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We have provided ideas to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

A Responsible and Safe Weight Loss Program

According to the National Task Force on Prevention and Treatment of Obesity, a responsible and safe weight-loss program should be able to document for you the five following features:

1. The diet should be safe. It should include all of the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) for vitamins, minerals, and protein. The weight-loss diet should be low in calories (energy) only, not in essential foodstuffs.
2. The weight-loss program should be directed towards a slow, steady weight loss unless your doctor feels your health condition would benefit from more rapid weight loss. Expect to lose only about a pound a week after the first week or two. With many calorie-restricted diets there is an initial rapid weight loss during the first I to 2 weeks, but this loss is largely fluid. The initial rapid loss of fluid also is regained rapidly when you return to a normal-calorie diet. Thus, a reasonable goal of weight loss must be expected.
3. If you plan to lose more than 15 to 20 pounds, have any health problems, or take medication on a regular basis, you should be evaluated by your doctor before beginning your weight-loss program. A doctor can assess your general health and medical conditions that might be affected by dieting and weight loss. Also, a physician should be able to advise you on the need for weight loss, the appropriateness of the weight-loss program, and a sensible goal of weight loss for you. If you plan to use a very-low-calorie diet (a special liquid formula diet that replaces all food intake for I to 4 months), you definitely should be examined and monitored by a doctor.
4. Your program should include plans for weight maintenance after the weight loss phase is over. It is of little benefit to lose a large amount of weight only to regain it. Weight maintenance is the most difficult part of controlling weight and is not consistently implemented in weight-loss programs. The program you select should include help in permanently changing your dietary habits and level of physical activity, to alter a lifestyle that may have contributed to weight gain in the past. Your program should provide behavior modification help, including education in healthy eating habits and long-term plans to deal with weight problems. One of the most important factors in maintaining weight loss appears to be increasing daily physical activity, often by sensible increases in daily activity, as well as incorporating an individually tailored exercise program.
5. A commercial weight-loss program should provide a detailed statement of fees and costs of additional items such as dietary supplements.

Weight Control Must Be Considered a Lifelong Effort
Obesity is a chronic condition. Too often it is viewed as a temporary problem that can be treated for a few months with a strenuous diet. However, as most overweight people know, weight control must be considered a lifelong effort. To be safe and effective, any weight-loss program must address the long-term approach or else the program is largely a waste of money and effort.

Obesity affects about one in four adult Americans, and during any one year, over half of Americans go on a weight-loss diet or are trying to maintain their weight. For many people who try to lose weight, it is difficult to lose more than a few pounds! and few succeed in remaining at the reduced weight The difficulty in losing weight and keeping it off leads many people to turn to a professional or commercial weight-loss program for help. These programs are quite popular and are widely advertised in newspapers and on television. What is the evidence that any of these programs is worthwhile, that they will help you lose weight and keep it off and that they will do it safely?

Fight Insomnia Through Diet and Exercise

It’s 1 a.m. You're wide awake. And there’s isn't a sheep in sight to count. Relax, you're not alone. Millions of people suffer from insomnia. So, what’s the cause? Unless you're a princess sleeping on a pea or just afflicted with a sleep disorder requiring professional assistance, chances are stress, a lack of exercise or poor eating habits are keeping you from your quality REM (rapid eye movement) snooze.

To reduce the hours of bad late night TV and increase productivity during the day when it really matters, follow these simple precautions.

Avoid alcohol

You've been warned about the dangers of mixing alcohol with driving, operating machinery, work, and even sex. The same goes for nightcaps. Although touted as a traditional sleep aid, drinking two glasses or more of alcohol up to an hour before bedtime can suppress your REM time.

Don’t eat like a pig

Big meals can make you drowsy, but not long enough to aid sleep. Experts suggest a light evening meal consisting of chicken, extra-lean meat or fish not to exceed 500 calories. Watch the salsa. Meals laced with garlic, chilies, cayenne powder and other spicy gas-forming foods can cause abdominal discomfort, which wreaks havoc with your REM.

Exercise your way to REM

A Stanford study suggests that as little as 45 minutes a day of exercise twice a week helps people sleep up to 45 minutes longer. However, strenuous exercise should be avoided up to six hours before bedtime, and mild exercise should be discontinued four hours prior to snoozing.

High-carbohydrate bedtime snacks

Snack foods such as crackers, fruit, cookies or toast can help the release of a natural sleep aid called serotonin within the blood stream. While the aforementioned edibles are better than a chemical sleep aid, be sure to watch your overall calorie intake for the day.

Still can't fall asleep? Get out of bed and go to the gym for a workout! Regular exercise can help you sleep better, give you more energy during the day and also help you look and feel better. So what are you waiting for?

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This information and other information on this site is intended for general reference purposes only and is not intended to address specific medical conditions. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice or a medical exam. Prior to participating in any exercise program or activity, you should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional. No health information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition.

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