spread by whipping a stick of butter with a half-cup of canola oil, then store in the refrigerator. Use sparingly. This blend is lower in saturated fat than butter and is trans-free.

    Better yet, switch to olive oil and use it sparingly.

    Saturated Fat: A fat, most often of animal origin, that is solid at room temperature and whose fatty acid chains cannot incorporate additional hydrogen atoms. An excess of these fats in the diet is thought to raise the cholesterol level in the bloodstream. Avoid Saturated fat, and keep it below 10% of the daily calories consumed from fat. This includes Trans Fatty Acids: Combined you should be consuming no more the 200 calories or 20 grams for both TFA, and Saturated Fat.

    What Are Carbohydrates?

    Carbohydrates provide fuel for the body in the form of glucose. Glucose is a sugar that is the primary means of energy for all of the body's cells.

    There are two types of carbohydrates -- simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are sugars -- they are found in refined sugar, and in fruits. The refined sugars in candies and snacks can be very unhealthy.

    Complex carbohydrates are the starches -- they are found in beans, nuts, vegetables and whole grains. They are considered very healthy mostly because they are digested by the body slowly and provide a steady source of energy. They do not provide a burst of energy "the sugar rush" experienced with simple carbohydrates.

    The American Heart Association recommends that Americans decrease the amounts of refined sugars (simple carbohydrates) and increase the amount of complex carbohydrates to 55% of the total daily calories consumed. Fruit and Vegetable simple sugars are ok to consume and healthy as well. Avoid white refined sugar, or white bread - these types of Carbohydrates can spike Insulin levels leading to a host of diseases including Diabetes.

    What Is Cholesterol?

    Cholesterol is a type of fat (lipid) and is an essential nutrient your body needs for many important functions, such as producing new cells. If you eat too many foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol or you have an inherited condition, the cholesterol levels in your blood may climb to unhealthy levels. This increases your risk for hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis, which in turn can lead to life-threatening illnesses, such as coronary artery disease (CAD), heart attack, or stroke.

    Your body gets cholesterol from two sources: from the foods you eat and from your liver. Although many foods contain cholesterol, your liver actually produces up to 80% of what you need. The maximum level someone seeking to be healthy should consume is no more then 300mgs of Cholesterol per day. Some people especially bodybuilders or strength training athletes may use foods with higher levels of Cholesterol such as eggs, meats, and fish - however the level these people use should carefully be followed while on their own routine. They should carefully research before they attempt to do so and always speak with an Athletic Certified Nutritional Expert or professional in Training Nutrition.

    What Are Vitamins?

    Vitamins help with chemical reactions in the body. In general, vitamins must come from the diet; the body doesn't make them.

    There are 13 vitamins essential to the body. They are divided into two categories: soluble (vitamin C and all the B vitamins) and fat-soluble (vitamins A, D, E, and K). The fat-soluble vitamins are more easily stored by the body. Thus, you do not need large amounts of these vitamins since they can easily become toxic and cause a variety of problems. Those attained from multivitamins are the ones which can become toxic. Those acquired from Fruits and Vegetables are safe. Those found in meats - especially organ meats, such as liver can become toxic when consumed by people in large amounts. Pay close attention.

    Because the water-soluble vitamins aren't stored for long in the body, we must consume them daily. And, although taking large doses of these vitamins isn't necessarily dangerous, it may be wasteful as the body eliminates the excess water-soluble vitamins in the urine.

    What Are Minerals?

    Minerals, like vitamins, must come from the diet; the body doesn't make them. Many minerals are vital to the proper function of the body and must be taken in relatively large amounts (such as calcium, potassium and iron.) Others, like trace minerals (zinc, selenium, and copper), are only needed in small amounts to maintain good health. Again these are non toxic when consumed naturally in fruits, and vegetables. Those found in meats - especially organ meats,such as liver can become toxic. I suggest getting minerals and vitamins from the foods you eat. Vitamin Supplements are often of poor quality, and from poor sources. Occasionally more manufacturers are creating Whole food supplements which come from natural sources, and these are certainly beneficial.

    What Is Sodium & Electrolytes?

    Electrolytes are a chemical substance which, when dissolved in water or melted, dissociates into electrically charged particles (ions), and thus is capable of conducting an electric current. The principal positively charged ions in the body fluids are sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. The most important negatively charged ions (anions) are chloride, bicarbonate, and phosphate. These electrolytes are involved in metabolic activities and are essential to the normal function of all cells. Concentration gradients of sodium and potassium across the cell membrane produce the membrane potential and provide the means by which electrochemical impulses are transmitted in nerve and muscle fibers. Electrolytes are often lost during intense exercise especially through the sweat glands. They should be replenished if training exceeds 60 minutes or more of intense aerobic training.

    Sodium is one of the most important minerals in the body. It is also an electrolyte, which means it carries an electrical charge when it is dissolved in blood. Sodium helps regulate the water balance (the amount of fluid inside and surrounding the cells) and electrolyte balance of the body. Sodium also plays an important role in nerve and muscle functions. Almost all foods contain sodium naturally or as an ingredient, such as table salt (sodium chloride) or baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) added during processing or cooking. Many medicines and other products also contain sodium, including laxatives, aspirin, mouthwash, and toothpaste. Too much sodium in the diet may raise blood pressure in some people. For those who already have high blood pressure, a diet high in sodium may further increase their risk of heart disease, stroke, and kidney damage. High sodium levels can worsen congestive heart failure (CHF) and can increase the amount of water retained by the body, leading to swelling of the legs and hands. Taking in more than 4 grams (g) of sodium per day causes problems for some people. The maximum level someone seeking to be healthy should consume is no more then 2,500mgs per day of Sodium.

    How Does Water Promote Health?

    Although it has no food value, the body can't survive without water - it is essential in keeping the brain adequately hydrated. Water always has been and always will be the most important nutrient in our diets. Second only to oxygen. Water is needed the most out of all the 40+ nutrients used by all bodies. It is needed to maintain homeostasis, it is the most abundant solvent or medium in the human body, it's important in regulating cell volume, nutrient transport, waste removal, and body temperature. It's distributed both in intra- and intercellular compartments and accounts for up to 80% of our body weight at birth and up to 70% of our adult body weight. Our bodies can't store excess water for future times of need, so daily intakes are essential for almost all body functions, including digestion, absorption, circulation, excretion, transporting nutrients, building tissue, and maintaining body temperature. It also is well-established that fluid needs vary depending on a variety of factors, such as climate, age, exercise level, and body weight. The average adult loses about 10 cups of water on a typical day. Most people need roughly eight to 12 cups of fluid a day. More specifically, the International Sports Medicine Institute in West Los Angeles suggests a person drink 2/3 ounces per pound of body weight each day if they are active (12+ glasses for an active 150-pound person) and 1/2 ounces per pound if they are not active (9+ glasses of water for a 150-pound sedentary person).

    Phytochemicals What Are They?

    Phytochemicals: Phytochemicals are chemicals found in plants. They are not nutrients, but they do have important functions in the body. Examples of phytochemicals include:

    Antioxidants (some nutrients, like vitamin C, are also antioxidants).
    Enzyme stimulators.
    Estrogen (phytoestrogens).
    Estrogen blockers.
    Compounds that bind potential cancer-causing chemicals.
    Suppressors of cancer cells are beneficial chemicals made by plants.
    Phytochemicals can protect against aging, infection, cancer, and heart disease, explains Johanna Lampe, RD, PhD, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. They act as antioxidants that reduce cell damage, stimulate the immune system, and fight bacteria and viruses. They can reduce blood pressure, regulate cholesterol and hormones, and prevent stroke by keeping platelets from sticking together.

    "The combination of these biologic processes, rather than any one mechanism, influences disease risk," Lampe explains.

    "Every vegetable and fruit has a unique profile of photochemical exerting beneficial effects on our bodies to prevent disease," says David Heber, MD, PhD, a professor of medicine and public health at UCLA.

    So far, more than 25,000 different photochemical have been discovered in fruits and vegetables. Researchers are now discovering that these chemicals work in concert, orchestrating natural harmony in body systems. To keep our bodies finely tuned, the best diet is one featuring a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes.

    How Much Nutrients Do I Need to Stay Healthy?

    A healthy general diet should consist of:

    60% to 70% carbohydrates
    12% to 15% protein
    25% to 30% fat, with no more than 10% saturated fat
    The Food Pyramid published by the USDA makes it easy to envision just how much of each food type you should eat. This is just a general guide. Some may choose to add 1, 2 or even 3 or 4 servings of any individual group onto what is already listed. It all depends what you are trying to accomplish. For weight loss the general guide is just fine to follow.

    Each section of the pyramid represents a food group; the size of the group corresponds to the number of recommended servings. The base of the pyramid represents the grain group. These are carbohydrate-rich foods: bread, cereal, rice and pasta. You should eat 6-11 servings per day of these foods. The next tier of the pyramid includes vegetables and fruit. You should eat 3-5 servings per day of vegetables and 2-4 servings per day of fruit. These are good sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. The next level is protein: dairy products, meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts. You should eat 2-3 servings per day of foods from the milk group and 2-3 servings per day of foods from the meat, egg, bean, and nut group. The top level of the pyramid is fats, oils, and sweets; these should be used sparingly.

    The pyramid calls for eating a variety of foods to get all of the nutrients you need, and, at the same time, the right amount of calories to maintain a healthy weight. If you're watching your weight, eat the minimum number of recommended servings. If you need to gain weight, eat the maximum number of servings or tailor the servings to your individual needs. And, keep in mind as to what constitutes a serving. Most serving sizes are smaller than you think. Be sure to read the food labels carefully to determine the accurate portion size. Serving size is listed right above "Calories" on the back of the food usually.

    Also, try to choose nonfat and lean foods as often as possible. For example, choose nonfat or 1% milk instead of 2% or whole milk; lean meat instead of fatty meat; and breads and cereals that are not processed with a lot of fat (especially Trans Fatty Acids).

    But you don't have to completely avoid all foods that have fat, cholesterol or sodium. It's your average intake over a few days, not in a single food or even a single meal that's important. If you eat a high-fat food or meal, balance your intake by choosing low-fat foods the rest of the day or the next day. Read the food labels on everything you eat to help you "budget" your intake of fat, cholesterol and sodium over several days.

    How to Read Food Labels

    Just about every packaged food made in the U.S. has a food label indicating serving size and other nutritional information. The "Nutrition Facts" food labels are intended to give you information about the specific packaged food in question. Measurements of fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrate, protein, vitamins and minerals are calculated for a "typical portion." But, reading these labels can be confusing. Below is an example of a Nutrition Facts label, along with explanations of its components.

    Serving Size: Serving sizes are based on the amount of food people typically eat, which makes them realistic and easy to compare to similar foods. This may or may not be the serving amount you normally eat. It is important that you pay attention to the serving size, including the number of servings in the package and compare it to how much you actually eat. The size of the serving on the food package influences all the nutrient amounts listed on the top part of the label. For example, if a package has 4 servings and you eat the entire package, you quadruple the calories, fat, etc. that you have eaten which is listed on the side.

    Calories and Calories From Fat: The number of calories and grams of nutrients are provided for the stated serving size. This is the part of the food label where you will find the amount of fat per serving.

    Nutrients: This section lists the daily amount of each nutrient in the food package. These daily values are the reference numbers that are set by the government and are based on current nutrition recommendations. Some labels list daily values for both 2,000 and 2,500 calorie diets.

    "% Daily Value: shows how a food fits into a 2,000 calorie/day diet. For diets other than 2,000 calories, divide by 2,000 to determine the % Daily Value for nutrients. For example, if you are following a 1,500 calorie diet, your % Daily Value goal will be based on 75% for each nutrient, not 100%.

    For fat, saturated fat and cholesterol, choose foods with a low % Daily Value. For total carbohydrates, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals, try to reach your goal for each nutrient.

    Calories Per Gram: This information shows the number of calories in a gram of fat, carbohydrate and protein.

    Ingredients: Each product should list the ingredients on the label. They are listed from largest to smallest amount (by weight). This means a food contains the largest amount of the first ingredient and the smallest amount of the last ingredient.

    Label Claim: Another aspect of food labeling is label claims. Some food labels make claims such as "low cholesterol"" or "low fat." These claims can only be used if a food meets strict government definitions. Here are some of the meanings:


    Controlling How Much You Eat

    One of the key ways to maintain a healthy weight is to control your portion sizes. Research has shown that Americans often underestimate how many calories they are consuming each day by as much as 25%.

    What Does Serving Size Mean?

    Use the list below to gain a perspective on how much food a recommended serving size really is; it may be much smaller than you realize.

    According the USDA, 1 serving equals:

    1 slice of whole-grain bread
    1/2 cup of cooked rice or pasta
    1/2 cup of mashed potatoes
    3-4 small crackers
    1 small pancake or waffle
    2 medium-sized cookies
    1/2 cup cooked or raw vegetables
    1 cup (4 leaves) lettuce
    1 small baked potato
    3/4 cup vegetable juice
    1 medium apple
    1/2 grapefruit or mango
    1/2 cup berries
    1 cup yogurt or milk
    1 1/2 ounces of cheddar cheese
    1 chicken breast
    1 medium pork chop
    1/4 pound hamburger patty
    A good guideline to help you understand portion sizes is to translate the abstract information represented by the serving size into something visual that's easily remembered. So instead of trying to memorize lists of ounces, cups and tablespoons, simply compare the serving sizes of particular foods to familiar physical objects. For example, a single serving of:

    Vegetables or fruit is about the size of your fist
    Pasta is about the size of one scoop of ice cream
    Meat, fish or poultry is the size of a deck of cards or the size of your palm (minus the fingers).
    Snacks such as pretzels and chips is about the size of a cupped handful
    Apple is the size of a baseball
    Potato is the size of a computer mouse
    Bagel is the size of a hockey puck
    Pancake is the size of a compact disc
    Steamed rice is the size of a cupcake wrapper
    Cheese is the size of a pair of dice or the size of your whole thumb (from the tip to the base)
    The best way to determine the amount of food in a given serving is to look at the Nutrition Facts label and measure it out. Although this may not be practical or that much fun, if you are able to take the time, you will soon be able to "eyeball" the amount of food and know whether there is too much or too little.

    For example, filling a measuring cup with the proper sized portion of vegetables, rice, etc. and then emptying it onto a plate will help you learn what these serving sizes look like. Take note of how much of the plate is covered; this will help you in the future, even if you only do it once. Simply by having and implementing this knowledge, you will have taken an important step in managing your weight.

    Other ways of developing and maintaining proper portion control include:

    At home:

    Use smaller dishes at meals.
    Serve food in the appropriate portion amounts and don't go back for seconds.
    Put away any leftovers in separate, portion-controlled amounts. Consider freezing the portions you likely won't eat for a while.
    Never eat out of the bag or carton.
    Don't keep platters of food on the table; you are more likely to "pick" at it or have a second serving without even realizing it.
    At restaurants:

    Ask for half or smaller portions.
    Eyeball your appropriate portion, set the rest aside, and ask for a doggie bag right away. Servings at many restaurants are often big enough to provide lunch for two days.
    If you have dessert, share.
    At the supermarket:

    Beware of "mini-snacks" -- tiny crackers, cookies, and pretzels. Most people end up eating more than they realize, and the calories add up.
    Choose foods packaged in individual serving sizes.
    If you're the type who eats ice cream out of the carton, pick up ice cream sandwiches or other individual size servings.
    Focusing on Fat

    Why Is it Important to Reduce Fat Intake?

    High fat intake contributes to excess body weight, since a gram of fat has about twice as many calories per gram as carbohydrates and proteins.

    Whether you are trying to lose weight, lower blood cholesterol levels or simply eat healthier, you'll want to limit total fat intake. 65 grams per day is acceptable for a 2,000 calorie diet. For those using a 2,500 calorie diet, or a 3,000 calorie diet you may wish to increase the fat depending on your specific activity and diet.

    Why Do Most Diets Focus on Reducing Fat?

    Fat gets all of the attention for many good reasons. Consider these facts: Fat (especially saturated fat) can raise cholesterol levels in the blood. A high cholesterol level is a leading risk factor for heart disease.

    In addition, some fatty foods (such as bacon, sausage, and potato chips) often have fewer vitamins and minerals than low-fat foods. (Note: Protein sources, especially red meat and dairy products, often contain fat. Lean meat, fish, poultry without skin, beans, tofu, low-fat yogurt, low-fat milk, low-fat cottage cheese and tuna fish packed in water are good, low-fat sources of protein.)

    As mentioned, fat has about twice as many calories per gram as carbohydrates and proteins. A gram of fat has about 9 calories, while a gram of carbohydrate or protein has about 4 calories. In other words, you could eat twice as much carbohydrates or proteins as fat for the same amount of calories. If you must eat fat - follow the Nutrition 101 guide on which types to eat. Primarily your diet should be Monunsaturated Fat - about 60% of your healthy fat. Another 30% should come from healthy polyunsaturated fat like Flaxseed Oil. The remaining 10% "can" be Saturated or Trans Fat - however you may wish to simply ignore these all together, and have the additional 10% delegated to Polyunsaturated Fat. This allows the Omega 3 and 6 in both Mono, and Poly fats to be much more even.

    Will I Lose Weight if I Eat Low-Fat Foods?

    It's true that a diet high in fat can lead to weight gain. But it takes more than just eating low-fat foods to lose weight. You must also watch how many calories you eat. Remember, extra calories even from fat-free and low-fat foods get stored in the body as fat. Many times people replace high-fat foods for high-calorie foods, like sweets, and gain weight rather than lose weight. Reducing fat does not mean "avoiding" or ignoring healthy fat such as nuts, seeds, and good oils. It means becareful, and keep these as the minimal limit - in this case 65 grams for a 2,000 calorie diet.

    To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you eat. You can achieve this goal by exercising and by eating less fat and calories. Exercise burns calories. Consult with your doctor before starting an exercise or diet program.

    How Much Fat Should I Eat?

    A low-fat style of eating is important for maintaining a healthy weight and preventing heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends limiting total calories from fat to less than 30%. That's about 65 grams of fat or less a day if you eat 2,000 calories a day. You may choose to eat a 2,500 calorie diet and in that case you must adjust the percentages for weight loss purposes. About 70 - 80 grams for a 2,500 calorie diet.

    How Can I Know How Much Fat I am Eating?

    Learn about the foods you eat. Fat and calorie listings for individual foods can be found in nutrition books at your local library and on food packages. By read this article you'll be primed and educated on the fundamental requirements.

    Read nutrition labels on food packages. Nutrition labels show the number of grams of fat per serving. They also show the daily percentage of fat provided in each serving. In other words, if the daily percentage of fat per serving is 18%, each serving provides 18% of the total fat you should eat for the day. Choose a brand that has a lower fat percentage. (The daily percentage value is based on a number of calories listed on the nutrition label, usually 2,000. Your calorie needs may be higher or lower.)

    Where Do I Start?

    Eat a variety of lower-fat foods to get all the nutrients you need. Don't eat just one type.
    Watch your calorie intake. Remember, "low fat" does not always mean "low calorie."
    Eat plenty of plant-based foods (such as grain products, fruits and vegetables) and a moderate amount of animal-based foods (meat and dairy products) to help control your fat, cholesterol and calorie intake.
    Increase your physical activity to improve heart health and lose excess body fat.
    What Goals Should I Try to Meet?

    Decrease the total amount of fat you eat to 30% or less of your total daily calories. For a person eating 2,000 calories a day, this would be 65 grams of fat or less per day.
    Limit cholesterol intake to 300 milligrams (mg) or less per day.
    Decrease saturated fat (animal fat, butter, coconut and palm oils) to less than 10% of your total calories per day. Again you may wish to completely avoid these, and simply increase Polyunsaturated healthy fats.
    Tips For Reducing Fat Intake

    When selecting foods:

    Learn about the foods you eat by reading nutrition labels. Look for "low-fat," "nonfat" and "reduced-fat" claims on food packages. Focus on total fat, rather than individual items. When selecting food, balance those with a higher fat amount against those with a lower fat amount to stay within your fat total or "budget" for the day. Also read the ingredients - check for hydrogenated oils, and avoid them.
    Choose lean meats, fish and poultry. Limit these to 5-8 ounces per day when trying to lose weight. Other good low-fat sources of protein include dried beans and peas, tofu, low-fat yogurt, low-fat milk 1% or (Skim Milk), low-fat cottage cheese and tuna fish packed in water.
    Enjoy low-fat (no more than 3 grams of fat per ounce) or nonfat cheeses and spreads. Try low-fat or fat-free versions of your favorite margarine, salad dressing, cream cheese and mayonnaise. Stay within the serving amounts. Try not to binge and use up all your servings of fatty foods at once.
    When preparing foods:

    To reduce fat - Trim all visible fat and remove the skin from poultry.
    Refrigerate soups, gravies and stews, and remove the hardened fat before eating.
    Bake, broil or grill meats on a rack that allows fat to drip from the meat. Avoid frying foods.
    Sprinkle lemon juice and herbs/spices on cooked vegetables instead of using cheese, butter or cream-based sauces.
    Try plain, nonfat or low-fat yogurt and chives on baked potatoes rather than sour cream. Reduced-fat sour cream still contains fat, so you must limit the amount you use.
    When dining out:

    Choose simply-prepared foods such as broiled, roasted or baked fish or chicken. Avoid fried or sautéed foods, casseroles, and foods with heavy sauces and gravies.
    Request that your food be cooked without added butter, margarine, gravy or sauces.
    Request salad with low-fat dressing on the side.
    Select fruit, angel food cake, nonfat frozen yogurt, sherbet or sorbet for dessert instead of ice cream, cake or pie.
    Getting Started: Losing Weight for the Long-Term

    Losing weight and keeping it off is not easy. Before you get started on a weight loss program, consider the following tips. They should help you reach your goal of obtaining and maintaining a healthy weight.

    Set the Right Goals

    Setting effective goals is an important first step. Most people trying to lose weight focus on just that one goal: weight loss. However, the most productive areas to focus on are the dietary and exercise changes that will lead to long-term weight control. Successful weight managers are those who select two or three goals at a time that they are willing to take on. Taking care of your body is more then merely a "physical" activity. It is a mental challenge. Visualizing yourself as reaching your goal for a few minutes daily will certainly help. It is a lifestyle change which must take place - all aspects of your life. If you smoke - quit, if you consume alcohol, quit. Building discipline begins one step at a time. Begin with small steps and work your way up the rungs of the ladder. You can't skip rungs and effectively succeed. Most people who skip rungs lose their balance and fall of the ladder. Those who do skip steps and make it usually regain the weight they lose, and return to an unhealthy lifestyle. Losing weight and attaining health in the long term requires discipline, but also the desire to care for one's body. It is a mental challenge, so educate yourself - build and strengthen your mind.

    Keep in mind that effective goals are specific, attainable, and forgiving. For example, "exercise more" is a wonderful goal, but it's not specific. "Walk five miles everyday" is specific and measurable, but is it attainable if you 're just starting out?" Walk 30 minutes every day" is more attainable, but what happens if you're held up at work one day and there's a thunderstorm during your walking time another day? "Walk 30 minutes, five days each week" is specific, attainable, and forgiving.

    Reward Success (But Not With Food!)

    Rewards that you can control can be used to encourage you to attain your weight control goals, especially those that have been difficult for you to reach.

    An effective reward is something that is desirable, timely, and contingent on meeting your goal. Rewards may include treating yourself to a movie or music CD or taking an afternoon off from work or just an hour of quiet time away from family. Keep in mind that numerous small rewards, delivered for meeting smaller goals, are more effective than bigger rewards, requiring a long, difficult effort.

    Balance Your (Food) Checkbook

    This means that you should monitor your eating behavior by observing and recording some aspect of your eating behavior, such as how many calories you eat in a day, how many servings of fruits and vegetables you eat per day, how often and for how long you exercise, etc., or an outcome of these behaviors, such as weight. Keeping a diet Diary is very effective.

    Doing this can really help you determine how you are doing and what you need to do to meet your weight control goals.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2003
  2. Filmboy44

    Filmboy44 Guest

    Avoid a Chain Reaction

    Identify those social and environmental cues that tend to encourage you to take part in undesired eating, and then work to change those cues. For example, you may learn that you're more likely to overeat while watching television, or whenever treats are on display by the office coffee pot.

    Then work to sever the association of eating with the cue (don't eat while watching television), avoid or eliminate the cue (leave coffee room immediately after pouring coffee). In general, visible and accessible food items are often cues for unplanned eating.

    Get the (Fullness) Message

    Changing the way you go about eating can make it easier to eat less without feeling deprived. It takes 15 or more minutes for your brain to get the message you've been fed. So slow down the rate that you eat food. That will allow satiety (fullness) signals to begin to develop by the end of the meal. Eating lots of vegetables or fruit can also make you feel fuller. Another trick is to use smaller plates so that moderate portions do not appear meager. In addition, by changing your eating schedule, or setting one, this can help you reach your goal, especially if you tend to skip, or delay, meals and overeat later.

    Exercise and Weight Control

    Regular physical activity is an important part of effective weight control. It helps to control your weight by using excess calories that otherwise would be stored as fat. Exercise also helps prevent many diseases and improve your overall health.

    Your weight is determined by the number of calories you eat each day minus what your body uses. Everything you eat contains calories, and everything you do uses calories, including sleeping, breathing, and digesting food. Any physical activity in addition to what you normally do will burn those extra calories.

    Balancing the number of calories you expend through exercise and physical activity with the calories you eat will help you achieve your desired weight. The key to successful weight control and improved overall health is making physical activity a part of your daily routine.

    What Are the Health Benefits of Exercise?

    Research consistently shows that regular exercise, combined with healthy eating, is the most efficient and healthful way to control your weight.

    In addition to helping to control your weight, research shows that regular physical activity can reduce your risk for several diseases and conditions and improve your overall quality of life. Regular exercise can help prevent:

    Heart disease and stroke. Daily physical activity can help prevent heart disease and stroke by strengthening your heart muscle, lowering your blood pressure, raising your HDL ("good" cholesterol) and lowering LDL cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol), improving blood flow, and increasing your heart's working capacity.
    High blood pressure. Regular exercise reduces blood pressure in people with high blood pressure (hypertension).
    Diabetes. By reducing body fat, physical activity can help to prevent and control type 2 diabetes.
    Back pain. By increasing muscle strength and endurance and improving flexibility and posture, regular exercise can prevent back pain.
    Osteoporosis. Regular weight-bearing exercise promotes bone formation and may prevent many forms of bone loss associated with aging.
    Regular physical activity can also improve mood and the way you feel about yourself. Exercise is likely to reduce depression and anxiety and help you to better manage stress. Exercise has also been shown beneficial significantly and removing toxins from the body. By moving your body can remove toxins from the Lymph fluid which surrounds cells, and allows them to move into the blood to be removed. The Lymph system does not have a pump of it's own. Only through muscle movement do the toxins find their way to the blood. This can significantly reduce fatigue as well as a host of other problems. The immune system is also significantly supported, and even increased through exercise. It's a natural immune stimulant. Those suffering from HIV or other infections would benefit greatly from a healthy diet and exercise together.

    What Type of Exercise Is Best?

    It does not matter what type of physical activity you perform -- sports, planned exercise, household chores, yard work, or work-related tasks -- all are beneficial. Aerobic Exercise is most effective for losing weight - walking, biking, swimming. All of which are important.

    Over the past few years, exercise advertisements have targeted simplified exercise routines for weight reduction and maintenance. Some exercise advertisements sell the belief that one machine will work your entire body and give you the results you need. However, many of these machines may only be good for one type of conditioning, such as cardiovascular; these machines also have limitations to the type of exercise you can do and they are not good for everyone. To determine the best type of exercise program for you, talk to your doctor and a certified athletic trainer. A local Gym membership or a pair of walking shoes are all you need to begin the journey.

    How Much Exercise Should I Do?

    Studies show that even the most inactive people can gain significant health benefits if they accumulate just 30 minutes or more of physical activity per day.

    For the greatest overall health benefits, experts suggest 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (see below) 3 or more times per week plus some form of anaerobic exercise (see below) such as muscle strengthening activity and stretching twice a week. We'll be discussing stretching further down.

    If you have been inactive for a while, you may want to start with less strenuous activities such as walking or swimming at a comfortable pace. Beginning at a slow pace will allow you to become physically fit without straining your body. Once you are in better shape, you can gradually do more strenuous activity.

    What Is Aerobic Exercise?

    Aerobic (meaning with oxygen) exercise is any activity involving large muscles, done for an extended period of time. Aerobic exercise can be done for weight loss, but it also provides cardiovascular benefits. Examples of aerobic exercise include walking, biking, jogging, swimming, aerobic classes and cross-country skiing.

    What Is Anaerobic Exercise?

    Anaerobic (meaning without oxygen) exercise usually refers to resistance training. Anaerobic exercise is done primarily for increased muscle mass. Weight training is a form of anaerobic exercise.

    What are Moderate Intensive Activities?

    Moderate-intensity activities include some of the things you may already be doing during a day or week, such as gardening and housework. These activities can be done in short spurts -- 10 minutes here, 8 minutes there. Alone, each action does not have a great effect on your health, but regularly accumulating 30 minutes of activity over the course of the day can result in substantial health benefits.

    To become more active throughout your day, take advantage of any chance to get up and move around. Here are some examples:

    Take a short walk around the block
    Rake leaves
    Play actively with the kids
    Walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator
    Mow the lawn
    Take an activity break -- get up and stretch or walk around
    Park your car a little farther away from your destination and walk the extra distance
    Or simple take a walk instead of a drive for casual enjoyment
    The point is not to make physical activity an unwelcome chore, but to make the most of the opportunities you have to be active.

    Before You Get Started

    Before starting any exercise program, be sure to talk with your doctor. He or she can offer suggestions about which type of program would be best for you. Physical Therapists, Exercise Trainers at the local Gym, and your general practitioner can all provide you with ideas and tools.

    Target Heart Rate & Pulse:

    Your pulse is your heart rate, or the number of times your heart beats in one minute. Pulse rates vary from person to person. Your pulse is lower when you are at rest and increases when you exercise (because more oxygen-rich blood is needed by the body when you exercise).

    Knowing how to take your pulse can help you evaluate your exercise program. When you participate in aerobic activities like running, bicycling and in-line skating, you want your pulse to increase to a point where you are safely achieving an optimal cardiovascular workout. This range is typically between 50 percent and 75 percent of your maximum heart rate. (Well-trained athletes can sustain a slightly higher range).

    How to take your pulse
    1. Place the tips of your index, second and third fingers on the palm side of your other wrist, below the base of the thumb. Or, place the tips of your index and second fingers on your lower neck, on either side of your windpipe. See the pictures below:

    2. Press lightly with your fingers until you feel the blood pulsing beneath your fingers. You may need to move your fingers around slightly up or down until you feel the pulsing.

    3. Look at a watch or clock with a second hand.

    4. Count the beats you feel for 6 seconds. Multiply this number by 10 to get your heart rate (pulse) per minute.


    What is my maximum heart rate?
    The maximum heart rate is the highest your pulse rate can get. To calculate your predicted maximum heart rate, use this formula: 220 minus Your Age = Predicted Maximum Heart Rate. For example, a 40-year-old's predicted maximum heart rate is 180.

    Your actual maximum heart rate can be determined by a graded exercise test.

    Please note that some medications and medical conditions may affect your maximum heart rate. If you are taking medications or have a medical condition (such as heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes), always ask your health care provider if your maximum heart rate (and target heart rate) should be adjusted.

    What is my target heart rate?
    You gain the most benefits and lessen the risks when you exercise in your target heart rate zone. Usually this is when your exercise heart rate (pulse) is 60 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate. In some cases, your health care provider may decrease your target heart rate zone to begin with 50 percent. Read the chart below for age, and range:


    Stop exercising and or slow down the intensity of the exercise if your heart rate during the activity exceeds your target heart rate. If it is too low - then increase the intensity of the training to bring the level up to your target heart rate zone. Exceeding your target heart rate for extended periods of time will increase both cardiovascular and orthopedic risk and does not add any extra benefit during aerobic exercise.

    Check with your health care provider before starting an exercise program. Your health care provider can help you find a program and target heart rate zone that match your needs, goals and physical condition.

    When beginning an exercise program, you may need to gradually build up to a level that is within your target heart rate zone, especially if you have not exercised regularly before. If the exercise feels too hard, slow down. You will reduce your risk of injury and enjoy the exercise more if you don't try to overdo it!

    To find out if you are exercising in your target zone (between 60 and 80 percent of your maximum heart rate), stop exercising and check your pulse. If your pulse is below your target zone, increase your rate of exercise. If your pulse is above your target zone, decrease your rate of exercise.

    Choosing a Weight-Loss Program

    During any one year, over half of Americans go on a diet to lose weight. For many people, it is difficult to lose more than a few pounds and few succeed in remaining at the reduced weight. The difficulty in losing weight and keeping it off leads many people to turn to a professional or commercial weight-loss program for help. When considering joining a weight-loss program, choose wisely. The program you choose should be a lifestyle change. A permanent change - following all the information listed in this primer.

    Almost any of the commercial weight-loss programs can work, but only if they motivate you sufficiently to decrease the amount of calories you eat or increase the amount of calories you burn through physical activity each day (or both). They can also work if you gradually supplement eating naturally healthy foods as you gradually lose the weight. Moving from the weight loss program slowly to a very fulfilling balanced dietary routine will allow you to make the diet a permanent healthy routine.

    What Should I Look for in a Weight-Loss Program?

    Make sure it is safe. Whether you create your own program or use a commercial one, make sure it is safe. A safe diet should include all of the recommended daily allowances (RDAs) for vitamins, minerals and protein. Remember you may need more vitamins, and nutrients then the RDA lists for minerals and vitamins. Use high nutrient, and low calorie fruits and vegetables to help you reach that goal. The weight-loss diet should be low in calories (energy) only, not in essential vitamins or minerals. Low in calories depends on you and your body.
    Slow steady weight-loss. The program should be directed toward slow, steady weight loss unless your doctor feels your health condition would benefit from more rapid weight loss. Expect to lose only about a pound a week after the first week or two. With many calorie-restricted diets, there is an initial rapid weight loss during the first 1 to 2 weeks, but this loss is largely fluid. The initial rapid loss of fluid also is regained rapidly when you return to a normal- moderate calorie diet. Thus, a reasonable goal of weight loss should be expected.
    When inquiring about a commercial weight-loss program, be sure you are provided with a detailed statement of fees and costs of additional items such as dietary supplements or foods. Other important questions to ask of any potential weight-loss program include:

    Does the staff consist of qualified counselors and health professionals such as registered dietitians, doctors and exercise physiologists?
    Are food choices flexible and suitable?
    Are weight goals set by the client and the health professional?
    What percentage of people complete the program?
    What is the average weight loss among people who finish the program?
    What percentage of people have problems or side effects? What are they?
    If you plan to lose more than 15 to 20 pounds, have any health problems, or take medication on a regular basis, your doctor should evaluate you before you start a program. A doctor can assess your general health and medical conditions that might be affected by dieting and weight-loss.

    Also, a doctor should be able to recommend appropriate programs and help you come up with a sensible weight-loss goal. If you plan to use a very-low-calorie diet, you definitely should be examined and monitored by a doctor. I don't suggest anyone use a very low calorie diet unless absolutely necessary and approved by a medical profession certified in nutrition and weight loss. Most individuals would benefit from a low calorie to moderate calorie diet - around 2,000 calories for both men, and women is an average goal.

    What Else Should I Look for in a Weight-Loss Program?

    Your program should include plans for weight maintenance after the weight-loss phase is over. It is of little benefit to lose a large amount of weight only to regain it. If you use a weight loss routine which consists of 1,500 calories, or 2,000 calories you may wish to boost the calories to 2,000 and 2,500 per day, and stay around that. Adding fat - like Olive Oil, or Nut butters are easy ways to boost the calories, while still being balanced. You can also increase whole grains a bit. A simple Natural peanut butter sandwich with 1tbsp of Jelly and two slices of whole grain bread would add up quickly to an additional 250 - 300 calories.

    Weight maintenance is the most difficult part of controlling weight and is not consistently implemented in weight-loss programs. The program you select should help you improve your dietary habits, increase your physical activity, and help you change other lifestyle habits that may have contributed to your weight gain in the past such as smoking, depression, alcohol consumption, or other scenarios.

    Being overweight is too often viewed as a temporary problem that can be treated for a few months with a strenuous diet. However, as most overweight people know, weight control must be considered a life-long effort. It must be a life long effort for "everyone". To be safe and effective, any weight-loss program must address the long-term approach or else the program is largely a waste of money and effort.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Weight Control

    1. Can being overweight lead to medical problems?

    Yes. Being overweight is linked to a number of health problems, including:

    Heart disease and stroke
    High blood pressure
    Gallbladder disease and gallstones
    Breathing problems, such as sleep apnea (when a person stops breathing for a short time during sleep) and asthma
    2. How do I know if I am obese?

    Obesity is defined as an excess proportion of total body fat. A person is considered obese when his or her weight is 20% or more above normal weight.

    "Morbid obesity" means that a person is either 50%-100% over normal weight, more than 100 pounds over normal weight, or sufficiently overweight to severely interfere with health or normal function.

    3. Is any fat healthy?

    A certain amount of fat in the diet is good and necessary to be healthy. However, nutrition experts agree that most Americans should eat less fat than they currently do especially trans fats, and saturated fats. When you do eat fat, make sure it is unsaturated fat, such as fat that comes from peanut, other nuts, seed, olive oil and some margarines. You have a variety to choose from, just be sure to read the labels.

    4. What steps should I take to lose weight?

    Decide you want to permanently lose weight.
    Educate yourself.
    Have a realistic goal in mind.
    Formulate a structured treatment plan with your doctor and receive proper follow-up.
    5. What type of exercise is best?

    It does not matter what type of physical activity you perform -- sports, planned exercise, household chores, yard work, or work-related tasks -- all are beneficial. Aerobic exercise monitored within "The Target Heart Rate Zone" provides a consistent structured routine for most people. Setting aside 30-60 minutes 3-5 days per week is fine. You can do walking, biking, running, and swimming. All of these have their merits, and will help greatly in aiding weight loss.

    To determine the best type of exercise program for you, talk to your doctor and a certified athletic trainer.

    6. How much exercise should I do?

    Studies show that even the most inactive people can gain significant health benefits if they accumulate just 30 minutes or more of physical activity per day.

    For the greatest overall health benefits, experts suggest 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise 3 or more times per week plus some form of anaerobic exercise such as muscle strengthening activity and stretching twice a week.

    If you have been inactive for a while, you may want to start with less strenuous activities such as walking or swimming at a comfortable pace. Beginning at a slow pace will allow you to become physically fit without straining your body. Once you are in better shape, you can gradually do more strenuous activity.

    7. What is weight cycling and is it harmful?

    Weight cycling is the repeated loss and regain of body weight. When weight cycling is the result of dieting, it is called "yo-yo" dieting. A weight cycle can range from small weight losses and gains (5-10 lbs. per cycle) to large changes in weight (50 lbs. or more per cycle).

    Some experts believe that weight cycling may be harmful to your health and that staying at one weight is better than weight cycling, even for those people who are obese. However, there is no convincing evidence to support these claims, and most obesity researchers believe that obese individuals should continue trying to control their body weight despite some weight cycling.

    8. How do I spot a fad diet?

    While there is no set approach to identifying a fad diet, many have the following characteristics:

    Recommendations that promise a quick fix
    Dire warnings of dangers from a single product or regimen
    Claims that sound too good to be true
    Simplistic conclusions drawn from a complex study
    Recommendations based on a single study
    Dramatic statements that are refuted by reputable scientific organizations
    Lists of "good" and "bad" foods
    Recommendations made to help sell a product
    Recommendations based on studies published without review by other researchers
    Recommendations from studies that ignore differences among individuals or groups
    Eliminated one or more of the five food groups
    Tip: Avoid Fad Diets. They contribute to the continuation of health problems, and confusion of the general public over what works best. Only a well balanced diet which is flexible and lasts for life will provide a person with fat loss, as well as significantly improved physical and mental health.

    High Protein, Low Carbohydrate Diet Risks (Typical Fad Diet)
    Kidney failure. Consuming too much protein puts a strain on the kidneys, which can make a person susceptible to kidney disease.

    High cholesterol. It is well known that high protein diets (consisting of red meat, whole dairy products, and other high fat foods) are linked to high cholesterol. Studies have linked a high cholesterol levels to an increased risk of developing heart disease and cancer.

    Osteoporosis and kidney stones. High protein diets have also been shown to cause people to excrete more calcium than normal through their urine. Over a prolonged period of time, this can increase a person's risk of osteoporosis and kidney stones.

    Cancer. One of the reasons high protein diets increase the risks of certain health problems is because of the avoidance of carbohydrate-containing foods and the vitamins, minerals, fiber and anti-oxidants they contain. It is therefore important to obtain your protein from a diet rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Not only are your needs for protein being met, but you are also helping to reduce your risk of developing cancer.

    Unhealthy metabolic state (ketosis). Low carb diets can cause your body to go into a dangerous metabolic state called ketosis since your body burns fat instead of glucose for energy. During ketosis, the body forms substances known as ketones, which can cause organs to fail and result in gout, kidney stones, or kidney failure. Ketones can also dull a person's appetite, cause nausea and bad breath. Ketosis is prevented by eating at least 100 grams of carbohydrates a day.

    9. What prescription medicines are used to treat obesity?

    Currently, most available weight-loss medications approved by the FDA are for short-term use, meaning a few weeks or months. If the situation is severe, and your Obesity Specialist decides to use medication, then combined with a healthy diet, and aerobic exercise you should achieve excellent results.

    Most available weight-loss medications are "appetite-suppressant" medications. These include: Didrex, Tenuate, Sanorex, Mazanor, Adipex-P and Meridia. These medications generally come in the form of tablets or extended-release capsules (pills that release medication over a long period of time). Appetite suppressants can be obtained by a doctor's prescription or purchased over-the-counter.

    In the mid 1990s doctors also prescribed the popular appetite suppressant Redux or the combination of phentermine and fenfluramine, called "Phen-fen." However fenfluramine (Pondimin) and Redux were withdrawn from the market in 1997 because they caused damage to heart valves. Phentermine is still available. Taking phentermine alone has not been associated with the adverse health effects of the fenfluramine-phentermine combination.

    Another type of prescription weight loss drug is a fat absorption inhibitor. Xenical is the only example of this type of treatment approved for use in the U.S. Xenical works by blocking about 30% of dietary fat from being absorbed, and is the most recently approved weight loss drug. There are herbal supplements also that are available, but one should carefully research, and find one with clinical research to support it before using it alone. You can also see a Naturopathic doctor, or other alternative certified health specialist who can advise you on which supplements are most effective.

    Meridia and Xenical are the only weight-loss medications approved for longer-term use in significantly obese people, although the safety and effectiveness have not been established for use beyond 1 year.

    10. How can I prevent gaining lost weight?

    Keep the following tips in mind.

    Set realistic weight loss goals, such as a 1 to 2 pound weight loss per week. Those who lose weight slowly, by eating less and exercising more, tend to keep their lost weight off.
    Eat fewer calories by cutting down on portions and/or decreasing the total amount of fat you eat to 30% or less of your total daily calories. This includes limiting or removing refined white bread products, and refined sugar as well.
    Do not skip meals. Eat 4-6 smaller or medium sized meals that target your calorie range.
    Keep low calorie, low-fat snacks on hand, such as pretzels, raw vegetables with low calorie dips or fruit. Keep in mind that there is no difference between calories in low-fat foods than those found in fatty foods. Keep track, and pay attention.
    Choose foods high in fiber such as whole-grain breads, whole grain cereals, whole grain pasta like spelt or wheat, brown rice, fruits and vegetables. Make sure the fruits and vegetables are fresh, and organic is preferred. Pesticides and chemicals should be avoided if possible.
    To ensure you are eating healthy, keep an accurate food journal. Write down everything you eat or drink. Be honest and accurate, otherwise the journal is not as helpful. The food journal will help you learn about your eating habits and help you assess the food choices you are making.
    Eat a variety of foods to get all the nutrients you need. Meat, Vegetables, Dairy, Grains, Fats, Fruits, Beans, and so forth.
    Am I Overweight?

    What Does It Mean to Be Overweight?

    Doctors usually define "overweight" as a condition in which a person's weight is 10%-20% higher than "normal," as defined by a standard height/weight chart.

    What Is Obesity?

    Obesity is usually defined as a condition in which a person's weight is 20% or more above normal weight. "Morbid obesity" means either 50%-100% over normal weight, more than 100 pounds over normal weight, or sufficiently overweight to severely interfere with health or normal functioning.

    Nearly 40 million Americans, more than one-quarter of all adults and about one in five children, are obese. Each year, obesity causes at least 300,000 excess deaths in the U.S. and costs the country more than $100 billion.

    Am I Overweight or Obese?

    There are several tests that can be performed to determine if you are overweight or obese. But, measuring the exact amount of a person's body fat is not an easy task. Some tests are more accurate than others.

    What Tests Are Available for Diagnosing Obesity?

    Hydrostatic body fat test. This is the most accurate test given to assess body fat. During the test, you are submerged in water while your underwater weight is recorded.
    Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). This is another very accurate way to assess body fat. During this test, the patient must lay supine for approximately 20-30 minutes while every section of their body is systematically X-rayed.
    Unfortunately, these methods, however accurate, are not practical for the average person, and are done only in research centers with special equipment. As a result, doctors have developed easier methods to determine if a person is overweight or obese. These include:

    Calipers. A caliper is a device that is used to measure the amount of body fat on different parts of the body. Special computations provide your percentage of body fat based on the various measurements of skinfold thickness. These devices are commonly used in health clubs and commercial weight loss centers, but the results are only accurate if performed correctly.
    Bioelectrical impedence, or BIA. This technique uses a machine that sends harmless and painless electricity through a person's body to "weigh" each of the different kinds of tissue in their body. These include the amount of muscle and other lean tissue as well as the amount of fat and water in their body. The greater amount of fat a person has the greater the resistance the electrical signal encounters. BIA is very accurate and is often available to the public for purchase or can be found at gyms and rehabilitation centers.
    Height/weight charts. Special tables can be used to determine if a person is overweight. To get your ideal weight, you find you height on the chart, decide if your thick or thin framed and then you can find the range of your ideal weights separate for males and females. However, this technique is not always accurate. For example, the height/weight tables could indicate that a lean, muscular person is "overweight" (muscle weighs more than fat) while a person whose weight is within the "normal" range might actually be carrying around more fatty tissue than is healthy.
    Body mass index. The BMI is now the most common tool used to measure obesity. It measures your weight relative to your height. The ideal range is 18.5-24.9. A person with a BMI between 25 and 30 is considered to be overweight and a BMI over 30 indicates obesity.
    Body Mass Index (BMI)

    The BMI is one of the most accurate ways to determine whether or not an adult is overweight. BMI uses a person's weight and height to gauge total body fat.

    BMI is calculated by dividing a person's weight (in kilograms) by his or her height (in meters, squared). BMI can also be calculated by multiplying weight (in pounds) by 705, then dividing by height (in inches) twice.

    The chart below shows examples of body mass indexes. The figure at which your height corresponds with your weight is your body mass index.

    What Is a Healthy BMI?

    A person with a BMI of 24 or less is considered to be an ideal weight. A person with a BMI of 25-29.9 is considered to be overweight. Individuals who fall into the BMI range of 25 to 34.9, and have a waist size of over 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women, are considered to be at especially high risk for obesity-related health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. A BMI over 40 indicates that a person is morbidly obese. This can increases a person's risk of death from any cause by 50%-150%.


    What Is Obesity?

    Obesity is an excess proportion of total body fat. A person is considered obese when his or her weight is 20% or more above normal weight.

    "Morbid obesity" means that a person is either 50%-100% over normal weight, more than 100 pounds over normal weight, or sufficiently overweight to severely interfere with health or normal function.

    What Causes Obesity?

    Obesity occurs when a person consumes more calories than he or she burns. What causes this imbalance between consuming and burning calories is unclear. Evidence suggests that obesity often has more than one cause. They may include:

    Age: As you get older, your body's ability to metabolize food slows down and you do not require as many calories to maintain your weight. This is why people note that they eat the same and do the same activities as they did when they were 20 years old, but at age 40, gain weight.

    Gender: This is also an important factor in causing obesity. Men have a higher resting metabolic rate (meaning they burn more energy at rest) than females, so males require more calories to maintain their body weight. Additionally, when women become post-menopausal, their metabolic rate decreases significantly. That is partly why many women gain weight after menopause.

    Genetics: Obesity (and thinness) tends to run in families. In a study of adults who were adopted as children, researchers found that participating adult weights were closer to their biological parents' weights than their adoptive parents'. The environment provided by the adoptive family apparently had less influence on the development of obesity than the person's genetic makeup. In fact, if your biological mother is heavy as an adult, there is approximately a 75% chance that you will be heavy. If your biological mother is thin, there is also a 75% chance that you will be thin. Nevertheless, people who feel that their genes have doomed them to a lifetime of obesity should take heart. Many people genetically predisposed to obesity do not become obese or are able to lose weight and keep it off.

    Environmental factors: Although genes are an important factor in many cases of obesity, a person's environment also plays a significant role. Environmental factors include lifestyle behaviors such as what a person eats and how active he or she is.

    Physical activity: Active individuals require more calories than less active ones to maintain their weight. Additionally, physical activity tends to decrease appetite in obese individuals while increasing the body's ability to preferentially metabolize fat as an energy source. Much of the increase in obesity in the last 20 years is thought to have resulted from the decreased level of daily physical activity.

    Psychological factors: Psychological factors also influence eating habits. Many people eat in response to negative emotions such as boredom, sadness, or anger. While most overweight people have no more psychological disturbances than people at their normal weight, about 30% of people who seek treatment for serious weight problems have difficulties with binge eating. During a binge-eating episode, people eat large amounts of food while feeling they can't control how much they are eating.

    Illness: Some rare illnesses can cause obesity. These include hormone problems such as hypothyroidism (poorly acting thyroid slows metabolism), depression and some rare diseases of the brain that can lead to overeating.

    Medication: Certain drugs, such as steroids and some antidepressants, may cause excessive weight gain.
    Emotional Aspects of Obesity

    One of the most painful aspects of obesity may be the emotional suffering it causes. American society places great emphasis on physical appearance, often equating attractiveness with slimness or muscularity. In addition, many people wrongly stereotype obese people as gluttonous, lazy, or both. However, more and more evidence contradicts this assumption. Obese people often face prejudice or discrimination at work, at school, while looking for a job, and in social situations. Feelings of rejection, shame, or depression are common.

    Overeating can often be an addiction just as real, and painful as alcoholism, or other addictive behavior. The problems manifest physically, while the behavior, and pain guiding the behavior is psychological. Past experiences - often painful experiences can have an incredible influence on people, and sometimes eating disorders, or compulsive eating can be the result. Often unconscious, and uncontrollable without assistance. People with these problems need not be embarrassed - they are not "bad or abnormal". These behaviors are often very natural responses to things they have been through or experienced. Getting treatment is often only a phone call away. Treating both the weight, and the psychological aspect can be incredibly helpful. 12 Step Meetings are available as well as professional medical care specialists whom specialize in emotional eating, and compulsive eating.

    When to Seek Help

    You should call your doctor if you are having emotional problems related to your weight, need help losing weight, or if you fall into either of these categories:

    If your BMI is 30 or greater, you're considered obese. You should talk to your doctor about losing weight since you are at high risk of having health problems.
    If you have an "apple shape" - a so-called, "potbelly" or "spare tire" -- you carry more fat in and around your abdominal organs. Fat in your abdomen increases your risk of many of the serious conditions associated with obesity. Women's waist measurement should fall below 35 inches. Men's should be less than 40 inches. If you have a large waist circumference, talk to your doctor about how you can lose weight.
    Emotional Eating

    Emotional eating is the practice of consuming large quantities of food -- usually "comfort" or junk foods -- in response to feelings instead of hunger. Experts estimate that 75% of overeating is caused by emotions.

    Many of us learn that food can bring comfort, at least in the short-term. As a result, we often turn to food to heal emotional problems. Eating becomes a habit preventing us from learning skills that can effectively resolve our emotional distress.

    Depression, boredom, loneliness, chronic anger, anxiety, frustration, stress, problems with interpersonal relationships and poor self-esteem can result in overeating and unwanted weight gain.

    By identifying what triggers our eating, we can substitute more appropriate techniques to manage our emotional problems and take food and weight gain out of the equation. Counseling, Exercise, 12 Step meetings - all of these tools can help us replace our poor eating. We can find other methods as well.
  3. Filmboy44

    Filmboy44 Guest

    How Can I Identify Eating Triggers?

    Situations and emotions that trigger us to eat fall into five main categories:

    Social: Eating when around other people. For example, excessive eating can result from being encouraged by others to eat; eating to fit in; arguing; or feelings of inadequacy around other people.
    Emotional: Eating in response to boredom, stress, fatigue, tension, depression, anger, anxiety or loneliness as a way to "fill the void."
    Situational: Eating because the opportunity is there. For example, at a restaurant, seeing an advertisement for a particular food, passing by a bakery. Eating may also be associated with certain activities such as watching TV, going to the movies or a sporting event, etc.
    Thoughts: Eating as a result of negative self-worth or making excuses for eating. For example, scolding oneself for looks or a lack of will power.
    Physiological: Eating in response to physical cues. For example, increased hunger due to skipping meals or eating to cure headaches or other pain.
    To identify what triggers excessive eating in you, keep a food diary that records what and when you eat as well as what stressors, thoughts, or emotions you identify as you eat. You should begin to identify patterns to your excessive eating fairly quickly.

    How Do I Break Myself of the Habit?

    Identifying eating triggers is the first step; however, this alone is not sufficient to alter eating behavior. Usually, by the time you have identified a pattern, eating in response to emotions or certain situations has become a pattern. Now you have to break the habit.

    Developing alternatives to eating is the second step. When you start to reach for food in response to a trigger, try one of the following activities instead:

    Watch television
    Read a good book or magazine or listen to music
    Go for a walk or jog
    Take a bubble bath
    Do deep breathing exercises
    Play cards or a board game
    Talk to a friend
    Do housework, laundry or yard work
    Wash the car
    Write a letter
    Or do any other pleasurable or necessary activity until the urge to eat passes
    What If Distracting Myself Isn't Enough to Keep Me From Eating?

    Sometimes simply distracting yourself from eating and developing alternative habits is not enough to manage the emotional distress that leads to excessive eating. To more effectively cope with emotional stress, try:

    Relaxation exercises
    Individual or group counseling with a Social worker, a Psychologist or a 12 Step meeting
    These techniques address the underlying emotional problems and help resolve the original problem as well as teach you to cope in more effective and healthier ways. For more information on these techniques, contact your doctor. If he or she can not provide you with information, research online, or speak to other friends or family who may have ideas.

    As you learn to incorporate more appropriate coping strategies and to curb excessive eating, remember to reward yourself for a job well done. We tend to repeat behaviors that have been reinforced, so reward yourself when you meet your nutrition management goals. Buy that CD, Clothing, take that vacation, or get that massage to reward yourself to increase the likelihood that you will maintain your new healthy habits.

    Binge Eating

    A person with a binge eating disorder consumes a large amount of food within two hours, and does it often. Having a binge eating disorder means being unable to control the amount of food consumed. You are unable to stop eating, even when you are full.

    Most of us overeat from time to time, and many people often feel they've eaten more than they should have. But, does this mean we are "binge eaters"? Probably not: Eating a lot of food does not always mean that a person has an eating problem.

    How Common Is Binge Eating?

    Binge eating disorder is probably the most common eating disorder.

    About 2% of all adults in the U.S. (as many as 4 million Americans) have binge eating disorder. About 10%-15% of people who are mildly obese and who try to lose weight on their own or through commercial weight-loss programs have this condition. The disorder is even more common in people who are severely obese.

    Unlike other eating disorders -- such as bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa -- a substantial number of men suffer from binge eating disorder, but it is still more common in women. It is more common among the severely overweight, but can be found among people of any weight.

    What Causes Binge Eating Disorder?

    No one knows. Scientists do know that about half of the people with the condition have had depression. But whether depression causes binge eating disorder or the other way around isn't clear. Furthermore, impulsive behavior and certain other emotional problems can be more common in people with binge eating disorder. Many people who are binge eaters say that being angry, sad, bored, or worried can cause them to binge eat.

    It is also unclear if dieting and binge eating are related. Some studies show that about half of all people with binge eating disorder had binge episodes before they started to diet.

    Researchers also are looking into how brain chemicals and metabolism (the way the body uses calories) affect binge eating disorder. This research is still in the early stages.

    Is Binge Eating Unhealthy?

    Yes, binge eating has been linked to the following conditions:

    High blood pressure
    High cholesterol
    Gallbladder disease
    Heart disease
    What Are the Signs of Binge Eating Disorder?

    Someone with a binge eating disorder has frequent episodes of binge eating, occurring at least two days a week for six months.

    Binge eating episodes are associated with at least three of the following symptoms:

    Eating rapidly
    Eating until feeling uncomfortably full
    Eating when not hungry
    Eating alone because of embarrassment
    Feeling disgusted, depressed or guilty after overeating
    While binge eaters are typically distressed about this pattern, they do not induce vomiting, fast, or abuse laxatives or diuretics.

    Binge eating also occurs with another eating disorder, called bulimia nervosa. Persons with bulimia nervosa, however, usually purge, fast, or do strenuous exercise after they binge eat. Purging means vomiting or using a lot of diuretics (water pills) or laxatives to keep from gaining weight. Fasting is not eating for at least 24 hours. Strenuous exercise, in this case, means exercising for more than an hour just to keep from gaining weight after binge eating. Purging, fasting, and over exercising are dangerous ways to try to control your weight. Many have died, and continue to die.

    Often, a person with binge eating disorder feels overweight and has a history of trying to lose weight many times. Yet many failed diets may leave them feeling powerless over the binge-eating pattern.

    How Is Binge Eating Treated?

    People with binge eating disorder should get help from a health professional such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or clinical social worker. Even people who are not overweight are usually upset by their binge eating, and treatment can help them. 12 Step Meetings for Overeaters Anonymous is helpful.

    Treatment usually focuses on improving self-esteem and confidence rather than on losing weight.

    Short-term psychotherapy -- or group therapy -- can be very helpful, as can cognitive behavioral therapy, where behaviors that cause the binge eating are changed. Typically, this involves keeping a diary of food eaten, binge episodes, and moods to identify patterns of events, situations, or moods that trigger the binge-eating episodes. Individuals are also taught coping skills to help deal with stressors that contribute to binge eating.

    For some people, antidepressants like Prozac may also help. Antidepressants used for short term use, while working through the distressing behaviors and feelings will help someone who binges.

    Health Risks Associated With Obesity

    Obesity is not just a cosmetic problem. It's a health hazard. Someone who is 40% overweight is twice as likely to die prematurely than an average-weight person. This is because obesity has been linked to several serious medical conditions including:

    Heart disease and stroke
    High blood pressure
    Gallbladder disease and gallstones
    Breathing problems, such as sleep apnea (when a person stops breathing for a short time during sleep) and asthma
    Doctors generally agree that the more obese a person is, the more likely he or she is to have health problems. People who are 20% or more overweight can gain significant health benefits from losing weight. Many obesity experts believe that people who are less than 20% above their healthy weight should still try to lose weight if they have any of the following risk factors.

    Family history of certain chronic diseases: People with close relatives who have had heart disease or diabetes are more likely to develop these problems if they are obese.
    Pre-existing medical conditions: High blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, or high blood sugar levels are all warning signs of some obesity-associated diseases.
    "Apple" shape: People whose weight is concentrated around their stomachs may be at greater risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, or cancer than people of the same weight who are "pear-shaped" (they carry their weight in their hips and buttocks).
    Fortunately, even a modest weight loss of 10 to 20 pounds can bring significant health improvements, such as lowering one's blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

    How Is Obesity Linked to Heart Disease and Stroke?

    Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death and disability for people in the U.S. Overweight people are more likely to have high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, than people who are not overweight. Very high blood levels of cholesterol can also lead to heart disease and often are linked to being overweight. Being overweight also contributes to angina (chest pain caused by decreased oxygen to the heart) and sudden death from heart disease or stroke without any signs or symptoms.

    The good news is that losing a small amount of weight can reduce your chances of developing heart disease or a stroke. Reducing your weight by 10% can decrease your chance of developing heart disease.

    How Is Obesity Linked to Diabetes?

    Type 2 diabetes reduces your body's ability to control blood sugar. It is a major cause of early death, heart disease, stroke, and blindness. Overweight people are twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared to normal weight people. You can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by losing weight and exercising more. If you have type 2 diabetes, losing weight and becoming more physically active can help control your blood sugar levels. Increasing your physical activity may also allow you to reduce the amount of diabetes medication you need.

    How Is Obesity and Cancer Linked?

    Several types of cancer are associated with being overweight. In women, these include cancer of the uterus, gallbladder, cervix, ovary, breast, and colon. Overweight men are at higher risk for developing colorectal cancer and prostate cancer. For some types of cancer, such as colon or breast, it is not clear whether the increased risk is due to the extra weight or to a high-fat, high-calorie diet.

    How Is Obesity Related to Gallbladder Disease?

    Gallbladder disease and gallstones are more common if you are overweight. Your risk of disease increases as your weight increases. It is not clear how being overweight may cause gallbladder disease.

    Ironically, weight loss itself, particularly rapid weight loss or loss of a large amount of weight, can actually increase your chances of developing gallstones. Modest, slow weight loss of about 1 pound a week is less likely to cause gallstones.

    How Does Obesity Cause Osteoarthritis?

    Osteoarthritis is a common joint condition that most often affects the joints in your knees, hips, and lower back. Carrying extra pounds increases the risk of osteoarthritis by placing extra pressure on these joints and wearing away the cartilage (tissue that cushions the joints) that normally protects them.

    Weight loss can decrease stress on the knees, hips, and lower back and may improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

    How Is Obesity Linked to Gout?

    Gout is a disease that affects the joints that is caused by high levels of a substance called uric acid in the blood. The large amount of uric acid can form into solid or crystal-like masses that deposit in the joints. Gout is more common in overweight people and the risk of developing the disorder increases with higher body weights.

    Over the short term, certain dietary changes may lead to an attack of gout in people who have high levels of uric acid or who have had gout before. If you have a history of gout, check with your doctor before trying to lose weight.

    How Is Obesity Linked to Sleep Apnea?

    Sleep apnea is a serious breathing condition that is associated with being overweight. Sleep apnea can cause a person to snore heavily and to stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Sleep apnea may cause daytime sleepiness and even heart failure. The risk for sleep apnea increases as body weight increases. Weight loss usually improves sleep apnea.

    Medical Reasons for Obesity

    Usually obesity is the result of overeating, but in rare cases (about 1%) excess weight gain is a symptom of another disease.

    These can include:

    Hypothyroidism. This is a condition where the thyroid gland, located in the neck, produces too little thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormone regulates our metabolism. So too little hormone slows the metabolism and often causes weight gain. If your doctor suspects thyroid disease as a cause of your obesity, he or she may perform blood tests to check your hormone levels.
    Cushing's syndrome. This condition results when the adrenal glands (located on top of each kidney) produce an excess amount of a steroid hormone called cortisol. This leads to a build-up of fat in characteristic sites such as the face, upper back, and abdomen.
    Autoimmune Diseases: Crohn's Disease, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, and other diseases often are treated with Cortico-Steroids. These medications will increase weight gain, and obesity can often occur. Treatment of these diseases would obviously be best if done without steroids, unless in emergencys. Listen to your doctor - and educate yourself if you suffer from one of these conditions. Herbal therapies, and other methods of coping and overcoming some of these conditions are available, though not currently in Western Medicine.
    Depression. Some people with depression overeat, which can lead to obesity.
    There are also certain inherited conditions and other diseases of the brain that can cause excess weight gain.

    Certain medications, notably anti-depressants, steroid medications, certain high blood pressure drugs, and seizure medications can also cause increased body weight.

    A doctor can determine if any of these conditions are responsible for your weight gain.

    Weight Control Glossary of Terms

    5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP): Found in some over-the-counter weight loss formulas, this extract from a West African plant seed contains a contaminant linked to a rare and potentially deadly blood disorder. It has not been proven to effectively promote weight loss.

    Aerobic Exercise: Any activity involving large muscles, done for an extended period of time. Aerobic exercise can be done for weight loss, but it also provides cardiovascular benefits. Examples of aerobic exercise include walking, biking, jogging, swimming, aerobic classes and cross-country skiing.

    Aloe: Herbal product derived from the aloe plant, it is often added to herbal weight loss products. However, it has not been shown to effectively promote permanent weight loss.

    Different parts of the aloe plant may be used. Aloe gel may lower blood glucose and keep other medications from being properly absorbed. Aloe leaf lining has more side effects, including nausea, diarrhea, lowering of serum potassium and laxative effects that could be dangerous to individuals not in good health.

    Appetite Suppressants: Medications that act upon the brain, "tricking" it into believing that it is not hungry or that it's full.

    Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis: A body composition test that works by sending a small electrical signal through the body, enabling the amount of fat, muscle and other lean tissue to be measured.

    Body Composition Test: A test used to determine the current percentage of body fat a person has.

    Body Mass Index (BMI): A popular method used to gauge whether or not a person is overweight. BMI is calculated by dividing a person's weight (in kilograms) by his or her height (in meters, squared).

    Calorie: A unit of measure for the amount of energy released when the body breaks down food.

    Carbohydrate: any of a large group of sugars, starches, cellulose and gums that the body uses by converting into glucose, a simple sugar, for fuel.

    Cascara: A common ingredient used in weight loss products. One of the few herbs approved by the FDA as an over-the-counter drug. It is a strong stimulant laxative.

    Catecholamine: A chemical in the brain that affects mood and appetite.

    Chitosan (KITE-o-san): A dietary supplement made from chitin, a starch found in the skeleton of shrimp, crab and other shellfish. It has not been shown to contribute to permanent weight loss.

    Cholesterol: A type of fat that circulates in your blood. It comes from two sources: the body makes its own regardless of what is eaten and from foods containing animal products.

    Dietician or Dietitian: A person who specializes in the study of nutrition.

    Diuretic: A drug that promotes the formation of urine by the kidney.

    Diuresis: Water loss

    Duodenum: The beginning portion of the small intestine.

    Ephedrine (Ma-Huang): A common ingredient in herbal dietary supplements used for weight loss. Ephedrine can slightly suppress your appetite, but no studies have shown it to be effective in weight loss. Ephedrine is the main active ingredient of ephedra. Ephedra is also known as Ma Huang, not ephedrine. High doses of ephedra can cause very fast heartbeat, high blood pressure, irregular heart beats, stroke, vomiting, psychoses and even death.

    Extensive Gastric Bypass: A gastric bypass operation in which portions of the stomach are removed. The small pouch that remains is connected directly to the final segment of the small intestine, thus completely bypassing both the duodenum and jejunum.

    Fat: Organic compounds that are made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, it is the body's most concentrated source of energy. Like protein and carbohydrates, fat is a principal and essential component of the diet.

    Fat Absorption Inhibitor: Medications that work by preventing the body from breaking down and absorbing fat eaten with meals.

    Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Government agency whose mission is "to promote and protect the public health by helping safe and effective products reach the market in a timely way, and monitoring products for continued safety after they are in use."

    Food Triggers: A situation or emotion that causes a person to eat such as stress or depression.

    Gastric Banding: A surgical procedure in which a band made of special material is placed around the stomach near its upper end, creating a small pouch and a narrow passage into the larger remainder of the stomach.

    Gastric Bypass: A type of operation that combines the creation of a small stomach pouch to restrict food intake and the construction of bypasses of the duodenum and other segments of the small intestine to cause malabsorption (decreased absorption of nutrients).

    Glucomannan: Made from the root of Amorphophallus Konjac, an herbal supplement that is said to contribute to weight loss by delaying the absorption of glucose from the intestines.

    Guarana: A nervous system stimulant derived from the seeds of a Brazilian plant of the same name, it is often found in herbal supplements that promote weight loss.

    Guar Gum: Also known as guar, guar flour, and jaguar gum, it is a dietary fiber obtained from the Indian cluster bean. Used extensively as a thickening agent for foods and pharmaceuticals, it is commonly sold as an herbal supplement to promote weight loss.

    High Protein Diet: Diets that recommend receiving up to 30% of calories (or more) from protein as opposed to the recommended 10%-15% from protein. These diets also recommend low carbohydrate consumption and are often high in total fat.

    Hydrostatic Body Fat Testing: A body composition test performed by submerging the person in water and then measuring his or her underwater weight.

    Jejunum: The middle section of the small intestine.

    Ketone: Waste products in the body that are a result of fat burning.

    Ketosis: An abnormality of the body's metabolic process, resulting in an increase of ketones in the blood, which can increase the risk of developing kidney stones. Ketosis is prevented by eating at least 100 grams of carbohydrates a day.

    Ma-Huang: See ephedrine.

    Meridia: See Sibutermine

    Metabolism: The amount of energy (calories) your body burns to maintain itself. Metabolism is the process in which nutrients are acquired, transported, used and disposed of by the body.

    Monounsaturated fat: A type of fat found in large amounts in foods from plants, including olive, peanut and canola oil.

    Mortality: The rate of death.

    Obesity: An excess proportion of total body fat. The most common measure of obesity is the body mass index (BMI).

    Orlistat: A commonly prescribed fat absorption medication, it is sold under the brand name Xenical.

    Phen-fen: A weight loss drug made up of fenfluramine and phentermine. Its use has been linked to heart valve problems and has been banned by the FDA.

    Phenylpropanolamine (PPA): Once a common weight loss ingredient in appetite suppressants, recent studies have linked PPA to an increased risk of stroke. The FDA warns consumers to avoid use of products containing PPA.

    Polyunsaturated Fat: A type of fat that is found in large amounts in foods from plants, including safflower, sunflower and corn oil.

    Protein: An organic compound that is the "building block" of the human body. Protein builds and maintains muscle tissue.

    Pyruvate: Formed in the body during digestion of carbohydrates and protein, some studies indicate that it may help with weight loss. Although it appears to be safe, claims of boosting metabolism, decreasing appetite and aiding in weight loss require further study.

    Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA): The level of essential nutrients required to adequately meet the known nutrient needs of practically all healthy persons, according to the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences.

    Restriction Operation: The type of surgery most often used for producing weight loss. Food intake is restricted by creating a small pouch at the top of the stomach where the food enters from the esophagus. Examples of restriction operations include: gastric banding and vertical banded gastroplasty.

    Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RGB): The most common gastric bypass procedure. First, a small stomach pouch is created by stapling or by vertical banding. This causes restriction in food intake. Next, a Y-shaped section of the small intestine is attached to the pouch to allow food to bypass the duodenum as well as the first portion of the jejunum.

    Saturated Fat: A type of fat most often found in animal food products including milk, eggs, meat and butter. Saturated fat is also found in vegetable products such as coconut and palm oil. Studies show that too much saturated fat in a person's diet increases heart disease risk.

    St. John's Wort: An herb that is primarily used as an antidepressant due to its effects on serotonin. There is limited research indicating its use for weight loss.

    Serotonin: A neurotransmitter found in the brain that affects mood and appetite.

    Sibutramine: A common prescription appetite suppressant, it is sold under the brand name Meridia.

    Vertical-Banded Gastroplasty: The most frequently used restrictive operation for weight control. During it, both a band and staples are used to create a small stomach pouch.

    Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD): A short-term weight loss diet, VLCDs are commercially prepared formulas of 800 calories or less that replace all usual food intake. Not all VLCD need be formulas; they could just be low calorie meal plans. These diets (in fact most diets less than 1000 calories) are low in essential nutrients and require vitamin/mineral supplementation.

    Xenical: See Orlistat

    Yerba Mate: Also known as Paraguay tea, this strong central nervous system stimulant is often sold as a dietary supplement. It has not been proven to cause weight loss.

    Weight Cycling: The repeated loss and regain of body weight. When weight cycling is the result of dieting, it is often called "yo-yo" dieting


    All Information supported & provided by:
    WebMD & Accredited By Cleveland Clinic
  4. LS Boy

    LS Boy Active Member OT Supporter

    May 5, 2000
    Likes Received:
  5. KetchupKing

    KetchupKing New Member

    Sep 22, 2003
    Likes Received:
    quantity =/= quality.
    Some of the stuff they mention are....
  6. dark cloud

    dark cloud New Member

    Aug 7, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Holy crap thats way too much to read.
  7. Filmboy44

    Filmboy44 Guest

    good for reference tho...
  8. NoXeN

    NoXeN You can find me up on one

    Oct 21, 2001
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    cliff notes? :o

    was wondering where you were filmy..hows things?
  9. dark cloud

    dark cloud New Member

    Aug 7, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Eh... I read most of it. Sounds like something you'd read on CNN or MSN as opposed to most of the body-building type nutrition sites.
  10. Simple

    Simple Sexy Beatch

    Nov 29, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    archive this bitch

    GOGZILLA Double-Uranium Member

    Jan 16, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Plantation, FL
    hey sissy check your pms
  12. Enigma

    Enigma Guest

  13. Ceaze

    Ceaze Moderator

    Jun 4, 2000
    Likes Received:
    food pyramid :\
  14. KingGargantuan

    KingGargantuan ♖♘♗♕♔♗♘♖

    Oct 4, 2001
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  15. trancezj

    trancezj New Member

    Jul 17, 2002
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    Is this the same thing Kangz posted a while back?
  16. anonelbe

    anonelbe New Member

    May 26, 2003
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    so is partially hydrogenated soybean oil just as bad?
  17. bbp

    bbp bike watching troll king OT Supporter

    Sep 4, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Bay Area
    is this from a book or a magazine?
  18. Filmboy44

    Filmboy44 Guest

  19. bbp

    bbp bike watching troll king OT Supporter

    Sep 4, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Bay Area
    wheres it from then?
  20. Filmboy44

    Filmboy44 Guest

  21. bbp

    bbp bike watching troll king OT Supporter

    Sep 4, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Bay Area
    damn i missed that part
  22. Dissectional

    Dissectional Guest

    Thats what I was thinking.

  23. 4TWOMP

    4TWOMP Che cazzo stai diciendo?

    May 9, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Berkeley, CA/Siena, Italia
    wow, thats everything i ever learned in my intro to nutrition class

  24. dark cloud

    dark cloud New Member

    Aug 7, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Now you know some of that stuff is messed up. :)
  25. 4TWOMP

    4TWOMP Che cazzo stai diciendo?

    May 9, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Berkeley, CA/Siena, Italia

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