Is Your Weight Loss Program GI Equiped?

There are several weight loss programs that include referencing a Glycemic Index to select foods for your diet. It has been proven time after time that high GI foods are the #1 culprit when it comes to weight gain. When choosing a weight loss program, make sure its diet either refers to the GI or at least follows it closely in its dietary suggestions.

For those who don’t know what a GI is I’ve explained it here quick and simple.

Have you ever heard of the Glycemic Index? Or asked yourself “Let me part of clouds of questions and confusions about the Glycemic index once and for all.

What it is

The glycemic index or GI is a system for ranking carbs according to their effect on our blood sugar levels. Some carbs have a greater effect on our blood sugar levels then others. Low GI carbohydrates will create a gradual release of sugar into the blood stream. High GI foods flood the blood stream suddenly. This sudden flooding results in a varsity of health problems and creates undesirable eating habits. Selecting low GI carbohydrates is a great way to limit your risk of heart diseases and Type 2 diabetes. But for us whats important is that its a tool to curb food cravings. This helps us lose weight!

How Does the Glycemic Index Work

Each food is given a GI rating based on how it effects your blood sugar levels. The lower the rating, the better. Any food with a rating of 55 or less is considered to have a “Low” GI. Foods with a rating of 56-69 have a medium GI. Any foods rated 70+ are considered high GI. As a general rule low GI foods are best. You can buy a convenient food guide for your home or use those available online to find out a foods rating.

A Few Examples

Low GI – Boiled Barley has a GI of 25

Medium GI – Dried fruit has a GI of 60

High GI – pancakes have a GI of 80

Fad Diet

The Cabbage Soup Diet is a fad diet that’s been doing the rounds for many years. The origin of the Cabbage Soup diet as a recognised diet program can’t really be pin-pointed. No one really knows where it came from or whether it was designed for a specific group of people. The fact that the diet is still around years after it’s first arrival speaks volumes for the level of success it provides.

The Cabbage Soup Diet causes a detoxifying effect on dieter, in other words it’s very similar to fasting. Due to the dangerously low level of protein and carbs, this diet definitely isn’t recommended for all dieters.

Lots of people who’ve undertaken the diet in past years have found it massively successful. Many claim to of lost up to 8 or 9 pounds in a single week. Despite being effective the cabbage soup diet is one of the harder diets to follow and complete.

All the dieter who are considering following it should be made aware of the health implications before they begin.

It restricts your food intake to Cabbage

Firstly, and most obviously it limits your food intake to cabbage. You don’t have to love cabbage, but you should have a tolerance for it at least. It’s a bland diet often and followers often use additional ingredients for example crushed tomatoes and celery stalks. On other days,  fruits and vegetables are added to the diet who is encouraged to eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible. Many dieters add spices to make it more palatable generally, cabbage soup is a boring and tasteless diet.

It can induce alternative symptoms

The diet is renowned for causing headaches and general irritability. Some people have reported a lack of concentration which is often associated with hunger. Usually, a Cabbage Soup dieter will think of nothing other than eating during the diet since its mostly liquid. It can’t fill you up. The general rule of the diet is to eat as much soup as you can, especially when hungry. Fill up and eat till you can’t stomach any more.

It comes with After-effects

The Cabbage Soup Diet, is one of the most famous fad diets available, and can often lead to a dieter regaining the weight they lost within a week of finishing. The diet can also leave the dieter feeling a sense of deprivation which in turn usually leads to binge eating during the week to follow. The term yoyo diet was probably coined for the Cabbage Soup diet! People tend to cycle the diet on and off throughout the year.

Be realistic with your weight loss

The Cabbage Soup dieter has got to be realistic regarding the amount of weight they lose. Although they’ll probably experience a considerable amount of weight loss, it will almost certainly be water weight and muscle tissue they’re stripping from their bodies. There usually isn’t a discernible loss in body fat during short term Cabbage Soup diets. The dieter will most likely put the weight back on again if she doesn’t embark on a serious exercise regime.

The Cabbage Soup Diet isn’t for everyone

The Cabbage Soup Diet isn’t the ideal solution for everyone. Many people can follow the diet through but there are plenty who struggle and  require constantly reminding that the diet is indeed worth it. Those people who suffer from medical and health problems – whether serious or minor – should contact there doctor for advice before embarking on what is essentially starving yourself.

Define Stress

To define stress, we need to understand how it affects us in our day to day lives.

You hear it often . . . I’m feeling so stressed at work or this job is stressing me out. But what does it really mean? How does it affect our ability to function properly?

When we experience a stressor, that is something which triggers us to become stressed, our bodies react in a number of different ways. The reaction depends on the individual and what the stressor is, but the symptoms of stress generally fall into one of four categories.

These are behavioural symptoms, cognitive symptoms, emotional symptoms, or physical symptoms.

Behavioural symptoms affect your habits. You might eat more, or drink and smoke more. Or you might bite your nails. Cognitive symptoms affect your thoughts. You could lack concentration and become sidetracked easily. Or give into needless worrying and negative thoughts.

Emotional symptoms can affect your feelings. You can become short tempered or suffer from low mood and depression.

Physical symptoms include nausea and dizziness, and diarrhoea or constipation. The common one is loss of libido! But low immunity is the one we realise the most, when we start to pick up colds and minor illnesses.

If you suffer with stress you are likely to exhibit at least one of these symptoms. However, you’re likely to have a number of these.

When I get stressed I tend to worry needlessly. I let things get on top of me and several minor problems seem like one huge problem!

If I let it go on too long without dealing with the causes of stress I start to feel down and get snappy with those around me. And then I might start to eat more of those foods that make me feel better, like cake and chocolate!

So understanding the different types of symptoms associated with stress, we can now make an attempt at a definition.

So, to define stress . . .

Actually, this is a real tough one.

If you ask 100 people or look at 100 websites, you’ll probably get at least 99 different answers. But I’ll give it as good a go as the next . . .

Stress is the way your body reacts to a demand or pressure that is above its normal exposure. This could be a behavioural, cognitive, emotional, or physical reaction.

I’m afraid this is the best I can do! If you suffer with stress or know what your stressors are then you have to take charge! Otherwise your symptoms can become worse. Try some of these stress management games or find something else that keeps your stress levels in control.

Calculate Calorie Intake To Lose Weight

I know what it’s like. The summer holidays are just around the corner, or your friend’s wedding is coming up, and you want to lose weight. And you want to lose weight fast.

You’ve probably realized that fad dieting just doesn’t work, so you’ve decided to try counting calories. Which is great, as i believe calculating your calorie intake and controlling your calorie deficit through your diet and physical activity are the only ways to lose real weight (as in fat). And more importantly, counting calories is the only way to keep your weight off.

What many dieters do not realize is that you can quite easily equate your calorie intake, or your calorie deficit in fact, to actual weight lose.

If people understood this, they would be much more motivated to stick to a healthier lifestyle.

How many calories do we need?

Before we can calculate our calorie intake to lose weight, we need a good estimate as to the number of calories we need each day, on average, to sustain our body’s functioning and all our physical activities.

As a good, accurate estimate, it is generally accepted that women require 2000 calories per day, and men 2500 calories. Your actual figure will depend on many factors, but these figures are generally accurate and give you a good starting point for you to count and monitor your calorie intake.

So what exactly do these figures mean to you?

If you eat, on average, more that your daily requirement, then you are going to put on weight. It’s as simple as that. All those extra calories, if you don’t burn them off, will be converted to fat. And your weight will go up. And up. And up. In fact, your weight will continue to go up until you start burning off more calories than you consume. This is the important point.

So let me put this another way, and sum this up in one statement.

If you burn off more calories than you consume, then you will lose weight.

Cut back on your calories, or increase your calorie expenditure, or a combination of both, just so long as you burn off more calories than you consume, then you are going to lose your fat.

It doesn’t matter whether you want to lose a stone, 3 stone, or 10! So long as you are in calorie deficit you will lose your fat.

How to calculate calorie intake to lose weight

In 1 pound of human fat there is about 3500 calories of energy. This is important information for you to know.

It means that when you have burned off 3500 calories more than you consume, that is a calorie deficit of 3500 calories, then you will lose 1 pound in weight. You will jump on the scales and be 1 pound lighter.

Spread over a week, this means you need a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day to lose 1 pound per week.

So combined with your average daily calorie intake as stated above, you now know how to calculate calorie intake to lose weight!

For women, to lose 1 pound per week, you need a daily calorie deficit of 500 calories, meaning you need to consume, on average, 1500 calories per day (instead of 2000 calories). And similarly for men, except 2000 calories (instead of 2500 calories).

It really is that simple.

But you should note that reducing your calorie intake by 500 calories per day is really the upper limit. If you cut your calories more than this then you will soon suffer burn out, become all lethargic, and generally feel run down. And you’ll be missing out on essential vitamins and minerals that keep you healthy.

Does that mean you can’t lose more than 1 pound per week?

Calculating your calorie intake to lose weight is not the only way to achieve calorie deficit. You can also increase your physical activity! Did I hear you groan then?

Don’t be put off though. A brisk hour’s walk, three to four times each week, can help you lose an additional half pound each week. If you do more exercise, and more vigorous exercise, the easier it will be to lose that extra weight.

But you don’t even have to exercise like this. Ever heard of NEAT? That is, non-exercise activity thermogenesis?

Well, is basically a fancy way of saying you can burn off a load of extra calories every day just by moving around. If you’re on the mobile phone, just stand up and walk around the room whilst chatting. Use the stairs more, rather than the lift. Jump off the bus a stop early. Do more gardening. Just don’t sit down on your butt all day.

Research has shown that doing these simple things can burn off up to several hundred calories extra every day!

Do you know how much weight to lose?

It’s always a good idea to know how much weight you need to lose.

Take a look at the BMI calculator to give you an indicator. It has its limitations, especially if you have a lot of muscle, but for the majority of us it is a great tool to use.

If you don’t know how, losing fat can be like trying to wash your clothes in a mud bath. You are never going to manage it.

Aerobic Exercise and Heart Rate

Aerobic exercise and heart rate go hand in hand. And if you really want to progress your fitness, then keeping a close eye on your heart rate is a great idea. You don’t have to go spending money on expensive sports heart rate monitors (though you could add it to your Christmas wish list if you like!).

To monitor you fitness progress, all you need to do is take your pulse first thing in the morning and jot down the result. Over time, you should gradually see your heart rate decreasing, which is a reflection of your fitness progress.

Why does your heart rate have a bearing on your fitness? Because your heart is a muscle, and like any muscle, the stronger it becomes the more efficient it also becomes. In the case of your heart, the stronger it is the more blood it can pump with each beat, which means it needs to beat less frequently. Hence your heart rate will gradually decrease as you become fitter and your heart becomes stronger.

If you do want to take your training to the next level, and really push yourself to achieve maximum fitness, then you are best investing in a decent sports heart rate monitor.

When exercising, depending on a number of factors such as your age, sex, fitness goal, etc., you should be working to a specific aerobic intensity to be able to make consistent gains in your fitness. And this is where the heart rate monitor comes in to play.

You can set your monitor to alert you when your heart rate goes above or below a certain range, i.e. when you are working too hard or not working hard enough! If you consistently work in your aerobic target for prolonged periods of time then your fitness will surely increase!

Aerobic Exercise and Heart Rate – A guide to your Health Related Fitness

If you have no specific sporting or fitness goal, and just want to lead a healthier active lifestyle, then I would just monitor your heart rate in the morning over time as I mentioned above.

You don’t even have to do it every day. Just check it a couple of days each week and after a few weeks you’ll certainly see the benefits, provided you keep to your fitness regime. Take a look at this fitness training discussion and also read more about the components of health related fitness and why you should stick to your healthy lifestyle.

Questions and Answers for Aerobic Exercise and Heart Rate

Do you have any questions regarding aerobic exercise (or anything related to health and fitness for that matter)? Then head over to the Fitness Forum and ask a question to the home fitness community. No doubt you’ll have an answer to your questions real soon.