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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7 Quick Tips to Increase Metabolism and Burn Fat Faster

Your metabolism or metabolic rate can determine exactly how quickly you gain or lose fat. Here are some quick tips you can put to use immediately to help increase metabolism and crank up your fat burning.

1. Eat Breakfast

It's no myth that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If you skip breakfast thinking you are saving calories or time, consider this...

Your body has been in a fasting state for 8 hours or more. When you wake up and don't give it any food, its natural reaction is self-defense. It thinks "famine" and automatically slows your metabolism to a crawl to conserve calories. Not only does everything you eat for the rest of the day have a far greater chance of being stored as fat, your chances of burning any fat off that day are low.

And here's the whammy... you're going to get really hungry later and will probably want to eat something that's not so good for you. With your now-slower metabolism (because you skipped breakfast), you're going to store a lot more of that "not-so-great" meal than usual.

2. Eat Frequently

Besides skipping breakfast, the next biggest metabolism-killer is long waits between meals. Every time you eat something, your metabolism ramps up to process the food. The more frequently you eat, the more frequently your metabolism will get a boost.

The real key, however, is to be sure you're eating smaller meals (eating 5 big meals instead of 3 big meals isn't good for losing fat!). Try to eat 5 or more times per day, even if it's just healthy snacks between meals.

3. Exercise With Intensity

Your metabolic rate is directly related to the intensity of the exercise you perform. Walking will burn calories while you're doing it and give your metabolism a small boost for a little while after but it doesn't compare to high-intensity interval training. That type of training can boost your metabolism for a full 24 hours or more after.

Even if you can't handle high-intensity training, you can always find ways to make the easier exercises such as walking more intense, e.g. walk faster, walk up hills, wear a weighted back-pack, etc.

4. Train With Weights

Weight training builds muscle and muscle is a huge factor in determining your metabolic rate. Muscle tissue is very metabolically active. Your body burns a lot of calories just to maintain it.

Weight training gives your metabolism a triple-shot. Not only do you burn calories during the exercise, you also increase your metabolic rate long after the exercise (provided the training you are doing is intense). Add to that the extra muscle you build from the training and you can see how effective weights can be for boosting your metabolism.

5. Eat More Protein

Of the three major macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats), protein requires the most energy to digest. Protein is also less likely to be stored as fat because of this. Protein will also help you to build up your muscle.

I don't recommend that you overload on protein, however, focusing on getting plenty of good-quality protein from a variety of sources (e.g. lean meats, chicken, fish, eggs, soy, etc.) can help keep your metabolic rate high.

6. Take Your Vitamins

Your metabolic rate basically boils down to chemical reactions in your body. Vitamins and minerals (and water) are important parts of these chemical reactions. If you don't have enough of these components available for your body to use when it needs them, your body will have to limit itself to what you've got.

Think of your metabolism as a car assembly line. You can't build a complete car until you have all the parts available. If, for example, you only have enough doors available to build 100 cars but you have 200 doorless cars on the line, you're missing out on a lot of potential production.

By taking a multivitamin on a regular basis, you will not only support your metabolism but your health as well.

The best little pot of multivitamins I've ever had is the amazing Formula 2 complex of vitamins, minerals and herbs - it will skyrocket your fat loss and your energy!!!{END}

7. Reduce Your Fat Intake

Fatty foods take longer for your body to digest and they leave you feeling fuller longer. While not being hungry is certainly fine when trying to lose fat, eating meals that encourage you to wait longer periods between eating can slow your metabolism.

This goes back to the point about eating frequently. If you eat fatty foods for breakfast, you may not want to anything again until lunch, which could be 5 or more hours away. Ideally, you should eat approximately every 3 hours.

If you're looking to give your metabolism a boost, give these tips a try. A faster metabolic rate can help you tremendously with fat loss.


This article was provided by Nick Nilsson, Vice-President of the online personal training company BetterU, Inc. Nick has a degree in Physical Education and Psychology and has been inventing new training techniques for more than 16 years.Nick is the author of a number of bodybuilding eBooks including "Metabolic Surge - Rapid Fat Loss," "The Best Exercises You've Never Heard Of," "Gluteus to the Maximus - Build a Bigger Butt NOW!" and "The Best Abdominal Exercises You've Never Heard Of" available at Fitness ebooks. He can be contacted at betteru@fitstep.com.

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The Impact of Your Daily Activity on Your Waist and Body Shape

In terms of the energy that our body burns and calculating calorie requirements, you need to factor in two things that impact on your daily activity and maintaining an ideal weight. The first is basal or resting metabolic rate or RMR. This is the number of calories burned when the body is completely at rest, i.e. zero activity level, purely to survive.

The second is the level and frequency of daily activities, whether you sit down most of the day in an office or in your car or on your sofa! Or if you are walking, going up and down stairs, cleaning, gardening etc., and the amount of specific exercise you take, such as cycling, swimming, jogging, aerobics, and so on. man digging in garden

Do you want to calculate your own daily calorie requirements?

You can follow a step-by-step calculation.

You’ll need to know your current weight and waist size and you’ll get the lean muscle mass - roughly equal to 100 - % body fat - from the body analyzer results page.

First do the body fat analysis with our Shapemaximiser for ideal weight analysis And then come back to this page and click on:

Weight Loss Calculator for Daily Calories or How to Lose Weight by Eating Less and Exercising More! Best Way to Lose Weight by Reducing Calories

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Weight Loss Calculator Shows You How to Lose Weight by Eating Less and Exercising More

Use our Weight Loss Calculator Daily Activity Chart to Work out your Daily Calorie Needs for How to Lose Weight

1. Basal or resting metabolic rate

This is the amount of calories our body needs to pump oxygen around the body at rest, i.e purely to survive. This 'state' never really exists so it would be a zero on the activity chart below.

RMR accounts for around 60% of a person’s energy requirement.

My weight loss calculator uses a method of determining a person’s RMR based on calories burned by your lean tissue or lean body mass (LBM) in Kg.

Multiply LBM by 21.6 and add 370.


LBM 75kg x 21.6 + 370 = 1990 calories (RMR requirement)

2. Daily calorie requirements to maintain weight

Once we know the RMR requirement, we need to calculate the amount of physical activity that an individual engages in on a daily basis.

The following table will assist you in determining the daily energy expenditure.

Once you have determined your physical activity level (PAL), you will be able to calculate your daily calorie requirement.

If we use the example on the prior page (say for a man), we can add in the PAL factor. So if we calculate the activity level to be 1.3 it would add up as follows:


LBM 75kg x 21.6 + 370 = 1,990 calories (RMR requirement)

x PAL factor 1.3 = 2,587

3. Energy expended during exercise

If someone exercised only on the odd day use the moderate factor but add the following calculation for energy expended during exercise:

4.3 calories x by body weight in Lb’s per hour.

Aerobic exercise example:

166lbs total body weight x 4.3 calories per hour = 713

4. Use the Weight Loss Calculator to Create Your Personal Calorie Deficit

The only safe and effective way to lose weight is to create a daily calorie deficit.

It is recommended that you reduce the daily calorie requirement by no more than 20%. If a calorie reduction is greater than this, the metabolism will slow down and LBM will be reduced rather than fat.


LBM 75kg x 21.6 + 370 = 1,990 calories (RMR requirement)

x PAL factor 1.3 = 2,587

x 20% minus (517.4) = 2,069.6 calories

So how to lose weight?

Using this weight loss calculation, if the individual in this example reduced his or her weight by 500 calories per day they would burn 3,500 calories per week, which is equal to 1lb of stored body fat.

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Top weight loss motivation tips for dieters who can't stay focused

Why you aren't motivated?
If that title appears harsh, I do apologise. I understand that weight loss motivation comes and goes .....

But get real - you either WANT to lose weight and be the shape you want or you're not really that bothered.

The short term pleasures of that piece of cake or couple of glasses of wine outweigh the long term enjoyment of being slim and happy in your body.

What? That's not true? HUH?

Oh, ok ... perhaps it's true some of the time, but you JUST can't seem to stay focused on your GOALS. Right? I understand. I've been there, too.

And really, you should let yourself off the hook. Just the fact that you want to lose the weight is a great start. So what is it that goes wrong with our weight loss motivation?

Well, firstly. Most diets have you pretty much holding your breath when you're 'on' the diet. And you can only do that for so long, for sure.

And second. You are hounded by past failures to lose the weight or to keep it off. So in the back of your mind, often you are half decided it's not going to work anyway, so you might as well not bother.

OK, so what ARE you going to do. Give up? NO, NEVER!!!!!

The best tip I can offer you is to set realistic goals not for losing weight, but for your wellness. If you can 'forget' about dieting, it can take care of itself. You can even see the funny side - here's some great diet jokes!

Here's an example:

How many times have you started a diet ... and as soon as you say 'right, here I go' you feel REALLY hungry or feel like you are on some kind of fast for Lent or Ramadan or something???

SO ... let's go back to our nutrition principles.

Go to the Ideal Weight page and review, then come back here. I'll wait for you.
gym exercises

BACK now?

OK. So you've got the idea that we're talking good nutrition as the basis for your 'diet'. Now, what you need to do is just cut back a little on the extras but not deprive yourself.

Add some exercise if you can ... a gentle walk, a short swim, a leisurely cycle, that kind of thing. And build up how frequently you can fit that in. Start with once a week, make it an unmoveable appointment - with yourself or meet up with a friend.

Take a look at the New Food Pyramid for some simple and focused guidelines on healthy eating and exercise.
Orange key guide OK, so this will give you energy and a feeling of wellness. It's absolutely essential to staying motivated to do anything really. cartoon woman achieving goal weight

So now onto some serious weight loss motivation strategies. If the above 'light' touch, good practice is not the problem, you're going to need some psychology tips.

1: Determine your Ideal Weight and Diet & Exercise Regime

In relation to the wellness routine above, it's motivating to consider what a great investment taking care of your body actually is. You're not going to lose weight if your body is dehydrated, run down, and inactive. Well, you may lose lean muscle and make things worse, but we're talking fat loss here, remember.

So, realizing that by improving your diet and nutrition, utilising supplements, cutting back on calories in a non-obsessive manner, and adding exercise as a consistent part of your day or week ... you can actually reverse the trend of your future ill health and potentially prevent future diseases occurring.

I'd say that's pretty good weight loss motivation!!!

So try a simple Wellness Self-Evaluation Test and see how you're doing and make a decision to improve one area each week/month.

2: Set Realistic Goals for Weight Loss

One approach that's always worked quite for me for weight loss motivation is to think about how long it has been since you were last at a weight or shape you were happy with. 1 year? 2 years? 5 years? 10 years? Well, that weight didn't come on for no reason.

What you eat and drink MORE over time to gain the excess weight, you have to eat and drink LESS of over time to lose weight.

You're simply not going to lose a stone in 4 days or lose 3 stone in a month, not matter what the adverts for weight loss pills or diet plans will have you believe.

Losing weight is a gradual process. And weight loss motivation requires daily focus.

Plan to lose 1-2 lbs a week. If you set your target of 1lb a week (why go crazy!), your goal should be to lose half a stone a month maximum. Does it matter if it takes 2 months? NO, you still lost HALF A STONE, that's better than nothing at all.

Well done to you! And this way, you will stay motivated, because it's really quite tough to lose the maximum 2lbs a week. You have to cut back quite a lot to do this and get the right balance with exercise too. So aim at something that is really achievable for maximum weight loss motivational power.


3: Be Accountable to Yourself

Weight and measure just once a week, ideally at the same time of the day, preferably first thing in the morning when you're 'empty' and 'naked'. That's likely to be your most consistent week in, week out so best for comparing as you track your progress.

Measuring is just as important as weighing, in many ways more so. Measuring changes in body shape (waist, hips, chest, arms, thighs, where ever you want to reduce fat) will tell you a lot more about how your body composition is improving. That is, it says more about fat loss than weight.

If you are building muscle (perhaps from poor diet in the past), then it's possible you will improve your body shape even when your weight stays the same (or goes up).

It's really vital for your weight loss motivation that you understand this. Because that will keep your willpower up if you don't see any weight loss, yet you KNOW your trousers are looser. This means you're making progress and losing body fat. GREAT!!!

Be honest about what you eat and drink!

Keep a Diet Diary and use the Food Pyramid outlined in Healthy Eating Guidelines to review and reflect on the excesses and deficiencies of what you are eating and drinking.

Use diet plans sensibly. Choose ones that fit your food preferences and lifestyle and don't obsess on every little thing. Use it as a guide, not a ball and chain (or whatever the dieting equivalent would be? - answers on a postcard! (Check out this great way to send personalized greeting cards and postcards - they're simple and fabulous!!! It can be very useful to note down in your diary, not just what you eat and drink, but when you eat/drink/exercise, and how you FEEL through the day or at the end of the day (have a taking stock to write down some thoughts - it only has to take 5 minutes).

Here's some questions you might ask yourself:

1. What kind of day have I had today (generally)?
2. What went well with my diet & exercise regime?
3. What went not so well?
4. How can I improve things?
5. How committed am I to take this action? (out of 10 with 10 being totally committed)
6. If not 8,9 or 10 - what will motivate me more or who can I ask to help me stay focused?

This kind of reflexive approach can really help you to see any patterns emerging.

You can record your mood, hunger, cravings, anxieties, what you are watching/doing, how many times you eat or drink water (very important), and also to take action to get around these weight loss motivation obstacles.

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Fat Kids & Teens - How to Grow Up Happy & Healthy

There is a huge amount of stigma associated with fat kids. Not only from a health point of view, but the current craze on skinny body shapes. And we all know that fat kids are usually bullied in school.

But who's at fault here? The kids, the parents, schools, the shops, the fast food joints, the government?

The argument that parents’ of overweight ch
ildren are somehow "bad" or neglectful in what they allow their children to eat and do is rather presumptuous - although presumably kids eat what their parents eat and may follow their lifestyle habits too.

Rather ironically, the UK CEO at Macdonald, Steve Easterbrook, blames the growing popularity of video games, which reduces the amount of time kids spend outdoors burning off energy.

Early introduction to sugary foods - often as treats due to its mood enhancing effects of an increase in blood sugar level - may well be responsible for kids developing a 'sweet tooth' - and dependence - or cravings and reduced control at least - on sweet or refined carbs as a means to 'feel better'.

And we all know the various debates around the nutritional value - or not! - of school dinners. Do fat kids eat more at school?

Last year, the Times published an article suggesting fat kids ‘should be taken from parents’ to curb obesity epidemic. It was argued that “parents who allowed their children to eat too much could be as guilty of neglect as those who did not feed their children at all.”

Of course, one assumes that this is in extreme cases. For example, the 15 year girl who at 33 stone was so obese she was told by doctors she might “drop dead at any minute”. Or the 3 year old who weighed 10 stone! It was indicated that here, it is parental behavior that leads to such childhood obesity.

While there are indeed long-term impacts on the health of fat kids, such as developing diabetes and heart disease, scaremongering and early dieting - regardless of who does it - can have deep psychological implications too.

Being continually told, warned or questioned about being 'too fat' can cause some children to eat in secret, develop eating disorders and lead to low self-esteem. Body hatred and dieting starting in childhood will do quite some damage.

Many children continue to struggle in their relationship with food and their body image into their teenage and adult lives. Due to the current wave of 'body beautiful' (not just women) - celebrities with waif like shapes and 'skinny' jeans - youngsters (not just teenagers) are starving themselves because they think they are fat and unattractive.

Here's a couple of examples to review ideal weight of kids:

A 14 year old adolescent boy who is 100 pounds and is 5 feet and 4 inches tall has a body mass index of 17.2, which is at the 18th percentile, and would indicate that you are at a healthy weight.

A 14 year old girl who is 140 pounds and is 5 feet tall has a body mass index of 27.4, which is at the 95th percentile, and would indicate that your child is at risk of becoming overweight.

Your child's ideal body weight would be at a BMI at the 85th percentile or below, and so would be about 119 pounds.


Please keep in mind that many factors go into determining if someone is 'healthy' and Body Mass Index charts can be misleading even on adults. It's just one tool. Talk to your GP if you have concerns about your weight or your child's weight.

The flip side is that drilling into kids about 'good' food and 'bad' food, just makes them crave the 'naughty' food - is this child psychology or just common sense!

But when does a kid who is deemed "a little chubby" become an "obese kid" who needs to watch their diet?

What is a "healthy weight" for kids?

Well, in my opinion, it's the wrong question. Many adults who are in good shape were 'chubby' as kids. And many 'fat kids' who were forced onto diets and exercise programs are now worse off than ever as adults.

A UK government plan a few years back weighed school children at ages of four and ten in order to map the spread of "childhood obesity." Primary school children were to be routinely weighed and their parents told if they are obese in a controversial initiative to tackle the worsening health crisis ( The Independent 21 May 2006 ).

What annoys so-called "fat kids" is the shame and blame tactic of most programmes and advice. Government, schools, parents, anyone … should be focusing on good nutrition and active play FOR ALL KIDS. Don't single out the fat kids. It's so glaringly obvious, yet the shame and blame tactic has been used for decades. It's destructive and can have the opposite of the effect intended. A half-way house is the new Change4Life approach - the 'How are the Kids' site is not a bad start to look at your children' daily eating and activities. Try the 5 minute quiz and get an action plan for fix those lifestyle habits that are not so healthy - one day at a time!!

Nowadays, it's hard for people to remain ignorant of the dangers of being overweight. The options open to help families to be more fit and healthy are huge and the support available is vast –books, free guides, food labeling, supermarket meal plans – you’d be hard pushed NOT to get the message about healthy eating.

When in a foreign country, I'm always keen to go to the supermarkets. It's so interesting what they put on the shelves can tell you so much about a country's cultural habits. In the US, everything is super-sized. I've never seen such enormously big bags or crisps, giant peanut butter jars, packets of cakes and chocolates etc. It's like being in Gullivers' Travels - the land of the giants! All the food in giant portions. Then in the next two aisles, you'll find constipation pills and weight loss potions.

Well, the UK is now officially the "fat capital of Europe" and, despite all the colorful labeling, our supermarkets are providing increasingly refined, processed and packaged 'convenience' food - even the fruit and veg are pre-cut (losing up to 80% of their goodness) and packaged, even pre-washed. Conversely, my husband and I were in Japan a couple of years ago, and in their shops and 'fast food' outlets, you'll find a lot of fresh vegetables, fresh fish, fresh meat on offer. You'll be hard pushed to find any kind of unhealthy or 'junk' snack foods.

It's not only fast food and a lack of daily activity that makes kids fat. Even the food in our supermarkets, including vegetables! is processed, packaged and many are stuffed full of sugar, fat, salt, preservatives - you eat what you buy. Of course - everything we eat has calories.

And parents should not restrict their children to low-fat diets. Fat has a vital role in normal growth and development. Many studies now show that youngsters burn considerably more fat than adults relative to the amount of energy they use. Women and girls use fat at a higher rate than men and boys of a similar age. Children have totally different energy needs for their growth and burn off a lot of energy just by growing.

It's tempting to make fat kids more active. But it doesn't always produce the intended result. A recent study from Peninsula Medical School in Plymouth, UK, presented at the European Congress on Obesity 2008, studied 300 children over five years.

The research claims that fat kids are less active because of their weight, rather than fat because they are less active. Overweight children find it harder to do sports and exercise because they run out of breath or have joint pains or injuries. This supports the argument for weight loss plans for fat kids that are initially focused on controlling calorie intake rather than promoting physical activity.

As a general tip, I'd simply encourage parents and their kids to just really start to think - when you eat a lot of fat, sugar and carbs, you will get fat (or fatter).

Introducing small amount of different colours and textures can make meals fun rather than being forced to "eat your greens" - they're good for you - start talking about WHY - and not just because "they make you big and strong"!

Link to your child's favurite cartoon or action character. One 'line' I used with my son (now a strapping 13 year old) was that brussell sprouts were "Buzz Lightyear food" - he always had one, then two, then three and now he quite likes sprouts! Give a choice: you can either have two or five! Great child pyschology :-) Orange key guide

I still hang on to the old-school diet of "everything in moderation" and "a little of what you fancy".

The trouble is when the 'little' becomes a regular 'lot'. It's about choosing the SOURCE of your daily dietary needs - carbs, fat, protein, water. And I must mention the importance of WATER - most kids and adults are chronically dehydrated and this seriously impairs brain function and all body functions. There is a specific food pyramid diagram for kids & teens that provides a really useful guide, it doesn't mention water in this one - sadly - watch out for what is slightly different to our own recommended proportions and portions of food types.

If you haven't picked up by now, I'm an avid believer that the more you know and understand about what happens in your body when you eat certain foods and do exercise and sports, the more choice you give yourself.

For children, teenagers and adults alike - that is extremely empowering!!! What kids need is clear, non-conflicting advice about food, diet and exercise. I hope the information on this website is written in such a way that you can let your kids lose on it too.

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