Healthy Weight Loss Tips

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The Mediterranean Diet

Looking and feeling good is what everyone wants. Exercising and eating right are the only ways to achieve this. People need food in order to have energy to do certain things. One way to lose weight and still maintain a healthy lifestyle is by only eating foods that are low in saturated fats and high in monounsaturated ones that is being done by the Mediterranean diet.

This is called the Mediterranean diet because the eating plan comes from those who live along the Mediterranean Sea. This was first discovered after the end of the Second World War by an American doctor but never became popular until the 1990s.

The reason why many people in these countries are healthy and are able to live for more than a hundred years is because of the large amounts of olive oil consumed in each meal. Another contributing factor is also in the red wine, which also has antioxidants properties.

The difference of the Mediterranean Diet compared to others out there is that the person does not have to give up anything but simply make some wise food choices. This means avoiding eating processed foods or those form tinned cans and getting those that are fresh.

The Mediterranean Diet involves eating food in large, moderate and small quantities. The person should eat a lot of food such as beans, bread, cereals, fruits, grains and nuts since these contain minerals, nutrients and vitamins that are good for the body.

On a moderate level, the individual can have cheese, milk and yogurt since this will prevent the consumption of other things that are high in saturated fats.

The type of products that should be consumed lightly is animal meat such as fish, pork, chicken and eggs, which can be done a few times in a month.

The Mediterranean diet teaches the individual to eat right. In order to live healthy like these people who live by the sea, it is best to engage in some form of physical activity to be able to burn those extra calories.

A few simple examples could be brisk walking, jogging and running. Those who want to exercise in a group could try a team sport such as basketball or by joining a class at the local gym.

Who wants to live forever? Perhaps that will be a question to ask those who have reached a hundred. This may not have been the plan but it has happened especially to those who are living along the Mediterranean Sea.


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How Medical Tourism Spread

Medical tourism is now more popular than ever, with over 50 countries named as a hot destination and thousands of tourists flocking new places to visit and get treated. The concept is actually not a new one, since people from the ancient times used to move out of their place of origin to visit well-known healers and places in other countries. Today, you can get the advantages of getting the best medical help, plus a vacation to boot.

About the Concept

The first documented occasion of medical tourism was thousands of years ago when Greek pilgrims moved all throughout the Mediterranean towards Epidauria, a minor territory in the Saronic Gulf. The place was considered as the home of Asklepios, the god of healing. Epidauria was visited by thousands of people each year, for cases like fever, bone problems, heart ailments, skin disease and many more. It was the first travel destination of medical tourism.

Over the years, sanitariums and spa towns were also built and became the early types of medical tourism. Patients visited the spa towns during the 1700s to get mineral water that is believed to boost health and treat problems like bronchitis, gout and liver conditions.

Becoming Popular

Several factors triggered the vast popularity of medical tourism. Primarily the increasing cost of health care had people asking if there were other places where they can receive the same kind of treatment without the huge expense. The next was the very long waiting periods and several requirements before they can be treated or even diagnosed. Modern medical tourism destinations provide patients only a fraction of the cost they expect to pay at their local hospital.

They can also enjoy other state-of-the-art and quality accommodations, and get their dream vacation at the same time. Some destinations are known for treating patients like royalty, so everything will be taken care of. You will be provided with a complete schedule of activities, so you do not waste your time waiting in line or running everywhere to get the needed documents for the procedure.

More Reasons

Medical tourism continued to spread as the cost of international travel became much cheaper. The technology and care standards in several countries, especially in Asia have improved significantly in the past decade, making the institutions highly competitive against the best in the United States. Medical tourists usually come from the United States, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries, because individuals from these places usually have more money to spend when visiting third world countries.

Medical tourism is expected to grow ten times more from 2007 to 2017. In the United States alone, over 750,000 people traveled abroad to get treated in 2007. Experts calculated 1.5 million Americans traveling in 2008 to get treatment abroad. The United Kingdom currently advertises more about medical tourism compared to the United States. Canadians preferred the very fast medical waiting period in other destinations. Some procedures are even more convenient when done outside the United States or Europe.


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Getting Cosmetic Surgery Abroad

Cosmetic surgery is one of the biggest branches of medical tourism. Thousands of individuals flock to various countries all over the world each year to get treatments such as liposuction, face lifts, eye surgery, wart removal and many more. Cosmetic surgery in Asia is especially cheaper compared to the States. You also get to have world class accommodations and get to see new sights for a totally enjoyable vacation.

The Growth of Cosmetic Surgery

In the past decade, the number of people going for cosmetic surgery has significantly grown. With the start of medical tourism, even more individuals are going under the knife because of cheaper costs and the availability of modern equipment and technology to perform the different operations. In the past, only first world countries were capable of doing operations because of state-of-the-art tools and well-experienced surgeons.

Some countries like Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines are now widely known for their modern equipment and facilities. The doctors are also well-trained and already have a wide expertise on various cosmetic procedures. A number of medical institutions in these places now boast of having accreditation from the JCI. You can also get advantages in terms of airfare cost, transportation and hotel bookings.

Tips for Tourists

Tourists are advised to pick cosmetic clinics in country located near your place of origin. However, the availability and convenience of modern air travel has allowed people from the west to easily go halfway around the world and return in less than 10 days. American patients may travel south to Brazil, Mexico and Costa Rica, while others will go as far as the Asia Pacific or the Mediterranean to get treatment. Some of the other popular places for cosmetic surgery include Turkey, Malta, India, China and New Zealand.

Patients should plan and prepare for their travel carefully. The waiting list is significantly shorter in Asia, so you can expect to have the procedure a day or two after you arrive. You can also gain advantage of medical tourism packages wherein you get transportation to and from your hotel, meal bookings and tours around the city before and after your operation. You can talk to your travel agent to prepare a top quality hotel for your stay.

Staying Safe

Medical tourists are advised to stay a few days more after the cosmetic procedure to avoid any complications and ensure that they are truly recovered and stable before traveling back to the States. You should research a bit about the different laws and consumer protection regulations in the country you are visiting. Determine whether or not your current insurance policy will cover your case even if you are getting treatment overseas.

Go online and learn more about your cosmetic surgery. Talk to other patients who have undergone the same procedure and ask them about the different pros and cons of traveling abroad. You can minimize the risks and complications by staying prepared for these particular factors. You should also talk to your local doctor and the surgeon who will do your operation for maximum benefits.


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Staying Healthy on a Low Carbohydrate Diet

Staying Healthy on a Low Carbohydrate Diet
Marjorie Geiser

It is estimated that about 32 million Americans are following some type of low carbohydrate diet. This is the result of fad diet authors claiming that carbohydrates are the cause for Americas rising obesity problems. The backlash against carbohydrates is a result of the low fat craze that started in the 80s.When consumers started cutting down their fat intake, manufacturers figured out that they could create low fat processed food products that the public would buy. Because these products claimed to be fat free, Americans didnt pay attention to the fact that they were not also calorie free, and as a result, the total amount of daily calories has slowly been increasing. In fact, although the total percentage of calories from fat has decreased, the actual amount of fat intake has increased by 10# per year since 1975! The increase of carbohydrate has also increased, at a rate of 20# per year, mostly as a result of highly processed foods.

It is estimated that 3800 calories are now produced for every American man, woman and child. We have evolved from a world of feast or famine, but were in a state of perpetual feast, although our bodies have not changed. We have no defenses against excess calories: Every year, 300,000 to 400,000 deaths in the US are attributed to obesity.

Meanwhile, Asian and Middle Eastern populations consume 50-75% of their calories from rice and have some of the lowest rates of obesity and heart disease in the world. People living in the Mediterranean also have fewer health conditions commonly seen in the US. This diet consists of whole grains, vegetables, legumes, nuts and fruits. Their diets are rich in fish and low in meats and poultry. Although their fat intake is about the same as in America, the type of fat is primarily monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil, where Americans eat primarily saturated animal fats.

Regardless of the actual advantage or disadvange to following a low carbohydrate diet, there are three recommendations for maintaining good health while following such a diet. The first is to choose healthy fats over the unhealthy, saturated fats, when considering fat intake. Examples of healthy fats would be plant fats that have not been hydrogenated, which makes the fat more solid at room temperature. It is believed that hydrogenation is actually more harmful to health than saturated fats found naturally in animal products. Plant fats would include nuts, avocados, and olives. Oils such as olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil are better choices than fats that come from animal sources, such as butter, lard or bacon grease. Multiple studies over the years have shown that excess animal fats lead to higher risks of cancer, heart disease and other inflammatory disorders. Saturated fats have been linked to increased cholesterol, LDL (the bad) cholesterol as well as to increased LDL cholesterol oxidation. In fact, in January 2004, an Atkins representative put out a press release advising the public to decrease their amounts of steak, eggs, and saturated fast to less than 20% of their total fat intake.

The next recommendation to ensure good health is to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Although fruits and most vegetables are restricted in the initial phase of some low carbohydrate diets, they are then allowed back in limited amounts. The phytonutrients that come from a diet rich in fruits and vegetables have been shown to decrease blood pressure, as well as protect against cancer, heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and obesity. Its easy to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet, once you get in the habit. Examples are; add some berries to breakfast, eat a tomato at lunch, include broccoli with dinner, drink some vegetable juice with snacks, and have a large salad with your meal.

The final tip to ensure good health is to eat a diet of whole foods, rather than fall back on the easy snack, convenience foods of today. If Americans had just cut down their amount of fat intake in the 80s, without finding new ways to snack, we may not be seeing the epidemic of obesity we see, today. When people started going on the low carbohydrate diets, they eliminated a large number of calories by eliminating snacking, especially at night, where common snacks are chips, crackers, and other high fat, high refined carbohydrate foods, such as ice cream. Today, though, much like in the 80s, manufacturers are now developing low carb and low net carb snack foods. We can now find low net carb chips, crackers, ice cream, popcorn, even low carb pizza! As Americans start to increase their intake of these foods, we will soon see a slowing of the weight loss many had seen initially. In order to call themselves a low net carb food, manufacturers subtract the fiber and sugar alcohols from the total carbohydrates in the product, rather than produce products without carbohydrate. There is no actual FDA standard for what a low net carb food is, yet, though, so right now its anything the manufacturer wants to say it is. These foods also are very high in fat and saturated fat, usually through hydrogenation. So, not only will calories be added back into the diet through resuming unhealthy snack habits, but they will be calories consisting of high amounts of the unhealthy fats.

So, while following a low carbohydrate diet, in order to ensure continued good health, follow these three recommendations: 1) Make most fats you eat the healthy, plant fats, rather than eating a diet high in animal or hydrogenated fats, 2) Eat plenty of nutrient rich fruits and vegetables, which are high in disease-fighting antioxidants, and 3) eat mostly whole, fresh foods and very little processed snack foods, even if they say low carb, in order to avoid hidden and unnecessary fat and calories.

Marjorie Geiser has been teaching health, fitness and nutrition since 1982. She is a nutritionist, registered dietitian, certified personal trainer and life coach. As the owner of MEG Fitness, Marjories goal for her clients is to help them incorporate healthy eating and fitness into their busy lives. To order her 30-Day Health & Fitness Challenge e-course and learn more about Marjorie, go to her website at www.megfit.com or email her at Margie@megfit.com


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