I often emphasize on the importance of eating slowly. By eating slowly you will give your stomach the necessary time to signal to the brain whether it’s full or not. If you eat in a hurry (whether it’s because you are late or you are hungry) then more often than not, you will end up gobbling much more food than your stomach actually needs. Well, here’s the new invention to aid you folks who have trouble in eating slowly. Lo and behold, here comes the diet fork.

The diet fork is actually errr, a fork. This diet fork has three features, which the inventor boasts in the website:

1. The fork has shorter and duller teeth which results in harder time to grasp food. Well I can imagine my frustration if I have to chop down a steak while using a fork with dull teeth.

2. The diet fork comes up with is the smaller triangular surface area. This will prevent dieter in scooping too much food using the fork. Just in case someone is frustrated because he can’t chop any food and decide to use the fork as a spoon.

3. Last, the diet fork comes with a very uncomfortable grip. This will make dieter uncomfortable when holding the fork too long thus slowing down the eating speed.

If we look at the About Us section of the diet fork, some of the mysteries start to be unveiled. This diet fork is invented by the very same man, Sean Pomper, who invented the flavor spray diet. Although the principle behind this fork diet is sound, I hope Sean Pomper puts more effort in the marketing aspect. I can’t even see A SINGLE picture of the diet fork which is sold at his website. How the heck he expects me to buy something which I don’t even know. Not to mention that his website looks plain messy to me.

Priced at $8.95 for 10 pieces, I can’t tell whether this diet fork is reasonably priced or not. The inventor doesn’t put any information about the material used to manufacture this diet fork, not to mention that the lack of picture (the picture that I put here is the only picture I can find) really puts me off.

“The Diet Fork is my newest invention to help fight the battle of the bulge. Diet Forking is a new way to help lose weight while eating," said Sean Pomper. "I am always looking to develop new products that stay ahead of the curve of what America eats. We are living in a health-conscious society where people are constantly searching for a way to a healthier lifestyle -- and The Diet Fork is going to change they way we eat."

Sure it’s going to change the way we eat. I will end up frustrated and throw away my fork and use my hand instead. The new way of eating!

Disclaimer: This is just a personal opinion, in no way that I discourage or encourage you to buy any products I mention here.

Past Edition of Freaky Friday:
-Ugly Diet Phone
-Diet Lip Balm
-Diet Jar
-Ray of Hope
-Diet Flavor Spray
-Pierce Your Ear to Lose Weight
-Alli: Pooping Sensation
-Not So Edible Chocolate Flower
-Diet Water
-Hula Chair
-Pet Fat
-Caffeine Pantyhose
-Cheese Burger Vacuum
-Sauna Sweat Suit

Nice Matters Award

Thank you for the beautiful mom of Shern who gave me this award over her blog. I met her on a social networking website called MyBlogLog. I remembered we both participated in some kind of social bookmarking exchange. Thanks and good luck for your blogging quest. Good health, good life for you and Shern.

walkingThe first exercise that children learn (besides ear-piercing crying, which probably burns a lot of calories), is walking. While walking may seem like a rather pedestrian exercise for adults, it can be a great way to strengthen the heart, legs, and respiratory system. Best of all, it can be a great cheap yet effective addition to a weight loss regimen.

Experts say that the most important aspect of a walking program is distance and not time. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to walk two miles, as long as you walk a full two miles. A person who weighs 160 pounds can burn off over 100 calories simply by walking two miles in an hour (a very slow pace). If you walk faster, you’ll burn off even more calories.

Still, it’s important to increase the strenuousness of your walking program as you continue. A good way to do this is by increasing your pace (you can try to finish a full mile in 13 minutes), or by carrying weights in your arms or backpack as you walk. This will help you improve your health and lose more weight at the same time.

You might wonder whether walking on a treadmill or outside is better exercise. Lots of peoples’ opinions differ, but the truth is that it’s completely up to you and your preferences. Walking outside can be refreshing; with nature, people, and a new environment every time, walking outside can really make you look forward to walking. On the other hand, some people find that the distractions don’t suit them. They would rather have the option to track their distance and speed with a treadmill. Neither option is better as long as it helps you look forward to walking.

While walking is less strenuous than running, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take all the necessary precautions of exercise. Make sure you stretch your legs before beginning. When you do begin, start by walking at a slower, more leisurely pace for the first five to ten minutes. This will ensure that your body is ready for the brisk pace that you’ll be setting during the bulk of the workout. Once you are ready, you should walk at that brisk pace for at least 30 minutes, possibly longer. Afterwards, leave time for five to ten minutes of cool-down walking as well. This will ensure that you get the most out of the time you spend walking.

One of the reasons that walking is a great exercise is that any healthy person can do it. It doesn’t require any training or equipment like other forms of exercise. However, that doesn’t mean that walkers can get relaxed about their exercise regimen. Unlike other forms of cardiovascular exercise that can be done two or three times per week with good results, walking needs to be done five or six days a week to see the best results.

The good news is that once you get in the habit of walking, it will be an easy habit to maintain. You can even make it part of your morning routine by deciding to walk after you wake up or walk to work. Walking in the morning will increase your metabolism which will make your weight goals that much more attainable. Once you start walking regularly, you’ll be amazed at how much better you look and feel after just a few weeks. One of the things that I like to do is to wake up early in the morning to take a brisk walk while breathing the cold but fresh morning air. Even without the health benefit, a morning walk can really be addictive for me.

If you like spicy food then there’s good news for you. Research published in British Journal of Nutrition proved that by adding more spices to your food, you can eat less and may become slightly happier. A study published in British Journal of Nutrition found that when women consume their meals with two teaspoon of dried red pepper, they tend to eat less calories and fat in their next meals.

Although this may sound like good news, I am not inclined to try incorporating red pepper in my meals. First of all, the amount of red pepper used is way too much. Two teaspoons of dried red pepper will sure mess up my meals like hell. I prefer to taste my meals without being burned in the mouth.

I couldn’t find the link to the particular study in British Journal of Nutrition which was featured in MSNBC but I found a similar study which used men as respondents to test the effect of red pepper on fat intake here. The finding wasn’t too encouraging either. It says that “The present results indicate that the maximum tolerable dose is necessary to have a suppressive effect of red pepper on fat intake.”

In English that means you need to have the maximum amount of red pepper that you can tolerate in order to experience the fat slashing effect of red pepper. If you intend to fully utilize red pepper to cut your fat intake then it means that you are in for a rough time. You will need to consume a lot of red pepper in your meals in order to have significant effect.

Of course we can take the sensible way by adding a sensible amount of spice on appropriate dishes. For example, I like to add salsa on baked potato, mashed potato, and meat. I also like to add half or one teaspoon of red pepper to sushi and vegetable soup. I don't want the meals to become too hot to taste. A study quoted by USNEWS explained that chili pepper can actually reduce the amount of insulin (read about the relationship of insulin and fat here).

Moral of the story, try to add spice whenever you see it fits. It has tons of benefit and can aid you in maintaining or lowering your weight, but don’t let that spice ruins your delicious food just for the sake of weight loss. You won’t enjoy your diet if all of your meals are composed of ‘spiced up’ foods.

lemon limeOne reason which makes people eat junk food is the lack of food ingredients which can be quickly turned into meals in their house. When you are terribly hungry, it’s easier to hop down to the nearest Burger King or to order it through delivery service rather than rummaging your lonely pantry for ingredients to cook.

In the morning it’s easier to grab Subway Sandwich on the way rather than preparing a tasteless sandwich from leftover ingredient in your pantry. There’s a saying that goes “one of the healthiest foods that you can eat is the one that you prepare yourself.” The only way to put this saying into reality is by having a well stocked pantry. Here are top 15 ingredients which you should have in your pantry and can be turned EASILY into a quick healthy meal.

1. Tomato
This juicy fruit can be quickly turned into almost anything. Add cantaloupe, bread and olive oil then put it into a blender, voila, instant gazpacho. You can easily chop the tomato to make salad in a minute. Not to mention that tomato juice is also delicious and refreshing. Have a stash of this red fruit handy in your kitchen.

2. Milk
You can also add low fat milk to your juice to make a delicious drink as well. There’s no quicker meal in the morning other than cereal. Just pour the milk and you get your healthy quick breakfast.

3. Carrots
Carrot is another ‘one size fits all’ ingredient. You can literally just shred it to give your salad more vitamins or juice it along with apple. It’s enriched with vitamin A and can last for a long time in your shelf. It never hurt to have a stock ready.

banana agustina4. Banana
This magic fruit is always welcomed at my pantry anytime. Having a bunch handy isn’t going to hurt at all. When I am hungry I can literally just eat one or two bananas. It’s also sweet and laden with tons of benefit. Alldeaf has compiled a long benefit of banana in this post. Banana can also be easily incorporated into a milkshake, sandwich, cereal or even yogurt. The problem with banana is it can quickly become overripe so buy it accordingly.
5. Yogurt
Yogurt can be used as a low fat salad dressing. You can also use it as a dipping sauce for your favorite meal (I use it for my sandwich). Yogurt isn’t going to make you fat, in fact it’s healthy and it’s refreshing.

6. Olive Oil
Olive oil is considered as healthy oil due to the fact that its high unsaturated fat as opposed to traditional cooking oil. Personally I often use olive oil as salad dressing or as an addition to my sandwich.

7. Lemon
It has many uses; you can add it to your afternoon tea. You can squeeze it to get fresh refreshing lime juice, you can also use it for many quick salad and sandwich dishes.

8. Mustard
Compared to mayonnaise, mustard is lower in fat. A cup of mustard gives around 165 calories (source) while a cup of mayonnaise gives around 917 calories (source). It is kinder to your waist than mayonnaise and you can use mustard instead of mayo on your sandwiches to knock the fat out.

9. Cheese
Cottage cheese should be your choice but if it’s hard to find then normal cheese will do. Cheese can brighten our dull low calorie meal considerably, provided that you don’t eat too much of it.

10. Whole wheat bread
Needless to say that bread is a must have for every household. You can’t make sandwich without bread and even salad will taste better if you add a couple of baked bread inside. Hint: choose the whole wheat one.

11. Canned tuna
Although I am not a fan of food which is laden with preservatives such as canned food, I have to say that canned tuna is the best emergency food for me. It’s a source of high quality protein along with omega 3 essential fatty acid (aka the good fat). You can make a delicious tuna sandwich, tuna pita bread or just drop it to a salad bowl for a quick and delicious fish salad.

12. Whole Wheat Pasta
God sent. Instant spaghetti is always a lifesaver.

13. Nuts
Most nuts are laden with B vitamins which act as fatigue combatants and are essential for hormone growth. Healthierlife has a great post explaining the numerous benefits of nuts. Personally my favorite is almond. I can chop it and put it on top of my yogurt. Of course almond can’t go wrong in my salad either. Don’t consume the one which is already salted though.

14. Cereal
As long as you don’t eat the batty one you’re safe. Cereal act as quick breakfast in the morning (pour the milk and eat it). You can also have the cereal as a snack as opposed to chips. Be wary of colorful cereal or honey flavored one. Colorful cereal is often laden with sugar and food coloring while the honey flavored one may not be composed of 100% honey.

15. Potato
This carbohydrate powerhouse is easier to prepare than rice. Just boil some and eat it with your salad. Or you can roast the potatoes and top it with cheese and tuna. It’s easy to incorporate potato into many dishes and definitely you should have a stock available in your kitchen.

eating pizzaEverybody is bound to have a bad day. Whether it’s your romance or your career, you will need something comforting to get through that bad day. Unfortunately, food is one of the most sought things during depression.

This can’t be truer for most cases, we all need a hug but we also need something to gulp down our throat. Regrettably we often blame stress or emotional eating as the culprit behind our growing waist size. Here is the top ten foods list which people often choose to reduce their stress level complete with their impact to our waist:

10. Pizza
This food has always been the people’s favorite, be it a football match or just a stressful night. Pizza is highly laden in carbohydrate which makes use calm. The problem is, it’s also highly laden in fat and the amount of carbohydrate in a pizza is tremendous. Not to mention the giant serving size that people in States have. Your waist will inflate way too soon if you stay long under the pizza’s reign.

9. Coffee
I personally think that it’s strange for people to drink coffee when they are stressed. Caffeine may have a temporary calming effect by alert us but it’s not long until the drawback symptoms happen. In 12 or 24 hours, your body will feel withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue, headaches and irritability. People don’t find difficulties in dealing with those symptoms though; they simply take another cup of coffee (read about diet coffee pantyhose here).

8. Processed Sugar
Strawberry pop, sugar tart, you name it. These sweet stuffs are highly laden in processed sugar and can temporarily help us relieve stress. It discharges glucose which increases serotonin production. Serotonin is the brain chemical which tranquilizes you. Serotonin production is also triggered by carbohydrates. A little sugar won’t make you fat but the problem is, the tranquilizing effect caused by sugar is not long lasting. It leaves our bloodstream rapidly making you crave for another bite. Add this up and you’ll end up eating more than you want or need to.

ice cream chocolate7. Ice Cream
Same as sugar, ice cream is craved for its sweet taste. The problem with ice cream is, you will end up eating a large portion of it. It just takes a couple of spoonful to gobble up a scoop of ice cream. To have any noticeable effect, people often eat a large quantity of ice cream which of course threatens your waist dangerously. Try taking sorbet instead. Sorbet is the low fat or non fat version of ice cream and tastes just as great for me.

6. Fries and Burger
Just like pizza, fries and burger are highly laden in carbohydrates which can calm our body. I often see people eat a lot of burgers and fries when they are stressed. In addition to their beer belly, they have Trans fat as a problem too. They also put themselves in serious heart disease risk with an overload of fast food consumption. If you really need to have carbs then try whole wheat pasta based dish.

5. Biscuits
People rarely turn into a whole grain plain salted biscuit when they are stressed. It’s always Oreo or chips. People often justify themselves by taking the low fat version of the biscuits. But most of the times they will end up eating more when they have the low fat version. “Hey it’s low fat, so I can take another extra serving.” Not to mention that most low fat version only contain 20% less calories.

4. Chocolate
This is another orthodox choice. Eating too much of these will obviously threaten your waist size but if nothing else works (or nothing else matters) then at least choose the dark chocolate. They are laden with antioxidants to battle heart disease and cancer. Make sure that it’s composed of mainly dark cocoa. Those colored M&Ms surely won’t do. If the chocolate comes in liquid form then it’s better to drink hot chocolate than coffee.

3. Chamomile Tea
This tea can produce soothing effect and often act as sleep aid for people with sleeping disorder. I love to take this hot tea and sip it slowly. If you use sensible amount of sugar then there’s no risk of weight gain.

2. Yogurt
Yogurt is incredibly refreshing if served cold. They are often laden with fruits which are high in fibre or vitamin C which are stress fighter oxidant. Try to top your yogurt with berries and other fruits of your preferences and serve it cold. You can also get your hand on frozen yogurt which is often considerably sweeter. At least they are better than chocolate ice cream to your waist due to their low calorie number.

salmon sushi1. Sushi
Try to eat sushi which uses fish or crabstick. Fish is laden with B6 and B12 which are the main producers of serotonin. In addition to that, fish such as salmon is laden with omega 3 fatty acid which is the good fat. Sushi which uses crabstick (kani) is also a good choice. Crabstick is also rich in B12. The hand roll sushi which is wrapped in seaweed (nori) is also rich in magnesium which is also another stress buster.

Mobile phone technology and concepts have evolved dramatically during the past 10 years. During the 2000, a mobile phone with white light background and no other features was already considered cool. But now every mobile phone seems to include various add-ons such as mp3 or camera. The creator of this phone went even further by incorporating a ‘nose’ inside the phone to help you on your diet.

The technologically advanced ‘nose’ will sniff what you have just eaten through a series of complicated process. It will track your food intake and then it will use its cutting edge brain to tell you what you are lacking in your food consumption. Great, exactly what I need, a green avocado which tells me that I should eat more salad.

The phone also has another feature which the designer seemed to be proud of. Users of this phone with similar goals setting can network with each other and motivate each other. The only problem with this is there don’t seem too many people who will use this phone.

Honestly, I think the design is plain ugly. Why does it have to be shaped like a battered mango? Perhaps the designer wanted her phone to be remarkable. She did the job well then, I am not likely going to forget such phone in a hurry. Why did they use plastic green color in the first place? That makes the phone looked like a children’s toy than cutting edge health phone.

The idea behind this phone is nothing phenomenal too. I don’t need a battered mango to tell me that I should be eating fruit instead of chips. Heck I think that most people don’t need this also. We already know that pizza is not good while a salad is. Even if we have this green mango to remind us, that’s not likely going to stop us from consuming what we want to consume. And did I mention that the design is horrible?

Found this horrible phone on Yanko Design.

Past Edition of Freaky Friday:
-Diet Lip Balm
-Diet Jar
-Ray of Hope
-Diet Flavor Spray
-Pierce Your Ear to Lose Weight
-Alli: Pooping Sensation
-Not So Edible Chocolate Flower
-Diet Water
-Hula Chair
-Pet Fat
-Caffeine Pantyhose
-Cheese Burger Vacuum
-Sauna Sweat Suit

If you are thinking of feeding your children with diet food then you should think over again. At least that’s what the recent study from University of Alberta said. The research suggested that children who are fed with low calorie meals will end up eating much more when they grow up thus increasing the risk of obesity. The good news for parent is, they don’t have to buy those expensive diet foods for children. They can spend the money to buy healthier meals and preparing more outdoor activities for their children.

The research used rats as a media to test the effect of low calorie consumption into overall food consumption over time. Although the test was done on rats, the effect on human is highly similar according to the researchers.

The experiments were done by using young rats, both lean and obese. The experiments’ objective was to prove that substituting a type of food with the same low calorie version of that food will lead to over eating. The low calorie version disrupts body’s ability to recognize calories intake through taste.

David Pierce, a lead author of the paper, concluded the research by saying “Our research has shown that young animals can be made to over eat when low-calorie foods and drinks are given to them on a daily basis, and this subverts their bodies' energy-balance system."

In a nutshell, the research predicted that children who are fed with diet foods are prone to be obese later.

Thankfully such effect is not visible in adult. Maybe perhaps adult tend to read label and can easily differentiate between low calorie and normal food where as children tend to gobble everything that their parents give.

This news isn’t bad news at all. Children should be running around and playing outside to burn calories. Why do they need to be fed diet food at all? Even video games nowadays can help them burn a few calories. Rather than feeding them with diet food, ask the children to do a lot of outdoor activities, play Wii and give them sufficient food with enough calories intake for their daily activities.

Going on a diet is actually simpler than you think. Most people put a lot of emphasizes in how many calories and carbohydrates they have in a meal without realizing there are other factors which are also important in diet. While doing exercises is also critical, many people still have problem in dealing with their eating habit. Here are my 6 list for better eating.

6. Plan your mini meals

If snacking becomes a part of your daily habit then try to have mini meals instead of snacking. Plan your mini meals beforehand so that you don’t end up eating too many of them. A bar of chocolate taken three times a day can easily ruin your diet, so the best bet you have is to plan your snacks and mini meals beforehand. At least you will sit down and think whether you really want to lose weight or not before planning your mini meals.

5. Don’t be a calorie geek

The golden rule of weight loss is that your calorie intake should be less than your outtake. But that doesn’t mean you should bring your calculator and count up your meals. Just do a general research on the internet about your menu and you’ll get the big picture. Diet is already stressing, don’t make things harder by unnecessarily counting up every calories that you are going to have. As long as you maintain a sensible portion then you’ll do fine.

4. Reduce your portion

An easy way to kick start your diet is to reduce your portion slightly. You don’t need to radically reduce your portion unless your current portion is too much. If your friends don’t frown at your current portion then chance is, you only need to reduce your current portion by 10 – 20%. Start small and reduce the first 10% first and give your body time to adapt itself to the new portion. The key is to start slowly and gradually, treat your stomach gently.

3. Calories are supposed to be eaten not drunk.

You already get tons of calories from your meals; you don’t need to add them up by drinking soda or other fizzy drink.

2. Discover your food fetish

Everybody has a fetish of something. For example, I have a fetish for b├ęchamel based dish like this Salmon Doria. Most of the time, the food which you have fetish on is not the type of food which is kind to your waist. Allow yourself to eat things you shouldn't occasionally. You won’t get fat instantly just because you have eaten something that you shouldn’t. In fact, you have just made your diet easier and a whole lot more pleasant by giving yourself an occasional treat.

1. Use your teeth
Chew your food! There’s a reason that you have teeth. Don’t gulp on your food but enjoy it slowly. Don’t eat in haste as you won’t likely to enjoy your food that way. By eating slowly, not only that you get to enjoy your food but you will feel more satisfied in the end.

trans fat pringlesThese days, it seems like everything is free of some unhealthy ingredient. Sugar-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free; every wants to buy a product that is free of that nagging aspect in their diet. Check out the products at your local grocery store. You’ll probably find that everything is free of something. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean these kinds of products don’t come at a price.

Now, nobody disagrees that cutting down on some of the unhealthy ingredients in your diet is a bad idea. Still, there is almost no aspect that you can cut out of your diet completely. Almost everything we consume in our diet is useful to our bodies, even necessary, in moderation.

The problem is, people tend to consume much more food when it comes with a ‘free’ label. For example, people will consume more sugar free gum because it saves them from being guilty. The problem is, sugar free does not mean calorie free.

Trans fat is another matter, the regulation allows manufacturers to put ‘trans fat free’ labels in their products as long as there’s less than half gram of trans fat per serving. Since the food is labeled as trans fat free, most people will be more than happy to gobble another extra serving. Unconsciously they have just piled up more trans fat in their body which add up to the daily limit of 2g.

Being a healthy eater doesn’t only mean that you need to consume healthy food. That also means that you need to consume everything in moderation. Next time you see a ‘trans fat free’ or ‘calorie free’ label, be wise and don’t be tempted to eat more than you should have to.

paleolithic dietThe stone age diet (paleolithic diet) is a diet which believes that we will stay healthier if we follow the route of our ancestors. Million years ago, our ancestors haven't recognized agriculture thus still relied on vegetables, lean meat, fish and fruits for staples.

The argument behind this diet is that our body has tuned well for over 2 million years with the foods in the paleolithic era (fish, lean meat). On the other hand, our body has only 10,000 years to tune in with the 'modern' food (grain)after the invention of agriculture. Thus by tuning with the stone age foods, we can be healthier. Let's take a closer look on this caveman diet before we deem this as unhealthy.

This stone age diet advocates the consumption of lean meat, fish, fruits and vegetables which are edibles in raw state. For practical reason, many followers of this diet don't really emphasize on how the foods should be prepared. The only concern is that the food should not be processed using corn oil (olive oil is fine). The consumption of animal's organs such as kidney and liver is also encouraged since our ancestors tend to consume these organs also.

This diet prohibits the consumption of grains (pasta, rice, cereals), alcohol and starchy vegetables such as potatoes. Not only that, this diet even goes further by discouraging the consumption of dairy products (cheese, milk). If you think life is hard for our paleolithic ancestors then it is in fact harder. This diet also discourages the consumption of sugar and salt.

The benefit of this diet is a healthier body. This is further justified through a research done by Lund University. The research compared two groups of people who have diabetes type 2 and coronary heart disease. The first group is fed meals based on paleolithic diet while the second group is fed a diet similar to Mediterranean diet for three months. After three months, the paleolithic group showed a significantly lower blood sugar rise compared to the Mediterranean group. Other benefit of this diet is weight loss as illustrated by L.Cordain in 'The Paleo Diet'.

My first concern is that our meat is not as fresh as it used to be 2 million years ago. Nowadays our meat is probably gathered from hormone injected poultry or chemically enhanced cow. It's not fresh and for sure it's not healthy if your diet involves an extremely high number of meat.

Another concern that I have on this diet is that although we eat like the cavemen, we aren't likely to get the same result if we don't do a lot of physical activities like our ancestors back in the hunting and gathering era.

Our ancestors were used to walk for miles everyday and do rigorous psychical activities such as digging, climbing and hunting. Even though they consumed a large number of meat, organs and vegetables they are sure to burn out a lot of fat that way. They have to do a lot of physical activities everyday just to survive (or to chase other cave women). Compared to our state right now, it's hard to emulate our ancestors. In addition to eating, we need to do tons of exercises also.

Last, life without wine and cheese seems pretty miserable for me so I'll stay off from this diet and just do my 'common sense diet'. Eat in moderation, do proper exercises and indulge yourself occasionally.

If you think stapling your ear to curb your appetite is way too overboard then here’s a painless and (cheaper) way for you to curb your appetite. I’ve seen many companies sell lip balm, but a lip balm which can help you lose weight? You can keep your lip glossy and lose weight at the same time, what a great idea. But again I must say that the idea does not sound very convincing for me.

This lip balm is claimed to contain many plant extracts such as peppermint, spearmint, Yerba Mate, and a bunch of other plants which have good names. By applying the lip balm to your lip, the magical extract of those plants will curb your craving and voila, you will lose weight. Glossy lip and sexy hip!

I don’t know about you but for me this lip balm thingy looks very dodgy. If this works as good as it’s advertised then all the appetite suppressant diet pills will go out of business. Why would people swallow those expensive diet pills if they can just apply this lip balm over and over again, rinse and repeat.

There are many companies who produce this lip balm. The cheapest lip balm that I know is sold at Goodtobeyou.com at US$12. This lip balm contains peppermint, grapefruit and spearmint fragrances (just the fragrances then?) and I have no idea how long they last but I assume it should last one month unless you smoke it.

Desoriente sells a slightly more expensive diet lip balm which contains nine ingredients with wonderful names such as grapefruit oil, yerba mate oil and evening primrose oil. This is priced at $12.95 which makes it a lucrative deal. The most expensive diet lip balm which I found is Promise Lip Balm which is sold at whooping $29.95.

I hope they invent a lip balm which can curb shopping, that will become a big hit for sure. Happy weekend.

Past Edition of Freaky Friday:
-Diet Jar
-Ray of Hope
-Diet Flavor Spray
-Pierce Your Ear to Lose Weight
-Alli: Pooping Sensation
-Not So Edible Chocolate Flower
-Diet Water
-Hula Chair
-Pet Fat
-Caffeine Pantyhose
-Cheese Burger Vacuum
-Sauna Sweat Suit

Most of us who dwell on the internet must be familiar with the old get paid to read email or get paid to surf offers. While those typical 'get paid to' programs are famous for their lousy pay, a town in Italy is promoting another 'get paid to' program which has lucrative pay.

Residents of Varallo, Italy must be really fired up to lose weight since they will be paid for it. The Mayor announced that men who lose 4 kilograms in a month will be paid 50 Euro (roughly US$67). Women can get the same amount of money by losing just 3 kilograms. And you can get way a lot of more by maintaining your weight loss in 5 months. To encourage people to start a different lifestyle, the mayor announced that those people who manage to lose the initial weight will be rewarded another whooping 200 Euro (around US$ 268) if they can keep their weight in shape for another five months.

The mayor said that the motivation behind this program is to encourage people to do a group diet. It's hard to lose weight alone so it will be easier if they can do it in a group so they can encourage each other. Another growing concern is the healthy Mediterranean diet based foods which was popular in Italy is slowly losing popularity to processed foods. While the amount of money offered is not overly huge, the reward will motivate people to have a healthier lifestyle. Of course pizza may be losing its popularity in its homeland with this get paid to lose weight program.

Full story here.

Dieting for Men

Unfortunately for men, women have had the dieting market cornered for about a century now. For some reason, dieting is understood as feminine and men who diet are often seen as effeminate. Real men are apparently supposed to eat big steaks and drink lots of beer. The problem is that these habits are unhealthy and will have a negative impact on your life.

If you’re a man and think you need to lose weight, don’t let the stereotypes stop you. Remember, heart attacks are killing men at record rates. Getting healthy is important, and worrying about what uneducated people think is not an excuse for being unhealthy. Trust me; the women in your life will love it if you’re around their whole lives. If the stereotype of dieting bothers you that much, just tell yourself that you’re getting healthy, not dieting.

The good news for men is that being healthy and being attractive line up much more closely than it does for women. For women, being attractive can sometimes mean being underweight and undernourished. For men, being attractive means being a healthy weight, eating right, and having great muscle tone.

Men tend to make three mistakes that, if corrected, will go a long way towards helping them get healthy and lose weight. First, they eat too much fat. Men love their red meat and they love their fast food. Cutting down significantly on red meat will cut down on fat intake and make calories a lot easier to burn. Substitute a nice lean chicken breast for a steak sometimes. Men should also cut out fast food from their diet altogether; it’s unhealthy and expensive and unsatisfying.

Second, men tend to drink too much beer. Women have their chocolate, men have their beer. This isn’t to say that men can’t have a beer once in awhile; if you’re going out with the guys on a Friday night it can be very relaxing to have a few cold ones. But if you’re just thirsty and sitting in front of the TV, grab a glass of water.

Third, and speaking of watching TV, men tend to get less active with age. Once they settle down with a wife, get a full-time job, and have a kid or two, exercise becomes a last priority. Increasing metabolism and building muscle tone are irreplaceable when it comes to losing weight and getting healthy. Getting a nice cardiovascular workout just two or three times a week will make a big difference in your life.

Dieting is not just a woman’s game, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Losing weight could be the single best thing you do this year because it could add many more years to your life. Don’t let the stereotypes about men and women get in the way of getting healthy and feeling good about yourself.

I am suffering from a heavy fever and influenza right now so forgive me if I haven't dropped by your blog this week, I still need to rest. Perhaps my body suffered a breakdown due to the fact that I haven't had enough sleep again for the past few days.

Today's post will address the common misconception that people have in weight loss. When people gain weight, their initial reaction is usually to eat less food. Gaining weight is caused by eating too much food, right? It would make sense that eating less food would cause weight loss. While diets differ significantly, they never advocate eating more food. They always advocate eating less food. It might be difficult to eat less food than you’re accustomed to. However, if it’s the only way to lose weight, you know it will be worth it.

Unfortunately, the answer is not as simple as just eating less food. In other posts I have mentioned that one major key to weight loss is increasing your caloric expenditure to a level that is greater than your caloric intake. If your net balance of calories is negative, you will lose weight. Eating less does not necessarily accomplish this.

The human body is highly evolved and able to adapt to virtually any environmental change. If you start eating less food, your body will simply start burning fewer calories. Unless you’re intentional about the type of food you eat instead of simply the amount of food you eat, you’re unlikely to see the results that you are hoping for.

Surprisingly, most overweight people and thin people eat about the same amount of food. For instance, a 250 pound person probably does not eat twice as much food as a 125 pound person. The weight difference is probably related to the amount of fat that the 250 pound person eats in relation to the amount of fat the 125 pound person eats.

Fats are hard to metabolize, so eating them means that the calories included in the fat is less likely to be broken down by the body and used or flushed out as waste. The 125 pound person probably eats very little fat and has a diet high in easily-metabolized substances like complex carbohydrates.

Losing weight is a lesson in patience. You did not gain the weight over night and you won’t be able to shed the pounds over night, either. These days everyone is looking for the easy answer when it comes to weight loss. Whether it’s a miracle diet that supposedly doesn’t require any changes in your lifestyle or a diet pill that will make the fat melt away, some of the possibilities can sound very enticing. However, if you’ve tried any of them you probably already know that these are either temporary solutions or just absolute scams.

The best way to lose weight is simply to cut down the unusable calories in your diet by reducing your fat intake and increasing your caloric expenditure with regular exercise. Dieting without exercise is pointless when it comes to losing weight; your body will just compensate for the reduction in calories. You’ll be tired and lethargic, and stepping on the scale will still be a downer. If you’re serious about losing weight, you don’t need to eat less food; you just need to eat the right food and take care of your body. It may not be easy, but it will be effective!

Celebrities are often looked up to as dieting geniuses, since they are the ones that manage to stay fit and healthy despite a lot of stress and long hours of work. The best part about following a celebrity diet is that celebrities pay top dollar for nutrition advice, so keeping up to date on celebrity diets can tell you what works and what doesn’t. Surprisingly, many celebrities who have lovely figures don't adopt weird diets. Their diets are based on common sense, here are some of them:

Our first example is Jennifer Lopez. Jennifer is famous for her curvy body, but the diva still has to diet and exercise to keep fit. Interestingly enough, she isn’t an exercise mogul- instead, she watches what she eats. Jennifer claims to cut out carbohydrates from her diet to lose weight, and also stays away from alcohol or smoking. So far Jennifer’s efforts have not been in vain- she has kept the same curvy body that she has had since she first started in showbiz.
Lesson: Diet journal is handy.

Cutting carbohydrates doesn’t work for everyone, however. Jessica Simpson claims that when she tried the low-carb diet, she kept over eating to replace the lost carbohydrates. For Jessica, the main goal is to stay away from sugar. While it is hard to completely stay away from sugar, replacing sugar with substitutes such as Splenda in recipes makes all the difference for this pop star. As far as exercise goes, Jessica claims to do workout routines which include squats and lunges- certainly nothing too strenuous.
Lesson: Do the SOW.

The women of Hollywood aren’t the only dieters- the men have to adhere to guidelines too. Stars such as Brad Pitt have had to get in shape and lose weight for upcoming movies. Brad Pitt personally practiced a mix between cutting carbohydrates and replacing them with protein. With the added protein, Brad’s workout sessions were maximized in efficiency, and he was able to sculpt a body worthy of Hollywood’s attention. Things such as alcohol, smoking, or junk food were also cut- something Brad Pitt and Jennifer Lopez have in common.
Lesson: Sounds like a Mediterranean diet.

On the opposite side of the carbohydrate spectrum, we have Usher. Usher has the revered “six-pack” abs that most men try to go for. Instead of cutting carbohydrates, this celebrity actually added them to meals. Interestingly, Usher also does over 1,000 ab crunches each day- and follows a strict workout regimen. In fact, the better part of a day can easily be spent exercising for the popular celebrity- for which he attributes his success.
Lesson: I’d rather watch what I eat rather than doing 1,000 crunches.

From watching celebrities, dieters can get a good idea on what is good and what isn’t. Clearly, this case holds true with Lindsay Lohan. Lindsay is famous for losing a lot of weight over a very short amount of time, something that is considered very dangerous. She claims that she just grew out of the weight, but fans and critics claim that she may suffer from an eating disorder instead. Drugs and diet pills have also been suspected- but whatever the case, it is believed that Lindsay has gone the wrong way in the dieting scene- and it will most likely return to haunt her.
Lesson: Steer clear of diet pills unless you are advised to take it by medical professionals.

Staying on top of Hollywood means keeping the best possible body and appearance- surprisingly those celebrities adored diets are not anything wacky. The general consensus from the described celebrities above is to cut carbohydrates, refrain from smoking or drinking, and to stay away from diet pills. Diet is extremely simple outside Hollywood, just be active, sleep well and use your head when it comes to eating.

diet jar
We know how hard it is to ignore those chocolate bars and fancy candies when we are on a diet. The problem can be easily solved if you are living alone though, just don’t buy any stuffs which can potentially threaten your diet.

That’s not the case for people who are living with their family or worse, children. Surely your kids will scream in protest if you set the zero sugar policy in the house. Having zero calories sugar can be a solution also for some people if there’s any satisfactory zero calories sugar manufacturer who can ship to your area.

Bim Bam Banana has come up with a creative or impractical solution for that problem. This online unique gift shop sells Diet Jar which is intended to aid people with lack of self control. At a first glance, Diet Jar appears to be like a normal jar, but upon second glance you will notice the complicated lid on the top of the jar.

This diet jar has a built in timer the lid which you can set before you stow your precious candies inside. You can set how long you will stow your snacks before you can open it again. The nifty thing is, there will be shocking consequences if you decide to change your mind. Cheaters, be warned!

The website doesn’t list what exactly the consequence is, but my guess is that the jar will be locked for even longer period of time which means that I will achieve the same result by just throwing the snacks into the garbage bin. I have contacted the company to clarify on this matter; I will update this entry once I get any response.

This diet jar is priced at USD $42.00 at Bim Bam Banana. I don’t complain about the price but I do complain about the size. At the size of just a small jar, the diet jar can only hold a few candies or a few chocolate bars. If only they sell a bigger jar then I’d consider buying it. In addition to candies and chocolate bars, bulky chips and sugary biscuits are also the most common snacks found in a house. It would be nice if we can stow those sinful treats into this little jar.

In a nutshell, this diet jar is a good product which can be developed into a really useful product if they can produce bigger jar or compartment. Parents can use this compartment as a lunch box or treat for their children to prevent children from snacking before the specified time. People with lack of self control can use this compartment as a lunch box either. But those are just wishful thinking since at the moment Bim Bam Banana doesn’t sell any bigger diet jar.

Bim Bam Banana Official Website

Diet Jar Information

Past editions of Freaky Friday:
-Ray of Hope
-Diet Flavor Spray
-Pierce Your Ear to Lose Weight
-Alli: Pooping Sensation
-Not So Edible Chocolate Flower
-Diet Water
-Hula Chair
-Pet Fat
-Caffeine Pantyhose
-Cheese Burger Vacuum
-Sauna Sweat Suit

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The 100 Mile Diet has been started in 2005 but the urgency and importance of this diet is becoming more and more apparent in 2007. Alisa Smith and Jason MacKinnon was startled when they heard that the ingredients which average North American eats has traveled 1500 miles.

Both of them responded to this disturbing statistic by opting to buy their food and drink within 100 miles (160 kilometers) of their apartment.

Alisa and Jason have stated 13 purposes of 100 Mile diet in their website. In my opinion, the most important purpose of this diet is to preserve our environment. A typical food which traveled 1500 miles will need a considerable amount of fuel. Until now, the transportation industry still utilizes the limited fossil fuel as a main fuel. In addition to the depleting oil resource, transported food will surely contribute to the amount of pollution in our environment.

Few people took this idea seriously back in 2005 when the most serious threat we faced were hurricane and heat. But with the growing numbers of unusual natural phenomenons recently, we should realize that our environment has been badly damaged. Buenos Aires has the first snow in 90 years recently, Chile suffered a cold wave while Bangladesh had the worst flood in the recent years, South Africa is laden with heavy snowfall in July while people in East Europe suffered from extreme heat wave. The occurrences of unusual natural phenomenons keeps increasing. The chief culprit of these events is the increasing number of carbon dioxide emitted.

Doing the 100 mile diet may appear as insignificant in combating the global warming but if we keep doing it consistently then we will manage to spread the words. With more and more people doing this, the effect will be significant. A regional food in North America consists of 17 times less oil and gas than food transported across the country according to the founders. Just like what the founder said, local eating for a global change. Although I agree wholeheartedly with that tag line, a more suitable tag line for the 100 Mile Diet will be 'local eating for a global and waist change'.

Put it this way, consuming local foods will usually mean lesser processed foods. You will bound to eat fresher foods which are less laden with sugar and preservatives. That means that you will eventually become healthier and possibly thinner if you combine it with proper exercises.

100 Mile Diet is hard for some people and easy for some others. As for me, it's not that difficult since 70% of my foods are already grown and gathered nearby. I live in a city which is very close to the sea and farms, thus most of my foods already comply with the 100 Mile Diet. The only thing I need to do is to stop consuming those organic fruits and vegetables which are imported from China (mostly sold in Supermarket). Do you think 100 Mile Diet will have an impact in preserving our nature?

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100 Mile Diet Website: http://100milediet.org/home/

A recent study done by Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine in August highlighted the effect of fast food branding to Children's taste preferences. This is a surprising yet sad finding. The study took sixty three 3 - 5 years old children from low income family to test the effect of fast food branding. This study was timed well since it was held in wake of the obesity epidemic which is growing to an alarming rate.

The researchers asked the children to taste five different foods such as hamburger, carrots, milk (from grocery), chicken nuggets and french fries (from McD). Each food was divided into two parts and packaged with different wrappers. One with the brightly colored familiar golden arch wrapper and the others were covered in wrapper without the McDonalds logo.

Although obviously both foods in different wrappers were the same foods, most children said the foods wrapped in McDonalds wrapper tasted better. 77% said that the fries in McDonalds wrapper tasted better than the same fries wrapped in plain wrapper. While 54% children prefer carrot in McDonalds wrapper rather than the one in plain wrapper.

The study concluded that according to children, foods and drinks tasted better if they were from McDonalds. And the effects are greater to children who have television at home and children who were a regular customer in McDonalds.

The job of parents is becoming more tedious. In addition to battling the children from seeing inappropriate television programs, they have to stop children from being exposed excessively to fast food ads. And this can be a losing battle since we have no control over the advertisements displayed in the television. Perhaps the younger generation will be more addicted to fast food in the next 20 years or so. Is McDonalds the guilty party? What do you think?

The study is available in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Is Wii Fit the Real Deal?

Nintendo recently announced a new game and accessory to accompany an already impressive array of possibilities on its new Wii game console: Wii Fit. The actual product looks sort of like a scale without any weight display (which might already appeal to people who hate looking down to see that number). With Wii Fit, Nintendo is looking to become even more family-oriented by offering an add-on to a gaming console that has already been said to be lowering body fat in children across the nation.

The product, not slated for release until the beginning of 2008, uses an add-on called the Wii Balance Board. This add-on is pressure-sensitive and calibrated specifically to each individual who uses it. It is normally used by standing on it but can also be used by putting weight on it with different parts of the body. All told, Wii Fit can be used for aerobic exercise, muscle conditioning, yoga, balance games, and to measure key health indicators like BMI and Nintendo’s own Wii Fit Age.

The only concern about Wii Fit is that it may cost too much. Although the price has not been finalized, GameStop lists the product at $69.99. This is a full $20 more expensive than a normal Nintendo Wii game. At least one blogger wonders whether a $70 price tag will keep away the casual consumer.

I disagree. I’m excited for Wii Fit and applaud Nintendo’s health-conscious approach to their new gaming console. Consumers have to remember that Nintendo Wii is considered one of the most affordable gaming consoles available, and that $70 for one game is standard on most consoles even when add-ons need not be included.

Furthermore, the Wii Balance Board is unlike anything that has ever been available for the home consumer. Although I can’t claim a full understanding of Wii technology, it seems to me that the Balance Board is one step beyond the Wii Remote and that it is specifically designed for the health and wellness of the consumer (and the money of the owner of course).

Can you think of any other gaming company that gives two hoots about the health and wellness of their consumers? I didn’t think so. Until then, I’m willing to pay a few extra bucks to Nintendo. Of course I won’t place the responsibility of keeping my weight to Nintendo. Healthy eating and exercises are the main deal, Wii is just a bonus.

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Images of the Wii Board are available at Gizmodo.
Source of the lovely image in this post: Go Nintendo

There's an old adage which says that the best lesson of life is taught in the children's story. Children’s stories are filled with a lot of memorable characters such as Peter Pan and Donald Duck. Almost all the children stories teach something about the importance of good deed or about caring for each other.

But actually there’s one Children cartoon which teaches something about healthy living. I am an avid fan of Winnie the Pooh since I was 10 years old until now and unconsciously that serial educates me about the importance of healthy living in a way.

1) Don’t Eat Too Much of One Thing
Yes, Winnie the Pooh is a lovable little bear. He’s cute. Basically, there’s nothing not to like about Winnie the Pooh. But let’s face it, he’s a little overweight. He’s probably about as many inches tall as around the waist, and what does his diet consist of? Honey. The only thing Winnie the Pooh eats is honey, and he eats a lot of it.

The truth is, it doesn’t matter how much you eat if you’re not practicing a healthy, balanced diet. You can eliminate all sorts of fat, sugar, and bad carbs from your diet, and you might lose weight. However, if you don’t maintain a healthy diet by eating a variety of foods that give you all the different vitamins and nutrients you need, you’ll be unhealthy no matter how much weight you lose. Don't be tempted by diets which suggest you to eat the same things everyday. You can get thinner, like I did, by consuming a large number of lemonade or cabbage soup everyday but you are in for a serious health risk if you force yourself to do that for a long period of time.

2) Get Energized!
Although not quite as down-trodden as Eeyore, Winnie the Pooh leads a pretty ho-hum lifestyle. He moves pretty slowly. Even when he gets excited, it still takes him awhile to get from one place to another. We don’t need to mention his bulging waist line again. If you’re going to be dieting, you need to get more energized than Pooh. The importance of getting energized is highlighted in the bodyclock diet guide which suggests a few simple steps to optimize our body metabolism so that we can have more energy thus a better life.

Dieting is a lifestyle change. It involves more than just changing what you put into your body, although that’s a huge part of it. It means caring about your future. It means getting excited about healthy living. Getting energized is a sort of renewable fuel for your diet; one day’s energy will multiply into the next day and help you stay motivated. I am still doing my Beer Belly resolution which involves 7 habits to get energized each day. Getting energized is also a great way to burn calories!

3) Get Support
While Pooh’s friends in the 100 Akre (yes, that’s how it’s spelled) Wood may not help him stay trim and fit, they do help him overcome plenty of other problems. Whether he’s out of honey, the weather is bad, or he’s nervous about Heffalumps and Woozles, Tigger, Rabbit, Piglet, and Kanga are always there to lend him a helping hand.

You’ll need a support network as you try to stick to your diet as well. The best way to diet is to do it with someone else. They provide encouragement when it gets hard and a sense of accountability when you’re considering that extra helping of ice cream. If you’ve never tried it before, the Partner Diet might be the one that finally works for you.

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Image from Wikipedia

Dieting and exercise are not only two of the least exciting ways to lose weight, but they are also two of the only ways to lose weight safely. The advent of new products such as the “Bliss Ray of Hope” try to bank on the very fact that no one always has motivation to get out to the gym, or to even stick to strict diets. The makers of the product instead try to make weight loss as easy as applying sunscreen lotion.

When most people hear sunscreen lotion, they think of a product that protects the user from harmful ultra-violet rays. The makers of the Bliss Ray of Hope have started putting in certain ingredients, such as caffeine, to help tone your body temporarily while in the sun. For those who are already in the sun a lot, this may be a good application if only the lotion can last a little longer.

The first problem with the product is the guideline one must follow in order for it to work. A full 20 minutes should go by before sun exposure is given to get the best effect. This is itself isn’t much of a problem, but the fact that after every swim the lotion must be reapplied can be very annoying.

Even worse than this, is the fact that even sweating can diminish the effects of the lotion. The guide tells us to reapply this lotion every time we emerge from water or drench ourselves in sweat. Essentially, perfect weather conditions must be present- because who doesn’t sweat in the hot sun? Not to mention that the recommended reapplication is every 2 hours regardless of your body condition. From the looks of things, the bottle of lotion won’t last too long. Great! I will just pop from the water to apply this lotion every time I finish a swimming round.

Next we come to the actual principle of the lotion. The big downfall of the product is the lack of technological information and testing results. The company only gives a short description on how the lotion supposedly works- through tiny molecules that are activated through the sun. This isn’t much of a description, yet the makers of the product didn’t forget to add words such as “unleash”, “radical”, and “seductive” to its descriptions to entice readers nonetheless. I find it hards to understand if such descriptive words are used to explain the technical aspects of a product.

Lastly, it all comes down to the actual testing results of the product. The company gives no indication of what kind of results can be expected (no comparison pictures), or even any test results for that matter. This makes the skeptical wonder if the temporary skin tightening gained through this lotion is either very minimal, or something like the placebo effect. At over $20 per bottle, it’s hard to buy something that has no testimonials unless if you count two testimonials found in the website. One of them only repeat the description of the product without providing sound testimonial.

The Bliss Ray of Hope is a good idea in theory, but it just doesn’t deliver for me. Of course I will stick to the orthodox method of healthy eating and exercises to burn my fat and tighten my skin. The effect is more permanent and more visible compared to this temporary solution. While it is great to think of a product that works at tightening skin while you’re enjoying a little fun in the sun, it just isn’t practical. A good way to sell this stuff is by including this lotion in a bikini. Most people will be delighted to try it on. Of course they need to include a lot of bottles since one just doesn't seem to last long when the guideline tells us to reapply the lotion every two hours and every time the lotion is hampered by water.

Bliss Ray of Hope Site

Past editions of Freaky Friday:
-Diet Flavor Spray
-Pierce Your Ear to Lose Weight
-Alli: Pooping Sensation
-Not So Edible Chocolate Flower
-Diet Water
-Hula Chair
-Pet Fat
-Caffeine Pantyhose
-Cheese Burger Vacuum
-Sauna Sweat Suit

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After running this blog for two months, I started to receive a lot of questions about weight loss through my personal email (see contact page). While some of them ask about recipes and fad diets, there are a couple of questions which are asked numerous times. I assume that few people know about these five facts about weight loss since these questions were asked over and over again. Here are top five questions which were asked to me through email:

Question 1: Can you lose weight by cutting fat consumption?

Not necessarily! It’s important to remember that losing weight means reducing the number of calories you consume to a number less than the number of calories you burn. Fat is usually high in calories, and calories from fat are generally harder to burn than other types of calories. However, just because you have cut down on fat doesn’t mean you have cut down on calories. Plenty of low-fat foods that are marketed today are high in calories, and these are still calories you will need to burn off in order to lose weight.

Q 2: Will Increasing Protein Intake Increase Muscle Growth?

No it won't! Protein is an important part of your diet if you are looking to gain muscle, but too much protein will have the same effect as too much fat; the extra calories will be stored as fat. It’s important to remember that too much of anything good (even protein) will inevitably cause weight gain. Furthermore, muscle growth will never occur without an effective strength training program. Nobody ever bulked up just by eating lots of eggs and nuts.

Q 3: Is Walking Effective for Weight Loss?

Yes it is! Like any other physical activity, walking burns calories. Remember, the key to weight loss is reducing caloric intake and increasing caloric expenditure. A one-mile brisk walk (don’t just saunter) will burn as many as 100 calories, and five miles will burn at least 500 calories. It should take just over an hour, and a five mile walk every day will help you lose one pound per week all by itself.

Q 4: Can you lose weight significantly by consuming diet pill?

Some pills will make you lose weight, some won't. You know what they say: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. While some weight loss drugs have been approved by the FDA, these drugs often have a number of serious side effects and should only be used for clinical obesity. Most diet drugs work by “tricking” the body into believing it isn’t hungry. You probably don’t like being tricked by others, so why would you want to be tricked by your own body? If you are considering using diet pills, be sure to consult a physician first.

Q 5: Will I Gain Weight if I consume Egg?

This is true! Eggs are high in cholesterol, but they are low in saturated fat and low in calories (75 in a hard-boiled egg). They also contain a wide variety of essential nutrients like vitamins A, D, and especially B12. The American Heart Association recommends consuming one egg every day, but one healthy egg is the key. Cooking eggs with high-fat butter, dousing them with salt, and making other unhealthy additions will offset the nutritional value of the egg.

Remember a few years ago when that study came out that a glass of red wine every day was healthy? Remember when everyone thought they had suddenly solved the riddle about why French people eat so well and are so fit? That was bogus. Even if a glass of red wine every day is good for you, the answer isn’t that simple. But it isn’t a mystery, either.

Let’s face it; the French appreciate food, especially food that doesn’t seem so healthy. While it seems like this appreciation would make the French fatter, I think it really makes them thinner. Consider an American meal. We heat something up (or just go to the closest fast food joint), shovel it onto our plates, and then shovel it into our mouths before we know whether we’re full yet.

The French take their time preparing their food and they take their time eating it. They savor every bite. Guess what happens when you savor every bite. You realize that you’re full before you’ve stuffed yourself. The French eat smaller, more enjoyed portions. Similarly the Japanese diet also embraces the same issue.

The French also eat more of their food earlier in the day. One study showed that the French consumed as much as 60% of the calories for the day in two meals within the first six hours of the day. They snack less and eat smaller dinners than Americans do. They don’t go to bed with a belly full of food every night after pigging out in front of the TV for a few hours. They’ve already burned off most of the calories they consumed for the day.

Maybe the French have it right. Maybe it’s not about what you eat; maybe it’s about how you eat it. The French break every rule of American dieting. Rich cream sauces, red meat, lots of carbs, chocolate, and wine are everyday staples in a French diet. They’re obsessed with good food, not with the perfectly calibrated diet that could drive anyone crazy. They eat what they like in moderation. Maybe having a healthy relationship with food is actually the secret to losing weight and being healthier. Or maybe I am just trying to find excuse to gobble up this cake :)

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