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Get to Know Your pH Levels

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Whether you are trying to get healthy by way of weight loss or via healthier eating habits, it is important for you to get to know your pH levels a little better. You may remember pH levels from your high school biology class, but probably know very little about how they work. It is time for all of that to change—understanding you pH levels is integral to keeping your body in health and balance. [Read more…]

Quit Smoking and Keep off the Kilos!

 

Smokers are always coming up with excuses for why they can’t quit smoking. Maybe they only smoke at parties. Maybe they use cigarettes as a way to meet people. Maybe they just plain like cigarettes. Of the endless reasons why, one very popular pro-smoking excuse is the belief that smoking is a form of weight management; that is, a tobacco habit will help people manage their eating habits and thus keep their kilos to a minimum. While there is a kernel of truth to the previous statement, the larger reality is that there is really only one healthy path to weight management–and that path involves dedication to healthy diet and exercise habits. [Read more…]

How to Quit Smoking and Not Gain Weight

 

One of the many reasons smokers cling to their habit is because they believe that it is the perfect form of weight control. Unfortunately, this belief is not based in myth, but grounded in reality: smoking does cause weight loss.

Nicotine acts as an appetite suppressant thus causing smokers to eat less. Additionally, cigarettes boost the body’s metabolic rate; indeed, researchers estimate that smoker’s lose an extra 250 calories a day from this smoking side effect alone. [Read more…]

Weight Loss is Not Fat Loss, What’s the difference?

Many people who are trying to lose weight fail to make the distinction between weight loss and fat loss. A big mistake, since weight loss and fat loss are not interchangeable terms.  Misunderstanding that there is a major difference between weight loss and fat loss often leads people to fitness frustration and stagnation. In order to really achieve your optimal body and health, you need to have a proper understanding of how everything really works so let’s start by getting a better understanding of the difference between losing weight and losing fat.

Fat loss is not about how many kilos you lose, how much you weigh on the scale—fat loss is about getting rid of body fat and inches in the right places while maintaining a good muscle mass. Weight loss, on the other hand, is literally only about how much you weigh. It does not care about whether or not your body weight is made up of fat or muscle—only the kilos count.

The biggest red herring in physical fitness is the numbers on the scale. Your weight is not what defines your fitness. Muscles weigh more than fat, so sometimes you may have a lower weight but still look flabby and out of shape. Many people focus solely on their weight as a sign of their fitness progress and become exasperated that they aren’t looking any better even as their kilos go down. Some people stop focusing on building muscle mass (the right thing to do) because they see that their kilos are going up.

Both of the approaches to fitness mentioned above betray the fact that many people do not understand how their bodies work.  Your body has two stores that it uses for energy: fat and muscle. When your caloric intake goes down, your body selects one of these stores to use for energy. If you are not working to build muscle through physical fitness, your body will turn to the muscle stores for energy and leave you stuck with excess fat. Fat weighs less than muscle and so losing muscle means that you may weigh less, but still have that pesky stomach overhang.

The way to ensure that you get fit, lose fat and retain your muscle is by combining a healthy diet with regular exercise. Crash dieting is the perfect recipe for fat disaster—without the exercise it needs, your body will eat away at your muscle for energy and leave you stuck with flab (and frustrated beyond belief).  Don’t cheat by crash dieting or taking diet pills. Get fit the healthy way by working out, eating right and understanding how your body works to avoid excess fat that won’t go away.

What Is the Thyroid and How Does It Affect Our Weight?


Luigi Diamanti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You have probably heard of the thyroid, but do you know how it affects your health? More specifically, do you understand how it controls your weight? Let’s take a closer look at what the thyroid is and exactly how it contribute to weight fluctuations in order to better understand the way our bodies regulate weight gain and loss.

What is the thyroid?

The thyroid is the largest endocrine gland and it is located in the bottom of your neck. The thyroid regulates the speed with which your body makes proteins and uses energy. It also controls how your body interacts with hormones. The thyroid gland controls most of the metabolic processes in the body and it is therefore a crucial component of both your physiological and psychological health.

Thyroid disorders

You thyroid controls your metabolism, so when it is functioning properly, all of your metabolic processes are regular and normal, and this includes your ability to gain and lose weight. However, there are a number of thyroid disorders that can contribute to weight problems. These include:

· Hyperthyroidism: Hyperthyroidism is when your thyroid over produces thyroid hormones. This encompasses a broad range of disorders, from Graves disease to subacute thyroiditis. In terms of weight gain and loss, hyperthyroidism makes it extremely difficult to gain weight because the system is overactive, and this can cause moodiness, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, and an overproduction of sweat.

· Hypothyroidism: Hypothyroidism is the opposite of hyperthyroidism-it is the underproduction of thyroid hormones. An underactive thyroid makes it very difficult to lose weight and can lead to heightened levels of cholesterol and increase your risk of heart attack.

· Thyroid cancer: The thyroid can be affected by cancer and this can also wreak havoc on your body’s metabolic systems and ultimately be fatal.

As evidenced above, struggling with being overweight or underweight can be a hallmark symptom of a thyroid disorder. If you have tried all other options for weight loss or gain, such as a healthy diet and normal exercise, it might be a good idea to visit your doctor and have your thyroid checked. Thyroid disorders are very treatable-they can be helped with surgery, medication, or radiation. Doctor’s will check a patient’s blood work for thyroid hormone levels and then determine the best course of action for treatment.

Understanding the fact that your thyroid plays a major role in your weight management can save you the stress of long hours at the gym or crash diets that don’t seem to work. If your thyroid causes you to gain weight, then exercise and diet won’t fix the problem. If you suspect that your weight problems are due to a thyroid issue, don’t delay-visit the doctor as soon as possible.

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