Category Archives: Weight Loss

Is Stress a Cause of Weight Gain?

A good number of studies have found that too much stress will lead to weight gain. Stress has been existing for a long time, in our ancestors wearing animal skins and carrying hunting spears, whenever they encounter a fight or flight situation. It will lead to the release of numerous hormones in reply to such situations.

Although the stressors faced nowadays come more in the form of hefty credit card bills and mishaps at work rather than a giant mammoth running straight at you, our body reacts the same way as for the other. More than anything, stress can also prevent any continuous weight loss.

How the Body Reacts to stress

Stress will lead to the release of hormones adrenalin, cortisol and the corticotrophin releasing hormone or CRH; all of them are released to provide energy to deal with any emergencies. Commonly adrenalin and CRH can reduce the appetite but the effects are short lived. However cortisol has lingering effects and can induce the body to acquire more food even when the stressor is no longer present.

Even though the situations that cause us stress nowadays don’t involve much physical activity, the cortisol that is released tells the body to eat up all the same. The stress is then relieved by eating. That may be beneficial for the ancestors, but not for the present human, who is keener on losing weight.

Stress usually causes people to consume food rich in carbohydrates such as sugars. As you intake sugar the body releases an equivalent amount of insulin. The function of insulin is to store the calories from sugar as fat in our bodies. So the excess insulin will lead to low sugar level in our blood leading to a crash, by which time the body will ask for more sugar, and so it continues.

At first you may be doing this subconsciously, but soon you will be aware of the conscious thought of turning to food every time you get stressed. In order to break from the habit you can follow these six things:

  • Eat Well – Eat six meals a day containing foods low in sugar and high in fiber. Eg: whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean meat.
  • Exercise – Exercise will keep a check on your cortisol levels, while also burning the calories.
  • Sleep Well – Lack of sleep will lead to increase in cortisol levels.
  • Relaxation – An activity that is calming and relaxing will fight off stress on a biological level
  • Do not take alcohol or caffeine – Besides interfering with sleep, it can also increase levels of cortisol
  • Intake Multi-Vitamins – Stress can lead to the depletion of important vitamins such as vitamin B and C. Make sure you replenish them.

It is impossible to eliminate stress altogether from your life. However you can control your body’s response to them. Make use of the information provided in this article to control stress and avoid the related weight gain.

alcohol-and-weight-loss

Alcohol and Weight Loss

You might have read that drinking alcohol is detrimental to weight loss. It is true to some extent. If it is taken in moderation you will still be able to lose weight rather than gain it.

So let’s define moderation by defining what a drink is. A drink can be in the form of half an ounce of an 80 proof 40% concentration drinks such as vodka and whiskey, 5 ounces of wine or 12 ounces of beer. The typical calorie in each one is somewhere around 150 calories. There will be more calories in mixed drinks because of the sugar that is added.

The moderate amount for women is one drink a day, while for men it can be two. If you drink too much of it then weight loss will become difficult for you.

How Does the Body Treat Alcohol

Getting to know the metabolism of alcohol will shed light on why taking too much of it can affect weight loss. Since alcohol is toxic to the body, the liver turns its attention to breaking down the alcohol, to metabolize it and then eliminate it. Just one and a half drink is enough to divert 75% of the livers attention from burning fat to breaking down the toxic drink.

Besides not burning the stored fat whenever alcohol is taken, the liver also doesn’t burn the calories from the meal that was consumed at the same time. You will not think clearly after taking alcohol, which will lead to eating too much food and also eating foods that are high in calorie and saturated fats; food which are not good for you.

Typically you will eat the same deal of calories from the food you eat with the drinks as with the calories from the drink itself. Since alcohol is there to provide you energy, your body stores the excess calories as fat, not mentioning how it is not burning the already stored fat because of alcohol intake. That is the sole reason why drinking too much alcohol and weight loss don’t hang well; you increase calorie intake rather than reducing it.

Health Benefits of Drinking Alcohol in Moderate Amounts

Drinking alcohol in moderate amounts can actually be helpful for weight loss. Some of the health benefits of alcohol include decreasing the risk of the following diseases:

  • Heart disease
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Cancer

It also does other benefits such as increasing the amounts of good cholesterol HDL, lower blood pressure and helping your immune system.

It should be apparent by now that moderate intakes of alcohol can be taken without any risk to your weight loss program. This can be done carefully by limiting your alcohol intake and having control of yourself to stop drinking more. You will stay clear if you do not exceed the right caloric proportion from alcohol.

juice-fruits

How Effective is Juice Fasting to Achieve Lasting Weight Loss

Juice fasting has many benefits to our body but extended weight loss is not one of them mostly because juice fasting helps losing weight only to gain it back after some time. Moreover, it can create permanent damage to a person’s metabolism system and digestive tract. Juice fasting also loses efficiency whenever the person begins to eat again, that is why is not considered a long-term solution for weight loss.

Juice Fasting Main Purpose

Health specialists also do not recommend fasting exclusively with natural juices as a healthy solution for weight loss. It may help you lose weight very fast during the earlier days of fasting. However, the main purpose of juice fasting is to make you healthier by cleansing toxic elements from your body, not to make you skinny by burning extra body fat.

You might lose weight fast by starting a juice detox diet but is more important to have a healthier digestive tract. A healthier digestive tract might help your body absorb nutrients more effectively.

Juice Fasting the Right Way

juice fasting the right way

juice fasting the right way

A person following a juice fasting diet for a long time will lose weight quicker than a person doing juice fasting for a short time. However, it will be the second person the one who will be enjoying all the benefits of juice fasting.

This is because following a juice diet plan is originally meant for detoxifying your body, not for weight loss. Read the truth about detox diets in this article from WebMd.

Here, in the case of the first person, the weight loss will not last for a long time. In fact, the second person will enjoy a permanent weight loss because juice fasting for shorter periods will increase his or her blood circulation, hormone levels, energy, vitamin absorption and metabolic rate. To me, is like getting a car ready for a race. First, you start by following a juice fasting diet for a short term to clean your body from toxins, improve your bodily functions and get your body ready for phase 2.

In the phase two, you will follow with a healthy weight loss diet and regular exercise to start burning fat. I am not saying not to include fruit and vegetable juices in your diet, as a matter of fact, it is recommended to do so, what you should avoid is following a juice fasting diet for a long time, not a juice diet.

Please, make sure to consult with your doctor before you start any diet plan or cleansing procedure to make sure your health is protected. For some advice on how to stay healthy when fasting check this article: http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/23/health/anthony-fasting/

The Final Word…

fruitWe should all realize that no health problem, such as overweight, develops instantly. It takes a long time for a problem to start and appeared on the surface and be immediately visible to us. Similarly, the healing process also does not take place instantly. The body needs time to absorb and process the changes that any procedure brings to it. In reality, people should know that some weight loss goals, especially “fast” or “quick” promises, could not be achieved within a short time.

Responsible juice fasting (read about Joe Cross’ 3-day weekend juice cleanse here) is the only way to achieve permanent weight loss in a healthy way and improve your body’s health. Remember, before adopting any juice fasting diet or fasting plan, you should consult with your doctor. Juice fasting for weight loss should only be follow for a short period of time and only with the purpose of detoxifying your body and to get ready for a weight loss plan consisting of a healthy and balanced diet and regular exercise.