Adjust Your Weight-Loss Strategy With Age

I thought this was a great article. :)

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Adjust Your Weight-Loss Strategy With Age

Learn how aging affects weight loss and the best ways to modify your fitness plans to adjust to changes in your metabolism.

By Madeline Vann, MPH

As you get older, your body doesn’t respond the same way to weight-loss efforts. This aggravating phenomenon occurs primarily because your metabolism is slowing down and you need fewer calories each day. Here’s how to adjust to get back on track.

Weight Gain and Aging: What’s Going On?

“The 40s are very different from the 30s, and the 50s are very different from the 40s as far as your metabolism,” observes longtime dieter Frances Simon of New Orleans. Simon turns 55 this year and says that number is causing her to get serious about achieving her weight-loss goals. “It seems like it’s harder and harder. But, boy, I remember when I was in my 20s — admittedly I was a lot more active, but I had a lot more energy then, too. I would go out dining and drinking a lot when I was in my 20s, but now in my 50s there is no way I would do that. It’s easier for the weight to come on than to try taking it off.”

Simon’s experiences are not unique. With menopause you may find your waist expands a bit, your muscles lose their tone, and you get new fat deposits. Researchers have yet to uncover the reason for these physical changes, but suspect that rapidly shifting hormones affect your body’s makeup.

While the factors that lead to weight gain as we age are the same for men and women (with the exception of menopause), national health data shows that men over age 65 are slightly more likely than women to be overweight. In fact, 76 percent of men ages 65 to 74 are obese, compared to 71.5 percent of women in that age group.

Weight Gain and Aging: Your Changing Body

Here are some of the contributing factors to your unwanted weight gain:

You’re burning less energy. “As you get older, you don’t need as many calories. Part of that is a little bit slower metabolism, but part of it is you’re not rushing around as much. You can’t believe how many calories you don’t need,” says Donna L. Weihofen, RD, MS, health nutritionist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Weihofen says that learning to adjust your diet to your body’s changing needs is a gradual process. She gives her clients guidelines like switching to smaller portions and sharing at restaurants, especially if dining with a spouse who is having his own problems with weight gain.

You’re less active. Many people find they have less energy as they age, but you may also find that life is less demanding than it was in earlier years. Simon says that eating a Mediterranean-style diet, with an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats, keeps her feeling full and gives her more energy to exercise.

However, she notes that there is another significant barrier to exercising for older women. “For people my age who want to exercise or get started exercising, I think it’s discouraging to go to a gym where there are lots of younger people,” she says. Simon’s goal is to attend Jazzercise three times a week, a class she enjoys because the participants are her age and older. “Some of those 60-year-olds look pretty fine, too!”

Weight Gain and Aging: How to Fight Back

A study of weight gain prevention in 284 women showed that women who maintained a healthy weight over a three-year period were more likely to:

  • Carefully monitor food intake
  • Avoid a loss of control of their diet (binging, for example)
  • Not feel hungry

The strategies for combating weight gain as you age are the same you’ve used before:

  • Count your calories
  • Eat a hunger-busting diet rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats
  • Keep fat intake below 30 percent of your calories
  • Be physically active, at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week (more if possible)

Aging doesn’t mean you are destined for weight gain — just step up your diet and exercise routine to stay on track!

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The Sunshine Vitamin: Get Your Vitamin D

The Sunshine Vitamin: Get Your Vitamin D

Let the sun shine in! Experts say women aren’t getting enough vitamin D, an essential vitamin that helps the body absorb calcium and has been shown to decrease the risk of some diseases.

By Diana Rodriguez
Medically reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH

More and more studies are showing how important vitamin D is to women’s health — and that many women aren’t getting enough of this essential vitamin.

Though you can up your levels through both your diet and supplements, soaking up a little sunshine is the best way to get vitamin D. But we’re also told to limit our time in the sun because of the damage it can do to our skin — so what gives? You can get your daily dose of vitamin D and protect your skin, too, so you don’t have to sacrifice any aspect of your health to give your body what it needs.

The Importance of Vitamin D

Vitamin D promotes the body’s absorption of calcium, a mineral that helps keep bones and teeth strong. Vitamin D also regulates the body’s calcium levels in the blood, as well as levels of the mineral phosphorus, which also helps to promote healthy bones and teeth.

Vitamin D deficiency can be serious, causing bones to deteriorate and weaken. In adults, a vitamin D deficiency can lead to the bone condition osteoporosis and, in children, it can cause rickets — soft and weak bones.

Although more research is needed, vitamin D also appears to have many other beneficial effects. Studies have shown that vitamin D in sufficient levels can help boost the immune system and possibly decrease the risk of getting some cancers.

Research shows that vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of:

  • Broken bones
  • Breast cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes
  • Viral infections, such as the flu
  • High blood pressure

Where to Get Your Vitamin D

500 mg calcium supplement tablets, with vitami...

Image via Wikipedia

The body produces vitamin D, but it needs sunshine to do it right. You can also take a vitamin D supplement or get vitamin D from certain foods.

Foods rich in vitamin D include:

  • Fish, such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and oysters
  • Vitamin D-enriched cereal
  • Some eggs (but the hens must have been given vitamin D)
  • Vitamin D-fortified orange juice
  • Margarine and butter
  • Vitamin D-fortified milk
  • Dairy foods including cream and cheese

The Vitamin D Conundrum

So just how much vitamin D do you need? It depends on your gender and age. Get too little vitamin D, and you’ll feel the effects of vitamin D deficiency. Too much of it — and your blood can contain too much calcium, harming your lungs and heart.

Here are the standard recommendations for vitamin D intake for women:

  • Age 14 to 50: 200 international units (IU)
  • Age 51 to 70: 400 IU
  • Age 71 and older: 600 IU

Many physicians are now testing vitamin D levels in their patients and finding that many women (and men) have low vitamin D levels. If your level is low, your doctor may recommend much higher supplement doses, often 1,000 to 2,000 IU a day.

How to Boost Vitamin D Levels

To get enough vitamin D from the sun, you need to spend about 5 to 15 minutes in the sun, just three times each week, without sunscreen. Too much sun exposure can cause sunburn and increase the risk of skin cancer, so make sure you limit your exposure. Also, you can expose your arms and legs, but you should always protect your face with sunscreen. If you don’t feel safe in the sun, turn to your diet and a vitamin D supplement to get the vitamin D you need.

Remember that you still need vitamin D in the winter. For many people, especially those in northern climates, it’s hard to get enough sun during those months, and a supplement may be necessary. African-Americans and others with darker skin tones may also be less able to absorb enough sunlight for sufficient vitamin D production from the sun alone.

Other Essential Vitamins

One of Vitamin D’s main roles is to help ensure that your body can absorb calcium, but you’ve also got to make sure you’re getting enough calcium so that vitamin D can do its job. You should try to get between 1,000 and 1,200 daily milligrams of calcium through diet or supplements (calcium supplements are available with vitamin D, enabling you to get both in one pill).

A daily multivitamin can also offer essential vitamins to help protect women’s health. Multivitamins usually contain vitamin D — often 200 IU or 400 IU — so be sure to read labels. Look for a multivitamin that also contains these vitamins:

  • Folate (folic acid) to help prevent anemia
  • Vitamin A to promote bone health and healthy cells
  • Vitamin B6 and B12 to prevent birth defects, some cancers, and heart disease
  • Vitamin C to prevent infection and promote collagen growth, which helps form healthy bones and teeth
  • Vitamin K, which helps blood to clot and promotes strong bones

Vitamins, including vitamin D, are an important part of women’s health. But still, be careful to limit unprotected sun exposure and to get enough dietary vitamin D or take a vitamin D supplement if you want an alternative to the sun.

Stressing Out, Gaining Weight, and Finally Losing It

A GREAT article that explains what happens to our bodies when we are stressed. I found this very interesting because I’ve been more stressed this last 6 weeks and it does affect you. This article explains how.

Stressing Out, Gaining Weight, and Finally Losing It

Your phone is ringing, breakfast is sizzling, and you’re trying to get the kids off to school — all the while getting ready to go to work yourself. Sound familiar, or are you stressed out just by reading these words? If you’re a living breathing human being, chances are you experience some type of daily stress. And it’s true: Stress can cause you to gain weight.

In fact, a recent study conducted by Susan J. Melhorn and colleagues from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, found that not only can stress can take a daily toll on you in terms of physical and psychological well being, but it can cause weight gain. According to recent studies, social stress — public speaking, tests, job and relationship pressures — may cause overeating and weight gain.” But you probably already knew that; stress makes many of us want to eat more.

You gain weight for two reasons:

Biological Interference: Biologically your body is designed for a “fight or flight” response to stress. So when you’re stressed, your body releases hormones to help you do either. And since you’re most likely not being chased by a saber tooth tiger, this response is not exactly helpful when your boss sends you a stressful email or you have an argument with your spouse.

What happens (in the most basic terms) is that your body releases chemicals when you’re stressed. The brain sends out a stress hormone called cortisol, which regulates energy by tapping into the body’s fat storage and protein, converting it into glucose and bringing it to muscles and to the brain. Additionally, it can move fat from storage depots and relocate it to fat cell deposits deep in the abdomen; researchers have shown that the abdomen is the best place for fast energy retrieval.

Cortisol may linger in your body long after the cause of the initial stress has passed and trick your body into thinking it has done something active in response to a perceived ‘threat.’ What’s even more surprising is that cortisol acts like a biological green light, which sends signals to your brain to refuel your body as soon as possible.

Eating Comfort Foods: When things are stressful, what can we do? How can we feel better? How about brownies, donuts, candy, ice cream, pizza, mashed potatoes, and fried chicken? This type of comfort food is always quick to the rescue in our time of need. Over the past year we’ve comforted ourselves by gravitating toward this kind of food, thinking, “You only live once, so I might as well enjoy myself now.” When tension and anxiety are high in one aspect of life, it’s not unusual for other areas to seem trivial or less important.

Why do we crave these foods? First of all, it’s what we’re used to having in times of discomfort. Parents gave you ice cream when you had a bad day at school. I know my parents did. I do it for my daughter. I can’t help it — she feels better.

Secondly, carbohydrates make you feel better by releasing the hormone serotonin, which is a brain chemical that makes you feel good. So those are the reasons, now what?

Here are a few tips to relax and stay healthy during stressful times:

  • Create a “Stress Snack Eating” Kit. Assemble an actual kit that has healthy snacks. Keep this kit around your office or at home and break out when needed. Make sure that you have portion controlled foods in there that are low in calories in case you over-indulge. Also put in a few non-food items, such as an iPod loaded with comedian sketches, a jump rope.
  • Keep Away Unhealthy Snacks. This becomes very important when you know you’re going to have a stressful day. Researchers have shown time and time again that snacks in sight are snacks that are eaten.
  • Enjoy Healthy Comfort Foods. My favorite is popcorn (made in a pan or air popped) made at home with a bit of butter spray, salt, and garlic. You can find more recipes in my column, Healthful Comfort Food Recipes for Rough Times.
  • Exercise the Stress Away. Yes, go out for a walk, take a spin class, go for a run — research shows that a bit of exercise can help you fend off unhealthy eating and reduce stress.

Article by… Charles Stuart Platkin, PhD


** 2 Supplements that I’ve found that help with stress and controlling your cortisol levels are… Estracort and Glutamine. I use these 2 supplements and they DO work really well.


Clifta Coulter Perez

Reno Personal Fitness Trainer

Weekend Splurging Done Right

By Madeline Vann, MPH
Medically reviewed by Christine Wilmsen Craig

Researchers tracking 48 adults in a weight program for a year found that they ate, on average, 200 calories more on Saturdays, the most dangerous day for weight management. Over time, those 200 extra calories add up to a few pounds gained over the course of a year — not the goal of a maintenance program!

While everyone deserves a day off, you need to be careful not to overdo it. You don’t want to consume too many calories and slip back into the patterns that caused your weight gain in the first place. Maintaining a healthy weight means keeping up with the smart eating habits and lifestyle changes that enabled you to drop those pounds in the first place. The lion’s share of your daily maintenance calories should be spent on nutritious foods every day.

Weekend Calories: Indulge in Moderation


“Sometimes we need it. If you have been really good during the week, it helps to know that at least one day a week you can eat those foods you are avoiding on those other days,” says Donna L. Weihofen, RD, MS, health nutritionist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisc.

So how do you splurge without destroying your healthy habits? Weihofen, who admits to having a sweet tooth, advises keeping an eagle eye on calorie counts. Your reward can make or break your weight-management plan. A rich chocolate fudge sundae, for instance, can easily add up to 1,000 calories or more — calories that probably equal half of your daily allotment. That’s a large number to compensate for with extra exercise or cutting back on calories at other meals.

Don’t let your weekend turn into a food wasteland. A few smart steps can help you indulge without the calories or guilt:

  • Share that fudge sundae with your spouse or kids.
  • Go for tiny tastes, like a mini-cheesecake instead of an entire slice, or a single square of chocolate instead of a whole bar.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast to control your appetite.
  • Eat more whole grains, fruit, and veggies as your day gets started so that you’ll feel full longer and feel satisfied with small splurges.
  • Split an entrée or skip the bread basket when eating out, especially if you want a taste of dessert.
  • Limit your alcohol — drink water or another calorie-free beverage between drinks — or apply those calories to a food you’d enjoy more.

Weihofen adds that it is important not to allow yourself to feel so deprived of the foods you love that you throw calorie caution to the wind come Saturday. “If you really have a taste for something, budget it in,” she says. This may require a little research in terms of calories and portion sizes, but is worth it in the long run if you are able to stick to your game plan seven days a week.

I thought this was a very good article and some tips to keep in mind on that splurge day!

Clifta Coulter Perez

Reno Personal Fitness Trainer and Nutrition Coach

Interesting Coffee Article

by… Remy Melina
Staff Writer
LiveScience.com Remy Melina

From lowered cancer risks to a sharper memory, more studies are showing that coffee is good for you – but why?

Regular coffee drinkers have a 39 percent decreased risk of head and neck cancer, according to a new study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Those who drank an estimated four or more cups a day had significantly fewer cancers of the mouth and throat than non coffee drinkers, the study found.

“Coffee contains more than a thousand chemicals, some of which have antioxidant and antimutagenic activities,” Mia Hashibe, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Utah and the study’s lead researcher, told Life’s Little Mysteries. “Further research is necessary to identify which ingredients in coffee are responsible for the results we observed in our study.”

Scientists are still trying to determine exactly what it is about coffee that gives it its disease-fighting properties, but recent research is getting closer to unlocking the mysterious power behind the energizing brew.

Your brain on coffee

Coffee may be good for the brain, too. A study earlier this year by neuroscientists at the University of Lisbon showed that drinking coffee can help to prevent the neural degeneration associated with brain disorders and aging. The scientists found that drinking up to four cups of coffee a day over a long period of time actually prevented the deterioration of memory.

Other research has shown that coffee is good for the cardiovascular system. Women who drank one to three cups of java a day reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease by 24 percent, according to the Iowa Women’s Health Study that tracked 27,000 women for 15 years, although it was noted that this benefit diminished as the quantity of coffee rose above three cups.

And while coffee has been given a bad rap for supposedly upping the risk of stroke and coronary heart disease, scientific studies have revealed the contrary. Drinking coffee lowers the risk of stroke by 19 percent among women, according to a 2009 Harvard Medical School study that tracked the coffee habits and stroke occurrences among 83,000 American women for nearly a quarter century.

The risk of some cancers may be cut by drinking coffee. Research presented at the 2009 American Association for Cancer Research Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference showed that coffee cut male coffee drinkers’ risk of aggressive prostate cancer by 60 percent, based on a 20-year study of 50,000 men.

And people who drink coffee reduce their risk of developing liver cancer by 41 percent, compared to people who never drink coffee, according to a study in the journal Hepatology. The researchers theorized that compounds found in coffee may block the action of enzymes involved in detoxifying carcinogenic compounds that may lead to liver cancer, the third largest cause of cancer deaths around the world, after lung and stomach cancer.

Other recent studies have shown that coffee is protective against certain brain tumors, endometrial cancer and advanced prostate cancer, Hashibe said.

While it is true that some of the chemicals present in a cup of joe may be gastrointestinal irritants, coffee is not as much of a cause of heartburn and acid reflux as previously believed. Scientists have actually identified a chemical in coffee, called N-methylpyridinium, which inhibits acid production. The compound is more common in dark roasts like espresso and French roast blends, according to the Research Platform of Molecular Food Science at the University of Vienna.

Chemical coffee concoction

But not all of the chemicals found in coffee are good for you. It’s been blasted for containing pesticides and dangerous chemicals.

A typical cup of coffee contains about 10 milligrams of known carcinogens, such as benzene and formaldehyde, according to McGill University chemistry professor Joe Schwarcz, writing in “The Fly in the Ointment: 70 Fascinating Commentaries on the Science of Everyday Life” (Ecw Press, 2004). However, other experts argue that these trace amounts are too small to pose a serious cancer risk, and point to studies showing that coffee reduces the risk of several cancers.

In fact, for most adults, coffee is the number one source of antioxidants, or chemicals that prevent cellular damage, according to a study funded by the American Cocoa Research Institute.

“Americans get more of their antioxidants from coffee than any other dietary source,” said Joe Vinson, lead author of a study on antioxidants conducted by the University of Scranton, in Pennsylvania. “Nothing else comes close.”

While antioxidants help to reduce cell damage and aging, scientists have yet to determine if they are the compounds responsible for coffee’s weird -but wonderful- health benefits.

There are many organic and inorganic compounds in a regular cup of coffee, including chemicals called phenolic compounds, melanoidins, and diterpenes. Some of these chemicals are believed to be beneficial, such as chlorogenic acid, which is a natural compound found in coffee beans and other plants that is an antioxidant and believed to aid in digestion, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

“Coffee is a very complex mixture of various chemicals,” Hashibe said. Researchers are still trying to track down exactly what it is that makes coffee so mysteriously beneficial, but it’s antioxidant components may be part of its protective effects against cancer.

Potential downside

But because coffee contains caffeine, which is a stimulant, drinking too much of it could lead to headaches, jitters and a racing heartbeat. Even decaffeinated coffee contains at least trace amounts of the drug, as the decaffeinating process cannot remove caffeine completely.

The safe daily dosage of caffeine is 300 milligrams for adults and 35 to 40 milligrams a day for children, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). While caffeine was once considered unsafe for women to consume while pregnant, the HHS has determined that mothers-to-be who drink less than 300 milligrams of caffeine a day do not put their child in any risk.

However, the HHS warns that women who drink or eat more than 300 milligrams of caffeine per day may have a harder time getting pregnant, and a study by the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research found that high doses of daily caffeine – two or more cups of regular coffee or five 12-ounce cans of caffeinated soda – during pregnancy may increase the risk of miscarriage.

“Each individual metabolizes caffeine and the other components of coffee differently,” Hashibe said, so broad recommendations for everyone aren’t possible. Coffee can increase heart rate, blood pressure, and affect sleep, but do each of these things differently in different people.

8 Foods That Fight Stress

I thought this was a good article By Sara Reistad-Long
Dark Chocolate

High in flavonoids, which are lauded for their relaxing properties (chamomiletea is another great source), chocolate also contains phenethylamine, a chemical that enhances your mood. The darker the chocolate, the more healthy substances you’re getting in your diet, so look for bars that are 70 percent cacao or higher.

Skim Milk

Turns out that a glass of warm milk really is calming. One study found that women who drank four or more servings of lowfat or skim milk every day were about half as likely to experience stress-related PMS symptoms than those who drank less than one serving a week.

Oatmeal

Carbs help you produce serotonin, a calming hormone that helps fight anxiety’s negative effects-which is probably why many of us crave them when we’re stressed. Go with the craving and choose healthy sources. Oatmeal is high in fiber, which means that your body will absorb it slowly. In one fell swoop, you’ll prolong the serotonin boost, keeping yourself feeling full for longer (and on less) and making sure your blood sugar’s in check.

Salmon

Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids-abundant in fish like salmon-can help reverse stress symptoms by boosting serotonin levels, and that an omega-3-rich diet can also help suppress the production of the anxiety hormones cortisol and adrenaline.

Walnuts

They’ve been shown to help lower blood pressure, which is critical for those whose hearts are already working overtime thanks to high adrenaline levels. In fact, research so strongly backs their health benefits that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration goes so far as to recommend 1 1/2 oz per day.

Sunflower Seeds

A good source of folate, which helps your body produce a pleasure-inducing brain chemical called dopamine.

Spinach

Studies show that magnesium, which you’ll find in leafy greens like spinach, improves your body’s response to stress.

Blueberries

Their antioxidants counteract the effects of stress hormones like cortisol on your body.

Lose Body Fat with These Good Sources of Proteins and Carbs

Just wanted to list some really clean & healthy sources of proteins & carbs.

These are what I’ve been eating for the past 5 weeks.

Proteins

Egg Whites

Egg Beaters

Chicken Breast

Turkey Breast

Salmon (can)

Tuna (can)

Carbs

Oatmeal

Brown Rice

Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

Pasta (occasionally)

My Favorite Veggies

Broccoli

Spinach

Carrots

*I eat about every 3 hours and usually have a protein, carb, & veggie with every meal except my last meal before bed… no carbs.

*I also use stevia, ketchup, bar-b-que sauce, fat free dressing, & spices that contain NO SALT.

*I don’t use butter, mayonaise, or sugar.

*I drink water (1/2 my weight in ounces), crystal light, tea, coffee (1 cup in A.M.), & diet pepsi (maybe 1/2 to 1 per day).

*You can see my supplements here.

Thank you,

Clifta Coulter Perez

Reno Fitness Trainer

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