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The Big Picture of Permanent Weight Loss

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Most people who read my articles and e-books know me as a science guy who likes to quote studies and apply research to everyday problems such as weight loss, bodybuilding, and other health/fitness related topics. However, sometimes you have to step back from the science and look at the big picture to help bring people back into focus, so they can see the forest for the trees, so to speak.

For most people reading this article, finding an effective diet that works most of the time must seem as complicated as nuclear physics. It’s not, but there are a bewildering number of choices for diets out there. High fat or no fat? High carbohydrate or no carbohydrate? Low protein or high protein? To make matters worse, there are a million variations and combinations to the above diet scenarios to add to the confusion. It seems endless and causes many people to throw up their hands in frustration and give up. In this article I will attempt to change all that.

There are some general guidelines, rules of thumb, and ways of viewing a diet program that will allow you to decide, once and for all, if it’s the right diet for you. You may not always like what I have to say, and you should be under no illusions this is another quick fix, “lose 100 lbs. in 20 days,” guide of some sort. However, if you are sick and tired of being confused, tired of taking the weight off only to put it back on, and tired of wondering how to take the first steps to deciding the right diet for you that will result in permanent weight loss, then this is the article that could change your life…

Does your diet pass “The Test”?

What is the number one reason diets fail long term; above all else? The number one reason is…drum roll…a lack of long term compliance. The numbers don’t lie; the vast majority of people who lose weight will regain it – and often exceed what they lost. You knew that already didn’t you?

Yet, what are you doing to avoid it? Here’s another reality check: virtually any diet you pick which follows the basic concept of “burning” more calories then you consume – the well accepted “calories in calories out” mantra – will cause you to lose weight. To some degree, they all work: Atkins-style, no carb diets, low fat high carb diets, all manner of fad diets – it simply does not matter in the short term.

If your goal is to lose some weight quickly, then pick one and follow it. I guarantee you will lose some weight. Studies generally find any of the commercial weight loss diets will get approximately the same amount of weight off after 6 months to a year. For example, a recent study found the Atkins’ Diet, Slim-Fast plan, Weight Watchers Pure Points program, and Rosemary Conley’s Eat Yourself Slim diet, were all equally effective. (1)

Other studies comparing other popular diets have come to essentially the same conclusions. For example, a study that compared the Atkins diet, the Ornish diet, Weight Watchers, and The Zone Diet, found them to be essentially the same in their ability to take weight off after one year. (2)

Recall what I said about the number one reason diets fail, which is a lack of compliance. The lead researcher of this recent study stated:

“Our trial found that adherence level rather than diet type was the primary predictor of weight loss”(3)

Translated, it’s not which diet they chose per se, but their ability to actually stick to a diet that predicted their weight loss success. I can just see the hands going up now, “but Will, some diets must be better than others, right?” Are some diets better then others? Absolutely. Some diets are healthier then others, some diets are better at preserving lean body mass, some diets are better at suppressing appetite – there are many differences between diets. However, while most of the popular diets will work for taking weight off, what is abundantly clear is that adhering to the diet is the most important aspect for keeping the weight off long term.

What is a diet?

A diet is a short term strategy to lose weight. Long term weight loss is the result of an alteration in lifestyle. We are concerned with life long weight management, not quick fix weight loss here. I don’t like the term diet, as it represents a short term attempt to lose weight vs. a change in lifestyle. Want to lose a bunch of weight quickly? Heck, I will give you the information on how to do that here and now for no charge.

For the next 90 to 120 days eat 12 scrambled egg whites, one whole grapefruit, and a gallon of water twice a a day. You will lose plenty of weight. Will it be healthy? Nope. Will the weight stay off once you are done with this diet and are then forced to go back to your “normal” way of eating? Not a chance. Will the weight you lose come from fat or will it be muscle, water, bone, and (hopefully!) some fat? The point being, there are many diets out there that are perfectly capable of getting weight off you, but when considering any eating plan designed to lose weight, you must ask yourself:

“Is this a way of eating I can follow long term?”

Which brings me to my test: I call it the “Can I eat that way for the rest of my life?” Test. I know, it does not exactly roll off your tongue, but it gets the point across.

The lesson here is: any nutritional plan you pick to lose weight must be part of a lifestyle change you will be able to follow – in one form or another – forever. That is, if it’s not a way of eating you can comply with indefinitely, even after you get to your target weight, then it’s worthless.

Thus, many fad diets you see out there are immediately eliminated, and you don’t have to worry about them. The question is not whether the diet is effective in the short term, but if the diet can be followed indefinitely as a lifelong way of eating. Going from “their” way of eating back to “your” way of eating after you reach your target weight is a recipe for disaster and the cause of the well established yo-yo dieting syndrome. Bottom line: there are no short cuts, there is no free lunch, and only a commitment to a lifestyle change is going to keep the fat off long term. I realize that’s not what most people want to hear, but it’s the truth, like it or not.

The statistics don’t lie: getting the weight off is not the hardest part, keeping the weight off is! If you take a close look at the many well known fad/commercial diets out there, and you are honest with yourself, and apply my test above, you will find most of them no longer appeal to you as they once did. It also brings me to an example that adds additional clarity: If you have diet A that will cause the most weight loss in the shortest amount of time but is unbalanced and essentially impossible to follow long term vs. diet B, which will take the weight off at a slower pace, but is easier to follow, balanced, healthy, and something you can comply with year after year, which is superior? If diet A gets 30 lbs off you in 30 days, but by next year you have gained back all 30 lbs, but diet B gets 20 lbs off you in the next 3 months with another 20 lbs 3 months after that and the weight stays off by the end of that year, which is the better diet?

If you don’t know the answer to those questions, you have totally missed the point of this article and the lesson it’s trying to teach you, and are set up for failure. Go back and read this section again…By default, diet B is superior.

Teach a man to Fish…

A well known Chinese Proverb is – Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

This expression fits perfectly with the next essential step in how to decide what eating plan you should follow to lose weight permanently. Will the diet plan you are considering teach you how to eat long term, or does it spoon-feed you information? Will the diet rely on special bars, shakes, supplements or pre-made foods they supply?

Let’s do another diet A vs. diet B comparison. Diet A is going to supply you with their foods, as well as their special drink or bars to eat, and tell you exactly when to eat them. You will lose – say – 30 lbs in two months. Diet B is going to attempt to help you learn which foods you should eat, how many calories you need to eat, why you need to eat them, and generally attempt to help teach you how to eat as part of a total lifestyle change that will allow you to make informed decisions about your nutrition. Diet B causes a slow steady weight loss of 8 -10 lbs per month for the next 6 months and the weight stays off because you now know how to eat properly.

Recall the Chinese proverb. Both diets will assist you to lose weight. Only one diet, however, will teach you how to be self-reliant after your experience is over. Diet A is easier, to be sure, and causes faster weight loss than diet B, and diet B takes longer and requires some thinking and learning on your part. However, when diet A is over, you are right back where you started and have been given no skills to fish. Diet companies don’t make their profits by teaching you to fish, they make their money by handing you a fish so you must rely on them indefinitely or come back to them after you gain all the weight back.

Thus, diet B is superior for allowing you to succeed where other diets failed, with knowledge gained that you can apply long term. Diet programs that attempt to spoon feed you a diet without any attempt to teach you how to eat without their help and/or rely on their shakes, bars, cookies, or pre-made foods, is another diet you can eliminate from your list of choices.

Diet plans that offer weight loss by drinking their product for several meals followed by a “sensible dinner;” diets that allow you to eat their special cookies for most meals along with their pre-planned menu; or diets that attempt to have you eating their bars, drink, or pre-made meals, are of the diet A variety covered above. They’re easy to follow but destined for failure, long term. They all fail the “Can I eat that way for the rest of my life?” test, unless you really think you can eat cookies and shakes for the rest of your life…Bottom line here is, if the nutritional approach you use to lose weight, be it from a book, a class, a clinic, or an e-book, does not teach you how to eat, it’s a loser for long term weight loss and it should be avoided.

The missing link for long term weight loss

We now make our way to another test to help you choose a nutrition program for long term weight loss, and it does not actually involve nutrition. The missing link for long term weight loss is exercise. Exercise is the essential component of long term weight loss. Many diet programs do not contain an exercise component, which means they are losers for long term weight loss from the very start. Any program that has its focus on weight loss but does not include a comprehensive exercise plan is like buying a car without tires, or a plane without wings. People who have successfully kept the weight off overwhelmingly have incorporated exercise into their lives, and the studies that look at people who have successfully lost weight and kept it off invariably find these people were consistent with their diet and exercise plans. (4)

I am not going to list all the benefits of regular exercise here, but regular exercise has positive effects on your metabolism, allows you to eat more calories yet still be in a calorie deficit, and can help preserve lean body mass (LBM) which is essential to your health and metabolism. The many health benefits of regular exercise are well known, so I won’t bother adding them here. The bottom line here is, (a) if you have any intentions of getting the most from your goal of losing weight and (b) plan to keep it off long term, regular exercise must be an integral part of the weight loss strategy. So, you can eliminate any program, be it book, e-book, clinic, etc. that does not offer you direction and help with this essential part of long term weight loss.

Side Bar: A quick note on exercise:

Any exercise is better than no exercise. However, like diet plans, not all exercise is created equal, and many people often choose the wrong form of exercise to maximize their efforts to lose weight. For example, they will do aerobics exclusively and ignore resistance training. Resistance training is an essential component of fat loss, as it builds muscle essential to your metabolism, increases 24 hour energy expenditure, and has health benefits beyond aerobics.

The reader will also note I said fat loss above not weight loss. Though I use the term ‘weight loss’ throughout this article, I do so only because it is a familiar term most people understand. However, the true focus and goal of a properly set up nutrition and exercise plan should be on fat loss, not weight loss. A focus on losing weight, which may include a loss essential muscle, water, and even bone, as well as fat, is the wrong approach. Losing the fat and keeping the all important lean body mass (LBM), is the goal, and the method for achieving that can be found in my ebook(s) on the topic, and is beyond the scope of this article. Bottom line: the type of exercise, intensity of that exercise, length of time doing that exercise, etc., are essential variables here when attempting to lose FAT while retaining (LBM).

Psychology 101 of long term weight loss

Many diet programs out there don’t address the psychological aspect of why people fail to be successful with long term weight loss. However, quite a few studies exist that have looked at just that. In many respects, the psychological aspect is the most important for long term weight loss, and probably the most underappreciated component.

Studies that compare the psychological characteristics of people who have successfully kept the weight off to people who have regained the weight, see clear differences between these two groups. For example, one study that looked at 28 obese women who had lost weight but regained the weight that they had lost, compared to 28 formerly obese women who had lost weight and maintained their weight for at least one year and 20 women with a stable weight in the healthy range, found the women who regained the weight:

o Had a tendency to evaluate self-worth in terms of weight and shape

o Had a lack of vigilance with regard to weight control

o had a dichotomous (black-and-white) thinking style

o Had the tendency to use eating to regulate mood.

The researchers concluded:

“The results suggest that psychological factors may provide some explanation as to why many people with obesity regain weight following successful weight loss.”

This particular study was done on women, so it reflects some of the specific psychological issues women have – but make no mistake here – men also have their own psychological issues that can sabotage their long term weight loss efforts. (6)

Additional studies on men and women find psychological characteristics such as “having unrealistic weight goals, poor coping or problem-solving skills and low self-efficacy” often predict failure with long term weight loss. (7) On the other hand, psychological traits common to people who experienced successful long term weight loss include “…an internal motivation to lose weight, social support, better coping strategies and ability to handle life stress, self-efficacy, autonomy, assuming responsibility in life, and overall more psychological strength and stability.” (8)

The main point of this section is to illustrate that psychology plays a major role in determining if people are successful with long term weight loss. If it’s not addressed as part of the overall plan, it can be the factor that makes or breaks your success. This, however, is not an area most nutrition programs can adequately tackle and should not be expected to. However, the better programs do generally attempt to help with motivation, goal setting, and support. If you see yourself in the above lists from the groups that failed to maintain their weight long term, then know you will need to address those issues via counseling, support groups, etc. Don’t expect any weight loss program to cover this topic adequately but do look for programs that attempt to offer support, goal setting, and resources that will keep you on track.

“There’s a sucker born every minute”

So why don’t you see this type of honest information about the realities of long term weight loss more often? Let’s be honest here, telling the truth is not the best way to sell bars, shakes, books, supplements, and programs. Hell, if by some miracle everyone who read this article actually followed it, and sent it on to millions of other people who actually followed it, makers of said products could be in financial trouble quickly. However, they also know – as the man said – “there’s a sucker born every minute,” so I doubt they will be kept up at night worrying about the effects that I, or this article, will have on their business.

So let’s recap what has been learned here: the big picture realities of permanent weight loss and how you can look at a weight loss program and decide for yourself if it’s for you based on what has been covered above:

o Permanent weight loss is not about finding a quick fix diet, but making a commitment to life style changes that include nutrition and exercise

o Any weight loss program you choose must pass the “Can I eat that way for the rest of my life?” test,

o The weight loss program you choose should ultimately teach you how to eat and be self reliant so you can make informed long term choices about your nutrition.

o The weight loss program you choose should not leave you reliant on commercial bars, shakes, supplements, or pre-made foods, for your long term success.

o The weight loss program you choose must have an effective exercise component.

o The weight loss program you choose should attempt to help with motivation, goal setting, and support, but can’t be a replacement for psychological counseling if needed.

Conclusion

I want to take this final section to add some additional points and clarity. For starters, the above advice is not for everyone. It’s not intended for those who really have their nutrition dialed in, such as competitive bodybuilders and other athletes who benefit from fairly dramatic changes in their nutrition, such as ‘off season’ and ‘pre-contest’ and so on.

The article is also not intended for those with medical issues who may be on a specific diet to treat or manage a specific medical condition. The article is intended for the average person who wants to get off the Yo-Yo diet merry-go-round once and for all. As that’s probably 99% of the population, it will cover millions of people.

People should also not be scared off by my “you have to eat this way forever” advice. This does not mean you will be dieting for the rest of your life and have nothing but starvation to look forward to. What it does mean, however, is you will have to learn to eat properly even after you reach your target weight and that way of eating should not be a huge departure from how you ate to lose the weight in the first place. Once you get to your target weight – and or your target bodyfat levels – you will go onto a maintenance phase which generally has more calories and choices of food, even the occasional treat, like a slice of pizza or whatever.

Maintenance diets are a logical extension of the diet you used to lose the weight, but they are not based on the diet you followed that put the weight on in the first place!

Regardless of which program you choose, use the above ‘big picture’ approach which will keep you on track for long term weight loss. See you in the gym!

References

(1) Truby H, et al. Randomised controlled trial of four commercial weight loss programmes in the UK: initial findings from the BBC “diet trials” BMJ 2006;332:1309-1314 (3 June),

(2) Michael D., et al, Comparison of the Atkins, Ornish, Weight Watchers, and Zone Diets for Weight Loss and Heart Disease Risk Reduction. A Randomized Trial. JAMA. 2005;293:43-53.

(3) Comparison of Diets for Weight Loss and Heart Disease Risk Reduction-Reply. Michael Dansinger. JAMA. 2005;293:1590-1591.

(4) Kruger J. et al. Dietary and physical activity behaviors among adults successful at weight loss maintenance. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2006, 3:17 doi:10.1186/1479-5868-3-17

(5) Byrne S, et al. Weight maintenance and relapse in obesity: a qualitative study. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2003 Aug;27(8):955-62.

(6) Borg P, et al. Food selection and eating behaviour during weight maintenance intervention and 2-y follow-up in obese men.Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2004 Dec;28(12):1548-54.

(7) Byrne SM. Psychological aspects of weight maintenance and relapse in obesity. J Psychosom Res. 2002 Nov;53(5):1029-36.

(8) Elfhag K, et al. Who succeeds in maintaining weight loss? A conceptual review of factors associated with weight loss maintenance and weight regain. Obes Rev. 2005 Feb;6(1):67-85

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Why Do Some Women Show More Scalp In Their Part Line?

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I recently heard from a woman who told me that over the last couple of years, she had noticed her hair’s part line widening. In fact, she said that if she compared photos of herself from a few years ago with photos today, her scalp showing through her part line was much more noticeable in the recent photos. She asked: “now that I suspect there’s an issue with my part, I’m starting to notice that some women just show more scalp in their part line. Why does this happen? Is it normal? Should I worry about it? I don’t like how it looks and I worry that it will be very noticeable in the future.” I’ll try to address these concerns in the following article.

Some Women Naturally Have A Wider Part Line: Your part line is that area in your hair right on top of your head where your hair parts and falls on both sides. This doesn’t happen if you pull your hair straight back or put it in a ponytail, but most people see their part line unless they purposely style their hair in a different way. If your hair is thicker and you have more of it, your part line will often be quite thin or barely noticeable because there are a lot of strands pushing up on both sides. But, if your hair is thinner or more sparse, you may well have a wider line because there is less hair on both sides.

Some women just normally have finer textured hair or less strands and this has always been true for them. In fact, many women can look at photos of themselves when they were a child and will notice that their part looks similar then to the way it does now. In this case, you may not be talking about a hair loss, hair thinning, or androgenic issue because the part that you see now is the one that you have always had and this is what is normal for you.

Sometimes, Your Part Line Is Showing More Scalp Because Or Hair Loss Or Hair Thinning Issues: It can be normal for hair to thin out about as we age. Few of us have the same head of hair that we had in our teens. But people without noticeable hair loss issues generally have enough hair to adequately cover all areas of their scalp, including their part.

And sometimes, when this is no longer happening, you’ll want to explore whether you have a hair loss, hair thinning, or an androgenic issue happening. Probably the most common cause of seeing more scalp is the hair thinning condition of androgenic alopecia (or AGA.) With this condition, not only does more hair fall out (because it is adversely affected by androgens) but the hair that grows back because more fine and miniaturized as it regrows, which means that it takes more hair to provide the same coverage.

Of course, any issue that causes reasonably dramatic hair loss can cause changes in the coverage that you have on your scalp. If you have less hair (for whatever reason) then you are going to have less coverage to work with. But, the top of the scalp is a common area where you see typically see androgenic issues, although the presence of a wide part line doesn’t always mean that AGA is present. There are many possibilities. Sometimes, the coverage is what is normal for the person. And other times, a hair loss or thinning issue is taking place and still needs to be identified.

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Bread and Butter Basics – Hair Health With Homeopathy

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No one wants to lose their hair. Whether it’s a result of middle age for men, the aftermath of menopause for women or after a fever, the loss of hair can be a trying event. Hair loss can also be attributable to drug use, prescribed or not. Even hereditary hair loss can sometimes be halted with the correct natural care. This is where homeopathy and simple kitchen methods can be employed.

Homeopathy is a medical discipline that has been shown to halt the loss of hair and put the sufferer in order. Because the word homeopathy includes the word “home”, many assume it means home remedies. Home remedies can indeed be useful in regaining and maintaining our health, but, homeopathy is actually a form of medicine with a record that dates back to the late 1700’s and has been accepted throughout the world ever since. Unfortunately, this has not been the case in the United States since modern medicine was so enamored with antibiotics that it no longer considered homeopathy of value. This is changing and rapidly so. The premise of homeopathy is that the body has the ability to bring itself to health when given the correct stimulus. Well chosen homeopathic remedies offer that stimulus.

So how can homeopathy help with hair loss? If the loss is fairly recent and hair is still falling, then homeopathy has been shown to more likely aid the situation. There are many remedies that can cover the issue of hair loss, but before contacting a professional homeopath, it certainly would be prudent to give the following remedies a try.

The first remedy to consider is Calc phos 6x. This is particularly useful for hair loss due to a fever; however, it can also restore hair without that symptom. It should be given three times each day for several weeks. In the old homeopathy books written by homeopathic doctors in the United Kingdom, Silica 6x and Calc fluor 6x are also consdered good choices for the loss of hair and it is suggested that they be alternated so that one day three doses of Silica can be taken, while on the alternate day, Calc fluor 6x will replace Silica.

Although not considered homeopathy, diet can be a substantial contributor to either the loss of hair or the gaining of lustrous hair. A diet rich in animal and tropical fats is of the greatest value. That is, butter, coconut oil and palm kernel oil. Making a habit of consuming these oils rich in vitamins required for healthy hair and skin can insure no further loss of hair and may reinstitute the growth. In fact, it is likely that if these quality foods have been missing in the diet, that it might be the cause of the problem in the first place. Additionally, any of these natural oils applied to the scalp can invigorate hair health.

If these simple ideas find you without results, consider consulting with a homeopath who can take the situation to a more personal level. The combination of homeopathy and natural diet change is natural and rational. It is not capricious like its modern medicine counterpart. Homeopathy and a high quality diet are true medicines for people who want to empower themselves. Good bread and butter common sense for intelligent action.

The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and may not be construed as medical advice. The reader is encouraged to make independent inquires and to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare provider.

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Will My Hair Grow Back If I Have CTE (Chronic Telogen Effluvium)? My Opinion Based on Experience

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I get a lot of questions about hair regrowth from people who have hair loss or shedding from conditions like telogen effluvium, chronic telogen effluvium, androgenic alopecia, or medical / autoimmune hair loss. Of all of these questions, the folks who have CTE seem to be the most upset because they’ve dealt with this shedding for quite a long time. By the time that they write me, usually the loss has been going on for such a long time that the effects have started to become noticeable. Of course, they want reassurance that once they are able to get the shedding to stop, they will regrow their hair and move on with their life. I will discuss this more in the following article.

The Clinical Definition Of CTE And Why You Must Stop It: You may well already know this, but technically chronic telogen effluvium means that you have been shedding over 10% of your hair volume (which works out to over 100 hair per day for most people) for longer than six months. Obviously then, shedding this much for this long is going to eventually show up and become noticeable both in terms of a loss of volume and perhaps some noticeably thinning areas on some parts of your scalp.

It’s quite likely that you are regrowing hair while this process is going on, but because you are losing it so rapidly you can not make any real gains. In other words, your scalp is kicking these hairs out before they can contribute to any real improvements. So, it’s vital that you are able to stop this cycle as soon as you can.

Now, chronic telogen effluvium is commonly caused by a trigger that you either can not find or can not seem to fix and this is what makes treating it so difficult. It’s sometimes a process of trial and error, and of slowly trying and evaluating different things until something finally works. And sometimes, unfortunately, the treatments will change our hormones even more or kick off another trigger that only perpetuates the problem. This is why you have to move as slowly as you can when trying out these treatments and why you should only introduce one thing at the time.

Your Hair Has Probably Been Regrowing All Along, But It Can’t Catch Up: What is happening right now is that you’re in the middle of a cycle in which your hairs keep going into the resting phase and then shedding out once again. This really doesn’t have much to do with your regrowth process. It’s actually happening but it just can’t keep up. You have probably been regrowing hair all along, only to shed it out again. If your loss was due to androgens or DHT, then this cycle would be a bit different. You’d have AGA instead, and AGA does commonly affect both the quality or quantity of your regrowth, but chronic telogen effluvium generally does not (unless it has gone on for so long that it has kicked off AGA or has started to affect or thwart your follicles.)

In some cases, losing this much hair this fast will cause some inflammation of the scalp which can affect your follicles and your regrowth. If this is the case, there is a lot that you can do to soothe and to heal the scalp. Still, this alone is not going to help as much as it should if you can’t stop this cycle from continuing to repeat itself. Your first priority should be to find your trigger and then to treat it once and for all, with an eye toward prevention from recurrence. Once you’ve back to stable levels of hair loss, then you can address stimulating your scalp and reducing any inflammation so that your regrowth will be quick, vigorous, healthy, and thick.

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Wind-Kissed Skin: Tips on Avoiding Windburn on a Ski Vacation

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Aside from the possibility of getting caught in the middle of an avalanche and getting a frostbite during your ski vacation, here’s another threat that you should avoid: windburn. So what exactly is a windburn?

Windburn is the redness of the skin caused by long exposure to strong and cold winds for extended period of time. The cold air allows the wind to easily break down the fat molecules (oil) that maintain the normal moisture in your skin. As a result, the skin turns dry and irritated. Skin also becomes more sensitive to products. It commonly occurs on the face but it can happen to any exposed part of your body.

Signs and Symptoms

Windburn is characterized by the irritation of the skin manifested in the redness of the face and other parts of the body such as neck and hands. It can look and feel like sunburn. Sometimes, the skin can seem swollen and feel very itchy and/or sore. It usually last for a few days because it causes much less skin damage.

However, if the irritation lasts longer, consult your doctor to avoid another skin condition such as rosacea. Rosacea is a skin disease that can mimic windburn and characterized by various forms of facial redness due to the enlargement and widening of blood vessels beneath the surface of the skin.

Who might be the victims of sunburn?

Those who are involved in winter sports such as skiers, snowboarders, and ice skaters are most likely to experience windburn. Being exposed to cold, dry, brisk wind at high altitudes increases the possibility of severe windburn.

People who live in warm climates don’t usually experience windburn, however sudden exposure to cold dry winds on vacations or during a sudden weather change may increase the odds.

What are the ways to prevent it?

First, keep your skin covered. Wear a scarf or neck warmers for your neck and chin, mittens to protect your hands, a hat or headband for your ears and a face mask for your nose cheeks, and forehead.

Second, if you plan to go out for a long time, wear some moisturizing sunblock to protect you from both sun and windburn. Don’t forget to moisten your lips too, with an SPF lip moisturizer. Apply sunscreen to your skin and lips every two hours.

Third, check weather reports and know the wind-chill factor before going out. If the weather is extremely cold, then don’t stay outside far too long.

Fourth, if it happens, apply lotion about four times a day. Make sure those lotions are without fragrance or acidic ingredients to avoid further irritation. If your skin begins to peel, resist the urge to pick at your skin and continue to moisturize. In cleaning the affected area, choose a mild cleanser to keep the natural moisture in your skin. If your condition is not getting any better, best to consult your doctor.

Are you ready for your ski vacation? With these helpful tips, your vacation will surely be windburn-free.

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Anti-Aging Skin Care Facial Toner Benefits

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The importance of facial toner in an anti aging skin care regimen:

Using a facial toner is a necessary part in one’s daily anti aging skin care routine, the important step between cleansing and moisturizing.

The most common method for applying a toner is to dab some on a cotton ball and apply it to your face and neck after cleansing. Some products come in a variety of spritzing sprays and pre-soaked pads.

Face skin care -Purpose of a toner

The purpose of using a toner is first to remove any cleansing residue, dirt, excess oil, make-up, dead skin cells, and any debris that the cleanser did not take away.

Toner also restores the skin’s PH balance and helps prep your skin to accept moisturizers and any other serum or anti age treatment.

Facial skin care -benefits of facial toners

In addition, many facial toners will tighten your pores while helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

A quality toner will also unclog pores, improve the over-all skin tone, increase circulation, and hydrate your skin promoting a healthy glowing skin.

Toner Tips

  • Very beneficial for oily skin and acne -controls oil and removes unwanted shine.
  • Look for toners that are alcohol- free, as alcohol is ultra drying and harsh to the skin.
  • Toners come in many blends-Some include beneficial essential oils and herbal extracts.

Some people swear by toners, but many skin care experts do not. The choice is yours – If you like the way your skin feels and looks – use it and Enjoy.

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What Does it Mean If Hair Falls Out Every Time You Brush, Wash, Or Run Your Fingers Through It?

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I often hear from folks who notice that they are losing hair every time they manipulate it. In other words, any time they are participating in normal maintenance like shampooing, brushing, combing, or just pulling their hair back or running their fingers through it, quite a bit of strands come out as the result.

The truth is, most people don’t pay all that much attention or take inventory of their hair until something changes with it. Usually, people will notice that suddenly, they’re seeing a lot of spent strands that they’ve not noticed before. It’s typically only then will they begin to ask themselves how many hairs they would typically lose. For example, if they’re seeing a bunch of fallen strands in their brush, they might wonder how many were there before. Of, if they run their fingers through their hands and come away with 4 in that same hand, they’ll wonder what their normal levels were before they saw this change.

After a while, most people realize that they’re definitely seeing is an increase in what is typical for them and they wonder what has changed to make this happen. In the following article, I’ll discuss why you might be seeing an increase of hair coming out when you manipulate it.

When You’re Loosing Hair While Manipulating It, It’s Usually Not The Manipulation That’s The Problem: Sometimes, I have people who ask me if perhaps they should change shampoos, brushes, or the method with which they put up or style their hair. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be gentle to your hair and scalp. But frankly, people who aren’t actively shedding or having hair loss don’t really have to worry about how they care for their hair because their’s isn’t coming out.

A healthy strand which is deeply embedded in your scalp and being actively nourished is not going to pull or fall out just because you comb, brush, wash, or manipulate it. Yes, the manipulation can make it come out at that time, but it’s highly likely that the same strand was either put in the shedding phase or is being negatively affected by androgens or some sort of inflammatory reaction. This means that it’s life cycle was over and it was going to come out at some point anyway. The key to stopping the excess hair loss or shedding often lies not in trying not to manipulate your hair, but in figuring out what caused this change in your hair cycle or scalp and then addressing that head on.

Reasons Why You Might Be Seeing More Hair Fall Than What You’re Used To: Seeing excess hair coming out during brushing, styling or washing often rises to the level of shedding. There are many possible reasons for this such as one of the effluviums (telogen or chronic,) autoimmune conditions, medical conditions, or reactions to medications, hormonal changes, or stress. You can also have some shedding with yeast overgrowth or scalp issues or infections. The treatments for this range from time to topicals to medical intervention. But in most cases, keeping the scalp clean and keeping inflammation down can help some.

Sometimes, a person can have aggressive AGA (androgenic alopecia) that can look like shedding or telogen effluvium but it is driven by a reaction or sensitivity to androgens. The scalp is struggling to support healthy hair so the hair cycles can shorten or change. Additionally with androgen issues and AGA, the regrowth is miniaturized so you’re often dealing with both hair loss and shedding as well as eventual compromised regrowth.

It’s normal to lose small amounts of hair when you manipulate it. Specialists will tell you that it can be normal to loose up to 100 strands per day depending on how much hair you start with and where you are in your hair cycles. But, if you’re noticing shed hairs every time you touch or manipulate it and you have the feeling that this isn’t normal, then it can make a lot of sense to have it checked out and educate yourself about hair issues. I’m certainly not a doctor or specialist, but this type of shedding could be potentially indicate that you’re dealing with a hair or medical issue that could benefit from early intervention.

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Solve Skin Sagging – Tips On How To Get Firmer Skin

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Our skin cannot remain firm and elastic forever. In fact, it can easily turn saggy because of excessive weight loss, rapid loss of collagen and the daily effects of environmental aging elements.

If you want to solve skin sagging, you should try the following tips:

1. Prevent skin dryness right away.

If you see the first signs of skin dryness, immediately whip out your moisturizer and apply some on your dermis. The skin gets damaged easily because of the loss of moisture. Supplying moisture to the dermis can also help bring back the elastic functions of your integumentary system.

Look for an anti aging moisturizer made up of CynergyTK, Phytessence Wakame and Nano Lipobelle HEQ10. CynergyTK is an ingredient that has been extracted from the wool of sheep. It is one of the best sources of keratin. Keratin is a functional protein responsible for the production of collagen. Phytessence Wakame is a sea kelp that can help preserve healthy levels of hyaluronic acid. This acid is needed to lubricate collagen. When collagen fibers are properly lubricated, they do not get damaged easily. Nano Lipobelle HEQ10 is also vital because of its ability to prevent cellular damage. This antioxidant works deeper into the skin to fight harmful free ranging radicals.

2. Try massaging your skin upward.

Since the skin tissues are already fragile, you wouldn’t want to inadvertently damage them by tugging them aggressively. Use your lightest fingers when applying your moisturizer. Apply the product using an upward motion to lift the saggy areas of your dermis.

3. Try facial yoga.

Yoga is an anti aging treatment. It actually helps tone the dermis to make it less susceptible to wrinkles. In addition to that, it helps release the tension in muscles. You can also use yoga to tone your facial skin if it is starting to look saggy.

Try a few facial yoga exercises that can target the saggy areas around your eyes, cheeks and jaw.

4. Increase your intake of foods rich in amino acids.

Amino acids are the building blocks of keratin and other complex proteins. They are needed to produce more collagen in the body. One of the reasons why the amount of collagen in your body declines is because of the insufficient intake of foods rich in amino acids.

That being said, you have to make a few changes in your diet. Make sure that you eat lean meat, dairy products, vegetables and nuts daily.

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Nopal Cactus Juice Is Helping Many People Experience Better Wellness – Find Out How

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A cactus with sharp spines is helping many people experience better wellness. How could that happen?

If you have ever bumped into a cactus, you will remember it well! I am sure this would not help your health but would be a painful experience. The plant is protected by its sharp spines from the animals of the Sonoran Desert seeking it’s fruit and water sources. It seems that these cactus plants have also protected a secret. A secret discovered by ancient medicine men in the deserts of the southwest ages ago. Even though people of today seem smarter, many have been injured by these spines before discovering the secret held by the cactus. An important addition to our health has been protected by these sharp spines for so long and now is available to you.

How can this cactus help you? People are interested in natural ways to keep their body healthy. People that are interested in becoming healthier, reducing dangerous inflammation and improving their overall health should look into the secrets found in this cactus fruit.

The ingredients from the Nopal cactus fruit that benefit your body the most are called Betalains.

Betalains are what make the Nopal cactus fruit so special. These unique powerful ingredients are natures anti inflammatory ingredients. What if these powerful ingredients were combined with other natural anti inflammatory ingredients such as strawberry, kiwi, cranberry, raspberry, papaya, mango, pomegranate, pineapple, grape,and lemon?

This special cactus fruit is what seems to make a positive difference in people’s health. However, even knowing that a juice is composed with nopal cactus fruit and contains betalains may not help you to understand how this cactus fruit would be beneficial to you. To fully understand the benefits of the nopal cactus fruit you will need to know what these anti-oxidant betalains are and how these betalains can benefit your health.

Betalains are known as a type of powerful antioxidants. Betalains were first discovered for pigments,their color and dyeing properties. The beautiful bright pink color of the Nopal cactus fruit is created from these betalains. These powerful betalains work as an anti-inflammatory agent, a pain relieving agent and are also known as a powerful detoxifying antioxidant. Antioxidants are well known for their detoxification properties. These betalains that are known as a special class of antioxidants seem to be very rare in nature and other foods. These betalain antioxidants are found in the nopal cactus fruit. If you are interested in a juice that brings about several health benefits from these betalains that have been scientifically proven, please read on.

There are a number of plants that contain betalains: these are beets, swiss chard, and the Nopal cactus fruit. This cactus fruit has been tested and contains all 24 betalains that are known to man. By drinking these natural ingredients, you can acquire the betalains and nutrients your body needs quickly. When consumed in a liquid form these powerful betalain antioxidants can immediately start helping your body. Your body will get the essential nutrients and betalain antioxidants as quickly as possible. Betalains will also help your body to reduce any chronic inflammation, which can lead to disease and other major health problems. Independent research shows that Nopal cactus fruit juice can help your body to reduce the risk of blood clots, can help your body to reduce bad cholesterol, can help your body protect its cells from toxins, and can help your body protect it’s liver. Obviously there are many benefits that can come from this cactus fruit. The antioxidant betalains in the nopal cactus juice can bring you benefits that you will not get in any other way. This can help you with your important plan to keep your body healthy.

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Tips On How To Properly Exfoliate Dry And Dull Skin

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Our skin is exposed to a myriad of external aging factors. These external aging factors can make our complexion dull and sallow. In addition to that, our own body purges out dead skin cells. Cleansing alone cannot get rid of dead skin cells. They usually hold on to the wall of the pores of your skin.

If you want to solve dry and dull skin problems, you should regularly exfoliate your dermis. Let me tell you a couple of tips on how to exfoliate properly:

1. Try using exfoliating enzymes. These enzymes are usually found in yellow or orange-colored fruits and vegetables such as papaya, pumpkin and pineapple. If you have left-over ripe and mushy pumpkin at home, blend it. Add brown sugar for an extra exfoliating effect.

Exfoliating enzymes work in breaking down the component that bonds dead cells to the walls of your pores. This way, you can easily get rid of dead cells and make your skin look instantly brighter.

2. Citrus fruits have natural exfoliating properties. Our skin is naturally acidic. That being said, acidic treatments work in correcting common dermis problems. Citric acid is a good choice because it works well in removing dead skin cells and facilitating a renewal of dermis tissues.

I highly recommend lime and lemon juice as exfoliants. Try mixing the juice of lime or lemon with honey. Apply it on your damp skin. Leave it there for 30 minutes. Wash it off with lukewarm water.

3. Milk can actually help strip away unwanted gunk and dead cells on the surface of your dermis. In fact, this can also facilitate a mild peeling action. This way, younger and healthier tissues can be pushed to the surface of the dermis. Apply milk on your clean skin. Let it sit there for about an hour before washing it off.

4. Exfoliate damp skin. Do not apply the mixture on dry skin as the abrasive particles might chafe the surface layers of the dermis. If you are applying it on dry skin, make sure that the scrub contains hydrating ingredients like olive oil or honey.

After scrubbing your dermis, immediately moisturize. Pat your skin dry and apply a hydrating moisturizer. Look for a moisturizer with CynergyTK, Phytessence Wakame and Nano Lipobelle HEQ10.

CynergyTK is an ingredient that has been taken from sheep wool. It is a good source of functional keratin. This is the protein needed by the dermis for better collagen growth. Phytessence Wakame is also essential because of its ability to prevent the loss of hyaluronic acid. This acid is vital for the lubrication of collagen fibers. Nano Lipobelle HEQ10 is an antioxidant. It can penetrate up to the deepest layer of the dermis to fight free radicals.

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Melaleuca Review – Can You Prosper With the Wellness Company?

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In this Melaleuca review we shall establish the truth of this program and whether or not you can profit using it. Melaleuca claims to be the ‘Wellness Company’, and although it claims not to be a network marketing business, you need a good downline to make reasonable income. In saying that, however, it does appear to be an honest business and not a fly-by-night ready to fold once it has our cash.

Let’s have a look at the various factors that that Melaleuca what it is:

Melaleuca Review: The Founder and the Company

You can often get a reasonable idea of the genuine worth of a business from its founder. Frank VanderSloot had been CEO of the MLM business ‘Oil of Melaleuca’ when he founded this company in 1985. Unfortunately, this company failed, but VanderSloot believed that had taught him some valuable lessons, and decided to buy the old company’s stocks.

After doing so he offered the distributors of the old business the chance to move over with him, but only around 50% took up his offer. His new business changed the way distributors were compensated to rewarding only those who performed well – as it should be. It is now a growing business and sales of its products are increasing. So what are these products?

Melaleuca Review: The Products

The products are varied and claimed to be 100% natural. They range from vitamins and supplements to beauty products, dental products, hair care and per products, each claimed to be manufactured only from natural and sustainable raw materials and containing no added chemicals. The company also offers cleaning products, breakfast cereals and over 400 others that you will use daily.

These wellness products are not luxuries, but part of your everyday shopping and less expensive than store-bought products. They are very popular with those that use them and appear to do the job they are designed to do. There are no complaints about the products, therefore, unlike many MLM programs where the product is secondary to the registration fees and downlines. Here, you must sell to add wealth to the business and to yourself.

Melaleuca Compensation Plan

To make a decent income with the Melaleuca program, you must recruit people to your downline, and continue to do so because it pays only seven deep. That of course is what network marketing is about – recruitment, and each one must learn the Melaleuca way from their video. Here comes the first problem:

You earn nothing for recruiting people! You get paid only when your recruits sell – which from the company view is reasonable enough. That is why the original program failed, and was one of the changes that Frank VanderSloot made when he took it over. In effect, this has become more genuine of an opportunity, since sales must be made before anybody can be paid. That sounds reasonable to me, if not to those more used to the type of MLM business that thrives from registration fees rather than product sales.

You get 7% of customer sales – that’s $7 for every $100 product purchased. Since customers tend to stay with the company, this is generally a recurring income. You also get paid 7% down 7 levels of your downline, so a total of 14% is paid out to members of the program. That is 7% to you and 7% to the person that recruited you. This does not reduce down the line as most MLM programs do.

You can grow as many downlines as you want, so you can build up a good income by actively marketing the network marketing program rather than direct sales. You can also earn money through a number of bonuses offered for specific customer types and how well your downline members are doing.

Melaleuca Review: Summary

Melaleuca offer genuine products with a good USP and it should not be difficult to persuade consumers to purchase their products. They also have a reasonable compensation plan to 7 levels through multiple downlines. However, there is one curious proviso to this: you cannot recruit through links or replicated websites.

You must learn the presentation and then give it your prospect on a one-to-one basis at a pre-scheduled time and date. You must therefore recruit by personal contact so you cannot enable people to join automatically online. The presentation can be online or offline, but it must be on a personal basis.

All in all the Melaleuca products are good, the compensation is reasonable and the over company is genuine with a good future. Whether you like the method of recruitment, or can make enough money to make it worthwhile is up to you.

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