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27 July, 2008

Indian Pronunciation in fitness

Working in a fitness centre is a good way to learn a couple of geography lessons. If a chaste (chest) muscle is being worked out, it is a Maharashtrian who is working out: A cheztt Maazul would make him Tamil:a good Warrkout would mean that he is a Keralite: and chest moosekul means he's from Delhi or beyond. The North-East has its own version: the chess-mas-sa.

I was once training an American and said "abdomen" in my Hinglish. He had to ask me thrice before he got what I was saying and then laughed and corrected me that it is ab-dmen. Not that I was making any specific and deliberate O sound as in go but where you emphasized the word, also mattered.

I have even heard a Kanedda (Canada) based Indian aunty saying, "Beta aaj baar naa jaana. Oothe Windan blondian ne". ( Son don't go outside. Winds are blowing). And " Open the window, let the wind (air) come in". and " The teacher is revolving in the corridor". and "If you want cold water, let me get some snow for you." I studied in a convent where a Keralite missionary nun used to teach Physics. Chapter on thermometer started like, " A terrr-mo- meta has a tinn (thin) kapilaari (capilarry)".

Just as loins are Kings of the Jungle. Cards, not curd is eaten in Bengal. And pain in Maharashtra is a tool to write with. Some of the words have been absorbed so beautifully in the local lingo, that it’s difficult to trace the original: pliers have become plus; lawyers are liars (pun unintended); lanterns are laltains; that part of the blood with the oxygen is homogoblin; diabetes is diebittiss. Believe it or not, a few Indians crack jocks for others to laugh at, drive motor-vehicles on rods, eat snakes with their tea, and play with ties (toys, in case you hadn’t guessed). You can’t be sure if shaarts is shorts or shirts. Not the least, the best loved game in India has been imported from England: kirkit. Word for eraser is still rubber. Boot or trunk of car is Dickey. I even had a Sikh client coming to my fitness centre whose name was Dicky. Girls would refuse to call him by his name. Another client used to wonder how parents could torture their children and keep such a name. Talking about funny name, I have heard someone naming their child Attachi meaning "suitcase" in Hindi.

For quite sometime, my mom would leave a comment on my facebook pictures and say Woh and not waah (as in saying wow). Then I finally gathered courage to correct her. Then she would write dheek hai instead of theek hai (meaning OK). My sister had an American apartment mate. When she wanted to learn this hindi word to say OK, my sister taught her to say T K (theek hai). It looked cute, the way she used to say.

Multi in US might be pronounced as multie (the tie we wear) but in India it would be multea. "Archives," of my blog, in India, would not be pronounced as arkives but its "ch" would be laid emphasis on.

A major reason for this is that the Indian script is phonetic. We see and read each letter, whereas words in English are read as a whole, sometimes swallowing a syllable (Wor’stershire) or keeping silent a part of the written word (tongue). We pronounce everything. A letter must have a sound: a simple word like ‘hour’ becomes hower with even the ‘r’ stressed. Accents cause confusion, too: Eenjuctions and madiseens are what finally kewer (cure) the patients, depending on the background of the speaker. Commonly, the short ‘i’ sound, as in ‘it’, is lengthened: pin – peen . Ditto with the short ‘e’, as in ‘get’: it becomes gate. The concept of stress is absent in local languages: hotels therefore become ho-tulls.

English numbers in India: vun, too, tree (or thuree), phore (this with both lips together, please), phie, sheess, sheban, yate, nie, tane….

Then the spellings. Colours, favourite. Correct!! Not to worry, everybody gets by, we all addjust to each others’ accents.

However, having explained Indian pronunciation, not everyone speaks like this. India has a large English speaking population and those who converse in the language on a daily basis are well versed with the nuances of the English language and its pronunciation. I would say that generally, we Indians speak good and clear english.. too general .. esp me , I talk clear and fairly good english, but my english isn’t stylish. I never tried to make it stylish, I just make sure that my talk is clear to the listener. Frankly speaking ,we Indians cannot fake that US accent, its not at all possibl… its just not possible..it looks so unnatural. When you cannot fake it, don’t try it !! When you can clearly communicate the things to the other guy using normal english, why try hard to fake the accent ? Its not necessary right !

It is this diversity that gives the Hinglish language its flavor. It is slowly evolving into a dialect of its own, and thanks to the television, may rapidly mature into a language. In fact, many a times when a TV channel comes to interview me and I ask them, "What language do I use to answer- English or Hindi?", they tell me, "use Hinglish".

24 July, 2008

Peptic Ulcer


Symptoms of Peptic Ulcer

The symptoms of peptic ulcer are:

Pain or burning sensation in the stomach, especially at night or between meals
This pain may go away (or in some people, worsen) when eating.

Heartburn or pain in the chest or upper abdomen, especially at night

Nausea

Vomiting
The vomit may look like mucous, blood or coffee grounds (where the blood is mixed with stomach acid and becomes coagulated or clotted).

Blood in the stool

Black-colored, tar-like or dark-reddish stool

Peptic Ulcer Diagnosis

Your doctor would do the following tests to diagnose peptic ulcer:

Physical exam
Tenderness as the doctor pushes into the stomach with his fingers, or immediately after he lifts his fingers.

Endoscopy
A flexible tube with camera attached to it is inserted into the stomach to visualize the whitish lesions of peptic ulcer. Usually a biopsy (or tissue sampling) is performed during an endoscopic procedure, especially if the ulcer is located in the stomach as lesions may also be indicative of stomach cancer.

Barium X-Ray
A solution of barium is given to the patient to swallow before an X-ray is taken. This allows the doctor to see shadows of the peptic ulcer lesion.

Stool examination
Blood in the stool may indicate a bleeding ulcer.

Blood tests
Your doctor may look for the presence of:
Heliobacter pylori (h. pylori), a bacteria that commonly cause peptic ulcer
Elevated level of gastrin, which may indicate gastrinoma or Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.

Causes of Peptic Ulcer?

In normal stomach, a thick layer of mucus that coats the lining of the stomach prevents the gastric juices from damaging the stomach. In peptic ulcer, this mucus layer is compromised and a lesion or crater is formed.

There are two main causes of peptic ulcer:

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
These are the active ingredients of the common painkillers aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen.

H. pylori bacteria
Despite common belief, stress and eating spicy foods do not cause peptic ulcer.

Forms of Peptic Ulcer

Depending on the location, peptic ulcer is categorized into two forms:

Gastric ulcer or stomach ulcer

Duodenal ulcer or ulcer found in the small intestines
Accounting for almost 80% of the cases, it is the most common form of peptic ulcer.

Who Gets It?

Peptic ulcer is a very common condition – it is estimated that approximately 4 million people in the United States have it. This condition is usually found in people above the age of 50 years old. Approximately 350,000 new cases of peptic ulcer are diagnosed every year.

Prevention of Peptic Ulcer

Prevention of peptic ulcer includes:

Avoid taking NSAIDs for painkillers.
Instead, use alternatives such as acetaminophen, which does not irritate the stomach lining. If you are taking aspirin every day, consider instead:

Taking baby aspirin
Taking it with meals instead on an empty stomach
Taking the enteric-coated form, which dissolves in the small intestine and not the stomach

Avoid taking alcoholic beverages
Stop smoking
If you are taking iron or potassium supplement, take enteric-coated forms.
Be sure to consult your doctor before changing your prescription or how you take the pills.

Treatment for Peptic Ulcer?

Peptic ulcer treatments include:

Prescription medicines, including:

Antibiotics, if you are diagnosed with H. pylori infection.

Histamine or H2 blockers
This blocks the histamine receptors that signals the stomach to produce more acid.

Proton pump inhibitors
This stops the acid production in the stomach.

Prescription antacids
Some forms of prescription antacids can also coat the stomach and promote healing of the peptic ulcer.

Surgery
In very rare cases, a surgery is required to remove the ulcer or to tie off an artery that cause bleeding ulcer. If H2 blockers or proton pump inhibitors do not work, your doctor may order a surgery to cut or even remove a nerve at the base of the stomach that stimulates the production of digestive juices.

Also I saw this video on youtube

Thoughts on Life

Fitness trainer's code of conduct

When Fitnesolution, certifies its trainer, very major emphasis is also laid on the trainer's code of conduct. The do's and don'ts are well established. This is what they are taught.

Ethical Foundations

I. The Trainer-Client relationship: The welfare of the client is central to all considerations in the trainer-client relationship. Included in this relationship is the obligation of the trainer to respect the rights of clients, colleagues, and other health professionals.

II. Trainer conduct and practice: The personal trainer should deal honestly with clients and colleagues. This includes not misrepresenting himself or herself through any form of communication in an untruthful, misleading, or deceptive manner.

III. Avoiding conflicts of interest: Potential conflicts of interest are inherent in the practice of the personal trainer. Personal trainers are expected to recognize such situations and deal with them in accordance with the best interests of the client.

IV. Professional relations: The personal trainer should respect and cooperate with other personal trainers, fitness instructors and allied health professionals.

V. Societal responsibilities: The personal trainer has a continuing responsibility to society as a whole and should support and participate in activities that enhance the community.

Code of Conduct

I. Client-Trainer Relationship

1. The Client-Trainer relationship is the central focus of all ethical concerns, and the welfare of the client should form the basis of all medical judgments.

2. The Trainer should serve the clients by exercising all reasonable means to ensure that the most appropriate training and fitness recommendations are provided to the client.

3. The Client-Trainer relationship has an ethical basis and is built on confidentiality, trust, and honesty. The trainer must adhere to all applicable legal or contractual constraints while in the client-trainer relationship.

4. Sexual misconduct on the part of the trainer is an abuse of professional power and a violation of client trust. Sexual contact or a romantic relationship between a trainer and a current client is always unethical.

5. The trainer has an obligation to obtain the informed consent of each client. In obtaining informed consent for any course of physical measurement or activity, the trainer should present to the client, in understandable terms, pertinent facts and recommendations consistent with good professional practice. Such information should include alternate modes of testing or physical activity and the objectives, risks, benefits, possible complications, and anticipated results of such activities or testing protocols.

6. It is unethical to prescribe, provide, or seek compensation for therapies or products that are of no benefit to the client.

7. The trainer should respect the rights of clients, colleagues, and others and safeguard client information and confidences within the limits of the law. If during the process of providing information for consent it is known that results of a particular test or other information must be given to governmental authorities or other third parties, that should be explained to the client.

8. The trainer should not discriminate against clients based on race, color, national origin, religion, or on any other basis that would constitute illegal discrimination.

II. Trainer Conduct and Practice

1. The trainer should recognize the boundaries of his or her particular competencies and expertise, and provide only those services and use only those techniques for which he or she is qualified by education, training, or experience.

2. The trainer should participate in continuing education activities to maintain current scientific and professional knowledge relevant to the professional services he or she renders. The trainer should provide services involving new therapies or training techniques only after undertaking appropriate training and study.

3. In any training environment, the trainer should exercise careful judgment and take appropriate precautions to protect the client's welfare with regards to equipment, facilities and environmental factors.

4. The trainer should not publicize or represent himself or herself in any untruthful, misleading, or deceptive manner to clients, colleagues, other health-care professionals, or the public.

5. The trainer who has reason to believe that he or she is infected with the human immunodeficiency virus or other serious infectious agents that might be communicated to clients should voluntarily be tested for the protection of his or her clients.

6. The trainer should not practice or attempt to provide professional services while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or physical or mental disability. The trainer who experiences substance abuse problems or who is physically or emotionally impaired should seek appropriate assistance to address these problems and limit his or her professional practice until the impairment no longer affects the quality of client service.

III. Conflicts of Interest

1. Potential conflicts of interest are inherent in the field of health and fitness. Conflicts of interest should be resolved in accordance with the best interest of the client. If there is concern about a possibly significant conflict of interest, the trainer should disclose his or her concerns to the client. If a conflict of interest cannot be resolved, the trainer should take steps to withdraw as a service provider for the client. If conflicts of interest are unresolved, the trainer should seek consultation with colleagues or an institutional ethics committee.

2. Commercial promotions of fitness or health related products and services may generate bias unrelated to product merit, creating, or appearing to create, inappropriate undue influence. The trainer should be aware of this potential conflict of interest and offer fitness advice that is as accurate, balanced, complete, and devoid of bias as possible.

3. The trainer should recommend nutritional modifications based solely upon health considerations and client needs, regardless of any direct or indirect interests in or benefit from a supplement company or other supplier.

4. When the trainer receives anything of substantial value, including royalties, from companies in the health-care industry, such as a manufacturer of supplements and fitness devices, this fact should be disclosed to clients and colleagues when material.

IV. Professional Relations

1. The trainer's relationships with other trainers, fitness directors, physicians, physical therapists, and other health-care professionals should reflect fairness, honesty, and integrity, sharing a mutual respect and concern for the client.

2. The trainer should consult, refer, or cooperate with other trainers, health professionals, and institutions to the extent necessary to serve the best interests of their clients.

3. The trainer should respect all laws, uphold the dignity and honor of the profession, and accept the profession's self-imposed discipline. The professional competence and conduct of trainers is best examined by professional associations and peer-review committees; active professionals should remain in good standard with these groups. These groups deserve the full participation and cooperation of the personal trainer.

4. The trainer should strive to address, through the appropriate procedures the status of those trainers who demonstrate questionable competence, impairment, or unethical or illegal behavior. In addition, the trainer should cooperate with appropriate authorities to prevent the continuation of such behavior.

V. Societal Responsibilities

1. The trainer should support and participate in those health programs, practices, and activities that contribute positively, in a meaningful and effective way, to the welfare of individual clients, the health fitness community, or the public good.

23 July, 2008

Water

video

Workout Shoes



When I did my first course from Reebok, we were a batch of about 15 people. We were told the importance of footwear. It was drilled in us that an aerobic shoe has to have good cushioning both in the heels and forefoot, ankle support ( because aerobics is lot of lateral move also not just forward move as in running), arch support, breathable (to absorb sweat), and bla bla bla. They even taught us what all goes inside making a good shoe and the terminology was drilled in us as fitness trainers. Every year, the batch of aspiring fitness trainers were taught this and a question on importance of shoe would be mandatory in the test. We would mug up all the points. They recommended, "different shoe for different activity."

Now, as I certified as a trainer and came in the industry to work, I was fresh burst of energy, ready to flaunt my newly acquired knowledge. Fortunately, I quickly got my first, very prestigious personal training. Nervous yet excited, I met my first clients who belonged to creme De la creme family in New Delhi. They were middle aged couple and had chosen to hire me after a lot of research and recommendations. My very first observation about them was that they were wearing wrong and not so nice shoes. Now, how could I have left this opportunity to puke out all I knew about the "importance of right shoe". I very blatantly pointed to them that they were wearing wrong shoes. They looked at their shoes and asked me very innocently as to what was wrong with them. Of course, I started rattling all the bookish points I had mugged in my course. They smiled sweetly and promised to change their shoes in our next session. Yours Truly, being her friendly self, now started with their impeccably designed workout session during the course of which, popped up the question as to what they did. The answer they gave to Yours Truly stuck like a thunderstorm. The Husband said that he was the owner of Action Shoes (One of the Indian shoe company. It is not supposed to be very elite brand because it is very fairly priced). The ground slipped from underneath me. I had given the lecture to the owner of Action Shoes and had told him how his shoes were so and so wrong. Possibly all over wrong and he had smiled and taken it from a novice like me. He knew more about shoes than all my batch of trainers combined together, who had recently passed out. He had travelled world over and studied latest researches about shoes. How could I? Well I tried to cover up my mistake now by saying that on second thought, their shoes were not all that bad either. But of course I was making more fool of myself. Anyways, we had a longest possible relation as trainer and clients. I was able to help them achieve their fitness goals and we are still in touch regularly. But that incidence in my career is the most embarrassing one for me.

Years passed and quite a number of my clients would again ask me my recommendation before choosing a new shoe. With my limited knowledge, I would again rattle those points which I had mugged in my Reebok course. Then I went to New Zealand and did more courses from Les Mills.





From New Zealand, I would not have come back without buying latesht fitness apparel and shoes (had to flaunt my phoren latesht gear after all). So one day I entered Nike showroom and chose really expensive and outstanding apparel for myself (that material and style was launched in India after 2 years. They were that much ahead). Now came the turn of shoes. The sales guy offered to help me very generously. He showed me his latest aerobic shoe. Now me being me, assessed it on the basis of my limited knowledge. I started arguing with him. " No you are selling me the wrong shoes. These are not for aerobics. I am a trainer myself and I know. These do not have good cushioning, no ankle support, no arch support."


And them I was taught by a sales guy in Nike store. He told me that Nike had actually done a research on Kenyan Marathon runners and found that they ran cross country bare foot and never had any injuries. They were the best runners with minimal reported incidents of injuries. Based on them Nike had launched a new shoe. It had excellent flexibility. So much so that it could twist and fold and be wrung like a towel. It was very very light. It allowed air to pass. It was made of unique material, which looked and felt like suede. It came with different levels of insoles. As you progressed and became stronger, you could change your insole to next level. Best part was that it came in beautiful colors. I bought mauve color. Again the same shoe was launched in India two years later and mauve color was never launched in India.


Finally I was able to get rid of my mugged up knowledge. 

workout clothing


All exercise clothing should be loose-fitting to permit freedom of movement, and should make the wearer feel comfortable and self-assured.

As a general rule, you should wear lighter clothes than temperatures might indicate. Exercise generates great amounts of body heat. Light-colored clothing that reflects the sun's rays is cooler in the summer, and dark clothes are warmer in winter. When the weather is very cold, it's better to wear several layers of light clothing than one or two heavy layers. The extra layers help trap heat, and it's easy to shed one of them if you become too warm.

In cold weather, and in hot, sunny weather, it's a good idea to wear something on your head. Wool watch or ski caps are recommended for winter wear, and some form of tennis or sailor's hat that provides shade and can be soaked in water is good for summer.

Never wear rubberized or plastic clothing. Such garments interfere with the evaporation of perspiration and can cause body temperature to rise to dangerous levels.

The most important item of equipment for the runner is a pair of sturdy, properly-fitting running shoes. Training shoes with heavy, cushioned soles and arch supports are preferable to flimsy sneakers and light racing flats.

22 July, 2008

Myths and workout

Here are the facts about 10 unfounded fears, negative notions, and false hopes about working out.

Myth # 1: While light exercise does yield some benefits, it's not nearly as beneficial as strenuous exercise.
Truth: Strenuous workouts do improve aerobic capacity far more than light or moderate workouts do. While that may improve athletic performance, it does not necessarily translate into a great health advantage.
The death rates from coronary heart disease, cancer, and all causes combined are much lower in moderate exercisers than in non exercisers; but they're only a little lower in heavy exercisers than in moderate exercisers. The same holds true for the risk of developing type II diabetes, by far the most common kind.
In addition, non strenuous exercise seems to reduce stress, anxiety, and blood pressure as effectively as strenuous exercise does. And moderate exercise like walking can do just as much to control weight as vigorous exercise like jogging, since the number of calories burned depends on how much ground you cover, not how fast you cover it. In fact, moderate exercise is potentially more effective than vigorous for most people, since they can walk much further than they can run.

Myth #2: You can lose fat from specific parts of your body by exercising those spots.
Truth: There's no such thing as "spot reduction." When you exercise, you use energy produced by burning fat in all parts of your body - not just around the muscles that are doing most of the work. In fact, your genes may dictate that fat disappears from, say, your face or arms before your belly, even if you do endless abdominal exercises. However, working a specific region like the belly can have one site-specific benefit: Strengthening the muscles can make you look thinner by helping you hold in your gut.

Myth #3: The more you sweat during exercise, the more fat you lose.
Truth: The harder you work out, the more calories you'll burn within a given period and thus the more fat you stand to lose. But how much you sweat does not necessarily reflect how hard you're working. Some people tend to sweat profusely due to heavy body weight, poor conditioning, or heredity. And everyone sweats more in hot, dry weather or dense clothing than in cool, humid weather or porous clothing. (You may feel as if you're sweating more in humid weather; but that's because moist air slows the evaporation of sweat.)
Exercising in extremely hot weather or in a plastic "weight loss" suit will indeed make you sweat heavily and lose weight immediately. But that lost weight is almost entirely water; the pounds will return when you replenish your fluids by drinking after the workout. Further, you could develop heat exhaustion if you push yourself too hard in extreme heat or in plastic clothes. which prevent sweat from evaporating and, in turn, cooling you off.

Myth #4: Sports drinks can help you exercise more safely and effectively.
Truth: Sports drinks contain two main ingredients that are theoretically beneficial for exercisers: sodium, which helps the body retain water, and sugar, which the body burns for energy. But very few people exercise hard enough to sweat away much sodium or to use up their carbohydrate reserves, which the body converts to sugar. You'd have to jog for at least two hours, for example, before your carbohydrate stores would start to run low. So unless you're doing a marathon or other exhaustive exercise, plain water is all you need.

Myth #5: Aerobic exercise tends to make you hungry, so it actually undermines your efforts to lose weight.
Truth: Aerobic exercise, such as jogging or brisk walking, may indeed increase your appetite - but only, it seems, if you need extra calories. Studies suggest that lean individuals do get hungrier after such exercise; that helps prevent them from getting too thin. In contrast, working out does not seem to boost appetite in obese individuals; so exercise should help them slim down.

Myth #6: Strength training won't help you get thinner, since it burns few calories and adds pounds of muscle.
Truth: Strength training, using either weights, machines, or elastic bands, can substantially increase the number of calories you burn. A typical session, in which you rest briefly after each muscle-building maneuver, uses up calories at least as fast as walking does. Circuit training, in which you move quickly from one strengthening maneuver to the next, burns calories faster than walking does. And your body continues to burn calories for hours after either type of strength training. More important, the muscle you build consumes calories more rapidly, even when you're not exercising.
In one study, three months of strength training boosted the average calorie-burning rate by an average of 7 percent, burned off 4 pounds of fat, and added nearly that much muscle. Since muscle is denser than fat, the volunteers presumably did become thinner. Equally important, they burned off that fat despite a 15 percent increase in their calorie content. If the researchers hadn't prodded them to maintain their weight by eating more than they felt like eating, the volunteers almost surely would have lost weight.
Strength training is particularly helpful as part of a comprehensive weight-loss program that includes both aerobic exercise - which burns lots of calories during the workout and some calories after the workout - and a moderately low-calorie diet. (forget crash diets, which almost always never work and can be dangerous.) A recent study found that women who ate a moderately restrictive diet and did either strength training or aerobic exercise lost more weight than those who only dieted. But those who split their workout time between strength training and aerobic exercise lost the most weight of all.

Myth #7: Strength training builds muscle and bone but does nothing for the heart.
Truth: Strength training plus aerobic exercise may be the ideal exercise regimen not only for the waistline but also for the heart. One analysis of 11 clinical trials found that strength training can reduce levels of LDL cholesterol, the artery-clogging kind (though it has little effect on HDL cholesterol, the artery-clearing kind). Aerobic exercise has a complimentary benefit: It improves HDL but does little for LDL. Further, some studies suggest that strength training, like aerobic exercise, may help reduce blood pressure. (But check with your doctor for guidance before starting a muscle-building program if you have hypertension, since straining can temporarily increase blood pressure.) One final benefit: By fortifying the muscles, strength training reduces the likelihood that sudden or unaccustomed exertion, such as moving furniture or shoveling snow, will trigger a heart attack.

Myth #8: When you stop exercising, your muscles turn to fat.
Truth: Lack of exercise does make the muscles shrink, reducing the body's calorie-burning rate. The lack of activity itself further reduces the number of calories you burn. So people who stop working out are indeed in danger of getting flabby.
But that doesn't mean that muscle actually turns to fat - they're totally different types of tissue. Nor does it mean you're doomed to gain fat around the muscles after you stop exercising; you just need to cut back on the calories you consume. (Of course, the best way to stay slim is to eat a lean diet and continue to exercise regularly.)

Myth #9: Building muscles reduces flexibility.
Truth: If you strength train without moving your joints through their full range of motion, you can indeed lose flexibility. But strength training can actually improve flexibility if you do move your joints fully. Stretch after a muscle-building workout to help keep yourself limber. (Stretch before as well as after an aerobic workout.)

Myth #10: Strength training tends to give women a bulky, masculine physique.
Truth: It's very difficult for most women to build large muscles. That's because women have relatively low levels of the hormone testosterone, which influences muscle growth. Both men and women can build firmer rather than bulkier muscles by working against lighter resistance more than 25 times rather than heavier resistance fewer times.

Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis

Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis or BIA is considered one of the most exact and accessible methods of screening body fat. In conventional BIA, a person is weighed, then weight, height, age and gender are entered in a computer. While the person is lying down, electrodes are attached to various parts of the body and a small electric current is discharged that measures the impedance or resistance to muscle and fat. The more muscle, the lower the value as the electricity passes easily through lean mass. A formula in the computer converts all of the data to indicate what percentage of the body is fat.

How does exercise help you lose body fat?

Regulates appetite: Although some people mistakenly think that exercise increases appetite to the point that extra food eaten will negate the number of calories burned, this is not the case. Exercise actually regulates your appetite helping you eat fewer calories.

Increases metabolism: Also untrue is the belief that exercise is not worth the effort because of the relatively small number of calories used. For example, walking burns about five calories a minute. Since there are 3,500 calories in a pound of fat, it would seem that you would have to walk 11 1/2 hours to lose a pound. The truth is that even moderate exercise creates an 8-fold increase in your metabolic rate (calorie burning) for hours after the exercise. This residual effect, not the exercise itself, is its greatest benefit of exercise for burning calories.

Maintains Muscle: The movement involved with exercise requires you to use your muscles, which causes the necessary physiological changes for muscle to maintain (or even increase) its size and strength. Since every pound of muscle requires 50-100 calories per day to sustain itself and since fat is burned almost exclusively in your muscles, maintaining your muscle is crucial to losing body fat. Without exercise, you'll lose muscle and reduce your ability to burn fat. When it comes to your muscle, you either "use it or lose it."

Increases Fat-Burning Enzymes: Muscles have very specific enzymes which burn only fat. Research has shown that people who exercise regularly have far more fat-burning enzymes in their muscles than people who don't exercise. In other words, exercise causes your body to "beef up" its ability to burn fat more efficiently. This means that the more you use your muscles with exercise, the more fat-burning enzymes your muscles develop to burn more fat.

Changes the Body's Chemistry: Exercise positively affects a number of hormones in your body which are related to fat storage such as insulin, adrenaline, and cortisol. Endorphins, small morphine-like chemicals, are secreted with exercise and can also help reduce fat storage, as well as create a feeling of well-being and alleviate stress. Exercise also speeds food transit time through the intestines to complete the digestive cycle which reduces the chances for digestive disorders and bowel cancer.

The benefits of exercise go way beyond losing body fat. A fit body responds differently to things than a fat body. Things like cholesterol, sugar, salt, etc. simply don't affect someone who's fit the way they do someone who's fat. From a health standpoint, exercise positively affects every organ in your body. Exercise also improves your sleeping patterns, energy level, and overall feeling of well being. The more you do, the more you will want to do as the benefits continue to increase and you get the results you're after. In short, exercise is a must for losing body fat as well as improving the overall quality of life. It will add years to your life and life to your years.

WHEN TO EXERCISE

The hour just before the evening meal is a popular time for exercise. The late afternoon workout provides a welcome change of pace at the end of the work day and helps dissolve the day's worries and tensions.

Another popular time to work out is early morning, before the work day begins. Advocates of the early start say it makes them more alert and energetic on the job.

Among the factors you should consider in developing your workout schedule are personal preference, job and family responsibilities, availability of exercise facilities and weather. It's important to schedule your workouts for a time when there is little chance that you will have to cancel or interrupt them because of other demands on your time.

You should not exercise strenuously during extreme hot, humid weather, or within two hours after eating. Heat and/or digestion both make heavy demands on the circulatory system, and in combination with exercise can be an overtaxing double load.

PRINCIPLE OF WORKOUT

The keys to selecting the right kinds of exercises for developing and maintaining each of the basic components of fitness are found in these principles:

Specificity - pick the right kind of activities to affect each component. Strength training results in specific strength changes. Also, train for the specific activity you're interested in. For example, optimal swimming performance is best achieved when the muscles involved in swimming are trained for the movements required. It does not necessarily follow that a good runner is a good swimmer.

Overload - work hard enough, at levels that are vigorous and long enough to overload your body above its resting level, to bring about improvement.

Regularity - you can't hoard physical fitness. At least three balanced workouts a week are necessary to maintain a desirable level of fitness.

Progression - increase the intensity, frequency and/or duration of activity over periods of time in order to improve.

Some activities can be used to fulfill more than one of your basic exercise requirements. For example, in addition to increasing cardiorespiratory endurance, running builds muscular endurance in the legs, and swimming develops the arm, shoulder and chest muscles. If you select the proper activities, it is possible to fit parts of your muscular endurance workout into your cardiorespiratory workout and save time.

20 July, 2008

DEFINING FITNESS

Physical fitness is to the human body what fine tuning is to an engine. It enables us to perform up to our potential. Fitness can be described as a condition that helps us look, feel and do our best. More specifically, it is: "The ability to perform daily tasks vigorously and alertly, with energy left over for enjoying leisure-time activities and meeting emergency demands. It is the ability to endure, to bear up, to withstand stress, to carry on in circumstances where an unfit person could not continue, and is a major basis for good health and well-being."
Physical fitness involves the performance of the heart and lungs, and the muscles of the body. And, since what we do with our bodies also affects what we can do with our minds, fitness influences to some degree qualities such as mental alertness and emotional stability.
As you undertake your fitness program, it's important to remember that fitness is an individual quality that varies from person to person. It is influenced by age, sex, heredity, personal habits, exercise and eating practices. You can't do anything about the first three factors. However, it is within your power to change and improve the others where needed.

19 July, 2008

Food Guide Pyramid



A great way is to follow a system call the Food Guide Pyramid. The Pyramid is a research-based food guidance system which goes beyond the "basic four groups" to help you put the Dietary Guidelines into action.
The Pyramid and accompanying information will help you choose what and how many foods to eat from each food group to get the nutrients you need without getting too many calories - or too much fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sugar, or sodium.

Your Food Guide Pyramid

Your Food Guide Pyramid provides a framework of what to eat each day. It's not a rigid prescription, but a general guide that lets you choose a healthful diet that's right for you from food that are readily available in your supermarket.
The Pyramid calls for eating a variety of foods to get the energy, protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber you need. Your body needs more than 50 different nutrients for good health. Variety also prevents your diet from becoming boring. The way to assure variety - and with it, an enjoyable and nutritious diet - is to choose foods each day from the food groups shown.

How to Make the Food Pyramid Work for You?
How many servings are right for me?


The Pyramid shows a range of servings for each major food group. To lose body fat, you'll need to gradually reduce your food intake down to the lower end of these ranges. Make sure you don't reduce more than one serving per food group per week. However, cutting your calories too quickly can make it difficult to control your appetite and cause your energy level to drop. This can also cause your body to go into a semi-starvation mode and lower its metabolism to try to preserve its fat stores.
Regardless of your body fat goals, remember to eat at least the minimum number of servings in each food group. You need them for the vitamins, minerals, fiber, carbohydrates, and protein they provide. Just try to choose the foods lowest in fat from each food group.

The servings are intended to be averages over time. They are illustrations of healthful proportions of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in your diet, not rigid prescriptions. Don't hesitate to fluctuate your number of servings from each food group from time to time. This will help you from experiencing plateaus by not allowing your body to become accustomed to the same number of calories each day.

Don't skip meals! Research shows that people who skip meals (especially breakfast) don't lose fat as readily as those who don't skip meals. Try to spread your daily servings from the food groups out over five to six small meals a day. This can help increase your metabolism by requiring additional energy to digest and process food. Frequent meals also maintain your blood sugar level which sustains your energy level and curbs you appetite making you less likely to eat too much later and store the excess calories as fat.

Making The Pyramid Fit Your Goals

Once you've reached your body fat goals, all that is needed to maintain - as opposed to reduce - your body fat is to stabilize the number of servings you eat to the level that's right for you. In other words, after you lose the unwanted body fat, you'll also have the necessary guidelines to control your body fat in the future. If you find you're gaining body fat, simply cut back on your calories by eliminating some of the foods you don't need to provide the fundamental outline for a healthy diet.

18 July, 2008

Eating Right


Your eating and exercise habits determine whether you lose (or gain) body fat. They determine how many calories you take in and how many you use up. To lose body fat, you need to control the number of calories you eat from a balanced diet and increase the amount of calories you burn through exercise.
Research shows overwhelmingly that combining the proper diet with exercise is much more effective for losing body fat than dieting alone. Even the most nutritious low calorie diet without exercise will cause some of your losses to be from muscle. A pound of muscle has only 600 calories - or about 1/6 the calories in a pound of fat - and, therefore, can be lost much quicker than fat. Since a pound of fat has 3,500 calories, you should expect to lose no more than 1/2 to 1 percent body fat per month or 1-2 pounds of fat per week. If you lose any more than that, you're losing muscle too. You simply can't rush fat loss. You don't gain fat overnight, and you don't lose it that way either; but the losses you do get will be permanent. And with the accompanying changes that exercise will make to your body, the results can be remarkable.
Remember to consult your doctor before starting a reduced-calorie diet and exercise program, especially if you have a history of health problems, haven't had a physical checkup recently, or are pregnant or lactating.

The Right Way to Diet
Jump to The Right Way to Exercise

Eating properly to lose body fat is easier and more enjoyable than you might think. Most people think of a diet as a temporary way of restricting food until they reach a certain weight goal. It's not. You don't need to go on a specific diet that forbids certain foods or tells you exactly what foods to eat each day. That's something people can stick with for a while; but when they inevitably go off that type of rigid diet, they tend to go back to their old eating habits and gain back weight they lost. You should never think of being on or off a diet.
Instead, you should make your own choices within the guidelines of a normal, healthy diet that you can enjoy and continue for life. Eating fewer high fat foods and more fruits, grains, and vegetables is not only the best diet to lose fat, but also for your lifetime.
To lose body fat, there are two things you should think about in deciding how and what to eat:
• Follow a balanced, healthy diet by eating some foods from each food group. Diets which eliminate certain food groups never last long because they don't provide the nutrition you need to stay healthy. The ideal diet should improve your health while you lose fat.
• Reduce the amount of calories or give up your favorite foods you choose. This doesn't mean you have to count calories or give up your favorite foods. It means choosing low calorie foods more often, without sacrificing the nutrients you need.
A diet based on these two principles - "balance" and "calories" - is the closest thing you can get to a "magic" diet for losing body fat. Eat a variety of foods and don't eat too much of anything.
So what's a healthy diet?
It's simply following basic dietary guidelines. At a time when we seem to be overwhelmed by what and what not to eat, it's best to look to the experts. The following guidelines represent the best way to reduce calories when trying to lose body fat:
• Eat a variety of foods
• Choose a diet low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol
• Choose a diet with plenty of vegetables, fruit, and grain products
• Use sugars in moderation
• Use salt (sodium) in moderation

17 July, 2008

Few Good Thoughts



The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy less.

We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.

We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbour.

We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things. We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.

We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes.

These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill.

It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only pleasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak, and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

15 July, 2008

Protein


My morning starts with a good protein shake. On everyday basis, invariably my mom also asks me the importance of protein shake. She thinks it is some magical remedy the secret of which I am not telling her. This post is dedicated to her.

Protein is formed from building blocks called amino acids. There twenty-two different kinds, of amino acids which can combine to form billions of varieties of proteins. The human body can make thirteen of these protein building blocks, while the other nine must be supplied by the diet. Plant foods provide the same amino acids that animal foods do. The protein that comes from eating a steak is exactly the same quality as the protein that comes from a meal of rice and beans. But when you eat a steak, you're also consuming excessive fat and cholesterol.
Unlike animal products, no single plant source contains all of the essential amino acids, but amino acid requirements can be met by eating a variety of foods. A meal of rice and beans provides a complete protein, no different from the protein found in eggs or meat.

Here are some examples of a complete protein:

rice with beans
tacos with beans
tofu with rice
pasta and beans
black-eyed peas and rice
baked beans and brown bread

For a pure vegetarian person like me, other sources of proteins are soy (tofu, nutri nuggets, soy milk), sprouts.

Irony is that I am also allergic to soy. So mom hence the protein shake.

13 July, 2008

How to gain weight

So far we have been talking about loosing weight, getting thinner, toning up, shaping up. But there are quite a few of my readers who have been questioning me as to how to gain weight.

Weight gain is something that isn't easy to do and you probably know this already. An ectomorph by genetics, which is the "skinny body type" and the one with the fast metabolism which makes gaining so hard. The key to weight gain is to do everything BIG. You have to eat big, to lift big, to get big. Say that over and over again in your head until you fully understand it. A lot of people think weightlifting is the key to gaining weight, and I won't argue, it is an extremely important part. BUT, there is another thing that is just as important when it comes to how to gain weight, and that is your diet. So, to put it as simply as possible, there are 5 simple steps to how to gain weight, and here they are:

1) Count how many calories you eat in a normal day. Don't change anything, just eat like you normally would and count how many calories you consumed. This is an extremely important step, so try to be as exact as possible. Also, weigh yourself.

2) Starting the day after you counted calories, eat 500 calories MORE then you normally do. So, lets pretend that the day you counted calories you counted 2000. For the rest of the week, you would now eat 2500 calories a day. Instead of eating 3 big meals a day or eating all day all the time, spread those calories out over 5-6 smaller meals. Eat one meal every 2 and a half to 3 hours. To get big, you have to eat big! Remember that.

3) Weightlifting! Get in the gym and lift! This is another important step to how to gain weight, so make sure you are doing it correctly.

4) At the end of that week, weigh yourself. You'll notice your gaining just after one week! Now, don't expect to see a 10lb increase. Gaining anymore then 1 or 2 pounds a week is unhealthy and means your putting on way to much fat. So look for 1 or 2 pound gains at the end of the week. Don't sound like much? You can be gaining 5-8 pounds a month!

5) Heres an important one. At some point, you will stop seeing weight gain. At this point, you will have to eat even more. So, when you stop gaining for at least 2 weeks, it means it is time to start eating an extra 250 calories a day. Every time you see you haven't gained weight for at least 2 weeks, add an extra 250 calories. - Stay away from fat! Eventhough weight gain is your goal, you don't want to be gaining fat. Get rid of the chips and candy. No more fast food, nothing fried. Stick to high protein low fat foods like tuna fish (and other seafood), chicken breast, turkey, lean meats, fruits and vegetables etc. - WATER! Drink water! Drink around a half gallon a day, more if you can. Yes thats a lot of water, but its that water that will give you the energy you need to gain that weight! - Sleep! YES! Sleep! The easiest, yet most over looked step. Get atleast 8 hours of sleep a night. Your gonna need it!

Now the concern some people have about how to gain weight, is how to do it without putting on extra fat. Let me tell you how, YOU CAN'T! Unless you are using steroids, it is basically impossible to gain weight without putting on a little bit of extra fat. But hey, you want to see some weight gain right? Well then who cares about the little bit of extra fat you might put on while gaining. You will be able to burn that off later on, right now gaining is your main concern, so that is all you need to worry about.

08 July, 2008

Decorating your new born's Nursery

Your New born's Nursery should be bright, well lit and airy. Put up beautiful, light curtains.



Display some greeting cards from his/her dear ones





Make sure your New born is comfortable and warm when he sleeps





Choose a safe crib. It should comfortable, sturdy and safe. See the color and size.



Get few toys for your new born baby



Make sure the baby gets undisturbed and peaceful sleep. Keep a baby monitor too.



Putting toys in a hammock is another good idea



Add few more decorations on the side table



Hang some coordinated pictures on the wall. Make the room very neat and clutter free.





Hang a cute mobile on baby's crib



Stuff toys are always child's favorite



The baby's closet should be very neat



Choose baby's stroller



See if your crib comes with inbuilt diaper changing station or else get one seperately



Your little angel will surely be very happy in his/her nursery.



Preventing Diaper Rash



The best way to prevent diaper rash is by keeping your baby's skin as dry and clean as possible and changing diapers often so that feces and urine won't irritate the skin. The plastic that prevents diapers from leaking also prevents air circulation, thus creating a warm, moist environment where rashes and fungi can thrive.

To prevent diaper rash:

+change your baby's soiled or wet diapers as soon as possible
+occasionally soak your baby's bottom between diaper changes with warm water
+allow your baby's skin to dry completely before you put on another diaper
+If you use cloth diapers, rinse them several times after washing to remove any traces of soap or detergent that can irritate your baby's skin. Avoid using fabric softeners — even these can irritate the skin.
+ allowing your baby to go without diapers for several hours each day to give irritated skin a chance to dry and "breathe." This is easiest if you place your baby in a crib with waterproof sheets.

Abdominal workout- Things that you have been doing wrong so far

Infant Massage



Relaxes Infant
Loving touch lessens tension, fussiness and irritability. Digestion is improved. This can provide relief of gas and colic. Massage is also a wonderful way to lessen stress of parent and baby.



Enhances Bonding
Touch conveys nurturing and love, the essential ingredients for emotional and physical growth and bonding.

Aids Growth and Development
Studies have shown increased weight gain, and immune function. These things in turn are needed for brain and muscle development.

Promotes Communication
Parents become more aware of baby's nonverbal cues. One-on-one communication instills a message of love and security.

Improves Baby's Sleep
As your infant learns to relax and release stress, he sleeps sounder and longer.

07 July, 2008

Burping, Hiccups and Spitting Up


Burping

Young babies naturally fuss and get cranky when they swallow air during feedings. Although this occurs in both breastfed and bottle-fed infants, it's seen more often with the bottle. If the baby does not burp, he/she becomes cranky and continues crying. This continued fussing will cause her to swallow even more air, which will only increase her discomfort and may make her spit up.

A much better strategy is to burp her frequently, even if she shows no discomfort. The pause and the change of position alone will slow her gulping and reduce the amount of air she takes in. If she's nursing, burp her when she switches breasts.

How to Burp a Baby

Here are a few tried-and-true techniques. After a little experimentation you'll find which ones work best for your child.

Hold the baby upright with her head on your shoulder, supporting her head and back while you gently pat her back with your other hand.

Sit the baby on your lap, supporting her chest and head with one hand while patting her back with your other hand.

Lay the baby on your lap with her back up. Support her head so it is higher than her chest, and gently pat or rotate your hand on her back.

Hiccups

Most babies hiccup from time to time. This should not be very alarming neither for you not the baby. In India, people even believe that the baby is growing while she is having hiccups.

Spitting Up

Spitting up is another common occurrence during infancy. Sometimes spitting up means the baby has eaten more than her stomach can hold; sometimes she spits up while burping or drooling. Although it may be a bit messy, it's no cause for concern. It almost never involves choking, coughing, discomfort, or danger to your child.

Some babies spit up more than others, but most are out of this phase by the time they are sitting. A few "heavy spitters" will continue until they start to walk or are weaned to a cup. Some may continue throughout their first year.

You should be able to tell the difference easily between normal spitting up and true vomiting. Unlike spitting up, which most babies don't even seem to notice, vomiting is forceful and usually causes great distress and discomfort for your child. It generally occurs soon after a meal and produces a much greater volume than spitting up. If your baby vomits on a regular basis (one or more times a day), consult your pediatrician.

Preventing Spitting Up

While it is practically impossible to prevent all spitting up, the following steps will help you decrease the frequency of these episodes and the amount spit up:

Make each feeding calm, quiet and leisurely.
Avoid interruptions, sudden noises, bright lights and other distractions during feedings.
Burp your bottle-fed baby at least every three to five minutes during feedings.
Avoid feeding while your infant is lying down.
Place the baby in an upright position in an infant seat or stroller immediately after feeding.
Do not jostle or play vigorously with the baby immediately after feeding.
Try to feed her before she gets frantically hungry.
If bottle-feeding, make sure the hole in the nipple is neither too big (which lets the formula flow too fast) nor too small (which frustrates your baby and causes her to gulp air). If the hole is the proper size, a few drops should come out when you invert the bottle and then stop.
Elevate the head of the entire crib with blocks (don't use a pillow) and put her to sleep on her back. This keeps her head higher than her stomach and prevents her from choking in case she spits up while sleeping.

06 July, 2008

Infants Bathing.


My next few posts may be about infants. Whatever I am learning, I will be sharing with my readers. So this post is about how to bathe an infant. I remember when I first handled my new born baby, I was so nervous. I felt that the baby is so tiny. I was nervous of anything going wrong, of soap going in his eyes. But now after years, I watched a nurse handling my new born nephew so deftly. I must say I was impressed. Her hands were very gentle yet had firm grip. The first bath given to my nephew was in the room in an ordinary sink. Few pointers need to be kept in mind.

A new-born child should be bathed only in warm water, in a warm room. The best test of its not being too cool, is, the infant being rosy and merry after the bath. A child should like its bath, if it is rightly managed; never startling it with a sudden plunge. A mother had better bathe her own baby, if she is well and strong enough to do so. Start with the head first. Use a gentle baby shampoo. Take a dollop of it in hand and work your way through baby's head. It should be all done in quick and easy movement. Towel dry the baby's head first and now comes the turn of his body. Similarly lather some very gentle baby soap on his body all over quickly while you are holding the baby firmly with one hand and quickly rinse out all the soap with luke warm water. When you are drying the baby, make sure you are also drying between his/her creases. Specially watch for their folds in thighs, tiny little fingers, behind the ears etc.


Quickly swaddle them up in a comfortable wrap.

One error especially to be avoided is, letting a child, once wet all over, sit half in and half out of the water; being thus chilled by evaporation from the uncovered part of the body.

Much soap does not need to be used in bathing infants. If the child be bathed daily, it needs (after its first thorough cleansing) only an occasional employment, unless about the thighs.

05 July, 2008

Why babies cry



I am a mother of two teenage handsome boys. But recently I became aunt of a this little angel. The reasoning mind in me, which seeks an answer to everything, wanted to find out why babies cry and list them for my readers as well.

A certain amount of crying is normal in all infants, since it is their only means of verbal communication. Babies’ crying may indicate that they are hungry, lonely, warm, cold, uncomfortable or in need of a diaper change. Many babies go through periods of crying for no apparent reason, as they simply get used to the new world.

 Following 5 S's to calm the crying baby.

Swaddling - Tight swaddling provides the continuous touching and support the fetus experienced while still in Mom's womb. It makes your baby look like a burrito.

Side/stomach position - You place your baby, while holding her, either on her left side to assist in digestion, or on her stomach to provide reassuring support. Once your baby is happily asleep, you can safely put her in her crib, on her back.

Shushing Sounds - These sounds imitate the continual whooshing sound made by the blood flowing through arteries near the womb.

Swinging - Newborns are used to the swinging motions that were present when they were still in Mom's womb. Every step mom took, every movement caused a swinging motion for your baby. After your baby is born, this calming motion, which was so comforting and familiar, is abrubtly taken away. Your baby misses the motion and has a difficult time getting used to it not being there. Rocking, car rides, and other swinging movements all can help.

Sucking - Sucking triggers the calming reflex and releases natural chemicals within the brain." This "S" can be accomplished with breast, bottle, pacifier or even a finger.

04 July, 2008

Stomach Stapling



Stomach stapling is a major surgical procedure for severely and/or morbidly obese individuals who have made numerous, unsuccessful attempts with traditional methods of losing weight (e.g., changing eating patterns, working with nutritionists on eating plans, dieting, regular physical activity), all with the knowledge and supervision of their primary care provider. This surgery is getting a lot of notice lately due to celebrities such as Carnie Wilson, who has gotten the procedure done as a last resort treatment for her morbid obesity.

For the procedure itself, a experienced surgeon creates a small pouch at the top of the stomach, where it meets the esophagus, using staples and most often a band that is filled with saline that can enlarge and contract. The pouch will generally be large enough to hold only 1 to 3 ounces of food at a time. At the lower end of the "new" stomach, an opening of about 3/4 inches is made. This slows the movement of food, allowing the person to feel full more quickly. As a result, the person will be able to eat only a small amount of food — generally about one cup or less — at one time.

Sometimes the procedure is coupled with another one, called a malabsorptive operation, which diverts food from the stomach past much of the small intestine. This severely limits the body's ability to absorb nutrients and calories from the food, thus resulting in rapid weight loss.

Following the operation, the patient will have to consciously learn to change her or his eating patterns — to eat smaller amounts of food and to chew slowly and thoroughly. S/he won't be able to eat foods high in sugar or fat content, because they empty from the stomach more quickly than foods high in protein or complex carbs such as fiber, and can cause uncomfortable side effects. The patient will begin a lifelong dependency on nutritional supplements, since s/he will not be able to get enough vitamins and minerals from the food s/he eats. The individual will need to engage in regular physical activity as well, even if it's never been part of her or his routine.

Usually, maximum weight loss takes anywhere from 10 to 24 months after the surgery. Some people will not be successful. More than just the physical differences in the stomach, success also depends on the person's motivation to change her or his eating and exercise routines, continuing to use the traditional means of weight loss and maintenance that are most often successful and had been tried before having the surgery. These factors remain key to successful weight loss and maintenance, whether or not one has the procedure done.

Stomach stapling is major surgery and is not a cosmetic procedure.

While stomach stapling is a fairly simple procedure, it is not without risk. Nausea and vomiting are more prevalent, since eating larger amounts of food or not properly chewing will result in throwing up. Sugar and fat can cause "dumping syndrome," in which food moves through the stomach opening too quickly, causing nausea, vomiting, weakness, and even fainting. About 10 to 20 percent of people who undergo the surgery will need to have at least one follow-up operation due to complications. The band can slip, or even break, releasing saline into the abdomen; the staples can deteriorate and will need to be replaced. In a small number of cases, juices from the stomach can leak out into the abdomen, necessitating immediate emergency surgery. And in less than 1 percent of cases, infection can lead to death.

In addition, about 1/3 of the people who undergo the procedure will have gallstone problems and another 1/3 will have nutritional deficiencies. Some may also experience pulmonary embolisms (blockages of an artery) or respiratory failure.