From the monthly archives:

April 2011

A new diet claims to use “metabolic confusion” to help you lose a lot of weight very, very quickly. Does it really work?

Do we really care?

Yet another fad diet, this time inventing a new term called metabolic confusion which doesn’t have a scrap of scientific evidence to back it up, has hit the market and here’s a report in The Week which sums it up quite nicely.

My advice… don’t bother!

Move over Dukan Diet. With swimsuit season inching ever closer, yet another “gimmicky” diet is making news. The 17-day diet, a new plan that’s topping bestseller lists, claims dieters can lose as many as 12 pounds in the first 17 days.”This diet is designed to produce quick results, not because it starves you down to size but because its carefully designed balance of food and exercise adjusts your body metabolically so that you burn fat, day in and day out,” says the diet’s creator, Dr. Michael Moreno, at ABC News. Here, a brief guide to the fad diet du jour:

How does the diet work?lunch
It’s divided into four cycles, each lasting 17 days, and based on the principle of “metabolic confusion.” In the first phase, “accelerate,” quick weight loss is the goal, and you consume just 1,200 calories per day. Dieters are allowed unlimited lean proteins and nonstarchy vegetables, and some fruit and low-fat yogurt. In the second phase, “activate,” dieters alternate between low- and high-calorie days, with the goal of losing five to 10 pounds. The third phase, “achieve,” concentrates on portion control. The fourth and final phase, “arrive,” focuses on applying lessons from the earlier phases to establish lifelong healthy habits. Throughout the diet, no fruits or starches are allowed after 2 p.m. Exercise requirements begin with a daily 17-minute walk, and grow more intense.

Metabolic confusion? Come again?
Also known as “calorie shifting or cycled eating,” it’s the concept that by changing the way one eats or drinks every couple days or weeks, one can prevent metabolism from getting too static, and thus increase weight loss. “Everyone wants fast results and the calorie confusion of this plan burns fat, achieves weight loss results, and helps dieters avoid boredom,” says Moreno.

Does metabolic confusion really work?
Many are skeptical. “There is no scientific evidence to support the efficacy of calorie cycling or its effect on metabolism,” says Mary Hartley, a registered dietician with a masters in public health. Plus, studies show that those who maintain a healthy diet in the long term don’t rely on low carb diets like this one.

But it’s worked for some people, right?
Yes. While this diet plan is packed with gimmicks, it also suggests a number of healthy habits, like an emphasis on eating breakfast each day and a consistent but doable amount of exercise, says Karen Borsari in Shape. So “of course people have shed pounds,” says Marissa Cevallos in the Los Angeles Times. The dramatic calorie reduction early in the diet is effective enough. “And it’s not too surprising that people would lose weight on a diet that recommends eating fruits, vegetables, lean protein and yogurt, drinking plenty of water and getting lots of exercise.” Plenty of diet and health websites espouse the same wisdom.

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I had to laugh when I read this but, if you think about it, it does actually make a lot of sense. Baby food is created to be as healthy as possible with no salt or sugar. It’s bland as hell but certainly good for you.

Here’s the excerpt from Now magazine:Cheryl Cole - Fight For This Love

Cheryl Cole is on personal trainer to the stars Tracy Anderson’s cleanse diet, sources tell Now.

As part of the regime, the Girls Aloud singer has been consuming puréed ‘baby food’ ahead of intense daily workouts.

‘On the diet you eat baby food, such as apricot and sweet potato or asparagus, carrot and orange all puréed together, 14 times a day,’ says our source.

‘In the evening you have a light meal, such as grilled chicken or fish with green veg.

‘The baby food is a mix of carbs and proteins but with “good fats” and no salt or sugar. It’s all totally healthy.’

Tracy, 36, is also helping to give Cheryl, 27, an A-list ‘bodyover’ in time for the launch of the US X Factor later this year.

‘She’s only 5ft 3in,’ adds our insider. ‘She wants to change the shape of her legs to look longer, so Tracy is working to get them more like dancer’s legs.’

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Now, I can watch fitness videos like these all day.

Kim Lyons, star of the Biggest Loser, has loads of these on her fitness blog. It’s free too.

It’s great to try out new routines as your body quickly becomes adapted to whatever exercise you do and does it more efficiently, meaning you burn less calories. So by mixing it up and trying new stuff all the time, your body has to work harder and you get thinner.

Or you could just watch the video, I’m sure I’m burning more calories just with an increased heart rate!

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When it comes to burning fat, not all foods are created equally, according to Care2.com.  We all know we should eat more vegetables, cut back on sugar, avoid fast food, among other dietary changes to lose weight.  But simply adding the following surprising fat-burners to your diet may also help speed your weight loss.  Proven to speed fat loss, they are an excellent addition to a healthy weight loss program.  Of course, if you suffer from any medical condition or allergy you should consult with your doctor or a nutritionist before making any dietary changes.  The four surprising fat-burning foods include:Mixed Nuts

Nuts: According to Harvard research, eating 3 ounces of nuts daily helps people lose one inch of fat from their waist per month.  The scientists at Harvard also found that people who eat 3 ounces of nuts daily were more likely to keep the fat off.  Of course you should avoid salted nuts.  Choose raw nuts that are kept refrigerated to prevent the healthy fats they contain from going rancid.

Fish and Seafood: Recent research shows that when you eat fish or seafood, you’ll stay full for two hours longer than you normally would.  Fish and seafood increase the body’s production of a hormone called leptin that shuts down hunger pangs between meals.

Avocado: Loaded with healthy Omega 9 fatty acids, the same fats found in olive oil, olives, and macadamia nuts, avocado’s Omega 9s speed the conversion of fat into energy and boost the rate of metabolism.

Coconut: Coconut is rich with medium chain triglycerides (MCFAs) which increase the liver’s rate of metabolism by up to 30%, according to some experts.  They also help keep you full so you’re less likely to snack on junk food.  Coconut oil frequently aids the functioning of the thyroid gland.  Coconut oil, coconut milk (not the low fat variety), coconut flour, and shredded (unsweetened) coconut all contain this important fat.

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