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    Monthly Archives: May 2014

    Getting around the weight loss plateau

    Getting around the weight loss plateau

    The typical human form is capable of achieving a number of incredible feats that seem to suspend or defy the way science tells us things work. Athletes, through sheer willpower, can end up lifting something that their bodies should not be able to without suffering anything worse than muscle spasms. People can adapt to extreme physical trauma caused by a car accident and defy predictions that they’ll never walk again. While, in general, these amazing feats are useful in a number of situations, there are physical reactions that some people look upon with quite a bit of disfavor. Among these disfavored reactions is something known as a weight loss plateau.

     

    Essentially, the plateau is a term used to describe a situation where the body has become incapable of losing any further weight, usually due to developing a tolerance for the weight loss pills and methods being used. Essentially, the plateau is hit when the body develops tolerance for the regiment’s limitations and practices, thus allowing the metabolic rate of the body to adjust to whatever weight loss pills or techniques were being used. Most diet books decidedly ignore the existence of the plateau, primarily because it can be seen as negating the purpose of the diet and is, therefore, bad for marketing. There are, however, ways to counteract the human body building a tolerance for training regimens and weight loss pills.

     

    The human metabolism, when presented with a pattern, will eventually adapt to that pattern. It is this natural adaptability of the human body that can cause the weight loss plateau, particularly if the person’s diet and eating habits have been altered for weight loss. As such, changing the pattern will, once a sufficient amount of time has passed, allow your diet plan or weight loss pills to become effective again. This trick essentially involves confusing the human metabolism, and is often taken as a rather drastic way to get the body back in diet mode. There are, of course, several ways to effectively alter that pattern without causing the body permanent harm.

     

    Adding strength and weight training and modifying one’s exercise program can also help someone get past the plateau, in most cases. The body will still burn through nutrients during physical activity, though the digestive system’s metabolic rate can adapt such that more weight is retained rather than burned during exercise. Increasing the difficulty of the exercises, or changing the movements to target less-developed muscle areas, can effectively force the body to re-adapt. While the body is busy adapting to the changes, it can also start losing weight again. This method is best used with alterations to the person’s diet, however, to maximize the effectiveness.

     

    Another trick used to circumvent the problem of the plateau is to make changes to the time frame between meals. The internal clock that the human body’s digestive system operates on can be altered to suit one’s purposes, provided one executes the proper alterations to one’s diet and eating habits. A simple action like altering the schedule of the meals, such as adding more meals but reducing the bulk of each, can have an appreciable effect on altering the metabolic rate. The key concept of this method is to fool the body into burning the food faster, thus getting one’s weight loss program and diet back on track.
    When considering the options, it is helpful to keep in mind that what works for one person may not work for another person. Some slower metabolisms may require combination of diet program and exercise regimen modifications, while others can get by with merely shortening the break between meals. The critical point is to find a method that works and is effective for a specific metabolism, which can be a time-consuming process.

    Living a Healthy Life

    In the fast paced world that we live in it can be easy to neglect our health and wellness. We’re so busy racing through our day to day lives  family, friends, work, social engagements  that we don’t take the time to look after ourselves. It’s really no wonder that so many of us are tired and run down. What are some simple things that we can do to improve our quality of life?

     

    Drink Drink Drink!

     

    You’ve heard it a million times and you’ll probably hear it a million more drink more water!

     

    Think about it: The human body is 72% water. A 5% drop in fluids creates a 25-30% loss in energy. A 15% drop in fluids causes death! At this point in time 66% of us aren’t drinking enough water, so over half the population isn’t running on all six cylinders to begin with before things like bad air, bad food and stress take their toll.

     

    It’s not really a difficult thing to remedy. Just drink one glass of water every half hour or so or 10-12 glasses of water per day and you’ll notice a huge jump in your energy levels.

     

    Living Food  Loving Life!

     

    A little known fact is that heating food above 116’F destroys much of the nutrient content. Considering that we already aren’t eating enough veggies, that’s a fairly substantial problem. Nutritionists recommend five serves of fresh vegetables per day. How many of us are actually taking that advice?

     

    A great way to get the nutrients found in fresh veggies without spending all day at stove or eating raw celery sticks is to juice your veggies. Make sure that you own a good juicer (some juicers expose vegetables to heat created by friction during juicing, which breaks down important enzymes), grab some fresh vegetables and drink your way to good health. It takes a fraction of the time (there’s no cooking involved, for one thing) and it’s convenient. You can take your juice to work and even give some to the littlies for school lunches!

     

    Wheatgrass in particular is an excellent source of nutrition. It’s high in chlorophyll (sometimes described as plant blood because it closely resembles human red blood cell molecules) and has over 100 elements that the body needs. Fresh grains are another excellent source for vitamins and minerals.

     

    Energy In  Energy Out

     

    Exercise is another dirty word for most of us. The thing is, exercise doesn’t have to be horribly time consuming or mind-numbingly boring. There are plenty of options.

     

    Years ago gyms usually offered weight rooms, aerobics classes and maybe a tydro-circuit. Now you can add water aerobics, yoga, pilates, dance-ercise, step classes and a whole range of new workout options.

     

    If you don’t really have the time or money for the gym, or prefer to spend your mornings/nights at home, then try an exercise bike or walker. I’d be lost without my exercise bike  I set it up in front of the television and peddle away merrily during my favourite shows.

     

    If, like me, you suffer from illness or injury or your level of fitness is quite low, you might like to consider some invaluable advice that I got from my doctor:

     

    Once you’re physically unfit, and particularly if you’re also unwell, it can be a mammoth battle to just do the most minimal amount of exercise in a day. The danger is that inactivity leads to further loss of energy, which becomes a self-perpetuating cycle until you can barely get off the couch.

     

    An excellent way to get back into a physical routine is to start slowly. Ridiculously slowly, it may seem. For the first couple of weeks, walk/ride for 5 minutes per day exactly 5 minutes, no more, even if you think you could continue. When the 2 weeks are up, increase to 7 minutes, then 10 minutes, 12 minutes continue to gradually increase your activity until you’re at a level that you’re comfortable with.

     

    It may sound a little silly, but it works. In effect, you trick your body into producing more energy. You’re building your exercise time up so slowly that your body doesn’t really realise what’s happening. Follow this method and, before you know it, you’ll be comfortably exercising within your limits every day.

     

    So, folks, that’s the basics. If you can rearrange your life a little to allow for better eating habits and a little exercise, and if you remember to just drink a glass of water every half hour or so, you’ll be well on the way to living a healthy life. On a final note, don’t forget to take some quiet time for yourself. Meditating is an excellent way to minimise stress. You don’t have to sit around for hours, just give yourself 5 minutes of quiet time every day even in the shower, if that’s the only place where you can get time out  and have a little catch up with yourself.
    And, last but by no means least, laugh! In fact, laugh like a loon  the louder the better! You’ll be amazed at how much such a simple thing can lift your spirits!

    10 Great Hair Care Tips

    If you watch the tabloids, you know that even the stars have bad hair days. It just seems that when the professional stylists are out of the picture, it is inherently human to have a less than glamorous mane. But you can do your part to stay ahead of the battle by following these great tips for hair care.

     

    1. Use a professional conditioner that is formulated for your specific hair type. While you can skimp a little on the shampoo, a good, professional conditioner is a must have. Look for products in salons that are customized for your hair type. For instance: If you have color or a perm, choose a conditioner that is for chemically processed hair. And stay away from those all-in-one shampoo and conditioner combos.

     

    2. Choose a cut tailored to your face and body shape. The number one mistake that people make when choosing a new hairstyle is to pick a style based on popularity rather than how it will enhance their features. Always choose a new cut based on how it will enhance or detract from your facial features and build. If you have broad shoulders, choose a full-bodied cut over a close cropped head hugging doo.

     

    3. Don’t forget your UV protectants. Just as your skin gets damaged by wind and sun, so does your hair. To combat this, look for finishing products such as mousses, gels and sprays that block UV rays.

     

    4. Keep your appointments. Did you know that your hair will split faster than it will grow? You need to get a trim every 6 to 8 weeks, even if i’s just a micro trim. A good hairdresser makes them good because they know what to leave on the head, not take off.

     

    5. Leave chemicals to the professionals. There is a reason why beauticians need to go to school to learn how to handle chemicals and hair processes. You can do irreparable damage with these products even if the package says that it’s way easy. And even if you don’t make your hair fall out, you could end up looking like a clown and paying a stylist big bucks to fix your mess. (Note: Most stylists charge double the rate for corrective color than they do for normal color processes)

     

    6. Get color for interest and body. Every cut needs a little bit of color to make it truly breathtaking. No matter whether your taste is subtle or dramatic, you can add interest and volume to your tresses with a color process. Highlights, lowlights, all over color, gray coverage, you name it, it’s all good for your look.

     

    7. Do weekly conditioning treatments. Even if your hair is extremely healthy, it is constantly on the attack from wind, sun, cold and heat. During the summer months, your hair is battered even more when it absorbs chlorine and other chemicals from your pool.

     

    8. Get an ionic ceramic flat iron. Instead of frying your hair with a conventional metal plated flat iron. Straighten your tresses, add shine and infuse moisture with one of the a negative ionic flat irons. We personally use T3 irons for all our work.

     

    9. Choose your styling products wisely. Avoid products that leave build-up on your hair. If you see white gunk, that means that your product is not water-soluble and may be coating your hair shaft. Build-up causes limpness, breakage and inability to curl not to mention the white flakes.

     

    10. Did you know that if you use a towel after your shower to dry your hair you are causing split ends and adding static electricity to your hair. Don’t rub the towel back and forth over your hair, scrunch the towel around your hair like your would scrunch crackers in your soup.
    While all of these tips won’t make you look like you’ve hired a personal hairdresser, they will help you look the very best that you can each and every day. When it comes to hair care, remember that you wear your hair everyday. Now isn’t it worth the time, effort and money that it takes to keep it looking spectacular?

    Top Three Exercises For Stress Relief

    Whether coming from our jobs, personal life, incompetent drivers, or the soaring gas prices stress seems to be all around us, bombarding us with an over load that has us over worked, cranky, and restless.  The effects of prolonged stress on the human body can be devastating to our health resulting in migraines, muscle aches, insomnia, digestive problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, weight gain, asthma, and heart disease along with a wide range of other health problems.  Learning to effectively manage stress and adding regular exercise to your routine is a valuable part of stress relief which is vital to good health.  But do not worry, you do not have to make time to go to the gym or worry if your fitness level is not up for that aerobic work out, here are three of the best exercises for stress relief than can be done by just about any one at any fitness level, of course as always, before beginning any new exercise program you want to be sure that your health care provider has cleared you for exercise if you have any recent injuries or health care concerns.

     

    Tai Chi:

    taichi

    Tai Chi is an ancient martial art form.  This Chinese art has been practiced for centuries and is a perfect exercise for stress relief.  Tai Chi uses very fluid and graceful movements that are slow and precise, focusing the mind and strengthening the body.  It can be done just about anywhere by people of all ages and is fairly simple to learn.  People who practice Tai Chi experience a better sense of balance, over all improvement in health, sleep better, and feel a since of clarity and improved mental focus along with the stress relief.

     

    Pilates:

    Pilates was originally developed as a method of rehabilitation for injured dancers and soldiers.  Incorporating simple moves similar to yoga in parts, pilates stretches and lengthens your muscles, improves the strength and stability of your core (the torso), and is also very calming and soothing making it a great choice for stress relief.  Stress relief is not the only benefit of pilates, you also get a longer, stronger spine, better posture, more graceful muscle tone, and stronger abs.  And because a large portion of pilates can be done as a mat work out, it is great for people with special needs to consider that may make traditional exercise more difficult.

     

    Water Aerobics:

    If you would like something to get your heart beat going and improve your over all tone and health, along with giving you stress relief, water aerobics is another great choice.  Unlike traditional aerobic classes, being in the water lessens the impact of the movements on your joints, legs, and spine.  Being in the water makes your motions effortless, yet the resistance of the water provides a better, stronger work out.  The calming sensation of being in the water offers great stress relief and gives you a wonderful work out for your muscles, weight loss, and  cardio building along with the stress relief.

     

    Whichever routine you choose, or perhaps some combination of the three, you will find great stress relief from starting a regular routine and the stress relief will only enhance the other great health benefits you will obtain.

     

    Top 5 Natural Stress Relievers

    Looking for simple and all natural ways to relax and reduce the negative effects of stress on your physical and emotional well being?  Then try these five great natural stress relievers.

     

    1. Chamomile Tea:  Chamomile  has amazing soothing properties and is a wonderful sleep aid so it is a great stress reliever to help you unwind and relax before bed. However, chamomile is not considered safe for women who are pregnant.

     

    1. Aromatherapy Linen Spray: This is another great natural stress reliever.  You simply spray your bed sheets with this light lavender sleeping spray that is made with lavender and a blend of other essential oils for a purely natural way to relax and relieve stress while helping you to get a good night’s sleep.

     

    1. Aromatherapy Bath Products: Baths that include any variety of aromatherapy products can be great stress relievers as well.  Not only do you enjoy the relaxation of a warm bath and a nice long soak, but by using a variety of oils or aromatic bath salts you can ease muscle tension, headaches, and sooth tired aching feet.  Some great essential oils to try include lavender, chamomile; which is very soothing to the skin, sandalwood, and jasmine.  These are great stress relievers to try at night as well since many of them can help you to relax enough that you can get to sleep easily.

     

    1. Tai Chi: Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art.  The movements in Tai Chi are very natural and fluid making it very relaxing and a great stress reliever.  Practicing Tai Chi can also improve your mental clarity, your over all health condition, and according to recent studies by the UCLA Tai Chi can help you to sleep better as well.

     

    1. Learn to Meditate: Much like Tai Chi, meditating can be an effective stress reliever. Helping you to become more focused and to calm your mind and spirit and to help you focus which an be a great stress reliever; especially when you use it through out the day.  For example,  if you are getting stressed at work you can meditate for a few moments at your desk, taking a few deep breaths and work past whatever the problem is that is stressing you out.

     

    So there you go, five simple and natural stress relievers that can help you relax with no side effects to worry about.

     

    What is the Best Cure for Depression?

    What is the Best Cure for Depression

    Thousands of people suffer from depression every year ranging from mild occasional bouts of depression to long term, more serious clinical depression.  What then can those who suffer from depression do to find relief and what is the best cure for depression?

     

    Actually, the answer is, there is no “best cure for depression” since depression is a very personalized thing the best cure for depression is going to depend on the person and what is causing the depression in the first place.  Consider some of these examples.

     

    Stress in the work place can take a toll on you both physically and mentally.  Job stress due to conflicts between co-workers or your boss or the stress caused by simply being in the wrong job for you that you hate and that is contrary to your own nature can cause sleeplessness, physical problems such as high blood pressure, and result in depression.  In a case such as this, the best cure for depression is learning ways in which to cope with the stress and switching to a new job or new career.

     

    In some cases, people have trouble sleeping and the lack of proper rest can make you feel run down, get irritable and experience mild depression.  Using aromatic bath salts or an aromatherapy spray to mist your sheets with a light scent of lavender to help you relax and get to sleep could be your best cure for depression in a case such as this.

     

    If your depression is stemming from a physical conditions, such as being over weight or the hormone changes associated with menopause.  In cases such as this, your best cure for depression is going to be to speak with you health care provider to discuss treatment options, changes in diet, new exercise, or natural hormonal supplements that can address the physical conditions that are causing the the depression.  The same can be said for depression caused by a chemical imbalance.  The best cure of depression may be to change medications or to try a new one; this is something that you need to work closely with your health care provider to determine.

     

    Some cases of depression may require therapy, lifestyle changes, acquiring new skills, or medical intervention.  The truth is that the only real “best cure for depression” is getting to know yourself and understanding what the underlying cause of the depression is; keeping in mind that depression is often a symptom of something else.  When you understand your own depression and what makes it, and you, unique from everyone else then you will be on the road to finding your own best cure for depression.

     

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