Thyroid- What You Should Know

What should you know about your thyroid.

The thyroid gland is small, but plays a big role in how you feel and your day to day health.

The thyroid is made up of two small glands located at the lower aspect of your neck on each side of your wind pipe. You can frequently feel the thyroid if it is abnormally enlarged. Enlargment can also give you a sensation of pressure on your throat , trouble swallowing, choking or sensation of needing to cough.

Thyroid Anatomy

This butterfly-shaped gland can be found in the lower part of your neck. The two “wings” fold around your windpipe. The thyroid is responsible for secreting hormones: T3 (trio-iodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine) into the bloodstream.

These hormones are involved in the delivery of energy to the cells of the body.

Here is how the system works. The thyroid helps regulate your metabolism along with the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus. When the body needs more energy, a chain reaction is touched off.

The hypothalamus is first to respond. It releases TRH (thyrotrophin releasing hormone). This then signals the pituitary to produce TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). The message it sends to the thyroid is to produce T4. This hormone hangs around in the bloodstream until it is needed. T4 doesn’t have a direct job in the cycle except to be converted to T3 which produces the energy the body needs.

The T4 hormone is converted to T3 when more is needed by the body.

It then increases the metabolic rate of the cells throughout the body. It initiates the fight-or-flight response in the body (heart rate increases; fats are broken down for energy consumption).

The entire body starts producing energy.

The thyroid has two jobs in its normal state. It helps the enzymes needed by the cells to pass through the cell membranes. Inside the cell, it helps the mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell) to produce energy.

Diseases of the Thyroid

The thyroid, like other glands and organs, can have problems.

The two that most people are familiar with are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.

Hypothyroidism is often blamed for weight gain or the inability to lose weight, feeling tired or lack of energy, dry skin, coarse hair, psychological changes such as depression.

The thyroid produces thyroid hormone which plays a roles in many bodily functions including your bodies metabolism and the utilization of nutrients available for energy.

During hypothyroidism, the thyroid is not producing enough energy for the body. This can lead to weight gain, tiredness, depression, dry skin, dry brittle nails and problems with other organs of the body.

It can be due to a lack of sufficient iodine in the system; however, this is rare in developed countries.

Another reason could be Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disease where the body begins producing antibodies against the thyroid causing it to slow down hormone production.

Hyperthyroidism can have the opposite effect.

It can be linked to overactive nodules within the thyroid, inflammation of the thyroid or an autoimmune disease called Graves’ disease.

In any case, the thyroid shoots into overdrive and produces more hormone than the body needs. That can lead to weight loss, muscle weakness, sleeplessness, excessive perspiration, anxiety, palpitations of the heart and other organ problems.

Thyroid diseases tend to affect women more than men.

Thyroid disease can affect many aspects of your life including productivity and health. If you are concerned you may have a thyroid problem, talk to your doctor. A simple blood test will tell your doctor if your thyroid is functioning appropriately or if you have a problem with an overactive or underactive thyroid gland.

Losing Weight Fast Without Diet Pills

How often do you feel nagged that you need to be thin, in shape and have a perfect looking body?

No matter where you turn or what you watch, you are constantly reminded about losing weight. A lot of individuals feel pressure to start losing weight fast, which means they often turn to the use of diet pills to get the job done.

Though some diet pills are effective for losing weight fast, they often do just that – dieters lose weight initially, but they don’t keep that weight off for the long run.

So how do you go about losing weight fast without using diet pills?

Individuals that want to lose weight and do so quickly have more options than just a tiny pill.

In fact, the two most popular methods to lose weight quickly and keep it off are the same methods that have been around for decades: diet and exercise.

When we say “diet”, we don’t mean starving yourself or following one of those many fad diets that require you to eat no carbohydrates or drink special shakes. Diet simply means what you are eating and drinking, and how much of it is consumed.

Losing weight fast starts with caloric intake. In order to lose weight, you need to understand how much you eat, what you are eating, and start limiting that to what your body really needs. Most of us eat more calories than our body requires in order to function; that means we are ultimately packing on the pounds just by eating regularly. You can calculate your total caloric needs using online tools that will take into account your weight, age, height and a few other physical factors.

Once you have a daily caloric intake amount your body needs, you are not done. Now it is time to track what you have been eating by keeping a food diary. Start reading the back of labels and counting the calories you are eating, the fat you are taking in, etc. Online calorie counter tools are available for both your computer as well as your smartphone to help you track what you are eating daily. Track your caloric intake for one week and see where you are going overboard. You cannot start losing weight fast until you know what you are eating and where you need to cutback.

A person cannot start losing weight fast just by watching what they eat. Though a healthy, well-balanced diet will help lose a few pounds and even keep them off, a person needs to burn the excess fat and firm up muscles in order to lose weight and look fit. The start of an exercise regimen does not mean you need to buy expensive workout DVDs or even equipment. Often you can start losing weight fast simply by integrating simple workout methods into your daily routine such as taking a walk or going jogging daily, adding more physical activity into your daily routine or even doing yoga two to three times per week. Start your exercise out slow and slowly increase the intensity by working out at least three times per week.

Losing weight fast doesn’t mean you need to take some magical pill. Often these diet pills are untested or have limited results proving they even help a person lose weight to begin with. If you want to start losing weight fast, start changing the way you eat, exercise and live – you will be surprised at how quickly you lose those pounds and keep them off with such a simple weight loss method.

Instead of losing weight fast, make it your goal to lose one pound a week. That is 52 pounds a year.

To lose one pound a week you need to decrease your caloric intake 500 calories or burn 500 calories per day.

Another option is to decrease your intake 250 calories and burn 250 calories per day with exercise.



Top Weight Loss Apps

With increased use of mobile phones and devices it only makes sense that weight loss apps are springing up everywhere! If you own a mobile device why not take advantage of tracking your weight loss efforts while on the go.
Below is a rundown on some of the top weight loss apps available today.

Thin Cam
This weight loss app retails for $0.99 and is a way to maintain your food diary no matter where you are. The neat thing about this app is that it allows you to take a photo of your plate of food. So you end up with a daily photo food journal.
If you want more help from a nutritionist you can join Thin Cam and pay a monthly fee. This gets you personalized attention from a nutritionist. They will look at your eating habits and make recommendations and come up with a healthy eating plan for you.

Eat This Not That
Have you ever found yourself wondering what to eat? You are trying to make healthy choices but you can’t figure out what foods to swap that are healthier. The Eat This Not That app solves this problem for you.
This app currently costs $4.99 and provides users with thousands of easy food swap choices. The app also contains a calorie counter and personalized weight loss plans.
The Eat This Not That app has over 13,000 food choices and 10,000 grocery products are listed.

5K Runner: Start running C25K (couch to 5K) app
This app will get you training to run a 5K. You train for 35 minutes three times a week for eight weeks. The training program runs on an interval training basis with each interval slowly increasing. You have an audio coach that guides you along the way.
Currently selling for $0.99

Jillian Michaels Slim-Down Solution – Diet, Fitness, Exercise Advice
This free app provides you with daily tips, slimming advice and recipes. Plus you get step by step exercise videos and free weekly pod casts. This app has received great reviews and people are enjoying the meal plans.

Nike Training Club
Another great free app. This app provides you with your own mobile personal trainer. The app contains 85 workouts which will help you get that lean and toned body you always wanted.
Nike also provides users with bonus workouts from celebrities’ and professional athletes.
Users rate this app as very motivational!

All-in YOGA HD: 300 Poses & Yoga Classes
This $0.99 app contains over 300 poses with videos and audio guides. Images are in 3D so you can really see how to perform the moves correctly. The app also gives you access to a magazine with recipes.

Boot Camp Challenge
This boot camp challenge will take you through an 18 day boot camp done by a veteran U.S. Army trainer. The boot camp includes cardio, stretching and stretching exercises.

The boot camp challenge app can be purchased for $3.99
Boot Camp App

This great fitness app includes over 1000 exercises for $0.99. Also included are over 45 tailored workout routines. You can easily track your fitness progress and find suitable exercises to add to your daily workout.

The above weight loss apps are just a small selection of the hundreds of apps that are available. If you own any type of mobile device then why not take advantage of technology to really ramp up your weight loss and fitness goals.

How To Use Technology To Help You Lose Weight

It is so easy to embrace new technology when it comes to using our iPhones and iPads. But have you thought about incorporating technology advances into your weight loss and exercise efforts?
If you are serious about losing weight or just exercising then why not keep your food or exercise log online? Even better especially if you are on the run, is to take advantage of the numerous weight loss and fitness apps that are now available. Many of these apps are free to download or cost just a couple of bucks.
No matter what type of mobile phone you have there are certain to be apps for it. Just do a search online for blackberry fitness apps or weight loss apps for droid.
If you don’t own a mobile device, don’t worry, there are plenty of free online exercise and weight loss tools available too.
Many weight loss and exercise sites have free tools that allow you to track your goals and your activity levels. For example you can track yourself walking a certain path regardless of where you live. Just do a search for online walking routes and you can find lots of options for planning a new walking regimen.
It is not just apps and online diaries that are new technology items for weight loss. Many people are now wearing heart rate monitors throughout the day. These monitors are capable of recording how many calories you burn each day. A great way to really maximize your weight loss!
At one time heart rate monitors where big and bulky and had to be attached by a strap around your chest. Today with all the new advances in technology you can purchase heart rate monitors which can be worn as a watch on your leg or on your arm.
Prices vary as well, you can purchase a basic heart rate monitor for around the $20 mark or spend over $100. It really depends on your requirements so look carefully at each monitor before purchasing.
Another great piece of newer technology when it comes to losing weight is using a gaming system such as Wii. It is easy to load up a workout routine and you simply follow along. These types of fitness programs are extremely popular and are fun for the whole family. It might be something worth looking into.
Some of the games include products like Wii Sports and Wii Resorts as well you can find more sports specific games. One of these is the Wii Fit with Balance Board an absolutely wonderful way to get fit using new technology method.

Rainy Day Strategies For Achieving Your Weight Loss Goals

Do rainy days leave you stressed that you are going to lose all you gained if you do not engage in exercise for weight loss?

It’s raining (or snowing, sleeting, freezing cold) and you don’t feel inspired to get out there and get your heart rate up in bad weather.  You’ll just have to skip your workout today, right?  Wrong!

Below are three easy moves you can do inside where it’s nice, comfortable and dry:

Stair Climbing

If you have stairs in your home, they offer an excellent opportunity to work your legs and buns.  You can either walk up and down the flight several times, or if you are in better shape, jog quickly up and down to work up a sweat.  If you don’t have a full flight of stairs but have one or two, you can step up and down repeatedly, alternating legs.  If you have no stairs at all, try stepping up and down (carefully) on a step-stool or sturdy box.


Squats can provide a great workout in a short period of time, and they require very little space to perform.  Standing with your feet about shoulder-width apart, start bending your knees and lowering your body until your legs are bent at a 90 degree angle, then slowly rise back up to a standing position.  You can also work your upper body at the same time by raising both arms straight out in front of you as you squat down, then lowering them back to your sides as you stand up.


Pushups are a great exercise for working your arms, chest and back.  If traditional floor pushups are too hard for you, start with “wall pushups” – leaning forward with your hands pressed against a wall and pushing your body weight back with your arms.  If you have a pullup bar, you can use virtually any doorway to secure it and get a great workout for your arms.

These moves are just the beginning too; there are endless great exercises you can do at home to work up a sweat, elevate your heart rate and strengthen your muscles.  If you don’t like traditional workouts like these, how about simply turning on the stereo and working up a sweat dancing around the house?  Or cleaning out the garage or basement?  Or cleaning your home from top to bottom, washing walls, windows and floors?

Think outside the box and you can come up with dozens of great activities to substitute for your normal workout routine.


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