Can You Really Lose As Much Weight As a ‘Big Loser’ Each Week – And Would You Want To?

With shows like the Biggest Loser getting massive reviews and viewer numbers, clearly its hitting a chord with the general public. The show encourages massive weight loss on a weekly basis. How do we know how much is a reasonable amount of weight to lose? Is it true that you can only lose half a kilo per week. Let's take a look at what is realistic – and achievable – for you …

First off, is it really possible to drop fat as quickly as the contestants on The Biggest Loser? Can the man on the street (or you :) take these kind of losses without a team of trainers, nutritionists and camera men following their every move? Or are the massive and speedy losses on the show nothing more than clever marketing and a not-so-subtublic manipulation of the viewer?

I did a little research to find out just how much weight some of our contestants have stacked up. At the time of my research the show was airing Week 11. Here's a summary of total weight loss for the final four contestants at that time:

Sam: just over 40kg (88 pounds)
Cosi: close to 48kg (105.6 pounds)
Alison: around 36kg (79.2 pounds)
Gary: close to 59kg (129.8 pounds)

The weekly weight loss (divided by 11 just to keep it simple, although obviously they would have lost different amounts each week) is shown here:

Sam: 3.63 kg p / week (7.9 pounds)
Cosi: 4.36 kg p / week (9.6 pounds)
Alison: 3.27 kg p / week (7.2 pounds)
Gary: 5.36 kg p / week (11.8 pounds)

Just in case you're interested, this averages out at a body weight percentage loss of around 2.8 weekly. If you matched this to the 'average' 70kg woman, that would equate to 1.96kg per week, and for a 90kg man it would be around 2.66kg per week.

Does not sound like too much, really, does it? I'm sure many readers out there would be thrilled to lose this amount of weight each week, and not necessarily consider it extreme.

But let's think about that. In my experience most of you have heard over and over that healthy weight loss is around 0.5-1kg per week. In fact, every health expert, resource or study I've mentioned that a 'healthy' (as in mainly fat, and sustainable) amount of weight loss is just that – around half a kilo per week for women, and 1 kilo for men. Extremely overweight people are said to be able to lose 1.5 kg per week.

If we take this as a gospel (for now), then clearly the BL contestants are losing weight much faster than they should be in order to keep it off. According to Anne Collins, fat loss expert extraordinaire,

'When we lose weight we do not just lose fat. We lose a combination of body fat, and muscle tissue. Studies show that when we diet, the weight we lose is on average 75 percent fat and 25 percent muscle. (Also) remember water accounts for about 70 percent of the total body weight of an average person, with muscle tissue containing roughly 75 percent water (plus 20 percent protein and 5 percent minerals), and body fat containing roughly 50 percent water. '

How is this relevant?

When you lose weight quickly, your body will shed muscle and water before it lets go of fat stores. This is because your body views rapid weight loss as a threat to your survival – your physiology assumes that you must be low on resources (food), or on the run. Why else would you starve or over-exercise yourself?

In order to preserve life (yours!) Your very intelligent body gets rid of the less important stuff – like muscle. Yep, that's the metabolism boosting stuff in case you forgot. After all, fat stores will keep you alive for longer.

So the long and short of it is that losing weight too quickly will not only mean you lose muscle and water over fat, but you will also (at least semi) permanently lower your resting metabolic rate, meaning that the same amount of food you used to eat will cause you to gain more weight.

This is where the concept of the 'yo-yo effect' comes in to play – the idea (reality) that most diets result in a bounce-back effect that leaves the sorry soul in question more overweight than when they started.

NOT good.

But that's not really the full story. Here's where it gets even more confusing (or interesting, for the thinkers among you).

o If your body is under a lot of stress, you can not safely lose weight. Basically, your body will not allow you to. This is because stress is a threat to your survival – and your body can not distinguish between our modern day stress of a demanding job or unsettled relationship, and the stress of a threat on your life. Therefore, your body views all stress as a threat to your survival – and attempts to give you a fighting chance by keeping a protective layer of fat that will not go away regardless of what you eat or how you exercise.

o According to William W. Wolcott, author of The Metabolic Typing Diet, 'It is not uncommon for people to gain weight in response to stress. Weight gain literally represents a protective layer, an insulator, against the pain and suffering of the stress. In such cases, diet, nutrition, and exercise are powerless to resolve the problem '. Solution: put steps into place to detoxify stress. This includes eating correctly, but also taking time out.

o Ironically, cutting back calories to an extreme or doing high amounts of cardio exercise can also prevent you losing weight.

o Even if you are losing weight at the 'safe' rate of, you will still find your lean muscle mass decreases to some extent. In the long run this means you will lower your metabolism and possibly gain weight back. The only way to counteract this is to perform resistance exercise. I'd recommend at least 1-2 half hour sessions per week, for maintenance, or more if you're looking to gain a significant amount of muscle.

o A final spark of hope – Over the years I have known clients to 'lean up' in an incredibly fast manner. Without losing a significant amount of muscle – and I'm not just talking abut extremely overweight people. I'm going to finish this article with my hot tips for maximizing weight loss from fat.

MAXIMISE YOUR FAT LOSS

1. Eat correctly. Trust me on this – pill popping is NOT how the human body achieves true health and weight loss. Choose natural, minimally processed sources of carbohydrates, fat and protein.

2. Sleep correctly. Numerous studies have shown that building up a sleep debt will result in rampant stress hormones that cause your body to store fat. Regardless of how you eat or exercise. I've written many articles on the topic myself.

3. Think correctly. I do not care how 'airy fairy' this sounds – your thoughts do have power. If you believe and tell yourself that you can not lose weight, you WILL NOT lose weight. Positive thinking on its own may not cut it, but it sure is not going to hurt. Build confidence and promote positive action by telling yourself that you can and will improve your health and weight.

4. Reduce stress. We've spoken about how stress hormones cause you to store fat. If you really can not change your lifestyle, put steps into place to relax and recuperate. Using your one free hour pounding the treadmill is not always the best option. But ask yourself this. Can you REALLY not change your lifestyle? If your life depended on it I bet you would walk out of the job, relationship, situation or whatever it might be. Guess what? Your life does depend on it.

I guess when all is said and done, the rapid weight loss of Biggest Loser contestants may not be possible or ideal for most people. This next I believe the show does a brilliant job of inspiring people to reach, to fight, to do whatever it takes to achieve their dreams. I think if you asked them, the BL contestants would tell you that they had definitely been living life.

How 'bout you?

Life is Now. Press Play.

How to Talk to Your Spouse Who Says You Work Too Much

Strong marriages and relationships require attention from both partners. This balance of attention to spouse versus earning a living or furthering your career can be difficult to find. And, once you have found a balance that works in your relationship, things change and you have to find the balance again.

Why do some people overwork? The Overworking Spouse may be under considerable stress on the job, or may have a boss that demands long hours. Or maybe there are layoffs coming up and the less productive workers are the first to go. Maybe one partner has to work long hours just to support the family. On the other hand, the overworking spouse may be strongly identifying with career advancement to the exclusion of the marriage. Of course, we should be involved in work that is worthwhile, fulfilling and financially rewarding but over focus can put the marriage at risk.

What can happen when you put your work/career first? Your spouse may be feeling emotionally disconnected from you and lonely. There may be a buildup of resentment which can lead to anger and finally bitterness-towards you. This situation often leads to unhappiness and discord for the entire family.

As a psychologist who has worked for 20 years counseling couples in my therapy practice in North St. Paul, MN, I met with Amy and Josh with just this complaint. Amy was complaining that she was overburdened because Josh worked too much and left her with the responsibilities of home, children, and her own 40-hour job. He knew she was right but he felt defensive when she tried to tell him how to manage his work schedule. He’d started complaining that when wasn’t very affectionate lately and always blamed her disinterest in their physical intimacy on fatigue. He asked to meet with me individually after Amy had had a session to talk about her “side”of the problem. He was appreciative that she was not as naggy as she had been in the past, but he still felt blamed and criticized.

When Josh and I met, we talked of the reasons that he was spending so much time at work. The usual reasons people overwork is that they are feeling under considerable stress on the job, or may have a boss that demands long hours. Or maybe there are layoffs coming up and the less productive works are the first to go. Maybe one partner has to work long hours just to support the family. On the hand, the overworking spouse may be strongly identifying with career advancement to the exclusion of the marriage.

Drs. John and Julie Gottman, in their book 10 Lessons to Transform Your Marriage, suggest the following questions:

1.What does your work mean to you?

2.What pleasure or satisfaction does work bring to you?

3.What need does working fulfill in your life?

4.Does your work related to some personal legacy you would like to contribute to the world?

In a discussion with Josh, he pointed out that he was trying to make headway in his career now, while he was still young and had the energy. He knew his wife was doing a good job parenting their two small children (3 years and 9 months) so he wanted to focus on earning good money for his family. At first, he couldn’t understand why Amy was complaining so much because he was doing all this work for her and their children. He felt it was his responsibility. He wanted to provide his children with a fund for their education.

I suggested he consider the questions listed above. He said that his work is very satisfying in that he felt very confident and capable at work. He also wanted to meet his father’s expectations who had had a successful career. His older two brothers had moved from job to job and he knew his father was disappointed that they had difficulty supporting their families.

It was important for Josh to understand the underlying reasons for his excessive hours at work. He did not have a demanding boss and he was in no threat of a layoff. He just wanted to do the right thing. He had not thought of himself as having value over and above that of a worker and wage earner. He resigned himself to have a discussion with Amy. He said he would try to listen carefully about what Amy was longing for when she complained to him. I suggested he try to imagine the experiences she wanted to have with him and not to focus on her criticisms.

When Amy and Josh came for the next couple’s session, they wanted to further discuss the overworking situation. (They no longer saw the problem as residing inside one of them but as a problem the two of them need to figure out.) Any was able to explain to him what she missed when he work so much. He came to get a sense that his contribution to their family was not solely a financial responsibility. He heard her tell him he was also loved, appreciated, and needed as a friend, confidant and co-parent. She especially enjoyed his easy humor with their children and felt he was the only one who would be able to provide that.

This was a difficult issue for this couple and it was not resolved quickly. They were able to discuss their needs and wants in a different way when they addressed the questions about the underlying reasons for their positions.

What is Resveratrol and Does it Work?

There's been a lot of hype about this antioxidant laately, but what is resveratrol and why is it suddenly getting so much attention?

Resveratrol is a phytoestrogen chemical compound that is found in a few plants but the main source is the skins on red grapes. Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant. Until recently red wine was the best way to get Resveratrol in your diet.

It was back in the 1940's that this nutrient was isolated as a constituent in white hellebore roots. Plants produce Resveratrol to protect them against fungi and bacteria that is a result of environmental stressors. Its mother nature's natural plant antibiotic.

It was in November of 2006 that Resveratrol first made headlines after scientists demonstrated that when it was fed to mice that were overfed they did not gain wait. In fact they actually became the mice version of marathon racers. One other important thing was noticed and that was the aging process seemed to be slowed down a great deal.

Translated to humans, this grape skin supplement has reduced, even preceded the negative effects a high calorie diet can have on humans. Because it is such a powerful antioxidant it stops plateslets from sticking together, and it has anti inflammatory, anti cancer, and anti aging qualities.

Resveratrol prevents free radicals from remaining in the body and causing damage. It rides the body of these free radicals. It also protects the blood vessels especially those with blood glucose levels that are elevated.

If there are high levels of glucose in the body it causes damage at the cellular level and there are increased risks associated with those levels such as heart disease, kidney disease, and retinopathy. Heart disease can lead to stroke or heart attack. Kidney disease can lead to kidney failure, and retinopathy can cause blindness.

Recent research also indicates that if you are at risk for Alzheimers you can benefit from Resveratrol. Even those that already have Alzheimers can benefit.

The main reason why we've heard so much about 'red wine pills' recently is all the excitement over its ability to slow down, even stop the aging process. It's no wonder it's been getting such great coverage. After all that's very exciting news.

Red wine can provide 1.5 milligrams to 3 milligrams of Resveratrol per quart of wine. Studies have shown wine in moderation has several health benefits. But for those of you that want to enjoy the advantages of a little higher dose of this red wine extract or do not wish to drink wine, there are quality supplements now available on the market.

These Resveratrol supplements are tested in the laboratory to ensure you are getting the correct of Resveratrol to enjoy the full benefits of its anti aging abilities. Now do not confuse Resveratrol with being an anti aging drug – it is not.

It is an anti aging supplement that provides the ability to slow or stop the aging process from the inside out. You'll feel years younger and look years younger too.

Decreasing Stress by Hiring Limousines For Travelling Long Distances

Cars have become an important part of human life; nowadays it is just impossible to think anything without the role of cars involved with it. People need cars in each and every work that they do; travelling long distances, short trips, attending parties, meetings and lots more. But there are certain disadvantages too; when you travel for long period of time with friends or family, you get exhausted driving the car for such long periods. When you reach the desired location, you get too much tired and cannot enjoy with others. The best option to prevent such situations is to hire a car for taking you to the place you want to go. But, not just any car can give you proper comfort all through the way. So, for a break less, comfortable and easy journey you have to hire a luxurious car like a limousine.

Several car rental companies have grown up in United States and the Longmont limousine is one such company which provides luxurious limos for hiring. When you hire a limousine for travelling long distance, you do not have to take any kind of responsibility. Just make a reservation to any such limo rental company like the Longmont limousine and make preparations at your house. The chauffeur driven limo will arrive at your house at the right time and take you to your destined location. While travelling you can enjoy to the full limit with your friends, you do not have to take the trouble of driving. The comfort you get in the limousines provided by the Longmont limo company will not stress you out.

Apart from the leisure trips, when you have attend any important official meeting in any other city you can hire limos from the Longmont limo company. As you know, that traveling long distances in very stressful and leave you totally exhausted after you reach the destination. If you have to drive for long hours to attend a meeting, you cannot give your optimum performance in the meeting. But if you hire a limo, the chauffeur driven limousine will you pick you up at the right time and take you to your destination. While travelling you can take rest or even prepare for the meeting that you are going to attend. Moreover, travelling in a limousine provided by the Longmont limo car rental company will give you adequate comfort throughout your journey.

The punctuality of the chauffeurs of the Longmont limousine company is noticeable. They arrive at your house at the exact time that you have told them, calculate the total time that they will take to drop you at your destination and take you to the destination. If you are from Denver, you are really lucky to get the services of the Longmont limousine company all throughout the year. But, if you are not from the boulder county, you can search for other car rental companies who can provide you with excellent limousine services. The limousine services have become popular all over United States, most people hire limos for their trips.