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Fasting Weight Loss – Pros and Cons

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If eating less helps you lose weight, then eating nothing at all must really shed the pounds, right? Fasting is often used for detoxification, political protest, and spiritual renewal — but what about fasting as a means to accelerate weight loss?

What Is Fasting?

Fasting is when you voluntarily go without food. Before agriculture created a reliable food supply, hunter/gatherers often had no option but to fast when there was no nourishment available. The body stores excess calories as saturated fat during times of feast, and taps into those energy stores to continue functioning during times of famine.

Why Fast?

Digestion takes a considerable amount of energy. The over-consumption of food creates a backlog of digested food waiting to be processed and eliminated. The body can only deal with so many toxins at once, so it stashes them in fatty tissue, to be filtered later on. The Standard American Diet (SAD) consists largely of processed food laden with artificial colorings, flavorings, and other chemicals such as pesticides. The digestive tract is under constant stress from exposure to environmental threats– viruses, bacteria, toxins and parasites. Fasting can give your body a break from the hard work of digestion so that your liver and immune system can heal, repair, and catch up. In fact, we all practice a mini-fast every night, which we break in the morning with our first meal. We call it breakfast because we break our fast.

What Happens During a Fast?

Your body has reserves of glycogen, the sugars that form the body’s basic energy supply. Those reserves are tapped during the first day. Once they’re depleted, the body uses fat for energy in a process called ketosis. It occurs on the second day of the fast for women, and on the third day for men. During ketosis, the liver converts stored fat and damaged tissue into ketones, which are then used for energy by the brain, heart, and muscles. At this point in the fast, hunger pangs vanish and are replaced by increased energy levels and mental alertness.

Will I Starve?

Starvation begins when the stored energy sources are depleted, and vital tissues such as organs are utilized to maintain life. The length of time a person can go without eating varies, depending on the individual.

What About Muscle Loss?

During a fast, some muscle loss will occur at first. That’s because the brain needs glucose – the sugars it gets from glycogen. At first, the body breaks down muscle tissue for a ready supply of glycogen. However, the brain would need a pound of muscle converted to sugar each day in order to function. So if the fast continues, the body shifts to ketosis, which allows muscle mass to be mostly preserved or decomposed at a very slow rate.

How Much Fat Can I Lose?

The weight loss at the beginning of a fast is an illusion, because it’s mostly water weight. Once the body enters ketosis, fat is utilized at the rate of about half a pound per day.

How Long Should I Fast?

Most fasts last for three days or less. Any longer should only be attempted under a doctor’s supervision. Alternative medical practitioners sometimes treat chronic conditions with a fast that lasts two to four weeks.

Is Fasting for Weight Loss Healthy?

There is disagreement as to whether fasting should be engaged in at all, and there are convincing arguments on both sides of the issue.

One supporter of the beneficial effects of fasting is Joel Fuhrman, MD, author of Fasting and Eating for Health. He and other proponents list these advantages:

  • The American diet is low in nutrients, which renders the body unable to rid itself of toxins.
  • Processed foods result in a build-up of AGE – advanced glycation end waste products in the cells – and lead to premature aging, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and the deterioration of organs. Fasting allows the body to remove AGE waste products.
  • Fasting in short bursts can help dieters learn to say no to food.
  • Fasting for four days per month can help treat chronic conditions that do not respond to other treatments.
  • Scientific studies have shown that combining periodic fasting with eating a calorie-restricted diet increases lifespan.

Those who are against fasting list these reasons:

  • Every time you go without eating, your body slows its metabolism by about 20%. Therefore, when you start eating again, the food you eat is even more fattening than before.
  • It focuses you on weight loss, rather than health. The ultimate goal should be a healthy body with a lower percentage of body fat, which is achieved over the long term by adopting a healthy lifestyle.
  • Your body needs protein and calcium. Without dietary protein, your body begins to eat itself, consuming muscle to meet its protein needs. Without dietary calcium, your body dissolves calcium from your bones, accelerating osteoporosis.
  • Dehydration – The dramatic weight loss at the beginning of a fast is mostly due to loss of fluids.
  • To lose weight, it’s important to build muscle mass, which boosts your resting metabolism. Loss of muscle mass during the first days of fasting is counter-productive to weight loss goals.

So with all these experts saying that fasting can actually cause you to gain weight, is there any reason to make fasting a part of your weight loss strategy? Yes, because the benefit may not be in the number of pounds shed, but in getting control of your appetite. And although your metabolism may slow, your insides will be cleaner and will therefore use food more efficiently, meaning you will need fewer calories to fuel your usual level of activity.

How to Fast Safely for Weight Loss

First of all, it’s important to have someone monitoring you. If you live alone, tell a friend what you’re doing and keep in touch. Never fast longer than three days without medical supervision, and never enter into a fast if you are taking medication or have serious health issues. Drink plenty of water while fasting to counter dehydration. You may feel bad during the first days of a fast, since toxins released from fatty tissue will be released into the bloodstream, so try to get as much rest as possible.

To begin fasting, lighten your diet gradually over the course of several days. First eliminate heavy foods like dairy and meat. Then, cut down on grains, beans, and nuts. The day before a fast, only eat light foods, such as soup, salad, and fruit. Reverse the process as you leave the fast, gradually incorporating heavier foods into your diet.

In my next post, I’ll talk about what research studies show to be the safest, easiest, and most effective way to lose weight by fasting – the Intermittent Fast.

A biology researcher with a keen interest in the science of eating right for a heal, Matthew Papaconstantinou, PhD, writes articles about diets and weight loss programs that are featured in fitness related sites. His blog offers a Medifast coupon and a discount for Nutrisystem, two scientifically researched meal replacement diets.


Dog Training Tips – What You Need to Know

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While kids everywhere else in the world (especially in Finland!) relax and probably enjoy their studies, the kids in India aren’t so lucky.

Everyone else already has a laptop and is well-versed with it, and yet our children continue to do things the old-fashioned way.

It’s typical of this country to lag behind in a number of departments but it’s sacrilege when it comes to hampering the future of our nation. To be honest, this has been my biggest gripe for a while now, thanks to being able to see the difference the way different education systems work.

At least, they don’t hit children anymore because this generation of kids are more than happy to stand up to their adults and rebel verbally and violently.

Speaking of disciplinary action such as this, why should we use it especially since most dog trainers have moved away from training dogs this way as well. There are certain cases, like training dogs in a city, that can make things more difficult. However, a few simple tips can help one navigate these sometimes troublesome waters.

A Few Thoughts on Dog Training
You might say that humans and animals are different but it begs the question: Is cruelty necessary?

It isn’t, truly. But that’s how dogs have been trained in the past.

The general attitude towards teaching obedience training has been harsh, to say the least. Whether it is a beating or even shock collars to keep them in check, one wonders if it is fair since we wouldn’t be allowed to treat humans that way too.

So, it is not with love and affection that the poor canines were trained but by subjugation and inculcating behaviors that were forced due to the “fear of punishment”.

Thankfully, common sense prevailed and a method known as ‘positive reinforcement’ has changed the way dog training is done now.

In other words, instead of punishing them for bad behavior, we reward them for good behavior instead.
What does happen is that when they are rewarded, they tend to do what pleases the ‘master’ if only for a few more treats.

It is how school children should be treated as well when learning manners too. One should refrain from criticizing their children but encouraging them for their achievements, however minimal.

That said, here are a few dog training tips that one can use even if the services of a dog trainer isn’t required at all.

Dog Training Tips – The Basics
The most popular commands that are taught are sit, down, heel, recall, stay and close where the right behavior is rewarded and the wrong is ignored.

While these commands are necessary, there are others that can cause problems with friends and family, and so here are a few situations that a dog must be trained for:

#1: Not to Bite
When they have the urge to bite, tug at their leash so as to divert their attention to something else that interests him or her.

#2: Fetch an object
Throw a tennis ball and walk away so that the dog gets it back for you. Then you can teach it to fetch other objects such as the newspaper too as it understand the meaning of this command.

#3: Not to bark at visitors
Since this can be scary for visitor, train them to “sit” as soon as the doorbell rings.

#4: Crate training puppies
Using a kennel crate works best as they are more likely to pee or poop when they are asleep.

In Closing
So, are there any other dog training tips that you would like to add to this list? Feel free to add them in the comments section below.

Also, here is an article on the best dog foods.

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What You Need for the Perfect Gym Storage Solution

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PowerGym Plates

If you operate your own professional gym or are looking to create a home setup, it’s crucial that you carefully consider your storage solutions. A tidy gym is without doubt a happy environment for people to work out in!

Good storage will help protect equipment from scratches and other damage, make it easy to find where equipment has been left, and prevent hazards such as trips.

It can also help the gym to feel more of a clean and organised environment that can keep members motivated while working out, which typically leads to a higher retention rate.

When it comes to gym storage, there are not many companies around that share the same expert knowledge as PowerGym Fitness. PowerGym is a supplier of commercial gym equipment, from weights and barbells to high-end strength training machines, with clients throughout the world.

They are also experienced in providing gyms with advice and support for installing the perfect setup.

PowerGym Fitness have provided us with some pointers on how you can create the perfect gym storage solution for your commercial facility or home setup.

Dumbbell Racks

The type of storage you will require can depend on the type of equipment that your gym provides. For example, some gyms may specialize in cardio equipment as opposed to strength training, or vice versa. That said, most gyms will typically include dumbbells.

Dumbbells are a popular form of free weights that can help users to build muscle mass. Dumbbell racks are one of the best ways that you can keep your gym tidy and free of hazards.

Without a rack, there would be no designated place for members to collect and return a dumbbell. Dumbbells left on the floor can cause damage and can be hazardous for other members when walking around the gym space.

These racks are designed to securely hold a certain amount of dumbbells when they are not in use. All round, it adds a safer and more organised structure to your environment and increases the longevity of the dumbbells.

Weight Plates Holders

As with dumbbells, most gyms typically include some type of weight plates. Tri grip and bumper weight plates are two examples that are available for purchase at PowerGym Fitness.

The plates can be attached to a barbell which can be used for effective and flexible weightlifting routines. One type of weight plate holder includes a storage tree.

This provides the option of a simple vertical holder where the plates can just slide on to a storage horn. Another option is a wall weight plate storage, allowing easy access to plates from a wall position – plus, it saves up space and improves the aesthetic design of your gym!

Mat Hangers

Gym mats are essential for exercises that require closer physical contact with the floor. This can include press-up exercises as well as Yoga, Pilates and studio workouts. Mats provide an extra level of comfort so that you don’t encounter discomfort when encountering the floor.

Mats can be used by a lot of people each day, so naturally there’s a lot of wear and tear. Mats that aren’t stored properly can lead to greater damage which will result in you needing to replace the mats sooner than should be required. With a mat hanger, when the mats are not in use, they can be stored safely to prevent unnecessary damage.

Barbell Storage

Whether you use a barbell freely or with a weight plate attached, it’s important that you store the bar appropriately when it’s not in use. Bars can be very heavy which can lead to floor damage and potentially serious injury if it drops to the floor or is left unsecured.

Like with weight plates, there are options for horizontal and vertical storage. These storage products can either be attached to the wall or the floor. They provide an organised and safe place for barbells to rest when not in use.

Cable Attachment Racks

Cable attachments are additional products that can help athletes take their strength training to the next level with varied workouts. With several types of attachments available, from revolving bars to handles and ropes, they expand the options that are available on a cable machine.

Most of these attachments are quite small, so it can be easy for them to become lost or get muddled in with other pieces of equipment. A cable attachment rack is a great way to store the attachments so that gym members can easily see where the attachments they require are placed.

Power Rack Storage Horns

Power racks are fantastic pieces of equipment to have in your gym. They are premium products that often act as the centerpiece of the gym. Power racks provide a safe space to perform a wide range of exercises, with freedom of choice left to the user.

Alongside the power rack, it’s widely recommended that you get storage horns that will seamlessly attach to the power rack. These horns can then be used as a storage option for weight plates. It will allow you to free up space around the gym and provides users with a quick and easy way to access the plates they need.

Storage Cages

The storage options that we have talked about so far clearly relate to products that have been specifically designed for certain gym equipment. To improve the tidiness, safety and structure of your facility event further, you can get a storage cage that will hold the rest of your smaller items.

This can include things such as medicine balls and bags, as well as boxing equipment. The cage can usually be locked for added security and with lockable wheels, it’s easy to transport the equipment from place to place.

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Top Five Supplement Reviews To Check Out

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In this modern world, we are so used to having a lot of “instant”. Most of us are not used to the long and arduous processes, even though we think we do. You may have noticed the impatience of most people especially when it comes to services. They want to have what they want right now, and this is why most companies adapt to the situation.

You can see it in their products and services; they want to deliver it fast enough to save more time. The same reason applies to humans who want them all as soon as they can. Even the food industry has to go with this notion, but this has also led to a new trend: obesity.

This may not be a problem in most countries. In the West though, it is considered a major health issue. There has been an increase in the overall weight of the US population for example; at least 40% of the people over 20 are overweight as this article reveals.

It has been such a serious problem due to the prevalence of fast-food chains. There is nothing wrong with consuming them, but many depend on them for their daily diet. With all of its sugars and salt, it can be quite detrimental to your health in the long run.

New Horizons in Medicine

Fortunately, there have been advances in the field of medicine as well. Weight loss has become way different compared to the way it was in the previous century. People did not know anything about it. There was a time when fat is considered as the devil’s advocate of being overweight, and sugar was thought to be the healthier option. Even though this has already changed in recent times, there is still a prevalence of this kind of thought in many circles. If you want to lose weight, you need to read and learn more about the proper way of doing it.

There might be a lot of factors that can contribute to this goal but we are just going to narrow it down to three: diet, exercise, and genetics. There is nothing that we can do with the last one though since this is already in our system. Some people might be lucky enough that they do not need to control their diet or even exercise. Their bodies have already reached their full potential, so all they need to do is to maintain it.

Unfortunately, others are not that lucky. It is either they need to have a rigorous diet plan, more exercise, or both. It is a lot of effort to lose the mass, but it can be worth it in the end. You may visit Supplement Smarts website and other similar sites to learn more info regarding this.

If you are experiencing difficulties or you want to have the results faster, then you might need to take a supplement for that. There are many options in the market these days, so choosing just one can be quite confusing. You also need to understand that not all of these supplements may work for you. Below are some of the best substances that can certainly help you with weight loss.


Options for Cutting Those Flabs

  1. Caffeine

Everyone knows what this is; it is just the main ingredient in the most popular beverage in the world besides water. Aside from being the universal pick-me-up in the mornings, it has also been found that caffeine can assist in weight loss.

It speeds up metabolism moderately, which also helps in the faster absorption of calorie intake and fat burning process. However, you do need to take it in conjunction with other substances for it to take on full effects. You also need to be careful as it can still cause dependence.

  1. Green tea Extract

Another common beverage that has some medicinal properties, green tea has been around for ages. It has its origins in China, but the rest of the world is already enjoying it. However, green tea is the fresher version and it has little to no added processing in its consumption.

It is rich in antioxidants, as well as having the ability to burn fat. It is more focused on the stomach area though, where most of our extra fat goes anyway. If you want to reduce your waistline, then having this a part of your daily supplement may help with that. Check this link to know more.

  1. Garcinia cambogia Extract

This might seem to be unfamiliar to most people, but it has been gaining some popularity in the previous decade due to its mainstream exposure. It is a green fruit with pale flesh, and it is native to Indonesia although other countries have started cultivating it as well.

Garcinia cambogia contains hydroxycitric acid, also known as citric acid lyase. This is said to help in losing weight by also removing excess fat from the body. There are still ongoing studies about this as there is unclear evidence of how it works. However, it is safe to consume as long as you control your dose.

  1. Hydroxycut

This is another form of supplement, but this time it is a combination of other substances including caffeine, wild mint extract, and cumin extract among others. It was developed by MuscleTech Research and Development, and it aims to help you lose those extra pounds.

It has been rather popular for the first ten years of its existence due to these various extracts. Even though it is under one name, there are many kinds of it available in the market. Some of them even exclude some ingredients like caffeine for those who have adverse effects from taking them.

  1. Glucomannan

Lastly, this is a diet supplement made from a root vegetable called konjac or elephant yam. It is full of fiber amongst other nutrients, which make them great for controlling your eating habits. Once you eat or drink a supplement, it will make you feel full because of all the fiber.

It will also help with digestion and excretion of wastes in your stomach. However, you will need to drink a lot of water when using this as it can promote too much hydration loss. You will also need to check on your doctor if you can use this safely and follow the dosage always.


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