Weight Watchers

 

Image Detail After recently having her baby, Jessica Simpson signed a contract with Weight Watchers to lose her “post-baby fat.” Highly advertised and fairly well-known, Weight Watchers promotes a balanced diet in addition to exercise. It is one of the very few diets celebs use that does NOT encourage any weight-loss supplements or ingestion of chemicals thereof.

Individualized, this plan creates a nutritiously balanced diet incorporating meals that each contain a certain amount of points. This point-based system allows its customers to create a unique plan based on their weight-loss and health goals. They provide a support system both online and in group environments, this plan is intended to help people learn portion control and eat a variety of foods in moderation.

There online webite provides recipes and daily motivational tips to help people stay on track. They do not promote any starvation strategies, they enourage the proper caloric intake, and the essential vitamins and minerals founds naturally in food. Unlike plans such as NutriSystem or Jenny Craig, food can be bought in your local super market and made right at home. That being said, this plan is intended to be habit-changing and adopted as a long term health changer –http://www.weightwatchers.com/plan/apr/unique.aspx.

In addition to recipes, Weight Watchers provides tips for eating healthy while away from home, how to avoid/cope with temptation, as well as grocery lists to ensure your cupboards are full of healthy options.

As mentioned in previous posts, I found a great recipe for smoothies as well as helpful tips!

Summer Smoothies

Learn to whip up healthy, luscious treats in your blender.
Article By: Bruce Weinstein
Blender
Summer’s here — and on decks everywhere, blenders are whirring away, full of juice and fresh fruit at the peak of ripeness. Possibly the perfect solution for dessert, these smoothies also stand in as creamy breakfasts or as sweet afternoon pick-me-ups.To make your own, you’ll need a sturdy blender and your favorite smoothie ingredients. Keep these seven tips in mind for the perfect summer smoothie:

1.  Buy a blender with multiple speeds, preferably one with a glass canister that allows you to see what’s going on inside. The best blenders let you blend smoothly and also pulse in quick shots.

2.  Always smell fruit before you buy it. If it doesn’t smell like anything, chances are it won’t taste like anything either.

3.  To make a cool, smooth drink that’s not watered down by ice, partially freeze fruit before you blend it. Arrange berries, peach slices or peeled bananas on a cookie sheet and freeze 1½ hours, until they’re partially frozen (not rock hard).

4.  Put the fresh fruit in the blender before you add any ice or partially frozen fruit. This may sound odd, but you want the fruit to puree first, so the ice has something to blend into. Ice on the bottom results in needlessly spinning blades.

5.  Partially melted ice makes a creamier smoothie. Take slightly more ice than the recipe calls for out of the freezer, let it stand at room temperature for 10 minutes, then drain the water and use whatever ice you need.

6.  Frozen nonfat yogurt, sherbet and sorbet make terrific additions to smoothies, but they need to be softened slightly for the creamiest drink. Let stand for 10 minutes at room temperature before using.

7.  Decorate your drinks with non-food toppers such as paper umbrellas, plastic monkeys and tall straws, rather than potentially fattening garnishes.

Here are two classic smoothies, perfect for summer. Once you get comfortable with the formula, experiment with your own combinations.

Banana-Berry Smoothie

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup partially frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup partially frozen banana slices

Instructions

  1. Add ingredients to blender in order listed; pulse twice, then blend until smooth.
 

Mango-Peach Smoothie

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup peeled, chopped mango
  • 1 cup peeled, chopped peach
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup softened ice (see tip #5 above on softening ice)

Instructions

  1. Add ingredients to blender in order listed; pulse twice, then blend until smooth.
 
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Qnexa

One of the newer drugs on the market, Qnexa, is currently undergoing investigation with the FDA about safety concerns and side effects. Released by the Vivius Inc., this drug combines two already FDA approved drugs for appetite-suppressent, phetermine, and seizure-regulation, topiramate. If both of these drugs were considered safe by FDA standards, why won’t they approve Qnexa?

Clinical trials released by Vivius claim some serious fatal side effects from the ladder half of the drug, topiramate;  The topiramate label lists: eye problems, decreased sweating and increased body temperature, acidic body fluids, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, and fetal toxicity.

These may not have been major issues in the clinical trials, but troubling safety issues persist. In the FDA’s analysis of Qnexa safety, there were some ominous comments:

  • There was indeed evidence of increased heart rate and acidic body fluids in people taking Qnexa.
  • The FDA states that “only a long-term” study can tell whether Qnexa increases the risk of heart disease in obese people already at high heart risk. One question before the panel is whether Vivus must conduct such a study.
  • A disturbing number of women in the clinical trials got pregnant, even though they had agreed to be on birth control and had regular pregnancy checks. One of the ingredients in Qnexa is linked to birth defects, although none were seen in the clinical trial. Since 36% of U.S. women are obese, the FDA worries that a lot of pregnant women will be exposed to Qnexa.

 Does Qnexa Benefit Outweigh Qnexa Risk?

While the argument over Qnexa approval isn’t about efficacy, not everyone taking the drug loses a significant amount of weight:

  • On average, people taking the dose of Qnexa proposed for approval lost 6.6% of their body weight. For approval, the FDA requires that a drug result in average loss of at least 5% of body weight.
  • In one study, 62% of obese and overweight people taking Qnexa lost at least 5% of their body weight — about three times as many as in the placebo group. The FDA standard is that 35% of people must lose 5% of body weight.
  • In a follow-up study, people continuing to take Qnexa for a second year regained some of the weight they lost the first year. They did not regain as much weight as people taking a placebo. (For further reading check out http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20120217/panel-to-ponder-fate-of-qnexa-weight-loss-pill)

Surprisingly enough, celebs have not used this drug yet; or at least nothing has been publicized. The only FDA approved weight-loss drug Xenical is a prescription-level lipid-inhibitor that I blogged about a little earlier in the month, it is also known as Alli. The rejection rate of weight-loss drugs is impossibly hard to overcome, the FDA sets high standards of such in prevention of safety risk. That being said, the majority of diet fads and weight-loss claims come with a high safety risk; the majority of weight-loss supplements and glamourized diets come with fatal side effects.

 

REQUESTED! Yummy Smoothie Recipes Just In Time For Summer

I know I’ve been emphasizing the pros and cons of fad diets, and a few of you guys mentioned you wanted to know some healthy alternatives in avoidance to starving yourself. I recently started following Stay Healthy Fitness on facebook-https://www.facebook.com/#!/StayHealthyFitness and am so excited to share a recipe she posted! I’ve tried the weight-loss one, I substituted the “raw maca” for 1tsp of sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix (I couldn’t find the maca). It was actually really good, I wasn’t expecting spinach to taste good in a smoothie, but I could hardly taste it. I’ll keep the recipes coming and try to incorporate a different one with each blog topic. If you have any ideas or a specific “flavor/ingredient” you want me to incorporate send a request!!

 

Model Diet Plan

Lately I’ve been doing negative reviews and diet fads to avoid, but today I wanted to write about inspirational tips to eating healthy and adopting certain habits that will help you maintain or even lose a few pounds. The following exerps are from Real Model Tips –http://www.modeldietplan.com/realmodeldiets.htm. In addition do reading interesting tips I decided to do a little research on their reliability at LiveStrong-http://www.livestrong.com/diet-and-nutrition/.

Top 10  Model Diet Tips:

1. Keep a Food Diary

Writing down every bite and sip in your food journal can be an invaluable tool for a successful diet. It can help you track what you are eating, and make you understand how much you are really consuming. Try writing down the calories next to each entry too.

2. Keep Snacks in the House

Edamame

A common mistake of most dieters is to take all snacks out the house. Models know that snacking throughout the day is actually a key element of successful dieting. Everyone gets hunger pangs – just make sure that when you lose your willpower its with healthy, low-fat snacks rather than pizza or icecream.

Great ideas for healthy snacks are low-fat yoghurt, sweet potatoes, edamame and salted popcorn. Try to carry snacks with you when you leave the house too. A healthy nut bar in your purse will prevent you from stopping in at McDonalds on the way home.

3. Quit the Emotional Eating

Let’s face it life is difficult! Many of us make excuses that bottle of wine or box of chocolates on a bad day. Perhaps you’ve lost your job, broke up with your significant other, or had a disagreement with a friend. Learning to deal with the pains of life without turning to food is an important habit to create.

Try to get stuck into doing something you love, like a hobby or your favorite exercise, when life deals you a blow. Alternatively, consider seeking professional help with emotional eating issues.

4. Don’t Order the Sauce

Believe it or not, restaurant food doesn’t have to be a dieter’s nightmare. Dishes like salads, grilled meat and fish are perfectly fine for calorie-counting diners.. as long as you don’t put a thick, creamy sauce on top of them.

Order dishes without sauces if you can. If you really have to, go for something light like a soy sauce or vinaigrette. In an Italian restaurant, try the sauces with a tomato base as they will generally be lighter.

5. Grill, Baby, Grill!

OK, baking and steaming are fine too, but you get the point! You have to steer clear of fried food if you want to lose weight. When you cook, try to use the absolute minimum of oil. Many foods contain natural oils that speed the cooking process anyway, there’s just no need for spoonfuls of cooking oil.

6. Spice It Up!

Top diet tips

Boost your metabolism with spicy food, it really works! Spicy food can make you feel more full, and it also gives your system a kickstart, forcing it to burn more calories.

You have to be careful though – lots of spicy dishes in restaurants are extremely high in calories.

Add ingredients like black pepper, ginger and  peppers to your home cooking for a flavourful way to increase your weight loss.

7. Frozen Fruit

Before you go to bed at night, throw some fruit in the freezer. It can be grapes, berries, or whatever’s left in your fruit bowl just sliced up. The next day you have a nutritious, healthy snack ready for you.

There are two reasons why this is a great diet tip. Firstly, you eat the frozen fruit slower than if it were at room temperature. This gives your stomach time to tell you when it’s full. Secondly, the lower temperature makes your body work harder, increasing your metabolism and helping you to burn off more fat.

8. Drink Lots of Water

I’ve mentioned it several times on my site, but when it comes to weight loss, water is a model’s best friend. Staying fully hydrated will increase your metabolism, stave off hunger pangs, improve your complexion and slow down the aging process. What’s not to love?

9. Green Tea

Studies have shown that drinking green tea between meals results in weight loss. Its not just the caffeine either, so coffee is no substitute. Buy some green tea and give it a try – it has plenty of other health benefits besides weight loss so you have nothing to lose.

10. Ditch the Mayo

In every model’s list of foods to avoid, one of the tops spots is always taken by Mayonnaise. Low in nutrients, high in fat, adding Mayo to your sandwich can turn a healthy treat into a high-calorie nightmare! Try mustard instead, its much healthier and will help keep your snacks low in calories.

From LIVESTRONG I found a great snack recipe to incorporate: BANANA OAT BARS

4-Ingredient Banana Oat Bars
Makes one 9×9-inch pan.
http://www.thekitchn.com/healthy-snack-recipe-5-ingredi-156571

Ingredients:
2 large, very ripe bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla
Nutmeg and cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped dates

Heat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9×9-inch baking dish.
Mash bananas until no large chunks remain; the bananas should be liquid. (You will have between 1 cup and 1 1/4 cup.)
Stir in the vanilla, spices, oats, salt, dates.
Pat the thick mixture evenly into the baking pan. Bake 30 minutes or until edges begin to crisp up.
Place the baking pan on a rack to cool. When the pan is mostly cool, cut into bars.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/recipes/easy-banana-oat-bars/#ixzz1sEoJo0vI (Includes nutritional value)

Carmen Electra: HCG Platimum

 

So I was watching TV the other night and a commericial came on promoting a new line of weight loss supplements containing HCG. There I was, in bed eating Ben and Jerry’s and watching the drop-dead gorgeous Carmen Electra promote this product- yeah that was my Friday night!

In my first defense icecream has protein, and in my second defense, HCG platinum is not all it’s cracked-up to be!

Let’s rename this drug, Human Chorionic Gonadodropin (doesn’t sound as appetizing when we put that way, it gets worse though. HCG is the hormone produced during pregnancy by cells that form the placenta), gross. It mobilizes fat stores to bring to the growing fetus so that it can have the proper nutrients (http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20111206/federal-agencies-act-remove-hcg-weight-loss-products)

 HCG Platinum encourages its clients to adhere to a 500 calorie diet and follow a routined exercise regimen in addiction to swallowing this fertility-intended drug. In Decemeber of 2011, the FDA banned the use of this drug and any promotion thereof.

Side effects can be moderate to severe, even if the drug is being used for its intended use. Effects include face seizures, headaches, mood swings, depression, blood clots, confusion, and dizziness. Some women also develop a condition called Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS); symptoms of this include pelvic pain, swelling of the hands and legs, stomach pain, weight gain, shortness of breath, diarrhea, vomiting/nausea, and/or urinating less than normal.(http://www.dietsinreview.com/diet_column/07/hcg-diet-look-elsewhere-for-weight-loss/)

Ephedra- The Size 0 Pill

Image

 

(Linday Lohan, Nicole Richie)

 

 

A handful of celebrities have used Ephedra to reduce their waist line, including Rachel Zoe, Nicole Richie, and Linday Lohan. Ephedra is the active ingredient in the ancient Chinese plant Ma Huang; it is closely related to speed and has the same deadly side effects on the body. It has been detected ingredient in not only Ephedra, but in Hydroxycut, HerbalLife, and a few others. The FDA has reported numberous heart attacks, liver damage, and even mortality due to this drug and has band its use in the U.S. However, weight loss companies  can still incorporate other parts of the plant in their recipe. This includes the plant’s leaves, stems, and even roots that still contain trace amounts of ephedrine. (Note: some companies have completely removed this drug from their products, but the FDA cannot fully regulate and support claims on any weight loss product).

Synonyms

Pseudoephedrine,
Ma Huang,
Ephedra,
Mormon tea,
Squaw tea

Uses

Ephedra is used in diet products as an appetite depressant and stimulant, and in sports drinks to mask fatigue.

The chemical breakdown: How it works…

Ephedrine enhances the release of the hormone norepinephrine in the body, and also binds to the same receptors as that hormone, causing excess calories to be converted to heat instead of being stored as fat. It also raises blood pressure. Epinephrine and norepinephrine are also known as adrenaline and noradrenaline. Ephedrine thus acts to stimulate an “adrenaline rush”.

Ephedrine by itself has been shown to be ineffective as a weight loss treatment. Ephedrine combined with either caffeine or aspirin was effective. The effect appears to be caused by a reduction in appetite, and preventing the metabolic rate decrease usually associated with a reduced calorie diet.

For a more in depth chemical description click on the following link http://sci-toys.com/ingredients/ephedrine.html