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Accessed June 7, She ate for comfort, and craved fast food, pasta and rich casseroles loaded with fattening ingredients like cheese and sour cream. I ran across your pin on Pinterest. I read most of the comments regarding this smoothie and I have a question before I make it. I doubled the recipe and since my chickens are taking a winter break and I only had two eggs do was glad to have the protein powder.

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It matters what you eat and drink. Although getting your 30 minutes per day of exercise will improve your body's ability to burn fat, you also need to look at your eating habits. You are what you eat. There are a couple of bad habits that belly dancers can get into. Break these, and your weight loss efforts will be more successful:. But don't just pay your money into the program and assume that will magically help you lose weight - follow their instructions!

I accomplished my pound weight loss in through one of the commercial programs, but most of the others who joined at the same time as me didn't lose much. What made the difference? I kept the daily food diary they recommended, and every day I carefully added up the foods I was eating. I made a point of exceeding the program's exercise recommendations.

The other people who did not faithfully keep their journals or increase their activity levels found themselves unable to lose weight. Weight loss programs don't work if you simply pay money and attend meetings. Your wallet gets lighter, but your body doesn't. You need to follow their instructions regarding food and exercise.

The entertainment industry in the U. It's no surprise — television stations and magazines benefit from selling advertising space to companies who peddle weight loss products and cosmetics. Although this thinness comes naturally to a few people with high metabolisms and petite bone structures, it's not realistic for the vast majority of us.

Some ballerinas have publicly revealed that they relied on heroin to maintain their thin figures — that's a step that most of us are not willing to take, and rightfully so.

This subject could fill an entire article by itself. Please remember that healthy bodies come in many shapes and sizes. I personally would suggest that instead of focusing on weight loss per se, just focus on eating healthy food and living a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise, and don't worry too much about what the scale says or what clothing size you wear.

Health is a more important goal than weight loss. Again, let me repeat, it's more important to focus your efforts on eating healthy food and changing your lifestyle to incorporate more exercise than it is to focus on what the scale says. But, I realize that by talking about my own weight loss, I may have made you curious about how I did it.

So, I'll share what I did, but I'm not saying that this is the right path for you. My doctor had told me to lose weight. In other words, I was not one of those women who was conned by the media into being dissatisfied with myself. I actually was overweight and needed to take it off for health reasons. That said, I found the program that I used in difficult to live with long term. Who wants to spend every day of her life keeping a tedious food diary and adding up numbers every night?

So for my long-term weight maintenance, I prefer to follow the paleo diet. The guidelines are simple: I eat meat, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and eggs. I minimize my use of processed foods, such as canned soups, and I try to hold myself to small amounts of non-grain starches such as potatoes, tapioca flour, etc.

If there's a special occasion, such as someone's birthday, I'll allow myself to make the occasional exception, but I try to stay close to the paleo guidelines for my day-to-day habits. It works for me, though I acknowledge your body or your situation could be different. Before my weight loss program, I averaged about 3 hours of exercise per week, which really isn't much at all. Through the following activities, I raised it to about hours per week:. As the above points show, belly dancing played a role as one of the forms of exercise that I used in my weight loss efforts, but I also made changes to my eating habits and added other forms of exercise to my lifestyle.

Belly dancing is a form of exercise, which burns calories per hour. In contrast, watching television burns calories per hour. When you practice vigorous dance moves to drum solos or fast music continuously for 30 minutes or more at a time every day, this dance form can offer the same health benefits as other types of aerobic exercise. It can strengthen your cardiovascular system, build core strength, ward off osteoporosis, and improve your stamina.

Combined with changes to your dietary habits and other possible changes suggested by your doctor, it might indeed help with weight loss. In , Clalit Health Services in Israel published a study in the Israeli Journal of Family Practice which looked at the health benefits to women of belly dancing.

Clara Friedman at the Lichtenstein clinic in Kfar Saba, the study covered participants whose average age was 49, who danced for 2 hours a week. This 5-pound weight loss occurred over the course of a full year, which admittedly isn't much. That study found other health benefits to women that were much more significant, showing that belly dance was worth doing even though the weight loss benefit was modest.

The key point to remember is that if your sole exercise entails attending a single one-hour belly dance class per week, that alone won't help much with weight loss. You need to do some kind of activity every day, and you need to think about other factors such as your eating habits and other possible issues suggested by your doctor. See also Shira's Bellydance Plus! Material from this web site may not be posted on any other web site unless permission is first obtained from Shira.

Academic papers for school purposes may use information from this site only if the paper properly identifies the original article on Shira. Consult your instructor for instructions on how to do this. If you wish to translate articles from Shira. This could include your photo and biography if you want it to.

Contact Shira for more information. You may not post translations of Shira's articles on anybody else's web site, not even your own. If you are a teacher, performer, or student of Middle Eastern dance, you may link directly to any page on this web site from either your blog or your own web site without first obtaining Shira's permission.

Click here for link buttons and other information on how to link. Contact Shira Links Search this Site. So, what's the secret? Like any form of exercise, much depends on how often you do it, and how aerobically you do it: The more you dance, the more exercise you get. Spend an hour belly dancing continuously, and you'll burn about calories. But finding answers to the weight-loss puzzle has never been more critical. And doctors now know that excess body fat dramatically increases the risk of serious health problems, including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, depression, respiratory problems, major cancers and even fertility problems.

A study found that obesity now drives more early preventable deaths in the U. For a limited time, TIME is giving all readers special access to subscriber-only stories.

For complete access, we encourage you to become a subscriber. It's also fueled a rise in research. What scientists are uncovering should bring fresh hope to the million Americans who are overweight, according to the U. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Leading researchers finally agree, for instance, that exercise, while critical to good health, is not an especially reliable way to keep off body fat over the long term. And the overly simplistic arithmetic of calories in vs.

They also know that the best diet for you is very likely not the best diet for your next-door neighbor. Individual responses to different diets--from low fat and vegan to low carb and paleo--vary enormously. Chan School of Public Health. Hall, Sacks and other scientists are showing that the key to weight loss appears to be highly personalized rather than trendy diets.

And while weight loss will never be easy for anyone, the evidence is mounting that it's possible for anyone to reach a healthy weight--people just need to find their best way there. Dieting has been an American preoccupation since long before the obesity epidemic took off in the s. In the s, Presbyterian minister Sylvester Graham touted a vegetarian diet that excluded spices, condiments and alcohol. At the turn of the 20th century, it was fashionable to chew food until liquefied, sometimes up to times before swallowing, thanks to the advice of a popular nutrition expert named Horace Fletcher.

Lore has it that at about the same time, President William Howard Taft adopted a fairly contemporary plan--low fat, low calorie, with a daily food log--after he got stuck in a White House bathtub. The concept of the calorie as a unit of energy had been studied and shared in scientific circles throughout Europe for some time, but it wasn't until World War I that calorie counting became de rigueur in the U. Amid global food shortages, the American government needed a way to encourage people to cut back on their food intake, so it issued its first ever "scientific diet" for Americans, which had calorie counting at its core.

In the following decades, when being rail-thin became ever more desirable, nearly all dieting advice stressed meals that were low calorie. There was the grapefruit diet of the s in which people ate half a grapefruit with every meal out of a belief that the fruit contained fat-burning enzymes and the cabbage-soup diet of the s a flatulence-inducing plan in which people ate cabbage soup every day for a week alongside low-calorie meals.

The s saw the beginning of the massive commercialization of dieting in the U. That's when a New York housewife named Jean Nidetch began hosting friends at her home to talk about their issues with weight and dieting. Nidetch was a self-proclaimed cookie lover who had struggled for years to slim down.

Her weekly meetings helped her so much--she lost 72 lb. When it went public in , she and her co-founders became millionaires overnight. Nearly half a century later, Weight Watchers remains one of the most commercially successful diet companies in the world, with 3.

What most of these diets had in common was an idea that is still popular today: Even the low-fat craze that kicked off in the late s--which was based on the intuitively appealing but incorrect notion that eating fat will make you fat--depended on the calorie-counting model of weight loss.

Since fatty foods are more calorie-dense than, say, plants, logic suggests that if you eat less of them, you will consume fewer calories overall, and then you'll lose weight.

That's not what happened when people went low fat, though. The diet trend coincided with weight gain. Research like Hall's is beginning to explain why. As demoralizing as his initial findings were, they weren't altogether surprising: That's because when you lose weight, your resting metabolism how much energy your body uses when at rest slows down--possibly an evolutionary holdover from the days when food scarcity was common.

What Hall discovered, however--and what frankly startled him--was that even when the Biggest Loser contestants gained back some of their weight, their resting metabolism didn't speed up along with it. Instead, in a cruel twist, it remained low, burning about fewer calories per day than it did before they started losing weight in the first place.

The contestants lose a massive amount of weight in a relatively short period of time--admittedly not how most doctors recommend you lose weight--but research shows that the same slowing metabolism Hall observed tends to happen to regular Joes too. Most people who lose weight gain back the pounds they lost at a rate of 2 to 4 lb. They show that it's indeed biology, not simply a lack of willpower, that makes it so hard to lose weight.

The findings also make it seem as if the body itself will sabotage any effort to keep weight off in the long term. But a slower metabolism is not the full story. Despite the biological odds, there are many people who succeed in losing weight and keeping it off.

Hall has seen it happen more times than he can count. The catch is that some people appear to succeed with almost every diet approach--it just varies from person to person. But within each group, there are people who are very successful, people who don't lose any weight and people who gain weight.

Understanding what it is about a given diet that works for a given person remains the holy grail of weight-loss science. But experts are getting closer. For the past 23 years, Rena Wing, a professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University, has run the National Weight Control Registry NWCR as a way to track people who successfully lose weight and keep it off. Hill, Wing's collaborator and an obesity researcher at the University of Colorado. To qualify for initial inclusion in the registry, a person must have lost at least 30 lb.

Today the registry includes more than 10, people from across the 50 states with an average weight loss of 66 lb. On average, people on the current list have kept off their weight for more than five years. The most revealing detail about the registry: And most of them had to try more than one diet before the weight loss stuck. The researchers have identified some similarities among them: The one commonality is that they had to make changes in their everyday behaviors. When asked how they've been able to keep the weight off, the vast majority of people in the study say they eat breakfast every day, weigh themselves at least once a week, watch fewer than 10 hours of television per week and exercise about an hour a day, on average.

The researchers have also looked at their attitudes and behavior. They found that most of them do not consider themselves Type A, dispelling the idea that only obsessive superplanners can stick to a diet.

They learned that many successful dieters were self-described morning people. Other research supports the anecdotal: The researchers also noticed that people with long-term weight loss tended to be motivated by something other than a slimmer waist--like a health scare or the desire to live a longer life, to be able to spend more time with loved ones.

The researchers at the NWCR say it's unlikely that the people they study are somehow genetically endowed or blessed with a personality that makes weight loss easy for them.

After all, most people in the study say they had failed several times before when they had tried to lose weight. Instead they were highly motivated, and they kept trying different things until they found something that worked for them. During his tenure there, the NWCR published one paper with partial funding from Coca-Cola, but the researchers say their study, which Hill was involved in, was not influenced by the soda giant's financial support.

Hill, Wing and their colleagues agree that perhaps the most encouraging lesson to be gleaned from their registry is the simplest: The Bariatric Medical Institute in Ottawa is founded on that thinking. When people enroll in its weight-loss program, they all start on the same six-month diet and exercise plan--but they are encouraged to diverge from the program, with the help of a physician, whenever they want, in order to figure out what works best for them.

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