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Monday, July 13, 2020

July 13, 2020

My $1.00 Cuticle Infection Cure


The term paronychia isn't familiar to a lot of people, but unfortunately, it's all too familiar to me.

Basically, the term refers to an infection of the cuticle area, or thereabouts in general, and it can really put a damper on your day.  People have been washing their hands a lot over the last number of months -- some due to strong encouragement, but others have just increased what they naturally are inclined to do.  No one who knows me at all would argue that I don't fall into that latter category.  I'm a very, very frequent hand washer (yes, think OCD).  Ironically, however, it seems that frequent hand washing can, by some peculiar mechanisms, put a person at greater risk for developing paronychias.

I believe I'm as qualified as anyone to make this pronouncement.  I think I developed my first paronychia a good 20 years or so ago, although it may have been connected with mopping out a wet basement after flooding, and having my hands immersed in dirty water for a long period of time (no, I didn't perceive any danger then, as the very young seldom do).  For many years thereafter I didn't have any more of these infections, and I had frankly forgotten about them.  When I took on the job as a manager for a gym, however, things radically changed.  As we were invariably short-staffed, I ended up having to do a lot of the cleaning: cleaning up after people, wiping things down, and, of course, the unsavory but unavoidable necessity of very often cleaning the restrooms (and this was all pre-pandemic dirtiness).  Naturally, this entailed washing my hands even more, often with little time for even allowing them to dry.  I believe that a combination of factors resulted in me developing paronychias again -- and with uncomfortable regularity, no less.

If you've never had a paronychia, trust me, you don't want one.  I've only every had them on the tips of my thumbs and index fingers, and I've concluded that this is mainly because those digits are used far more than others.  I've seen that mine always start out right at the corner of the nail's edge; I've suspected that the corner punctures the skin just enough to let some type of bacteria or fungus (could be Candida yeast, but who knows for sure) in, and it begins to fester very progressively.  Once it begins, merely washing your hands doesn't seem to clean it out.  And the more you try to do, automatically, with your hands, the more you aggravate it.  You can end up with a very swollen and red fingertip, and the discomfort can be so considerable that it effectively impairs some of your functioning.

In attempting to deal with a paronychia, you'll heal all sorts of suggestions, and believe me, I've tried them all.  Most often they recommend soaking the digit it a variety of solutions, usually using warm to even hot water as the base, and with anything from Epsom salts to apple cider vinegar to lemon juice added to or dissolved in the water.  Honestly, I've never found any of these standard soaking methods to work.  The only relief I've ever found from the discomfort of an acute paronychia was to soak the fingertip in 99% DMSO (one needs to be sure the finger is very well-cleaned before attempting this, as if there's soap or anything else left on your skin, the DMSO will carry this literally through your skin and into your bloodstream).  DMSO is a very controversial substance which, as a topic, would require far greater elaboration than is feasible here, but I figured its very strong anti-inflammatory potential would help the situation, and it did, for me.  But just relieving the inflammation isn't actually curing the paronychia, and since I began getting these irritating infections with some frequency, I looked for another solution.
At around this time, at my regular forays to a local Dollar Tree store, I had noticed a product on the shelf -- Dr. Sheffield's Psoriasis Medicated Moisturizer Skin Cream.  It was a 1-ounce tube of the product, boxed up in some nice explanatory packaging.  I was curious about it, and when I looked on the package to see the active ingredient, it listed a full 2% of salicylic acid.  I took immediate note of this, and wondered if it could perhaps help me with these paronychias.  I had known that many topical over-the-counter remedies for common skin infections (such as plantar warts) used salicylic acid as the active ingredient.  For a dollar, I figured, there would be no harm in trying.  And for sure, was I glad I did try.  
When I first began using this particular cream on my paronychias, I was surprised at how soon they began to heal.  If they were already really bad, it would take a number of days to start to clear up; I would apply the cream very liberally at night, and I would often cut the index finger (or thumb, if it was on a thumb) of a disposable glove, squirt some of the cream into the tip, and then insert my finger or thumb into this makeshift protective sleeve, which would keep the cream from rubbing off onto the bed sheets throughout the night.  I can conclusively say, it worked, when nothing else did.

After a number of successes with the cream when the paronychias were well underway, I soon found that if I applied some of the cream to the cuticle area whenever I would begin to sense a paronychia might be developing, I could effectively nip it in the bud, and it would not progress further provided I caught it in time.  I didn't even have to use the glove tip, as long as I detected it early enough, and just applied even a little of the cream into the groove of my fingertip at night.  I always have a tube of the Dr. Sheffield's cream on hand now, and since I started using it, I've not had a full-blown paronychia since.

I actually think this Dr. Sheffield's Psoriasis Medicated Moisturizer Skin Cream is very likely useful for a lot of skin issues, thanks to its relatively high salicylic acid content.  You could also probably even use it as a nightly face cream, to speed up skin renewal, but its acid content (salicylic acid is a well-known beta hydroxy acid) might even be a little too strong for some skins, and/or if you're going out in the sun the next day.  And if you don't have a Dollar Tree in your area, there's always Amazon (though you'll pay quite a bit more than a mere dollar for it there, unfortunately, because they don't currently sell it in single tubes).  Thank you very much, Dr. Sheffield.



Friday, July 10, 2020

July 10, 2020

Bitter Melon Versus Diabetes


Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) is a vegetable which grows in tropical areas like East Africa, Asia, South Africa, and the Caribbean. This vegetable is rich in iron, beta carotene, calcium, potassium, phosphorus and other dietary fibers. In many countries, it is also used as an herbal medicine due to its properties that help improve insulin production. Clinical studies show that bitter melon increases the production of beta cells in the pancreas which leads to improvement in the insulin production of the body. It is also believed to be beneficial for the liver and can act as an anti-tumor agent. Because of its health benefits, bitter melon is used by many as an alternative treatment for diabetes.

Diabetes, in either of its two recognized forms (types 1 and 2), is a disease which is characterized by the presence of high levels of blood glucose and by the secretion of excess glucose in the urine. This ailment develops because of relatively low levels of insulin which leads to irregular carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism. Diabetic persons feel hungry and thirsty most of the time. In addition, these people get easily tired physically and mentally. They may also suffer from constipation, excessive itchiness around the genital area, and general weakness. Other body parts that are affected by diabetes are the heart, kidney, eyes, blood vessels, and the nerves. In addition to these health effects, diabetes is one of the major causes of erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence among men.

Diabetes causes impotence because it alters the body systems such as the circulatory, nervous, and the endocrine system. The organs in these systems all work in harmony to let blood flow into the penis so erection can take place. Higher levels of glucose caused by diabetes damages the blood vessels and the nerves. Complications in the state of blood vessels may hamper the flow of blood to the penis, hampering erection.  In addition, a number of medical studies show that diabetic persons are more likely to have low testosterone levels. Testosterone is a hormone that is responsible enhanced libido, energy, and other reproductive health concerns. Men with type 1 diabetes are more likely to become impotent once they reach 40 years of age.

Many health experts are recommending the use of alternative medicines like bitter melon for diabetic management. Many studies show that bitter melon is able to reduce the blood sugar levels in the body. Charantin, polypeptide P, and oleanolic acid glycosides are some of the active ingredients of bitter melon that are essential in diabetes treatment. Charantin consists of mixtures of natural steroids which are shown to reduce blood sugar levels in the body. Polypeptide P contains alkaloids that can also promote healthy blood sugar levels. Oleanolic acid glycosides, on the other hand, may prevent the retention of sugar from the intestines. Improvements in these area leads to improved insulin levels in the body.

Diabetes can be treated with alternative medicine and adjustments in lifestyles. Many health experts advise diabetic persons to include bitter melon in their diet to reduce their intake of (and over-dependency on) anti-diabetic drugs. This alternative healing method, however, should not be regarded as a stand-alone treatment, and diabetic patients are urged to consult with their doctors before including it in their control protocols.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

July 09, 2020

Some Notes About Emu Oil


As frequent visitors to this blog would already know, I have something of a long history in the exploration of natural oils for use upon the skin. Virtually all such oils you can buy which have notable skin benefits, such as coconut and jojoba oils, are plant-sourced. This makes emu oil something of an anomaly, as it's an animal oil -- derived, of course, from the emu, a large, flightless bird originally of Australian origin. That being the case, there will be those who would object to using an animal-sourced oil, which is certainly their prerogative. But for many who have used emu oil, they do so because it seems to have certain properties unlike anything else out there.

Back around 15 years ago, when emu oil was a "buzz word" in the natural health community, I personally visited an emu farm in Somerset County here in my home state of Pennsylvania. The owner walked me around and showed me his emus in their enclosures as we talked about the myriad benefits of emu oil. His very impressive birds seemed quite healthy, and really, quite dinosaur-like to me; I recall one of them "grunted," as a strange sort of vocalization. The emu farmer with whom I talked seemed fully committed to his occupation, was always concerned about the welfare of his birds and believed unequivocally in the tremendous power of emu oil.

Emu oil is claimed to be "non-greasy," yet I've not quite found this to be the case. In all fairness, however, an oil is an oil...and oil is, well, greasy to some degree or other. I think the key to avoiding greasiness with emu oil is to use it very sparingly. Emu oil is promoted as odorless, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic (i.e., does not clog pores), all of which I have indeed found accurate in my experimental use of the product. Actual published research has shown emu oil can thicken the skin, which reduces the appearance of aging. Allegedly up to a 50% increase in skin thickness can be achieved by the regular application of emu oil, and it also tends to increase the thickness of hair shafts as well. Topical application of emu oil can deliver its nutrients deep into the skin to support healthy cell growth, and it's also an excellent emulsifier, meaning it can be blended with other ingredients easily for enhanced benefits. The man at the emu farm I visited was doing well selling emu oil with rosemary oil added (which itself has an astounding number of skin benefits).

There have been some clinical studies which have shown that two major properties of emu oil are its ability to penetrate the skin and its anti-inflammatory properties. Predominantly, the most active constituents in emu oil are oleic acid, which is an omega-3 fatty acid (like what is found in fish oil), linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid, which has been shown to ease muscle and joint pain, and gammolenic acid. This trio amounts to a fatty acid profile that is highly similar to that naturally found in the sebum of humans, which may well explain why emu oil seems so readily accepted by the human skin. 

I'd say there's a fair chance you've heard of Super Blue Stuff, which contains emu oil and is claimed to be very effective as a topical remedy for joint pain. There are some indications that emu oil may substantially reduce the pain caused by arthritis. Remarkably enough, the potency of the anti-inflammatory effect from emu oil is reportedly similar to ibuprofen but without its negative side effects. The indigenous people of Australia, the Aborigines, have used emu oil for its healing and restorative effects, particularly with regard to joint pain. They also value it highly for its use on wounds and burns. It demonstrates antibacterial properties and, anecdotally, its use on wounds is reported to significantly nullify scarring which may have otherwise resulted.

Among the numerous controversies surrounding emu oil is whether unrefined emu oil is superior to refined, or vice versa. The refining process does remove impurities, but it appears the best refining is done very gently and at low temperature, so as not to destroy the oil's crucial fatty acid profile.

Again, many natural health enthusiasts may have their qualms about using an animal-based oil instead of those sourced purely from plants. This disinclination is to be fully respected, and hopefully a plant-based oil will eventually be discovered which yields similar potentials to emu oil, a prospect which I would consider far from impossible given the vastness of Nature's wealth.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

July 08, 2020

Low on Energy? Try Arctic Root


Every now and then you spend $1.00 on something and get back way out of proportion to what you've spent.

Not long ago I was browsing in a local store among their supplement section and came upon a clearance rack.  Among the discounted items offered was a bottle of Rhodiola rosea capsules, otherwise known as Arctic root.  I already knew much about this herb but had never really felt the need to give it a try.  But as it was reduced in price to a mere $1.00, I figured there would be little loss in evaluating this supplement, just to see if I noted anything different upon taking it myself.  It turns out this was a dollar exceptionally well spent.

I've certainly never been a low-energy individual, but when you've a lot of work to do in a day, especially purely physical work in sometimes challenging temperatures, there's seldom any harm in giving yourself an energy boost, especially if it's from an entirely natural source and possibly confers other benefits besides.  Over the last several months I've done a whole lot of outdoor work in the form of property maintenance, spanning a considerable amount of territory and involving multiple landscaping tasks.  Upon beginning to take the Arctic root I quickly noticed that indeed, I never seemed to run out of energy and always had enough to undertake the day's agenda -- and then some, with more than enough to spare for my own exercising and whatnot on top of it all.  I've heard it remarked innumerable times by some of my older customers of the past that they had a lot to do but then sighed, declaring, "I just don't have the energy."  Arctic root would seem an ideal supplement for such fatigued people, and may even offer a lot more than just increasing one's energetic output.

As the common name implies, Arctic root is native to the cooler northernmost zones of Europe and Asia, with related species found in western North America.  Arctic root could be found in European documentation of several centuries ago as a prescription for a very wide range of ailments.  Boasting approximately 140 chemical components, its usefulness perhaps comes as little surprise; within its extensive composition are a great many unique phenolic substances; Arctic root's numerous and well-studied benefits are largely attributed to certain unique combinations thereof.  The herb is very appropriately classified as an adaptogen, that is, it assists a person in handling all kinds of stresses -- physical, psychological and even environmental in origin.  And it does this with a finesse and efficiency rivaling (or exceeding) that of far more well-known adaptogens like the various ginsengs.

It's almost hard to believe a single herb can offer as many benefits as Arctic root.  After a bit of research into the conditions it's indicated to remedy, you could quite literally say, "You name it, it helps with it."  I had anecdotally heard some years back that taking it makes you feel, "like you can do anything with your day," and I can vouch for the way it does seem to confer a strong sense of available physical energy.  But what may be equally important than this, if not more, is that some of its active components may allow it to assist with all manner of disorders of the central nervous system, and, likewise, everything from basic mental sluggishness to depression, ADHD and dementia.  Furthermore, Arctic root has been shown to demonstrate significant anti-cancer potential.  And these are just the things which are presently known about the herb, with doubtless more awaiting discovery.

Wow, what an amazing powerhouse Rhodiola rosea is, an herb which truly deserves a high place even among other turbo-charged adaptogens.  If people really knew how valuable it could be for their overall health, both physical and mental, it would fly off the shelves and never even end up selling for a mere $1.00 in a clearance rack...


Tuesday, July 7, 2020

July 07, 2020

Keep Food Fresh Longer - Easy Tips


Now is the "prime time" for fresh food. At least here in Pennsylvania, there's no time of the year like the present when all manner of freshly-grown produce is abundantly available. The sources, also, are multiple -- you have whatever one grows in one's garden, you have farmer's markets, you have roadside fruit and vegetable stands, and of course, plenty to choose from in local grocery stores.

It really does seem, however, that the more "organic" the produce, the more rapidly it tends toward a state of not-so-fresh. This would apply equally to home-grown vegetables which where never subjected to pesticides or synthetic fertilizers as it does to homemade bread. These things are best eaten almost immediately, if possible, because otherwise, the clock seems to be ticking in overdrive.

And there's an additional problem, especially this time of year, if your foodstuffs are very whole, natural and organic, and actually even if they're not really fresh but in dried form. Humans won't be the only ones to whom fresh or high-quality food will appeal; ants, for instance, are very active foragers, and few houses (that don't spray toxic pesticides everywhere) are totally immune to their intrusion, especially when the ants are "swarming." The list goes on and on of the other insect pests that might already be in one's kitchen, but hopefully in small numbers, depending upon the region: fruit flies, houseflies and cockroaches (of course), flour beetles, grain weevils, pantry moths and so forth. You can be sure your purely-grown garden vegetables, or the organic dried grain products you've made great pains to obtain, will appeal just as much to the tiny but acute senses of these common pests.

So, you have the dual problem of fresh food tending to lose its freshness rather quickly (especially during high-temperature periods), and also that of insect pests potentially feasting on your foodstuffs. What can one do? Well, what follows are nine tips you could use to keep at least some of your food fresher longer, as well as more pest-free.

1) Spread some cloves on and around the countertop surfaces of your kitchen, and also spread some likewise under the sink. This will keep ants and other pests away very effectively and naturally. You could also sparingly use drops of clove oil for maximum potency, but beware that, as I mentioned in my homemade toothpaste article, clove oil will react strongly with many types of plastics and will actually dissolve some of them, so be careful where you apply the oil. Peppermint oil is good too, and also good around food areas, but it doesn't seem nearly as powerful or last nearly as long as even a drop or two of clove oil. Alternately, you could just sprinkle dried ground cloves judiciously in out-of-sight areas where crawling pests may have been seen before.           

2) For repelling pests further, place some bay leaves inside your bags of flour, rice and any other dried products that insects might consume. Bay leaves will help to keep these items pest free, but it's best to change the bay leaves once every three months or so.

3) Place half a potato in the refrigerator. Let's face it, seldom is there a refrigerator which has no odoriferous trace of anything rotting in it. Thus, if there's any emerging noxious smell in the refrigerator, the half-potato will absorb it. As you would replace any air freshener periodically, you would need to replace the potato half when it stops working so well.

4) Store eggs with the pointed side down. As peculiar and trivial as this may seem, storing eggs with the pointed side down keeps them fresh for a longer period.

5) Place a few cubes of sugar in the bag or container where you store American cheese. When you place two or three cubes of sugar with the American cheese in an air-tight receptacle, the sugar absorbs the moisture and prevents the cheese from getting bad.

6) Do not store tomatoes and cucumbers in the same exact place. Tomatoes give out gases that cause cucumbers to rot faster, so make sure that you keep these two apart.

7) There's the age-old trick of slicing an apple or potato in half and placing the halves within wherever you store your bread. By adding a few slices of raw potatoes or apples along with the bread, you ensure that the bread remains fresh for longer than it would have otherwise.

8) In contrast to the previous suggestion, and in a similar vein to #6, be sure not to store apples along with the rest of the fruits and vegetables. Apples release certain gases that cause fruits and vegetables to rot faster.

9) Store radishes in a container along with some water in the refrigerator. The water will keep the radishes fresh and crisp for a long time. For the same reason, if the radishes have shriveled, place them in a jar of cold water. Water will restore the radishes to their previous splendor.


Monday, July 6, 2020

July 06, 2020

On Emotional Eating


We've just had our Fourth of July weekend here in the USA, and a whole lot of eating went on (I, myself, naturally partook a considerable amount). People normally eat more whenever celebrations arise, such as birthdays and these holidays. This could even be called "celebratory eating," and while this may outwardly seem much the same as what is more familiarly known as "emotional eating," it turns out that this is rather surprisingly not the case (and not nearly the same in the long-term physiological implications when the two are compared).

The results of a recent study seem to indicate that people who engage in celebratory eating -- that is, eating in response to externally-dictated factors such as special occasions -- actually have lesser problems in dealing with weight-related issues than those people who eat in response to their emotions, i.e., motivated primarily by internal cues. The study also found out that emotional eating was associated with weight regain for those among the studied who did lose weight.

Lead author Heather Niemeier of Miriam Hospital's Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center states that they have findings that the more people report eating as a mechanism for dealing with negative thoughts and feelings, such as feeling lonely, the less weight they tend to lose in a behavioral weight loss program. The findings also showed that those who have successfully lost some weight but are still inclined toward emotional eating were more likely to regain. The authors noted this as important, since one of the greatest challenges encountered in the field of obesity remediation remains the problem of weight regain following successful weight loss. According to Niemeier, participants in behavioral weight loss programs lose an average of ten percent of their body weight, and these losses are indeed associated with significant health benefits. Unfortunately, the majority of participants return to their baseline weight within three to five years, on average.

In this particular study, the researchers analyzed the individual's responses to a certain questionnaire in widespread use in obesity research called the Eating Inventory. The Eating Inventory is a tool designed to evaluate three aspects of eating behaviors in an individual -- cognitive restraint, hunger, and disinhibition. For more specialized research, Niemeier and her team focused only on the disinhibition aspect of the Eating Inventory. While it should be noted that past studies have suggested that disinhibition as a whole is an accurate predictor of weight loss, the scale itself includes multiple factors that could separately forecast potential outcomes. Niemeier said that the disinhibition scale will evaluate the impulse eating in response to emotional, cognitive, or social cues. Their goal was to examine and isolate the factors that make up the disinhibition scale, and then determine if these factors have a specific relationship with weight loss and and subsequent weight regain.

Those included in the study were divided into two groups. The first group was composed of 286 overweight men and women who were at the time of the study participating in a behavioral weight loss program. The second group was comprised of 3,345 members of the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), an ongoing study of adults who have lost at least thirty pounds and have kept it off for at least one year. According to the study, by examining those two different groups, they were able to evaluate the effect of disinhibition on individuals attempting to lose weight, as well as on those who are trying to maintain weight loss after some amount of weight was successfully lost. Upon further examination, the researchers found that the components within the disinhibition scale required further separation into two more distinct areas: external and internal disinhibition. External disinhibition describes experiences that are external to the individual (such as a group celebration), while internal refers to eating in response to thoughts and feelings, which equals emotional eating. The results showed that in both groups, internal disinhibition was inversely proportional to weight loss success. For those people enrolled in weight loss programs, the higher level of internal disinhibition, the less the weight that would not only be lost but also kept off over time.

This pioneering research has suggested that attention should be given to eating that is triggered by thoughts and feelings, since eating according to these motivations clearly plays a significant role in weight loss. A high level of internal disinhibition can thus be used as a strong predictor of weight issues beyond such adjunct psychological issues as depression, binge eating, and perceived stress. By further modification of therapies in order to address these triggers for unhealthy eating, obesity sufferers could learn alternative strategies to improve their ability to maintain weight-positive behaviors, even perhaps in the face of affective and cognitive difficulties.



Sunday, July 5, 2020

July 05, 2020

A Weight Loss Secret From the Orient


Those who know me closely know I'm no stranger to Chinese cuisine. Yes, I'm a very frequent diner at Chinese restaurants, along with those of more Japanese and Thai specializations (though these are not nearly as numerous in my area). And when I'm traveling and enter a new area or city, when it's time to eat...yes, my eyes are peeled for a "new" Chinese restaurant to try.

While at these Oriental restaurants an uncountable number of times, I haven't helped but notice that I've seldom seen very many overweight Oriental women. I'm sure there's some degree of genetic predisposition involved (not to mention that I've seen these women to live very active lifestyles, and are seldom sedentary), but I've always figured there was more to the story than that. I once had a waitress at a Chinese restaurant whose waist was so tiny in circumference that I swore I could have wrapped my hands entirely around it (don't worry, I didn't try, in case you were wondering). I asked her how she stayed so diminutive while working around all that food. She replied that she just ate little bits of food at a time -- no actual meals to speak of, so that she easily burned up all the calories she consumed, which I doubt amounted to very much for starters.

Of course, it's true that there are no overweight Oriental ladies in the world, because obesity and weight gain are universal issues affecting all races and cultures, irrespective of skin and color. But is there a health secret coming from the Orient that makes a Chinese woman, for instance, generally slimmer and slenderer than other nationalities?

Indeed, recent discoveries in Japan showed that the type of Chinese tea called Wu Long tea -- more commonly known to most of us as oolong tea -- may indeed be an underestimated dietary factor in Oriental slimness. When combined with a healthy diet and exercise, the Japanese research revealed that people who regularly consumed this tea experienced over twice the calorie-burning results of those who drank the same amount of authentic Japanese green tea. Drinking this oolong tea 15 minutes before eating carbohydrates also helped blunt the rise in insulin that normally comes after eating food that contains a lot of carbohydrates. As carbohydrates causes weight gain by increasing insulin levels, drinking this tea helps to control weight gain.

Like other teas as well, Japan's Shiga University of Medical Science found that drinking oolong tea on a daily basis also dramatically clears up skin eczema within just one month. Furthermore, it helps in reducing free radicals and lowers the risk of infections such as the common cold.

Indeed, in the ancient Chinese pharmaceutical book Bencao Shiyi ("The Compendium of Materia Medica," written by Li Shizhen during the Ming Dynasty), it is said that tea "will make one live long and stay in good shape." Tea, particularly the oolong tea originating from China's Fujian Province, has been used by countless generations of ladies to help melt away body fat, boost energy and even clarify the skin, and these newer scientific discoveries in Japan seem to indicate that it's entirely possible to literally drink away significant amounts of unwanted body fat and (eventually) loose inches from the waistline, as fanciful as it may seem to us Westerners.
Teas are just a form of natural supplements to help in weight management and fat loss; it happens that teas do tend to deliver their beneficial active ingredients in a highly bioavailable manner. Taking a supplement to assist in weight loss, however, is but one prong in battling weight and fat, as it's necessary to have a healthy diet and to maintain a program of exercise at the same time if we are to continue to keep the extra weight and fat off our bodies. Yes, think "lifestyle change," and maintain that mode of thought for the best long-term results.