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Weight Loss Diet Tips and Advice

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Weight Loss Diet Tips and Advice

Diet and nutrition are essential components of good health, especially weight loss. However, with all the fads and quick-fix programs going around today, the word ‘diet’ can conjure up feelings of failure and discomfort. That’s not to say certain dieting techniques do not work, but not too many of them are sustainable over the long term.

While overall weight loss may be the result of some diets, over a twelve-month period the weight often bounces right back. All that discomfort for nothing. The good news is a proper weight loss diet does not involve starvation, cutting out all pleasurable foods and trying to implement an unrealistic nutritional schedule.

With that in mind, when you want to lose weight, there is one scientific fact that you can’t ignore and that is that you have to burn more calories than you intake. There are many ways different diets use tricks to achieve this, but at the end of the day, your body needs balanced nutrition to stay healthy and an energy expenditure that is more than your input to get rid of those fat reserves.

This is a little deceptive because often it’s how you burn the calories that count, but you can explore that element further as part of our section on Fitness Training To Lose Weight – an essential companion to this weight loss diet plan. Before you step foot in a gym, pull on your sneakers, or step onto the stationary bike, though, you need to look at your energy intake compared to your expenditure.

Count Your Calories

Forget about your metabolism, about how long it takes to lose weight or about past difficulties. You will lose your weight, feel great and be fit on this diet, but the healthy, genuine weight loss is only ever achieved gradually. This is a long term plan we are implementing – a permanent one, and the first step is reducing your calorie intake. The bigger you are and the more calories you currently intake in a standard day will give you more room for improvement.

There are many online calorie counters that make this task exceptionally easy, so don’t put it off. It will likely take you five or ten minutes, and suddenly, you will start to realize where your excess weight is coming from and why you haven’t been able to lose it.

Because we don’t know your exact height, weight and current daily intake, we can’t calculate it for you. However, as a rough guide, a good weight loss diet would be to decrease your caloric intake by around 20-30 percent assuming you were consuming around or above your recommended daily dietary intake.

Nutritional Intake

Starving yourself will not help your cause here. While you might think the effort squeezing even more calories out of your diet is doing you a favor, it will only hinder you in terms of the energy you can expend to burn fat, muscle growth (as the body will start to use muscle for fuel) and it may even cause you serious health concerns.

Will you be eating less? Yes, but that doesn’t mean you have to go hungry, and when you reach your goal weight you can then sensibly increase your caloric intake again to a recommended amount for your height and energy expenditure. The key here is choosing nutrition-rich foods when filling up you calorie count. This is actually easier than it sounds in reality.

If you’re a little hungrier than normal and you know that an apple, a bowl of rice or a healthy sandwich will fill you up so much more than a bottle of soft drink, a chocolate bar or ice cream, you will be hungering for the healthy food instead. Junk food adds up the calories fast without providing good energy, so when you’re hungry (and if you’re doing it right, you will be a little hungry), you will soon start realizing the benefit of eating the right foods.

Be Honest

One of the hardest parts about a balanced, nutritional diet when counting calories is to be honest with yourself. You may find yourself sneaking extra servings, not including certain things in your total intake (such as the morning coffee, afternoon snack and midnight fridge raid) or kidding yourself about portion sizes.

While you will start to realize that the good foods satisfy your energy needs much more than junk food, that doesn’t help when it comes to cravings. As mentioned, there’s no need to cut out all things pleasant about eating, but you do have to count your pleasure foods in your calorie intake. Treat yourself, as long as it doesn’t blow out your intake.

To help with this, we recommend using a daily calorie diary (there are several online) and carefully measuring food portions. With a set of kitchen scales, this really is an effortless task, and if you find that it’s too much commitment for you, then you really need to look at increasing your motivation.

Sitting a bowl or plate on scales is as simple a method to ensure success as you will ever find, but it’s one of the best that actually works, is good for you and will achieve your weight loss goals long term.

Plan Of Action

Expend more energy than you intake – it couldn’t be more simple. With a balanced, nutritional diet and fitness training program, you will see the kilos falling off while you start to look and feel great. Follow this sample plan of action to get started on the road to your goal weight.

Step One

Consider a detox – If you drink alcohol, smoke, or are making some big changes to your diet, one of the strongest ways to start is a detox program. Use the time to plan your new weight loss diet.

Step Two

Work out your calorie intake – using an online calculator, go through a few typical days and work out your intake. Be honest and include everything, from cans of drink to coffee, snacks and desserts.

Step Three

Plan your new diet – This may be as simple as adjusting portion sizes, or you may have to completely revamp your take on nutrition. Fresh vegetables, wholegrain bread, rice and pasta, plus protein-rich food like eggs, beans and low-fat dairy. Avoid sauces, junk food and oily food. Make sure you intake enough calories to support any exercise programs.

Step Four

Use a calorie diary – This will help keep you on track and make you accountable for the food you eat. Remember to treat yourself, and to motivate yourself to stick with this long-term program.

Step Five

Set goals and achieve them – Set realistic goals over a period of weeks and months, and reward yourself when you reach them. When you reach your goal weight, you can balance out your calorie intake accordingly. After many weeks of counting calories, you will have a good idea of where the excess calories in our diets come from, and you can use that knowledge to maintain a sensible calorie intake forever.

Stay Motivated

You now have all the information you need to start a weight loss diet that is both healthy and nutritional, long-lasting and will really work. While healthy weight loss is gradual, you will be surprised at the quick and effective results you achieve. Not only that, but you will also feel great as well as look great.

There is one more central defining factor to ensure your success, and it’s one of the hardest elements for those trying to lose weight. You can try any diet in the world, but if you do not have sustained motivation, you will not succeed. This diet requires a high degree of attention to the foods you eat along with honesty for times when you relapse or on days when going over your goal intake is unavoidable.

The key is to realize that this plan is a long term endeavor. Expect your weight to fluctuate on different days, expect to have days when you can’t perfectly control your diet and remember that the long term result will be a permanent weight loss that is neither drastic nor unnecessarily unpleasant.

You have to own up to your weaknesses and be prepared to fight them on a long term basis. If you have struggled with weight loss in the past, this could mean a lengthy battle for you, but it is one you can win, and by using this diet, you will have the knowledge to stay on top of your weight indefinitely.

Most people find it helps to set goals for specific dates or events, so get your calendar out and start making some goals that you can realistically achieve. Joining a weight-loss group (there are plenty online) can help as you share your stories with others, and there is nothing wrong with plastering some motivational posters on your desk, in your room or anywhere else you can gain a boost of motivation.

Good luck reaching your ideal weight with this weight loss diet that actually works. Always seek professional advice when it comes to individual health concerns, specific nutritional advice, or implementing an exercise or fitness training program.

HEALTH

What You Should Know About Colon Therapy?

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Colon Therapy

If Doctors say it doesn’t help, why does it? There are many studies that have shown Colon Hydrotherapy yields no evidence of treating various diseases, and there is just as much evidence proving harm from Colon Hydrotherapy. Colon Hydrotherapy cannot claim to be a cure for a disease, but the environment it creates in the colon is definitely capable of helping assist in healing and attainment of health check Farid Zarif ND for further details.

Are there any methods of therapy that could be misinterpreted as “Colon Hydrotherapy” that we currently use and that have harmful effects?

Yes. There are different ways that people attempt to cleanse their colon every day. Enemas and laxatives have been on the market for many years. Laxatives are habit-forming and dehydrating. Some laxatives contain chemicals that may cause an imbalance with our natural enzymes and hormones. Ingesting laxatives too frequently may cause the loss of peristalsis (the muscle contractions that move waste) and may force an individual to continue using laxatives to have bowel movements. Most laxatives are osmotic in some way, which means they draw water from surrounding areas in your body into the intestines to carry waste out. This is extremely dehydrating, causing more constipation unless fluids are replenished.

Enemas, like laxatives, should only be used occasionally and it is very important to be careful and follow directions. With enemas, there is a lack of control when it comes to the pressure of fluid intake. This can be damaging. Using enemas can stretch the last portion of the colon, the sigmoid to the rectum, and can cause problems with our natural ability to get rid of waste. I do believe enemas are useful and can be done correctly.

What’s the purpose of cleansing the colon?

The truth is, we have cleansed our colon since 1500 B.C. It was more common for royalty to be regularly given enemas. Physician’s back then had discovered that death starts in the colon and that food is the culprit. Our body needs to properly digest and balance intestinal bacteria in the digestive tract. Your colon can become out of balance because of lifestyle choices. Proper cleansing has been a goal of the human race for thousands of years.

What exactly is Colon Hydrotherapy?

Colon Hydrotherapy is a modernized version of the enema. The goal is the same, but it differs in that it is perfectly safe and reliable. In Colon Hydrotherapy, temperature-regulated water is introduced into the colon at an extremely low PSI. All of these settings are very controlled and precise. If you can imagine turning your sink on a little past the point of a drip, where the drops connect to form a slow and steady line, this can give you an idea of the water pressure in a colon hydrotherapy session. It is between 1/8 and 1/4 PSI on a “fill”.

The water slowly makes its way through the entire large intestine (About 5 feet). This whole time the intestine is being hydrated and toned. Stool that has been trapped can now loosen and make its way out. The client can let the therapist know when they are ready to empty. There is a gentle feeling of fullness that lets your body know when it’s ready to release. Then the therapist will set the device for removal. Water and waste is emptied out of a separate, larger waste tube using the pressure coming from your own body. No suction is used to empty the colon.

Many therapists practice this type of therapy in different ways. I was trained to use bodywork and massage. There are specific points on the body that can help release waste and improve the flow of energy through various organs as well as the colon. You might find a therapist out there that you don’t like. This shouldn’t make up your mind about Colon Hydrotherapy.

Since it is not a widely accepted therapy, there are bound to be times when someone does not have the proper training. If you went to get your nails done, and the manicurist cuts you and does a horrible job, do you swear off manicures as a dangerous and unhealthy practice? Probably not, the person you got must have been trained poorly or not suited for the job. Be smart about where you receive a colonic, and make sure they are checking for contra-indications like severe cardiac disease, cirrhosis, severe anemia, and severe diverticulitis to name a few.

How often is too much?

Since Colon Hydrotherapy hydrates and tones the walls of the intestine, it is safe for periodic use. It had been a steady passage from alternative to mainstream for colonic irrigation – but that could change after researchers have rubbished the treatment’s benefits, and cautioned about its side effects – including cramps, nausea, vomiting and renal failure.

The process, rebranded from the agricultural sounding colonic irrigation to less intrusive “colonic hydrotherapy”, has become less taboo over the last two decades, having become popular with celebrities desperate to lose weight.

During a normal 45-minute session, which currently costs between $122-$180, about 15.85 gallons of filtered water is used to flush the colon, after which users supposedly benefit from increased wellbeing, better skin, smoother bowel movements, and feeling lighter.

But a new, comprehensive review of research has chronicled the side effects suffered by some users of “the internal bath”, from cramping to renal failure – when the kidneys fail to adequately filter toxins and waste products from the blood.

Medics at Georgetown University School of Medicine, who examined 20 studies published in medical literature during the last decade, expressed concerns over the treatment’s regulation.

They concluded, in a paper published in the Journal of Family Practice, that while there was little evidence of the much-vaunted benefits from the treatment, there were “an abundance of studies noting side effects of using cleansing products including cramp, bloating, nausea, vomiting, electrolyte imbalance and renal failure”.

The same was true of other less intrusive colon treatments which can be widely purchased on the internet, they said. The paper’s lead author Ranit Mishori, a specialist in family medicine at Georgetown, said: “There can be serious consequences for those who engage in colon cleansing whether they have the procedure done at a spa or perform it at home.

“Colon cleansing products in the form of laxatives, teas, powders and capsules… tout benefits that don’t exist.” She added that some treatments had also been associated with aplastic anemia (where bone marrow does not produce sufficient new cells to replenish blood cells) and liver toxicity.

The doctors also expressed concerns colon cleansing services were being offered at some spas and clinics by operators claiming they are “colon hygienists” but who had little or no medical training. They concluded, in a paper published in the Journal of Family Practice, that while there was little evidence of the much-vaunted benefits from the treatment, there were “an abundance of studies noting side effects of using cleansing products including cramp, bloating, nausea, vomiting, electrolyte imbalance and renal failure”.

NHS advice states colonic irrigation is still a complementary therapy, and “there is currently no medical or scientific evidence to prove its effectiveness”. However, it says, the procedure is usually safe. As colonic treatments are mostly undertaken in private, statistics on the number of users are hard to establish.

Anecdotally, doctors have said patients admitted to hospital following colonic irrigation have been diagnosed with a perforated colon – obtained during the procedure caused the tip that injects the water or from overpressure causing failure of a weak spot in the colon wall.

Scottish surgeon Sir William Arbuthnot-Lane, who worked at Guy’s hospital in London, is credited with pioneering treatment for constipation in the early 1900s.His work led him to advocate eating fruit, vegetables and bran cereals as a way to control bowel problems.

His views were dismissed by doctors and media authorities at the time, leading him to ask to have his name removed from the medical register in order to promote the New Health Society, the first organized body to deal with social medicine, in 1925 to publicize his views on healthy diet and life.

Dr. Mishori added there were other ways to increase well-being. She said: “Eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, get six to eight hours sleep and see a doctor.”

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The impact on painkillers on your gut

Bobby Jansson

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The impact on painkillers on your gut

Alongside food, oxygen, water, painkillers are also a staple for living nowadays. We have to battle stress-induced headaches, sports-injuries, awful toothaches, infections and whatnot in the daily routine. With old age, things become even worse. Painkillers, on the other hand, bring the much-needed relief in life.

However, with pros comes cons. Painkillers are, after all, medicines and hence they too carry with them side effects that have implications for health in general and gut in particular. The problem starts when painkillers are overly relied upon and consumed in large quantities. Moderate usage and following the dosage guidelines make the painkillers safe to use.

Type of painkiller is important too!

The impact on the body is determined by the type of painkiller chosen. Different types have different potencies and strengths, which then determines the impact on the body as well. The stronger they are, the graver is the impact of their overindulgence on the gut. Following are some commonly used painkillers and their effect on the stomach:

Acetaminophen:

Commonly known as Tylenol, Paracetamol, Panadol etc., this painkiller is perhaps the most frequently used. This over-the-counter painkiller is also present in some of the cold medicines, that too, can sneak into the daily regimen, leading to overconsumption.

 The perhaps most profound impact of acetaminophen is on the liver. It is amongst the leading causes of liver failure and toxicity. Common symptoms of this condition include vomiting or nausea with swelling and tenderness in the liver. It is imperative for people who liberally take this painkiller and experience these symptoms to visit a liver expert like Prof. Dr. Altaf Alam for timely intervention.

Moreover, in large doses, it can also lead to nausea and stomach cramps as well.

Opioid analgesics:

Opioid analgesics are not an OTC drug. Being a prescriptive painkiller, the chances of its abuse are less, but its impact is severe even when taken within the required dosage. Used for chronic pain management, many people are even unable to complete their regimen, such severe is the impact. It leads Opioid-induced bowl dysfunction that gravely impacts the gastrointestinal health.

The symptoms of OIBD include nausea, vomiting, reflux and bloating. It also decreases the rate of digestion, leading to discomfort. But the most profound impact is constipation. Hard stools get extremely painful to pass. Incomplete evacuation also causes further problems.

NSAIDS:

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are aimed at pain relief and also decreasing inflammation as well. It is very frequently used due to its anti-inflammatory properties as well. It’s different types with different repercussion for the body.

Aspirin

Aspirin comes with a lot of long-term side effects for the gut, and health in general, if and when taken in large quantities. It leads to bleeding in the stomach. Aspirin also leads to the formation of ulcers in the stomach.

Ulcers are the sores in the lining of the stomach. NSAIDS leads to the stripping away of the protective mucosal layer of the stomach. Acid then is able to attack the stomach tissue, leading to the formation of ‘holes’ in the lining.

Although ulcers are easy to treat, undetected ulcers can be dangerous. Moreover, ulcers also lead to a lot of pain and discomfort. Symptoms of this condition includes perpetual stomachache, decrease in appetite, weight loss, heart burn, nausea, bloating etc.

Ibuprofen

Although, Ibuprofen is better than aspirin as it leaves the body quicker, nonetheless, long-term ibuprofen usage also leads to health issues. It causes stomachache, ulcer, acidity, vomiting and nausea.

Naproxen

Another NSAID with implications for gut health is naproxen. It is available both as OTC and prescription pill. Its side effects include indigestion, heartburn, stomachache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.

It can also lead to inflammation in pancreas, which leads to fever alongside stomachache and digestion issues. Naproxen can also lead to gastric ulcers.

Minimizing the danger

Living with pain is not easy and so painkillers are a necessary evil in most of the cases. Some helpful steps can be done to minimize the dire impact of their consumption on the stomach.

Always take as little as possible; do not always resort to painkillers. If the pain is tolerable or if you are eating painkillers to preempt the pain, change this habit. Moreover, it is important that you take them only and as long as the pain persists.

When taking any medicine, be watchful of the impact on your health, in case there is some reaction that aggravates the health. Also, be mindful of which medicines you are taking, in case they too, pack some painkiller, leading to the risk of overdosage.

Combination of painkiller is also important. Do not eat NSAIDS in combination, take them with an acetaminophen if need be, but don’t eat multiple NSAIDS at the same time. When you eat NSAIDs and other high-potency pain killers, take them with food so that stomach suffers as little as possible.

Most importantly, take painkillers at the discretion of the doctor. If you are suffering from bodily aches etc., visit a credible doctor like Assist. Prof. Dr. Mujahid Israr for help with pain management rather than chugging back painkillers like candy!

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How long do succulents live?

Umar Nisar

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How long do succulents live

It is a tough question because succulents are so diverse. There are thousands of different varieties with their own needs and habits. As a gardener, it is important to know the plants about their life span, how fast they grow, and what they need in terms of sun, water, pots, soil, and the like.

Lifespan of succulents

There are many plants with unknown ages, simply because they haven’t been observed in nature long enough. Here are a few succulents with known life spans:

Jade Plant (70-100 years), Hens and Chicks (3+ years),  Aloe Vera (5-25 years), Barrel Cactus (Centuries), Living Stones  (40-50 years),  Christmas Cactus  (30+ years). You can buy succulents online.

Some succulent plants have factors at play that drastically affect how long they live. For example, many hybrids, such as Echeveria Perle von Nurnberg, have short lifespans. Some succulents don’t live long but grow offsets to replace themselves. The main plant only lives around 3-4 years but sends out lots of offsets in a lifetime.

Aeonium kiwi is a monocarpic plant that dies after flowering. Depending on how fast the succulent matures, it may live for many years before it blooms. If the succulent begins to flower,  the best thing to  do is take some cuttings for propagation. It carries the generation forward. 

Growing condition of succulents

Succulents are typically slow growers. That doesn’t mean their growth is all the same, though. The majority of succulents cycle between dormancy and a growing season each year. Plant dormancy is very similar to hibernation in animals. During a certain season, succulents go into survival mode to make it through extreme weather conditions. They slow or stop their growth in order to conserve energy. Because of this, succulents usually don’t need as much water or sun while dormant. The growing season is when succulents get to work. This is when they’ll form new leaves, send out offsets, and flower. Succulents typically appreciate extra water, sunlight, and even fertilizer during this time.

Succulents native to the Northern Hemisphere usually go dormant during the winter and grow in the spring and summer. On the other hand, native southern plants typically shut down when it’s hot outdoors in the summer. Plenty of sunlight is needed. However, most species cannot tolerate direct sun. Indirect or bright, filtered light is usually the best. If it doesn’t receive enough sunlight, the plant may begin to fade.

The soil must be well-draining. There are many specialty succulent and cactus mixes that are perfect. A mix can be prepared by mixing one part potting soil with one part perlite. If the mix retains too much water, the roots will begin to rot. Fertilizer depends on the variety of  the succulent. Some appreciate multiple doses a year while others don’t need it at all. Plants that do need fertilizing usually prefer one that’s balanced or low nitrogen.

Keeping pests and diseases well away from the plants is crucial. Knowing the signs for common succulent pests such as mealybugs, aphids, and scale insects. Diseases are usually rare in succulents, but nearly all are prone to root rot. Prevent this by watering properly and keeping the stem and leaves dry.

It should be remembered that these care tips are general and vary from plant to plant. For the best instructions, it is better to know the succulent’s specific needs. Proper care definitely will be beneficial for the succulents. To really extend their life span though, the following things are to be done:

Keeping a consistent watering schedule, Using good quality soil, repotting into new pots as needed, acclimatization of succulents when moving them to a new location, taking good care of the roots, Propagation of plants so that it can live on through its descendants. 

A new succulent should be known very correctly, as its care can make a huge difference. So learning about that plant, track its progress. The succulent is dependent on its grower to a great extent as it can not speak out about its requirements.

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