Category Archives: The Importance Of Fitness

The Dangers Of Binge Eating

Binge eating is not just a habit. There is an actual disease called “binge eating disorder” in which you eat abnormally large amounts of food with an inability to stop eating when your body is technically full. This is a dangerous, life threatening condition, but help is available and recover is possible.

While you can over eat every once in a while, binge eaters consistently eat too much but do not use laxatives or purge to get rid of the food.
Many people who have binge eating disorder have weight problems but some are of a normal weight.

The signs and symptoms of having binge eating disorder include the following:

Having out of control eating behaviors.

Eating huge amounts of food over a short period of time.

Eating even when you aren’t hungry.

Eating rapidly when you binge eat.

Eating in secret or when you are alone.

Feeling ashamed, guilty, or depressed about your eating behavior.

Always going on a diet, usually without success.

Risk Factors for Binge Eating

There are some factors in your life that can increase your chances of having a binge-eating problem. These include the following:

Psychological problems. Most people who have this problem have a negative self-image and don’t feel positive about their accomplishments and skills. You can overeat because you are bored, stressed out, or have a poor image of your body.

Family history. If you have a first-degree relative such as a sibling or a parent who suffer from binge eating difficulties, you might be at an increased risk yourself. It may mean that there are some hereditary factors that relate to developing this type of eating disorder.

Over dieting. If you have a long history of dieting as far back as childhood, this may have been a way of compensating for times in which you were otherwise overeating.

Age. You can have binge eating disorder at any age but most people have an onset of the disorder in their teens or in their early twenties.

The Dangers of Binge Eating

Binge eating can cause you both physical and psychological problems. Some of the major dangers of binge eating include the following:

Feeling terrible about yourself.

Feeling bad about how your life is going.

Having problems functioning in your personal life, in social situations, or in the work environment.

Having a poor quality of life.

Being socially isolated from others.

Suffering from obesity or being overweight.

Having medical problems as a result of being obese, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis of the joints, gastroesophageal reflux disease (also called GERD), and breathing problems such as sleep apnea.

The psychiatric disorders most commonly linked to binge eating problems includes things like bipolar disorder, depressive symptoms, anxiety disorders, and illicit drug use.

Diagnosing Binge Eating Disorder

In order to make the diagnosis of binge eating disorder, you may need to see a psychological professional for a full evaluation of your eating behaviors. Tests to evaluate the possibility that the binge eating has already affected your health include testing for things like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems, high cholesterol, gastroesophageal disorder, and sleep apnea disorder.

The doctor may do a complete physical examination, take blood or urine tests, and perhaps refer you to a center for sleep disorders for a consultation.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the following things must be in place in order to make the diagnosis of binge eating disorder:

Having a lack of control about eating, including how much you eat and whether or not you can actually stop eating.

Having recurrent attacks of overeating a large amount of food over a short period of time.

Having these factors related to eating: eating to the point where you feel extremely full, eating very quickly, eating alone because you are embarrassed about your eating, or feeling depressed, guilty or disgusted about your eating behaviors.

Having concern about your eating habits.

Engaging in binge eating at least once weekly for a period of three months or more.

Eating that is unassociated with purging, laxative abuse, or excessive exercise.

Binge eating can be dangerous. It affects your overall health and can lead to mental problems that only perpetuate the eating problem.

Inside The Brain During Exercise

There seems to be no end to the benefits of exercise. Humans need to move or else fall victim to what is often referred to as the sitting disease. If the majority of your day is spent sitting, your overall health will suffer, it can lead to weight gain, heart disease and other serious chronic illness as you get older. Lack of movement can lead to heart attack, stroke, and a general loss in quality of life in our senior years.

Everyone agrees that exercise is physically great for the body. However, did you know that exercise also has a wide variety of benefits for the human brain? What exactly happens in our brains when we exercise to have such an impressive effect on our mental health?

What Actually Happens In The Brain During Exercise

Exercise causes our heart pressure to rise, which sends a signal to the brain that the body is under stress. In response, a protein is released into our body called “brain-derived neurotrophic factor” (BDNF). This protein is thought of as a “reset switch” – it repairs memory neurons, making thoughts seem crystal clear after exercising and putting the body at ease.

Simultaneously, endorphins are released into the brain, which are meant to limit the degree of pain and discomfort associated with exercise, even creating a sense of euphoria. Like BDNF, endorphins are released in response to the feeling of “stress” brought on by exercise. The term, “runner’s high” is the coin phrase used to describe the surge of endorphins during exercise that act as a natural anti-depressant.

The same antidepressant-like effect from a “runner’s high” results in a reduction in stress level hormones. Additionally, a study conducted in Stockholm showed that running stimulates cell growth in the hippocampus, which is the portion of the brain responsible for memory and learning.

How Our Mind And Body Are Affected

Together, BDNF and endorphins give us a “happy” feeling after exercise. These are somewhat addictive in nature, which is one reason why some people seem obsessed with exercising, although this “addiction” can be a healthy one.

Besides the short-term high from endorphins and BDNF, exercise also has long-term benefits. Studies show that people are happier and more productive throughout the day when they exercise. A Penn State research study showed that people who had worked out within the previous month were happier and more productive at work compared to those who had not exercised (but not quite to the same degree as those who had worked out earlier that day). People who exercise regularly have much better moods than those who don’t and retain a stronger sense of calmness throughout the day.

Exercise affects the brain on various fronts. Not only does it increase heart rate that pumps more oxygen to the brain, it also facilitates the release of various hormones that provides a nourishing environment for the growth of brain cells.

Research conducted at UCLA showed that working out stimulates the growth of new neuronal connections in a variety of important cortical areas of the brain.

How To Maximize The Benefits

20 Minutes

Based on this information, you might think that professional athletes are the happiest people on the planet. According to research conducted by the Department of Exercise Science at the University of Georgia showed that only 20 minutes of exercise is needed to reach that peak level of productivity, positive mood, and facilitates information processing and memory functions. The key is to turn it into a habit.

Mental And Physical Connection

There is an important mental and physical connection that can increase the benefits of exercise. For example, exercise that integrates different parts of brain activity, such as ballroom dancing that requires rhythm, strategy, coordination and thoughtfulness in movements stimulates cognitive health more than less complex workouts like running or cycling that do not necessarily engage diverse mental abilities.

Adding Exercise To Your Life

Working out in the morning before work or school helps to spike brain activity, prepares you for stresses you may incur during your day, allows for increased retention of new information and learning and equips you to cope with complex situations that may arise.

Start-off easy – even just 5-10 minutes a day – and gradually increase the length and intensity of your workout. Going to a group or class at the gym makes exercising more fun, and it’s a great way to learn new techniques and to meet new fitness minded people.

However, getting motivated to go to the gym regularly can be a challenge, so try different exercises at home and outdoors in your neighborhood, such as jogging, biking, strength training, etc. Variety is the spice of life, and the more you vary your routine the better for your motivation and your body.

There are many apps on your smartphone that can provide you with workout sets for all experience levels and even guide you through the exercises. Furthermore, apps like Map My Fitness and Nike enable you to track your progress, which is a great way to stay motivated as you watch yourself improve.

Final Thoughts

Remember, the health of your mind and body are closely connected, and exercise is one of the best – if not the very best – ways to improve mental and physical health in both the long-term and short-term.

The long-term benefits of exercising regularly are immense – reduced risk of disease, improved mental health, stronger body/muscles, reduced stress, improved digestion, improved blood circulation, and much more.

Even just going on a 20-minute daily walk is immensely better for you than staying sedentary. Find a training partner, set a schedule, do whatever you have to do to get those endorphins and BDNF proteins pumping as often as you can!

Everyone knows exercise is good for your health, but new studies show it does more than flatten those abs– it physically alters your brain to better handle stress! Anthony shows us this hidden, and hugely beneficial impact of working out.

Getting Started With Exercise In Denver, Colorado

Introduction

Starting an exercise program is one of the best steps you can take to stay healthy. Physical exercise can reduce the risk of chronic disease, help you lose weight, improve your balance and coordination, and even improve self-esteem and your sleep habits.

It is important for everyone to maintain a healthy body through regular exercises. Regardless of whether you are already overweight or not, it is never too late for you to get started with exercise and fitness programs in Denver Colorado.

Seniors can really benefit from exercising regularly. This can help keep their joints functioning and can help alleviate pain due to arthritis. For anyone reaching the age of 50+ staying active can ensure that regular day to day activities such as carrying your shopping bags, vacuuming and caring for your grandchildren do not become difficult or a burden to perform.

Despite the fact that most people have an idea of what makes up a healthier lifestyle, the population of those who are more overweight, or inactive is increasing day by day. This indicates that it’s one thing to know about health and another thing to act.

In this report, we shall break it down for you, to know what you need to have, what you need to do, in order to keep fit.

How to get started with a fitness routine

There is no doubt that you probably have some idea of what a fitness program is. A fitness routine is an exercise program or schedule that you follow daily and religiously. When starting a fitness program, there are a few considerations that you should make, and they include:

Assessing your fitness

It is important to be aware of how fit you are before embarking on any aerobic or muscular exercises. It is important to assess your body fitness. This type of assessment covers several areas including:

* Recording your body weight.
* Recording your pulse rate
* The time you take to walk a mile
* The total number of push-ups you can do in a single set
* How far you can stretch while seated on the floor with your legs straight in front of you.

You may also need to measure the circumference of your waist just above the hipbone.

Designing the most appropriate fitness program

It is quite easy for you to say that I will be exercising daily. However, you will have to set a plan of action in place, which will help you achieve your fitness goals such as losing weight, preparation for a marathon or even maintain your current form. As you design the program, have a balanced routine, set it at your own pace and rate, make it a priority, include different exercises and activities, and finally allow time for resting and recovery. Write the plan or program down.

Get the necessary equipment

There is some equipment that you may need to purchase for protection and comfort purposes. A pair of gloves, as well as track or sports shoes and comfortable track pants or shorts, are some of these recommended items. Go for something that is enjoyable to use as well as comfortable on you.

Try to select clothing made from natural materials. These will help keep sweat and moisture away from your skin. Keeping your body temperature more even so you don’t suddenly get the chills from overheating. Plus natural clothing tends to dry quickly, which is good, as you may need to wear the same clothes the following day.

Get Started

After ensuring that you have all the above requirements, you are good to kick off your exercises. Ensure that you take a slow start and always start your workout with a warm up. This can be easy walking as well as slow and gentle stretching. As you improve on your stamina, gradually increase the amount of exercises you perform. You should also ensure that your timetable breaks down exercises in a balanced manner so that you cover most of them in a week.

Suggested warm up exercises include:

* Arm windmills
* Pushups
* Triceps dips
* Stretching with an exercise band
* Walking or marching on the spot
* Jumping jacks
* A short run

It is advisable for you to take rests and also listen to your body to determine the rate at which you should exercise. Rests help with body growth and regaining of your strength. Anytime you feel pain, loss of breath, nausea or dizziness, you should quit the workout and take a rest. Straining your body can lead to external or internal injuries that can be hazardous and painful.

Always carry a bottle of water with you and take a sip every 10 minutes. This will help keep your body hydrated and help reduce the possibility of muscle cramps.

Similarly, as you start your exercises, ensure that you keep records and take measurements to monitor your progress. Take personal assessments after about 2 to 4 weeks to determine your development. This can be seen by weight loss, increase in time you exercise and body flexibility. As you start your exercising program, it is advisable you exercise with a friend so they can motivate you.

SUGGESTED TYPES OF FITNESS

As you kick off your exercise routine, you must keep in mind the most important exercises to incorporate in your schedule. Here are some of the top weight loss workouts, body maintenance and fitness exercises that you can have in your time table. However, ensure that you pick the most appropriate one for you depending on your strength and capabilities and avoiding the stressful and risky ones.

Yoga

Yoga is a dynamic way of recharging body energy and eliminating stress. This form of exercise targets stability, core strength and general body fitness. It provides great improvements in terms of weight loss and body fitness in just a few weeks.

However, you will need to participate in a yoga class to attain full benefits since working out without a trainer is absolutely unnecessary.

You may prefer to use a Yoga DVD that you can use at home. This way you can exercise any time of the day or night. Perfect for the busy stay at home parent, or if you live too far from your local gym.

Getting Started With Exercise In Denver, Colorado

Starting an exercise program is one of the best steps you can take to stay healthy. Physical exercise can reduce the risk of chronic disease, help you lose weight, improve your balance and coordination, and even improve self-esteem and your sleep habits.

It is important for everyone to maintain a healthy body through regular exercises. Regardless of whether you are already overweight or not, it is never too late for you to get started with exercise and fitness programs in Denver Colorado.

Jogging

This is the most preferred full body exercises you can ever engage in to give your body strength and lose weight. The best thing about jogging is that it does not require gym training fees, expensive equipment or subscriptions; all you need is a pair of good sports shoes. Jogging is quite beneficial in that:

* It will boost your metabolism
* Increase your body fitness and endurance
* Help you lose extra body fat
* Gets you out into the fresh air
* Can be performed almost anywhere

It is one of the quickest ways to achieve any desired body shape, but you will have to take slow progress on the amount of distance you cover since jogging is hard on your knees. It is not advisable to increase distance and speed at the same time, first concentrate on the distance, and you can work on the speed later on.

Always start off slowly and then increase your distance. You may prefer to do a mixture of short runs with a fast walk at first. Investing in a good pair of running shoes is key to preventing any injuries from occurring.
Walking

For those who might find jogging a bit too intense, it is advisable to opt for a walking exercise. Not only is walking easy to handle and maintain, but also a better alternative for weight loss than even running. Walking is safe since the probability of getting injured is minimal, and it is also a great way to socialize as you can get friends to join you without a problem.

Many communities have their own walking clubs and you can even join in Mall walking too! Perfect for moms with young children and seniors. Plus walking at your local Mall can be done regardless of the weather. It’s a great way to get your daily exercise in while connecting with friends.

Cycling

Well, riding a bike is considered the best cardiovascular workout plus it is a whole lot of fun. You don’t have to schedule an exercise plan for riding a bike since you can simply do that in the morning as you head to work and in the evening as you go back home. It helps in burning massive amounts of calories and keeping your body flexible. If you engage in a form of competition with a friend, it will prove to be very motivational.

In addition to riding your bike outside you have other options too. These include taking spinning classes, joining a mountain biking club or working out on a stationary bike at home. You can also buy a stationary bike frame for your outside bike that allows you to ride inside during the winter months. This way you are still riding your favorite bike indoors!

Swimming

This is the perfect form of exercise you can engage yourself in for low impact and high results. It effectively burns hundreds of calories without you using too much of your energy. Incorporate various swimming strokes to give your body more flexibility as well as get yourself a new challenge to master.

Swimming is also recommended by doctors for seniors and those with back and joint injuries. It is easy on your joints and allows you to get your flexibility back.

Many communities have all kinds of swimming classes including Aqua Fit, Aqua Jogging, Senior and Moms and Toddler classes. Ask at your local pool for a list of classes available in your area.

EQUIPMENT NEEDED TO GET STARTED

Anytime you are planning to engage in an exercise or workout routine, there are various safety and comfort items that you may need to obtain, so as to make the best of your exercises. These items will also include gym tools and weights, along with swimming goggles, sweat bands, yoga mats and others.

With these simple items, you don’t require an expensive gym subscription to get started with exercising regularly. Using the proper equipment will increase your enjoyment of your chosen sport. Plus your morale will be enhanced, as well as helping you attain your workout goals. These workout goals will be different for everyone. Whether you are aiming to lose weight, gain strength or toning your body. Here are some of the crucial and necessary equipment required. Please note that items will differ in cost depending upon the activity you are pursuing.

Clothes

There are lots of clothes designed for exercise and workout purposes. However, you must choose the clothing depending on the exercise you are engaged with. Gym wear includes all types of clothing from tops, shorts, track suits and shoes. These clothes are designed in a way that they are light on the user as well as ensure that they are supportive and comfortable. Sneakers provide both stability and protection. Go for clothes that are designed with durable, lightweight material to withstand wear and tear from the vigorous exercise.

Getting Started With Exercise In Denver

Seniors can really benefit from exercising regularly. This can help keep their joints functioning and can help alleviate pain due to arthritis. For anyone reaching the age of 50+ staying active can ensure that regular day to day activities such as carrying your shopping bags, vacuuming and caring for your grandchildren do not become difficult or a burden to perform.

Light weights

Weights are crucial for building body muscles and adding strength to your body. Ensure that you purchase or have access to light weights for full body workout and avoid imbalance by using just a single set of weights. Some of the must-have training weights include dumbbells. Commonly referred to as hand weights, dumbbells are great for sculpting and building body muscle. A light pair of about 3 to 5 pounds is enough for a beginner, and you can increase the weight after your strength improves. To save money you can often purchase a set of dumbbells with varying weights. These will cover you as you progress from beginner to the intermediate stage.

Exercise bands

Resistance bands are crucial for beginners as well as advanced exercisers too. Exercise bands come in different resistance levels and colors. You choose one depending on the moves you are capable of handling as well as your body flexibility.

Rubberized bands assist in muscle building and general body fitness. They are also easy to use, lightweight and portable. If you tend to travel for business then exercise bands are a great choice. You will find some that have handles along with those that don’t. Pilates’ bands are a little different as they are thicker in size and tend to be shorter in length.

Yoga mats

The yoga mat is a home workout must-have piece of equipment. This particular mat is not just for yoga but can be incorporated in other various exercises such as floor workouts, stretches, abs workouts and warm ups. A rubber mat provides firm grip on your feet ensuring stability and prevent sliding, making it safe and comfortable to carry out your workout and yoga exercises. They come in various colors and designs.

Even if you join a yoga class you may still prefer to purchase your own yoga mat. They can easily be rolled up and come with Velcro closures and easy to grip carry handle.

Exercise Balls

Stability balls can be used for a number of home exercises including abs workouts and stretches. They are a perfect way to do balance exercises and full body workouts. In conjunction with dumbbells, they can supplement a weight bench and add the challenge of body balance to the picture. Anytime you sit or lie across an exercise ball, you engage all muscles of your core to attain support and this will help you attain a well-toned body, well-defined abs and a healthy spine.

If you sit on the computer all day you can improve your posture by using a stability ball as your chair. It takes a little getting used to, but works well.

BASIC TRAINING ROUTINE

An exercise program or training routine offers you a structured and healthy way to go about your day-to-day exercises. It is important to follow a routine religiously rather than abruptly making changes since the body needs time to adjust to the changes made. As you begin any type of exercise, here are some guidelines to keep in mind with a training program.

What to eat before/after a workout

As you gear up for a training session, carbs are definitely your best foods to consider consuming. Have a mix of both complex and simple carbs so that while you exercise there will be a slow and steady release of energy.

You can consider going for whole wheat toast as well as fruits since they are easy to digest, and they provide you with both types of carbs. Yogurt is also a great source of energy. Nuts will help keep insulin levels from dropping as you exercise.

After the exercise, you require a nutrient dense dish, particularly proteins and carbohydrates. A grilled chicken breast mixed with vegetables is your best option since it will fill you up without you feeling bloated. Eggs are also an important body building and muscle recovery meal. You may want to carry a couple of hard boiled eggs with you just for this purpose. Protein shakes are also useful as a workout snack, especially if you don’t have time to stop for lunch or carry anything substantial with you.

Warming up and cooling down

Before you commence on any workout, consider warming up first. Exercising after warming up will help prevent injuries and muscle soreness the next day.

A pre-exercise warm up is beneficial to the body in that it increases blood flow to your muscles. This increased blood flow helps to enhance delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the body tissues. Warming up your muscles also increases the energy releasing reaction, which makes the muscles more supple thus preparing them for stretching.

To begin a warm up, engage in light and low-intensity physical exercise for 5 minutes. This includes jogging on the spot, walking or cycling. Also make large controlled circular movements with your arms and pump your arms to help the upper body muscles.

After this, you can undertake a light static stretch of the particular muscles that you aim to work out on that session; if you feel discomfort do away with the stretch for the time being, but try to add it in as soon as possible.

After exercising, cooling down is also crucial. This helps your breathing and heart rate return to resting levels. It also helps you avoid dizziness or fainting, removes waste products such as lactic acid and sweat disseminated from the muscles, and also prepares your muscles for the next session. For an effective cooling routine, perform slow exercises for 5 minutes and then a stretching routine.

Drinking water

For a beginner, drinking water during a workout is very essential. Your body requires an adequate supply of water as you exercise since dehydration can hinder you acquiring the best results out of your workouts. In fact, too much loss of water during exercise with no replacement poses a great health risk. So when should you drink water? I to 2 hours before exercising drink 15 to 20 ounces of water; also drink 8 to 10 ounces 15 minutes before starting the workout and 8 ounces after every 15 minutes during your workout and 8 ounces within 30 minutes after the workout.

STAYING MOTIVATED AND STICKING WITH YOUR ROUTINE

Training and workouts are definitely no friends of a beginner. It is quite easy writing down a training program or obtaining one online and swearing to yourself how dedicated you will be when it comes to hitting the gym. However, after a few days, you start skipping sessions, and before you know it, a month is gone without you doing any exercise. This is all about motivation. Here are some ways to boost your morale and ensure that you stick to the gym or the exercise program you wrote down.

Set a Goal

You should have clear goals of why you are exercising. They don’t have to be too big but could even include you working towards fitting into that bikini for summer time. You can also set a goal of losing some pounds or gaining some muscle or defining six pack abs. Whatever you are after, ensure that you work towards it. As you exercise, set the bar very low so that you can easily build your way up. If you can’t manage 30 minutes daily, don’t stress yourself, pick the best you can and when tired, take a rest.

Workout with friends

Exercising alone is not only boring but also tiring. You will realize that when working with a friend, you will gain extra strength and morale to cover more exercises than when working out alone. It’s harder to quit a jog when you’re with a friend than it is when you are alone.

When it comes to weight lifting, a friend will assist you and psyche you up to finish your set, which will keep you motivated. However, avoid anyone who will de-motivate you by lifting heavier weights than you can manage.

Start Slowly and Learn to Love the Exercises

Avoid going for the heavy weight and tiring workouts. Go for the light exercises that are fun and motivating. You can consider lifting light dumbbells, running on the treadmill at a slow pace or even skipping rope. These are fun activities that will make you want to come back to the gym or do the exercise over and over again at home.

Conclusion

Exercises are very important for general body building and maintenance. Any beginner should find a detailed and well-planned program to see to it that he or she achieves their desired results. Getting started with exercises not only requires determination but also needs advice, research, help and motivation from other parties including friends, trainers and guides. Consider involving yourself with people who are already into training and workouts, as well as sitting down with experts, for you to make the best out of your exercises.

Many fitness clubs and gyms offer a free fitness assessment. It may be worthwhile to sign up for this. This way you will know what your current fitness level is like and what type of exercises the trainer recommends for you. You may want to even join and take a few classes first. This is a great way to learn how to do the exercises correctly, while under the guidance of a professional trainer.

Always remember to start off slowly, to prevent injury, and then increase your distance or speed. Plus there is nothing wrong in trying out lots of different exercises. This helps you stay motivated to exercise and combats any boredom from doing the same routine day in and day out.

Have fun, stay motivated and feel free to share your success!

Real Ways Fad Diets Can Harm You

Fad diets are weight loss schemes that promise quick fixes, often involving very strict and extreme eating plans, or very low caloric intake. Unfortunately, these diets do not provide long-term benefits. If anything, they can cause serious health problems.

6 Ways Fad Diets Can Harm You

1. They Make You Gain Even More Weight

What usually makes fad diets very tempting are the promises of quick weight loss with little effort on the part of the participant. Sure, everyone would love to lose weight in the soonest possible time, with minimal effort and that is always the hook.

Unfortunately, the truth is that yes you can lose weight with fad diets but often it is mostly water weight. Also, fad diets are very hard to stick with, and so while you may lose an initial few pounds, once you resume your normal diet (and everyone always does), you will gain all the weight back, and more often than not, you gain more! This is called rebound weight gain.
Fad diets never implement or address the permanent lifestyle changes required for lasting healthy weight management.

2. They Can Lead to Nutritional Deficits

Most fad diets restrict your options to specific types of food, thereby eliminating important nutrients the body needs. When you’re limited to a specific type of group, you sacrifice the nutrients that you would otherwise obtain if you were eating a healthy and well-balanced diet.
Carbohydrates are oftentimes considered a no-no in many of these diets, but in reality, restricting carbohydrates can significantly hurt your energy levels, making you feel fatigued. You will not have the necessary fuel to energize your workouts and function effectively on a day-to-day basis.

In reality, complex carbohydrates, like whole grains actually support healthy weight loss because they contain high amounts of fiber that keeps you full longer and prevents sugar spikes in the blood that keeps out of control cravings at bay.

The same misconception goes for fat. Many fad diets attempt to turn fat into a mortal enemy, when in reality, not all fats are bad. In fact, certain types of fats such as omega-3 are necessary for optimum health and mono-saturated fats are required for brain and heart health.

3. Muscle Wasting and Hair Loss

Fad diets can lead to hair and muscle loss because they are nutrient deficient. For one, protein is a nutrient that you need if you want your hair to be and grow healthy. Not having enough may cause hair fall and brittleness.

Muscle loss is another common problem. Because of the caloric deficits associated with fad diets, the body naturally turns to other means to get that required energy, and as a result, muscle wasting occurs. You do not want to lose your muscle if you are planning to lose weight, because having more muscle mass can help you burn more calories by boosting metabolism even when the body is at rest.

4. They Ruin Your Body’s Natural Metabolism

Fad diets often dictate you how much to eat and when to eat, which goes against your body’s natural eating pattern. Our bodies are aware when we need to eat and when we have had enough. While fad diets may give you temporary results, there are long-term implications that can affect your health permanently.

Mindfulness is a technique taught in meditation and yoga, and can help you to get in touch with your body and real hunger, and this is a much more effective and healthy way to lose weight.

Top 10 Ridiculous Fad Diets
When many people think of diets, the first thing they think of is losing weight. While that is often true, not all diets are solely about taking off pounds. A diet is really just the way that someone tends to eat on a regular basis, when and what foods they eat and how much. Some diets are undertaken for moral reasons, such as is the case with people who sustain from eating delicious, succulent cuts of meat that make your mouth water. Others believe that their strange diet will make them healthier, even if they aren’t concerned about losing weight at all. Of course some diets are mostly about losing weight, and those are usually the strangest.
10. The cookie diet.
9. The ramen diet.
8. Raw food.
7. The Atkins diet.
6. TV dinner diet.
5. Nothing but liquids.
4. Fruitarianism.
3. Dairy diet.
2. Chocolate cake diet.
1. Baby food diet.

5. They Often Lack The Element of Exercise

Most fad diets are too focused on the food intake itself, and neglect the importance of exercise. Since they often advise the intake of very low amounts of calories, exercise is often not recommended, if not restricted. This can be detrimental to your overall health.

6. They Are Not Sustainable

Fad diets are just that – fads. They are not meant to last on a permanent basis. These types of diets promote rapid weight loss in an unreasonable amount of time, rather than a healthy lifestyle that is sustainable for the long term. They never address lifestyle changes, such as choosing an apple for dessert over apple pie and changing your taste accordingly.

Many people can attest that they have lost over 100 pounds over a lifetime in 10-pound spurts. Lose it, and gain it back, lose it, and gain it back, repeatedly in a vicious yo-yo cycle. Usually at the center of this merry-go-round is a fad diet turning the wheel.

How To Spot A Fad Diet

• Quick fix promises
• Involvement of “magic foods” or special food combinations
• Exclusion of a particular food group, for example, carbohydrates
• Unproven claims that are based on limited scientific study
• The suggestion that certain food combinations can alter one’s body chemistry

A Better Way

Instead of going for fad diets, the best way to lose weight is a gradual transition to a healthy lifestyle. By combining regular exercise with a healthy balanced diet, you are sure to achieve your weight goals and be able to keep it off for the long term.

Small Changes

Start by making small changes with the foods you choose. Replace three desserts a week with a piece of fresh fruit. Substitute French fries with a side salad or steamed vegetables at lunch two times per week. Then increase it to three times, and so on.

Assess your kitchen and begin to gradually remove all unhealthy snacks and foods from the fridge and cupboard. If you don’t know what is healthy and what isn’t, find out. Replace all that you have removed with better choices.

Exercise

Begin an exercise regimen by taking a two block walk every day, then keep adding a block every two or three days, you cannot imagine how fast you become acclimated and fit and with gradual increases you will be walking a mile before you know it, without even noticing how you got there!
Do some type of strength training be it with weights or bodyweight exercises three times per week. Building lean muscle mass will boost your metabolism and make you stronger and healthier, which will improve your overall quality of life.

It Works!

It is not difficult to implement small changes that together make for a big difference in your weight, health and how you feel. The best part is that you will NEVER have to go on another diet, fad or otherwise again.

Effects of Drug and Alcohol Use on Weight Change

Comprehensive, Evidence-based Guide to Effects of Drugs and Alcohol on Weight Gain or Loss

According to the American Psychiatric Association, substance abuse is the excessive use of substances, including alcohol and drugs, that cause an individual to suffer from clinical impairments as well as the dramatic loss of academic, professional, and social skills [1].

Substance abuse also dramatically alters the diet and in most cases, it leads to irregular eating patterns and poor nutrition. As a result, previously healthy adolescents and adults may begin to experience significant health problems shortly after the substance abuse begins.

This guide will describe the negative effects that substance abuse can have on weight and how fluctuations in weight can lead to serious health problems.

Substance abuse affects metabolism

Metabolism refers to the way the body breaks down food and uses it for nutrients and energy. Cells throughout the body must receive adequate amounts of nutrients, including sugar in the form of glucose to use for energy, growth, and repair from damage. Poor diet and nutrition, which often occurs secondarily to substance abuse, can lead to brain damage, organ damage, and different types of diseases [2, 3].

The body cannot store alcohol, so once it is consumed it is quickly broken down to facilitate excretion from the body. Alcohol does not contain any nutrients, but it does contain ‘empty’ calories that often make people feel as if they are full, especially if they consume large quantities of it. Large amounts of alcohol damage the intestinal tract, which then decreases the body’s ability to absorb and utilize vitamins, minerals and other nutrients from the food that is eaten [4].

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