It’s every chocoholic’s dream: Research now shows that eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate can reduce overall body fat and shrink your waist. A study among women with normal weight obesity (or skinny fat syndrome) who ate a Mediterranean diet that included two servings of dark chocolate each day showed a significant reduction in waist size than when on a cocoa-free meal plan. Researchers say it has to do with the flavonoids, heart-healthy compounds in chocolate that have important antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Just be sure you’re reaching for a bar with at least 70 percent cacao, and stay away from the “alkalized” stuff, which has a significantly reduced flavonoid content.
Why a top-pick? This comprehensive program is personalized for each guest to meet his or her specific needs. Each guest consults with the Wellness Manager before arrival and then connects again with him after the retreat. Guests bring home individualized nutrition and fitness programs as well as tools to guide mindful eating practices and skills to address roadblocks that typically interfere with long-term weight loss and weight maintenance.
There’s some truth to the old adage that breakfast is the “most important meal of the day,” and if you’re looking to blast belly fat, what you eat at the start of each day can make all the difference. According to a study from the University of Missouri-Columbia, a high-fiber, high-protein breakfast may be the most important investment you can make for your waistline. The study showed that eating breakfast triggered women’s brains to release dopamine, a feel-good chemical that helps to control impulses. In other words, eating a balanced breakfast decreases your chances of reaching for that 3 p.m. candy bar and keeps your belly slim.
Finally decided to venture out for a run? Snack on some beets before you hit the pavement. A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that runners who ate baked beets before a 5K race ran 5 percent faster. Researchers suspect this is because beets are high in nitrates, a natural chemical that increases endurance and lowers blood pressure.
Why it's dangerous: Arsenic is highly toxic in its inorganic form and in high doses. According to the World Health Organization it can also cause health problems such as skin lesions and cancer when consumed through food or drinking water. The symptoms of arsenic poisoning include vomiting, nausea, diarrhoea, severe muscle cramping and even death. It's certainly not a substance you would want in medication.
Cutting carbs altogether can often cause a guilt-ridden binge that will leave you unmotivated and packing on the pounds. Instead of prohibiting yourself from eating the foods you love, set a carb curfew. “For dinner, contestants always have a high-protein, high-fat meal with plenty of fibrous veggies,” Chris Powell of ABC’s reality series Extreme Weight Loss tells us in Chris Powell’s Behind-The-Scenes Extreme Weight Loss Tips. “If they have a post-dinner snack, they stick to protein-rich, high-fat foods like almonds or 2 percent milkfat string cheese.” Nixing carbs at night flips the fat-burning switch by increasing the amount of fat-burning hormones released while we’re asleep, Powell adds.
Weight loss occurs when the body is expending more energy in work and metabolism than it is absorbing from food or other nutrients. It will then use stored reserves from fat or muscle, gradually leading to weight loss. For athletes seeking to improve performance or to meet required weight classification for participation in a sport, it is not uncommon to seek additional weight loss even if they are already at their ideal body weight. Others may be driven to lose weight to achieve an appearance they consider more attractive. However, being underweight is associated with health risks such as difficulty fighting off infection, osteoporosis, decreased muscle strength, trouble regulating body temperature and even increased risk of death.
In the UK, up to 5% of the general population is underweight, but more than 10% of those with lung or gastrointestinal diseases and who have recently had surgery. According to data in the UK using the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool ('MUST'), which incorporates unintentional weight loss, more than 10% of the population over the age of 65 is at risk of malnutrition. A high proportion (10-60%) of hospital patients are also at risk, along with a similar proportion in care homes.
Meal prepping takes a few hours a week, but it's worth it: By getting your meals ready ahead of time, you won't be so tempted to order your go-to Chinese takeout when you're tired and hungry after work. "When you plan an entire week of dinner in advance, you're way less likely to go off course and indulge in foods that aren't good for you," says Pamela Salzman, a certified holistic health expert and cooking instructor. And since you planned things out, you'll actually get the protein, fruit, and veggies your body needs — and you'll lose weight in the process.
Stavrou, S., Nicolaides, N. C., Papageorgiou, I., Papadopoulou, P., Terzioglou, E., Chrousos, G. P., … Charmandari, E. (2016, July 31). The effectiveness of a stress-management intervention program in the management of overweight and obesity in childhood and adolescence. Journal of Molecular Biochemistry, 5(2), 63–70. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4996635/
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If you're a European or English yogi, then you can easily stay close to home for your get-into-shape holiday. This makes it much easier to incorporate everything you learn into your new, healthy life. Plus, you are close enough to the retreat that you might meet a few friendly neighbors. And isn't that so cool that you can build a health-focused community so easily?
If your doctor has recommended weight loss to improve a medical condition, if you have significant weight to lose, or if you want the help of physicians or other medical experts during your weight loss journey, then you'll want to choose a medical weight loss retreat. Most have physicians on staff to provide an evaluation when you check in and to monitor your health as you lose weight.
For the first month, I did the Hilton Head Health's LoseWell program, which is a very structured program—there's less choice and more guidance, my dieting training wheels, so to speak. I met with a group of other people looking to lose weight, and we ate pre-planned meals and did our prescribed workouts together. In between, I went to classes about the basics of nutrition and fitness, trying to learn everything I could about this new lifestyle.
Though it’s hardly realistic to keep people from moving north, there’s evidence to suggest that those living in northern latitudes may need to be a bit more careful about their gut health than the rest of us. A study in the journal Biology Letters found that living in northern latitudes encourages the growth of Firmicutes microbes, which have been linked to weight gain while decreasing the number of microbes linked with slim body types called Bacteroidetes. Generally speaking, the research showed that the number of Firmicutes increases with latitude and the number of Bacteroidetes decreases with latitude. To help ensure a healthy gut no matter where you reside, make sure your diet includes fermented and probiotic-rich foods, both of which encourage the growth of healthy gut bacteria.
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My son was competing nationally and had to cut almost 20 pounds in 2 days… and he had to wrestle 3 hours after weigh in… (he had two classes to wrestle in 175 or 200 – he though he was 185 and just needed 10 pounds but when he stepped on the scale Wednesday night (friday weigh in) he was 192. He spent a lot of time in the hot tub and ate chicken and broccoli and made weight – then he drank too much too fast and ate two peanut butter, honey and banana sandwhiches… but couldn’t really recover in time… he lost his first match, won his next 4, but getting into the losers column means you wrestle almost every 25 minutes and he couldn’t gain back the stamina… suggestions when you don’t have 24 hours? I think he did pretty good on the cutting weight part (he could have drank more water earlier in the week) but gaining it back along with his energy never really happened – he was done within 24 hours of weigh in…
Stress is a big no-no at Mountain Trek. The stress hormone cortisol is public enemy number one here, because it messes with metabolism. Everything that happens during the weeklong program is focused on vanquishing it: a diet free of foods that might cause digestive stress, a strict no-devices policy meant to keep guests from thinking about work, and lots of physical exertion to produce endorphins and other feel-good hormones that counteract it. (Oh, and also to burn fat.)
The Lenox Health Resort Weight Loss Program at Canyon Ranch eschews what it calls “tedious, cookie-cutter weight-loss directives and dreary menus” and instead offers guests a whole-person program with access to top experts in nutrition, exercise physiology, life management, and lifestyle medicine – all working to tailor the best weight loss plan for each guest. Stays range from 1 week and longer, with an all-inclusive no-tipping plan with meals and lodging.
“If you have ever lost a substantial amount of weight then gained some back you probably have an idea of that devastating feeling of going backwards — I think those feelings were more painful at that time than when I was overweight,” Ruby wrote on Instagram, adding that it’s been helpful to practice mindfulness at this point in her journey. “I had to remember that a transformation is far deeper than physical.”
While understanding your body composition may not seem like an important concept in a generic weight loss plan, it represents a clear measure of unseen risk. You see, as excess body fat accumulates around your organs, it begins to act as an independent endocrine organ secreting inflammatory compounds and increasing insulin resistance that may lead to metabolic syndrome, a constellation of elevated blood pressure, cholesterol, and a state of insulin resistance (diabetes).
Some popular beliefs attached to weight loss have been shown to either have less effect on weight loss as commonly believed or are actively unhealthy. According to Harvard Health, the idea of metabolism being the "key to weight" is "part truth and part myth" as while metabolism does affect weight loss, external forces such as diet and exercise have an equal effect. They also commented that the idea of changing one's rate of metabolism is under debate. Diet plans in fitness magazines are also often believed to be effective, but may actually be harmful by limiting the daily intake of important calories and nutrients which can be detrimental depending on the person and are even capable of driving individuals away from weight loss.
Make sure that everything you're eating is whole — as in nothing processed or packaged. Since salt is a preservative, these are the foods that are highest in sodium — something to keep in mind when planning your meals. Plan on making sure that all items you choose are fresh. That means filling up on fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein.
We’ve all been told that salmon, packed with heart-healthy omega-3s and belly-flattening protein, is a great way to get strong, lean and healthy. But not all salmon is created equal. Farmed salmon, which is what’s commonly sold in restaurants, can have the opposite effect on your waistline. Farmed salmon has over 100 more calories and nearly twice as much fat as wild-caught salmon. Plus, it’s much higher in saturated fat and lower in heart-healthy omega-3s. When dining out, you’re better off skipping the salmon altogether unless you are 100 percent sure it’s wild-caught.
Think writing a grocery list before heading to the store is a waste of time? As it turns out, it may be the key to finally losing weight. A Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior study of more than more than 1,300 people discovered that shoppers who regularly wrote grocery lists also purchased healthier foods and had lower BMI’s than those who didn’t put pen to paper before heading to the store. Researchers hypothesize that shopping lists keep us organized, which in turn helps us fend off diet-derailing impulse buys (hello, candy aisle). Before heading to the supermarket to stock up, spend a few minutes taking inventory of your kitchen, and then write a list. Be sure to organize it by category to prevent zigzagging all over the place; that ups the odds you’ll walk by—and purchase—tempting treats that could derail your weight loss success.
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High fiber diet benefit # 1: The "fill" factor - Because high fiber diet foods like fruits and vegetables supply plenty of bulk to your meals without adding a lot of calories, they keep you feeling full longer and help you lose weight, according to a study at the Human Nutrition Research Center at Tufts University. Researchers concluded that a low fat diet works only if it’s also a high fiber diet - rich in healthy foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains, all of which fill you up on fewer calories and less fat. In contrast, a low fat diet that is low in fiber and high in sugar, salt and preservatives can lead to bloating and weight gain.
Services offered: There is almost no diet, fitness, or weight loss service that is not offered at The BodyHoliday. The resort offers quality nutrition services, Ayurvedic diet and wellness services, expert fitness training, and an extensive line-up of activities including sailing, swimming, bootcamp, hiking, paddle board, spinning, stretching, tennis, combat fitness, water volleyball, archery, and much much more. A full spa is also available.
In other words? “Drinking makes you more likely to eat sh*t,” Dr. Seltzer says, referring to drunk foods. At the same time, he stops short of asking patients to quit alcohol cold-turkey to lose weight. Plus, research suggests you don’t have to, as long as your intake is moderate—i.e., less than about a drink a day. “If you drink a glass of wine every night and notice you eat more afterward, eat less early to account for this,” he says. “Or, if you’re drinking four glasses of wine a week, drink three instead so you’ll won’t feel such a big difference.”