This blog is for interesting pictures and articles about health and fitness that I find.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Health Benefits of Watermelon health benefits of water melon include kidney disorders, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart care, heat stroke, macular degeneration, impotence, etc.

What’s so much the fuss about this Water Melon? Isn’t it nothing more than a ball full of water? Okay! I know there cannot be a more refreshing thing than a big, chilled wedge of water melon in tropical summers and it sports a stylish scientific name of Citrullus Lanatus. But then there are others too. So, what’s special about it? I am afraid, there are lots of them.

How about having a refreshing glimpse of them? Given below are some health benefits of water melon:

  • Kidney Disorders: Water Melon contains a lot of potassium, which is very helpful in cleaning or washing off the toxic depositions in the kidneys. Moreover, it is helpful in reducing concentration of uric acid in the blood, thereby reducing the chances of kidney damages and formation of renal calculi in it. Added to these, being high in water content, it induces frequent urinating, which is again helpful for cleaning of kidneys. Also, the anti oxidants present in ensure good health of kidneys for a long.
  • High Blood Pressure: A good amount of Potassium and magnesium, present in water melons, are very good in bringing down the blood pressure. The carotenoids present in them prevent hardening of walls of arteries and veins, thereby helping reduce blood pressure.
  • Prevent Heat Stroke: Water melon is effective in reducing your body temperature and blood pressure. Many people in the tropical regions eat the fruit daily in the afternoon during summers to protect themselves from heat stroke. In India, you will find the fruit being sold by vendors in almost every street during summers.
  • Diabetes: Diabetes patients, who are supposed to have low energy and low sugar diet, often complaint about starving since they don’t get to eat their staple diet to their full, giving them a feeling of keeping half fed. Water Melons can be a good supplement for them. In spite of being sweet in taste, a thick wedge will give you very few calories, since ninety nine percent of its total weight is composed of water and roughage. Moreover, the various vitamins and minerals such as potassium and magnesium help in proper functioning of insulin in the body, thus lowering the blood sugar level. Arginine, another component found in water melons, is very effective in enhancing impact of insulin on sugar. Diabetes patients can also have curries, steaks, salads made from water melon rinds which are even lower in sugar.
  • Heart Care: Lypocene, a carotenoid found in abundance in water melon, improves cardiac functions. Beta carotene, known for its remarkable anti oxidant and anti aging properties, also keeps you young at the heart and prevents age related cardiac problems. The roughage in water melon and its very low energy, with help from vitamin-C, Carotenoids and potassium (potassium cuts the risk of a heart attack), help reduce cholesterol and keep your heart safe.
  • Macular Degeneration: Leave your worry of eyes on that beta carotene, that vitamin-C and those Lutein and Zeaxanthin. They will ensure protection of your eyes from macular degeneration. They are experts in that. These anti oxidants will protect your eyes from other age related ailments such as drying up of eyes and optical nerves, glaucoma etc.
  • Impotence: Arginine, present in water melon, is beneficial in curing erectile dysfunctions.
  • Other Benefits: Lypocene is found to be effective in preventing cancer, prostrate growth and repair damaged tissues. Water melon seeds are rich in good fats and proteins. Water melons also contain phytonutrients which have very good effect on the health and proper functioning of internal organs, eyes, secretion system etc.

This article was contributed by Aparup Mukherjee

On reading this article, Berrada Ali wrote "I have been traveling from Agadir to Marrakech in Morocco yesterday (August 8, 2008), and en cours de route, I bought water melon. During a hot dog day, I dont feel good. I measured my blood pressure with an handy apparatus-a tensiometer-the result was: 7.8/15.2 for diastole and systole. Then I ate half kg of water melon, a variety well known in the region of Southern Morocco - a Mediterranean variety, Then immediately I measured my blood pressure and the result was: 8.2/12.3 for diastole and systole! the drop of the blood pressure could not be the effect of an agent other than the water melon!"

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Why Crash Diets Don't Work

Fat accumulates in our bodies usually from any of five reasons: (1) junk food, (2) too much sugar, (3) overeating, (4) too much fat in the diet, (5) not having enough exercise.--Or a combination of all five. Women's fat deposits appear in a variety of places: upper arms, abdomen, buttocks and thighs. Men's fat deposits are more centralized on the middle abdomen or "pot bellies". Whatever aerobic exercise you do, fat deposits come off in the reverse order that they arrived--last hired, first fired. There are no miracle fat burners. There is only aerobic exercise, resistance training, and sensible dieting. Adults over 35 naturally lose a half a pound of muscle tissue each year and gain a pound and a half of fat. Not only is weight gained, but it is shifted from muscle weight to fat weight. Women in particular lose sight of their muscle loss under the growing fat layer. In other words, the best way to lose fat and keep it off is by keeping our muscle tissues active. Muscle tissue speeds up our metabolism and keeps our bodies burning fat. This is done only through exercise. Many people don't have a proper notion of what real weight control is and what's the best--and in fact the only--healthy way to achieve it permanently. To most people, ideal body weight is how much you weigh on a scale, but this isn't really the best measure. The issue isn't so much what you weigh, but what percent of your weight is composed of fat. One pound of muscle tissue is active, denser, and smaller than one pound on inactive, less dense, larger fat tissue. So it's possible for two people who look about the same size to differ by ten pounds on a scale, yet the one who weights ten pounds more could actually have less body fat, and better muscle tone and shape. Every pound of lean muscle mass eats up 100 calories a day. A 35-year-old woman can weigh more than when she was 20, but can look slimmer and have better proportions. The secret is she lost fat and gained muscle. That muscle now burns more calories even at rest. Her metabolism is higher and she can eat more food without putting on weight. You'll understand why in a minute. What we're really saying here is that weight control is really fat control. Getting rid of body fat is not just for appearance. Excess body fat increases the risk of:

*Heart disease
*High blood pressure
*Low testosterone and progesterone levels
*....and many other ailments

When well nourished, your body burns hundreds of calories every day in the process such as the beating of your heart, digesting food, brain function, even breathing. However, if you don't eat enough food each day, your body will respond defensively. Recent studies have shown that within each of us is a unique "set-point" mechanism that regulates the amount of fat we carry. it's believed to be a kind of survival mechanism--a way of stocking up for times of famine and emergency. If the body perceives that it's starving--as it rightly does if we're always on a strict or extreme diet, or if we suddenly crash diet--the "set-point" is thought to kick into action causing the body to keep a tenacious grip on its fat supply. In order to replenish itself, the body will first cause you to crave high-calorie food such as sweets. If you successfully resist these cravings, the body's next line of defense will be to slow down the metabolism in order to conserve calories. In the face of food deprivation, the body holds on to its fat stores for dear life. In addition, because you're not getting enough calories, your body will use some of its muscle tissue for energy. Since muscle is an active tissue which burns calories even while you sleep, losing muscle further lowers your metabolism. This slowed metabolism helps explain why you can lose weight initially but soon reach a plateau, which many have experienced. Since it's extremely difficult to maintain a crash diet for very long, when you eventually return to your normal calorie intake, the weight that's regained comes back mostly as fat--not as muscle. The more often you use a low-calorie crash diet, the more fat you gain. Rapid dieting backfires. It's like using Kleenex with sneezing powder in it. The more you use it the worse it gets. After a crash diet, the calories you usually burned every day by having those muscles in your body are now going to fat as the muscle tissue has been destroyed. You have also aged your body, depending on the severity of the diet, by up to three years. The only way to beat fat is with regular exercise and wise nutrition. Any exercise burns a few calories, but aerobic exercise makes significant fat loss possible because it increases that metabolic rate so that you burn more calories and have more energy 24 hours a day. Do not try to lose more than two pounds per week, even with dieting and exercise. (Many experts say it's even better to aim for one pound a week.) Exercise also makes dieting easier because it reduces the appetite.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Perfect Your Posture

It's a fact: slouching can make you look as if you're carrying an extra ten pounds. Plus, poor body alignment sets you up for aches and fatigue. Straighten up and look slimmer with these tips from orthopedic surgeon Peter Slabaugh, MD, of Oakland, California.
Reflect: Study your profile from all angles in a full-length mirror. A slight roundness of your spine is natural, but avoid exaggerated curves in your upper or lower back.
Zip it: Practice the pelvic tilt. Imagine zipping up your snuggest pair of jeans. Tightening your buns throws your pelvis forward and automatically straightens your shoulders.
Work out: Strength training, stretching,and activities such as swimming work your shoulders and back and improve muscle tone for flexibility.

Parents magazine

Sunday, October 11, 2009

"You Are What You Eat"

--Carol Iberia
I'm sure that you have hold that old adage. Well, guess what?--It's true! Think about it--the very first requirement for health is a well-balanced diet, which contains all the vital nutrients in proportion to your age, sex, lifestyle and physical frame. Try to avoid all kindsof junk food, refined sugar, fried or heavily processed food and saturated animal fats.Here are some foods that you should emphasize in your diet:

For the overweight body: Eat lots of fresh fruits, yogurt, raw vegetables and sunflower seeds.
For the underweight body: Eat more milk, meats, fresh vegetables and fruits, eggs and cheese.
To have healthier nails: Eat more eggs, whole grain cereals, blackstrap molasses, apricots, liver and almonds.
To reduce dandruff: Increase your intake of what germ, fresh fruits and vegetables, liver, unsaturated vegetable oils, protein-rich foods.
Reduction of oily skin: Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, whole grain cereals, fish skinless poultry, eggs.
Rid yourself of dry skin: Eat more protein-rich foods, polyunsaturated vegetable and nut oils. You might also increase your daily intake of vitamins A and E.
Clearing up oily hair: Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Increase your amount of lean meats, fish, poultry (with as much skin/fat removed as possible), and whole grain cereals.
Dealing with dry hair: Increase your daily consumption of vitamins A and E. Eat a tablespoon of unprocessed vegetable, nut or seed oil daily.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sleep Your Way to Beauty

It sounds too good to be true. All those jokes we made about "getting your beauty sleep" weren't so silly after all. Scientific studies now confirm what most of us always wished. Sleep is essential to beautiful skin.
The pituitary gland secretes growth hormone, which is responsible for the cell regeneration essential for glowing, supple skin. Apparently, our bodies are too "preoccupied" when we're awake and active to work on cell regeneration and repair. This activity increases by 300% when we're sleeping, peaking at 1 AM (but only if you're asleep then). At around the same time, estrogen and progesterone--two hormones crucial to healthy skin--are also peaking.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Science Behind Fat Burning

One of the biggest misunderstandings and “myth-conceptions” in the field of exercise and weight loss has been around the field of fat burning. Aerobic teachers are constantly admonishing their students to work at a slower rate so they can “burn more fat.” Almost all cardio equipment in the gym has a “fat burning” program, and we fitness professionals are constantly bombarded with questions from clients about how to get their heart rate in the target “fat-burning zone.” The misconceptions come from a basic confusion between percentages and absolute amounts. See, at rest, the body is always burning a mix of fuels. All other things being equal, it doesn’t like to burn protein, so that leaves fats and carbohydrates (more technically, fatty acids and glucose). At rest, the “average” person burns about 70% fat and 30% carbs. As one moves from rest to activity, the percentage of fuel coming from fat decreases and the percentage coming from carbs increases. The more intense the exercise, the more carbs and the less fat in the mix, until you reach the point called the “anaerobic threshold,” where you’re going at about your intensity limit. At that point, 99% or more of your fuel is pure carbohydrate and 1 percent or
less is coming from fat. This situation has led many people to assume that in order to “burn fat” they need to exercise at lower intensities. They’re missing the boat. Why? Because while at rest, although a higher percentage of your calories is indeed coming from fat, you are ultimately burning a lower absolute number of calories. At higher intensity exercise, the percentage of calories from fat goes down, true—but it is a percentage of a significantly higher number. To illustrate this critical difference, I often ask audiences to picture multi-millionaire Ross Perot standing next to me. Then I ask them, “Would you rather have 90% of all the money I have in the world, or 3% of all the money Mr. Perot over here has?” When they give the obvious answer, I say, “But why? 90% is so much higher than 3%!” They get the picture. So let’s say you’re exercising at a fairly low intensity that burns, oh, 100 calories in a half-hour. Let’s say that 70% of those calories come from fat. Your neighbor, however, is working out much harder, outside the magical “fat burning” zone: She’s burning up, say 300 calories in that same half hour, but only 50% of those calories are from fat. Now do the math. You’re burning a higher
percentage of fat, but 70% of your 100 calories equals 70 fat calories burned. Your neighbor, on the other hand, is burning a lower percentage of fat, but she has burned up 50% of 300 calories, or 150 fat calories, more than twice what you’ve burned in the same period of time! Get it?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Simple Things You Can Do To Lose Weight

--Article by Susan Nellbur, web excerpt

If you’re like most people, you might have trouble controlling your weight. Or maybe it’s under control, but it won’t go down to where you’d like it to be.

Weight loss, however, doesn’t have to be stressful or complicated. A few simple habit changes could make a big difference — over the long term.

Will these changes take you from being 100 pounds overweight to slim and sexy in four weeks? Not at all. These are simple things that are designed to make gradual and sustainable changes.

Create some simple habits, and the weight will come off. Eventually.

This is not a step-by-step guide, and you will probably not want to implement every suggestion. Choose those that would work best for you.

1. Weigh yourself and chart it. Each morning, weigh yourself on a digital scale and log it immediately. Your weight, of course, will fluctuate from day-to-day, and your sense of accomplishment or disappointment shouldn’t hinge on your daily weight. However, your weight can be used as a useful feedback system to see what you’re doing right and to motivate you.

2. Plan your meals. This is probably the No. 1 thing you can do to lose weight. First, use a calorie calculator to estimate how many calories you need to maintain your current weight. Now, if you want to lose a pound a week, you’ll want to cut that total by 500 calories per day to hit that goal (3,500 calories equals a pound of fat). If you want to lose weight slower, you can cut your total daily calories by less. I wouldn’t recommend more than a pound a week (which is about 50 pounds a year).

Once you have your target calories per day, you want to allocate them throughout the day. For example, if your target is 2,000 calories, you could allocate 400 calories per meal for 4 meals (7 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. for example) with two 200-calorie snacks. How you allocate your calories is completely up to you — you might want to experiment to find the best distribution.

Now plan each meal so that you fit within the calorie limit for that meal. This might take some time to calculate, but once you have your favorite meals planned, this isn’t too hard. You can have a listing of 400-calorie meals and 200-calorie snacks that are interchangeable. The key, of course, is sticking to the meal plan — don’t let yourself deviate. You’ll get used to it after a few days.

3. Plan healthy snacks. Just as you plan your meals, you should plan your snacks. See the above item on allocating your daily calories to snacks. Instead of just snacking on whatever’s available, or rushing to a vending machine or convenience store when you get really hungry, you should plan to have healthy snacks in between meals. Fruit, veggies, yogurt, dried fruit and similar snacks are all good choices.

Be sure to plan some unhealthy snacks sometimes too. You don’t want to completely deprive yourself — make it a fun thing. Some dark chocolate on one day, some berries on another, and an occasional binge work for me.

4. Find lower-fat alternatives. Take your favorite foods and find lower-fat alternatives. If you love burgers, for example, you can make turkey burgers or soy burgers (there are some good ones, trust me). If you like French fries, make your own and bake them. Bake chicken instead of frying it. Get low-fat milk and yogurt instead of the higher-fat versions. Baked chips instead of greasy ones. While you shouldn’t give up fat completely, and in fact some types of fat are good for you in moderation, it’s important to remember that fat is high in calories (more than twice as calorie-dense as protein or carbs), and lowering your fat intake to a more moderate amount will also lower your calorie intake. Adding fruits and veggies is another good way to lower fat intake, as they take up a lot of space in your stomach without adding too many calories or fat.

5. Eat slowly, and then wait 20 minutes. If you scarf down your meals, you are probably overeating because of it. I know, because I have to slow myself down a lot. The thing is, it takes awhile for our brains to get the message that we’re full. So if we eat quickly, we will actually eat past fullness. You’ve probably had that painful, “I’ve eaten way too much!” feeling, and it’s because of fast eating. The trick is to teach yourself to eat slowly. You’ll get full on less food.

Another trick is to eat a sensible serving (a moderate plate, not stacked up is a good rule of thumb) without eating seconds right away. If you’re still a little hungry, wait for at least 20 minutes before eating any more. Often your hunger will go away.

6. Think long term. You won’t lose weight overnight. Well, you could lose weight quickly, but you don’t want to — it’ll come back just as quickly. What you want is gradual weight loss that stays lost. A pound a week is a good rate — again, that’s 500 calories a day less than you need to maintain your current weight, and it’s about 50 pounds a year. Both are achievable, and both are sustainable. Of course, you’ll need to make adjustments as you go along, in case you’re taking in too many or too little calories, but the main thing is not to try for immediate and quick weight loss, but long-term loss. Don’t worry about the ups and downs every day, but look at trends over weeks and months. It’ll happen, if you stick with it and do it moderately.

7. Stop drinking calories. Calories in soda, coffee, tea, alcohol, juice and other beverages are very sneaky, because you don’t realize how many calories you drink a day. Juice, for example, seems healthy, but really you’re getting none of the fiber of fruit and all of the calories. Eating an orange would give you the same benefits, and make you more full.

Instead, drink water. Lots of it, all day long. Water makes you full, without giving you calories. It’s the perfect weight-loss drink, available at your local tap.

8. Read about weight loss. This might seem like a weird tip, but I’ve found it to be true. If you keep your focus on your goal, you will most likely achieve it. But if you lose focus, you’ll lose motivation, and soon you’ll stop any progress. What you should do is read about weight loss — success stories, tips, etc. — to return you to that focus and motivation. Any time you’re losing motivation, read some articles about weight loss or exercise or eating healthy.

9. Exercise for just 5 minutes. In the grand scheme of things, eating fewer calories is much more effective than trying to burn the calories through exercise. For example, you could burn a few hundred calories with 30 minutes of hard exercise, but you could easily gain those back with a bowl of cereal or some other snack. So if you really want weight loss, you’ll have to focus on what you eat.

However, exercise does help. Burning even 200 calories a day can add up (an extra couple of pounds a month), and you don’t need to exercise too long to do that. And even better, exercise makes you feel good, and feel like you’re getting in shape. It makes you healthier, of course, and will get you toned.

My recommendation is to start with just 5 minutes a day. That won’t get you to 200 calories, but it’s a start, and that’s what’s important. Just do 5 minutes a day for the first week. Any kind of exercise will do — try a few pushups, a few crunches, a few jumping jacks, and a couple minutes of running in place. After a week, increase it by 2 minutes. Do that for a couple of months, and soon you’re doing 25-35 minutes a day. That’s about all you need.

10. Just get through a tough 3 days. If you reduce your caloric intake, as per Item #2 above, you will feel hungry at first. And that’s not easy. Hunger makes us want to give in. But just tell yourself that it’s just for 3 days. After that, it will start to get easier. You’ll get used to it, and it won’t seem like deprivation.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Importance of Breakfast

Breakfast plays a important role in building the body's energy reserves. Eating breakfast is associated with improved concentration, cognitive performance, late morning strength and endurance, reduced irritability and fatigue.

Glucose levels in the blood are associated with memory function and since the brain itself has no glucose reserves, it makes sense that breakfast gives your brain the kick-start it needs in the morning.
People who eat breakfast tend to be healthier, take in more nutrients, and eat less fat and cholesterol.
People who skip breakfast tend to overcompensate, eating more calories later in the day and more calories overall than breakfast eaters.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Finding Time to Exercise--It Can Be Done!

Article by Nancy Goodman

Be honest, on your list of priorities, where does exercise fall? Is it even on your list? Some of you don't exercise because you think you don't have time. You're waiting for your schedules to ease up, for the weather to cool off or heat up, for a project to end, or for some other future event. The truth is, there's never a right time to get moving. It's now or never.

We all have excuses for why we don't exercise. Recognize any of these?
Exercise is boring. If you don't look forward to your workouts, it's no wonder you skip them. People often force themselves into activities that don't interest them, which, of course, increases the quit-factor.
• There are no immediate consequences to skipping a workout. It's not like you'll gain 10 pounds or suddenly get heart disease if you miss one day. But it's easy to let the time get away from you, until pretty soon it's been a month since your last workout. Then come the consequences—weight gain, low energy, insomnia, and more.
• You're waiting for things to calm down. Life doesn't calm down as we get older. Jobs, kids, family, social obligations—they're never going to go away. If you're waiting for a clear schedule, you'll be waiting for a long time. If you really want to exercise, find a way to do it now.
• You're waiting to fall in love with exercise. Think you'll suddenly wake up one morning, itching to get to that workout? It just doesn't work that way. You have to work at it every day and find that motivation wherever you can.
• You get frustrated by lack of results. Are you a scale watcher? Remember, it takes time to see results. If you're obsessed with the scale, it's that much harder to stay motivated. Focus on what you're getting now—energy, stress reduction, satisfaction, etc.
It's not easy making exercise a habit, nor does it have to be the equivalent of moving a mountain. It starts with a decision and is followed by taking an action. That action can be as simple as walking the dog or as complicated as training for a marathon. Either way, there's no better time to start than now.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

5 Powerful Reasons to Eat Slower

--By Leo Babauta, Web reprint

One of the problems in our daily lives is that many of us rush through the day, with no time for anything … and when we have time to get a bite to eat, we gobble it down. That leads to stressful, unhealthy living.
And with the simple but powerful act of eating slower, we can begin to reverse that lifestyle immediately. How hard is it? You take smaller bites, you chew each bite slower and longer, and you enjoy your meal longer. It takes a few minutes extra each meal, and yet it can have profound effects.
Here are some reasons you should consider the simple act of eating slower:

1: Lose Weight. A growing number of studies confirm that just by eating slower, you’ll consume fewer calories—in fact, enough to lose 20 pounds a year without doing anything
different or eating anything different. The reason is that it takes about 20 minutes for our brains to register that we’re full. If we eat fast, we can continue eating past the point where we’re full. If we eat slowly, we have time to realize we’re full, and stop on time. Now, I would still recommend that you eat healthier foods, but if you’re looking to lose weight, eating slowly should be a part of your new lifestyle.

2: Enjoy your Food. This reason is just as powerful, in my opinion. It’s hard to enjoy your food if it goes by too quickly. In fact, I think it’s fine to eat those “sinful” foods, if you eat a small amount slowly. Think about it: you want to eat desserts, fried foods, pizza, etc., because they taste good. But if you eat them fast, what’s the point? If you eat them slowly, you can get the same amount of great taste, but with less going into your stomach. That’s math that works for me. And that argument aside, I think you are just happier by tasting great food and enjoying it fully by eating slowly. Make your meals a gastronomic pleasure, not a thing you do rushed, between stressful events.

3: Better digestion. If you eat slower, you’ll chew your food better, which leads to better digestion. Digestion of carbohydrates actually starts in the mouth, so the more work you do up there, the less you’ll have to do in your stomach. This can help lead to fewer digestive problems.

4: Less Stress. Eating slowly, and paying attention to our eating, can be a great exercise of “living in the moment.” Be in the moment, rather than rushing through a meal thinking about what you need to do next. When you eat, you should eat. This kind of mindfulness, I believe, will lead to a less stressful life, and long-term happiness. Give it a try.

5: Rebel against Fast Food and Fast Life. A hectic, fast-paced, stressful, chaotic life—the fast life—leads to eating fast food, and eating it quickly. This is a lifestyle that is making us unhealthy, stressed out, and unhappy. We rush through our day, doing one mindless task after another, without taking the time to live life, to enjoy life, to relate to each other, to be human. That’s not a good thing in my book. Instead, rebel against that entire lifestyle and philosophy … with the small act of eating slower. Don’t eat fast food. If you choose to eat out, eat at a good restaurant, or better yet, cook your own food and enjoy it fully. Taste life itself.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Easy Hair Ideas

Here are some easy and simple hairstyle ideas. If the text is too small and you can't see it well, just download the pictures.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

10 Tips On How To Maintain A Healthy Weight

You don't have to be smarter than a quiz show fifth-grader to learn how to control the urge to eat. Just follow these ingenious tips:

1. Feed it protein for breakfast. You'll be less hungry later on and end up eating 267 fewer calories during the day. At least that's what happened on days when St. Louis University researchers gave overweight women two scrambled eggs and two slices of jelly-topped toast for breakfast rather than about half that protein.

2. Make it climb a flight of stairs. At home, store the foods that tempt you most way out of reach. For instance, Cornell University food psychologist Brian Wansink, PhD, keeps his favorite soda in a basement fridge. "Half the time I'm too lazy to run down there to get it, so I drink the water in the kitchen."

3. Sleep on it. People who don't get their eight hours of zzz's experience hormonal fluctuations that increase appetite, report researchers.

4. Give it something else to think about. When scientists scanned the brains of people eating different foods, they found that the brain reacts to fat in the mouth in much the same way that the nose responds to a pleasant aroma. So if you feel a craving coming on, apply your favorite scent.

5. Never let it see a heaping plate. The more food that's in front of you, the more you'll eat. So at a restaurant, ask your waiter to pack up half of your meal before serving it to you, then eat the extras for lunch the next day.

6. Put it under the lights. You consume fewer calories at a well-lit restaurant table than you do dining in a dark corner. "In the light, you're more self-conscious and worry that other patrons are watching what you eat," explains Wansink.

7. Talk it down. Entertaining friends with a great story doesn't give you much time to eat up, so you'll probably still have food on your plate when they're done. Once they're finished, call it quits too.

8. Offer it a seat. If you sit down to snack -- and use utensils and a plate -- you'll eat fewer calories at subsequent meals.

9. Satisfy it with soup. Start lunch with about 130 calories worth of vegetable soup and you'll eat 20 percent fewer calories during lunch overall, say Penn State experts.

10. Give it little choice. Packages that contain assorted varieties of cookies, candy, dips, cheese, etc., make you want to try all the flavors. The effect is so powerful, says Wansink, that when people are given 10 colors of M&Ms to munch on, not seven, they eat 30 percent more!

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Health Benefits of Apples

Compiled from online articles by Stella Walsh and Lisa Carattini

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away" This old adage may be truer than you think. Recent studies have suggested that the consumption of apples can help control weight gain, lower the risk of heart and fight cancer. Though most people think the flesh of the apple is the most delicious part, the skin is definitely the most nutritious.

The apple skin contains 4 milligrams of quercetin, an anti-oxidant compound preventing oxygen molecules from damaging individual cells. This can prevent cell changes that can lead to cancer. A Finnish study concluded that men who had the highest intake of quercetin lowered their risk of heart disease by 20%. This compound has also been shown to inhibit the growth of tumors and keep cancer cells from spreading.

The insoluble fiber found in apples is responsible for a host of other benefits. The apple skin is considered roughage and is a great remedy for constipation. Insoluble fiber also helps the digestive tract run smoothly, helping to prevent diverticulosis, a condition which can lead to colon cancer. Another benefit of insoluble fiber is its "filling" effect, this being an effective appetite suppressant.

Apples also contain soluble fiber, which has the opposite affect of insoluble fiber, forming a gel-like material in the digestive tract that can help lower cholesterol, as well as, the risk of stroke and heart disease. One of the soluble fibers found in apples is called pectin. Pectin reduces the amount of cholesterol produced in the liver, slows digestion and and the rise of blood sugar making it ideal for diabetes patients.

To get the maximum amount of benefit from your apple, be sure to choose a variety that browns easily, like Granny Smith. Finally, don't substitute apple juice for an apples. Though it contains some iron and potassium, apple juice contains little of the beneficial compounds quertecin and fiber.

An apple may have caused problems in The Garden of Eden, but it is a "good guy" when it comes to nutrition. It is also a very portable and easy-to-consume snack.

Health Benefits of Apples

The variety of health benefits supplied by apples is huge and very encouraging. This fist-sized snack that needs little preparation - unless they are being cooked - is packed with health-boosting properties:

  • Help protect bone health
  • Help prevent asthma, heart disease, and cancers such as lung, breast, colon, and liver
  • Pectin in apples can help to lower LDL cholesterol
  • Good for diabetes and weight management
  • Good source of vitamin C
  • Good source of soluble and insoluble fiber
  • Excellent source of flavanoids and antioxidants

It is important to keep in mind that a lot of the goodness of apples is contained in the skin. If eaten whole, they need to be washed carefully - right before being consumed.

On the tree, apples have their own natural waxy coating to protect them. This is removed when they are cleaned for production, and a new artificial coating is applied for shipping them. This artificial coating can be washed off using warm water and a fruit and vegetable cleaner.

Organic apples don't always look as good as other apples, but they are the safest choice if there is concern about pesticides and preservatives.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The main reason for insufficent water consumption

By Michelle Vaughan, excerpt from her book “Secrets to Successful Weight Loss”, adapted

In a previous article on this blog, we stressed the importance of sufficient water consumption in successful weight loss, and we now expound on the topic.
The main reason that people do not drink enough water is not for fear that the water bill will be too high, or because of one's hatred of water, or for any other absurd reasons like the ones just named. The main reason is because of laziness. Yes, that's right, laziness. The bigger your water bottle, the better. Because once it's been emptied, if you are absorbed in what you are doing, you may not feel like refilling it. Thence, the larger it is, the more likely you are to consume enough water for the day.
If you do not have a water bottle, but instead drink out of a cup, try to use a large glass, as opposed to a small one, for the same reason.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Hello, all you readers out there! I just wanted to let you know that if you find any articles about health, fitness, natural beauty, healthy recipes, etc., please feel free to send them to the following email address:

Thank you so much. Looking forward to hearing from you!


P.S. Just like the authors of Ploble said a while back, if you find a couple of articles about fitness and health, you may think, "Oh yay, now I can make a fitness and health blog!" But you don't need to make an entire blog for just a few articles. You can send them to the above email address, and can rest assured that when you send something in, it will say 'send in by so-and-so'. Alrightie? Thanks!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

How To Get A Firm Stomach

What lady doesn't want flat, firm abs and a sexy stomach?

What busy woman and mom doesn't want to lose stomach fat and finally feel good wearing her swimsuit or tight tank top and skinny jeans?

I can count on one hand the number of women I've trained who were totally satisfied with their stomachs, and I've been training women for years and have logged thousands of personal training sessions.
But what does it take to get that flat, firm stomach? How does a woman lose stomach fat? Does she really need to do lots of crunches, buy the latest gizmo, follow some weird diet or go on mind-numbingly boring walks or jogs with her friends?

In short, no. I'm going to reveal to you the top 3 secrets to flat, firm abs for ladies. Follow them and you will lose stomach fat and you will have that flat sexy tummy you want.

#1. Nutrition is Key.

You really can't overlook nutrition. You're probably saying to yourself "No kidding, smart guy.", but I'm serious. No workout will ever outperform a bad eating plan, no matter how tough the workout plan may be. You just can't look past your nutrition.

That doesn't mean that you need to eat like a bird, nor does it mean you need to stick with some crazy fad diet that your co-worker, sister, mom, or the other moms at the park told you about.

You need to eat sensibly and you need to eat more than you think. First you need to cut out all the processed carbohydrates found in boxes and bags, yes that includes all those so-called "healthy" crackers and snacks. Most are wolves in sheep's clothing that will do nothing but make you gain fat, especially stomach fat.

You need to consume lots and lots of fruits and vegetables. You may have heard that fruits make you fat because they've got too much sugar, but that's a total lie. I've never known anyone who eats lots of fruit and gets fat. Quite the contrary, everyone I know who eats lots of fresh fruit is very lean with very little body fat and the majority of them have flat, firm stomachs that look awesome in tank-tops and swimsuits. So stick with fresh fruits and veggies if you want to lose stomach fat and get that flat, firm stomach.

You also need to make sure you're getting enough protein. That doesn't mean you need to eat tons of meat, though. You can get plenty of protein by consuming lots of healthy nuts and legumes like almonds, peanuts, black and white beans, etc.

Whole-grains are also a good source of protein as is soy.

However if you're going to get your protein from meat sources or dairy, just make sure it's low in fat and if at all possible organic.

#2. Switch from long steady-state boring cardio to interval training.

Long, steady state cardio is a favorite for ladies wanting to lose stomach fat and get that firm, flat stomach. I always see women out on the sidewalks, streets and bike trails with their friends walking for hours upon hours everyday hoping to get rid of their stomach fat, yet most of them look the same today as they did a couple months ago.

That's because long, steady state cardio as a means to lose stomach fat is a thing of the past, especially for a busy woman like you.

There's a better way and that better way is through interval training.

Doing interval training doesn't mean you have to turn yourself into some kind of world-class sprinter or "hardcore" athlete. It just means you have to step up your intensity every 60-90 seconds and work harder.

Say you like to jog for your cardio. That's fine, just intermix bouts of running harder for a period of 30 seconds every 90 seconds and repeat that cycle about 6 times and you're done...after your warm-up of course. If you do it correctly, you'll have worked your tail off and jacked your metabolism up for the rest of the day helping you to lose stomach fat even while you're not working out!

#3. Stop doing so many crunches and sit-ups!

Endless amounts of crunches, sit-ups, twists, leg lifts, etc. will do little to nothing when it comes to getting rid of your tummy fat and getting that flat, firm stomach you've always wanted.

Actually they'll do practically nothing, despite what the advertisements and so-called experts tell you.

To lose stomach fat and get that flat, firm tummy you have to burn the layer of fat off your stomach and doing so means that you have to combine the first two tips I just gave you and limit the number of crunches you do in favor of full-body workouts and full-body exercises.

You can't spot reduce. When your body burns fat, it doesn't just burn it from one spot, it burns it from everywhere. So it should make sense that to burn the most fat you need to move the most muscle and crunches move very little muscle.

You should instead stick to exercises like squats, lunges, push-ups, etc. Those exercises work lots of muscle, which means they burn lots of calories and will have that layer of fat burned off your stomach in no time giving you that firm sexy stomach you've always wanted.

So take my advice and follow those 3 tips and before you know it, you'll be able to fit into that bikini, buy those skinny jeans and wear that sexy tank top because you'll be rid of your stomach fat and finally have that firm and
flat stomach.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Natural Hair Care

Gum in the hair can be removed by saturating it with baby oil, peanut butter, or mayonnaise.

If your hair is turning green from too much chlorine, rinse it with tomato juice, then a final rinse of water.

Remove static or the flyaways from your hair with hairspray - sprayed on your brush instead of your hair. Brushing the hairspray through your hair will make it manageable but not stiff.

An ionic hair drier dries your hair much faster (which causes less damage) yet is still gentler to hair than the old-fashioned dryers.

Do not blow dry your hair when it is soaking wet. Heat on wet hair leaves your hair looking dull. Let the hair dry partly first.

All clarifying shampoos and most dandruff shampoos will remove artificial hair color.

Use clarifying shampoo occasionally to remove hair color build-up that weighs hair down.

The right hair conditioner makes all the difference. Thin or fine hair will just cling to your head and look flat with no conditioner at all. A regular conditioner will eliminate the static but still weigh your hair down. Fine or thin hair needs a light conditioner to be its fullest. Conditioner also makes any hair so much easier to comb.

With any condition except one for dandruff, try to use it on your hair but not your scalp. This will allow for fuller hair at the roots.

When drying your hair, use a towel to blot it dry instead of rubbing or wringing, in order to prevent breakage.

Hair is damaged less when using a brush only when it is wet or damp.

Tangles in very curly hair should be combed out when the hair is wet. Combing again after it has dried can make it frizzy and too full.

Curl your hair for instant "highlights" since curls catch the light from many more angles than straight hair.

Roots that are darker or lighter after coloring hair are less visible if your part is not perfectly straight. The zig-zag part is not necessary, just keep it messy.

rosemary essential oil for thicker hair

Thicker Tresses

For thicker hair that grows faster, add two drops of rosemary essential oil to your hairbrush before brushing.

Hair will look fuller and thicker when you use a blow dryer if you bend over and dry the hair from underneath.

Don't use the blow dryer when your hair is soaking wet. Let your hair dry partially on its own first to prevent damage and flattening hair. Bending over to fluff up hair with your hands also separates strands for more fullness.

Alternate shampoos to help keep hair cleaner of shampoo build-up. A clarifying shampoo will take out all build-up, but it will also take out all temporary hair color.

For hair that never seems to grow longer, trim it a little occasionally. Split ends not only are unsightly, they break. Trimming your hair will make it look better (and will thicken it) and result in less breakage.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Spinach Nutrition for calorie, leafy green vegetables like spinach with its delicate texture and jade green color provide more nutrients than any other food. Although spinach is available throughout the year, its season runs from March through May and from September through October when it is the freshest, has the best flavor and is most readily available.

The health benefits of spinach are numerous and its ability to help prevent disease is well known. Spinach is at the top of many super food lists.

Spinach Nutrition

Spinach and other dark leafy greens like kale, collards, Swiss chard, turnip greens and bok choy are loaded with calcium, folic acid, vitamin K and iron.

Spinach is also rich in vitamin C, fiber and carotenoids. Add its lutein and bioflavanoids and spinach is a nutritional powerhouse.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Get lean legs

Get lean legs!

Bring out the skirts and shorts. These easy leg exercises will have you stepping your way to a new, sexier you.
By Nancy Lepatourel, web excerpt
Get lean legs!

"The best way to get great legs fast is to lunge for four weeks," says Bobby Strom, the Los Angeles-based trainer responsible for getting Britney Spears and Shakira in top shape for big events and music videos. "Lunges recruit so many leg muscles that you will see results almost immediately. They also burn more calories than machines do."

Strom suggests doing a variety of different lunges and split squats (a stationary lunge) using the morning- after muscle soreness as an intensity gauge. "Don't overdo it if you're a beginner," says Strom. "You should be a little sore the next day, but nothing too intense. If you don't feel anything, bring it up a notch." Strom recommends mixing forward, reverse, side and walking lunges, but also suggests mixing in equipment for an added challenge in your workout. "I like the bicycle or the elliptical machine for toning the lower body," says Strom. "Your feet don't leave the pedals so you are constantly pushing against resistance."

TRY Split squats off a step to condition the entire lower body.
•Start with your right foot on a step and your left foot on the floor. Feet should be shoulder-width apart.
•Hold a five-pound weight in each hand and keep hands at your sides throughout.
•Keeping your torso tall, slowly bend your knees until your left knee hovers just above the floor. Your right knee should be over your right foot.
•Hold for two seconds at the bottom, then return to starting position.
•Do a minimum of 15 to 20 repetitions on each side. Switch to a different lunge, then return to the step and repeat. "This is a great move because the step gives you more range of motion," says Strom.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

How to make a natural face scrub

By Donna Daniels, web excerpt
Your complexion can look brighter and healthier when you give yourself a homemade all natural facial scrub. You don't need an additive in your facial scrub and when you buy a commercial facial scrub chances are that you will get unnecessary ingredients included in that facial scrub. This homemade facial is easy to make and inexpensive too.
You easily make a homemade facial scrub that is all natural and has no added chemicals in it. Homemade facial scrub can be made from simple ingredients that you can find in your kitchen.
To make a homemade facial scrub you will need a mild abrasive and cornmeal is a great mild abrasive that you can use in your facial scrub. Honey is also a great natural ingredient that is good for a healthy glow on your face. Walnuts are a protein that is also a form of oil. The oil will keep your face moist and healthy.
To make a homemade all natural facial just mix together equal amounts of cornmeal, honey and some ground walnuts. Mix the three ingredients together well and you have made a homemade facial that is made of ingredients from your kitchen.
To use the homemade all natural facial you should wash your face with warm water and a mild soap. Make sure you rinse your face well after you wash it. After you have washed your face just massage the homemade facial on your face and let it soak into your pores for five minutes.
After the homemade all natural facial has soaked into your pores for five minutes you can rinse it off and dry your face off gently with a soft clean cloth. Once your face is dry your skin should look healthy and fresh.
It is very easy to make a homemade all natural facial and it does not take much time to make it. You can probably find the items you need to make a homemade all natural facial right in your kitchen.
Keep your face glowing by giving yourself a facial every week. A facial is a great way to pamper yourself. When you make a homemade facial you should make it fresh and use it right away.
A fresh homemade facial will make your facial skin soft and moisturized. The mild abrasive in the homemade facial will scrub off any dead skin cells and your face will feel clean and fresh.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Natural Beauty Tips

*Sleeping on your back will prevent many wrinkles and breakouts on your face, and even wrinkles in your cleavage area.
*Wearing clothes that are tight make you look heavier. Even a slim girl can bulge over too-tight jeans.
*Put on a coat of clear nail polish before a colored polish to keep your nails from discoloring.
*Being angry really does take away from your beauty now and will result in more wrinkles later.
*Wearing less make-up makes you look younger.
*Vitamins and minerals are needed for health and beauty, but more is not always better. Too much Vitamin A or Selenium can cause hair loss. There is nothing beautiful about losing your hair.
*If you are unhappy with a hair conditioner, it will still make a great "shaving cream" for your legs in the shower.
*When shaving, don't stretch the skin or you could cause ingrown hairs by shaving hair off slightly under the skin.
*Drink plenty of water and get eight hours of sleep every day.
*Tighten bra straps as they stretch out, or buy a new bra when they can't tighten any further, to keep the bosom looking young and perky.
*Instead of shaving over and over, with the hairs coming in darker and thicker each time, try waxing or epilating. Waxing or epilating to remove hair will result in softer hairs each time and result in permanent hair loss after a few sessions.
*Sleeping on two or three pillows at a time will help get rid of dark circles under your eyes.
*Exercise while dieting is a must or your skin will be too large (and saggy) for your smaller body. It is much, much tougher to tighten skin after your body shrinks than as you go.
*After washing your face, rinse in cold water (fair-skinned people should use cool instead of cold) to close the pores and tighten the facial muscles.
*If you are out of quick-dry spray for nails, dip your fingers into a bowl of ice-cold water. (Don't to touch the sides of the bowl.) Your nails will dry very quickly.
*Good posture can make you look much slimmer.
*Wearing a low heel will give you better posture than wearing flat shoes.
*Renew thick nail polish by adding a few drops of fingernail polish remover to the bottle.
*To make a nail polish bottle not get stuck closed, put a thin coat of Vaseline inside the lid.
*Clean hair brushes occasionally with dish soap and borax. In a dishpan of very warm water, add 1/2 cup of borax and a few drops of liquid dish soap. Swish the brushes to stir, rinse, and let air dry. Scrub any stubborn spots with a used toothbrush.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Importance of Drinking Water in Weight Loss

The Importance of Drinking Water in Weight Loss
By Michelle Vaughan, excerpt from her book “Secrets to Successful Weight Loss”

To some people, it may seem that drinking water will only add to your weight instead of helping to decrease it. This, however, is definitely not always the case. It actually depends on how much water you drink.
Many people, thinking that water will only increase their weight, tend to drink very little water. When you do this, your body holds on to that water, because it knows that no more is coming, and by doing adds the water weight to your regular body weight.
On the other hand, there is also such thing as going overboard with water consumption, which completely washes out your insides, and isn’t good for you at all.
A good amount of water to drink is about 3L (litres) daily, if you exercise averagely; however, for someone who exercises very often and a lot, then 4 L is a good average.
Also, drinking water at mealtimes washes all the nutrients away before your stomach has a chance to digest them. Water helps to clean out your system, which is one of the main reasons why it is so important to drink it. Remember: 1) not drinking enough water will cause your body to hold on to the water weight, 2) drinking too much water is unhealthy—it completely flushes your system, 3) drinking water at mealtimes washes away all the food you’ve eaten before it gets digested, and finally, 4) drinking water is very, very important.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The importance of excercizing regularly

By Paige Waehner, web excerpt

It may seem like a no-brainer that regular exercise can help you burn fat and lose weight. But, it's not just about the calories you're burning. It's also about the adaptations your body makes when you exercise on a regular basis. Many of those adaptations lead directly to your ability to burn more fat without even trying. When you exercise regularly, your body:
Becomes more efficient at delivering and extracting oxygen -- Simply put, this helps your cells burn fat more efficiently.
Has better circulation -- This allows the fatty acids to move more efficiently through the blood and into the muscle. That means fat is more readily available for fueling the body.
Increases the number and size of mitochondria, also known as cellular power plants that provide energy for the body.And, don't forget, regular exercise will also help you manage your weight. The more activity you engage in, the more calories you'll burn, and the easier it is to create the calorie deficit needed to lose weight.
Tips for Consistent Exercise
Schedule some exercise time every day, even if it's just a few minutes.
Split up your workouts. You can get the same benefit from short workouts spread throughout the day as do with continuous workouts.
Change daily routines to incorporate activity. Park at the edge of the parking lot at work to add more walking time, or add an extra lap at the mall when shopping. Integrating more activity into your usual routines will help you stay active, even if you don't have time for a structured workout.
Make exercise your focus and schedule the rest of your day around it instead of trying to squeeze it in when you can. If it's not a priority, you won't do it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

10 foods that will help you lose weight, part two

Plentiful and versatile, apples can help you satisfy sugar cravings for less calories. Whether eaten fresh as a midafternoon snack in the office or baked for dessert, these nutritional powerhouses will help fill you up and keep you slim.
With an average 72 calories, a hefty 6 grams of protein, and elements of almost every essential vitamin you need, eggs can be a nutritious (not to mention affordable) part of a healthy weight loss plan. Hard-boiled eggs are highly portable for a post-gym snack; poached eggs can be a delicious, filling breakfast.
All nuts are healthy and loaded with good fats and other nutrients, but almonds are the one to go for when you're trying to lose weight. They're lower in calories than many of their cousins (that means you, macadamias) and the protein and fat content will help keep cravings at bay. ____________________________________________________

While not low in calories nor in fat, dark chocolate still has two major things going for it. First, it's very hard to eat large quantities of real, high-quality dark chocolate as compared to its milky sibling; and second, it's very high in health-promoting antioxidants. It's no diet food, but eating a few small squares to squelch a potentially much larger scarfing of, say, a piece of chocolate cake with icing, is well worth the modest calorie intake.

One of the biggest trends in weight loss research is the concept of calorie density – the idea is that your body pays more attention to the amount of space your food takes up in your stomach than it does to the amount of calories you're consuming. So by eating lots of foods with a low calorie density, you'll be satisfying your hunger for less. Vegetable soups (and we're not talking cream of broccoli) are one great option – serve them as a starter or a light meal and just watch how quickly you feel full.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

10 foods that will help you lose weight, part one

By Kat Tancock and Helen Racanelli, web excerpt

Trying to lose weight? Instead of thinking about what you shouldn't eat, focus on the delicious foods that will help keep you satisfied. Here are 10 top picks for foods that can help you lose weight.


Although cucumbers offer only modest nutritional benefits (a bit of vitamin C, A, and some fibre), this delicately flavoured member of the gourd family goes a long way in bulking up a salad, and making you feel nice and full for few calories. Or if you're in the mood for a crunchy snack, slice them up with the skin on, instead of reaching for potato chips or crackers.


Grapefruit is a delicious and nutritious sweet-tart snack, breakfast side or salad topping. But researchers have also discovered that eating grapefruit or grapefruit juice daily can aid in weight loss, possibly due to a reduction in insulin levels.


Packed with fibre, folate and magnesium, this versatile fat-free legume can be a fabulous supporting player of a slimming healthy eating regimen. Lentils, prepared any number of ways, will have you feeling as if you've eaten a meaty, even creamy, dish minus the calories and saturated fat that come with eating meat.


Oats and oatmeal are high in fibre, which helps you feel full – and satisfied – longer. Plus consumption of whole grains has been shown to aid in weight loss. For the best benefits, fill up on oatmeal for breakfast – try steel-cut oats if you've got the time, or instant oatmeal if you prefer to eat at work (just try to pick the sugar-free kinds and add your own sweeteners).


If you’re a compulsive snacker with a yen for salt, foods with their natural shells on can help you slow down and savour what you're eating while curbing the craving. For instance, unsalted pistachio nuts, walnuts in the shell, peanuts, and edamame in the pod can help you curb your cravings for saltier, unhealthier junk food. Plus, you're not as likely to overeat if you have to work for your reward.