Sunday, 10 March 2013

From the web : 5 ways to exercise less and lose more

If you had a magic lamp would you use one of your three wishes to workout less whilst losing more? If you would then your wish is our command. Here’s how you can lose more and exercise less.

Put in some speed

Add a little speed to your sessions if you want to exercise less and lose more. Running steadily for a set distance over a prolonged period of time is all well and good, but your body will soon get used to running this distance and you will no longer progress or continue to lose weight.

Instead of running steadily for all of your run sessions you should do some speed sessions and include some interval work in your workouts. Interval work is great because when you work harder in the sprint sections of the interval session your muscles work harder too, producing additional chemicals in your body to process the extra oxygen in your body. To get this job done your body expends more energy and burns more kilojoules. Therefore you can exercise for shorter periods of time and lose more weight. Three cheers for interval training.

Eat an apple

Who knew that eating could help you exercise less and lose more? A recent study undertaken by US researchers at Iowa University have found that a natural compound called ursolic acid that is present in apple skins increased the amount of muscle in mice. The compound also increased the amount of brown fat in the test mice and these two tissue increases are known for their ability to increase the amount of kilojoules burnt.
The study found that mice on a high-fat diet that were given the ursolic acid compound were less affected by obesity than mice that were not given the compound. The researchers concluded that ursolic acid could help reduce obesity and help to burn more kilojoules. So, if you want to exercise less and lose more it might be time to stock up on apples.

Lift some weights

If you want to lose weight and do less then don’t skip weight training when you work out. Lifting weights is great because not only does it burn kilojoules when you are working out, if done correctly it will also increase your muscle mass. This is important because the more muscle you have the more kilojoules you will burn when doing an activity, compared to someone doing the same activity with less muscle. Therefore by doing some weight training you’ll be able to do less exercise but burn more because of your increased muscle mass.

If you’re a woman and you’re suddenly sceptical about weight training don’t worry, due to your oestrogen levels most women don’t build hefty muscles and won’t bulk up too much.

Cut down your exercise sessions

A study undertaken by Danish scientists discovered that doing shorter exercise sessions could help people lose more weight. These conclusions were drawn during a study that examined sedentary, unfit Danish men who were in their 20s and 30s. The scientists divided the male participants into three groups. One group were to return to their usual inactive routines (this group acted as the controls), one group were to exercise daily until they had burnt 300 kilojoules, whilst the final group were to do daily workouts where they burnt 600 kilojoules.

Surprisingly the group that did the moderate workouts and burnt 300 kilojoules ended up losing more weight (seven pounds on average) than the group that did longer sessions, who on average lost only five pounds. The scientists aren’t entirely clear why those who did less lost more, but they suggested that those who worked out for longer ate more to compensate and because they were tired from their workouts they did less and sat down for longer during those times when they were not exercising. So, if you want to lose more and exercise less then it might be wise to do shorter exercise sessions.

High-intensity workouts

A high-intensity workout may help you to exercise less and lose more. This is because high-intensity workouts can help you to burn more kilojoules compared to doing moderate exercise. The CDC suggests that we all do 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week or do 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise per week.

Other benefits of a high-intensity workout are seen from the American Heart Association, who suggest that a high-intensity workout can help you lose weight because after exercising your muscles need to have their glycogen stores replenished and this process also burns kilojoules. So if you want to do less and lose more it may be worth doing a few high-intensity workouts when training, such as interval training, swimming or skipping.

(Free Malaysia Today)

Saturday, 9 March 2013

From the web : Where are your manners people?

Going for a walk in my neighbourhood the other day, I came upon a sight that we as Malaysians are all too familiar with – trash flung right under a huge but impotent signboard spelling out a nasty RM500 fine for anyone caught dumping trash.

That same evening, I encountered another familiar sight – dog poo piled in glorious abundance at random spots along the sides of the roads and on grassy banks. Was picking up after your dog too laborious or undignified a task? Better to let your neighbours manoeuvre the obstacle course themselves and for those less skilful, deal with the consequences in private. After all, what’s a little poo-smear on your shoes or bicycle tyres!

Here are some more ‘nasties’ that Malaysians never tired of…

Queuing - Why does the average Malaysian take such issue with the simple act of queuing? The train finally pulls up and the once office-weary crowd suddenly bursts into action, turning hostile and elbowing each other as they strain to be the first in. As a young student using the public bus years ago, I cannot count how many times the bus stopped right in front of me yet I was the last up as old ladies, young boys and even meek and mild-mannered school girls hissed, spat and jostled their way past me with umbrellas, school files and elbows jabs blocking my pathetic ascend. Sigh!

Flushing – I hate using public toilets only because Malaysians harbour an aversion towards flushing. It’s ridiculously painful to walk around with a bladder fit to bursting, then have to peek into the toilet bowl first before actually getting down to the business at hand. And yes, sometimes the mass that greets you in the bowl is someone’s unfortunate dinner the previous night. Absolutely sickening!

Squatting on toilet seats – Malaysians are an acrobatic lot. How else could you explain muddy shoe marks on a public toilet seat? Did it never occur to them to line the seat with tissue paper, then sit on it before taking a dump?


Throwing trash from the car – Soda cans, food wrappers, half-eaten food and cigarette butts. Yes, these and many more are often seen airborne before unceremoniously crash-landing on our highways. Once while waiting for a friend by the roadside, a speeding car comes hurtling along the bend. A well-dressed foreigner winds down his window and flings a beer can onto the divider, probably thinking nothing of it since many Malaysians before him did it too. 

Smoking in restaurants – So maybe they didn’t see the ‘No Smoking’ sign or maybe, just maybe they are inconsiderate and selfish. It’s positively annoying (and somewhat impossible) to carry on a conversation with your friend when the goon beside you is spewing cigarette smoke into your face and choking up your respiratory system with second hand smoke.

Spitting in public – When Beijing hosted the Olympics, the government invested money to educate its people from spitting in public. In beautiful Malaysia, we do encounter this disgusting habit every so often too. What really is more stomach churning is the guttural sound that precedes the act. 


Double-parking – A favourite among many Malaysians. Some even leave their business cards on your windscreen so you can call them to re-park their car once you’re ready to leave. Others just don’t give a damn and leave you honking furiously till they casually emerge ten minutes later. As far as they’re concerned, a curt ‘sorry’ should suffice. 

Since many Malaysians are daredevil thugs in corporate clothing, it would help if the authorities got serious about enforcement. Right now, most people do as they please simply because all those ‘no smoking’, ‘no dumping’, ‘no parking’ warnings are pretty much ‘all bark no bite’. 

(Free Malaysia Today : Sandra John)

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Girl On Fire

She's just a girl, and she's on fire
Hotter than a fantasy, lonely like a highway
She's living in a world, and it's on fire
Feeling the catastrophe, but she knows she can fly away

Oh, she got both feet on the ground
And she's burning it down
Oh, she got her head in the clouds
And she's not backing down

This girl is on fire
This girl is on fire
She's walking on fire
This girl is on fire

Looks like a girl, but she's a flame
So bright, she can burn your eyes
Better look the other way
You can try but you'll never forget her name
She's on top of the world
Hottest of the hottest girls say

Oh, we got our feet on the ground
And we're burning it down
Oh, got our head in the clouds
And we're not coming down

This girl is on fire
This girl is on fire
She's walking on fire
This girl is on fire

Everybody stands, as she goes by
Cause they can see the flame that's in her eyes
Watch her when she's lighting up the night
Nobody knows that she's a lonely girl
And it's a lonely world
But she gon' let it burn, baby, burn, baby

This girl is on fire
This girl is on fire
She's walking on fire
This girl is on fire

Oh, oh, oh...

She's just a girl, and she's on fire

- Alicia Keys

Sunday, 3 March 2013

From the web : Diet blunders busted


Prepared to be shocked, dieters. Here we reveal 5 surprising diet myths and tell you the truth about losing weight.

If you eat less you lose more

If you want to lose weight surely you need to eat a lot less? Well, that’s not exactly true. By going on one of these ‘crash diets’ or ‘fad diets’ where you cut your kilojoule intake drastically you may find that you lose weight initially. However, when you eat a lot less than you need your metabolism slows down and once you return to eating normally again your body will not burn off the kilojoules as quickly as it used to do. Therefore when your crash diet ends normally dieters regain the weight.
Plus crash diets are bad for you because eating the same foods repeatedly means that you are depriving your body of other essential vitamins and minerals, which means your body cannot function as it should. This deprivation can also lead to muscle loss, which is bad news if you want to lose weight because the more muscle mass you have the more kilojoules you expend when performing physical activities. Therefore by losing muscle you’ll burn less and inevitably lose less weight too.

If you exercise lots you can eat what you like

Exercise is associated with weight loss and, although exercise will help you keep weight off in the long term, exercise on its own is often not enough to help you to shift the pounds you want to lose. This is because it takes a lot of effort, time and energy to burn off all of the necessary kilojoules to lose weight. For example, to burn 420 kilojoules you will need to spend around 60 minutes exercising. So that’s 60 minutes exercising to burn off a small snack or 50g of wholemeal bread – clearly then exercise alone is not enough if you want to lose weight.

The MayoClinic also support this theory, suggesting that studies show ‘an exercise regimen… is unlikely to result in short-term weight loss beyond what is achieved with dietary change’. So if you want to lose weight you need to change your diet and exercise.

Cutting dairy helps you lose weight

If you want to lose weight would you eat cheese or drink full fat milk? If you wouldn’t then you may need to reassess your diet. Researchers at the Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville found that low-fat calcium foods can actually help to reduce body fat and that fat cells that contain more calcium will burn more fat.  The researchers believe that calcium can therefore help encourage the burning of fat opposed to the storing of fat.
Dairy products are also great for dieters because it is thought that not getting enough calcium causes your body to produce more fat, which would obviously inhibit weight loss. Interestingly, in the study held at the Nutrition Institute, it was found that taking calcium supplements did not produce the same benefits as actually eating dairy products. So if you want to lose weight it might be time to tuck into some natural yoghurt and honey or have a delicious fruit smoothie made from fruit, milk and ice.

Eating late at night will make you gain more weight

A lot of people believe that eating after a certain time in the evening will lead them to gain weight because they do not get the opportunity to burn off the food they’ve just eaten. According to a study conducted at Dunn Nutrition Centre though, this may just be another diet myth. To test this theory researchers gave participants a smaller lunch and a larger evening meal for a period of time and measured the amount of fat the participants’ bodies stored.  Then the researchers gave the participants a larger lunch and a smaller evening meal, again measuring the participants’ fat levels.

The results indicated that there was no link between when people ate and the amount of fat stored. Another study conducted by Oregon Health & Science University found similar findings, when they did a study on monkeys.

I put on all this weight over Christmas

Although we all like to indulge at certain points during the year, surprisingly weight gain is actually a slow process and it is unlikely that we put on a lot of weight during those times we indulge or splurge.
This is because in order to put on one pound of weight we need to consume an extra 14,700 kilojoules. Yet the average Christmas dinner, which is generally the most indulgent meal of the year, is thought to amount to around 6,300 kilojoules. For those people who feel like they’ve piled on the pounds the weight is more likely to be the result of fluid. So, if you have a diet slip up don’t feel guilty. That chocolate treat won’t sabotage your progress as long as you go back to a healthy diet and exercise after your little indulgence.

(Free Malaysia Today)