Sunday, September 13, 2009

Weight Loss and the Thyroid

Your thyroid dictates much of your metabolism, any malfunction or disease afflicting this area may cause you to have problems in metabolism leading to a drastic problem with your weight – you may either gain weight, lose weight, or may find that losing weight is harder than usual.

Those that plan diets do not take into consideration how their thyroids and metabolism may affect their weight loss program. Most experts and even the media pitch in and recommend that the best way to lose weight is cut calories.

Those with a condition called hyperthyroidism suffer from an overactive thyroid leading to one having his or her metabolism skyrocket. If this is the case, then you will probably lose weight fast. This is a nice proposition for some who wish to lose weight. However, this is actually hazardous to the health.

Aside from the medical difficulties such a disease brings, one will also notice weight problems as a result. These people have trouble keeping on weight and may notice weakness and bulging of the eyes. This disease may need special treatment from doctors.

Hypothyroidism on the other hand works in the other direction – slowing metabolism until the body gains weight at an incredible rate. Like hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism causes a general weakness in the body. It too may need special treatment and may cause serious health problems if left unattended.

While cutting calories in itself can be very hard for most people – imagine, the people involved in life and death struggles at the supermarket regarding whether to buy that extra box of sweets, some have exactly the opposite problem.

Instead of eating too much calories – which is a problem in itself, they eat too little calories instead.

Problem? What Problem
The problem with some is that they believe that since the experts say that they have to cut calories, cutting calories to an inordinate amount will reap greater results. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. While cutting calories helps diets, consuming too little calories pushed the body into a hoard mode, the body’s metabolism slow to adapt to the lesser amount of available energy.

If your body enters this mode, your body will work at such slow metabolism that losing weight becomes impossible. The technique here should be to reduce calories without the body slowing its metabolism. Only then can losing weight become easier.

Another problem that can arise from decreased metabolism is that when your metabolism slows due to a drastic reduction in metabolism, and then you suddenly eat a good, hearty, calorie-filled meal, you are bound to gain more weight owing to the increased surplus of energy.

This is why an imbalanced meal is highly discouraged among those that seek to lose weight. The sudden loss and increase of calories will cause an imbalance in one’s energy consumption directly affecting fat deposit.

Here is a simple computation to help you get to the right amount of calories you will need per day so that you get your nutrients in the right balance.

First of all, multiply your weight in kilograms by 30. If you only know your weight in pounds, divide it by 2.2 to get to its English equivalent. We divide this number by 30 because that is the number of calories you need to maintain your weight per pound of weight.

For example if your weight in pounds is 150, divide it by 2.2. That will give you a figure of 68.18. This is your weight in kilograms. Multiply this by 30 and you will arrive at the amount of calories you will need per day to maintain 150 lbs.

You may consult a nutritionist to help you come lose weight. In the end it all comes down to math. If you consume more that your body needs, it stores it as fat. Now is probably a good time to start studying the back of those grocery cartons.

Try to keep your diet at a 40% protein, 25% fat, and 35% carbohydrate meals at 300 calories per meal. Spread out these meals in a day for optimum results.

While it may be simple computation to get at numbers, do not forget the earlier mentioned fact that the body adapts to its condition. Expose it to extreme ones and you may find yourself getting results you never wanted. Consult a nutritionist for more advice.

Pregnancy and Exercising

Prescribing a medication for pregnant women is a complex process.

Before obstetricians and gynecologists decide which dose of which drug can best treat a condition without putting any harmful side effects on the mother and the baby, they consider the patient’s age, general health, the number of months before delivery, tolerance for medications, and any other drugs the pregnant patient may be taking.

Prescribing exercise on pregnant women has to be just as scientific and precise. The type, intensity, frequency, and duration of a “dose” of exercise are all critical. One person’s healthy, vigorous workout could be hazardous to another. These dangers may be greater in pregnant women because they are more likely to have strains and other serious side effects for the would-be mother.

However, if exercise will be implemented and carried out in a normal, average range, exercise will not have an effect on the overall condition of the pregnancy and especially on labor or delivery.

Quality prenatal care should be given to a mother during her pregnancy. She should be prepared for the normal delivery of a healthy baby. Complications should be prevented at all costs.

All of these things are boiled down to the fact that a pregnant woman should be cared in such a way that she will not be compelled to do vigorous work but should not also stay in bed and be inactive until she gives birth to her baby.

Consequently, a pregnant woman’s condition varies in relation to the growth and development of the baby in side her womb. Therefore, it is necessary that proper health guidance be provided by her physician during her visit.

Moreover, it is important to keep the pregnant woman’s life active in order to promote good health, not only for her but also for the baby most importantly.

Physical conditions like blood pressure, weight and health status is usually monitored during the pregnant woman’s visit to her doctor. For this reason, it is significant to note that exercise can be the number one factor in order to keep these aspects in good condition.

As the health experts contend, adequate physical and emotional information is needed by a pregnant woman to prepare herself for delivery. She needs practical health messages in keeping herself and the baby healthy.

Hence, for mothers or would-be mothers who are not yet aware why they should exert some effort in engaging into moderate, normal exercise, here is a list of some of its benefits so that you will be able to understand the reason why pregnant women have to exercise regularly:

1. Defiance against fatigue

As muscle becomes fatigued, it produces less force. To accomplish a task like climbing the stairs, for example, or shoveling snow, more units of muscle must be called into play to back up the wearied muscles.

The tired muscles are both less efficient and less effective. Hence, this will just put more strain on the pregnant woman because of the weight that is continuously adding up each day. That is why tired muscles will usually result to leg cramps or sore muscles.

What every pregnant woman must know is that exercise improves the condition of the muscles and their ability to work longer without fatigue.

2. Reduce backaches

Even when you sit or stand, some muscles are working, and such relatively easy postures can tax some muscles and cause fatigue. The muscles of the lower back, for example, can be exhausted and worn out by the effort of keeping erect when a pregnant woman stand still for several hours.

With exercise, a pregnant woman can correct this error by developing her posture.

3. Increase the amount of oxygen

Work and exercise rely on glycogen, a substance produced by the body from complex carbohydrates and stored muscles and liver. The supply of glycogen in the muscles determines and limits the duration of activity. Exercise depletes the glycogen in the muscles and leads to tiredness.

However, when glycogen is depleted by strenuous activity, it is replaced in quantities greater than before, as if the body recognized the need to lay in a larger supply of fuel.

Hence, oxidation is essential for converting glycogen to the energy that pregnant women need to wiggle a finger, flex a muscle, or practice the lungs and heart for some blowing action during normal delivery.

These are just some of the many benefits exercise can bring to pregnant women. Besides, nothing is completely wrong for a pregnant woman doing some moderate exercises. The only important thing to remember is that before starting an exercise program, whether pregnant or not, it is best to consult your doctor. As they say, doctors know best!

Nutrition For Senior Citizens

Healthy eating and nutrition for the elderly is
greatly impacted by several factors, one of them
being a change in body composition. During the
later years in life, the body will lose bone and
muscle and gain fat because the hormones aren't
very active anymore.

There are many factors which hinder an elderly
person's health. The information below will help
you to lead a healthy life - no matter how old you
may be.

Water in the body decreases with age, so many older
folks will become dehydrated very easily. Sometimes
they won't feel thirsty, while other times it's
too much work to pour a glass a water. With this
in mind, it's recommended that they drink at least
1 ounce of water for every 2.2 pounds of weight.

At this stage in life, protein is very important.
Protein is needed to support a healthy immune
system and prevent the wasting of muscle. Since
energy needs are less, older folks should eat high
quality protein such as eggs, lean meats, poulty,
and fish.

Carbs and fiber
Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for
the entire body. You can find carbs in bread,
cereals, pasta, and other grain products. A diet
that's high in fiber and water will help to
prevent constipation as well.

Fat intake for the elderly should be limited, not
eliminated. You can limit fat by choosing lean meats,
low fat dairy products, and food preperation
methods that don't include frying.

For the elderly, iron deficiency can be seen with
those who aren't eating much. Good sources for
iron include lean red meats or breakfast cereals.

Zinc intake is normally with the elderly, and to
make matters worse, it's not absorbed very well
either. Meat, poultry, and fish should be a part
of your diet to help you meet the requirements for

Calcium is one ingredient that most elderly folks
simply aren't getting enough of. Most believe
that milk upsets their stomach, and therefore they
will avoid it. They should be getting around 1,500
mg of calcium a day, and nonfat powdered milk can
be used in recipes as a substitute for milk. Other
foods such as yogurt, low fat cheese, and broccoli
can also help you meet the requirements for calcium.

Vitamin B12
In order to absorb the benefits of B12, the intrinsic
facotr must be produced by the stomach. Most elderly
people suffer from a deficiency in B12 because they
have a condition known as atrophic gastritis. This
condition causes inflammation of the stomach,
bacterial overgrowth, and the intrinsic factor.
Without the intrinsic factor, this vitamin can be

Each one of the above nutrients are needed to keep
an aged body in good health. Elderly individuals
should try to stay active and strive for a well
balanced diet. Even though the aged body isn't the
same as it used to be, proper care and the right
nutrients can help the elderly enjoy a healthy and
long life.