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Category: Weight Loss

KEEPING WEIGHT CONTROL IN PERSPECTIVE

Although experts say that losing weight simply requires burning more calories than are consumed, putting this principle into practice is far from simple. If it were this easy, the more than 50 percent of Americans who are overweight would find it relatively easy to exercise willpower. According to William W. Hardy, M.D., president of the Michigan-based Rochester Center for Obesity,
to say weight control is simply a matter of pushing away from the table is ludicrous. Nature is a CHEAT. Sure, calories in minus calories out equals weight, but people of the same age, sex, height, and weight can have differences of as much as 1,000 calories a day in “resting metabolic rate” – this may explain why one person’s gluttony is another’s starvation, even if it results in the same readout on the scale. And while people of normal weight average 25-35 billion fat cells, obese people can inherit a billowing 135 billion. A roll of the genetic dice adds more variety: at least 240 genes affect weight.
Remember that weight loss doesn’t happen easily for everyone. Not only is it more difficult for some, but it may actually require considerably more effort, more supportive friends and relatives, and extraordinary efforts to prime the body for burning more calories and depriving it of others. Being overweight or obese does not mean you are weak-willed or lazy. As scientists unlock the many secrets of genetic messengers that influence weight gain and loss and other variables, as well as increasing their understanding of the role of certain foods in the weight loss equation, dieting may not be the same villain in the future that it is today.
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WEIGHT CONTROL IN WOMEN: WAYS TO LOSE WEIGHT

Your body temperature is a good guide to the state of your metabolism. To test your thyroid function you need to measure your basal body temperature, which is your temperature at rest. First get a thermometer. There are some good electronic ones on the market which only take a minute to register the temperature and bleep when they have done it.
-    Put the thermometer by your bed before you go to sleep.
-    When you wake in the morning, put the thermometer in your armpit and leave until it bleeps. Your temperature needs to be taken with you lying as still as possible. Do not get out of bed or have a drink before you take your temperature.
-    Record your temperature in the same way over three mornings. It needs to be taken at the same time each morning.
-    If you are still having periods, you need to do this test on the second, third and fourth day of your cycle. Your body temperature rises after ovulation so it would not give a clear picture of what is happening to take your temperature later in the cycle. Your basal body temperature should read between 36.4 and 36.7°C (97.6 and 98.2°F).
If the temperature is low, it would be worth speaking to your doctor or health practitioner about possible problems with your thyroid.
Weight gain also often follows a hysterectomy. I have seen women who have put on at least 12.7kg (2 stone) after this operation. This level of weight gain is also often linked to taking HRT, so make sure you have eliminated all possible causes for the weight gain.
Once you have checked these possibilities there are a number of other ways to try to lose weight. First try a food-combining regime based on avoiding eating proteins and starches together at the same meal. The theory is that both protein and starches need different enzymes to be digested, so there will be a ‘fight’ as both cannot be digested effectively at the same time. This theory does not seem to have been proven scientifically and yet people get very good results by trying it. This ‘fight’ can cause bloating and weight gain because the undigested food is being stored and not properly assimilated. Women who have lost weight using food combining often choose to eat this way permanently as they feel it gives them more energy and fewer digestive troubles. The easiest way to understand this method of eating is to follow a few simple rules.
1.   Don’t mix starchy foods with proteins.
2.   Eat fruit on its own.
3.   Don’t have milk with either starch or protein.

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MANUAL MEASURES OF BODY MASS AND FAT MASS

Weight. Weight is a measure of the force of gravity acting as the total mass of an object. As such it reflects not only the overall size of the body but also the density of the combination of body tissues, including bone, muscle and body organs. Fat is lighter than water and therefore adipose tissue is lighter than muscle and organ tissue (which are mainly water) and both are lighter than bone. Increases in weight might therefore mean an increase in fat mass, muscle mass and/or fluid (remember, glycogen is stored with three times its weight in fluid). Over the long term, it’s true that changes in weight generally reflect changes in body fat, but in the short term the use of scales is not recommended as a measure of success of a fat loss program. Weight scales also vary significantly, from a sensitive bar balance or high quality electronic scale to the less sensitive but more often used bathroom-type scales.

The validity of weight as a measure of body fatness then is only fair, especially in certain types of individuals such as mesomorphic (muscular) males and elite athletes. Reliability of the measure on the other hand is quite high. Sensitivity is also reasonably high (i.e. around 0.8) detecting small changes in body mass. But, of course, this is not sensitive to fat as distinct from changes in other body tissue. Weight, therefore, is limited as a measure of fatness, except where combined with some other measures.

Myth-information. Weight loss through heat treatments such as saunas and steam baths represents fluid losses through sweat. These techniques have no permanent effect on fat loss.

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FEED YOUR BODY RIGHT: SAVE NOW, SPLURGE LATER

Mary Adams longed for a way to enjoy the goodies at parties and holiday dinners without exceeding her 1,200-calorie-a-day limit. “I read that the average Thanksgiving dinner has more calories than I eat in an entire day,” says the 48-year-old Denver resident, who was restricting calories to slim down her 286-pound frame.

Friends suggested that she try snacking on something before special eating events, but Mary doubted that would work for her. She feared that she’d eat beforehand and then indulge anyway, doubling her potential for gaining, rather than losing, weight. So she came up with the idea of banking calories.

“I realized that if I ate only 300 calories during the day, I’d have 900 left for dinner. I could eat what I wanted and not go over my calorie goal,” she explains. “The trick was to find foods that would fill me up on the fewest calories.” So she started checking her calorie counter for filling but low-cal foods. Among her choices were light J bread, light cereal, tiny graham crackers, carrots, celery sprinkled *i with chili powder, sugar-free Jell-O, and lots of water. ?

Like someone squirreling away money from every paycheck to buy an expensive coat or a new stereo system”, Mary saves up calories so she can splurge on food at special events. “When my office “* planned a big holiday dinner, I saved 100 calories a day for 10 days,” she says. “I was able to go to the dinner, sample all the great foods, and not worry about overindulging!”

Since establishing her personal calorie account in 1998, Mary has dropped 112 pounds. And she plans on using calorie banking to get to her 135-pound goal. She’s banking on making it.

WINNING ACTION

Save, save, save, then splurge. While this tactic may not work for everyone, Mary found her own way to enjoy party foods without ruining her weight-loss efforts. As I say in my Ten Commandments of Weight Loss on page 1, slimming down doesn’t have to mean giving up on all of the fun. You just have to find a way to do both. Give Mary’s method a try to see if it works for you.

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