Archive for weight loss
There is no doubt that much of the world has a weight problem, and the associated diseases that come with being obese.
And there is no doubt that entering menopause causes us to gain weight, and this can be frightening when hearing about the statistics of illness associated with weight gain.
There is also no doubt that the primary reason for weight gain in our current times result from the type of foods available in terms of processing, the overabundance of unhealthy food; as well as the increasing sedentary and stressful lives most of us are living.
New guidelines for the UK address some of these concerns with the recent recommendation of decreasing the amount of free sugar consumed from 10% of recommended calories to 5%. This translates to 25 gm for women and 30 gm for men of added sugar. This recommended amount of consumed sugar is also the recommendation put forth by experts concerned with promoting health.
Added sugar is table sugar and sugar added into drinks and foods, along with what occurs naturally in juices, syrups and honey. 1 tsp is equal to 5 gms, so that is basically 5 tsp. of sugar daily as the limit.
Looking at the nutritional label can often tell you the content of sugar, it is usually named in grams.
This is helpful information for trying to limit sugar intake, but it quickly becomes obvious that it doesn’t amount to much sugar!
Additionally, recent studies have identified stress hormone receptors in our taste buds. It appears that when we are under stress, these stress hormones can make the sweet taste buds less sensitive. As a result, that afternoon cookie may not do it for you, so you reach for more. Sound familiar?
It appears that stress can trigger us to eat more of the sweet stuff for the same fix, even at such a simple level as our taste buds! It hardly seems fair.
Sugar is indeed part of our lives, and eating foods high in sugar directly hits our reward center. When stress is involved, this circuit often bypasses the control center of our brains.
How can we change something so innate and seemingly basic to our psyche?
Strengthening the control center is how. This is done through mindfulness and meditation, practicing substituting other comfort measures to employ when we are stressed. It is well documented that both of these practices strengthen the part of the brain that is responsible for conscious control. This is the prefrontal cortex, the conscious decision maker.
I recently decided to enact my own plans for substituting the mindless eating of food the minute I walk in the door from work.
I love the outdoors and so decided after spending all day inside, I would spend some time in the garden. Evening is a good time to water the plants, so that is what I try to do.
I also practice delay tactics by telling myself I can have those snacks I crave after I water the garden, if I still want them. The trick is getting by the food cabinets on the way to changing my clothes!
Weight control and weight loss at all ages, but especially that associated with aging requires being aware of the type of food we eat in terms of the level of processing with added fats and sugars. Along with this is the need to control stress and comfort food eating, as this type of eating is usually unneeded calorie consumption.
Here are some tips for decreasing foods that undermine your health goals:
- You can practice delay tactics by telling yourself to wait 5 minutes before eating that candy bar.
- You can identify the times of day that you are particularly vulnerable to mindless eating and devise a diversion; eg. talk to a coworker instead of walking to the snack dispensing machine
- Don’t buy anything in a box (or bag) to have at your house
- Substitute a serving of fruit, or drink a flavored seltzer water
- Make yourself have to physically go to a store to buy something sweet, the time it takes to do this my dissuade you from the errand
These are just a few tactics, write in with your own tricks fostering better eating! We can all use some help in improving our diet and health. The focus on food as pleasure continues as we age, and we just don’t seem to burn it off like we once did!
Is it possible to actually get a lab test to see what diet may work for you?
Believe it or not, there is a genetic test available to determine how well a low fat vs a low carbohydrate diet will work for you. For those of you who have tried the Adkin’s diet and not lost significant weight, this may be the answer! A small study done many years ago compared women on either the Adkin’s diet, Zone diet, or Ornish diet. The research found that women whose diets matched their genetic predisposition were far more successful at weight loss.
Many people lose weight on a high protein, low carbohydrate diet. Since most westerners consume a diet high in processed carbohydrates. Many of these carbohydrates that are processed are basically broken down quickly to sugar, therefor the weight loss is often related to calorie restriction. Most of these diets severely limit starches, which contain a fair amount of calories. However, another cause may be the lack of inflammatory foods in a high protein, low carb diet.
There is also the theory that inflammatory diets are contributing to weight gain. This is not so much through the actual calories consumed, but more related to inflammation causing a hormone response that triggers fat deposition. When you consume too many processed carbohydrates, the sugar in your blood stream rises. Over time, your body can become resistant to the forces that should be taking care of this rise in blood sugar. With no where to go, the sugar, or glucose, gets converted to fat for storage. Additionally, you body becomes resistant to the signal that you are full.
Having insulin resistance and leptin resistance is not a good situation for weight loss!
Inflammatory foods for you may be dairy, yes that includes cheese/yogurt/milk; sorry. It most certainly contains sugar in all forms, including alcohol (wine,beer, distilled liquor). Wheat can be a big culprit also as gluten sensitive people can tell you.
An anti-inflammatory diet would contain many vegetables, fruits, chicken and maybe beef. Lamb and pork, as well as turkey would need to be tested. Nuts and seeds are usually fine, but they are high in calories so you need t watch quantity. Grains can be tested by adding one at a time, say every few days. If you become bloated, tired, or puffy; this may be a sign that a specific food may be inflammatory for you.
So to fit into your jeans, you don’t need to have your genes tested. Devise a stream lined diet without inflammatory foods, and consume this diet for several days. Then, slowly add in a few of your favorite foods and see how your system deals with it. Trial and error will tell you what foods to consume to lose weight and keep it off.
Doing so will teach you to become more in tuned with your body, as well as allow you to chose how much of a given food you want to make as part of your diet.
Again, it is all about choices. Knowledge gives you the ability to make the choices that are best for you, in order to help you achieve your goals.
The holy grail of weight loss research is finding a pill that enables people to lose weight with theoretically less action than what people are willing to take. We have all heard the mantra that increased activity and reduced food consumption is the way to lose weight. Anyone who has ever needed to lose weight understands this equation. The difficult part has always been developing and sticking to a plan that works.
Many medications developed for weight loss have been effective, but usually at a tradeoff that presents serious problems for some other system in our body. Remember Phen-Fen? That was highly effective in causing weight loss, but was found to cause serious heart and lung problems. So it looks like for now, we are back to the equation of eat less move more for weight loss.
Researchers have known for years about the different hormones associated with eating and food metabolism. What has been an eye opener is how these hormones interact and effect our appetite and sense of fullness. Most studies have been performed on men, but there has been a recent study performed on a small group of women noting the affect of exercise on appetite and hunger.
Appetite and hunger are complicated and involve signals from many parts of your body, as well as our emotions. There is one hormone that stimulates hunger, called ghrelin. What ghrelin does in response to exercise has been inconsistently documented in studies, however a this recent study suggests it is variable for women, depending on what exercise you engage in. This study found that this appetite hormone spiked during running exercise in the test subjects, but not in the walking test subjects. Additionally, the hormones associated with feeling full also were raised following the running exercise group but not the walking exercise group.
The combined result surprisingly showed that appetite and food intake was reduced following exercise for the runners, but not for the walkers. The walkers were noted to eat more following their exercise, more calories than what they burned for their activity.
What does this mean for us?
- To lose weight, you must pair your exercising with a diet that is restricted in calories to some degree.
- The more vigorously you exercise may also positively impact your appetite and resulting calorie intake.
- There may be some difficulty with weight loss using walking alone as your exercise.
- Interval training may be more effective, with short bursts of intense exercise added at intervals with your walking.
- As of yet, there are no pills or short cuts to the process of weight loss.
Find a schedule or program that works for you, that you enjoy; and stick to it. There are many ways you can enjoy exercise.
- Zumba and dancing and dance aerobics are fun ways to move and may appeal to you who do not like gyms. Many classes are offered through gyms as well as churches and facilities not requiring a membership.
- Walking or jogging/running with a club or friend(s) may appeal to the social side of you. Some local athletic stores sponsor walking and running clubs that are loosely structured but can help get you moving.
- Many gyms have classes that can appeal to you such as spinning, pilates, as well as different movement regimens.
- For those of you that want to start off in the privacy of home, exercise CD’s or home equipment can be a good and often affordable option.
Keep in mind the more vigorous your exercise, the more you will engage natural hormones to help you with healthy food metabolism and appetite control. Adding healthy food choices in your kitchen and getting rid of unhealthy choices can then help you replenish with less calories. This is a key to weight loss, and unlike pills, can be continued for a lifetime!
How do I lose weight when I am too busy to plan my meals, and I eat on the go all the time?
This is one of the most common questions and dilemmas I hear in the clinic when counseling women of all ages, but especially busy, working mothers. Our lives are so busy between working, keeping a household going, caring for children (sometimes of all ages!); it can seem impossible to plan 3 healthy meals a day!
I feel I have it under pretty good control most of the time, but I admit to the challenge of frustration and feeling overwhelmed at times. On those days, the pull to eat for emotions is very strong. My sweet tooth can kick in and it feels that I will die if I don’t get some chocolate! That’s when a plan really helps.
We all have emotional eating urges, and knowing how your willpower can work for you will help to avoid the pull of these moments. I speak to this topic in depth on my Squidoo lens, and you will find these videos helpful in evaluating your weaknesses in changing your undesirable habits.
In speaking to diet and weight loss alone, revving up your metabolism is key. One of the most common mistakes women make in trying to lose weight is skipping meals, especially breakfast. If you don’t give your body food to work on, it will slow down metabolism in order to compensate. It will only mobilize fat stores when it has been working on food eaten, then runs out of this food.
So what can you do when you feel there is no time for breakfast or lunch? First, realize that it actually doesn’t have to take much time; just a little planning. If you cannot make a healthy breakfast and lunch that you like, stock your pantry with healthy items 200 calories or so, and grab a bunch of these to eat every couple of hours throughout the work day.
This is what I have arrived at in recent months:
- Breakfast is a smoothie: almond milk, banana, other fruit, and handful of greens. I rotate greens and fruit, but this gives me 200 cal. Mixes in minutes, blender goes in dishwasher if I don’t have time to wash, smoothie goes in travel cup to drink in car. I also add whole grain slice of toast with 1 slice of cheese on top, eat in car if in a rush. Alternative: Naked juices (brand name) are fairly good and healthy, whole wheat crackers and slice cheese goes to refrigerator at work to grab mid morning.
- Snack mid morning: cracker and cheese mentioned above, or I put in a small container or baggie: raw almond, raw cashew and raisins 1 Tbs each. this is about 150 cal. and I can package this for several days in advance and grab in morning.
- Lunch: salad I made night before with dinner, I usually make too much on purpose, place left overs in container and take to work. Sometimes I slice/shred carrots, beets, radishes a few days and store all separately for a quick grab. I may add left over cold vegetables like corn, peas, edeme, maybe some cheese or left over meat. I have oil and vinegar at work and dress salad there so it doesn’t get soggy. Alternative: container of yogurt and nut mixture mentioned above. I can grab this quickly when running out of the house.
- Snack mid to late afternoon: this snack is critical for me because I will inhale food when I walk in the door at end of the day if I am hungry. Apple or other fruit that takes a lot of chewing.
While this may not work for you, you get the idea and can make your own plan. I have planned for quick days and I make sure that I am eating 200-300 calories every 3 hrs or so; so I have energy and brain power. This triggers my metabolism to work without giving any excess for fat storage. Unless of course I give into cravings. When this happens, I try to make up for it by eating less for dinner or less later in the day.
This kind of plan does not include eating out for lunch. If this is important for you to do at work, maybe chose one day to eat out. Keep in mind though that losing weight is almost impossible with eating restaurant and fast food due to added hidden ingredients and calories.
An additional help for food planning is utilizing grocery store online ordering. Many stores are offering this feature, and it can be a major time saver in addition to helping you avoid impulse buying. It can be a major time saver, and ordering when you can sit and plan the week can help with healthy decision making.
The most important thing is to find what works for you through trial and error. Don’t give up, keep trying different strategies. Work with what you like and how your schedule unfolds for any given week. And remember, one failure does not mean you cannot achieve your goals!
In this video with a small technical problem, I review the facts about alcohol and weight loss. I hope you enjoy this and will ask questions and leave me comments. Thanks
Your body can be like a stubborn child, rebelling against all your hard work to improve your weight and conditioning! Now that the New Year is upon us, no doubt many of you have resolutions and intentions to improve your health. This will most likely include your diet and weight.
A recent study has uncovered a process within your body that actually increases your appetite when you have lost weight! How can this be fair and why does it happen?
It is all part of evolution and survival. Your body believes that something terrible is happening when you lose weight, so it switches into survival mode and does everything it knows how to do for that very survival. That means triggering regaining of weight even if the reality is unhealthy for you.
Many people believe that our modern food, with all the additives, has altered the way our body processes food information. This is the reason for most healthy eating plans include foods that are basic and with minimal or no processing and additives.
What can you do about this “sabotage” your body presents? This is where health coaches, food diaries and any other supports you have enlisted can help you. Even if you are hungry, if you KNOW you have eaten enough food, you utilize other measures to take care of the hunger. It will pass. Drink water, or get busy in a different activity. This will take you mind off the hunger. If you must chew on something, eat celery or other vegetables. It is important however, that you teach yourself to not reach for food every time you are hungry.
It is most important to not get discouraged, to keep trying and not give up on your health resolutions. Remember that change cannot happen quickly, it requires a slow and steady process that can give you tremendous rewards!
Have you struggled so long with obesity that you are now considering surgery? It seems that more and more I hear the opinion from experts that bariatric surgery may be the best solution for obesity and its’ attendant illnesses. This surprises me and concerns me at the same time. Many Cardiologists and Endocrinologists have struggled to help patients lose weight in order to help improve health parameters. As many of us know, losing weight is extremely difficult when too much weight has been gained and you are struggling with joint pain and fatigue. Perhaps surgery has been recommended to you by your medical provider, or perhaps you are pursuing this on your own. This may be the correct course of action for you BUT THIS IS A SERIOUS DECISION!
There are many types of Bariatric surgery, but basically this surgery involves making the stomach smaller so that you cannot eat as much food. Many people can stop medication shortly after bariatric surgery and for the truly obese person who has tried everything, it is quite possibly a life changing option.
Most surgery centers require a strict pre-screening process to ensure that a person understands what is involved with this surgery. Surgeons want to be assured that a person has sincerely tried diet and exercise in order to lose weight. They often are more willing to perform this surgery on patients that also have other medical illnesses. They will also do a psychological screening because this surgery involves a major life change. It is nearly impossible to eat much food which can impact socializing in restaurants, parties and cookouts. It requires people to have plan and strong sense of self to withstand temptation, unwelcome comments and unasked for opinions.
One success story I would like to share with you involves a woman called Marcia (name changed). Marcia was 80+ lbs overweight, suffered from hypertension, diabetes, arthritis and depression. She had been on countless diets and walked for exercise but with her joint problems was limited on activity. She finally chose bariatric surgery after feeling she had exhausted all possibilities, even though eating out was a major source of entertainment for her. Within a month, she was off all meds with the exception of her depression medication! She is feeling great about herself and is losing 2-3 lbs a week. She does admit that she misses eating out, but she has a strategy to not waste food by taking leftovers home. She has found a standard restaurant meal is 4-5 servings for her! It remains to be seen however, whether she can maintain this weight loss over the years to come.
A second woman who had bariatric surgery years ago, named Kathy (name changed). Kathy was 150 lbs overweight, and had surgery early in the development of weight loss surgery. Kathy did in fact lose up to 150 lbs, but has gained back almost 100 of those pounds. She has had a serious struggle with depression and is now developing diabetes, hyperlipidemia and hypertension. She does not have strategies in place to help her cope with the problems of life, and will most likely not succeed again in losing weight and maintaining weight loss unless she makes some changes.
So what ability do you have to facilitate a healthy change? Can you stick with a new plan of eating and exercise. Weight loss surgery patients lose weight immediately because they cannot eat as much. Over time, however, they can work around this limitation and gain weight back. You must tackle the psychological issues of weight gain before you can maintain a healthy weight, regardless of how you got there. You must feel in control, you must take responsibilities for your decisions, and you must have accountability and support.
To achieve the changes you want to make, it is important to utilize the strategies I describe above. Coaching can help, either with a life coach or with a psychologist it you have an eating disorder. Share with us your struggles and successes with making changes. Consider our coaching program which can help you stay focused and on track. Or, consider one of the many other diet programs that include support such as Weight Watchers. Successful life change must occur on many levels!
This is section 3 and Video #4. The focus of this section is planning. Effective use of your time will be helpful in accomplishing your health goals. Weight change is the desired end, but the real effort is in taking better care of yourself. Putting your needs last or not addressing them at all leads to lost love. By that I mean loving yourself to think you are worth the time and effort. It means becoming more efficient and developing a plan that leads from what you are going to eat to a shopping list to stocking the pantry and executing your plan.
You may be very pushed for time and need to prepare meals that sort of fix themselves. In this section we will provide you with suggestions, some resources and examples. You will have to look upon this as an experiment. In this experiment, you are going to make sure you eat enough calories, the right kind of calories – meaning the correct ratio of protein, fat and carbohydrates – prepared in a way you can eat them.
You are going to need some containers and some way to carry food to work with you each day. Begin now by watching my brief video and then working through the issues I bring up in the video. If you need my help, use the coaching tab at the top of the page and schedule some one on one time with me.
Lets work through the issues here.
#1 – an eating plan. You need 3 meals a day. Snacks are foods you eat if you miss a meal, not extra food while watching TV or using the computer or driving. Snacks are a late 20th century phenomenon of American culture. We Americans think we are OK if we can work 50 hours a week and sustain busy, busy schedules. We equate effective business with “HEALTH”. It isn’t true but that is how we have been taught to think of it since we were born. We have observed and understood our role – health = movement, activity, busy. Take the time now to pull out your journal and write a new entry.
At the top of a new page write: What does being healthy mean to me? Then brain storm! Write short points like the ones below.
- being active to old age
- not being sick
- not taking any medication,
- using science to keep my mind and body strong even if I have to take some medication
- not being afraid
- keeping my mental faculties sharp until I die
- dieing at what I think is old age – for me that is after age 85
So, you see what I mean here. Then I want you to write about how you feel you are doing with being healthy as you define it. If you look at my list above the pattern is a clear mind and sound body until I am old. I want to be independent. That is my cultural imprint. I want to be able to “work for myself” meaning make decisions, wash, dress, handle my financial affairs, and be independent until I lie down and don’t wake up one day. That is me, I share that as an example. In your journal, decide what health means to you. Write a short letter to yourself about what health is for you. Feel it! Don’t think it. Write what you feel. If you aren’t sure, write what scares you about not having your health. Then you can look at that and know what you think health is.
OK, ask yourself, will you create a habit of planning, shopping and preparing food that will sustain you but not fatten you. If you like me, feel health is tied up with some activity, will you then move more to build up a reserve for your elderly years. Using the brain and the body for work and social activity sustains you in later years with a reserve you can draw on and a health safety net that will allow you to function effectively even if you have degenerative problems in your bones, joints and nervous system later on. It is like building jettys and seawalls to preserve the coast. The sea hammers it relentlessly. But if it is well built, it will preserve the coast line during the life of the builders. Build bones, joints, muscles and a nervous system that will sustain you throughout your life, even if those systems get battered.
If there is one rule for you to obey, it is to eat foods in as natural a state as possible. The less a company has processed the food, the more truly nutritious it will be. Try to eat it locally grown, fresh, and organic. I like Jack LaLanne’s philosophy – eat the best you can afford but better to eat unprocessed but not organic than processed food. It will never be perfect, but you can improve slowly. First get in a habit.
Remember there are not diseases that result from not eating grain and other simple carbohydrates. Carbohydrates can be assembled inside the body from fats and proteins. The only deficiency diseases of macro nutrients are from lack of protein and fat. Fat is more calorie dense than protein so we need less volume. The fat needs to be mostly monounsaturated and a little saturated. Avoid Transfats and polyunsaturated fats. Remember there is no Cannola plant! That stands for Canadian Oil – Low Acid and is made from low acid rapeseed. Rape seed oil when low acid is edible but the unprocessed oil is slightly toxic and high acid oil is harmful to fetuses, infants and children. I would just avoid it -it is highly processed food. So is “Vegetable oil”. What is that? Soy oil, again highly processed but not as processed as the Protein from soy. In the orient soy is processed for 30 to 200 days for human consumption. Here we extract it with HEXANE. Google that and see if you want to eat food prepared with it.
OK, Recipes. Besides hiring me to help you, you can find great information in the following places:
Here is one that provides you with lots of resources and a plan but if you click here and buy, we will be paid a fee for sending you. We have subscribed ourselves for over 2 years now. The Diet Solution Program
From SquawkFox here is a printable_grocery_list_template
The last thing you need is a planner to schedule meal planning, exercise, and time to sit and eat. Hopefully you have downloaded our 30 tips for weight control. One of those tips was to only eat while seated. Find time to build your reserves now, not during a crisis.
Your comments, suggests and resources are most welcome!
We Americans think of health as activity. We are healthy if we can “DO IT”. When we can go to work, take care of ourselves and our “stuff”, we consider ourselves healthy. That is why when we need to change to prevent problems, we don’t. We don’t like change to prevent problems. As long as we can GO, we don’t think we need to change.
Then there is the issue of healthy eating. I see patients that are overweight who tell me they eat healthy. That is how they say it “I think I eat healthy”. Yet they are overweight. In our country so many people are obese that we think people that are overweight are “NORMAL”. Here is the thing, you need to have an ideal amount of fat and muscle and that muscle needs to be able to do some work and needs to be required to do that work regularly.
We work while seated or with a minimum of activity. Indoor walking short distances, standing and prolonged sitting is the norm for the majority. The men who pick up my garbage are all slim. Even the men over 40. They walk, lift and pull all day, every day in all kinds of weather. Most of us don’t want that job and most of us carry too great an amount of fat in our bellies and under our skin. It isn’t good for us.
Bruce and I are going to try to explain what is healthy eating. How much food should you eat? What can you do to develop new habits of awareness or some call this awareness “Mindfullness”. What are healthy choices at the supermarket? What is it that you really want?
The first video by Anne is to introduce the concept of slow change. Also to let you know that Anne is available to help you. As a part of this program you will be able to connect with Anne live through the power of internet telecommunications to discuss problems, frustrations and to hear Anne’s coaching advice. She can’t be your “Health Care Provider” or part of that team, but she can be a coach and an encourager of healthy behaviors. OK, here is Anne and Video one:
Here is Video two:
Now that you have viewed these, if you would like to view the rest of the series – there are 5 more and receive the workbook pages and also view the other coaching videos of Bruce you need to signup below.
For the price of $5, You will receive:
- Access to the other 5 videos of Anne, one per week
- Her Work Book pages to help you create a plan to use the information effectively
- Access to 4 coaching Videos by Bruce who is a Coach of Healthy Behaviors and a Life Coach – one per week with supplemental written material
- Invitations to be on live calls with Anne and if you can’t be there, have access to the recordings
- Access to this will be for 5 weeks or a cost of just $1 per week.
Act now, click on the button below to enter your PayPal or Credit Card information and gain access to The Menopause Guide to an Active Healthy Life Now!
What is the purpose of an artificial sweetener?
It is to replace sugar in processed food to lower the calories and keep the person consuming that food from getting fat or “fatter”. Is there any evidence that they do the job? I agree with the principle of lessening the stimulation of insulin by lowering the dietary intake of high Glycemic Load Carbohydrates.
How about this quote from Professor David Benton found on Medical News Today:
Professor Benton concluded that at present the scientific evidence suggests there is a lack of convincing evidence to draw firm conclusions on the role of artificial sweeteners on long-term energy intake and body weight regulation. Current evidence suggests that, although artificial sweeteners may be helpful in the short-term, there is little long-term benefit in people of normal, body weight.
Are Artificial Sweeteners Safe?
What about the safety issue? Are they safe to use on a daily basis for long periods? An author I read, Mark Sission, of “Mark’s Daily Apple” wrote a post entitled “The Not So Definitive Guide to Diet Soda“. If you don’t want to read it, Mark concludes that a healthy diet is an 80/20 proposition. He recommends saving your 20% for things more satisfying and fun than artificial sweeteners.The article is comprehensive and I recommend it.
Here is my advice. It is second hand. The person I heard say it first is Jack LaLanne. His advice passed from me to you is this:
“If man touches it, don’t eat it.”
Nutritional Legal Terms
For money, business men can make things very cloudy. Most food labels on processed food are legal not nutritional terms. Whole Wheat stands for the least amount of real “whole wheat” that can be added to a processed grain product and still call it whole wheat.Whether there is good evidence that artificial sweeteners are harmful or not does not matter. They do not work as intended. People who use them regularly are usually over weight and their use does not make them slimmer or prevent the health problems that accompany obesity.
My advice, avoid them. Make them something you only ingest occasionally if at all. If you are going to put fuel in your tank, make it high test. The very best. You don’t need a lot, just enough and artificial sweeteners can not help you become healthier.