Fat Loss Expert Explains Why Low Calorie Diets Don’t Work

As a Singapore Personal Trainer, I recently read a disturbing piece of news about a trend among people in Singapore. They want to be thin, not just healthy but really, really thin! This is a problem.

To get that thin you need to starve yourself. And the “method” of slimming these guys/gals use is not safe.

They eat about 1-2 meals per day and they eat food that is not nutritious. In addition they usually eat highly refined foods like instant noodles and bread.

That is a problem because it is not possible to get enough nutrients for health with that amount of food in your diet. You will not have enough vitamins, minerals and protein.

Because of this lack of nutrients, your liver will be weak, and you will not be able to detoxify the problems in our rather toxic environment – even smells like those from new furniture can be poisons. You need amino acids and other nutrients to help your liver.

You will also have suppressed immune system function. The more lean muscle mass you have the better your immune system will be. You often find that people who are very underweight are often sick, but people with good, healthy amounts of muscle mass are not sick.

There is a problem in society as well because of the use of BMI as a gauge of health. These “skinny” fans are actually “healthy” when we use BMI. But are they really? This fact is made worse now that there is an “Asian” BMI which encourages even lower body weights!

What’s the solution?

Here is what I suggest…

* No more BMI. Use body fat as a gauge of health. Men should aim for 10% and women for 16%.

* Encourage nutritious food. No calorie counting. Can your body count calories? Your body can only recognize nutrients. Give it enough nutritious food and it will say “I’m full, thanks!”. Give it large amounts of no-nutrition food and it says “I need more!” Even though you just ate 3000 calories of potato chips.

* No calorie counting

* Tell people who teach nutrition teachers to take off their shirts. Nutritionists are very influential, but there are way too many out of shape nutritionists.

No we don’t expect them to look like an Olympic gymnast, but they shouldn’t be obese or sickly thin right?

Lets look at a simple example about how calorie counting is not a practical way of deciding how much to eat.

An average person needs (according to the calorie counting gang) about 2000 calories per day to maintain weight. lets multiply that by 365 to get the number of calories needed per year. That is 730000.

Lets say I want to stay within 1kg of my current weight because I’m happy with my health and how I look. The calorie counting gang also believe that eating 3500 calories excess would lead to 1lb fat gain. so to gain 1kg I would need about 8000 calories.

That means that to stay within 1kg of my current weight I would, over the course of the 1 year, need to be accurate in my “calorie counting” to the accuracy of 8000/730000 that is an accuracy of… 1.1%.

That means each day I have to be accurate with my calorie counting to within about 22 calories. That is about 2grams of fat or 5 grams of carbohydrates/protein.

That is a ridiculous accuracy to expect to adhere to. And it gets even more ridiculous as we extend the 1 year period to 3 or even 10 years. What if I kept my weight constant for 10 years! I would have to be accurate to 2 calories per day!

No. Calorie counting is not important for general health. Because there are so many more things going on.

I always tell my clients that our body can adapt to more or less food. But it cannot adapt to crappy, refined foods.

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Bedtime Safety For Baby – Tips On Choosing A Baby Cot

A newborn may sleep up to 16 hours a day or even more but often in stretches of 3 to 4 hours at a time. Although many cultures may endorse co-sleeping, it is recommended against bringing your infant to sleep in bed with you for safety reasons. While in deep slumber, there is a risk that your baby can suffocate or get strangled when sharing the same bed.

It is therefore important to make careful considerations while purchasing a baby cot for your newborn which they may use until they are 2-3 years old moving on to a full-sized bed. Here are some things to consider before purchasing a cot:

Types of Baby Crib

Baby cot can have the standard or convertible type. Standard cots either have a single or double layer drop side which allows for easy access to bring your baby in and out of the cot.

The convertible cot will be able to last your child till at least 5 years old. It acts like a crib during the first 3 years of your child then it could be use a toddler bed when your child grows up. Some can even be turned into an adult-size bed. Naturally, the convertible baby cot costs much more compared to the standard baby cot. There are also some cots that can be used as a changing table for your little ones. Do assess your needs before making a purchase.

Safety

It is always important to observe the safety of the baby cot. Here are some things to note:

Distances between cot slats are no more that 6cm to prevent their hands from getting stuck in between
Dropsides when lowered are at least 23cm above the mattress support, when dropsides are raised, they are at least 66cm above the mattress support to prevent babies from falling off the cot
Secured dropside locking mechanism. It is recommended to be able to lock or unlock with just one hand as you usually have to carry or support your baby with the other.
No loose or peeling paint, rough corners, edges or splinters.

Mattress

It is not hard to find the perfect fit for the baby mattress.

Always remember to measure the baby cot because purchasing the mattress. The perfect fit is one that will fit into the baby cot very tightly without any gaps in between. The biggest allowance between the cot and the baby mattress is one finger. It is important to check the mattress regularly and replace if you can easily insert two or more fingers into the gap.

Too soft mattresses can also pose risks toward your baby. Because it is too soft, the baby may sink into the folds thus restricting their movements. In worst scenario, this can lead to suffocation and even death. So here’s the tip. Babies do not usually suffer from back pains so it will be perfectly fine to provide them with a firm baby mattress – simply choose a mattress that will give your hand just a slight bounce.

Tips: Always putting your baby in the crib for sleeping will help signal to the infant that this is the place for sleep. Keep in mind, though, it may take a few weeks for your baby’s brain to signal the difference between night and day. Unfortunately, there are no tricks to speed this up except to be as consistent in your routine as possible.

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The Carlton Hotel in Singapore

The Carlton Hotel is expediently positioned at the crossroads of Singapore’s leading underground shopping mall. It is close to the busiest economic and Convention centers and just a couple of minutes away from educational and amusement zones of Singapore.

Change International Airport is nearly 20 minutes drive by car, and City Hall Mass Rapid Transit for island-wide commuting is barely 5 minutes walking distance. Special provisions are offered in all 915 well done up stylish and pleasing to the eyes guestrooms with modern amenities and personal attention paid by all the staff members. Reception desk services on the Carlton Club Floor are also out of the ordinary.

An open-air swimming pool along with the changing room and a pouring waterfall creates a beautiful ambiance. A couple of trendy and elegant restaurants are set to delight your stomach and taste bud.

The latest rooms in the New Wing assure our guests a complete original experience of well-appointed comfort and technique that pleases both body and mind. The up to date design, glossy furnishings and stylish furniture in each room radiates a sense of deluxe comfort that gives you the mollycoddle you need at the end of the day.

Hotel Facilities
There are altogether 915 rooms in this massive hotel and car parking is available for the residents and on paid basis. There are special rooms where smoking is permitted. Other facilities which are provided are all the rooms are centrally air conditioned, 24 hour assistance available on the reception desk, safety Deposit box to keep the valuables safe, Tea and coffee makers in every room, Minibar with a fridge available in each room, Hair dryer, Ironing facility, Wake up call for the residents, Provision of currency exchange, Doctor on call,lift facility to all the floors,Inter connecting rooms are also available for the guests who are travelling with the children.

Business facilities are also available for all the meetings which are held in the hotel. Provisions like Internet facilities, In-room broadband, private dining services, Business centre etc are all provided.

Dining-There is a restaurant with multi cuisine and it takes care of all your eating requirements. Along with that there is a provision of bar with all variety of liquor available there.

Leisure Activities like outdoor pool, Fitness centre, Spas, Gymnasium, beauty parlours, Indoor pool table and numerous others are available to make your stay very comfortable and enjoyable one.

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A Quick Guide To Singapore Hotels

Tourists and business travelers visiting the great city of Singapore will have a variety of places to choose from when it comes to lodgings. The city is full of exciting things to do and places to see and it also features various hotels designed to fit anyone’s budget. Here are some of the most popular hotels located in the center of Singapore.

Business travelers will enjoy the business amenities and prime location of the Orchard Grand hotel. The Orchard Grand is located in the Central Business District, which offers guests access to local shopping and entertainment. The Somerset MRT train is located 5 minutes by walking from the hotel. The Orchard Grand also features the Crystal Café, which serves Asian cuisine, a fully equipped gymnasium and an outdoor swimming pool with garden terrace.

The Oxford Hotel is located in the heart of Singapore, close to all of the tourist attractions that the city has to offer. Located nearby are the National Museum, the Central Business District, the Art Museum, Bugis Street and Raffles City. The Oxford provides a family and business friendly environment. The hotel features a restaurant, porters and a beauty salon.

For spending conscious travelers there is the Happy Hotel, which offers a good location and reasonably priced rooms. All rooms are reasonably sized, simple and clean. The hotel is located just 15 minutes from Orchard Road and the Central Business District. Public transport is available. The Happy hotel offers air-conditioning, color TV and high-speed wireless broadband internet.

Visitors looking for a hotel full of nostalgia will enjoy the older boutique style Link hotel. The hotel offers a mix of historical themes and modern amenities. Guests may choose from four different ethnic themes for their rooms. This family and business friendly hotel is located near Chinatown, Orchard road and the Central Business District. The hotel also features a café lounge, a restaurant and a business center with secretarial services.

The Cape Inn offers visitors an affordable place to stay in Singapore with sensible facilities and clean, simple rooms. Tourists will enjoy the close location, where public transport and walking can get you all around the city. Guest service is high and the hotel features massage services, a restaurant and airport transfers.

Visitors to Singapore looking for luxury accommodations will like the Cityhub Hotel. The Cityhub offers 127 contemporary-designed rooms complete with amenities. High-speed wireless internet is provided and the hotel is close to Little India, Shopping Paradise, Mustafa Centre and Farrer Park, all of which can be reached by public transportation.

The New Majestic Hotel offers a variety of themed rooms set in the heart of Chinatown. The hotel features 30 individually designed rooms, each fitted with a mix of designer and village furniture and state of the art entertainment systems. A fitness center, restaurant and bar and high-speed internet are all available at the New Majestic.

Singapore has hundreds of places to visit, where tourists can enjoy shopping, dining and entertainment, along with taking in some of the local culture. The city also offers plenty of accommodations.

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How to Choose the Right Office Furniture for Your Workspace

When creating your office environment, you should try and reflect your views and aims as a company on the building. This means choosing furniture which suits your style – for example, a company with a very tranquil business aim and motive would try and find very relaxing colors and office furniture. It’s very important that you choose a functional and easy to look at design. When trying to decide what type of office furniture you need, you should keep some things in mind which will make the process much easier for you.

Budget

Consider the price of office furniture, how it fits in with your office in terms of color, style and size. You want to look for value – durable and thoughtfully priced – as well as the right aesthetics, though. The type of work your business undertakes will be a huge deciding factor in the type of office furniture you buy – if you are an IT company, you need cubicles with comfortable chairs and desks.

However, if you are designing a call center, you may want lots of desks with fittings for phones and computers. By the same practice, a psychologist would want a comforting, open look to the office with comfortable seating and an inviting feel. You should check online for examples of the type of furniture you will need depending on what services you are looking to offer.

However, here are some specific things to consider when trying to choose the right office furniture;

Use Space Wisely

Consider that you can really change the type of space you have for your office, especially when placing office furniture. One large, spacey room with a lot of empty space can be transformed into an office area for a group of people. Buying compact office furnishings will allow you to put in several functions in the one area, conserving space. This should be an important part of your strategy when designing your office layout.

Maximizing space to allow for as much work to be carried out as possible in the one area is a great way to raise productivity, and create a full and busy environment.

Health and Safety

With more businesses looking to find ways to maximize safety in the workplace, it’s important that you consider this when buying office furniture. Maximizing the amount of time your staff are available for work is paramount to consistent success in business. Plan ahead to find some office furnishings which are durable and stylish, but will also help promote a clean and safe work environment.

For example, you need your computer desks to be perfectly aligned with your chairs – this can cut down on repetitive strain injuries, especially in an IT environment. Making sure your office furnishings can hide away cables and other hardware is important, too. This stops any potential fire hazards or safety issues with regards to staff tripping over wiring or struggling to have a cohesive working space.

If you can consider all of the above – budget, style and safety – you can really produce a fantastic and efficient office environment, which is not only good to look at and work within, but safe and within your budget.

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Real Estate Lingo in Singapore

For Singapore, it is not difficult to identify the terms used in real estate transactions. All of the terms reflect a widespread use of English in the realm of communicating and this singular usage has resulted in a highly developed real estate lingo which has brought together the four main racial groups into a harmonious whole. This is reflected in the dynamism of the city state’s real estate landscape.

The professionals of real estate

In Singapore, professional names and terms are accorded their proper place in real estate transactions.

In regards to realty terms used, there is no doubt that ethnic groups do have their own terms in their own different languages, but these have largely failed in establishing a niche so as to become part of the real estate parlance.

The use of English terms in the real estate environment is predominant.

Property Types

Semi-detached – 2 houses that share a common wall, but keep separate gardens.

Linked house – 1 of 2 landed houses joined to the other by a common wall separating their car porches. The common wall is the side wall of the two car porches.

Terrace houses – These are houses that are joined in a row that often have a paved or grassed garden. Larger versions of this type may have a swimming pool, playground or gymnasium.

Corner terrace – This is a landed house located at the end of a row of terrace houses that occupies a larger area of land compared to terrace houses.

Maisonette – The maisonette is a building with a 2-level residential unit within. The adjoining floors are connected by an internal staircase leading from the ground to the upper floor.

Shophouses – A shophouse is a legacy for Singapore’s past that consists of a shop area below and living quarters above. Many have been renovated to enhance original features and tiling. They have small outdoor areas but contain internal courtyards and are found in the central and eastern part of the island.

Detached homes – These homes are essentially bungalow-type buildings that may be single, double or 3 stories high.

Black and whites – Like shophouses, these buildings are a reminiscent of the British colonial era and were used to accommodate air, land and administrative personnel. They range from small terraced homes to palatial residences raised on stilts. Many have huge gardens and servant quarters. They can be let but without air conditioning, fans and linens, which a buyer must purchase from previous tenants.

Cul-de-sac house – A landed house situated at the end of a large dead-end road where a turnaround road has been constructed.

Duplex House – A 2-storey building that contains a residential unit on the first floor and a second residential unit on the second floor. Residents share the same land and an outside stairway connects the first floor residential unit with the unit above it.

Townhouse – A ground-level residential unit joined to a row of 3 or more residential units that have common ownership of theland.

Cluster housing – This type of residential unit is a cross between landed and condominium housing. All the houses are built at ground level and residents share facilities like those found in condominiums. Cluster housings have Strata Titles.

Apartments – An apartment can range from studios to large, 5-bedroom flats that can occupy 1 or 2 floors of a building.

Condominiums – Condominiums are also referred to as condos, which, apart from providing rental accommodation, also provide facilities such as a gym, tennis court, function room, pool and sometimes a small shop.

Penthouses – These are less common rental units that offer private outdoor living with colossal views available. Many have their own “Jacuzzi” whirlpool baths.

Other terminology

Co-broke deal – A situation where more than 1 agent liaises between a landlord or owner and several tenants.

Empty furnished or non-furnished – This highlights a residential unit that is provided without any furnishings except for kitchen space, faucets and light fittings.

Fully furnished – A residential unit or house that is fitted with common furnishings such as a refrigerator, washing machine, television set, furniture, wardrobes, beds, mattresses and similar furnishings and appliances.

Partially furnished – A partly furnished unit or house is fitted with only some and not all the more common furnishing items.

HDB – This is an abbreviation of the Housing Development Board, which is totally responsible for all public (government) housing in Singapore.

HDB flats are units provided by government to house its citizens. They can rent their flats or sublet bedrooms to permanent residents, non-citizens, students or people holding a work permit. There are restrictions and these must be checked out first before any commitment is made.

N-bloc or Enbloc – to the sale of an estate by a majority vote of the owners to give way to a new estate. For development of less than 10 years old, a 90% majority vote is required, but for development of 10 years old and more, only an 80% majority is required.

Strata title – Multi-level apartment units are divided into separate levels, or “strata”.

Top – A “Top” refers to a temporary occupation permit. A unit that has been labeled as a “Top” unit means that the unit is ready to be occupied.

Common room – This term refers to a living room area within the same HDB apartment or house. It is usually shared by other occupants living in the same apartment or house.

Master room – A separate room within the same HDB apartment or house that is available only to the person paying rent. It is usually partly or fully furnished with the full range of amenities and appliances. The quality of the master room is reflected in the rental price charged.

Pax – Commonly used by agents and landlords when referring to tenants living in rental units, the term was originally used by the travel industry, which referred to passengers.

Leasehold – The right to own real estate for 99 years or the right to own property for 999 years, a version of the first leasing type.

Freehold – The right to own land in perpetuity or without any limit to such ownership.

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An Expat Guide to Buying Furniture in a Foreign City

There are a lot of choices to buy furniture as an expat in Singapore. Apart from the usual modern furniture, you can buy ready-made or custom-made rattan and oriental furniture.

If you decide to buy Oriental furniture, be aware that their size and design may not be suitable once you are repatriated. A nice antique Chinese bed is not only difficult to transport but may look awkward in your living room at home in London, as nothing else will fit in! Besides, this furniture is made for use in a different climate and may shrink, expand and crack. Also, before shipping back your furniture you should have it fumigated!

Antiques and Reproductions

Before you start, you need to decide if you want to decorate your home, take back some memories or seriously collect specific items as an investment into the future. The term antique is used for a variety of items offered and you need to inform yourself first about the host and home countries’ regulations and custom requirements such as import and export restrictions on religious artifacts (e.g. Buddha statues).

- Educate yourself before you buy.

- Keep detailed receipts of each item, and take photos.

- Buy quality, not quantity.

- Envisage each item in your home country environment and be realistic about size, durability and looks.

- Insure expensive new purchases.

Custom-Made Furniture

To avoid confusion and disappointment, provide a sample or a photograph and specify your requirements in writing:

- Correct dimensions/measurements.

- Type of material to be used.

- Type of frame/material used.

- Type of finish and color.

- Type of foam to be used for padding and cushions.

- Springs to be used (box springs are recommended).

- Fabric of the cushion cover.

- Cording.

- Time of delivery.

- Price, incl. taxes and other costs involved.

- Deposits you made.

- Extra requirements like kiln-dried wood, fumigated etc.

- The support structure should be made of hardwood frames.

- Screws should be used instead of nails or staples.

- Cuts must be concealed.

- Wicker used should be evenly woven and have close fitting joints.

- Cushions should be made out of high-density foam.

Oriental Furniture

There are many different types depending on the country of origin, style or material used. Furniture made in India or Indonesia is often produced in small villages and come with a native touch rather than being in an immaculate condition, which is very exotic. Chinese furniture come in rosewood, camphor, lacquer, coromandel, teak, Elmwood and many other woods and may be antique, a reproduction or modern. Custom-made furniture should be seasoned or kiln-dried to avoid shrinking in a dry environment. To allow the wood to expand furniture should be produced with tongue-and groove- floating panels.

Teak Furniture

The Latin name for Teak is Tectona grandis, which is offered all over Southeast Asia. Teak is an extremely dense, coarse-grained hardwood, which is well known for its durability and resistance to water, the woodworm and many chemical agents. Today, there are teakwood plantations catering to the furniture industry.

When purchasing Teak furniture:

- Buy 100% solid teak. (Not Shorea wood or a combination of both woods.)

- Teak should be made from kiln dried and not green lumber.

- Teak should be plantation grown. Ask for certification.

- Thick pieces of wood used make the product solid and durable.

- Oil finishes will darken the products.

- Plain furniture lightens into a silver gray when left outdoors.

Oriental Carpets

- Before you buy any Turkish, Persian, Chinese, Pakistani, Indian or any other carpets check your own countries customs regulations as there may be restrictions on importing them back home.

- Join a class teaching you how to buy a genuine oriental carpet (sometimes offered by dealers.)

- Buy at a reputable dealer and insist on a certification with origin, description, price, date and place of purchase even when you pay cash and keep the receipts at a safe place.

- Try out your carpet at home before purchase and make yourself familiar with the return policy of the dealer.

- Before you bid at a carpet auction, learn the trade!

- Buy pads or rubberized mats (Ikea) together with your carpets to prevent slipping on marble, tile and wooden floors.

- Ask your dealer how to care for your carpet.

- Inquire about after-sales services like cleaning and repair.

Beds and Mattresses

Sizes of beds and mattresses are different form those in Europe, Australia and the US, that may imply difficulties buying suitable bed sheets when in Asia or back home. Some shops offer imported brand name beds in standard lengths but oversized beds are difficult to find. Southeast Asian beds are usually shorter and sometimes narrower. Sometimes mattresses in US sizes can be ordered for an additional charge. Never buy bed sheets or linen unless you have measured your bed before.

Electrical Appliances/Computers/Accessories

- Consider renting, rather than buying, new electrical appliances.

- Go price shopping and bargain.

- Items with local warranties are less expensive and will do if you do not want to take the item back home.

- International warranties are granted for brand names.

- See if repair center lists provided with the product include your home country.

- Have your warranties stamped by the dealer.

- Prices vary according to their origin (where they are manufactured).

- Check about the latest models before buying, as shops like to sell older models first.

- Desktop and notebooks need to have dual voltage power supply (110-220 V).

- All items ideally should have a voltage switch for use in other countries.

- Make sure prices stated include delivery and installation, if necessary.

- Insist on delivery time stated on the receipt.

- Include purchased item into your insurance on return!

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