Monday, November 30, 2009

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Success story of a vegetarian weight loss

Vegetarian women indeed have a lower risk of obesity, but that does not mean vegetarians can not be overweight. This time I wanted to share a success story of a vegetarian woman who became overweight but finally succeed to lose weight. I get this from women's health magazine November 2008 edition. It's an old edition but I think the experience of others can give us a valuable lesson.

The woman named Brandi Lemburg, height 5’8”, aged 26 years, came from Merysville, WA. She took 2 years 5 months to lose weight initially 230 pounds to 148 pounds. Please read the following full story…..

Weight loss Success storyThe Gain
Brandi Lemburg had been a vegetarian since age 9, but she was no fan of greens. ”I had potatoes with every meal,” she says. In her twenties, Lemburg worked her way up to three sodas a day and hot fudge sundaes every night. At 22 and 170 pounds, she stopped weighing herself. “I didn’t want to know,” she says.

The Change
In February 2006, Lemburg’s size-18 leans were cutting into her waist. She forced herself onto a scale and saw that she had gained 60 pounds. “When I read the number 230, my heart sank,” she says. “I had never weighed that much.” Realizing that she could easily top 300 pounds in another year, she took action.

The Lifestyle
Lemburg knew she needed a lifestyle change, not a quick fix. She went vegan, which forced her to get protein from soy, beans, nuts, and veggies instead of fattening dairy products. Sweet snap peas and organic apple slices with vegan peanut butter replaced cookies and Little Debbie’s cakes. “I gave up soda completely,” she says. She logged half-hour sessions on a treadmill three times a week. For the first two months, Lemburg lost five pounds a week. Eager for more, she started walking everywhere-to work, to school, to run errands-and practiced yoga five nights a week. “I do squats when I’m blow-drying my hair. When I watch television, I do lunges,” Lemburg says. By last July, her scale was down to 148.

The Reward
At her lowest weight since she was a teenager, Lemburg has lifted more than just a physical burden. “My weight was really bringing me down,” she says. “I had zero energy and I was self conscious. Now I wake up and I’m ready to take on the day.”

At the end of the story, Lemburg want to share her success tips to all of us. This may also be useful for us all. So try to think about it.

Eat in
“I try healthy meat and dairy-free recipes at home.
Have a shoe fetish
“I leave my shoes on after work so I’m ready to pull weeds or do some aerobic cleaning.”
Be positive
“I never let discouraging thoughts take over.”
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

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Dairy and weight loss

Maybe you've heard that dairy is a way to lose weight. Some time ago I read a lot articles about this. Research on dairy as a weight loss tool is still new and the researchers still need a lot of data to reach a definitive conclusion. But I hope this is true and can give us more healthy choices in dealing with the problem of obesity.

Research has been done shows that people who go on a diet rich in dairy will lose more fat in their body and a little muscle. Where usually happen people will lose some muscle along with the fat. This research was conducted by Michael Zemel, Ph.D., professor of nutrition and medicine at the University of Tennessee. I believe this is a new important breakthrough because all people do not want to lose their muscle.

I'm sure at this moment you must be thinking how could dairy, which usually contains fat, can even help people lose weight. The reason is because the calcium contained in dairy helps our body release fat-burning hormones and other compounds in dairy help you hold on to muscle tissue often sacrificed during a weight loss program.

This effect is more obvious to people who initially only consume calcium approximately 500 milligrams per day (one serving of dairy). Because in general a lot of people who do not drink enough dairy (about 3 servings a day), then maybe this will help many people, including me. I myself do not get enough servings as needed. And may also help you too.

Even though we still need more research on this, dairy is very important to our overall health and the key to building strong bones.

Lower the calorie intake and increase dairy consumption. Do you have suggestions or opinions?
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Sunday, November 22, 2009

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Bicycle Safety Tips

I wanted to share these tips because I often hear a lot of accidents occur during cycling. It's easy to get hurt on a bicycle. Many people who feel safe because they only bike in a quiet street in the neighborhood get an accident.

Indeed, if you're just scratched or broken bones can be healed, but what if your head hurt? Each year, nearly 70,000 bicyclists suffer serious head injuries. High enough, isn’t it?
I would like to invite you all start thinking about safety. Because any purpose to be achieved by cycling will be in vain if we become permanent disabled.

The first and most important tip is to use a helmet. Helm will prevent you from serious brain injury. Head injury rehabilitation is a very costly. Compared with such costs, a bicycle helmet is a good bargain. So, always wear a helmet. Look for a good helmet, made of strong material and fits your head so comfortable to wear.

The second is to obey all traffic laws. Bicycles must drive like other vehicles. Never ride against traffic or riding on the wrong side of the road. Beware when to turn, do not run zig-zag at high speed, and watch the other vehicles around you.

The third is to use your hands correctly. Keep both hands ready to brake, do not use your hands to hold mobile phone or other equipment such as walkman or MP3 player. You may not stop in time if you brake one-handed. Use your hands to tell others what you want to do, turn left, turn right, etc.

The last one is keep your bike in good condition. Maintenance and repair costs are relatively less expensive than the risk we have to suffer when the accident happened. If you feel there is something wrong with your bike, check and fix it immediately.
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Saturday, November 21, 2009

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Exercise important in teens' blood pressure control

Exercise important in teens' blood pressure control

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Regular exercise may help keep teenagers'
blood pressure in check, regardless of their body weight, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that among nearly 1,300 Canadian teenagers they followed for five years, declining exercise levels over time were linked to small increases in blood pressure.

Gains in body fat were also linked to blood pressure increases, but excess weight did not fully account for the relationship between exercise and blood pressure changes --especially in girls.

The implication, the researchers report in the American Journal of Epidemiology, is that both weight and exercise habits independently affect teenagers' blood pressure.

And that means that getting teens off the couch might help keep their blood pressure under better control, write Katerina Maximova and colleagues of McGill University in Montreal.

The findings are based on 1,293 boys and girls who were 12 to 13 years old at the start of the study. The teens reported on their typical physical activity levels and had their body fat and blood pressure measured at the outset, and then periodically over five years.

For each exercise assessment, the teenagers reported the number of times in the past week they had engaged in moderate to vigorous activities -- like biking, walking or jogging -- for at least 5 minutes.

Overall, the researchers found, the teens' blood pressure inched upward for each session of exercise they lost over time. The increase amounted to less than one point in systolic blood pressure -- the top number in a blood pressure reading -- but the findings do suggest that sedentary lifestyles directly affect teenagers' blood pressure, according to Maximova's team.

And that, they write, could have "important public health implications."
High blood pressure and other heart disease risk factors like type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol were once uncommon, or unheard of, in children and teenagers. But rates of these conditions in teenagers have risen since the 1990s, in tandem with escalating obesity rates.

A study of Canadian teenagers published last month found that between 2002 and 2008, the percentage with at least one heart disease risk factor -- such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol -- rose from 17 percent to 21 percent.
Those researchers also noted that more than half of Canadian children between the ages of 5 and 17 are not getting enough exercise.

And while young people may not see immediate health effects, studies show that teens who are overweight, inactive and carrying heart disease risk factors tend to become adults with those same problems.

The American Heart Association recommends that all children ages 3 and older have their blood pressure checked yearly. Diet changes and exercise are usually the first-line treatment for high blood pressure in teenagers, though some may also need medication.

When it comes to exercise, experts generally recommend that kids strive for 30 minutes of moderate activity, like brisk walking, on most days of the week, as well as 20 minutes of vigorous exercise, like running or bicycling, at least three days per week.

SOURCE: American Journal of Epidemiology, November 1, 2009.
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

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Lose Fat and Get Fit

Young man with bicycle in officeWhen people began the long trip to lose weight, they usually already set to lose a “?” pounds as a goal. Usually this is done by following a diet program combined with regular exercise. Regular exercise is what usually makes a lot of people give up. Some say there is no time, others say they are too tired from work. But the problem of obesity will force them to do something. Like the cold will force people wear thick clothes, even if they don’t want to.

Some of them choose to go to the office by bicycle. This can be done if the distance between the home office not too far away. You would not want to arrive at the office with sweaty conditions, coupled with the smell of ....

Cycling can indeed be the good option. Especially if you live in areas with dense traffic. You can take shortcuts through the path, especially the small streets where cars can't fit. The result you become more familiar with your neighborhood and help you reduce stress because you have to queue for a long time in traffic jams. And most importantly you will become healthier.

Cycling will make you get up a little earlier and this may make you pass the time drinking coffee in the morning. So you are free of caffeine. Or maybe less if you drink coffee in the office afternoons. Too much caffeine is not good for health.

Can I lose weight by cycling? If you did this regularly, almost every day, and ate a healthy diet, you could expect to lose about one pound a week. And don't forget to read this article about Bicycle Safety Tips.

Image credit :; Photographer : Dean Sanderson

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

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Link between Overweight and Type 2 Diabetes

This time I wanted to give an illustration of the relationship between obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. I hope this illustration may fairly clear and useful.

If we are overweight, then the cells in our bodies will be covered with fat. This will cause the insulin can not deliver glucose, we get from food, into the cells that need it. Our cells use glucose as a fuel. The unused glucose will ends up just floating around in our blood and building up. Then cells that do not have fuel will send out an alarm to tell the body, as commander to make its own glucose. Our liver begins to function by creating and injected the glucose into the blood. Even though the condition of our blood is full with glucose (the cells didn’t know when they are sounding the alarm). The glucose in the blood gets higher and higher, but still cannot work since the cells are still blocked by too much fat.

Because blood is full of glucose, then the next session begins. Our bodies will send commands to the pancreas as insulin factory to produce insulin. Insulin can help bring glucose level down. But for the pancreas this is a war that it could not win. Because we will continue to eat and put a new glucose into the body, while our cells cry out for lack of fuel and forcing the liver continues to produce new glucose. One moment the pancreas will get tired and become weak or may even stop working. And we run out of soldier to fight the glucose. Then what?
We lost the war against terrorists and the world coming to an end. Sorry,…just kidding.

Glucose, as a terrorist, will spread and make the occupation of the whole body. They go everywhere blood needs to go like your heart, brain, lungs, fingers, toes, legs, stomach, eyes, and many more. Eventually you will suffer from Type 2 Diabetes.

This does not happen overnight, but it can happen slowly over years. Beware and watch your lifestyle. THIS CAN HAPPEN TO EVERYONE even though that is not overweight.
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Monday, November 09, 2009

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Smoking as a Weight Loss Plan

Smoking and weight lossIs it true that smoking can help you lose weight? Check frightening new trend of teenagers who smoke just to lose weight. Did wisely chose this way? How big are the side effects?

Nowadays, where losing weight has become a passion, mainly among women, we are ready to do almost anything to lose weight.

I’m sure that almost all women think smoking is a bad habit, but many say smoking helps them lose weight and relieve stress. Some of them said this: “When I used to smoke, I almost not ate. As soon as I stopped smoking, I ate all the time.” while another girl remarked that smoking “makes me not want to eat”.

Smoking does increase the metabolic rate by about 10 percent and decreases the desire for sweet foods. And studies suggest that nicotine acts as an appetite suppressant. Therefore, the more you smoke the less hungry you feel and the less you are likely to eat.

But if the teenagers are smoking with these reasons, it will be very difficult to stop (fear of gaining weight). What if later they were married and pregnant? Smoking will damage their health, and in pregnancy the innocent babies in their womb would be affected. Everyone knows the dangers of smoking for the baby who was conceived by the mother. Women who smoke have a greater chance of certain pregnancy problems or having a baby die from SIDS.

Smoking causes cancers in parts of the body, esophageal, laryngeal, lung, oral, and throat cancers, chronic lung diseases, coronary heart and cardiovascular diseases, etc.

Smoking may be able to fix weight problem, but in the long term, the detriments that it brings to our health is not really worth it. Moreover, if bad for the people we love.
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Sunday, November 08, 2009

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What kids drink at 5 could affect weight at 15

What kids drink at 5 could affect weight at 15
By Joene Hendry

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Parents may be setting their daughters up for weight problems simply by allowing them to drink two or more sweetened drinks daily while young, study findings hint.

Higher sweetened beverage intake, such as sodas and fruit and sport drinks, at age 5 years was linked to more body fat during the following 10 years, Dr. Laura Fiorito, at The Pennsylvania State University in University Park, told Reuters Health in an email.

Higher body fat during the teen years has been tied to long-term overweight and other health problems such as diabetes and later heart disease, Fiorito and colleagues note in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Fiorito's team looked at what 166 non-Hispanic white girls drank between the ages of 5 and 15. They also measured their weight, height, and body fat.

Body fat and weight did not vary depending on how much milk or juice made from 100 percent fruit the girls drank.

By contrast, after allowing for other factors tied to weight and body fat levels, girls who drank two or more sweetened drinks daily had higher percentages of body fat, weighed more, and were more likely to be overweight than girls who drank lesser amounts of such beverages.

For example, of the 5 and 15 year old girls drinking less than one drink, the researchers found about 16 and 19 percent overweight, respectively. Among those drinking 2 or more sweetened drinks, about 39 percent were overweight at 5 years, while and 32 percent were the same when 15 years old.

Therefore, caregivers of young children should substitute sweetened drinks with reduced-fat milk and water, Fiorito and colleagues conclude.

SOURCE: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, October 2009.
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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

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High sodium intake and Kidney Disease

Although sodium is essential for the body functions, too much sodium can be harmful for our body. The research suggests that higher sodium and artificially sweetened soda intake are linked with bigger rate of decline in kidney function.

Sodium is a mineral that is present in our foods, usually through the salt because we use salt to enhance flavor. So our body receives sodium primarily in the form of table salt.

As you know, sodium can helps our body to retain a healthy fluid balance. Sodium helps to keep calcium and other minerals soluble in our blood, as well as stimulating the adrenal glands.

What if too much sodium?
Read the following article which I took from

"There are currently limited data on the role of diet in kidney disease," researcher Dr. Julie Lin, of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, said in a news release. "While more study is needed, our research suggests that higher sodium and artificially sweetened soda intake are associated with greater rate of decline in kidney function."

The first study looked at diet and kidney function decline in more than 3,000 women enrolled in the national Nurses' Health Study. The researchers found that "in women with well-preserved kidney function, higher dietary sodium intake was associated with greater kidney function decline, which is consistent with experimental animal data that high sodium intake promotes progressive kidney disease."

The second study looked at the association between sugar- and artificially-sweetened beverages and kidney function decline in the same group of women. The researchers found an association between two or more servings per day of artificially sweetened soda and a two-fold increased risk of faster kidney function decline. There was no connection between sugar-sweetened beverages and kidney function decline.

The association between artificially sweetened beverages and kidney function decline persisted after Lin and colleague Dr. Gary Curhan accounted for other factors, such as age, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, physical activity, caloric intake and cardiovascular disease.

Although further research is still needed, I think we have to anticipate. Cut back on your sodium intake gradually.

While you don’t want to take too much sodium, you should not take too little sodium either. Moderation is the Key.
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Monday, November 02, 2009

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Nutrient density


In this post I want to talk about the Nutrient Density. Many nutrition experts advise us to consider the nutrient density of the foods when you choose our foods. What is nutrient density? Here is the meaning of Nutrient density, which I took from wikipedia.

First, nutrient density is defined as a ratio of nutrient content (in grams) to the total energy content (in kilocalories or joules). According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005, nutrient-dense foods are those foods that provide substantial amounts of vitamins and minerals and relatively few calories. Fruit and vegetables are considered nutrient-dense food, while eggs, meat, cheese, and products containing added sugars, processed cereals, and alcohol are not.

Second, nutrient density is defined as a ratio of food energy from carbohydrate, protein or fat to the total food energy.

Third, nutrient density is understood as the ratio of the nutrient composition of a given food to the nutrient requirements of the human body. Therefore, a nutrient-dense food is the food that delivers a complete nutritional package.

Apparently, a food that gives you a lot of nutrients when compared to its calorie content is a healthier choice than a food that gives you only a few nutrients but numerous calories.

Nutritionally dense foods naturally tend to be light on all the stuff that most of us are trying to avoid, such as saturated fats, cholesterol, lots of sodium, etc. In other words, they're the opposite of empty calories.

You can use the fruit, vegetables, nuts or seeds as a nutrient-dense snacks as they are low in calories and packed with dietary fiber and vitamins. Do this if you feel hungry between your meals time.

But remember that the nutrient-dense food alone is not enough to meet all the needs of your body, especially if you are a very active person.
Eat nutrient-dense food will make you feel full, because of the fiber and nutrients contents from that kind of food, even though your body needs for calories not being met. Your body still needs calories.
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