Can You Really Lose As Much Weight As a ‘Big Loser’ Each Week – And Would You Want To?

With shows like the Biggest Loser getting massive reviews and viewer numbers, clearly its hitting a chord with the general public. The show encourages massive weight loss on a weekly basis. How do we know how much is a reasonable amount of weight to lose? Is it true that you can only lose half a kilo per week. Let's take a look at what is realistic – and achievable – for you …

First off, is it really possible to drop fat as quickly as the contestants on The Biggest Loser? Can the man on the street (or you :) take these kind of losses without a team of trainers, nutritionists and camera men following their every move? Or are the massive and speedy losses on the show nothing more than clever marketing and a not-so-subtublic manipulation of the viewer?

I did a little research to find out just how much weight some of our contestants have stacked up. At the time of my research the show was airing Week 11. Here's a summary of total weight loss for the final four contestants at that time:

Sam: just over 40kg (88 pounds)
Cosi: close to 48kg (105.6 pounds)
Alison: around 36kg (79.2 pounds)
Gary: close to 59kg (129.8 pounds)

The weekly weight loss (divided by 11 just to keep it simple, although obviously they would have lost different amounts each week) is shown here:

Sam: 3.63 kg p / week (7.9 pounds)
Cosi: 4.36 kg p / week (9.6 pounds)
Alison: 3.27 kg p / week (7.2 pounds)
Gary: 5.36 kg p / week (11.8 pounds)

Just in case you're interested, this averages out at a body weight percentage loss of around 2.8 weekly. If you matched this to the 'average' 70kg woman, that would equate to 1.96kg per week, and for a 90kg man it would be around 2.66kg per week.

Does not sound like too much, really, does it? I'm sure many readers out there would be thrilled to lose this amount of weight each week, and not necessarily consider it extreme.

But let's think about that. In my experience most of you have heard over and over that healthy weight loss is around 0.5-1kg per week. In fact, every health expert, resource or study I've mentioned that a 'healthy' (as in mainly fat, and sustainable) amount of weight loss is just that – around half a kilo per week for women, and 1 kilo for men. Extremely overweight people are said to be able to lose 1.5 kg per week.

If we take this as a gospel (for now), then clearly the BL contestants are losing weight much faster than they should be in order to keep it off. According to Anne Collins, fat loss expert extraordinaire,

'When we lose weight we do not just lose fat. We lose a combination of body fat, and muscle tissue. Studies show that when we diet, the weight we lose is on average 75 percent fat and 25 percent muscle. (Also) remember water accounts for about 70 percent of the total body weight of an average person, with muscle tissue containing roughly 75 percent water (plus 20 percent protein and 5 percent minerals), and body fat containing roughly 50 percent water. '

How is this relevant?

When you lose weight quickly, your body will shed muscle and water before it lets go of fat stores. This is because your body views rapid weight loss as a threat to your survival – your physiology assumes that you must be low on resources (food), or on the run. Why else would you starve or over-exercise yourself?

In order to preserve life (yours!) Your very intelligent body gets rid of the less important stuff – like muscle. Yep, that's the metabolism boosting stuff in case you forgot. After all, fat stores will keep you alive for longer.

So the long and short of it is that losing weight too quickly will not only mean you lose muscle and water over fat, but you will also (at least semi) permanently lower your resting metabolic rate, meaning that the same amount of food you used to eat will cause you to gain more weight.

This is where the concept of the 'yo-yo effect' comes in to play – the idea (reality) that most diets result in a bounce-back effect that leaves the sorry soul in question more overweight than when they started.

NOT good.

But that's not really the full story. Here's where it gets even more confusing (or interesting, for the thinkers among you).

o If your body is under a lot of stress, you can not safely lose weight. Basically, your body will not allow you to. This is because stress is a threat to your survival – and your body can not distinguish between our modern day stress of a demanding job or unsettled relationship, and the stress of a threat on your life. Therefore, your body views all stress as a threat to your survival – and attempts to give you a fighting chance by keeping a protective layer of fat that will not go away regardless of what you eat or how you exercise.

o According to William W. Wolcott, author of The Metabolic Typing Diet, 'It is not uncommon for people to gain weight in response to stress. Weight gain literally represents a protective layer, an insulator, against the pain and suffering of the stress. In such cases, diet, nutrition, and exercise are powerless to resolve the problem '. Solution: put steps into place to detoxify stress. This includes eating correctly, but also taking time out.

o Ironically, cutting back calories to an extreme or doing high amounts of cardio exercise can also prevent you losing weight.

o Even if you are losing weight at the 'safe' rate of, you will still find your lean muscle mass decreases to some extent. In the long run this means you will lower your metabolism and possibly gain weight back. The only way to counteract this is to perform resistance exercise. I'd recommend at least 1-2 half hour sessions per week, for maintenance, or more if you're looking to gain a significant amount of muscle.

o A final spark of hope – Over the years I have known clients to 'lean up' in an incredibly fast manner. Without losing a significant amount of muscle – and I'm not just talking abut extremely overweight people. I'm going to finish this article with my hot tips for maximizing weight loss from fat.

MAXIMISE YOUR FAT LOSS

1. Eat correctly. Trust me on this – pill popping is NOT how the human body achieves true health and weight loss. Choose natural, minimally processed sources of carbohydrates, fat and protein.

2. Sleep correctly. Numerous studies have shown that building up a sleep debt will result in rampant stress hormones that cause your body to store fat. Regardless of how you eat or exercise. I've written many articles on the topic myself.

3. Think correctly. I do not care how 'airy fairy' this sounds – your thoughts do have power. If you believe and tell yourself that you can not lose weight, you WILL NOT lose weight. Positive thinking on its own may not cut it, but it sure is not going to hurt. Build confidence and promote positive action by telling yourself that you can and will improve your health and weight.

4. Reduce stress. We've spoken about how stress hormones cause you to store fat. If you really can not change your lifestyle, put steps into place to relax and recuperate. Using your one free hour pounding the treadmill is not always the best option. But ask yourself this. Can you REALLY not change your lifestyle? If your life depended on it I bet you would walk out of the job, relationship, situation or whatever it might be. Guess what? Your life does depend on it.

I guess when all is said and done, the rapid weight loss of Biggest Loser contestants may not be possible or ideal for most people. This next I believe the show does a brilliant job of inspiring people to reach, to fight, to do whatever it takes to achieve their dreams. I think if you asked them, the BL contestants would tell you that they had definitely been living life.

How 'bout you?

Life is Now. Press Play.

Container Gardening Basics For Success

Container Gardening is becoming more and more popular as the population of cities and suburbs increases. Your "garden" is movable and so it is easier to manage pests and garden environments. It also brings the time that you need to tend to your plants because you can place them where they are easier for you to reach. This is especially good for people who are handicapped but still want a garden.

There are some things that are necessary in order to have a successful container garden.

First, you must have a container. You can find them in almost every size, shape and they can be made of many different materials. And, they can be very inexpensive, especially when you create them from "found" objects. You must make sure that the container that you choose has adequate drainage.

Make sure that your container is appropriate for your plant's full-grown size. You do not want to have to keep changing pots as your garden grows.

Soil is the next thing you have to have for your garden. I'm sorry, but you can not go outside and dig up some dirt. It will be much too heavy and will probably contain lots of bugs and pests that you do not need. The soil must be of good quality to keep your plants healthy and growing well. Buy potting mix that drains well but still is able to retain adequate moisture. The mix should not be so light that it will not hold the plant and root system in the container without propping the plant up.

You can mix your own potting soil by using one part compost; one part perlite and one part garden loam. Be sure that you inspect the loam for pests before using it.

Choose plants that do not have very large root systems. Those plants will soon get too large for the pot that you have planted them in, even to the point of breaking it. As I mentioned before, not sizing the plant to the pot (or the pot to the plant), can cause plants to be spindly and root-bound.

Tomatoes are a good choice for a new gardener because they are easy to grow and have a strong, but small, root system. Other vegetables that are appropriate are peppers, lettuce, spinach, radishes and eggplant.

Herbs are also an excellent choice for container gardens. Herb gardens do not require much space and they are extremely easy to grow, even for the novice gardener. Like most plants, they do require adequate drain to grow them successfully.

Some people use container gardens as decorating accents as well as growing vegetables for the dinner table. Choosing containers that fit with the style of the area you want them in terms of its ambiance. You might even want to use them in a specific area inside your home. Sunrooms come to mind as a great place to grow plants. Do make sure there is adequate sun and shade for your plants.

A Guide for Traveling To Turkey

Traveling to Turkey can be an experience like no other. Located between two continents, one portion of Turkey belongs to Europe where the rest is located in the Middle East. Whichever area you are visiting, though, is gorgeous and full of incredible customs and beautiful landscapes.

There are many languages ​​spoken in modern day Turkey. These include Turkish which is their official language, as well as Greek, Kurdish, Arabic, and Greek. If you are traveling from Western Europe, you are not required to have a Visa unless you live in Great Britain; but if you are coming from other areas, you will then need your Visa or a passport.

The transportation to and around Turkey is contemporary, so there are plenty of options to move about, from buses, to trains, to taxi cabs. Taxis are the main form of public transportation, and drivers welcome tourists who need to go not only to the main cities but also towns that lie on the outskirts. The buses are modernized as well and very comfortable for travel. Some of the buses offer a snack and a drink on a particularly long ride. They will even stop at restaurants every few hours if you are traveling outside the main sections of the nation.

When driving through Turkey you need to be fairly careful, as traffic accident rates are high. The roads tend to be in reliably poor condition. So if your trek will take you off the beaten path, it might be better to take a bus or car service to take you where you need to go. It is worth it though, since there are so many great things to do in Turkey.

Turkey's ski areas are extremely popular. During the winter season, they are the highlight of the country. In the warmer months there is plenty to do as well if you are adventurous and want to take a rafting tour or relax on a yacht for the day. The possibilities are endless.

The culture itself can not be beat. With innumerable great cuisines that consist of lamb, Turkish coffee, and incredible desserts you need to be sure to walk off some of the calories you consume through a day. To do that you can enjoy some of the Turkish history at museums and landmarks in just about every major city.

Try to get to Topkapi Place, Ayasofya Museum, and the ancient City of Troy if you can. Finally you have the diverse wildlife that is so popular in Turkey. The nation has preserved many rare animal species and are very proactive in their ecological research.

The landscape, the culture, and the history of Turkey are so important to the country, that you would be wise to try to take it all in while you have the opportunity.

The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Real Estate Attorney

When one one gets involved in a property dispute in their city, why is it that the last resort happens to be the real estate attorney? Well, this is because most of the cases involve great professionalism and sometimes legal proceedings to help you get what you deserved, or protect you from the intricate lawsuits. While no property agent and adviser can guide you with total solicitation, the lawyer comes with greater benefits from all perspective. Every good thing has some flaws, and that goes same with the property lawyers as well. Let's find out what are the pros and cons of the real estate lawyers.

You can not be the master of all trades! No person is self competent to handle all the issues of his life, and especially when it comes in dealing with property related issues, which require higher professionalism, experience and legal expertise in dealing with the lawful proceedings. Moreover, you have higher chances of falling prey to the vandalism and deceit of the real estate agents. So, why do not you leave it to the more experienced ones, the real estate attorney!

Advantages of hiring the real estate lawyer

  • If you are a beginner, property dealing business can be quite complex and deceptive. You are unaware of most of the laws relating to the real estate industry, and various local laws. The property attorney comes as a rescue in guiding you with relevant solicitation. For all your property transactions and transactions, the lawyer will make you well versed in all the intricacies of the property business.
  • You are not an expert in understanding various terms, legal issues, nuances and intricacies of a purchase or sale contract. A lawyer helps in preventing you from blindly signing it without fully understanding the terms of contract. He prepares and reviews all the necessary property documentation on your behalf, and takes the necessary actions.
  • A large number of tax issues, environmental restrictions, condo association by-laws and other petty issues can make your property a deal into a distracting deal. A proper lawyer takes you out of such dungeon.
  • Helps you get the best deals and prices for your transaction. Protects you from fraudulent property lawsuits. If you get to purchase a damaged property without your prior notice, and if the seller is aware of it, with the help of your lawyer you can file petition against such lawyer and get restitution for such damage.

Disadvantages of hiring the real estate lawyer

  • Hiring a lawyer can involve higher service charges and contingency fees, adding an extra burden to you transaction.
  • Reliability and competency of a lawyer comes as a question. While all the lawyers would promise greater quality service and 100% success rate, the same may not be the case. You can end up paying more charges for such fraud and misery.

However, it is recommended to hire a competent property attorney for your property issues, or you can end up to more vandalism and fraud.