If you’ve been spending any time at the gym, you’ve probably seen (or done) more than a few sets of these strength-training moves. These exercises are trainer and fitness-buff favorites for balancing and strengthening the body; they are also effective when it comes to shaping, toning, and whittling. Learn how to do these essential exercises in time to add them to your shape-up routine!

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Snack time is important because it can satiate hunger between meals to prevent overeating and help you lose weight. Snacks can also be a way to get valuable nutrients you’re missing from meals alone. But not all snacks are good ones.

There are some strong opinions out there about whether it’s appropriate to include snacks into the daily meal plan. Although there are no set rules, for many, having a snack or two can help manage hunger levels and maintain blood sugar levels. Snacks can definitely be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle, but as with anything related to one’s “diet,” it depends on what and how much is being consumed.
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Losing weight takes more than desire. It takes commitment and a well-thought-out plan. It’s easy to say that you want to lose weight. It’s also easy to find the motivation to hit the gym regularly and choose the right foods in the beginning. After a few weeks, our motivation seems to wane and those old, unhealthy habits of yours start to creep back in. What seemed so easy at first is now difficult. You have cravings. You’re tired. You miss those social dinners with your friends and doughnuts at the office. That 6 a.m. aerobics class doesn’t seem as fun, and getting up without hitting the snooze button seems impossible.

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The latest research, published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behaviour, showed that people who shopped to a list weighed less than those in the same community who didn’t.

“When individuals worked with detailed meal plans and a grocery list to make the meals it could have a meaningful impact on weight loss and long-term health among overweight and obese individuals.” Lead researcher, Dr Nicole Au from the Monash Centre for Health Economics said.

For those who want to lose weight, a list represents a pre-commitment – how you would like to eat next week. Remember, healthy grocery shopping doesn’t have to break the bank, as many sometimes suggest. Shop in season, and shop around, in order to find your healthy favorites at a reasonable price.

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According to Dr. Kharrazian, in the immune system model, there are 4 main reasons for stubborn weight gain.

They are:

* The mix of bacteria in your gut

* Intestinal permeability (also known as leaky gut)

* Low grade inflammation

* Immune reactive dietary proteins

Let’s explore each one of these in more detail.

The Mixture of Bacteria in Your Gut Matters

An important thing to understand is that your body is an ecosystem, or really, a lot of interconnected ecosystems. And the digestive tract is one of the most complex and dynamic of them all.

Each one of us has their own unique mix of bacteria and other organisms that live in our guts. This mix is determined by our genetic profile, our diets, what medications we have taken and our environment.

There are an estimated 100 trillion different cells and over 1,000 different species of bacteria. 90% of these species belong to 2 families: Firmicutes and Bacteriodetes.

The Balance of Bacteria Can Make You Unable To Lose Weight

New research has shown that the balance of these 2 bacterial species matters for whether or not you are able to lose weight.

In obese and overweight people, there is more Firmicutes than Bacteriodetes. The balance between these 2 species of bacteria generates certain signals to specific genes in the intestines that produce more fat cells.

It is also interesting to note that, according to the research, Lactobacillus bacteria (the most common species sold in over the counter probiotics) actually increases body weight. Both dairy and non-dairy sources.

What that means is that while probiotics may be beneficial for the ecosystem of your gut they are not that helpful in helping you shed the pounds.

Increase Bacteriodetes and Lose Weight

Firmicutes really like junk food. To feed them and gain weight, eat like your average American. To starve them and lose weight, read on.

The more important question is: how do you increase the Bacteriodetes? It seems these little critters really like plants. And the best way to increase their number is to increase the amount of plant based foods and fiber in your diet.

Especially oligosaccharides (found in Jerulsalem artichokes, and onions, leeks, garlic asparagus and jicama, etc.) and monosaccharides (found in pears, grapes, peaches, apples, pineapples, apricots, bananas, yams, carrots, onions, and sweet potatoes). And other plant based fibers that come from green leafy vegetables, green tea, etc.

These get fermented in the colon by the good guys and help you to become a mean, lean weight loss machine! But, just so you know, this is not something you can change in 5 minutes or 5 days. It may take a few months to alter this environment.

Leaky Gut Leads to a Bigger Gut

While it is true that people with Hashimoto’s often suffer from intestinal permeability or leaky gut syndrome, new research shows that this can also lead to fat around the organs.

In leaky gut, the intestines lose their ability to keep tiny particles of all sorts of stuff out of the bloodstream. It turns out that there may be a connection between a fatty liver and the breakdown of the gut barrier system.

In addition, zonulin, a protein that is used by the intestines to bind tight junctions, leaks into the blood stream when people have a breakdown of this barrier. It is also increased with obesity associated insulin resistance.

Finally, the toxins that are produced by bacteria known as lipopolysaccharides have also been linked to obesity and the onset of diabetes.

Bottom line: If you want a smaller gut, you need to heal your leaky gut.

Low Grade Inflammation: The Chicken or The Egg?

Autoimmune disease is a disease that is closely linked to inflammation. So is type 2 diabetes, so is eating a lousy diet and eating too much sugar, salt and fat.

What research is now showing us, is that obesity is also an inflammatory condition. It is becoming less clear which came first. One thing we now know is that adipose tissue (fat tissue) produces inflammation in the body all by itself.

So you have the creation of this destructive cycle of abnormal gut bacteria and leaky gut leading to a process (insulin and leptin resistance) which makes glucose not able to enter cells. When glucose can’t enter cells it gets converted into fat in the liver (triglycerides). These fat cells start the whole process all over again.

Leptin and Insulin Resistance Are Similar

Leptin is one of the main hormones involved in hunger, metabolism and the control of how energy from carbs and fats get stored and used. It comes from the Greek word ‘leptos’ meaning thin.

The amount of leptin produced directly correlates with weight loss or weight gain. (Women have significantly higher circulating leptin than men).

Leptin resistance is very similar to insulin resistance. With insulin resistance, long term elevated levels of insulin make your muscle and fat cells more resistance to the action of insulin.

Chronic elevated levels of leptin end up making you eat way too much. And abnormal gut bacteria and leaky gut feed this process as well (pun intended ;)).

Its A Vicious Cycle That Makes It Harder to Lose Weight

This whole process creates more fat tissue which causes more inflammation, and on and on it goes, snow balling and making it harder and harder to lose weight.

So you can see, while this is kind of complicated, it is hugely important to do everything you can to reduce inflammation that is the root cause of everything that we have just examined.

Immune Reactive Dietary Proteins

Certain proteins can also add gasoline to the flames of inflammation.

Everything that is living in our world is made of proteins. With autoimmune disease the immune system confuses our own proteins with that of an invader like a virus or a food we are allergic to.

There are some proteins in our diet that can cause an immune response that can also lead to inflammation and add more insult to injury.

These proteins are found in gluten, dairy and soy and in some other foods called cross reactors.

These need to be eliminated from the diet if you want to lose weight because this will begin to unwind the vicious cycle of inflammation at the root of the immune system’s influence on weight gain.

 

Article Source: www.hashimotoshealing.com


Getting rid of your belly bulge is important for more than just vanity’s sake. Excess abdominal fat—particularly visceral fat, the kind that surrounds your organs and puffs your stomach into a “beer gut”—is a predictor of heart disease,type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, and some cancers. Fat can accumulate in your body due to many factors including leading a sedentary lifestyle and eating large amount of high fat and sugary foods. Genetics, age and structure of your body may determine the pattern of accumulation of fat in your body. The most usual and common cause of developing a lower belly pooch is the accumulation of belly fat. Let us discuss some measures, which help in getting rid of this problem.

Regular Exercise to Get Rid of Lower Belly Fat

When it comes to getting rid of lower belly rid, the importance of regular exercise cannot be overstressed. You should include regular exercise as part of your daily routine so that you start burning more calories during the day.

1. Interval Training. While exercising, it is recommended to alternate short bursts of increased activity with small periods of slow activity. For example, intersperse brief episodes of sprinting in between your walking sessions. According to researches, by including interval training in your exercise routine you will be able to burn more calories.

2. Cardio Exercises. Increase your time of cardio or aerobic exercises as doing cardio raises your heart rate and burns calories quickly. Aerobic exercises are known to cause overall fat loss and in the process you will lose your lower belly fat too.

3. Resisting Training. It is suggested by a study conducted in the year 2006 and published in the International Journal and Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism that you get rid of abdominal fat more effectively by combining resistance training with cardiovascular or aerobic exercise in comparison to only doing cardiovascular exercises. Exercise machines, free weights or resistance bands can be used to do resistance training.

4. Lower Ab Exercises: There are certain exercises described below that focus especially on the lower belly region.

    • Roll Up. With your legs straight, lie on your back. Start by extending your arms and taking them behind your head to the maximum point of extension (this is the starting position). Inhale, move your arms towards the ceiling and roll your upper torso off the floor; when you are halfway up, exhale, roll forward and reach your toes. Inhale, reverse the movement; when you are halfway, exhale and return to the position from where you started.

 

    • Straight Leg Raise. Keeping your legs straight, lie on the floor with your toes pointing towards the wall and put your hands under your buttock (this is the starting position). Inhale and raise both the legs up to form a right angle. Exhale and with a slow movement lower your legs to just slightly above the floor (around 4 inches). Do 10 repetitions.

 

    • Hip Lift. Start by raising both your legs up at right angle and extending both your arms to your side. Inhale and pull your belly button towards the spine. While exhaling, lift your hips a couple of inches off the ground and roll them towards your belly. Inhale and lower your hips slowly. Do 10 repetitions.

 

    • Reverse Crunches. Start with lying on your back and knees curled at 90 degrees and arms on your sides. Contract your abs, lift your knees and curl them towards your chest while exhaling. While you inhale, lower your legs slowly and keep them on the ground.

 

    • Scissors. Lie down on your back and lift your head and shoulders slightly off the floor. Put your hands behind for support. Keeping your both legs extended, lift your right leg to make it perpendicular to your upper body; simultaneously your left leg should be raised by just a couple of inches off the floor. Swap leg positions quickly. Do alternate movements, without taking a pause. Do 6-8 repetitions (movement of both legs is counted as one repetition).

 

Proper Diet to Get Rid of Lower Belly Fat

  • Breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should never be skipped to lose weight. According to studies, if you eat your breakfast within an hour of your waking up, then your insulin levels remains steady and your LDL cholesterol remains low.
  • Whole Grains. Switch to whole grains. According to researches eating whole grains is associated with more belly fat loss than eating refined grains.
  • Lots of Water. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to speed up your metabolism and to flush out the toxins from your body.
  • Good Fats. Eat more good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) instead of trans fats and saturated fats. Eat more of avocados, soybeans, nuts, seeds and chocolate.
  • More Fiber. Increase your fiber intake as fiber helps in reducing the insulin levels, thereby boosting the removal of belly fat. Eat more of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Vitamin C. Take adequate amounts of Vitamin C as it helps in counteracting the spikes of cortisol that occur when you are under extreme stress. Moreover, it is also essential for producing carnitine, which is a compound used by the body to burn fat for energy. Eat more of orange, lime, lemon, kale, bell peppers and kiwi fruits.

More Measures to Get Rid of Lower Belly Fat

  • Get Enough Sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep for at least 7-8 hours is essential for getting rid of lower belly fat. Sleeping less is associated with the production of hormone ghrelin that cause food cravings and you end up eating more. Cortisol levels are also altered due to losing sleep leading to insulin sensitivity and accumulation of belly fat.
  • Find a Partner. Find a partner who is also trying to lose weight. This way there are less chances of your missing an exercise appointment and you will also stay motivated.
  • Limit Alcohol Intake. Limit your alcohol consumption. Drinking alcohol add up calories. Moreover, the liver is overworked to remove the toxins. Hence, think twice before grabbing a drink if you want to lose your lower belly fat.
  • Stay Motivated. Stay motivated by taking your measurements every two weeks. Accurate tracking of your progress will help you not only to stay motivated but also to keep your focus on the final goal.

 

Article Source: Med-Health.Net


 

Gain Control of Emotional Eating

 by Mayo Clinic

WHEN DO WE BECOME AN EMOTIONAL EATER?

Sometimes the strongest cravings for food happen when you’re at your weakest point emotionally.

You may turn to food for comfort consciously or unconsciously — when you’re facing a difficult problem, stress or just looking to keep yourself occupied.

But emotional eating can sabotage your weight-loss efforts. Emotional eating often leads to eating too much, especially too much of high-calorie, sweet, fatty foods. But the good news is that if you’re prone to emotional eating, you can take steps to regain control of your eating habits and get back on track with your weight-loss goals.

The Connection Between Mood, Food And Weight Loss

Emotional eating is eating as a way to suppress or soothe negative emotions, such as stress, anger, fear, boredom, sadness and loneliness. Both major life events and the hassles of daily life can trigger negative emotions that lead to emotional eating and disrupt your weight-loss efforts.

TRIGGERS

 Unemployment

 Financial pressure

 Health problems

 Relationship conflicts

 Work stress

Fatigue

MOOD, FOOD AND WEIGHT LOSS

Although some people actually eat less in the face of strong emotions, if you’re in emotional distress you may turn to impulsive or binge eating — you may rapidly eat whatever’s convenient, without even enjoying it.

In fact, your emotions may become so tied to your eating habits that you automatically reach for a treat whenever you’re angry or stressed without stopping to think about what you’re doing.

Food also serves as a distraction. If you’re worried about an upcoming event or stewing over a conflict, for instance, you may focus on eating comfort food instead of dealing with the painful situation.

Whatever emotions drive you to overeat, the end result is often the same. The emotions return, and you may also now bear the additional burden of guilt about setting back your weight-loss goal. This can also lead to an unhealthy cycle — your emotions trigger you to overeat, you beat yourself up for getting off your weight-loss track, you feel bad, and you overeat again.

Tips to get your weight-loss efforts back on track

1.Tame your stress. If stress contributes to your emotional eating, try a stress management technique, such as yoga, meditation or relaxation

2.Have a hunger reality check. Is your hunger physical or emotional? If you ate just a few hours ago and don’t have a rumbling stomach, you’re probably not really hungry. Give the craving a little time to pass.

3.Keep a food diary. Write down what you eat, how much you eat, when you eat, how you’re feeling when you eat and how hungry you are. Over time, you may see patterns emerge that reveal the connection between mood and food.

4.Get support. You’re more likely to give in to emotional eating if you lack a good support network. Lean on family and friends or consider joining a support group.

5.Fight boredom. Instead of snacking when you’re not truly hungry, distract yourself. Take a walk, watch a movie, play with your cat, listen to music, read, surf the Internet or call a friend.

6.Take away temptation. Don’t keep supplies of comfort foods in your home if they’re hard for you to resist. And if you feel angry or blue, postpone your trip to the grocery store until you’re sure that you have your emotions in check.

7.Don’t deprive yourself. When you’re trying to achieve a weight-loss goal, you may limit your calories too much, eat the same foods frequently and banish the treats you enjoy. This may just serve to increase your food cravings, especially in response to emotions. Let yourself enjoy an occasional treat and get plenty of variety to help curb cravings.

When To Seek Professional Help

If you’ve tried self-help options but you still can’t get control of your emotional eating, consider behavioral modification therapy with a medically supervised weight loss programs.

Behavioral modification therapy can help you understand the motivations behind your emotional eating and help you learn new coping skills.

Therapy can also help you discover whether you may have an eating disorder, which is sometimes connected to emotional eating.

Source: Mayo Clinic


Optimal Weight Control

8585 Knott Avenue, SUITE 200 Buena Park, CA 90620

Telephone: (714) 220-1515

2015 Support Group Meetings

(Horario del grupo de ayuda)

El PRIMER  MIERCOLES de cada mes en ESPAÑOL a las 5:45 pm

The FIRST WEDNESDAY of the month in ENGLISH at 5:45 pm

Consultants: Denny Ajere & Cindy Apostol

Drinks and healthy snacks will be served

(Bebidas y Bocados servidos)

support

The support group is free and registration is required. Feel free to bring a friend or a family member.

(El grupo de apoyo es gratis y se require registro, se puede traer a un familiar o amigo)