Have you done this before?
You have set your weight loss goals and mapped out your plan to lose all those excess pounds that you have been dying to get rid off.
In your mind, you have psyched yourself up -- this time you are going all the way out to lose all those pounds! "Nothing can stop me," you tell yourself.
Then, you rationalize that...
1) In order for you to succeed in your weight loss goals, you must follow a super-strict diet and exercise routine.
2) If you happen to go off track in your diet or exercise routine by eating your favorite high-calorie junk food and skipping your exercise session, this means you have totally blown off your plan altogether.
I sure hope not!
This train of thought can be very detrimental to your weight loss efforts, but it's all too easy to fall into this trap. And not only is it very harmful to your body, it actually lowers your self-esteem too.
Your brain can help you to lose weight, or it can make you fat.
If you want to lose weight successfully, you'll need to have the right thoughts in your brain. Conversely, holding on tight to the wrong concepts can (and will!) jeopardize your plans!
Here's what you should do instead...
1) Get rid of the word "DIET" from your thoughts
Firstly, you must shake off the idea that you absolutely have to follow an extremely restrictive diet in order to lose weight successfully.
In fact, most people who are able to lose their unwanted weight successfully DO NOT diet. What they do is simply change their lifestyle such as practicing portion control, moderation, cutting back on calories and curbing their emotional eating bouts.
It's time to change your focus from weight loss to weight management. It is not just losing weight, it is about changing your lifestyle so that you can maintain your weight loss.
And do you notice how most women like to use the word "diet" every time they want to lose weight? We "go on" and "go off" diets after every holiday season; we say "I start on Monday" only to go off it by the weekend. Nobody says "I start my new way of life on Monday." But that's exactly what we need to do. An effective diet isn't just for Christmas or just a very special occasion, it's for your whole life.
We need variety not only for our nutritional reasons. It is also to satisfy ourselves, and to take care of our "wants." So, you need to create your own healthy lifestyle... the lifestyle that you want, and one that's sustainable for the long term.
Be wary of any plan that restricts entire food groups, or if it relies on just 1 type of food (e.g. soup or salad) as its mainstay.
Believe me, I've been there and done that. If you go on a diet that requires you to eat all the food that you hate or totally omits your favorites, you are going to dread your meals and are bound to fail. Even if you manage to lose the weight, all your pounds (and probably more!) will creep back once you are off the diet.
2) Do NOT give up your favorite foods
Another thing that most women would do initially is severely limiting their food intake. Or they completely cut off their favorite foods.
This is one thing that you should never do.
Well, by doing that, it sets you up for binges and your temptation for these foods would definitely increase.
Instead, you should reduce your consumption slowly. For example, you always have desserts after dinner. Instead of cutting off totally, you start by reducing your portion size to half. Thus, the temptation becomes much less powerful when you have just the taste of something "bad" now and again instead of telling yourself that it is off limits for good.
After a while, you will find yourself accustomed to the new portion sizes, and you'll be able to satisfy your craving with just a small amount of your "super sinful" foods.
3) Forgive and move on...
So, you decide to keep your favorite foods in your weight loss plan. You allow yourself a chocolate cookie everyday. But, you could not resist the temptation and you finish half of the pack. Next day afternoon, you finish the remaining half of the chocolate cookies pack for your afternoon tea.
Gee, have you blown your weight loss plan again? Does that mean you should just give up the idea of losing those extra pounds and go back to my old eating habits?
Well, not allowing yourself to make mistakes is the worst mistake you can ever make. Seriously.
Having this all-or-nothing thinking is a way to let you off the hook. It is an escape route that you create for yourself. In your mind, you could be telling yourself, "Oh well. It is all gone. I guess I don't have to bother anymore. Give me my cookies."
There's an old saying that goes, "No matter how far along you are down the wrong path, it's never too late to turn back." So don't think just because you made bad choices today, you can't start over tomorrow.
Everyday is truly a new beginning. You do not have to wait until a new year, a new month or a Monday to start all over again.
You can't erase last night's binge, but you can aim for a much healthier today!
4) Create a lifestyle you want
Many times, when you want to lose weight, you will plan up a very strict diet and exercise routine for yourself. Well... there is a high chance that you would not be able to execute it successfully. To make things worse, you hate it.
Why not aim to create a healthy lifestyle you want so that you do not give up your favorite foods?
You must create a realistic and achievable weight loss plan. After all, you want to plan to SUCCEED, not to fail, right?
If you find difficulty in creating a good plan for yourself, or if you can't seem to discipline yourself to stay true to your plan, I suggest that you engage a personal trainer to help you.
5) Celebrate your small victories
Every time you achieve a small milestone, go ahead and reward yourself.
But do not over-indulge. For example, you can reward yourself a small ice-cream once you have managed to complete your first week of exercise routines. Or when you lose your first 3 pounds, you can treat yourself a slice of cheese cake.
Remember, it is alright to reward yourself for the small challenges you have overcome so that you won't give up so easily. Let it be something you look forward to every time you surmount a challenge.
If you set up your rewards properly, they'll motivate you on a daily basis and you'll find it easier to follow your weight loss plans!
Bonus: And here's one more extra tip... Don't stress yourself. Take it easy on yourself as you're learning how to be a new, improved and healthier you. After all, you're only human... a soon-to-be-much-lighter human!
Low back pain is a usual symptom amoung the modern civilised people.It affects mainly the middle aged and young adults of both sexes.People who work on the chair with out exercise and those who carry heavy loads regularly are prone to get this complaint.We can hardly find a person who has not suffered from back pain atleast once in life.The causes of low backpain ranges from simple reasons like muscular strain to cancer of spine and hence backache should not be ignored.The pain is felt in lumbar and sacral region and may radiate to nearby sites.
The following are some causes for backache.
1) Backache due to diseases in the back.
2) Backache due to gynaecological problems.
3) Backache due to problems in other parts of the body.
1) Backache due to diseases in the back:--
a) Injuries :-
1) Compression fracture of the vertebral column.
2) Rupture of intervertebral discs.
3) Injuries to ligaments and muscles of back.
4) Lumbosacral strain.
5) Intervertebral joint injuries.
6) Fracture of processes of vertebra.
b) Functional backache due to imbalance:-
1) During pregnancy.
2) Pot belly.
3) Diseases of the hip joint.
4) Curvature in the spine due to congenital defect.
5) Short leg in one side.
c) Backache due to inflammatory conditions:-
1) Infection of the bone due to bacteria.
2) Tuberculosis of the spine.
5) Lumbago or fibrositis.
6) Inflamation of the muscles.
7) Anchylosing spondylitis.
d) Backache due to degenerative diseases in the back.
2) Osteoporosis in old people.
3) Degenaration of the intervertebral disc.
e) Tumour in the spine:--
1) Primory tumour of the bones in the spine.
2) Metastatic tumours from other sites like prostate,lungs,kidneys,intestine ect.
2) Backache due to gynaecological problems:-
a) After childbirth.
b) After gynaecological operations.
c) Prolapse of the uterus.
d) Pelvic inflammatory diseases.
e) Cancerous lesions of the pelvic organs.
3) Backache due to problems in other parts of the body.
a) Renal stones.
b) Ureteric stone.
c) Cancer of prostate.
e) Biliary stones.
f) Peptic ulcer.
g) Inflammations of pelvic organs.
h) Occlusion of aorta and illiac arteries.
Investigation of a case of backache:-
1) Complete blood count.
2) Routine urine examination.
3) Ultrasonography of the abdomen and pelvis.
4) X-ray of the lumbar and sacral region.
5) MRI of the spine.
5) CT scan of abdomen and pelvic region.
6) Examination of rectum,prostate,genito urinary organs.
Treatment of back ache:-
1) Removing the cause for backache.
2) Symptomatic treatement.
2) Back exercises.
Back pain is a common phenomenon and most of the people are suffering from it. However, a large portion of them are unaware of the reasons or the causes of this problem. A strain in the muscles is a major cause of the pain the back. Although back related pain may emerge suddenly, it may be caused by a problem which has plagued us for a long time.
Back related pain is generally not a serious problem and disappears quickly in most of the cases. However, medical advice is essential in cases where the pain persists for a long time. It is a general notion that bed rest is the best cure for this pain. But evidence has shown that rest does not aid in the recovery of a person suffering from backache. It is much better if one carries on with normal activities while taking some measures for relieving the pain.
It is one of the most common ailments with 8 out of 10 people experiencing it at one or the other point of time in their life. Pain can be acute, recurrent or chronic. Most of the people suffering from back pain fall in the first category wherein the pain vanishes in about six weeks and home remedies prove to be very effective. In the case of the recurrent category, the pain reappears after some time while chronic pain lasts for a longer period of time.
The intensity of back pain varies from person to person. It can vary from a dull ache to a searing pain and its onset may be sudden, without any reason. Severe and recurrent pain should not be ignored and proper medical advice should be sought. People experiencing difficulty in passing urine or having numbness in the back or the genital area, weakness and a shooting pain in the leg or feeling unstable while standing should consult a physician immediately.
Back Pain Remedies
Massage is an effective way of reducing back pain. The incidence or the severity of the pain can be reduced by finding out the exact reason for the pain, eliminating or modifying the factors/situations causing pain and trying to find the best possible remedy. A poor posture or manual activities such as lifting, bending and twisting can result in back related pain.
Early recognition of symptoms, proper treatment and appropriate rehabilitation measures are very important and help in minimizing the problems caused by back pain. A person suffering from back pain may need to get the following tests done to find out the exact cause:
(a) Blood test
(b) Urine examination
(c) Ultrasonography of abdomen and pelvis
(d) An X-ray of the lumbar or sacral region
(e) MRI of the spine
(f) Examination of rectum, prostate, genito urinary organs.
Several over the counter medicines are available for the treatment of various back pains. Acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the two commonly recommended drugs that for people suffering from low back pain. In case of acute pain, the doctors may recommend narcotic pain medications or muscle relaxants.
To look cut, with great muscle definition, many people have the misconception that you need to hit the gym. That's the general belief: lift less weight and do more reps for definition. For bulk, lift heavier weight and do fewer reps.
The idea that less weight tones muscles is wrong. Less weight and more reps builds endurance. For explosive power, do fewer reps with heavier weight. Just remember that to really increase strength the general consensus is that you have to work with at least 60% of your maximum lift (the heaviest weight at which you can complete a singe repetition). Definition is not an issue when deciding how many reps to do and how much weight to lift.
In reality, there is no such thing as lifting for definition. Muscular definition is one thing: muscle mass minus body fat. You cannot lift to make your muscles more defined. To look ripped, you have to shed some fat.
It starts with your diet. You have to eat right. There are many ways to eat right. One thing that works well for almost everyone is to cut out milk and milk by-products (creamers for coffee) from the diet. Also, don't eat any complex carbohydrates after lunch. A perfect dinner might be salad and tuna fish.
In addition to lifting weights, do cardio often. Many people are afraid that they will lose muscle by doing cardio. In reality, doing cardio (in addition to eating well) is the only way to get cut because you have to lose that body fat. The more cut you are, the more jacked you look.
In conclusion, lift weights, eat well, do cardio, and look ripped.
As the old year comes to a close and everyone begins to look forward to the beginning of a New Year, many people are also anticipating the beginning of their New Yearís resolutions. For numerous individuals, New Yearís resolutions will involve vows to cut back on their food intake, get on a diet and exercise regimen and drop at least a few pounds. The question that hangs in the air for those who are anticipating the start of a new diet lies in exactly which diet might happen to be right for them and which diet holds the key to helping them lose the most weight.
Certainly, there are numerous diets available and it seems like every few months a new diet or eating plan has emerged to become the new successful diet rage. Is it possible that all the ëpopularí diets can help you lose weight or are there certain diets that can help you lose more weight than others?
This is the question that a group of researchers set out to answer recently. Over a period of two months, 160 individuals were monitored closely as they followed a supervised program. The varying factor among all 160 program participants was that they were allowed to choose whichever diet suited their fancy. Researchers waited and watched in anticipation to learn which diet or diets would prove to be most successful.
What they learned at the conclusion of the study proved to be quite interesting. The data they collected not only helped them to learn more about which diet programs tend to be more successful in terms of total weight loss but also which diet programs more individuals were more likely to stick with for long term weight loss and maintenance.
While the study participants were allowed to choose their favorite diet plan, most participants opted for one of the following: Atkins, Weight Loss, Ornish and the Zone. Even though initial data was conducted after just two months, researchers continued to study the remaining participants. They discovered that after a period of time more than half of those participants who opted for diet plans that focused on low carbs and high fat, such as the Atkins plan, dropped out. Additionally, approximately the same percentage of individuals who chose the Ornish plan, which focuses on low fat and high carb vegetarian foods, also quit their diets. Weight Watchers participants fared moderately better, with about two-thirds of that groupís participants sticking with it. The Zone participants showed similar results.
So, which diet plans performed best overall in terms of total weight loss? Surprisingly, they all performed about the same. Those individuals participating in the Ornish plan who were able to stick with their diet for the entire year achieved a weight loss rate of about 6%; the highest of all groups. Atkins came in at about 4%, with Weight Watchers and the Zone performing at an average of 5% weight loss. Health risk factors related to obesity were an entirely different matter; however. In terms of heart disease risk, Weight Watchers participants decreased their risk by 15%, while other diet plans hovered in the 12% range. The Ornish diet plan participants, who showed a higher overall weight loss, showed a lower decrease in risk of heart disease, at just 7%.
Overall; however, researchers concluded that in the end, there is no one magic diet. If youíre planning to resolve to lose weight in the New Year, your best strategy is still the same regardless of which diet plan you ultimately choose. Eat sensibly, cut back on portions, drink plenty of water, participate in a moderate exercise routine and find a diet buddy to support you in your weight loss goals.
Easy ways to include important good-for-you fats in your everyday diet. Add Healthy Fat to Your Diet
1. Try to eat fish twice a week, especially salmon, herring or mackerel. Avoid frozen breaded products made with hydrogenated oil.
2. Sprinkle 2 tsp (10 mL) ground flaxseeds on your cereal or yogurt a few times a week.
3. Use olive or canola oil in salad dressing.
4. Choose cookies and crackers that are not made with hydrogenated oil.
5. If you have a craving for chocolate, eat a few squares of good-quality chocolate made without hydrogenated oil.
6. Occasionally sprinkle walnuts, almonds or peanuts over salads, add them to baking or eat as a fast snack.
7. If there's a choice at a cocktail party, nibble on unsalted almonds or walnuts -- both contain unsaturated fats.
8. Occasionally add an avocado to your salad. It's a great source of monounsaturated fat, which is linked to a reduced risk of breast cancer.
9. Buy omega-3 eggs, which come from hens fed on flaxseed. They contain seven to 12 times more omega-3 than regular eggs.
As you might have known, Absolute Personal Training is powered by Abvolution, which is a Health and Fitness service provider. To inspire everyone from all walks of life and all levels to begin positive lifestyle, We hope to instill the idea of believing yourself. Many people have always doubt themselves in training and think that doing healthy programmes and getting fit is an impossible task in their life. Instead, if you have the " I believe" attitude, nothing will be able to stop you from getting what you want.
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How to Estimate How Many Calories You Can Have and Still Lose Weight
To figure out how many calories you should have, first start with where you are. In other words, figure out how many calories it takes to maintain your present size and then reduce from there. You can go about this in many ways. Most people simply choose an arbitrary number like 1200 calories and that's what they eat, but in nearly every case that's not nearly enough calories to ensure adequate nutrition, not to mention the deprivation that sets up.
While losing weight and to this day, I eat over 2000 calories a day on average and I've maintained a good weight for my height for over 17 years. Remember, your body requires calories to maintain itself.
Basic Calorie Requirements Calculation Based on Activity Level:
Sedentary : 13 X Weight = Avg. cal/day
Sedentary is not exercising at all
Moderately Active: 16 X Weight = Avg. cal/day
Moderately Active is exercising approximately 3-4 times per week
Very Active: 19 X Weight = Avg. cal/day
Very Active is 5-7 strenuous exercise sessions per week.
If you weigh over 200 pounds now, and you'd like to weigh closer to 150, here is a calculation you could use to get started: Assuming you are going to be adding enough exercise to quality as Moderately Active, we'll use 16 as our modifier:
150 pounds X 16 calories per pound = 2400 calories
Less 500 (Using the common 500 calories per day reduction) gives us a total of 1900 average calories per day
If you started to incorporate a plan that allowed an average of 1900 calories every day, you'd start to lose weight. The mistake most people make is to reduce calories too much, which ultimately sacrifices muscle plus sets you up for feeling deprived. It's far better in the long run to go more slowly, keeping as much muscle as possible while burning calories via exercise. Remember too, even if you don't eat quite that many calories on many days, you might eat more on the weekends for instance, so it ends up being closer to your goal of 1900 average per day. Take the total calories for the week divided by seven.
Remember, this average calorie number gives you plenty of wiggle room during the week. You can have some treats along with everyone else, or add more on weekends. Instead of constantly saying, "I can't, I'm on a diet," now you can say, "Thank you, that looks delicious," and enjoy some. It doesn't ruin your diet plan because you've got a large enough calorie allowance that if you are more careful some days than others, it will work out to the average number of calories you want. I tend to eat far less calories during the week than on weekends and my totals generally average out to 2000 to 2200 calories per day.
The 500 calorie reduction is a well accepted amount. You can reduce your calories further, but I wouldn't recommend it. It doesn't benefit anyone to try for faster weight loss, in fact, if you reduce your calories too much you end up wasting muscle in the process, which is exactly what you do not want to do. If you want faster results, it's better to add more activity, thereby burning more calories at rest.
You may be thinking I'm nuts, recommending 1900 calories per day, but I can say for a fact that if you eat too little (1000 - 1200 calories is too few, IMO) then you set yourself up for all of the following:
You're going to feel deprived, mentally and physically. 1000 calories isn't enough for your basic metabolic needs, much less to fuel yourself for your activity needs. Add more food! Just have a bit more than you're already having, so for instance, if you are allowed 1/2 cup of vegetables is a whole cup going to ruin all your progress? I doubt it. Eat a whole cup, or go ahead and have two oranges. Fruits and vegetables are very low calorie but provide high nutrition.
Sure, some vegis and fruits are high in sugar, but it's natural sugar. I seriously doubt our planet grows any killer foods - it is more likely the food industry which has processed those foods to become nothing more than a dried powder, then add back more sugars, and chemicals so it will resemble the original product, is more harmful than a simple apple or banana?
If you are diabetic or must watch the sugars, have a small bit of protein along with the higher glycemic food, such as an ounce of cheese with your apple. Notice I said an ounce of cheese, not a slab big enough to feed a small country.
Feeding yourself too few calories sets you up for metabolic slow-down. Studies have shown time and again that a heavier person can find it difficult to lose weight, even though eating very low calories, simply because their body's metabolism is burning at such a slow rate. As you probably already know exercise helps to speed up your metabolism but so does eating. That's why they say breakfast is so important, not only to fuel yourself but because it starts the metabolic furnace burning, and it continues to burn all day. If you don't eat anything until noon, you don't stoke your furnace to start burning until then either.
Has the ultra low calorie approach worked for you so far? If not, why not try something more reasonable? Tag along with a friend who doesn't have a weight problem and you'll see how sometimes they eat more, sometimes less, but on average they eat enough to fuel their body and maintain their weight.
Adding more food gives you additional eye appeal. If you split up 1000 calories over the course of an entire day you're looking at pretty skimpy portions on your plate each time you eat. I like to feel like I'm getting enough to eat and I do this by rounding out my plate with extra vegetables.
If I'm having a frozen entree for instance, I'll cook up a cup or more of frozen vegetables to add to my plate. The extra vegis really fill me up, providing the satisfaction I need, and I often have a bit extra vegetables to throw away. Is that wasting food? No, it's smart. Far better for me mentally to have extra food to toss away than to be licking the plate because I'm still hungry. I'm also not likely to start wanting something else to eat right after dinner if I'm feeling content with the amount I've eaten.
Make an effort to learn to like your food as is. Plain mixed vegetables with nothing on them are delicious. It took me awhile to stop putting butter on them, and then even quitting the Molly McButter (just chemicals and sodium). I eat them plain and yes, they are great. Nature made our fruits and vegetables naturally sweet and all those "extras" we are used to using like butter on vegetables or potatoes certainly make things taste all yummy but they also make us larger than we need to be. Those "extra" calories add up.
Start to Slowly Make Ajustments to What You Eat or How Much You Eat
For instance wean yourself off adding sugar to your cold cereal. Read the label; all processed cereals contain a ridiculous amount of added sugar already. There's no need to add more. My only exception is brown sugar on oatmeal. I don't sugar my cereal at all anymore but it took me awhile to make the change. Start by adding a bit less, then next week cut back a bit more until you break the habit entirely. Tiny changes make up for big results over time.
If you feed yourself well, and focus on increasing your activity, even if only a little, then you will continue to lose fat, build muscle and get more shapely, all the while increasing your metabolism so you can eat more food!
Whether you're concerned about cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or simply losing weight, you want to eat a healthy diet and focus on foods that are high in vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, and balanced in fats, carbs, proteins.
There is only one way to incorporate healthy foods into our diet and that is to make the decision to do it! Practical information about the nutrition and safety of the foods we consume is absolutely vital in making this decision.
One way to learn more about what we eat, is to snoop around the supermarket. Check-out package labels to see what manufactures are adding (or removing) from the foods we eat. Read the information on the package and start making comparisons to determine which foods are the best for YOU. Know about nutritional labeling and the sometimes sneaky ways that manufacturers have of hiding what is in the food. Know and understand ingredient declarations, how they are used, and what a few of the "technical" terms mean. Are the unfamiliar ingredients good or bad for your health?
Since 1994 food manufacturers have been required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to include food labels (or Nutrition Facts labels) on product packaging so that consumers have accurate nutritional information about the food they purchase. But food labels are more than just a federal requirement ñ once you understand the information they provide, you can use food labels as a guide to planning healthier meals and snacks.
Food labels are required on almost all foods, except those that don't provide many nutrients such as coffee, alcohol and spices. Although some restaurants provide information about the food they serve, they aren't required to have labels. The AVA recommends that sellers provide nutritional information on produce, meat, poultry and seafood, but it's strictly voluntary.
What Is a Serving?
At the top of a food label under Nutrition Facts, you'll see the serving size and the number of servings in the package. The rest of the nutrition information in the label is based on one serving.
Calories, Calories From Fat and Percent Daily Values
This part of a food label provides the calories per serving and the calories that come from fat. If you need to know the total number of calories you eat every day or the number of calories that come from fat, this section provides that information. Remember that this part of the label doesn't tell you whether you are eating saturated or unsaturated fat.
On the right side of a food label, you'll see a column that lists percentages. These percentages refer to the percent daily values (%DV). Percent daily values tell you how much of something, whether it's fat, sugar or vitamin A, one serving will give you compared to how much you need for the entire day. It will help you gauge the percentage of a nutrient requirement met by one serving of the product. One way to use this section of the label is when you comparison shop. For example, if you're concerned with sodium, you can look at two foods and choose the food with the lower % DV. Are you trying to eat a low-fat diet? Look for foods that have a lower percent daily value of fat.
The %DV is based on how much or how little of the key nutrients you should eat whether you eat 2,000 or 2,500 calories a day. So if you eat a 2,000-calorie diet, you should eat less than 65 grams of fat in all the foods you eat for the day. If you're eating 12 grams of fat in your one serving of macaroni and cheese (remember that's one cup), you can calculate how much fat you have left for the day. You can use the bottom part of the food label in white to compare what you are eating to the % DV you're allowed for that nutrient, whether it's fat, sodium or fiber. If you need more or less than 2,000 or 2,500 calories, you'll need to adjust this accordingly.
Fat, Sugar, Sodium and Carbohydrate
The sections on a food label shows the name of a nutrient and the amount of that nutrient provided by one serving of food. You may need to know this information, especially if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or are eating a diet that restricts certain nutrients such as sodium or carbohydrates.
Food labels also include information about how much sugar and protein is in the food. If you are following a low-sugar diet or you're monitoring your protein intake, it's easy to spot how much of those nutrients are contained in one serving.
Vitamins, Minerals and Other Information
The light purple part of the label lists nutrients, vitamins and minerals in the food and their percent daily values. Try to average 100% DV every day for vitamins A and C, calcium, iron and fiber. Do the opposite with fat, saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol. Try to eat less than 100% DV of these.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Reading a Food Label
Until you become accustomed to reading food labels, it's easy to become confused. Avoid these common mistakes when reading labels:
-A label may say that the food is reduced fat or reduced sodium. That means that the amount of fat or sodium has been reduced by 25% from the original product. It doesn't mean, however, that the food is low in fat or sodium. For example, if a can of soup originally had 1,000 milligrams of sodium, the reduced sodium product would still be a high-sodium food.
-Don't confuse the % DV for fat with the percentage of calories from fat. If the % DV is 15% that doesn't mean that 15% of the calories comes from fat. Rather, it means that you're using up 15% of all the fat you need for a day with one serving (based on a meal plan of 2,000 calories per day).
-Don't make the mistake of assuming that the amount of sugar on a label means that the sugar has been added. For example, milk naturally has sugar, which is called lactose. But that doesn't mean you should stop drinking milk because milk is full of other important nutrients including calcium.
Reading Label Lingo
In addition to requiring that packaged foods contain a Nutrition Facts label, the FDA also regulates the use of phrases and terms used on the product packaging. Here's a list of common phrases you may see on your food packaging and what they actually mean.
No fat or fat free - Contains less than 1/2 gram of fat per serving Lower or reduced fat: Contains at least 25 percent less per serving than the reference food. (An example might be reduced fat cream cheese, which would have at least 25 percent less fat than original cream cheese.)
Low fat - Contains less than 3 grams of fat per serving.
Lite - Contains 1/3 the calories or 1/2 the fat per serving of the original version or a similar product.
No calories or calorie free - Contains less than 5 calories per serving.
Low calories - Contains 1/3 the calories of the original version or a similar product.
Sugar free - Contains less than 1/2 gram of sugar per serving.
Reduced sugar - at least 25% less sugar per serving than the reference food.
No preservatives - Contains no preservatives (chemical or natural).
No preservatives added - Contains no added chemicals to preserve the product. Some of these products may contain natural preservatives.
Low sodium - Contains less than 140 mgs of sodium per serving.
No salt or salt free - Contains less than 5 mgs of sodium per serving.
High fiber - 5 g or more per serving (Foods making high-fiber claims must meet the definition for low fat, or the level of total fat must appear next to the high-fiber claim).
Good source of fiber - 2.5 g to 4.9 g. per serving.
More or added fiber - Contains at least 2.5 g more per serving than the reference food.
With a little practice, you will be able to put your new found knowledge about food labeling to work. Reassess your diet and decide what needs to be changed. Start by eliminating the foods that don't measure-up to your nutritional wants and needs, and replacing them with more nutritional substitutes.
And while you're at it, visit the AVA website and learn about the new labeling requirements, including those for "trans" fat. Like saturated fats, trans fats can raise levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and increase your risk of heart disease.
The famous Greek philosopher Aristotle once said "You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor."
Does it take courage to lose weight? You bet it does! The question then becomes.....do we have the courage to lose weight?
Let's take a look at some of the weight-loss pitfalls we may need courage to overcome. Although all of these won't apply to everyone, we need to be aware of these traps.
* SIBLING RIVALRY - Do you have a sister that you're always competing with? Although we love our siblings, we need to realize that our weight loss success may not always get the warmest response! If we finally start exercising and drop that extra 40 lbs., but our sister doesn't, how will that impact the sibling relationship? All too often our sister will get jealous and react negatively to our success. A snide comment here, a cold shoulder there, and soon we may find ourselves regretting our own success.
* GUILT - Yes, we may even feel guilty about our weight loss success! What if we lose that extra weight, but our best friend doesn't? Similar to 'survivor syndrome', we might even call this phenomenon 'success syndrome'. Consider the woman who, with her mother, has been battling her weight all her life. This has been a journey of 15-25 years!! Suddenly the daughter is thin, and the mother is still obese.....these types of scenarios can create feelings of guilt in the successful person.
* ATTENTION - Once we start exercising regularly, we will start to lose fat and tone muscle. It's likely that, as we become successful in our weight loss efforts, we will start to attract attention from the opposite sex. As fun as that may sound, it may be uncomfortable for some of us.
* SPOUSE - "In a marital or romantic relationship there may be an equilibrium that is established over time. Take for example a marriage where a husband smokes or drinks and does not get promoted and his wife is overweight. If she then upsets the equilibrium by losing weight, there is implicit pressure on him to make progress in his own areas of struggle.
Another reason that someone may not want their partner to lose weight: Let's say one person is angry and has a difficult time talking about their feelings, so they badger the other person for having a piece of apple pie. If their partner loses weight, then they no longer have that means to control or express hostility.
Or someone may nag their partner, saying 'You don't look as good as you used to,' but then when their partner begins to lose weight they may resist, not feeling 'good enough' for them any more. One woman told me that her husband was actually feeding her off his plate. He felt threatened when she lost weight and did his best to undo her weight loss."
* COURAGE! - It's easy to see that some of us may need courage to cope with our weight loss once we've achieved it. But we CAN find the courage to handle these issues! Some tips for courageous weight loss:
Invite the jealous sister to exercise with us. If the offer is refused, then remember that we DID make the offer!
Remember that we can only be responsible for our OWN failure and success.....if a friend or family member fails to lose their excess weight it's not our fault! We are only in charge of us!
Invite our spouse to help us shop for healthier foods and cook healthier meals.
Be courageous! WE CAN DO IT!
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