How to Lose Weight Naturally - Anthony's Library and Resources

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Monday, 16 February 2015

How to Lose Weight Naturally

Over the years, the rising obesity rates in the western world have become a cause for concern.  According to new global analysis, no country has been able to succeed in curbing obesity rates in the last four decades. This current obesity epidemic has been put down to a lot of things but mainly stem as a result of modernization. Years ago people needed to live far more active lives to get things done. In this day and age just about everything can be automated or delivered to your door step. Also, another major factor has been the invention of processed foods.

It has now come to the point where obesity is considered a disease and requires medical attention and intervention. This problem is fast spreading all round the world posing health threats everywhere. Anybody who is overweight is at risk. A major risk is that of heart disease, which usually ends up in a heart attack. Other health risks you are exposed to is having a stroke, cancer, liver problems, type 2 diabetes and difficulty in breathing - amongst others.

The dangers of being overweight go beyond just affecting our health but even our daily lives. It also affects your flexibility in getting things done. It makes you feel sluggish and lazy.  The speed at which you get things done is now increased. Being overweight prevents you from having a proper sleep and rest, thereby hampering your approach on your daily activities. But, it’s not all doom and gloom!  In the following paragraphs, you will discover super simple secrets that will help you lose unwanted fats and get you to peak health in no distant time at all.
1. Get involved in a weight loss program that you will                  discover next and stay on it.
2. Consistency is what does the job.
3. Get yourself engaged in exercise that will help burn those      calories and don't be discouraged if it takes a little time.
4. Just remain active and eat right. Losing a few pounds at a      time is just ideal and makes the difference.

Now that we understand where we are and the current state that most of the world is in, it’s time to begin the journey that will ultimately change your life...are you ready? Let’s get started

Have you ever heard the saying that you are what you eat? In some sense, this is true, because if you eat unhealthy foods you are prone to be an unhealthy person.  The foods we ingest are extremely important to our ability to grow, maintain function, and prevent illness. Therefore, if you value your health, you should learn as much about healthy eating as possible.

Healthy eating is important from the day we are born.  As a child, we grow quite rapidly and this is due in part to the foods we eat.  Foods all contain nutrients that provide us not only with fuel to live our daily lives, but also with the very substances that build our bones, muscles, and organ tissues. Not getting enough of one nutrient or another can cause a variety of problems, including stunting growth.

For mothers who are nursing, nutrition is important because breast milk contains the nutrients a child needs to grow and develop properly.  As we grow so does our need for more substantial solid foods.  However our bodies need for proper nutrition never changes. Cells continuously break down and rebuild, so healthy eating for growth continues to be important right up until the day we die.

Maintaining bodily functions is also important but without healthy eating in our daily lives, the energy we use to think, walk, talk, breathe, and perform any other action will suffer. The energy it takes our body to do these things comes from two places: fat reserves in the body from our daily food intake. If you don’t eat healthy foods, you will find that you are storing more fat than necessary or that you aren’t getting enough and you feel sluggish or weak.

Along with energy-providing nutrients like fats and carbohydrates, we also need the right nutrients to allow our organs to do their work. Hormones and other substances in the body make sure that everything is working properly. If you don’t eat the right nutrients, your body cannot produce these hormones and, as a result, cannot function properly. Lastly, healthy eating is important in order to prevent illness. When we don’t get the right nutrients, our bodies natural defense system against diseases weakens, allowing viruses and bacteria to attack the body.

A good example is to consider our body like a well-trained army, if the army doesn’t have enough to eat, it will not do well in battle. Without healthy meals and plenty of water, our bodies simply could not operate on a day-to-day basis. Understanding the different types of healthy food groups our bodies need on a day to day basis is vital and we should begin learning this as children. However it’s still not too late. If your eating habits aren’t what they should be, definitely consider changing your diet and look for a solid plan which accommodates all your macronutrient needs.

Let's take a look at the three main macro-nutrients that compose our food.

Protein is the building block of muscles. Without adequate protein consumption, you will be spinning your wheels when it comes to weight loss. No nutrition program is complete without adequate protein intake.

A general rule of thumb with regard to protein intake is to consume 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. However, if your main goal is to lose body fat, this could translate into eating too many calories, making fat loss very difficult. You should, instead, consume about 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body weight.

For example, let’s say you weigh 155 pounds. You remember that you liked how you looked in high school when you weighed 118 pounds.  In fact, if you have a previous weight that you want to get back to, you don’t even have to do the subtraction step. In this instance, you know you want to get back to 118 pounds so that’s how many grams of protein you should eat each day.

In a study published in the American Journal of Physiology, one group was fed a high protein diet (just over one gram per pound of bodyweight per day) while the second group consumed a protein diet near equal to that of the RDA.

The group eating the high protein diet burned more fat than the group consuming protein near equal to the RDA.  One reason for this could be an increased "thermic" effect. The thermic effect of the RDA group was elevated 16% after eating.  However, in the high protein group the thermic effect increased 42% after eating, almost 3 times (263%) that of the RDA group. What this means is that it takes more energy (calories) to digest protein

Carbohydrates come in two basic forms: simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are one to three units of sugar linked together in a single molecule. In contrast to this, complex carbohydrates are hundreds or thousands of sugar units linked together in a single molecule. Going further, fiber is a complex carbohydrate that is so complex it cannot be broken down.

Carbohydrates are broken down during the digestive process into glucose (blood sugar) for energy. Ingesting carbs signals your body to release insulin, which shuttles the glucose into the various cells throughout your body. Carbohydrates provide energy for your muscles, body, brain and central nervous system.

Insulin also transports the amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and the carbohydrates into your muscle cells. This absorption by your muscles is a very important part of the muscle growth and repair factor.  Carbohydrates are stored as glycogen in your body's muscles, and it's this glycogen storage that gives the muscles their fullness, as well as energy. Without glycogen, your body will lack the toned or muscular look, even if you have low body fat.

Carbohydrates are your muscles preferred energy source. They supply the energy as well as play a crucial role in recuperation and muscle growth. The excess carbohydrates that aren't used for energy, recuperation and muscle growth are stored as fats.

In addition, the consumption of carbs creates a "protein sparing", in that more of your protein will be used for the muscle building process (as well as keeping you from losing the muscle you have) instead of being burned as energy. As you'll see below, this "protein sparing" is a key element in your nutrition program.

The ingestion of excess carbohydrates will quickly and efficiently be converted by your body into stored body fat, which is the jiggling thighs, beer belly, or love handles you so desperately are trying to banish forever.  Overweight people don't oxidize carbohydrates the way naturally leaner people do. They tend to store carbs more easily as body fat due to their excess-insulin problem

Controlling, or stabilizing insulin levels and the release of insulin is the basis of low carbohydrate diet plans. And drastically lowering carb intake is probably the best approach for those people that are very overweight and have become insulin resistant. The first thing you need to do is get your insulin secretion under control by leveling out its release.

And the way to do that is to restrict your carbohydrate intake so that you avoid massive releases of insulin in your body. But it's not just about restricting carbohydrates, or eliminating them from your diet, it's also about eating the right amount of the right KIND of carbohydrates.

Insulin is a hormone that is released by the pancreas. The amount of insulin released is affected by blood sugar levels. The higher your blood sugar, the more insulin that is released into the bloodstream. You want to avoid high insulin levels because high insulin levels can inhibit fat utilization (fat burning), and promote fat storage.

Processed Carbohydrates
Another problem has been the processing of carbohydrates. Stay away from all processed carbs. Eat whole wheat or whole grain bread as opposed to white bread. This is also true of pasta and rice.  Our bodies were not designed to live off of all the processed foods that are available today. The consumption of processed foods is probably the number one reason that we have wide spread obesity and obesity related health problems today.

Other foods that you should stay away from are foods whose labels scream "low fat", "no fat" or "reduced fat". These products are one of the huge reasons people in the United States have been getting fatter and fatter over the years. How is that possible, when they've removed or reduced the fat content, you ask? Well, as you know by now, it's not necessarily the fat content of your diet that is responsible for the excess body fat you may be carrying around.

First, people have been led to believe (falsely) that eliminating fat from their diet will keep them from putting fat on their body and this simply isn't true. But because of this, many people took it as a license to eat as much as they wanted of low and no fat foods.

Unfortunately, the amount of fat in your diet is not usually the problem when it comes to the excess fat on your body. As we've previously discussed, total calories and carbohydrate intake have a lot to do with it. And what do you think they used to replace the fat in those products? That's right, carbs, more specifically, sugar. Sugar that sends your insulin levels surging and plummeting.

These products didn't have any satiety. In other words, you were quickly ready to eat more. So now, not only are your insulin levels out of whack, you are probably eating more calories each day than you were before gorging yourself on low fat and no fat foods.

A macro-nutrient that is more misunderstood than carbohydrates, if that's possible. Taking in enough EFA's (essential fatty acids) is imperative when trying to put on (or keep, which is crucial when dieting) lean muscle. Remember, a big key to losing fat and keeping it off, is to add muscle. Yes, this is true for women as well. Don’t worry ladies; you don’t have the same capacity as men for adding muscle.  By adding some muscle, you will build a long, lean sexy body.  Fats supply chemical substrates that are necessary for proper hormonal production, as well as protect our vital organs and carry the fat-soluble vitamins to where they are needed.

In this section we will take a look at some of the simple rules of successful dieting for long term fat loss

Avoid crash diets.
They are bad for health and you will gain what you have lost once you take a break. Crash diets are not a solution to weight loss. It might seem as if you have lost few pounds but the moment you give up on the crash diet everything will bounce back with a vengeance.

Take a look at it this way. Do you think that it is possible for a person to survive on a crash diet for the rest of his or her life? Certainly not! So at some time or the other, you will have to give up the crash diet and then you will see for yourself that a crash diet does more harm than good on the long run.

Crash diets may have a lot to promise, but very rarely do these promises ring true. Crash diets are things people go on in order to wear an old dress or suit for a particular occasion. That’s the only purpose that they serve as far as I can see.

Reduce your calories gradually:
If you are looking to lose fat, don't make huge calorie cuts. This will kick your body into starvation mode, reducing your metabolism and making it more difficult to burn off the fat. Instead, you should reduce your calories slowly, making reductions every week or two in order to prevent this metabolic slowdown and allow your body to burn fat at an optimal rate.

Vary your calorie intake:
This is another way to outsmart your body and continue to lose body fat without lowering your metabolism. By varying you caloric intake every few days instead of eating the exact same amount of calories every day, you can keep the starvation mechanism in check and continue to burn fat.

Eat More (Good) Fat:
Getting enough of the good fats will help you lose fat, build muscle, and recover faster from your workouts. In addition, it has myriad health benefits, including being good for your heart.

Good fats include: polyunsaturated (especially Omega-3's), such as those from fish and nuts (especially almonds), as well as mono-saturated fats, such as those from peanut butter, olive oil, egg yolks, and fish oil.  Take fish oil capsules EVERY DAY!

More Fruits, More Vegetables, More Fiber:
Keeping your weight under control and losing fat can be made much easier by adding a steady stream of fruits and vegetables to your fat loss nutrition program. Fruits and (most) vegetables are high in water and fiber content and low in calories.  They fill up your stomach, keeping your appetite under control at a lower level of calories. For better fat loss results, try adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet or just have yourself an apple before your meals.

The Importance of Fiber in Fat Loss and Overall Health
Increase your fiber intake. Be sure to include in your diet as many fruits and vegetables as you can. As mentioned above, fruits and (most) vegetables are high in water and fiber content and low in calories.

Fiber has a wide variety of health benefits, both directly and indirectly (due to the loss of fat with a high fiber nutrition program). Fiber plays a very important role in intestinal action, i.e., keeping you ‘regular’. It helps flush cancer-causing substances from your body.

A nutrition program high in fiber is a vital key to any fat loss plan. Fiber helps you to feel full, making it easier to eat fewer calories. In addition, more calories are burned from digesting high fiber foods. In fact, by increasing your fiber intake to 35 grams a day you can automatically burn up to an additional 250 calories. While it's recommended you get 25 – 35 grams of fiber per day, most Americans get 14 grams of fiber per day, or less.

Go crazy on vegetables. Vegetables are your best bet when it comes to losing pounds. Nature has a terrific spread when it comes to choosing vegetables. And the leafy green vegetables are your best bet. Try to include a salad in your diet always.

Fresh vegetables are better than cooked or canned vegetables. Try to eat your vegetables raw. When you cook them, you are in fact taking away nearly half the vitamins in them. And canned vegetables too are processed and are not nearly half as good as fresh vegetables. When you buy your vegetables it would be a good thing to see if the label says that it is pesticide free.

Interestingly enough, frozen veggies can have as many or more nutrients as fresh ones, because of how long it can take for vegetables to go from the farm to you, once they are picked. To retain most of those nutrients, be sure to steam cook your vegetables, for as little time as necessary. Besides plenty of fruits and vegetables, be sure to take a fiber supplement, such as Orange Flavored Colon Cleanse. Yes, it will make a big difference.

Limit Your Intake Of Carbohydrates
All the media attention of low carb diets has successfully put most people into pro low-carb or anti low-carb camps without a lot of thinking involved. Whichever side you’re on, the bottom line is that reducing your carbohydrate intake when trying to loss fat will help. This is especially true of carbs sources like sugar and starches. You should focus on non-processed carbs like natural oatmeal and vegetables. It can also help to vary your carb intake in the same way you vary your calorie intake mentioned above.

Stack Your Carbohydrates
Eat most of your good carbs in your morning meals and in your post-workout shake (and pre-workout shake if you have one). This will help to stabilize your insulin levels and help you burn body fat for energy later in the day.  Forgo the pasta, potato or rice at your evening meals for lean proteins like fowl or fish, along with a side dish of veggies. Or enjoy your favorite protein shake recipe.

Eliminate Processed Foods:
Stick to natural foods. Forget anything processed that is just a bunch of chemicals. You're putting poison in your body! I can’t stress this enough. Processed foods play a huge role in obesity as well as many other health problems such as diabetes, not to mention fat gain.

Increase Your Protein:
Increasing your protein intake will increase your metabolism and help to maintain your muscle mass, both key ingredients in losing fat and keeping it off.

Specific food combinations can help to burn calories by ramping up your metabolism.  Eat carbohydrates that are rich in fiber. They take longer to digest and you will feel “fuller” for longer periods of time.  Along with carbohydrates rich in fiber, take in more protein. Your body burns more calories when you eat protein than it burns digesting either fats or carbohydrates.

Eating more protein to burn fat was confirmed in a study published in the American Journal of Physiology. One group was fed a high protein diet (just over one gram per pound of body weight per day) while the second group consumed a protein diet near equal to that of the RDA.  The group eating the high protein diet burned more fat than the group consuming protein near equal to the RDA.

Drink More Water
We have all heard this one over and over again.  But how many of us really drink enough water?  You should really try to take in a full gallon of water each day.  First of all, our bodies are about 70% water. That should tell you something right there. And you all know that you can go much longer without food than you can without water.

The body needs a lot of water in order to maintain its daily functions efficiently. In addition, water helps to flush out harmful toxins, as well as prime the body for fat loss.  If your body isn't getting enough water, it does everything it can to hold on to the water it does have. The problem with this is the way it holds onto the water. You see, about 70% of your muscle is made up of water. It helps to give your muscles that full, pumped look (along with glycogen).

However, if your body is not taking in enough water, that water is used for other things, leaving you bloated. And the way to get rid of that excess water, believe it or not, is to take in enough water. This will rid you of that excess water weigh that bloats you, and begin to help your body run more efficiently and priming it to begin dropping body fat.

Once you begin taking in enough water, your body starts dropping weight, possibly 4 or 5 pounds in the first week. Now, this is mostly water weight. However, doing so optimizes your bodily functions, allowing it to run more efficiently and start burning stored body fat for energy.

Even More Fiber on Treat Day: Be sure to take a fiber supplement on treat day and get a lot of fiber that you might not be getting through reward day foods.

Sugar + Fat = NO!
While you should avoid sugar as much as possible anyway, you do not want to combine fat and sugar in the same meal. Most junk foods and fast foods combine these together.

Read Food Labels
You may be surprised what's in certain foods or how many calories are in a serving (a serving is NOT the entire bottle or bag).

Get More Sleep
Getting enough sleep on a regular basis is crucial to having your body perform optimally. Your body needs at least 7 to 8 hours of restful sleep each night. Your body repairs itself and recovers from your workouts while you sleep.  Without enough sleep you're on your way to overtraining, feeling burnt out and sore, and getting sick often.

Don't Go Shopping Without A List
This is huge. You must know beforehand what you need to get at the grocery store for two big reasons.  If you don't, you'll end up making impulse buys of food you shouldn't have in the house. Not if you want to stick to your nutrition program and show off your sexy abs.  By having a list you can go directly to the food items you need and avoid all the junk food areas that the store tries to make you walk through since these are high profit items.

Eat Before You Go
Never go food shopping on an empty stomach. You'll end up buying a lot of things you wouldn't get otherwise.  Going food shopping while hungry is a great way to sabotage your health and fitness program.

For more tips on how to maintain a healthy weight, check out this post.

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