Archive for December, 2014

Fitness Equipment Warnings for Buyers

Looking for a way to keep fit, stay limber or lose ? A diet of regular exercise can help.

Which exercise is best? The one you’re really going to do. For some people, that means working out at home on exercise equipment.

If you’re considering buying exercise equipment, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers this advice: Evaluate advertising claims for fitness products carefully. Exercise — with or without special equipment — is essential for good health.

Fitness Equipment Warnings for BuyersBut be skeptical of claims that you will lose several pounds, inches or pant sizes in a short time (for example, “7 inches in 7 days” or “3 dress sizes in one month”).

Even when combined with dietary supplements or specialized breathing techniques, it is virtually impossible for most consumers to achieve such major changes in appearance in a few days or weeks.

FTC Consumer Advice

  • Ignore claims that an exercise machine or device can provide long-lasting, easy, “no-sweat” results in a short time. These claims are false: You can’t get the benefits of exercise unless you exercise.
  • Question claims that a product can burn fat off a particular part of the body — for example, the buttocks, hips or stomach. Achieving a major change in your appearance requires sensible eating and regular exercise that works the whole body.
  • Read the ad’s fine print. The advertised results may be based on more than just using a machine; they also may be based on restricting calories.
  • Be skeptical of testimonials and before-and-after pictures from “satisfied” customers. Their experiences may not be typical. Just because one person had success with the equipment doesn’t mean you will, too.
  • Do the calculations when you read statements like “three easy payments of …” or “only $49.95 a month.” The advertised cost may not include shipping and handling fees, sales tax, and delivery and set-up fees. Find out the details before you order.
  • Get details on warranties, guarantees and return policies. A “30-day money-back guarantee” may not sound as good if you have to pay shipping on a bulky piece of equipment you want to “return to sender.”
  • Check out the company’s customer and support services. Call the advertised toll-free numbers to get an idea of how easy it is to reach a company representative and how helpful he or she is.

The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261.

The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

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20 Weight Loss Tips

Weight loss tips are very popular because as we all know we can use more new and different ideas to help us lose weight.

Hopefully these weight loss tips will be new to you. I know it always helps me to have a reminder every now and then of different things that I can use to modify my diet and exercise regimen to get fitter and healthier.

So Here We Go!

20 Weight Loss Tips

Weight Loss Tips

1) If you want to lose more then a few pounds, you must exercise.

2) Be disciplined. Cardio 5 to 7 days a week,weights every couple of days. Muscle weight will raise your metabolism and help you burn more calories while your not in the gym. I have had lots of people (including professionals) downplay the value of lifting. I didn’t listen, and I think I am better off for it.

3) “I don’t want to lift weights because I don’t want to look ‘ripped’”. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this from women.

Getting ripped is a lot harder then it looks. If you are trying to lose , its pretty safe to assume you won’t look ripped until you are at your ideal . My respect for those who are has greatly increased when I realized the difficulty in getting and keeping those muscles.

4) You gain muscle at rest, Don’t over do the amount of workouts per muscle. When I wasn’t gaining muscle, I just kept working harder and harder. It took quite some convincing that I needed to work less. I’ll be damned if they weren’t right…

5) If you are smoking, try to quit. Unless you’re Axel Rose (the singer from Guns and Roses and a big time runner), aerobic exercise and smoking gets really tough.

6) The little things add up! These weight loss tips are important. Make sure those little snacks and foods are not hurting you. Bad habits that are small are the hardest to break since they do not look important enough to make a difference – But they do.

  • Cut soda out of the picture
  • If you don’t have time for a full workout, do what you can. You do this so that you stay mentally disciplined and in the habit of working out.
  • my “no-time-to-workout” workout is a set of 50 crunches, 50 lunges, 50 pushups. If I burn through it and I have time to spare, I keep doing it until failure or my allotted time is up.
  • know it’s cliche but hear me out: do things the hard way (take the stairs, park far away, do pushups while you wait for the microwave, etc.)
  • doing things the hard way DOES NOT count as exercise. The hard way is strictly bonus material on top of a regular workout schedule.

7) If your not sweating, breathing hard, or at your target pulse rate, you’re just fooling yourself. I can’t tell you how many people I see every day who come into the gym, put in the time, put in the money, and walk back out the door looking just as good as when they came in. If you feel you can walk out without taking a shower, you need to turn around, cowboy up, and work your ass off or die trying.

8) If you can read magazines while your doing your aerobic exercise, your not doing it hard enough or fast enough.
Honestly, you should be sweating, moving, and if your lucky, praying for death (“5 more minutes, 5 more minutes, 5 more minutes”). Your muscles will eventually stop aching, and you will get your second wind. If you fail, so what? You’re done early for the day.

9) If you can talk to your buddy, girlfriend, coworker, etc. while you are on the treadmill, you need to reread #8.

10) If you’re doing a good job with losing a significant amount of fat, you will probably plateau a number of times. Don’t Panic! Make sure you are eating a balanced diet, change your workout to something new, and you will leave the plateau more quickly. If you try to brute force your way through it with out any change, it will be tough going.

11) Get your diet squared away. Any list of weight loss tips has to include your main diet not just your snacks.

  • focus on small life changes, and skip the low carb / high protein diets. They work in the short term, but not in the long term.
  • For bonus points, try eating whole grains and lose the preservatives.
  • I switched to a healthier diet during scuba diving certification. While this was going on, I had to skip the workouts completely. When I returned to the gym after certification I noticed a distinct increase in performance despite my absence.
  • The only thing that changed was my diet. Honestly, while I can see the performance boost in the gym, I can’t really feel a boost outside of the gym.

12) Don’t eat less, work harder (if your diet is balanced). I learned this one the hard way. If you get too few calories, your weight loss will grind to a halt no matter how much time you put in the gym.

13) Log your eating and workouts. It makes it easier to honestly assess your efforts. What you think you eat, and what you really eat are two totally different things.

14) Take a picture (preferably), or if you really don’t want to, make a commitment to keep a pair of the pants you are currently wearing. Your body will change as you progress, and everyone except you will see it. These items will help keep you motivated. Conversely, I also keep a few pieces of clothing which are a size or two too small and make it my goal to eventually fit into them.

15) Don’t worry too much about your , focus on losing inches.

  • by no means, should you stop weighing yourself.
  • Until you get used to how your body operates in weight loss mode, fat loss, muscle gain, and fluid levels will all make your flop around.

16) Drink lots of water. Water is like motor oil for the human body. Drink lots of it. It will make you feel tons better. Bonus points if you get rid of the soda and replace it with water.

16) if you are addicted to a food, finish what you have, and don’t buy any more. If you can avoid it for a month you will forget what it tastes like, and it will no longer have its hold on you (even if you have a taste later down the road).

17) Don’t be hungry! Make sure you have healthy food always available. If you are hungry, you are more likely to eat whatever you can get your hands on. Hopefully you have good food available so you don’t go after the wrong foods. if your are hungry, you will end up eating more.

  • hungry people eat faster, which leads to eating more then you need.
  • You can’t eat 3 meals at once even if it is within the recommended daily allowance. Your body can only handle so much at once. Guess where the rest is going…
  • For years now, I have always been a 1 giant meal per day kind of person. This is bad for you for a whole slew of reasons. I couldn’t have beaten the Diabetes on 1 meal per day.

18) A salad is not always a salad. Stick with oil based dressings, and get rid of all that cheese and bread crumbs. Be careful of the meats too. Restaurants like to stick high calorie, high fat meats in your salad.

19) Try to lower the amounts of red meat that you consume. I am still trying to get this down. If you can eat more chicken and fish, you will be in a better position.

20) if possible, try to eat 6 times a day (every 2 or 3 hours)

  • plan what you eat, and eat what you plan. This usually isn’t possible, but the closer you can get, the easier life will be.
    3 meals, and 3 snacks or 6 small meals. The meal sizes should steadily decrease throughout the day to match your decreasing metabolism.
  • eating something every 2 or 3 hours will help prevent insulin spikes. Insulin spikes encourage fat storage and they can leave you feeling tired after the spike is done

That’s it for weight loss tips for now. If you can think of any easy weight loss tips I’ve missed that has worked for you, add it to the list in the comments below.

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Food Safety tips for the holidays

The FDA came out with some food safety tips for the holidays. Since we are not just cooking for ourselves but others also it is a good idea to really follow better hygiene rules os that we don’t accidentally give Salmonella or some other bacteria to our freinds or family memebers

I tend to be pretty good at keeping a clean kitchen and have pretty good cooking habits but just reading these again reminds me of some things that I forget as well.

Food Safety tips for the holidaysGreat stuff to read and here are the highlights:

1. Clean: The first rule of safe food preparation in the home is to keep everything clean

  • Wash hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling food. “For children, this means the time it takes to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice,” says Davidson.
  • Wash food-contact surfaces (cutting boards, dishes, utensils, countertops) after preparing each food item and before going on to the next item.
  • Rinse fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running water and use a produce brush to remove surface dirt.
  • Do not rinse raw meat and poultry before cooking. “Washing these foods makes it more likely for bacteria to spread to areas around the sink and countertops,” says Davidson.

2. Separate: Don’t give bacteria the opportunity to spread from one food to another (cross-contaminate)

  • Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood and their juices away from foods that won’t be cooked while shopping in the store, and while preparing and storing at home.
  • Consider using one cutting board only for foods that will be cooked (raw meat, poultry, and seafood) and another one only for ready-to-eat foods (such as raw fruits and vegetables).
  • Do not put cooked meat on an unwashed plate that has held raw meat.

3. Cook: Food is safely cooked when it reaches a high enough internal temperature to kill harmful bacteria

  • “Color is not a reliable indicator of doneness,” says Davidson. Use a food thermometer to make sure meat, poultry, and fish are cooked to a safe internal temperature. To check a turkey for doneness, insert a food thermometer into the inner thigh area near the breast of the turkey but not touching bone. The turkey is done when the temperature reaches 180ºF. If the turkey is stuffed, the temperature of the stuffing should be 165ºF. Make sure oysters in oyster dressing are thoroughly cooked.
  • Bring sauces, soups, and gravies to a rolling boil when reheating.
  • Cook eggs until the yolk and white are firm. When making your own eggnog or other recipe calling for raw eggs, use pasteurized shell eggs, liquid or frozen pasteurized egg products, or powdered egg whites.
  • Don’t eat uncooked cookie dough, which may contain raw eggs.

4. Chill: Refrigerate foods quickly because harmful bacteria grow rapidly at room temperature

  • Refrigerate leftovers and takeout foods within two hours.
  • Set your refrigerator no higher than 40ºF and the freezer at 0ºF. Check both periodically with an appliance thermometer.
  • Never defrost food at room temperature. Food can be defrosted safely in the refrigerator, under cold running water, or in the microwave. Food thawed in cold water or in the microwave should be cooked immediately.
  • Allow the correct amount of time to properly thaw food. For example, a 20-pound turkey needs two to three days to thaw completely when thawed in the refrigerator. If a turkey is not properly thawed, the outside of the turkey will be done before the inside, and the inside will not be hot enough to destroy disease-causing bacteria.
  • Don’t taste food that looks or smells questionable. Davidson says, “A good rule to follow is, when in doubt, throw it out.”

Related Blogs

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