‘Super Shred’ vs ‘Doctor’s Diet’: Physicians debate merits of weight loss plans

So you want to lose weight. What could be better than a diet plan created by one of the well-known physicians on the popular health talk show “The Doctors,” two of whom have created their own weight loss programs? The challenge in choosing one of those plans: Dr. Ian Smith provides very different diet tactics in his “Super Shred” diet when compared to Dr. Travis Stork’s “The Doctor’s Diet,” reported USA Today on Feb. 23.

Dr. Ian says he believes that the key to rapid weight loss is “calorie disruption,” and contends that his diet can help dieters lose 20 pounds in four weeks: “Super Shred: The Big Results Diet: 4 Weeks 20 Pounds Lose It Faster!”

The “Super Shred” weight loss program alternates calorie counts, up to 1,600 calories on some days and down to 900 calories on other days. Included are grocery lists, meal plans and recipes. Dieters are advised to perform 40 minutes or more of high-intensity interval aerobic exercise a day.

In addition to calorie disruption, Dr. Ian tells dieters to snack frequently, including specifics on timing. He also emphasizes what he calls “sliding nutrient density,” which means that you eat plant-based foods in the second part of your day.

In contrast, Dr. Travis focuses on food prescriptions so that your meals and snacks become your medicine: “The Doctor’s Diet: Dr. Travis Stork’s STAT Program to Help You Lose Weight & Restore Your Health”.

Although the “Doctor’s Diet” emphasizes health and weight loss equally, Dr. Travis does provide a four-week jump-start to accelerate weight loss, followed by diet to continue the weight loss and concluding with a maintenance plan. That four-week plan emphasizes healthy fats, moderately high protein and low-carb diet meals and snacks.

As for Dr. Ian’s emphasis on high-intensity exercise for 40 minutes, Dr. Travis prescribes only 30 minutes of an activity such as walking. In addition, Dr. Travis feels strongly about the dangers of sugar, telling dieters to surrender the sweet stuff while boosting their protein intake. While not eliminating carbohydrates, he says that those who engage in only minimal activity can benefit from low carb diets.

“We don’t know exactly why protein helps with weight loss. One reason is that it has an impact on the action of ghrelin, known as the hunger hormone, and leptin, the satiety hormone, which is why people who eat protein at each meal find they are fuller and less hungry after they eat than do people who skimp on protein,” he explains.

‘Bachelor’ star Selma Alameri speaks out on dating Chris Harrison

“Bachelor” star Selma Alameri may not have found love with Sean Lowe on the show, but it sounds like some sources believe that she may have found support and love with the host of the show. Even though Chris Harrison has been linked to a few women, including Justin Bieber’s mother, it sounds like Alameri has no problem setting the record straight. According to a new Wetpaint Entertainment report published on Sept. 20, “Bachelor” star Selma Alameri is now speaking out on rumors that she had been dating the host of the show, Chris Harrison.

Apparently, Alameri and Harrison were spotted out together, which started the rumors. “Chris was introducing Selma as his girlfriend. They were very cute together and not taking their hands off each other,” a source told a magazine. However, she has no problem speaking out. “We happened to be at the same place but we were not together,” Alameri has revealed after hearing the stories about them dating. “He’s a good friend and a sexy guy, sure, but we are not dating.”

Of course, one can imagine that Harrison stays in contact with many of the women, so it isn’t surprising that he would be linked to the women on the show. Do you think Harrison and Alameri make a cute couple?

Business Travel Takes off in 2008

According to an October 2007 American Express Global Business Travel Forecast, air travel, accommodations, transportation and meeting facilities will see a sharp increase in demand for 2008.

Expect Travel Rate Increases

Business travel demands will continue to drive an increase in rates, including double-digit hotel increases in certain markets in the US, Europe and Asia.

This poses a challenge for business and travel managers. According to Vice President and Global Leader for American Express Business Travel Advisory Services, Mike Streit, the average domestic inclusive business trip (airfare, care rental hotel) will increase six percent, bringing the average price to $1,100 domestic and $3,171 internationally.

According to the American Express report, domestic economy travel rates are expected to increase five percent domestically and ten percent internationally. Hotel rates are expected to increase up to seven percent for mid-range hotels and up to eight percent for upper-range hotels in the US.

And That’s Not All Folks

Due to the high demand and low supply, business travelers can expect changes in hotel terms as well as price. This may include a minimum or maximum stay requirements.

New Opportunities for Businesses

Due to the historic highs, stricter requirements, and challenges with keeping within a budget, travel and entertainment managers are expected to find ways to save money on meetings and events. This creates new opportunities for businesses that provide affordable travel and entertainment services, or who can offer cost saving conference or event services. Companies are also expected to increase their use of preferred suppliers to maximize benefits and savings.

The report also predicted a fifteen to twenty percent increase in the sale of compliance tracking tools, to help businesses save money.

How to Get the Lowest Hotel Rates for Business Travel

If this is the year that your business is taking a fresh look at reducing lodging costs, join the crowd.

A new survey of travel managers, conducted by Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s Travel Management Institute, puts optimizing hotel spend among the top priorities this year for the travel managers surveyed.

With industry experts forecasting hotel rate hikes this year, many companies are looking for better workforce travel savings and solutions. For many, the solution is putting a lodging savings card in the hands of their employees who travel.

It gives small business travelers access to the low hotel rates that are negotiated privately by lodging management providers for larger corporate clients.

The savings card is particularly aimed at businesses with workforce travelers, those employees who hit the road in boots – not suits – to get the job done. Typically, these travelers stay in economy and midscale hotels like Best Western, Hampton Inn, Ramada, Holiday Inn, Super 8 and Comfort Inn.

No More Bargain Rates
Having an advantage like a lodging savings card is more important than ever this year since hotel deals and bargains are going to be tougher to find.

The January 2011 forecast from PricewaterhouseCoopers said hotel prices will be 5.1 percent higher than last year, citing Smith Travel Research data. Colliers PKF Hospitality Research estimates a 4.6 percent rise.

These rising prices likely will make it tougher difficult for businesses – particularly small businesses -
to negotiate their own low rates.

Finding Privately Negotiated Rates
The key to getting the lowest hotel rates is having enough volume to negotiate a private rate. Small businesses usually are hampered by low volume, which drives the lower rate negotiations that larger companies and lodging management providers can achieve.

Unless a small business is targeting a location where it has 25 room nights or more a month, it can be difficult to get a private rate that is lower than other publicly available prices.

A lodging savings card provides access to those low negotiated rates at thousands of hotels. Many companies find their hotel savings are dramatic, including companies that save thousands of dollars a year.

Savings Card Advantages
The card works particularly well for per diem and seasonal travelers since there is no annual fee or minimal usage requirements.
A company signs up for the card and registers a credit card for billing. Company travelers present the card at check-in to the front desk at any of thousands of participating hotel locations.

The hotel sends the stay details to the lodging management provider that provides the savings card, who then bills the registered credit card.

An invoice statement is posted to the savings card online account, where the company can review it for easy credit card reconciliation. That means no more tracking down hotel receipts or playing detective work with purchase orders.

More than 10,000 smaller companies from the trucking, retail, staffing, energy, food service and other industries already are saving every day.

What Women Business Travellers Expect As Hotel Guests

Twenty-five years or so ago, when I first started travelling on business, there were very few other women on those early morning air commutes. Today women represent nearly 50% of business travellers, and hotels around the world are trying to determine what will keep women happy. It’s an important question because women are nearly twice as loyal to a hotel as men. Said one senior executive who logs 70 – 80 room nights a year, “When I find a hotel that make me feel welcome and safe, I’ll return again and again – even if they are a little more expensive and a little further from my meeting place.”

So what do women want?

Apologizing in advance for only being able to answer this question in terms of hotel stays, here are their/our top desires… assuming that all the business necessities (fax, internet connectivity in the room and/or WiFi, meeting rooms, access to printing, business newspapers delivered to the room, etc.) have already been met.

1) Top notch security. Many women like the idea of having a floor that can only be reached with a key card; it doesn’t have to be an all-female floor, but non-residents should not be able to gain access. Under the security heading, women include having well-lit, monitored parking garages with intercoms, valet parking and escort service to parking lots. Many hotels have their bell staff escort women to their rooms late at night. The front desk staff can help by giving women rooms near the elevators so they don’t have to walk down long, isolated hallways, especially ones that turn corners – and keeping these room numbers confidential at check-in. It can be as simple as pointing to the room number, rather than saying it aloud.

2) Clean, fresh smelling rooms. Most hotels have this one well in hand, but hotels making a special effort to cater to women add woman’s magazines, fresh flowers and pot pourri for the bathroom when the room is made up. Cupboards are stocked with plenty of hangers, including skirt and camisole hangers and padded ones, too. “Chick flicks” get included in their movie line-up; one hotel chain also offers yoga and guided visualization options.

3) Inviting bathrooms. Women expect bathrooms to be pristine. They are far more particular than men about this. This means no errant hairs on the floor (check the corners, because women do), no grit in the tub or smudges on the mirrors. Many hotels are starting to install curved shower curtain rails so that the shower curtains can be kept far from the body (and are less likely to grow mold). As well as being tastefully appointed, there should be good light (for putting on make-up application), a full length mirror on the door, outlets that will take a curling iron, and a good quality hair dryer with a cord long enough to permit styling in front of the mirror. Important to both men and women: The shower should have enough pressure to remove hair conditioner. It is very frustrating (and not a great way to start the day) trying to wash long hair when the hotel has installed a water miser! Hotelier hint: Cleaning staff should be instructed to leave the extra towels in the bathroom when there is a single female guest. Women need one towel for their hair, one for their body, another for their hands when putting on make-up… you get the picture, I’m sure.

4) Attractive amenities. This means milled soaps in the bathroom, shampoos and conditioners that don’t have a sports scent, thicker towels, generously proportioned and fluffy bathrobes. Some hotels have introduced a spa line for their female guests to a very positive reception.

5) Locked cupboard “mini bars”. Women travellers tell us that they would like a mini bar equivalent stocked such necessities as pantyhose (queen size and regular), tampons, panty liners – things that you can’t just run out and pick up when you run out, or need unexpectedly.

6) Sports Centres. In addition to having well-lit, well-secured gym facilities, some hotels are providing secure jogging tracks. Not only do women want to feel safe when they use the gym, they want to feel welcome. This means making sure the facility is kept clean and well-stocked with towels, cool water, Kleenex and anti-bacterial spray for the machine handles. It also means including exercise balls, floor mats and lighter free weights in the equipment line-up.

7) Food and Finer Fare. Women prefer bistro or café style restaurants to noisy sports bars; they also like to have lighter fare to choose from whether they are dining in the restaurant or ordering room-service. As for the actual dining experience, women can feel uncomfortable being reminded of their single diner status. “Will anyone be joining you this evening?” is preferable to “Eating alone?” Being seated against a wall can also make women feel more at ease when dining alone – as can a little extra attention from the wait staff. One idea is for hotels to establish a single diner’s website where guests can make arrangements to dine with someone else. Or perhaps to ask single diners if they would like to be joined by someone.

8) Last but not least: To be treated courteously and professionally. Hint to Hoteliers: Women in their 40′s have the highest expectations for hotel service delivery – and yet are the most likely to receive second-rate service from hotel staff (and yes, this takes into account that they register more complaints because they are pickier!). Suggest your staff pay a little extra attention to this group because they are less price-sensitive and more likely to refer your property to colleagues.

What Makes A Good Hotel For A Business Traveller?

Below, we take a look at what makes a good hotel for a business traveller.

Location – When you have meetings in any area of the country, it is frustrating to end up in a hotel that is miles from any transport connections or from your meetings. It is vital that the hotel has good road, bus and train links so that you can easily use the hotel as a base and get from A to B, quickly and cost effectively. There is no point paying for a really cheap hotel yet being 20 miles away from your meeting if you are going to get a taxi or then have to travel even further, so it’s important to weigh up location and cost when booking your hotel.

Price – If you are on the road regularly for business then you know the cost of the travel can soon mount up, especially if you require hotels for the majority of the week nights on your away trips. You need a hotel that is affordable and can maybe offer you some sort of discount for multiple nights when booking and also a hotel that doesn’t really hit the single traveller with supplements because they are on their own.

Comfort – After 3 hours on the road, 3 hours in meetings and then a train ride to get to your hotel, you don’t really want a bad nights sleep before you do it all again in the morning. The least you want is a comfortable bed and a clean room, with maybe some luxuries like a nice TV and tea and coffee ready to settle in for the evening. Even if the hotel is cheap, make sure you read the reviews online to make sure it’s clean and will give you a decent night’s sleep.

Facilities – It is vital for most business travellers to have free WIFI and other types of facilities, including somewhere to eat and maybe even a sneaky drink or two to relax in the evening. Most business travellers have to work on the road after a long days drive, typing up notes and getting orders back to headquarters, so its vital that any hotel a business person stays in has WIFI that is freely accessible throughout the hotel and its premises.

Parking – If you are a regular business traveller then you will know how often you have turned up to hotels and really struggled to park, which drives you not only mad but also makes the cost of your trip even more expensive. Having a hotel with free or very cheap parking is a must for most business travellers, because you need to know you won’t be hunting around for hours at the end of a long drive trying to find somewhere to park.

Richard Johal runs the Java Hotel in Nottingham.

Conveniently located at Junction 25 of the M1 and only 10 minutes from Nottingham, Derby and East Midlands Airport, the Java Hotel offers everything you need for a comfortable, yet affordable, night’s stay.

Business Travelers Hotels

Not every hotel is geared for business travelers. Some are simply meant for holiday travelers, and focus on leisure features. Some hotels offer rooms geared for business travelers, with a stress on committed work areas. Once you’ve found a potential hotel, call the front desk directly and speak to the concierge or to a well-informed front desk clerk. Inquire about the facilities provided by the hotel such as internet accessibility, conference rooms; transportation etc. if the hotel has the features out lined below then you will definitely have a successful business trip.

Essential features of a great business:

Location: Hotels that are positioned near an airport or located in a city’s business quarter generally cater to business travelers. Airport hotels rarely offer views, but they make up for it with expedient location. Location is why many recruiters characteristically plan interviews in airport hotels. It is easier to fly in, meet numerous applicants, do some work in the business center, and fly back home.

Internet Access in the Room: Most hotels offer some form of Internet access whether it’s use of the business center’s computer, high-speed access in the room, or wireless. The business travelers need to know where the next high-speed Internet fix is coming from, so he can stay productive on the road.

Speedy, Customer Service: Hotel specialists are in the business of providing good customer care. Business hotels make the important difference of offering good customer care quickly and proficiently. A guest’s requirements must be met speedily so that he or she can concentrate on the professional reasons they are there primarily.

Business centre: It is absolutely a must for a hotel to have this facility. It should also be equipped with the latest technologies and state-of-the-art office equipment, services include tele-videoconferencing, high-speed Internet access, high-speed duplicating, printing, colour printing, colour copying, scanning and document processing, as well as courier, secretarial services, telex and fax.

Conference Rooms: Conference rooms or boardroom and a meeting room are a must if you plan to hold meetings seminars, promotions and exhibitions. These rooms must be equipped with audio + video conferencing facilities.

Easy Transportation: Business travelers need to be places punctually and with minimum hassle. Good business hotels more often than not offer transportation shuttles to all key business areas, or aid travelers with hiring taxis or private cars.

Restaurants & Bar: Business travelers need to be able to have the facilities of in hotel restaurants, to be able to meet associates over drinks, lunch or dinner. It’s best to have at least two types of specialty cuisine restaurants and a bar in the hotel itself.

100% Effort:Good business hotels allow travelers to concentrate on their jobs by working out the small and big stuff (taking care of problems like misplaced luggage etc.). The extra level of service in a good hotel is a boon to the traveler.

Business Travel – Hotel Rooms Go Hi-Tech

The veteran road warrior must have been in this scenario at one point or another, but picture this anyway. You are in town for yet another meeting; it must be the nth time you have been here this year. Whenever you are in town, you stay in this particular hotel because you like it there. Because you are already a familiar face at the hotel and have booked your stay prior to arriving there, the hotel staff greet you very warmly and refer to you by your name. The bellhop escorts you to your room, and upon opening the door, you are automatically greeted by the room’s sound system with your favorite number from that old Randy Crawford album at just the right volume. Your eyes are sensitive to light, so you are surprised to find the lights of your room dimmed to the proper degree that will not hurt your eyes. The room is the exact temperature you would have it: cold, but not too cold. The mini-bar carries your favorite brand of soda and a stash of your favorite black chocolates.

You still have a few hours before you meet your colleagues for dinner, so you decide to rest and freshen up. The water in the shower is deliciously warm and the soaps, shampoos and toiletry are exactly the brands that you prefer using even at home. While you dress, you turn the TV on in the hopes that the hotel may have the channel that airs your favorite early evening comedy. Lo and behold! They have it, so you giggle at the characters’ antics while you prepare yourself for that dinner with the colleagues.

How did the hotel know all the preferences of their guest? It is simple: the room the guest stays in is “smart,” meaning it is wired with sensors that feed the hotel’s central computer inputs as to what temperature the guest set the air conditioner and the water heater, how dim the lights, the repertoire on the sound system, the channels watched, the food taken from the mini-bar, among other things. The central computer stores this data so upon the guest’s return, he or she will have a room that will be to his or her exact liking.

To quote this article from the International Herald Tribune:

“The backbones of these smart rooms are the data networks that hotels are installing to carry phone calls, video and Internet connections.

These networks, for example, make it possible for hotels to offer Internet TV services that store programs and let guests watch shows on demand. (A guest from Chicago, for example, could watch a Cubs baseball game in London as easily as in Tokyo.)

These networks also allow hotels to connect the lights, air-conditioners and other room devices to a central computer so they can be remotely monitored or controlled.”

Neat, isn’t it? The issue of the guests’ privacy was, of course, brought up, but hotels give their assurance that they only use the data they have gathered to serve their guests in a better manner.

SOURCE: Author’s blog: http://biz-trips.info/

Anna Lynn C. Sibal has worked with traveling business executives for the past seven years, providing them with close personal and administrative assistance. Along with her innate interest in travel, this experience has given her many insights on how traveling executives think and what they need.

Anne is a journalism graduate from the University of the Philippines, the leading state university of that country, as well as one of the premier academic institutions in Southeast Asia. Aside from travel, Anne also displays a keen interst in literature, the cinema and the Internet. She has written and contributed actively to various student publications and has managed an in-house publication for a real estate association in the Philippines. She has also won an award for her screenplay from the Film Development Foundation of the Philippines in 2001.

Local Store Marketing: The Business Traveler

Ah, the glamour of business travel. The security lines, the $8 airport beers, the ongoing game of “how much can I stuff in an overhead bin”, all for the privilege of boarding a bus with wings. Well, this week I passed a milepost of sorts: 1.5 million airline miles flown in my lifetime – the majority of these miles business-related. This week’s trip was no different, a two-day, one-night trip to Ohio to evaluate a retail location. I prefer quicker trips – 2 nights is generally my limit – so as a business traveler, I do not get too acclimated with the places I visit. It is a quick in-and-out type of business travel.

When I travel, getting a quick lay-of-the-land is critical in order to establish some sense of order while on the road. Every little helpful tip is appreciated and providing incentives or direction to the “local jewels” makes even business travel pleasant. Ironically and prior to my travel, I had targeted this week’s article to feature how store owners can capture the business traveler and when I checked into my hotel – viola! – a restaurant had done just that! The restaurant was in walking distance of the hotel and provided a perfect combination of proximity and incentive.

Here is how store owners can attract and maintain a consistent flow of business travelers to their stores:

Find The Sources: For store owners who target business travelers or provide products and services to the out-of-towner (such as food/drink), building strong relationships with local area hotels is an excellent way to continually feed your sales hopper. Hotel guests constantly ask hotel managers for their recommendations on restaurants, retail stores, gas stations and so on. Therefore, your store needs to be top-of-mind in order to be recommended by these hotel managers.

Create Incentives: Consider developing incentive programs for hotels that recommend your store by offering discounts to their hotel guests or giving the hotel incentive prizes. Develop a tracking device so that you can ensure that the recommendation was solely due to a specific hotel and their front desk.

Tap The Revolving Door: A hotel sales strategy can provide ongoing sales opportunities simply due to the ever-changing pool of hotel patrons. If a local hotel has 500 rooms, for instance, it is a reasonable bet that nearly half of those rooms will change over every day, providing your store with a constant new pool of prospects. Hotel sales, while they will not provide long-term customer retention (hotel visitors are from out-of-town), nonetheless provide incremental sales to your store and often repeat sales when hotel customers return to town.

Diversify Your Approach: While the above strategy focuses on hotels, you should consider other key businesses (i.e. car rental places, etc.) to obtain recommendations to your store. Think like a business traveler and gain access to all the business that they will touch on their trip. Identify businesses that provide the opportunity for delivery/pickup orders.

Make A Plan: Within your 3-mile trade area, contact every hotel and ask to speak to the hotel manager. Offer the hotel manager an opportunity to earn discount product vouchers based on how many hotel patrons they refer to your store. For every 10 customers from the hotel, provide the hotel manager with a voucher that their employees can use to receive discounts at your store.

The business traveler is often overlooked with a store marketing strategy but executed correctly, can provide an unfettered stream of new business into your location. Being creative sometimes only means being “johnny-on-the-spot” for the oft-frazzled business traveler.

Running Opportunities When Business Traveling

If you are a die-hard runner, then you may have had a difficult time traveling for business because you have felt that it took you away from your running routine.

Of course, an airline flight early one morning when you usually would run during that time segment will interrupt your running schedule that day. But you do not have to let all travel days turn into days of no running. No, there are many opportunities to run when traveling, if you take some time to think about. And here are some ideas for running when traveling.

Time Idea #1 – Get up early so that you can go for a run from and back to your hotel before your business day starts. You may have to excuse yourself from your clients or business colleagues a little early the evening before that morning, so that you can go to sleep in your hotel room early enough to get a good night of sleep before you awake extra early the next morning. But excusing yourself a little early the previous evening can actually impress the people whom you tell — because they may assume that you are extra studious about your business project or are otherwise extremely disciplined, which can be an excellent impression to leave with them!

Time Idea #2 – Excuse yourself at the end of the business day from joining colleagues or clients for dinner or drinks, so that you can return to your hotel room early that evening and go for a run before retiring for the evening. If you do not want to tell your listeners the specifics of why you are excusing yourself, then you could make a vague reference to a family obligation. (Hey, running is part of your life, and you are part of your family, so running is a family obligation, if you think about it!)

Location Idea #1 – If you awake early or return at the end of the day to your hotel room early only to discover that there is lightning or other dangerous weather outside, one of your options is to run on a treadmill in the gym of your hotel. Although treadmill running is definitely not the same as road running, you can still get a very good workout while you are exercising most of the same muscles in essentially the same way.

Location Idea #2 – Another indoor option for inclement-weather conditions is repeatedly to run up the stairs of your hotel and to walk back down them. This will give you a type of hill training that you may find especially beneficial after you return home after your business trip.

Bottom line: Be creative when you travel. You can find opportunities to run while traveling on business!

Dr. Kirk Mahoney loves to walk and run, and his SpryFeet.com website provides practical research for runners and walkers. By going to the Books section of his website, you can learn more about the books that he has written for runners and walkers, including the book Mental Tricks for Endurance Runners and Walkersand the book 123 Cellphone Tips for Runners and Walkers.