The 1 Skinny Girl

Get the Skinny on Green Tea Weight Loss

Posted in Weight Loss

green tea weight lossThere is a good chance you have heard about green tea weight loss, especially now that Hollywood celebs such as Johnny Depp, JLo and Gwyneth Paltrow have turned to this ancient brew to help keep their waistlines in check. Even though the idea of drinking a cup of tea to shed the pounds seems far-fetched, this is a weight loss method that is backed by research. Not just trendy, green tea weight loss is actually a fact!

First of all, it needs to be made clear that drinking green tea does not make up for diet that is excessive in calories, it is more a catalyst to aid any weight loss efforts you are presently making. The studies so far show that when 2 groups of people are put on the same calorie restricted diet, and 1 of these groups was given green tea antioxidants and the other group a placebo, the green tea group lost more total body fat, and especially abdominal fat. So there is strong evidence that green tea quickens any weight loss efforts you got going on.

In addition to this, it is found that using green tea before exercising actually increases the amount of fat burned by as much as 17%. That is a lot more than a meager percentage to overlook, that is serious help!

So how exactly does this brew induce weight loss you may ask?

Well it is a very good question and it all comes down to the antioxidants in this drink called polyphenols; the very same antioxidants that provide the health benefits of drinking green tea such as reduced risk of heart disease and cancers. What scientists have discovered is that these polyphenols safely boost our metabolic rate to increase the amount of calories that the body uses each day. The studies show that drinking about 5 cups each day creates enough of a boost to burn up 80 calories a day. So the best green to lose weight is one that contain high quantities of polyphenols.

However, there is even more to this green tea weight loss equation. Not just content at burning calories, these polyphenols also directly burn fat, well the correct term would actually be to dissolve fat. When we eat a meal and there is more calories in that meal than the body can use right then, the excess calories are turned into a type of fat called triglycerides. These triglycerides will hang around in the blood for a number of hours in case the body needs to turn them back into needed energy before the next meal. If these triglycerides are not needed, the body stores them away as fat cells on the body. So most of the fat on your body that you are trying to shift is actual triglyceride fat.

Amazingly, the chemical activity of these polyphenols actually dissolve a percentage of these triglycerides in the blood, therefore reducing the amount fat that can make it onto the body!

More than likely you are ready to add weight loss green tea to your diet plan now that you understand the scientific mechanism of it, but you may be thinking that drinking 5 cups of green tea everyday is just a little too impractical or unrealistic for you. You may even dislike the taste. If so, there is a great alternative and that is green tea extract, a supplement that features a condensed quantity of these polyphenol antioxidants. All you need to do is take a capsule or pill each day and your good to go. Don’t get easier than that!

Infrared Ovens Can Be A Useful Part Of A Weight Loss Diet

Posted in Weight Loss

Weight loss isn’t always easy. Some days we are motivated and its easy to make the right food choices. Other days our will power is on a low ebb, making it harder to avoid those high-calorie treats. It is on these “low ebb days” that we need a few technical things in place to make those treats less calorie intensive, should we give in. This is where having an infrared oven can make things a bit easier. The kind of treats infrared ovens can help with is those meaty treats, for those sugary treats like ice-cream and chocolate, you will need to find another trick :-) But hey, it all helps!

infrared ovens for weight lossSo, I have to say that I was initially skeptical about these infrared ovens. After all, several of them are frequently advertised as those “As Seen On TV” infomercials, and we know how gimmicky and under performing these “TV products” can be. However, I did read some good reviews online, and eventually I buckled and ordered one – the Flavorwave Oven. It was the overall good tone of the reviews at viewpoints.com that gave me the final nudge to buy, and I am happy I did.

While the product is certainly over-hyped on the infomercial, I have to say that it is a useful aid to my kitchen and to my diet plan. It certainly doesn’t cook things quite as fast as it is claimed to, but it is more convenient and quicker overall than using a regular convection oven. As far as my weight loss diet and daily life goes, the Flavorwave helps me in to main ways:

  1. It turns all meats into wonderful lower-lat options (and they are still tasty). If you want to treat yourself to a nice pork roast, a steak, or even some bacon, then you can relax knowing that they will be lower in calories when cooked in this infrared oven. The infrared cooking action works in such a way that it keeps the natural juices in meat, but a lot of the fat just drips out and catches in the drip tray below. Similar to a George Foreman grill, you will be surprised how much collects in the drip pan, and that is all calories! In fact, I would say that it is meat, and also fish, are the foods that this oven cooks best – tastes just as good as from a regular oven. It is so-so with veggies in my opinion.
  2. It makes cooking meat easier and faster when you don’t have much time, patience or energy – or all 3!. When I get home from work hungry and I need a quick fix, then this is where the Flavorwave comes into its own. Firstly because it cooks meat from frozen to completely done, no other steps needed. That itself is a godsend if you don’t have anything ready, you can just pull something straight out of the freezer, stick it in the oven and bingo. No need for preheating either, which is one less thing you have to wait for. So, meat cooked quickly straight from the freezer, and lower in calories, nuff said!

Even though I am super happy with the Flavorwave I have since read that another infrared oven is better – The Nuwave oven. Apparently it cooks more evenly than the Flavorwave (although great, it doesn’t cook perfectly even) because it use a different type of infrared. Check out these comments at the discusscooking.com forum for more details on this. An awesome review that really details the benefits (and drawbacks) of the Nuwave oven can be found at squidoo – nuwave oven review. It is a bit of a read, but really gives you an idea of what to expect from it. Even so, I will stick with my Flavorwave for now, until it breaks down, and I need a new infrared oven. It still does a great job, and lets me eat meats I otherwise couldn’t :-)

Best Wishes in Your Weight Loss
Carrie

How a Great Figure and Disease Prevention are Related

Posted in Disease

Looking good, feeling great, becoming more energetic and avoiding serious illness are all related. Being a skinny girl isn’t just about calorie restriction. Since I’ve started to pay more attention to my diet, I’m beginning to notice so much more information that corroborates that eating healthy foods has multiple benefits for me.

In my own case, since I have been eating far more fruits and vegetables in my diet, cutting out the animal products and processed foods, my skin has totally cleared up, I have abundant energy and really look forward to getting up in the morning. Now, since I’m reading more on the subject of health and well being, I’m noticing that a “diet” (more like a way of life) I started to try and lose weight is in reality changing my life for the better in areas I didn’t predict.

Recently I read about a report in the American Heart Association journal, Stroke – which published a study called Dietary Flavonoids and Risk of Stroke in Women. The authors report:

Citrus fruits/juices, the main dietary source of flavanones, tended to be associated with a reduced risk for [...] stroke

Read more about this study here – http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/early/2012/02/23/STROKEAHA.111.637835

It’s interesting that simply through increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, we can not only look and feel better in the short-term but also protect ourselves from serious illness in the long-term. This was never my aim when I started out on my vegetarian journey. But now that I realize I’m getting this benefit, I feel even more vindicated in my decision.

This is just one of many studies that adds more weight to the evidence that simple eating, consuming more whole foods in their natural, un-processed state – leads to improved overall health and of course, weight loss!

Another thing I’ve been noticing recently is that it’s so easy to become “full” eating fruits and vegetables. In some ways, I feel like I’m pigging out. I really am eating a lot – as far as quantity is concerned. But when I look at the calorific intake of what I’m eating, it’s not as much as you’d think. 1/2 kg of bananas is only 445 calories. This is enough for a light meal for me and fills me up nicely. The tool I use for checking out the calorie counts of different foods is called CRON-O-Meter. The funny thing is that instead of counting calories because I’m worried about eating too much, these days I’m calorie counting to make sure I eat enough! Talk about a paradigm shift.

Can Green Tea Help You Lose Weight?

Posted in Weight Loss

This post is our second in a series looking into the effects of green tea on weight loss (see previous post).  Given the obsession in the West about weight loss, it’s easy to get lost in the hype whenever new claims are made.  We don’t want to make that mistake in this article.  Our goal is to provide a clear-headed analysis of whether there is truth in the claim that green tea can help you loose weight.

But first things first:  Whatever health benefit (and taste benefit for that matter) you are after, you’ll get far more value when drinking loose leaf green tea rather than tea from a teabag.  For more on quality green tea have a look at the Australian tea site: Tealounge.  Loose leaf varieties will be fresher and generally of a much higher quality which means more health giving properties will release while the leaves are steeping.

Chemicals in tea that could assist in weight loss

Most attention by the weight loss community is focused on the polyphenol components in green teas (the most abundant and active being EGCG).  These are powerful antioxidants which are thought to play a role in destroying harmful components (free radicals) that are produced in our body.  Green tea also contains stimulating chemicals including caffeine and L-theanine.

Is the research conclusive?

While some studies have shown that EGCG in conjunction with other active agents may increase fat oxidation and increase metabolic rate (over the short term) not all the evidence is conclusive.  Here are several widely cited studies (with quite different results)

1) A Dutch study conducted in 2004 did not link green tea to preventing weight regain after a loss in weight (see British Journal of Nutrition)
2) A 2005 study published in the Journal of Nutrition linked green tea to higher metabolic rate, but only by a very small degree.
2) Green tea did not assist in weight loss in obese women suffering from PCOS according to a Chinese study conducted in 2005
4) A 2002 study carried out in Thailand did resort weight loss improvements with green tea (see International Journal of Obesity)

Clearly additional trials are needed, including longer term analysis.  But for now, the claim that green tea (alone) may improve weight loss is only based on theoretical evidence.

The Benefits of Corporate Chair Massage

Are you aware of the myriad benefits provided by corporate chair massage at your place of employment?

No matter your profession, stress is almost a given.  That’s the #1 benefit of corporate chair massage:  stress relief!  The negative effects of stress are many and include insomnia, high blood pressure, fatigue, and depression, not to mention the physical effects of sitting or standing in one place for too long.  With corporate chair massage, you can combat some of the negative effects of stress before they start.  Taking a break from your work is not only refreshing, but with massage added into the mix, it can be highly relaxing.

In addition to stress relief, corporate massage has been known to:

  • Boost your immune system
  • Lift morale
  • Increase concentration by increasing circulation
  • Prevent injury

As a reader of The 1 Skinny Girl, you already are interested in protecting your health and wellness.  Take it one step further by asking your place of employment to consider corporate chair massage.  A quick online search will help you find providers in your area.  Stay relaxed!

(Article provided by Northwest Massage Columbus Ohio, offering both on-site corporate chair massage and regular massage therapies at their northwest Columbus location.)

Burn Fat With Whey Protein Powder

Posted in Weight Loss

Whey protein is protein found in milk that’s the left over liquid when cheese is made. In the form of a supplement, whey protein is available in 3 main types:

  • Whey concentrate: Contains some lactose and fat and between 29 percent – 89 percent protein based on the particular product. Whey concentrates often contain more live substances.
  • Whey isolates: Contains minimum cholesterol, fat and lactose and 90 percent or more protein.
  • Whey hydrolysates: Are often times utilized in scientific nutrition applications since they’re pre-digested and partially broken down and thus more easily absorbed.

whey protein powderWhey protein powder has the greatest protein PDCAA (digestibility corrected amino acid score) – a grading of both how well digested a protein is and how effectively it supplies the aminos essential to a grownup. Additionally, it’s a complete protein which means it features all the essential aminos. Whey also consists of BCAAs (branched chain amino acids) than any other protein source and more leucine than other forms of protein.

A number of studies suggest that whey protein powder is advantageous for increasing protein muscle synthesis. Take whey post- or pre-training, maybe with the help of the best home gym, and you will tip the scales in favor of muscle development and gains in strength with time. But, there are numerous other health benefits linked to whey.

How Muscle building Supplement Whey Protein Helps You Burn Body Fat:

Add whey and lose weight? Sounds too easy, but it might work.

  • Whey Protein Is Abundant with Leucine: Leucine performs a key part in the synthesis of protein, a process which burns through a number of calories. Additionally, it stimulates fat oxidation.
  • Whey Satiates Your Hunger: Research has shown that whey might satiate your hunger better than other protein types. Milk proteins possess glycomacropeptide – a type of peptide that stimulates the CCK (cholecystokinin). CCK is a hormone that’s released after eating meals and it signals to the body that you are full.
  • Research has shown Supplemental Whey Helps Individuals Burn fat: There’s at minimum 2 studies where researchers analyzed supplementation with whey protein and weight reduction. In one particular study at the Oklahoma University, researchers told each group of volunteers to never alter their diet. Even so, 1 group was handed a nutrition supplement consisting of whey (40 grams of protein, 300 calories) once a day for 2 weeks and two times a day for the remaining 8 weeks of the research. Each group engaged in a monitored resistance and stamina-training program for ten weeks.

After the ten week study, each group decreased fat mass however the exercise plus food supplement group demonstrated an extremely greater reduction in fat mass (-9.3 percent versus -4.6 percent in the exercising only group). The group given the supplement also demonstrated substantial gains from post to pre-test in muscular mass and substantial decreases in LDL and total cholesterol levels.

A 2006 study discovered that adding 60 g of whey protein powder a day, compared to 60 g of soy protein powder or 60 g of carb, led to substantial decreases in weight and body fat after six months.

Conclusion

If you would like to burn body fat, it makes good sense to include whey protein into the routine. If you are a trying to build muscle, this is something you should be doing already. In the end, why invest time at the gym attempting to get a healthier body if you are not going to consume the correct foods to assist the changes you’re seeking? Try whey protein, if nothing else, you will probably notice a boost in strength.

Using Fresh Juice to Help With Weight Loss

Posted in Weight Loss

juice for weight lossEven though it is better to eat vegetables and fruits whole, occasionally you may want to spruce up your diet plan or attend to your thirst with some tasty freshly-made juice. Even so, juicing has been the victim of negative press as a contributer to obesity and weight gain. A closer inspection shows that not all juice is fattening, and they can fit beautifully into you weight reduction plan.

Juice for Weight Loss

Juice can be a more healthy substitute for sugary drinks and whole milk – beverages that promote weight gain. Some types of juice, like citrus, watermelon and cranberry, also contain compounds that aid weight loss. For example, citrus fruits and cranberry are loaded with ascorbic acid (vitamin C), a nutrient known to increase fat metabolism within the liver. A rodent-based study publicized in the “Journal of Nutrition” back in 2007 demonstrated that an amino acid present in watermelon enhanced glucose metabolism and inhibited fat accumulation. Additionally, drinking fresh juice boosts your intake of water; water can be filling and can help suppress hunger.

The Link Between Juice and Weight Gain

Commercial juice – particularly fruit juice – are often packed with sugar and also contain salt, additives and other un-natural chemicals and can dramatically increase you intake of calories. However, those dieting don’t take into account or underestimate the number of calories these juices contain. A study publicized in the “Journal of the AMA” in 2004 discovered that women increased their day-to-day intake of calories by 358 calories as a consequence of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages. A similar result held true for those consuming commercial fruit juice or fruit punch. Basically, people have a tendency to not lower their food intake when they start consuming these types of sugary drinks.

Which Juice for Weight Loss?

Fresh squeezed juice made by the best juicer and free of added sugar, preservatives or salt are the best juices to drink for promoting weight loss and health – by a long shot. Juice made from non-starchy veggies are especially good choices since they are considerably lower in calories and sugar than fruit juice. That does not mean fruit juice is totally off the list when trying to shed weight. They are best consumed whole in smoothies, since you also get the skin and fiber that fills you up better and slows the rate at which sugar are digested into the blood stream.

Things to Consider

Whenever it is possible to do so, opt for organic vegetables and fruits for making juice. When you prepare fresh juice at home, drink it quickly, bacteria builds quickly in fresh juice. If you are using a juice machine, be aware that the juice made has more sugar just because you are usually at least several fruits or vegetable just to make one juice. This can be an issue for those with diabetes or pre-diabetes. Always check with your doctor or health specialist before juicing if you’re pregnant, have diabetes or other medical issues.

Sources:

http://depts.washington.edu/epidem/Epi591/Editorial%20For%205-27-10.pdf

http://jn.nutrition.org/content/137/12/2680.abstract?sid=5b604a60-8773-4d1e-87e9-f987630a4a02

Using Protein Powder to Help With Weight Loss

Posted in Weight Loss

best protein powder for weight lossLosing excess weight and maintaining healthy weight is important for health. There’s various reasons that people want to lose weight, whether it is because of a health condition, to look better, or just to promote overall health, wellness and fitness. There are numerous diet plans you can choose from that are designed specifically to aid you in you weight loss efforts. However, the most important thing is getting a diagnose before starting any weight reduction plan and then picking the correct plan for yourself. This step is important since weight loss is essential if you want to maintain health and not all plans will suit you.

Many dieticians and nutritionists recommend the weight loss protein powder plan as it has proven itself to be useful. Protein plays a crucial part in substituting the cabs in ones diet and this help keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels in a healthy range. It is essential for repairing all the cells in the body and does not get as easily converted to body fat like carbohydrates and dietary fat does. More to the point, it helps you feel satiated and full, so that you consume less food overall. The best protein powder for weight loss features high levels of leucine, an amino acid that promotes protein synthesis in muscle cells. Thus, the high protein levels avoid muscle wastage and the low-carb aspect promotes healthy blood sugar levels. This in itself helps you burn off fat more quickly In the very same process you will provide the body with its every protein need If you are following a weight loss plan that creates a protein deficiency, then muscle mass will be lost, which lowers your metabolism and makes you weaker.

The 2 most popular kinds of protein powder used for weight loss today are soy and whey. You will need to figure which one is the better option for you Whey protein powder has grown to be the most popular of all protein powder over the past decade and is used for many different things and available in many flavors. Used at breakfast time, whey promotes balanced energy levels and stable blood sugar that keeps you energetic for hours before needing your next meal. Making smoothies with it, simply mixing it with water, adding it to meals, putting it on cereal or mixing with yogurt are common ways of consuming whey powder. You can mix your protein powder drinks with water, milk, nut milks, juice and add in fruits like bananas, blueberries and strawberries. Never add sugar to the mix, instead opt for natural sugar that comes naturally with fruit.

Protein powder based drinks help you build stronger muscles and help burn fat at the same time. Exercise is important also when using protein powders for weight loss, since it burns fats and breaks down muscle tissue so the body can build it back bigger and stronger. For this purpose, a protein drink should be consumed within 30 minutes of finishing a workout.

Can Smoking Cause Weight Loss?

It’s well known that a large percentage of adolescent girls who start smoking do so to help keep their weight down, but is there any truth in the fact that cigarettes could help you stay slim?

For hundreds of years the indigenous people of the Americas were aware of the fact that nicotine acted as an appetite suppressant and used the drug to reduce their need to eat. This connection has been used by the big tobacco companies for years to try and tempt us to take up their deadly habit, and it’s now deeply ingrained in our minds that smoking cigarettes will help us eat less. It doesn’t help that many of the thinnest people in our society, female fashion models, are known to smoke their fair share of tobacco products and eat minuscule amounts of food.

The reality is that nicotine does have an effect on the appetite which may allow girls to keep some of the excess weight off, but that’s certainly no reason to take up smoking in the first place, or even to continue doing so. The negative effects this habit will have on your health are of far greater concern than shedding a few excess pounds, and there are far healthier ways to get to your ideal weight.

Doing a little weight baring exercise is the most effective way to lose weight thanks to the fact added muscle increases your metabolism. Building an additional 5 lbs of lean body mass will cause your body to burn an extra 150 calories a day to maintain itself and over a period of a few months will reduce the fact on your frame without any need for restrictive dieting. Not only will a little weight lifting improve your body composition, but it will also give your heart and lungs an effective work out if done properly.

Those of you who already smoke may find it difficult to stop even if you don’t need the nicotine to reduce your weight thanks to the fact it’s such an addictive drug. There’s also the fact that quitting can lead you to eat far more than you normally would because consuming food is a way to reduce cravings for nicotine. If you find yourself wanting to stop smoking without gaining weight you should try a nicotine replacement therapy such as gum, patches or the electronic cigarette(check out this site to find out more) to make breaking the habit a little bit easier. These products allow you to gradually lower the amount of nicotine your bodies receives on a daily basis so that you can wean yourself off the habit without noticing that you are missing out on anything. Hopefully this will enable you to break the habit without moving up a dress size.

Fruit Makes You Fat

Posted in Weight Loss

Have you ever heard a fat person tell you that you shouldn’t eat fruit because it makes you fat? When I hear that, I get right in their face and tell them they’ve obviously been eating too much fruit themselves – not! The myth that fruit makes you fat is just another perpetuated by the “diet industry”. It’s utter nonsense. Fruit are full of sugars, yes. But they are 100% natural and fruits are whole foods. They’re full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Fruits are packed with water and they’re natural foods.

I suppose people might look at the sugar content of fruits and be in the mindset that sugar is bad. But this sort of attitude is pretty ignorant, it has to be said. Glugging down a can of soda isn’t quite the same as taking the time to make yourself a home made fruit and vegetable drink. They both contain sugar but one is 100% natural (including nutrients) while the other is full of ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and other refined sugars (which contain no nutrients).

Saying all sugars are bad is the same as saying all men are bad or all t-shirts are bad. It just doesn’t make sense or stand up to scrutiny. So the simple message is that no fatty, fruit doesn’t make you fat – eating junk foods, meat and dairy makes you fat. If you want to get lean then you’ve really got to take a look at yourself and what you believe about being healthy. Fruits and vegetables are your friends. It’s the nutritionally barren calories in sodas and cheap junk food that is the enemy. When we don’t get enough nutrition, our body’s response (rightly) is to make us feel hungry. So we keep eating. But if you’re eating the wrong stuff, then your body will continue to crave more. What it wants is not junk food but nutrition.

So feeding your body with fruits and vegetables is one of the best answers. The fiber that they contain fills us up and all the goodness feeds every cell in our body. You might be thinking that drinking home made fruit juices is just as good as eating the whole foods. But if you take a look at some juicer reviews, you’ll see that juicing is in a way – processing. What it is doing is removing the fiber from the liquid. The juice that’s extracted is full of good stuff, no doubt. But we shouldn’t forget the importance of fiber in our diet.

The bottom line, fruit does not make you fat. Anyone trying to tell you otherwise, doesn’t have a clue.

Lose Weight With Coconut Oil

Posted in Weight Loss

A few years ago,  the mere mention of coconut oil would send women running away in fear.  “But it has so much saturated fat!” they would say.  “It will clog your arteries and give you a heart attack.  I would never eat that stuff.”

Coconut oil was greatly villainized back in 1994 when the Center for Science in the Public Interest claimed in a study that a large bag of movie theater popcorn had as much saturated fat as six McDonald’s Big Macs because of the saturated fat it contained from, you guessed it, coconut oil.  It has taken over a decade for coconut oil to begin to shed its bad rap.  Even after many health benefits of coconut oil have been proven, some people, especially women, still fear what’s contained in that milky white oil.

The truth is, the bad studies on coconut oil were done on a partially hydrogenated version of the oil.  Virgin (untreated) coconut oil is an entirely different food and does not contain trans fats like the hydrogenated version.  You can easily find virgin coconut oil in your favorite health food store or online.

Proponents of coconut oil also say that it aids in weight loss.  The short- and medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil can contribute to weight loss and a feeling of fullness.  In addition, some say that it even helps improve thyroid function.  An impaired thyroid can cause weight loss to stall, so coconut oil may reverse this.  I have personally lost over five pounds since beginning to include coconut oil in my diet a year ago!

Coconut oil is also contained in many health and beauty products.  I use a coconut oil-based facial lotion as well as a hair treatment oil called mira hair oil that contains coconut oil.  The sweet, tropical scent adds a wonderful dimension to many products.

I encourage you to give coconut oil a try for weight loss or for its other health benefits.  Coconut oil is not to be feared!

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