November 29, 2011

What You Need to Know for Losing Weight During Pregnancy

weightqWhen you get pregnant, it is expected that you will gain some weight. In fact, doctors will caution some women from trying to control their weight as it is healthy to gain at least some weight. The norms for weight gain while you are pregnant will depend on your body type going into the pregnancy and other factors. Generally, the average sized woman will gain between 25 and 35 pounds. If you are underweight, you will gain slightly more. If you are overweight you will gain slightly less. Expect to gain around 2 to 4 pounds in the first three months and a pound week thereafter.

Those who are gaining way more weight, and are not having twins, will need to look at methods for losing weight during pregnancy. If done correctly, you will not pose any problems for the baby and you will be able to get down to a normal pregnancy weight which will help you to have a healthier pregnancy. It is always a good idea to work with your health care provider to make sure that you are staying safe for your sake as well as for the baby’s sake.

Maintaining moderate exercise
Exercise is one of the best ways to make sure that you are losing weight during pregnancy. You do not have to go overboard with aerobics or running. Just some walking will help you to stay in shape. The good news is that the walking will also help to get your body ready for labor. It will make sure that you are ready to pass your baby from your system in a natural way. Make sure that you are not walking for extended periods of time as this can actually induce labor. Instead, a nice 5 minute walk after meals will help you to burn off a few extra calories.

Do not restrict calories
Many women will try to abstain from eating so that they can start losing weight during pregnancy. The problem with this is all of the nutrition you bring into your system is being used by the baby. Instead of reducing calories, make sure that the calories you eat are smarter. This means trying to reduce the amount of empty calories like candy and soda in your diet. Instead, eat meals with substance to them. This will help you to get the protein, calcium and vitamins to your baby so that there will be healthy development.

Increase the number of times you eat
If losing weight during pregnancy is important to you, you can simply increase the amount that you are eating each day as well as making sure that the meals you eat are smaller. Eating 6 small meals a day will help you to increase your metabolism as well as making sure that your baby is getting a steady stream of food. This is also known as grazing by doctors because instead of sitting down to 3 heavy meals, you are eating light, yet substantial meals twice as often.

What Are Common Hair Loss Symptoms?

femalehairlossHair loss is a condition in which for many potential reasons, the hair begins to fall out from the head, as well as other parts of the body. Everyone experiences some degree of hair loss through the natural hair growth and loss cycle, but there are some times when an individual experiences a higher level of hair loss. This can occur for a variety of reasons and can occur within both men as well as women.

Here are some of the common symptoms that can be seen with hair loss:

- Hair falling out while washing, brushing or styling the hair. This is often noticeable while rinsing the hair through the washing cycle and can cause the hair to become noticeably thinner.

- Noticing an unusual amount of hair that is on items of clothing, your shoulder or finding multiple strands of hair around the home

- Noticing large amounts of hair that are present on combs and brushes

- Noticing an appearance of thinning hair through the head. This reduction in the thickness of hair can be caused by a variety of factors.

What are some of the common causes of hair loss for men?

Male pattern baldness is one of the most common causes of hair loss in men. Through this condition, which can affect men through the natural course of aging it is important to take preventative measures, as preventative measures are the most effective way to deal with common male pattern baldness.

What are some of the common causes of hair loss for women?

For women, hair loss is often caused by an imbalance or a significant change in the hormone levels within the body. Hair loss is often common through times in a woman’s life when she experiences these hormone imbalances like pregnancy, post partum and through menopause when hormone levels decrease. One of the most common times for hair loss in women is through post-partum between birth and six months. At this time, the hormone levels within the body are returning to normal and combined with the hair cycle, which slows significantly during pregnancy and therefore hair loss is commonly experienced and many women are alarmed.

Once you have determined the causes of hair loss for men and associated the symptoms you can begin to create a plan which will be used to regulate the body and stop the hair loss from occurring. There are multiple treatment options that can be chosen from when it comes to hair loss and choosing between these various treatments can be easy once you have determined the cause of the hair loss.

There are many treatments that have been designed to treat the symptoms that are associated with hair loss including thinning of the hair as well as baldness. Between treatments that are actually applied to the scalp and treatments that are used to stimulate regrowth of the hair there are many options that are available for men, as well as women when it comes to hair loss.

16 Weeks Pregnant – What You Should Expect

It’s really funny that a lady who has never being pregnant thinks about the changes in her body as ever week is passing by.

16 weeks of pregnancy comes under second trimester of the pregnancy period. The belly may not be much obvious, more so in slender women. Women love this period of their pregnancy as they are just flabby so as to look pregnant but not so that they look awkward. The most exciting feature a pregnant woman can notice is the movement of the baby. Depending on several factors, first movement of baby occurs at 16 to 20 weeks of pregnancy. Medically it is termed as quickening and is felt as light flickering over the abdomen.

You may need some maternity clothes at this time. Although there is not much growth of the baby and you may not actually need them for a couple of weeks more, but getting used to clothing that helps the room to grow your body is accepted by many pregnant mothers.

You should do some blood tests at this period after consultation with your doctor. The most important test is AFP (Alfafetoprotein) test and Triple test. These tests are conducted to measure the congenital abnormality, if any, to your baby. If there is increased level of AFP in your blood, there is considerable chance of delivering a baby with Down syndrome (mental retardation, lanky stature and congenital organ abnormality). The chance of termination of pregnancy can be thought of.

Amniocentesis is another test that is also conducted at this time. It detects any chromosomal problem in your baby. A thin needle is passed through your abdomen to draw a little amount of amniotic fluid under radiological guidance (ultrasonography).

At 16 weeks, your baby is almost 4.5 inches long and weighs about 3 Oz. At this time, the baby can hold the head straighter inside the womb and starts moving.

What is Your Ideal Weight and How to Maintain It

ideal foodHealth is wealth and maintaining health is the sole responsibility of yours. But you are free to eat whatever your tongue likes. The onus lies upon you whether you want or don’t want to become flabby like Hardy (in the famous comic character) or become somebody having a stout figure. Maintaining an ideal weight not only gives you a better shape, but a healthy people is always at a distance from some grave diseases like diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. Around the world, more than 800 million people are so obese, that they need someone’s assistance to live a daily life. Now you have to choose whether you want to get your ideal weight or not.

Talking about ideal weight brings the discussion of your height. This is the key to get the ideal weight. As height is different in various ethnic groups, ideal weight also varies from country to country. Ideal weight is not the same for an African man to a Chinese man. Again ideal height is different in between sexes. Ideal weight of a male American will be different from a female from the same country. Therefore, ideal weight has to be calculated in a scale depending upon the ethnic group and the sex.

Getting your ideal weight is difficult, but maintaining it is more so. You have to do a lot of exercises and diet control to reach the ideal weight respective of your height. As you attain the level, the hitch that negatively affects the enduring process is dedication. It is quite obvious to come when you don’t have a goal. But losing your morale will not do. You have to be very careful at this stage. You have to carry on diet control (I am not saying to cut down those foods you like, you can have them occasionally) and the exercise also. As we grow older, the strength of our muscles weakens. This is more understandable over our abdominal and hip muscles. The tone of the muscles becomes lose and we can have pot belly. Fat accumulation over this area makes the scenario more disgusting. Therefore, you have to continue exercises dedicated to abdomen and hips.

Next come the muscles of the chest. Gentle work out with the weight will suffice. Our intention will be keep the muscles in their proper tone and shape. We cannot do any good to the sagging breasts, but proper toning of pectoral muscles will definitely lift the breast. Doing regular exercises will tone up muscles from all over your body.

Try to calculate daily calorie intake and the amount you are burning. Although it is difficult to estimate these in true sense, you must make out an approximate amount. Your diet should be full of green leafy vegetables and whole grain cereals. Try to incorporate as much fiber as you can in your diet. It will help in lowering cholesterol. Occasional ice-creams, chocolates, burgers will not bring harm, but be careful to skip it in your everyday diet.

In this fast paced world we tend to depend upon fast foods that are, I am afraid to say, not healthy. You have to maintain your ideal weight to become hale and hearty.

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What to eat to lose weight?

caloriesIf you are trying to lose weight, choose food based on their weight-to-calorie ratio. You want to eat food that weighs a lot but has few calories and avoid food that is light in weight but hefty in calories.

Fruits and vegetables are the big winners in the heavy weight-low calorie department, according to Tufts University. They weigh a lot because of their fiber and water content and yet do not have many calories. For example, one cup of cantaloupe or ‘melon’ weighs 5.5 ounces but only has 56 calories. A cup of cooked spinach weighs six ounces but only has 42 calories.

Now, compare that to six cups of buttered popcorn that only weighs three ounces and contains 420 calories or, even worse, one ounce of potato chips that has 152 calories (if you ate four ounces, you would be inviting 608 calories to feel at home in your fat cells). That’s what I call “small but terrible”.

Most snack food doesn’t weigh much but sure have a lot of calories. This means you can eat a lot of them without feeling full and without realizing it take in many excess calories that you don’t need.

Most cookies weigh ½ ounce and contain 50 calories. Eat six cookies and you only have three ounces of weight but you’ve racked up 300 calories. 1.5 ounces of a chocolate bar contain 220 calories. A small croissant only weighs two ounces but has 230 calories.

According to the New Zealand University study, food that is light in weight but high in calories is probably the worse kind of food to eat if you are trying to lose weight. It’s sort of like ‘double jeopardy’ – you are still hungry but you have already eaten many calories.

Choose lower-fat choices of the same weight food. There can be a world of difference between the caloric consumption of two people eating the same weight and type of food. How is this possible? Easy, if you consider the way the food is cooked or prepared.

Here are some examples (all of them weigh 3.5 ounces). Boiled potatoes have 62 calories compared to french fried potatoes with 328 calories. Sardines in tomato sauce contain 127 calories while sardines in oil have 372. Tuna flakes in water have 95 calories while tuna flakes in oil have 309. You get the picture.

Avoid the “light weight-high calorie” way of dieting. I know many people who don’t want to eat regular sized meals because they think that if their stomach feels heavy, they are eating a lot of calories. Therefore, they think that by eating something light like crackers, they will lose weight.

What they don’t realize is that just because a food is light doesn’t automatically mean it contains few calories. One could easily eat nine crackers (420 calories) and still not feel full because nine crackers only weigh three ounces. Believe it or not but you could have a satisfying meal of ½ cup steamed rice, a cup of cooked spinach, a small piece of fish, and a cup of cantaloupe for less calories.

This complete meal would weigh a satisfying 18.5 ounces and only “cost” you 378 calories. By making the right food choices, you can cut down on unnecessary calories without starving yourself and feeling deprived.

You should also cut down somewhat on your carbs, but don’t cut them out completely! Because effective weight loss depends on exercise and activity, without some carbs in your diet, you won’t have the energy you’ll need to effectively burn off calories.

What you do need to do is begin with a “baseline diet” that dictates at least half of your calories come from vegetables, fruits, natural starches, and whole grains. The rest of your diet should consist of low-fat proteins like fish, chicken, and lean beef.

You need to balance out your carbs with your protein stay away from those carbs at night. Periodically, you want to take “carb-up” days to get your energy levels up.

When we talk about protein, many people wonder just how much is enough or how much is too much. In general, experts say you should eat 1 gram of protein for every pound of body weight per meal.
That might seem like a ridiculously large amount of protein, but remember, we’re talking about LEAN proteins. Plus, eating protein speeds up your metabolism and accelerates weight loss.

This might be a good time to talk about portion sizes. As a general rule of thumb, you should never eat a serving that is larger than your clenched fist. The good news about this is that you’ll be able to eat enough to get full without overdoing it.
Cravings might be the worst part about weight loss. Let’s say you love chocolate chip cookies like I do. If you’re craving a chocolate chip cookie, denying that craving will only make it stronger.
Instead of not having the cookie, go ahead, just don’t overdo it. Simply have one instead of three. You can indulge in your favorite foods as long as you keep it within reason.
Most experts agree that the traditional three square meals a day shouldn’t be part of a healthy diet. In fact, you should eat more meals every day. Doesn’t that sound like great news?!

The idea here is that you overeat when you are overly hungry. To combat that hunger, you should eat more meals with smaller portions rather than fewer meals with larger portions.

For women, it is recommended you eat five meals a day and for men, you should eat six. Try to make these meals a minimum of 2 hours apart to insure you don’t get too hungry.

The benefits will reveal themselves. By doing this, you are accomplishing the following benefits:
• Faster metabolic rate
• Higher energy
• Less storage of body fat due to the smaller portions
• Reduced hunger and cravings
• Steadier blood sugar and insulin levels
• More calories available for muscle growth
• Better absorption and utilization of the nutrients in your food

But you need to make sure you eat the right kinds of foods.

What happens to food after we eat it?

When you eat food, the process of digestion breaks food down into it’s respective nutrients as we discussed before. Carbohydrates into monosaccharides (single units of sugars), protein into amino acids and fats into fatty acids. This process starts when you actually chew the food, the food then travels down into the stomach through the esophagus where it is liquified. When it reaches your small intestines, this is where the fun begins. Most of the digestion and absorption of the food occurs here in your small intestine. Digestive enzymes called lipase, amylase and protease act on fats, carbohydrates and protein to break them down into their nutrients for absorption. Once the food has been broken down into their simple units, they are then absorbed into the blood stream for further chemical changes to make other compounds that the body needs, or for use around the body. Water and small lipids (fats) cross the intestinal wall easily. Some nutrients such as water and fat soluble vitamins need a carrier to take them across the wall. Other nutrients such as proteins and glucose move across the wall and into the blood stream by themselves but use energy to do so.

What is a well balanced diet and How Do I Get One ?

Following the food pyramid is a good place to start and maybe it’s a good place to end for some people. If you take all the food somebody eats at the end of the week and then add them all up and how much variety there was, you will find that there really wasn’t that much variety.

People generally have a dozen foods they like to eat and they will end up eating the same foods day after day for most of their life and that is where you run into problems. You get stuck in a rut and fail to incorporate a vast variety into your diet and fail to get the nutritional balance that you should be getting. If you know nothing about food but incorporate a lot of variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, cereals, dairy, protein sources, small amount of “good” fats, and legumes and nuts into your diet the chances of your missing out on the right nutrients essential for good health are lowered.

When it comes to fresh fruit and vegetables, some people like to use a diet out there called the Rainbow diet. It’s based on all the different colors of fruits and vegetables. So I will take purple grapes and onions and garlic and sprinkle some lettuce and if we have fresh strawberries I will add those to cantaloupe and really your imagination is your only limitation. Just basically add all your favorite fruits and vegetables and season it to taste. Mix it all up and you have an incorporation of all of that variety. You get all of the vitamins and the nutrients and the minerals that you need in just one meal instead of just ingesting one kind of food.

My point is the more variety you can get in your diet the greater the possibility that if you are lacking in something that you are going to get it. I am an advocate of getting variety in your diet. It all comes down to looking at your budget and having some knowledge of getting what you need and looking at the food labels.

With just a little bit of knowledge of how to read food labels and what you need you can make the right choices with the money that you have to work with.

Even the restaurants and the fast food chains are starting to offer more nutritious choices, likes salads. Subway is one that has really jumped on the bandwagon. You know the one with Jared standing there saying this deep fat fried sandwich contains 45 plus grams of fat and compare it to the subway sandwich. I saw an interview where they were talking with the producer of Sesame Street and they were talking about the Cookie Monster and how it was presented inadvertently to get kids to eat more junk food and more cookies. Now they have repositioned that whole program to where they are starting to teach kids more about nutrition. I am hoping that one of the things that is happening is that there is increased awareness about nutrition and the obesity epidemic. Some people are just succumbing to obesity and the things that come with it like cancer and heart disease and diabetes. It’s good to see some positive changes taking place.

What are fats and protein?

A fat is a waxy, oily substance and is essential for good health. Fat has double the amount of calories and so poses a problem to individuals who find it difficult to exercise.

If you break down a fat you break it down into something called a fatty acid and glycerol.

Proteins are made up of chains of amino acids and are necessary for your body to build enzymes, antibodies and haemoglobin. When you eat protein, your body breaks the protein down into amino acids and then tries to re-assemble them into other configurations to make other needed proteins for use around the body.

Carbohydrates, fats and protein can all be broken down into smaller units. Each one of those macronutrients can be sub-divided. In the case of proteins, proteins are made up of amino acids. Not all proteins have the eight essential amino acids that the body needs. If you are consuming protein and you miss out the essential ones for long periods of time, you are putting yourself at risk of becoming malnourished. In some cultures around the world where food isn’t so plentiful, children can become malnourished and develop diseases such as Kwashiorkor. The children have the distended tummies, however the rest of their bodies are fine, this unfortunately is caused by a protein deficiency.

Scientists can actually measure the quality of nutrients that people are getting. People will volunteer to be involved in a clinical feeding trial and they will hook these people up to all kinds of measuring devices to measure everything from body temperature to how much moisture they exhale. They weigh and eliminate brine in their feces and record everything they can about these patients. They will feed these people a controlled diet – controlling the amount of protein consumed. They can measure how much is excreted, how much weight a person gains and basically they can determine how much of that protein is utilized by the body. When they do that they can determine the quality of the protein and the amino acids that makes up the protein. They can determine how well the body absorbs protein and assign a number value to the protein as to how well it is absorbed. Some proteins are absorbed extremely well, an example would be egg albumin, which is a protein found in the white of an egg rather than the yolk. The egg white protein has an extremely high biological availability and all of the essential amino acids in the right balance. Gelatin though has many of the essential amino acids however does not have an amino acid called tryptophan and because it is lacking – it isn’t considered a complete form of protein. If it is combined with other sources of protein it is okay. The bottom line is if you are looking at carbohydrates, fat or protein, it is important to look at the composition of them. You can read the declarations of the food labels. Often snack foods will contain inefficient protein, or protein that does not contain all the essential amino acids. It is important to know that all carbohydrates, fat and proteins are made up of these building blocks and it is important to know to have a balance of all of these building blocks for good health.

What is a carbohydrate?

Carbohydrates are made up of carbon and water. Atoms of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen form carbohydrate compounds such as sugar and starch. There are five types of carbohydrate sugars, glucose, fructose, sucrose, maltose and lactose. Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of energy and in fact your brain needs a constant supply of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose by the body and as you may know, is absorbed into the blood stream. It can also be stored in your muscles and liver as glycogen.

You need about 40 – 50 per cent of your diet to be made up of carbohydrates for good health.

What is a kilocalorie(Kcal) ?

I will keep it pretty simple. A calorie is the amount of heat that is required to raise one cubic centimeter of water one degree. A kilocalorie is the amount of heat that is required to raise one kilogram of water one degree. You can see more information on calories and kilocalories .

1 kcal = 1 calorie
4.2 kJ = 1 calorie

Do I Need To Count Calories ?

Counting calories is not much fun. It’s boring, its tedious and sometimes confusing.

But keeping a track of what you’re eating and how many calories in food and alcohol you’re taking in, as well as how much energy you’re “spending” in exercise, is going to show you in a tangible way how you are losing weight.

If you hate counting calories, and let’s face it who doesn’t, you need to take a short-cut.

You can have a dietitian or doctor make up a calorie controlled diet for you. You can go for one of the one-size-fits-all diets that recommend a set diet regime for all, or you can use a calorie controlled diet with your specific goals and dietary needs in mind. If you see the meal plans page, you’ll find out why I get so excited about them. They are the only ones that I know of, that provides meal plans suited to specific real world situations.
Food On Scales

For example, perhaps you’re an older woman who is at risk of osteoporosis and needs to lose some weight. Well, these meal plans are the only ones that I know of that actually provide a 7 day eating plan full of a variety of food aimed at looking after bone health.

So while you’re looking after your bones using this meal plan, you’re also losing weight because it’s already calorie controlled for you. You can read more about the meal plans here.

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