Tag Archives: Obesity

Weight Loss Exercise Just Makes Sense

Bill 1
Bill 1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

A lot of us live our lives like we are bound by something unseen. Yes, still humans are built to move, too often many put themselves on activity restriction. We have bodies designed and quite able to  race across the savannas, but some live a lifestyle made up of: dragging along from the bed to the breakfast table; to the car seat; to the office chair; to the restaurant chair; to the living room couch and finally back to the bed.

 

It was not always this way. Not long ago in the United States, a man who worked on a farm did the equivalent of 15 miles of jogging every day; and his wife did the equivalent of 7 miles of jogging.

 

Today, our daily obligations of work and home keep us tied to our chairs, and if we want exercise, we have to desperately make time for it.

 

The fact is, health experts insist that the worldwide obesity situation is probably caused as much by lack of physical activity as by eating too much. Hence, it is important that people get revved up to move around.

 

However, that does not mean that a lap or two around the old high school track will offset a daily load of donuts. Exercise alone is not very efficient, experts say. They contend that if you just exercise and do not change your diet, you may be able to prevent weight gain or even lose a few pounds for only  a little while then the weight may just slide back on.

 

Nevertheless, it is not something that you are likely to sustain unless exercise is part of an overall program. The more regularly you exercise, the easier it is to maintain your weight. Here is what to do every day to make sure that you get the exercise you need.

 

1. Get quality rest preferably at night.

 

Make sure that you get adequate sleep. Good sleep habits are conducive to exercise, experts point out. If you feel worn out during the day, you are less likely to get much physical activity during the day.

 

In addition, there is evidence that people who are tired tend to eat more, using food as a substance for the rest they need.

 

2. Take A Walk

 

It is probably the easiest exercise program of all. In fact, it may be all you ever have to do, according to some professional advices of some health experts.

 

Gradually build up to at least 30 minutes of brisk walking five times a week. Brisk walks themselves have health and psychological benefits that are well worth the while.

 

3. Walk On A treadmill

 

When the weather is bad, you might not feel like going outdoors. But if you have a treadmill in the television room, you can catch up on your favorite shows while you are doing your daily good turn for your weight-maintenance plan.

 

Most of us watch television anyway, and indoor exercise equipment enables anyone to turn a sedentary activity into a healthy walk.

 

4. Go For It Today

 

Excuses aside, lack of time is certainly a limiting factor in most lifestyles. That is why health experts suggest a basic guideline for incorporating exercise into your schedule. If you needed another reason to get started, there are many.

 

Get as much exercise as you can that feels good without letting it interfere with your work or family life. If you need to, remind yourself that you are preventing many health problems when you prevent weight gain; and keeping your health in a manageable place is a gift to your family as well as yourself. Live lighter, live longer.

 

Things that You Should Know about Processed Food and The Food Industry

With America‘s obesity problem among kids reaching crisis proportions, even junk food makers have started to claim they want to steer children toward more healthful choices. In a study released earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that about 32 percent of children were overweight but not obese, 16 percent were obese, and 11 percent were extremely obese. Food giant PepsiCo, for example, points out on its website that “we can play an important role in helping kids lead healthier lives by offering healthy product choices in schools.” The company highlights what it considers its healthier products within various food categories through a “Smart Spot” marketing campaign that features green symbols on packaging. PepsiCo’s inclusive criteria–explained here–award spots to foods of dubious nutritional value such as Diet Pepsi, Cap’n Crunch cereal, reduced-fat Doritos, and Cheetos, as well as to more nutritious products such as Quaker Oatmeal and Tropicana Orange Juice.

But are wellness initiatives like Smart Spot just marketing ploys? Such moves by the food industry may seem to be a step in the right direction, but ultimately makers of popular junk foods have an obligation to stockholders to encourage kids to eat more–not less–of the foods that fuel their profits, says David Ludwig, a pediatrician and the co-author of a commentary published in this week’s Journal of the American Medical Association that raises questions about whether big food companies can be trusted to help combat obesity.

Eating processed foods is a vicious cycle. They are convenient, they taste good, we get quick energy and pleasure then comes the slump. We rebound from this slump by eating even  more processed food and the vicious cycle continues.

No doubt they’re easy and they taste good. They’re everywhere you look. Grocery stores, gas stations, drug stores and even hard ware and farm supply stores. They’re the answer to our busy lifestyles, but just because they’re easy doesn’t mean they’re not causing a whole bunch of problems.

Over time, your energy drops. Perhaps you notice weight gain or other signs of aging. Processed foods seem like the answer to today’s busy lives. New fads and fancy advertisements make promises that keep us coming back for more.

But before you hit the vending machine or the fast food window, find out what the processed food industry doesn’t want you to know:

  1. Processed foods are addictive and can cause you to overeat.Whole foods are made up of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fiber and water. When foods are processed the components of these foods are modified (for example, fiber, water and nutrients are removed) and in other cases, components are concentrated. In each case, processing changes the way they are digested and assimilated in your body.Eating highly processed or highly concentrated foods can artificially stimulate dopamine (the pleasure neurotransmitter), which plays a role in addiction. In this way, you are eating foods that lack nutrients and fiber, but create a pleasurable feeling. A food addiction starts because you feel good when you are eating these foods and they make you think they taste better. You crave that pleasurable feeling again and again and viola…this is what starts a food addiction.
  2. Processed foods are linked to obesity. Additives in processed foods, like high fructose corn syrup, sugar and MSG have been linked to weight gain and obesity. Dr. Mercola recently reported about a new study that showed childhood obesity could be reduced by 18 percent, simply by cutting out fast food advertisements during children’s programming. The Australian government is clearly more concerned about their children’s health as television advertisements to children were banned several years ago. Too bad the almighty dollar’s getting in the way of our kids health here in the US.
  3. Processed foods often contain ingredients that do not follow the principle of food combining, which can lead to low energy, poor digestion, illness, acidic blood and weight gain. An example would be a frozen meat and cheese pizza. Cheese (a dairy product), meat (an animal protein) and pizza crust (a grain product) make a terrible food combination that can wreak havoc on your digestive health.
  4. Processed foods contribute to an imbalanced inner Body system, which can lead to digestive problems, cravings, illness and disease. Beneficial microflora cannot survive in your digestive tract when you are poisoning them. Like us they thrive on foods that are made by nature not by man.
  5. A diet high in processed foods can lead to depression, memory issues and mood swings. Ingredients in processed foods are often the lowest cost and sub-par, nutritionally. For example, the fats and oils used in processed foods are refined, which means they are stripped of the essential fatty acids necessary for healthy blood sugar levels, moods and memory. Your heart, hormones and brain suffer when you choose to eat these fats and oils. Instead choose the organic, unrefined or “virgin” fats and oils.
  6. Processed foods often go hand in hand with “eating on the run” or multitasking. Most people will choose convenience if they are on the run and in today’s busy lives, who of us isn’t? Unfortunately, multitasking while eating causes people to lose touch with their natural appetite, often leading to weight gain. Additionally, multitasking sends the wrong signals to your digestive system, which needs to be in a restful mode to digest properly.
  7. Nutrition labels on processed foods are often misleading and have harmful health effects. Many labels say “sugar free,” but contain other sweeteners like agave, which is like high fructose corn syrup. Additionally, product labeling may hide ingredients like GM (genetically modified) foods and harmful additives like MSG. (These are hidden behind words on the label like “natural flavorings” or “approved spices”).
  8. Diets high in processed meats (like hot dogs and deli meats) have been linked to various forms of cancer, such as pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer and stomach cancer.
  9. Eating too many processed foods can lead to infertility and malnutrition. Processed foods, like cereal, are stripped of important vitamins and nutrients that your body truly needs. You could be eating a large amount of calories and still be malnourished if your diet is high in processed foods.Animal studies have shown that over three generations, a deficient diet causes reproduction to cease.  Today, infertility is on the rise, affecting 7.3 million people in America.
  10. Processed foods are made for long shelf-life, not long human life! Chemicals, additives and preservatives are added to processed foods so that they will last for a long time without going rancid or affecting the taste of the food. Food manufacturers spend time, money and research on beautiful packaging and strategies to lengthen shelf-life, with little attention on how the foods will lengthen your life or create lasting health.
  11. Junk food makers spend billions advertising unhealthy foods to kids.  According to the Federal Trade Commission, food makers spend some $1.6 billion annually to reach children through the traditional media as well the Internet, in-store advertising, and sweepstakes. An article published in 2006 in the Journal of Public Health Policy puts the number as high as $10 billion annually. Promotions often use cartoon characters or free giveaways to entice kids into the junk food fold. PepsiCo has pledged that it will advertise only “Smart Spot” products to children under 12.
  12. The studies that food producers support tend to minimize health concerns associated with their products.In fact, according to a review led by Ludwig of hundreds of studies that looked at the health effects of milk, juice, and soda, the likelihood of conclusions favorable to the industry was several times higher among industry-sponsored research than studies that received no industry funding. “If a study is funded by the industry, it may be closer to advertising than science,” he says.  
  13. Junk food makers donate large sums of money to professional nutrition associations. The American Dietetic Association, for example, accepts money from companies such as Coca-Cola, which get access to decision makers in the food and nutrition marketplace via ADA events and programs, as this release explains. As Nestle notes in her blog and discusses at length in her book Food Politics, the group even distributes nutritional fact sheets that are directly sponsored by specific industry groups. This one, for example, which is sponsored by an industry group that promotes lamb, rather unsurprisingly touts the nutritional benefits of lamb. The ADA’s reasoning: “These collaborations take place with the understanding that ADA does not support any program or message that does not correspond with ADA’s science-based healthful-eating messages and positions,” according to the group’s president, dietitian Martin Yadrick. “In fact, we think it’s important for us to be at the same table with food companies because of the positive influence that we can have on them.”
  14.  More processing means more profits, but typically makes the food less healthy. Minimally processed foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables obviously aren’t where food companies look for profits. The big bucks stem from turning government-subsidized commodity crops–mainly corn, wheat, and soybeans–into fast foods, snack foods, and beverages. High-profit products derived from these commodity crops are generally high in calories and low in nutritional value.
  15. A health claim on the label doesn’t necessarily make a food healthy.  Health claims such as “zero trans fats” or “contains whole wheat” may create the false impression that a product is healthy when it’s not. While the claims may be true, a product is not going to benefit your kid’s health if it’s also loaded with salt and sugar or saturated fat, say, and lacks fiber or other nutrients. “These claims are calorie distracters,” adds Nestle. “They make people forget about the calories.” Dave DeCecco, a spokesperson for PepsiCo, counters that the intent of a labeling program such as Smart Spot is simply to help consumers pick a healthier choice within a category. “We’re not trying to tell people that a bag of Doritos is healthier than asparagus. But, if you’re buying chips, and you’re busy, and you don’t have a lot of time to read every part of the label, it’s an easy way to make a smarter choice,” he says.
  16. Food industry pressure has made nutritional guidelines confusing.  As Nestle explained in Food Politics, the food industry has a history of preferring scientific jargon to straight talk. As far back as 1977, public health officials attempted to include the advice “reduce consumption of meat” in an important report called Dietary Goals for the United States. The report’s authors capitulated to intense pushback from the cattle industry and used this less-direct and more ambiguous advice: “Choose meats, poultry, and fish which will reduce saturated fat intake.” Overall, says Nestle, the government has a hard time suggesting that people eat less of anything.
  17. The food industry funds front groups that fight antiobesity public health initiatives. Unless you follow politics closely, you wouldn’t necessarily realize that a group with a name like the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) has anything to do with the food industry. In fact,Ludwig and Nestle point out, this group lobbies aggressively against obesity-related public health campaigns–such as the one directed at removing junk food from schools–and is funded, according to the Center for Media and Democracy, primarily through donations from big food companies such as Coca-Cola, Cargill, Tyson Foods, and Wendy’s.
  18. The food industry works aggressively to discredit its critics. According to the new JAMA article, the Center for Consumer Freedom boasts that “[our strategy] is to shoot the messenger. We’ve got to attack [activists’] credibility as spokespersons.” Here’s the group’s entry on Marion Nestle.  The bottom line, says Nestle, is quite simple: Kids need to eat less, include more fruits and vegetables, and limit the junk food.”
  19. Many supposedly healthy replacement foods are hardly healthier than the foods they replace. In 2006, for example, major beverage makers agreed to remove sugary sodas from school vending machines. But the industry mounted an intense lobbying effort that persuaded lawmakers to allow sports drinks and vitamin waters that–despite their slightly healthier reputations–still can be packed with sugar and calories.
  20. Less-processed foods are generally more satiating than their highly processed counterparts.  Fresh apples have an abundance of fiber and nutrients that are lost when they are processed into applesauce. And the added sugar or other sweeteners increase the number of calories without necessarily making the applesauce any more filling. Apple juice, which is even more processed, has had almost all of the fiber and nutrients stripped out. This same stripping out of nutrients, says Ludwig, happens with highly refined white bread compared with stone-ground whole wheat bread.

The bottom line, says Nestle, is quite simple: Kids need to eat less, include more fruits and vegetables, and limit the junk food.”

Healthy Sex Life or Libido Depends on Good Nutrition

The definition of Libido is: – emotional or psychic energy that in psychoanalytic theory is derived from primitive biological urges and that is usually goal-directed. Or put much more simply, it’s a persons sex drive which in turn is a measure of levels of certain hormones like testosterone.

Since ancient times, certain foods have always been thought to increase the sex drive or libido. Dining being a time-honored mode of foreplay, lovers have always complimented their ability to make love with foods considered to have aphrodisiac nutrients, which are believed to have powers in maximizing performance and increasing satisfaction.

Libido is usually taken to mean sexual desire, a person’s sex drive or sexual urge. Libido does vary from person to person, from female to male.

General levels of libido & sex drive decrease slowly as people enter mid life. If you have a lower than normal libido, then eating the right types of foods and cutting down on the wrong foods can help to increase your libido and rebuild your sex drive.

Changing eating habits can increase libido

The saturated fats in Fast Foods, Take Away’s and processed foods have all been linked to a loss of libido. Cutting back on these foods could help towards increasing your libido and get your sex drive back on track.

By increasing your intake of the foods listed below and decreasing these negative libido food sources, you can naturally increase your testosterone levels and restore your libido without medication.

A loss of libido is something that can affect women who are pre or post menopausal. Menopause is a natural event in a woman’s’ life and loss of libido may be one of the symptoms experienced around this time.

Whatever the reason for a loss of libido, changing your diet and eating healthily food can help increase libido levels. It certainly won’t do you any harm to become fitter and healthier. This applies to female and male libido.

The smells of certain foods have been found to be sexually arousing, notably pumpkin pie and buttered popcorn for men and licorice candy for women.

Testosterone levels control both male and female libido

For both males and females libido all comes down mainly to one hormone – testosterone. Your libido is controlled by your hormone levels, with testosterone being the key. If the balance is off, things may not function as they should.

When it’s right, everything falls into place. So one of the keys to getting your libido back is to increase testosterone levels in your body. Testosterone production is dependent on zinc and vitamin B, both of these are abundant in many of the foods we eat regularly. But, as nutritional deficiencies increase with age, it does make sense to increase the intake of these vitamins and minerals. So adding a few of the foods listed below can boost your libido especially when combine with a little regular exercise.

Sex Drive or Libido as the Product of an Active Imagination and a Healthy Body

Sex burns calories and helps lose pounds.

Today, there is no question that psychological health is as important as an optimally functioning body. How many times has it been said that the imagination is the greatest aphrodisiac? Sexual drive is maintained by an active mind in a  healthy  body.

Fatigue and depression are common precursors to sexual dysfunction, particularly in men. These conditions are often linked, and can often be alleviated by an  exercise  program. Regular exercise stimulates the production of endorphins, which are mood alleviating chemicals. Fatigue and depression underline the importance of a healthy mind, or mindset, that should partner with a healthy body.

Increase Your Sex Drive with Zinc, Ginseng, Vitamin E, Iron, Catuaba Bark, Saffron, Damiana, Rhodiola Rosea Herb, Mucuna Pruriens  or  Exercise

Optimal nerve function, healthy hormonal levels, and an unobstructed blood flow to the pelvic area are essential to sexual performance. Certain nutrients assist the body  in achieving these conditions.

Here is a list of nutrients, or foods, that help increase the sex drive:

  • Saffron – Ask any herbalist and you will be told that saffron is a sexual stimulant. Herbalists recommend summer savory as a sexual stimulant and tonic. Winter savory is believed to dampen sexual desire. A word of caution: These claims have not been proven.
  • Ginseng – Studies have shown that ginseng boosts stamina and mating behavior in mice and rats. It has been touted to be a good source of energy. It is believed to fight off fatigue and stress. Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Health Canada classify the herb as “safe,” but neither regulatory agency will vouch for claims of its aphrodisiac, and medicinal, potency.
  • Yohimbe –  Also known as Pausinystalia, this is the bark of a tall western African tree. Yohimbe bark has been used for centuries in some western African nations for healthy support of erectile function. Yohimbe is also effective for women. Women like the enhanced sensation and engorgement of genital organs that yohimbe provides, as long as the dose is kept low to prevent any side effects. Yohimbe is considered an aphrodisiac in many countries. It has no effect on the mental aspects of sexual stimulation, but may dilate blood vessels, thus might alleviate impotence
  • Vitamin E – Many experts believe that without a healthy supply of this vitamin, sexual function is likely to suffer. Vitamin E is abundant in foods like nuts and seeds, legumes, oils, green vegetables, and wheat germ.
  • Iron – In some cases, iron deficiency anemia is responsible for fatigue, which dampens the sex drive. To replenish iron stores, diet must include meat, fish and shellfish, nuts and seeds, legumes, enriched or fortified grains or cereals, leafy greens, and dried fruits.
  • Zinc – Zinc has long been linked with healthy sexual function. Without enough zinc, sexual development in children is delayed. Adults need zinc for sperm manufacture. Zinc is found in high concentrations in the male sperm. Zinc is abundant in animal foods, seafood (especially oyster), poultry and liver, eggs, milk, beans, nuts, and whole grains. Testosterone production is dependent on zinc, and testosterone levels control both male and female libido and sex drive.
  • Damiana –  is a small shrub with smooth, pale green oval leaves and aromatic yellow flowers. It grows in Mexico and Central America. Damiana (or Turnera diffusa) is said to help with impotence, relieve anxiety, promote general well being and act as a sexual stimulant for male and females alike. This plant has been traditionally used as an aphrodisiac for men and women in Central America, because it helps to re balance your hormones and also has mildly stimulating properties
  • Rhodiola Rosea Herb – From the Arctic regions of eastern Siberia. Russians have drunk rhodiola tea for many centuries as an energy booster. Rhodiola root has a reputation for stimulating the nervous system, decreasing depression and enhancing work performance, decreasing fatigue. There have been claims that this herb influences sexual activity and in turn helps with increasing libido levels. Rhodiola root is also called rhizome.
  • Mucuna Pruriens – Also known as velvet bean or cowhage. Mucuna pruriens contains L-Dopa which is used by the body to make dopamine, an important brain chemical involved in mood and sexuality. Mucuna pruriens has also been shown to have some antioxidant properties.
  • Catuaba Bark – This is a small tree found in the Amazon rain forest in parts of northern Brazil. In Brazilian herbal medicine, Catuaba bark is considered to have aphrodisiac properties and the bark is used for nervousness, poor memory, and helping with sexual weakness. Topi Indians have used the Catuaba bark herbs for increasing libido for many centuries.
Organic Carrots
Possible causes of low libido include: There can be lots of reasons for having low libido levels, many of which can be emotional or mental. Stress and anxiety are two main causes. Additionally, there can be more physical reasons for low libido and sex drive including being overweight or just generally under the weather with a cold or flu.
Emotional conditions that lower libido – especially female sex drive.
  • General stress : Stress unsets the normal hormone balance of the body.
  • Normal relationship – lack of excitement. Spice up your long term relationship.
  • Fear of pregnancy – If possible, talk things through with your partner. Find a safe sex method that you’re both fully confident using.
  • Relationship Problems – Lack of libido during problems periods in your relationship is normal. Your sex drive should return once the issues are sorted out.
  • Anxiety – fear of future events, often based on past experiences. Talking about your fears with a close friend, therapist or doctor can help ease any sexual anxieties you may have.
  • Depression
  • Depressive conditions
  • Post-natal depression
  • Premature Ejaculation – causes anxiety and stress.
Busy, restless mothers may have little desire for sex.
More General Reasons for Low Libido
  • Alcoholism – quite common cause of loss of libido.
  • Abuse of drugs – such as cocaine or cannabis.
  • Anemia – unusual unless the man has been bleeding for any reason.
  • Obesity – quite a common reason for low libido; simply losing weight down will often help increase libido levels to normal.
  • Prescribed drugs – things like Proscar (finasteride), a tablet used for prostate problems. Blood pressure medications, antidepressants and psychiatric drugs.
  • Low male hormone level (testosterone) – this is not a common reason for low libido, this is rarer than most of us think it is.
  • Any major ‘generalized’ medical condition – flu, Glandular fever, Diabetes or any illness that cause tiredness and fatigue.

What to Avoid to Increase Sex Drive or Libido

  • Eat a diet low in saturated fats – There is a proven link between high intake of saturated fats, elevated blood cholesterol levels, and the buildup of atherosclerotic plaques in the blood vessels around the heart. This condition may also be true relative to the tiny blood vessels in the penis. Without free-flowing blood circulation, the penis cannot achieve optimal erection, which is a response to the mental aspect of the sex drive.
  • Curb alcohol consumption – William Shakespeare should be credited with popularizing the notion of alcohol being all fury and no fire, so to speak, when he wrote that wine “provokes the desire, but takes away the performance.” Although alcohol lifts inhibitions related to sex, it has a depressant effect. Alcohol causes impotence and shrinks the testes in men who drink heavily.
  • Stop smoking – Nicotine is perhaps the prime enemy of arteries. Nicotine not only promotes the formation of atherosclerotic plaques in penile blood vessels, it also constricts them.

Exercise also Increases Sex Drive

With a healthy dose of the right nutrients, to enhance a healthy mind and a positive attitude, an optimal sex drive can be achieved. This, coupled with regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle, can almost guarantee a busy lovers’ nest until the wee hours of morning. Regular exercise increases metabolism and blood flow to the pelvic area, and burns fat. Any kind of exercise will help, it doesn’t have to be going to the gym. Swimming, running, cycling and even a brisk walk are all good exercises to do regularly that will help with low libido levels.

Sex as a form of exercise can improve your cardiovascular fitness, strength, flexibility, and balance, not to mention your emotional health.

Disclaimer: The text on these pages is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your general health, libido or sex drive.