Running as a Lifestyle for Weight Loss

Running as a Lifestyle for Weight Loss

Approaching a correct weight loss regimen that incorporates running and jogging as efficient exercises is of utmost importance, particularly because you can successfully lose those extra pounds without struggling too much with your workout routine.

We no longer need to pay expensive subscriptions at local fitness clubs, as we can easily attain the same performance by structuring a proper training schedule and following it exactly. If you aim to improve your appearance, health and lifestyle, consider the running program and ideas below.

Week One

Since you are just starting out, you have to know that you need to take things gradually in order to be efficient and attain the desired body shape. Begin with running only one mile during the first week, at a normal speed that will allow you to familiarize your body with this high-intensity exercise in a better way.

It is important not to try to exhaust yourself during this first week, so make sure to go running only four days, with one day pause in between them (for instance, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday). You can basically go anywhere you want to run, as long as the environment is appropriate and you feel comfortable there.

Week Two

During the second week, you have to think about increasing the amount of time you run instead of distance. Assuming that you can run a mile in 10 up to 15 minutes, you can run for 20-25 minutes during week two, making sure to keep your speed decent – not too fast, but not too slow either. Once you increase the amount of time you run, you analogically have to decrease the number of times you go running. Opt for Monday, Wednesday and Friday, or Thursday, Sunday and Saturday, so that your body will start gaining endurance.

Week Three

Continue with your running plan as you did during week two, not changing the amount of time you run or the number of times when you go running.

Week Four

Now is the time to increase the speed, decreasing the amount of time you have to run. During the first three weeks, you ran at a normal pace that was neither too fast nor too slow, but you have to increase the speed right now, particularly because your body has increased endurance and strength. Run only 20 minutes on three or four days of the week, with a break in between them. Make sure not to stop or slow down, otherwise you will make your exercise routine inefficient.

Week Five

Continue with your running plan of the fourth week, maintaining the same speed, running sessions and time interval.
Week Six

Your running routine has reached its peak during the fourth and fifth week, but it is time to go back to week one and run only 10-15 minutes at a normal pace. Go running four times a week as instructed for week one and make sure not to exhaust yourself.

Changes in Body Weight

Changes in Body Weight

To the layman one of the most obvious indices of the value of a given diet would be the changes in body-weight, for it is commonly believed that any increase in body-weight indicates ample, if not excessive, nourishment, and that a decrease is evidence of insufficient nourishment. For experiments of long duration, such as are commonly made on domestic animals when feeding or fattening for market, this is a remarkably good index.

With man, however, the experiments must of necessity be of short duration, since a routine diet can not be adhered to for so long a time as with animals, and fluctuations in body-weight are, therefore, by no means a proper index of gain or loss of body-material.

Index of Body Condition

Factors involved in change of body-weight.–An increase in body-weight is a resultant of a number of factors. There may have been actual additions to protein, fat, carbohydrate, and water, these four being the principal ingredients of the body, or there may have been an increase in two or three of these compounds with an actual decrease in the others, and there may have been losses from three of them compensated by a gain in the fourth.

It is evident, therefore, that a gain in body-weight is of real service only when it indicates increase of material other than water, and yet a large majority of the fluctuations in the body-weight can be attributed to material changes in the water-content of the body. When it is considered that some 60 per cent of the total weight of the body is water, and this water is easily lessened or increased, it can be seen that the gain or loss of a few pounds by the body may be very largely due to fluctuations in water-content and in no wise gives a true idea of the addition to or loss from the store of organic body-material.

This fact has frequently been the source of considerable error in experiments of short duration, in that a diet manifestly inadequate for maintenance has actually been partaken of for 3 or 4 days while the body-weight of the subject of the experiment has remained practically unchanged. As a result of this apparent constancy in body-weight, a diet obviously deficient has been thought ample for the needs of the body.

Influence of Diet on Body Weight

Nearly all experimental diets differ widely from the normal. In some diets there is a large preponderance of carbohydrates, or of fat; occasionally there is a large proportion of protein. Rarely is an experimental diet so evenly adjusted as to correspond exactly to the diet on which people commonly live. A striking series of experiments has demonstrated very clearly that a change from a diet poor in carbohydrates to one rich in carbohydrates is accompanied by a considerable retention of water by the tissues of the body.

Conversely, it is shown that when a change is made from the rich carbohydrate diet and a fat diet is substituted, there is a considerable loss of water to the body. It is obvious, therefore, that if a change is made from a normal diet to one containing an excessive proportion of carbohydrates, even though the total nutrients in the food may be insufficient for the maintenance of the body, the excess carbohydrates may cause the retention in the body of a sufficient amount of water to more than make up for the loss in body-material resulting from the decrease in the total food-supply.

Moreover, the body must draw upon its body-material, chiefly fat, and with a diet such as is under discussion, the loss of 100 grams of fat, furnishing some 900 calories of energy, may be compensated by the addition of 100 grams of water to the body. These facts will not be seen from a mere observation of change in body-weight, and one must be very careful in drawing deductions from such change charges, particularly in experiments of short duration.

Effect of Transition

The influence of marked changes in diet upon the body-weight has been shown in connection with a series of experiments conducted in the laboratory of Wesleyan University. 1 The diet of the subject in this series was for three days largely carbohydrate. It was then suddenly changed to a diet having equal energy which, however, was derived in large part from fat.

The changes in body-weight during the series were most remarkable and interesting. The series consisted of work experiments, and the amount of energy in the diet was, therefore, large. During the carbohydrate period there were ingested about 970 grams of solid matter each day and sufficient water in food and drink to make the total weight of food and drink about 4500 grams per day. During 3 days on this diet, the body-weight as determined by a platform balance increased on the average 61 grams per day. The more accurate determinations of the gains and losses of body-material calculated from the amounts of protein, fat, carbohydrates, water, and ash katabolized showed an average gain of 88 grams per day.

On the fourth day of the series, the diet was so changed that the greater part of the energy came from the fat rather than the carbohydrates. The fat diet contained about 750 grams of solid matter and sufficient water to make the total weight of the materials ingested equal 3860 grams on the first day and 4900 grams on each of the other 2 days, the average for the 3 days being 4550 grams per day.

Although the total weight of food and drink ingested during the fat period was somewhat greater than during the carbohydrate period, there was actually a very marked loss to the body, averaging 914 grams per day, as determined by the balance with which the subject was weighed. The computations of the gains and losses of protein, fat, carbohydrate, water, and ash showed an average daily loss of 974 grams.

That this loss in weight was in large part water is shown by an examination of the data, by which it is seen that during the fat period there was an average loss from the body of 12 grams of protein, 47 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of carbohydrate, 906 grams of water, and 7 grams of ash per day. Even on the third day of the period the results show a loss of some 800 grams of water.

Although there are differences between the balance as found by means of the actual weights of the subject and that calculated from the materials gained or lost, it is reasonable to suppose from a careful inspection of the analytical data, that the losses in weight as computed from the gains and losses of material are somewhat more accurate than those obtained from the weights of the man. The apparatus then in use for weighing the man, while satisfactory for long experiments, has since been much improved, as its accuracy was by no means all that could be desired in studying such a problem as this. Fortunately, we have the direct chemical data indicating the katabolism of the protein, fat, carbohydrates, water, and ash.

The total energy furnished by both diets was substantially the same and the amount of external work performed was identical in both experiments. The heat eliminated by the body was on the average 70 calories larger in the experiment with the fat diet. It is significant that during the 6 days with the two diets, the body sustained a continuous loss of energy approximating 500 calories per day, and that during the 3 days with the carbohydrate diet the subject gained on the average about 60 grams per day.

Introducing Vitamin A

Introducing Vitamin A

There are three vitamins– A, D, and E-which dissolve readily in fats and are found only in certain fats which our foods contain. They do not, in general, occur together. Vitamin A is abundant in cod liver oil, butter fat, and milk fat; in the glandular organs of animals, such as the liver, kidney, sweetbread, etc.; and in all yellow pigmented vegetables. It never occurs in white vegetables, such as the potato, white turnip, apple.

This substance is now identified with the yellow pigment of vegetable foods, a compound known as carotin, from its abundance in carrots; or at least it seems to be demonstrated that carotin is the mother substance of the vitamin into which it is readily converted in the body. The latter seems the more probable, since the liver of an animal may be nearly freed from vitamin A by feeding a diet free from it, and become rich in the vitamin when an abundance of carotin is provided. Such a liver is still nearly free from yellow pigment. This is interpreted as meaning that the yellow pigment is converted into the vitamin, and is not itself the vitamin A.

It has recently been stated, on experimental evidence, that plants are all practically free from the vitamin A, but that they furnish carotin from which it is made in the body. Liver fats, egg yolk fats, and cod liver oil contain the vitamin instead of carotin. Little is known about the chemical nature of carotin and less about that of vitamin A. The former is a highly unsaturated hydrocarbon containing 40 carbon and 56 hydrogen atoms in its molecule. It is an unsaturated molecule and takes on oxygen readily, losing in the process its yellow color and its value as the mother substance of the vitamin.

Effects of Deficiency of Vitamin A

Much research has been done on the effects of deprivation of animals of this vitamin. The injury to the body which results from this kind of specific starvation is limited to the epithelial tissues. Since these line the ducts of the tear glands, salivary glands, and other digestive glands, and constitute other glandular tissues of major importance, vitamin A deficiency quickly undermines health.

The epithelial cells keratinize, becoming like the outer layers of the skin, and lose their normal functions. Plaques of these cells desquamate and tend to plug the ducts of glands. In vitamin A deficiency the earliest symptoms are deficiency of tears, dryness of the eyes, and dryness of the mouth. The skin becomes dry and scaly, the germinal epithelium in the testes degenerates, and the animals become sterile.

Attention has repeatedly been called to the occurrence of large numbers of calculi in the kidneys and bladders of rats suffering from deficiency of vitamin A. Rats develop deposits of phosphates and oxalates in the urinary tract very rapidly, and almost invariably when fed diets deficient in this vitamin. When chickens are fed an A-deficient diet, there accumulate in the kidneys great numbers of crystals of urates, or salts of uric acid, so that the kidneys feel sandy between the fingers. There is also some evidence that gall stones are more likely to develop under conditions of vitamin A insufficiency than otherwise. Plaques of epithelial cells desquamate and form nuclei upon which cholesterol deposits.

One of the earliest observed effects of vitamin A deficiency was the appearance of an ophthalmia characterized by drying of the cornea followed by ulceration and perforation of the eyeball. This has been shown to be a secondary result of injury to the tear glands. The gland atrophies and loses its power to secrete tears; the eyeball thereupon becomes dry, and cornification of the cornea soon develops.

A number of papers have been published which refer to the incidence of a similar ophthalmia in human subjects subsisting upon diets of poor quality. There is much reason to believe that the occurrence of night blindness is sometimes attributable to chronic deficiency of vitamin A. In the intestinal tract there may be impaired absorption due to injury to the epithelial cells of the wall.

In rats, when the diet is impoverished in vitamin A, the vaginal mucosa forms cornified epithelial cells continuously. Under normal nutrition there is a similar cornification limited to a brief period during which there is growth, maturation, and rupture of Graafian follicles, after which it disappears; but in A-deficient rats the desquamation of cornified cells is continuous and obscures all ovarian cycles that may be present.

Vitamin A deficiency does not create a malfunction of the ovaries, for they continue to secrete hormones similar to those in estrus. This effect on the vaginal mucosa of the rat is so pronounced that Evans and Bishop report their ability to detect vitamin A deficiency in otherwise apparently healthy animals receiving enough A to prevent ophthalmia. Raising the level of A in the diet may abolish the persistent cornification of the vaginal epithelium and restore normal conditions.

In vitamin A deficiency this transformation of epithelium into stratified, squamous keratinizing epithelium is especially pronounced in the upper respiratory tract, and in the renal pelvis, urinary bladder, seminal vesicles, epididymis, prostate, salivary glands, and pancreas.

When there is deficiency of vitamin A, the intestinal flora is markedly changed as respects gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria in the faeces. The faeces of rats on the deficient diet are dry and hard, which may account for the disappearance of streptococci; otherwise there is no change in the proportion of bacteria which ferment glucose, lactose, and sucrose. The proportion of hydrogensulphide-forming bacteria remains constant.

Under deficiency of vitamin A, rats frequently die of bacterial invasion of the ear and nasal cavities before the appearance of ophthalmia. As the infection advances, it leads to nutritional disaster in which the animal is not restored to a normal condition by feeding rations containing vitamin A. Werkman has reported that a deficiency of vitamin A in the diet increased the susceptibility of rats to anthrax and pneumonia.

An interesting observation reported by Howe is the reversion of the odontoblasts to osteoblasts when animals are deprived of vitamin A. The odontoblastic membrane surrounds the pulp of the tooth and lies in apposition to the under surface of the dentine. From each odontoblast a fiber extends through a tubule in the dentine to the base of the enamel.

The odontoblast forms dentine. Howe states that when animals are deprived of vitamin A, the odontoblasts revert to osteoblasts, or bone-forming cells, and that subsequently bone deposits may be formed by these cells. The frequent occurrence of pulp stones in the teeth of animals deprived of vitamin A supports this view. The importance of this vitamin for the health of the teeth appears, therefore, to be very great.

All About Minerals

All About Minerals

Absolute deficiencies are rare and relative deficiencies a little more common.

1. Sodium and chlorine fall markedly after copious perspiration, protracted physical effort and in hot weather, thus causing fatigue, cramps, and insomnia. Under these circumstances previous taking of salt increases endurance. sLosses of potassium must also be compensated by administration of that element, which is also indicated in hypoglycaemic conditions following intense muscular fatigue.

2. Magnesium, phosphorus, sulphur, and iodine are found in normal quantities in a balanced diet.

3. The trace elements

Fluorine, zinc, cobalt and other substances, including copper and manganese, are also found in normal quantities in a balanced diet.

4. Calcium

Young persons whose calcium requirements are large may find a deficiency if their intake of dairy products is inadequate.

5. Iron

This is indicated in cases of inapparent anaemia, which are more common than is generally believed, and also when sport is practised at high altitudes, and sometimes in women during their menstrual periods.

Medicaments affecting the cardiovascular and respiratory systems

1. Respiratory tonics such as camphor and its substitutes, lobeline, Micorene, etc. are used with a view to stimulating the respiratory centre. It is extremely doubtful whether they are of any value.

2. The bronchodilators, such as adrenalin and isoprenaline, often produce untoward reactions such as palpitations, arterial hypertension and hypotension, etc.

3. Cardiotonics, particulary the digitalis heterosides, only have an effect in incipient heart failure.

4. The cardiac stimulants (camphor, nikethamide) have a stimulating effect on the heart through the bulbar centres. They are of no value for athletes.

5. Vasoconstrictors, such as adrenalin and its derivatives, are primarily used in cases of general hypotension and collapse. Their hypertensive effect will hardly be of any value during or after physical exhaustion in an athlete. In normal individuals they are altogether inadvisable.

6. The vasodilators (nitrites and derivatives of nicotinic acid) are inadvisable because of their hypotensive effect, and their untoward indirect effects on the heart may bring about circulatory collapse.

7. Beta-adrenergic blocking agents reduce exercise tachycardia and stress in ski jumpers.

Is salt intake necessary during the fitness efforts?

Is salt intake necessary during the fitness efforts?

Since the work of the Scandinavians, Hermansen and Saltin, we have known that water loss by perspiration leads to a significant loss in muscle power. Habitual long-distance athletes are no longer unaware that the intake of water during effort, thanks to refreshment stations along the course, enables them to struggle effectively against the effects of dehydration, especially if it is hot, there is little wind, the hygrometer reading is high and the pace particularly sustained.

In contrast, however, the intake of mineral salt supplements, either in the form of tablets or salt, added to drinks, is recommended more on the basis of empirical data than truly scientific studies. Often, in manuals, it is suggested that we “salt the soup” to guard against cramp, fatigue and even heat-stroke. It is also difficult for the athlete to distinguish between serious medical information and mere publicity. On the other hand, knowledge in this field is advancing rapidly and numerous discoveries and studies have considerably modified the conventional wisdom.

Bearing in mind the implications of this issue, it seemed to us desirable to study the problems which arise from overconsumption of salt either during effort or outside racing. A number of studies agree in showing that people eat too much salt and that this can have negative effects on the arteries and even cause cramps if a race takes place in great heat.

Is salt intake necessary during the fitness efforts?

Professor Philippe Meyer, a French specialist in salt and high blood pressure, has just published his thoughts on the subject as a whole in his book, Editions Fayard, “L’homme et le sel” (man and salt). The individual, he believes, is not aware of how much salt he needs. For this reason, salt consumption is erratic, but always higher than it should be. The average requirement is 1 to 2 g every 24 hours. The average intake, however, is always around 10 grams.

Numerous studies have shown to what extent blood pressure is influenced by food intake. It will be observed that populations with a very low-salt diet tend to have much lower levels of blood pressure than those who regularly overindulge. Professor H. Bour, another well-known specialist, in a recent article entitled “cardio-vascular risk factors and nutrition”, is also concerned with the role of salt. “There is an undeniable correlation between blood pressure and salt consumption.

In populations with a low rate of salt consumption (4 to 6 g/day), blood pressure does not increase with age. This rise is therefore not physiologically determined as we were taught, but is linked with diet. Interesting studies have shown that in Japan salt consumption per head per day varies considerably between the north (30 to 50 g per day) and the south (15 g per day). In this racially homogenous population, the difference in mortality rate due to heart and arterial disorders varies from 1 to 4 ; in all other respects, their diet is comparable.”

A further example : among the Eskimos of the Great North, the intake is 3 g/day ; only 2% of the population has high blood pressure. Specialists have calculated that if current salt consumption levels were at least halved, the number of people suffering from high blood pressure would also be reduced by 50 %. There seems therefore to be a general consensus in pointing out the dangers of excess salt to the arteries. Does the same apply when the muscles become active for long periods as is the case with long-distance races ?

The physiology of effort teaches us that a hyperactive organism needs salt. Salt deficiency can lead to dehydration, muscle cramps and chronic fatigue. However, it is not useful to “salt the soup” too much ; our normal food intake provides us with enough salt. Excess salt consumption, encouraged by certain publicity articles which advise use of extra salt at the least little effort, can lead to problems incompatible with prolonged physical activity.

In hot weather, excess salt causes dehydration, diminishes the blood flow and tires the heart all these things can lead to a serious sickness: heat stroke. Too much salt furthers the elimination of potassium by the kidneys, with its corollary chronic fatigue. Salt tablets abuse the taste buds and the kidneys. Numerous authors have observed better performances in hot weather by athletes on a low-salt diet. Gabe Mirkin, a medical practicioner, cites the case of Tom Osler, marathon-runner and mathematician at Glassboro State College, a self-taught expert on foot-racing “Lou Casagnola was, in 1967, the great favourite to win the National AAU championship (a 30 km race).

On the day of the race, it suddenly became very hot. To everyone’s amazement, it was Tom Osler who won the day… Osler imputes his remarkable performance in hot weather to his diet, which contains almost no salt. I had read so many things about the risks of salt deficiency that I was sceptical. But this mathematics teacher had acquired knowledge which doctors did not possess. By observing the reactions of his body, Osler had noticed that, he was in much better form in hot weather if he eleminated salt from his diet.

Dave Costill performed tests on Osler, comparing the results with those of tests carried out on runners who did eat salt. Osler’s temperature, heart rhythm and quantity of sweat were comparable with those of the other athletes. His blood contained the same amount of salt. There was one difference, however. Osler’s sweat and urine contained much less salt, because his sweat glands were accustomed to retaining it.”

Gabe Mirkin himself stopped salting his food ten years ago “My sweat no longer tastes salty and does not sting when it falls into my eyes.” Variations in quantity and composition of sweat depend on acclimatisation, training, physical condition and the individual himself. Thus, sweat is more dilute during the race than in times of repose, and it becomes more and more dilute the higher the air temperature, the greater the intensity of the exercise and, in consequence, the more abundant the perspiration. The concentration level of mineral salts in sweat varies a great deal from athlete to athlete. It is much lower in athletes acclimatised to the heat. The difference may be as great as 48% between a specialist and a beginner. This low-salt perspiration has a further advantage, in that it causes the drops of sweat to evaporate more quickly.

Thanks to these advantages acquired in the heat, the trained athlete loses proportionately more water than mineral salts. Paradoxically, this explains the fact that during effort, the sodium concentrations in the extracellular fluid, i.e. the fluid in which the cells float, increase rather than decrease. The fact that dehydration takes place proportionately faster than demineralisation means that the extra-cellular fluid becomes more concentrated… and it is this concentration that gives rise to “heat cramps” and other symptoms such as headaches, nausea… etc. in athletes who have lost large quantities of fluid and whose bodies contain too high levels of mineral salts. Because, when we sweat, we lose more water than mineral salts, it is necessary to take in liquids more rich in water and less rich in mineral salts than the extra-cellular fluid. Ideally, the salt concentrations in the liquid drunk should correspond to the salt concentrations in the sweat, that is about 2.5 to 3.5 grams per litre.

In practice, 1 gram per litre proves adequate insofar as the kidney, in a rest situation, lets sodium pass, whereas under effort, this filtering organ puts up a “block” to restrict its elimination. If the athlete eliminates between 3 and 4 litres of fluid during a training session or a competition, it is not useful to take in salt tablets during effort to compensate for the loss of sodium, especially as this loss is usually very small in comparison with the overall “mineral capital” of the body. Generally speaking, in the climatic conditions of our regions, the addition of a little salt to our food is sufficient to make up for excessive losses.

However, liquid drunk during effort should contain a small quantity of sodium (1 per litre). This “supplement” is designed to facilitate the passage of glucose drinks from the stomach to the intestine, where they are rapidly absorbed. The point of an energy-giving drink is to deliver the glucose it contains to muscles in action. To fully attain this objective, the drink should not remain in the stomach, but should pass rapidly into the intestine. To clarify a little, it is nevertheless necessary to recall that the prescription of salt tablets to be taken during effort goes back to studies undertaken at the time of the African Campaigns when a man marched in the desert carrying heavy equipment and could lose as much as 11 litres of fluid an hour by perspiration.

In certain sports disciplines, dehydration can be considerable. At the Ohio State University, fluid-losses of up to 7 litres an hour have been noted in players of American football. In such conditions, the replacement of lost minerals is imperative. By way of comparison, we should point out that it is extremely rare in our latitudes for fluid loss via perspiration to reach levels higher than two or three litres an hour during extreme effort. Francesco Moser, when he set his then world record on the track in Mexico at an altitude of 2,200, had not even lost three litres.

Food Choices at Social Occasions

Food Choices at Social Occasions

Do you feel your busy schedule doesn’t allow you to follow healthy eating guidelines? Do you seem to have less control over your food choices at social occasions? Help is on the way. It is possible to diet in all social situations. But remember, no one can do it for you; you must do it for yourself. Make these promises to yourself to enhance your social-situation savvy:

. Be aggressive. Do not allow people to talk you into eating foods you know you shouldn’t have.

. Eat a light meal or snack before attending a special function where food is plentiful. By fasting before such a gathering, you tend to eat too much.

. Do not feel obligated to join the “clean plate dub.” Rid yourself of food guilt; you will be doing yourself a favor by helping to make your heart healthy.

Restaurant Remedies

. When at least one of your daily meals is eaten away from home, you may wonder how you can “stick to” your healthy menu plan. The good news is that many restaurants, even fast food restaurants and airline food service, offer a wide array of choices.

. If possible, contact the restaurant in advance. Ask about the foods available, and ask if special requests will be honored. Many restaurants will prepare dishes with margarine instead of butter; trim fats from meats; and broil, bake, steam or poach entrees. Airlines usually have dietetic meals available. Simply call and reserve yours.

. Read menus carefully and question the waiter or waitress if you have any concerns about a method of cooking or ingredient. Here are some tips on reading menus:

-Look for words that indicate low-fat preparation: “steamed,” “garden fresh,” “broiled,” “roasted,” “poached,” “in its own juice.”

-Be wary of high sodium terms: “pickled,” “smoked,” “cocktail sauce:” “cured,” or “in broth.”

-Avoid: “buttery,” “buttered,” “in butter sauce,” “fried,” “sauteed,” “panfried,” “crispy,” “creamed,” “in cream,” “hollandaise,” “au gratin,” “escalloped,” “Parmesan.”

. Choose an appetizer such as seafood cocktail, raw vegetables or fresh fruit. Avoid salty tomato juice and soups.

. If you wish to have a cocktail, remember that alcohol adds empty calories. Order your drink with water, juice or low-calorie soda rather than presweetened mixes. Choose a wine spritzer or, better yet, sparkling water with a twist of lime.

. Choose raw or steamed vegetables and salads to increase your fiber and complex carbohydrate intake.

Avoid creamy dressings, bacon, croutons and egg toppings on salads.

. If you cannot possibly turn down a favorite dessert, eat only half.

What foods have no carbohydrates?

What foods have no carbohydrates?

When deciding to follow a low carb diet, dieters often want to know what foods have no carbs. For those who count carbs, foods that have low or zero carbs are precious commodities.

What Are Carbs?

“Carbs” is a shortened version of the word carbohydrates, which are macronutrients containing sugars. Carbohydrates are further broken down into distinct categories.

Simple carbohydrates – Examples of simple carbohydrates include dairy products, candy, baked goods, fruit, and processed sugars.
Complex carbohydrates – Examples include rice, corn, flour, whole grains, and legumes.

Fiber and sugar alcohols are also considered carbs, but they are usually not restricted as part of a low-carb diet.

Foods with No Carbs

Low-carbohydrate diets, such as the Atkins diet, limit the amount of carbohydrates you can eat in order to exert insulin control. In general, most low-carbohydrate diets recommend eating fewer than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day, and some suggest eating as few as 20 to 25 grams per day. When you consider that one cup of white rice has 151 grams of carbohydrates, and a slice of bread contains about 15 grams of carbohydrates, eating carbohydrate-containing foods adds up quickly. Foods with no carbohydrates can help you eat adequate amounts and still limit carbohydrate intake.

Meat and Animal Protein

All naturally-occurring meats contain no carbohydrates; however, pre-packaged and deli meats are often processed with a sugar and salt solution or seasoning blends, conferring carbohydrates to the meats. Processed and cured meats, such as sausage, ham, bacon, and frankfurters regularly contain small amounts of carbohydrates. Eggs also have a trace amount of carbs (about .6g per egg). Reading package labels is essential to learn if pre-packaged products contain carbohydrates. In their natural state, the following contain zero carbs:

Organ meats (including brains, liver, and kidneys)
Fish (such as salmon, trout, and halibut)
Shellfish (such as crab, shrimp, and lobster)
Mollusks (such as oysters, mussels, and clams)
Game meats (such as venison and elk)
Exotic meats (such as ostrich and emu)

How Low-Carbohydrate Diets Work

While your body utilizes carbohydrates for energy, many diet experts suggest minimizing carbohydrates is an effective form of weight loss. Multiple studies support this assertion. When blood glucose rises in response to dietary intake of carbohydrates, your pancreas releases insulin, which is the key to losing weight on a low-carbohydrate diet. Health journalist Gary Taubes explains why this happens in an article for the New York Times, What if It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie. Insulin is a storage hormone.

It is responsible for both escorting fuel (food) into fat cells as body fat storage and keeping it there. In some ways, insulin acts as prison guard, making sure fat finds its way into cells and keeps it locked inside. When you limit carbohydrate intake, your body releases very little insulin. As a result, stored body fat escapes and exits your body. This is the mechanism of low-carbohydrate weight loss.

Finding Zero Carb Foods

Finding foods with zero carbohydrates is not difficult, especially if you read package labels carefully. Many health professionals express concerns about the health effects of low-carbohydrate dieting, so it is always best to check with your doctor before pursuing such a diet.

The 8 Crazy Diets All Over the World

The 8 Crazy Diets All Over the World

Over the years, people have tried some pretty crazy and downright ridiculous things in the pursuit of weight loss. But just when you thought that things couldn’t get much worse than drinking cabbage soup all day, they most definitely did. Check out our round-up of eight crazy diets people actually do, which we are most certainly not suggesting you try!

1. The Baby Food Diet

Owing perhaps to the fact the baby food is totally repulsive to adults and therefore probably makes you not want to eat at all, the baby food diet relies on eating…yes! you guessed it: jars and jars of baby food in a bid to keep trim. Supposedly, this diet is a winner because most baby food is strictly calorie-controlled, portion-controlled, crammed full of wholesome goodness and veggies (albeit in mush form), and free from preservatives.

The diet is reported to be the brainchild of celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson. Celebrities who have given up chewing in favor of baby gruel include the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.

2. The Kangatarian Diet

A diet for the ethically minded, Kangatarianism involves eating only vegetables and excluding all other meat except kangaroo meat, based on environmental and ethical grounds. Some people like to think Kangatarian is essentially a vegetarian diet with the addition of kangaroo meat.

Heralding from Australia, where kangaroos are the unofficial symbol of the land, this diet is all about extolling the virtues of eating sustainable meat. Believers maintain that kangaroo meat comes from animals requiring no extra land or water for farming and which, unlike cows, produce little methane (greenhouse gas). If Australia has Kangatarians, maybe next up for us is Eagleatarianism?

3. The Sunlight Diet

Otherwise known as the Breatharianism Diet – or living off thin air and sunlight – this diet is based on the assumption that it is possible for a person to live without consuming any food. At all. Ever. Some Breatharians even claim that water is not necessary for survival. Instead, they believe that humans can be sustained solely by prana, the vital life force in Hinduism, of which sunlight is one of the main sources.

As a young Hollywood hopeful, Michelle Pfeiffer was reportedly a follower of the Sunlight Diet, before realizing, not surprisingly, that she couldn’t sustain herself on it. And she clearly was not the only one, as the Sunlight Diet has been known to claim lives.

4. Cotton Ball Diet

Incredibly, some people in search of a slimmer waistline will go to any lengths in the name of weight loss – including ingesting cotton wool balls! Yes, cotton wool balls soaked in juice are apparently just the ticket when it comes to keeping hunger at bay.

Another lightbulb trend we have the fashion industry to thank for, apparently the logic here is that eating cotton balls soaked in juice will help you to feel full without consuming food. The diet broke into the public domain after Eddie Murphy’s daughter, Bria Murphy, claimed to have seen models eating cotton balls dipped in juice to stay skinny. Diet or eating disorder? You decide.

5. The Urine Diet

Yes, as disgusting as it sounds, for some, urine has been reinvented as a weight loss miracle. Being thankful for small mercies, the urine diet doesn’t require drinking urine – just injecting it on a daily basis. And if it helps soften the blow, it doesn’t mean drinking your own, but in fact, that of a pregnant lady. But why? Apparently, the trick is not about the urine itself but a hormone called human coriogonic gotrophin (HCG) which it contains. Theoretically, this fools your brain into thinking you are pregnant, thus speeding up your metabolic rate.

The urine injections have to be accompanied by a very strict diet of 500 calories a day. Followers of this diet swear by its success, which has been reported to result in people losing a pound a day.

6. The Tapeworm Diet

Be warned – this is another diet with serious ew! factor. This drastic method of weight loss involves ingesting…yes ingesting an actual tapeworm cyst in a bid to fight the fat. In the United States and many other countries, the tapeworm diet is strictly prohibited. However, in some countries like Mexico, it is still offered as a short cut to the figure of your dreams.

Reportedly, the tapeworm grows within and interferes with your digestion and absorption of nutrients, enabling you to consume more calories and still lose weight. Some even report a loss of one to two pound per week. But the flip side of this is that the paraside also interferes with the absorption of important vitamins and minerals, which can lead to nutritional deficiency.

Frighteningly, those who dare to try this method of weight loss are also looking at some pretty gruesome and life-threatening outcomes. These can include intestinal blockages and malnutrition, not to mention the formation of cysts in the liver, eyes, brain, and spinal cord. However, thankfully, once the target weight loss is reached, a de-worming treatment is all it takes to kill the tapeworm.

7. The Blue-Tinted Glasses Diet

Forget about rose-tinted glasses – in the dieting world, it’s all about blue. The idea of this trend, which heralds from Japan, is that dieters wear blue-tinted glasses to eat. The theory is that the blue tint makes food look less appealing, owing to the fact that few foods are naturally that color. Those sporting the glasses are supposedly subconsciously turned off from eating when faced with calorific foods.

Another diet with a big placebo question mark hanging over it, this regime is currently receiving mixed results. That being said, we can’t help but wonder whether this could really be the reason for Johnny Depp’s love affair with blue-tinted glasses?

8. The Clay Eating Diet

“Yummy! Let’s eat some clay,” said nobody ever. If the mere thought of eating clay alone isn’t enough to help you shed those pounds, then actually ingesting it apparently will. To participate in the Clay Detox followers drink one or two clay drinks per day for a few days, or in some cases, weeks. The clay swells to 12 times its original volume in the stomach, curbing hunger pangs and reportedly sucking away toxins and boosting metabolism.

Some experts say the dangerously high levels of arsenic in clay could cause kidney failure, brain and nerve damage, and cancer. Celebrities who have eaten clay include Elle Macpherson and Zoe Kravitz .

Hmmm, these diets are definitely weird, crazy, and for the most part, totally beyond what we are willing to put ourselves through to shed a few pounds. Think we will just stick with Paleo.

Is a big bum better than a belly?

Is a big bum better than a belly?

True, muscle consumes around three times as much energy as fat, but the cells of our other organs are even hungrier. Fat people have larger organs and more cells overall to keep running, compared with their slim counterparts. This means that their overall energy consumption – or their resting metabolic rate – is larger. Source: Journal of Nutritional Sciences.

Are you an apple, who carries weight around their tummy, or a pear, who loads it onto their bottoms, hips and thighs? In the past, “apples” were generally considered at higher risk of heart disease and diabetes, because their abdominal fat secretes chemicals that boost inflammation, raise blood pressure and cause insulin resistance.

In contrast, the fat that sits on your buttocks was thought to be relatively benign, but recent research from the University of California at Davis suggests that this so-called “gluteal” fat also releases these harmful substances. In other words, whatever your body shape, too much excess fat could be bad news. Source: University of California, Davis.

Although many women like to think of themselves as “hourglass-shaped” (or a pear with a couple of apples on top) 3D body-scanners tell a different story. When Manchester-based researchers used these machines to scan 240 British women, they found that 63% of them had similar bust, waist and shoulder measurements, and little waist to speak of – making them “rectangle-shaped”. Only 13% were an “hourglass”; the rest were “pears” (8%); “spoons” (a top-heavy hourglass shape) (7%); “inverted triangles” (6%), and “triangles” (3%). Women also become more rectangular as they age: 80% of women over the age of 56 fell into this category. Source: Manchester Metropolitan University.

Though “man boobs” – aka gynaecomastia – often go hand in hand with a beer belly and a double chin, they’re not as flabby as they look. In fact, in most cases they are caused by the growth of breast tissue. Overweight men sometimes develop them because fat cells produce the female hormone, oestrogen, which stimulates breast growth. And while testosterone would usually inhibit such growth, levels of testosterone decline as men age. Source: UK National Health Service.

When Turkish researchers surveyed 200 men, they found that those with a higher BMI and an obvious belly lasted an average 7.3 minutes in bed; men in the slimmer group lasted just 2 minutes, and were more likely to suffer from premature ejaculation. The reason is probably reduced testosterone, which often goes hand in hand with obesity. However, while large men may last longer, they may struggle to get it up in the first place: being overweight is also associated with erectile dysfunction. Source: International Journal of Impotence Research.

How much exercise offsets a hamburger?

How much exercise offsets a hamburger?

How much sex is equivalent to a slice of cheese? And how hard is it to make up for a donut? Let’s examine just how much exercise is needed to offset your favourite snacks.

The gym bunny’s equation is simple enough: calories in versus calories out. After you’ve worked up a sweat in the gym, you should have gained the licence to treat yourself to a snack afterwards.
In practice, the maths is difficult to get right: it’s all too easy to overestimate how much we’ve burnt in a session, and underestimate the calories in a snack. The depressing result is that many people (up to 68%, in one study) hoping to shed pounds actually put on weight during their exercise regime.

Fortunately, BBC Future has scoured Harvard Medical School’s comprehensive table of the calories burned during everything from sex to long-distance cycling. Using this information, we equated exactly what it would take to burn off your favourite snacks. (The exact figures will vary from person to person – all the data here assumes an 11-stone, or 70kg, frame.)

Compared to sleeping (which itself burns some calories), even something as simple as sitting at a computer, chewing gum or reading a book is equivalent to eating some modest nibbles. You may be surprised, however, by just how little you have earned during seemingly energetic everyday activities, such as sex – or how far you have to travel before you have burnt off a burger and chips. Exercise offers many benefits besides weight loss, of course. But if you are aspiring to a trimmer, more toned figure (or simply want to remain a stable weight), it’s worth knowing the facts before you hit the gym or raid the pantry.