Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Should You Count Calories to Maintain a Weight Loss Diet?

Question: Hi, I've watched almost all your videos on YouTube about health and fitness, and let me first just say you have really inspired me and changed the way I work out!

I was just wondering if you keep track of the amount of calories you consume daily, and if so, how many you typically eat? (Also, if you don't mind me asking, how tall are you?) I'm having a hard time with following this 1200 calorie regimen I put myself on because it leaves me feeling hungry and I tend to eat over 1400 on some days. I'm not sure if this is good or bad, and if I'm putting my body in "starvation mode" by eating only 1200. (I'm 5'' tall and I used to weigh about 130, but I lost 10 lbs in the last few months, but my ultimate goal is to be around 110-115).
Please help me, no one else I've consulted knows what to do in my situation but you seem well versed in these types of things and I would really appreciate it.

YouTips4U wrote: Hi, congratulations on losing 10 pounds, that's fantastic. I'm so glad my videos are helping to motivate you.

I am 5'4" tall and weigh 116 pounds. I really don't count calories and I never have. I eat only when I'm hungry and I eat several small meals throughout the day when I'm hungry rather than three standard meals. I never skip breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day and regulates how you feel, your energy, blood sugar, etc. for the entire day. I pay more attention to food groups rather than calories because I like to make sure that I have eaten foods from each of the food groups every day to maintain a balanced diet. I do not eat junk food, but I do indulge in dark chocolate daily. I do practice portion control, however, by not eating until I am stuffed. I try to pay close attention to when I feel full and satisfied with what I have eaten and then I stop. When you have time, please check out my breakfast video and my diet tips portion control video on YouTube (the link to my site is in the side bar). i think you will find them helpful.

For me 1200 calories would not be enough simply because I am very active athletically. I am always walking, jogging, going to the gym, cleaning my house, etc. If I don't eat small meals throughout the day, I will definitely feel drained and tired and lack energy to do things. I am sure that I exceed 1200 calories. My goal is really not to be thin, but to be healthy. I really think that you become thin by concentrating on being healthy. Exercise is so important. It helps raise your metabolism and burn calories. If you exercise regularly, you won't have to be so strict with your calories. If you are feeling deprived eat more calorie dense food when you snack liked peanut butter, add some olive oil to your salad. These things are very good for you and help keep you full longer which helps you eat less. Always reach for whole grains whenever possible because the fiber in these foods requires more energy for your body to break down which actually burns more calories during digestion. It also keeps you full longer than foods that are processed with white flour.

You definitely don't want to put your body in starvation mode because you will slow your metabolism and your body will conserve calories. If your body knows it will be fed when it's hungry it will stay revved and store much less fat. It's wonderful that you are committed and I want you to stay that way, so it's important to find a meal plan that works for you that's more of a way of life than a crash diet. Please take a look at those videos and concentrate on portion control, eating healthy foods from each of the food groups (vegetables, fruits, meats/poultry/beans/fish, dairy, grains) and maintaining regular cardio and strength training exercise. Don't expect results overnight. It takes commitment and work, but your devotion will pay off tremendously.

Keep up the good work :o)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

How to Protect Your Skin From the Chlorine in Pool Water

Question: Hi YouTips4U, what should i do before going swimming in a pool because I've noticed that the chlorine water is damaging my skin color?? Please help...***

YouTips4U Replied: Chlorine and Bromine can be harsh to your skin causing itching and dryness in many people who frequently swim. I have two suggestions for you to help protect your skin. The first suggestion is to apply a waterproof sunscreen before swimming like Coppertone Kids Sunscreen SPF 50 or 70 which is my absolute favorite as it really lasts. If you are outdoors, you should be doing this anyway to protect against the sun's harmful rays. But be sure to reapply if you are going to be spending extending time at the poolside.

My second suggestion is if you are indoors and do not want to use sunscreen(although you can if you want to), you can apply a thin layer of Vaseline Petroleum Jelly on your skin before entering the pool. Both of these products act as a barrier and repel the water forming a seal on your skin that locks in moisture and keeps the water from penetrating. I use Vaseline all the time when I swim in the winter months because the combination of dry heat and cold temperatures adds to the likelihood that my skin will develop a reaction from the chlorinated water.

Swimming is wonderful exercise, so don't let a little chlorine/bromine in the water stop you from enjoying the benefits of this wonderful total body exercise.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

How to Get Rid of Head Lice

Question: I have a question. Now this may sound gross, but I have head lice. I have been trying to get rid of it for about 5 months now, I think. Any tips on what I can do?

YouTips4U: Hi, don't worry, I'm not bothered by your question at all. I know what a problem lice can be and I'm very glad you wrote. I have an upcoming video on this subject, but I don't want you to have to wait for that, so I will try to help now. 5 months is a long time to be suffering with this situation. Lice are very contagious and there's a good chance that you have given it to many people, so you may want to alert those close to you so everyone can be treated, otherwise you will just keep passing it back and forth and it will never go away. Plus lice can really do damage to your scalp and hair follicles so don't wait. You have to make this a priority in your life in order for you to get rid of them.

First, you must use one the over-the-counter products that kills lice like Nix.
This is a shampoo in type of product and you leave it on the scalp and it kills the lice and then you rinse. Be sure to follow the directions carefully. Then you have to use a nit comb (be sure to buy the metal one) to comb out the nits which are the eggs. Very often the comb comes in a Nix kit.

The Nix product that you applied will only kill the lice (adult bugs) not the eggs. The eggs have to be removed by hand and with the comb every single day. You also have to literally have someone go through each strand of hair and pick off the nits(eggs) because sometimes the comb can miss a few. Do this for 14 days. During that time the Nix is still working to kill the lice bugs if any happen to hatch. But removing the eggs is key.

You also have to place all stuffed animals and items that cannot be washed in the wash machine with hot water into a plastic bag for three weeks to make sure that all the eggs and lice that may have dropped onto these items get killed. All bedding, pillow cases, hats, coats, clothing, etc. that you have been wearing have to be washing in hot water and placed in the dryer on a hot setting. All combs, brushes, hair clips, anything that has been in your hair has to be boiled for 3-5 minutes to kill the eggs. If any other family member has this, you all need to do this same procedure.

I hope that helps. Good luck to you. I know how difficult this is, but if you stick with it, I promise you will rid yourself of this problem for good. Please be sure you are keeping your hair tied up securely in a bun so that you don't spread lice to anyone else.

I've Had 4 Children - Can I Still Get A Flat Stomach?

Question: Hi YouTips4U, I just saw your video on flat abs on YouTube Click here to Go to My YouTube Channel - just a few questions if you don't mind - I've had 4 kids and two twins so you can imagine what I'm left with - saggy with stretch marks. Is it possible to have a tummy like yours and if so, how long would it take providing I do my exercises daily?

YouTips4U: Hi, I'm so glad you wrote because I have great news for you from real life experience. In the last 10 years I have known two women who have had twins. Both woman's twins were born at 7 pounds each which is a really good size for twins and they have other children as well. Both women have unbelievable tummies; both tight and flat. There is a bit of excess skin, but not noticeable unless she really shows you. They both worked out hard to get there and by that I mean they stuck to a regular exercise routine and a healthy diet. It took about 1 1/2 years for them to look great. So, the bottom line is there is a pot of gold at the end of your hard work exercise rainbow - so go for it because I saw these ladies look fabulous and I was so amazed considering how big their tummies had gotten. Your skin will tighten and retract and your stretch marks will eventually fade to a silvery white. I have had two children myself and my figure is exactly how it was before I had my children, actually, I think it's even better!

Dear YouTips4U: Omg thanks for replying!! So it is possible!! Wow!! I had all 4 births without gas and the pain I took was immense, but when it comes down to tummy tucks and breast lifts etc., it scares me, plus I don't have the luxury of healing with four kids, the youngest 10 months. You can imagine the madness that goes on lol. I'm so pleased it's possible - I asked doctors about surgery, but I was skeptical to get a nip and tuck done so I'm well pleased its possible. If I do still have that small amount of remaining skin left behind, and it bothers me, I may have that removed but it's better to get a mid tummy tuck than an arm lift/breast lift/full tummy tuck and so on.... Thanks again for your info and experience and experienced stories!! much appreciated!

YouTips4U: Hi, you are so welcome! I'm glad to help. I'm with you; I would never consider surgery, I'm way too chicken and I'd much rather work hard to achieve my goal. It really is way too soon for you to think about that. Your youngest is only 10 months old. You really do need to give your body about 2 years to get back into decent shape; especially if you breastfeed. Keep working at the exercise and you will be so happy you did. It really makes a tremendous difference. Our bodies are so unbelievably responsive. You've had 4 natural births with no medication, so I know you are tough. This challenge will seem small compared to getting through that. If you stay committed, my prediction is that in time, you will be so confident and happy about your body that you'll forget all about surgeries! Please be patient with yourself because it does take time and that can be hard to find when you're a mom, but keep working at and you WILL MAKE IT HAPPEN! The feeling of accomplishment that you will attain will be worth the effort.