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Category Archives: 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

Photo: http://artfoodfriends.blogspot.com/2011/06/vacation.html

 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, http://newsroom.aaa.com/tag/summer-travel/.

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

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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, http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/?s=saturated+fat
  2. Follow The Nutrition Guidelines Or Follow Your Heart, http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/follow-the-nutrition-guidelines-or-follow-your-heart/
  1. When It Comes To Saturated Fat Use Your Noggin’, http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2014/04/06/when-it-comes-to-saturated-fat-use-your-noggin/
  2. Carbohydrates Are Worse Than Saturated Fat, http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/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,  http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2010/12/13/andrew-weilsaturated-fat-is-not-associated-with-an-increased-risk-of-heart-disease-stroke-or-vascular-disease/
  4. Eat saturated Fat For Good Health, http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/eat-saturated-fat-for-good-health/
  5. Fat Functions To Promote Good Health, http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2009/06/24/fat-functions-to-promote-good-health/
  6. Have We Created Our Own Heath Crisis? High Fat Must Have Foods For Good Health, http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/have-we-created-our-own-health-crises-high-fat-must-have-foods-for-good-health/
  7. The Low Fat Nutrient Less Diet Cannot Nourish The Body,  http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/the-low-fat-nutrient-less-diet-cannot-fully-nourish-the-body/
  8. Eat Foods With Fat (5): Balance Foods With Fat, https://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=2187&action=edit

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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Who Said Eating Less Calories Guarantees Weight Loss?

Found on justaddgoodstuff.com

For many years I have said that calories do not always count. Less calorie consumed does not always translate into weight loss.

Zoe Harcombe wrote an interesting blog, “The Calorie Theory – prove it or lose it” on June 8, http://www.zoeharcombe.com/2014/06/the-calorie-theory-prove-it-or-lose-it/. It addresses an important question.

How did we arrive at the calorie theory that states 3500 calories consumed equals one pound of body weight? This formula is used to help practitioners guide clients on weight loss. Each day there is a 500 or 1000 calorie deficit you can lose a pound or two, 500-1000 calories, seven days a week, results in a 1-2 pound /week weight loss.

Harcombe contacted seven national nutrition and health organizations in England ( British Dietetic Association (BDA), Dietitians in Obesity Management (DOM), the National Health Service (NHS), the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), the Department of Health (DoH), the National Obesity Forum (NOF) and the Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO) and none of them had any explanation, scientific evidence or proof backing the calorie formula and why it is used across the board for everyone.

Despite the criticism Harcombe has received, her point is valid.  While I acknowledge there is validity to the calorie theory, it is only a small piece of a much larger pie.

Admittedly,  on a one-dimensional piece of paper,  the calorie formula  may hold some “weight” but people are not pieces of paper. We are three-dimensional, complex efficient living systems and not as simple as a mathematical formula. Point being that there are established factors that interfere with metabolism, fat storage and eating, these factors throw a monkey wrench into the calorie theory over-riding it as a sole consideration for weight loss. Despite this fact, most practitioners use it for all of their clients.

Any short-circuit (for any reason including pregnancy and the natural process of aging) in hormones (insulin, leptin, ghrelin, thyroid, cortisol, estrogen) can affect appetite, weight or fat storage and this challenges the premise of the calorie theory. Medications, i.e. steroids and antidepressants, that are given to correct one health problem can create other problems and also affect weight. Lack of sleep and stress are also powerful factors that poke holes in the strength of the calorie formula.

So why then, is the calorie theory used as the basis of treatment for everyone? For many, it is like trying  to fit a square peg in a round hole. The calorie theory will not easily work, if at all.

Yet this formula continues to be used across the board as a weight loss tool that works “if a person complies” with it. Not true, I have worked  as a registered dietitian for over 20 years. Non-compliance with following a diet is not the only reason a diet does not work.

Is it possible that the reliability and effectiveness of this mathematical equation was never tested? Have practitioners been hasty in using this formula without considering biological and environmental influences? It kinda makes you wonder, huh!

So this leaves me with even more questions. Is there anyone in the U.S., or worldwide for that matter, who can provide detailed information about the calorie theory? Is it possible that, “calories are tiny little creatures that sew your cloths tighter at night”?

 

 

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Nutrition & Exercise Together Forever

Since Memorial Day weekend is here, I thought I’d post this today (in lieu of a post next week) for all the procrastinators out there.

The impact of exercise on weight loss has been thought to lie in the area of weight maintenance because in order to lose weight it is difficult to burn 3500 calories, or 1 pound, in a week. Yet there is research that supports the idea that exercise may actually contribute to weight loss and more importantly loss of body fat.

Some research has shown that exercising in the morning before eating burns 3 times as many calories because your glycogen stores are lower after an overnight fast. But truthfully, you can have this advantage at any time of the day when you follow a low carb ketogenic diet. A ketogenic diet switches the body metabolism from burning carbs to burning fat all day long. So you can get the same advantage from your workout at any time of the day.

Interestingly enough, the results from a study by Jabekk PT et al. entitled “Resistance training in overweight women on a ketogenic diet conserved lean body mass while reducing body fat”, shows the combination of resistance training, not cardiovascular exercise, with a high fat, low carbohydrate ketogenic or lower calorie diet helps to fuel fat loss and preserve lean body mass, http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/7/1/17.

This new insight translates into more powerful tools for you to help reach your weight loss goals for the summer. Attack weight loss with a double edge sword; use a healthy ketogenic diet and strength training to work together to melt body fat. The rationale behind these results seems to be that different metabolic catalysts, such as hormonal regulation of fat breakdown, are at work and seem to aid weight/fat loss more than factoring exercise into the “calorie equation”.

The researchers believe, “that carbohydrate restriction in combination with resistance exercise in particular, offers an advantage over both low-fat diets with exercise and low carbohydrate diets without exercise, in improving body composition”.

There is no time like the present. Maximize your weight loss with resistance training and a ketogenic diet!  Wanna follow a ketogenic diet and have no idea what it is? I have the site for you, http://www.ketogenic-diet-resource.com/ or check out my book, “The Stubborn fat Fix”,  http://www.amazon.com/The-Stubborn-Fat-Fix-Metabolic/dp/159486828X.

You do not have to belong to a gym to engage in resistance exercise. Check out these 10 training exercises to get started quickly, http://health.usnews.com/health-news/diet-fitness/articles/2009/04/10/10-forms-of-resistance-training-that-strengthen-your-muscles?page=3, and even in the comfort of your own home.

What is important to keep in mind is the fact that for those who do exercise, weight loss may be observed as inches lost (you are smaller) before weight loss shows on the scale. This may be because you are not losing lean body mass. Focus on how cloths fit, use the scale as a secondary measure for weight loss.

Also, if you lose weight in your face first, do not expect your cloths to fit differently initially. Look in the mirror to see your success. Stick with it and changes in your cloths size will follow soon.

What are you waiting for? Try a strategic diet and exercise plan that work together for better weight loss results than anything else you have tried before.

Enjoy your memorial day weekend! See you here in two Mondays from  today.

 
 

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NO Weight Loss & Fit Plan

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Photos provided by Grant Cochrane

Typically when we think weight loss or good health, we cut back on food, lower fat and calories. Seems like a  logical approach, no? NO! Actually, this thinking is incorrect.

NO (nutrition optimization) means using foods that have more nourishment and limiting foods that have fewer nutrients. Feeding yourself foods that are rich in nutrients and optimizing any nutrition plan will satisfy hunger and keep your body running at peak performance. No matter what your goal is, weight loss, sports performance or health, the power of nutrition can work for you. Eating healthier by substituting nutrient dense real foods that are void of additives/dyes/preservatives/sweeteners etc…for the foods you think may be saving you calories or bettering your energy levels.

Many people eat pretzels because a serving is only about 100 calories and no fat. What nutritional value does it add to your food intake?  Not much except 100 extra calories and likely the carbs will leave you hungry soon after. So you end up eating twice or three times as much food as you would have if you had eaten something a little more substantial like sliced mozzarella and tomato with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. If you chose to snack on tomato and mozzarella cheese instead of pretzels, not only do you optimize the nutritional value of a snack, you take a thoughtless moment of grabbing a handful of pretzels and create a more meaningful food experience: the aroma and taste of real food,  greater visual palatability and a higher fullness factor!

Or, maybe you are hungry and you eat a small salad (with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, broccoli and carrots and you dress it with lite Italian) because you are trying to cut calories. Although healthy, this salad is not really enough calories to sustain your appetite.  Instead, optimize the nutrition of this salad by adding turkey (protein, B6, niacin and selenium) and avocado (carotenoids, vitamin E, monounsaturated fat, fiber, potassium; and switch the dressing from the ‘lite” version that contains a myriad of additives, i.e. corn syrup, sodium benzoate, disodium EDTA) to olive oil, lemon juice and natural herbs. By optimizing the nutrition, the snack becomes more satisfying.

The substitute salad with turkey and avocado has staying power. Yes you add calories and natural fat but your body is being nourished with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and other health boosting nutrients as well. You are full. Cutting back on calories, only makes you hungry.

Sports players and athletes who are not concerned with weight may try to increase calories with milkshakes and high calorie junk food, that is not good either. Where is the nutrition, the vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein and healthy fats that will help improve performance??? Sugar will rev you up and slam you back down.  Real food, nutrient dense meals and snacks will amp up fitness ability.

Optimizing nutrients to keep your body running at its best should be the focus no matter what the goal. The NO method is a compelling approach with many benefits. Try it and please share your experience with us.

NO is the only way to go!

 

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WTE on a Healthy Balanced Diet?

anti-inflammatory-food-pyramid

Dr. Weil’s food pyramid, http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02995/Dr-Weil-Anti-Inflammatory-Food-Pyramid.html,

USDA_MyPlate_green

The United State’s Department of Agriculture’s, “MY Plate”, http://www.choosemyplate.gov/.

bg_food-pyramid3 The Atkins Food pyramid, http://www.atkins.com/Science/Atkins-Food-Pyramid.aspx 

On the heels of “WTF am I eating”, http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/wtf-am-i-eating/, I thought it would be nice to also shed some light on WTE (what to eat) on a healthy balanced diet. There are so many different nutrition philosophies out there, so much confusion about what is healthy, and, not so healthy to eat and way too much controversy on what really is the “perfect” diet for you.

Take a look at the pictures above. Different food suggestions, different ideas of how to eat healthy. Yet, they have one big similarity.  There is no mention of chips, cookies or ice cream. Sure it is ok to dabble a little bit once in a while but junkie convenience foods have crept their way into daily eating and for some of us desserts are a staple after each meal.

These three diets (shown above) are examples of  the anti-inflammatory diet, the low carb diet and the calorie controlled diet; just a few of the hundreds of thousands of different ways to feed yourself. With so many diets out there, which is best? What food plans work and how are you supposed to know WTE?

A balanced diet, or food plan, is not the same for everyone. By definition, balanced eating  would apply solely to consuming a balanced ratio of nutrients from carbs, protein and fat (1:1:1) where calories are distributed evenly across the board at about 33% of total calories for each macronutrient.  You should understand that most “healthy” plans do not emphasize this balanced equation. Also, personal situations may dictate and override a general balanced diet formula.  A healthy diet will be different for everyone based on their own special circumstance. For example:

  • Being athletic can change the nutritional playing field. Athletes may benefit from eating a balanced ratio of nutrients but the formula may need a little tweaking to account for their goals to fuel,  recover and repair from the stress of long bouts of physical activity and the additional specialized needs for any particular sport.
  • Hippocrates, 460 BC377 BC,  is noted for his famous quote “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. This means that if you have a medical condition, such as diabetes, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, polycystic ovarian syndrome etc… a “balanced” diet may require tipping the scales more towards certain nutrients like healthy fats and away from others, like carbohydrates, to assist the body in equalizing the medical imbalance of that particular health condition.
  • If you are healthy, exercise and within your goal weight, eating an equal amount of calories from protein, fats and carbs should be the goal.

There is a lot of information out there on WTE. My best advice is to understand what your personal needs are and mold a healthy balanced nutrition plan that will work for you.  Nutrients can act in your favor or against you. It is your choice. If you need to use these general plans to jump start your healthy eating use them but long term, strive to “balance” and personalize your eating, tailored just for you.

 
 

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Ready, Set, Go! Make A Change

Changing behavior is one of the most difficult things to do in life and do not let anyone tell you otherwise. Although “change” is a simple word, the process of change is complicated, no matter what you are trying to change. If you have diabetes (or any medical condition that can improve with lifestyle changes), wish to lose weight or want a better relationship, your readiness to change will make the difference in your long term success.

Desperately wanting something does not get you to “ready”. Trying your best or even going through the motions will not change behavior. In order to get on the right track to reach your goals, you must get “ready” to change your behavior.

READY” is defined as, “completely prepared” or “in condition for immediate action”. Therefore one of the best ways to ensure you will achieve your health goals is to get ready.

Determine what your goals are and prepare for action. Make weekly appointments with yourself. Set a date and time, put it on the calendar or you may never get the time you need to take care of yourself. This is all about Y-O-U! So, you will be the best person to determine what your goals are. No one else can tell you how to prioritize your life. You do not have to do this alone you can enlist a friend, family member or healthcare expert to help. I think it’s best to get as many people who are willing to support you on board as possible. Be honest with yourself; make sure those who support you provide unconditional help.

Be prepared to deal with those who are not supportive in any way necessary.

GET SET:

List your goals.

List specific actions that must be made.

Describe how you will execute your plan.

List behaviors that will contribute to success.

Think about the barriers you will have to overcome and plan on how to change your behavior to achieve victory.

Learn from mistakes and plan for success the next time you experience a pitfall.

Accept the fact that changing behavior is not easy and you will experience setbacks.

Ask yourself:

How will I learn new behaviors and let go of poor behaviors?
How can I anticipate a behavior relapse?
How can I maintain motivation?
What are the benefits?
What are the drawbacks of my changes?

GO:

No one else can do this for you but you. Denial and avoidance will get you nowhere. Take the bull by the horns and GO for a healthy lifestyle, improve a diagnosis or relationship. It will likely be an opportunity for improved quality of life and good health not only for you but everyone around you.

There is no quick fix in life. Get ready, get set and go for it! No matter what it is, you can make a change for the better by taking these steps and exchanging poor behaviors for positive actions. It may take time but it will be well worth your efforts.

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2014 in behavior, weight loss, wellness

 

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New Years Resolution Success 2014

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I am re-posting this blog for all of you who have made a New Years’ Resolution to lose weight.

Anyone who has lost weight and kept it off will tell you that a one shot promise is not going to get you to your goal. Prioritizing healthy eating and using specific behavior goals will help. So this is worth the repeat as it is an example of how to stay on top of your New Years’ Resolution.

If you made a vow to yourself on December 31st , or any other day, keep it going throughout the year. Instead of a once a year pledge, make a real commitment. Set an alarm, mark your calendar for the end of each month and re-visit your goal to determine if the goal is realistic. If you set a general goal, it is likely you will join 95% of those people whose “diet” fail, http://www.cswd.org/docs/health.html. Set a practical plan, adjust it as needed and if you stick with it, you will succeed.

Do you want to lose weight or just be healthier this year? You want to succeed? The goal and behavior strategies you set must be front and center in your mind on a daily basis, not an off the cuff yearly pledge.  What is your goal? How will you accomplish it?

For example, your goal might be: I will lose 2 pounds a week.

How are you going to achieve this goal? Specific behavior strategies that you choose to assist you with daily challenges.

Strategies:

1. Switch my low nutrient snacks for real foods that nourish (i.e. switch 100 calorie snacks pack for celery with peanut butter).

2. I will track my foods for accountability (use an app to track daily food).

3. I will not deprive myself when I’m hungry. I will eat veggies instead of chips.

Allow yourself three and a half weeks to determine if the set goal is realistic or you need to change it so that it is attainable.

Renew your vow if your are successful, it’s working for you. Add a second goal with 3 new strategies for detailed actions in February. Do this each month.

If you have not achieved your goal in 3 weeks, re-do your vow so that  it is more attainable.

Example of  a resolution “re-do”:

I will lose one-two pounds each week

Strategies:

1. I will only eat only 1 evening snack each day.

2. I will track my foods for accountability (not all strategies will have to change).

3. I will identify real hunger vs. eating when bored.

Just because your initial attempt at weight loss or better health does not work, it does not mean that within six months you throw in the towel. There is more than one way to get things done. It may take a little time to find your comfort zone. But, you will be on track to accomplishing your goals.

At the end of each month, set a time when you check-in, evaluate your progress, or lack of progress. Learn to accommodate your lifestyle, your food preferences and any other hiccup that might interfere with your goal in order to identify what works for you. When you individualize your own plan, you will beat the odds and find a lifetime of success.

So at the end of the month, ask yourself, how did my plan go in January? Which strategies worked? What changes will need to be made to next month’s plan?

If you analyze your progress consistently, make accommodations as needed and dedicate yourself to your plans, you will obtain your goal for your New Years’ Resolution. Go ahead try it!

 

 

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Seven TKO Strategies For Weight Loss

Cover of "Rocky III"

Cover of Rocky III

Get “the eye of the tiger” for the holidays.  Focus and win the war on weight loss. Five pounds or five hundred pounds, it does not matter. Battling the bulge (big or small) is not easy.

7 STRATEGIES: TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION
1. Create your own “Eat-To-Win” (ETW) strategies.  Forget about what works for everyone else. What works for you? What does NOT work for you? Create the plan and follow your own ETW rules.

2. Ditch the all-or-nothing mindset. Most people over indulge at one time or another. It is the “nothing” mindset that gets you nowhere. Putting off your diet today to restart tomorrow  I ate that cake, I’ll start my diet again tomorrow and then you put off tomorrow what you can do today.

3.. Avoid trigger foods, that may start an avalanche of eating. Trigger foods typically are high in calories, carbohydrates and unhealthy fats. If the unthinkable happens, eating protein and veggies may help get your appetite back in control. By eating foods that are nutrient dense and cutting off the sugar supply, eating and cravings can be controlled.

4. Schedule an enjoyable activity, you may want to make a list of what, when and how you will get consistent activity into your day. Moving your body will make you feel better physically and mentally.

5. Journal: Write down your feelings about your indulgence. Was it worth it? Were you stressed because you were not following your plan? Did it soothe you? Then plan how you might do things differently for the next time. If you followed your plan, make a note at how it felt to do the right thing, track the outcome. Did you lose instead of a gain a pound? Keep your journal in an easy to reach place for quick access in case of an emergency.

6. Adopt a positive and supportive relationship with yourself, and most of all,  be true to you. Negativity not allowed. Think about the childhood tale of “The Little Engine That Could“, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Little_Engine_that_Could. In the story, a large train must be hauled over a mountain. The little red engine, agrees to try. It then succeeds in pulling the large immobile train over the mountain while repeating: “I-think-I-can”.

7. Think Rocky III, Eye of the Tigerhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8ZABoz26R8: Focus, commitment, drive and above all fortitude is needed to give you the mental strength to be courageous enough to keep trying until you achieve your goal. It is not common to lose weight and maintain that success on the first try.

Allow trial and error (or even defeat, i.e. weight gain)  to guide you not beat you. It can be used to support your weight loss strategy and success.  

Earn your weight loss TKO. Use one or all of these strategies now, do not wait until after the holiday season. Being mindful of your surroundings, changing behavior, slip ups are all part of the process. The process may take longer than expected but let nothing get in your way of your ultimate success.

If you can gear up and get a few good habits under your belt during the most difficult time of the year to take on anything just think of what you can do once the holidays pass!

Make your holidays REALLY joyful, give yourself the life changing weight loss gift you deserve.

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2013 in holiday, weight loss

 

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