10 Steps to Speed Weight Loss

Making simple changes that either cut out or burn off extra calories will add up to weight loss over the course of a year.

If you’re struggling with weight loss, then you already know it’s the little things that add up — the “little bit more” at the dinner buffet, the “little bit too tight” feeling of your clothes. But what if you also knew about the little things you could do every day to increase your weight- loss success? Here they are.

10 Steps to Speed Weight Loss

1. Switch up your snacks. “First of all, watch mindless snacking,” says Emily Banes, RD, clinical dietitian at the Houston Northwest Medical Center in Houston, Texas. “[Those calories] really add up.” Instead of grazing on the baked goodies in the break room, have a plan for healthy snacks that combines a little bit of fat, protein, and crunch, such as apple slices smeared with peanut butter. If you are counting calories, doing the math may help: a pound is the equivalent of 3,500 calories, so if you can cut 100 calories out of your day, you will lose a pound in just over a month.

2. Cut out high-calorie condiments and sugars. “Instead of getting a coffee with sugar, try Splenda,” says Banes. Likewise, try mustard on your burger or sandwich instead of mayonnaise, and order your salad dressing on the side so that you can control the amount you eat.

3. Hoof it. “Exercise is key,” says Banes. People who manage at least 150 minutes of activity a week are more successful with weight loss. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or park a bit farther from your destination so you have to walk. This will add extra exercise — and burn more calories.

4. Anticipate temptation. If you know you can’t resist freshly baked brownies, don’t keep a mix in your pantry. Also, if you are going somewhere with friends and family and know you’ll have a hard time controlling yourself, make a decision before you get there about what you will eat — and stick to it.

5. Try the veggie-loaded plate method. Banes recommends using your plate to guide your food selection and portion sizes. One half of the plate should be vegetables. The other side can be split between protein and starchy carbohydrates. If you decide to get a second plate, says Banes, it had better be all vegetables. People who eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day are more successful with weight loss.

6. Skip the fast food. A study of 1,713 adults who have been successful with weight loss demonstrated that people who eat at fast-food restaurants less than twice a week have greater success with their weight loss. “If you do eat fast foods, don’t supersize it,” says Banes, and try to opt for a salad, small portions, or “get baked, not fried.”

7. Limit the calories you drink. While most people understand sugary sodas add calories, Banes sees a misconception when it comes to sweet tea and juices. Sweetened tea is no less calorie-dense than soda, and you’d be better off eating the fruit than drinking the juice, advises Banes.

8. Be accountable. Whether you have a diet buddy you check in with, a support group, or a food diary, keeping track of your daily food choices takes only a few minutes, but can double your weight-loss success.

9. Order smaller portions. Data suggests that people who order smaller portions or share a plate at restaurants are more successful with weight loss. Banes recommends ordering the lunch portion, an appetizer, or a children’s meal — or put up to half your meal into a doggy bag before you begin eating.

10. Acknowledge your success. People who believe they can succeed with weight loss actually do lose weight more successfully. How do you gain this confidence? Take a moment to pat yourself on the back when you make healthy choices and achieve your short-term goals.

These small changes, all of which can easily be made, will quickly add up to more pounds lost over time.

Source: EveryDayHealthLiving
By Madeline Vann, MPH
Medically reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH

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Ask Dr. Berman: How Can I Ask for What I Want In the Bedroom?

When you feel unfulfilled behind closed doors it can be difficult to speak up and tell your partner the truth.

couple discussing their sexual desires

Q: My partner is well-meaning, but he doesn’t know how to please me in the bedroom. How can I tell him what I want without offending him?

A: Many women struggle with asking their partners for what they want in the bedroom. Part of the problem is that women are used to being people-pleasers, even when it comes to sex. They shy away from owning their own pleasure and voicing their own needs, even though this cheats them out of enjoying sexual release and damages their relationships. Believe it or not, most men say their number-one sexual priority is making sure their partner is satisfied. Yep, his biggest turn-on is knowing that he is turning you on, so it’s great that you are stepping up to the plate and looking for ways to help him do that.

First, make sure that you never, ever, fake orgasm. Not only are you cheating yourself out of pleasure and denying your own sexual needs, but you are also being dishonest with your partner. Though your intentions are good, deception and dishonesty have no role in a healthy relationship, especially when it comes to the bedroom. As I mentioned earlier, your partner wants to please you and when you deny him the right to do so, you chip away at the essential bond between the two of you.

Additionally, since your needs are not being met, you will find yourself more tense and irritable with him. Indeed, it is not uncommon for a woman to quietly resent her partner for not fulfilling her, even though she is doing everything in her power to convince him that she is fulfilled. Talk about a vicious cycle! This is why lies (even the “little white ones”) have no place in your relationship.

Skip all that deception and get right to the heart of the issue. Do so tactfully and subtly. For example, if you are watching a movie and you see a sultry sex scene that gets your heart racing, why not lean over to your partner and say, “I’d love to try that position with you tonight.” Or, if you are thumbing through a women’s magazine and see an article on sex tips that catches your eye, clip it out for him to read with a note that says, “Hope you are ready for this later!”

Next, you might try a hands-on approach…literally! When you are in the middle of a hot-and-heavy encounter and he seems to be missing your hot spots, pull back and say “I want to give you a sexy show.” Then, self-stimulate, being very careful to show him just how you like to be touched down there. Or, you might initiate a 69 session in which you tell him to imitate the licks and strokes you use on him. That way, you will both be receiving pleasure and he will be able to follow your lead.

You can also create a “fantasy box,” in which you each write down naughty and sexy fantasies. Slip them in the box and whenever things get humdrum, reach in and grab one of the slips of paper. Act it out to the best of your ability and bring your naughtiest desires to life!

Most importantly, just make sure that you are upfront and honest when trying to communicate your needs. Your partner wants to please you…help him out already!

Dr. Laura Berman

This is a topic that hits home to thousands of people across the nation, I being one of them and I felt compelled to post this article by well known sex therapist/counselor Dr. Laura Berman.

Do you have this problem, and if so what have you done about it?

– Jennifer Martin

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Erectile difficulties are common with age, but there are ways to safeguard your sexual health.

Sex undergoes a transformation for both men and women as their bodies gets older and hormone levels change. Men might find that it takes longer to gain an erection or that orgasms are not as intense. They might also find that the refractory time — the period of time after orgasm in which it takes a man to achieve an erection again — increases.

In addition, it is not uncommon for a male’s sexual identity to go through some changes with age. Once a driving force in their lives, sex might become less of a priority or simply less frequent because it is not as enjoyable or an erection isn’t easily attainable.

Some men are willing to take this in stride — it’s as if they believe that sex has an expiration date! Fortunately, this is not the case, and there are many ways to help ensure that you enjoy healthy erections and powerful orgasms throughout your life.

Consider the following:

Talk to your doctor. If you are experiencing sexual difficulties such as erectile dysfunction, then it’s important to talk to your doctor. Not only will your doctor be able to offer you invaluable treatment, but erectile dysfunction can also be a sign of other health issues — such as vascular disease. Your sexual health is inherently tied to your physical and emotional health, so it’s important to make sure that your body is functioning at its best across the board.

Change your expectations. If you believe that your sexual experiences are going to suffer due to aging, then you are likely to live up (or down) to those expectations. However, the truth is that there is no reason to suppose that your sexual enjoyment has to end just because you are aging. Certainly, things will slow down a little and you might have to put in a little more effort, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t continue to enjoy your sexuality and connect with your partner in a physical way.

Liberate yourself. As people age, they find that certain sex positions are no longer possible or comfortable. This is particularly true if you suffer from mobility issues or sore joints. Luckily, there are tools out there that can help you to circumvent these problems. Consider the Liberator, sex furniture that offers a variety of different shapes, sizes, and angles to help treat everyone’s unique physical concerns.

Take care of yourself. If you don’t take care of yourself physically, you will feel the effects of this in the bedroom. But if you eat a healthy diet, exercise, effectively manage stress, and get a good night’s sleep every night, you will be more primed for sexual activity. You should also make sure that you are taking your medications correctly and ask your doctor about possible sexual side effects from your current prescriptions. (Blood-pressure medications, chemotherapy drugs, diuretics, antidepressants, and antihistamines are just a few of the prescriptions that have been linked with sexual side effects.)

Stay in tune with your sexual side. Part of the reason that aging is associated with lack of sexual activity is because people lose their partners as they age and find themselves facing singledom for the first time in decades. It’s important not to allow your grief to prevent you from finding love and affection in the future; but until you feel ready to begin dating again, you should consider staying in tune with your sexual needs through self-stimulation. Sex really works on a “use it or lose it” basis; so if you allow your sexuality to fall by the wayside during this time, it will be more difficult to recapture it again in the future.

Remember, there is no reason why you can’t enjoy sex well into your golden years and beyond. There is no such thing as a sexpiration date!

For Guys: Erections and Aging

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Female sexuality is mysterious, so it’s no wonder that men struggle to understand a woman’s sexual responses.

The female body is complicated and mysterious, and this is especially true when it comes to sex and orgasm. Many women don’t understand their anatomy or sexual response, so it’s no surprise that men are even more baffled about what makes a woman tick sexually. And, thanks to myths and urban legends, misinformation only further complicates a man’s understanding of the female body.

Here are the top-ten female-orgasm myths that many men still believe:

Intercourse Should Always Lead to Orgasm

Intercourse alone usually does not lead to orgasm. Only 30% of women reach orgasm from intercourse alone. The rest need added clitoral stimulation to achieve pleasure.

All Positions Are Created Equal

Not so! There are some positions that make female orgasm much more likely, such as woman-on-top, as it gives her the added clitoral stimulation she needs to reach orgasm.

Women Can Easily Reach Orgasm

Pornography and Hollywood movies make the female orgasm seem effortless and straightforward. However, the truth is that most women need up to 20 minutes to become aroused and orgasmic, which is why foreplay is so important.

Vibrators Are a Replacement for a Man

Sex aids can help to greatly improve your partner’s sexual experience as well as your own. However, vibrators are not a replacement for a man, and they cannot help your partner achieve the same feelings of intimacy and pleasure.

Women Don’t Like Quickies

While most men can reach orgasm faster than a woman can, this doesn’t mean that quickies aren’t fun or that they cannot serve a purpose in your relationship. If you don’t have time for foreplay or a full-on sex session, a quickie can keep you bonded and close for the time being.

Condoms Complicate Sex and Delay Orgasms

Recent advancements in condom manufacturing have make condoms thinner and less noticeable than ever before.

You Can Always Tell if a Woman Is Faking

Not always! Some women deserve an Oscar for their acting performances; however, it’s important to remember that faking orgasm cheats both of you. Ask your partner if she likes what you are doing or if she needs a different touch to reach orgasm.

Women Like Only Soft, Gentle Sex

Sometimes they do, but sometimes they also want sex that is more animalistic and wild. Explore that side of your partner’s fantasies by asking her what she wants and taking the lead.

Women Can Easily Achieve Multiple Orgasms

Unlike a man, a woman doesn’t need a refractory period before she can be orgasmic again. However, it’s not always easy to achieve one orgasm, let alone many! Hence, while some women are multi-orgasmic, not every woman knows how to harness that power. Practice makes perfect!

The Goal of Sex Is to Have an Orgasm

Don’t think of orgasm as the destination. Sex should be about the journey and being in the moment. Stay attuned to your partner’s body and the sensations of closeness and passion, and let your orgasm and hers happen when they happen. Remember, there is no “right” time or way to achieve orgasm. Every individual and every orgasm is unique.

 

Source: Dr. Laura Berman

The Top 10 Female Orgasm Myths…That Men Still Believe

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Although men and women both experience increased blood flow to the genitals when aroused, the process of getting to orgasm is different.

 

When men and women become aroused, our bodies change in perceptible and imperceptible ways to prepare for intercourse. As we become aroused, our bodies go into the “excitement” phase. Your breath will become shorter and faster and your heart rate will increase. If you continue being aroused, you will move into the “plateau” phase.

In this stage, the vagina will swell and become lubricated, while a man’s penis will become engorged with blood. The woman’s cervix will actually rise slightly, in preparation for penetration.

The next stage is the “climax” phase, when intense feelings of pleasure begin and you lose voluntary muscle control. You and your partner will experience genital muscle contractions and a sense of euphoria.

Finally, you move to the “resolution” phase. Your breathing and heart rate return to normal and blood flows away from the genital region, returning both of your genitals to their pre-sex state.

Although the male and female bodies respond to sex similarly (through increased blood flow to the genitals, etc.), our minds might be prepped differently for intercourse.

According to urban legend, men think about sex every three minutes. Men don’t necessarily have thoughts about the sexual act this often, but they are having thoughts of a sexual quality. For instance, they may see a woman walk down the street and wonder what her breasts look like without a bra or what another looks like naked. When it comes to sex, men are generally like sprinters, easily stimulated and ready to run the lap as fast as their legs can pump. Once the lap is completed, they must rest before they can perform again. Women, on the other hand, are like marathoners — it takes us a while to get warmed up, but once we get going, we can last for hours and hours!

While some men can become orgasmic in less a few a minutes, women can take up to 20 minutes to reach their arousal peak. You can manage this difference in arousal sequence by being more hands-on when it comes to achieving your own needs in the bedroom. For instance, if you know that you only have time for a quickie before the kids come home from school, choose a position in which you can help yourself along through clitoral stimulation.

Most importantly, ladies, remember that an orgasm is an orgasm is an orgasm! No matter how or when you have an orgasm (after intercourse, before intercourse, manually, orally, etc.), just embrace the pleasure and the bond it creates! Don’t worry about whether it is expertly choreographed, as sex rarely occurs so smoothly. And, if it did, it wouldn’t be very interesting, now would it?

 

Source: Dr. Laura Berman

 

Orgasms for Everyone: How Men and Women Become Aroused