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Oct 14

Behavior Change Strategies for Successful Long-Term Weight …


Obesity is a major risk factor forcardiovascular disease and health problems (Mertens & Van Gaal,2000; Pi-Sunyer, 1998). People in the U.S. are spending $50 billion ayear on weight loss products and services (Weiss, Galuska, Khan, &Serdula, 2006). Despite these expenses, most of their lost weightwill be regained (Wing & Phelan, 2005). Public health guidelinesrecommend a combination of reduced food intake and increased physicalactivity, as effective approaches to achieve long-term weight loss inadults (Shay, Shobert, Seibert, & Thomas, 2009). How canExtension professionals give support for long-term weight loss? Howcan we educate individuals to achieve healthy lifestyle changes andmaintain them even after our program ends?

To lose weight and maintain healthy weight,individuals must not only be motivated and make a commitment to loseweight and maintain being healthy (eat balanced meals and physicallyactive), but also understand what to expect during three differentstages in behavioral changes (initial, improvement, maintenancecondition stages). Simply giving participants information on ahealthy diet and an exercise prescription, and offering a walkingprogram is not enough (Morgan, 2006). Extension professionals need toknow how to use behavior change strategies (Gordon, 2002) and helpparticipants to develop their own plans. This will facilitateincorporation of health recommendations into their daily lives andmake them adhere to them in the long run.

We can use self-efficacy, which is thecore element of social cognitive theory (Bandura, 2004), andself-management strategies (Karoly & Kanfer, 1982) tomaintain their control on behavior changes. These strategies can beapplied to Extension programs and maximize the effectiveness ofchanging individuals' behaviors and long-term weight loss.

Self-efficacy can be defined as anindividual's personal judgment of his or her ability to succeed inreaching a specific goal or outcomes. Self-efficacy is one of themost important determinants of whether behavioral change takes place(initial condition), because, unless people believe that they canproduce desired effects by their actions, they have little incentiveto act for behavioral change. Self-efficacy also affects whetherpeople mobilize the motivation and perseverance needed to succeed(improvement condition), and finally, their ability to recover fromfailures and relapses, and how well they continue their behaviorchanges once their goals have been achieved (maintenance condition).

Extension professionals can help to enhanceself-efficacy by a) setting goals and expected outcomes that areimportant for focusing on activities in group lessons and promptingincreased efforts and b) establishing strategies for overcomingbarriers to prevent participants from interrupting healthy lifestylepractices by providing social support from teams in group exerciseclasses or offer sessions before or after regular programsparticipants are already attending.

Use the S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable,Achievable, Realistic, Timely) principle to come up their own goalsfor each behavioral change stage; initial condition stage (4-6weeks), improvement condition stage (12-20 weeks), and formaintenance conditioning stage (6 months and beyond). Higher outcomeexpectations are stronger motivators; however, unrealistic,unattainable outcome expectations may discourage participants tocontinue (Dalle Grave et al., 2005).

Example: "I will walk an extra 1mile (2,000 steps) 3-4 times per week for the next 4 weeks." Thegoal is specific, measureable, and achievable using a currentresource (have a pedometer), realistic, and timely (deadline for yourgoal - 4 weeks).

All participants will face barriers tomaintain their committed behavioral changes sooner or later in yourprogram. Personal, social, and environmental barriers vary fromperson to person; however, Extension professionals could list commonbarriers and discuss solutions for effectively overcoming thesebarriers in a group. Participants who have more positive attitudescan share their outlook with other participants who may have the samegoals and barriers.

Example: "I don't have time toexercise." Time constraint is the most frequent barrier toregular physical activity.

Solution: Have participants 1) makedaily activity chartsexample: 15-minute walk during lunch break,2) choose activities they enjoy, 3) create a buddy system, 4) settime frame for when the goal should be reached by, 5) get a rewardwhen the goal is reached, and 6) prepare for a new barrierexample:in case of rain, play bowling.

Key features of self-management strategiesinclude goal setting, peer support networks, self-monitoring(ongoing follow-up), and self-reinforcement.

After participants have set their goals andexpected outcomes, Extension professionals can introduce aself-monitoring system in which participants can evaluate their ownprogress weekly or monthly. Their progress, whether they are meetingor failing to meet the established goals, serves as a motivator forcontinuing adherence to their behavioral change.

Reinforcement (rewards) work as goodmotivators for changing behaviors. There are intrinsic motivators(stimulation that drives an individual to adopt or change abehaviorexamples: enjoyment or satisfaction) and extrinsicmotivators or external incentives (money, new outfit). Both areuseful for positive reinforcement in behavioral changes, especiallyin the early stage of change. For a long-term weight control, anindividual's intrinsic motivations for regular physical activity playa more important role than focusing on changes in body weight anddiet-related changes (Teixeira et al., 2006).

Long-term weight loss is a difficult task.Most individuals who start with good intentions and commit to changetheir behavior fail to continue. Extension professionals can usebehavior change strategies to enhance participants' motivation andadherence to regular physical activity and healthy diet, rather thanonly focusing on weight changes. We also need to be creative anddevelop a fun activity. A good example is the milk taste challenge:Ask participants to taste samples of milk (whole, 2%, 1%, and fatfree), and ask them if they can taste the difference. Participantslearn about the health benefits of fat free-milk and may switch fromwhole milk to reduced fat milk.

It is important that Extension professionalsempower individuals and provide them with the most effective behaviorchange strategies.

Bandura, A. (2004). Health promotion bysocial cognitive means. Health Education & Behavior, 31(2), 143-164.

Gordon, J. C. (2002). Beyond knowledge:Guidelines for effective health promotion messages. Journal ofExtension [On-line], 40(6) Article 6FEA7. Available at:

Dalle Grave, R. D., Calugi, S., Molinari, E.,Petroni, L. M., Bondi, M., Compare, A., Marchesini, G., & theQUOVADIS Study Group. (2005). Weight loss expectations in obesepatients and treatment attrition: An observational multicenter study.Obesity Research, 13 (11), 1961-1969.

Karoly, P. & Kanfer, F. H., (1982).Self-management and behavior change: From theory to practice. NewYork, NY: Pergamon Press.

Mertens, I. L., & Van Gaal, L. F. (2000).Overweight, obesity and blood pressure: The effects of modest weightreduction. Obesity Research, 8 (3), 207-278.

Morgan, K. S. (2006). A community approach totarget inactivity. Journal of Extension [On-line], 44(3)Article 3IAW2. Available at:

Pi-Sunyer, F. X. (1998). NHLBI Obesityeducation initiative expert panel on the identification, evaluation,and treatment of overweight and obesity in adultsThe evidencereport. Obesisty Research, 6 (Suppl. 2), 51S-209S.

Shay, L. E., Shobert, J. L., Seibert, D., &Thomas, L. E. (2009). Adult weight management: Translating researchand guidelines into practice. Journal of the American Academy ofNurse Practitioners, 21 (4), 197-206.

Teixeira, P. J., Going, S. B., Houtkooper, L.B., Cussler, E. C., Metcalfe, L. L., Blew, R. M., Sardinha, L. B., &Lohman, T. G. (2006). Exercise motivation, eating, and body imagevariables as predictors of weight control. Medicine & ScienceSports & Exercise, 38(1), 179-188.

Weiss, E. C., Galuska, D. A., Khan, L. K., &Serdula, M. K. (2006). Weight-control practices among U.S. adults,2001-2002. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 31 (1),18-24.

Wing, R. R., & Phelan, S. (2005).Long-term weight loss maintenance. Am. J Clin Nutr, 82 (Suppl.1), 222S-225S.

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Oct 14

15 Simple Ways to Lose Weight In 2 Weeks

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Oct 13

Sermorelin – Wikipedia


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Oct 12

How Much Weight Is Safe to Lose in a Month? | Weight Loss …

Whether you want to slim down for a big event (hello, wedding) or to quickly fit into your old jeans, the desire forfast weight lossis understandable. Whilefad dietscan be tempting with wild promises (like, lose 20 pounds in one month!), they also tend to backfire and can wreak havoc on yourmetabolism. Most dieters who follow strict diets rebound andregain the weight.

Safe andsustainable weight loss, on the other hand, involves a lifestyle change and takes time: Most of the research supports losing weight at a slow-and-steady pace to maintain the weight loss in the long-term, confirms Ryan Maciel, RD, a certified strength and conditioning specialist based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Still, if youre wonderingexactlyhow much weight you can safely lose in one month, heres your guide, according to weight-loss experts:

Weight loss depends on a myriad of factors, likeage,gender,physical activity leveland theeffects of certain medications, so everyone goes at their own pace. A good rule of thumb is to aim to lose 12 pounds per week or 48 pounds per month, says Dr. Elizabeth Lowden, a bariatric endocrinologist at Northwestern Medicine Metabolic Health and Surgical Weight Loss Center at Delnor Hospital in Chicago. In other words, thats about 510% of your body weight.

If you want to lose a pound a week,youll need a calorie deficit(aka less calories in comparison to those you need to maintain your current weight) of about 3,500 calories, or 500 calories per day, explains Lowden. Because it can be difficult to decrease your intake by that much,upping your physical activitycan help burn more calories.

Keep in mind, though, week 1 of yourweight-loss planmay be misleading. It wouldnt be uncommon to lose 5 pounds your first week, maybe even up to 10, but this isnt a rate you can expect to continue and you may even notice no weight loss the next couple of weeks, says Lowden. Thats because as you lower your caloric intake and beginmaking healthier eating choices, your glycogen stores (aka molecules made from thecarbsyou eat) drop, and since theyre attached to water molecules,you lose water weight with them, explains Lowden. So dont feel discouraged if you initially burn pounds fast thenfall into a weight-loss slow down this is normal.

Unless youre enrolled in a medically-supervised weight-loss program or youve just had bariatric surgery, its very uncommon to lose more than 10 pounds per month, says Lowden. Remember, if you lose weight too quickly, your body fights back. Your metabolism slows down, yourhormones shifttoincrease your cravingsand appetite, and you even burn less fat, according toa reviewin the International Journal of Obesity.These changes could lead todisordered eating habits, warns Lowden.

Whats more, no matter how quickly youre losing weight, you also lose a certain amount oflean muscle massin the process (especially if youre not working out to build muscle), and losing too much could deeply damage your metabolism. Thats whystrength training when trying to lose weightis important. Plus, a diettoo low in caloriescould result in nutritional deficiencies, and rapid weight loss could lead to gallstones from improper gallbladder functioning, adds Maciel.

In short, a speedy weight-loss regimen to drop a dress or pants size is generally not worth it. As frustrating as it may be, try to be patient so you are successful long-term.

Here, a few ways you can lose weight safely:

Its essential tohave realistic goalsand expectations before setting out on your weight-loss journey, says Maciel.Tracking your weight-loss goalswith an app likeMyFitnessPalcan be very helpful, he adds. Then, carve out time each week toplan your mealsandworkouts. After youve built up your confidence by reaching a few small goals, you can begin toaim higher with bigger challenges. For example, start by getting into aregular walking habitbeforetraining for your first 5K.

Of course,progress is anything but linear there will be times whenyoull hit a weight-loss plateauor evengain a few pounds back,despite your best efforts. But knowing and accepting this is part of the journey helps you stay on track, says Maciel. While thenumber on the scalemight take time to change, remember to acknowledge and celebrate how your clothes fit differently and how youre able to lift heavier weights or jog longer, suggests Lowden. These are all signs youre on the right track.

Dont give up on the fundamentals of weight loss in search of the magic bullet, says Maciel. Its important to keep in mind that eating morenutrient-dense whole foods, exercising regularly,getting quality sleepandmaking time for self-careare all essential parts of the weight-loss equation. If youre not losing weight on your current plan, take a hard look at youreating, exercise and lifestyle habitsand consider reaching out for help from a support group or nutritionist, he suggests.

When youre working oneating and lifestyle changes, theres a normal amount of hunger that comes with reducing your intake, but you should never feel obsessively hungry, says Lowden. Honor yourhunger cueswith healthier choices. To avoid overeating,mindful eating techniquescan also help.

While healthy weight loss requires a lot of perseverance and dedication, theslow-and-steady routeis your best bet. So many people stop what theyre doing because theyre not seeing immediate changes, butconsistency is key. You will note weight changes over time, but you have to stick with it, says Lowden.

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Oct 12

Serovital HGH: Worth Trying? –

According to the Administration on Aging, over 13% of the nations population is age 65 or older

This means that about one person out of every eight people is experiencing the common symptoms of aging, such as a weakened immune system, a slower metabolism, a worn-out complexion, and constant fatigue, among other common signs of getting older.

To combat these effects, many people attempt to boost their levels of HGH, since this hormone can help reverse the aging process and help keep their bodies feeling young and strong.

What most people dont know, however, is that there are certain foods and nutrients that increase growth hormone levels that will help turn back time and make people think you have erased years from your age!


One of the most helpful nutrients for your HGH levels is copper. Specifically, this mineral increases the quality of your circulatory and respiratory systems: copper helps your bodys production of red blood cells, which in turn helps to regulate the oxygen distribution throughout your body.

Adding foods such as liver, fish, and nuts to your regular diet will help increase your copper intake as well as your growth hormone counts!

Vitamin E

Another crucial nutrient your body needs if you are serious about upping your HGH levels is Vitamin E.

According to the experts at, Vitamin E possesses powerful anti-aging abilities because of its abilities to enhance the quality of your skin. It has been proven to smooth your skin, thus reducing wrinkles and fine lines; Vitamin E also restores your complexions elasticity, making it look younger, firmer, and rejuvenated.

Vitamin E also has the power to increase the distribution of blood and oxygen throughout your body, protect you from tissue damage that is so common at an advanced age, and aids in the maintenance of a healthy immune system to help you avoid getting sick.

Best of all, when you intake Vitamin E in its natural forms, it actually helps to increase growth hormone in your body.

To get more Vitamin E in your diet, incorporate foods like avocado, pumpkin, fish, poultry, nuts, apricots, mustard, and multi-grain cereals.


Another mineral that is key if you want to increase your HGH levels is iodine. Almost all of your bodys iodine is found in your thyroid, which is responsible for controlling your bodys growth and developmentthe same thing that HGH does.

When you increase your iodine levels, you also help stimulate weight loss, enhance your mood, and increase your ability to concentrate. It is also crucial to get a solid amount of iodine in your system because your body actually requires a certain amount of this mineral to function properly in general.

Foods such as eggs, fish, garlic, molasses, and potato skins are great sources of iodine, so try and work them into your daily diet!

Increase Your HGH Levels by Simply Changing Your Diet

Feeling the way you did twenty years ago can be as easy as adding a few things to your grocery list. Turn back time and increase growth hormone with these foods today!

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Oct 12

FODMAP Food List | IBS Diets

Updated: October 1, 2019

The low FODMAP diet can be challenging but this helpful food list makes the diet so much easier to follow. Simply have a read of the list to familiarize yourself with what you can and cant eat. During the elimination phase try to restrict high FODMAP foods from the bad list and try and eat the low FODMAP foods from the good list. You can also print a more concise printable FODMAP food list.

For those of us needing 1 on 1 personal help with the diet and lifestyle change see the recommended FODMAP diet coaching page or try the personalized low FODMAP meal plan service.

Get freshly prepared low FODMAP meals delivered right to your door with meal delivery service Epicured. Get an exclusive $20 off your order offer by clicking here.

A wonderful FODMAP focused store providing many delicious FODMAP friendly foods such as tasty stocks and salsas and essential pantry foods is Casa de Sante. I highly recommend giving their range a try as it makes the diet that much easier and tastier.

Looking for a book to have a list on the go? Try The Complete Low-FODMAP Diet by Sue Shephard. If youre looking for a food diary to track food during the diet then try the low FODMAP food journal.

Fruit fruits can contain high fructose

Meats, Poultry and Meat Substitutes

Cereals, Grains, Breads, Biscuits/Cookies, Pasta, Nuts and Cakes

Condiments, Dips, Sweets, Sweeteners and Spreads

Prebiotic Foods

Drinks and Protein Powders

Dairy Foods

Cooking ingredients

If quantities are given these are the highest amount allowed

A great source of ready made and flavorful low FODMAP sauces, oils and snacks is FODY Foods.

For a list of FODMAP free foods see the FODMAP stacking and FODMAP Free Foods page.

Vegetables and Legumes


Meats, Poultry and Meat Substitutes

Fish and Seafood

Cereals, Grains, Breads, Biscuits, Pasta, Nuts and Cakes

Condiments, Dips, Sweets, Sweeteners and Spreads

Drinks and Protein Powders

Dairy Foods and Eggs

Cooking ingredients, Herbs and Spices

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Oct 12

The Diabetes Diet –

Healthy eating can help you prevent, control, and even reverse diabetes. And with these tips, you can still enjoy your food without feeling hungry or deprived.Whats the best diet for diabetes?

People with diabetes have nearly double the risk of heart disease and are at a greater risk of developing mental health disorders such as depression. But most cases of type 2 diabetes are preventable and some can even be reversed. Taking steps to prevent or control diabetes doesnt mean living in deprivation; it means eating a tasty, balanced diet that will also boost your energy and improve your mood. You dont have to give up sweets entirely or resign yourself to a lifetime of bland food.

Whether youre trying to prevent or control diabetes, your nutritional needs are virtually the same as everyone else, so no special foods are necessary. But you do need to pay attention to some of your food choicesmost notably the carbohydrates you eat. While following a Mediterranean or other heart-healthy diet can help with this, the most important thing you can do is to lose a little weight.

Losing just 5% to 10% of your total weight can help you lower your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Losing weight and eating healthier can also have a profound effect on your mood, energy, and sense of wellbeing. Even if youve already developed diabetes, its not too late to make a positive change. By eating healthier, being more physically active, and losing weight, you can reduce your symptoms or even reverse diabetes. The bottom line is that you have more control over your health than you may think.

Being overweight or obese is the biggest risk factor for type 2 diabetes. However, your risk is higher if you tend to carry your weight around your abdomen as opposed to your hips and thighs. A lot of belly fat surrounds the abdominal organs and liver and is closely linked to insulin resistance. You are at an increased risk of developing diabetes if you are:

Calories obtained from fructose (found in sugary beverages such as soda, energy and sports drinks, coffee drinks, and processed foods like doughnuts, muffins, cereal, candy and granola bars) are more likely to add weight around your abdomen. Cutting back on sugary foods can mean a slimmer waistline as well as a lower risk of diabetes.

A diabetic diet doesnt have to be complicated and you dont have to give up all your favorite foods. The first step to making smarter choices is to separate the myths from the facts about eating to prevent or control diabetes.

Fact: You can enjoy your favorite treats as long as you plan properly and limit hidden sugars. Dessert doesnt have to be off limits, as long as its a part of a healthy meal plan.

Fact: The type of carbohydrates you eat as well as serving size is key. Focus on whole grain carbs instead of starchy carbs since theyre high in fiber and digested slowly, keeping blood sugar levels more even.

Fact: The principles of healthy eating are the samewhether or not youre diabetic. Expensive diabetic foods generally offer no special benefit.

Fact: Studies have shown that eating too much protein, especially animal protein, may actually cause insulin resistance, a key factor in diabetes. A healthy diet includes protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Our bodies need all three to function properly. The key is a balanced diet.

As with any healthy eating program, a diabetic diet is more about your overall dietary pattern rather than obsessing over specific foods. Aim to eat more natural, unprocessed food and less packaged and convenience foods.

Carbohydrates have a big impact on your blood sugar levelsmore so than fats and proteinsso you need to be smart about what types of carbs you eat. Limit refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, and rice, as well as soda, candy, packaged meals, and snack foods. Focus on high-fiber complex carbohydratesalso known as slow-release carbs. They are digested more slowly, thus preventing your body from producing too much insulin.

High glycemic index (GI) foods spike your blood sugar rapidly, while low GI foods have the least effect on blood sugar. While the GI has long been promoted as a tool to help manage blood sugar, there are some notable drawbacks.

Eating a diabetic diet doesnt mean eliminating sugar altogether, but like most of us, chances are you consume more sugar than is healthy. If you have diabetes, you can still enjoy a small serving of your favorite dessert now and then. The key is moderation.

Reduce your cravings for sweets by slowly reduce the sugar in your diet a little at a time to give your taste buds time to adjust.

Hold the bread (or rice or pasta) if you want dessert. Eating sweets at a meal adds extra carbohydrates so cut back on the other carb-heavy foods at the same meal.

Add some healthy fat to your dessert. Fat slows down the digestive process, meaning blood sugar levels dont spike as quickly. That doesnt mean you should reach for the donuts, though. Think healthy fats, such as peanut butter, ricotta cheese, yogurt, or nuts.

Eat sweets with a meal, rather than as a stand-alone snack. When eaten on their own, sweets cause your blood sugar to spike. But if you eat them along with other healthy foods as part of your meal, your blood sugar wont rise as rapidly.

When you eat dessert, truly savor each bite. How many times have you mindlessly eaten your way through a bag of cookies or a huge piece of cake? Can you really say that you enjoyed each bite? Make your indulgence count by eating slowly and paying attention to the flavors and textures. Youll enjoy it more, plus youre less likely to overeat.

Reduce soft drinks, soda and juice. For each 12 oz. serving of a sugar-sweetened beverage you drink a day, your risk for diabetes increases by about 15 percent. Try sparkling water with a twist of lemon or lime instead. Cut down on creamers and sweeteners you add to tea and coffee.

Dont replace saturated fat with sugar. Many of us replace saturated fat such as whole milk dairy with refined carbs, thinking were making a healthier choice. Low-fat doesnt mean healthy when the fat has been replaced by added sugar.

Sweeten foods yourself. Buy unsweetened iced tea, plain yogurt, or unflavored oatmeal, for example, and add sweetener (or fruit) yourself. Youll likely add far less sugar than the manufacturer.

Check labels and opt for low sugar products and use fresh or frozen ingredients instead of canned goods. Be especially aware of the sugar content of cereals and sugary drinks.

Avoid processed or packaged foods like canned soups, frozen dinners, or low-fat meals that often contain hidden sugar. Prepare more meals at home.

Reduce the amount of sugar in recipes by to . You can boost sweetness with mint, cinnamon, nutmeg, or vanilla extract instead of sugar.

Find healthy ways to satisfy your sweet tooth. Instead of ice cream, blend up frozen bananas for a creamy, frozen treat. Or enjoy a small chunk of dark chocolate, rather than a milk chocolate bar.

Start with half of the dessert you normally eat, and replace the other half with fruit.

Its easy to underestimate the calories and carbs in alcoholic drinks, including beer and wine. And cocktails mixed with soda and juice can be loaded with sugar. Choose calorie-free mixers, drink only with food, and monitor your blood glucose as alcohol can interfere with diabetes medication and insulin.

Being smart about sweets is only part of the battle. Sugar is also hidden in many packaged foods, fast food meals, and grocery store staples such as bread, cereals, canned goods, pasta sauce, margarine, instant mashed potatoes, frozen dinners, low-fat meals, and ketchup. The first step is to spot hidden sugar on food labels, which can take some sleuthing:

Choose fats wisely

Some fats are unhealthy and others have enormous health benefits, so its important to choose fats wisely.

Unhealthy fats. The most damaging fats are artificial trans fats, which make vegetable oils less likely to spoil. Avoid commercially-baked goods, packaged snack foods, fried food, and anything with partially hydrogenated oil in the ingredients, even if it claims to be trans fat-free.

Healthy fats. The healthiest fats are unsaturated fats, which come from fish and plant sources such as olive oil, nuts, and avocados. Omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation and support brain and heart health. Good sources include salmon, tuna, and flaxseeds.

Saturated fats. Found mainly in tropical oils, red meat, and dairy, theres no need to completely eliminate saturated fat from your dietbut rather, enjoy in moderation. The American Diabetes Association recommends consuming no more than 10% of your daily calories from saturated fat.

Its encouraging to know that you only have to lose 7% of your body weight to cut your risk of diabetes in half. And you dont have to obsessively count calories or starve yourself to do it. Two of the most helpful strategies involve following a regular eating schedule and recording what you eat.

Your body is better able to regulate blood sugar levelsand your weightwhen you maintain a regular meal schedule. Aim for moderate and consistent portion sizes for each meal.

Start your day off with a good breakfast. It will provide energy as well as steady blood sugar levels.

Eat regular small mealsup to 6 per day. Eating regularly will help you keep your portions in check.

Keep calorie intake the same. To regulate blood sugar levels, try to eat roughly the same amount every day, rather than overeating one day or at one meal, and then skimping the next.

A recent study found that people who kept a food diary lost twice as much weight as those who didnt. Why? A written record helps you identify problem areassuch as your afternoon snack or your morning lattewhere youre getting more calories than you realized. It also increases your awareness of what, why, and how much youre eating, which helps you cut back on mindless snacking.

Exercise can help you manage your weight and may improve your insulin sensitivity. An easy way to start exercising is to walk for 30 minutes a day (or for three 10-minute sessions if thats easier). You can also try swimming, biking, or any other moderate-intensity activity that has you working up a light sweat and breathing harder.

Learn how to lose weight and keep it off. If your last diet attempt wasnt a success, or life events have caused you to gain weight, dont be discouraged. The key is to find a plan that works with your bodys individual needs so that you can avoid common diet pitfalls and find long-term, weight loss success.

Authors: Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., Lawrence Robinson, and Melinda Smith, M.A. Last updated: June 2019.

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Oct 12

Sermorelin – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics

Sermorelin, Somatropin, and Mecasermin Lanreotide, Octreotide and Pegvisomant

Sermorelin, somatropin, and mecasermin are given for growth hormone deficiency syndromes, and lanreotide, octreotide, and pegvisomant are used to treat growth hormone excess.

Growth hormonereleasing hormone induces the anterior pituitary to secrete growth hormone (somatotropin). Growth hormone induces its own feedback inhibition by stimulating growth hormone inhibitory hormone (somatostatin) release from the hypothalamus (Fig. 12-6). Recombinant DNA versions of growth hormone (somatotropin) can be used to treat growth hormone deficiency (dwarfism). Several different recombinant products are available and differ from in terms of route of administration (intramuscular or subcutaneous) and frequency of injection (three to seven times per week). A growth hormonereleasing hormone biologic, sermorelin (consisting of the first 29 amino acids of growth hormonereleasing hormone), is available for patients who have a hypothalamic deficiency. In addition, an insulinlike growth factor therapy, mecasermin, has been approved for children who may not necessarily have a growth factor deficiency but may be resistant to the effects of growth hormone due to the production of neutralizing antibodies to growth hormone. Mecasermin is also used for children with severe insulinlike growth factor-1 deficiency. Mecasermin is administered subcutaneously before meals to avoid a hypoglycemic response. This is yet another example of how targeting a signal transduction cascade (insulinlike growth factor-1 tyrosine kinase receptors) yields a novel therapeutic strategy.

Figure 12-6. Growth hormone feedback inhibition. GHIH, growth hormone inhibitory hormone (somatostatin); GHRH, growth hormonereleasing hormone.

In contrast, synthetic forms of growth hormone inhibitory hormone (somastatin), such as lanreotide and octreotide, are effective for managing growth hormone excess (acromegaly or gigantism). Acromegaly is often the result of a benign pituitary tumor; pharmacologic treatment is often initiated because of inadequate responses to surgery and radiation. These biologics are 40 times more potent at inhibiting growth hormone secretion than is endogenous somatostatin. However, subcutaneously administered lanreotide and intramuscularly administered octreotide are associated with abdominal cramps, reduced gallbladder contractility, gallstones, reduced serum levels of vitamin B12, and altered absorption of dietary fats. A newer, more specific therapy uses a growth factor receptor antagonist such as pegvisomant to treat acromegaly. Injection site reactions, flulike symptoms, diarrhea, and elevated liver enzyme levels can occur. Hepatoxicity must therefore be closely monitored.

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Oct 12

5 Reasons Diets Dont Work and What to Do Instead …

1. Cook Your Own Meals

Sure, its more time consuming, but making your own food instead of going out to eat is a super-easy way to eat healthier (and, as an added bonus, save money). Restaurants load their dishes with sugar, salt and other unhealthy ingredients. Plus, the portion sizes are usually massive. Cooking at home ensures you know exactly whats going into your meals and gives you a better handle on how much youre eating.

2. Eat Mindfully

Picture it: Youre sitting in front of the TV with a giant takeout dinner you meant to spread over two meals. Youre fully engrossed in whatever youre watching and before you know it, youve mindlessly plowed through your entire order. To avoid unintentionally overeating, try practicingmindful eating, which basically means being in the moment while you calmly eat with intention. It also turns the act of eating into a really pleasant, not-stressful experience.

3. Fuel Up with Protein

The reason for this is threefold: Loading up on protein reduces your appetite, increases fat-burning and helps you gain muscle. Basically, the trifecta of health goals. Note that protein doesnt have to been chicken or red meathere areseven fabulous meatless sources, from chickpeas and lentils to quinoa and tahini.

4. Allow Yourself to Snack

When you eat small quantities throughout the day, youre less likely to be ravenous at traditional meal times. But when we say snack, were talking healthy options, people. Here arenine filling foodsto munch all day that wont wreck your diet but will still keep you firing on all cylinders.

5. Stop Drinking Your Calories

When we imagine the things that are making us hold onto excess pounds, we typically imagine cake and chips and French fries. We often overlook the sheer amount of calories (and sugar) in the beverages were drinking. To drop pounds without counting cals, limit soda (regular and diet), fancy coffee drinks and alcohol. We know that iced caramel macchiato is tempting, but try training yourself to prefer black coffee.

6. Use Smaller Plates

A little visual trickery never hurt anyone, right? By eating on smaller plates, youre essentially fooling your brain into thinking youre eating more. It sounds kind of outlandish, but in practice it has definitely worked for us. (Note that this might not work as well if youre super hungry.)

7. Stay Hydrated

Consistently drinking water is one of the best things you can do for your health and also one of the easiest. In addition to keeping your skin clear and your energy up, staying hydrated boosts your metabolism, makes you feel full (per a2015 studyfrom the University of Oxford) and keeps you from drinking the not-so-great-for-you beverages we mentioned above.

8. Read Labels for Ingredients, Not Calories

Just because were advising against intense calorie restriction doesnt mean you should ignore nutritional information altogether. Its more about knowing what to look for on a label. A product could have just 100 calories per serving and seem virtuousuntil you look a little lower and see that it also contains a whopping ten grams of sugar. Heres asuper-helpful primer on labelreadingwego back to again and again.

9. Dont Incentivize Food

Instead of rewarding yourself for hitting the gym three days in a row with a pizza and milkshake (which pretty much negates the work you put in on the spin bike), get a manicure orbuy a new bookyouve been eyeing.

10. Get Enough Sleep

You, like us, are probably more miserable in general when you havent gotten enough sleep, but did you know that being tired can also spell disaster for your weight loss goals? Studieslikethis onepublished in theJournal of Nursing Scholarshiphave shown that a lack of sleep can increase hunger and cravings, as well as cause weight gain by messing with levels of the hormones ghrelin and leptin.

11. Be Patient

Rome wasnt built in a day, and weight doesnt fall off your body after you eat a single salad. If weight loss is your goal, its crucial to be kind to yourself and your body. You might be someone who loses weight at the drop of a hat, but you might not, and thats OK. Cut yourself some slack and dont quit when, after a week, you dont look like a Hadid sister.

RELATED: 8 Things a Nutritionist Always Buys at Aldi

Continued here:
5 Reasons Diets Dont Work and What to Do Instead ...

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Oct 11

Alt Text for Images | 2019 SEO Best Practices – Moz

What is Alt Text?

Alt text (alternative text), also known as "alt attributes", alt descriptions", or technically incorrectly as "alt tags, are used within an HTML code to describe the appearance and function of an image on a page.

1. Adding alternative text to photos is first and foremost a principle of web accessibility. Visually impaired users using screen readers will be read an alt attribute to better understand an on-page image.

2. Alt tags will be displayed in place of an image if an image file cannot be loaded.

3. Alt tags provide better image context/descriptions to search engine crawlers, helping them to index an image properly.

The highlighted text shows the alt text (alt attribute) of the image at left.

The best format for alt text is sufficiently descriptive but doesn't contain any spammy attempts at keyword stuffing. If you can close your eyes, have someone read the alt text to you, and imagine a reasonably accurate version of the image, you're on the right track.

Let's look at a few examples of alt text for this image of a delicious-looking stack of blueberry pancakes:


This alt text is only "okay" because it's not very descriptive. Yes, this is an image of a stack of pancakes. But, there's more to be said about this image.


Stack of blueberry pancakes with powdered sugar

This alt text is a better alternative because it is far more descriptive of what's in the image. This isn't just a stack of "pancakes" (as the first alt text example demonstrated); it's a stack of blueberry pancakes with a dusting of powdered sugar!

Not recommended:


pancake pancakes pan cake hotcakes hotcake breakfast food best breakfast top breakfasts breakfast recipes pancake recipe

Neither of these examples are recommended.The first line of code actually doesn't contain any alt text at all (notice the quotes are empty), while the second example demonstrates keyword stuffing in alt text.

Alt text is a tenet of accessible web design. Its original (and still primary) purpose is to describe images to visitors who are unable to see them. This includes screen readers and browsers that block images, but it also includes users who are sight-impaired or otherwise unable to visually identify an image. Including alt text with your images ensures all users, regardless of visual ability, can appreciate the content on your site.

Using alt text on your images can make for a better user experience, but it may also help earn you both explicit and implicit SEO benefits. Along with implementing image title and file naming best practices, including alt text may also contribute to image SEO.

While search engine image recognition technology has vastly improved over the years, search crawlers still can't "see" the images on a website page like we can, so it's not wise to leave the interpretation solely in their hands. If they don't understand, or get it wrong, it's possible you could either rank for unintended keywords or miss out on ranking altogether.

Here's an example: Google might see the following image and be able to decipher that it's a man wearing a tie and glasses, sitting at a desk.

Jim Halpert from The Office (US version)

If you're trying to rank for "Jim Halpert's impersonation of Dwight Schrute," though, you'll need to lend the search engine a helping hand.

In that sense, alt text offers you another opportunity to include your target keyword. With on-page keyword usage still pulling weight as a search engine ranking factor, it's in your best interest to create alt text that both describes the image and, if possible, includes a keyword or keyword phrase you're targeting.

Describe the image as specifically as possible. Alt text is, first and foremost, designed to provide text explanations of images for users who are unable to see them. if an image truly doesn't convey any meaning/value and is just there for design purposes, it should live within the CSS, not HTML.

Keep it (relatively) short. The most popular screen readers cut off alt text at around 125 characters, so it's advisable to keep it to that character count or less.

Use your keywords Alt text provides you another opportunity to include your target keyword on a page, and thus another opportunity to signal to search engines that your page is highly relevant to a particular search query. While your first priority should be describing and providing context to the image, if it makes sense to do so, include your keyword in the alt text of at least one image on the page.

Avoid keyword stuffing. Google won't dock you points for poorly written alt text, but you'll be in trouble if you use your alt text as an opportunity to stuff as many relevant keywords as you can think of into it. Focus on writing descriptive alt text that provides context to the image and if possible, includes your target keyword, and leave it at that.

Don't use images as text. This is less of an alt text-specific best practice and more of a general SEO-friendly web development tenet. Because search engines can't read text within your images, you should avoid using images in place of words. If you must do so, explain what your photo says within your alt text.

Don't include "image of," "picture of," etc. in your alt text. It's already assumed your alt text is referring to an image, so there's no need to specify it.

Dont forget longdesc="". Explore using the longdesc="" tag for more complex images that require a longer description.

Dont neglect form buttons. If a form on your website uses an image as its submit button, give it an alt attribute. Image buttons should have an alt attribute that describes the function of the button like, "search", "apply now", sign up, etc.

Let's take a look at a couple examples of alt text in action:

Okay alt text: Rooster

Better alt text: Rooster crowing

Best alt text: Red-crested rooster crowing

Okay alt text:man on escalator

Better alt text:man walking on escalator

Best alt text:man wearing backpack walking down escalator

Okay alt text:kw explorer

Better alt text:keyword research in Keyword Explorer

Best alt text:Moz Keyword Explorer tool for SEO keyword research

The Page Optimization section of Moz Pro highlights pages that aren't living up to full search visibility potential (and includes things like whether a page is missing alt text). Try it >>

Original post:
Alt Text for Images | 2019 SEO Best Practices - Moz

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