Category Archives: health and fitness

Dieting for Fertility

Obesity has many negative health consequences. Some are better known and documented than others. Recent studies have shown that yet another potential consequence of obesity is difficulty when it comes to conceiving a baby. Fertility troubles are a growing problem in this country and around the world. One reason that is being hailed as a very viable culprit is obesity.

While most people look immediately to the female in the relationship for this particular problem the facts indicate that male obesity can also lead to a low sperm count, which can also hamper fertility efforts and progress.

Our bodies were designed for specific purposes. It is utterly amazing how well each part of the human body works to support the others. There are very few machines that can compete with the genius of the design of the human body. After thousands of years to study the human body there are still many mysteries hidden within. The truth comes down to this however, we put things into our bodies, and abuse our bodies in ways that our bodies were simply not designed to take and yet we still manage to adapt and survive many of these things.

It’s amazing when you think about that the human body endures the many things it does without permanent and irrevocable damage. The good news for those attempting to conceive is that the human body also has the remarkable ability to heal itself. This means that those who find their efforts to conceive have been hampered by obesity have also seen positive changes by losing as little as five to ten percent of your ability to conceive.

If both partners are overweight then it might be a good idea to work together to shed those unwanted pounds and adopt a healthier, more active lifestyle. Being active when trying to conceive and throughout the pregnancy is a good idea for the female in the relationship at any rate as this can help in the process of labor and delivery.

If you are trying to conceive without success and have been doing so for more than a year it is probably in your best interest to seek the services of a fertility specialist in order to rule out other possible considerations. Though it is rarely a bad idea to adopt a healthier lifestyle you should also consult your doctor before beginning a strict diet or weight loss regimen in order to make sure there aren’t other factors that may be causing your weight issues. This is particularly true if you have gained a good deal of weight in a rather short amount of time.

In addition to conception difficulty obesity can also lead to a greater risk of miscarriage once conception has occurred. Obesity also leads to a greater risk of conditions such as gestational diabetes during the pregnancy, pre-eclampsia, and in some cases still birth and birth defects. It is no small hindrance to a healthy pregnancy and should be carefully considered before attempting to conceive.

Another consideration when it comes to obesity and fertility is that being overweight can also hamper the affects of fertility treatments. This means that the process is typically lengthier and will cost significantly more over time than if obesity were not a factor. When coupled with the risks to the baby this is something that should not be taken lightly when making plans for fertility treatments.

If your BMI is greater than 30 there are many fertility clinics that simply will not offer their services. Some limit it to greater than 35 and others 40. If you feel that fertility treatments are the only course of action available to you and your BMI is greater than 30, the first suggestion you are likely to hear is the suggestion that you make serious weight loss efforts and lifestyle changes before proceeding. You may find that once you begin to shed the pounds, fertility intervention is no longer necessary.

Dieting for Weight Loss

The most common reason that people cite for dieting today is weight loss. While most of us would love to claim the noble mantle of dieting for health the vast majority of us are doing so for vanity. This, however, is a perfectly acceptable and plausible reason for making the lifestyle changes that are necessary in order to diet. In fact, this reason might prove to be a far greater motivator than many of the other commonly stated reasons for dieting.

When dieting for weight loss one of the most common complaints is constantly feeling hungry. In order to help combat this, you might want to incorporate some of the following strategies into your dieting program. First of all, eat more high fiber foods. Whole grains, apples, pears, and lima beans are a great source of fiber as are many breakfast cereals. Easy does it however when it comes to fiber as it may be filling but there are some unpleasant side effects that may accompany heavy fiber eating (remember that beans are a good source of fiber). Try using a product such as Bean-o when consuming larger amounts of fiber. You might also try spreading your fiber intake throughout the day rather than consuming all your daily fiber at once.

Another method for feeling fuller when dieting is to drink plenty of water while dieting. Water provides an important service to the body and is very necessary when it comes to delivering all the nutrients where they need to go. Water also helps regulate your metabolism, which is very important to the dieting and weight loss process. Additionally, water will help you skin retain its elasticity so that your skin can go more easily back into place once the serious weight loss begins.

Learn to control your portions. We live in a world where portions are over inflated and super sized so often that we no longer know what an appropriate portion looks like. Restaurant meals are quite often more than adequate for at least two full meals and that is before salads, soups, appetizers, or desserts have been ordered. Learning to portion correctly can save you from over loading your calorie intake for the day massively. It can also help you get extra helpings of the lower calorie foods such as lettuce and other vegetables rather than taking such large portions of calorie rich starches or fried foods.

Do not go “Gung Ho”. There are limits to what the body and the mind can handle. When you go on a diet you are making a drastic change to your bodies caloric intake. If you go overboard you can lead to health risks along the way. Begin cutting calories a little at a time and incorporate changes as you go rather than going in with an all or nothing attitude. If you go overboard with your dieting plans chances are that you are dooming your diet to failure.

Take your diet one step at a time for the best results and be sure to incorporate extra physical activity into the mix. Even gardening when done on a regular basis can burn calories, so can cleaning the house, and playing with the little ones. Take a walk to the park or the corner store rather than getting in the car and pull a wagon or push a stroller while you’re at it. The added weight will be just enough resistance to burn a few extra calories.

Dieting for weight loss does not necessarily have to be a major sacrifice on your part but in order to be successful it will be a radical change in lifestyle, particularly if you need to lose more than a few vanity pounds. The health implications of loosing the weight are well worth the required effort and should not be taken lightly no matter how excited you are about your new body that is hiding inside your old one.

Dieting for Success Making it Happen

Dieting is far too often approached from the mindset of impending failure. Too many people have tried and failed so many diets in their past that they try the next new diet with the absolute knowledge that they will fail in this attempt as well. Guess what? They will.

Henry Ford once said, “If you think you can or think you can’t you will always be right.” If you think you are going to fail at this diet you are dooming yourself to failure before you even deprive yourself of the first bite. Think about that before you begin because only a true masochist could find pleasure in perpetuating this vicious cycle without ever stopping to wonder why none of the other diets have worked for you. Henry Ford also said, “Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently”. In case you were wondering I would say his words are quite profound. Seriously though, if you do not examine the reasons for your failures you are certainly dooming yourself to repeat them and if you are already planning to fail why on earth would you even try?

You are the only person who can take control of your need to eat. You are the only one who can pay attention and notice when you are eating for emotional fulfillment and when you are eating from necessity. You and you alone can get yourself out of your chair and on your feet. You are the only one that can take the responsibility for the condition in which you find yourself. There are medical exceptions but even in these situations if you are trying diet after diet and failing over and over again then you must at some point in time realize that it is quite likely not the diets that aren’t working.

We must all be accountable for our successes and failures in life. It is no different when it comes to dieting. There are few better feelings in the world than for someone to notice and compliment your efforts. If you are very obese unfortunately, it may take a little more time for people to actually notice the weight you’ve lost. Too many men and women give up simply because no one noticed and that is an incredible shame. Give your dieting practices an opportunity to work before you decide they are a failure and you just might surprise yourself with a roaring success.

The truth is far too few people hold themselves accountable to their dieting and weight loss goals. This means that far too many people are giving up without really ever bothering to give it an effort. If you have an issue holding yourself accountable to your dieting plans, perhaps you would do well to diet with a partner. This helps you not only set goals but also to meet and exceed challenges along the way. A partner can also benefit from the partnership as he or she will be challenged and feel the need to perform better than if he or she were dieting alone.

You must hold yourself accountable to your stated dieting and weight loss goals in order to achieve any lasting results. If you have not had dieting success in the past, then perhaps it is time to bring some degree of accountability into the picture and make it happen.

Dieting for the Right Reasons

When it comes to dieting, far too often we take those first steps towards weight loss bliss for what we later determine are all the wrong reasons. Ultimately however, if your reason works for you there is no truly wrong reason to diet. The trick is in finding the reason that will actually work for you.

I’ve seen all kinds of excellent motivators when it comes to dieting and taking your dieting seriously. One of the more common reasons is to lose weight. This is as good of a reason as any. Some want to get back into the size 5 jeans they wore in high school while others would simply like to be able to look in the mirror once again without feeling guilt. For some this is a simple matter of vanity and for others it is finally managing to deal with what has become a lifelong problem. If you find the inspiration you need to be successful with your dieting this time as opposed to others, then that is the perfectly plausible and acceptable reason for you to diet.

Other reasons for dieting include a desire to be more physically fit. Some of us have a deep and abiding desire to live as long as possible and firmly believe that the best possible method for accomplishing this goal is to live the healthiest life possible. This is another excellent reason for losing weight and getting into shape. If it works for you that is. The thing to remember is that every person is going to have to find their very own motivation deep within.

Yet another great reason is to have the energy you need to keep up with your little ones. This is one of the most heartbreaking side effects for most when it comes to obesity. There is simply no energy left over at the end of the day to enjoy doing things with your precious little ones who are young for such a very short amount of time. You desperately want to be able to build those precious memories with them but absolutely have no energy with which to do so. If that isn’t bad enough you probably (if you are considered morbidly obese) have noticed that many of the simplest activities with your children often bring you physical pain that is the direct result of your weight.

Revenge is a dish that is best served cold and another excellent motivator for some when it comes to dieting and taking off those pesky pounds. Losing a great deal of weight takes time in many cases so you must be able to maintain your motivation even when things are going rough along the way. The path to a new body is not an easy path. This is for those who have some serious emotional healing to do and the best revenge for old slights and wounds is to come back more beautiful than ever before. If this motivation is what it takes for you to take off the pounds then this is the motivation to which you should cling.

Religion is another common weight loss motivation. Some people believe the body should be treated as a temple. There is nothing wrong with this philosophy at all, though it takes some us longer to find our way to that line of thinking than others. Religion and faith are powerful motivators, as they have been known to bring healing to those in need by the power of their faith or their prayers. If your faith can give you the will power and strength you need in order to reach your dieting and weight loss goals then by all means lean on your faith and hold it close.

No matter what motivation you have for dieting and losing weight if you find it is no longer working for you, then you need to find another motivator quickly. Without proper motivation it is quite unlikely that you will ever meet your weight loss goals.

Dieting with a Busy Schedule

When it comes to dieting many of us find that the number one hindrance to our success is the lack of time to prepare the proper meals and snacks for our dietary needs. It is often much more convenient to throw one thing in the crock pot for the family or resort to the fast food last resort rather than preparing the healthy and nutritious meal that we should be eating.

There are things you can do however that will reduce the temptation to hit the drive thru and keep you on course with your dieting needs. The first of these is a process known as once a week cooking. With this method you cook enough meals to last you a week on one day. This means that for every night of the week you have a diet friendly meal ready to go. If your entire family is dieting or eating healthier with you, this works for this situation as well. Dieting and incorporating healthier eating habits into the food for your entire family is a great way to set an example for your children will keeping you motivated and removing temptation.

With once a week cooking you freeze the food that won’t be immediately consumed and thaw it the morning you will be eating the food to cook when you arrive home after work or decide it is time for your evening meal. This is a process that works well no matter how many soccer games, dance practices, and band recitals you have on your calendar for the week. You can manage to stick to your diet while having a great meal for your family each and every night of the week.

You should also make sure to have a nice supply and cleaned and cut fruits, vegetables, and salad ingredients in your refrigerator in order to make these dishes readily assessable for quick lunches or snacks. Having these foods readily available will help you resist the temptation to snack on higher calorie prepackaged food while also helping to insure that you have a ready supply of fresh fruits and vegetables to help you get your 5 servings a day.

You should also keep some conveniently packaged yogurt on hand as a good quick and easy dairy product. Sugar free pudding cups are another decent snack for those who need something quick and easy to have on hand. Preparation and planning are essential to successfully meeting your weight loss goals. By preparing as much of the food as possible ahead of time you will never even miss the convenience of those high calorie pre packaged meals and snacks that so many of us survive on when not dieting.

Another time saver is to work your fitness opportunities into the course of your day. Rather than performing one lengthy workout each day, try to find methods of bringing a little fitness activity into the most mundane portions of your day (go stair climbing at lunch, park on the top level of the parking garage and walk down-then up when returning-the stairs), park far away from the door of the supermarket and see if your mall has a walking path that is clearly marked. You’ll be amazed at the hidden opportunities many of us have for exercising during our busy days. The trick is often in discovering the activities rather than the time.

When all is said and done, dieting doesn’t have to be as time consuming as you may think it is. There are all kinds of prepackaged plans for dieters however if that is the choice you feel is best for you. Whether you are going with Lean Cuisine meals, Weight Watchers frozen entrees, Jenny Craig, or the Slim Fast program there are all kinds of opportunities to work dieting and fitness into even the busiest of schedules. When planning your dieting practices be sure to consider the tips and advice mentioned above.