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Weight loss easier when combined with Contrave

Posted by weigthloss-diets Friday, July 30, 2010 1 comments

A new study has stated that weight loss can be triggered even more if along with formal counseling on lifestyle changes, an experimental obesity drug is taken.

About 800 adults were enrolled for the study of a drug called Contrave. Contrave is made by combining the antidepressant bupropion (Wellbutrin) and naltrexone.

It has been seen in trials that Contrave generally has outperformed other placebo pills when it comes to weight loss.

Over a year it was seen that the study participants taking Contrave last about six per cent of their initial weight as compared to those who took placebos.

If the medication is combined with diet counseling and a little changes are made in the lifestyle then weight loss can be achieved.

Contrave was found to be more effective in weight loss when participants in the drug-plus-counseling group lost 9 per cent of their initial weight, which was much more than those who took placebos.

Want to lose weight? Surf the net

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According to research, visiting a Website that is interactive can actually help you shed those extra pounds.

Lead researcher Kristine L. Funk of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon, said that people lost more weight by using a web-based records keeping resource for about two-and-a-half-years at least once a month as compared to people who did not visit such Websites.

About 348 people were followed for making observations for the study and these were those people who lost weight using Web-based method. They were able to keep off about five pounds after logging once a month.

Funk said, "Consistency and accountability are essential in any weight maintenance program. The unique part of this intervention was that it was available on the Internet, whenever and wherever people wanted to use it."

Co-author Dr. Victor J. Stevens added that it was more difficult to keep the lost weight from coming back when compared to just losing weight. In the study people were able to keep their weight off and this is really good.

How to Lose Weight with Yoga

Posted by weigthloss-diets Wednesday, July 7, 2010 1 comments

Yoga may not conjure up the same images of a calorie-burning, sweat-inducing workout as, say, Buns of Steel or Tae Bo.

But don’t be fooled by yoga’s deep breathing and sometimes-slow poses: Doctors and personal training experts say it can seriously trim and tone your body — and also work on your mind and spirit to help you get healthier overall.

So take in what experts say about how to do yoga for weight loss, and get ready to pare down with some downward dogs.

Go beyond the burn

Calories burned during yoga vary widely — from 180 to 360 per hour — depending on the type of yoga you practice. Fitness director Guy Caracciolo at the Dedham Health and Athletic Complex in Dedham, Mass., places Vinyasa, Ashtanga and other forms of “power yoga” at the top, along with yoga fusion workouts that accelerate calorie burning by mixing it up with dance or kickboxing.

Big Apple Power Yoga owner Nanci Muriello in New York City agrees, recommending power yoga for its weight-loss triple force: strength, flexibility and cardio. During a typical 90-minute session, the deep breathing techniques heat you up inside, helping to flush out toxins and water weight and boost performance of the lymphatic system and organs. “It’s a great physical workout,” Muriello says.

But as with all styles of yoga, there’s a deeper benefit: You’re tuning in to your body.

“Suddenly you actually get the signal that you are full or that a particular food doesn’t digest well, or you notice after you eat something that you feel amazing,” says Muriello.

Sometimes, less is more
“It’s not necessarily the hardcore class that’s going to help,” says Oakland, Calif., physician Baxter Bell, M.D., who’s also a yoga instructor and medical acupuncturist.

Ironically, gentle and restorative yoga can help with weight loss, Bell says — by kicking on the parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates breathing, digestion and hormones.

As you jet through the day in fifth gear, your body is often in fight-or-flight mode, and high-octane hormones are circulating. By activating the parasympathetic nervous system, you’re stepping (gently) on your internal brakes, which lets everything take a rest: Hormones rebalance, injuries begin repairing, and digestion proceeds normally — all of which can aid weight loss, Bell says.

Gentle yoga is also a good way to start slowly, which is crucial if you’re new to yoga to avoid injuries that could immobilize you and blow all hopes for weight loss at least for a while — and serving as a enough of a buzzkill that you write off yoga altogether.

Strike a (fat-burning) pose
Certain poses, or asanas, are “killer apps” for weight loss, with “benefits that far exceed mere calorie burning and muscle strengthening,” says Nicole Persley, a teacher at Yoga and Inner Peace in Lake Worth, Fla. “Yoga speeds up the metabolism by stimulating endocrine glands that regulate the metabolic rate,” she explains.

Certain poses can also help with trouble spots. Persley suggests the following:
* Shoulder stand and fish pose: Both rouse the thyroid, helping to boost your body’s metabolism.
* Valrasana (spinal twist), a lengthening child’s pose, and cobra pose: These twisting poses massage the abdomen, target internal organs and aid with optimal digestion.
* The dogs: Downward-facing dog and upward-facing dog poses are particularly helpful in toning hips and thighs.
Ask your doctor before you begin, and then go to a class, get a yoga DVD or get other how-to on basic yoga positions.

But while you’re striking poses — particularly in fast-moving vinyasa or power yoga — it’s crucial that you pay attention to your body, says fitness instructor Patricia Moreno, founder of intenSati and creator of several yoga-fusion and weight loss DVDs for Gaiam.

“Good alignment is always important but when people are too focused on burning calories they sometimes compromise alignment,” says Moreno.

Broaden your goals

Think big picture — considering not only your physical body, but also your spirit. “Ask yourself, ‘Why do I want to lose weight?’” Bell suggests. Is it for self-image, a relationship, to boost energy?

Whatever it is, devise some related goal such as reaching a career milestone or being able to take the stairs or play with your kids without getting out of breath. Then notice your total successes as you move forward, Bell suggests. If, say, your goal was better health and your breathing has improved and your lower back has strengthened due to yoga — even if you haven’t yet lost a lot of pounds — give yourself some credit and keep up the good work.

Expect long-term results

Research shows that yoga can help stop middle-age spread. Overweight folks who regularly practiced yoga for 10 years between ages 45 and 55 lost five pounds on average, compared to a 14-pound gain for those who didn’t, according to a 2005 study from Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

“From my experience, it has to do with the way that yoga makes you more aware of your body,” says Alan Kristal, Ph.D., lead author of the study.

Yoga practioners also simply ate more mindfully — and had a lower body mass index – than non-practioners, explains Kristal. In other words, they notice when they’re full, and more easily avoid eating out of stress or boredom.

“Yoga teaches awareness of the self, which is important for long-term change,” Moreno points out. “Use this higher level of awareness to help you make healthier eating choices and decrease mindless eating.”

What's Your Fitness Personality?

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When I take my daughter to her dance class at our community rec center, I’m always amazed at the number of people pacing doggedly on the treadmill or working up a sweat in spinning class — even when it’s sunny and 70 degrees outside.

“This is Boulder, Colorado!” I think to myself. “We have acres and acres of public Open Space, miles and miles of running and cycling paths and hiking trails. Why would anyone choose to exercise indoors?”

The answer likely lies in a concept that’s at the core of getting — and staying — in shape: fitness personality.

I thrive on nature and novelty. The thought of a regular gym workout under fluorescent lights bores me before I even try it. But someone else may be inspired by the predictable routine and location I loathe. Ensuring that your fitness regimen jives with your fitness personality is the key to making exercise easier and more enjoyable — and thus a more consistent part of your life.

If you poll your friends about their exercise habits, patterns will start to emerge. My friend Mimi is out the door for a walk at 5:30 a.m. without fail, even in the dark and cold of winter. My sister-in-law spends her early mornings on her home treadmill. As for me, I can barely rouse myself before the sky is light, and the only thing that guarantees any discipline is if I have shelled out money for a gym class. Ideally, it’s a dance class, with invigorating music. We clearly have different fitness personalities!

Why should you identify your fitness personality?
“Fitness personality” is a concept that’s gained traction among exercise experts. Jonathan Niednagel, an athletic consultant for professional teams and author of Your Key to Sports Success, explains how understanding your inborn brain type can help motivate you, choose which sport and speed you’re best suited for, and which athletic pursuits to avoid. In Suzanne Brue's book The 8 Colors of Fitness, she applies principles from the popular Myers-Briggs personality inventory to help readers develop a personalized exercise program within eight color-coded types. And Susan Davis-Ali, Ph.D., who has developed a Fitness Interest Profile survey for the Life Time Fitness health club chain, says research suggests that people who engage in activities appropriate for their personalities will enjoy their workouts more and are likely to stay with them longer.

By identifying your fitness personality, you can create an exercise program that suits your rhythms and interests, which comprise who you are. Working with your personality, rather than against it, can help you find a fitness approach that can become an integral part of your life.

Maybe getting fit is a brand-new goal for you. Consider your overall orientation to life and relationships — do you like consistency or change? Time alone to think or lots of conversation with friends? Are you geared toward goals, or do you prefer to relax and see what unfolds? Do you like to get up early and get your obligations out of the way, or are you more spontaneous, tackling tasks as the spirit moves you during the day?

Based on a range of composites from the growing literature on fitness personalities, we’ve put together some categories to help you assess yours. Find one that captures the way you feel about exercise — there may be several. Then, check out the recommended workout possibilities, and get moving in a manner that works for you, not against you!

Weight Management; Lifestyle Tips

Posted by weigthloss-diets Saturday, July 3, 2010 0 comments

Know the difference between weight loss myths and facts.
Can you lose 20 pounds in a week? Not likely; a much more realistic goal is to lose one-half to two pounds per week; it's slower, but it's more likely to come off and stay off. Eat smaller, balanced meals instead of skipping meals to lose weight; it's more effective. Don't expect to "eat all you want" and still lose weight. You can eat a variety of foods, but the total amount of calories has to be less than you use up every day. There is no such thing as "fat-burning" foods. Exercise is what you need instead.

Lose the diet-and the weight?

Can you lose weight by not dieting? Perhaps, but there are no published studies that document that this is a successful weight loss technique. Some of the guidelines for following this eating plan include eating only when you're hungry and stopping when you're full; maintaining a variety of foods in your meals to keep them well-balanced; keeping your portions moderate; gravitating towards home-cooked meals without as much fat, sugar or salt as commercial meals; taking part in physical activity and enjoying your ability to move through the day; and trusting your body. What you want to do is establish a habitual eating plan, one you can follow most days of the week and feel comfortable with. You should strive to follow the Dietary Guidelines but realize that you're not a "failure" if you slip once in a while. What you eat during most days of the week is what counts towards your health.

How to Control Emotional Overeating

If you know you're likely to reach for food when you're anxious or upset, avoid strict diets. These tend to give you a sense of deprivation. Use a moderate diet with healthy snacks to keep you going. Make a point of noticing emotional triggers that make you want to eat--try writing them down. When they occur, grab a cool drink of water to give you a chance to think, then begin an activity you've decided to substitute for eating, such as a 15-minute walk, calling a friend, reading a chapter of a book you enjoy or using the computer.

Weight Management; Facts to Know

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About 133 million Americans-about 66.3 percent the nation--are overweight or obese

More than two-thirds of Americans don't meet basic activity level recommendations, and 24 percent are completely sedentary.

According to the American Obesity Association, obesity (and unhealthy dietary habits and lifestyles that don't include much or any physical activity) is the second leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.

4.According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), 40 percent of newly identified cases of anorexia are in girls ages 15-19, and over half of teenage girls use unhealthy weight control behaviors, such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, taking laxatives, and vomiting. And the obsession with weight starts early--NEDA reports that 42 percent of first- to third-grade girls want to be thinner, and 82 percent of 10-year-olds are afraid of getting fat.

Children and teens who are overweight often have a lifelong struggle with their weight and are at high risk for developing diabetes, high blood pressure, diseased arteries, damaged hearts and liver damage.

If a woman's waist circumference divided by her hip measurement is greater than 0.8, she is considered to have a high amount of visceral fat, which is the type of fat that surrounds the internal organs. This is especially true if her waist measurement is more than 35 inches. This type of fat is associated with higher risk of certain diseases and conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

If you eat 250 calories per day fewer than needed to maintain your weight, and exercise enough to burn an additional 250 calories a day, you will lose about a pound per week.

Your basal metabolic rate, or the number of calories your body needs just to maintain its basic functions, is determined by multiplying your current weight by 10. You need additional calories to provide energy for daily activities; the more active you are, the more calories you need.

Weight Management; Prevention

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If you have 10 or more pounds to lose, it's probably a sign you've been letting your eating habits get out of control for six months to a year. Of course, it's best to use weight management techniques before you become overweight, to prevent weight gain in the first place.
The federal government issues helpful dietary guidelines, spelling out how much and which food you should eat and how much you should exercise to stay healthy. The guidelines, which are revised every five years (most recently updated in January 2005) are widely used by health care professionals, food makers and educators, and also form the basis of the well-known U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Pyramid (most recently updated in April 2005) used to teach healthy eating habits based on food groups such as grains, vegetables and fats.
The 2005 Dietary Guidelines recommend:

Addressing the obesity epidemic in the United States by reducing calorie intake and increasing physical exercise

Be physically active most days of the week

Letting the Food Pyramid (revised April 2005) guide your food choices

Eating a variety of grains daily, especially whole grains

Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables daily

Keeping food safe from foodborne illness

Choosing beverages and foods that limit intake of sugars

Choosing and preparing foods with less salt

Drinking alcoholic beverages in moderation

Choosing a diet low in saturated fat, trans fatty acids and cholesterol, and moderate in total fat

Specifically, the 2005 Dietary Guidelines recommends the following (based on a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet; to find the amounts that are right for you (exact amounts vary based on your age), visit the Food Pyramid Web site at

Meats and beans (Protein)

Five-and-a-half ounces of protein every day (vary your choices of meats, poultry, fish, beans, peas, nuts and seeds)

Fruits, vegetables and milk

At least two cups a day of fruit and two-and-a-half cups a day of vegetables