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Lighten Up People (No Pun Intended)

I am truly blessed! I mean I get up each morning and have the opportunity to get out and exercise. Run, bike, walk, weight train; I can choose and I do.

I am not an uber-elite athlete, in fact while I do like to participate in events like marathons; I do not consider my self a competitor.

I also have the good fortune of living only about a mile from a path that whisks me some six miles away to the Pacific Ocean.

A few weeks ago my brother happened to be in town for the day because my sister-in-law was attending a seminar not to far from my home.

When I found out they were coming I suggested he bring his bike (his mountain bike, not his road bike… he has both) and we could cruise to the ocean for some quality brother time and a little exercise.

This happened to be a Saturday and so there was quite a bit of traffic on the path. We rode along enjoying ourselves and getting a light workout.

About half way to the ocean we both noticed something that kind of bothered us at first and then became a game. Maybe it’s because we’re Midwestern boys, but I don’t really think so; every time we passed someone going in either direction we always greeted them.

Let’s put this together:

” We were enjoying ourselves.
” We were getting in some exercise.
” We were being our natural self which is to say we’re friendly.

What do you think the typical response was?

I can tell you that if we passed one hundred people that morning and the number was likely much higher, we got any response from about ten.

And the fewer the responses the more energetic we were with our greetings! As I said it almost became a game to see which one of us could get a response from people.

We had both finally come down to… whatever!

I was ready to let it go, but it happened to me again this morning! Anyone who knows me will tell you that it takes an awful lot to get me riled up, but now I am!

I mean come on folks!

The worst were the cyclists! Do you really think that because you put on some goofy looking weird fitting shirt and a pair of “God should forbid most people from wearing them” spandex shorts that suddenly you’re a world class athlete?

I’ve got news for you, you’re not! Quite frankly and not to discourage you, but if you are the typical cycling enthusiast who rides three, four, five maybe even six days a week and you think their should be any word in your vocabulary that even closely resembles “elite”, you are sorely mistaken. That rippin’ time you posted in you last century race the one you lost by only a mere five minutes, doesn’t even come close to a practice session in the big leagues.

That being said; why do you have to be such an (fill-in-the-blank), to every person you pass out on the road?

And runners, in case you thought you were getting off as the friendly bunch! If you’re not pushing five to six minute miles on your long slow days, shut up and stop snickering at the cyclists.

What could possibly be so important out there on the road that you can’t even acknowledge your fellow human beings?

Now in case you’re thinking I’m nuts; this is not for me!

I don’t need your reassuring nod while I’m out there training! I’ve got great friends and family and I’ve met a lot of world class athletes (most of whom are pretty nice). If I’m looking for support while I’m out there training, I’m not looking for it from you!

But let’s get back to the serious issue at hand in this country and how you can actually help out without having to raise a finger (I figured you might like that).

There is a serious problem with obesity in this country. I don’t think anyone would disagree with that, am I right? It gets reiterated almost every day in the media, (which may explain my ire today since I watched a special report on it last night).

Every day around this country there are lots of people working very hard at trying to get America off its butt “so to speak”. We know we have a problem and a lot of us are trying to do something about it. Who knows maybe I’m misjudging you and you’re one of those people encouraging others to be active. Maybe!

OK, so let’s say I’m wrong and you actually encouraged a friend or family member or co-worker to go out and do something… anything. You tell them about this great path where they can go and be out of city traffic and yet still be relatively close to home.

Day one, there they are just trying to get a few miles of walking under their belt and looking for all of the reassurance they can possibly find because it’s not going to be easy and they are probably a little self conscious to boot.

Nervously, they say “Hello” to every passer-by, just looking for a little reassurance. The first people they come across are your rival cycling gang (gang just seems to fit better than club here) the “Think We’re Better than You Boys” who proceed to snub your friend like he’s the guy wearing overalls at a black-tie affair. This happens over and over again until what is really only a three mile walk seems like a hundred mile death march.

Let me ask you something;

What are the chances your friend is going to return to that path ever again?

How positive is your friend going to feel about going out and doing it again anywhere?

What hypocritical statement are you going to make to your friend about how you would never do such a thing?

Let’s go back for a second and unwind everything I said about your competitiveness and assume that you really are a competitive athlete.

I would then also assume that you have a general concern and interest in the health and well being of others. World class athletes fully understand the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle.

As such, you should be one of the greatest ambassadors in the world for fitness. I know that every professional athlete is not a super role model, but you know what; the majority of them are!

Maybe you just don’t understand that a few kind words, a smile, even a simple nod can be so encouraging to someone trying to get started that it will cause them to go out and do it again just simply because they feel acknowledged.

You have to understand that most obese people are not getting tons of encouragement to get fit. They are instead getting debilitating humiliation. They are being told they are losers who will never amount to anything or that they have a disease that causes them to be that way so they should just accept it. I won’t write the words I want to say about that here. It’s really the topic for a whole other article.

Maybe you’re just shy. In which case I’m truly sorry for calling you out on the carpet, however I’m not going to let you off the hook. When I was in the fifth grade, my homeroom teacher sent a report card home that said I was so introverted that if I didn’t come out of my shell soon, I would have serious problems in life.

I don’t know a single person at this point in my life who would accuse me of being shy. A simple smile communicates a whole lot more than those words you can’t find anyway!

Maybe you’re just a “Jerk”!

What can I say? If you’re a jerk you’re a jerk! Nothing else to say here but good luck with the whole karmic balance thing! (Look that up if you don’t know what it means!)

Bottom-line:

All I’m really asking for is a little help here! I’m not asking you to change your training routine. I’m not asking you to take your training any less seriously! I’m just asking you to realize that the person you snub out on the road because you’re too self-important to acknowledge them may die of a heart attack one day because you as a jerk discouraged them from wanting to get out and move. Maybe you don’t care about other people because you don’t think it’s your problem but remember this; that person you snubbed could be the ER Nurse who’s going to be treating you when you have that cycling accident. What now?

We have got to start encouraging each other to get fit and it’s got to be sooner than later and for crying out loud; is a smile going to slow you down?

Lighten Up People!

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Top 2 Secrets to Banishing Boredom

Try walking at different paces – some fast, some slow – during your workout. Add some hills to your route. You’ll work harder going up and get a little relief going down. Stay indoors one day and go outdoors the next. Or try different types of walking like the ones below.

Find Fun and Fitness on the Trail

To get more out of your outdoor walks, try taking a hike. Get into the woods or out in the country, and walk the trails instead of the sidewalks. The more rugged terrain requires more exertion, and you’ll probably discover muscles you never knew you had.

Lots of parks and preserves feature hiking trails that range from easy walks to expert climbs. Check out the closest national, state, country, or even city park. Whenever you go, the beauty and peacefulness of nature will be an added bonus to the exercise you get.

Some tips for new hikers:

1. Plan to go about half the distance you usually walk. Rough ground, abrupt inclines, and obstacles like trees and rocks will give you a more challenging workout than you’re used to.

2. At first, just go down a trail a certain distance and then turn around and come back. That way, you’ll have a better idea where you are and how long you’ve been gone. Later on, you can graduate to circle routes that bring you back to the starting point.

3. Pay extra attention to your shoes when hiking. It’s easy to get blisters and chaffing on uneven surfaces with shoes that don’t fit well. You can probably use your regular walking shoes, but make sure they have good ankle support. Consider hiking boots if you will be out more than two or three hours.

4. For longer hikes, you’ll want to take maps, water bottles, food, and various equipment with you. Carry them in a fanny pack or a small day pack – the extra weight will add to your exercise.

5. Take along a walking stick for better balance and support on the trail.

The ultimate “walk in the park” is overnight backpacking – carrying food, tents, and sleeping bags. The added weight and longer time spent hiking means more exercise. It also requires better conditioning before you start, but you can do it if you gradually work yourself into shape.

The payoff is the exhilaration that comes from demanding exercise and the satisfaction of getting somewhere you thought you couldn’t go. So, for a simple, easy exercise program, start walking. And, whether it takes you to the sidewalks, the gym, or the woods, you’ll feel better and have a good time getting there. Happy trails!

Power up to your heart and lungs

Once your workout becomes second nature, you may want to raise the challenge with power walking. It’s not as intense as racewalking, where you compete to see who walks fastest, but it’s a good way to challenge your body to do even more than it’s used to. Power walking won’t help you lose any more weight per mile, but it will do wonders for your heart and lungs.

The first thing to keep in mind is that you walk much faster. You need to take shorter steps and keep a smooth stride. Next, you add more ambitious arm movements. As you walk faster, pump your arms higher – to chest or neck level. Working you arms is just as good as working your legs, so now you’re doing double-duty.

Carrying additional weight will boost your calorie burn. You can supplement your own weight in the following ways if you’re not prone to back or joint injuries.

1. Hand weights. Carrying small dumbbells while you work your arms is like doing curls – one repetition per stride. Don’t use weights heavier than 2 pounds, though – you could strain your shoulders.

2. Weighted gloves. You don’t have to grip these weights, which mean more relaxed arms and shoulders. Plus, you can’t drop them.

3. Weight vest. This is more expensive, but you can carry more weight and distribute the load to both your upper-and lower-body muscles.

Another way to supplement your power walking is to use poles or walking sticks. Moving the poles along with your feet makes your arms work more and gives your heart a better workout. Since they help support you, you don’t feel like you’re working any harder. Be sure to use them, though – it doesn’t do much good to just carry them.

You can also change the surface you walk on. Walking through glass or soft dirt is tougher than cruising along on the pavement. Combine great exercise with a great vacation by going to California or Cancun or somewhere else with beautiful beaches. Walking in the sand will burn a lot more calories.

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Exercise Types to Stay Healthy

Exercise is the central ingredient of good health. It tones the muscles, strengthens the bones, makes the heart and lungs work better, and helps prevent constipation. It increases physical reserve and vitality. The increased reserve function helps you deal with crises. Exercise eases depression, aids sleep, and aids in every day activity of daily life.

There are aerobic or endurance exercises, stretching exercises, and strengthening exercises. You need to know the difference between the three types.

Aerobic (endurance) exercise is the key to fitness. This is the most important kind of exercise. The word “aerobic” means that during the exercise period the oxygen (air) you breathe in balances the oxygen you use up. During aerobic exercise, a number of body mechanisms come into play. Your heart speeds up in order to pump larger amounts of blood. You breathe more frequently and more deeply to increase the oxygen transfer from the lungs to the blood. Your body produces more heat and compensates by sweating to keep your temperature normal. You build endurance.

During endurance exercise periods, the cells of the body develop the ability to extract a larger amount of oxygen from the blood to increase function at the cellular level. As you become more fit, these effects persist. The heart becomes larger and stronger and can pump more blood with each stroke. The cells can take up oxygen more readily. As a result, your heart rate when you are resting does not need to be as rapid, allowing more time for the heart to repair itself between beats.

Stretching exercises are designed to keep you loose. Everyone should do some of them, but they don’t have many direct effects on health. As you age, you want to be careful not to overdo these exercises. Toe-touching exercises, for example, should be done gently. Do not bounce. Stretching should be done relatively slowly, to the point of discomfort and just a little bit beyond.

Stretching exercises can be therapeutic in certain situations. If you have a joint that is stiff because of arthritis or injury, if you have just had surgery on a joint, or if you have a disease condition that results in stiffness, then stretching is usually an important part of the therapeutic solution. Remember that there is nothing mysterious about the stretching process. Any body part that you cannot move through its full normal range of motion needs to be repeatedly stretched so that you slowly – often over weeks or months – regain full motion of that part.

For most people, however, stretching exercises are useful mainly as a warm-up for aerobic or endurance exercise activity. Gently stretching before you begin endurance exercise can begin to warm up the muscles, make them looser, and decrease the chances of injury. Stretching afterward can help prevent stiffness.

Strengthening exercises can also be important. These are the “body building” exercises that are often performed just for cosmetic results. They build more bulky muscles. squeezing balls, lifting weights, and doing push-ups or pull-ups are examples of strengthening exercises. These exercises can be very helpful in improving function in a particular body part after surgery (for example, knee surgery), where it is necessary to build up strength.

Strengthening exercises can help build up muscles and decrease fat even in persons in their eighties and nineties. They can help increase bone strength and make the bones more resistant to fracture. Their drawback? They don’t help protect the heart, so if you do strengthening exercises be sure to do your aerobic exercises as well.

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Dieting With Pleasure!

Oh dear. Have you put on a few more pounds? Have the celebrations taken their toll on your body shape? Considering dieting, but can’t find the right one for you?

It’s an all too familiar story of gluttonous orgy. Large meals, irresistible cakes and pies all washed down with copious amounts of alcohol. Why should we blame you though eh? The packaging of foodstuff is designed to make you buy as much as you can carry.

A fat you = A fat profit for the company.

That’s business.

Many people will use the old excuse of having a slow metabolism. Your brain wants more food than your body needs. It’s good to know that the power of advertising works.

Then there’s the countless number of diets. How many have you tried? How many lasted more than a week? Very often with a lot of commercial diets, the only weight you lose and keep off is the weight in your wallet.

The problem with most diets is that they are just not an enjoyable experience. The prospect of replacing cakes with carrots is enough to send some people into shock. You also need to be dieting for the right reason, which is for you alone – not for anyone else. If you don’t want to lose weight for yourself then you shouldn’t even start a diet. Perhaps you are happy being fat. If not, how could you lose weight and enjoy it? With a little bit of psychology, that’s how. You continue eating all the same foods you enjoy, but you’ll find that you tend to eat less. The only sacrifice with this method is that you have to say goodbye to quick meals.

We rush around so much in this world, fitting in a snack or a meal when we have a spare five minutes. This has to stop. Eating is a pleasurable experience and a very important one. The speed eating culture has resulted in us forgetting to taste our food. I’m pretty sure the tongue misses all the action from childhood and the jaw is virtually redundant. One hand doesn’t seem to be quick enough so we shovel with both hands.

Very simply, you need to learn to taste your food again. Savour each mouthful. Examine the flavours. You’ll be surprised at what you’ve been missing. Have a good long chew so that you experience the textures as well as tastes. Some flavours need to warm in the mouth before they are evident to our senses and some flavours require sustained chewing for them to be released. Does it taste as it smells? Do you want to sip a little wine and chew? Mix the flavours? Become an expert in the subtle differences in taste. You’d be surprised just how many people don’t do this. What an absolute waste of the human senses.

This method has the effect of extending meal times. You are also likely to feel full up with less food. Remember that eating is what keeps us alive and it would be such a shame to pass through life without seriously enjoying all the flavours and textures that the world’s food has to offer. How many top level chefs do you know who are obese?

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Don’t Ruin Your Diet By Making These Dieting Mistakes

There you were happily reaching your goals in weight loss and then there it was, the weight had started to return. You likely are thinking to yourself, how in the world did that happen? You may not even realize it, but even the slightest violation when on a diet can bring the weight scurrying back. It is important, while dieting, that you are extremely careful.

The next few tips will help you remember what you should not be doing while you are dieting.

Take it easy on yourself. Diet mishaps happen, mistakes happen, sometimes we miss certain foods so much, and we may start eating them again. This could result in bring some of the lost weight back. It is important that you refrain from beating yourself up over it. Even if you make a mistake, get yourself back on the right track and continue on with the diet as if nothing happened.

Do not allow yourself to diet with an alternative. With many diets, you have to give up the foods you typically love such as pizza, French fries, fried chicken, chips, cheesecake, and ice cream. As hard as it is to give up these things, you should take comfort that you can find alternatives to these food. Even though society has raised us to believe that vegetables, fruit, or any healthy low fat foods are not enjoyable. This is not true, even those foods listed above, have fat reduced versions now days.

Always have support! This is an important aspect of any diet. Without support, it is extremely hard to begin and keep with any diet plan. Your loved ones should be there to offer you support while you are dieting. Furthermore, thee are a great many weight loss counselors, meetings, and forum groups that can help you along in your journey.

What is great about weight loss groups is that they have been right where you are in your journey to weight loss, so they can offer some unique advice and insight. For example, they can give you ideas about new and exciting ideas for exercising or with recipes for eating healthy, as well.

Finally, do not give up! When you give into the nagging craving for your favorite foods, you are taking yourself a little further from your weight loss goals each time. Being on a diet does not mean you need to have tasteless foods, but it does mean you need to steer clear from high fat and high calorie foods. Opt for the alternatives instead of the sure to bring your weight back foods.

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Weight Loss – The Mental Process

Dieting is not just a physical process but a mental one too.
If you do not have the mental processes right then your diet will be a struggle and possibly fail. By having the right mental approach and being in control of your brain you can turbo charge your way to your ideal weight.

So how do you get in control of your brain then?

Before I reveal that, you need to know that you are made up of two parts.
You have your conscious mind, which is your ego – the part that chatters on all day.
Then you have your sub-conscious, which is the part that grows your hair, your nails, pumps blood around your body and so on.

This is a very powerful thing to know, because most people fail in their diets because they do not have the sub-conscious mind working with them, and so it sabotages their efforts.
Consciously you want to lose weight, but sub-consciously you enjoy the extra weight for various reasons, e.g. security, lack of attention from the opposite sex, etc.

The first step in making any change is awareness. This means you become aware of the way your brain works and how you think about yourself and weight loss.

For example, lots of people will say, “I’m struggling to lose weight” or “I hate dieting” or something along those lines.

The words you use program your sub-conscious mind. When you say things like this you are giving a strong message to your subconscious mind which takes it all on board.

The same if you say, “Why can’t I lose weight?” or “Why am I always eating so much?” or anything like this your sub-conscious mind will give you the answers and tell you why! And how will that make you feel – not so good I imagine!

Being in control of your mind means being in control of what it says to you – it doesn’t operate on its own doing what it wants, it operates in a pattern that it has learnt over the years from you. And the nice thing is, this habit – you can change it!

So the first step is to become aware of what you say to yourself when you talk about your dieting and weight. What do you say? Think about this now …

Is it positive and encouraging? Or is it not?

Over the next week, listen to how you talk to yourself about your weight, your appearance and your diet.

Now you are more aware of what you are saying to yourself about dieting and losing weight, you can start to reprogram yourself and get rid of those patterns.
When you hear yourself say something that is discouraging or negative about yourself stop yourself immediately and change it into something positive and encouraging – something that makes you feel good.

When you start doing this you will soon notice that your diet becomes so much easier and the weight disappears!

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Tips to Healthy Eating and Dieting

The entire country seems to be fighting the ever present “battle of the bulge.”

With an ever expanding population that is beginning to suffer from a variety of diseases and conditions directly related to obesity, consider adopting an alternative lifestyle that includes healthy eating and dieting.

Instead of trying to lose weight with potentially harmful pills or medications, consider changing your way of thinking about food.

Also, avoid popular fad diets that may take the weight off initially, but usually allow you to regain all the weight (and maybe even more) as soon as the diet ends.

Instead, look for measures of healthy eating and dieting that will work as a lifestyle change by allowing you to lose the weight and keep it off, in addition to gaining a better sense of your overall health.

Instead of looking to diets that require you to purchase budget breaking foods that are packed with preservatives, added colors, and chemicals, change your way of thinking about losing weight and gaining health!

This tip is the key to healthy eating and dieting. Look for fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats for your diet and avoid anything boxed, canned, or frozen-with the exception of frozen vegetables.

These processed foods, in addition to prepared foods, include a phenomenal amount of preservatives and are often high in sugars and fats, while being low in anything of nutritional value.

Also, check the dietary information on any items you purchase so that you can be sure the food is a good choice for your new, healthy lifestyle.

Also, look to the Food and Drug Administration for their dietary requirements for individuals of all different ages and health.

This guideline will allow you to choose the foods that are most beneficial for consumption.

Usually, these guidelines encourage you to avoid sugars and fats, usually the main causes of poor health and weight gain.

Also, the FDA will be able to provide you with nutritional information on a variety of items, including fresh fruits and vegetables, whose information may be a bit difficult to find.

Using this information, begin to plan you weekly meals.

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Are There Some Diets that Will Never Work?

There are diets that work for certain people, there are diets that do not work for certain people and then there are diets that never really work for anybody at all. Dieting is the most popular past time in the Western world and, makes no mistake that this is not a women-only issue. If you are a man and want a lot of women around you, then you have to stay fit.

Pessimists would say that a diet is a bunch of foods we don’t like, in too tiny portions for our appetites and we must eat all that at specific times of the day. As nobody really eats this way, nobody can successfully diet and change their life style. I would say that dieting is, more than anything else, finding a structure.

It’s been said that people cannot eat healthy with so many temptations around them and this is why diets don’t really work, but the truth is that way too few diets offer a healthy structure that is both easy to follow and tasty. We cannot eat bland food all our lives and we can only drink this much grapefruit juice before we decide enough it’s enough.

Add to that all the scientific discoveries that stress out the importance of our genes to our overall body type and the naysayer do seem to make a valid point when they argue that diets never work. The fact is that, as one medical study showed, 80% of the children who have two obese parents are at risk of growing into obese adults themselves and only 15% of the children who have two normal-weight parents are at risk of growing into obese adults.

So genes do play an important role, but so do your environment and your life style. It doesn’t matter how skinny your mother and father are if you drink a gallon of high sugar fizzy drinks a day and eat only the greasiest burgers with XXL portions of fries.

We are all at risk of being involved in a car accident, whether we drive or not, but very few of us would ever have a car accident and even fewer will cause one to happen. Not drinking alcohol prior to driving and not being too tired to stay focused really does help.

And the same case can be made for dieting. Dieting is more than something you try for a couple of weeks every now and then. Dieting is changing the perspective you have on food. For example there is no such a thing as good foods and bad foods, but there is something that is called moderation. And it means that if you know you should cut out sugar and fat, and then avoid eating huge portions of anything that contains a lot of refined sugar and a high amount of fat.

It won’t get you very far to start on a frustration diet that demonizes chocolate and burgers! You should be able to adjust to a healthier burger, though. Like not buying a burger, but trying to make your own, buying a lean cut of beef and having the butcher grinding it for you. Dieting and healthy life style is not as much about giving up on foods we love, but on making choices that are sustainable for long term – for a life time actually!

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The Dangers of Crash Dieting

Perhaps in your thinking of losing weight, you have come across several probable methods. Aside from proper exercise techniques that require quite some time and effort, you may have encountered several diets which would seem beneficial but hard to do. Because of these difficulties, maybe the only option for you is to resort to crash dieting.

What is crash dieting?

Crash dieting is basically a quick solution many people come up with to lose weight. People may look at a mirror and notice their unwanted figure, so they think that by not eating literally starving themselves, they will lose the extra pounds. It’s a quick solution because it usually occurs for only a few days (usually less than a week), afterwards it’s back to regular meals.

Difference from other diets

The main difference between crash dieting and other forms of diet (e.g. Atkins, South Beach, etc.) is that crash diets are usually short-term. Most diets are programs that are designed to help you lose weight and keep it off, encouraging you to make that particular diet a lifestyle instead of simply a weight loss method. If in crash dieting you are avoiding food (or eating very little), diet programs have specific foods to eat and to avoid, which you are expected to act on for the duration of the program, normally for the rest of your life.

Is it a healthy way to lose weight?

If you’re asking yourself this same question, the answer is a flat-out NO. There are many different reasons why crash dieting is unhealthy, while there are few to no experts who believe that there are health benefits. Basically, if you are looking to lose weight, crash dieting is not a good way to do it, and here are several reasons why.

One, by not eating, or drastically cutting down on your food intake, you deprive your own body of natural nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates, etc. We all know what will happen when the human body lacks nutrients, the risks of getting ill are higher. This is aside from generally feeling weak throughout the crash diet period.

Two, in crash dieting, you are slowing down your body metabolism, which is what allows you to burn fat and calories effectively and efficiently. You are doing the exact opposite of what you set out to do. You may not be gaining weight, but you aren’t burning fat and calories either. When you eat normally again, you will most probably gain some weight since your metabolism is already slow.

Third, you might notice that you are becoming skinnier as the time passes in your crash diet period, but don’t take it as burning fat, you are actually losing some muscle mass. This is not a good thing as this is what makes your body a fat burning machine.

Because you lost muscle mass, the next time you eat is going to be worse, you will gain back the weight plus more pounds.

To sum it up, crash dieting will make you lose some pounds, but not those unwanted ones, which are excess fat and calories. It’s an unhealthy way of losing weight and is the start of the “yo-yo” process (lose weight, gain more, lose again, and so on). For the benefit of your health, crash dieting should not be taken into consideration.

What are the alternatives to lose weight?

The best possible way to lose weight, as suggested by both nutritionists and fitness experts, is a combination of a healthy diet and exercise. Exercising while not having the proper diet will lead to inefficiency in weight loss, while diet without exercise will prevent you from gaining weight, but will not do as much in terms of losing it. By integrating the benefits of both a healthy diet and exercise into your lifestyle, you will turn your body into a fat burning machine, allowing you to lose weight and keep it off.

The next time you take a look at the mirror and frown at what you see, don’t worry too much, there are various ways to beat the battle of the bulge. Crash dieting is certainly not one of them, as this presents more potential risks than benefits. A healthy, proper diet, combined with exercise is the best way to go about it.

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Free Diet Plans Can Work for You

Dieting web sites and dieting plans are so successful that it’s almost a given that anybody can find the perfect free dieting scheme on the internet. Free diet plans are, well, free – you don’t pay anything upfront. But many people don’t trust them having a good reason. The famed “cabbage soup diet” or the “3 days diet” are just two random examples of diet plans that will never work and can even be downright dangerous.

So how can you find a sound free diet plan? Is there any such a thing?

The keyword when you’re looking for a diet plan is common sense. Use your knowledge and your intuition to pick between the various diets, it’s not that hard. For example it would be a good thing to find out right from the start what the right amount of calories you need based on your current weight and daily activity. It’s worth noting that even if you are 100 lbs and a complete couch potato, you still need about 1300 calories per day just to stay alive and well.

For most of us, a good dieting plan would do nothing more than give some guidelines on what to eat to stay within the daily limits for calories. And any plan that attempts to tell you that 500 calories per day is good for you won’t help you at all.

After decades of dieting, many people have become more knowledgeable and it’s easier to say when we are eating something we shouldn’t. Any scheme, be it a free diet plan or one especially made for you by a dietician, will take into account that you will be faced with having to eat some no-so-healthy food sooner or later. You never know what will be on the menu at your cousin’s wedding party or at that very important dinner meeting with out of town customers.

The next very important thing is to find a diet that can accommodate your favorite foods, even if they are pork chops and fries. You won’t be able to diet and feel happy about it if you have to give up everything you like. Incorporating foods you like is beneficial in the long run and it will drastically decrease the danger of binge eating.

And another tricky part you have to take into account when you try a free diet plan is during the day you are most likely to eat. I am yet to find a person who likes to eat very early in the morning and needs to diet. Hey, maybe I’m on to something here!

A good diet plan will make the transition from a dedicated evening eater to a healthy morning eater seem easy and enjoyable. And the whole purpose of a diet plan is to make life and food enjoyable even when it’s served in small, healthy bites. Dieting is supposed to be fun, to make you feel happier, healthier and ready to try even more nice new things in your life!

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