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Full Body Detox
Lose 10 - 50lbs in 3 week with detox!
Do I Have Healthy Prostate Gland?
Don't wait until it's too late! Make sure you have healthy prostate gland.

Monday, February 28, 2005

High Density Lipoproteins (HDL)

High density lipoproteins (HDL): the "good" cholesterol. HDL carry cholesterol in the blood from other parts of the body back to the liver, which leads to its removal from the body. So HDL help keep cholesterol from building up in the walls of the arteries.

HDL-Cholesterol Levels

Less than 40 mg/dL

A major risk factor for heart disease

40 to 59 mg/dL

The higher your HDL, the better

60 mg/dL and above

An HDL of 60 mg/dL and above is considered protective against heart disease

Note: These categories apply to adults age 20 and above.

National Health, Lung and Blood Institute

Friday, February 25, 2005

Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL)

Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL): the "bad" cholesterol. Cholesterol travels in the blood in packages called lipoproteins. Just like oil and water, cholesterol, which is fatty, and blood, which is watery, do not mix. In order to be able to travel in the bloodstream, the cholesterol made in the liver is combined with protein, making a lipoprotein. This lipoprotein then carries the cholesterol through the bloodstream.

LDL carry most of the cholesterol in the blood, and the cholesterol from LDL is the main source of damaging buildup and blockage in the arteries. Thus, the more LDL-cholesterol you have in your blood, the greater your risk of heart disease. Reducing your LDL cholesterol is the main goal of cholesterol-lowering treatment.

LDL-Cholesterol Levels

Less than 100 mg/dL


100 to 129 mg/dL

Near Optimal/Above Optimal

130 to 159 mg/dL

Borderline High

160 to 189 mg/dL


190 mg/dL and above

Very High

Note: These categories apply to adults age 20 and above.

National Health, Lung and Blood Institute

Total Blood Cholesterol

Total cholesterol is the sum of all the cholesterol in your blood. The higher your total cholesterol, the greater your risk for heart disease. Here are the total values that matter to you.

  • Less than 200 mg/dL: “Desirable” level that puts you at lower risk for heart disease. A cholesterol level of 200 mg/dL or greater increases your risk.
  • 200 to 239 mg/dL: “Borderline-high”
  • 240 mg/dL and above: “High” blood cholesterol. A person with this level has more than twice than risk of heart disease compared to someone whose cholesterol is below 200 mg/dL

Note: These categories apply to adults age 20 and above.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

What Makes Your Cholesterol High or Low?

Your blood cholesterol level is affected not only by what you eat but also by how quickly your body makes LDL ("bad") cholesterol and disposes of it. In fact, your body makes all the cholesterol it needs, and it is not necessary to take in any additional cholesterol from the foods you eat.

Many factors help determine whether your LDL-cholesterol level is high or low. The following factors are the most important:

1. Heredity

Your genes influence how high your LDL ("bad") cholesterol is by affecting how fast LDL is made and removed from the blood. One specific form of inherited high cholesterol that affects 1 in 500 people is familial hypercholesterolemia, which often leads to early heart disease. But even if you do not have a specific genetic form of high cholesterol, genes play a role in influencing your LDL-cholesterol level.

2. What you eat

Two main nutrients in the foods you eat make your LDL ("bad") cholesterol level go up: saturated fat, a type of fat found mostly in foods that come from animals; and cholesterol, which comes only from animal products. Saturated fat raises your LDL-cholesterol level more than anything else in the diet. Eating too much saturated fat and cholesterol is the main reason for high levels of cholesterol and a high rate of heart attacks in the United States. Reducing the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol you eat is a very important step in reducing your blood cholesterol levels.

3. Weight

Excess weight tends to increase your LDL ("bad") cholesterol level. If you are overweight and have a high LDL-cholesterol level, losing weight may help you lower it. Weight loss also helps to lower triglycerides and raise HDL ("good") cholesterol levels.

4. Physical activity/exercise

Regular physical activity may lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol and raise HDL ("good") cholesterol levels.

5. Age and sex

Before the age of menopause, women usually have total cholesterol levels that are lower than those of men the same age. As women and men get older, their blood cholesterol levels rise until about 60 to 65 years of age. After the age of about 50, women often have higher total cholesterol levels than men of the same age.

6. Alcohol

Alcohol intake increases HDL ("good") cholesterol but does not lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol. Doctors don't know for certain whether alcohol also reduces the risk of heart disease. Drinking too much alcohol can damage the liver and heart muscle, lead to high blood pressure, and raise triglycerides. Because of the risks, alcoholic beverages should not be used as a way to prevent heart disease.

7. Stress

Stress over the long term has been shown in several studies to raise blood cholesterol levels. One way that stress may do this is by affecting your habits. For example, when some people are under stress, they console themselves by eating fatty foods. The saturated fat and cholesterol in these foods contribute to higher levels of blood cholesterol.

National Health, Lung and Blood Institute

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Benefits of Cholesterol Lowering

Recent studies have shown that cholesterol lowering in people without heart disease greatly reduces their risk for developing CHD, including heart attacks and CHD-related death. This is true for those with high cholesterol levels and for those with average cholesterol levels.

A 1995 study called the West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study (WOSCOPS) found that cholesterol lowering reduced the number of heart attacks and deaths from cardiovascular causes in men with high blood cholesterol levels who had not had a heart attack. For 5 years, more than 6500 men with total cholesterol levels of 249 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) to 295 mg/dL were given either a cholesterol-lowering drug or a placebo (a dummy pill that looks exactly like the medication), along with a cholesterol lowering diet. The drug that was given is known as a statin (pravastatin), and it reduced total cholesterol levels by 20 percent and LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels by 26 percent. The study found that in those receiving the statin, the overall risk of having a nonfatal heart attack or dying from CHD was reduced by 31 percent. The need for bypass surgery or angioplasty was reduced by 37 percent and deaths from all cardiovascular causes by 32 percent. A very important finding is that deaths from causes other than cardiovascular disease were not increased, and the overall deaths from all causes were reduced by 22 percent.

In 1998, the results of the Air Force/Texas Coronary Atherosclerosis Prevention Study (AFCAPS/TexCAPS) showed that cholesterol lowering in generally healthy people with average cholesterol levels reduced their risk for a first-time major coronary event by 37 percent. Study participants had no obvious evidence of CHD and relatively usual total cholesterol levels (average of 221 mg/dL) and LDL-cholesterol levels (average of 150 mg/dL) and lower than usual HDL ("good") cholesterol levels (average of 36 mg/dL for men and 40 mg/dL for women). This study used a statin drug (lovastatin) along with a low-saturated fat, low-cholesterol diet to lower cholesterol levels. Study participants who received a placebo followed the same low-saturated fat, low-cholesterol diet. After one year, total cholesterol levels in the treatment group were lowered by 18 percent and LDL-cholesterol levels by 25 percent. The risk for a heart attack was reduced 40 percent, unstable angina 32 percent, the need for bypass surgery or angioplasty 33 percent, and cardiovascular events 25 percent. The cholesterol-lowering benefits in this study extended to both men and women as well as older adults. There were no significant differences between treatment and placebo groups in non-cardiovascular disease deaths.

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

What Is Coronary Heart Disease?

Heart disease is caused by narrowing of the coronary arteries that feed the heart. Picture of an artery with one end normal and the other showing a partial blockage
Like any muscle, the heart needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients, which are carried to it by the blood in the coronary arteries. When the coronary arteries become narrowed or clogged by cholesterol and fat deposits--a process called atherosclerosis--and cannot supply enough blood to the heart, the result is coronary heart disease (CHD). If not enough oxygen-carrying blood reaches the heart, you may experience chest pain called angina. If the blood supply to a portion of the heart is completely cut off by total blockage of a coronary artery, the result is a heart attack. This is usually due to a sudden closure from a blood clot forming on top of a previous narrowing.

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that occurs naturally in all parts of the body and that your body needs to function normally. It is present in cell walls or membranes everywhere in the body, including the brain, nerves, muscle, skin, liver, intestines, and heart. Your body uses cholesterol to produce many hormones, vitamin D, and the bile acids that help to digest fat. It takes only a small amount of cholesterol in the blood to meet these needs. If you have too much cholesterol in your bloodstream, the excess is deposited in arteries, including the coronary arteries, where it contributes to the narrowing and blockages that cause the signs and symptoms of heart disease.

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Acne Treatments

There are a myriad of products sold for the treatment of acne, many of them without any scientifically proven effects. However, a combination of treatments can greatly reduce the amount and severity of acne in many cases. There are four types of treatments that have been proven effective:

  • Killing the bacteria that are harbored in the blocked follicles. This is done either by the intake of antibiotics like tetracyclines, or by treating the affected areas externally with bactericidal substances like benzoyl peroxide or erythromycin. However, reducing the P.acnes bacteria will not, in itself, do anything to reduce the oil secretion and abnormal cell behaviour that is the initial cause of the blocked follicles. Therefore, acne will generally reappear quite soon after the end of treatment—days later in the case of topical applications, and weeks later in the case of oral antibiotics.
  • Reducing the secretion of oils from the glands. This is done by a great daily oral intake of Viatmin A derivates like isotretionin over a period of a few months. The product is sold by Roche under the names Accutane in USA and Roaccutane in Europe. Isotretinoin has been shown to be very effective in treating severe acne and is effective in up to 80% of the patients. The drug has a much longer effect than anti-bacterial treatments and will often cure acne for good. The treatment requires close medical examination by a dermatologist since the drug has many known side effects (which can be severe). At the end of the initial treatment, about 25% of patients need to take a second treatment for another few months to obtain desired results. The most common side effects are dry skin and nosebleed. It can also permanently damage the liver and, some studies suggest, cause depression. Because of this, the drug is typically used given a last resort after milder treatments have proven insufficient. The drug also causes birth defects if women become pregnant while taking it. For this reason, female patients are required to either use birth control or vow abstinence while on the drug.
  • Normalizing the follicle cell lifecycle. A group of medications for this are topical retinoids such as Tretinoin (brand name Retin-A), Adapalene (brand name Differin) and Tazarotene. Like Accutane/Roaccutane, they are related to Vitamin A, but they are administered as topicals and generally have much milder side effects. They can give significant irritation of the skin, but are probably rather less nasty than Accutane because less of it circulates in the bloodstream. The retinoids appear to influence the cell creation and death lifecycle of cells in the follicle lining. This helps prevent the hyperkeratinization of these cells that can create a blockage. Retinol, a form of Vitamin A, has similar but milder effects and is used in many over-the-counter moisturizers and other topical products.
  • Exfoliating the skin. This can be done either mechanically, using an abrasive cloth or a liquid scrub, or chemically. Common chemical exfoliating agents include salicylic acid and glycolic acid, which encourage the peeling of the top layer of skin to prevent a build-up of dead skin cells which combine with skin oil to block pores. It also helps to unblock already clogged pores. Note that the phrase "peeling" is not meant in the visible sense of shedding, but rather as the destruction of the top layer of skin cells at the microscopic level. Depending on the type of exfoliation used, some visible flaking is possible. Moisturizers and anti-acne topicals containing chemical exfoliating agents are commonly available over-the-counter.
  • Phototherapy. It has long been known that short term improvement can be achieved with sunlight. However studies have shown that sunlight worsens acne long-term, presumably due to UV damage. More recently, visible light has been successfully employed to treat acne- in particular intense blue light generated by purpose-built fluorescent lighting, or lasers. Used twice weekly, this has been shown to reduce the number of acne by about 64%. The mechanism appears to be that the porphyrins generated by the P.Acnes, under irradiation by blue light, generate free radicals damaging, and if consistently applied over several days, ultimately kill the bacteria. Since porphyrins are not otherwise present in skin, and no UV light is employed, it appears to be safe, and has been licensed by the U.S. FDA. However, the equipment is relatively expensive; several hundred US dollars upwards (c. 2004), and works best for mild-moderate acne.

Benzoyl peroxide and the topical retinoids may be the best compromise between cost effectiveness and genuine effectiveness and negative side effects in many cases. The topical retinoids are relatively new and not as widely used as the other treatments as of the year 2004. It is highly advisable to ask a dermatologist about the tradeoffs between these treatments for any individual case.

Popping a pimple or any physical acne treatment should not be attempted by anyone but a qualified dermatologist. Pimple popping irritates skin, can spread the infection deeper into the skin and can cause permanent scarring.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Acne".

Acne Myths

Myth #1: Acne is caused by poor hygiene. If you believe this myth, and wash your skin hard and frequently, you can actually make your acne worse. Acne is not caused by dirt or surface skin oils. Although excess oils, dead skin and a day's accumulation of dust on the skin looks unsightly, they should not be removed by hand scrubbing. Vigorous washing and scrubbing will actually irritate the skin and make acne worse. The best approach to hygiene and acne: Gently wash your face twice a day with a mild soap, pat dry--and use an appropriate acne treatment for the acne.

Myth #2: Acne is caused by diet. Extensive scientific studies have not found a connection between diet and acne. In other words, food does not cause acne. Not chocolate. Not french fries. Not pizza. Nonetheless, some people insist that certain foods affect their acne. In that case, avoid those foods. Besides, eating a balanced diet always makes sense. However, according to the scientific evidence, if acne is being treated properly, there's no need to worry about food affecting the acne.

Myth #3: Acne is caused by stress. The ordinary stress of day-to-day living is not an important factor in acne. Severe stress that needs medical attention is sometimes treated with drugs that can cause acne as a side effect. If you think you may have acne related to a drug prescribed for stress or depression, you should consult your physician.

Myth #4: Acne is just a cosmetic disease. Yes, acne does affect the way people look and is not otherwise a serious threat to a person’s physical health. However, acne can result in permanent physical scars--plus, acne itself as well as its scars can affect the way people feel about themselves to the point of affecting their lives.

Myth #5: You just have to let acne run its course. The truth is, acne can be cleared up. If the acne products you have tried haven’t worked, consider seeing a dermatologist. With the products available today, there is no reason why someone has to endure acne or get acne scars.

Resource: AcneNet

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

What Causes Acne?

People of all races and ages get acne. It is most common in adolescents and young adults. Nearly 85 percent of people between the ages of 12 and 24 develop the disorder. For most people, acne tends to go away by the time they reach their thirties; however, some people in their forties and fifties continue to have this skin problem.

The exact cause of acne is unknown, but doctors believe it results from several related factors. One important factor is an increase in hormones called androgens (male sex hormones). These increase in both boys and girls during puberty and cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and make more sebum. Hormonal changes related to pregnancy or starting or stopping birth control pills can also cause acne.

Another factor is heredity or genetics. Researchers believe that the tendency to develop acne can be inherited from parents. For example, studies have shown that many school-age boys with acne have a family history of the disorder. Certain drugs, including androgens and lithium, are known to cause acne. Greasy cosmetics may alter the cells of the follicles and make them stick together, producing a plug.

Factors that can cause an acne flare include:

  • Changing hormone levels in adolescent girls and adult women 2 to 7 days before their menstrual period starts
  • Friction caused by leaning on or rubbing the skin
  • Pressure from bike helmets, backpacks, or tight collars
  • Environmental irritants, such as pollution and high humidity
  • Squeezing or picking at blemishes
  • Hard scrubbing of the skin.

for more information:
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)

What is Acne and How Does It Develop?

Acne is a disorder resulting from the action of hormones on the skin's oil glands (sebaceous glands), which leads to plugged pores and outbreaks of lesions commonly called pimples or zits. Acne lesions usually occur on the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders. Nearly 17 million people in the United States have acne, making it the most common skin disease. Although acne is not a serious health threat, severe acne can lead to disfiguring, permanent scarring, which can be upsetting to people who are affected by the disorder.

Doctors describe acne as a disease of the pilosebaceous units (PSUs). Found over most of the body, PSUs consist of a sebaceous gland connected to a canal, called a follicle, that contains a fine hair (see "Normal Pilosebaceous Unit" diagram, below). These units are most numerous on the face, upper back, and chest. The sebaceous glands make an oily substance called sebum that normally empties onto the skin surface through the opening of the follicle, commonly called a pore. Cells called keratinocytes line the follicle.

Normal Pilosebaceous Unit

Diagram of a narmal pilosebaceous unit, showing location of: Hair, Skin surface, sebum, follicle, and sebaceous gland.
The hair, sebum, and keratinocytes that fill the narrow follicle may produce a plug, which is an early sign of acne. The plug prevents sebum from reaching the surface of the skin through a pore. The mixture of oil and cells allows bacteria Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) that normally live on the skin to grow in the plugged follicles. These bacteria produce chemicals and enzymes and attract white blood cells that cause inflammation. (Inflammation is a characteristic reaction of tissues to disease or injury and is marked by four signs: swelling, redness, heat, and pain.) When the wall of the plugged follicle breaks down, it spills everything into the nearby skin--sebum, shed skin cells, and bacteria--leading to lesions or pimples.

People with acne frequently have a variety of lesions, some of which are shown in the diagrams below. The basic acne lesion, called the comedo (KOM-e-do), is simply an enlarged and plugged hair follicle. If the plugged follicle, or comedo, stays beneath the skin, it is called a closed comedo and produces a white bump called a whitehead. A comedo that reaches the surface of the skin and opens up is called a blackhead because it looks black on the skin's surface. This black discoloration is not due to dirt. Both whiteheads and blackheads may stay in the skin for a long time.

Type of Lesions

Illustration of lesion, Microcomedo
Illustration of lesion, Open Comedo (Blackhead)Illustration of lesion, Closed Comedo (Whitehead)

Other troublesome acne lesions can develop, including the following:

  • Papules--inflamed lesions that usually appear as small, pink bumps on the skin and can be tender to the touch
  • Pustules (pimples)--papules topped by pus-filled lesions that may be red at the base
  • Nodules--large, painful, solid lesions that are lodged deep within the skin
  • Cysts--deep, painful, pus-filled lesions that can cause scarring.

for more information:
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)

Monday, February 21, 2005

Hyaluronic Acid – Newest Celebrity Beauty Secret?

We can always count on celebrities to serve as guinea pigs for the latest cosmetic and beauty treatments. During the Botox ™ craze, even director Martin Scorsese commented that he couldn’t find actresses who could frown anymore! Perhaps actors, politicians, musicians and the like all grew tired of looking like Stepford wives because the latest cosmetic craze involves Hyaluronic acid, a key component of human tissue, providing the body with essential moisture and a viable way to erase wrinkles without the loss of facial expression. Hyaluronic acid is available in facial injections reportedly favored by celebrities like Charlie Sheen, Tommy Lee Jones and Oprah Winfrey who have chosen Restylane, a Hyaluronic acid wrinkle-filler that works to lift the lip, wrinkle or fold and create volume. Hyaluronic acid injections do not relax muscles but instead “fill in” areas most affected by wrinkles and fine lines.

There are also several new, non-invasive beauty products that contain Hylauronic acid or work to stimulate the body’s own Hyaluronic acid production. Apparently full lips a la Angelina Jolie are a must-have because celebrities of all ages are going gaga for City Lips, a cutting edge product developed by City Lips Cosmetics. The City Lips product stimulates lips to produce their own collagen and Hyaluronic acid, painlessly increasing the size of lips. According to Karen Rauen, Good Housekeeping Institute’s chemistry director, "The City Lips lip plumper, we found, plumps people's lips an average of three millimeters.” Celebrities like Teri Hatcher, Nicolette Sheridan, Jamie Lynn Discala, Virginia Madsen, Melissa Rivers, Angela Bassett, Lacy Chabert, Lake Bell, Eliza Dushku, Bijou Phillips, Haylie Duff, Kathy Griffin, Tracy Ross, Marlee Matlin, Shannon Elizabeth, Michelle Rodriguez, Faith Evans, Giuliana Depandi, Debbie Matenopoulos and Princess Ann Claire, are reportedly huge fans of City Lip Cosmetics.

There are other Hyaluronic acid boosting “lip plumpers” on the cosmetic market including Lucky Lips which allegedly increases Hyaluronic acid levels by 148% just 48 hours after use. Other celeb Hyaluronic acid beauty favorites include Hydrating Gel Cream from Prada Beauty, a lightweight, sheer cream featuring Hyaluronic acid and Rest-A-Line Face Treatment by Joey New York, an anti-aging cream rich with Hyaluronic acid which helps the skin hold 1000 times its weight in water, causing a natural plumping effect. All in all, between facial injections and non-evasive beauty creams, it seems like there is much hope on the frontier for finding that elusive fountain of youth; for celebrities and for common folk, alike!

by Jana Willinger

Visit a Beauty Counter!!

Have you ever visited a beauty counters for reasons? Yes, right! Beauty counters are the best place to learn beauty 'how-to'. You can ask about your skin care problem, make-up 'how-to' and tips, test their samples, etc. And surely, it is FREE!

Here's what you can do when visiting beauty counters to benefit your beauty side:
1. Ask, ask, and ask!!
You can ask for everything because there are no limits on how long you would like to hang around a counter.
Consult with beauty consultant at beauty counters about your skin problems and get ideas and solutions how to fix them!
2. Ask for free samples!
You don't have to purchase if you don't want to. Consulting your skin problems doesn't mean that you have to make a purchase on their products. If you want to use their products, the best way is TRY it first! Yes... don't be shy to ask for samples. Just imagine, if you had bought it with big bucks, but doesn't suit your skin. Free samples doesn't cost you a dime. You can see the result on your skin before deciding to buy.
3. Learn make-up 'how-to'
When you plan to visit a beauty counter, don't need to apply make-up, because you can get it at the beauty counter! Yes... and you will learn how to apply make-up correctly and how to choose the most suitable color for your skin. Test everything until you find the perfect color. But don't forget to be hygiene. For example: if you want to test lipstick, make sure you wipe off the top layer with a tissue to ensure its hygiene!

So, go to the beauty counter, have fun and learn!!

Friday, February 18, 2005

Eating Disorders -- Tratement Strategies

Eating disorders can be treated and a healthy weight restored. The sooner these disorders are diagnosed and treated, the better the outcomes are likely to be. Because of their complexity, eating disorders require a comprehensive treatment plan involving medical care and monitoring, psychosocial interventions, nutritional counseling and, when appropriate, medication management. At the time of diagnosis, the clinician must determine whether the person is in immediate danger and requires hospitalization.

Treatment of anorexia calls for a specific program that involves three main phases:
(1) restoring weight lost to severe dieting and purging;
(2) treating psychological disturbances such as distortion of body image, low self-esteem, and interpersonal conflicts; and
(3) achieving long-term remission and rehabilitation, or full recovery.

Early diagnosis and treatment increases the treatment success rate. Use of psychotropic medication in people with anorexia should be considered only after weight gain has been established. Certain selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been shown to be helpful for weight maintenance and for resolving mood and anxiety symptoms associated with anorexia.

The acute management of severe weight loss is usually provided in an inpatient hospital setting, where feeding plans address the person's medical and nutritional needs. In some cases, intravenous feeding is recommended. Once malnutrition has been corrected and weight gain has begun, psychotherapy (often cognitive-behavioral or interpersonal psychotherapy) can help people with anorexia overcome low self-esteem and address distorted thought and behavior patterns. Families are sometimes included in the therapeutic process.

The primary goal of treatment for bulimia is to reduce or eliminate binge eating and purging behavior. To this end, nutritional rehabilitation, psychosocial intervention, and medication management strategies are often employed. Establishment of a pattern of regular, non-binge meals, improvement of attitudes related to the eating disorder, encouragement of healthy but not excessive exercise, and resolution of co-occurring conditions such as mood or anxiety disorders are among the specific aims of these strategies. Individual psychotherapy (especially cognitive-behavioral or interpersonal psychotherapy), group psychotherapy that uses a cognitive-behavioral approach, and family or marital therapy have been reported to be effective. Psychotropic medications, primarily antidepressants such as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), have been found helpful for people with bulimia, particularly those with significant symptoms of depression or anxiety, or those who have not responded adequately to psychosocial treatment alone. These medications also may help prevent relapse. The treatment goals and strategies for binge-eating disorder are similar to those for bulimia, and studies are currently evaluating the effectiveness of various interventions.

People with eating disorders often do not recognize or admit that they are ill. As a result, they may strongly resist getting and staying in treatment. Family members or other trusted individuals can be helpful in ensuring that the person with an eating disorder receives needed care and rehabilitation. For some people, treatment may be long term.

for more information:
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Eating Disorders -- Bulimia Nervosa

An estimated 1.1 percent to 4.2 percent of females have bulimia nervosa in their lifetime. Symptoms of bulimia nervosa include:

  • Recurrent episodes of binge eating, characterized by eating an excessive amount of food within a discrete period of time and by a sense of lack of control over eating during the episode
  • Recurrent inappropriate compensatory behavior in order to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting or misuse of laxatives, diuretics, enemas, or other medications (purging); fasting; or excessive exercise
  • The binge eating and inappropriate compensatory behaviors both occur, on average, at least twice a week for 3 months
  • Self-evaluation is unduly influenced by body shape and weight

Because purging or other compensatory behavior follows the binge-eating episodes, people with bulimia usually weigh within the normal range for their age and height. However, like individuals with anorexia, they may fear gaining weight, desire to lose weight, and feel intensely dissatisfied with their bodies. People with bulimia often perform the behaviors in secrecy, feeling disgusted and ashamed when they binge, yet relieved once they purge.

for more information:
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Eating Disorders -- Binge-Eating Disorder

Community surveys have estimated that between 2 percent and 5 percent of Americans experience binge-eating disorder in a 6-month period. Symptoms of binge-eating disorder include:

  • Recurrent episodes of binge eating, characterized by eating an excessive amount of food within a discrete period of time and by a sense of lack of control over eating during the episode
  • The binge-eating episodes are associated with at least 3 of the following: eating much more rapidly than normal; eating until feeling uncomfortably full; eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry; eating alone because of being embarrassed by how much one is eating; feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty after overeating
  • Marked distress about the binge-eating behavior
  • The binge eating occurs, on average, at least 2 days a week for 6 months
  • The binge eating is not associated with the regular use of inappropriate compensatory behaviors (e.g., purging, fasting, excessive exercise)

People with binge-eating disorder experience frequent episodes of out-of-control eating, with the same binge-eating symptoms as those with bulimia. The main difference is that individuals with binge-eating disorder do not purge their bodies of excess calories. Therefore, many with the disorder are overweight for their age and height. Feelings of self-disgust and shame associated with this illness can lead to bingeing again, creating a cycle of binge eating.

for more information:
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Eating Disorders -- Anorexia Nervosa

An estimated 0.5 to 3.7 percent of females suffer from anorexia nervosa in their lifetime. Symptoms of anorexia nervosa include:

  • Resistance to maintaining body weight at or above a minimally normal weight for age and height
  • Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though underweight
  • Disturbance in the way in which one's body weight or shape is experienced, undue influence of body weight or shape on self-evaluation, or denial of the seriousness of the current low body weight
  • Infrequent or absent menstrual periods (in females who have reached puberty)

People with this disorder see themselves as overweight even though they are dangerously thin. The process of eating becomes an obsession. Unusual eating habits develop, such as avoiding food and meals, picking out a few foods and eating these in small quantities, or carefully weighing and portioning food. People with anorexia may repeatedly check their body weight, and many engage in other techniques to control their weight, such as intense and compulsive exercise, or purging by means of vomiting and abuse of laxatives, enemas, and diuretics. Girls with anorexia often experience a delayed onset of their first menstrual period.

The course and outcome of anorexia nervosa vary across individuals: some fully recover after a single episode; some have a fluctuating pattern of weight gain and relapse; and others experience a chronically deteriorating course of illness over many years. The mortality rate among people with anorexia has been estimated at 0.56 percent per year, or approximately 5.6 percent per decade, which is about 12 times higher than the annual death rate due to all causes of death among females ages 15-24 in the general population. The most common causes of death are complications of the disorder, such as cardiac arrest or electrolyte imbalance, and suicide.

for more information:
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Eating Disorders -- An Introduction

Eating is controlled by many factors, including appetite, food availability, family, peer, and cultural practices, and attempts at voluntary control. Dieting to a body weight leaner than needed for health is highly promoted by current fashion trends, sales campaigns for special foods, and in some activities and professions. Eating disorders involve serious disturbances in eating behavior, such as extreme and unhealthy reduction of food intake or severe overeating, as well as feelings of distress or extreme concern about body shape or weight. Researchers are investigating how and why initially voluntary behaviors, such as eating smaller or larger amounts of food than usual, at some point move beyond control in some people and develop into an eating disorder. Studies on the basic biology of appetite control and its alteration by prolonged overeating or starvation have uncovered enormous complexity, but in the long run have the potential to lead to new pharmacologic treatments for eating disorders.

Eating disorders are not due to a failure of will or behavior; rather, they are real, treatable medical illnesses in which certain maladaptive patterns of eating take on a life of their own. The main types of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. A third type, binge-eating disorder, has been suggested but has not yet been approved as a formal psychiatric diagnosis. Eating disorders frequently develop during adolescence or early adulthood, but some reports indicate their onset can occur during childhood or later in adulthood.

Eating disorders frequently co-occur with other psychiatric disorders such as depression, substance abuse, and anxiety disorders. In addition, people who suffer from eating disorders can experience a wide range of physical health complications, including serious heart conditions and kidney failure which may lead to death. Recognition of eating disorders as real and treatable diseases, therefore, is critically important.

Females are much more likely than males to develop an eating disorder. Only an estimated 5 to 15 percent of people with anorexia or bulimia and an estimated 35 percent of those with binge-eating disorder are male.

for more information:
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Applying Foundation

Firstly, I would recommend that you cleanse and moisturise your skin (or at least moisturise) and wait a few minutes for the moisturiser to be absorbed.

The following tips are for liquid or crème foundations. (For 2in1, or crème to powder compact type foundation, use a damp sponge and start by applying and blending from the eyes and T-zone outwards, similar to the steps below).

I usually start by dotting foundation in the areas I think need it most, before blending it in with a damp makeup sponge…

Start around the eye area and blend outwards. (I tend not to put foundation on very heavily these days.) The aim is to cover flaws and even-out skin tone, but still see your skin.

Make sure you blend the foundation well and don’t forget to bring it down over your jawbone onto your neck.

Don’t forget to blend it into your hairline.

I usually apply concealer after foundation, the “old school” always applied it before but I find it is more effective after foundation, as long as you take care to blend it well.

If you have one of the light reflecting concealers, like “Touche Eclat” by YSL, now is the time to apply it.

(Details of how to choose a good concealer will follow…)

Before you set your foundation, (with a loose powder,) make sure there are no “creases” in the base, usually round the eyes or mouth. Smooth them out with your sponge and powder straight away.

Using a powder puff, apply the powder by gently pressing it into the skin, be liberal with it, and concentrate on the eyes and creases around the nostrils.

Then, using a large powder brush, dust off the excess powder in a “downward and outwards” motion. Take care to dust in any crevices too!! e.g. around the nostrils…



If you think of a basic colour wheel, the colours that are opposite each other effectively cancel each other out.

When choosing a concealer, remember that the dark circles under the eyes have actually a blue tinge, therefore you need a concealer with a very slight hint of pink/orange to counteract the blue. The amount of colour in the concealer should only be enough to counteract the blueness; you should be left with a neutral tone once the two colours have cancelled each other out.

The texture of your concealer is vital too. It should not be too heavy and should not “sit” in the creases of your skin. It should be silky smooth, creamy and light. This, I am afraid comes at a cost. I have yet to find a good, cheap concealer. My current favourite is Aveda, but would say any of the Premium brands are a safe bet.

I always test the texture of a concealer on the back of my hand. It has to blend easily and cover smoothly, if it instantly sits in the creases of my skin, I won’t buy it.

If you are covering a blemish that is inflamed, or you have a ruddy complexion, this may sound bizarre, but add a tiny bit of green to your concealer and you will make those red blotches disappear. Most makeup ranges carry so-called “colour correctors” (A tip here is to buy a relatively cheap colour corrector as it is used in such small quantities it should not affect the qualities of your base.)

Once applied to your blemish, blend the edges of the concealer with your makeup sponge.

I know this all may sound rather in depth and complicated but I can assure you it will be well worth trying!

by Laura dos Remedios
the beauty expert and editor at Why Men Are. She has been working as a Makeup Artist in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Paris and London for over eleven years for Magazines, Advertising, TV commercials, MTV, Music Videos, and Fashion Shows.

Foundation - Finding The Right Foundation

As a makeup artist, I notice peoples' makeup when I am out and about, shopping etc. and I notice a lot of women who are wearing the wrong shade of foundation for their skin tone.

The job of foundation is to give the appearance of naturally gorgeous skin, not to change its colour. (That is the job for bronzers.) It should be unnoticeable to anyone but you.

The only way to find the right colour for your skin is to be brave and go shopping with no foundation on, armed with a compact mirror, and try the bases on your face. Blend a small amount onto your cheek, near your jaw, and go out of the shop into the daylight. If it is the right colour you’ll barely see it, it should match and blend right in with your actual skin colour. You may have to buy two foundations and blend them together to get the right colour. (In fact, when I am working, I find it is rare that I don’t have to “mix” to get the right colour for the model) This may sound pricey but as your skin colour can vary with the seasons, it really makes sense.

After finding the right colour base (if you haven’t bought one of the “Crème to powder” foundations) don’t go putting the wrong colour powder on or you will ruin your hard work, the best option is to buy a “translucent” powder, which is slightly paler, as it will not affect the colour but will “set” your base.

N.B. Most of us have a yellow undertone to our skin; a pink undertone is very rare. Steer clear of any base that looks slightly pink or orange…

If you are Black, you will either have yellow or red undertones. Very often the central panel of your face is lighter that the outer part of your face, try to get a base that is a shade between the two tones.

I also recommend spending as much as you can afford on your foundation and powder. You can get away with cheap mascaras and lipsticks etc. but you can tell a cheap base a mile off!

by Laura dos Remedios
the beauty expert and editor at Why Men Are., an online magazine for women. She has been working as a Makeup Artist in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Paris and London for over eleven years for Magazines, Advertising, TV commercials, MTV, Music Videos, and Fashion Shows. ©Laura dos Remedios. Why Men Are

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

10 Success Strategies Every Dieter Should Know

1. Attaining and maintaining lean body mass is a lifetime commitment needing lifetime lifestyle strategies.

2. Ease on Down the Diet Road: Making gradual adjustments in food, exercise and supplementation works better for long-term weight-loss than drastic measures you cannot maintain.

3. Eat small frequent meals, well chewed, slowly eaten. Give thanks before meals. Put your fork, spoon, or food down between each bite.

4. Start eating early and try to get most of your calories in by 3-5 PM.

5. When hungry between meals, try 8 to 16 oz of water first. Green tea is likely even better. Perhaps add fiber (psyllium, oat bran, chitosan) to the water to "fill you up" and absorb fat and bile.

6. Eat vegetable-based clear soups and fish frequently.

7. Create "reward meals". The key to a long-term strategy of eating well is not having to be being perfect. Have some "planned cheating" or a "cheat allowance" built into your strategy.

8. Always start with a sensible, balanced nutrient dense nutrition strategy combined with exercise and supplements. Move to the more extreme and restricted strategies only as proved necessary. Then "cycle" or "sandwich" these more extreme strategies with a balanced nutrient dense wide variety strategy. This way you will not get "bored" with the more restrictive strategies, which are very difficult to maintain for long periods of time for most of us. Don't play the "all or nothin' " Yo-Yo diet game.

9. If obese, high sodium intake significantly increases death risk, regardless of blood pressure. So if you are obese be moderate in sodium from salt and additives.

10. Look in the mirror every day, preferably before or after showering, and tell the person in the mirror you love him/her. Regardless of your physical appearance, fatten up with self-love the real person inside!

by Dr. John H. Maher

Friday, February 11, 2005

Researching Glyconutritionals (a.k.a. Glyconutrients)?

The Greek word "Glyco" means, "Sugar". Most people think of sugar as being bad for you. However, there are actually TWO kinds of sugars. One is the refined or "extracellular" sugars which have been long associated with human disease. The other sugars are "intracellular" which can be found in fruits and vegetables and provide the body with nutrition it needs. These sugars, also known as complex carbohydrates, have been studied for years. However, only recently have we begun discovering their purpose in the body.

An increasing number of scientists believe that certain carbohydrates represent the next frontier in the search for non-toxic treatments for various degenerative conditions. Even though we have just begun to scratch the surface in understanding the full potential of these carbohydrates, the research being reported in just the last decade has ignited a new level of hope and optimism with some of the world's leading immunologists.

One of the world's most renowned veterinary immunologists, Dr. Ian R. Tizard, writes in a published paper entitled Carbohydrates, Immune Stimulating, "there has long been a tradition in folk medicine that extracts of certain fungi and plants may be of assistance in the treatment of cancer. On investigation, many of these extracts have been found to possess potent immune- stimulating activity. In many cases, this activity is attributable to complex carbohydrates."

Healthy bodies are comprised of many components working together in sophisticated harmony, and must have accurate internal communication to function correctly. In it's most basic form, this communication occurs at the cellular level.

To maintain a healthy body, cells must "talk" to each other. Their language is one of touch, written in saccharides (or simple sugars) on the cell surfaces. These simple sugars combine with other molecules to make glycoforms such as glycoproteins when combined with proteins or glycolipids when combined with fat. Of the 200 monosaccharides (glyconutrients) that occur naturally in plants, 8 have been discovered to be components in the cell surface glycoforms (see Harper's Textbook of Biochemistry--1996). Like thousands of different "keys" projecting from the cell surface, they will either unlock the required functions of the adjoining cell or not. If the right keys are available, the body functions smoothly. If not, it doesn't. Acta Anatomica, which is a European journal, states that these simple sugars have a coding capacity that surpasses that of amino acids!!

Glyconutritionals provide the cellular communication needed in the body.

Only two of the eight monosaccharides (glyconutrients) are found in today’s diet. Our diets have changed in response to the demands for quicker, cheaper food. Consequently, we are not eating foods that contain the necessary fuels for our cells to communicate in a healthy, effective manner. While our body has the capacity to manufacture these simple sugars, the conversion process is complicated. During the conversion process your cells are exposed to tens of thousands of free radical hits each day. This requires time, energy and a host of other micronutrients in order to complete the conversion. Viruses can also interfere with our body’s ability to make these conversions. People who are ill or who have inborn errors of metabolism are especially vulnerable to a breakdown in the process. Whenever the monosaccharides cannot be made, communication is slowed down or impaired as a result.

Since your body has more than a trillion cells and fully regenerates all of its cells in approximately 1 year, any miscommunication or slowdown could cause major health problems. With millions of cells regenerating each day, it's easy to imagine what could happen if during this process, the cells didn't regenerate correctly. This is why glyconutritional supplements are essential to our diet!

Now that you hopefully understand glyconutrients a little bit better I also wanted to share with you a "plain English" definition of phytochemicals (or phytonutrients) and what they mean to you as well.

by Mr. Satovich

The Best Diet for Your Body Type in 5 Easy Steps

Common sense (not to mention professional medical opinon!) suggests that a 'balanced' diet is best for almost everyone. By 'balanced', we mean that you strictly control your consumption of saturated fats and refined sugar, and be careful about how much protein you eat. Kind of makes the Atkins Diet look a little shaky, doesn't it? The Atkins Diet, and other 'crash' diets are a knee-jerk reaction to a disturbing Western diet phenomenon - in short, our diet is getting worse, and we are ALL getting fatter!

In most western countries (particularly the USA and Europe) most citizens consume too much saturated fat (generally, the rise of 'McBurgers' and other 'fast' foods is thought to be responsible for this). Likewise, we all eat too much refined sugar, which is a major component of most 'soft' drinks (or sodas) and is also found in horrendous quantities in refined white flour. The use of white flour in our bread has also contributed to a related problem - we tend to get too little fiber in our diets nowadays! Is fast food the culprit? Given that over half of every dollar spent on food in the USA is spent in fast food outlets nowadays, the answer is probably 'yes'.

Twenty years ago, an obese person would be the center of some attention - a medical problem might be suspected. Nowadays, almost 1 in 3 Americans is obese, as are 1 in 5 Brits. The problem has gone from being small, to being (literally!) large. And this has happened in a single generation. So how can we get back to diet basics?

Firstly, Balance that diet! Make sure you eat foods from ALL the major food groups.

Secondly, Keep the saturated fat and refined sugar intake LOW. Our bodies need fat and carbohydrates, but DON'T need saturated fat or refined sugar - we only eat them because they taste good!

Thirdly, stick with the 'good' carbohydrates. Good carbs include fresh vegetables, fruit and potatoes. Items like whole wheat bread, pasta, rice, oats, beans and whole grains are also excellent providers of the essential elements and energy our bodies need to function healthily. There is a reason why doctors advise us to eat at least 5 portions of fruit and veg a day - it keeps us healthy! (and even helps prevent cancers!).

Fourthly, you CAN eat fat in reduced amounts, but it must be 'good' fat. By this we mean monounsaturated or polyunsaturated food sources, and NOT animal fats, which 'clog' up arteries, and contribute more than anything else to heart disease. Fat of any kind is particularly heavy in calories (2 times the average of other foodstuffs), so you must keep the amount you eat right down if weight loss is the aim.

Fifthly, and this is a funny one, ALWAYS make a shopping list before you go out, and STICK TO IT! The number of 'impulse' purchases we all make would surprise you, and believe you me, these impulses are ALWAYS bad for the tummy!

by Helen Laxton
writes for Superdiet site

Why Do You Say You Want To Lose Weight?

How many of your New Year's resolution start out with "I want to lose x amount of pounds"as if just saying it were some kind of magic mantra.

As if the weight would just fall off, in response to the spoken words!

Why do we not want to pay the price for anything? Gaining weight is not an overnight effect and it will NOT be reversed overnight. The price for losing weight is choosing a proper diet plan and exercise routine.

And it takes discipline and, yes, WILLPOWER! No matter what you do eat, you will always have to say "NO!" to something, sometime. Choices, choices that's life!

Our society is becoming one of "it's not my fault" formerly known as "the devil made me do it". Well, let me tell you this, unless you have a physical/medical condition that makes it impossible to lose weight, it is your fault and your responsiblilty to lose those unwanted, unhealthy, unsightly and inconvenient pounds.

The sooner you start to accept this fact the better you will feel, both physically and emotionally.

One of the greatest confidence building tool in our lives, is when we set a goal and reach it.

Some things in our lives are more under our control than others. Losing weight is one of those things.

And while, not every diet is suitable for everyone, with the increasing plethora to choose from, you should certainly be able to find one that fits your needs, lifestyle and personality. So, without further excuses, let's get started taking the steps that will get "losing weight" crossed off next New Year's resolution list!

by Yvonne Finn

Correcting the Top Ten Exercise Mistakes

The American Council on Exercise comprised a list of the ‘Top 10’ mistakes that people tend to make when visiting (or not visiting) the gym. Following you will find the list in our own words. Take note of these errors and make sure that you are covered on all bases in regard to avoiding them. Mom Looks Great readers must be at the top of their game!

1.Feast or Famine – We are not talking about you diet in this case. When time is tight, some of you may forego your workout. Remember that you do not need a full consecutive hour to meet fitness demands. Ten to twenty minute bursts of activity can work in conjunction with one another or even alone on days when your schedule will not allow more time.

2.Balance the Scale – In building a healthy body you want to give equal amounts of attention to all muscle groups. Visible areas such as your arms or legs may tempt you for more focus, but your stomach, back and behind are also key areas of strength in your everyday routine. When you do not work your body as a whole throughout the week, you are prone to injuries due to an overall muscle imbalance.

3.Mirror, Mirror – Your eyes are beautiful and nothing is in your teeth, but most important, the mirrors in the gym are for insuring correct posture during exercise and not for aesthetic reasons. On the flipside, do not feel cocky for staring at yourself while exercising. It is imperative that you make sure your posture is correct during your training sessions. Common errors in posture include knees jutting beyond ankles when in squat or lunge positions, shoulders shrugged (even the slightest bit) while performing upper body exercises as well as butt not tucked or stomach not tightened. Make sure your form is correct and if needed, there is usually an available trainer if you have questions.

4.One Step at a Time - The whole basis of the Mom Looks Great program is gradual progression, whether you just had your baby or you have an unconditioned body after a long period of time of foregoing formal exercise. While men are usually guiltier than women of Mistake #4, we too can enter the gym and expect to pick up at the intensity where we left off, whether it’s the weights that we lift or the speed of which we perform cardio exercise. Do not succumb to your ego. You must re-introduce your body in a proper manner which means a gradual progression of intensity over a period of time.

5.Variety, the Spice of Life – Even exercise has its share of ruts. You find a great routine and stick to it…forever…and ever. Not only could this dampen your enthusiasm for exercising, it may also cause muscular imbalance. For instance, if you find running is your ideal for dropping weight and feeling great, you need to add in weights, or a different cardio class ever so often. All that running with no alternative can lead to injury, joint and muscle over usage, training plateaus and especially burnout.

6.This Chair is Too Big – So remarked Goldilocks in Papa Bear’s Chair. After He-Man has left the leg press, you may feel a similar notion. Make sure to adjust weight machines according to your body size. Most exercise equipment offers instructions as to where your knees should be or how your feet should fit under pads, etc. These focus points insure that you are working the machine properly. Consequently, you will be maximizing your training and minimizing the possibility of injury.

7.Rubbernecking – While in a car, it is imperative to keep your eyes on the road. When watching a toddler, it is crucial to keep an eye on the little bugger so he doesn’t pepper-toe to the nearest danger zone. As well, when you are in the gym it is important to stay focused on your workout. While the damage may not be as extensive as twisted metal or heart-wrenching tears, the point remains that when you lose focus on what you are doing, you lose efficiency. Remember, working out is serious – posture must be maintained, breathing must be controlled and the mind must be focused. This combination will insure a safe and effective workout.

8.Closing the Loop – Picture your favorite dish fresh from the oven. Transferring it by pot pads to the nearest cooled burner, you gently set it down. Then, you immediately stick a fork in it to enjoy a big scrumptious bite. You are well aware that instead of a taste sensation, all you get is an impression of hellish magnitude burnt onto your tongue that will linger for a day or so. To your body, this is similar to finishing an intensive bout of exercise and heading straight for the locker room. After placing the beneficial stress of exercise on your body, you must take a few minutes to cool down. Cooling down includes catching your breath, having your heart rate return to normal and even stretching your warmed-up and worked muscles. The latter of which is known to reduce next day muscle soreness as well as improve flexibility and prepare your body for the next workout.

9.Miss Manners Says – No makeup, baggy sweats, perspiration and loud grunting does not excuse the necessity for proper etiquette. Even the gym has its unspoken rules. Outstaying the time allotment on equipment, not cleaning up after yourself (re-racking weights or cleaning up your sweat) and loud chatting, especially on cell phones, all bring great annoyance to your fellow fitness enthusiasts. Most of the expected courtesy is common sense and can be gauged by asking yourself how you would feel if…

10.Conceive and Believe – Knowing your goals and how you will achieve them is an important step in your exercise program. Aimlessly wandering about the gym without a clear plan of what you need to do in order to meet your goals is asking for trouble and the leading cause of exercise drop out. Get started on a well planned exercise program and, if needed, document your progression on a regular basis.

by Sherri Dodd
the creator and author of Mom Looks Great - The Fitness Program for Moms. She is also an ACE-certified Personal Trainer and a Lifestyle & Weight Management Consultant with over fifteen years of exercise experience. She is dedicated to a life of fitness as well as encouraging others to establish healthy habits and a better quality of life.

Fitness Resolutions

The holidays are now officially over and it’s time to get back on track! January 1st is the day we all get to start over. A time to make the changes in our lives that we’ve wanted to make but got sidetracked along the way. So, you've had your fill of tempting treats. The holidays are always exciting and indulgent. Now that they're over, hopefully you'll never want to look at another piece of pumpkin pie or vat of mashed potatoes. Starting a healthy eating program will be a pleasure instead of a chore.

Maybe emotionally, you're ready for a change. For most Americans, New Year's is a time of new beginning and emotional rebirth. You may feel the desire to alter your way of life or spend more time focusing on yourself. There's no better time to improve your health.

Also, there's plenty of time to prepare for the next holiday season. You've got a whole year to adapt to a healthy lifestyle. The next time the holidays hit, you'll be better prepared to enjoy yourself without overindulging.

Approximately 90 percent of Americans make at least one New Year's resolution each year. Unfortunately, no matter how well intentioned they are, most people fail to keep their resolutions.

Here are a few ways you can ensure your success:

1. SET OBTAINABLE GOALS. It's reasonable to lose 10 percent of your starting weight within 3 months. The goal of the EVERY BODY LOSES plan is to help you learn how to make healthy eating choices that you can carry with you for life. Rather than focusing on losing as much weight as you can as quickly as you can, realize that, if you follow the plan correctly, this could be the last program you’ll ever need.

2. SET SMALL GOALS AND REWARD YOURSELF OCCASIONALLY. With the EVERY BODY LOSES plan, you may choose to set mini-goals. Once you reach your mini-goal, you can reward yourself and move on to the next mini-goal. Do not always give yourself food as a reward. Instead, treat yourself to new clothes that flatter your new body or a DVD of a favorite movie.

3. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH SUPPORTIVE PEOPLE. You'll be more likely to succeed if you have friends or family offering you encouragement and praise.


Here is an interesting list of most common New Year’s Resolutions. Whether you're starting a new diet, committing to a regular exercise routine, or promising to spend more time at home, chances are there's someone else out there with the same idea. Does yours make this list?

1. Lose weight

2. Exercise more

3. Spend more time with family

4. Get out of debt

5. Work less

6. Quit smoking or drinking

7. Get involved in community service

8. Read more

9. Get organized

10. Live life to the fullest

Be well & stay fit!

Aimee Deak
Personal Trainer & Nutrition Analyst

by Aimee Deak

So You Want To Build A Home Gym

I walked into the commercial gym yesterday after a long day of work excited to begin my workout. After warming up I proceeded to the squat rack to start my resistance training workout. I unfortunately ran into a bit of a roadblock. I was planning on starting with some Back Squats but there was a young man in the power rack performing barbell biceps curls with horrible form (a definite no-no!).

I decided to go to Plan B and rearrange my workout only to find that the flat benches were all occupied as well. This trend continued and everywhere I turned the equipment I desired was being used. I was happy that so many people were working out but at the same time I was frustrated that my well-laid plans were spoiled. I learned a long time ago that it is wise to have a back-up plan in place for situations like this so I decided to head home and revert to Plan C, which was my home workout routine.

I have found that having the option to workout at home is essential for people with busy schedules, for others who do not like going to crowded gyms, or for people who need a contingency plan for just-in-case situations (that’s me!). Another reason to have a home gym is that warmer weather has finally arrived and you may be less likely to go to your commercial gym.

I have helped people design expensive, well-equipped home gyms and I have helped others design very cost-effective, space-saving workouts areas. My personal home gym consists of a Stability Ball, 5lb to 95lb Dumbbells, some Kettlebells, an adjustable Weighted Vest, Adjustable DB Handles, Elastic Bands, 2kg to 10kg Medicine Balls, Ankle Weights, an AB Roller, a variety of Exercise Videos, and a minimal amount of space!

Anyone can have a Home Gym and there are many reasons to have one. The following list of questions should help you design a Home Gym that will suit your needs, your space, and your budget!

Questions To Ask When Building Your Home Gym:

The First Step: Ask Yourself Why?

Why do you want a home gym? What will it give you that you do not already have? What is your empowering vision of your ideal physique or athletic accomplishment? What are your short and long term goals? Always begin with a vision of the end results in mind, as this will guide you in your efforts. If you have not developed a vision of what you want to accomplish at this point, then that is the first thing you need to do. Develop a plan of attack for building your body and building your home gym.

Without a plan you might end up disappointed with the lack of results and frustrated that you bought the wrong equipment. Ask yourself what kind of results you expect your home gym to deliver? Is your home gym going to supplement your commercial gym membership (as a contingency plan)? Will you be doing your cardiovascular exercise outside or inside on a machine? Will you be doing stretching, strength training, or both? Is your home gym going to be the only place that you work out? Think about these things when designing your home gym.

I. How much are you willing to spend ($$$$$$$)?
How much do you want to spend, plain and simple? If you are just starting out with an exercise program, you might consider starting small with a simple, yet very effective, pair of Dumbbells. You can perform a full-body workout with a pair of dumbbells, some bodyweight exercises, and with a little knowledgeable of proper exercise technique. If you want to do it inexpensively, hire a knowledgeable fitness professional to design an individualized exercise program that you can do with a pair of Dumbbells in the comfort of your home. I have listed a variety of items that you might consider adding to your home gym.

Equipment Considerations:

A. Cardiovascular Machine

If you insist on performing your cardiovascular exercise routine at home be prepared to spend some money! Be aware, a gym quality treadmill, stationary bike, rowing ergometer, or elliptical trainer is going to cost you. You can buy used or refurbished gym quality equipment for a discounted price and if I wanted a cardio machine for my home this is probably the route that I would take. If you are thinking, “I’ll just save a few hundred dollars and buy an inexpensive treadmill at the mall,” make sure you do some research and ensure that you will buy something that is going to last and that will fit y our needs. I know many people who have purchased flimsy treadmills and regretted it soon thereafter. There are quality treadmills out there you just have to know where to look. I would recommend talking to my friend Bob McKinnon at McKinnon Technical Services (603-644-7539) who knows gym equipment like the back of his hand. He can point you in the right direction if you want to!

B. A Multi-Purpose Home Gym Machine

There are numerous multi-purpose gyms on the market and some are better than others. Chances are, if you turn on your television late at night and flip through the channels, you will be exposed to clever marketing using beautifully sculpted fitness models promising results in six weeks or less if you purchase their machine! Guess what. You can get results without a two thousand dollar machine that will most likely be collecting dust in a year anyway! Why not begin your quest for improved fitness with a modest investment in a pair of Dumbbells? Why not purchase a $20 book on how to get into shape? How about meeting with someone who specializes in coaching people through the process of positive physical change such as fitness professional or Registered Dietician? Infomercials are notorious for clever marketing and they can be very compelling. Avoid impulsive buying and do some research first before purchasing an expensive multi-gym. I recommend consulting a qualified fitness professional about the usefulness of such a machine, interviewing people who have that machine, and possibly even test-driving one before you make this decision. I have to mention that every Spring and Fall I see countless multi-gyms sitting out on someone’s lawn as part of the annual yard sale. I wonder why that is?

C. Barbells

If I had the room in my apartment, I would go out and buy a Barbell today! With a 45 lb. Olympic Barbell you can perform a wide variety of exercises in a variety of different ways. If you are an athlete, you have the space available, and you want to improve your sports performance, learning how to correctly perform the Olympic Weightlifting movements (Clean and Jerk, Snatch, and all the variations) can take your performance to the next level! To name a few, exercises such as Squats, Overhead Squats, Deadlifts, Bent over Rows, Bench Presses, Overhead Presses, and Upright Rows can be performed. I would recommend having an adjustable Power Rack and adjustable bench to augment the versatility of the barbell. Space and total cost are big factors when considering purchasing a barbell.

D. Dumbbells

If you want to save money and space, dumbbells are the way to go. You might consider two to three sets of dumbbells (they can be purchased at a sporting goods store for any where between $.35-$.75/pound (In Concord, NH, Check out Olympia Sports in the Mall, Sears, Target, Walmart, Northeast Fitness, or check out the newspapers for the least expensive way to go!). I prefer the metal dumbbells but there are also rubber coated and adjustable dumbbells available. “Power Blocks,” (perform a search on the internet to learn more about these) are adjustable dumbbells and are a great tool that take up a lot less space in your home gym, offers great versatility, and offers adjustable resistance to suit your needs. There are also other forms of adjustable dumbbells that consist of two handles, collars, and series of different size weight plates.

When selecting weights, it wise to start light and gradually purchase heavier dumbbells as you need them. I am able to perform wide variety of exercises with Dumbbells. If your goal is fat-loss, then a properly designed resistance training program that incorporates multi-joint Dumbbell exercises will help you achieve your goals more efficiently than many gym machines that “isolate” certain muscle groups. Remember, the more muscle groups that you incorporate, the more energy your body burns, and the better your results will be! Exercise technique is a factor but I’ll happily let you know that I have taught 90-year-old women and 11-year-old boys how to perform the most “difficult” Dumbbell exercises with pristine form.

E. Medicine Balls

Medicine Balls are a great tool depending upon your fitness goals and your current training level. For an athlete in search of sports performance enhancement, Medicine Balls are a great tool because they can be accelerated in a rapid fashion through many planes of motion. If general fitness is your goal, you can perform many traditional gym exercises with a Medicine Ball as well. Medicine balls come in all shapes, sizes, weights, and colors. Be sure that the ball you pick suits your needs. By the way, these are also great for outdoor workouts on a sunny day!

F. Benches and Stability Balls:

A bench can be a great tool that will allow you to perform more exercises during your home workout sessions. Some benches are adjustable and offer great versatility while others are just fixed benches. Space is a concern for many people and that makes the Stability Ball (a.k.a. Swiss Ball) a great alternative to a bench. With a Stability Ball you can perform inclined, seated, prone, supine, floor, and a number of lower body exercises. A knowledgeable fitness professional could teach you how to perform a full-body workout with a Stability Ball and a pair of dumbbells. There are a number of different ways to use it in order to maximize your home workout routines. Not only can it replace a more expensive exercise machine or bench, but it can also double as a chair, take up less space, and challenge your body’s balance in ways that a stable bench/machine cannot.

G. Resistance Bands/Tubes:

The cable pulley system at your local gym offers a number of exercises that can increase the variety of your workouts tremendously. An alternative to the cable pulley system for your home gym could be resistance bands or tubing that you can tie to a pillar in the basement of fix in a closed door. You can buy tubing that comes with handles already attached in some fitness catalogs or you could just tie a loop in one end to make your own makeshift handle. It is important to mention that elastic resistance training has many benefits and many inherent flaws. If you understand how to properly combine elastic resistance training with inertial (free weight training) you can maximize your results! A knowledgeable exercise professional can help you design your home gym to take advantage of these tools.

H. Exercise Videos:

There are many great exercise videos out there (and a lot more bad ones!). There are videos for Yoga, Step Aerobics, Tae-Bo, Pilates, Strength Training, Stability Ball Training, and every other imaginable fitness topic out there. Check out your local sporting goods store or Borders for a selection of exercise videos. The key is to find a couple videos that you enjoy and that give you the workout that you are looking for.

I. Other Fun Tools:

If you walk into a sporting goods store or open a fitness equipment catalog you will see a variety of toys that can supposedly enhance your workouts and deliver unbelievable results. Buyer beware! No one piece of equipment can solve all of your home gym needs and you must consider how this piece of equipment will fit into your complete program. Watch out for gimmicks and miracle exercise machines. Ask a fitness professional their opinion before you buy and you may save yourself some money! Do a little research before purchasing equipment for your home or you may run the risk of buying an expensive coat rack!

II. How much square footage do you have?

Simply put, how much space do you have available? Do you have enough room for an adjustable bench or a mutli-purpose exercise machine? Is the area well ventilated? How much ceiling height do you have? Are your floors solid? Do you have neighbors that might not appreciate you jumping up and down? Will you have room for all of the equipment you want to get? Thinking about these issues in advance will save you a lot of hassle in the long run. Finally, determine what else your home gym is used for? Will your home gym also be used for family gatherings, a playroom for the kids, an office, a gathering area to watch the Final Four, or strictly as a home gym? These are some other aspects to consider when designing your home gym.

III. Do you know your way around the gym?

Are you a beginner, an intermediate, an expert, or an advanced exerciser? A beginner might start out with an exercise tape, a Stability ball, and a couple of 5 pound dumbbells where as a more advanced exerciser might have a Barbell, Olympic Bench, a Stability Ball, an Adjustable Step, a Selectorized Weight Machine, a Power Rack, and a variety of Dumbbells. Have you been properly trained in the use of Free Weights or do you feel more comfortable using a machine? What kind of equipment does your plan of attack call for? The answers to these questions will help you better choose a home gym that works for you.

In closing, be sure to spend considerable time looking into the process of designing and constructing your home gym as it can be a very important addition to your life and to your home. Consider consulting an exercise professional to make sure that your gym will suit your individual needs, your budget, and your home. There are many reasons to have a home gym and it can be designed to help you achieve the results that you are looking for!

ATTENTION: "To build a home gym that really delivers results or to learn how to crank up progress from your current home gym go to and you’ll receive a FREE special report valued at $15 just for stopping by!

Stay fit!

The Home Gym Expert

by Kyle Battis

Nut Nutrition Information For Fitness Energy

As a young aspiring bodybuilder who was just starting out learning a lot of different methods of building muscle, I was taught “by experts” that fat in the diet was taboo. Any kind of fat. It didn’t matter the source. It was just bad. They were wrong. If you still believe in this myth, I hope I can change your mind after reading this article.

The fats I am talking about are from nuts. Peanuts, walnuts, almonds and all other nuts. Being mainly composed of unsaturated fat provide an excellent source of energy. They are also rich in nutrients that are lacking from most people’s diets. Nuts also have phytochemicals, which help prevent cancer, diabetes and hypertension. High in natural fiber. As a whole, nuts are a very healthy nutrition treat that tastes good.

As a bodybuilder that is trying to gain muscular weight, nuts can provide the extra calories that are needed. You can snack on them between meals. They are easy to take along with you anywhere.

For the bodybuilder that is trying to lose fat, nuts fit into your low carbohydrate day. And you don’t have to feel guilty eating them. The key is to replace carbohydrate calories with the calories you would be getting from the nuts.

Women and Nuts
In a controlled study, postmenopausal women who ate a bag of low-salt soy nuts a day had a rather great reduction in blood pressure. Each bag had 25 grams of soy protein. You can find soy nuts at most grocery stores.

Nutrition Breakdown of a bag of almonds. ¼ cup

Calories 200, from fat 150
Total Fat 18g 2g saturated
Carbohydrates 7g
Protein 7g

The US Department of Agriculture did a study with nut eaters and non-nut eaters and found even though the nut eaters consumed more energy calories they actually had a lower BMI (body mass index) than the non-nut eaters.

In summary, the Almighty would have never created nuts if they didn’t have a useful propose in life. When was the last time you seen a squirrel scampering across the ground and suddenly falling down and having a heart attack.

by Kevin Doberstein

Weight Loss Hypnosis

Obesity is a national epidemic. 58 million Americans are overweight and 80% are more than 25 lbs overweight. 70% of heart disease and 80% of all type II diabetes is directly attributed to obesity. 15% of children are obese and 70% between the ages of 6-8 believe that fast food is healthier than home cooked meals. Today’s children could be the first generation whose life expectancy is less than that of their parents.

Much of the problems associated with obesity begin in childhood. We make concrete decisions about self-image, what food means to us and how active a life we will lead, very early in our lives. There are also cultural influences which can dictate the nutritional paths we take.

Another factor is the emotional and compulsive connections to food. Millions use food to feel good or to at least feel better. Food offers temporary relief from symptoms of depression, loneliness, anger and stress. Another factor is how productively our body’s function which can have a major influence in how we look. A hypoactive thyroid slows down the metabolism making it next to impossible to lose excess weight.

In addition to all of this there is the problem of social hypnosis or advertising which bombards us with a never ending stream of useless, unproductive and unhealthy information 24 hours a day, everyday. To make matters worse advertisers aren’t even consistent with their manipulative message. On one hand they say we need to be anorexic to be beautiful, and on the other they say that ‘happy meals’ qualify as healthy nutrition.

Long term problems begin when these unhealthy patterns are repeated over time. We are creatures of habit, we are what we think. Consistently repeating patterns of unhealthy nutrition and sedentary living ensures that they will continue. It’s the repetition that gets them deeply rooted in our long term memory, or subconscious mind, where they take on a life of their own.

When an individual attempts to alter the path of an established pattern conflict results. This is what a smoker goes through when trying to quit on a conscious level. They experience mood swings, cravings and palpitations. Conflict with dieting occurs when an individual eat things they really don’t want to eat and does things they don’t really want to do, like exercise.

When the subconscious doesn’t get what it expects individuals become uncomfortable and stressed. The only way to make things right is to give the subconscious mind what it wants. Intellectually they know the changes they should make and the type of body they want to have but when this inner conflict arises the individual feels powerless and more often than not they revert to their old ways.

Hypnosis melts away the conflict. It helps uninstall old patterns and rapidly download new applications supporting new positive thoughts, actions and results. By stepping into this peaceful inner daydream world individuals have the unique opportunity to take control in way they never thought possible.
Mental imagery is one of the most powerful benefits of hypnosis. The hypnotist taps into the client’s imagination which is in the subconscious. This enables clients to create powerful images of ultimate health and fitness. Then the hypnotist offers suggestions supporting how easy it would be to make a few changes if this is the reward. This establishes a linear subconscious connection between action and positive results, and by routinely reinforcing this peaceful message clients easily go from concept to reality.

Making changes on the subconscious level makes new thoughts seem automatic. It speeds up the learning curve. A good clinician will record your session so you can listen to it on your own. Repetition rules with the problems and solutions as well. It took years of repetition to create the problem but the good news is that hypnosis dramatically speeds up the process to success.

With hypnosis an individual can disconnect from patterns of compulsive or emotional eating. One method directs the client to regression back to where compulsive or emotional eating began. Usually there is a general idea of how and when such patterns began.

Then they imagine a past event is replayed and they can see and feel the stress, concern or compulsion with food begin. It’s important to recreate the anxiety because then they get to make it go away.

They picture a thick glass dome being lowered over the past event and the lower it gets the more freedom and relief they experience. In moments the doom locks down into the floor completely preventing this experience from ever affecting their adult life again. Once they are free from the past they move forward and freely begin to choose new paths supporting fitness and fulfillment.

Success with hypnosis depends on how open the client is to relaxing, whether they are truly committed to creating positive change and if they give themselves the opportunity to become proficient with the process. Serious minded individuals with a strong desire to learn and grow usually do very well.

In addition to weight loss clients become more relaxed, centered and focused. They are much less affected by the day-to-day stress of life. This type of routine relaxation produces more smiles, laughter and an easy natural progression to shaping the body they were meant to have.

by Paul Gustafson RN, BSN, CH

The Role of Obesity

You would have to be a hermit not to know about the dramatic rise of obesity levels in North America. Health issues have been plastered around the media non stop for the better part of the last five years. The problem is that for the most part the message has been falling short of its mark. There are more obese people in 2004 then there were in 2003. The number of diet related health complications is growing and children are ballooning at a rate comparable to their adult counterparts. On the flip side, the health industry has been showing strong signs of growth, with one in four women and one in five men on a diet at any given time. While times have been tight financially, people have been opening up their wallets in record numbers to by fitness products and gym memberships.

So the bottom line is that while people are actively aware of health and fitness concerns, and are spending more then ever before on products and services to battle poor fitness, North America as a whole is getting fatter. It seems like a contradiction but it is the truth none the less. For one thing, the most people try to fix their health and then give up because it is too challenging. Often they lack the support from friends and family or even the proper skill set to be successful.

However, that being said, North America is in a bad way when it comes to health. We are a society that allows itself to binge to a point where obesity is considered an epidemic. Historically epidemics are things that rage outside of the ready control of human kind. When we typically think about epidemics we think about cholera, typhus or even ‘the plague' – bubonic fever. In North America we have allowed our own poor habits to become an epidemic. It is really a shameful situation. We are simply eating ourselves to death. It is so serious that we have declared a war on fat. A war, on fat. Somehow by drawing on images of fighting, of military might, of violence, we will be able to battle obesity.

Are we that soft (no pun intended)? Can we not take responsibility for our own actions, including what we put into our bodies? Recently there have been lawsuits filed against fast food establishments that charge them with knowingly selling harmful goods. The lawsuit does not surprise me, after all it's the American way, it does surprise me that we are willing to acknowledge that we cannot feed ourselves safely. That is, by assuming the position of a victim we allow someone else to be responsible.

In North America, the sad truth of the matter is that we have managed to take the normal daily necessity of eating and pervert it into a national killer of epidemic proportions. We are, as a society, beginning to ask why this as happened. Fingers are being pointed at corporations who used processed foods to enlarge their bottom lines at the expense of health, at the creation of ‘big box' food companies who saturate the media with their products inciting us to eat, at the government for being so passive and allowing obesity to become such an issue, at budget cuts that see physical education programs taken out of schools. Everywhere you look you can find a guilty party.

While all this seems to make sense - after all you can start healing after you find the culprit- this mode of reasoning deprives us of our individuality and our integrity. If we allow others to be responsible over such base matters as our eating, then what we are really doing labeling ourselves as incapable.

Yes, obesity is an epidemic. Yes, drastic measures should be taken to stem the growth our waist lines. However, the only one to really blame for this is ourselves. Accept in a very few cases, nobody forces you to eat anything. What you eat is predicated on choice alone. Make a choice and choose to be healthy. Take responsibility for what goes into your body. Be capable of guiding your own health and well being.

by The Icon Diet