Holistic Health
Healthy Food

Anorexic teenagers and children

The rise in anorexic teenagers and children is frightening to see. So too is the young age that young girls start to become aware of their bodies. A recent survey conducted by the national heart, lung and blood institute of girls aged 9 -10 showed that 40% have tried to lose weight.
Another study conducted by the national institute on media and family showed that at age thirteen, 53% of American girls are "unhappy with their bodies." This grows to 78% by the time girls reach seventeen.

One problem is that the increase in anorexic teenagers and those suffering from other eating disorders is accompanied by a dramatic increase in the pro anorexic sites that educate vulnerable young people on ways to become anorexic.
I have gained access to some of these sites and am appalled at the way in which these very vulnerable girls are encouraging each other to continue starving themselves.
More than ever it is important to be aware of the effect that the media, in various forms, affects our children. Building their self esteem, and our own, and teaching them to value themselves enough to see the pressures around them as irrelevant is crucial for the health of our society.
For many parents, the epidemic of eating disorders is frightening. As anorexia and other eating disorders are increasing amongst boys and men, it is not just those with daughters who are concerned.One of the reasons for the fear is that parents often don't know what an eating disorder involves, and what they need to watch out for.
It is easy for parents to feel out of their depth if they are afraid their son or daughter may be suffering from an eating disorder.
The key is not to panic. Learning about eating disorders, and the ways to deal with it is the answer. I was once anorexic. I recovered and am determined to help others to do so also.

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The three categories of eating disorders

There are three categories of eating disorders The first is anorexia nervosa. Somebody who is suffering from anorexia tries to lose weight by restricting her food intake. She usually exercises a lot.

The second of the three categories of eating disorders is bulimia nervosa. Somebody suffering from bulimia purges after eating. Like those suffering form anorexia, she also wants to lose weight. After eating, the sufferer feels guilty, and feels that the only way to rid herself of the guilt is to purge herself of the food. So she makes herself sick.

Many of those suffering from anorexia, also suffer from bulimia, and vice versa. Both are torn between the desire for food and the desire to be thin. The third category is binge eating disorder. Those suffering from binge disorder eat large amounts of food but don't purge afterwards. Although these three categories of eating disorder are widely accepted as medical terms, I find it unhelpful to categorize them in this way.

A great deal of emphasis is placed on the differences between food related disorders. However, at the root of them all is the same problem - depression and its accompaniment - low self-esteem. Food is a tool.

Like any tool, it can be used for positive or negative effect. Those with high self esteem use the tools available to them in a productive and effective way. They spend money wisely, look after their health, and use whatever resources they have to build a safe and happy life.

 People with low self esteem find it hard to access the tools they possess within themselves, and they don't feel that they have a right to the tools external to them.

They therefore feel that they have no control. In order to have good self-esteem, it is important to know what we can control and what we can't. What we need to control in order to achieve happiness, and where it's best to let go.

For those with low self-esteem, distinguishing between these is difficult. They may feel for example, that to be happy they need to bring about a change in another person's behaviour. What they may actually need to do is move away from that person, at least psychologically. Not feeling good enough is another cause of low self esteem.

This leads to bad decision making which leads to further depression. For example, a woman with low self esteem is in a job which she does not enjoy.

She blames her lack of enjoyment on herself, and so she stays. If she were to increase her self esteem, she may decide that she is unhappy because she really wants to do something else.

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Cardiac Muscle – Why Is It So Unique?

An average human heart contracts around 70 times a minute and pumps 5 liters a blood a minute. Your cardiac muscle (also known as your heart muscle) is responsible for this. This muscle that is so important to us must not rest and sustain that amount of contractions for us to live.

How can it do this? Well, it is made up differently from other muscle. It has high amounts of mitochondria, myoglobins, and a good blood supply. Now I could get into how it all works but what it basically comes down to is that all these factors allow it to be highly resistant to fatigue.

It may be highly resistant to fatigue but that doesn’t mean it is perfect. If you don’t exercise regularly and don’t practice healthy eating habits your heart muscle will weaken and may have a hard time pumping blood through your arteries. This is why many people suffer from heart problems when they get older.

Today in the US heart disease is the number one killer overall. It even surpasses cancer. Heart disease can almost always be prevented by a proper diet and exercise. Did you know you can also prevent cancer and stroke in most cases by proper diet and exercise too?

Cardio exercise is the best way to strengthen the heart muscle and combined with a proper diet will ensure you have less complications as you age. You only have one heart so treat it well and exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet.

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Why Fad Diets are not a Permanent Fat Loss Solution

There are many people that are on fad diets and not finding the long term success they are looking for. These diet plans are so crazy, they have to will themselves to stay on them. They often begin to yo-yo because they try these weight loss programs a number of times; they lose weight and then rebound. When a person rebounds from starving themselves, they will often gain back more weight than they lost. This is extremely frustrating.

There are two things that people must realize when they are on fad diets and that is that there is another way and there is a better way. The key to true weight loss is not the latest crazy plan or diet pill, rather it is a lifestyle change. A lifestyle change is usually small but it is significant in order to lose weight permanently.

There are different stages or pillars that people must accomplish in order to alter their lifestyle in increments to manifest the body they always wanted and be able to keep it. The first of these pillars is meal frequency.

The traditional meal pattern is three square meals a day. There is also a saying that "square meals make round people." The first thing a person does on a fad type diet is decrease their calorie intake. They do this by reducing their food intake to once a day.

This type of extreme diet can cause hormonal changes and force the body into starvation mode. Once the person is off the fad diet, they not only gain the weight that they lost, but they will eat everything in sight and gain even more weight.

To some people it may not make sense that increasing the number of meals you have to five or six would make logical sense. This is the key to beginning to not only losing weight, but to making a lifestyle change you can keep up with.

There is research that shows that eating more frequently can help you lose weight. Eating more frequent, smaller meals increases what's called the thermic effect of food, or basically, the energy it takes your body to digest food.

This is a slower way to lose weight, but has longer lasting effects. It does not cause the hormonal changes that fad diets can.

Eating more frequent meals is a nutritional plan that you can stick to for the rest of your life. It can take getting used to. Many people complain early on that they just do not have the time to eat more frequently. If they give it a chance for a few weeks, it will form a new long lasting habit. It takes some patience and work, but the payoff is amazing.

To begin this lifestyle change, take the amount of food that you would normally eat over three meals, and for the next two weeks, make it four or maybe five meals. You will just be spreading the same amount of food over a greater period of time. You will be burning slightly more calories just by spreading your meals out and being consistent about it.

Make increased meal frequency part of your lifestyle, and once it becomes a routine you can move on and add another pillar of nutrition.

This article was provided by Mike Roussell, of Warp Speed Fat Loss fame.

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Why the Crash Diet Is A Lot Like a Financial Crisis

Can you compare a crash diet and the biggest financial crisis of our time. And no, it's not because both are painful and leave you hungry and frustrated!

Now, let me be clear straight away ... if you think I'm going to make a joke here about "taking stock" of your Big Macs (or how your Freddie Mac and Cheese ends up on your Fannie Mae), think again ... this is serious stuff!

What I'd like to do is make some comparisons about how the global financial fiasco can maybe help you learn how a crash diet affects your body, and in turn, can help you improve your results in your weight loss efforts and, of course, make you richer in the process.

I'm going to switch between finance and nutrition here - I know, they're two almost identical subjects but, try to bear with me.

And keep in mind when you read this, I'm no finance whiz. If something isn't quite right, don't shoot the messenger!

1 - The Boom Era

Your body is designed to store fat. It's how we've lasted as a species so many millenia. When famine came, those people who could best store and use fat were the ones who survived. Evolution is not concerned about the potential for muffin-top when it loaded our bodies with expandable fat cells.

So when times were good (like in the housing market a few years back), those fat cells were pumping up like like crazy! Everybody was seeing their house values (read: waistlines) expand.

Now, greed is not just going on in the financial markets - you can bet it happens at the dinner table too. The less regulation there is, i.e. portion and food quality control, the more things start to get wobbly and the more likelihood there is for gluttony.

Some people bought houses beyond what they could afford, which is a parallel to some people eating the junk food (i.e. pretty much anything that comes directly to you through a window). It seriously compromises your health in the long term.

Put it another way, eating at a cheeseburger place is a bit like getting an variable rate loan, you're ok for the first little while, but suddenly WOWA ... your rate goes up and it's time to bust out the fat pants.

But you know, during those first few years of your Variable Rate Mortgage, life feels swell. You may not look like you're gaining a lot of fat (it's all settling into the gaps between your internal organs) or setting up your financial markets for a crash until the moment of truth hits.

Then the balloon payment comes due, your mortgage rockets and you start blowing out the seams on your fat pants.

The internal mechanics of your system have been so corrupted by deregulation (and coagulation) that your markets can hardly function. Your blood pressure is going up faster than a bank manager's retirement bonus because your body is loaded with too much debt around your waistline.

2 - The Crash

So it's time to crash diet. And you want to lose that fat FAST. So you immediately cut your calories to near starvation level. Of course, in the stock market, a strict diet looks a lot like a crash. Your body views it like that, for sure.

Panic starts up. Just as the stockbrokers start selling off shares, your body starts ridding itself of things it doesn't want to carry around.

And, of course, the more panic that sets in, the dumber the brokers (and your body) get. When you crash diet, your body tends to burn MUSCLE more than fat. Just like a broker selling off the worthy stocks that can help him recover from a crash.

It's the FAT you want to sell off, not the muscle.

But a mega crash diet, which resulted from the previous gluttony [the result of excess deregulation, just like asking a toddler to guard the birthday cake], you're now attempting to accomplish very quickly what should normally happen over a longer period of time.

If you were to experience a slow economic downturn, your capacity to ditch the fat is much better, allowing you to streamline your portfolio smartly rather than just trying to get rid of everything all at once. You reduce your calories, increase your activity and gradually lose the fat.

3 - Unstable Markets

If you've got savings or a pension for your retirement and you've looked at it recently, you've probably seen how the graph goes up and down just like the numbers on the scale of a yo-yo dieter.

The crash is followed by a binge of people buying cheap stocks (because the price is so low and because that deep-fried mars bar just looks so good), followed by another crash diet, followed by another binge. And so it continues.

This constant cycle of crashing and rebounding does nothing to stabilize the economy. It only makes you want to eat more and makes you fatter.

4 - The Great Depression

Now you're really feeling bad about yourself. You've gained back all the weight you lost when you crash dieted only you lost muscle and gained back fat.

You're in the middle of a great depression. What's it going to take to snap out of it?

5 - The Two Magic Words

I'm talking BAIL OUT, right! Government to the rescue, right! WRONG.

Look at how well the bail-out worked. The stock market keeps tanking and keeps yo-yo dieting. Until the government takes high fructose corn syrup out of the food-lobby pyramid, you can be pretty sure the government isn't going to solve your flabby problems. Now come the REAL two little magic words that will make everything okay… Personal Responsibility.

I am VERY sure there are predatory lenders out there who convinced people that they could afford homes that they really couldn't just as I'm sure there are food manufacturers trying to convince you that Fish and Chips are healthy because cod contains omega 3!

When you get down to it, nobody is forcing you to eat that last chunk of garlic bread with extra cheese. Just because something is in front of you doesn't mean you HAVE to scoff it (or sign the paperwork that says you're fine with 5% APR increase on your mortgage when it resets).

When you put Personal Responsibility into practice, you take CONTROL over your finances and your nutrition. You realize that the world does not owe you a lean body - it's something you have to work for and make an effort for, just like it takes work and effort and discipline to pay your bills every month.

If it sounds too good to be true ... well, you know how the rest of THAT goes…

In this case, it's a lesson Wall Street should learn from Sesame Street. Like Cookie Monster says, cookies are a "sometimes" food - meaning if you're greedy all the time, it's going to eventually catch up to you and you'll have to pay for it (unless you're AIG or Northern Rock, apparently, in which case you've got a license to keep on partying without any hint of accountability - I guess the parallel to that would be liposuction!).

So how do you take the next step?

Glad you asked! I've got links to a number of excellent fat loss programs you can use to take control over your life and put that new found Personal Responsibility to work!

Metabolic Surge - Rapid Fat Loss by Nick Nilsson

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The Best Whey Protein Supplement For You

When I first started working out I always wanted to know, "What is the best whey protein supplement?" Truth is, you can't pick one supplement and call it the best.

Many whey protein supplements have geared towards being the best for certain situations. The best protein supplement for you may not be the same as for someone else. My choice of a whey protein supplement may not be the best choice for you.

I hope you understand this before taking advice from people. The only way to know for sure which whey protein supplement works best for you is to experiment and try different kinds.

I try to make that task easier for you in this section by providing information on many of the most popular supplements and also give the chance for you to submit whey protein reviews to give people valuable information in helping them decide their best whey protein supplement.

Why Whey Protein?

Why? Because it simply is the quickest type of protein to be delivered to your muscles to promote growth and repair. We'll talk about that in more depth in the articles below.

Whey protein powder is also hands down the most popular supplement.If you ask any body builder at a gym what muscle building supplement he takes, chances are they will tell you they take a whey protein supplement.

The body builder probably takes other supplements as well, but for anyone serious about gaining muscle mass, I recommend at least a whey protein supplement.

Tips for Finding Your Best Whey Protein Supplement

While picking a brand that is right for you consider looking at the ingredients.You may find yourself reading the label not understanding what any of that means.Well I will explain what the first two ingredients are usually in detail. The two ingredients are Whey Protein Isolate and Whey Protein Concentrate.They are essentially the same type of protein but there are differences in the quality of protein.

If you want the absolute best quality whey protein supplement find a brand that uses Whey Protein Isolate. It is whey protein in its purest form.

It’s obviously not a necessity and those types of protein are usually the most expensive. Companies usually mix Whey Protein Concentrate to reduce the cost of making it, thus passing the savings onto the consumer. These types of whey protein are usually the cheapest.

It’s not going to make a major difference using the more expensive brand. If you cannot afford the best whey protein I would search for a mid priced protein and try to find a protein powder with Whey Protein Isolate before Whey Protein Concentrate because it will contain more Isolate than Concentrate.

What I like to do when trying a new brand of protein powder is to taste each type. Whatever tastes the worst means it is usually the best.

You might be asking, "Why?"

It’s simple... because companies aiming to make their protein taste better will usually put more sugar in and less protein and vitamins, which makes it less effective.

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Cardio Vs Weight Training – Are They Comparable?

Cardio vs weight training… which one should you choose? Well, what if I said you should do both?

You see, cardio and weight training cannot be compared. They each do different things. While they may share some similarities they are two totally different aspects of working out. It’s like comparing apples and oranges.

Cardio is great for strengthening the heart and the best way to lose weight. Doing cardio exercises daily has been proven to promote brain development even in older people. This basically means you can focus more and retain more information which may link it to preventing or slowing in diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Weight training is different. Weight training strengthens your muscles throughout your body depending on the exercise you do. It can also be used to tone muscles. Weight Training will build your muscle endurance up as well.

The similarities both cardio and weight training share are that they both speed up your metabolism, they both can help tone your body, and they both can help you burn fat.

I like to think of cardio as a specialized workout, which specializes in burning fat and excels in that. I think of weight training as a combination of both toning and muscle building.

If you look at it from the same perspective from me you can clearly see how they really can’t be compared. What this means is that when you combine both you are giving your body one heck of a workout.

If you just simply want to lose weight and aren’t looking to build a lot or any muscle mass then I suggest a cardio workout combined with some free weight toning exercises.

If you want to build muscle mass I suggest some strength training exercises, but do a little cardio before and/or after your workout to get the blood flowing to your muscles.

Don’t be fooled by trying to do the cardio vs weight training comparison. Instead you should focus on how to include both workout types into your fitness plan; because in the end, if you really want to push yourself and see results the quickest it is best to combine these two workout types into your fitness plan in some way.

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