Long-term smokers, be they casual, social, moderate or heavy (10+ cigarettes per day) cite the fear of weight-gain as one of the top reasons behind their reluctance to quit. But what is the actual link between smoking and the metabolism? Could one possibly hope to quit smoking without gaining weight? Find out what the researchers are saying below.
The Link between Smoking and Weight Loss/Gain
According to Cynthia Purcell, MS, whose main occupation is to help people quit smoking through therapy, at Philadelphia’s Thomas Jefferson University, the connection between skinny-looking people and smoking goes beyond pure aesthetics. Indeed, she says, smoking a pack of cigarettes per day will speed up your metabolism to the point where you will burn an extra 250 calories without any sort of physical activity. And while some may think that this is a godsend, consider why one’s metabolism would choose to act this way. Essentially, it is because of the nicotine, carbon dioxide and over 4,000 toxic substances that tobacco smoke contains (according to research reports published in 2009 by dr. J.M. Rogers). Nicotine and CO2 require a lot of extra work to be processed from one’s lungs, circulatory system and other internal organs.
We have heard of countless methods for weight loss, from the traditional ones (exercise, diet, lifestyle change) to the not so conventional ones (hydration therapy, botanical slimming, use of appetite mitigating agents, etc.). Despite the growing number of these weight-loss methods, obesity rates have still doubled and adults whose weights are tipping off the scale are still exceeding the 25% mark. The statistics are plain and simple; there is definitely a loophole in how we manage our weight.
Frozen desserts – sweet, cold, delicious treats – who can resist them?! Though your options may be many, how do you choose the right kind to serve your family? Homemade or store bought? Ice-cream or frozen yoghurt? Sorbet or frozen custard? We look at what is healthy for you and your family and what is not; we also look at other aspects such as convenience.
Buying frozen desserts
Ice creams are delicious and their hundreds of different varieties are highly enticing. But we also know that they are not the best for health – and for those of us trying to lose weight they are an absolute no-no. So do we need to give up on frozen treats? Luckily the answer is no – there are many healthy alternatives to ice-cream. People are more health conscious now and prefer not to eat ice-cream for its high caloric content and also because many contain harmful ingredients such as transfats etc.
Fruit sorbet is a good option for those who are health or calorie conscious. Sorbets can be delicious, refreshing and can be healthier than ice creams or soft serves because they are fruit and water based rather than cream and milk based. However, it would help to avoid the ones with added artificial coloring of any kind. Many peoples' throats today, especially children's, react badly to artificial coloring.
Ninety percent of popular diet regimens fail according to studies and health experts. The latest data on weight-loss and diet reveal that almost a third to two-thirds of overweight individuals regain the weight they have lost after a year dieting, and go back to their full weight in a span of five years. According to experts, this indicates a loophole in the current approaches to weight-loss, and that includes diet. What are the reasons behind this failure?
We Might Be Believing Too Much
According to a review done for the Scientific and Technical Council in Turkey, weight-loss programs might be deviating away from the hands of true experts. The review described how specialists such as endocrinologists are rarely called to give their expert views about obesity, while non-physicians and non-specialists often appear in the media, talking about obesity issues. The review also described how people are greatly influenced by the media, and how quickly people believe a claim without examining it if appropriate evidence is indeed available.
Let's face it - none of the meals we consume on a daily basis has gained more notoriety and praise from all the health and fitness outlets out there than breakfast has.
In fact, if I were to go right now and ask 100 different people, including seasoned athletes, what their thoughts were on the importance of breakfast in terms of leaning out and avoiding fat gain, I'm willing to bet that 95% of them would say that it's one of the most crucial factors.
Based. On. What. - I ask? Really. Is anyone capable of responding without using generic answers such as "because you need more energy after a whole night of fasting to prevent muscle catabolism" or "because it gives you more energy for the rest of the day"? Can anyone actually offer proof? Because I'd love to see it.
Well, I happen to have proof of the opposite being true. I'm going to tell you exactly why skipping breakfast is a good thing (or at worst - neutral), and how it can help those who are looking to shed body fat while maintaining as much of their precious muscle mass as possible. And yes - I'm going to produce evidence.
Nutritionists often suggest that, as part of a weight-loss program, dieters and other individuals who are trying to lose weight should cook and bake at home as much as possible. This allows them to monitor the ingredients that go into creating a meal. Restaurants and other eateries frequently use high levels of fats, sugar and sodium in their dishes -- ingredients which create good-tasting food but add pounds and reduce the nutritional value of a meal.
In my experience as a weight loss coach I work with a large range of people who enjoy their familiar home-cooked foods but are stymied by the difficulties involved in turning calorie-ridden dishes into healthy, nutritious and low-calories meals.
Switching to whole flours and other grains
I've developed several strategies that aid individuals in turning their favorite high-calorie recipes into wholesome and nourishing feasts but one of the most important approaches that I present, and the one that has had the most significant effect to help people lose weight and maintain their weight loss, involves switching to whole flours and other grains.
In my coaching work I always introduce the idea of switching to whole grains early in our sessions. Moving to a whole grain-based diet takes getting used to but, ultimately, ensures a healthier and less caloric intake.
Coconut water may not sound like the manliest type of fitness beverage, but it is producing very “manly” results. It’s hard to ignore the newfound prevalence of coconut water in the fitness industry. Even the most casual observer can see that it’s cropping up everywhere from Green Food Co-Ops to your gas station reach-in fridge.
Many people have a bad taste in their mouths (literally and figuratively) about the current state of “sports” drinks like Gatorade and Powerade. They have been found time and again to just be glorified sugar water and can potentially set back your fitness goals, rather than help you achieve them. Coconut water is a solid replacement for sugary sports drinks that will help you keep going on the field and help you keep your waistline in check.
What is good about coconut water?
Running is a wonderful way to burn calories, increase your endurance, and just generally get into much better shape. However, this exercise isn’t without its downsides.
One of the big negatives of running is the strong impact it can have on your sensitive joints. Your foot is constantly hitting the surface, usually a hard one like asphalt, and each time it hits, your joints take a beating. Over time, putting all of this strain on your joints can lead to serious health problems like arthritis, knee injuries, and just overall pain. Eventually, these types of problems could cause you to have to give up running altogether.
Building muscle, gaining fat, and even losing weight all seem to be easier than achieving stunning muscle definition that gives you that coveted “cut” look. Whether you’re a “hard-gainer” and find it difficult to put on weight, an overweight individual trying to slim down, or an athlete who would like to be less bulky and more defined, the following five tips should help you achieve better muscle definition.
First, you need to stop focusing on lifting heavy weight and start focusing on doing more reps with lighter weights. A good rule of thumb is to only use weights that you can comfortably do sets of 20 with. If you can’t get to 20 repetitions several times in one workout then decrease the weight. To put on muscle that is bulkier and stronger, but less defined, simply increase the weight and do 8-12 reps each time. Once you’ve gotten “ripped” you can incorporate heavier weights into your regimen to add mass while retaining definition.
Delicious toppings and gooey, cheesy goodness make pizza one of my favorite foods of all time. With all the possible toppings that a pizza can have, it's definitely not a boring food. But when I'm dieting, I try to avoid eating pizzas because of the carbohydrate content.
Sometimes, however, I succumb to this yummy temptation, and my efforts to lose weight go down the drain. Still, because I love pizza and I need to diet, I figured that I had to come up with a food plan.
Maybe there are healthier pizzas out there? What about toppings? Maybe, by opting for more nutritious toppings, I could more or less stick to my diet regime. Luckily, deciding on pizza toppings is not an exact science. Rather, it's an exciting adventure wherein you can truly explore your preferences.
In my quest to discover healthier pizzas, I found out a few things about toppings. Let's see what food items are actually good to have on top of a pizza.
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