Tag: losing weight

Fitness: Why is it so important?

Fitness: Why is it so important?

Fitness. A simple word whose meaning is far-reaching and occupies almost every corner of our lives. Be it physical, emotional or mental, our fitness dictates how we function, and all aspects of it are intertwined – with one consistently affecting the other.

Physical fitness is about more than just losing weight or gaining muscle – it’s about laying down a foundation upon which your life can be built. A body in a positive physical state becomes a tremendous asset to draw from both inside the gym and out when it comes to issues such as alleviating stress, the promotion of healthier personal and professional relationships, learning how to better manage your time (and follow through on commitments) by way of scheduled activity, and an overall sense of mental clarity.

The “why” of fitness and its importance is easy to answer – but the “how” can be arrived at in a number of ways. You might enjoy participating in a sport-related activity (tennis, squash, golf), or you could get together with your friends to take part in a group class (aerobic, yoga, spinning). Of course, there are also individuals that prefer to simply grab a pair of dumbbells and have at it or jump on a treadmill and run the day away. Everyone is unique in how they pursue their fitness goals – but we all share a common purpose: to make tomorrow better than yesterday.

Let us help you with your fitness goals – however you choose to pursue them. We know that you will come to realize the Ottawa Athletic Club is more than a fitness centre – it will ultimately be the center of your fitness.

Related: View more fitness secrets

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What is the cabbage soup, can it help to lose weight?

What is the cabbage soup, can it help to lose weight?

The cabbage soup diet is generally considered a fad diet. As the name suggests, the diet requires that you eat large amounts of cabbage soup for a week. During that time, you can also eat certain fruits and vegetables, beef, chicken and brown rice, according to a set schedule.

Proponents of the cabbage soup diet say it’s a good way to quickly lose a few pounds. You may lose weight on the diet because it drastically limits calories. But it may not be fat that you’re losing. It might be water weight or even lean tissue, since it’s hard to burn that many fat calories in such a short period.

Because the cabbage soup diet is low in complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals, you shouldn’t stay on it for more than a week at a time.

The cabbage soup diet has other disadvantages. Depending on the recipe for cabbage soup, the diet can be high in sodium. The large amounts of cabbage also can make you more prone to flatulence. Because you’re not getting proper nutrition, you may feel weak or tired while on the diet. And once you stop the diet, it’s easy to regain any weight that you lost.

Fad diets like this one may be tempting, but keep in mind that long-term weight loss depends on making lasting healthy changes in your eating and exercise habits.

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All about high-protein diets safe for weight loss

All about high-protein diets safe for weight loss

For most healthy people, a high-protein diet generally isn’t harmful, particularly when followed for a short time. Such diets may help with weight loss by making you feel fuller.

However, the risks of using a high-protein diet with carbohydrate restriction for the long term are still being studied. Several health problems may result if a high-protein diet is followed for an extended time:

— Some high-protein diets restrict carbohydrate intake so much that they can result in nutritional deficiencies or insufficient fiber, which can cause problems such as bad breath, headache and constipation.

— Some high-protein diets include foods such as red meat and full-fat dairy products, which may increase your risk of heart disease.

— A high-protein diet may worsen kidney function in people with kidney disease because your body may have trouble eliminating all the waste products of protein metabolism.

If you want to follow a high-protein diet, choose your protein wisely. Good choices include soy protein, beans, nuts, fish, skinless poultry, lean beef, pork and low-fat dairy products. Avoid processed meats.

The quality of the carbohydrates (carbs) you eat is important too. Cut processed carbs from your diet, and choose carbs that are high in fiber and nutrient-dense, such as whole grains and vegetables and fruit.

It’s always a good idea to talk with your doctor before starting a weight-loss diet. And that’s especially important in this case if you have kidney disease, diabetes or other chronic health condition.

Finally, keep in mind that weight loss may be temporary, especially if you return to your previous way of eating. The best eating plan is one that you can stick to long-term.

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Low-carb diet: Can it help you lose weight?

Low-carb diet: Can it help you lose weight?

Could a low-carb diet give you an edge in losing weight? Help you keep weight off permanently? Here’s what you need to know about the low-carb diet.

A low-carb diet limits carbohydrates — such as those found in grains, starchy vegetables and fruit — and emphasizes foods high in protein and fat. Many types of low-carb diets exist. Each diet has varying restrictions on the types and amounts of carbohydrates you can eat.

A low-carb diet is generally used for losing weight. Some low-carb diets may have health benefits beyond weight loss, such as reducing risk factors associated with diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Why you might follow a low-carb diet

You might choose to follow a low-carb diet because you:

Want a diet that restricts certain carbs to help you lose weight
Want to change your overall eating habits
Enjoy the types and amounts of foods featured in low-carb diets
Check with your doctor or health care provider before starting any weight-loss diet, especially if you have any health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease.

Low-carb diet: Can it help you lose weight?

Diet details

As the name says, a low-carb diet restricts the type and amount of carbohydrates you eat. Carbohydrates are a type of calorie-providing macronutrient found in many foods and beverages.

Many carbohydrates occur naturally in plant-based foods, such as grains. In natural form, carbohydrates can be thought of as complex and fibrous such as the carbohydrates found in whole grains and legumes, or they can be less complex such as those found in milk and fruit. Common sources of naturally occurring carbohydrates include:

Grains
Fruits
Vegetables
Milk
Nuts
Seeds
Legumes (beans, lentils, peas)

Food manufacturers also add refined carbohydrates to processed foods in the form of flour or sugar. These are generally known as simple carbohydrates. Examples of foods that contain simple carbohydrates are white breads and pasta, cookies, cake, candy, and sugar-sweetened sodas and drinks.

Your body uses carbohydrates as its main fuel source. Sugars and starches are broken down into simple sugars during digestion. They’re then absorbed into your bloodstream, where they’re known as blood sugar (glucose). Fiber-containing carbohydrates resist digestion, and although they have less effect on blood sugar, complex carbohydrates provide bulk and serve other body functions beyond fuel.

Rising levels of blood sugar trigger the body to release insulin. Insulin helps glucose enter your body’s cells. Some glucose is used by your body for energy, fueling all of your activities, whether it’s going for a jog or simply breathing. Extra glucose is usually stored in your liver, muscles and other cells for later use or is converted to fat.

The idea behind the low-carb diet is that decreasing carbs lower insulin levels, which causes the body to burn stored fat for energy and ultimately leads to weight loss.

Typical foods for a low-carb diet

In general, a low-carb diet focuses on proteins, including meat, poultry, fish and eggs, and some nonstarchy vegetables. A low-carb diet generally excludes or limits most grains, legumes, fruits, breads, sweets, pastas and starchy vegetables, and sometimes nuts and seeds. Some low-carb diet plans allow small amounts of certain fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

A daily limit of 60 to 130 grams of carbohydrates is typical with a low-carb diet. These amounts of carbohydrates provide 240 to 520 calories.

Some low-carb diets greatly restrict carbs during the initial phase of the diet and then gradually increase the number of allowed carbs. Very low-carb diets restrict carbohydrates to 60 grams or less a day.

In contrast, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that carbohydrates make up 45 to 65 percent of your total daily calorie intake. So if you consume 2,000 calories a day, you would need to eat between 900 and 1,300 calories a day from carbohydrates or between 225 and 325 grams of carbohydrates a day.

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How to lose weight but not much money

How to lose weight but not much money

One woman went from 330 pounds to 147 in two years after discovering a free service on the Web.

Amber Schalansky had struggled with her weight since she was 10 years old. “Over the years, I tried every program you can think of,” says the 33-year-old from Sacramento, CA. “It usually involved paying for food or a plan, but nothing worked long-term.”

Amber was discouraged by the money she’d spent on programs until her mother told her about a website called Spark People where, for free, she found a supportive community plus food and exercise tracking tools. “Stress is a big trigger for me, so if I wanted to dive into a bag of chips, I went online to SparkPeople and someone talked me out of it,” says Amber, who went from 330 pounds to 147 in two years. “My life’s completely changed.”

Anyone who’s tried to lose weight can tell you it’s no piece of cake, which is why so many dieters turn to structured programs. But effective plans don’t have to be pricey. Try one of these low- to no-cost approaches to losing weight, all of which provide the tools, resources and support you need.

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Can drinking water help you lose weight?

Drinking water before meals aids weight loss

Dieters have been encouraged to try this trick for ages, but many wonder if it works.

Late November marks the start of the gluttonous holiday season. But a simple step might help keep food intake in check: a glass of water before meals. Dieters have been encouraged to employ this trick for ages, with the reasoning quite simple: the water fills the stomach, thus reducing hunger. But only in recent years have studies borne this out.

In the most recent, a randomized trial published in the journal Obesity in February, scientists at Virginia Tech followed a group of overweight subjects age 55 and up on low-calorie diets for about three months. Half the people were told to drink two cups of water before every meal. At the end of the study, the water group had lost an average of 15.5 pounds, compared with 11 pounds in the other group.

A 2008 study showed a similar effect, finding a 13 percent reduction in calorie intake in overweight subjects who consumed water before breakfast. But a third study, this one in 2007, had a peculiar finding: drinking water 30 minutes before a meal reduced calorie intake and feelings of hunger in older adults, but had little effect on subjects under 35. It’s not clear why, but the researchers pointed out that because older adults are at increased risk of being overweight and obese, further studies should determine whether this is effective for the aging population.

Studies show the average person gains about a pound between Thanksgiving and January. Most adults gain one to two pounds a year over a lifetime, so staving off the holiday pound can go a long way.

Related Link: Weight Loss, Feel Motivated

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Six shortcuts to drop weight faster

Six shortcuts to drop weight faster

Cycle instead of walk, eat every three hours, and you could see results in a week.

Most things worth achieving—getting a college degree, finding your perfect mate, building a career, raising a family—take time and effort. But that doesn’t mean we don’t want to take a few shortcuts when it comes to achieving the body of our dreams. Fortunately, you can hit fast-forward on your better-body goals with these simple, science-backed tricks for speeding your fat burn. No, you won’t transform overnight, but you could start to see results within a week, and even the world’s biggest brainiac can’t earn a bachelor’s degree that fast!

Join the Breakfast Club

People with a lifelong habit of eating early have a waistline about 2 inches smaller than that of breakfast skippers, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals. An A.M. meal may boost metabolism; it helps your body make less of an enzyme that raises cholesterol. Rise and dine—within 90 minutes of waking up.

Six shortcuts to drop weight faster

Snack Regularly

Going too long without food (five hours or more) slows your metabolism, causing your body to burn less fat than normal, says Debra R. Keast, Ph.D., president of Food & Nutrition Database Research in Okemos, Michigan. It can also lead to blood sugar dips, cravings and hunger that make it harder to control your choices at the next meal or snack.

The fix: Have a healthful snack about three hours after breakfast and another three hours after lunch, suggests Lauren Slayton, R.D., founder of Foodtrainers in New York City. Try a 6-ounce nonfat plain Greek yogurt with 1 cup of sliced strawberries, or 2 Wasa light rye crackers topped with ¼ cup part-skim ricotta cheese and a drizzle of honey. These 100-to-200-calorie snacks will help keep your blood sugar and insulin levels steady and your energy level humming along.

Spin Off

People who cycled 6 miles a week for only six months lowered their insulin level by 19 percent, but walkers who covered the same ground saw no change, a study from the Karolinska Institute finds. (High insulin is tied to weight gain.) Biking works more muscles, amping up fat-burning metabolism, which can keep insulin in check. Pedal the pounds away!

Get Green Tea

Drinking three cups of the brew daily may spark your metabolism to burn 30 extra calories a day, a study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise shows. Doesn’t sound like much? That’s 3 pounds off a year—diet-free! The compound ECGC in the tea makes it easier for your body to burn fat. Sip your way slim today!

Pump Some Iron

Start thinking of your gym’s weight room as the “lose weight” room. Strength training, which only about 17 percent of women do, speeds metabolism, torches calories, and sculpts sexy muscles. It’s so effective, in fact, that you should put cardio on the back burner and make strength training 60 percent of your routine—no joke, says Holly Perkins, an ExerciseTV trainer in Los Angeles. Embrace free weights, especially barbells, which work more muscles (you have to hold them steady as you lift) than machines. Remember that the muscle you’re gaining weighs more than the fat you’re shedding; at first, you may not drop pounds, but you’ll be smaller and firmer—go by how your jeans fit.

Clock Your Sets

To melt fat faster while you strength train, limit the time between sets. Exercisers who waited only 35 seconds between sets decreased their body fat by 27 percent more after eight weeks than those who rested three minutes, researchers at San Antonio Catholic University of Murcia say. Shorter rests keep your metabolism humming along and your heart rate up, so they shave minutes off your time at the gym and help your afterburn for hours once you’re back at your desk.

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Jennifer Hudson on life: ‘It’s all about the love’

Jennifer Hudson on life: 'It's all about the love'

America fell in love with Jennifer Hudson on “American Idol,” but this beautiful woman has come a long way since those early days of fame. Hudson has established herself as a successful singer, actress and mother. And she shows no signs of slowing down. Wonderwall got the chance to talk to Hudson about losing weight, teaming up with Alicia Keys and why she’s supporting the Lose for Good Campaign.

Why don’t we get started by you telling us a little bit about your involvement with Weight Watchers’ new program Lose for Good?

Jennifer Hudson: Oh Lose for Good. When we lose at Weight Watchers, then another child is fed. So it’s our loss but their gain. I’m so motivated about it and happy and excited to just be a part of something that is feeding children. And just helping people altogether.

Has becoming a mother inspired you to raise money and awareness about kids going hungry?

JH: Oh my God, yes! This is such a great thing to me because I have a child of my own. I can never imagine, or want to imagine, my child being hungry or unfed. And so to be a part of something like this and to know that these children are being taken care of when we lose weight.

Congratulations on losing weight but still looking healthy. How did you do it? How do you maintain your weight now that you are done losing it?

JH: Wow. You know, it’s just a matter of finding that place that you’ll want to be at, which I’ll get [to] eventually. But it’s just Weight Watchers [that got me] got to this point. And I’m so glad to be teamed up with them and to find that control and to be able to do this and achieve a goal that so many still want to achieve — with something as great as Weight Watchers.

Do you have any advice for people trying to lose weight in a healthy manner?

JH: I feel that the biggest misconception that people have and the thing that hinders them from losing weight is that they think it’s so extreme. Like being in this position now, I have so many people coming to me and will spill out their whole plan about what they’re going to do to lose weight. And I’m like, “OK, who’s really going to do that?” It doesn’t have to be that drastic. And no it’s not that drastic. It’s a matter of just eating in moderation and learning the proper tools and how to do it. And being consistent with it and dedicated to it. And yes, make sure you get some kind of workout in, but it’s not always to the extreme. You can still achieve the same goal by just taking the proper steps and getting that control and losing weight.

Is there any celebrity you admire who champions causes selflessly?

JH: I love Alicia Keys’ Keep a Child Alive. Definitely. I’ve been watching that and was also a part of that as well. But again, I love to see people looking after the children. And just people in general. When people are helping people, I’m all for it.

Would you ever want to team up with another celebrity for a cause?

JH: Oh yeah. I just feel like the more we come together the more we can make awareness for whatever the cause. And again, it’s just the matter of helping your fellow man, helping your friend, helping your neighbor. And not just this country but around the world. We’re all brothers and sisters, so it’s all about the love and spreading the love. No matter who you are, whether you’re a celebrity or not, we should come together.

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Common myths about weight loss, diet, and nutrition

Common myths about weight loss, diet, and nutrition

When is a lie to an accepted truth? If the lie repeated often enough. It is the oldest and favorite trick of politicians and others who have to win. The diet industry is riddled with myths.

The grapefruit is melt fat

No food has that power. Otherwise, everyone would eat grapefruit. Grapefruit diets simply restrict calories drastically. The weight loss has nothing to do with the citrus itself. And the return to old habits that announces lost pounds.

Carbohydrates are bad for you

First, it was fat, carbohydrates are now the villain. If you try to lose weight, provide a distinction between unhealthy carbohydrates like white sugar and complex carbohydrates like vegetables and whole grain products, the essential vitamins and fiber to help digestion.

Drink plenty of water helps to lose weight

The water creates an effect of satiety and leverages the work of fiber. By itself, the water does not lose weight. But drink at meals to slow the speed at which we eat. Stretching the duration of the meal, it leaves time for signals of satiety to occur. “In addition, water contains no calories, unlike other beverages.

Eating before bedtime is fattening

The timing of eating does not affect energy intake of foods. But in the evening, we often eat food containing less interesting from a nutritional point of view: chips, cookies, chocolate, ice cream … That is where does the extra calories.

The bread is fattening

Well chosen, it appears rather a valuable ally to lose weight. Those whole grains rich in fiber, resulting in long digestion. Sated quickly, so you eat less. An apple contains almost as many calories as a slice of whole wheat bread,. They say as long as it makes you fat? What it slice, however: butter, cheese, pies … Ouch!

The fat is bad for you

Nutrition consultants sent that one to people for years. Now they know better. The truth is that some fats are unhealthy, and some are good – even necessary – for your health.

Light foods helps you lose weight

Admittedly, the products ‘low fat’ are generally reduced in calories, but they sometimes contain more sugar than the original, which partially fills the difference. And we are often motivated to eat too much, just because they are light.

The carob is less calories than chocolate

In itself, it’s true: it contains less protein and fat than cocoa. But beware: The carob products often contain palm oil or coconut oil, rich in saturated fat. In contrast, carob powder is rich in calcium and fiber, contains no caffeine and has a natural taste sweeter than cocoa powder, which can reduce the sugar in recipes.

Eat less and exercise more, it’s the same

Error! Regular exercise accelerates the basic metabolism. So they burn more calories than a sedentary person. The best way to lose weight is to combine a healthy diet with physical activity. Persons who are physically active are also easier to maintain weight loss in long term.

Diet soft drinks help weight loss

There is no single study shows that diet sodas help you lose weight. There is absolutely no data on this subject at all.

Losing weight is simple: a short strict diet, than return to normal

A strict regime puts the body into” survival “, depriving it of essential elements for its proper functioning. It then intensified its function is to store energy from food, which may cause further weight gain after the return to a normal diet.

To lose weight, avoid certain food combinations

This statement is not based on any scientific data. If your digestive enzymes were losing their effectiveness because of the combinations, undigested foods provide less energy than expected, no more. Moreover, the enzymes form an outstanding team, and the mixtures does not scare them.

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