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10 Ways to Enjoy a More Active Family Life

10 Ways to Enjoy a More Active Family Life

One of the best ways to increase your personal wellness is to find someone to hold you accountable, and for you to do the same for them. Who better to do this with than your own family? Whether you and your partner are looking for a way to get motivated or you have young kids who need to learn the importance of wellness, making fitness a family activity is a great idea. 

Not sure how to get started? Below are 10 ways to enjoy a more active family life. You’ll get the dual benefit of spending time with the people you love, while also making fitness and activity a priority. Give any or all of them a shot:

  1. Enjoy a brisk walk: Walking is the easiest way to get the whole family up and moving. Take a walk around the block, head to a nearby park, stroll through the local cemetery or hop on a local path for a quick jaunt. If you have a dog, it’s the perfect excuse to put on your walking shoes.

  2. Go for a bike ride: Biking is a great alternative to walking and something everyone can enjoy. Find a scenic bike trail nearby and put a few miles in. If you live near a lake or lengthy park, scenic rides are a great way to spend an afternoon. Plus, biking is easy enough to enjoy, yet strenuous enough to leave you feeling accomplished after.

  3. Run for a cause: Lace up those shoes and put on a bib! Entering the family in a 5k run/walk or any other short distance run is a run way to encourage a little healthy competition. Run together, see who finishes first or make a few new friends while your team races for a good cause.

  4. Go for a swim: If your family is more aquatically inclined, trade in running shoes for a swim cap and hit the pool. Swimming is a wonderful way to condition your whole body and offers zero impact compared to running. Everyone from toddlers to grandparents can enjoy time spent in the water.

  5. Take a hike: If you live in an area rife with hiking trails, make them your destination for a weekend excursion. Hiking not only builds stamina and burns calories, it connects you to nature and exposes you to the natural beauty of the world around you. Pack a map and some trail mix for the whole family!

  6. Vacation and explore: Going on vacation doesn’t have to mean lazing by the beach all day. Pound the pavement in a major metropolitan city or kayak and hike through untamed wilderness. Take a vacation to a place the whole family can explore and spend time doing things, instead of staying cooped up in a hotel room.

  7. Divvy up the chores: Your family can get active and stay fit without leaving home. Take the growing list of chores and divvy them up, giving everyone jobs to accomplish. Whether it’s mowing the lawn, cleaning the bathroom or reorganizing the garage, there’s bound to be plenty of calories burned.

  8. Play a sport: There are so many sports to consider and plenty of opportunities to join recreational leagues. Enroll you and your partner in an adult kickball league, sign the kids up for soccer, or hoop it up in your own driveway with a family game of Horse. Sports keep you active and teach skills like hand-eye coordination and decision-making.

  9. Get involved with the community: Community events are a great place to enjoy time with family, stay active and get to know the neighborhood. Walk through the local farmer’s market, sign up for a community cleanup day or traipse through the neighborhood visiting rummages. You’ll stay active and meet your neighbors!

  10. Go on an adventure: One of the best ways to stay fit is simply to see the world as an adventure. Take the family geocaching, be tourists in your own city or make it a point to explore nearby destinations you’ve never been to. With the spirit of adventure, you’ll spend more time up and active than you do sitting on the couch.

Each of these activities can accommodate your whole family, no matter how many of you there are. See what activities are most popular with everyone and get out there to try those first! Or, toss them all into a hat and take turns picking which activity you do next. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you stay active and do it as a family!

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8 Ways to be a Little Healthier at the Office

8 Ways to be a Little Healthier at the Office

If you work an office job, you’re spending 40 or more hours each week confined to a desk. Naturally, this causes some health concerns. Sitting, looking at a computer monitor, eating convenience food and stressing all take a toll. But it’s hard to escape these habits! You can’t just abandon your work.

Despite being cooped up in an office five days out of the week, there are a few ways to be a little healthier at work. Here are eight simple things you can start doing today to improve your health. Give them a try one by one, until you’ve incorporated each of them into your workday routine:

  1. Take breaks: Taking a lunch break is nice, but the real benefit to your health comes from hourly breaks. At the end of every hour, take two minutes to stand up, stretch and breathe deep. You’ll feel stress melt away! Limbering up also helps prevent muscle fatigue from sitting all day. Two minutes is all it takes. Refill your water bottle, go to the bathroom or walk a lap of the office.
  2. Stand, don’t sit: If possible, try to stand as much as possible at work. If your office will allow a standing desk, get one! Sitting for extended periods of time will cause compression in your lumbar spine, strain your hamstrings and quadriceps muscles, and reduce your circulation. Standing remedies these problems, keeping you healthy and fit.

  3. Keep drinking water: Drinking more water is something most people need to do. Try filling up a water bottle and making it your goal to drink at least 8oz of water per hour. Keep track by filling up a 16oz water bottle every two hours. You’ll start to feel the positive effects of better hydration in just a few days. You’ll be more alert, have more energy, enjoy a better complexion and feel generally better.

  4. Keep your workspace clean: A clean workspace has both physical and mental wellbeing benefits. Physically, a clean workspace is less prone to germs and bacteria. Mentally, the cleaner your workspace, the more organized and on top of things you’re likely to be. Take a few moments each day to give your area a once-over. Tidy it up, clean up any trash and make sure it’s sanitized.

  5. Invest in ergonomics: Ergonomics focus on best practices for supporting the body’s biomechanics. Things like sitting up straighter, looking forward and supporting the low back are all examples of ergonomics in action. Design your workspace to be ergonomic by getting a supportive chair and ensuring your computer monitor is properly positioned. Ergonomics go a long way towards helping you feel comfortable throughout the day.

  6. Manage stress: Stress is unavoidable at work. Learning to manage it is a great way to avoid a slew of health problems. Stress can cause everything from inflammation, to autoimmune reactions, to physical pain! Avoiding these issues means learning how to recognize when you’re stressed and having an outlet for it. Use a stress ball, get up and go for a cooldown walk, put on some calming music—whatever it takes to give you room to process stress appropriately.

  7. Take the stairs: make the conscious decision to embrace physical effort! While your coworkers are cramming into the elevator, take the stairs and get a small workout right away in the morning. If you work on a floor in the teens, build yourself up to climb a few floors at a time. At the end of the day, take the stairs down as a last triumph before leaving work. As much physical activity as you can work in will help offset sitting for eight hours at a time.

  8. Vary your tasks: It’s easy to get involved in one task as the hours fly by. Do your best to switch things up and vary your work. When you focus too intently for too long, your body suffers. Your muscles tense up, eyes strain, back hunches and more. Your mental health can suffer too—especially if task fatigue sets in. Try to keep yourself engaged with new tasks every half hour if possible. The variability will do your mind and body good.

It doesn’t matter how much money you’re making or how happy you are with your work, there’s no substitute for good health. Take these tips to heart and try incorporating them into your day. The more you can include, the better you’ll feel when the weekend rolls around and the real fun begins!

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Summertime Healthy Weight Loss Tips

Summertime Healthy Weight Loss Tips

Summer is almost here! Many families welcome this time for vacations, and relief of pressures of the school/work year.

However, watching your weight can be tricky with disruption of your regular routine. Plus, the hot sticky weather can make us feel heavy and bloated. Here are some tips to keep you feeling and looking your best for fun in the sun.

Watch the alcohol.
With summer parties and barbeques, sugary cocktails like mojitos and mai tais are everywhere, along with calorie-and carb-rich beers. If you are not careful, these can quickly pack on unwanted pounds. Also, drinking alcohol typically results in over-eating by dis-inhibiting feelings of fullness- basically, when we drink, we tend to overeat! Excess alcohol can also cause dehydration, making you feel extra fatigued from a long beach day. Instead of the sweet cocktails, take an “alcoholiday” – go for sparkling water with lemon, lime, or a slice of orange. If you must drink, choose a wine spritzer or a low-carb “lite” beer, and alternate one alcoholic drink with one glass of water.

Follow the 75/25 rule
Try to fill your plate with 75% watery vegetables like greens, and 25% protein. Eating more greens gives you extra vitamins and boosts hydration, and choosing protein over starches will help you feel less bloated and sluggish. Adequate protein is also critical to maintaining your lean body mass, and helping you recover from exercise.

Choose beverages wisely.
Try junking the juice – while it does contain antioxidants and vitamins, juices flood your body with excess sugar it doesn’t need. Eating the whole fruit is a far better choice – you get a higher fiber to sugar ratio. Also, flavored coffee drinks give us far more sugar than is good for us. Instead of the usual syrup-ey mocha frappe, try swapping your drink for an iced black coffee or flavored unsweetened tea.

Pack healthy snacks
Having fresh, healthy items in your cooler will make it far less likely that you will reach for junk. Try freezing individual yogurt cups – they’ll stay cool till you are ready to nosh. Go for sugar-free Greek yogurts for extra protein without the extra calories and carbs – a good brand is Oikos Zero. Fresh watermelon slices or a berry salad (strawberry, blackberry, blueberry, raspberry) make great sweet treats that everyone, especially kids, really love out at the beach or on the trail. Nuts also can be nutritious and filling, but they also are high-calorie. Measure out ¼ cup portions in individual baggies to be sure you don’t overdo.

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The Best Weight Loss Programs for Men

2 Must-Have Features in the Best Weight Loss Programs for Men

You want to lose weight. That’s good. All change starts with desire.

But there’s a long road between knowing what you want and making it happen. We all have goals, but we what we really need is a plan for reaching them.

Following a weight loss program for men is like having a GPS navigation system for weight loss success.

The best weight loss programs for men are designed to show you the safest route to where you want to go, provide step-by-step directions to keep you on the right path, help you avoid roadblocks and dead ends, and even offer “roadside assistance” in cases of emergency.

Why a weight loss program for men?

To be clear, when we say “weight loss program for men,” we’re not talking about programs that only work for men.

But there are reasons why some weight loss programs for men are more effective than others. The biggest reason is biology.

Men’s bodies tend to have a higher ratio of muscle to fat than women’s bodies. Men are built differently and also lose weight differently.

As a result, some weight loss programs for men are more likely to be successful than others.

Specifically, because men are more muscular, they burn fat and calories more efficiently, which means their bodies tend to respond more quickly to changes in diet.

In general, when men and women undertake a similar calorie restriction relative to their weight, men drop weight faster.

You might think, then, that a weight loss program that focuses on fast results would be best for men.

The truth is, “rapid” or “quick” weight loss programs are often the worst choices for men.

That’s because they’re designed to help with the phase of weight loss men find easiest, the honeymoon stage.

See, nature’s dirty secret is that once men get into the weeds of weight loss ― after that first rush of pounds melts off ― men’s bodies adjust to the reduction in calories.

Once men get used to their new eating patterns, their basal metabolic rate resets, and they burn fat and calories less efficiently.

In other words, their metabolism slows down― an so does their weight loss.

That’s why the best weight loss program for men is one that:

1) is designed to prevent metabolic reset and

2) focuses on the long game.

Preventing basal metabolic rate from resetting

The human body is designed to adapt to change, including changes in diet and calorie consumption.

When we take in fewer calories, our bodies try to conserve energy by slowing down metabolism.

This is an evolutionary survival mechanism that dates back to a time ― not that long ago, actually ― when food was not as easy to come by.

Ever notice that guys in old movies from the 1930s, 40s and 50s look so skinny? That’s because supermarkets, packaged foods, refrigerators and large-scale farming are all relatively recent developments. People ate less frequently, and ate less in general, than we do today.

For most of human history, in fact, food was scarce, and our bodies are programmed to prevent us from starving by storing as much energy as possible in the form of fat.

So, when we restrict calories, our bodies have a primal reaction. They go into survival mode by resetting metabolism so we can maintain our weight even while eating fewer calories.

And that’s exactly the reason why most diets and weight loss programs fail for men. They work great at first, but then our bodies adjust to an eating pattern of fewer calories, and weight loss screeches to a halt. This is sometimes referred to as a weight loss plateau.

Fortunately, we’ve found a way to prevent metabolic reset: disrupt eating patterns and vary calorie consumption.

You may have heard bodybuilders talk about the need to shock or surprise their muscles into growing by changing up their workout routines with more reps, higher weights or different motions.

The same concept applies to losing weight. You need to keep your metabolism “guessing” by eating more on some days and less on others.

That’s what makes The LOVIDIA Way such an effective weight loss program for men. Several days a week, on Eat-Less Days, you eat only about 1/3 of your typical daily caloric intake. But you always eat normally for at least one day between Eat-Less Days.

Calorie variation keeps your metabolism burning hot, so you lose weight steadily without the typical plateaus.

Focusing on the long game

We’ve seen how calorie variation has a direct physiological impact on weight loss programs for men, but it also has equally important psychological benefits.

Enjoying at least one normal eating day between Eat-Less Days essentially eliminates many of the negative aspects of dieting, such as food cravings, self-deprivation, and monotony that can wear away motivation and cause men to give up before they reach their goals.

In short, knowing that you can eat normally tomorrow makes it easier to eat less today.

It also means men don’t have to completely give up favorite foods, eat foods they don’t like, spend hours grocery shopping for special foods, or learn a whole new way of cooking.

That’s why it’s easier for men to weave a weight loss program like The LOVIDIA Way into their lives, making it more likely they will be successful and keep weight off.

Of course, no two men are alike, and losing weight is a personal thing. We understand you’re a person first, and a man second, so a weight loss program that’s most effective for your best friend might be a total bust for you.

The Bottom Line

If you’ve tried losing weight before, you know it’s easy to get lost along the way. You probably have a good grasp of the basics, like eating healthier, eating less, and exercising more. But, as they say, easier said than done. A weight loss program for men may provide the structure and support you need to put all the pieces together and find success.

For more on the benefits of weight loss programs for men, visit The LOVIDIA Way webpage.

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Do Weight Loss Supplements Work?

Do Weight Loss Supplements Work? That’s The $8 Billion Question

Consumers around the world spend nearly $8 billion a year on weight loss supplements, hoping to find a safe and effective way to lose weight. People hoping to lose weight quickly are especially drawn to claims of fast results.

A review of clinical trials into whether there are over-the-counter weight loss supplements that work shows the results are mixed. As the review abstract states:

“… not all supplements that are touted for weight loss have published clinical support for efficacy …. Although several dozen different dietary supplements are sold, only 14 published studies were identified. Four individual ingredients and three blends of ingredients were considered to be effective.”

A closer look at the studies cited in the review shows that some were conducted by weight loss supplement makers who have a vested interest in positive results and often use questionable methods in their clinical trials.

They also pump up sometimes scant evidence that a particular ingredient or blend had a positive effect on weight loss while ignoring health risks and side effects.

This post aims to provide information and guidance to help you understand how the effectiveness of weight loss supplements is determined and whether a weight loss supplement might work for you.

Start with realistic expectations … and be patient

Effectiveness of weight loss supplements that work are generally defined as promoting one to two pounds of weight loss each week when studied in a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.

Here, it will be helpful to look at some terminology related to testing of weight loss supplements.

Placebo controlled means that some trial participants are given the weight loss supplement that is being tested while others are given a placebo ― a pill that looks exactly like the supplement being tested but has no functional ingredients.

Double blind means neither the participants nor the researchers know which participants are taking the weight loss supplement and which are taking the placebo, until after the trial is complete.

Anything less than one pound of weight loss per week would be considered statistically insignificant as evidence of weight loss supplements that work.

While one to two pounds of weight loss per week may sound “small” to someone who wants to lose a lot of weight fast, you have to keep in mind that weight loss is a long-term process. Chances are, you didn’t gain the extra weight you want to lose in just a few weeks or months, so you aren’t likely to lose it that fast, either.

What’s more, losing weight too fast can lead to serious health risks, and is often difficult to maintain. So, even weight loss supplements that work to help you lose weight fast may not be a safe or effective long-term solution.

Think of it this way: If you find weight loss supplements that work to help you lose one to two pounds per week, you will lose 50 to 100 pounds in a year! For most people, that is life-changing weight loss.

Understand how weight loss supplements work

Over-the-counter weight loss supplements come in a variety of forms ― usually pills, capsules or tablets ― and contain ingredients like herbs, herbal extracts or chemicals formulated to assist in helping users lose weight.

The three primary types of weight loss supplements that work are fat blockers, metabolism boosters and hunger-control supplements.

  • Fat blockers prevent your body from absorbing some of the fat in food you eat so that it passes out of your body undigested, helping you take in fewer calories.
  • Fat burners or metabolism boosters help you burn calories more efficiently.
  • Hunger-control supplements help suppress appetite and reduce cravings, again so that you can take in fewer calories and lose weight.

Each of these “modes of actions” for weight loss supplements comes with its own benefits as well as side effects.

So, what are the weight loss supplements that work?

One thing must be clear from the beginning: There are NO weight loss supplements that work when they aren’t used in conjunction with balanced, healthy eating and regular exercise.

You can’t depend on weight loss supplements and expect to drop pounds without taking responsibility for what and how much you eat, as well as committing to physical activity.

Having said that, here are some ingredients and weight loss supplements that work, e.g. have shown evidence of effectiveness in clinical trials when paired with a reduced-calorie diet and exercise:

  • Green tea extract/ECGC ― While study outcomes are inconsistent, there is some evidence that an EGCG-caffeine mixture has a small positive effect on weight loss and weight maintenance. Green tea extract has been shown in some studies to increase fat oxidation at rest and during exercise. Green tea extract is generally considered safe when used in moderation, but at higher levels can produce typical caffeine/stimulant-related side effects such as jitters, restlessness and racing heart.
  • Lovidia ― Lovidia is made by Ambra Bio, the author of this post. It uses a mode of action called Gut Sensory Modulation (GSM) to reduce hunger so that users eat fewer calories, making it easier to lose weight. GSM has been tested and shown in multiple double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trials on human subjects to enhance weight loss. GSM uses only FDA-GRAS (Generally Regarded as Safe) food-grade ingredients, and no negative side effects have been observed in clinical trials.
  • Orlistat ― The active ingredient in over-the-counter Alli, Orlistat is an FDA-approved drug. Orlistat works by blocking the enzyme that breaks down fats in your diet, so they pass out of your body undigested, helping you absorb fewer calories. Orlistat is proven effective at aiding weight loss in clinical; albeit with very modest results. It also comes with significant side effects, which span from potential nutritional deficiency to uncontrollable diarrhea.

As you can see, the list of weight loss supplements that work is rather limited. For a detailed look at what studies on popular weight loss supplement ingredients say about both their effectiveness and safety, please refer to our previous post, Understanding Weight Loss Supplements, Pills, Shakes & Vitamins.

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Weight Loss Programs that Work… and Don’t Work

Weight Loss Programs that Work… and Don’t Work

Around the same time every year, the magazine racks at the grocery store become advertisements for “Weight Loss Programs That Work!”

We see splashy before-and-after photos of people who “lost half their size” by following this weight loss program or that weight loss program.

What you likely won’t read in any of the articles is that the examples shown are rare outliers, and for person who loses half his or her weight, there are likely dozens who don’t lose any weight at all.

And it’s not because the weight loss programs don’t work ― it’s because most people choose weight loss programs that aren’t right for them, and therefore won’t work for them.

The fact is, most weight loss programs work. More specifically, most weight loss programs are based on nutritional principles that theoretically will work, from a physiological standpoint, to help a person lose weight. But the real question is: What do you have to do for the program to work, and will you be happy doing it?

Did the sitcom Friends “work” for you?

Saying a weight loss program “works” is like saying the show Friends is the greatest sitcom ever. Friends was mega successful, with critical praise for its acting and writing, along with 20 to 30 million viewers at its peak.

But there are over 350 million people in America, so the reality is that only about one out of every 12 to 18 people watched it.

So, you could say Friends “worked” for about 6-8 percent of people who watched it (“tried” it) but failed for 92-94 percent of the people who didn’t watch it.

A lot of people thought Friends was funny, and worth a half hour of their time each week, but a lot more people didn’t care for it enough to tune in. They maybe watched an episode or two … and decided it wasn’t for them.

Weight loss programs work the same way. You might read about a program that’s getting lots of positive press or hear friends talking about a program that’s working wonders for them, then give it a try yourself only to find you can’t stand the food you have to eat or deal with the restrictions on food you can’t eat.

Just as comedy depends as much on the viewer as it does on the writing and acting, weight loss programs depend as much on the person who is trying to lose weight as they do on their underlying science.

Put simply, if you don’t like the food you have to eat (or can’t eat) on a particular weight loss program, it’s not going to work for you, period, because you are going to quit.

If you lose weight, then gain it back, is that a weight loss program that works?

Have you ever lost weight on a weight loss program and then regained the weight soon after?

If you answered yes, you’re not alone. Regaining weight after losing it on a weight loss program is fairly typical, and it happens with almost every weight loss program.

But would you say those are weight loss programs that work because you lost weight, or weight loss programs that don’t work because you gained back the weight?

Both, really. Because, again, the tactics of the program may work to produce weight loss, but the program eventually fails because its not a lifestyle you can maintain beyond the initial success.

One person might not have a problem sticking with a particular program that another person finds intolerable. And it has nothing at all to do with “willpower.” Rather, it’s all about personal preferences.

Losing weight and keeping it off is a lifetime commitment, so you have to use great care and consideration when choosing a weight loss program.

How to find weight loss programs that work for you in 3 steps

1 | Be honest with yourself

If you eat nothing but raw food, there’s an excellent chance you’ll lose weight. If you follow the “paleo” diet or cut out all carbs, there’s likewise a pretty good chance you’ll lose weight. And if you cut your calories in half, you’ll definitely lose weight.

But … can you really live like that? Is it worth your sanity and your health?

There are diets and weight loss programs that work for some people ― but only for some people. Specifically, for people who truly don’t mind eating a certain way … eating that way every day … and eating that way forever.

For everyone else, those are weight loss programs that don’t work. So, you have to choose a program that has food options you like, and doesn’t force you to eat things you don’t enjoy. That’s a program that will work for you.

Again, don’t fool yourself into thinking if you just try hard enough, you can stick with any weight loss program, no matter how unpleasant it is or how miserable it makes you feel.

Losing weight is living, and living should be full of joy. Don’t choose a weight loss program that feels like self-abuse.

You may find that the program that works best for you is one that requires only slight tweaks in the way you eat. By avoiding drastic changes, it may take you longer to lose the weight you want, but you’re more likely to see it through and stick with it.

2 | Have realistic expectations

Despite inspiring magazine stories about people who lost half their weight, if you set out thinking, “I’m going to lose half my weight!” you’re bound for disappointment. It’s just too big an undertaking.

You can’t control outcomes, but you can control your choices, so that’s what you should focus on. Your only real expectations should be those you place on yourself to make smart choices that move you closer to your goal.

Your ultimate goal may be to lose half your weight, but you have to break it down and take it one day at a time, one healthy choice at a time.

When it comes to weight loss programs that work, slow and steady almost always wins the race. That’s because weight loss is not a sprint but a marathon.

When you first start a weight loss program, set mini goals. Focus on losing 2 pounds at a time. That’s your goal – 2 pounds. When you achieve that, it’s on to the next 2 pounds, and so forth. You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to stay positive when you see yourself reaching goal after goal!

3 | Don’t relive bad experiences

The weight loss industry is filled with “same product, different packaging” weight loss programs.

For example, there are countless programs that offer packaged food as their primary feature. If one “packaged food” program didn’t work for you because you didn’t like the food, it’s highly unlikely another packaged food program will produce different results. You’re just going to run into the same issues.

We’ve all heard the adage that insanity is doing to same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Nowhere is that more true than in the world of diets and weight loss programs.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when looking for weight loss programs that work is jumping from one program to another ― and one disappointment to another. But they don’t really stop to think: Is this really just the same program I tried once before that didn’t work for me?

Be careful to avoid the same old ideas and approaches that have failed for you in the past. If one approach didn’t work, try something different.

When we created our weight loss program, The LOVIDIA Way, we set out to make sure it was unlike any other program, with a completely unique approach ― including an eating plan that’s designed to avoid the plateaus people typically experience due to metabolic reset ― and tools that aren’t available anywhere else, such as our patented Hunger-Control products.

If you’re ready to try a fresh approach to weight loss, you can learn more about The LOVIDIA Way here.

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Online Weight Loss Programs: Which is Best for You?

Online Weight Loss Programs: Which is Best for You?

Like most aspects of modern life, the Internet has revolutionized the way we lose weight.

These days, you can access several libraries worth of articles and videos on diet, nutrition and exercise online ― from pretty much anywhere, on any device.

So, with all this information at our fingertips, why aren’t we all at our ideal weight?

Information overload.

We’re presented with so much information about weight loss ― including a flood of conflicting, contradictory and plain old inaccurate information ― that we don’t know what to do with it.

Information is great, but what we really need is direction ― simple, clear, step-by-step direction.

That’s where online weight loss programs can make a difference.

Online weight loss programs turn information into action. They tell you what to do, meal by meal, day by day, to reach your goals.

This post will help you understand the benefits of online weight loss programs, how online weight loss programs work, as well as differences in the features and tools used by various online weight loss programs.

Benefits of online weight loss programs

“How much should I eat?”

“How often should I eat?”

“Should I eat this … or that?”

“What type of exercise will help me burn the most calories?

“Why isn’t the scale budging?”

“What do I do now?”

When you’re trying to lose weight, you have questions, and you need answers ― not just blanket information on diet and nutrition, but highly personalized,specific recommendations tailored specifically to you.

That’s probably the biggest benefit of the most effective online weight loss programs ― rather than leaving you on your own to figure everything out, they cut through the clutter and give structure to information, showing you the specific steps you need to take to get from where you are to where you want to be.

Another benefit of online weight loss programs is that they are interactive. They keep customers engaged through interactive tools and features. So, rather than just thinking about weight loss, you are actively doing something about it and constantly moving toward your goal.

The best online weight loss programs have interactive tools that provide in-depth feedback, usually in the form of personal coaching or one-on-one counseling, that you can use to make adjustments and maximize your results.

Online weight loss programs versus traditional weight loss programs

Online weight loss programs often offer significant benefits compared to traditional weight loss programs.

There are two types of traditional weight loss programs: paper programs and in-person programs.

Paper programs are usually based on books. They give you a bunch of information and then leave it up to you to makes sense of it all. And if you have a question, run into a roadblock, hit a plateau, have a setback, get frustrated or need motivation? Good luck.

In-person programs include commercial weight loss programs that require you to attend meetings or physicians weight loss programs that require you to make regular visits to a medical weight loss clinic.

In-person weight loss programs can be great in terms of providing the type of one-on-one counseling and responsiveness that is crucial to weight loss success, but they also place tremendous demands on your time and can be very inconvenient.

Online weight loss programs blend the best of both worlds. They are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so customers can go online any time and get the answers and support they need and follow a program at their own pace, on the schedule that works best for their life.

How online weight loss programs work

Online weight loss programs use a combination of information, action-steps, apps, trackers and other interactive tools and features to guide you through the process of losing weight.

The best online weight loss programs also include a maintenance component with tools and strategies to keep weight off.

Customers typically subscribe to an online weight loss program on a monthly basis and sign in as often as they like to access the tools available through a program.

Where online weight loss programs differ is in the specific direction they provide, how they deliver it, the interactive tools they use and the technology behind the tools. All of these things add up to the unique features of a program.

Features and tools of online weight loss programs

The number one reason online weight loss programs work so well is the features and tools available to customers that provide structure, direction and motivation for reaching their goals.

In general, the more opportunities you have to interact with an online weight loss program, the more likely you are to stick with the program and feel confident in both your day-to-day choices and your progress.

Some people prefer a streamlined approach or simply don’t have the time to use all the interactive tools and features some programs offer, while others enjoy having the option to engage in a number of ways with their online weight loss program.

The real key is that the tools offered by your weight loss program should be easy to use. If you find the tools or technology offered by a weight loss program confusing or difficult to follow, it’s definitely not the best program for you.

Look for a program that offers a comprehensive and effective set of tools that are also practical to fit into your day.

With that in mind, here are some features and tools you might find helpful in an online weight loss program:

  • Articles and advice on every aspect of health, weight loss, nutrition, fitness, motivation and mindset.
  • Exercise plans and fitness videos including step-by-step video instruction to help you exercise with a specific focus on weight loss.
  • Weight Loss Coaching that removes all the guesswork from losing weight with personalized guidance on every aspect of getting lean, from your eating patterns to your exercise habits. An online weight loss coach can give you personalized advice on diet, nutrition and exercise that’s tailored to your challenges, likes and dislikes.

We believe that weight loss coaching is the single most important tool or feature of any online weight loss program, and has the greatest impact on results, which is why we include it as a standard feature of our program, The LOVIDIA Way.

The most significant benefit of one-on-one counseling is specific guidance that optimizes your metabolism and maximizes fat and calorie burning. Since it’s all spelled out for you in plain English, there’s no worry about whether you’re doing the program correctly, and you can be sure you’re getting the best, safest and fastest results possible.

  • Tracking apps that help you see your progress, which is critical to staying motivated and on track. This should include the small victories and positive changes taking place in your life that don’t always show up on the scale!
  • Easy-to-read charts and graphs to let you see at a glance how your eating and exercise habits impact your progress.
  • Customizable meal and snack planning tools that help you to account for health concerns like low-cholesterol or low sodium eating as well as dietary preferences such as vegan or vegetarians.
  • A recipe archive with healthy, easy-to-make meal options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and snack time.
  • A grocery-shopping planner to make sure your fridge and pantry are packed with the foods that will help you lose weight.
  • A food substitution guide to help you make smart, healthy choices.
  • Portion- and calorie-control tools. This should include tools that help you identify the different impact fats, sugar, carbs and protein can have on your metabolism and your body’s ability to burn calories efficiently.
  • Dining-out guides to help you follow the program and eat for weight loss when dining out at restaurants.
  • Food/eating Journals to help you pinpoint which food and lifestyle choices are having a positive effect on your weight loss, so you can see a clear path to achieving your goals.
  • Community support that provides a sense of kinship with other customers who can offer advice, keep you accountable, and cheer your success.
  • Strong social media presence where you can reach out to the company or other users to get suggestions and share tips.

For more on the benefits of online weight loss programs and personal weight loss coaching, visit The LOVIDIA Way webpage.

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Could “Social Jetlag” Be Influencing Your Weight?

Could “Social Jetlag” be Influencing Your Weight?

You may have heard that lack of sleep can contribute to unhealthy weight gain.

More studies are now linking our habit of sleeping against our chronological clocks as being another major factor – and possibly being just as critical as sleeping too little.

This sleeping against our bodies’ natural rhythm is referred to as “Social Jetlag,” otherwise known as a misaligned circadian system.

Here’s how this happens: most of us have work schedules that generally require us to wake earlier than our circadian cycles dictate.

Problem is, over time this results in less sleep and a built-up sleep debt. Plus, our sleep is less efficient and we do not reap the same benefits from sleep.

We then oversleep on weekends and then have more difficulty falling asleep on Sunday nights, perpetuating the circadian misalignment.

Circadian rhythms are known to control both sleep timing and energy balance in the body, and disruptions in circadian rhythms have been linked with metabolic dysfunction and obesity-associated disease.

A new cohort study of 815 non-shift workers adds to this body of literature, as it found that individuals displaying even relatively mild social jetlag had higher rates of obesity and risk of metabolic disease.

The reasons for this are unknown, but a possibility is that social jetlag disrupts healthy habits such as diet and exercise in a way that may compromise health.

Read more here.

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Why Do Men Lose Weight More Quickly Than Women?

Why Do Men Lose Weight More Quickly Than Women?

In my clinical practice, I see every day that women can have a much tougher time than men in losing weight.  Particularly, when I have patients who are married couples losing weight together, the camaraderie is sometimes overshadowed by the woman’s jealousy in how quickly her partner can lose weight compared to her!

Here are the main reasons why:

  1. Men have greater lean body mass including muscle mass, even when they are overweight or obese. As muscle is our ‘engine’ that burns calories for us, given that men’s muscle mass is on average greater than a woman’s, men have a naturally higher basal metabolic rate.  This means that even without any exercise, a man’s body will burn more calories daily, leading to a greater caloric deficit and weight loss.
  2. Women’s’ hormonal fluctuations can throw off numbers on the scale.Premenopausal women have monthly fluctuation in levels of estrogen and progesterone, leading to cycles of water retention and loss.  From mid-cycle to immediately before the monthly period, water retention is common, so women may not see numbers on the scale drop despite dieting.  This can be frustrating, which is why we rely on other data such as blood tests and waist measurements rather than just following numbers on a scale.  That way, we can reassure our female patients that even if the scale numbers didn’t budge for a week, they are still losing fat and optimizing their body composition.
  3. Other factors. As a generalization, in many of my patients’ households it is the woman who does the majority of the cooking, leading to nibbling/tasting while doing so and ingesting more calories.  In addition, I often find that when a couple goes on a weight loss journey together, women often feel guilty putting their body and health first – we tend to prioritize the needs of our family and our work and do not take our health needs as seriously. 

Therefore, it’s especially important for women who are working on lifestyle change to also make sure they change their mind set as a first step.  We must believe that it is critical to commit to our bodies, health, and lives as the very first priority to achieve our goals.

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How to Find the Best Weight Loss Supplements

Finding The Best Weight Loss Supplements For You (Step-By-Step)

If you’re thinking about taking a dietary supplement for weight loss, your first priority should be to make sure you select the best supplement for your body, your health and your goals.

It’s important to remember that the best weight loss supplements are not necessarily the ones that promise to help you lose weight fastest or drop the most pounds. You also have to consider, for example, whether a supplement has been tested in clinical trials and is safe to take, especially over the long term.

The best weight loss supplement is one that works with your body’s natural responses, not against them, and one you can stick with for the long term.

Let’s look at some of the most common types of weight loss supplements to see whether they meet these criteria.

Will stimulant-based weight loss supplements work best for you?

Many popular weight loss supplements rely on caffeine or other stimulants such as green tea extract or ketones as their active ingredients.

Stimulants work to aid weight loss by artificially activating your body’s fight-or-flight response.

Caffeine, for example, stimulates your adrenal glands to dump large amounts of the hormone adrenaline into your blood stream. This is the same hormone that gives you a quick burst of energy when you are frightened or excited.

Taking weight loss supplements that contain stimulants is potentially dangerous and offers, at best, temporary results.

There’s a reason you don’t see many doctors telling their patients to drink more coffee. Too much of any stimulant can do serious damage to your health. Stimulants are also addictive.

For these reasons, we cannot say stimulants make the best weight loss supplements.

For more details on the health risks of stimulants like caffeine, and which weight loss supplements use them as active ingredients, read our previous post, Understanding Weight Loss Supplements, Pills, Shakes & Vitamins.

Now, let’s examine another popular type of supplement, fat blockers, to see if they meet our criteria of being “best for weight loss.”

Do fat blockers make the best weight loss supplements?

Fat blockers work to promote weight loss by blocking the enzyme that breaks down fats in your diet. So, a large portion of the fat you eat passes, undigested, through your intestines and out of your body.

That can sound like the best option for anyone looking to lose weight ― a chance to flush away the fat you eat without storing it around your waist.

But, the truth is, fat blockers interfere with your body’s normal digestive processes in several potentially harmful ways.

As we detail in our previous post, Understanding Weight Loss Supplements, Pills, Shakes & Vitamins, fat blockers can impede with the absorption of some vitamins, including A, D, E, K, so users run the risk of nutritional deficiency.

What’s more, the manner in which fats are flushed from the body can lead to stomach and intestinal discomfort as well as an urgent need to use the bathroom, and sometimes even embarrassing accidents.

At best, these types of weight loss supplements may help you lose weight in the short term, but we believe they do so in a way that is unhealthy and unsustainable.

Due to side effects and health risks, it’s our opinion that fat blockers are not safe or convenient to take for the long-term and, therefore, are not the best weight loss supplements.

However, there is one more type of weight loss supplement that we think is worth considering in our investigation of the best weight loss supplements.

Are Gut Sensory Modulation (GSM) supplements the best way to lose weight?

If you’ve never heard of Gut Sensory Modulation (GSM), you’re not alone. It’s a relatively new concept in weight loss. GSM is also the mode of action in our supplement, Lovidia.

The best way to illustrate how GSM works is to look at the taste buds in your mouth. Taste buds are a form of food sensors that tell your brain what you’re eating. When you chew something minty, your taste buds send signals to your brain that say, “This is minty.”

You also have food sensors in your gut, but rather than telling your brain what you’re eating, they send signals telling your brain how much you’ve eaten. When you’ve eaten enough, the food sensors in your gut send signals that say, “I’m not hungry anymore. Stop eating.”

In developing Lovidia, Ambra Bio researchers posited they could use nutrients to activate the food sensors in your gut. It’s called “nutrient sensing,” and it’s been shown in clinical trials to reduce hunger, making it easier for people to eat less and lose weight.

But perhaps the best thing about GSM is that it doesn’t rely on stimulants, fat blockers or any other potentially harmful substances. Instead, it uses nutrients, so there are no side effects, and you can use it long-term.

After considering these factors, it’s our opinion that GSM is the best mode of action for weight loss supplements, which is why we chose to use it in Lovidia.

You can read more about GSM in our previous post, Understanding Weight Loss Supplements, Pills, Shakes & Vitamins.

A final note: When it comes weight loss supplements, what’s best for one person may not be best for you.

In addition to the factors discussed above, there are a variety of personal factors that will determine which supplement will work best to help you reach your personal weight loss goals. These include:

  • Your expectations for losing weight
  • Your eating and exercise habits
  • Any special medical or health needs you have

Let’s examine each of these personal considerations, beginning with your expectations for losing weight.

You may ultimately want to lose 100 pounds, but you have to realize that losing such a significant amount of weight will take time ― and losing too much, too fast, is unhealthy. Most doctors say losing 1-2 pounds per week is a safe and realistic goal, so it’s best to steer clear of any supplement that promises rapid, drastic weight loss.

This brings us to your eating and exercise habits. There’s no magic pill that will help you find long-term weight loss success if you don’t adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes eating a balanced, nutritious diet and making exercise part of your daily life. The best weight loss supplements support good habits and help to promote gradual, sustainable weight loss.

Finally, you’ll want to understand how a weight loss supplement’s ingredients might affect any medical conditions you have or interact with medications you take. You’ll find a detailed review of the potential health concerns connected with various weight loss supplements in our previous post. As always, it’s best to talk with your doctor of health care provider before beginning a weight loss supplement plan.

We hope you’ve found this information helpful in selecting not only the best weight loss supplement, but the best supplement for you.