5 Reasons Why You Did Not Achieve Good Results

Exercises are believed to be good for everybody. But what can individuals do if they did not receive good results after the practicing process. Or they are still not achieving the results which they expected. Each individual must find a suitable exercising program for themselves. There are also lots of factors affected when people are trying to lose their weight or tone up.

exerciseTherefore, if you haven’t get the expected results, one of these following reasons below may be the main problem. Let’s find out and change this from today.


If you have spent lots of time to do exercises, then you will get good results and achieve all the goals. When the body is getting used to workout with high-intensity practices, it will become more effective in getting the results after a long period of time.

So, this is the time for realizing that you haven’t put enough effort. In fact, the body has just burned a few calories. In addition, you won’t receive any chances when you are still repeating this speed of exercising over and over again.

How to solve: So as to achieve good results, try to challenge yourself for more difficult activities. Instead of doing exercises outside the house, why don’t consider buying one exercising machine to workout at home. For example, the Schwinn Ic2 is perfect for home users because it gives you the sense of riding an outdoor bike. Or you can find out the best indoor bikes for you after checking out these spin bike reviews here.

Try to make changes in some aspects such as duration, frequency or intensity. For instance, testing one type of exercise into the workout routine like cardio activities, adding one loop when running around the neighborhood.


practice-too-muchWhen you are working too hard regularly, you are more likely to damage your muscular parts rather than building them. Therefore, spend time resting between these hard-working day. For most people, working too hard can results in some health problems include:

  • Headaches, insomnia
  • Do not have much motivation
  • Hurt all the muscular parts.

How to solve: take some days off and hang out with friends or family to release all the stress. Although you may don’t want to do this, think of the body additionally. Moreover, try to sleep enough and have meals with nutritious ingredients.


not-eat-properlyPractice exercises regularly is awesome. But if you still not eat in a correct way, this won’t help getting good results. Consider pick up the right type of food for each meal, eating too much will cause you to gain weight immediately. In contrast, eating too little will make people feel more exhausted after doing workouts.

How to solve: figure out the amount of food consumed every day and reduce this day by day. For people who want to build muscle, eat lots of chicken meats. They are very useful. In addition, eat more green food such as vegetables, fruits, even drink fruit juices.


It is good that you work out regularly. However, you spend the rest of your day sitting in front the television or computer. This will pay back all the workouts which you aimed to get through. Studies have shown that sitting too much will affect serious to both your waistlines and health.

How to solve: try to do different activities such as play with your dogs, walk up or down the stairs. On the other hand, if your job requires you to sit all day, spend some time standing up and go for a walk around your office.


sleepNowadays, people are so busy with their job. They rarely have enough time for sleeping and relaxing. In fact, sleep is one of the main aspects that affect your weight-loss process. Sleeps stimulate a number of hormones that affect your weight and hunger.

How to solve: make plan for both practicing exercises and sleeping. Remember not to break any rules. Doing exercises when not having enough sleep will damage badly to your health. Consider sleeping first – before doing exercises.

If you haven’t get the good results, you may step in one of these reasons above. Try to follow these tips better and you will achieve what you deserve.


Some tips to equalize the down comforter baffles

Do you think the baffles on the down are important? The purpose of sewing these individual tubes is to fill the feathers neatly and to distribute them equally from the top to the bottom, even every corner of the down. On the other hand, the baffles help to avoid many cases that some parts of the down are not able to create enough warmth because of lacking the material inside.

However, sometimes, maybe after you have just done the washing cycle on the down comforter, it is usually lumpy and here are some tips for you to equalize your down.


Handicraft treatment

After a long time of using or just after a sleep, these baffles can be uneven, smashed or twisted somewhere; you can treat that problem by yourself.

Step 1: lay the down comforter on the bed or anywhere that has the flat surface.

Step 2: grab one of the baffles and place the both hands on the same baffle, one on the top and the other on the bottom of the twisted baffle.

Step 3: hold both sides of the baffle and shake the down until it gets back to the original shape.

If there are more than one twisted baffles, do the same process with the others.

Shake and fluff

best-down-comforterSometimes, it just needs a shake to solve all the problems. These steps below are perhaps long in theory, but very easy and quick in the reality.

Step 1: grab 2 bottom corners of the down comforter and shake it well for a few times.

Step 2: Do the same with two top corners. Remember to carry out this step in the vertical side, not the horizontal to allow the material inside it to be able to move up and down.

This simple job will make all of the feathers equalize and the down comforter will be fluffier and softer. Do this job whenever you remember or every day to have the best effect.

Flatten the clumps

fluffing-down-comforter-with-tennis-ballThe clumps appear mostly after having finished the washing up the down comforter. When the material inside the down gets wet, they will stick to each other and create many clumps. Even though you have got the baffles, they just avoid partly, not absolutely. Usually, those clumps will focus on the corners and the bottom edge and scatter fewer and fewer to the center of the down. To re – clump them, you need to place the down on the floor and use hand to redistribute those clumps to the middle and to the top.

Besides, also use your hand to break down the clumps and fluff them again. Another way, you can use a tennis ball or a clean tennis shoe to break as well.

To have a deep and warm sleep during the night, you need to take care much of the down comforter and get knowledge about it as much as possible. If you intend to buy a best down comforter, you can click here to see the top ones.

You may also like: Should You Have a Stress Test Before You Exercise?



If you are wondering where to buy a camping tent, this article will give you some popular brands to choose.

1. Coleman


History: Founded in 1900 by William Coffin Coleman. It is rather amazing that this American company has existed for more than one hundred years. Up to now, there have been 4700 employees working for it. Its products are sold in over 100 countries all over the world.

Market segmentation: Camping gear and recreational products such as the camp stove, sleeping bag, tent, lantern, so forth and so on. But its market leaders are the lantern which uses gas for lighting and the stove.

Famous for: The lamp which was invented in 1909 and 1914, which has created a big number of loyal customers from many different countries.

Specifics feature of the tent: The main elementsthat make a Coleman camping tent become favorite is its cheap price and high quality. Also, it is very easy to set up or take down. Moreover, the company offers the best warranty for these products.

Some best sellers:
• Coleman Sundome Tent
Coleman Instant Tent 6
• Coleman 8-Person Instant Tent (14’x10′)

2. Big Agnes

big agnesHistory: Founded in 2001 by Bill Gamber. This is a private owned company with about 70 employees. Firstly, it provided sleeping bags and pads and then moved to tents, duffels, etc.

Market segmentation: camping accessories and outdoor gear.

Famous for: The Company is famous for not only its high quality, but also the innovation of the products. When Downtek was launched, it immediately attracted many campers as its waterproof material. Besides, at that time, Big Agnes licensed the Dubbed Insotect Flow Technology, which was only a few companies could have. Another example is Zanni, which is launched in 2013 and famous for its new kind of zipper. It is not wrong to say that Big Agnes is one of the leaders of the innovative outdoor gear.

Specifics feature of the tents: their weight is rather light and the color is easy. Also, these tents are very comfortable as they have roomy vestibules.

Some best sellers:

• BigAgnesFlyingDiamond 8
• Big Agnes Air Core Sleeping Pad
• Big Agnes Big House 4 Person Tent

3. REI


History: Founded in 1938 by Lloyd and Mary Anderson. REI, which is the abbreviations of Recreational Equipment Inc, has an incredible number of employees with 11000 folks because it is organized as a consumer’s cooperative.

Market segmentation: Sporting goods and outdoor gear in addition to products of camping, hiking, climbing,…

Famous for: REI is famous for its variety of product brands. Its product has won a lot of awards, which makes it become more and more famous for the highest quality in addition to the performance and style for many ages.

Specifics feature of the tents: they are high quality and 100% satisfaction warranty that you are able to return the REI’s products for a replacement or refund.

Some best sellers:

• REI Kingdom 8
• REI Kingdom 6 Tent
• REI Connect Tech Garage


Living With AIDS

Ben got AIDS from his mother through MTCT. Like so many people with the disease, he now relies on a “cocktail” of different medications to control it. Ben takes six pills a day–a combination of four different anti-HIV medicines. The drugs slow viral reproduction, keeping infected people healthy longer. Ben’s life might soon get easier with the recent approval of a once-a-day, one-pill medication for managing the disease.

mother to child

Unfortunately, the outlook for people with AIDS in poor nations is grim. They often cannot afford the life-saving medications. Groups such as the World Health Organization; UNAIDS; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria; and others are trying to solve this problem. By providing medicine, money, and the knowledge necessary to fight–and defeat–AIDS, those groups are working to save millions of lives.

Meanwhile, millions of people face the everyday challenges of dealing with AIDS. Ben was 10 years old when his adoptive mother told him he had the disease. “I just felt so low and alone,” he says. For a long time, Ben and his family kept his illness a secret. His morn was afraid that if other people knew, they would shun Ben.

Despite those fears, Ben felt a growing need to share the truth. “I realized that if I didn’t have AIDS, then I wouldn’t be me,” he says now. When Ben first discussed his condition, he experienced some bad reactions. His then-girlfriend’s mother told the principal to call the police if he saw Ben and her daughter together. One or two kids picked on Ben. Still others were afraid to share a cup or bottle with him because they thought AIDS could be transmitted through saliva (it cannot).

Those depressing days are gone. Today, Ben has many friends–including a girlfriend. He realizes that people who react negatively toward him do so not out of malice, but out of ignorance–and he wants to educate them.

In 2005, Ben joined Chittick’s TeenAIDSPeerCorps. As part of the group, he visits teens around the country to teach them about HIV and AIDS. Ben also works to educate the people in his community, where he is currently the only known person living with the disease.

“For so long I thought my condition was bringing me down,” he says. Now Ben sees that his illness has set him on a path to help others–in his own way. He teaches people about AIDS and ways they can stay safe by avoiding high-risk behaviors. “I’m not going to be a doctor and save people’s lives on emergency beds,” Ben says, “but I can make them think.”

The Search for A Vaccine

vaccinFinding an AIDS vaccine is one of the most important challenges the scientific and medical community faces today. Vaccination, which stimulates the immune system to prepare to fight a particular bacteria or virus–in this case, HIV–is key to slowing the spread of AIDS. With the support of groups such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) is leading the way.

In the past six years, IAVI has developed six vaccine candidates that have entered human trials in 11 countries. Scientists hope that a vaccine will prevent HIV infections or reduce the risk that an individual with HIV will pass it to someone else. A vaccine may also slow the rate of progression to AIDS in people infected with the virus. Although medicines can help people living with the infection, health experts note that the spread of HIV will never be halted without a vaccine.


The toll of AIDS: why you should care about this global killer

At first glance, Ben is an ordinary 18-year-old high school student from Vermont. He likes to go to parties, surf the Web, and hang out at McDonald’s with his friends. He’s also one of 40 million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS.

Ben, who was born with the disease, is lucky: Because he lives in the United States, he has access to drugs that enable him to live a normal life. Others around the world are not so fortunate. “People in Africa and … Third World countries don’t have the same benefits that we do,” Ben says. “They have to fight to live.”

Worldwide Pandemic

hivIt has been 26 years since acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) was first identified. It is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which attacks the immune system. Though the disease was initially an unstoppable killer, an HIV/AIDS diagnosis today does not have to be an immediate death sentence–at least not in nations such as the United States. Still, one of the deadliest epidemics in history is far from over.

The numbers are startling. According to the Office of National AIDS Policy:

  • Roughly 40,000 Americans become infected with HIV every year, and more than 500,000 have died of AIDS.
  • Half of all new cases in the United States occur among people 25 years old and younger.
  • Every hour, someone in the United States between ages 13 and 24 contracts HIV.

As huge as the problem seems here, it’s nothing compared with the devastation HIV/AIDS is wreaking in other areas. More than 22 million people around the world have died of AIDS, which claims more than 2 million Africans every year. The Stephen Lewis Foundation, formed in response to Africa’s AIDS crisis, estimates that by 2010, 18 million to 20 million children there will have lost one or both parents to AIDS. In 26 years, AIDS has become a global crisis. And teens know it: Of the high school students Current Health recently polled, nearly all felt that AIDS was a serious issue.

The Spread of a Virus

what-is-hiv-1bOne reason AIDS is so contagious is that a virus causes it. In fact, HIV spreads through contact with infected blood and other bodily fluids. “It’s not who you are” that puts you at risk for AIDS, points out John Chittick, executive director of TeenAIDS-PeerCorps, an organization that teaches teens about the disease. “It’s what you do.”

Contracting HIV/AIDS from transfusions of tainted blood used to be a big threat. Today, many nations test donated blood and organs for signs of HIV. That drastically reduces the risk.

Sharing needles is another way to spread the infection. People with HIV who abuse drugs such as heroin and share needles can pass the virus to others. The same goes for sharing needles used for tattooing, body piercing, or injecting anabolic steroids. Some cities offer needle exchanges so drug users can get clean needles. In tattoo and body-piercing shops, practices such as using brand-new needles for every client help reduce the risk of transmitting HIV.

The virus can also spread through sexual intercourse, so unprotected sex presents a great risk. An estimated 252,000 to 312,000 Americans infected with HIV do not know they have it, according to the National Center for HIV/AIDS. As a result, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends routine testing for HIV so that everyone knows his or her status.

Pregnant women are already regularly screened for HIV. Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) is another area in which Western nations’ numbers have improved dramatically. Anti-HIV medications given to HIV-positive women during pregnancy–and their infants after birth–have decreased MTCT rates. In the 1991, 1,650 infants born in the United States were infected through MTCT, says the CDC. In 2002, fewer than 250 U.S. babies were born with HIV. But around the world, about 630,000 children contracted AIDS through MTCT in 2005, according to the Join United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).



Diffusing is many people’s favorite way of using essential oils. It works not only for them but also for the people around them as the air of a whole zone is scented with plant’s aromas. Diffused essential oils kill germs and virus, repel unwanted odors, boost mental clarity, calm the atmosphere and trigger our body to release some certain hormones. Besides these health care benefits, essential oil diffuser add beauty to the decoration of your house as well.(Read more about benefits of essential oils here: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/aromatherapy/faq-20058566)

Using different diffusers for different purporses

Once you have tried it and been a fan of aromatherapy, you may want to have a diffuser for every place in your home. What should be noticed is that there is no diffuser which is best fitting for all kinds of room. This article aims to offer you reccomendations for the best essential oil diffuser for each room of your home.


Your sleep should be well-prepared with not only a cozy bed but also aromas. It is especially helpful for people with insomnia or stress after a hard day. The first feature we need from a bedroom diffuser is the quiet so it should be an ultrasonic diffuser instead of a nebulizer one (which has humming sounds). The next thing we want is a soothing soft light so it can also act as your night lamp. Of couse the light can be turn off whenever you want. (Read more about aromatherapy for sleep here : http://altmedicine.about.com/od/insomnia/a/aromatherapy_sleep.htm)

Suggestion: Gurin AD-110 Spa Vapor Advanced Wellness Instant Healthful Mist Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser

This diffuser has the most elegant design to serve as a night lamp.

The advantages of this products are:

  • 6 color LED lights changing effect.
  • Timer – 180 minutes, 120 minutes, 60 minutes, 30 minutes
  • Low energy use. Safe auto off

Living room – Dining room

These rooms are often connected (and they may also connect to the kitchen if it is a small apartment) so you need a diffuser which can cover a larger space. This time you need a nebulizing diffuser or a very powerful ultrasonic one. Furthermore, it also plays the role as a decorative item for your living room so the style should be really relevant.

Suggestion: Glodeals Aroma Atomizer Wood Most Advanced Essential Oil Nebulizing Diffuser

This is a rare stylish nebulizing diffuser without fragile glass parts.

The advantages of this products are:

  • Continuously working 8 hours in a single use
  • Automatic stop without water, safe and reliable
  • Original import transducer, the non-furring, corrosion resistance


The bathroom is a much smaller space so you need not to spend much money on a high end product.

The most popular type of diffuser to use in these rooms are not nebulizing and ultrasonic but reed diffuser which is reeds put in a container of blended essential oils. It has nothing to work with electricity so it is extremely safe in wet places.

Suggestion: Black Coconut Reed Diffuser
Normally it is quite easy to make a DIY reed diffuser.

However, if you do not want to spend time for it, you can just grab this one from stores.


5 Effective Foods For Losing Weight

There are several ways to lose weight. First, exercising regularly is one of the most common ways. People often go outside jogging or running with their friends or neighbor; it is very effective. On the other hand, you can implement a practicing plan at home with your machine. Remember to choose a well-known brand with high-quality products. For example, the Schwinn IC2 is one popular device for beginners who are getting used with working out at home. To find best spin bikes, go to ExerciseBikesExpert.Com. This website has a lot of information and good reviews about spin bikes – one of the most effective machine for losing weight.

Second, it is necessary that individual has a healthy diet plan. Do you want to lose 6 pounds in a healthy method? Consider these 5 power foods in every meals. Also, don’t forget to control the portion of your food.

food-blast-fat1. SALMON

Fishes provide a lot of nutrition for people who are going to lose weight. Therefore, individual should maintain eating fish regularly. In fact, the color of salmon flesh is often pink. And it can change from red to orange, depends on the type of salmon fish.

One advantage when eating salmon is that it provides a large amount of omega-3 fats. This ingredient will improve the function of your heart and brain, connect all the joints in your body and improve well-being.


cucumbersEating cucumbers will provide 90% of water. It is an ideal food for people who are going on diet and don’t want to consume much calories. Cucumbers haven’t been suggested as one of the vegetables which provide rich nutrition to your health. However, it contributes a unique benefit and advantage to individuals.

Cucumbers have 3 main nutrition which are good for the health include lignans, flavonoids and cucurbitacins. These nutrition can help preventing inflammatory and cancer among people, especially young generation.


strawberriesIf you haven’t taste strawberries before, you should. They are not only give the sense of sweetness and deliciousness, but provide lots of nutrition as well. In addition, individual is more likely to gather lots of Vitamin C when eating a bowl of strawberries.

On the other hand, one advantage of strawberries which will amaze you is that it can improve your eyes ‘health. To illustrate, eating strawberries will help limiting the risk of taking cataracts – which can make people become blind when getting older.

Moreover, Vitamin C in strawberries also plays an essential role in enhancing the capacity of the eye’s retina and cornea.


HAZELNUTSThis type of grain contains lots of fiber, folate and potassium. Eating this ingredient will reduce the risk of taking cardiovascular disease. In addition, it help decreasing the level of blood pressure and inflammation in your body.
One more advantage for this grain is that eating hazelnuts stimulates the metabolism in your body and provide lots of fiber. Therefore, you are less likely to feel hungry which lead to eating too much.



In fact, eggs provide lots of cholesterol. Eating one large egg will give your body 185 mg of cholesterol. To illustrate, the ingredients in eggs will help improving the function of your brand and heart. For people who want to lose weight healthily, eating eggs will provide lots of calories without making you become fatter.

And remember to add up these ingredients into your meals include:
• Spinach
• Balsamic vinegar
• Fresh dill
• Dijon mustard – Apple cider vinegar
• Mustard seed
• Sugar – Honey
• Feta

Above are 5 powerful foods which is good for your health. In addition, people who are going on diet can utilize these ingredients to make your meals become more delicious. And why don’t try these food to prepare delicious and healthy meals for your family as well.


The weight-loss artist: Janice Taylor found her true passion- and the key to slimming down – in a creative hobby

When it came to dieting, Janice Taylor had tried it all. “I did the Scarsdale diet, the grapefruit diet, Atkins: I did Weight Watchers four times,” she says. “On every one, I’d lose 20 pounds, then gain them all back. It was so depressing!”

Burdened by a family history of obesity and a dysfunctional relationship with cake, Taylor nearly gave up. But then, in 2001, at age 48, the aspiring artist (and former student at New York City’s Parsons School of Design) had a moment of divine inspiration. “I was sitting in one of those weight loss meetings, listening to everybody’s story and getting frustrated. And then I swear I heard a voice say, ‘If you say you’re never going to make It, you never will. You’re an artist–make art.'”

And so she did. Using diet recipes as inspiration, Taylor began the Sexy, Vegetable Series, a collection of paper collages featuring cucumbers, carrots, pumpkins, and peppers. Whenever she felt a craving, she’d run to her studio instead of to the fridge.

The smell of the Elmer’s glue she used to paste her collages reminded Taylor of her childhood and of the kind nuns who lived in a convent near where she grew up. With that memory in mind, Taylor jovially imagined her guidance was coming from a personal patron saint–whom she dubbed Our Lady of Weight Loss.

Janice-TaylorThe voice was powerful: Within eight months, Taylor had lost 45 pounds. She knew she’d arrived when her husband, Peter, looked at her one morning, awestruck, and said, “Wow!” Her two children, Josh, 29, and Abby, 30, were similarly enthusiastic. “After losing all that weight, I could even fit into my daughter’s clothes!” adds Taylor with a laugh. Today, three years later, she’s still a size four.

As if that weren’t enough reward, Taylor’s art has been getting as much attention as her figure. At a recent gallery show in New York City, where Taylor lives, Our Lady pieces sold for $500-plus each. Last year, by popular demand, ourladyofweightloss.com was launched to sell Taylor’s works–including cards, T-shirts, and JustDessert plates. More than marketing, the site is a way for Taylor to help others fighting the battle of the bulge: “Janice is a support to those of us struggling to keep off weight,” says devotee Jennifer Koenig of Bridgeport, Connecticut, one of more than 2,500 subscribers to Taylor’s e-mail newsletter.

After 17 years of working in administrative positions, Taylor has finally been able to turn her creative passion into a profitable full-time profession. “I consider my work performance art,” she jokes. “Think about it: I exchanged 50 pounds of weight for 50 pieces of art. That’s a performance!”


20 questions that can change your weight

calories quizWeight-loss guru Jim Karas reveals the secret to serious slimming: get an A+ on this calorie-counting quiz. (fitness diet)

The weight-loss industry preaches that we shouldn’t worry about calories. Instead, we should applaud ourselves for eating foods that are fat free, low fat, lite, low sodium, low cholesterol … am I forgetting anything? While fat, sodium, and cholesterol are all worth keeping an eye on, don’t let them overshadow the one thing that really matters, and that’s the calories you consume. The bottom line will always be:

Calories In — Calories Out = Weight Loss, Gain, or Maintenance

To lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than you expend. Exercise will increase your calories out, but the real trick is to limit what you take in. Which brings us to the crucial question: Do you really know how many calories you’re eating? Take my quiz and see.

1. To lose one pound this week, which of these snacks should you cut from your daily diet?

a) slice of cake

b) candy bar and soda

c) plate of chips and creamy dip

Answer: a, b, or c. Each snack shown is about 500 calories. In order to lose one pound per week, you need to create a weekly caloric deficit of 3,500 calories, or 500 fewer calories per day (500 x 7 days=one pound of weight loss per week). This means that by cutting any one of these snacks–or 500 other unnecessary calories-each day, you’ll be able to meet your weight-loss goal.

2. Which of these options provides a satisfying 200-calorie filling for your sandwich?

a) two tablespoons of peanut butter

b) five ounces of turkey

c) veggies and two slices of low-fat cheese

Answer: b or c. All three of these options come in at around 200 calories, but that doesn’t necessarily mean each one will leave you feeling equally full. Do me a favor: Get out the peanut butter and measure two tablespoons (190 calories). Shocking, isn’t it? Can you limit your sandwich spread to that portion? Probably not–in fact, most peanut butter sandwiches are made with double that amount. Note to all moms out there: Choices b and c are the healthy way to go. Pack your kids (and yourself) a vegetable-and-cheese or turkey sandwich for lunch, and you’ll fill up faster-on fewer calories.

3. For the lightest breakfast, what’s your first choice?

a) deli-size bagel, jam topping

b) deli-size cinnamon-raisin bagel, no topping

c) small frozen bagel, cream-cheese topping

Answer: c. Did you know that many deli bagels are almost 500 calories before any topping is added? A small frozen bagel is half the size and less than half the calories (about 180), meaning you could add cream cheese (100 calories for two tablespoons) and still have a lighter breakfast than if you ate a plain deli bagel. And for the record, bagels with add-ins like raisins and chocolate chips can have even higher calorie counts.

4. Pick the omelet with fewer calories:

a) one-whole-egg omelet

b) four-egg-white omelet

Answer: b. An average egg contains 75 calories; 60 of those come from the yolk. For just 15 calories each, egg whites can be used in place of whole eggs in omelets. One word of caution: If you order an egg-white omelet in a restaurant, ask the kitchen to use a nonstick spray rather than butter, or you’ll double the calories in your meal.

5. If you’re trying to lose weight, which beverage is the worst breakfast choice?


a) water

b) soda

c) juice

d) coffee

Answer: c. Water, coffee, and even soda are, from a caloric point of view, better options than juice, which is about 15 calories an ounce. Water is your best choice-it’s the beverage your body needs most, and the one that many people don’t get enough of. If you must have juice, use lots of ice or dilute it with water. And if you are really serious about losing weight, measure the juice first, so you’ll know how many calories you’re drinking.

6. You’re at a restaurant and the waiter brings bread. You know it’s better to …

a) spread it with butter

b) dip it in olive oil

Answer: a. Despite all you’ve heard about olive oil being the kind of fat that’s heart-friendly (which is true), when it comes to cutting calories, butter wins the battle. (One tablespoon is 100 calories versus 120 calories per tablespoon of oil.) The bottom line: Both pack a lot of calories into a small serving size, so serious dieters should purchase an oil sprayer that provides maximum food coverage with a minimal amount of fat.

7. Which one the slimmest pick for dinner?

a) cheeseburger

b) Caesar salad

c) one slice of cheese pizza

Answer: c. A small slice of cheese pizza has about 250 calories, 50 fewer than the 300-calorie cheeseburger and 400 fewer than the 650-calorie Caesar salad. Surprised about the salad? The good news: You can buy low-calorie bottled dressing in most grocery stores or, better yet, make it yoursef.

8. Choose the lunch that’s lighter in calories:

a) tuna-salad sandwich and diet Coke

b) roast beef sandwich, apple, Oreo cookie

Answer: b. We’ve all been told that fish is less caloric than red meat, and that’s true. But at 100 calories per tablespoon, mayonnaise turns this tuna salad into a diet disaster (750 calories versus 480 for option b). Still, a six-ounce can of tuna in water has only 200 calories, making it a great choice if you mix it with a little low-calorie mayonnaise, lemon, or Dijon mustard or simply place it on top of a dinner salad.

9. Which of these salad-bar dressings has fewer calories?

a) balsamic vinegar

b) vinaigrette

Answer: a. At salad bars, it’s usually the dressing that gets you into trouble. For instance, two cups of cooked pasta have 400 calories. But add vinaigrette-with its three tablespoons of oil-and you’re getting another 360 calories. Vinegar, on the other hand, is virtually calorie free.

10. Rank these breakfasts from most to least calories:

a) bowl of granola, half cup of low-fat milk

b) bowl of cornflakes, half cup of low-fat milk, banana, half of a grapefruit

c) two pieces of toast with Jam, fruit salad, fried egg

Answer: a, c, b. One ounce of granola has about 125 calories, which doesn’t sound like a lot until you consider that the average bowl easily holds four ounces. With the addition of milk-even the low-fat kind–your breakfast could easily top 500 calories. Breakfast c, on the other hand, weighs in at around 360 calories, while b, the slimmest pick of all, is a mere 300 calories.

Dieting 101

1) How many calories are in a pound?
a. 4,000 c. 5,000 b. 5,500 d. 3,500

2) How many calories are in one egg white?
a. 15 c. 40 b. 35 d. 50

3) A plain (no topping) bagel from the deli contains how many calories?
a. 150 c. 500 b. 200 d. 700

4) You love to have fruit juice in the morning. How many calories are in an eight-ounce glass?
a. 40 c. 90 b. 55 d. 120

5) The most popular salad in the United States is Caesar salad. How many calories are in a typical dinner-size serving?
a. 750 c. 350 b. 450 d. 650

6) You’re standing at the salad bar, trying to make a smart choice. About how many calories are in a two-cup serving of pasta salad with vinaigrette?
a. 560 c. 760 b. 660 d. 860

7) Approximately how many calories are in one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil?
a. 160 c. 140 b. 120 d. 80

8) Approximately how many calories are in an average deli-counter tuna-salad sandwich?
a. 750 c. 450 b. 350 d. 650

9) How many calories are in one tablespoon of peanut butter?
a. 75 c. 65 b. 95 d. 105

10) One ounce of granola cereal has approximately how many calories?
a. 125 c. 145 b. 135 d. 155

Answers: 1. d; 2. a; 3. c; 4. d; 5. d; 6. c; 7. b; 8. a; 9. b; 10. a


The truth about diet supplements

Big promises in little pills sound too good to be true. For good reason.


Before one of the first high school football games of the 2002 season, 16-year-old Sean Riggins of Lincoln City, Ill., took Yellow Jackets, a diet supplement and energy booster, to improve his performance that night. A trip to the gas station to pick up the pills was a common practice among teammates.

Despite his hopes of playing a great game, Sean ended up sitting on the bench because of a headache and an upset stomach. He didn’t feel better the next day. Sean visited his doctor but later began to convulse and eventually stopped breathing. Within hours, he was dead.

The cause of Sean’s death? A heart attack due to a chemical called ephedra in the pills. In a statement to the U.S. Senate following Sean’s death, the county coroner said that Yellow Jackets were commonly used by teens seeking quick weight loss and extra energy. Sean’s death was one of more than 150 linked to use of ephedra (also called ma huang). In 2004 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the substance. (At press time, courts were trying to determine whether low-dose versions of ephedra will be allowable.)

No Quick Fix


The Yellow Jackets that Sean took aren’t the only readily available supplements that claim to boost energy, build bulk, or shed pounds. Ali, 18, of Pompano Beach, Fla., has been taking diet pills for years. “I’ve taken TrimSpa, Xenadrine, green tea, ephedra, cider pills,” she says. “You name it, I’ve taken it.”

Promises of a quick fix are appealing to people who think they need to lose weight, bulk up, or improve their stamina. Images prevalent in the media promote the notion that the “perfect body” is one that is lean and sculpted. So it’s no surprise that shelves are packed with products that promise rapid weight loss or a buff physique overnight.

“The quick-fix claims make supplements especially attractive to adolescents who aren’t thinking long term,” says Alison Field, an epidemiologist and assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. (Want proof that teens are targeted? Think about where the ads for such products appear: TV channels, Web sites, and magazines that appeal to young people, for example.)

There’s no guarantee, though, that these pills will actually deliver any long-term weight loss or muscle boost–quick or not. In fact, most diet supplements on the market have not been proved to be effective. For example, when it comes to losing weight, time and discipline are still the best bets. “A prudent, reduced-calorie diet and increased energy expenditure exercise are the only safe and effective means of weight loss for teens,” says Christine Hailer, assistant professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco.

Even if the products appear to work at first, “as soon as they are stopped, then weight regain will occur, unless significant changes in eating and behavior patterns have been made,” says Hailer.

It’s a Gamble

With ephedra pulled from the market, many people may assume that supplements without this ingredient are OK. But Hailer and a team of scientists studied ephedra-free supplements and found that they’re anything but safe, despite the way they’re marketed. Many supplements are touted as “all natural.” Consumers may see this claim and believe the products to be healthy and safe. But plenty of natural ingredients can be hazardous to human health (poisonous mushrooms, for example, or honey, which can kill babies).

One natural product, the dried peel of the bitter orange, is marketed as a supplement that speeds up metabolism. Since the ban on ephedra took effect, bitter orange has been added to many weight-loss supplements. On its Web site, the Mayo Clinic disputes the “natural is safe” claim: “Bitter orange contains synephrine and octopamine–chemicals that are similar to ephedrine in ephedra.” Synephrine and octopamine mimic the harmful effects of ephedra, such as cardiovascular problems and death.

How do supplement makers get away with selling potentially dangerous products? Although the FDA oversees most drugs on the market, diet supplements are not regulated. Supplement manufacturers are not required to show testing for safety, interactions with medications, or long-term side effects. It’s a scary thought, but there’s no way to be sure that the products contain the sub stances listed on the labels. Only the manufacturer–who makes money from sales of the product–determines whether such supplements are safe, effective, and marketed truthfully.

Even using supplements that have undergone testing doesn’t put teens in the clear. Almost all products are tested on adults. That means the dosages may not be accurate for younger users, and there may be unknown health risks. Most supplement labels have statements indicating that the products are not for purchase by anyone younger than 18. Because vendors rarely verify a buyer’s age, teens may assume the products are safe.

“Young people should know they are essentially part of a large uncontrolled experiment when they take these products,” says Haller.

Trouble in a Pill


Field has studied the diet and weight-change practices of teens, some of whom used body-enhancing supplements. The study found that boys are just as likely as girls to use supplements to change their appearance, either to tone or bulk up. About 12 percent of boys (compared with 8 percent of girls) reported using supplements in the previous year. “We all knew that females are really focused on the media and are willing to do extremely unhealthy things to achieve that ideal. We were surprised to find that boys are also willing to do that,” Field says.

Andrew, a 17-year-old from Riverside, Calif., is a perfect example. After upping his workout routine and improving his diet over several weeks, he wasn’t seeing the results he wanted. He began using a diet pill and, over a period of two months, was able to lose weight and increase muscle more quickly.

“After a few weeks, I began to notice results, and I lost 15 pounds. I lost a lot of body fat and gained muscle,” he says. “People say these pills mess up your liver, your heart, your kidneys, and soon become addicting, but I have never experienced these problems.”

Any damage that supplements did to his body, however, may not be apparent for years. And Andrew’s results may be more lasting because of his dedicated effort to improve other areas of his lifestyle. But he took a risk in not talking to his doctor first. (Andrew says he didn’t discuss the pills with his doctor because he is not yet 18, the legal age for supplement purchase.)

Ali says the effects of the supplements vary, depending on the length of time she uses them. “I’m normally hyped up for a while. But eventually I start to get used to [the product] and just feel strained and stressed,” she says.

That can lead to dangerous cycling through different weight-loss drugs and may even provide the perfect launching ground for an eating disorder, as it did for Ali. She tells Current Health that the advantages of the pills are few compared with the damage her addiction is doing. “There are no benefits, really, that outweigh when my organs shut down,” she points out.

Think About It

If you feel that you need to lose weight, your first step should be to consult your doctor for advice. Quick-fix pills aren’t just too good to be true. They can be harmful–or even lethal.

“Most of the kids today don’t realize the danger of these so-called supplements,” Kevin Riggins, Sean’s father, said in testimony before a Senate subcommittee. “Kids tend to think they are invincible; ‘that can’t happen to me, those things happen to other people.’ These kids have no idea that these products have a very deadly effect.”


  • Ask your doctor’s advice. That should be the first step in any weight-loss plan.
  • If you do research online, know your sources. Check that the Web site is maintained by the government, a university, or a reputable medical association.
  • Do the product claims sound too good to be true? If so, then they probably are.
  • Be wary of money-back guarantees. Companies that sell fake or fraudulent products have several ways of slipping through guarantee loopholes.
  • Don’t fall for the “all-natural” lure. When consumed in high amounts over a long period of time, all chemicals can be toxic.
  • Go to the source. Contact the manufacturer for more information on the product. Put the company on the spot by inquiring about research to back up its claims. Ask what tests have been done and what systems are in place to ensure product quality.


  1. In the diet study reported on in the article, how many teens said they had used diet supplements in the previous year? (about 12 percent of boys and 8 percent of girls)
  2. How are diet supplements regulated differently from drugs? (The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has no oversight of supplements; manufacturers do not have to test for safety or effectiveness; the products may not contain the ingredients that labels say they do.)
  3. How would you decide whether a dietary supplement is safe to use? (Answers will vary.)


Engage your students in some role playing. For example: Brad’s teammates try to persuade him to take energy supplements before the big divisional play-off; Donna wants to lose weight, and her friend offers to share a bottle of diet pills; Sam is tempted by the stories about quick bulk-building products in muscle magazines at the gym. Select students to act out the scenarios, and then ask the class to suggest how these characters can make the healthiest choices to reach their goals.


Want a flat belly … with (almost) no effort?

All you need is a few minutes a day and these four simple moves

Have you ever done bunches of crunches yet still had a pot belly? Here’s a dirty little secret: Ab exercises can make you bulge more. “Crunches can shorten and compress your waistline,” says fitness coach Elaine Petrone, who shares her ab-flattening moves here. “Abdominals crunch your ribs toward your pelvis. Your abs have no choice but to be pushed up and out.” Her remedy: moves that increase flexibility in legs, back, and buttocks to realign your ribs and pelvis. Don’t be fooled–these moves work the abs, too, by lengthening them.

Bonus: You can do them anywhere!

1. Sneaky side-slimmer

a) Sit on a chair with your hands on your thighs. Locate your “sits” bones; when you’re sitting on a firm chair, you can feel them pointing down right where your thighs and your butt meet.

Sneaky side-slimmer

b) Using the muscles that surround the sits bones, lift your left sits bone. You can slide your hands up, but don’t tilt your upper body or push with your foot. Contract the muscle and lift it as high as you can, using the lower abs (just below your navel). Do ten reps on each side.

2. Stomach-sculptor

Stomach-sculptora) Kneel, sitting back on your heels. Rest both hands on your thighs.

b) Slowly start to lift your butt off your heels as if you were going to stand up, scooping in your lower abs and tightening your buttocks. You don’t need to rise up very high–just a few inches off your heels. Hold for a count of three and slowly return to the starting position. Start with ten reps; work your way up to 50.

3. Lower-ab lunge

a) Sit on the floor on a towel or yoga mat with your legs out in front of you.

Lower-ab lungeb) As if you were going to lie down, roll yourself back, starting with your tailbone and proceeding one vertebra at a time. Relax your hip joints; this allows you to flatten your lower abs into your pelvis as you roll down. Your heels should stay in place. As soon as you feel your heels slip, slowly return to start. (If your heels move, it means you’re no longer using your abs to control the motion.) Each time you come up, sit up higher than before. Do ten reps; work up to 15.


4. Belly-lengthener

a) Lifting the rib cage actually flattens the stomach. Stand with feet about shoulder-length apart. Bend arms at elbows and place both hands at the back of your head, cradling it.

Belly-lengthenerb) Slowly look up at the ceiling, allowing your head to fall gently back into your arms, and arch your upper chest (you should feel this sneaky ab move in your upper chest). Return to start. Do three reps.

You can go back to home for more information.