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Are you stuck in a weight lossplateau? Get inspired- check out the best websites and blogs for nutrition facts, exercise tips, and healthy living advice. Here are 10 websites that motivate you to live healthy!
Calling all women- moms, chicks, sisters, divas, and teens:
Summer’s about over, and you’re probably heaving a sigh of relief to yourself. Why? Because the pressure to look awesome in a bikini is almost at an end, to be filed away somewhere in the back of your mind for next year. With fall comes the addition of more layers of clothing- scarves, cardigans, trousers, tops that cover your belly. Who’s going to notice if you pack on a few extra pounds? Might as well take a break, relax, and live a little. Right?
Nope. Now, more than ever, it is important to try to stay on the healthy living wagon, no matter how often it tries to throw you off.
Prepare for a storm of gastronomic proportions
Whether you’ve already reached your goal weight, started a new weight loss plan, or just committed yourself to eating healthier, now is the best time to gather ammunition and supplies.
That’s right, there’s a storm headed in your direction, only instead of natural disasters, the chaos it spreads it the kind that zaps your willpower, energy, mental focus, self-esteem, decision-making abilities, and determination to live healthy.
Back-to-school orientation buffets
Halloween candies, cakes, and ice cream treats
Thanksgiving , the mother of all food-fests
Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Years- food, food, and more food
Where do you get your inspiration?
Joining a weight loss group such as Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, or eDiets is one of the best ways to stay motivated, but let’s face it: we can’t all afford the membership fees.
Thankfully, Mamavation, an excellent online support group for fit moms (and all gals, really), has composed a list of the 50 Most Inspirational Healthy Tweeps. These blogs by women (and a few men) fall into many categories- registered dietitians, healthy homemakers, fitness gurus, whole-foods foodies, and many ex-morbidly obese dieters.
Here are ten of the most inspirational health blogs
InspiredRD– Dietician, crafter, and cook, Alysa also writes about gluten-free living. Great recipes, gorgeous photography.
fANNEtastic food- Anne P. is a dietician/photographer who studied in Europe, but now lives back in the States. She motivates you to keep your momentum up, stick with the program, and enjoy living healthy.
Healthy Tipping Point- Caitlin Boyle from North Carolina discusses fitness, recipes, and her two cute dogs. Not to mention some great wedding pics.
Skinny Emmie- “Skinny Emmie” lost over one hundred pounds, and she’s still chugging along down the scale. Drop in, and partake of her no-nonsense wisdom, bare-boned honesty, and infectious optimism.
MizFit Online- “Quirky” is the word for Carla Birnberg’s health blog. The award-winning writer infuses her upbeat sense of humor into this anything-but-boring fitness web log.
The Anti Jared- Remember Jared, who lost more than 200 pounds, by eating Subway sandwiches? Well, this isn’t him. Tony also lost 200 pounds, but he did it by joining Weight Watchers, learning how to cook healthy, nutritious meals, and (must I say it?) exercising.
Fitness Cheerleader- Janice Smith is your weight loss advocate, sharing tools, recipes, interesting articles, and yes, her unending enthusiasm!
Kris M Beal- “Krazy Kris” talks about healthy living, eating, and living green, with a little bit of humor on the side.
Prior Fat GirlJen was a fat girl, just like anybody else, until she got up her gumption to lose over 100 pounds. It wasn’t easy.
Try the Dr. Oz Sugar Detox Diet- Break your sugar habit in just four weeks. Start feeling better…immediately.
Think you can’t live without refined sugar? Guess again. White sugar is hard to avoid, but with determination and a willingness to feel healthier, you can overcome the sugar habit for good.
By following this simple four-week plan, as featured on the Dr. Oz Show, you can easily eliminate sugar from your diet. In as little as one week, you can start feeling healthier than you ever imagined.
Say goodbye to your sweetie- he wasn’t good for your, anyways.
Let’s face it- sugar is addicting. It tastes good. It lifts your mood, temporarily, at least. Before it drops you right back on your bottom, but hey- you’re the forgiving type. No matter how many times refined sugar lets you down; you’re always ready to let sugary snacks and sodas back into your life, faithfully giving them your unconditional love. You look the other way while sugar flash floods into your veins, setting your insulin reaction off kilter, before finally settling into your gut to fester and spread infection.
Breaking up is hard to do.
It won’t be easy, and sugar will probably try to put up a fight. Practically since birth, you’ve preferred the taste of sugar on your tongue; your taste buds numb to all but the most intense heights of sweetness. You scoff at cowboys and their molasses candy. If they had refined sugar then, they would have agreed, right? No. By the 1900s, the average American consumed about five pounds of sugar per year. Compare that to today, when the average American consumes two to three pounds of sugar in just one week. In truth, we have trained ourselves to want more and more sugar; much in the same way a drug addict requires more drugs in order to attain the same feeling of euphoria.
By the 1900s, the average American consumed about five pounds of sugar per year. Compare that to today, when the average American consumes two to three pounds of sugar in just one week.
Unless you break the sugary chains now, you will suffer a lifetime of sugar-induced problems, including:
For the first week of the sugar detox diet, you are just going to focus on not adding table sugar to your coffee, cereal, or other foods, save for one teaspoon. Don’t worry about added sugars in packaged foods; they’re in there, but you can deal with that later. Right now, this week, picture yourself tiptoeing your way out of sugar’s reach, one baby step at a time.
Week 2: Seek and destroy
Remember those hidden sugars? Well, now’s your chance to give them the old heave-ho. Scour your pantry for all products containing any form of sugar. Even if you think a certain food doesn’t have sugar, check anyways. Many low-fat “health food” manufacturers compensate by adding sugar to their recipe.
Check ingredient labels for terms like:
Evaporated cane juice
Week 3: Make new friends
Many healthy sweeteners hold up well in dessert recipes, and still more are good substitutes for sugar in your coffee or tea. Visit your nearest health food store; they’re likely to have a cornucopia of natural sweeteners at your disposal.
Some healthy sugar substitutes to try:
Stevia, an herb that is available in powder and liquid form
Agave nectar, the byproduct of the agave cactus
Other sweeteners that are not promoted by Dr. Oz, but are nevertheless healthier than white sugar, are concentrated apple juice, artificial sweeteners like aspartame, and honey, when used sparingly
By now, you should have lost most of your sugar withdrawal. Suddenly, your awakened taste buds appreciate the natural sweetness of fruits like apples, oranges, and grapes; fruit salads that you once took for granted now taste exotic and refreshing. Experiment with different spices; many seasonings bring out the flavor in desserts.
Some sweetly satisfying flavor combinations to try:
Diet experts advise eating these tasty foods that speed up your metabolism for maximum weight loss.
If you’re trying to lose weight (and who isn’t?), then you don’t want to waste time eating foods that slow you down.
Including the the right foods in your dietis your recipe for ultimate weight loss.
Choose healthy foods that contain dietary fiber, antioxidants, and natural spices, such as cinnamon and chili peppers.
Here are 6 super snack foods that will help you stay on the diet wagon:
Fiery bean tostada with salsa
Eating a spicy meal with hot chili peppers just gives you a warm feeling inside. According to researchers, capsaicin, the ingredient that puts the pep into the pepper, actually helps you use up calories and lose weight more efficiently. Pair that with beans, which have cholecystokinin to naturally control your appetite, and dig in.
Word to the wise- corn tortillas have more dietary fiber and less refined ingredients than flour tortillas, so load up a corn tortilla with all the fixins.
Almond trail mix
Eat twelve almonds per day, and you’ll have an easier time sticking to your diet. That’s because raw almonds have alpha-linolenic acid, a healthy ingredient that aids digestion.
Almonds also contain plenty of tummy-filling dietary fiber, so you won’t go hungry. If you’re diabetic, then you’ll appreciate the insulin-controlling benefits of foods like almond butter.
It’s a proven fact that eggs satisfy you- protein gives you a feeling of fullness that keeps you from binging later in the day. Studies show that people who eat two eggs with whole-grain toast each morning have an easier time managing their weight than people who eat a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast.
The USDA did some research that concluded that cinnamon helps you control your insulin levels after meals, which is great news for diabetics.
Sprinkle some sweet and spicy cinnamon on whole-grain buttered toast for a gratifying and healthy snack that will help you lose weight.
Apples and cheese
An apple a day keeps the doctor- and obesity- away. Apples are loaded with natural sweetness, high fiber, and antioxidants, making them one of the best diet foods around.
And here’s a surprise- According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, full-fat cheese promotes weight loss more efficiently than its lower fat and nonfat alternatives.
Get the best weight loss benefits by combining a dollop of full-fat ricotta cheese with baked apple. Don’t forget the cinnamon!
Green tea smoothie
Green tea contains antioxidants called catechinsthat boost your metabolism and help you drop pounds more efficiently.
Researchers from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville found that dieters who eat yogurt lose 61% more fat than dieters who don’t.
Make a healthy, low-cal metabolism-boosting smoothie with frozen yogurt, powdered matcha green tea, and frozen green grapes. Yum!
Malissa Jones, once nicknamed “Britain’s fattest teen” is now quite possibly Britain’s skinniest…and unhappiest teen, following gastric bypass surgery.
Lose weight now, she was told, or your life is at stake
At the age of 16, Ms. Jones was warned by her doctor that she would have only months to live, unless she lost weight. Morbidly obese, Malissa weighed in at 34 stone. (In American-speak, that’s 476 pounds.) Having already had a mild heart attack a year earlier, Malissa was told to lose 280 pounds, lest the next heart attack be her last.
Her diet consisted of mainly junk food like chocolate and potato chips. At 5’8, Malissa consumed about 15,000 calories a day, more than 7 times the amount recommended for a girl of her age with her build. Malissa had all the symptoms of obesity; she suffered from angina, a cardiovascular disease normally associated with old age, at the tender age of 15. At nighttime she was forced to wear an oxygen mask, because doctors warned that her heart and lungs couldn’t withstand the force of her weight while she was lying down.
In 2008, at the age of 17, Malissa Jones made headlines when she became the youngest person ever in the UK to receive gastric bypass surgery, of which the cut-off age is generally 18. The $20,000 NHS funded operation entailed stapling her stomach to a significantly smaller size and “bypassing” her digestive system so as to limit food absorption. For this reason, gastric bypass patients are unable to digest vitamins such as B12 from food sources, and must submit to a lifetime of vitamin supplements in order to prevent severe vitamin B12 deficiency.
The surgery was a success, at least at first. Two years post surgery, Malissa had lost half her body weight, although she still carried about 28 pounds of loose, excess flabby skin, a side effect which causes quite a bit of dismay among bariatric surgery patients.
“I’m too thin. My body shocks me. But swallowing is painful.
Eating a tiny amount gives me stomach cramps or makes me sick,” admits Malissa.
At the age of 20 she became pregnant. Doctors were concerned that her newly stapled stomach might rupture from the weight of the baby’s womb; at six months Malissa suffered liver failure, so she was forced to have a Cesarean birth. Her baby boy, named Harry, died only one hour after surgery of malnutrition. During her pregnancy, and likely as a result of her weight loss surgery, she was not physically able to eat enough food to support herself and the baby. Malissa was devastated.
Today, Malissa once again battles for her life, only now her enemy is anorexia nervosa
Now, Malissa is 21-years-old and weighs a mere 112 pounds. Diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, she admits that she has food phobia, and that eating makes her feel physically ill. Sometimes, she says, she would rather die than make herself eat. ”I’m too thin. My body shocks me. But swallowing is painful. Eating a tiny amount gives me stomach cramps or makes me sick,” admits Malissa.
Her regular daily diet consists of 3 cooked carrots, some turnips, and a roast potato, amounting to 300 calories, although she was advised to consume between 500 and 1,000 calories per day. Once again, Malissa is told that because of her weight she will likely die of a heart attack within months, only now the challenge is to eat enough to keep her alive.
Too late for regrets
In an interview from 2009, Malissa admits that she wishes she had never had the gastric bypass surgery, and that she liked her body better before when she was fat. The cost for excessive skin removal is $33,000, more than this 21-year-old, who had to quit her job because of disability caused by anorexia, can afford to save up. While the NHS agreed to pay for her $20,00 weight loss surgery, they have not agreed to fund the plastic surgery required to remove the scarred, wrinkled, overhanging skin which typically results from rapid weight loss.
“At least it was firm and curvy, not droopy and saggy,” she says. “I had nice firm arms – now the skin just hangs and I have to cover them up because they look so awful.”
In addition to suffering anorexia, Malissa has chronic depression, for which she takes antidepressants; she also suffers gastrointestinal diseases, chronic fatigue and low immunity. Because she is not able to follow a healthy nutritious diet, her immune system has been severely compromised, leaving her at risk for infections.
On a final note, Malissa has this to say to any obese individuals considering gastric bypass surgery:
“I wish I’d lost the weight through exercise and healthy eating. I know this operation was life-saving, but the complications I’m suffering now might still kill me. The truth is I feel I’m no better off than I was before.”
For more information on some of the risks involved with gastric bypass surgery, please read:
The Journal of the American College of Cardiology recently published a report confirming that gastric bypass surgery not only helps you lose weight- it also might give you a healthier heart.
Scientific evidence supports the health benefits of gastric bypass surgery.
Scientists from the Medical College of Georgia recently concluded a study which focused on a group of individuals who were morbidly obese; the subjects studied were overweight to the point that if they didn’t lose weight immediately they would die an early age.
What is gastric bypass surgery?
Gastric bypass procedures essentially involve:
Division of the stomach into two pockets: a small upper pocket and a considerably larger lower pocket
Reconnecting of the small intestine to both pockets
Food bypasses the larger pocket in favor of the smaller stomach pouch
Typical life-threatening ailments resulting from morbid obesity include cardiovascular disease, type 2diabetes, and risk of stroke.
Out of the 733-member focus group, 423 elected for gastric bypass surgery while the rest did not.
Necessary weight loss led to reversed symptoms.
After two years the bypass surgery patients lost considerable amounts of weight, resulting in the following health benefits:
Decreased body mass index
Decreased waist measurements
Lowered systolic blood pressure
Lowered levels of triglycerides
Lowered levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol
Increased HDL (good) cholesterol
Increased insulin response
Heart structure improved, as well.
Obesity physically distorts the heart structure by creating excess muscular mass in the left ventricle and stretching the gap in the cavity of the right ventricle.
However, two years after gastric bypass surgery the following cardiovascular changes occurred among the 423-member group:
Reduced mass index in left ventricle
Reduced width of right ventricular cavity
Lowered heart rate
Gastric bypass surgery is a life-saving last resort.
In situations where obesity is not life-threatening physicians generally recommend losing weight naturally, no more than about a pound per week. Gastric bypass surgery is proposed only as recourse when the only other alternative is premature death. A dangerously high body mass index is necessary in order to qualify somebody for this elective surgery.
More information on the risks and benefits of gastric bypass surgery can be found at the Mayo Clinic.