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Setting Goals When Dieting

As with most things in life, setting goals is very important when dieting. When you look at things truthfully and objectively you should notice that most of the things you’ve accomplished in life have been accomplished because you not only had a goal but also had a clearly planned and well thought out process for achieving that goal. That being said, why is goal setting so important when it comes to dieting?

First of all, it is difficult to achieve a goal if you do not have a clearly defined goal. There are times in life when it is almost impossible to tell whether you are succeeding or failing because you aren’t certain exactly what the desired outcome should be. Identifying your dieting goals before you begin eliminates this particular possibility.

Second, having dieting goals gives you a measuring stick by which you can judge your process. This is important so that you know when your efforts are failing behind and when you’re moving along schedule or ahead of schedule. In other words, you will know when to celebrate and when to give yourself a swift kick to the rear.

Now that we know why we set weight loss goals, let’s discuss how we should go about setting those goals that are so important for dieting success. You want to set goals that are aggressive without being impossible to achieve. If you set goals that are beyond your reach you will find that frustration will be your dieting partner until you reach the point where you give up all together. In order to avoid this you should take great care to insure that your goals are possible for you to achieve.

When it comes to weight loss be specific when setting your goals. Rather than setting a total goal of 40 or 60 pounds start with a specific goal such as 10 pounds in one month. Then you can extend the goal to the next month until you’ve reached the overall goal of 40 or 60 pounds. It is much easier to lose 10 pounds four times than it is to lose 40 pounds at once. It’s a trick of the mind but it works. Ten pounds sound simple and achievable. Forty pounds sound like an insurmountable obstacle.

Another thing about goals is that you want to hold yourself accountable but you shouldn’t call the whole thing off if you only lose 9 pounds instead of 10. Instead, find out where you dropped the ball for the final pound and set your 10-pound goal for the next month.

You should also take great care that you are working with your personal goals and not the goals that someone else is pushing on you. The truth is that if it’s personal to you, it will be much more rewarding than if you are doing this for someone else. If your heart isn’t in it, there are very few goals that are going to motivate you properly.

Finally, you should establish small (non-food) rewards for accomplishing your dieting goals. Perhaps your reward will be a new accessory for your new (or new old) wardrobe or a pedicure for your new look. Make your reward something fun and frivolous and teach yourself that accomplishing your goals can be accomplished by something other than food. This is a key to dieting successfully.

Teen Dieting

We have the highest teenage and childhood obesity rates today than at any other point in the world’s long history. Much of the blame for this is on the fast food, low energy society that we have become. Far too often we feel that it is safer to keep our children inside our homes rather than out and about in the great outdoors. The things we are doing for the protection of our children are actually detrimental to the health of our children.

There are things however that are being done to address the problem and get our children more involved, more active, and better educated about making the proper choices about diet, nutrition, fitness, and overall health. The problem for most teens is getting them off the computer, phone, or away from the television long enough to get active.

Even video games are getting in on the act of getting children up and active by creating games such as Play Station 2’s Dance Party Revolution and the new Nintendo Wii gaming system that seem to be taking the market by storm. These systems allow consumers, to actively participate in the game play adventure rather than sitting back and playing the game in a static environment. It is a great way to get teens off their seats and active. These games are also fun for adults and will have the same effects when it comes to activity. Whoever thought we’d be actually encouraging game play for exercise?

Get Outside and Get Active

Teens learn by example and whether they care to admit it or not, they typically enjoy doing things as part of the family. Go rock wall climbing or mountain climbing. Go bike riding as a family. Camp in the great out doors and go hiking, boating, or biking yet again. Learn a new sport together. It’s amazing how much fun you can have learning how scuba dive and while you are at it, neither of you will be consuming empty calories. Even if the sport you take up together doesn’t involve a lot of physical activity it is quite likely more active than sitting in front of the television.

Have your teen join a recreational sports team. We have all kinds of sports teams available in our community in which our teens can join. Even those with no skills at all can join and play in some of the leagues while other leagues are competitive. Getting out and about for a softball game, soccer game, and even volleyball can be a great way for the family to do something together and the games and practices are opportunities for your teen to be active.

Lawn work is another way to get out and get active with your teen. The key, as always, is in your teen burning more calories than he or she consumers. It is often easier said than done but it is quite possible if you work to get them out and about. Find things however that will be interesting to your teen and focus on those rather than torturing them with activities that hold no interest at all (well maybe not the yard work). At any rate, filling their time with activities is also allowing time that they aren’t consuming calories as well and that is something worth considering.

Encourage your teen to eat healthier foods. Eliminate calorie-loaded soda, fruit juices, and energy drinks from your pantry shelves, and encourage your teens to drink plenty of water each day. Introduce as many vegetables as possible to the diet of your teens and get rid of the prepackaged convenience goodies that teens are notorious for depleting in one sitting. Also having your teens actively participate in the preparation and clean up for meals will help them pay more attention to the things they put into their mouths as well as the messes they make in the process.

Atkins and Ketosis

The basic principle of the Atkins diet is that a state of ketosis will help you burn your fat stores as energy. Many people, even those who are on low carbohydrate diets, don’t quite understand ketosis and why it works.

Most diets are calorie-reduction diets. They help you lose weight, but some of the weight is from fat and some of it is from lean muscle tissue. While you may look smaller on the scale, your metabolism is actually slowing down. The more muscle you lose the slower your metabolism will be. This makes losing weight more difficult and gaining weight back even simpler.

The Atkins diet, on the other hand, is carbohydrate restrictive. It creates a state of ketosis in your body that burns only fat, and not muscle. The primary source of your energy for your body will be fat in the form of ketones. Your liver will convert fat into ketones and it cannot be converted back. It will be excreted naturally.

Ketones are actual a normally and efficient source of fuel for the human body. They are created in the liver from the fatty acids that result from the breakdown of body fat. These only appear when there is an absence of glucose and sugar. In the Atkins diet, you reduce the amount of glucose and sugar that is in the bloodstream. As a result, your body produces ketones for fuel. When your body is creating ketones it is called ketosis.

There is a common misconception that following a ketogenic diet like Atkins is dangerous. The truth is that being in ketosis is a completely naturally state. The human body creates ketones to use as fuel in the absence of glucose.

In the Atkins diet book, Dr. Atkins suggests using ketone-testing strips to determine your state of ketosis during dieting. These small plastic strips are held in the urine stream and contain a special chemically treated absorptive pad. This pad will change color if ketones are present in the urine. With the presence of ketones, the strip will change varying shades of pink to purple. There is a color scale on the label of the bottle that will help you determine your ketone levels.

Ketone strips are available in any pharmacy and can be found among the diabetic supplies. In some stores, they are kept behind the counter so you may have to ask for them. You won’t need a prescription to buy them though. Once you open a package of ketosis strips they have a shelf life of 6 months. It may be helpful to mark the opening date on the box.

Ketone strips will let you know if you are progressing correctly on the Atkins diet. If you are following the Induction plan to the letter and aren’t seeing purple, don’t worry. Some people never show trace amounts of ketones or they may show just above the minimum line. As long as you are losing weight and inches then you are successfully using ketones. Also, if you’ve just exercised a few hours before using the strips, you may not see purple.

Some dieters may mistakenly believe that a dark purple result on the testing strips means that they are losing weight faster. Actually, the darkest purple color is a sign of dehydration. It means that your urine is too concentrated and you need to drink water.

Ketones come from fat in the bloodstream, whether it is fat that you eat or fat that you burn. So if you eat a meal heavy in fat and then immediately use a testing strip, then you’ll see a dark purple result. Use the strips as a guide, but don’t get hung up on the color.

Reaching a state of ketosis is key to success on the Atkins diet and it as simple as eliminating carbohydrates from the diet. Make sure to follow the eating plan correctly and use the ketone testing strips as needed.

Dieting for Children

It is difficult in the world we live in to watch as so many children are literally overburdening their bodies at such young ages by being overweight. These children simply cannot run, jump, and play with the other children because their bodies simply will not allow them to do so. For these children, dieting is almost a necessity despite our best efforts to insulate them from the self-esteem issues that often accompany obesity.

If you have a child that is well outside the normal weight range for his or her age you are the one who must make the efforts and take the necessary steps to ensure they shed those pounds in order to live a life that is as close to normal as possible. The first thing you need to do however is consult with your child’s doctor about the best possible course of action that will also safeguard the health of your child.

Put quite frankly however, if you do not take the efforts to assist your child in shedding those pounds you are placing the health of your child at risk. We do not let our children play in the street, we don’t let them run with knives, why on earth would we allow them to commit suicide by Twinkie? If you have a child that is overweight, the following tips should help you and them with their dieting.

First of all, do not make food a punishment or a reward. Food is part of the problem with your children and you do not need to use it against them. Instead, introduce them to healthy alternatives. Do not keep the junk in the house and do not let them purchase lunch at school. Pack their lunches for school so that you know what they are eating. If you don’t give them junk food they cannot have it when at home and you can work to insure that they can’t get their hands on junk food when they leave the house.

Incorporate healthy snacks into your families eating plan rather than junk food. Fresh fruit, cut up vegetables, nuts, and frozen yogurt are good healthy snacks for your kids. When in doubt consult the food pyramid but watch calories in the process. You want your children to eat a well-balanced diet while eliminating junk food and sweets for the best result.

Cut out the juices and pop. This may be a huge ordeal in your house but the greatest gift you can offer your child is a deep and abiding appreciation for water. Water works to make their bellies feel full and keeps them hydrated for the added activities you should be introducing into their routines.

Have them take dance, take up a sport, or simply get out and run around the yard. The worst thing you can do is to allow your children to become comatose television, computer, or video game zombies. Get them out and get them active. This helps in two ways. First of all, they aren’t eating if they are outside playing and having a good time. Second, they are burning calories as they play which is a huge bonus in the dieting process for your children.

As your child begins to take off the weight you should begin to notice a very profound difference in not only the way he or she carries his or herself but also in his or her interactions with others. Your child will experience restored and renewed self-confidence as the pounds come off and the teasing at school stops.

If you are at a complete loss as to how to help your child take the weight off there are camps that are designed specifically to deal with weight issues and building self-esteem in children ages 7-19. One of these camps may be just the answer you are looking for. Another thing to consider is to lead by example. If you don’t eat the junk food, if you are active, and if you do not engage in emotional overeating your child will not be learning those behaviors from you or having them reinforced by you.

Measuring your pH for the pH Miracle Diet

Did you know that your blood has a pH level? pH is the measurement of how acid or alkaline something is. The pH level scale runs from 1 to 14 with 1 serving as “very acidic” 7 being “neutral” and 14 being “very alkaline”. In fact your bloodstream goes to great lengths to maintain a pH level of 7.35 to 7.45, slightly alkaline. Why is this important? Among many reasons why your body strives for this balance starts with your energy level. The pH miracle diet will help balance your body and increase your energy.

Have you ever put low quality fuel into your car after running it on premium fuel? There is a difference in acceleration, handling, and overall performance and this is directly linked to the quality of fuel you put in the tank. Your body is a finely tuned machine. Like other types of machinery, the parts need to be kept running by fuel. The best fuel for your body is a custom mix, more alkaline than acid. What difference does this make?

It all starts in the bloodstream. Think of the bloodstream as a superhighway with stops all over the body. Red blood cells are the commuting traffic riding along the bloodstream in a hurry to get to work. These red blood cells each have a negative charge on them, and this keeps them from getting into fender benders and collisions in the bloodstream. When the negative charge is stripped away from the red blood cells, they cluster together and can cause gridlock and bottlenecks in the bloodstream. In short, the traffic in the bloodstream isn’t flowing as smoothly and it causes everything to slow down. If you’ve ever been stuck in freeway traffic you know how frustrating this is.

This stress on the body causes a domino effect, which eventually saps the energy away and makes you tired and sluggish. Acid is the culprit in the bloodstream traffic jam. When acid is introduced into the bloodstream it eats away at the negative charge that surrounds each red blood cell and causes all sorts of problems. How can you avoid this? The answer is quite simple and it starts with what you put in your stomach. Red blood cells are created by the food that you eat. When the stomach works on digesting food, it leaves behind natural acidic waste. Your body eliminates this waste through your urine and sweat, but there comes a point when the waste build up is too great to eliminate.

What does your body do with all of the acidic waste it can’t get rid off? The answer is quite shocking, it stores it in your body! The cells in your body are mostly alkaline and this acid waste starts to attack and destroy these cells. A lot of energy is expelled keeping the waste from doing detrimental damage to your body, but this fight can only go on for so long. Eventually the build up is so great that the cells deteriorate and cause energy depletion and leaves the body open to disease.

How can you avoid this slow death? A higher energy level helps to fend off opportunistic diseases and ensures strong cellular regeneration. Making changes to your diet is a huge step in reversing this breakdown of your body while boosting your energy level. The choices you make in what you eat will greatly determine how much of acidic waste gets stored in your body. The more alkaline your food choices are the less of this waste will be accumulated in your body, tipping the balance in the favor of good health.

The old adage “you are what you eat” is absolutely true. By controlling the amounts of alkaline food you ingest you are giving your body a fighting chance. Find books and lists that outline which foods are alkaline and which ones are acidic. By limiting your intake of acidic foods and increasing your intake of alkaline food with the pH miracle diet you can increase your stamina, endurance, and the overall performance of your body machine.

Dieting with a Busy Schedule

When it comes to dieting many of us find that the number one hindrance to our success is the lack of time to prepare the proper meals and snacks for our dietary needs. It is often much more convenient to throw one thing in the crock pot for the family or resort to the fast food last resort rather than preparing the healthy and nutritious meal that we should be eating.

There are things you can do however that will reduce the temptation to hit the drive thru and keep you on course with your dieting needs. The first of these is a process known as once a week cooking. With this method you cook enough meals to last you a week on one day. This means that for every night of the week you have a diet friendly meal ready to go. If your entire family is dieting or eating healthier with you, this works for this situation as well. Dieting and incorporating healthier eating habits into the food for your entire family is a great way to set an example for your children will keeping you motivated and removing temptation.

With once a week cooking you freeze the food that won’t be immediately consumed and thaw it the morning you will be eating the food to cook when you arrive home after work or decide it is time for your evening meal. This is a process that works well no matter how many soccer games, dance practices, and band recitals you have on your calendar for the week. You can manage to stick to your diet while having a great meal for your family each and every night of the week.

You should also make sure to have a nice supply and cleaned and cut fruits, vegetables, and salad ingredients in your refrigerator in order to make these dishes readily assessable for quick lunches or snacks. Having these foods readily available will help you resist the temptation to snack on higher calorie prepackaged food while also helping to insure that you have a ready supply of fresh fruits and vegetables to help you get your 5 servings a day.

You should also keep some conveniently packaged yogurt on hand as a good quick and easy dairy product. Sugar free pudding cups are another decent snack for those who need something quick and easy to have on hand. Preparation and planning are essential to successfully meeting your weight loss goals. By preparing as much of the food as possible ahead of time you will never even miss the convenience of those high calorie pre packaged meals and snacks that so many of us survive on when not dieting.

Another time saver is to work your fitness opportunities into the course of your day. Rather than performing one lengthy workout each day, try to find methods of bringing a little fitness activity into the most mundane portions of your day (go stair climbing at lunch, park on the top-level of the parking garage and walk down-then up when returning-the stairs), park far away from the door of the supermarket and see if your mall has a walking path that is clearly marked. You’ll be amazed at the hidden opportunities many of us have for exercising during our busy days. The trick is often in discovering the activities rather than the time.

When all is said and done, dieting doesn’t have to be as time-consuming as you may think it is. There are all kinds of prepackaged plans for dieters however if that is the choice you feel is best for you. Whether you are going with Lean Cuisine meals, Weight Watchers frozen entrees, Jenny Craig, or the Slim Fast program there are all kinds of opportunities to work dieting and fitness into even the busiest of schedules. When planning your dieting practices be sure to consider the tips and advice mentioned above.

Dieting for Health

There is no greater reason to diet than for your personal health and well-being. Those of us who are overweight know better than most the risks and possible consequences that may result because of our weight. Much like smokers however, the risks do not always seem quite so cut and dry until we reach our very own turning point. Whether your eating habits are born of an addiction to certain foods, an emotional need, or years of learned behavior and conditioning things will not change until you completely adjust your eating habits and your lifestyle choices.

Dieting for many has become a lifestyle in and of itself with people rapidly flip-flopping or yo-yo from one diet to another with little success and growing despair over a sheer lack of results. The truth is that until you decide to forgive yourself for your failures and get right back on the wagon, so to speak, after falling off no diet is going to be successful. A simple diet isn’t going to magically make the pounds disappear and constantly depriving yourself of those things you enjoy most may have a more detrimental effect than a positive effect.

The number one thing most people need to learn is that dieting isn’t always a good thing. What most people who are overweight need more than anything else is to incorporate positive lifestyle changes into their daily routines. People scoff at the notion of taking the stairs or parking farther away and yet those are perfectly plausible methods of working a little more physical activity into your day. If those do not work for you how about learning to dance? Seriously, there are beginner dance classes in most communities that will welcome and invite dances of all ages, sizes, and fitness levels if you are willing to make the effort. What a great way to get fit, learn something new, and have fun without filling deprived.

Another great thing about an activity such as a dance class (consider ballroom dancing with your significant other) is that you are not eating or tempted to eat during the time that you are dancing in most cases. Another great thing is that you are burning those calories you didn’t eat. If dancing isn’t you thing, try joining a walking club or finding another hobby. Anything that gets you on your feet and away from the temptation of your refrigerator is a good thing when it comes to dieting and weight loss. You cannot lose a significant amount of weight by dieting alone. You must incorporate physical fitness into your daily routine in order to achieve those immediate and visually stunning results that many dieters are hoping to achieve.

Another pitfall when it comes to dieting is that people give up far too quickly. Just as the results are beginning and progressing people get tired of the process or frustrated that they aren’t accomplishing enough dramatic weight loss as quickly as they had hoped and give up all together marking off yet another failure when they could have achieved greater success than ever before if they had stuck with their original diet plan a little longer.

One more thing you should remember when it comes to dieting is that the scale can be your best friend or your worst enemy when dieting. If you are weighing yourself every day in hopes of watching the scale tick off yet another pound you are dooming yourself to failure. You will never achieve the results you are hoping for you if you are going into depressive bouts of Rocky Road or Chunky Monkey every night because you didn’t lose 10 pounds overnight.

When it comes to dieting there are very few diets that work. There are however, many lifestyle changes that when practiced consistently and aggressively will work. The thing to remember is that you are the one who must work because it is quite unlikely that any diet will.

Dieting and Diabetes

Very few people realize the profound effect that weight has on diabetes. Even instances of gestational diabetes are much greater in patients that are overweight than in those that are not. Type 2, or adult onset diabetes is more commonly found in overweight people than those that are within their ‘ideal’ weight ranges. In fact, almost 90% of those with Type 2 diabetes are overweight. If you are suffering from Type 2 diabetes, the best gift you could possibly give yourself just might be the gift of getting your weight under control.

Among those that suffer from Type 2 diabetes almost 40% have high blood pressure, which is another condition that is believed to be exacerbated by excess weight. Being overweight might also lead to a condition known as insulin resistance in which the body no longer responds to the insulin that is needed to assist the body in using sugar and glucose as fuel on a cellular level.

There are some things you can do to help yourself out if you have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes or labeled at risk for this devastating condition. First of all, take off the pounds. I know this is much easier said than done. Dieting is never easy and rarely fun for the average person. However, if you do not begin to take drastic steps toward procuring the best possible health for yourself you may not be able to enjoy the quality of life you had planned for your golden years. Let your condition be your motivation and make plans to enjoy watching your grandchildren and great-grandchildren graduate college.

Fight it standing up. Don’t sit down and let Diabetes control you. Stand up and take control of your body back. This is a fight to the finish and if you let it, diabetes will be your end. If you fight it standing up, lose the weight, get out there and exercise, listen to the doctor’s orders and follow them. Find the strength within you to battle this disease head on. You’ll be amazed at what happens when you decide to stand up and fight for your health.

Get active. Find activities that you enjoy and get out there and do them. Don’t make those activities passive activities either. Even if it’s just going out to play shuffleboard everyday get out there and play. Enjoy your time in the sun. Pick flowers with the little ones. Take up golf. Do whatever it takes to get up and moving each and every day in order to remember why you want to live forever in the first place.

Watch what you eat. Garbage in, garbage out, right? You have strict dietary requirements once you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes. This means that you absolutely must follow your dietary restrictions. Learn to live within those limits in order to live and enjoy life to the fullest you can. The amazing thing is that there are all kinds of foods available that are friendly to those with diabetes that weren’t around just a few short years ago. It is quite possible to live and eat quite nicely with diabetes if you stick to your plan. The most important thing about dieting with diabetes is that you never lose sight of how crucial it is to do so.