Diabetes and weight loss

So I went to the the doctor in January to have my lab work done. They forgot me. No one called me to let me know about my A1C levels. Typically when they don’t call it means things are good. We’ll that is not always true. I talked to the doctor on an unrelated note and mentioned that I had never heard about my labs. She gave me the bad news.

After being on diabetic medications for the past few years, my current dose is not cutting it anymore. Instead, I need something stronger. She recommended that I try a non-insulin injection.

This med helps me remain full longer by slowing the speed exiting the stomach. It also slows the liver’s production of sugar.  Finally, it help the pancreas with insulin production. Ultimately, it leads to weight loss. We will see.



Sometimes I think I’m starving to death. I have taken on a very restrictive diet. I eat a protein bar for breakfast, one closer to lunch, and then one after school. Sometimes my sugar begins to act up and I have to add another one in.
Then at night, I eat a meal. Not a big meal, though at times I really, really want to, but a meal nonetheless. I would think with the protein bars and then supper my caloric in take would be too high and I would not lose weight. However, I am down 20 lb. I’ve hit a slight plateau, but think that I will be able to push over it soon enough.
What diet are you on?

Best diet to keep weight off

The Best Diet to Keep Weight Off


by Markham Heid July 3, 2012, 05:00 am EDT

Weight Loss

Like your golf score, this is one number you don’t want to see go up.

You’ve lost weight, but will you keep it off? A low-glycemic-index diet may work better than others at burning calories and helping people ward off those pesky Lbs, reports a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

In the study, researchers had 21 people who’d lost 10 to 15 percent of their body weight try three different diets, each for 4 weeks. The diets consisted of a low-fat, a low-carbohydrate, and a low-glycemic-index—which endorses carbohydrates that keep blood sugar levels low—eating program.

The result: Even though the participants ate the same amount of calories on each of the plans, they burned an average of 300 fewer calories per day on the low-fat diet compared to the low-carb option.

But the low-carb diet wasn’t a win-win alternative, either. Although it was better at encouraging calorie burn, it also caused the greatest increases in cortisol and C-reactive protein levels—both of which may elevate heart disease risk—among the study participants.

The low-glycemic-index diet, however, seemed to strike the right balance in terms of heart health and resting metabolism, says study authoer Cara Ebbeling, Ph.D., associate director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital. And any help you can get torching extra calories is beneficial after a big weight loss. That’s because the more weight you lose, the more your metabolism slows, making it increasingly difficult to burn calories, explains Ebbeling. (Here’s the truth behind the glycemic index, a notion many experts disagree with entirely.)

So is a low-glycemic-index diet the savior for people who want to keep the excess baggage from creeping back? The problem of “weight maintenance” may not be so easily solved, warns Alan Aragon, M.S., and a Men’s Healthnutrition expert. “You can’t tell a whole lot after 4 weeks,” he says. “And looking at the nutritional makeup of the diets used in the study, you’re really comparing two extremes in the low-carb and low-fat diets to a more moderate diet, which will almost always be best in the long run.”

Avoid diets that condemn whole nutrient categories, he suggests. Instead, eat proven weight-managers—whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts, as well as proteins like fish and meat. “Your body requires about ten times more energy to process a gram of protein than a gram of fat. So you’ll burn more calories just by eating more protein-packed foods,” Aragon explains. Follow our 6 Grilling Recipes for Weight Loss to cook up some of the leanest, healthiest, and tastiest dishes of the summer—and effortlessly drop pounds while you’re doing it.

Exercise will also play a big role in whether you’re able to fend off the old weight, Aragon says. Running or other aerobic exercise is good, but you should mix in weight training at least half of the time. “Resistance exercise boosts lean body mass and metabolism, both of which help your body burn calories even when you’re not working out,” he says. Shoot for a minimum of three 30-to-60-minute workout sessions a week, he advises. Try the 18 cutting-edge workouts found in the Speed Shred program. They’re fast-paced and designed to blast fat and light your muscles on fire.

The Instant Way to Get 22% Stronger

by Lara Rosenbaum September 20, 2012, 01:49 pm EDT

Man lifting weights

“Pecs, pecs, pecs . . . ”

Pay attention! If you’ve been mindlessly going through your workouts, you could be missing out on big results. A new study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that when people focused on a specific muscle during basic lifts—i.e. thinking about pecs during a bench press—they worked that muscle 22 percent harder.

Zeroing in on specific muscles can help you feelthe exercise more, says Tony Gentilcore, C.S.C.S., cofounder of Cressey Performance in Hudson, Massachusetts. “So often people rush through moves, but being mindful of the muscle you’re actually working can help keep it engaged.”

Hit your targeted muscles even harder using these form cues for four common moves. (Want more cutting-edge tips and workouts from the world’s top strength trainers? Sign up for the Exercise of the Week newsletter!)

Bench Press
Extra Credit Cue: 
Tighten your butt, boost your bench. “Dig your feet into the ground and keep your glutes tight throughout. It’ll keep you more stable during this move, and allow you to handle more weight,” Gentilcore says.


Extra Credit Cue: Instead of simply going through the typical up-down and letting your knees fall in front of your toes, try this: “Sit your hips back and think of spreading the floor with your feet,” says Gentilcore. “Your feet are planted and knees still point straight ahead, but isometrically ‘pushing’ them apart helps open your hips to allow for better depth throughout the exercise.”


Extra Credit Cue: 
Pull through your elbows. “Most people know this exercise targets the upper back, but pulling through the elbows can help you engage your lats more,” says Gentilcore. “From there, focus on placing your shoulder blades in your back pockets by pulling them together and down.”


Bicep Curls
Extra Credit Cue: Slow down and squeeze hard at the top of the curl to get the most out of the range, Gentilcore advises. And tighten your glutes: They’ll keep your back from hyper-extending while you stand, protect it from injury, and help stabilize the entire exercise. That way, you can further focus on your biceps, he says. (Want a new way variation of the classic curl exercise? How about 25 of ‘em? Discover 25 Ways to Build Your Biceps.)

11 terrible breakfasts to avoid


11. Terrible Breakfast Bagel: Dunkin’ Donuts Sesame Bagel with reduced fat strawberry cream cheese


510 calories, 16 g fat (6.5 g saturated), 860 mg sodium


Remember, bagels are shaped like zeros for a reason. You’d be better off with two glazed doughnuts. Or, simply move outside the menu’s concentration of doughnuts and pastries and Dunkin’ Donuts proves itself to be one of the better on-the-go breakfast joints in the country. Pair a couple of the Wake-Up Wraps with a zero-calorie cup of coffee to switch your metabolism from sleep mode to high gear.


Egg & Cheese Wake-Up Wraps (2)


360 calories, 22 g fat (8 g saturated), 940 mg sodium



10. Terrible Breakfast Panini: Panera Bread Grilled Bacon, Egg, & Cheese Sandwich


510 calories, 25 g fat (10 g saturated), 1,170 mg sodium


There are two differences between these two sandwiches. First, the Grilled Bacon, Egg & Cheese is built on ciabatta, which provides 50 more calories and half as much fiber. And second, it replaces the ham with bacon, which means an extra 100 calories of mostly fat.


Breakfast Power Sandwich


340 calories, 15 g fat (7 g saturated), 820 mg sodium



9. Terrible “Healthy” Breakfast: Jamba Juice Chunky Stawberry Topper Parfait (16 oz)


570 calories, 17 g fat (3 g saturated), 59 g sugars


Similar approaches to breakfast with very different results. Replacing an oatmeal base with sugars and granola is never a good swap.


Beware of these: The 20 Worst Drinks in America!


Fresh Banana Oatmeal (oatmeal, bananas, brown sugar crumble)


280 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated), 23 g sugars



8. Terrible Breakfast Croissant: Jack in the Box Sausage Croissant


565 calories, 39 g fat (16 g saturated, 1 g trans), 776 mg sodium


Two simple but immutable rules are at play here: 1. Bacon always beats sausage, and 2. buns always beat croissants. The Breakfast Jacks are a bright spot on the menu, made even brighter by the fact that they’re available all day. Take advantage.


Bacon Breakfast Jack


310 calories, 14 g fat (5 g saturated), 790 mg sodium



7. Terrible Breakfast Burrito: McDonald’s McSkillet Burrito with Sausage


610 calories, 36 g fat (14 g saturated), 1,390 mg sodium


For all intents and purposes, this breakfast burrito isn’t actually a terrible morning choice—as long as you take it with water, and very strictly watch what you eat for the rest of the day. But why choose the 610-calorie version when you can eat an equally tasty breakfast burrito for half the calories, and 20 fewer grams of fat? This leaves you room for other nutritious foods—fruits, vegetables, whole grains—to eat without worrying throughout the day.


Sausage Burrito


300 calories, 16 g fat (7 g saturated), 830 mg sodium



6. Terrible Breakfast Combo Plate: Bob Evans Pot Roast Hash


759 calories, 53 g fat (18 g saturated), 1,463 mg sodium


There’s a lot of good in this dish—eggs and roast are both packed with protein, which, as we’ve hammered home in this slideshow, is a nutrient you should consume every breakfast. But here’s what else the Pot Roast Hash comes with: Home Fries. As in fried potatoes. As in fried lumps of carbohydrates. A better option: Stick with the good, cut out the bad.


Border Scramble Omelette with Egg Lites


416 calories, 24 g fat (12 g saturated), 1,162 mg sodium



5. Terrible Biscuit: Hardee’s Monster Biscuit


640 calories, 44 g fat (16 g saturated), 2,130 mg sodium


The pieces of this biscuit individually aren’t what make it so dangerous. It’s the fact that they’re all added together in one big jumbo slop heap that causes trouble. Here we’re looking at bacon, sausage patty, several slices of ham, “folded egg,” and two slices of American cheese. A more reasonable biscuit is what you’ll find below: Simply bacon, egg, and cheese. No need to get fancy with extra toppings.


Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscuit


400 calories, 25 g fat (8 g saturated), 1,190 mg sodium



4. Terrible Omelet: IHOP Spinach and Mushroom Omelette (no pancakes on the side)


910 calories, 70 g fat (26 g saturated, 0.5 g trans), 1,570 mg sodium


You can make this same omelet at home for roughly 300 calories. What sets IHOP’s apart? The absurd amount of cheap fats being tossed around the kitchen. This thing has more saturated fat than a half stick of butter, and if you opt for the pancakes on the side, you can tack another 450 calories onto your nutritional debt.


For tons of weight loss tips, tricks, and strategies, sign up for the FREE Eat This, Not That!newsletter!


Two x Two x Two (with bacon)


560 calories, 31 g fat (11 g saturated), 1,280 mg sodium



3. Terrible French Toast: IHOP Stuffed French Toast with Strawberry Topping


1,030 calories, 39 g fat (17 g saturated, 1 g trans), 755 mg sodium, 61 g sugars


IHOP’s menu is full of gut-busting sweets—Stuffed French Toast, Belgian Waffles, Strawberry banana Danish Fruit Crepes… you name it. The problem with each and every one of these super-sweetened, carbo-loaded meals isn’t just that they’re all packing at least half a day’s worth of calories; it’s that they’re setting you up for a massive sugar crash about halfway between breakfast and lunch. If you’re set on the sweet stuff, stick with the Simple & Fit menu at IHOP. The Seasonal Fresh Fruit Crepes are great because they offer a thin layer of pancake, and a lot of fresh fruit. (So at least you’re getting something out of it, nutritionally).


SIMPLE & FIT Seasonal Fresh Fruit Crepes


580 calories, 24 g fat (5 g saturated), 430 mg sodium, 42 g sugars



2. Terrible Pancakes: IHOP Harvest Grain ‘N Nut Pancakes (4) with Cinnamon Apple Compote and Whipped Topping


1,060 calories, 51.5 g fat (13 g saturated), 1,945 mg sodium, 50 g sugars


Whatever you do at IHOP, don’t add a fruity compote to your waffle or pancake platter. That’ll guarantee that you double your plate’s sugar count and add at least 150 calories to the final tally (which, if you order more than 3 pancakes, is already going to be mighty high). The reason that fruity compote is so bad for you is because it’s not fresh fruit we’re dealing with—it’s more like a sugary goo that has fruit chunks drowning in it.


Original Buttermilk Pancakes, Short Stack (3)


490 calories, 18 g fat (8 g saturated, 1 g trans), 1,610 mg sodium, 13 g sugars



1. Terrible Slamwich: Denny’s Grand Slamwich with Hash Browns


1,520 calories, 101 g fat (44 g saturated, 1 g trans), 3,550 mg sodium


Bacon, sausage, ham, eggs, cheese, and mayo conspire to create the worst breakfast sandwich in America. Start your day with this and you’ll need to wait 48 hours before consuming another gram of saturated fat. And that’s before you get to the hash browns that come on the side.


Click here for all of today’s nutrition, health, and fitness news!


Fit Slam


390 calories, 12 g fat (4 g saturated), 850 mg sodium



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Creatine side effects

From Mens Health http://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/creatine-q?fullpage=true

This scientifically proven muscle-builder is one of the most popular supplements on the market—and one of the most misunderstood
By Karen Springen, Posted Date: August 21, 2012

Even if you’re not a weight lifter, you’ve undoubtedly heard of creatine, one of the most researched supplements in history.

It’s a combination of amino acids produced by the liver, kidney, and pancreas. Creatine is not a steroid—it’s naturally found in muscle and in red meat and fish, though at far lower levels than in the powder form sold on bodybuilding websites and at your local GNC.

How does it work? Creatine reduces fatigue by transporting extra energy into your cells, says Ari Levy, M.D., who works with patients at the Program for Personalized Health and Prevention at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, is the compound your body uses for energy. For a muscle to contract, it breaks off a phosphate molecule from ATP. As a result, ATP becomes ADP (adenosine diphosphate). The problem: You can’t use ADP for energy, and your body only has so much stored ATP. The fix: ADP takes a phosphate molecule from your body’s stores of creatine phosphate, forming more ATP.

If you have more creatine phosphate—which you do if you take a creatine supplement—you can work out longer and do sets of, say, eight reps instead of six. Over weeks and months, that added workload allows you to add lean muscle mass, lift heavier weights, and become stronger. (Want the perfect workout to build muscle and torch fat? Check out the new 8-DVD metabolic training series from Men’s Health, Speed Shred.)

But should you worry about side effects? Does creatine cause you to lose weight when you stop it, or does it hurt your kidneys, like you may have heard? Here are the key myths and facts you need to know.

Creatine is similar to anabolic steroids. Myth. Steroids mimic testosterone and are banned in the Olympics and in professional sports. By contrast, the International Olympic Committee, professional sports leagues, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association do not prohibit creatine. (The NCAA won’t let colleges give it to athletes, though.)

Creatine can help you build muscle mass without hitting the gym. Myth. It shows some improvement in kids with muscular dystrophy, even if they’re not exercising, says Mark Tarnopolsky, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pediatrics and medicine and director of the neuromuscular and neurometabolic clinic at McMaster University Medical Center in Ontario. “[But] the best effect in healthy humans is seen when creatine is combined with resistance exercise training.”

Creatine causes gastrointestinal upset. True—but it’s rare. Tarnopolsky says his studies show 5 to 7 percent of people experience either stomach aches, diarrhea, or both.

Creatine will help you run a faster 5K. Myth. Creatine helps athletes with more fast-twitch muscle fibers (used to swing a baseball bat) more than athletes with more slow-twitch ones (used by marathon runners). “If you’re an endurance athlete, if you’re not doing something that involves the fast-twitch muscle fibers, you don’t need to be on creatine,” says orthopedic surgeon Tony Wanich, M.D., a sports medicine specialist at Montefiore Medical Center in New York.

If you do want to run a faster 5K, use this plan from Rachel Cosgrove, C.S.C.S. You’ll run only three days a week, but finish faster than ever before!

Creatine causes weight gain. Fact. (But that’s kind of the point.) It pulls H2O into your muscles, which causes water-weight gain and makes muscles look bigger initially. (You don’t actually gain muscle fibers until you work out.) “Creatine is a molecule that has a very strong attraction for water,” says Gordon Purser, Ph.D., a professor of chemistry at the University of Tulsa who studies creatine and has used it himself for the past decade. No two people will have the same results. “Weight gain of about 0.8 to 2.9 percent of body weight in the first few days of creatine supplementation occurs in about two-thirds of users,” says Christine Rosenbloom, Ph.D., R.D., sports dietitian for Georgia State University Athletics and editor in chief of Sports Nutrition: A Practice Manual for Professionals. What can you expect after the water weight gain? In a study of 20-year-olds taking creatine and doing weight training, Tarnopolsky found some gained two pounds of muscle but one even gained 17 pounds of it—with the same amount of supplement and the same training.

Creatine doesn’t work well for everyone. True. “One major factor with creatine is that some people have high levels in muscle naturally,” says Tarnopolsky. Meat and fish eaters are less likely to respond than vegans, who have low levels in their diet. Your muscle makeup matters, too. Most people have about 50 percent fast-twitch fibers (responsible for sprinting and jumping) and 50 percent slow-twitch fibers (responsible for endurance exercise), says Peter Adhihetty, Ph.D., assistant professor in the department of applied physiology and kinesiology at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Those guys should respond well. But people with 70 percent fast-twitch and 30 percent slow-twitch muscle will see even more results, he says.

Creatine makes you look softer. True. There’s a reason bodybuilders stop using creatine a month or so before a competition. “As the creatine hydrates itself, it causes water to flow into the muscle. That extra water may increase the volume of the muscles, but it also makes them look mushy rather than defined,” says Purser. Your move: Take it during the fall, winter, and spring to build muscle. Go off it during the summer to show off your beach abs.

Do you have pounds of belly fat you want to lose? Check out The Lean Belly Prescription—the no-diet, no workout plan that’s better than running 5 miles a day!

Creatine users will lose muscle when they stop taking the supplement. Myth. Your muscles may look smaller because creatine adds water volume. “The real question is, ‘Will you maintain your strength and muscle mass, dry muscle mass, when you discontinue the use of creatine?” says Purser. “The answer to that is absolutely yes. Once you have built the muscle, as long as you continue to lift, you will maintain it.”

You shouldn’t take too much creatine. Fact. “It is illogical to take more than 20 grams a day for a week max or seven grams a day for months,” says Tarnopolsky. “[There is] no evidence that this would do anything more in terms of loading the muscle, so why on earth would someone waste money and time and effort for unknown risks and zippo added benefit. Anything in the world—sugar, coffee, fat, protein, salt—taken in excess can lead to health issues.”

So, you want to take creatine? Here’s how. 
You’ll see a bunch of different forms of creatine on your supplement store’s shelves. The one you want is creatine monohydrate. “Creatine monohydrate is the exact compound that more than 95 percent of the studies used, so why take a chance on another compound from a safety and effectiveness perspective?” Tarnopolsky says.

The first week you go on creatine, some experts recommend a “loading phase” of 20 grams a day for five to seven days. Afterward, go to 5 grams per day.

The fine print: See your doctor first if you have high blood pressure or diabetes, if you regularly take any prescription meds or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen (which can tax the kidneys), if you’re over age 40 (since kidney function slowly declines after age 30), or if you have a history of kidney or liver disease.

Read more at Men’s Health: http://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/creatine-q?fullpage=true#ixzz27VT6CiRn

Men’s Health Core workout


Every muscle relies on your abs, hips, and lower back, a.k.a. your core. It’s your base—and your center of attraction. Here’s everything you need to sculpt a rock-solid midsection
Workout by Craig Friedman, M.S., A.T.C., C.S.C.S., By Myatt Murphy, Photographs by Scott McDermott, Workout Photography by Beth Bischoff

1. You can strengthen your core without moving a muscle. Whereas most muscles propel you, your core resists movement—for instance, to protect your spine when you twist your torso. So don’t be surprised by how hard it is to stay still in this core workout. You’re conditioning your core to do its job more effectively.

2. Slouching sabotages your six-pack. Training your core helps correct poor posture. But an hour a week of core work can’t compensate for the 50 hours spent slumped over your keyboard. The fix: Stay tall through your hips and keep your head up and shoulder blades back and down all day long.

3. Core muscles contract first in every exercise. All the energy you exert originates in your torso, before being transferred to your arms and legs. So a weak core reduces the amount of force you’re able to apply to a barbell. When you hit a plateau in presses, squats, or any other strength move, ask yourself if you’re training your core as hard as you can. (Do you want to build the ripped, chiseled abs you always wished you could have? It only takes 82 days with the new follow-along DVD program from Men’s Health,Speed Shred! If you like P90X or Insanity, you’ll love the metabolic workouts in Speed Shred!)

Side Bridge

Lie on your side with your forearm on the floor under your shoulder to prop you up, and your feet stacked. Contract your core and press your forearm against the floor to raise your hips until your body is straight from ankles to shoulders. Hold for 15 to 45 seconds, then repeat on the other side. Contract your abs and butt muscles forcefully to keep your body straight.

Plank with Diagonal Arm Lift

Assume a modified pushup position with your feet shoulder-width apart, forearms on the floor. Keeping your torso steady, raise your right arm for-ward and to the right, so that it points to 2 o’clock. Hold for 2 seconds, then lower and repeat with your left arm, raising it to 10 o’clock. That’s one rep. Your elbows should be bent 90 degrees and directly under your shoulders.

Single-Leg Lowering

Lie on your back with your legs extended straight up. Keeping your legs straight, lower your left leg until your foot is 2 to 3 inches off the floor. Return to the starting position, then repeat with your right leg; that’s one repetition. Think about pushing the bottom of your heel away from your hip as you lower your leg. Don’t point your toes; keep your foot flexed toward you. Lead with your heel.


Swiss-Ball Knee Tuck

Assume the pushup position with your shins resting on a Swiss ball, hands slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Keeping your abs tight, draw your knees toward your chest until your toes are on top of the ball. Slowly straighten your legs so the ball rolls back to the starting position. Lift your hips as you bring your knees toward you so your shins rise off the ball. (For more brand new exercises, sign up for the free Exercise of the Week newsletter from Men’s Health fitness director Adam Campbell!)

Cable Kneeling Chop

At a high-pulley cable, grab an end of rope with each hand. Go down on your right knee, with your left knee pointing toward the weight stack; this is the starting position. Rotate your torso away from the stack as you pull your hands to your chest, then down and away from you. Reverse to the start. Keep your torso upright as you extend your arms away from your body.

Glute-Bridge March

Lie with your knees bent and your arms and heels on the floor. Push down through your heels and squeeze your glutes to raise your body into a straight line from knees to shoulders. Next, bring a knee toward your chest. Reverse the move, then repeat with your other leg. That’s one rep. Don’t allow your hips to sag at any time during the movement.


Pick Your Plan

3 routines for the results you want. (For even more great workout plans, visit the Men’s Health Workout Center.)

The Fast-Muscle Sequence
Beginning your workout with core exercises reinforces proper posture. That means you’ll use better technique to lift more weight in every exercise, which translates to bigger muscles all over. The best part: It takes just 3 minutes.

How It Works: Perform the side bridge [1], followed by the plank with diagonal arm lift [2]. Hold the side bridge for 15 to 45 seconds on each side, then do four to 12 repetitions of the plank with diagonal arm lift. Do this routine at the start of every weight-training session.

The Painproof Circuit
Have a creaky back? Then this is the workout for you. It improves the endurance of your core muscles, which removes excess strain from your back and distributes weight more evenly throughout your body.

How It Works: Do the glute-bridge march [6], plank with diagonal arm lift [2], cable kneeling chop [5], and side bridge [1] in a circuit. That is, perform one exercise after another without rest. Complete six to 12 repetitions of the glute-bridge march, four to 12 reps of the plank with diagonal arm lift, and six to 10 reps of the cable kneeling chop, and hold the side bridge for 15 to 45 seconds on each side. Rest for 60 seconds, then repeat the circuit once or twice. Perform this routine 2 or 3 days a week at the end of your workout.

The Peak-Performance Workout
When your core starts to give out, so does your game–no matter what sport you play. But use this five-exercise circuit and you’ll move faster, with more power and greater ease. All told, you’ll perform better in any sport–and in the weight room.

How It Works: Do the plank with diagonal arm lift [2], glute-bridge march [6], Swiss-ball knee tuck [4], cable kneeling chop [5], side bridge [1], and single-leg lowering [3] in a circuit. That is, do one exercise after another without rest. Complete four to 12 repetitions of the plank with diagonal arm lift, six to 12 reps of the glute-bridge march, six to 12 reps of the Swiss-ball knee tuck, and six to 10 reps of the cable kneeling chop. Hold the side bridge for 15 to 45 seconds and perform six to 12 reps of the single-leg lowering. Rest for 60 seconds, then repeat the circuit. Try this at the end of your training, 2 or 3 days a week.

Hard Move, Harder Muscle

Squats train your midsection harder than many ab or lower-back moves. Single-leg exercises pose an even greater core challenge. Try this at the end of your workout.

Cable Single-Leg Squat To Row
Grab a mid-pulley handle with your right hand, with your arm straight and your palm facing left. Bend your left leg slightly and straighten your right leg behind you so it’s just off the floor. This is the starting position. Row the handle toward your side as you straighten your torso and draw your right knee toward your chest. Do two or three sets of 10 to 12 reps with each leg.

Pull the handle to your side, so your elbow passes your torso.


Men’s Health how belly fat attacks

Body fat saved your ancestors

Say you’re a hungry caveman plodding along the tundra and you spot a 6-ton woolly mammoth wandering on the horizon. You want an energy source that kicks into action immediately so you can chase and kill the beast. That’s very likely the reason men store more upper-body fat than women do, says Fredrik Karpe, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Oxford. Men were the hunters. “Upper-body fat, including visceral fat, is a kind of fight-and-flight depot that both stores and releases energy very easily,” he says.

It does this through a process called lipolysis, which breaks clumps of fat into fatty acids that your muscles can use as energy. In visceral fat, lipolysis occurs at an unusually high rate. It’s an ongoing process of deconstruction and reconstruction that keeps your bloodstream flooded with fat. This high concentration of fat compounds can bog down your liver and jack up LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

The big problem today is that our bodies still hold on to visceral fat even though we’re no longer starving cavemen. “Those fat depots are no longer useful,” says Dr. Karpe. “It comes at a price to have such easily mobilized fat.” But regular exercise can help neutralize those cardiovascular risks, says Dr. Karpe. When you put your muscles to work, they release enzymes that pluck circulating triglycerides from the blood and burn them off as fuel, which can help clear danger from your arteries.

Body fat below the waist is not as dangerous

Visceral fat is a threat for another reason: It’s highly susceptible to inflammation. “As the amount of stored fat increases, it triggers a cellular response designed to recruit immune cells,” says Michael Schwartz, M.D., director of the diabetes and obesity center of excellence at the University of Washington. This leads to inflammation and can result in insulin resistance and a host of diseases associated with metabolic syndrome.

Fat below the waist behaves differently than visceral fat. “From an evolutionary standpoint, we believe that lower-body fat is intended as long-term storage. It’s packed away, so it doesn’t harm the rest of the body, and we use it as a last reserve,” says Dr. Karpe. According to a 2010 review conducted by Dr. Karpe, below-the-belt fat produces fewer inflammatory compounds, which means less cardiovascular damage. This gives women a health advantage because they tend to store more fat in their lower bodies than men do. The fat women tend to carry on their hips? “That’s one of the reasons we think women are more resistant to heart disease,” Dr. Karpe says. For cutting-edge tips to lower your heart disease risk, follow these 5 New Tips to Help Your Heart.

Body fat is far more than a calorie storage tank

Five or 10 years ago, researchers and physicians viewed fat merely as a storage system for energy—a soft balloon filled with calories. But they’ve since come to recognize it as an instrument that plays a critical role in your body’s metabolic function. “Fat is the largest endocrine organ in the body,” says David Piston, Ph.D., a professor of molecular physiology and biophysics at Vanderbilt University.

Even a 160-pound man with 13 percent body fat (that’s a lean guy) has more than 20 pounds of fat. And that fat—or more specifically, the adipose cells that store fatty triglycerides and keep them out of the blood—is extremely important to his body’s hormone regulation.

Consider leptin. This hormone is produced inside fat tissue, and without it you could theoretically eat until your stomach burst. Leptin regulates how responsive your body is to the “I’m full” signals coming from your stomach. The more fat cells you have, the more leptin you have circulating in your blood, so you’ll feel full on less food. But while this important signal registers well in lean people, it seems to be ineffective in overweight people.

And that’s just one of about 300 compounds coming from fat, says Dr. Karpe. Alas, not all of them are as benign as leptin. “When tissue is inflamed and overfilled with fat, it can pump out a lot of nasty stuff,” he says. That “stuff” can hijack your appetite, reprogram your fat-storage mechanisms, contribute to conditions like arthritis, and drive your triglyceride levels to deadly heights.

The best way to cut inflammation? Yep, pack some physical activity into each day. Researchers at Appalachian State University recently determined that highly fit people who reported frequently engaging in moderate exercise such as cycling, swimming, or jogging had nearly 50 percent less C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation, in their blood than people who were unfit and rarely exercised.

Read more at Men’s Health: http://www.menshealth.com/weight-loss/how-fat-attacks#ixzz26vv0NE5Y

Mens Health: Belly fat action plan

Worried that you’re harboring dangerous belly fat? Your waist circumference tends to be related to the amount of visceral fat you have, a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found. The American Heart Association recommends keeping your waist below 40 inches. To check, wrap a tailor’s measuring tape snugly around your bare abdomen, just above your hip bones. Relax, exhale, and measure. If your number comes up a little elevated, here’s what you need to do to target visceral fat. (Want the latest health and nutrition advice delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for our free Daily Dose newsletter.)

A diet packed with fructose can make your belly bulge. In fact, adolescents in a Georgia Health Sciences University study who consumed the most fructose had about 20 percent more visceral fat than those who ate the least. Your move: Avoid fruit juice or foods that have added sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. Don’t worry about whole fruit, though. It accounts for less than 20 percent of the fructose in the typical American’s diet, say Emory University researchers.

Resistance training is great for adding lean body mass, but cardio is better for burning visceral fat. In a Duke University study, people who trained on treadmills, elliptical trainers, and stationary bikes for 8 months (at the cardio equivalent of jogging 12 miles a week) lost about 8 percent of their visceral fat. Those who performed equally intense resistance workouts saw no change in visceral fat. (For more ways to sculpt every muscle in your body while torching body fat, check out The Workout That Gets You Shredded.)

Foods like barley and quinoa do more than just help fill you up. In a 2010 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who ate three or more daily servings of whole grains had 10 percent less visceral fat than those who ate hardly any or no whole grains, even when the researchers adjusted for other lifestyle and diet factors. One benefit, they speculate, might come from prebiotic compounds that feed beneficial bacteria in your gut.

The right amount of shut-eye is key. A study in the journal Sleep showed that people who logged 6 to 7 hours a night had the lowest levels of visceral fat. Above or below that range was associated with more visceral fat, with the worst numbers going to those who slept less than 5 hours. Over a 5-year span, these sleepers put on visceral fat about five times faster than the healthy sleepers did.


Men’s Health four mistakes

A University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study found that when people swapped their favorite sugary soft drink for the diet variety, they ate more desserts and more bread than people who swapped their go-to beverage for water. Artificial sweeteners may increase your hunger for sweet things, says study author Barry Popkin, Ph.D.

Adopting a very rigid diet almost guarantees that your weight-loss efforts will be sabotaged by food cravings, suggests a new study in the journal Appetite. So cut yourself some slack. Flexible dieters have just as many cravings and give in to them just as often, says study author Adrian Meule, Dipl.-Psych. The difference is that they are more likely to get back on track quickly. (Want more must-have weight loss tips? Pick up a copy of The Lean Belly Prescription today for hundreds of simple strategies that will boost your health and trim inches from your waist.

A new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that scant sleep can cause you to overeat fatty foods. When people slept only 4 hours a night for 5 days, they took in nearly 300 calories more than when they slept 9 hours a night. Too little shut-eye may increase your appetite by short-circuiting your brain’s sense of reward.

If you’re like most people, you wildly overestimate the number of calories you burn during exercise. According to a study in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, people thought that a workout incinerated about 900 calories when it actually burned just 300. For an accurate heat index, check out the 8 Ways to Intensify Your Burn.