Can you imagine how boring your life will be if you just live on a baked beans? Apparently James Skeates didn’t agree with us since this fellow carpenter from Haverhill has lost a considerable amount of weight through his baked beans diet. This diet consists of three things. Baked beans, baked beans and baked beans.

James Skeates was weighed around 266 pounds before he figured that three serving of baked beans could change his life. After six months, his weight has dropped to 190 pounds which constituted as around 60 pounds drop in six months (10 pounds/month on average).

James consumed at least two large cans of baked beans everyday which summed up to around 90 large baked beans cans over 6 months! He ate it for breakfast, he ate it for lunch and he ate it for dinner.

“I was getting through two tins a day, eating them in my breaks at work, then at home with jacket potatoes, wholemeal bread or pasta. I was never hungry, but the weight kept coming off.” Ref.

Although it does sound like a boring diet (more boring than the light and air diet, at least you can still eat McDonalds in the air diet), baked bean is classified as one of the most healthy foods. It’s immensely rich in antioxidants, protein and fiber.

In fact, according to BBC Sport Academy, the nutrients found in many vegetables, fruits, and red wine are also apparent in the skin of beans. The antioxidant which is present in the bean can also protect us from aging and many diseases. As a bonus, they are low in calorie too (a cup of canned beans approximately contains 236 calories according to calorie count).

Although we don’t have (and I don’t think we want to) to pledge allegiance to baked beans for the rest of our life, it’s not a bad idea to include baked bean in your daily meals. You can use the baked beans as a sandwich filling or a toast’s spread or even a side dish to accompany your tenderloin steak. At least this baked beans diet thingy is making more sense than the burrito diet.

Via Ananova.

Weekend Announcement

I know that there’s usually no post on the weekend over here at Diet Meals Recipes but I want to make this post today to announce that I have joined with payperpost today.

Many people always think that the day a blog joins the evil ring of sponsored reviews as a dooms day. Many people expect the blog to dish out riff raff unrelated sponsored posts for the sake of money.

Although I expect to receive much more sponsored posts enquiries from advertisers, I will retain the same strict criteria that I always use to filter interested advertisers.

First I will see the relevancy of the post itself. If the offers are unrelated then I simply reject it.

Then I’ll see the product itself, I don’t want to endorse shady products and therefore you won’t see any dodgy products being reviewed positively here.

Last I will always balance the quantity of sponsored posts versus un-sponsored posts.

I don’t want Diet Meals Recipes to turn into a kind of advertising blog with tons of sponsored posts therefore the number of un-sponsored posts (or real posts) will outnumber the sponsored posts greatly.

PPP is a great platform; literally you can reach to a wider audience by joining them. So apart from gaining access to more advertisers myself, I am looking forward to increase the popularity of Diet Meals Recipes itself by joining the market place.

Since I don’t plan to accept many opportunities here, then I won’t be getting a lot of money for sure ;). But I can still use the extra money to buy more imported ingredients to try new recipes (which I haven’t done for a long time) or just use the money to indulge myself in a Japanese Restaurant (so I can write better).

If you think the idea of spending few hours on the gym is less appealing than spending your life lying on the couch then here’s an invention that may have a soft spot on your heart. The Hypoxi L 250 is an exercise bike which is equipped with a vacuum chamber complete with a comfortable cushion. And the good news is, you can have lower body vacuumed through the vacuum chamber (that sounds pleasant) throughout the exercise while you gently relax and still appear like a man sleeping on his 22nd century bed.

Here’s what the company claims from its webpage:

“The L250 gives skin a rejuvenated appearance and is ideal for those who find it near impossible to reduce body fat on their hips, thighs and buttocks.”

I guess it won’t be impossible again if your hips, thighs and buttocks are exposed to a vacuum chamber while pedaling. I am almost sure that you won’t feel any pain since this chamber is designed to make you feel like you are on a “Spa” rather than on an exercise machine.

“The levels of unsurpassed comfort of this type of exercise; The horizontal position largely relieves the body from its weight, takes pressure off the joints and lowers the client's heart rate so that the gentle therapy can be at its most effective, an experience more liken to a spa therapy than a form of exercise.”

And judging from its look, I bet that this super-comfortable-spa –bike-that-can-burn-fat won’t come cheap. There’s no price tag listed in the website and that probably means that this gadget is expensive.

But again at least this spa-bike sounds more rational than the last week’s light and air diet or the good old caffeine pantyhose, and it's sure way cooler than the Computer Bike. I guess if you find that you always fail in toning down your lower body or just too lazy to move your feet to the gym then this spa-bike may be handy for you.

via Engadget.

Click here to see other weird things in the weight loss scene.

You’ve probably heard and agree that money is the root of all evil; nowadays it seems that money also becomes the root of weight loss. Confirming the move of Mayor of Varallo and Agora Publishing who offered money to people who lose weight, researchers have examined the effect of money incentive to weight loss. The researchers compared money incentive versus healthier cafeteria and onsite fitness center and found out that money incentive is more effective compared to better cafeteria and onsite fitness center.

Unlike the Mayor of Varallo who offered 50 Euro to lose 8 pounds in a month (approx US$ 67) and 200 Euro (approx US$268) to maintain it and Agora who gave US$1000 to the employee who lost the most weight, the researchers only offered meager US$7 – US$14 for participants each time they lost a percent of their weight. So if a person lost one percent of his weight then he would be rewarded with either $7 x 1 or $14 x 1.

Over 200 overweight employees were involved and they were divided into three groups. The first group received no incentive while the second group received $7 for one percent of his weight; the third group received $14 for one percent of his weight. Take note that all of them weren’t given any specific help on how to lose weight.

The first group who received no incentive lost an average of 2 pounds over three months, the second group lost 3 pounds on average and the third group lost 5 pounds.

As conclusion, the researchers agreed that the group who was offered $14 was five times more likely to lose weight and giving financial incentive to their employees to lose weight was a good investment for companies.

In my opinion, companies should also think of a way to reward their employees who are already healthy so that everyone can get their share of the cake. In addition, more emphasis and perhaps more reward should be given to those who manage to maintain their ‘healthy’ weight instead to those who manage to lose the most weight.

Although the result is nothing to write home about, this research has evidently showed that people are more excited when you say “Pals, boss is going to pay us $14 to lose weight” compared to “You will face a serious heart disease risk and cancer if you maintain your unhealthy lifestyle."

I guess the prospect of becoming $100 richer is indeed more lucrative than becoming healthy!

The research overview can be viewed here.

Via Yahoo.

Although it’s already widely known that the fat gained from almond is beneficial to your health but few people consume almond as daily snack due to the fact to the fear of weight gain. A recent study published in British Journal of Nutrition challenged that widely known fact by doing a research which proved otherwise. In truth, if consumed regularly, almonds can actually block some fat from being absorbed.

In the study, the researchers involved 20 overweight women to eat two different diet plans. First they divided the women into two groups, the first group was asked to follow a normal diet plan with addition of consuming 56 grams of almonds everyday for 10 weeks while the other group was told do follow their diet plan but wasn’t instructed to eat almonds at all for 10 weeks. Then both groups were asked to break before switching their diet plan.

As a result, the group who consumed almond didn’t experience any weight gain at all and in turn they got some of their dietary nutrition requirements from almonds. While 56 grams of almonds contain around 344 calories, in reality we will only get 77 calories from 56 grams of almonds according to the research.

Here are some conclusions that I gained from the research:
1. A cup of almond decreases total carbohydrate intake in a given day.
2. The fiber structure in almond prevents some fat from being absorbed.
3. Almonds can reduce blood sugar level which often leads people to eat more than they should.

It’s a pity that I can’t easily get almonds here. It seems that the importers don’t import almonds very often and when they do, the price usually skyrockets. I can’t really consume almond as much as I want due to that obstacle. If almonds are plentiful there then by all means start consuming it.

I came across this interesting research from Men’s Health which talked about World’s Healthiest Countries to live in.

This research examined several factors which contributed to the ‘healthiness’ of a guy. Around 20,000 men from worldwide were asked to participate in this research. The conclusions were also very interesting, they came up with 5 categories such as fitness, stress, sex, nutrition and health then they analyzed which countries ranked as the World’s Healthiest for each category.

1. Fitness
Netherlands ranked as the first while Canada came close in the second place. It’s easy enough to predict what made Netherlands touted as the best country in term of fitness, the bicycle!
Most people in Netherlands rely on bicycle to do their activities. And there’s only one outcome which results from hours and hours spent on cycling, sexy abs!

Canada is ranked on second because there is a great number of parks and public spaces in that country. I guess that motivates people to exercise or just to do a great number of walking regularly.

Most sedentary country: Romania

2. Stress
Spain is the country where stress is not too apparent amongst its fellow employees and workers. One of the reasons is the habit of Spanish to take meeting outside their corporate fortress.
They prefer to have their coffee produced in their favorite coffee shop instead of the office’s pantry. Well, I am sure if I can work in this company which allows its employee to exercise during work hours then I’ll wave stress goodbye without hitting Starbucks.

World’s most stressful country: India

3. Nutrition
Portugal ranked in the top spot of this category while Spain ranked as the runner up. People in Portugal eat around one serving of fish a day due to the fact that fish is easy to get there (it’s a coastal county). Fish is rich in Omega 3 (the good fatty acid) which I am too lazy to write about.

Place where diet is the worst: Ukraine.

4. Sex
United Kingdom ranked as number one, followed by Poland. British men know how to use their mouth according to this research. Don’t think dirty, that means British men always communicate with their partner in order to make sex enjoyable for both of them. Sex plays an important rule in our life and also in our diet. Better sex will reduce your stress level thus enabling you to cope with your diet better. Remember that stress mostly lead to overeating and making unwise decisions regarding to food.

Where sex is ugly: Italy.

I seriously think that this research will stir controversies, especially in listed countries. However, I still find this research is highly interesting although it may not be really accurate since the opinions from the respondents may not reflect the actual condition in the particular countries. Just enjoy this as a good read and take the leaves out of all the number one countries listed above.

Read more about the research in Men's Health and MSNBC.

Miracle Beer Diet - From MetaCafe

This video is hilarious. It actually tells you the benefit of beer to your diet.

Beer can reverse your body metabolism, instead of pushing the food to your stomach, a large amount of beer can push the food back to your throat (read: vomiting). A large influx of beer can also cause some behavioral changes which are beneficial to your diet:
-Inability to walk, thus keeping you away from refrigerator and fast food joints
-Short term memory loss (forgetting how to eat)
-loss of employment, which makes you poor so that you can't purchase any food at all.

Go watch it!

Living entirely on burrito for three months (or the rest of your life) may already seem like a bad way to spend our days on earth, but what will you say to the idea of living entirely on sunlight and air? The diet cult claims that the followers only need to breathe the air and feel the sunlight and can survive without any food at all.

It is called Breatharianism and Breatharian just in case you are wondering. One of its notable practitioners has claimed to live entirely on sunlight and air since 1993 while another practitioner has claimed to live on light and air for the past 30 years with the exception of occasional snacking of McDonald and diet coke.

Jasmuheen or Ellen Greve who composed several self penned internet e-books on Breatharianism failed to impress the public when she was challenged by an Australian TV to demonstrate her Breatharianism diet.

The doctor who supervised her during the challenge found out that she has experienced dehydration and other dangerous physical symptoms. She simply reasoned that it was the bad air that deprived her from supreme wellness.

To make things worse, Jasmuheen made further claim which said that her DNA cell had expanded from 2 to 12 strands in order to absorb more hydrogen as a result of her air and light diet. However when she was asked to perform a blood test she refused and said that such spiritual effect won’t be visible on microscope (do we need third eye then?).

Wiley Brooks, the founder of Breatharian Institute of America, is a more interesting figure to discuss.

One of his initial claims was that he had lived entirely on air and light for the past 30 years. And he described the follower of Breatharian is someone who can travel to the 5th dimension (light). Reference.

Wiley Brooks also suggested that we gobble up McDonald’s double quarter pounder with cheese and diet coke in addition to our delicious meals of light and air.

While McDonald’s burger may provide little nutritional value to our body that some may not consider it to be a proper food for human, Brooks has a different reason to endorse Mc Donald’s double quarter pounder and diet coke.


“This concoction of 5d beef, 5d liquid light from the diet coke, the 5d sweetener aspartame, french fries fried in 5d de-hydrogenated oil and 5d water (5d water contains liquid gold) from the enter-earth oceans, is what makes this 5d catalyst work.”

There is no substitute for the MacDonald's Double-quarter-pounder with cheese meal. But the frequencies of the complete burger is what is very specific. Eating the fries is optional. Drinking the diet coke from MacDonald is OK with the meal. But other times drink it only from the bottles I recommended. This is why its so important to able to feel for yourself what frequencies/feelings are 5D or 3D

He explained eagerly in his website.

For those of you who are so desperate to lose weight, it’s probably worth to give this Breathing thingy a visit. Who knows that you can turn into superhuman as a bonus for losing weight.

Whether you believe this or not, I'll let you to decide. I doubt it will make any difference anyway since since you need $10 million in order to become a true Breatharian.

Brooks wrote a sales-letter to advertise his Breatharian workshop which was probably meant to mimic the infamous get-rich-quick sales letter.

“You will also learn how to become a permanent resident and/or retire in this beautiful world.
The process starts at an initial costs as low as $10,000,000.00 USD
This special offer will last for only 2 months

No Refunds

Sept 1, 2007 the cost will be $15,000,000 USD

November 1, 2007 the cost will be 20,000,000.00 USD

January 1, 2008 the cost will be 25,000,000.00 USD”

That’s a pretty convincing sales letter isn’t it? Hurry! I need to sign up now before the cost is raised!

PS: If you have nothing more important to do on the weekend like me, here are some related articles and references to read:

Walk On My Path Amusing Review of Breatharian
Breatharian on Wikipedia
Breatharian on BoingBoing.

Read Past Edition of Freaky Friday

Since we are at the holy month of Ramadan at the moment, I want to highlight one of interesting phenomenon that affects many of my Muslim friends. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept of Ramadan, here’s a good link that will explain it. In short, it is a holy month where Muslims will practice fasting as well as putting much more emphasis on charity, good deeds and self accountability.

Since there’s fasting involved for the whole month, my Muslim friends always expect that they will end up with lower weight on the end of the month. On the contrary, many of them gained weight instead of losing it although they have always practiced fasting without any absence. Upon a close look at their menu and eating habit, I discovered several habits that can possibly contributed to their weight gain.

1. Not eating meal at dawn
During the Ramadan month, Muslims usually eat their meals twice in a day: one after the sunset and another one before the dawn. Many of my friends occasionally forget to eat something before the dawn. As a result, our body goes into starvation mode and figures out that it needs to store everything into extra fat in order to last until the next meal.

2. Eat a lot of food at once
Because our stomach is empty throughout the day, it’s not wise to consume a large quantity of food at once during the break. When you do that, your stomach will be ‘congested’ since a large quantity of food at once can ‘shock’ the stomach. This can result in digestive problem later on. Break your fast with something small like date (the fruit), or a small cake and water first before continuing with heavier food.

3. Consuming too much carbs
Many of my friends love to eat an excessive amount of carbs during the fasting break. While it’s true that carbs can satiate their hunger quickly, excessive consumption of carbohydrates can contribute to weight gain. Just eat your normal portion of carbs although you have been fasting for the whole day. Eat other types of food to help satiating your hunger. Don’t forget to consume protein too to support you throughout the fasting period. Beside meat, these are some vegetables and nuts that contain a good number of protein.

4. Becoming less active
Fasting is not a reason to become less active! Many of my friends use fasting as an excuse to be lazy yet when it’s times to break the fast, suddenly they become very energetic. Keep doing your activities as you would normally (if you are used to walk to your office, keep on doing so) and don’t use fasting as an excuse to be lazy.

5. Consuming too much sugar
In Ramadan, most family will usually serve traditional cookies and candies which are rich in sugar. While cutting out sugar completely is not a good idea, consuming too much sugar can also endanger your waist line. Don’t excessively consume food which is rich in sugar, spread out your consumption into various types of food. If possible try using sugar substitute such as Splenda instead of sugar.

6. Not having enough sleep
It's common for people to experience lack of sleep during Ramadan. But you should also quickly adjust your schedule so you can have enough rest. Lack of sleep can contribute to the weight gain. Lack of sleep can also trigger dizziness and lack of concentration on the next day.

Those habits are the habits that most of my Muslim friends are showing during the Ramadan month. I believe those habits contribute to their weight gain over a month. While Ramadan itself isn’t about losing weight, you should also eat the ‘right way’ during your fast in order to remain healthy while doing your fasting, prayer and your activities.

What will you say if I tell you that you can lose 40 pounds within three months just by eating burrito without doing any exercises at all? Unless you are living in a cave, then you probably will regard this fact with skepticism. Well the truth is, Justin Hall, as reported by MyFox has lost 40 pounds on burrito and salad without any exercises at all!

The staggering fact is, he lost 40 pounds without any exercises at all! He planned to continue this diet until the end of the year. My only concern is, I am not sure whether or not the producer of the burrito that he consumed is behind this whole fad diet story (Justin did mention a specific brand in the news).

So a burrito diet consists of eating a burrito, fruit and salad in a day. So you can’t have anything else beside those three things, and take note that you are only allowed one burrito each day. It’s perfectly understandable since the burrito itself contains a whooping 1300 calories! What I don’t understand is how a man can survive on this extremely boring menu for a long time!

Theoretically it should work. By restricting your calories intake to a certain amount, you can literally lose weight (that’s the principle behind sacred heart diet). But it’s quite hard and possibly unhealthy to stick with this kind of starvation diet for a prolonged amount of time. Not to mention that it’s boring as hell.

But I have my skepticism on this kind of thing, especially when the dieter blatantly mentions a specific brand of food that he uses. I

Is this a marketing pitch disguised behind a dieter story or is this a real confession from a dieter with no money involved. What do you think?

Read the news (and video) here.

Starting a diet is easy! It doesn’t take you more than a desire to start a diet. But it’s a different ball game there when it comes to maintaining a diet.

Many people have banished sweets from their life, reduce their portion yet still nothing happen. When this bitter truth arises, many dieters start to slack their diet routine and eventually quit. Here are some of the most commons reasons why your diet may not be working for you and how to overcome them.

1. Hidden Calories
We may be consuming more calories than we realize. Even the low fat snacks don’t contain as few calories as you imagine it to be. Be wary when you consume something which is labeled as ‘low’ or ‘free’, they are not as ‘low’ as they appear to be. You may end up consuming much more than you would have to normally and load up a bulk number of calories unconsciously. Coffee is also one of the drinks which are often loaded with additional calories. The coffee itself isn’t waist bulging but the toppings are!

Solution: Be wary when you have that ‘sugar free’ or ‘low fat’ drinks or meals. Don’t over consume them.

2. Expecting an Instant Result
Many people hop on to a diet and expect to see an instant result. When they don’t, they become discouraged. The problem is, a healthy weight loss rate is approximately 2 pounds a week. And this rate doesn’t go on a straight line; it means there will be time when you will gain a part of your weight back; there will be time when your weight will remain unchanged.

Solution: Avoid the temptation to step on the weight scales frequently. Realize that a healthy weight loss is an ongoing process. Your weight won’t be declining in a smooth line. Don’t get discouraged just because you don’t see constant result.

3. Laziness
It’s easier to order Pizza from the delivery man rather than whipping your own meals or go to a healthy restaurant. It’s also easier to say ‘I am tired’ rather than attending the aerobic class you have enrolled to. Many of us don’t want to walk that ‘extra mile’ in order to optimize our diet. Laziness will multiply itself when we slack ourselves. Once we have let laziness make the decision for us, it’ll be harder for us to prevent laziness from ruling our decision again in the future. Substantially this can be a diet destroyer.

Solution: Focus on your goal. Remember that each time you take the ‘easy’ way, you are literally stepping away a step further from your goal.

4. Generalized Diet Plan
People often stick with standardized diet plan without even considering whether their body can handle the diet or not. Many people are blindly following a diet method without any consideration at all. The fact is, human’s body is unique. What works for a person may or may not work for other person. If you have diligently following a diet method but still see no result after a period of time then it’s worth visiting your dietician for a consultation. Similarly, you may need to consult a personal trainer in order to work out a sound exercise schedule which suits your body and metabolism.

Solution: Don’t hesitate to ask for professional advice.

Getting traffic for your blog has never been an easy job. Sometimes, the lack of visitors can really discourage a blogger from staying in the blogosphere. Here's a new idea of generating traffic for blog which doesn't cost any money (FREE) and may probably work well for you.

Blogrush is a new breakthrough by John Reese. It's a banner exchange system where you display a widget on your blog, and the widget will load relevant or similar posts from other blogs. In return, your latest post will also be displayed in other blog as well every time your page is opened. Sounds cool right?

They also have some sort of impression bonus thingy which I don't bother to read. All I know is, if you refer another blogger then you will get extra impression. Since Blogrush is a new fad, chance is your fellow bloggers won't have known about it. So sign up now and try it for yourself. After all if this thing doesn't work, you can always take it off. No risk involved. (Beware, the link contains my referral, *evil grin*).

Sign Up to Generate More Traffic

Doing sport is an entertaining way to burn calories while having fun at the same time. Sport, especially game sport provides a great entertainment which we can enjoy doing for hour. Unconsciously we may be burning whole lot more calories than we realize. Here are five doable sports which are fun and burn plenty of calories (the measurement uses 100 pounds person as a basis) at the same time:

1. Badminton
Badminton is exceptionally popular in Asia rather than in America. 30 minutes of moderate Badminton burns approximately 213 calories. The good news about badminton is, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to play it. In fact you don’t even need to rent a special court just to play this game; this sport is playable even in small venue such as a corner in the nearby park.

2. Ice Skating
Ice skating has always been an enjoyable sport for me. I can personally do hours and hours of ice skating without feeling tired. 30 minutes of ice skating burns approximately 138 calories. Take note than if you are skating with friends, chance is you won’t be skating for just 30 minutes.

3. Rafting - Rowing
Rafting is one of my favorite activities to do during a holiday or long weekend. There’s nothing like a getaway rafting trip to unwind and relax after a long busy week. 30 minutes of ‘not too challenging’ rafting will approximately burn around 120 calories. Of course that number will surely add up if you count the occasional swimming when you fall from your raft. If you prefer a less thrilling activity then try rowing. You will burn more calories but perhaps you’ll miss the excitement.

4. Tennis
30 minutes tennis burns approximately 183 calories. But two things that I hate about tennis are that it’s physically demanding and requires a special court. If you are not used to do cardio training or play similar sport then chance is you won’t be able to play tennis for long.

5. Water Polo
Just get a ball and hop on to the nearby swimming pool with a group of friends and you’re set. A real water polo may burn around 240 calories but you will also burn slightly less calories even if you don’t do ‘serious’ water polo. Our body needs extra energy to move in the water. Provided that you stay in the pool long enough, you will have burned a lot of calories by the time you emerge from the water.

Just remember, it’s not how hard you do it but how long you do it. If you do the sports with friends then you will be able to do the sports for considerable amount of time. Keep it fun!

Do you fancy that flashy hula chair exercise gadget but can’t find the space to have it in your home? Do you regularly complain that you never have enough space to put any exercise or fitness gadget? Then here’s a compact and simple exercise gadget sold at Carol Wright Gifts, the door knob exerciser. At first glance, I couldn’t help feeling intrigued since the description listed on the website sounded too good to be true.

“This easy-to-use exerciser loops over any doorknob to give you a total-body workout in minutes. Just follow the simple exercise instructions to trim your waist, tighten your stomach, tone your bust, slim your hips and strengthen your arms, legs, chest and back. Ideal for anyone who doesn't have the time or patience for expensive programs and health clubs.” (ref)

Okay, obviously you can virtually do anything from toning your bust to tighten your stomach using these rubber bands but the possibility of getting strangled in the heaps of rubber bands is also virtually present.

You can call me paranoid but when I looked at the image posted in their website, the picture of someone opening the door from the other side while I am lying on the other side with my hands and knees tied up to the knob keeps floating in my head.

I can also see a lot of other tragic scenarios which can possibly arise by using this device but that's just me. I am sure people won’t mind.

This device can be bought at here.

Past Edition of Freaky Friday

There are a lot of excuses for gaining weight once you work in an office such as snacking happy neighboring colleague and boredom. But you’ll find that you have no reason ‘not to work out’ if you are employed by Agora Inc, a Baltimore based company. The company offered a whooping $1000 for each female, male and team who lost the most weight during 12 weeks challenge.

This breakthrough was inspired by a reality show “the biggest loser” by NBC and sure enough, not less than 84 employees lost a total 1,000 pounds by the time the contest ended. Although this contest promotes a slimmer waistline and better health, the effect on productivity is questioned.

The company spent around US$90,000 for 12 weeks to start this contest (that’s not a small amount). Most of the money was spent to hire personal trainer and paying unlimited access to a local gym for the employees.
In the end, two people lost more than 40 pounds over 12 weeks. That’s roughly 3 pounds a week!

What’s good from this contest was, the employees were allowed to workout during their daily work schedules!

The only drawback from this contest was, employees who didn’t need to lose weight had less chances of winning the contest. But that didn’t stop them from participating and taking the kickboxing classes that the company provided, so if I were them I wouldn’t complain.

I hope more companies followed Agora’s lead and started giving incentive for their employees to stay fit and healthy. They should learn from the Mayor of Varallo (a city in Italy). Not only that the Mayor gave bonus for citizen who lost weight, he also gave bonus for them who managed to maintain it! The contest would do little use if the participants ended up as yo-yo dieter.

Via: Ocala

Winter is always associated with rising oil price which lead to rising gasoline prices. In addition to winter, the rising tension in Middle East and hurricane can also trigger higher gasoline prices. While the rising gasoline prices have always been greeted with gloom since it means people should tighten their budget, dieters have the chance to tighten their waist line too.

A study by Courtemanche Charles concluded that each $1/gallon increase in gasoline prices can reduce the obesity rate by 15% over five years. Take note that obesity is deemed as having more than 30 Body Mass Index. Charles based his study over historical data of average state gas prices and health behavioral trends as documented in government surveys from 1984 to 2004. Charles also said that during 1979 and 2004, falling gasoline prices were the cause of 13% obesity rate increase.

Quoted from Washington University: it means that $1 increase in gasoline prices can save 16,000 lives and $17 billion a year.

If we view this logically, rising gasoline prices can indeed force people to use public transportation which needs to be reached by walking. People may also opt to use more traditional form of personal transportation such as bicycle or walking. As a result, people will burn more calories and may end up healthier also.

The rising gasoline prices can ‘force’ people to do more walking and can really help fight the rising obesity rate across the nation.

In addition to that, people will also prefer to prepare their food at home instead of dining out since they want to save their fuel. The food which we prepare ourselves tend to be healthier than the food that we get outside (provided they have the basic ingredients for healthy food), therefore people can make wiser choice regarding what they put inside their bodies.

The study can be viewed here.

Technology can be helpful and scary at the same time. Technology did always change the way we live and deal with our problems. Perhaps the future of weight loss industry will also be changed in the coming 30 years with this recent research. Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered that a single gene might be the reason behind your weight gain.

If you ever have a friend who just seem to remain thin although he or she doesn’t really exercise or watch their caloric intake then your friend may be one of few people who have the ‘skinny’ gene in their bodies. The gene is called adipose and it will tell your body whether to store or to burn the fat.

Scientists did some throughout experiments involving cells, flies and mice. First they tried to delete the adipose presence in a cell and the cell quickly became a ‘fat cell’ because the cell accumulated fat droplets. Then the scientists observed flies which have the ‘skinny gene’, and the flies that happened to have the skinny gene were thinner than other flies. Their latest experiment was to try analyzing the effect of this gene in mammals which are very identical to humans in metabolism (mice). The mice which were given adipose stimulant ate same or much more food than the normal mice but they were thinner and had better control on insulin.

Clearly we can see where this research will be heading to. It won’t be long before they are finally able to inject this gene stimulant into human body. When the first appetite suppressant was invented, the idea of artificially suppress your appetite was sickening. But over time, appetite suppressant pills have become very popular.

Perhaps it’s just me but I found the idea of artificially modify our gene is horrible. People are always looking for a quick solution and when this ‘skinny gene’ is ‘available for sale’; I’ve no doubt that it will become a big hit. I hope that technology won’t change much about the way we deal with weight problem. Do you think the idea of injecting your body with gene is revolting?

Source: UT Southwestern Medical Center

These are interesting photographs which were shot by Peter Menzel for his book, Hungry Planet. Although these photographs stories are a little bit old, but they are still as fascinating as ever. In my opinion the pictures describe clearly the contradiction between expenditure and the freshness of the food. When people spend more money for food, they get more processed food.

Aboubakar family from Chad. They spend $1.23 for a week food supply. We can see that they consume a sack of grain, vegetables and a little fruit.

Ahmed family from Egypt. They spend around $68.53 for their food in a week. Lots of meat, a lot of green vegetables with a little potato.

A family in Mexico. They spend around $189 for food every week.
A lot of USA influence in this family, we can see some bottles of Cola lined up in the background and cornflake. But majority of their food is still composed of vegetables and some processed food.

A family in Mongolia. They spend around $40 per week. We can see a large chunk of mutton meat there accompanied with a lot of bread, eggs and just few vegetables. Too bad they didn't include the goat in the picture.

A Japanese family spend around $317 per week for their food. Basically their table is filled up with fishes and fishes. Few fruits and vegetables are visible. Well they just need nori and rice.

A family in USA spend around $341 per week for their food.
The pizza quickly stole my attention. I am actually surprised to see such large pizza. In here the largest pizza is only 3/4 of the pizza showcased here. We can see dunkin donut beverages and potato chips on the right side too.

From: Boredom is Your Fault via Information Aesthetics.

We have an environment friendly car, we have a car which can park by itself, we have a car which can turn off its engine automatically but do you know that we have a car that can tell you if you have been eating too much?

This idea is invented by a Russian professor from New Haven University called Yefim Krieger. Mr. Kriger's idea of a talking car might not be a big hit but it was surely very interesting and quirky at the same time.

He found a weight censor device which can be installed in your car, this device will find out if you have been eating unhealthy and display a ‘caring’ alert for you.

When you install this device, it will ask you to create a profile first. Through a touch screen display, then you will be prompted to your their doctors’ phone number just in case of emergency.

Then the device would weigh the passengers using the weight responsive units installed below the front seat. It will periodically measure your weight and will alert you where your weight is trending north.

In addition of alerting, it will also display the future projection of your weight and your size with the hope that it will make you start eating healthier. And just when you are confused about what to eat, it will also display a diet and exercise program which is tailored according to your historical data.

It sounds like a great idea with just one tiny drawback. It will be annoying.

Quoted from the NYTimes:

But watch out - the car can be brutally honest. Eat poorly or fail to exercise and the car will sound an alarm or display admonishments.
"You ate too much! Don't do it next time or Oh, you're overweight! What happened?”

I can imagine that this device won’t have too many of these pre-recorded alerts and it will get annoying if we have to listen to the same pattern of voice over and over again. Considering that people averagely use their car for more than three years, driving while listening to this alert in three years can be substantially boring and annoying. reckoned that this device can be a prototype of a modern car. Cars which can drive you away from the nearby fast food drive through if you are overweight. Now that would be cool.

Source: NY Times

Past Edition of Freaky Friday

Are you struggling to lose weight in the work place? Instead of those snacks filled vending machines, your colleagues may be the one that cause you to gain weight according to a new survey by HR Zone. The eating habit that your neighboring work colleagues pose can potentially affect your weight, at least that’s what this survey result showed.

In a study involving 2,000 workers, three quarter of them blamed their weight gain to their colleagues sitting in the nearby cubicles. Three quarter of them believed that they gained weight because their work colleagues were spreading unhealthy eating influence. 57% of the participants also admitted that they ate lunch earlier than they wanted to since they saw their colleagues eating theirs. And 10% admitted that they chewed candies and chocolates too when they saw their neighbors eating snacks.

A part of the participants also said that boredom was the culprit of excessive snacking in the office. Well I guess M&Ms and chips are present in a lot of cubicles.

Not surprisingly, this research also highlighted the lack of willpower that the participants possessed. Three quarter of the participants confessed that they have promised to eat healthily on Sunday but this weekend resolution fell apart on Tuesday. To conclude the survey, they said that IT and recruitment workers are on top of the office snacking chart.

I guess it’s easier to blame on somebody else when we gain weight rather than trying to find the solution within ourselves. Moral of the story, you can go ahead and blame everybody for your weight gain and still nothing change or you can start to develop your willpower, sound eating plan and experience a change without blaming it to your surrounding.

Source of this study: HR Zone UK
Similar Study: Your best friend can make you obese.

smoked salmon sandwichA new research published recently in the Journal of Consumer Research elaborated that people tend to consume 131% more calories than they would normally do if the foods served to them are labeled as healthy.

One of the most notable examples that the researchers pointed out was the case of Subway sandwich. People generalize Subway sandwiches as healthy sandwiches while in fact, not all Subway sandwiches are low in calories.

In one of the experiment, the researchers asked the participants to guess how many calories each in two meals from two different restaurants. The participants estimated that meals from ‘healthy’ restaurants always contained fewer calories than the ‘normal’ restaurants. The alter effect made people ordered side dishes, beverages and other desserts which summed up to 131% more calories!

"When we see a fast-food restaurant like Subway advertising its low-calorie sandwiches, we think, 'It's OK: I can eat a sandwich there and then have a high-calorie dessert,' when, in fact, some Subway sandwiches contain more calories than a Big Mac." (Medical News)

This research elaborated that people only assess food qualitatively and not quantitatively. Most foods are pictured as either high in calorie or low in calorie. If the food is low in calorie, people compensate by eating another food. Not to mention that some low calorie snacks is not as ‘low’ as people perceive.

You may be interested in these similar posts:
Research unveiled the calories behind the low calorie label.
What does ‘Zero Trans Fat’ mean?

flavored fizzy drinkThe future looks bright for those who have difficulty in regulating their carbohydrate and sugar intake. If you just seem to have enough of those fizzy sugary drinks or that flavored water bottles then Sony prototype invention may indeed become a useful tool in the coming years. The Japanese technology company has invented a battery which uses carbohydrates and sugar to generate electricity.

Sony was able to generate enough electricity to play a walkman using its sugar and carbohydrates powered battery.

In a demonstration on Thursday, a Sony employee poured a sugary sports drink to power a music player and speakers. (Yahoo)

I should say that this is a damn brilliant breakthrough by Sony. Although it can’t be put into practical use yet but when the time comes it will change the way we treat those fizzy drinks. I always shudder to see those brilliantly colored, sugar laden, low calorie drink. At least people can use those drinks for something else other than making themselves fatter.

Anyway, it’ll be cool if we can just borrow our friend’s strawberry water to power our laptop just in case of emergency. Will this replace the traditional rechargeable battery that we have now?

Holiday season is often pictured as a gloomy seasons for dieters since many people, dieters and non dieters a like, often gain weight during the holiday season. Although this may be true, people should notice that their biggest threat lies on their weekends instead of their holiday seasons.

For the average people, weekend drinking party or splurge eating may be the culprit of your weight gain. As compensation, people who find that they have overeat during the weekend often ‘punish’ themselves by sticking to a stricter diet regimen during the coming weekdays. Of course we don’t want this to happen since it’s not beneficial in the long run.

If you sum it up, over a year we have around 48 weekends compared to just two major holiday seasons (summer and winter). The calories intake that average people have during weekends is contributed by mainly alcohol and fat. The worst thing is, no matter how much ‘moderation’, healthy snack bar, salad and yogurt we have during the weekdays, we are bound to forget all those damn rules by Friday night. Research published in Obesity Research highlighted that people who are 19 to 50 years old consumed 115 extra calories on weekends which came from alcohol consumption.

While it’s absolutely normal to have fun on weekend, it’s also essential for us to have a little self control handy if we still want to maintain or lose our weight. One of the most sensible things that people can do to minimize the calories intake during the weekend is by reducing the consumption of alcohol. You don’t have to get drunk every weekend! Just drink moderately and save those drinking competition for one or two special occasions.

Another tip is to combine less alcoholic intake with more vigorous physical activities (at least do this before you hit up the club if you have to). Bowling and skating are few examples of good weekend activities before you hit the club later on. Even shopping can bring more good than harm as long as you walk far enough in your shopping venture.

Bottom line, don’t let your weekends habit makes you feel guilty in the coming weekdays. Start by regulating the consumption of alcohol and snacks while increasing your activities during the weekend. Have fun and don’t be wild too often.

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