Health & Fitness

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Upon the previous thread being closed, lets continue discussion here :)
Although I don't advocate a particular diet, more just changing unhealthy habits and looking at long term weight loss, I know a number of people like the look of some diets and have had some successes with them.

What diets have you tried in the past? How did they work out? Were you able to keep it off?
What questions to you have about certain diets, maybe I'll be able to answer :)

About Myself: Qualified Wellness Coach, Nutritionist and Personal Trainer, specialize in working with diabetes and cardiac patients with weight management. Currently working on a government subsided contract to support people getting more active.
 
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I'm certainly no diet expert and don't have nearly the qualifications you do!

For me I've found the best diet was just portion control, taking what I already ate and just reducing it. I just can't bring myself to cut out certain foods as I love them all! It's still very difficult though as I love to gorge on yummy food. :)

For specific diets, I've heard that carb-limited diets seem to have the most success in shedding off weight. Although I'm still skeptical on how long those people keep it off for and whether there are any adverse long-term health effects!
 
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Another big piece to keeping the weight off is staying hydrated. Your body cannot burn fat unless you are properly hydrated. It's important that you drink between 60-80oz of water per day to maintain proper hydration. Don't go overboard - you'll be visiting the bathroom all the time!
 
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Upon the previous thread being closed, lets continue discussion here :)
Although I don't advocate a particular diet, more just changing unhealthy habits and looking at long term weight loss, I know a number of people like the look of some diets and have had some successes with them.

What diets have you tried in the past? How did they work out? Were you able to keep it off?
What questions to you have about certain diets, maybe I'll be able to answer :)

About Myself: Qualified Wellness Coach, Nutritionist and Personal Trainer, specialize in working with diabetes and cardiac patients with weight management. Currently working on a government subsided contract to support people getting more active.
I found that eating less red meats and pork works for me when I diet. I incorporate more liquids instead of more heavy solid foods into my diet. For example, I'd eat a bowl of Oatmeal, three slices of Turkey bacon, an 8 oz. glass of water, and an eight oz. glass of Apple juice for breakfast. For Lunch and dinner, I'd have a nice bowl of mushroom soup, chicken noodle soup, ect... with a side of wheat toast and or crackers. My in between snacks are always fresh fruits or roasted nuts instead of greasy potatoes chips. With all my meals and or snacks, I have a nice glass of water. I also found that milk does wonders on my digestive track.
 
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@ krazy yeah definately keeping your fluid intake high of drinks such as water, milk and tea (no sugar) helps!
@ Classy sounds like a real clean and healthy diet! Alot of people think you can't eat real food while dieting and what yours shows is you can if you just cut out all the processed junk food.
 
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I don't really diet but if I need to lose a couple of pounds then I step the exercise up. Hydration really is key, as krazyman points out, your body won't function at it's best unless you drink enough.
 
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I'm certainly no diet expert and don't have nearly the qualifications you do!

For me I've found the best diet was just portion control, taking what I already ate and just reducing it. I just can't bring myself to cut out certain foods as I love them all! It's still very difficult though as I love to gorge on yummy food. :)

For specific diets, I've heard that carb-limited diets seem to have the most success in shedding off weight. Although I'm still skeptical on how long those people keep it off for and whether there are any adverse long-term health effects!
I agree with you, I hear that the "low-card" diet is a winner in the dieting world. I haven't tried it but I've seen some people loose a lot of weight and benefit very well from the diet. I wouldn't be able to benefit from it though cause I'm a southern lady, I love foods such as pasta and rice. I understand though that eating less carbs also has great benefits for keeping a healthy heart.
 
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I don't really diet but if I need to lose a couple of pounds then I step the exercise up. Hydration really is key, as krazyman points out, your body won't function at it's best unless you drink enough.
Yes, we can't forget about exercising and hydration. Those two factors are two key components of staying healthy and regulating a dieting plan. With exercising though, it's important to change up the workouts. Water is like a lifeline in hydrating a healthy body.
 
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The recent success in "low carb" diets at the moment is really due to the promotion of "low fat" diets. With the advocate of low fat diets people began consuming excessive carbohydrates. Now a high percentage of our processed foods are carbohydrate based, with additional corn based sugar additives. By reducing carbohydrates it allows people to still eat the satisfying foods such as steak, bacon and sausages. This approach I feel is easier psychologically for people than looking at the amount of fat and meat they eat.
The concern lately is that people will start doing this:


This is REALLY the wrong message! The message should say you CAN eat Butter. Fat is not the enemy, neither is carbohydrates. The enemy is marketers who make you think food is your enemy. We should enjoy our food, focus on making quality dishes and avoiding the processed, quick meal crap that the majority of people's diets are made up with.

You are the expert of your own body. Experiment what works best for you by making small changes over time.
 
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@ krazy yeah definately keeping your fluid intake high of drinks such as water, milk and tea (no sugar) helps!
@ Classy sounds like a real clean and healthy diet! Alot of people think you can't eat real food while dieting and what yours shows is you can if you just cut out all the processed junk food.
Exactly, all that processed junk is starting to be a thing of the past. People are starting to get back to that tradition of eating home cooked healthy meals. They are realizing that more liquids, fruits, and vegetables has a more appetizing appeal than going to the fastest nearest burger joint and shooting back a cheese burger with a side of cold fries. We are getting back to our roots of being one with our healthy mind, body, and soul. It's in correlation with the "green living" movement.
 
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The recent success in "low carb" diets at the moment is really due to the promotion of "low fat" diets. With the advocate of low fat diets people began consuming excessive carbohydrates. Now a high percentage of our processed foods are carbohydrate based, with additional corn based sugar additives. By reducing carbohydrates it allows people to still eat the satisfying foods such as steak, bacon and sausages. This approach I feel is easier psychologically for people than looking at the amount of fat and meat they eat.
The concern lately is that people will start doing this:


This is REALLY the wrong message! The message should say you CAN eat Butter. Fat is not the enemy, neither is carbohydrates. The enemy is marketers who make you think food is your enemy. We should enjoy our food, focus on making quality dishes and avoiding the processed, quick meal crap that the majority of people's diets are made up with.

You are the expert of your own body. Experiment what works best for you by making small changes over time.
Wow! Time Magazine should know better than this foolishness! I agree with you, we should be more adapted to eating healthy based off of our own knowledge of what our bodies can or can't handle. We are all unique in our own way and that is why it's important to hold on to our own skepticisms, Especially when we are presented with foolery such as what Time Magazine is representing on this cover.
 
#12

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I lost a stone recently just watching what I eat. If you're not getting enough exercise that's an obvious place to start. The most important thing I think is to do as much research as you can and to be responsible.
 
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Part 1 of 2: Staying Mentally Healthy

  1. 1
    Keep your mind limber. In addition to the fact that staying mentally active is emotionally rewarding, studies have shown that there is a correlation between mentally-challenging activities and a decreased risk of Alzheimer's. Never stop learning, even if you feel like you’re “past your prime.”[2]
    • There are some very simple ways you can use to exercise your mind. For example, you can try taking a different route to work, or brush your teeth with the hand you don't normally use.[3]
    • Read more, and challenge yourself with your reading selection. Alternate between reading those pulp mystery novels you love, and classics like selections by Hemingway, Twain, and London.
    • Solve puzzles and PLAY GAMES
      of strategy. These sort of games engage you mentally. You could also earn to play an instrument. All of these activities have been linked to improving your memory.




  2. 2
    Strengthen your relationships. Prioritize developing meaningful relationships above simply being social. Surround yourself with people that enrich your life and make you happy. Practice self-disclosure, which means sharing things that are unique to you (your thoughts, fears, favorite movies and music, pet peeves, etc.) with those you trust. This has been shown to be of immense importance to not only forging deeper interpersonal connections, but also feeling validated emotionally.[4]
    • Learn how to have a healthy relationship. Be open about what you are feeling, try to understand what others are feeling, and be willing to compromise. If you think you’re in a manipulative or controlling relationship, get out of it. It’s better to stand strong on your own than be held back by a so-called companion.
    • Make the time to stay connected to your close friends. This does not just mean posting a Youtube video to their Facebook page every once in awhile. If you live far away from your close friends, take the time to call them once every week. If you live near your best friends, make time each week to stop in and catch up (even if you both have busy work weeks/families etc.) Many studies show that people with a wide range of social contacts get sick less than those who don't. Friends make you laugh, and laughing is also an important part of health.
    • Enrich your sex life. In addition to the psychological benefits of a healthy sex life such as reduced DEPRESSION
      , a healthy sex life has been shown to have a wide variety of health advantages including increased immunity, decreased pain, and better fitness.[5] Better still, it’s something you can do with or without a partner. If you do have a partner or partners, be sure to practice safe sex.


  3. 3
    Pursue your passions. Set some time aside to practice an instrument, do an art project, take photos, build models, weld, bake gourmet cakes, or whatever else enriches your free time. If you want to learn something new, take an evening or weekend class. If you can’t think of anything interesting off the top of your head, take the time to find a hobby.[6]
    • If you’re convinced that there isn’t enough time in the day to pursue any outside activities, try to cut back on a time-wasting activity like channel-surfing or hitting refresh on Facebook. You may be surprised by how much time you actually spend in front of a screen when you could be doing other things.
    • Join a group or club. Meeting up with people who share a common interest will both get you out of the house and boost your sense of belonging. Join a book club, a sports team, or a walking group. Pick up a community newspaper to find listings of clubs located in your area.

  4. 4
    Learn how to understand your emotions. It is important to be aware of what you are feeling. When you are in touch with your emotions, you will be able to both recognize when you are acting out because of your emotions and empathize more thoroughly with others. Knowing yourself is a key part of having good mental health--it’s important to know when something is making you unhappy so that you can either fix it or cut it out of your life. Likewise, it is also good to recognize the things that make you happy. Surrounding yourself with good energy will promote a happier, healthier you.[7]
    • Go to a meditation group and learn how to focus your mind on the positive. Speak with a therapist who will help you sort through your emotions. Enroll in an emotional awareness course that teaches you to recognize, accept, and understand your emotions.
    • Learn how to cope with emotional pain and, if necessary, deal with emotional abuse. Speak with a therapist or someone you trust. Bottling up your feelings will only make your mental state more cluttered.

  5. 5
    Boost your karma points. Doing good will make you feel good. When you put positive energy out into the UNIVERSE
    , that positive energy will come back to you. Improving the lives of others will in turn, improve your own mental state because you will know that you have done good by someone else.
    • If you have some spare time, allocate that time to helping others. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or animal shelter. Work in the community garden or simply help a friend in some way.

  6. 6
    Be aware of stressful factors in your life. Stress is unavoidable--whether you are running late for work, or have to get a shot at the doctor’s office, it is normal to feel stressed out. However, you can reduce your stress and learn how to manage your reaction to stressful things. Be aware of the things that stress you out and try to avoid those triggers.[8]
    • For example, if sitting in traffic makes you stressed, avoid driving during peak rush hour. If that means getting up early and getting to work early, then find a coffee shop near your office and relax before work.
    • Get involved in stress-free activities. If you have noticed that you have a hard time relaxing at night, take up yoga or meditation classes. After work or class, head to your local yoga studio and learn how to focus your breath so that you feel all your tensions unwind.
    • Take a few moments each day to release any stresses you have and focus on the here and now. Instead of worrying about something that happened in the past, or planning for the future, take a moment to notice what is going on around you. Literally stop and smell the roses--feel the warm breeze on your face, notice the cloud formations above you, focus solely on the things going on around you.

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Part 2 of 2: Staying Physically Healthy


  1. 1
    Maintain healthy eating habits. Avoid fad diets--they are often incredibly unhealthy. To get all the nutrition the human body needs, you must eat a balanced DIET
    including dairy, grains, protein, fruits and veggies, as well as fat (yes, even fat!).[9] By doing so, you'll have a healthy heart, healthy brain, and a fully functional IMMUNE SYSTEM
    . Eating highly varied foods will also help insure you get all the vitamins, minerals, oils, and enzymes your body craves.
    • To lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume.[10] That’s all there is to it. With the exception of sweets, eliminating one area of the food pyramid from your diet won’t replace the need to simply consume fewer calories.
    • Avoid skipping meals, which is hard on the body. Some people even recommend eating up to six mini meals a day instead of three large ones, which can sustain energy and steady blood-sugar levels[11]; however, many people end up turning their “mini meals” into junk food sessions and end up consuming not just more calories, but emptier ones.[12] Be honest with yourself before making this choice.
    • If you want to work on portion control, eat low energy-density foods (i.e. more substance, fewer calories). Fruits and vegetables, for example, are packed with not only vitamins and minerals, but also water and fiber, making them take longer to digest and keeping you full longer.[13]

  2. 2
    Drink more water. Water helps flush metabolic wastes to keep your metabolism in top shape.[14] Water can also help you feel fuller, so drink at least a half-gallon (2 liters) of water every day (or more if you are active or live in a hot climate).
    • Try to drink water that has been purified. Tap water often contains things like chlorine and fluoride that reduce the health benefits of drinking water.[15]


  3. 3
    Sleep well every night. Adults should get 7 to 9 hours daily, whereas school-aged children should get 10 to 11.[16] One of the absolute most important ways of improving the quality of your sleep is to do it in complete darkness, as even small amounts of light interfere with the chemicals that tell your body to rest.[17] If you can’t eliminate the light in your room, wear an eye mask. Another one of the best ways to improve your sleep is to exercise.[18]
    • Sleeping is also a good way to prevent overeating. A study by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that men who only slept for 4 hours consumed, on average, 500 more calories than they did after sleeping for 8.[19]


  4. 4
    Stick to an exercise regimen. If you don’t want to pay for a gym membership, try strength-training at home. The muscle you develop will help increase your metabolism: the bodies of muscular people burn more calories even while they’re at rest.[20] To help you stick to your regimen, keep a workout journal. Plan out when and where you will work out each week and stick to it. Each time you work out, write down what you did and for how long.
    • To keep your heart in shape, do cardio. One particularly effective way to improve your cardiovascular health is to do interval training, which means alternating between low- and high-intensity activity. This has been shown to be a quick and extremely effective way to improve heart health and endurance.[21](Anyone over the age of 60 or who has heart disease, high blood pressure, or arthritis should consult a doctor before attempting interval training.)


  5. 5
    Limit your vices. Quit smoking, beat drug addiction, and, if necessary, stop drinking. Avoid other risky behaviors like speeding, fighting, unsafe sex, and excessive thrill-seeking.


  6. 6
    Be hygienic. Wash your hands thoroughly after coming into contact with a sick person, using the bathroom, or anything else that could make you sick. (If you’re not sure what “thoroughly” entails, sing Happy Birthday to You in your head as you scrub--when you are done singing the song, you should finish washing your hands.) In addition to flossing regularly, brush your teeth and tongue at least twice daily to limit plaque and harmful bacteria. Take showers regularly. Schedule doctor’s and dentist’s appointments to make sure everything in your body is working properly and you are as healthy as you can be.


  7. 7
    Make little lifestyle changes. Don’t tire yourself out by making large gestures toward health without addressing the small stuff too. Instead of running yourself ragged at the gym three days a week, park farther away from the store, walk the dog more often, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or weed your garden; instead of attacking your veggies and snacking distractedly in front of the computer or TV, set time aside to slowly enjoy each meal and prevent mindless overeating.[12] Get your new habits to stick by tackling them at the grass-roots level.
    • Remember to do everything in moderation – including moderation. Turning each aspect of your life into something you need to check off a list can not only make you feel trapped, but also make you more likely to fall (or possibly even throw yourself) off the wagon. Allowing yourself the occasional indulgence to blow off steam will make you much more satisfied with your new lifestyle choices. Give yourself healthy rewards when you complete a week of your new workout regimen or HEALTHY EATING
      plan.
 
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Excellent advice, particularly the points about looking after your brain. It is so important to keep the cogs well oiled - evidence has shown that those who partake in regular mental activities tend to experience less brain degeneration with age. I also like the final point regarding moderation. You have to have a little fun in life and part of this includes a nice meal or a couple of beers. Cutting everything out for good only leads to bingeing.
 
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Excellent advice, particularly the points about looking after your brain. It is so important to keep the cogs well oiled - evidence has shown that those who partake in regular mental activities tend to experience less brain degeneration with age. I also like the final point regarding moderation. You have to have a little fun in life and part of this includes a nice meal or a couple of beers. Cutting everything out for good only leads to bingeing.
Break the Seal Beer drinkers have been shown to have a lowered risk of kidney stones compared to their hard liquor loving friends because of beer’s high water content and diuretic effect. (Who knew breaking the seal would be a good thing?) Plus, the compounds in beer have been shown to delay the release of bone calcium which is linked to stones.
 
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