Thursday, September 11, 2008

100 Diet tips and tricks

Here is a nifty little list I found whilst browsing through the Internet at WebMD. It's nice cause it breaks down little tips and tricks you can incorporate into your diet to make it easier, rather than just jumping into this whole eating healthier thing without a clue. Soon to come: Sample meal plans to fit your lifestyle! :)
Happy reading!

1. Add just one fruit or veggie serving daily. Get comfortable with that, then add an extra serving until you reach 8 to 10 a day.

2. Eat at least two servings of a fruit or veggie at every meal.

3. Resolve never to supersize your food portions—unless you want to supersize your clothes.

4. Make eating purposeful, not mindless. Whenever you put food in your mouth, peel it, unwrap it, plate it, and sit. Engage all of the senses in the pleasure of nourishing your body.

5. Start eating a big breakfast. It helps you eat fewer total calories throughout the day.

6. Make sure your plate is half veggies and/or fruit at both lunch and dinner.

Are there Any Easy Tricks to Help Me Cut Calories?
7. Eating out? Halve it, and bag the rest. A typical restaurant entree has 1,000 to 2,000 calories, not even counting the bread, appetizer, beverage, and dessert.

8. When dining out, make it automatic: Order one dessert to share.

9. Use a salad plate instead of a dinner plate.

10. See what you eat. Plate your food instead of eating out of the jar or bag.

11. Eat the low-cal items on your plate first, then graduate. Start with salads, veggies, and broth soups, and eat meats and starches last. By the time you get to them, you'll be full enough to be content with smaller portions of the high-calorie choices.

12.
Instead of whole milk, switch to 1 percent. If you drink one 8-oz glass a day, you'll lose 5 lb in a year.

13. Juice has as many calories, ounce for ounce, as soda. Set a limit of one 8-oz glass of fruit juice a day.

14. Get calories from foods you chew, not beverages. Have fresh fruit instead of fruit juice.

15. Keep a food journal. It really works wonders. (Katelyn note: TRUE STORY! It works ridiculously well!!!! Try it-and be honest when you're writing it down.)

16. Follow the Chinese saying: "Eat until you are eight-tenths full."

17. Use mustard instead of mayo.

18. Eat more soup. The noncreamy ones are filling but low-cal.

19. Cut back on or cut out caloric drinks such as soda, sweet tea, lemonade, etc. People have lost weight by making just this one change. If you have a 20-oz bottle of Coca-Cola every day, switch to Diet Coke. You should lose 25 lb in a year. (Katelyn note: Diet soda is actually worse for your waistline than regular. Disregard this tip and cut out soda altogether. Your body will thank you.)

20. Take your lunch to work.

21. Sit when you eat.

22. Dilute juice with water.

23. Have mostly veggies for lunch.

24. Eat at home.

25. Limit alcohol to weekends.

How Can I Eat More Veggies?
26. Have a V8 or tomato juice instead of a Diet Coke at 3 pm.

27. Doctor your veggies to make them delicious: Dribble maple syrup over carrots, and sprinkle chopped nuts on green beans.

28. Mix three different cans of beans and some diet Italian dressing. Eat this three-bean salad all week.

29. Don't forget that vegetable soup counts as a vegetable.

30. Rediscover the sweet potato.

31. Use prebagged baby spinach everywhere: as "lettuce" in sandwiches, heated in soups, wilted in hot pasta, and added to salads.

32. Spend the extra few dollars to buy vegetables that are already washed and cut up.

33. Really hate veggies? Relax. If you love fruits, eat plenty of them; they are just as healthy (especially colorful ones such as oranges, mangoes, and melons).

34. Keep seven bags of your favorite frozen vegetables on hand. Mix any combination, microwave, and top with your favorite low-fat dressing. Enjoy 3 to 4 cups a day. Makes a great quick dinner.

Can You Give Me a Mantra that will Help Me Stick to My Diet?
35. "The best portion of high-calorie foods is the smallest one. The best portion of vegetables is the largest one. Period."

36. "I'll ride the wave. My cravings will disappear after 10 minutes if I turn my attention elsewhere."

37. "I want to be around to see my grandchildren, so I can forgo a cookie now." ( haha sad but true!)

38. "I am a work in progress."

39. "It's more stressful to continue being fat than to stop overeating."

I Eat Healthy, but I'm Overweight. What Mistakes Could I Be Making without Realizing It?
40. Skipping meals. Many healthy eaters "diet by day and binge by night."(like a superhero...or something...this is me in a nutshell. Don't be that.)

41. Don't "graze" yourself fat. You can easily munch 600 calories of pretzels or cereal without realizing it.

42. Eating pasta like crazy. A serving of pasta is 1 cup, but some people routinely eat 4 cups.

43.
Eating supersize bagels of 400 to 500 calories for snacks.

44. Ignoring "Serving Size" on the Nutrition Facts panel.

45. Snacking on bowls of nuts. Nuts are healthy but dense with calories. Put those bowls away, and use nuts as a garnish instead of a snack.

46. Thinking all energy bars and fruit smoothies are low-cal.

What Can I Eat for a Healthy Low-Cal Dinner if I Don't Want to Cook?
47. A smoothie made with fat-free milk, frozen fruit, and wheat germ.

48. The smallest fast-food burger (with mustard and ketchup, not mayo) and a no-cal beverage. Then at home, have an apple or baby carrots.

49. A peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread with a glass of 1 percent milk and an apple.

50. Precooked chicken strips and microwaved frozen broccoli topped with Parmesan cheese.

51. A healthy frozen entree with a salad and a glass of 1 percent milk.

52. Scramble eggs in a nonstick skillet. Pop some asparagus in the microwave, and add whole wheat toast. If your cholesterol levels are normal, you can have seven eggs a week!

53. A bag of frozen vegetables heated in the microwave, topped with 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons of chopped nuts.

54. Prebagged salad topped with canned tuna, grape tomatoes, shredded reduced-fat cheese, and low-cal Italian dressing.

55. Keep lean sandwich fixings on hand: whole wheat bread, sliced turkey, reduced-fat cheese, tomatoes, mustard with horseradish.

56. Heat up a can of good soup.

57. Cereal, fruit, and fat-free milk makes a good meal anytime.

58. Try a veggie sandwich from Subway.

59. Precut fruit for a salad and add yogurt.

What's Your Best Advice for Avoiding those Extra Holiday Pounds?
60. Don't tell yourself, "It's okay, it's the holidays." That opens the door to 6 weeks of splurging.

61. Remember, EAT before you meet. Have this small meal before you go to any parties: a hardboiled Egg, Apple, and a Thirst quencher (water, seltzer, diet soda, tea).

62. As obvious as it sounds, don't stand near the food at parties. Make the effort, and you'll find you eat less.

63. At a buffet? Eating a little of everything guarantees high calories. Decide on three or four things, only one of which is high in calories. Save that for last so there's less chance of overeating.

64.
For the duration of the holidays, wear your snuggest clothes that don't allow much room for expansion. Wearing sweats is out until January.

65. Give it away! After company leaves, give away leftover food to neighbors, doormen, or delivery people, or take it to work the next day.

66. Walk around the mall three times before you start shopping.

67. Make exercise a nonnegotiable priority.

68. Dance to music with your family in your home. One dietitian reported that when she asks her patients to do this, initially they just smile, but once they've done it, they say it is one of the easiest ways to involve the whole family in exercise.

How Can I Control a Raging Sweet Tooth?
69. Once in a while, have a lean, mean salad for lunch or dinner, and save the meal's calories for a full dessert.

70. Are you the kind of person who does better if you make up your mind to do without sweets and just not have them around? Or are you going to do better if you have a limited amount of sweets every day? One RD reported that most of her clients pick the latter and find they can avoid bingeing after a few days.

71. If your family thinks they need a very sweet treat every night, try to strike a balance between offering healthy choices but allowing them some "free will." Compromise with low-fat ice cream and fruit, or sometimes just fruit with a dollop of whipped cream.

72. Try 2 weeks without sweets. It's amazing how your cravings vanish. (True!)

73. Eat more fruit. A person who gets enough fruit in his diet doesn't have a raging sweet tooth.

74. Eat your sweets, just eat them smart! Carve out about 150 calories per day for your favorite sweet. That amounts to about an ounce of chocolate, half a modest slice of cake, or 1/2 cup of regular ice cream.

75. Try these smart little sweets: sugar-free hot cocoa, frozen red grapes, fudgsicles, sugar-free gum, Nutri-Grain chocolate fudge twists, Tootsie Rolls, and hard candy.

How Can I Conquer My Downfall: Bingeing at Night?
76. Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The large majority of people who struggle with night eating are those who skip meals or don't eat balanced meals during the day. This is a major setup for overeating at night.

77. Eat your evening meal in the kitchen or dining room, sitting down at the table.

78. Drink cold unsweetened raspberry tea. It tastes great and keeps your mouth busy.

79. Change your nighttime schedule. It will take effort, but it will pay off. You need something that will occupy your mind and hands.

80. If you're eating at night due to emotions, you need to focus on getting in touch with what's going on and taking care of yourself in a way that really works. Find a nonfood method of coping with your stress.

81. Put a sign on the kitchen and refrigerator doors: "Closed after Dinner."

82. Brush your teeth right after dinner to remind you: No more food. (definitely helps)

83. Eat without engaging in any other simultaneous activity. No reading, watching TV, or sitting at the computer.

84. Eating late at night won't itself cause weight gain. It's how many calories—not when you eat them—that counts.

How Can I Reap Added Health Benefits from My Dieting?
85. Fat-free isn't always your best bet. Research has found that none of the lycopene or alpha- or beta-carotene that fight cancer and heart disease is absorbed from salads with fat-free dressing. Only slightly more is absorbed with reduced-fat dressing; the most is absorbed with full-fat dressing. But remember, use your dressing in moderate amounts.

86. Skipping breakfast will leave you tired and craving naughty foods by midmorning. To fill up healthfully and tastefully, try this sweet, fruity breakfast full of antioxidants. In a blender, process 1 c nonfat plain or vanilla yogurt, 1 1/3 c frozen strawberries (no added sugar), 1 peeled kiwi, and 1 peeled banana. Pulse until mixture is milkshake consistency. Makes one 2-cup serving; 348 calories and 1.5 fat grams. (YUM! Shakes are a great way to fill you up with delicious and nutritious food!)

87. If you're famished by 4 p.m. and have no alternative but an office vending machine, reach for the nuts—. The same goes if your only choices are what's available in the hotel minibar.

88. Next time you're feeling wiped out in late afternoon, forgo that cup of coffee and reach for a cup of yogurt instead. The combination of protein, carbohydrate, and fat in an 8-ounce serving of low-fat yogurt will give you a sense of fullness and well-being that coffee can't match, as well as some vital nutrients. If you haven't eaten in 3 to 4 hours, your blood glucose levels are probably dropping, so eating a small amount of nutrient-rich food will give your brain and your body a boost.

89. Making just a few changes to your pantry shelves can get you a lot closer to your weight loss goals. Here's what to do: If you use corn and peanut oil, replace it with olive oil. Same goes for breads—go for whole wheat. Trade in those fatty cold cuts like salami and bologna and replace them canned tuna, sliced turkey breast, and lean roast beef. Change from drinking whole milk to fat-free milk or low-fat soy milk. This is hard for a lot of people so try transitioning down to 2 percent and then 1 percent before you go fat-free.

90. Nothing's less appetizing than a crisper drawer full of mushy vegetables. Frozen vegetables store much better, plus they may have greater nutritional value than fresh. Food suppliers typically freeze veggies just a few hours after harvest, locking in the nutrients. Fresh veggies, on the other hand, often spend days in the back of a truck before they reach your supermarket.

91. Worried about the trans-fat content in your peanut butter? Good news: In a test done on Skippy, JIF, Peter Pan, and a supermarket brand, the levels of trans fats per 2-tablespoon serving were far lower than 0.5 gram—low enough that under proposed laws, the brands can legally claim zero trans fats on the label. They also contained only 1 gram more sugar than natural brands—not a significant difference. (Fat-free JIF tastes AMAZING!!! It's my favorite food...ever!)

Eating Less Isn't Enough—What Exercising Tips Will Help Me Shed Pounds?
92. Overeating is not the result of exercise. Vigorous exercise won't stimulate you to overeat. It's just the opposite. Exercise at any level helps curb your appetite immediately following the workout.

93. When you're exercising, you shouldn't wait for thirst to strike before you take a drink. By the time you feel thirsty, you're already dehydrated. Try this: Drink at least 16 ounces of water, sports drinks, or juices two hours before you exercise. Then drink 8 ounces an hour before and another 4 to 8 ounces every 15 to 20 minutes during your workout. Finish with at least 16 ounces after you're done exercising.

94. Tune in to an audio book while you walk. It'll keep you going longer and looking forward to the next walk—and the next chapter! Check your local library for a great selection. Look for a whodunit; you might walk so far you'll need to take a cab home!

95. Think yoga's too serene to burn calories? Think again. You can burn 250 to 350 calories during an hour-long class (that's as much as you'd burn from an hour of walking)! Plus, you'll improve muscle strength, flexibility, and endurance.

96. Drinking too few can hamper your weight loss efforts. That's because dehydration can slow your metabolism by 3 percent, or about 45 fewer calories burned a day, which in a year could mean weighing 5 pounds more. The key to water isn't how much you drink, it's how frequently you drink it. Small amounts sipped often work better than 8 ounces gulped down at once.

How Can I Manage My Emotional Eating and Get the Support I Need?
97. A registered dietitian (RD) can help you find healthy ways to manage your weight with food. To find one in your area who consults with private clients call (800) 366-1655.

98. The best place to drop pounds may be your own house of worship. Researchers set up healthy eating and exercise programs in 16 Baltimore churches. More than 500 women participated and after a year the most successful lost an average of 20 lb. Weight loss programs based on faith are so successful because there's a built-in community component that people can feel comfortable with.

99. Here's another reason to keep level-headed all the time: Pennsylvania State University research has found that women less able to cope with stress—shown by blood pressure and heart rate elevations—ate twice as many fatty snacks as stress-resistant women did, even after the stress stopped (in this case, 25 minutes of periodic jackhammer-level noise and an unsolvable maze).

100. Sitting at a computer may help you slim down. When researchers at Brown University School of Medicine put 92 people on online weight loss programs for a year, those who received weekly e-mail counseling shed 5 1/2 more pounds than those who got none. Counselors provided weekly feedback on diet and exercise logs, answered questions, and cheered them on. Most major online diet programs offer many of these features.

Fun little start to our weight loss portion of the blog! I will be giving you more specific tips and tidbits of info in future articles. Good luck! :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Weight Loss- Your stats

It's nice to know where you stand when you first begin any weight loss journey. Write down your basic stats as shown below to help track of your awesome progress as the weeks go by-

Being at a healthy weight means neither weighing too much nor too little. There are a few methods for determining your optimum weight. One method involves using a simple formula that estimates your ideal weight using your height:

  • For women: add 100 pounds of body weight for the first 5 feet of height then add 5 pounds for each additional inch of height. Example: a 5’ 6” woman should weigh about 130 lbs.
  • For men: add 106 pounds of body weight for the first 5 feet of height then add 6 pounds for each additional inch of height. Example: a 5’ 10” man should weigh about 166 lbs.
  • To account for differences in body type, people with a small body frame should subtract 10% from the weight they calculated. Example: a 5’ 6” woman with a small frame should weigh about 130 - 13 = 117 lbs. For a large frame, 10% should be added. Example a 5’ 10” man with a large frame should weigh about 166 + 17 = 183 lbs.
Body mass index (BMI)

Another way to estimate a healthy weight range is by calculating your body mass index or BMI. The BMI is an indirect measure of the portion of your body that is made up of fat. This is the measure most often used to determine your risk of diseases related to excess weight such as type 2 diabets and heart disease.

Your BMI takes into account your height and weight; higher numbers mean you carry more fat. If your BMI is above 25 but below 30, you are considered “overweight.” If your BMI is between 30 and 39 you are considered “obese,” while a BMI of 40 or above is considered extremely or “morbidly obese.” Notice that the terms “overweight” and “obese” are not synonyms; medically, they refer to distinct categories of excess weight.

The formulas for calculating BMI are:

  • BMI = (weight in pounds/height in inches2) x 703
    -or-
  • BMI = weight in kilograms/height in meters2

Here is how to measure and calculate your BMI (using pounds and inches):

  • Weigh yourself on your bathroom scale.
  • Measure your height in inches using a yardstick or tape measure.
  • Take your height in inches and square the number (i.e. multiply the number of inches by the same number of inches).
  • Divide your weight in pounds by the answer from above (your height in inches squared).
  • Multiply that answer by 703. The answer is your BMI.
Or.. If you know your height and weight, you can use this easy little chart.
Find your height in inches on the left vertical column, and then find your weight in pounds in the corresponding horizontal row. The number directly above your weight in the of the chart is your BMI.

For example: If you are 65" and 150 lbs, your BMI is 25.
http://win.niddk.nih.gov/statistics/images/weightchart.jpg
Body fat measurements

Body fat measurements are used to estimate the percentage of your body weight made up by fat. A registered dietitian or exercise physiologist can help you calculate your body fat.

For women, the recommended amount of body fat is 20 - 21%, while the average American woman has approximately 22 - 25% body fat. A woman with 30% body fat or more is considered obese.

For men, the recommended amount of body fat is 13 - 17% while the average American man has approximately 17 - 19% body fat. A man with 25% body fat or higher is considered obese.

Body shape

While it is never healthy to carry too much excess weight, where you carry the weight on you can have implications for your health.

There are two main types of body shape called “apples” and “pears” based on the parts of the body where people tend to store excess fat. Apple-shaped people have central body fat in the abdomen, mainly around the stomach and chest. Pear-shaped people store excess body fat below the waist in the hips, thighs, and buttocks. Research studies have demonstrated that having an apple shape increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. For unknown reasons, central body fat is more resistant to the actions of insulin and so increases the risk for type 2 diabetes.

To determine if you are an apple or a pear, you can stand in front of a full-length mirror and decide where the majority of your excess weight is stored. You can also use a tape measure to measure your waist just above the hipbone while you exhale (don’t suck in your stomach). The risks of an apple shape increase for women whose waist is more than 35 inches and for men whose waist is more than 40 inches.

The most accurate way to determine your body shape is to calculate your waist to hip ratio, or WHR. To get your WHR, measure your waist at the smallest part and your hips at the widest part and then divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement. A healthy WHR for women is 0.80 or below and for men is 1.0 or below.

Don't forget that this does not necessarily take into consideration your muscle mass or weight distribution. It is only a general guideline for you.


Weight Loss- Exercise

First question to ask yourself-

Do you exercise? You say, "Well yeah, I go jogging and run or whatever every so often..."

Second question-

Is it doing anything for you?

If your answer is no-you probably aren't working out correctly.
First, make sure your diet is in tip top shape. That is ESSENTIAL to make sure your body can perform at it's best during your workouts. Second, remember: going to the gym doesn't have to be a grueling ordeal. It should be a part of your day to look forward to. It's a time for self improvement, making your body stronger and healthier. It can be almost meditative if you let it be.
I'm not asking you all to become triathlon athletes/bodybuilders, that's just silly. You all have lives and other important things going on. But, if you want to stick with an exercise program, whether it be for weight loss or any of the other numerous health related benefits, you need to MAKE TIME! Exercise doesn't work if you're just thinking about it. Schedule it into your day. Even if it's just ten minutes, make it happen.

If you are new to exercise or are a beginner, get the images of Richard Simmons and sequined spandex out of your head. Nobody's going to make you wear sparkly gym wear. Just be comfortable. Whether you plan to work out at the gym or at your own home, make time.

Sometimes, it's easier for someone just starting, who is maybe a bit out of shape, to begin a new program at home.

Also remember- you need a plan before you start. Get a piece of paper and write down exactly what kind of workout you are doing on what day. You can't go run on the treadmill and prance around the gym floor, picking up a weight in between conversations and think you got a great workout when you barely broke a sweat! That is where I would recommend keeping a notebook handy to help you keep track of 1.) what exercises you did, 2.) how many sets and reps, and 3.) how you feel throughout and after.

Search the web, buy fitness magazines or whatever you please, but find a good basic workout plan. I guarantee if you go to the magazine rack at the grocery store and look, you will find plenty of different options for your reading pleasure. I recommend Muscle & Fitness and Muscle & Fitness Hers. These are awesome magazines for someone who really wants to get into it! An amazing book I would recommend EVERYONE to read is the Abs Diet by David Zinczenko. It is a very thorough book for someone who wants to have a plan made for them that has been proven to work. It will show you how to eat, how to exercise, and it will entertain you all at the same time! I will post a few meal and workout examples from the book in later discussions.

THE WORKOUT PLAN

Now the fun begins....
Do cardio. ie: running, biking, walking, elliptical, etc...Everyone thinks this is the only way to burn fat. Not true. It is good for you, and it does burn fat, I'll give you that. But, if you really want to amp up your fat burning and make your gym visits worth it, you need to lift weights!

Ladies..you can lift weights. You don't need to be afraid of bulking up and looking like a man. In fact it is virtually impossible for you to do so, because of your hormones. Men tend to bulk up bigger and faster because of their testosterone. So unless you're a woman taking steroids, lifting weights is only going to make you tighter, toner, leaner, and hotter! And forget those wimpy little 5 lb pink dumbbells. Lifting heavier weights challenges your muscles to become stronger and more "toned". Don't be afraid to workout like a guy! Sometimes, better results come from doing so! :)
Not to mention, lifting weights turns up the heat on your metabolism, causing your body to burn more calories just to keep that newly built muscle alive. Meaning more weight loss. When you lift weights, it not only causes you to burn calories while you work out, but you will also burn calories for hours after you leave the gym! Pretty awesome stuff! This means you are burning fat like a mother to show all the effort you put into toning the muscles underneath. Pretty simple equation.

Lastly, listen to your body. Don't try to be Hercules right off the bat. Start out slowly to prevent any injuries or stress to your body. Doing this will help you stick with it too. If you run 50 miles and lift weights for an hour and a half your first day, chances are you aren't going to feel up to going back to the gym for quite a while. Don't get me wrong though- you want to challenge your body, that's what makes changes, but keep in mind that you have limits too.

Also, remember not to focus on the numbers. Stop weighing yourself everyday, it will only depress you. It is also not a good indication of your health and fitness. In fact, throw your scale away. I weigh the same now as I did in high school, but I am a heck of a lot smaller and more toned than I was then. Muscle weighs more than fat, so take that into consideration. Gauge your results by how you feel and how your clothes fit. If I were to still be hung up on the numbers on the scale, trying to achieve that "perfect" weight, I'd probably look anorexic. Sometimes, that ideal weight you have in mind is totally unrealistic for you. And remember, this doesn't happen in a week. Patience is the key here. Stick with it for a few weeks and the results will amaze you! Once you begin to see the transformation your body takes for the better, you'll never turn back! :)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Weight loss- Food

Okay, here's what everyone wants to know: How to lose weight.
First off- there is no magic pill. Second-you do have to eat healthier and exercise.

I'm sorry to be the one to tell you, but it's true. You will get out of it what you put into it. So, forget the diet pills and fat burners, they don't really work forever (Trust me, I've tried them all.), and start keeping track of what you eat and the amount of exercise you do. It's really not that hard, and seriously, it's the only way you are going to lose weight and KEEP IT OFF!!!

So, how to begin this weight loss journey....

Your food. This is probably THE most important thing you can do that will affect your weight. And stop dieting! What a waste of time!!! You can eat good tasting healthy food, lose weight, and still be happy!!! It does not have to be a miserable ordeal. This is a life long commitment you need to make. Not a for a week and then give up cause you didn't lose 20 pounds. It doesn't work that way. You really need to change your lifestyle around. Trust me, it is worth it, and once you do, it will just become habit for you. Your whole body will become healthier, you'll have more energy, and to top it all off, you'll lose weight!!! It's such a simple concept!

Like discussed in one of the previous sections, a good rule of thumb is- If you can't find it in nature...don't eat it. It makes grocery shopping so much easier if you just keep thinking of that. This means more fruits, vegetables, meats, etc...

So you say, "Why can't I just go on one of those fad diets like Atkins or Jenny Craig?"
...cause they're just a fad. Diets aren't meant to be used forever, and who wants to be on a diet the rest of their life?

THE PROBLEMS WITH DIETS
  1. They reduce calories too severely. Reducing your calories may work at first, but eventually all that calorie cutting will leave you feeling hungry. Thus causing you to raid the local pizza place and binge on all of the delightful evilness within, making all of your efforts worthless!
  2. They restrict too many foods. Who wants to give up ice cream and pizza for the rest of their lives?! If you need to, these things won't hurt in moderation, but you need to make sure the rest of your diet is good. Any diet that makes you give up your favorite food probably isn't going to be successful for very long...
The conclusion is, don't diet. Chances are, you'll lose weight initially, but the second you go off them and back to your ravenous lifestyle, you will gain it all back and then some. Eat healthy. It's almost too easy. In future discussions, I will give daily meal examples to give you an idea of what a day's worth of food would look like for you! Also, we will weigh the pros and cons of some of the more popular diets out there to help you see the insanity of it all. :)

Mercury!!! The silent killer!!!

So we all know mercury is toxic right? Break open a mercury thermometer and you'd be evacuated from the building by men in yellow air-tight suits. Pretty lethal, right? Well, did you know that if you have dental fillings, you could be releasing mercury vapors into your body?
Not only in fillings, but Mercury is everywhere. In the air, water, and food.
The two most common ways to be exposed to Mercury is-
  1. Eating fish. We have all heard about fish possibly containing mercury. Try to limit your fish intake to only a few times a week if you must. Taking a fish oil or omega supplement? (Which you should anyway. More later...) Make sure your supplements are purified and processed to contain the lowest levels of mercury. Try GNC's fish oils or Nordic Natural's brand.
  2. Dental fillings. What?! you say, "They don't use mercury anymore!" Well, you're wrong. The silver amalgam fillings that we are talking about, have been used by dentists for over 160 years. In fact, more than one million of these deadly fillings are given to patients in America during a single work week! Research has proved that mercury vapors escape from these fillings from brushing, chewing, or eating hot and acidic food.
Mercury is more toxic than lead, cadmium, and arsenic. More than likely, if you bring up this concern to your dentist, they'll tell you that the issue is way overblown. Of course they'll say that, they don't want to lose their jobs!

Amalgam fillings contain a blend of metals-50% mercury, tin, silver, zinc, copper. Mercury, a toxic heavy metal, has been proven to be unstable, meaning it can bleed out of the fillings and into the human body, mainly the liver, kidneys, brain, and endocrine glands. Mercury is capable of crossing the placenta and collecting in fetal tissue, resulting in birth defects. A big issue for prospective parents!

The American Dental Association endorses mercury removal only in the cases of cracks, chips, leaks, or other structural problems. WHY?! Why is the second most toxic metal on earth used to fill teeth yet today?! Theory is that the ADA still supports the use of mercury in fillings because of the huge lawsuits and fines that would most likely occur. So, if a dentist removes a mercury filling for anything other than structural reasons, he could lose his license to practice dentistry and be bowled over with tons of fines.

Heavy metal toxicity is a slow process. Usually, affected people just don't feel good. They're night sure why, and they just feel tired all the time. Mercury can cause an autoimmune response in the body. Meaning, when mercury enters the membrane of a cell, the body sense the abnormality and then forms antibodies against it. But, because the mercury is inside the body's own cells, it is essentially attacking itself! This can lead to rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid problems, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and other autoimmune diseases.

THE EFFECTS OF MERCURY POISONING
  • Inhibits DNA repair
  • Alters cell's ability to control the exchange of materials coming in and out of the cell
  • Can alter the structure of molecules
  • Hinder the function of enzymes
  • Interfere with nerve impulses
  • Produce autoimmune response in the body (when the immune system attacks itself)
  • Interfere with endocrine function
  • gets rid of good minerals in the body
  • kill or alter good digestive bacteria
  • contribute to antibiotic resistance
SYMPTOMS OF MERCURY EXPOSURE

  • Tremors in fine voluntary movements (like handwriting, etc..)
  • Depression, fatigue, increased irritability, moodiness, and nervous excitability
  • Inability to concentrate and loss of memory
  • Insomnia or drowsiness
  • Nausea or Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Birth defects and miscarriages
  • Kidney disease
  • Pneumonitis
  • Swollen glands and tongue
  • Sores and ulcers in mouth (ie: canker sores!)
  • Dark pigmentation of gums and loosening of teeth
Quick test-
Look at your fingernails. Do your nails have a lunula? That is the "half moon" shape at the base of the nail. Usually your thumbs will, but if the others don't, you may want to get tested for mercury toxicity. (Your little fingers don't have one) This is a common sign.

For more information on this issue call the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) at 1-800-LEADOUT for a doctor near you, to help with testing and aid you in detixification and/or removal of your fillings.

More to come on your options for natural detoxification of heavy metals...

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