Author Archives: admin
Author Archives: admin
In the fashion and modelling world, looks can be everything – but even in everyday life, looks can be very important. When you first see someone, at least 90% of your opinion of them is based on the way they look, and if they look old, you’re going to think they are old.
The problem with that is being old and looking old are too entirely different things. Exercise and diet can make you look younger – if you are overweight, dropping 20lbs or more can make you look 10 years younger.
But the fact of the matter is that we often need a helping hand. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the best anti aging products you can try:
Cleansers – if you have healthy looking skin, you’ll look younger. Skin that is clogged up with old makeup, dead cells, and other day-to-day debris will not look at its best, so a cleanser product is essential.
Moisturizer – radiant looking skin needs to be hydrated, and a good moisturizer will help further by enhancing the natural elasticity of your skin. Young skin = stretchy skin. Properly hydrated skin will also reduce the appearance of wrinkles, so using a decent moisturizer is certainly worthwhile. Make sure you choose the right type of moisturizer for your skin type – oily, dry, normal, etc – by checking your t-zone late in the day. Whatever type of skin your t-zone is showing by evening, that’s most likely the type of skin you have.
Facial masks and peels – spread them on your face, and peel them off. What’s the benefit? Moisturization and the removal of dead cells. Simple!
Anti-wrinkle creams – many anti-wrinkle creams are just well promoted moisturizer, but some have “special ingredients” to help disguise wrinkles, and use the term “lifting” which is to indicate the skin will be tightened by the application of the product. Your mileage may vary dependent on the elasticity of your skin and the depth of the wrinkles.
Night creams – related to anti-wrinkle creams and moisturizers, night creams are designed to be left on overnight
Eye creams and gels – wrinkles and crows feet around your eyes often make you look older, even if they have been caused by a lifetime of laughter. The skin around the eyes is thinner than the rest of the face, and so needs special attention. Care must always be taken when applying, as due to the thinness of the skin, it is easy to damage. Hydration, as always, helps.
Exfoliation – basically giving your face a gentle scrub to remove dead cells. Whilst this may improve the appearance, be careful in cold weather – exfoliating too much may cause damage to your skin. The same also applies to extremely sunny weather, as exfoliation can leave your skin exposed to the damaging rays from the sun.
The most common type of eyeshadow is in the form of a powder, and the easiest way to apply it is with the use of a brush. But unless you are going for an over-the-top 80s kind of look, what’s the easiest way to apply eyeshadow and not end up looking like a panda?
First and foremost, color choice is important. Bright vivid colors may make an impact and are helpful if you are trying to make a statement, but neutral tones will help to bring out your natural beauty and accent what you already have. Soft brushes are also essential, as the skin around your eyes is quite thin and can be easily damaged if care is not taken. Avoid the use of sponge brushes, as these will absorb the eyeshadow rather than transferring it to your face.
A common way to apply eyeshadow is to choose three similar colors, from light to dark. The lightest is applied first, often over the whole eyelid. The mid color is applied next, and the darkest is applied last – make sure you don’t go all the way up to your eyebrows! The colors can then be blended with a brush to give a smooth gradation between colors. The exact pattern in which the eyeshadow is applied depends on the effect you are going for, as you will essentially be painting on false shadows, giving the impression of a different shape to the area surrounding your eyes.
Going all the way up to your eyebrows is a guaranteed way to get the panda effect. In this case, less is definitely more!
If you have dry skin, you may be tempted to reach for the nearest available moisturizer and get straight to work – after all, dry flaky skin is not the most attractive thing in the world. But there are a few things you should be aware of.
Be gentle – whether you think you have sensitive skin or not, be gentle when applying moisturizer. Use light pressure, preferably moving up from your neck to your forehead. Using heavier pressure can damage your skin rather than improve it, and be extra careful where your skin is thinnest – around your eyes.
Trap that moisture in there – if you’ve just washed your face or showered, apply moisturizer as soon as you can.
More is better – or at least, more applications is better. Once a day is good, twice a day is better, but if you end up applying moisturizer at night make sure it has been absorbed before lying down, as you don’t want to be moisturizing your pillow.
Check your skin type – finding the best moisturizer for dry skin is one thing, but it isn’t useful if you don’t actually have dry skin. Check your t-zone (around your eyebrows and down your nose) at the end of the day and see if it appears dry, oily or normal – that should give you a clue as to your skin type.
Dry skin is often moisturized best with a cream moisturizer, which will contain more oil than a lotion or ointment. Furthermore, people with dry skin are often more likely to have allergic reactions, so it is worth taking it easy if you are trying out a new moisturizer. Try it somewhere less sensitive first, like your arm, and give it a few days to see if you develop a reaction – better it is on your arm than in the middle of your face!
And why should you care?
The OMG Diet appears in the news every now and then – but what is it, and how effective is it?
The main rules of the OMG Diet are as follows:
As rules go, they don’t seem very complicated. But how are they meant to help fat loss?
Sounds good, doesn’t it? A big problem for a lot of people is that their busy lives prevent them from getting adequate sleep. Without the right amount of sleep, your body releases stress hormones, which are detrimental to fat loss. So sleeping longer is a good start.
The full recommendation here is to skip breakfast, and to exercise instead. While additional exercise may be beneficial, skipping breakfast may cause you to overeat at lunchtime. Breakfast has also been previously highlighted as the most important meal of the day, as eating it helps regulate your hormones when first waking up. However, several new diet plans have recently indicated a weight loss benefit when not eating for several hours after waking – it’s not scientifically proven, and your mileage may vary.
Drinking black coffee before exercise
The theory is that caffeine gives you a boost, and enables you to work out more effectively. The downside is that too much caffeine has previously been shown to inhibit weight loss – it’s a fine balance.
Taking cold baths
Ice baths have been shown to help with weight loss – in fact, just exposure to the cold generally can help. However, the OMG Diet recommends baths at a temperature below 20C – which is clearly nowhere near an ice bath! Whilst the basis of immersion in a cold bath is scientifically sound, the temperature recommendations are not.
Eat less fruit
Some diets recommend eating lots of fruit, while some recommend none. OMG recommends “less”. The problem with fruit is the fructose content, which can easily be turned in to fat in the body. The amount of fruit you eat for effective weight loss is entirely relative to the content of the rest of your diet.
Don’t eat broccoli
Why not? Too many carbs! It does however help with digestion and is full of vitamins. If you eat too much broccoli, you probably know – but eating too much cake is a much bigger problem.
The diet itself does not require calorie counting, but does lean towards low carb. Generally “nothing we haven’t seen before” rather than “OMG”.
What’s the biggest hurdle people face when they try to lose weight?
Changing their habits. By their very nature, habits are things you do regularly, and often without considering their long term effects.
Every time you go to the kitchen, you might be in the habit of automatically opening the fridge door and looking what there is to eat. Every time you have a cup of coffee, you might need to have a cake or cookie to go with it. Every time you go to bed, you might need a snack before turning the lights out.
These habits are hard to break, as you are convinced by your body every time that these are things you “need” to do. The key to successful weight loss is to take these bad habits, and get rid of them one by one. That doesn’t mean stop eating – but it does mean make better choices. And it doesn’t mean stop them all at once – if you go cold turkey, you are going to fail.
The major problem here is eating things that are bad for you. Maybe you are a cookie monster – you need one with a warm drink during the day, you need one with milk before bed time, and so on. The total amount of calories and carbs you eat in a day doing this may well shock you!
So how can you change this habit?
Some would say, “replace cookies with fruit” or something similar, but frankly a cup of coffee with a nice crunchy apple doesn’t have the same effect. And it’s harder to dunk an apple in a cup than it is to dunk a cookie.
What you need…are healthy cookies.
“Healthy cookies? What are they?”, I hear you ask. The manufacturers would have you believe that low fat cookies are healthy cookies, but at Fat Loss Friend we think differently. Low carb is better for sustained weight loss than low fat.
The two biggest problem ingredients in cookies are flour and sugar – if you can replace those with something else, you’re half way to winning the war on weight. Flour is normally made from grains, and we’ve reported before on how avoiding grains is the best course of action – so the simplest thing to do is to replace the flour with something else not made from grain – for example, coconut flour, almond flour, etc.
Coconuts and almonds – they’re like things from the fruit and veg section! The thing is, your cookies won’t taste of coconut or almond. Once baked, they’ll be almost indistinguishable from regular cookies.
Which leaves us with sugar. How do you replace sugar? You can take the chemical route, and use a scientifically designed sweetener. Or you can use sucralose, or stevia, depending on your preference. You can even use honey, although the less processed it is the better. Nature is full of sweet stuff, so you should use it in preference to processed cane sugar.
So how does this work with a standard cookie recipe? A standard cookie recipe normally involves something like 2 cups all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder, maybe an egg, and a cup or more of sugar. Simply replace the flour with your coconut (or almond) flour, and replace the cup of sugar with a teaspoon of stevia. Depending on your exact recipe, you may need to add a little more flour than normal due to the lack of bulk in the stevia compared to sugar, but you were probably going to taste test the dough while making it anyway.
Just take your favourite cookie recipe and modify it as above, and that’s a habit changed with very little effort – and you still get your cookies!
Everyone dreams of losing 50 excess pounds in a week, but it won’t happen like that. You need to make small, consistant changes that become permanent to lose weight, and changing one habit at a time is the way to go about it.
Enjoy your healthy cookies!
The latest supplement to hit the market for weight loss are raspberry ketones. Studies have shown raspberry ketones hinder the growth of fat while simultaneously boosting metabolism – however, most studies have been conducted on mice rather than humans.
That is not to say that many people have not had a positive effect with the use of raspberry ketone supplements. Indeed, many have lost a considerable amount of weight in a short space of time – this may be down to the effects of the supplement, but may also be a partial placebo effect.
Raspberries have been used for centuries for their medicinal properties, and like all berry fruits are generally considered good for your health. The raspberry ketone supplements currently on the market include raspberry extract, but also often other ingredients such as green tea extract – and green tea is known to aid weight loss.
The combination of several natural weight loss extracts should lead to en enhanced weight loss supplement, and if the testimonials are to be believed this seems to be true.
The testimonials consolidate the opinion that drastic changes can be made in a short amount of time, but as with all diets and diet supplement, your mileage may vary as every body is different. A key to the raspberry ketone weight loss is to also incorporate physical activity in to your daily life, and to eat a healthy diet – both of which are proven to aid weight loss in any case!
The direct results of the use of raspberry ketones as part of a weight or fat loss program have not been fully confirmed in humans, and any evidence is anecdotal at best. However, even as a placebo, if the use of raspberry ketones is married with a change in lifestyle including daily exercise, there should be a recomposition of the body and a noticeable loss of fat.
As an advisory note, any raspberry ketone product containing only natural ingredients should have no side effects, unless you are allergic to any of the component parts. Always check the label, and check with you physician, before commencing any radical change in diet or exercise, and before starting a course of supplements.
A crash diet is not the recommended method for losing weight (or fat) for an extended period of time. In fact, those partaking in a crash diet often put the weight back on in a very short period of time. This is due in part to not being able to sustain the requirements of the diet for more than a few days or weeks at a time, and also by the nature of the diet – the weight lost can often be water weight, which fluctuates daily in any case.
Crash diets heavily restrict the intake of calories, and usually includes no great amount of nutrition. Because of this, it becomes harder for your body to work optimally, and makes it harder for your body to process the food you do eat. With your body in this state, returning to a “regular” diet afterwards is a recipe for disaster – if you put on weight before, and then feed your body in the same way when it can’t process what you are eating, you are clearly heading for trouble!
Unfortunately, this is often seen as a sign of the crash diet causing weight loss, and the regular diet causing weight gain – and many people try going back to the crash diet to lose the weight again. As the crash diet is unsustainable, they revert to the normal diet and regain the weight. This kind of yo-yo dieting can go on indefinitely, and each cycle results in a degradation in the ability of the body to process real food.
The only way to lose weight safely and long term is by making sensible changes to your lifestyle – there is no quick fix, and crash dieting is at best ineffective, and at worst dangerous. If your true goal is to lose fat and get in shape, then losing mostly water weight through a crash diet will not help you – it will only hinder you in the long term.
Aside from the food you eat, the amount of physical activity you do is one of the greatest influences on whether you gain, maintain, or lose weight.
You may have never set foot in a gym in your life, and have never lifted a weight heavier than a candy bar – but in order to get and maintain a fit and healthy body, you are going to have to start somewhere!
There are countless ways you can exercise in your own home. From walking up and down the stairs, to performing reps holding a can of beans, your home can become your exercise center. Many people have a strong aversion to going to the gym – especially if they have never been before, and especially if they think their body type won’t “fit in” with everyone else, so breaking yourself in gently at home is an ideal way to start.
Working in your yard or going for a walk also counts as exercise, but there is no need to overdo it. All you need to do to begin with is to get your body moving, and get used to the feeling.
Even if you are averse to going to the gym, just remember not everyone there looks like a model – gyms were invented to get people in shape, and there are lots of different shapes and sizes. Don’t just jump in and go on every machine though – you will need to know what to do and what the best exercises for you are.
Consulting someone at the gym is the best way to begin, as they will often give you hints and tips about things you never even considered.
Aerobic exercise is the kind of exercise that gets you out of breath and your heart beating – so pretty much anything that requires some effort! Aerobic exercise is one of the keys to losing weight – by making your body work hard, not only will you make it stronger, but you will also start to burn off some of that excess weight you are carrying around. Do not overdo it though – too much exercise can cause injuries. Take your time and listen to your body – when your body has had enough, it will let you know.
Weight training is not just to build big muscles. Done correctly, it can help you get your whole body in shape. Lifting makes you breathe harder, and makes your heart pump faster – it’s almost like aerobic exercise without moving around so much! However, just like aerobic exercise, pay attention to your body. If you try and lift too heavy a weight, your body might not have time to warn you and you may suffer a serious injury. Start off light, and build up – you are not He-Man! At least, not yet…
Still sat at home or in your office? No problem – there are exercises you can do even while you are working. Stretching, squeezing (crunching) your abdominal muscles, raising your feet of the floor and lowering them again, lifting yourself off your chair with you hands – anything to work the muscles and get a little motion in to your life.
Before starting any major change in your lifestyle, such as exercising, you should consult a doctor. You may have underlying health problems that might cause you issues if you try and do too much too soon.
But if you get the all clear, then the only way is up – any exercise you do is better than none, and it will surely help you on your way to weight loss.
There’s a bit of a buzz at the moment around the herb coleus forskohlii, a member of the mint family. It contains a compound called forskolin, which is said to help with fat loss. But how does this work?
Forskolin activates an enzyme, adenylate cyclase, which in turn activates the lipoprotein lipase, which helps stored fat to be broken down and used as fuel for the body.
Studies have shown that in some subjects, forskolin does indeed help with fat loss – however, in other subjects, it has no discernible effect. While not causing any health problems or side effects, the use of forskolin does not seem to be a guaranteed path to weight loss.
Further clinical studies will need to be performed in order to determine the true effectiveness of the use of forskolin as a supplement, as data from just two small studies is not really indicative of anything. Comparisons would also need to be made against established supplements, such as green tea extract, in order to see if forskolin is more or less effective.
Other “miracle” fat loss products surface all the time – recently raspberry ketones have taken the spotlight. But just because something is popular or new, doesn’t make it worthwhile, useful or effective. As a disclaimer on a website selling forskolin capsules says, “This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”
As always, the best route for losing weight is to watch what you eat and to get your body moving. This does not mean counting calories and joining a gym – it just means paying attention to what you eat and your eating habits, and not sitting still all day every day.
Does the Slacker Health Club recommend forskolin? No – there is currently no proven advantage to using forskolin over eating bacon. And we’d rather be eating bacon.
When you first get started on diet, your body takes time to adjust. Most people naturally eat a large proportion of carbs in their diet before deciding they need to lose weight, and some reduce the amount or type of carbs they eat, or at least change the way they eat carbs.
Quite simply, this can cause headaches!
But don’t worry, once you get used to your new way of eating, the headaches will normally go away. But what causes them in the first place?
A reduced carb diet can cause a diuretic effect – to put it simply, you need to pee more. Doing this reduces the amount of fluid and sodium in your body – you may need to increase the amount of water you drink, and maybe slightly increase your salt intake. When your brain is slightly dehydrated, it lets you know by giving you a headache. A lack of sodium can cause light-headedness. The two together are not so good!
You may also suffer from carbohydrate withdrawal – just like giving up smoking can cause big changes in the way you feel, giving up carbs can have the same effect. Completely cutting out carbs causes the biggest effect, and the withdrawal symptoms usually cause headaches as your body tries to figure out what is going on.
You can reduce the effect by gradually lowering your carb intake over a short period – usually a week does the trick. Most people finds that this works – however, a few have found that the headaches are just the same.
If you still find you are having the same headaches after a week, it may be worth looking in to other ways of changing your diet. Headaches can prevent you from doing many things that you either need to do or enjoy – if low carb eating is not for you, make a change.