After Tom Ram, a Tier 3+ trainer at Equinox Wall St., took my body measurements, performed some tests of flexibility, and then had me step on the InBody 770, an impedance-based scale, my state of health (and fitness) became clearer: I had excess body fat, which I already knew, but it was visceral body fat--inside the abdominal cavity—the bad kind that wraps around your organs and increases your risk of heart attacks and strokes.

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While we're sure you meant well when you set that New Year's resolution to lose weight—and actually stick to it this time—research shows most people ditch their goals by the end of February. But we say it's time to recommit, what with warm weather on the horizon and swimsuits getting pulled out of the closet. And since we may or may not need a little kick in the pants to get started (and figured you might, too), we rounded up the top weight loss retreats that do just that. So instead of focusing on the kids, work, and the 12,000 errands you have to run, book a flight and focus on getting back to, well, you. Because yes, it really is smart to take care of yourself first. Pinky promise.
The average American consumes 15.5 pounds of pasta each year—and most of it is the refined white stuff. What’s the trouble with that? This type of noodle is almost completely void of fiber and protein, two vital nutrients for weight loss. To boost the belly-filling fiber and hunger-busting protein in your meal, opt for a bean-based noodle like Banza Chickpea Shells (2 oz., 190 calories, 8 grams of fiber, 14 grams of protein) or Explore Asian Black Bean Low-Carb Pasta (2 oz., 180 calories, 12 grams of fiber, and 25 grams of protein). Alternatively, whip up a batch of zoodles, or spiralized veggie noodles with the help of these 21 Mouthwatering Spiralizer Recipes.
Tennessee Fitness Spa recently had the honor of hosting VickyFlipFlop, a travel blogger who writes "for people who want to make the most of their annual leave, weekends, money and friends, by exploring the world, and a festival or two." Creating a video about her stay, we're excited to share that Vicky had a fun – and productive! – stay at our fitness camp for adults.  If you'd like to hear Vicky's thoughts about her time at Tennessee Fitness Spa, click on the video above!
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Low body weight and rapid unintentional weight loss are highly predictive of mortality and morbidity in the elderly population. Weight loss is frequently reported in elderly patients. Acute and chronic diseases are leading causes of involuntary weight loss. Whereas physical disease probably accounts for a majority of cases of involuntary weight loss, psychiatric disorders such as dementia and depression also may result in severe nutritional deficiencies. Additional physiological, psychological, and social factors may affect food intake and body weight. Changes in body composition include loss of height and lean body mass and lower basal metabolic rate. Energy requirements decrease because of the lower basal metabolic rate and reduced physical activity. These low energy requirements make it more difficult for the elderly to obtain adequate amounts of required nutrients. Food intake regulation, taste, and olfactory sensitivity may be altered. As 50% of Americans have lost all of their teeth by age 65, chewing problems are often present. Other factors that contribute to poor nutritional status include alterations in the gastrointestinal tract, functional disabilities, lowered socioeconomic status, and social isolation. Finally, because of the increase in both physical and psychiatric disease, the elderly are major users of prescription drugs. Drug/nutrient interactions can result in anorexia and weight loss. The findings indicate that factors causing unintentional weight loss are highly interrelated and difficult to separate. Health care professionals must monitor body weight in elderly persons and carefully evaluate any cases of rapid, unintentional weight loss to prevent further deterioration of health status.

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“It can be easy for people to focus merely on what they are eating and on the weight loss progress,” says Mast. But sustainable weight loss relies on other factors as well. Mast emphasizes that finding a supportive community or one-on-one health coach is invaluable. Without a positive support system or the knowledge to develop a healthy eating plan, your weight loss is likely to stall. Speaking of which…
Learning to understand and embrace who you are is the crucial foundation of the work you’ll do at Green Mountain at Fox Run. And where better to find yourself than in the beautiful green mountains of Vermont? Nestled on a hill overlooking Okemo Mountain and the Green Mountain Forest, Green Mountain at Fox Run operates out of a former ski and corporate retreat. Set on 26 tranquil wooded acres, this peaceful location features an informally-appointed facility with simple classrooms, well-equipped physical activity rooms, a spacious, homey dining room, and a comfy living room where you can curl up and watch a movie, or share your life story with new friends.
Did you know that running for a straight hour on the treadmill is about three times LESS effective than just 15 minutes of interval training? If that isn't enough, the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting says that doing just two weeks of high-intensity interval training will improve your aerobic fitness as much as about seven weeks of endurance training.
This basically screws up your health and immune system in the long run to be sure. Hope the UFC organizers change the rules so that they have a weigh in just prior to the fight. This will stop all this weight loss manipulations mania and will ensure fairness in the system, so that desperate fighters willing to risk their long term health don’t get an edge over the normal guys who want to have a longer healthier life after all these fights are done.
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If you’ve ever had a diet fail because it wasn’t practical long-term, you may want to try a weight loss resort.  From no-nonsense health clinics to luxurious spa-like experiences, these resorts are a far cry from the fat camps image that has been around for decades.  Most weight loss resorts encourage healthy living and eschew unrealistic and impractical diets.  So whether you’re looking to lose weight or gain knowledge about nutrition and health, here are 10 award-winning resorts that can help.
Unfortunately, metabolic compensation isn’t your body’s only strategy to prevent weight loss or encourage weight gain. Hunger hormones – leptin and ghrelin – are also at play. Fat cells produce leptin, which tells your brain when you’re full. Fat cells also shrink when you lose weight, producing less leptin and meaning you don’t feel as full. Strike one. Ghrelin, produced by the stomach, tells the brain it’s time to refuel. When you lose weight, ghrelin levels rise, prompting you to want to eat more frequently. Strike two. Research suggests that neither leptin levels nor ghrelin levels return to a normal baseline for at least a year.
Not like you needed another reason to fall in love, snuggle up with your sweetie, kiss or get it on. Harvard Medical School researchers found that all of those things can aid weight loss. How? Lovey-dovey feelings cause levels of the hormone oxytocin to increase, which in turn, decreases appetite. For even more weight loss hacks, check out these 20 Weight Loss Tricks You Haven’t Tried. 

There are plenty of exercise classes and time for walking (called "Vermonting") on an old logging trail. As you cycle through the program you have fewer lectures and more activity. The facility itself is a sixties-era motel that has been nicely remodeled–simple, comfortable and clean.  All-inclusive rates are $3,700 for the first week, single occupancy.
We’ve been clear on the benefits of wild salmon, but those pink creatures are quite literally not the only fish in the sea. Generally speaking, fish provide one of the best sources of fatty acids known as omega-3s, which will help fend off waist-widening inflammation and are an excellent source of high-quality, lean protein. This allows them to help you maintain muscle mass, thus reducing excess fat accumulation. Some of our favorite healthy seafood include mussels, Atlantic mackerel, and bluefish, but be sure to educate yourself on the ocean dwellers with this list of Every Popular Fish—Ranked for Nutritional Benefits!
Since weight loss can be an exhausting and rigorous pursuit, many travelers choose to begin their journey at a relaxing spa. Typical spa offerings, like fitness classes, massage, chef-driven menus make the weight loss process feel less stressful. Some of these fitness and weight loss resorts are located within luxury hotels, while others have stand-alone campuses.
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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.
Out of sight, out of mouth? Simply reorganizing your pantry staples could translate into serious calorie savings. A study published in the Journal of Marketing found that people are more likely to overeat small treats from transparent packages than from opaque ones. For this reason, many nutritionists suggest keeping indulgent foods in the pantry on a high shelf so that you’re less apt to mindlessly grab them.
"When going out for fast food, I used to get the large-size value meal. Now, I satisfy a craving by ordering just one item: a small order of fries or a six-piece box of chicken nuggets. So far, I've shaved off 16 pounds in seven weeks, and I'm on track to being thinner than my high school self for my 10-year reunion later this year." —Miranda Jarrell, Birmingham, AL
If you are serious about losing weight and you want more than just a boot camp, then check out some of these weight loss centers. They will likely come with an in-house personal trainer (or two) and scheduled fitness classes. The more serious centers will include a well-organized fitness program with a quality nutrition plan. You may have private workouts with a personal trainer and a nutrition coach to teach you healthy eating habits.
Learn how to balance stress, weight and nutrition during Cooper’s popular six-day “Wellness Week” program ($2,195, does not include accommodation). The program includes two personal training sessions, group fitness classes, three calorie-controlled meals a day and two dining-out experiences where guests learn how to choose healthy options. Before you get started, sign up for the six-to-eight hour comprehensive physical exam that includes a stress test, blood test, skin cancer screening, and CT scan, as it is one of the few that provides same-day results.
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This award-winning spa believes self-discovery is the path to a balanced life and offers more than 90 different activities and classes to honor this belief. Guests can sign up for the healthy living workshops, which focus on topics from grief to relationships and everything in between or the integrative wellness classes. As for exercise, the resort offers “Latin Splash,” where guests water dance to Latin music, a high intensity circuit class, meditation, body conditioning and much more. Throughout each day, participants are encouraged to take a dip in one of the swimming pools, test out the climbing wall or Zipline, hit some balls at one of the two tennis courts and chill out in one of the Zen desert gardens.
It’s insane what some will do to have a slight edge in a fight. The biggest example that comes to mind is Anthony Johnson. The dude would walk around at like ~230 lbs and fight in the 170 lb weight class. He would rag-doll guys because of the huge size advantage. Of course, he always had trouble making weight, but it’s still a huge advantage if you can do it properly.
It’s always great to catch up with old pals or join your co-workers for a celebratory happy hour, but if you’re watching your weight it’s important to take note of who you choose to break bread with. According to an Eastern Illinois University study, you’re in danger of consuming 65 percent more calories if you’re eating with someone who gets seconds. In other words, while the old friend visiting from health-conscious LA may make a great dining partner, you should steer clear of the co-workers who keep ordering rounds of drinks and nachos.

Not all fat is bad. Healthy or “good” fats can actually help to control your weight, as well as manage your moods and fight fatigue. Unsaturated fats found in avocados, nuts, seeds, soymilk, tofu, and fatty fish can help fill you up, while adding a little tasty olive oil to a plate of vegetables, for example, can make it easier to eat healthy food and improve the overall quality of your diet.

Learn how to balance stress, weight and nutrition during Cooper’s popular six-day “Wellness Week” program ($2,195, does not include accommodation). The program includes two personal training sessions, group fitness classes, three calorie-controlled meals a day and two dining-out experiences where guests learn how to choose healthy options. Before you get started, sign up for the six-to-eight hour comprehensive physical exam that includes a stress test, blood test, skin cancer screening, and CT scan, as it is one of the few that provides same-day results.
When eating out or picking up a quick lunch on your break, ask for any sauce or dressing on the side. Though these emulsions often add flavor to a dish, they’re also frequently packed with empty calories, added sugar, and a whole host of other unhealthy stuff that makes shedding pounds that much harder. For example, just one three-tablespoon serving of Panera Bread’s Greek dressing has 230 calories. 3.5 grams of saturated fat, and 310 milligrams of sodium. By asking for the sauce or dressing on the side, you have more control over how much of it you eat, and you could easily save yourself a few hundred calories.
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.[43] They also commented that the idea of changing one's rate of metabolism is under debate.[43] 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.[44]

It's easy to overdo it when you're eating something delicious — and that's why it's good to focus on foods that will force you to slow down. "Slowing down can help you check in with your hunger levels. For that reason, I love snacking on 100-calorie packs of in-shell pistachios," Gorin says. "Shelling the pistachios helps you slow down your snacking, and the shells leave a visual cue to remind you of how much you've eaten. Because you're more in tune with what's gone into your mouth, you may be less likely to have extra servings." In one preliminary study, people snacking on in-shell pistachios ate 41% less calories than those who ate the shelled version.
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?
“This seemingly-innocent food is almost always loaded with added sugar. In fact, most companies use synonyms or alternative words for plain old ‘sugar’ to disguise it. ” Lisa Hayim, registered dietitian and founder of The Well Necessities tells us in 37 Worst Breakfast Habits for Your Waistline. And she’s right: Choosing a cup of Kashi Indigo Morning Organic Corn Cereal over ¾ cup of Kashi Organic Promise Cranberry, Spelt and Flax Granola, will slash 160 calories off your breakfast!

The Oaks at Ojai was founded by Sheila Cluff, a wellness visionary who created cardiovascular dance in the 1950s (later known as aerobics) and inspired Mel Zuckerman to open Canyon Ranch back in the '70s. It calls itself "America's best spa value" with affordable rates that include overnight accommodations, three delicious and calorie-conscious meals a day, your choice of 15 fitness classes per day, and evening entertainment and seminars.


Weight gain has been associated with excessive consumption of fats, (added) sugars, refined carbohydrates in general, and alcohol consumption.[citation needed] Depression, stress or boredom may also contribute to weight increase,[citation needed] and in these cases, individuals are advised to seek medical help. A 2010 study found that dieters who got a full night's sleep lost more than twice as much fat as sleep-deprived dieters.[5][6] 

Losing weight can seem like an overwhelming undertaking, but even dropping just a few pounds can have a big impact on your overall health. “You get a large ‘bang for your buck’ with only a 5 percent weight loss,” says Samuel Klein, MD, professor of medicine and nutritional science, and director of the Center for Human Nutrition at Washington University School of Medicine. For a 200-pound person, that’s just 10 pounds—but losing it takes a big strain off your body. Dr. Klein’s study shows one of the many boons is reduced diabetes risk, a condition marked by high blood sugar. “The beneficial effects include decreased total body fat, intra-abdominal fat, and liver fat and increased insulin sensitivity in liver, muscle, and fat tissues,” he says. Because the body requires insulin to absorb and use blood sugar, better insulin sensitivity means better blood sugar control. Find out the motivation that helped these 22 people lose weight.

Many patients will be in pain and have a loss of appetite after surgery.[25] Part of the body's response to surgery is to direct energy to wound healing, which increases the body's overall energy requirements.[25] Surgery affects nutritional status indirectly, particularly during the recovery period, as it can interfere with wound healing and other aspects of recovery.[25][29] Surgery directly affects nutritional status if a procedure permanently alters the digestive system.[25] Enteral nutrition (tube feeding) is often needed.[25] However a policy of 'nil by mouth' for all gastrointestinal surgery has not been shown to benefit, with some suggestion it might hinder recovery.[37]
If I am Woman, where’s my roar? Probably, your roar has become almost silent in the sea of life and the multitudes of daily roles you are required to play. It won’t take you long to realize that your “roar” is exhausted, lacking energy and direction; overshadowed by the noise of everyday life as a mother, carer, breadwinner, organizer, mentor, and head of the household to name but a few.
The Canyon Ranch weight loss program is also available in Tucson.   Like Lenox, an all-inclusive program is offered, and you’ll meet one-on-one with caring professionals – including physicians, life management therapists, nutritionists, exercise physiologists and more. Together you’ll develop a personalized plan for long-term, sustainable weight loss, better health and a more balanced and fulfilling life, which is a bit different from other weight loss resorts.
Tennessee Fitness Spa recently had the honor of hosting VickyFlipFlop, a travel blogger who writes "for people who want to make the most of their annual leave, weekends, money and friends, by exploring the world, and a festival or two." Creating a video about her stay, we're excited to share that Vicky had a fun – and productive! – stay at our fitness camp for adults.  If you'd like to hear Vicky's thoughts about her time at Tennessee Fitness Spa, click on the video above!
While ketchup and BBQ sauce are frequently used to help flavor beef, chicken, and the like, the tasty condiments are no friend to your waistline. Ketchup, for example, typically contains around 19 calories and 4 grams of belly-bloating sugar per tablespoon, and BBQ sauce is just as unhealthy, if not worse. To avoid consuming empty calories and unhealthy added sugar, have condiments such as mustard and sauerkraut on hand. While mustard has been linked to revving your metabolism, fermented sauerkraut will help balance the bacteria in your gut.
Held at our luxury resort in the centre of Ubud, the ARMA Health & Detox-Spa Resort has everything and more for your healing holidays. Explore the area on our walks and trips, take a dip into one of our swimming pools, or relax in our tranquil gardens. Enjoy our spa treatments and bodywork as part of your program, wander through rice paddy terraces, over bridges and around romantic lily ponds.
Speaking of intervals, high-intensity interval training (otherwise known as HIIT) has been shown to be incredibly effective for weight loss. Because the workouts are so intense, you don't need to put in an hour — or even 30 minutes — at the gym. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, seven minutes is all you need to get in the best shape of your life.

Great question, Cain. The cumulative stress of training for a competition and then cutting 10-20 pounds certainly does compromise the immune system. (So does competition itself, for a few hours after the event). Then, when you stuff hundreds of people in an arena or auditorium, all sharing their bacteria and viruses with those compromised immune systems…so getting a cold is the very common. All big athletic events are like this: marathons, tournaments, etc.

Instead of depriving yourself of all your favorite indulgences or meticulously counting calories to drop a size, simply consume at least 30 grams of fiber daily. This simple, no-fuss method fuels weight loss and improves health just as effectively as more complex diet approaches, University of Massachusetts Medical School researchers discovered. “Very few people reach the goals that are recommended,” said lead study author Yunsheng Ma, MD, PhD, adding that “Telling people to reduce this or reduce that is just too hard to do.” However, asking people to focus on eating more of a certain nutrient—rather than eliminating things from their diet–can help people reach their weight loss goals, he explains. Interested in giving the diet strategy a try? Check out these 11 Best High-Fiber Foods for Weight Loss and start slimming down!


Christy Brissette, MS, RD is one of North America's top dietitians and a leading nutrition and food communications expert. She is the President of 80 Twenty Nutrition, a nutrition and food media company. Her mission is to end food confusion and dieting once and for all. Christy appears on national TV and is interviewed for international magazines, radio and websites. She empowers her clients to look and feel their best with the healing power of healthy, delicious food. She helps clients achieve results through cutting-edge, creative and fun meal plans and recipes. You can still enjoy your favourite foods and have the body of your dreams!
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You'll learn and experience Mindful Eating, a practice that helps you better understand why you choose to eat along with guided training and nutritional support. We have included acupuncture and spa therapies to promote your bodies natural ability to detoxify. When compared to other resorts, our Utah weight loss retreats include more individual testing and personalized attention – plus our special ingredient: adventure. 

Limited to just 15 people each week, the Sunday to Saturday stay at the Ranch at Live Oak Malibu is designed to deliver sustainable results through a strict, “no-options” philosophy.   Tough workouts, physical endurance, yoga, and hiking are key elements of the program as well as the vegetarian cuisine sourced on the property. No cell phones are permitted and while accommodations are beautifully appointed, you won’t find televisions to distract you from activity.
When it comes to losing weight, we have been told time and again to eat right and exercise regularly. From following a healthy diet plan to working out regime, those who want to lose weight leave no stone unturned to get a fitter body. But often, we miss on some basic yet important things which might also impact our weight loss journey. Here we have mentioned a few important things that must be followed to maintain a healthy body weight.
Powell was overweight as a child, eating a diet full of processed foods and little water and vegetables. In college, Powell says she dramatically gained more weight. “I walked into my apartment, stared at my reflection in the mirror and asked, ‘Who is that?’ It was a defining moment for me,” says Powell, 38, who is now a holistic health practitioner and fitness trainer who has founded the company Black Girls Nutrition.
But perhaps the biggest change has been in my mindset. I’m learning that health is all about balance, which I’ve always known but to be here and live it has been eye opening and comforting seeing it firsthand. It’s so easy to fall into an "all or nothing" mindset, thinking that if I couldn't do everything perfectly then it wasn't worth trying or if I “messed up” then it wasn’t worth continuing on.
Common sense states if you want to lose weight, then you shouldn’t have a large meal not long before going to bed. And now we have additional research to back up that hypothesis. A study published in the journal Obesity followed two groups of overweight women with metabolic syndrome on identical 1,400-calorie weight loss diets for three months. While both groups consumed 500 calories at lunch, one group consumed 700 calories for breakfast and a 200-calorie dinner (the “big breakfast” group), while the other group ate 200 calories at breakfast and 700 calories at dinner (the “big dinner” group). Even though the nutrient content of the meals was exactly the same for both groups, after three months the big breakfast group lost about two and a half times more weight than big dinner group.
Common sense states if you want to lose weight, then you shouldn’t have a large meal not long before going to bed. And now we have additional research to back up that hypothesis. A study published in the journal Obesity followed two groups of overweight women with metabolic syndrome on identical 1,400-calorie weight loss diets for three months. While both groups consumed 500 calories at lunch, one group consumed 700 calories for breakfast and a 200-calorie dinner (the “big breakfast” group), while the other group ate 200 calories at breakfast and 700 calories at dinner (the “big dinner” group). Even though the nutrient content of the meals was exactly the same for both groups, after three months the big breakfast group lost about two and a half times more weight than big dinner group.
Over the 3 month period, my visceral fat area (VFA) dropped to 60.2 from 88.1, (with percentage body fat falling to 14.5 % from 19.1%), reflecting a healthier measurement and reduced cardiac risk. My skeletal or lean muscle mass remained constant at 92 pounds, in light of continued fat loss, reflecting the success of my workout regimen.  My body fat mass dropped to 27 pounds reflecting a decrease in visceral fat, while total body water (TBW) increased by nearly 3%, reflecting a focus on hydration.
Start each morning with a sunrise stretch, cooking class or medical lecture and finish the day with Tai Chi, a stress management class or a night out in South Beach. This Miami resort, surrounded by 650 acres of gardens, fountains and water features, focuses on “real world training” so that guests can apply what they’ve learned at home. The health facility features an indoor track, two restaurants that offer gourmet meals (think Maine lobster and wild mushroom risotto), pools, five golf courses, a spa, and a tennis court. Take advantage of the resort’s personal training sessions, counseling and educational courses as well. The all-inclusive resort offers a one-week (starting at $3,600) and two-week program (starting at $6,200).
Just because you’re trying to slim down, that doesn’t mean you have to forgo the occasional dessert splurge. There’s a simple solution to having your cake and eating it, too: Eat healthfully 80 percent of the time and reserve the remaining 20 percent of the time to cheat meals. Balance is key to sticking to your diet and dropping weight and maintaining it in the long run.
Not only is pomegranate packed with fiber (which is found in its edible seeds) but it also contains anthocyanins, tannins, and high levels of antioxidants, which research published in the International Journal of Obesity says can help fight weight gain. A half-cup of the colorful fruit gives you 12 grams of fiber and more than half a day’s vitamin C. Snack on these fruits raw or toss ’em into a smoothie and you’re good to go!
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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Not much of a coffee drinker? Tea is also a natural diuretic, and types of herbal tea such as dandelion or fennel root can also lend a hand. In fact: When a recent study compared the metabolic effect of green tea (in extract) with that of a placebo, researchers found that the green-tea drinkers burned about 70 additional calories in a 24-hour period.
The Detox Program is designed to purify and instill new energy for better physical well-being and mental relaxation.  The initial consultation and bio-impedance analysis determine specific needs and nutritional advice and treatments are specific to detoxifying the body, and, for Weight Balance, the program adds lean cuisine of the purest kind, including fish, eggs, vegetable proteins, and more.

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.


Studies show that eating breakfast plays a part in successful weight loss — almost 80 percent of people who successfully keep weight off chow down on this meal, according to a study published in Obesity Research. "Your metabolism slows as you sleep, and the process of digesting food revs it up again," explains Heller. Aim for a 300- to 400-calorie breakfast, such as a high-fiber cereal (another metabolism booster) with skim milk and fruit.


Trans fats, which are typically found in processed foods with partially hydrogenated oils, should be avoided when buying, cooking, or ordering food because of the role they play in weight gain. As noted in the journal Obesity, these unhealthy substances have been found to pack on the belly fat in monkeys. As it turns out, they’re not great for humans either. “Trans fats cause inflammation in the body leading to insulin resistance and impairing the body’s ability to use glucose properly, resulting in excess fat storage around the belly,” says Tina Marinaccio, MS RD CPT in 50 Ways to Shrink Your Belly. Trans fats, which are created by partially hydrogenating vegetable oils, are beloved by manufacturers because they increase the shelf life of processed foods, but they are no friend to your waistline. “Trans fats may be lurking in any processed or fried food such as chips, baked goods, and even butter spreads,”Marinaccio warns.”To avoid them, check the ingredients for hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.”

In a vicious cycle, lack of sleep could be making you fatter. On the other hand, you’ll get better shut-eye with weight loss. “In a study conducted at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, participants who had lost an average of 15 pounds show improvement in sleep quality,” Dr. Shane says. “In fact, a reduction in belly fat was the best predictor of improved sleep.” In addition, you’ll stop snoring as much—and snoring isn’t just an annoyance to your partner, but a mark of unhealthy sleep. “Snoring is in part caused by the amount of tissue around the neck,” Dr. Shane says. “When you lose weight, that reduces the amount of tissue in your neck, which can diminish snoring.”


Interval training can also be a very effective weight-loss tool. It's pretty easy to incorporate into any fitness plan because it can be applied to a variety of settings, and different types of equipment can be used. Choose an activity that you can do at a high intensity (greater than 80 percent of your maximum heart rate) for 30-60 seconds, then follow it with 30-60 seconds of rest.

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