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Friday, 28 February 2014

Do Fibre Calories Count

By Maria Hoven
Fiber plays an important role in keeping your body healthy, and you need to consume it every day. It is a form of carbohydrates found in plants, such as vegetables, fruits and grains. Although fiber is a carbohydrate, it does not contain any calories. Plants contain several different types of fiber, including pectin, gum, cellulose, lignin and hemicellulose, which can be divided into water-soluble and insoluble fiber.

Calorie Content

The digestive enzymes in your body do not digest fiber; thus, fiber does not contain any calories. However, eating fiber-containing foods may help you feel “full” due to absorption of water. The Colorado State University Extension reports that fiber-containing foods may actually reduce your calorie intake. Foods high in fiber require more chewing; thus, it takes more time to eat them. This can help you get full with less food and consume fewer number of calories.


Pectin and gum are water-soluble fibers, found in foods such as beans, oat bran, fruit and vegetables. Cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin are insoluble fibers, found in wheat bran, whole grain, vegetables and beans. Fiber content differs considerably between different foods; a half cup of beans has up to 10 grams of fiber, a third cup of bran cereal has 9 grams of fiber, a half cup of artichoke hearts has 7 grams of fiber and one medium pear has 5.5 grams of fiber.


Every healthy diet should contain water-soluble and insoluble fiber. The recommended daily intake for fiber is 14 grams per every 1,000 calories you consume. This comes to an average of 25 grams of fiber for adult women and 38 grams of fiber for adult men. However, the “Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010” reports that the typical American diet contains only around 15 grams of fiber per day. This suggests you should evaluate your daily fiber intake to ensure you are getting the recommended level every day.


    Soluble and insoluble fiber have several health benefits. Water-soluble fibers bind bile acids that are digestive liquids made from cholesterol. Consuming a high-fiber diet may lead to increased exertion of bile acids and thus increased removal of cholesterol from your body. Insoluble fiber binds water as it travels through your digestive tract. This helps make stools softer and bulkier and may help prevent constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticulitis. Dietary fiber may also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes, according to the “Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010.”

    Thursday, 27 February 2014

    Does Fiber Cancel Out Other Carbohydrates?

     By Aglaee Jacob

    If you are keeping an eye on your carb intake to control your blood sugar levels or weight, you are probably familiar with carb counting. Although fiber does not "cancel out carbs" -- that is, you can't eat a bowl of ice cream and cancel it out by eating a cup of oat bran -- the fiber in a food is considered part of the total carb count. That means, if you're counting the type of carbs that affect your blood sugar, you can subtract the grams of fiber from the total grams of carbohydrate to get a more accurate picture.

    Carbohydrates and Fiber

    When you look at a nutrition facts table, you will typically find the suggested serving size at the top of the table and the grams of total carbohydrates per serving lower in the table. Below the total carbs, you will see the fiber content listed in grams. Fiber is accounted for as part of the total carbohydrates found in a food. In other words, it's listed twice -- once in the listing under "fiber" and once as part of the total carbohydrate count, which also includes starches and sugars.

    Available Carbs and Your Health

    Although starches, sugars and fiber are all part of the total carbohydrates, they are not handled the same way in your body. Sugars and starches elevate your blood sugar levels and can be stored as fat. by contrast, fiber is not absorbed at all and stays in your gastrointestinal tract until it moves through and is eliminated. If you are watching your blood sugar levels or weight, you are typically only concerned with the portion of the carbohydrates that affect your blood sugar levels and weight -- the total carbs, minus the fiber. This calculation is sometimes also referred to as "available" or "net" carbs.

      Calculating Available Carbs

      You can usually easily calculate net carbs by subtracting the fiber from the total carbs in a serving of food. Other times, it's a bit trickier. For example, certain foods, such as ice cream with no sugar added, use a type of carbs called "sugar alcohol" to provide sweetness. Like fiber, "sugar alcohol" is used differently in the body, and many people don't count these carbs as part of their net carbs.


      A medium pear has a total carb content of 27.5 grams and a fiber content of 5.5 grams. All you need to do to obtain the available carbs is subtract the 5.5 g of fiber from the 27.5 g of total carbs, which gives you a total of 22 g of net carbs. The fiber doesn't really "cancel out" the other carbs -- that fiber never affected your blood sugar to begin with, so it's simply a more accurate way of looking at the carbs you consume.

      Carbohydrates & Fiber

      Carbohydrates and Fiber Calculating

      When you are carb counting, you should only take available carbs into consideration.  Exclude fiber from your carb counting, because it does not directly influence your blood sugar level or body fat percentage.  You can easily calculate “Net Carbs” by subtracting the Fiber from the Total Carbs in a serving of food because fiber cancels out a portion of the total carbs.
      For example, if you want to eat a pear, you will find that a medium one has a total carb content of 27.5 g, a fiber content of5.5 g, a sugar content of 17.4 g.  All you need to do to obtain the available carbs is subtract the 5.5 g of fiber from the 27.5 g of total carbs, which gives you a total of 22 g of net carbs.  Do this same calculations for any “Fiber-Containing” carbohydrate food and remember to adjust the available carb content to the serving size you consume.
      Also if  you look at the nutrition facts panel, you will find the serving size at the top of the panel along with the total Carbohydrates in grams per serving, down lower on the table.  Under the Total Carbs, you will see the Sugar and Fiber content listed in grams. Sugar and fiber are part of the total carbohydrates found in food, so if the grams of sugar and fiber don’t add up to the total grams of carbohydrates, the Starch content equal the missing grams.  Starches are not mandatory on food labels, but you can easily calculate them by removing the sugar and fiber from the total carbs.

      A Guide to Natural and Artificial Sweeteners

      Choosing a sweetener has never been stickier. Here’s a look at seven common ones.


      What it is: A natural, granular substance distilled from sugarcane or sugar beets. Brown sugar comes from the same sources but gets its color from residual or added molasses.

      Also goes by: Sucrose.

      Where you’ll find it: In baked goods, cereals, ice cream, and bottled sauces.

      Good to know: One teaspoon has only 16 calories. Aim to consume sugar on a near full stomach: This will help stabilize your blood sugar, since eating the sweet stuff alone can cause blood sugar to soar, then crash, leaving you tired and hungrier, says Michael Zemel, director of the Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee, in Knoxville. And, yes, brush after eating sugar, as it increases your risk for tooth decay.

      Agave Liquid

      What it is: A sweet extract from agave, a succulent plant (which also gives us tequila).

      Also goes by: Agave nectar and agave syrup.

      Where you’ll find it: Bottled, in health-food stores.

      Good to know: Agave doesn’t spike blood glucose as quickly as table sugar does, says Bonnie Taub-Dix, a registered dietitian and the author ofRead It Before You Eat It. Plus, it’s about 25 percent sweeter. Add it to tea or coffee. Or, since agave tastes like honey, try it on Greek yogurt.


      What it is: An all-natural, no-calorie sweetener derived from the leaf of the stevia plant.

      Also goes by: Reb A, rebiana, Truvia, PureVia, Enliten, and Sun Crystals.

      Where you’ll find it: In protein-shake mixes and soft drinks; it’s also sold alone as a diet sweetener.

      Good to know: You can bake with stevia, but it does best with medium temperatures. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration generally recognizes this group of sweeteners as safe, use stevia moderately, says Jennifer Nelson, director of clinical dietetics at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Consult your doctor if you’re pregnant.

      High-Fructose Corn Syrup

      What it is: An ├╝ber-sweet liquid derived from cornstarch.

      Also goes by: HFCS and high-fructose syrup.

      Where you’ll find it: Almost everywhere, including processed foods, baked goods, and condiments.

      Good to know: Studies suggest that, like table sugar, HFCS may cause you to overeat. This is because it causes your body to not fully release the hormones that tell you that you’re full (so you devour a box of cookies).


      What it is: A safe-for-diabetics, calorie-free synthetic compound that includes sodium, hydrogen, and oxygen.

      Also goes by: Sweet ’N Low.

      Where you’ll find it: In the cult-favorite diet soda Tab, and in toothpaste and some medicines.

      Good to know: This sugar substitute, which has been around since 1879, is 300 times sweeter than sugar and stays that way, even when heated, so it’s good for tea or coffee. But it can have a metallic aftertaste. And you may get so used to saccharin’s intense sweetness that you start craving sugary treats. While saccharin has been linked to bladder cancer in rats, experts have found no conclusive evidence of its correlation with cancer in humans.


      What it is: Another synthetic, calorie-free option that’s safe for diabetics.

      Also goes by: Equal and Nutrasweet.

      Where you’ll find it: In diet drinks and sugar-free gum.

      Good to know: Two hundred times sweeter than sugar, aspartame has a clean flavor that is well suited to berries or cereal. It breaks down with heat, so don’t bake with it. Some people get headaches from aspartame, but despite persistent rumors, there is no conclusive link between the sweetener and diseases such as Alzheimer’s.


      What it is: Chemically tweaked sugar that has no calories.

      Also goes by: Splenda.

      Where you’ll find it: in cereals, baked goods, soft drinks, and frozen desserts.

      Good to know: This calorie-free sweetener is not recognized by the body as a carbohydrate. About 600 times sweeter than sugar, it holds up in the heat during baking. But sucralose may cause abdominal discomfort in some people.

      Turmeric: The miracle spice that burns fat & helps you lose weight!

      Today I want to talk to you about turmeric. This spice has been recognized in the east for its medicinal purposes for many years. But recent studies are starting to prove the claims; making it popular in western culture as well.
      Turmeric is a spice related to ginger and can be added to a variety of foods for flavor as well as for the medicinal benefits. If you've eaten mustard, you've eaten turmeric. It's often referred to as the "Queen of Spices" due to the many anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties it contains. It's also full of nutrients such as fiber, protein, potassium, calcium, iron Vitamins C, E and K and a host of others.
      The main ingredient of turmeric is curcumin. There is also a supplement you can take that contains mainly curcumin if you prefer to ingest it that way. Turmeric can also be used to make tea and is used in Indian curries.
      No matter how you prefer to add turmeric to your diet, you'll reap the rewards of many positive effects.
      Here's a list of a few of turmeric's health benefits:
      First recognized as an anti-inflammatory. This is what give the spice many of its preventive medicinal properties and makes it especially effective in treating arthritis and other joint problems including osteoporosis
      It's a natural antiseptic and helps wounds help faster. Some scientists believe that the low rate of Alzheimer's disease in India could be in part due to the daily curries, containing turmeric, that are eaten there. Currently, their rate of Alzheimer's is 75 percent lower than in the United States.
      It boosts your immune system. Tests on mice have shown turmeric to be successful in fighting various types of cancer including: melanoma and breast cancer. It's also proven to make chemo and radiation treatments more effective.
      The spice lowers cholesterol, which helps prevent health issues such as cardiovascular disease. It also naturally detoxifies the liver. In China, turmeric has been used for centuries to fight depression.
      However, what I'm really excited to tell you about today is how turmeric can help you with your weight loss goals. Not only does this spice provide a host of health benefits but it also help you burn fat.
      I know, it almost sounds too good to be true, but turmeric also helps you lose weight. Studies have shown that turmeric increases the flow of bile in the stomach which helps to break down fat. Taking just one teaspoon of turmeric before each meal can help your digestion break down the fat that can cause you to gain weight. In studies on mice, it was found that turmeric was an actual fat suppressant. Mice that were given turmeric gained less weight than mice on equal diets.
      Another way turmeric aids in weight loss is it helps fight insulin resistance and controls sugar levels. This not only keeps you from retaining extra fat, but lowers your chances of developing diabetes. If you already have diabetes; it helps you control your glucose numbers.
      Adding this spice to your diet can provide a host of benefits and prevent many health problems. I encourage you to give it a try and see how it can help you keep your body in optimal health. The best news: It will help you lose weight at the same time!

      Sunday, 23 February 2014

      8 Ways to Think Thin

      Is your mindset keeping you fat? Here's how a new attitude can help you think yourself thin.

      WebMD Weight Loss Clinic-Feature

      Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

      Motivation to lose weight often hits an all-time high when the first buds of spring pop out, signaling that bathing suit season is not far behind. And while there's no getting around the need to exercise and eat healthier, long-term weight loss starts in your head. Experts say that having the right attitude can help you think yourself thin.
      If you want to succeed at weight loss, you need to "cut the mental fat, and that will lead to cutting the waistline fat," says Pamela Peeke, MD, author of Fit to Live.  "Look at the patterns and habits in your life that you are dragging around with you that get in the way of success."
      Everyone has his or her own excuses. When trying to improve their lifestyle and diet, most people do fine until something happens -- whether it's work pressure, family issues, or something else. Whatever your personal issue, the pattern needs to change if you want to be successful.
      "I want to empower people to identify these patterns, deal with the real issues, so they can move on and be able to succeed at improving their health," says Peeke.

      To Think Yourself Thin, Have Patience

      One major mental block to weight loss is wanting too much, too fast. Blame it on our instant-gratification society, with its instant messaging, PDAs, and digital cameras: Weight loss is too slow to satisfy most dieters.  
      "Losers want immediate results. … Even though it took them years to gain weight, once they decide to lose weight, they have no patience with the recommended 1-2 pounds per week," says Cynthia Sass, MS, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.
      But you'll get the best results when you lose weight slowly.  Sass reminds her clients that when they lose weight too quickly, they're often losing usually water or lean tissue, not fat. 
      "When you lose lean tissue, metabolism slows down, making it even harder to lose weight," she adds.

      Think Thin: 8 Strategies

      Get that overweight mentality out of your head and start thinking like a thin person with these eight strategies:

      1. Picture Yourself Thin.

      If you want to be thin, picture yourself thin. Visualize your future self, six months to a year down the road, and think of how good you'll look and feel without the extra pounds. Dig up old photographs of your thinner self and put them in a place as a reminder of what you are working toward.  Ask yourself what you did back then that you could incorporate into your lifestyle today. And, advises Peeke, think about activities you would like to do but can’t because of your weight.
      "To break old habits, you need to see yourself in a positive light," Peeke says.

      2. Have Realistic Expectations.

      When doctors ask their patients how much they want to weigh, the number is often one that is realistically attainable. Peeke has her patients identify a realistic weight range, not a single number.
       "I ask them to look ahead 12 months, and would they be happier being 12 or 24 pounds thinner?" she says "It only amounts to 1-2 pounds per month, which is totally doable, sustainable and manageable in the context of career and family." She suggests reevaluating your weight goal after six months.

      3. Set Small Goals.

      Make a list of smaller goals that will help you achieve your weight loss goals.These mini-goals should be things that will improve your lifestyle without wreaking havoc in your life, such as:
      • Eating more fruits and vegetables every day.
      • Getting some kind of physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day.
      • Drinking alcohol only on the weekends.
      • Eating low-fat popcorn instead of chips,
      • Ordering a side salad instead of french fries.
      • Being able to walk up a flight of stairs without gasping for breath.
       "We all know that change is hard and it is especially difficult if you try to make too many changes, so start small and gradually make lifestyle improvements," suggests Sass. 

      4. Get Support.

      We all need support, especially during the tough times.  Find a friend, family member or support group you can connect with on a regular basis. Studies show people who are connected with others, whether it's in person or online, do better than dieters who try to go it alone. 

      5. Create a Detailed Action Plan.

      Sass suggests that each night, you plan your healthy meals and fitness for the next day.  Planning ahead is 80% of the battle. If you're equipped with a detailed plan, results will follow.
      "Schedule your fitness like you would an appointment," Sass says. "Pack up dried fruits, veggies or meal replacement bars so you won’t be tempted to eat the wrong kinds of foods."
      Make your health a priority by building such steps into your life, and ultimately these healthy behaviors will become a routine part of your life.

      6. Reward Yourself.

      Give yourself a pat on the back with a trip to the movies, a manicure, or whatever will help you feel good about your accomplishments (other than food rewards).
      "Reward yourself after you have met one of your mini-goals or lost 5 pounds or a few inches around your waist, so you recognize your hard work and celebrate the steps you are taking to be healthier," Peeke says.

      7. Ditch Old Habits.

      Old habits die hard, but you can't continue to do things the way you used to if you want to succeed at weight loss.

      7. Ditch Old Habits. continued...

      "Slowly but surely, try to identify where you are engaging in behaviors that lead to weight gain and turn them around with little steps that you can easily handle without feeling deprived," says Sass.
      For example, if you are an evening couch potato, start by changing your snack from a bag of cookies or chips to a piece of fruit. The next night, try having just a calorie-free drink. Eventually, you can start doing exercises while you watch television. 
      Another way to get started ditching your bad habits: Get rid of the tempting, empty-calorie foods in your kitchen and replace them with healthier options.

      8. Keep Track.

      Weigh in regularly and keep journals detailing what you eat, how much you exercise, your emotions, and your weight and measurements. Studies show that keeping track of this information helps promote positive behaviors and minimize the unhealthy ones. Simply knowing that you're tracking your food intake could help you resist that piece of cake!
      "Journals are a form of accountability … that help reveal which strategies are working" says Peeke. "When you are accountable, you are less likely to have food disassociations, or be 'asleep at the meal.'"

      Saturday, 22 February 2014

      Top 10 Weight Loss Excuses and How to Beat Them

      by Chris Powell

      If there's an excuse out there, I've heard it. Here's a few that I hear all of the time:
      1. I don't have time.
      2. I can't afford to eat healthy or go to the gym.
      3. It is too hard.
      4. It is uncomfortable.
      5. I love to eat.
      6. I don't know what to do or where to start.
      7. I don't have the willpower.
      8. I don't have support from friends or family.
      9. I have a medical condition (thyroid, disabled, food intolerance, and many more).
      10. I have an injury to my (select all that apply) neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist, back, hips, knee, ankle, and/or baby toe.
      There are a lot more, but you get the point. I'm here to tell you that not one, NOT ONE of these excuses has any power to stop your transformation. Each and every one of them can be overcome. Will some of them be difficult? You bet. But it can be done. For every excuse I have an answer. But it doesn't matter if I have the answer because, you have to believe it in your heart and be willing to let go of the excuses that only foster fear and failure. Are you ready to let go? Let's do this!
      1. I Don't Have Time
      You'll never find the time, so you must CREATE the time. Wake up earlier (I know you're tired -- so am I in the mornings). Give up something that sucks your time (like TV or computer). As soon as you create the time to exercise you'll feel better, experience increased energy, and have more endurance. You'll be amazed the time you can create with increased energy!

      2. I Can't Afford To Eat Healthy Or Go To The Gym
      This is real. The numbers just don't work. I get it; however, I won't accept it. I have good news for you: You don't need to spend one dime on exercise equipment. Your home is filled with tools you can use. Things like canned goods or a gallon of water can be used as weights. Also, you have a body! Use it!

      Now, what about healthy food being so expensive? Look at what you're spending now. Things like soda, candy, chips, cookies, ice cream, and baked goods are expensive too. Did you know that produce is cheaper than ANY other food per serving? Did you know that healthy, lean protein sources like whey and eggs cost just pennies per serving? Eating healthy can actually be much more affordable than your current lifestyle! NOTE: Considering the long-term cost of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer... you can't afford NOT to live a healthy lifestyle.
      3. It's Too Hard
      Isn't being overweight hard, too? It takes a toll on you physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually every day. I know it does. Life is hard. Everyone's is. You've just got to choose which hard you want... obesity or transformation.

      4. It Is Uncomfortable
      Yep. But you are stronger than you think, and you can take more than you think. Believe it. Your life will change when you become comfortable with being uncomfortable.

      5. I Love To Eat
      So do I! I eat five times a day. If you want to lose weight you MUST EAT! And who says you can't eat the foods you like? The trick is all in timing, portioning, and combining.

      6. I Don't Know Where To Start
      Start with getting the right foods into your house and the wrong foods out. Next, just put your body in motion -- have fun and move!

      7. I Don't Have The Willpower
      Want to bet? Losing weight is less about willpower and more about keeping promises to yourself, trying new things, and having faith in the journey.

      8. I Don't Have Support From Friends Or Family
      Believe it or not, most people don't have the support from family or friends that they want or need. Find someone who will support you, like an online buddy, a friend from the gym, or someone from your church. And don't forget: You've always got me!

      9. I Have A Medical Condition
      Okay, I'll admit this can be a challenge depending on your situation. Talk to your doctor first, but chances are there is SOMETHING you can still do to get healthy... and I'm sure your doc will jump on board with this goa. Notice that as your health improves, many of your medical conditions will likely disappear.

      10. I Have An Injury
      Your body is stronger than you think. With the help of your doctor or a physical therapist you can learn just how far you can push your body. Can't use your lower body? Use your upper body. Can't use your upper body? Use your lower body. If you want it bad enough, you will stay flexible and work around any injury. As you get stronger the injury will become less of an issue. Our bodies are amazing machines. They heal. They strengthen. They succeed.

      Now, stop thinking about that one excuse that is unique to you that I have not listed and get over it. You can do this. You are stronger than you think. You have the power to transform your life. No one can do it for you. I can't wait for you to learn this for yourself! Believe. Just believe. Ready? Set? Go!

      Wednesday, 19 February 2014

      How to Tighten Loose Skin After Weight Loss

      By Ben Greenfield

      If you’ve lost a lot of weight recently, or you’ve been following the tips you’ve read from the Get-Fit Guy, such as Which Workout Burns The Most Fat? or How to Tone and Lose Fat in One Body Part , then you may have noticed that you have a bit of loose skin hanging around. From extra skin under the arms to a hanging pouch around the stomach, loose skin can pose an embarrassing problem, especially if weight loss has been achieved rapidly.
      In this article you’ll learn why skin gets lose, how to tighten loose skin after fat loss, and you’ll also find out which creams, medical procedures, nutrition tactics and exercises will successfully tighten loose skin.

      Why Skin Gets Loose After Weight Loss

      Since it has to stretch as we move, grow, and--as in the case of weight loss--shrink, skin is an incredibly elastic living organ. Yes, that’s right, skin is not just one big piece of rubber that covers the entire body, but is instead an organ, and just like all the other organs in your body, it is comprised of cells.
      Different layers of your skin have different types of cells, and though the skin cells on the outer part of your skin (the epidermis) are constantly being lost and replaced with new cells, the skin cells under the epidermis are a bit more permanent. These layers of the skin, called the dermis and subdermis, are made up of elastic connective tissues, fibers, blood vessels and all sorts of components that can stretch or contract depending on how they’re treated.

      What Happens to Your Skin When You Lose Weight?

      When you lose weight, and especially when you lose weight very quickly, these elastic components of your skin not only lose the layers of fat that keep them stretched out over your body, but they also don’t have much time for their elasticity to adapt to your new shape.
      In addition to weight loss, age, poor nutrition, dehydration, excessive sun exposure, and smoking can all affect the elasticity of the skin and give you that elephant-like appearance you probably don’t want.

      How to Tighten Loose Skin After Weight Loss

      As you lose fat and your loose skin begins to appear, the first rule is: don’t panic! Because it is a living organ, your skin will slowly return to a shape that fits your new body. But since that process can take up to two years, here are steps you can take to make your skin tighten more quickly:

      Tip #1: Don’t Lose Weight Too Quickly

      In addition to weight loss, age, poor nutrition, dehydration, excessive sun exposure, and smoking can all affect the elasticity of the skin.
      Crash diets and excessive amounts of time spent exercising can rapidly shed both muscle and fat, resulting in a double-whammy on your skin--the supportive underlying muscular structure that holds skin against your body is lost, as is the fat that keeps the skin stretched out.
      Quick and dirty tip for not losing weight too quickly: Aim for 1-2 pounds of fat loss per week, and make sure your weight loss program includes weight lifting so that you do not lose lean muscle.

      Tip #2: Stay Hydrated

      Attend to your hydration needs. Water is a crucial component of maintaining skin elasticity. From both food and drink, you should be taking in at least two liters of water each day.

      Tip #3: Eat Properly

      Two necessary ingredients that keep skin plump and elastic are collagen and elastin. Protein-rich foods such as cottage cheese, milk, legumes, tofu, beans, seeds, nuts, and fish all contain collagen and elastin forming components, as well as oils to help maintain healthy skin.
      Quick and dirty protein tip: For optimum absorption, squeeze 100-200 calories of these protein sources in immediately after your workout. 

      Tip #4: Take Care of Your Skin

      Nourish and care for your skin. Daily exfoliation can help to remove dead skin cells and increase skin circulation. A hot bath with sea salts and minerals can improve skin tone. Skin tightening creams with herbal formulas and ingredients such as aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, yeast extract, soy protein, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin A can help to hydrate and increase collagen and elastin formation in skin.
      Stay away from harsh detergents, such a sulfates in soaps, shampoos and dishwashing liquids, limit your sun exposure and stay away from tanning booths, and limit your exposure to hot and chlorinated water—all of these things will decrease skin elasticity.

      Quick and dirty tip: If you swim for fitness, use soap and shampoos that are specially designed to remove chlorine.

      When to Consider Surgery for Loose Skin

      Skin can only be stretched so far before it looses some of its ability to snap back. If you’ve had a 9-month pregnancy, then you’ll be able to tighten your loose skin. But if you’ve carried a hundred or more extra pounds for many years, you may be a candidate for plastic surgery to tighten and lift loose skin. This fix should only be used in extreme cases, and I should warn you: my clients who have undergone this operation have actually gained more fat afterwards while they were rehabilitating from surgery!

      Bottom Line

      As mentioned earlier, elasticity of your skin will naturally decrease with age. Though you can address issues such as not losing weight too quickly, staying properly hydrated, eating the right foods, and caring for your skin, you simply have no control over your age! Quick and dirty tip: Rather than letting age stress you out, you should focus on the things over which you have control—like exercising and eating right—and you’ll find that you always look good.
      Whether you have a kangaroo pouch, an orangutan chin, or elephant legs, you can use the tips in this article to tighten loose skin or prevent loose skin in the first place.
      Man Drinking Water image from Shutterstock
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