Tag Archives: Fitness

How Does Diet Soda Prevent Weight Loss?

diet-soda

For years, weight loss centered on simple math: if you burned more calories than you ate, you would inevitably shed unwanted fat. While this basic principle may still be true, recent studies have demonstrated that getting and keeping a lean body could be more complicated than once thought. Most of these studies focus on how certain foods affect the body’s metabolism. Now research suggests even zero-calorie diet soda may prevent weight loss for this reason.

Diet Soda Prevents Weight Loss: Study

According to a research paper published in Obesity Reviews, scientists believe that artificial sweeteners may prompt gut flora to adapt in unhealthy ways which promote weight gain. The study found that this adaptation could cause the body’s metabolism to slow down, which may lead it to burn fewer calories. Additionally, a slower metabolism can lead to unexplained fatigue and an increased appetite, all of which tend to promote weight gain.

This latest study is especially interesting, especially since past studies have also found that probiotics may have the ability to enhance stomach fat loss by balancing the body’s natural gut flora.

Healthy Weight Loss Takes Time

This latest study is just another in a long line proving there’s no shortcut to weight loss. Although sugar substitutes may drastically reduce the amount of calories a dieter consumes on any given day, research suggests they still promote weight gain by slowing the body’s metabolism.

If you want to successfully lose unwanted fat and keep it off, you should focus on eating healthy natural foods that speed the metabolism, while providing plenty of energy to help fuel exercise. This includes lots of lean meats, fibrous vegetables and whole grains, as well as foods rich in healthy omega fatty acids. In the end, because diet soda has shown a propensity to prevent weight loss, dieters are likely to see much better results when they stick to drinking boring old water.

Sleep Apnea Worsens during Winter Months

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Countless Americans suffer from sleep apnea, a dangerous sleep disorder that causes sufferers to stop breathing numerous times throughout the night. Most people suffering from the condition must cope with frequent waking, daytime fatigue and snoring. Now, a recent study out of Brazil suggests these symptoms may worsen when the mercury drops.

More Severe During the Winter

According to research conducted at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, weather changes can have a very real impact on the way patients experience sleep apnea. Over the course of a decade, researchers tested 7,500 patients for at least one night to see how many times each stopped breathing. Ultimately, they found that subjects who were tested during the coldest months of the year experienced more nighttime disturbances (18) than those who were tested during the warmer months (15).

Additionally, the study found that, while only 28 percent of subjects were found to have severe sleep apnea during the warm season, 34 percent suffered from severe sleep apnea during the colder parts of the year.

Although researchers weren’t able to determine why cold weather might make the sleep disorder worse, they theorized that wood burning might irritate the condition, as might heating units which can dry the air and dehydrate the sinuses.

Seeking Treatment

Regardless of the season, sleep apnea remains a serious condition that can drastically reduce the quality of a sufferer’s life. The condition has also been linked to numerous health problems, including obesity and dementia. Normally, people find 100 percent relief when they receive CPAP treatments; however, many people suffer unknowingly with the sleep disorder for years before they get help.

In the end, only a sleep physician can diagnose a patient with sleep apnea. Typically, patients are expected to sleep overnight at a sleep clinic; however, these days, more and more physicians are using at-home sleep testing equipment that allows patients to be tested while in the comfort of their own beds.

How to Lose Weight Correctly

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Most Americans don’t know how to lose weight correctly, because they’ve heard so much misinformation. Generally, this bad advice comes from friends, family and companies that seek to market their fad products and diet pills to unwitting consumers. Before you begin a dieting regimen, learn what our health and fitness expert has to say.

The Wrong Way

Reducing your body mass isn’t rocket science. Invariably, if we eat fewer calories than our bodies burn, we will begin to weigh less. That said, if we try to trim our waistlines using the wrong techniques, the results can be disappointing.

“Improper diet strategies usually lead to unattractive bodies,” said health and fitness expert Jake Weathers. “To get a lean, shapely body, it’s important to know how to lose weight correctly.”

According to Weathers, crash diets tend to result in muscle wasting, which promotes a sagging, unhealthy appearance.

“Good muscle tone is the foundation for a sexy body,” he said. “Unfortunately, it can be difficult to maintain muscle when you are cutting calories and trying to get rid of unwanted fat. Dieters need to make sure they are eating enough protein; this will help build muscle and preserve existing tissue.”

Getting Enough Calories

Obviously, if you want to shed weight, you need to either consume less food or burn more calories. Unfortunately, because many people dislike working out, they try to speed things along by drastically reducing their food intake.

“Our bodies need calories to function,” Weathers said. “Without energy, our brains will not perform well; we can’t make the hormones we need; and our bodies may actually begin to make more fat. Many people are surprised to learn that eating is an important part of a diet. If you want to lose weight correctly, you need to eat small frequent meals to speed up your metabolism. You should focus on high-fiber vegetables, protein-rich lean meats and foods that contain essential omega fatty acids.”

Diet Don’ts that Prevent Weight Loss

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Weight loss can be a frustrating challenge for many Americans, who are frequently subjected to false information and ineffective fad products. If you’ve been struggling to shed unwanted fat, learn the following diet don’ts.

Eating Too Late at Night

After a long day, we tend to sit around the house doing very little. This is especially true in the evening, when most people either read or watch television. Since these sedentary activities burn very few calories, most of what you’ve recently eaten will be turned to fat. Usually, it’s best to avoid eating within three to four hours of sleeping.

Sugary Foods

By far, the biggest diet don’ts centers on the consumption of sugar. Studies have shown that sugar tends to produce insulin spikes, which prompt the body to make and store fat. It’s also devoid of vitamins and amino acids, making it an empty source of fuel.

Carbohydrates for Dinner

Carbohydrates are ideal for fueling the mind and body during trying portions of the day; however, they also promote weight gain, especially when eaten later in the evening. If you want to lose weight, eat protein-rich dinners with low-calorie, fibrous vegetables.

Avoiding Weight Workouts

Many women avoid weight lifting, because they fear it will cause them to add masculine bulk. In reality, muscle development aids weight loss by increasing the body’s need for calories. Resistance training can turn your muscles into calorie-burning ovens that will burn fat even while you sleep.

Eating Bread

Bread is one of the biggest diet don’ts, because it has a high glycemic index. This means it takes very little time for your stomach to digest the food, causing insulin spikes that promote fat accumulation. Many people believe that whole grain bread has the opposite effect because it has more fiber; however, this isn’t necessarily correct. While it’s true that high-fiber foods tend to have low glycemic indexes; because whole grain bread is milled, it takes less time to break down inside the stomach. For best results, dieters should avoid bread in all its forms.

Building More Muscle without Getting Fat

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Most people know that great bodies are made in the gym; however, not everyone understands what they should be doing when they aren’t working out. If you’re interested in building more muscle without getting fat, learn what our in-house fitness expert has to say.

You Can’t Build without Materials

We’ve all seen it: that skinny guy busting out rep after rep in the gym. He works as hard as anyone. Unfortunately, he never seems to get any bigger.

“When I’m training someone who wants to develop more mass, I always use this analogy,” says Jake Weathers, a personal trainer and health and fitness expert. “Think about trying to build a house without any materials. It can’t be done. The same is true when you are trying to build more muscle. If you don’t consume enough protein and calories, your body simply will not grow no matter how much weight you lift.”

Getting Enough

To gain more lean mass, bodybuilders must consume more calories than they burn. That said, not all calories are created equal.

“You must eat enough protein, or your body will not change for the better,” Weathers said. “Most people need at least one gram of protein per pound of body weight, and some need even more. At the same time, bodybuilders should get most of their calories from healthy fats and carbohydrates coming from fibrous foods. Sugar is something to avoid, because it encourages the development of fat.”

Avoid Getting Fat

Often, when men and women try to pack on lean mass, they end up with a spare tire. According to Weathers, this can be avoided in two ways.

“First, you need to avoid carbohydrates after eight at night, when we tend to move very little,” he said. “Second, you need to add in some cardio exercise. This second point is important; however, timing is everything. If you do your cardio at the wrong times, it could prevent you from building more muscle. Usually, it’s best for bodybuilders to do brief aerobic exercises immediately after a weight workout, when their glycogen reserves are depleted.”

5 of the Worst Foods for Weight Loss

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To lose weight, dieters need to burn more calories than they consume. That said, if you want to burn fat and keep or build muscle, things get a little more complicated. Before you go to the grocery market, learn five of the worst foods for weight loss.

Sodas

This is probably the worst thing you can consume if you are concerned about unwanted fat. Made up of simple sugars, soda contains no real useful nutrients. It also causes bug spikes in insulin, which causes the body to create and store fat. If there’s one thing every dieter should cut from their menus, it’s soda.

Cereal

This one’s a little tricky. In the mornings, whole grain cereals can be a good thing, because they contain fiber, which curbs hunger by encouraging stomach satiety. At night, however, it can lead to fat accumulation. Generally, it’s a good idea to avoid high-carbohydrate foods too close to bedtime, when our bodies are burning fewer calories due to sleep.

Bread

White bread is a definite no-no because it has been overly processed. Unlike whole grains, which contain a lot more fiber, white bread has a high glycemic index, which tends to promote weight gain. Contrary to popular belief, because whole grain bread is milled, it also hits the blood stream quickly. In general, bread is a bad choice for weight watchers.

Fast food

High in calories and trans fat, fast food is definitely one of the worst foods for weight loss. Many people are stunned to learn that a single serving of fast food can often provide all the calories a single person would need for an entire day. When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s best to follow one rule of thumb: if you didn’t prepare it in your kitchen, don’t eat it.

Sweets

Basically, this includes anything high in sugar. Sugar doesn’t just have a lot of calories; studies have shown that it can prompt the body to store more fat around the midsection and thighs. Simple carbohydrates are not a wise option for dieters, and sugar is just about the worst thing any weight-conscious person can eat.