Timeless Fitness Tips...
The number of people over weight or obese is increasing at epidemic proportions in the U.S. With it comes greater risk of adult onset diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. More than half of all adults in America are overweight. Obesity accounts for more than 300,000 premature deaths in the U.S. each year.
Over-weight people who lose just 5 to 10 percent of their body weight can significantly reduce their risk for these health problems. This means that if you weigh 200 pounds, losing just 10 to 20 pounds may help dramatically.
Calculate Your Weight Ratio
Check your waist to hip ratio to determine if you need to lose some pounds.
To calculate your weight ratio, measure around the smallest part of your waist with a tape measure.
Then, measure around the largest part of your hips. Divide the waist measurement by the hip measurement.
According to the National Institutes of Health, women with waist-to-hip ratios of more than 0.8 or men with waist to hip ratios of more than 1.0 are "apples". They are at increased health risk because of their fat distribution.
For men, the ratio should be less than 1.0.
For women it should be less than 0.8.
The National Institutes of Health says those who have ratios higher than that may have an increased risk for diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. In addition to where a person carries his or her excess weight, body fat percentages have been associated with the heightened health risks.
Feel Doomed to Obesity?
Do you feel doomed to be obese? Are all your relatives overweight so you feel this is the hand you were dealt? Judging from the statistics, you might understandably think so. Fifty to eighty percent of children of overweight parents will become obese, versus only about nine percent of the children of lean parents.
Heredity may dispose you to to be over-weight or obese, but it is one medical condition that can be completely controlled. This isn't to say it won't be more difficult for some than others thanks to genetics, but ultimately we all have some say regarding our weight problems.
Researchers are constantly trying to determine just how genes may trigger someone to be overweight and how genetic factors interact with environmental influences to promote obesity. There has been much speculation that obese children and adults may have lower metabolic rates than lean people but recent studies do not support that data. The influence of genes may be more subtle.
Genetic factors may manifest themselves in such ways as making you like sweets or fats more than another person. They also may play a role in your willingness to exercise, but one cannot forget environmental factors. If you were brought up on fatty foods and sweet desserts, you would naturally be more inclined to follow a similiar diet.
The same applies to exercise. If you weren't brought up in an atheltic environment or one that endorsed exercise as a way of life, it is only natural you would not be inclined to exercise, either.
About Fat Cells
Fat cells are the storage bins for digested food not used by the body. To reduce the size of fat cells, the body must use fat your body has stored. The muscles in your body always burn a combination of both sugar and fat. In other words, your muscles are working around-the-clock, therefore using up some energy it pulls from both sugars (carbs) and fats.
Learn to Train Your Body to Burn Fat
When your exercise is aerobic (walking, jogging, swimming, etc.), you are burning mostly fat.
When your exercise is anaerobic (sprinting, tennis, weight lifting), you are burning mostly sugar. If your main goals are to burn calories and reduce body fat, aerobic exercise is the answer. In addition to burning fat, it will train the muscles to burn mostly fat for fuel all the time. And as the muscles strengthen, they also burn more fat.
Over-eating will decrease the ability of the cells to release fat during exercise. Adrenaline sends messages to the fat cells to release fat during exercise. However, adenosine, another hormone, tells the cells to hold onto their fat. Exercise will help the fat cells ignore adenosine. Over-eating, on the other hand, reduces the ability of the cells to do this.
In order for the body to give up fat from the cells more easily, it is important to eliminate over-indulgence of food, inappropriate food choices, or self-reward of food after exercise.
Where to Start Losing Your Weight
The only proven ways to lose weight are:
1. Reduce the number of calories you eat.
2. Increase the number of calories you burn through exercise.
Most experts recommend a combination of both.
Very low-calorie diets are risky. For one thing, they can be lacking in basic essential nutrients. Never undertake such a diet without medical supervision.
Fad diets rarely work. Sudden, radical changes in your eating patterns are hard to maintain over time. You will eventually fall back into your old eating pattern - the ones that caused you to gain weight in the first place.
Weight Loss Tips Scientifically Proven to Help
A list of weight loss tips scientists have discovered to help you on your weight loss journey.
- Keep a Food and Exercise Diary to track your progress.
- Self monitoring is one of the best strategies for weight loss. It is a concrete way of reviewing and learning from your actions.
- Cut back on too much TV-time and computer time. Decreasing inactivity may be easier than trying to increase activity. Aim for only one hour a day.
- Brown-bag your lunch to control portions. You could lose about ten pounds in a year if you dine or order out just once a week instead of three times a week.
- Eat at least one serving of fruit or vegetable at every meal. It is a great way to eat fewer calories and boost your fiber intake, which helps to fill you up.
- Get support and inspiration, whether from a dietitian, weight loss program, friend, spouse or a resource such as a magazine or cookbook.
- Eat Snacks. To keep your stamina up throughout the day, nutritionists suggest eating small snacks at regular intervals. Limit heavy lunches so you don't get a "food coma" in the afternoon.
- Ingest Energy Boosters. Handy energy boosters include sunflower seeds, oranges, low-fat cheese sticks and vegetable juice.
- Rest your eyes frequently by taking them off your computer screen and putting them on something else - the view out the window, your fake potted plant, cute delivery guy.
- Frequent stretching throughout the day (sit and touch your toes, stand and bend to the side, etc.) will keep you feeling more refreshed.
- Get Enough Liquids. Kill two birds with one stone - we should drink about eight glasses of water a day for good health. And the cool liquid (plus the activity of getting the water) will perk you up.
Making gradual changes that suit your eating and exercise habits and your lifestyle are the best way to go - and strive to make those better eating habits a permanent change.