Losing Weight the Healthy Way

Almost 108 million Americans were overweight or obese in 1999. Obesity continues to be a serious problem and is predicted to reach epidemic levels by the year 2020.

One way to prevent this scenario is to make people aware of the risks of being overweight or obese.

Here are some diseases that you are putting yourself in risk of if you are carrying a lot of extra pounds:

1. heart disease
2. stroke
3. diabetes
4. cancer
5. arthritis
6. hypertension

Losing weight helps to prevent and control these diseases.

The quick weight loss methods which have spread like fire these days do not provide lasting results. More often than not, dieting methods which involve dietary drinks, foods and supplement or pills do not work. If they do, the results are just temporary.

It is better to rely on a healthy weight loss option which will provide lifetime results. You have to set realistic goals and not expect to lose a lot of pounds in a short span of time.

Here are some tips on how you can lose those unwanted pounds the healthy way:

1. Do not starve your self.

The key to a healthier way of losing weight is: Do not diet.

You may seem happy and feel that you are losing those unwanted flabs on your belly and thighs by skipping meals. But remember that this would not last long. Your body cannot tolerate having insufficient food to fuel the energy that you use up everyday.

If you get used to skipping one or two meals a day, your stored calories will be used up instead of the energy that should have been provided by your meals. So if you just eat one huge sandwich in one day, it will end up straight to your problem area (i.e. highs, buttocks, hips).

2. Start your day right.

Mothers always say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Have a healthy meal in the morning to jump-start your metabolism.

Your food intake after you wake up will be used to burn fat all day long.

3. Eat small, healthy meals frequently.

Five small-serving snacks per day is better than three hearty meals. Eating more frequently, and in small servings, can prevent over-eating. This will also increase your metabolism and make calories burn faster.

4. Decide on how much weight you want to lose.

Keep your goals realistic. In the long run, it is virtually impossible for you to lose 40 pounds in 2 weeks. Have a mindset that you want to eat healthy to stay healthy for the rest of your life.

Once you have decided on a weight loss plan or program, stick to it and make sure that you follow your own set of dieting rules.

5. Drink lots of water.

Your body needs sufficient water to burn fat and keep your cells hydrated and healthy.

6. Avoid too much sugar.

Plan your meals around lots of fruits and vegetables, some bread, rice or pasta for that carbo fix that you need, plus lean meat and protein rich-foods. Sweets, sodas and pastries should be once-in-a-while indulgences only.

7. Watch your fat intake.

Fat is not the culprit to being overweight. You need this to keep your weight at the proper level.

There is such a thing as healthy fats. Olive, peanuts and canola oil have them. Tuna, salmon and mackerel have omega-3 fats which are good for the heart.

8. Exercise.

Leave your car if you are only going a few blocks from home, take the stairs instead of the elevator, jog, cycle or skate. Use these activites and other home chores if you are too lazy to go to the gym and take exercise classes. Make sure that you do this regularly and you will not even notice that you are already shedding pounds with these mundane activities.

It does not matter how much weight you plan or need to lose. What is important is that you set realistic goals for yourself.

Go slow. If you have already lost 5 or 6 pounds, give yourself a break then try to lose the next 5 pounds.

Eat healthy, drink lots of water, have enough sleep and exercise. This will give you a higher chance of losing weight and improving your health, which would result to a new, healthier you.

Building a Strong Core With Pilates

A vital part of the fitness package these days is core strength and flexibility. But, what is core strength and how do we get it?

In the past five years, there has been a growing interested in learning techniques in resistance or weight training, aimed at stabilizing and strengthening the core. It turns out that a strong core is more important than we ever realized.

The muscles of the core are those of the pelvis, spine, shoulders, and abdominals. There is not a human movement that is done that does not involve the muscles of the core, which stabilize the spine and move the body throughout its various tasks. If these muscles are weak, each movement becomes more laborious, causing the posture to degrade and an increased restriction of the muscles.

The core muscles are the catalyst that transfers energy from large muscle groups to smaller ones in the body. Pilates trains the body by mimicking the twisting and turning that occur with everyday chores and movements. If you properly train your core muscles, you can reduce the risk of injury while increasing strength along these same muscles for when you need them during the day.

In addition to strengthening the core muscles, Pilates helps to develop the platform for the actions of the arm, shoulders, and leg muscles. Pilates is an effective way to stabilize the core by developing core strength.

The core muscle themselves are made up of the muscles of the trunk and pelvis, the deep abdominal muscles that protect the spine, the oblique abdominals that run alongside the abdomen, the erector muscle, located in the lower back, and the muscles of the hips and pelvis. Just because you have a "six-pack," it doesn't necessarily mean that you have a strong or stable core. Some of the most important muscles to good core development actually lie just beneath the six-pack. These muscles, with the erector muscles, help you to maintain your balance and have good posture throughout your active day.

The first and most important aim of core strengthening with Pilates is in its performance of exercises that mimic everyday movements, but that isolate specific muscle groups while balancing and strengthening the core. The Pilates exercise program emphasizes using diagonal, rotating movements that promote balance and strength. Equipment such as balance beams, wobble boards, foam rollers, and fit balls are used while sitting or standing, but balancing all the while. The very best core exercises in the program involve moving while balancing one one leg, or shifting from one leg to the other, while performing the exercises.

However, Pilates is not the only way of strengthening the core muscles of the trunk, back, or pelvis. Using a variety of core exercises will better target the area. Some of the best ones are, of course, Pilates, sit ups or crunches, fitness ball exercises, and resistance exercises which use the dead lift, squat, and lunges. Another great type of exercise to strengthen the core uses the medicine ball, throwing overhead to a partner, or using a side pass, and other various exercises. Any of the balancing exercises using a wobble board, balance beam, or foam roller are also good for developing the muscles of the core. If you have access to any of this equipment, you can add these exercises to your Pilates routine and condition your core faster.

Trainers and enthusiasts alike have made Pilates core training part of their weekly exercise routines. Many experts in the field have said that you should not go through an entire week without some sort of core training, whether Pilates or something else.

Necessary Vitamins and Their Sources

Vitamin A
Liver, carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, collard greens, cantaloupe, eggs, mangos and peas

Vitamin B6
Fortified cereals, bananas, baked potatoes, watermelon, chick peas and chicken breast

Vitamin B12
Red meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs and dairy foods

Vitamin C

Citrus fruits, raspberries, bell peppers, green beans, strawberries, papaya, potatoes, broccoli and tomatoes


Dairy products, fortified juices, fortified butters and fortified cereals, spinach, broccoli, okra, sweet potatoes, lentils, tofu, Chinese cabbage, kale and broccoli.

Vitamin D

Milk, fortified cereals, eggs and fatty fish (salmon, catfish and mackerel)

Vitamin E

Vegetable oil, wheat germ, nuts, spinach and fortified cereal

Folic Acid

Oranges, orange juice, strawberries, leafy vegetables, spinach, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, pasta, beans, nuts and sunflower seeds


Red meat and poultry, legumes, vegetables, some grains and fortified cereals

Niacin (Vitamin B3)

Eggs, meats, fish, peanuts, whole grains, bread products, fortified cereals and milk


Beans, poultry, red meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, milk, cheese, tofu, yogurt, fortified cereal and protein bars

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)

Whole grains, dairy products, red meat, pork, poultry, fish, fortified cereals and eggs

Thiamin (Vitamin B1)

Whole grains, pork, fortified cereals, wheat germ and eggs


Red meats, poultry, beans, nuts, grains, oysters, dairy products and fortified cereals