Weight Loss with HEALTHeME

Weight loss and good health made simple

Friday, May 27, 2011

Weight Training for Weight Loss

Lose weight with weight training!
The results are in: weight training speeds weight loss.

Wanna shed a few pounds?  Tempted to jump on the nearest treadmill and stay there ‘til you’ve banished your belly fat?  Well, it’s true that cardiovascular (or aerobic) training boasts tremendous health benefits and burns calories. You’ll have to do more than just cardio to reach your goals. You need to add some weights to lose weight - simple as that.

In one article, strength training and aerobic training go head-to-head in an analysis of which is the better way to exercise. We know both are important but the article highlights certain benefits associated with strength training including injury prevention, improved self-image, and a boost to basal metabolic rate (the calories your body burns just to stay alive).
There are even more compelling reasons to spend some time with weights. In one study, researchers found that strength training for a mere 45 minutes per week can increase energy and prevent weight gain. Without altering their diet, study participants who did a very brief (about 11 minutes) strength training session three times per week, saw a big boost to their 24-hour energy expenditure. This helped prevent weight gain for the weight-lifting group. Although preventing weight gain may not sound like a big deal, when you consider that the average American gains 1 to 2 pounds per year, this is an important finding.

An analysis of a number of studies found strength training had a significant impact on metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome (or cardiometabolic risk) includes several conditions that increase your risk for diabetes and heart disease. These factors include high blood sugar, obesity, and high blood pressure. Researchers found that adding strength training to your routine can decrease body fat, improve blood sugar control, and decrease systolic blood pressure.
The Center for Disease Control recommends that all adults include strength training 2 days per week, exercising most major muscle groups. And, while fitness centers are nice, you don’t have to have access to fancy equipment to make your body strong. You can use hand weights, bands, or just your body weight to help strengthen your muscles. So, while exercises like walking, jogging, biking, and swimming are an important part of your fitness routine and will help you reach your weight loss goals; don’t overlook the importance of pumping a little iron!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Blueberries & Weight Loss

What can’t these powerful little berries do? Well known for being loaded with antioxidant properties, blueberries are a low calorie treat that often top the list of healthy foods. New research suggests that there may be another reason to add a little blue to your plate: blueberries may help battle diabetes and help weight loss.
One study found rats who consumed blueberries, weighed less, had less abdominal fat, decreased cholesterol and triglycerides, improved glucose metabolism, and increased insulin sensitivity. There were even improvements for rats on a high fat diet, as long as blueberries were on the menu. This group of rats saw an improvement in the way their bodies use and store fat, plus an improvement in the way their bodies use glucose (blood sugar).

Another study confirms that blueberries may be a key in fighting the increasing rates of diabetes. In this study, mice were given a special blend of blueberry juice. The mice lost weight, ate less, and had lower blood sugar levels.
A more recent study found that blueberries helped prevent the development of fat cells. This is important because we know that it is very difficult to reduce the number of fat cells in your body. Once a fat cell has taken up residence, you can decrease the amount of fat in the cell, and if you work very hard, you can reduce the number of fat cells in your body. But it is much easier to prevent them from forming than it is to get rid of ‘em.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Don’t Let Stress Weigh You Down

 Stress is more than a feeling

Stress is a natural response to events or situations – positive or negative. But, when most of us talk about STRESS, we are referring to that frazzled, anxious, over-booked and under-appreciated feeling that leaves us wanting to run home and veg out in front of the TV.
Long-term stress can have some serious health consequences such as increased blood pressure, digestive problems, fatigue, depression, increased cholesterol, weakened immune system, and weight gain.

According to a recent study, chronic stress can also make it hard for your body to utilize glucose (sugar). This increases your risk for being diagnosed with conditions like prediabetes or type II diabetes. Plus, for people who have already been diagnosed with diabetes, chronic stress makes it much harder to manage their blood sugar levels.
You know stress isn’t a good thing for your body, but what can you do? There is one all-natural, low cost alternative to help manage your stress: exercise! It may be the chemicals in your brain released during exercise that help you feel better or the fact that regular exercise helps you lose weight and boosts your confidence. No matter the reason, one thing is for sure – exercise needs to be a part of every stress management plan.

Whether you enjoy walking, dancing, neighborhood basketball games, or yoga, one exercise session can generate 90-120 minutes of a “relaxation response”. Who doesn’t need that? So, be sure to include time for yourself (and your exercise sessions) in your busy schedule.