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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Why Drinking Water Really is the Key to Weight Loss

by Maia Appleby

Don't roll your eyes! The potion for losing that excess body fat is all around you. It covers two thirds of the planet. If you eat right and exercise at the intensity, frequency and duration proper for you, but still can't get rid of a little paunch here and there, you're probably just not drinking enough water.
No need to get defensive. You're actually quite normal. Most people don't drink enough water. Most people are also carrying around a few more pounds than they would be if they did drink enough water. If you can't seem to get that weight off, try drowning your sorrows in nature's magical weight-loss mineral. It works, and here's why:

"What on Earth is 'metabolism', anyway?" People use the term all the time, but ask them what it means and you'll get all kinds of answers. Merriam Webster defines it as, "The process by which a substance is handled in the body." A little vague, but that's really all it means.
There are many forms of metabolism going on in your body right now, but the one everyone is talking about it the metabolism of fat. This is actually something that the liver does when it converts stored fat to energy. The liver has other functions, but this is one of its main jobs.
Unfortunately, another of the liver's duties is to pick up the slack for the kidneys, which need plenty of water to work properly. If the kidneys are water-deprived, the liver has to do their work along with its own, lowering its total productivity. It then can't metabolize fat as quickly or efficiently as it could when the kidneys were pulling their own weight. If you allow this to happen, not only are you being unfair to your liver, but you're also setting yourself up to store fat. 

"I've tried it and I couldn't stand it!" The problem is that, though many decide to increase their water intake, very few stick with it. It's understandable. During the first few days of drinking more water than your body is accustomed to, you're running to the bathroom constantly. This can be very discouraging, and it can certainly interfere with an otherwise normal day at work. It seems that the water is coming out just as fast as it's going in, and many people decide that their new hydration habit is fruitless.
Do take heed , though. What is really happening is that your body is flushing itself of the water it has been storing throughout all those years of "survival mode". It takes a while, but this is a beautiful thing happening to you. As you continue to give your body all the water it could ask for, it gets rid of what it doesn't need. It gets rid of the water it was holding onto in your ankles and your hips and thighs, maybe even around your belly. You are excreting much more than you realize. Your body figures it doesn't need to save these stores anymore; it's trusting that the water will keep coming, and if it does, eventually, the flushing (of both the body and the potty) will cease, allowing the human to return to a normal life. It's true. This is called the "breakthrough point."
One recent finding, as irresponsible as it may be, that caffeine increases the body's fat-burning potential has many people loading up on coffee before going to the gym. This finding may hold some degree of truth in it, but caffeine is, in essence, a diuretic, and diuretics dehydrate. Caffeine may increase the heart rate, causing a few more calories to be burned, but this is at the expense of the muscles, which need water to function properly. This isn't doing your heart any favors, either. It's already working hard enough during your workout. Never mix caffeine and exercise. In fact, your best bet is to stay away from caffeine all together. It's a big bully that pushes your friend water out of your system.

Water is the best beauty treatment. You've heard this since high school, and it's true. Water will do wonders for your looks! It flushes out impurities in your skin, leaving you with a clear, glowing complexion. It also makes your skin look younger. Skin that is becoming saggy, either due to aging or weight loss, plumps up very nicely when the skin cells are hydrated.
In addition, it improves muscle tone. You can lift weights until you're blue in the face, but if your muscles are suffering from a drought, you won't notice a pleasant difference in your appearance. Muscles that have all the water they need contract more easily, making your workout more effective, and you'll look much nicer than if you had flabby muscles under sagging skin.

"Eight glasses a day? Are you kidding?!" It's really not that much. Eight 8-ounce glasses amount to about two quarts of water. This is okay for the average person, but if you're overweight, you should drink another eight ounces for every 25 pounds of excess weight you carry. You should also up this if you live in a hot climate or exercise very intensely.
This water consumption should be spread out throughout the day. It's not healthy at all to drink too much water at one time. Try to pick three or four times a day when you can have a big glass of water, and then sip in between. Don't let yourself get thirsty. If you feel thirsty, you're already becoming dehydrated. Drink when you're not thirsty yet.
Do you think water is yucky? Drinking other fluids will certainly help hydrate your body, but the extra calories, sugar, additives and whatever else aren't what you need. Try a slice of lemon or lime in the glass, or if you really think you hate water, try a flavored water. Just make sure you read the labels. Remember that you're going to be consuming a lot of this fluid.
It's probably a good idea to stop drinking water a good three hours before you go to bed. You know why.

"How cold should it be?" This is debatable. Most experts lean toward cold water, because the stomach absorbs it more quickly. There is also some evidence that cold water might enhance fat burning. On the other hand, warmer water is easier to drink in large quantities, and you might drink more of it without even realizing it. Do whatever suits you, here. Just drink it!
When you drink all the water you need, you will very quickly notice a decrease in your appetite, possibly even on the first day! If you're serious about becoming leaner and healthier, drinking water is an absolute must. If you're doing everything else right and still not seeing results, this might just be what's missing.


90 Day Weight Loss Challenge: Starts Today!

LET THE GAMES BEGIN, Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Why not lose weight? I will try to post tips weekly. In the meanwhile, please check out the tips that I learned from Scrap N Fit.
  • Set a weight loss goal
  • Practice Portion Control Daily
  • Plan your menu daily. Planning is essential to weight loss success!
  • No late night snacking. The kitchen closes at 8pm!
  • Eat out NO more than 2x per week.
  • Drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water each day.
  • Eat a minimum of 5 servings of fruits and veggies per day.
  • Exercise 30 minutes per day, 3-5 days per week.
  • Weigh in each week and report your results... gain or loss... honesty is key!
  • Take measurements and photo on the 1st of each month
  • Provide support and encouragement to other participants

 I wish all of you the best of luck as you start your journey to a healthier lifestyle. Good Luck!


Celebrate Black History!

Black History Month (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) is a remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. Since 1976, it is celebrated annually in the United States of America and Canada in February and the United Kingdom in the month of October. In the U.S., Black History Month is also referred to as African-American History Month.

Black History Month actually started as Negro History Week in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson. The goal of Black History Week was to educate Blacks about their cultural background, and instill in them a sense of pride in their race.
Today is the beginning of Black History Month! Please take the time to follow up on your history. I've selected some interesting websites for your reading pleasure.


Monday, January 31, 2011

90 Day Weight Loss Challenge: Participants

And the participants are! Starting with me, below you will find the participants for our "first" 90 day Weight Loss Challenge. I'm a little EXTRA so I had pictures taken of everything. Wish me luck, because I'm winning that money!

Name: Felicia F.
Age: 34
Favorite Food: Potatoes
Current Weight: 243
Target Weight: 200
Short Term Weight Goal is: 220 
Height: 5'4

Felicia - 243 pounds - January 2011- Body Shot
 Felicia - 243 pounds - January 2011- Bust Shot
 Felicia - 243 pounds - January 2011- Buttock Shot
 Felicia - 243 pounds - January 2011- Upper Stomach Shot
 Felicia - 243 pounds - January 2011- Lower Stomach Shot
Felicia - 243 pounds - January 2011- Waist Shot
Name: Kristie J.     
Age: 36   
Favorite Food:  Mac & Cheese
Current Weight: 184
Target Weight:  154
Short Term Weight Goal is: 174
Height:    5' 1

Kristie - 184 pounds - January 2011- Body Shot
Kristie - 184 pounds - January 2011- Body Shot
Name:  Paula T.       
Age:  47   
Favorite Food:  Ice Cream
Current Weight:   
Target Weight: 190 
Short Term Weight Goal is: 219  
Height:  5' 7
Name:   Tina F-R.       
Age:   38   
Favorite Food:  Lasagna
Current Weight:  190
Target Weight: 130 
Short Term Weight Goal is: 160  
Height: 5' 4

Tina - 190 pounds - January 2011- Body Shot
Name:    Carletta M.       
Favorite Food:    Chips & Dip
Current Weight: 228
Target Weight:   190
Short Term Weight Goal is:    160

Carletta - 224 pounds - January 2011- Body Shot
Name:    Kissa R.      
Favorite Food:   
Current Weight: 250
Target Weight:  
Short Term Weight Goal is:   

Kissa - 250 pounds - January 2011- Body Shot
Name: Larry B.
Age:        33
Favorite Food:    Spaghetti
Current Weight: 242
Target Weight:  200
Short Term Weight Goal is:  215
Height:   5'9"

Larry - 243 pounds - January 2011- Body Shot
Name:    Nina F.      
Favorite Food:   
Current Weight: 250
Target Weight:  
Short Term Weight Goal is:   
Name: Marketa S.       
Age: 39
Favorite Food:  Crabs and Potatoes
Current Weight: 258
Target Weight:  199
Short Term Weight Goal is: 233
Height: 5'3
 Marketa - 258 pounds - January 2011- Body Shot
Name:    Charlena B.  
Age: 33
Favorite Food:  Rice & Gravy
Current Weight: 224
Target Weight:   145
Short Term Weight Goal is: 200
Height:  5'4

Charlena - 224 pounds - January 2011- Body Shot
Name:    Thoris H.  
Age: 46
Favorite food: Fried Chicken
Current weight: 215
Target weight: 180
Short term weight goal is: 200
Height: 5'3

Name:    Keith B.     
Age:        39
Favorite Food:    Food Connoisseur
Current Weight: 229
Target Weight:   200
Short Term Weight Goal is:    215
Height: 6"0

Name:    Johnathon F.     
Favorite Food:   
Current Weight: 122
Target Weight:  
Short Term Weight Goal is:   

Name:    Mary Lois F.      
Favorite Food:   
Current Weight: 171
Target Weight:  
Short Term Weight Goal is:   



90 Day Weight Loss Challenge: Starts Tommorrow

Hello All, as mentioned earlier this month I plan to start my 90 Day Weight Loss Challenge tommorrow.

Rules for the 90 day challenge
  • $10.00 participation fee. (Lose the most weight and you will get it back and then some)
  • $5.00 per pound gained. (Duh, This is a weigh loss Challenge, not the other way around)
  • Weigh-in at the end of each month: same scale for everyone. (I will set up a meet and greet in a central location for everyone to weigh-in)
  • Person who loses the most weight takes the BANK! (How about something new to go with your new look?)
  • Lose the weight by working hard: I need you to get physical (Surgery, Pills, Shots, Etc. is not considered working hard) 
Please remember that our pictures will be posted to my blog. Also, do not particpate if you don't want your pictures posted or have health issues. Consult with your doctor first!


Hollywood: Diva Style

Hello Everyone,

It's been awhile since I've signed in. A lot has been going on. Bad News, my uncle passed away last week.

Rest In Peace: Uncle Bird!

Good News, all is well over here in my neck of the woods. My weight is keeping steady. Unfortunately, I'm not losing a bit of weight. I guess it doesn't help with all these parties that I've been attending. Speaking of parties. I traveled down south this past weekend to decorate for my aunt's Surprise 56th Birthday Party. The theme was Hollywood Diva Style. It was fabulous! We brought Hollywood to a small town in the country. I had a great time with family and friends. Ate, Drank, and was happy! NOW, back to the real world. My 90 day weight loss challenge starts tomorrow. OH Happy Day! :-(. Stay tuned, I plan to post my pre-weight loss pictures in a sec.

Check out the pictures of me, my daughter, and my aunt.
 Felicia & Jasmine


Happy Birthday Auntie Annie! You don't look a day over 21. :-)