FLATTEN YOUR STOMACH FOR A BEACH PARTY

Want to lose instant pounds just before the beach party tomorrow? Try these debloating and camouflaging tricks that can take an inch or more off your waistline in 12 hours.

Drink water. Carbonated drinks and those with lots of sugar can blow your belly up like a balloon. If water isn’t enough, experiment with healthy smoothies!!

Skip the chips. Salt makes you retain water, especially before your period (for women). Processed and canned foods also tend to be high in sodium.

Don’t chew gums. Chewing gum can cause you to swallow excess air.

Get some coffee “to go”. If you’re feeling overdue for a bathroom session, studies show that a cup or two of coffee can get things moving.

Shape up underneath. Body shapers, or high-waisted spandex waist nippers and panties, can take off an inch or more. The more spandex (Lycra) they contain, the more control you’ll get. Note: Excess bulge can squeeze up and over, so avoid clingy tops.

Buy the dress that fits now. Forget sizes! No one will see the tag, but it’s too snug around your middle, you might as well yell, “Hey, check out my belly!”

Show off your strongest feature to draw attention aways from your tummy. Great arms? Go sleeveless. J Lo legs? Wear a shorter hemline. Sexy shoulders? Choose thin-or no- straps. If you prefer a dressy suit, choose a long jacket worn over a straight, slim skirt.

Wear “your” color. Don’t worry about what’s “in”; wear the shade that looks good on you. And keep your outfit monochromatic- same color top, skirt or trousers, and shoes- for an elongating effect.

Choose belly-slimming fabrics. Silks, rayons, knits, and nonclingy matte jerseys generally give best results.

Accesorize! Choose eye-catching earrings and necklaces or colourful scarves. They’ll draw attention to your face.

Step out in heels. This is one time when wearing high heels works to your advantage. They can make you look taller and thinner.

LOSING 1 POUND A WEEK BY DRINKING WATER

Want to lose a pound or more a week without really trying? It sounds too good to be true, but new research suggests it may be possible by making small changes in your diet.

The key: replacing some of the high-calorie foods we eat with fruits, vegetables, and other water-filled foods that keep us just full. Young women taking part in a study in the Pennyslvania State University in the U.S. ate a whopping 800 fewer calories a day and never missed them when this eating approach was combined with a 25% reduction in overall portion size.

The study was presented by nutrition researcher Barbara Rolls, PhD, at the annual meeting of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity in Las Vegas last year, Rolls’ book, The Volumetrics Eating Plan explains the approach.

EATING FOR MY BODY TYPE

My sister’s friend Janice once told me that knowing your body type plays a big factor in choosing a diet program. Everybody is born with a different body type. This is why every man and woman has a different body shape, and develops different levels of body fat and muscle mass. Our body type is completely determined by genetics.

When we start eating for our body type, we’ll be amazed at how quickly our body will adapt to our type’s eating plan. Energy will improve and weight will come off naturally.

These are the three different body types:

  1. ENDOMORPHS: Endomorphs tend to have bigger bones than the other body types. These men and women usually have round faces with larger thighs and hips. Endomorphs have arms and legs that tend to be short and tapering, giving them a stocky appearance. Most endomorphs have comparatively small hands and feet and a high waist. Additionally, endomorphs have higher levels of body fat than the other body types, but they can also build muscle and lean mass easily. Weight loss is most difficult for the endomorph body type.
  2. MESOMORPHS: Mesomorphs are usually described as having an athletic build. They often have an hourglass or ruler shape, and gain muscle mass easily. The majority of mesomorphs have broad shoulders and a narrow waist. They have a fast metabolism and can lose weight more easily than endomorphs.
  3. ECTOMORPHS: Ectomorphs have a thin, linear appearance. Most ectomorphs look like rulers, with narrow waists, hips, and shoulders. Ectomorphs can lose weight easily and tend to have low levels of body fat. However, they also have a harder time gaining lean muscle mass.

Few people actually fall distinctly into one category. Instead, it is much more likely that we will be a combination of the body types. Common combinations include ecto-mesomorph and endo-mesomorph.

In addition to our body type, we will also find that we have a distinct body shape. Our body shape is based upon the size of our physical features and the overall balance of our body. Men and women tend to have different body shapes. Men are often described as having a rectangular shape or a cone shape. Women are typically described as having hourglass, pear, apple, or ruler body shapes.

Before we can perform the right exercises for our body, we need to determine which type of body shape we have.

HOURGLASS: Women with an hourglass shape are often envied by all of their friends. This is because hourglasses have well-proportioned upper and lower bodies, with a distinctively narrow waist. However, if we are an hourglass, we may find that we tend to gain weight all over our body, particularly in our hips and chest area. Hourglasses tend to be endomorphs or mesomorphs.

If we have an hourglass figure, then we should be focusing on both cardio and resistance exercises. Cardio will assist in keeping our weight in check, while resistance exercises will helpt to maintain balance between our upper and lower body.

Vary our repetitions and keep our resistance weights light so as not to build too much muscle mass. Here are some great exercises that we may want to try:

Slow jogging

Stationary biking (with light resistance)

Jumping jacks

Swimming

Bicep curls, shoulder presses, and squats

 

PEAR: Pear-shaped women tend to have larger lower bodies and smaller upper bodies. If you are a pear, you will find that your hips are slightly wider than your shoulders and that you tend to gain weight below your waist. Pears usually have small chests and flat stomachs. Most pears are mesomorphs.

Having a pear shaped body, we should focus on exercises that will balance out the top half of our body with the bottom half of our body. We should also try to thin down our lower half. To achieve this, focus on aerobic activities that work out our lower body, and resistance exercises that will build our upper body. Use light weights and perform high repetitions of exercises. Some great activities include:

Walking

Cycling (with low resistance)

Elliptical training

Jumping rope

Leg lifts and dips

Push ups, chin ups, and shoulder presses

APPLE: Apples are generally bigger on the top half of bodies than on the bottom half. Common are slim hips and a large chest and stomach. Apples tend to gain weight above the waist or along the backside. The majority of apples are mesomorphs or endomorphs.

Having an apple shape, we should focus on aerobic training in order to slim down and lose body fat. By working on the lower half of our body, we can help balance out our chest and shoulders. Look to perform exercises that are low-resistance and involve low repetitions, such as:

Stair climbing

Walking on an incline

Running

Leg squats, leg presses, and dead lifts

RULER: Women with a ruler shape tend to be waif-like and slim. Rulers have no large differences between the size of hips, waists, and shoulders. Ruler tend to put on weight in the stomach and backside, while maintaining slender arms and legs. Most rulers are ectomorphs.

Having a ruler body type, we can perform pretty much any activity we want to. Perform cardio activities to help us lose weight in problem areas, such as the buttocks and stomach. We can build muscle mass through resistance exercise. To ensure we can build a symmetrical body shape, all of the muscle groups should be emphasized and routinely given a workout. Focus on:

Stretching

Sit-ups

Step classes

Spinning

Walking or jogging on an incline

Squats

Bench presses and shoulder presses

 

IN SEARCH OF THE BEST DIET PLAN (Ctd)

Raw Food Diet

The Raw Food Diet, or Raw Foodism, involves consuming foods and drinks which are not processed, are completely plant-based, and ideally organic.

Raw foodists generally say that at least three-quarters of your food intake should consist of uncooked food. A significant number of raw foodists are also vegans – they do not eat or drink anything which is animal based.

There are four main types of raw foodists: raw vegetarians, raw vegans, raw omnivores, and raw carnivores.

  1. Cohen Diet

The Cohen diet is an individually adapted weight loss program that is based on gender, age and blood test results. Especially the blood test results are what separate this diet from other diets, as they show if weight-affecting hormones are unbalanced.

It is not an extreme diet, but instead based on eating from a balanced menu that is individually adapted. It was developed by Dr R Cohen after three years of research in the field of obesity and nutrition.

The length of the program depends on how many kilograms of fat you want to lose, and how fast you actually lose them. Extremely obese persons must follow the program longer than mildly obese persons.

Once you are close to reaching your goal weight, a special refeeding program will help you transition to eating more normal foods. When you are done following the Cohen diet, you will most likely never have to do it again since your hormones will be in balance.

  1. Dukan Diet

The Dukan Diet is the creation of French doctor Pierre Dukan and the result of a long career of working with and helping overweight people reach their target weight and, more importantly, keep the lost pounds once and for all.

The main reason why I decided to follow this diet and what makes it so popular worldwide is its simple guidelines. In a nutshell, the diet focuses on the temporary elimination of carbohydrates which are replaced by delicious meals with a high protein content, a daily dose of oat bran and a compulsory daily walk. No calorie counting, no diet pills or weird foods and certainly no need to go hungry.

The Dukan Diet plan is structured in 4 easy-to-follow phases – take a look at the links below for further information about each stage including allowed foods and example menus:

Dukan Diet’s 4 Phases:

  1. The Attack Phase- One to 10 days. Eat all the lean protein you can handle, plus 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran and at least 6 cups of water daily.
  2. The Cruise Phase – Which can last several months. Add unlimited amounts of non-starchy veggies every other day, plus an extra half-tablespoon of oat bran.
  3. The Consolidation Phase- Five days for every pound you’ve lost. East veggies every day, plus one piece of fruit, 2 slices of whole-grain bread, and 1 serving of hard cheese. During this phase, you can also have 1 or 2 servings of starchy foods and 1 or 2 “celebration” meals where you can eat whatever you want.
  4. The Stabilization Phase- Is all about maintenance. You can eat whatever you like, except for one day a week when you follow the all-protein rules from the diet’s “Attack” phase. In this phase, you also eat 3 tablespoons of oat bran a day and walk 20 minutes every day.
  5. Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet is Southern European, and more specifically focuses on the nutritional habits of the people of Crete, Greece, and southern Italy. Nowadays, Spain, southern France, and Portugal are also included; even though Portugal does not touch the Mediterranean Sea.

The emphasis is on lots of plant foods, fresh fruits as dessert, beans, nuts, cereals, seeds, olive oil as the main source of dietary fats, cheese and yogurts are the main dairy foods, moderate amounts of fish and poultry, up to about four eggs per week, small amounts of red meat, and low/moderate amounts of wine.

There’s this dieter’s mantra which goes; “Losing weight is only half the battle-maintaining the loss is the other half.” Successful dieting is a lifelong commitment. It takes self-control, self-discipline and a moderate lifestyle choices in order to reach that ideal gain.

 

IN SEARCH OF THE BEST DIET PLAN

Now that I am ready to embark on a diet program, I need to answer this question: Which diet program will work best for me?

I have been reading this book on dieting, and it suggests: “Everyone grows up with his or her own food preferences. The success or failure of any diet plan depends on how well we can work around those preferences, honour the taste buds we were born with, and make wise, healthy meal choices based on them.”

Now that I decided to tick off the Atkins’ and South Beach diet plan from my list, I think I need to check out the others. Here are today’s most popular diet plans:

  1. The Zone Diet

The Zone Diet aims for a nutritional balance of 40% carbohydrates, 30% fats, and 30% protein each time we eat. The focus is also on controlling insulin levels, which result in more successful weight loss and body weight control.

The Zone Diet encourages the consumption of good quality carbohydrates – unrefined carbohydrates, and fats, such as olive oil, avocado, and nuts.

  1. Vegetarian Diet

There are various types of vegetarian: Lacto vegetarian, Fruitarian vegetarian, Lacto-ovo-vegetarian, Living food diet vegetarian, Ovo-vegetarian, Pesco-vegetarian, and Semi-vegetarian.

The majority of vegetarians are lacto-ovo-vegetarians, in other words, they do not eat animal-based foods, except for eggs, dairy, and honey.

Studies over the last few years have shown that vegetarians have a lower body weight, suffer less from diseases, and generally have a longer life expectancy than people who eat meat.

  1. Vegan Diet

Veganism is more of a way of life and a philosophy than a diet. A vegan does not eat anything that is animal based, including eggs, dairy, and honey.

Vegans do not generally adopt veganism just for health reasons, but also for environmental and ethical/compassionate reasons.

Vegans believe that modern intensive farming methods are bad for our environment and unsustainable in the long term. If all our food were plant based our environment would benefit, animals would suffer less, more food would be produced, and people would generally enjoy better physical and mental health, vegans say.

  1. Weight Watchers Diet

Weight Watchers focuses on losing weight through diet, exercise, and a support network.

Weight Watchers Inc. was born in the 1960s when a homemaker (housewife) who had lost some weight and was concerned she might put it back on. So, she created a network of friends. Weight Watchers is a huge company, with branches all over the world.

Dieters can join either physically, and attend regular meetings, or online. In both cases there is a great deal of support and education available for the dieter.

“WHATTT? NO RICE????”

MY JOURNEY TOWARDS LOSING WEIGHT

My sister’s bestfriend Janice also an Asian who used to weigh 200 pounds and stand 5’1” is now flaunting her 110 pounds sexiness. Her secret. High-protein Low-carb diet. Which means…no rice.

Whatttt? No rice???

Rice is always important in the Asian dining table. We eat it to supplement our every meal. I particularly love the long grain white rice variety which, they say, has high levels of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates promote insulin production which leads to weight gain. Before declaring a total war against rice, I think I have to closely look into this low carb, high protein diet and how it works?

Low-carbohydrate diet plans focus mainly on reducing the intake of carbohydrates to shed off extra pounds.Two of the most popular low-carb, high protein program that rocked the dieters’ world in the last two decades are the Atkins Diet and the South Beach Diet.

The Atkins Diet

This diet plan was developed by Dr.Robert Atkins who believes that when we eat carbohydrates, we train our body to burn carbohydrates instead of fat for energy. As a result, these unburned extra calories are stored as body fat, which, overtime, makes us overweight. Atkins diet, therefore, recommends to take away carbohydrates from our diet to a radical extent.

The Atkins diet includes 4 different phases:

  1. Induction Phase (Phase 1)is designed to “train” our body to stop using carbohydrates and start burning fat. To accomplish this, we are required to consume below20 grams of carbs per day for 2 weeks. During this period we should eat high-fat, high-protein, with low-carb vegetables like leafy greens. This kick-starts the weight loss.
  2. Balancing Phase (Phase 2)allows us to gradually add more nuts, low-carb vegetables and small amounts of fruit back to our diet.
  3. Fine-Tuning Phase (Phase 3)is when we are very close to our ideal weight. In this stage, we are allowed to add more carbs to our diet until weight loss slows down.
  4. Maintenance Phase (Phase 4)-It is at this point when our body can already tolerate carbohydrates without regaining weight. Here we can already eat as many healthy carbohydrates.

The South Beach Diet

This diet plan may sound quite similar to the Atkins diet as it is also divided into different phases, but it’s developer, Dr.Agatston claimsthat the South Beach diet is not low-carb. Rather, it is a healthy balance between good carbs and fats.

The South Beach Diet is divided into three phases.

  1. Phase 1 lasts two weekseliminating most carbohydrates, including all fruit, most dairy products and foods which contain saturated fat.Processed foods and softdrinks are totally out. Removing these kinds of carbs will help our body metabolize what we eat and will also improve insulin resistance leading to weight loss. In this phase, we can shed off between 8 and 13 pounds.
  2. Phase 2 goal is to find the right level of carb that we can eat. The idea is to slowly reintroduce into our diet a high-fiber, high nutrient but low-glycemic carbohydrate food. While we are doing this, we should pay attention to our body’s reactions to our carb intake. If we feel we are feeling dizzy, craving and gaining weight, we need to stop and try food that has lo-glycemic index.   Weight loss in this phase is expected to be slow- between 1-2 lbs per week until we reach our target weight.
  3. Phase 3 is the point where we are eating at a carb level which allows us to maintain our ideal weight.

The downside of the low-carbohydrate diet for rice-loving person like me, is that, it is a very difficult plan to follow. And I am quite sure that at some point, after depriving myself of carb, I have the tendency to drop out and binge on carbs bringing the weight back on. This suggests that the low-carbohydrate diet, like so many diets, is no easier to stick to long-term. And although I may initially prefer eating the foods included in the low-carbohydrate diet plan, food choices are actually more limited and perhaps less appealing over time.

Also, in a low-carb diet, burning fat without carbohydrates creates by-products called ketones that build-up our bloodstream that can cause bad breath, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, dehydration, constipation, loss of appetite, irritability and grouchiness.

On the other hand, studies show that a high protein diet can cause a number of health problems including kidney failure, high cholesterol, osteoporosis and kidney stones, and cancer.

Bottom line: Is low-carb high protein diet effective and safe? For others, like my sister’s best friend Janice, this diet plan may work, but for me… I guess I should continue searching for that perfect diet plan that best suits me. Meanwhile, I can smell the yeung chow fried rice that my Mom is cooking, so I better check it out now.