Friday, November 16, 2007

Weight Loss Scams Revealed

Wouldn’t it be nice to lose weight quickly, with minimal effort or fuss? Of cause you would! I for one would love to just sit back do nothing and the weight will just fall off.

Whether it’s a Low Carb, Low GI Diet, A choice of diet pills or “natural” weight loss pills, diet shakes, or exercise equipment, we’ve all seen the fantastic claims people including celebrities make about losing tons of weight AND how they can show you how to do the same thing.

I can tell you right now that 99% of these people are total frauds. You may have even fallen prey to one of these scam artists, selling you their latest “weight loss” program. Me too!

In the past I’ve brought so many of these programs that I can’t even recall how many. I don’t know why, but I tend to find the “good” in people, and I was “sold” by these marketing schemes time and time again, even after being scammed by another. Finally, after so many disappointments, I got FED UP. I decided to get to the bottom of this fascination we have with Weight Loss Programs and find out if there really were any LEGITIMATE programs for Weight Loss.

Legitimate as in not only dealing with LOSING WEIGHT but also what caused the Weight Gain in the first place.

The American Heart Association has several tips to that helps guide you to identify a Fad Diet or Program if it is recommended.

• Magic or miracle foods that burn fat. Foods don’t burn fat – they create fat when we eat more than we need.

• Bizarre quantities of only one food or type of food such as eating only cabbage or tomatoes. These foods are fine as part of an overall healthy diet, but eating large quantities of them could lead to unpleasant side effects.

• Rigid Menus. Many diets set out a very limited selection of foods to be eaten at a specific time and day, exactly as written. Often these limited diets don’t address the widely varied taste preferences of our diverse population.

• Specific food combinations. Some foods taste good together, like the classic “soup and sandwich,” but there’s no scientific evidence that eating foods in certain sequences or combinations has any medical benefit.

• Rapid weight loss of more than two pounds a week.

• No warning given to people with diabetes or high blood pressure to seek advice from the physician or healthcare provider. Some fad diets could raise blood pressure or blood glucose even if you loss weight.

• No increase physical activity. Simple physical activities, like walking or riding a bike, are one of the most important ways to lose weight and maintain weight loss. Yet many “fad” diets don’t emphasis these easy changes.

Now don’t be discouraged, which weight loss program is the right one for you, which one isn’t just a fad diet. In my research I have found a few programs that not only deal with losing weight but also the cause of why you got fat in the first place (which by the way, is ultimately the main reason why we end up putting the weight back on) and also adding in successful, simple strategies to increase exercising.

Whatever you do, I wish you a healthy year for you and your’s

Don't Eat After 7 and Six Other Weight Management Myths

Diets are filled with dogma about when, what and how much to eat. Certainly “the rules” are usually based on observations that make sense, but unless you understand why you do certain things, you’ll break the rules as soon as the temptation is greater than your motivation. Let’s examine some of these myths, where they come from and how to make long term changes that will work for you.

Myth: Don’t Eat After 7pm

Your metabolism doesn't shut off at 7:01 pm so why is this rule so common? It’s based on the observation that many people who struggle with their weight overeat in the evening. Most have already eaten dinner so they aren't snacking because they’re hungry. They snack because of boredom, television, loneliness and other triggers.

Rather than creating a rule to address those habits, ask yourself “Am I hungry?” whenever you feel like eating in the evenings. If you truly are, eat, keeping in mind that your day is winding down so you won’t need a huge meal. If you aren't, consider why you feel like eating and come up with a better way to address that need. Ken, a man in one of my workshops, realized he was just bored so he started doing stained glass in the evenings to entertain himself. Whatever works!

Myth: Eat Small Meals Every 3 Hours

This rule is based on the fact that many thin people tend to eat frequent small meals. However, most of the thin people I know don’t check their watch to tell them it’s time to eat – they eat when their body tells them to. They eat when they’re hungry and stop when they’re satisfied. Since that tends to be a small meal, they get hungry again in a few hours.

Instead of watching the clock, begin to tune in to the physical symptoms of hunger to tell you when to eat. And remember, your stomach is only about the size of your fist so it only holds a handful of food comfortably. By learning to listen to your body’s signals, you are likely to follow a frequent small meal pattern naturally.

Myth: Don't Let Yourself Get Hungry

This one is based on the belief that overweight people are incapable of controlling themselves when they’re hungry. In my experience with hundreds of workshop participants, once they learn to tell the difference between physical hunger and head hunger, the opposite is true.

Think about it. When you’re hungry, food tastes better and is more satisfying. My grandmother used to say, “Hunger is the best seasoning.” Besides, if you aren't hungry when you start eating, what’s going to tell you to stop? Of course, you also need to learn to recognize hunger and make time to eat before you’re too hungry since it’s harder to make great choices when you’re starving!

Myth: Exercise More When You Cheat

I hate this one because it has caused millions of people to equate physical activity with punishment for eating. As a result, many people either hate to exercise or use exercise to earn the right to eat.

While it’s true that your weight is determined by your overall calories in versus your calories out, exercise is only part of the equation and has so many other important benefits. Instead of using exercise to pay penance, focus on how great you feel, how much more energy you have, how much better you sleep and how much healthier you’re becoming. In the long run, you are more likely to exercise because it feels good than because you’re forced to.

Myth: Follow Your Diet Six Days a Week Then You Can Have a Cheat Day

This is absurd! What if you were a harsh, overly strict parent six days a week then completely ignored your kids every Saturday? How would this approach work for your marriage or managing your employees?

It just doesn't make sense to try to be perfect (whatever that is) Sunday through Friday while obsessing about everything you’re going to eat on your day off. Then on Saturday you overeat just because you’re allowed to so you end up feeling miserable all day. Huh? Personally, I’d rather enjoy eating the foods I love every day, mindfully and in moderation. I call this being “in charge” instead of going back and forth between being in control and out of control.

Myth: Eat X Number of Calories a Day

Does it make sense that you would need exactly the same amount of fuel every day? Aren't there just days when you’re hungrier than others, maybe because of your activity levels or hormonal cycles?

Rather than setting yourself up to “cheat” on those hungry days and forcing yourself to eat more food than you want on your less hungry days, allow yourself the flexibility to adjust your intake based on your actual needs rather than an arbitrary number. Important: for this to work long term, you also need to learn to tell the difference between physical hunger and head hunger.

Myth: Carbs are Bad (or Fat is Bad)

This “good food-bad food” thinking makes certain foods special. As a result, you may feel deprived and think about them even more than you did before. Worse yet, healthy foods become a four-letter word.

The truth is all foods fit into a healthy diet. Since different foods have various nutritional qualities and calorie content, you can use the principles of balance, variety and moderation to guide you without trying to restrict an entire food group.

Truth: You Are In Charge

I assume the rule-makers are well-intentioned and don’t realize that they’ve created a tight rope that most people fall off sooner or later. It’s time to give yourself the flexibility to make decisions that both nourish and nurture you.

A Review of Medifast Weight Loss Center

If you've been trying to lose weight but is still unsuccessful? Why don't you try the Medifast Weight Loss Center's program?

Medifast is one of the many centers in the US right now that offers a weight loss program promising to deliver great results. What makes it 'unique' is that it offers different diet plans for different people.

Weight Loss Plan for Women

This plan was specifically designed to meet the special dietary needs of women and is guaranteed to be a safe and effective program for losing weight. The plan involves a very low-calorie diet that when taken with the center's specially formulated shakes results to a weight loss of 3 to 5 pounds a week. Weight Loss Plan for Men

This plan is developed especially for men but can also be used by sporty and very active women who engage in daily strenuous exercise. Compared with the women's plan, this plan provides more protein and a modestly higher calorie count.

Medifast Weight Loss Plan for Diabetics

Diabetics have special dietary concerns which makes it important for them to have a diet plan that's meant just for them. This plans not only helps in controlling blood sugar but can also help Type II diabetics lose unwanted pounds. Meanwhile, the Medifast Weight Loss Center recommends Type I diabetics use Medifast products as an occasional meal replacement only, unless prescribed by their doctor.

Other weight loss plans in the Medifast' product line includes the Medifast Plus for Appetite Suppression, Medifast Plus for Joint Health, and Woman's Wellbeing Menopause Relief.

To speed up their client's progress, the center recommends them to combine exercise with their diet plans and drink 8-oz glasses each day.

As with any other diet plan, you must consult first with your doctor.

Success Secrets From A Rugby Union Hero - Do Not Cut Corners!

In November 2003, Jonny Wilkinson scored the points that won the rugby union world cup for England. Millions watched spellbound as he aimed a drop kick at the Australian posts. He had already missed three drop kicks.

This kick went over. England had won. Jonny immediately became a hero to millions. Four years later, in 2007, the cup is being played for again. This time, teams will compete in France rather than in Australia.

Since the historic 2003 victory by England, Jonny has had one injury after another preventing him from playing for his club or for England. However, he is currently fit and able to play. Every England supporter hopes he will play in France.

Jonny is a thoughtful and articulate hero who is capable of analyzing the reasons for his success. Success is important to him but he does not depend on success for his happiness. As long as he puts in enough work to deserve success, he is reasonably content:

"I can't always succeed but I can always deserve to."

Jonny is a great fly half and a ferocious tackler but a huge part of his value to his team lies in his goal kicking abilities. He is one of the most reliable and accurate kickers in the world. He can be relied on to kick penalty goals, try conversions and drop goals (the point scoring kicks in rugby union).

He maintains his kicking ability by constant practice. This is done mainly on his own. As he plays for Newcastle in the North East of England, he often has to train in cold and inhospitable conditions. It would be easy to go home early.

Who would know? Jonny has a typical answer to this question:

"I would. Cutting corners is not my way. I reason that if I train harder and better than anyone else, I will come out on top. Others might get lucky every now and again but, the way I look at it, life has to provide a reward for all the effort in the end."

He is willing to give up the pleasures enjoyed by most of his fellows so that he can spend more time on the training field. Drinking after the game has always been a huge part of the culture of rugby. It is not part of Jonny's culture!

The last time Jonny drank alcohol was in June 2003. After the world cup victory in November, he only drank a couple of diet cokes to celebrate.

Jonny realizes that the benefits of a hard training session can be lost by eating unhealthy food afterwards. Major keys to achieving success, in general, are staying alive and keeping healthy and this means eating healthy food.

Jonny does not eat sweets, biscuits or chocolate. He even passes gifts of Easter eggs on to someone else! He does not allow himself to take even one bite. He would regret such a bite as a sign of mental weakness.

Like the scouts, whose motto is 'Be Prepared' Jonny believes in preparing for each game by practice and more practice. He sums up his views with another memorable phrase:

"Preparation is power."

Jonny has been accused of being an obsessive. At the world cup, someone described him as a 'basket case'. He accepts this description because he believes you have to prepare obsessively if you want victory:

"When I go out on the pitch, I want to look at my opposite number and feel as if I am stronger, quicker and better than he is. I need to believe that whatever he throws at me, I will be more than equal to it. For that to happen, I have to prepare obsessively."

Many people give up on their dream of becoming an expert when the constant repetition needed to reach the level of a master or mistress becomes boring.

They don't realize that overcoming this boredom and just focusing on what they have to do is the only way to achieve the reward of mastery. The result of hours of effort and boring repetition is anything but boring.

The skater falls on his or her backside hundreds of times before we see them gliding effortlessly like gods and goddesses around the ice rink. They practice the same moves over and over again until they look natural and graceful.

In 2003 all the boring work that Jonny had put in led to a drop goal which changed Jonny's world and his team mates' world. They were now world champions.

That glorious and world famous drop kick was not the result of luck. It was the result of one boring repetition after another as Jonny practiced kick after kick after every one else had gone home.

Some people stop practising because they are no longer 'enjoying the training'. They do not realize that enjoyment comes and goes and that most of the enjoyment comes from the results of their training.

I never really enjoyed playing in rugby matches because, as a forward, you seldom had a chance to run with the ball. You spent all your time shoving and pushing and struggling with the opposition to get hold of the ball so that the backs could run with it and take the glory of scoring a try.

Quite often, they would drop the hard won ball or fail to pass it on at the right moment and the whole process would start again. However, after the game was over, I loved the feeling of having made an all out effort. Of course, your enjoyment was much greater if your team had won the game.

Training in the martial arts can be boring and even painful but, eventually, if you keep going, the boring training results in the satisfaction of achieving your black belt.

The day after I gained my first Taekwondo black belt was a day of joy in spite of the fact that I had to roll out of my bed in a straight line because of the pain in my side where I had been kicked in the ribs.

All the training and effort then seemed worthwhile. A black belt does not mean you are invulnerable but it does symbolize the fact that you have trained very hard to achieve a worthwhile goal and have succeeded.

We can all set similar goals and enjoy the euphoria and the sense of improved skill and power that comes with achieving them.

Jonny would work on his place kicking (when the ball is kicked from the ground) after a day of light training. He didn't put a time limit on these sessions and some would last as long as three hours.

After a heavy day's training, he would practice his drop kicks (when the ball bounces just before or as you kick it). He would kick at least twenty with his left foot and twenty with his right.

He describes his training during the world cup tournament itself:

"I made sure I hit forty drop goals every day, twenty off each foot, so by the time of the final, I had probably kicked something like 7,000 drop goals in four months."

Jonny plays the odds. He believes that the harder he works, the more likely he is to succeed. But there are no guarantees of success. He missed his first three drop goal attempts against Australia.

However, he believes that the scales will eventually balance. He will, in the end, get out of the match the energy that he puts in.

His fourth drop goal went over. It is probably the most famous drop goal in history.

Jonny is now followed every where by photographers. He does not want; nor does he enjoy fame. He would play rugby 'if only one man and his dog was watching'. He loves the game for its own sake.

What were the secrets of his success? They are not really secrets at all. Like most 'secrets' they have been known to humans since the start of history. However, they are still secrets to those who are not yet aware of them:

You cannot guarantee success but you can do the work necessary to deserve success.

You should be prepared to practice your core skills even if this means boring repetition in a tough and lonely environment after every one else has gone home. Accept that boredom is inevitable at times when learning any skill.

Do not cut corners. Train or work harder than any one else. Eventually, the universe will reward you for your effort in some way or other.

Give up any pleasures that might hinder your improvement. Eat healthy food so that you do not destroy the benefits of your training. Avoid alcohol.

Prepare thoroughly even if other people think you are crazy. Preparation is power.

Enjoyment may not always come while you train but it will usually come as a result of your training.

Practice, sometimes, by setting a limit on what you plan to do and, at other times, do not set a limit.

Realize that celebrity is not important and will not last. Doing what you love, with one hundred percent effort, is far more important and the resulting satisfaction will last for the rest of your life