Do Slim Belts really Work?

slimmingbeltObesity is major problem around eh world and millions of people are affected. Just to recap, obesity is a major precursor for myriad of health problems in the world today and as such it is not surprising that there is so much talk on how to manage weight.
However, while weight is major issue so is marketing and many late night shows are packed with products and various remedies that promise you results instantly. So what really works? That is tough question given all the slick terms, pictures and testimonials by people who swear they lost 100 pounds using the product. For anyone suffering from obesity and earnestly seeking a solution this dilemma is very real and may contribute to giving and letting things be.

Lipoproteins and Obesity
With the intention of providing some credible data on slim belts and weight loss this article will discuss the findings of a study on these devices and how they affect lipoprotein. Generally speaking these proteins are of two types, high density and low density. They exist in the blood stream and are useful in aiding the transportation of fats through the blood stream. You can probably already guess that one step to measuring the effectiveness any routine or device in weight loss will be determined by the concentration of these proteins in the blood. It would therefore be deemed useful if the percentage/concentration of these went down. You should know that all cells require fats for healthy operation and thus the goal would be to keep the concentration within acceptable levels.

So are slim belts effective?
To estimate the efficacy of slim belts one research study used two groups 15 of participants each and aerobic exercise to determine the efficacy of the devices. One group used the slim belt for 15 minutes after and aerobic workout while the control group only undertook the aerobic routine.
In this experiment lipoproteins were used as a determinant of effectiveness given that while aerobic exercise through sweating and increased cardiovascular activity can easily lead to marked reductions in body mass and fat, it would be difficult to assess the efficiency of slim belts without looking within. For better measurement the participants were made to maintain the routine for a period of eight weeks to provide ample time to observe any changes in both groups.

For consistency all participants selected were 25-35 year old housewives, all of whom would exercise less than 2 times each month, generally sedentary housewives. After the period was completed the findings indicated significant differences in pre- and post-test concentration of lipo-proteins. However, there was little difference in the findings between the two groups. Based on this the study was able to conclude that aerobic study is very effective as far as weight reduction or management is concerned. However, it also revealed that slim belts were unlikely to be useful as far as weight loss/management is concerned. These conclusions were based on the local fat and BMI measurements. It was also recommended that for even better results, longer aerobic session may be more useful. The exercise in the experiment was undertaken for 1 hour thrice each week during the trial period. Bottom line, slim belts are just one of the many marketing gimmicks out there.

Tehrani, M. A., Alijani, E., Norbakhsh, M., & Valizadeh, R. (2012). The effect of eight weeks exercise with or without use of slim belt on lipoprotein among housewife women. Procedia – Social and Behavioural Sciences, 46, 5449-5452.

Are These The 5 Best Nuts for Your Health? Let’s Find Out

nutsNuts … reminds you of a squirrel, don’t they? You too could be a squirrel for a day, and enjoy tremendous results at the same time. We all see nuts as healthy snacks but most people do not know the health benefits that they carry. A study done in 2009 by Loma Linda University found that women who eat nuts regularly weigh less. They also get more potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber and vitamin E.
Nut eaters have high levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and decreased concentration of C-reactive protein, which is an indicator of inflammation in the body. Nuts are rich in nutrients that do your body a lot of good.
Here is the list of five healthy nuts:

1. Almonds
Almonds are a great source of monounsaturated fats and proteins. They are rich in antioxidants and they have high contents of vitamin E which attaches itself on the cell membranes, in an effort to fight off free radical molecules. When almonds are included in a meal, they keep blood sugar levels in check, thus thwarting the risk of suffering from diabetes.
Almonds help people lose weight, no wonder they are categorized as ‘healthy snacks’. In a research which involved 65 obese persons, those who employed a low-calorie diet and followed it with almonds lost 7% of their total weight and 5% decrease in the waistline.

2. Walnuts
Walnut is one of the healthiest nuts in the market today. It contains high levels of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is a kind of omega-3 fatty acid. A cupful of walnuts provides you with about 91% of the recommended daily dosage of omega 3 fatty acids. The EFAs (essential fatty acids) ensure topnotch heart health and provide protection against health conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.
The capability of walnuts to prevent various sicknesses is attributed to their high content of antioxidant, ellagic acid and more nutrients Melatonin is available in high concentration in walnuts, and so a person who eats these nuts enjoys a much better sleep. These are only a few of the benefits that you can enjoy from walnuts. There are more!

3. Cashew nuts
Cashew nuts contain low levels of fat, making them some of the healthiest nuts you should eat. About 75% of the cashew nut consists of oleic acid, a substance that is found in plenty in olive oil. Besides, they are a good source of magnesium, a vital element in the body. The nutrient is involved in most biochemical reactions in the body including maintaining the heart rhythm, strengthening the bones, regulating blood sugar levels and keeping the blood pressure at optimum. Hence, it is essential to eat cashew nuts regularly. Actually, about an ounce of cashew nuts can give your body 20% of the required magnesium.

4. Pecans
Usually common in many Thanksgiving recipes, pecans are also good for eating throughout the year. Some of the reasons you should eat pecans include their high concentrations of antioxidants such as Vitamin E. Eating pecans on a daily basis may help in stopping oxidation of blood lipids, therefore protecting the individual from the risk of coronary heart disease. Pecans have important minerals like magnesium, calcium, vitamin A and folic acid.

5. Macadamia nuts
You should include Macadamia nuts in your diet because they are rich in monounsaturated fats. Apart from having high level of fats, eating these nuts can enable you to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. Macadamia is a super food because it contains palmitoleic acid, that only a few other foods have. Research is underway to find out the chemical’s role in fat breakdown and reduction of the fat stored in the body.
The above five nuts can do wonders to your body health, if you make them a part of your daily diet. Good thing is, they are easy to buy from the grocery stores and supermarkets.

Are Supplements Necessary ?

supplements1The world today has changed a great deal. Ten years ago, supplements like vitamins, amino acids, iron pills etc were taken by the athletes to build their strength and stamina because they needed all that extra strength. They ate good food but took pills to enhance their working capabilities. If the doctors said that someone was deficient in calcium, he would start drinking milk more regularly, problem solved.
These days everyone seems to be eating them like Panadol for headaches. The questions arises, are they really necessary ? If so, then at what age ? And what kind of supplements should be taken ? Are they even necessary ?

If you eat a proper diet with, you get all the intake that your body needs like protein, carbohydrates, fats, iron, calcium etc. But these days, everyone is picky with what they eat and people are deficient in so many things. So taking pills to overcome these deficiencies has become a necessity. Because taking pills is easier. Making healthy dinners is the hard part.

For teenagers, it is said that they should be cautious in their intake. Any kind of dietary or capability enhancing supplement should not be taken. Because it’s the prime age of ones life when we are fully active. We can eat what we want. So improve your diet. Eat good food. Whatever nutrient is lacking in your body, search out what food contains them and eat them. For example, spinach is high in iron.To improve health, take multi vitamins and protein powder if absolutely necessary. But be very careful in this regard. You do not want to over do anything.

When it comes to athletes like body builders, boxers etc, it becomes essential for them to take hormonal supplements, growth pills, caffeine pills, protein powder according to doctors instructions and prescription. Their life is tough because this is their passion. Their lifestyle is according to their livelihood. Many sports do ban the taking of such supplements because it gives the players advantage over others and becomes unfair for the rest of the players.

People in their old age need to start taking precautions early. Calcium, fish oil capsules, Vitamin D pills, Potassium, Iron etc, these are very essential. As you grow old, your body starts losing your side and everything takes a toll on it. It becomes an exercise in itself to get up from the bed and go to the bathroom. Or to the kitchen to get something to eat. You need something to boost your system and give you energy. And food is not enough for this. People with diabetes, high blood pressure etc need to be extra prepared.
Do not take anything without consulting a doctor. These are serious medication. Consult a doctor on what is right for your body and what is wrong. Tell them in detail how you feel, run some tests and if they tell you take vitamins or protein powder, then go for it. Health is a very serious business. And we all need to be careful about what we put in our bodies. For those seeking quality supplements online is a good place to start.
Contributed by,
Sumaica Asad Piracha