Category Archives: weight loss

30 Tactics To Maneuver Holiday Humps and Bumps (Part 2)


The next few months are filled with holiday parties, family gatherings and food galore. “30 Tactics To Maneuver Holiday Humps and Bumps” was created to help you survive the holiday season. The first 15 strategies,, and the final 15 tactics should be exercised as needed on a daily basis starting now in order to avoid an avalanche of nutritional disaster during the holidays.

30 Tactics For Holiday Eating (16-30))

16. Stay well hydrated. Drink enough water and tea so your body has fluid on board to help metabolism and side track false hunger signals.

17. Identify and categorize foods into the “must-haves” or “have-nots”.

18. Maintain control, here are a few “how to” quick tips:

19. Stay away from negative people who sabotage your plan.

20. Do not sabotage yourself, make everyday count. No excuses. Yes, one-day off the nutrition plan does not mean much but too much of that excuse, or any excuse, gets you absolutely no where.

21. Follow your feelings. Do not eat as a result of feeling sad or emotionally drained, there will only be  negative consequences as a result. Allow positive feelings like feelings of happiness, improved energy and controlled eating to guide your food choices.

22. Review previous eating or behavior strategies that worked, or did not work, in the past and analyze why you got that result.  If your strategy last year was to eat before a party to avoid hunger and you did not achieve your goal change the strategy.

23. Make the changes in strategies (mentioned from #22) into habits you adopt forever.

24. Boast and brag all you want. Make sure you do something positive each day so that you can talk about how well you are doing. It will get you positive feedback and support from your friends. It will also help you reinforce all the hard work and positive results for yourself.

25. Watch the clock and set specific eating times when you will allow yourself to eat. Try taking what you want to eat and holding on to it for a few minutes before eating it or until the end of a specified eating time. Allow the hors d’oeuvres to pass 2-3 times before taking your next.

26. Chat up a storm. It is difficult to talk and eat at the same time.

27. If you think you might go for seconds take 1/2 your portion as firsts.

28. Food appearance is as important as anything else in the food eating decision-making process so pick different and colorful foods to make your plate look so good no one would pass it up.

29. Do not dodge your nutritionist. I get so many cancellations right before the holidays. This is when you need the most support!

30. The party goes on without you. Do not feel like you have to attend every party you are invited to. If the same people are going to the same parties, you won’t miss much if you skip a party or two.

I hope these points are helpful. If you have used full proof strategies to your advantage and think it may help someone else through this difficult season, please share. Happy holidays and my sincerest hopes that you will emerge victorious, no matter what your goal(s) is over the slippery holiday slope ahead.


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30 Tactics To Maneuver Holiday Humps and Bumps (Part 1)


Whether you are trying to lose weight or train for an athletic event, holidays, birthdays and “special” events can interfere with even the most dedicated dieters.  ‘Tis the 6-month season, (October-February) for parties, family and social events galore. Utilize this month to plan and get over holiday humps and bumps.

30 Tactics For Holiday Eating

  1. Honesty is the best policy. Plan a “stick to strategy” and be honest with yourself about your ability to stick with it despite temptation.
  2. Prioritize your “stick to strategy” plan. It must be up front and center in your mind all the time. Never let your goal out of sight or mind.
  3. Create a practical plan. It is up to you. Will you stay the course? Will you strategize “cheats” that you can manage and maintain your weight? Will opt for weight maintenance until the spring?
  4. Enlist support. If you have supporters, you will feel more comfortable and less stress when eating with family or friends during meals.
  5. Stick to your guns. You must physically be able to control your actions. This is where numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 come together because unless you decide to control your actions, none of the above will work.
  6. Be Active. Never get too busy or lazy to stay active, especially during the next 6 months.
  7. Rest and de-stress.
  8. Pay attention to every little thing you put into your mouth.
  9. Convenience. Make healthy eating convenient. If it means eating salads from McDonald’s instead of French fries or keeping cut veggies in the fridge. Just do it. Make unhealthy eating as inconvenient as possible. Do not buy any food that is not on your plan, walk away from a cafeteria filled with junk and vending machines.
  10. Avoid hunger. Being hungry is the perfect excuse to eat what you shouldn’t.
  11. Daily motivation. What motivates you? A dress, a person. Identify what motivates you and get your daily dose no matter what.
  12. Just say, “No, thank you”. Practice avoiding foods or situations that you know are goal deterrents. Rehearse the scene in your mind. Practice saying, “No” out loud and in uncomfortable situations. You will prove to yourself it can be done.
  13. Enjoy the smell of flowers or any scent that may distract you from eating. Smells may be more satisfying than eating the actual food sometimes.
  14. It’s all about attitude. Positive attitude weighs heavily on success. You are not depriving yourself of anything but feeding yourself delicious foods you choose that will help you get what you really want.
  15. Choices, your choice to be honest with yourself, to maintain a positive attitude, to stick with the plan etc… will make or break this deal. Stick with choices that will help you attain your goals.

Start practicing these fifteen strategies now. There is no time to waste, the holidays are here. The next six months are filled with humps and bumps that will test your diet commitment and will power. Next week I will post a blog explaining what Halloween “boils” down to and how to make it little healthier. Then, I deliver the last 15 tactics on November 3rd.


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Exercise Your Way Out of Health Crisis

MaXtreme: A website that can help you get the HIIT Rx you need.

“Exercise has not proven to be a useful tool for weight loss,, but it will help maintain  weight already lost”, they  say. “Poppycock,” I say. It’s all in the type (moderate to high intensity) and duration of the exercise.

A recent study in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (Nelson et. al. 2013,, entitled, ” Daily physical activity predicts degree of insulin resistance: a cross-sectional observational study using the 2003–2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey,”   has shown that moderate to vigorous activities (not cardiovascular exercise) that are consistently performed for 60 minutes every day can improve insulin resistance (IR) by 25%. As Exercise was increased to 2 hours IR decreased by 50%.

If you have not had an exercise session in a while, do not over do it, work with a someone who can get you off to the right start.

Why might exercise be a powerful tool?

Because exercise acts similar to the diabetes drug Metformin (improving glucose uptake in the muscle cells, therefore the body pumps out less insulin). Walking may help a little but the big effect will come from HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) or strength training (  HIIT and weight lifting are the difference between exercise working and adding little benefit.

Controlling insulin resistance can help correct difficulties with weight loss, blood sugar and cholesterol and a host of other health parameters.

“In the United States, an estimated 60 to 70 million individuals are affected by insulin resistance. More than 40% of the public 50 years of age or older may be at risk for insulin resistance; however, it can affect anyone at any age. Insulin resistance has a major role in the development of the metabolic syndrome, obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS),

I am attaching a few videos, so that no matter what your interest or level of fitness, you may find one or a few that interest you. They are examples of  HIIT workouts. I have watched these videos and hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

  1. Lower body for strong legs:
  1. Fat Blaster:
  1. Descending Ladder of Pain:
  1. Train like an MMA(mixed martial Arts) fighter:
  1. Cardio and plyometrics:
  1. Five minutes to slim:
  1. Metabolism booster:
  1. Sports,stamina, speed:
  2. Body firming:
  3. HIIT like a girl:
  4. Total boot camp:

 It may go against everything you thought was true about exercise but you could say the same thing for diet. A few years ago there were no research studies showing the “Long-Term Effects of a Very Low-Carbohydrate Weight Loss Diet (35% protein, 4% carbohydrate, 61% fat) on Exercise Capacity and Tolerance in Overweight and Obese Adults”, Wycherley TP, et al.,  (

Results show a very low carbohydrate diet did not “adversely” affect exercise performance and led to burning more fat than a high carbohydrate, low-fat diet. Both diets affected aerobic capacity and muscle strength similarly. Now the same trend is happening with exercise and it is showing that there is more to meet than just the eye. Exercise is a valuable tool for weight loss and improving health.

If you are not sold yet, check out the simple and detailed explanation of HIIT actually found within illustrations,

The right type of exercise (HIIT/strength training) on a daily basis for at least an hour is a MUST for anyone with an insulin related medical condition. It worked for me. Try it, let me know how it has changed your life.


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3 Anti-Aging Nutrients Missing From Low Fat Foods

Eat real foods that contain fat because they contain nutrients that low or non-fat foods DO NOT have. Expanding your eating choices to include a variety of foods that contain all types of fat can reap many anti-aging benefits like keeping waistlines slim, skin, hair and nails looking young, the immune system strong and the heart healthy.

Have you heard of Arachidonic acid (AA)? How about choline or medium chain triglycerides (MCT)? These nutrients are not commonly found on a low-fat food label but are just as important to understand as any nutrient listed on a package. Natural high fat, high cholesterol foods such as coconut, eggs, red meat contain AA, MCT and choline.

Arachidonic acid (AA) is a polyunsaturated fat but it is mostly found in saturated fats (red meat and organ meat), egg yolks and breast milk. AA is a key factor for brain development, nerve function and keeping cells flexible. It is also involved with muscle growth and repair. AA and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are often talked about together because they make up a large component of the human brain,

Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) are also found in saturated fats: whole milk, butter, palm oil and coconut. MCT’s have a few metabolic benefits that include aiding in weight loss, promoting digestion, lowering the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease by increasing HDL cholesterol, supporting thyroid function and boosting the immune system. MCT may also help to prevent muscle breakdown and promote muscle repair after exercise. Coconut, specifically, contains lauric and caprylic acid which are known anti yeast and anti bacterial agents.

Choline is an essential (not produced by the body but required for normal body function) nutrient found in the membrane of the cell. Good sources of choline are: ground beef, whole eggs (yes, especially the yolk) and peanut butter. Choline functions to protect the liver from fat accumulation (non-alcoholic  fatty liver disease is a somewhat new medical condition associated with the consumption of fructose-a sugar ingredient used by food companies to increase shelf life add, flavor and enable a non-fat claim on food labels, , helps to prevent advanced age memory loss and may help to lower cholesterol and homocysteine levels (an amino acid associated with heart disease, strokes, and Alzheimer’s’ disease). There is also reason to believe choline may be protective against some types of cancers.

When low-fat foods replace fat or fat in the diet is minimized, the benefits of AA, MCT and choline are lost and fat soluble nutrient absorption (Vitamins, A, D, E,K) suffers leading to health issues. These are just 3 examples of the many nutrients that may not be on your radar when you are obsessed with cutting fat.

Fuel your body to ignite better sports performance, better health, weight loss and defy aging, eat fat!

Here are sources that provide more details about the benefits of nutrients from real fat foods:


Posted by on August 5, 2014 in FAT, health, Nutrition, vitamins, weight loss


Summer Sabotage Situations:10 Hurdles To Clear


Summer sabotage situations are common and are hurdles to your quest for weight loss.  Do not fall for them.

10 Hurdles that Contribute to Diet Sabotage

  1. Drinking too many sweet drinks with excess calories and not enough water
  2. Sitting on the beach to work on a tan and NOT working on your fitness. Get up and walk the boardwalk.
  3. Allowing the hot temperature to interfere with consistent exercise routines
  4. Excess dressings on food: BBQ sauce; mayonnaise laden cole slaw, macaroni, potato salad; salad dressings
  5. Desserts that cool you down like ice cream and ices and eating other summer junk like fried dough and cotton candy
  6. Snacking or drinking more just because the sun sets later and you stay awake longer   
  7. Eating the salty and sugar filled foods and beverages (mentioned above) make you crave and eat more
  8. Vacationing  upsets your usual healthy routine
  9. Traveling makes it more difficult to make good choices
  10. Being more social in the summer many times means less attention spent on healthy habits

Clear the hurdles with these helpful tips:

1. Drink beverages without calories: water with added fresh fruit and vegetable slices (cherries, pineapple, orange, mint and cucumber), flavored seltzer, fresh brewed iced tea with lemon

2. Don’t sit on the beach all day. Take a ten-twenty minute walk every 45 minutes, play volleyball or get involved in digging/making castles in the sand, you can also decide to get up a little earlier and go to the gym before you trek to the beach

3. The weather, if it’s too hot, humid or cold, can put a damper on exercise so always have a plan B. What’s yours? The gym, walking the mall, walking up and down the stairs or jump rope in your home…think about what your plan B will be

4. When foods are made with multiple ingredients, it’s hard to keep track of calories or carbohydrates. Stick with foods that do not contain too many ingredients especially condiments like mayo, cream, bread crumbs, ketchup. Of course, if you are follow a low carb diet and avoiding buns, corn, potatoes and macaroni then eating mayo and cream are ok.

5. The summer is only 8 weeks long. Account for special summer treats. Eating too many “summer specials” add up and impair your weight loss efforts.

6. No doubt the days are longer during the summer months. Walking the boardwalk, summer BBQ’s and celebrations, social gatherings make for longer days and cozy moonlit nights are always enjoyable. It’s also a perfect opportunity to eat and drink more, so don’t!

7. Many summer snacks and beverages are loaded with salt, sugar and fat. Watch out for funnel cakes, margaritas, ices just to name a few typical summer foods that will quickly demolish your diet.

Don’t let your mind play tricks on you. Key questions to ask yourself before you indulge include: Do I really need to drink this after drinking last night? Can I share this with one or more people? Is this going to quench my need to consume this food or will it make me yearn for more?  How will I feel after I eat this and how will it affect my goal(s)? Can I make changes in my daily routine to offset what I’m about to eat?

8. Taking a vacation may upset your healthy routine but only if you let it. Sitting on the beach is nice but exploring the town—biking,walking,water skiing, snorkeling, going to museums all have a place in your break and they can make it an unforgettable time in your life. As far as eating goes remember my “rule of thumb”, balance your meals and always include your greens in the food you choose even while away.

9. Traveling makes it more difficult to make good food choices, really why? McDonald’s has salads. Really you can find better choices if you want to see that they are there. The travel bug, for some reason, puts blinders on your eyes making it difficult to see all the healthy options that are available.

10. Schedule social events so that you still have time to focus on your health. If you have to show up fashionably late to incorporate exercise into your day or you work out a little longer when you know you may not work out the next day, why not take the time? Cut the extras from your diet a week before your big social event.

These are easy things you can control without giving up your goals and feeling the pain of gain!  You can balance your social life and clear the hurdles that block your path to weight loss success.


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Eat To Cheat On Vacation


 Are you flying the coop this summer? If yes,  you join three quarters of the country. Americans are taking time off and heading to the beach this summer,

Spending time at the beach or any vacation spot can set your weight goals back a few weeks easily. The downward spiral starts the minute you set out on your trip. Whether you are on a train, plane or in an automobile the ability to manage your food choices and your mentality to focus on eating as a priority goes right out the window.

Vacation is a time to relax and enjoy life. It is a break from responsibility and this is how it all starts. From the moment you leave the door and step into the car, you have left your troubles and your guard behind.  Travelling does not have to make for a dieting disaster.

Food should always be part of any holiday vacation, or any business trip, it is not your enemy. Food is your friend as long as you manage it. Enjoy eating on your vacation, indulge a little but do not overindulge every day.

Knowing that there will be temptations once you get to wherever you are going, start your trip off on the right foot. Build your confidence from the start of your journey. Panic is a typical feeling that sets in before a trip because you know what temptations lie ahead. Start your getaway off right.  Building your confidence to make better eating choices during your trip is important. Healthy convenience foods are just as easy to keep handy and eat as unhealthy choices.

Try these or think of your own creative ideas that will work for you:

  • Trail mix  or not (you must make your own, it is healthier and cost-effective) mix, shredded coconut, sunflower seeds and cashews or just eat each separately. Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower) and nuts (almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pecans…) are great just stick with a 1-2 oz. portion so you do not eat too much.
  • Jerky (organic is minimally processed), is convenient and there are a variety of flavors: there is beef, buffalo or turkey jerky
  • Kale chips can set you back about $5-7 for a 2 serving size bag or you can make them yourself by drizzling some oil and garlic and baking them. Kale is loaded with nutrients (vitamins: K, A, C; minerals: iron and calcium; protein and fiber).
  • Veggies are always a good idea. Keep it simple and enjoy: olives, cherry tomatoes, pickles, mushrooms, edamame, string beans, carrots and celery (best with a shmear of peanut butter).

If you can make a pit stop, most food stores, mini marts or restaurants will carry these so you do not have to pack food:

  • Mozzarella sticks or any hard cheese
  • Cottage cheese (snack size containers are available)
  • Deli items (chicken/tuna/egg salad, sliced deli meat, cucumber and onion or tomato salad) Protein  is always filling.

Having these types of options available during your trip may help minimize the results of potential indiscretions. Do not fool yourself into thinking “diet perfection” during your trip. Cheat sensibly.  Drink your Daiquiri, have an ice cream cone but think of which healthy habits you will maintain during your stay away from home.

Eat up, make choices and enjoy your vacation!


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It Is About “Time”: Fat Facts and The Cover Up


What do steak, eggs, coconut, dark meat, chicken and turkey with the skin on have in common? They are all high in healthy saturated fat and are safe foods to eat.

Bryan Walsh’s report made the cover of Time magazine, “Eat Butter.” His article describes a 43 year “human experiment” using the consumer as guinea pigs to test lowering dietary fat and reducing heart disease risk starting back in 1977; when a senate committee urged Americans to “eat less high-fat red meat, eggs and dairy; eat more carbohydrates and increase fruit and vegetable consumption”.

What happened?

  • Heart disease is still the number one cause of death
  • Obesity now effects 33% of the US  population
  • Type 2 diabetes escalated by 166%

I do not have any statistical analysis but there are many more health conditions caused by excess carbohydrate intake that are on the rise, like metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, certain types of cancer, polycystic ovarian syndrome etc…

Why did this cover-up happen?

  • The establishment refused to publish controversial research.
  • Unethical researchers cherry picked the data used for analysis
  •  Puppeteers were good at disseminating the low-fat dogma put forth by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture).

The research supporting the safety and efficacy of fat and saturated fat exists. In his article, Walsh interviews researchers who explain:

  • “Americans were told to cut back on fat to lose weight and prevent heart disease. There’s an overwhelmingly strong case to be made for the opposite.” –Dr. David Ludwig, Boston Children’s Hospital


  • “The argument against fat was completely flawed. We’ve traded one disease for another.” –Dr. Robert Lustig, University of California, San Francisco


  • “Willett (Walter Willett, Harvard) found that when high saturated fat foods were replaced with carbohydrates, there was no reduction in heart disease.”
  • “Simple carbs like bread and corn may not look like sugar on your plate, but in your body that’s what they’re converted to when digested.”
  • “Studies (by Eric Westman, Duke University) found that replacing carbohydrates with fat could help manage and even reverse diabetes.”

Mind you this TIME article is not late breaking news. I have blogged on the “BIG FAT” topic before:

  1. Seeking Saturated Fat,
  2. Follow The Nutrition Guidelines Or Follow Your Heart,
  1. When It Comes To Saturated Fat Use Your Noggin’,
  2. Carbohydrates Are Worse Than Saturated Fat,
  3. Andrew Weil: Saturated Fat Is Not Associated With an Increased Risk of Heart Disease, Stroke or Vascular Disease,
  4. Eat saturated Fat For Good Health,
  5. Fat Functions To Promote Good Health,
  6. Have We Created Our Own Heath Crisis? High Fat Must Have Foods For Good Health,
  7. The Low Fat Nutrient Less Diet Cannot Nourish The Body,
  8. Eat Foods With Fat (5): Balance Foods With Fat,

So now what?

It is hard to break bad habits and we have been brain washed for a while into believing low-fat foods are healthy. But now it is time, no more cover ups, to open our eyes to the truth about food, fat, carbohydrates, what we eat and how it affects health.

If you want to undo the damage caused by 40 years of eating low-fat refined and processed foods avoid carbs. Eat real meat, natural fats and veggies to let the healing process begin.


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