Tag Archives: Weight loss

snack attack…

Why do we eat?  We eat for a myriad of reasons.  We eat when we are happy, sad, bored or even due to peer pressure.  Sometimes we eat when we aren’t even hungry.  This is considered emotional eating and it will result in unwanted weight gain. 

Here’s how to tell if your body really needs food.

Real Hunger

  • Your hunger grows gradually
  • You will eat anything
  • You can wait
  • You stop when you feel full
  • You feel good after eating
  • You feel energized

Emotional Eating

  • You are hungry all of sudden
  • You typically crave foods that are high in fat
  • You need to be satisfied instantly
  • No amount of food fills you up
  • You feel guilty after eating

I use these tips to determine if I am really hungry or its a passing craving. 

Until recently I didn’t know it but I am an emotional eater.  If I do not take the time to plan what I am going to eat during the day it will end in disaster.  I will end up eating foods that are high in calories, fat and sugar.  Which will only leave me craving something else to eat in no time. 

However, Now I plan, plan and plan some more.  I start everyday with breakfast.  I eat a mid-morning snack, usually a banana.  I pack a healthy balanced lunch to take with me to work,  a salad, protein(leftovers from the previous nights dinner) and fruit.  Then I have a mid-afternoon snack, a protein bar or a hand full of almonds or trail mix. 

I have to admit that since making the changes I have not found myself craving the sugary sweet or crunchy salty snacks that were a regular part of my everyday eating habits. 

Now, I will admit that I think about consuming cookies, mocha lattes and french croissants from time to time.  However, I always stop and think what is this simple indulgence going to cost me in calories.  Then I think about what I will have to do to work it off.  By the time I process all of this information the craving has passed and I am better off for it.

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Filed under Eat to Live, postaweek2011

regular watering…

google image

Do not under-estimate the power of water.  Just over 70% of the earth is covered by water, approximately 139 million square miles.  Roughly 70% of your body is made up of water.  Water is the essential ingredient to life.  People, plants and animals cannot live without water for a prolonged period.  Just check out the news on any given day and you will hear about the effects of water on people and places. 

The southwest United States is experiencing a drought that is breaking all sorts of records.  While at the other end of the country the flood waters are rising and are having just as devastating effects on those people and places. 

Obviously we have no control over the drought or the floods.  However, we do have control over our own consumption of water.  Every diet craze out there no matter how ridiculous its claims or regiment, will advise you to drink water.  Lots of Water!!! 

Almost 6 weeks ago I began drinking 24oz of water when I wake up in the morning. I have been completely amazed by its healing properties.  After 2 weeks of waking up with water I no longer craved or needed my morning cup of coffee.  After another week my knee, which had been giving me trouble for quite sometime, was experiencing less swelling and pain.  If you have been around the blog lately you know that I have also changed my eating habits which I am sure is contributing to my overall well-being.  But, oh my goodness, I am totally sold on the benefits of drinking WATER!

How much water should a person consume on a daily basis?  You probably think you know this one; 64oz, 8 glasses, Right?  Eight glasses are a good start but it probably isn’t enough.  You must take into account your weight, activity level and the climate where you live and exercise.  I have also read that for every 25 pounds you are over-weight you should drink an additional 8oz glass of water. 

Here are a few facts I located about water consumption and weight loss;

  • Initial weight loss is largely due to loss of water, and you need to drink an adequate amount of water in order to avoid dehydration.
  • The process of burning calories requires an adequate supply of water in order to function efficiently; dehydration slows down the fat-burning process.
  • Burning calories creates toxins (think of the exhaust coming out of your car), and water plays a vital role in flushing them out of your body.
  • Dehydration causes a reduction in blood volume; a reduction in blood volume causes a reduction in the supply of oxygen to your muscles; and a reduction in the supply of oxygen to your muscles can make you feel tired.
  • Water helps maintain muscle tone by assisting muscles in their ability to contract, and it lubricates your joints. Proper hydration can help reduce muscle and joint soreness when exercising.
  • A healthy (weight loss) diet includes a good amount of fiber. But while fiber is normally helpful to your digestive system, without adequate fluids it can cause constipation instead of helping to eliminate it.
  • Drinking water with a meal may make you feel full sooner and therefore satisfied eating less. Note, however, that drinking water alone may not have this effect. In order to feel satiated (not hungry), our bodies need bulk, calories and nutrients.

I raise my water-glass and drink to your good health.  CHEERS!!!

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Filed under Eat to Live, postaweek2011

never give up…

Since embarking on this new healthy eating lifestyle I have read lots of articles about healthy eating, healthy recipes, healthy this and healthy that. 

Tonight I was cleaning up my in-box and came across an article from sparkpeople.com.   The article is titled “Going through the Emotions” by Mike Kramer.  It’s a great article very encouraging and inspirational.  I hope you will jump over and read it in its entirety. 

It caught my eye because I am feeling a little bit emotional about my new eating plan.  I keep telling myself I don’t miss those sugary sweets or crunchy chips or the savory steaks.  But truth be told I do kind of miss a few of my bad eating habits. 

 I am also feeling very emotional about my trip to NOLA that is coming up.  I have worked so hard and given up so much these past 5 weeks to lose weight and live healthier.  I know the temptations may be too great to overcome.  I am concerned that discouragement and disappointment will settle in and I will revert to my old bad eating habits.  

My husband has lost twice as much weight as I have in the past 5 weeks so he has more wiggle room than I do.  He has decided that he is going to eat whatever he wants on the trip (within reason, I am sure) and I want to do the same. 

 But NOLA is home for me and going there always brings back warm comfy memories of food loaded with butter served over rice with side of warm bread pudding and sweet tea.  But my heart is telling me that I don’t have to give in to my old ways.  I can still make delicious healthy eating choices and enjoy my trip to one of the greatest culinary cities in the world. 

I do not believe in coincidences. I know that God’s plan was for me to read this article right when I needed it most.  Mike’s words encouraged and inspired me.  (I think I will print this on a few 3X5  cards and put them in different places so I will come across them randomly and be encouraged and inspired all over again.)

“There will be good days and there will be bad days – sometimes several in a row. There will be lazy days and discouraging days. But there will also be days of revelation, days of making a breakthrough, days of being proud of who you are becoming, days of wanting to climb on top of your success and reach for the stars, because you just know that anything is possible.

 These are the days that make it all worthwhile. These are the days that let you deal with those other, not-so-great days. Once you know those bad days will be there, it’s easier to accept them at face value and deal with them. But you have to keep kicking on those bad days to get to the good ones. If you’re not kicking, you’re sinking.

Don’t let the world or your own doubts take away one of the most positive things you have going for yourself – your determination to create a healthier, more energetic, more vibrant, more wonderful YOU.”

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Filed under Eat to Live, encouragment, postaweek2011

Diet…is a four letter word

Diet is a four letter word…yes I know it is literally a four letter word.  However, when I usually think of four letter words I think of the ones that I don’t say in front of my mother and the ones I try not to say when I am cut off in traffic.   Sometimes the word Diet is said with such contempt that it carries the same weight as profanity.  As many times as individuals have tried and failed at dieting it is no wonder the word carries such negative connotations.

If you have stopped by over the past few weeks you have probably read a post or two on my new eating regime.  I refuse to call it a diet…diets conjure up mostly negative thoughts.  Thoughts of things I will have to give up or go with out.  The biggest negative that comes to mind when I think of dieting is that I must admit that I am not in control.  I have to admit that I have gained weight and I am out of shape.  (Hey, pear is a shape!)

If you google diet you will get 575,000,000 results; everything from diet plans, pills,  recipes and tips.  WebMD.com lists the facts on the most popular diets so you can decide which one is best for you.  There are at least 90 popular diets listed on their website. 

My husband and I are on this journey together and we talk entirely too much about what we are going to eat.  However, in order to eat right, that is eat foods that are good for us, it takes planning.  We must discuss the weekly meal plan, look up recipes, find alternative ingredients to stay on our chosen eating plan of low to no sugar. 

Foods that are easy to prepare or are quick fix meals usually are packed with plenty of empty calories. Oh but they do make the taste buds dance and sing.  However, these empty calories are the reason Americans, this one included, are overweight!

I have read more articles, followed more tweeters and liked more Facebook pages in the past 3 weeks on healthy eating than I have read in my entire life.  It is no wonder the health and fitness industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. 

I especially enjoy reading the articles that go against the grain.  The ones that offer up tips on breaking the rules or articles that suggest a few sneaky tricks that can help shed the pounds with just a minor adjustment in your eating plan or your exercise routine. 

Recently on Shine, the Yahoo on-line community for women,  posted under the Healthy Living tab just such an article.  To read it in its entirety and see the visuals follow this link or for the condensed version.

Here you go, the meat and potatoes, the cookies on the bottom shelf, everything in a nutshell…ok, enough of the food references.  Here is the readers digest version:

  • Limit your liquids to herbal tea and water only. Drinking even light juices or diet coke will still pack on pounds over time, says Borden. If you need a sweet fix, eat your fruit, don’t drink it. You’ll get more fiber and less sugar that way.

  • Eat with chopsticks. “People who use chopsticks tend to eat way less and get fuller quicker because it takes longer to eat — [chopsticks] slow you down,” says Borden. This is one of the biggest rules of thumb when it comes to eating right. If you eat too fast your body doesn’t register that it’s full, so you’ll keep eating unnecessary calories.
  • Take your workout to work. No time to exercise before or after work? Burn a few calories during your lunch hour instead. Borden likes the virtual jump rope for this purpose (try Airope Original, 34.95). It’s easy to tote, you won’t whip any colleagues, and two simple minutes of jumping will get you out of your chair and help to burn a few calories. Bonus: It’ll give your back a much-needed break from hunching (and hurting), she says.
  • Avoid low-fat diets. “Fat is your friend, it will help you get fewer calories cravings,” says Borden. Find good-for-you fats in avocado, olive oil and fish.
  • Do an activity that jumpstarts your lymphatic system, says Borden, like running, jump rope, and rebounding (jumping on a mini trampoline). These activities boost your circulation to help release built-up toxins, which in turn speeds up your metabolism. And you know what that means: More calories burned without any extra effort.
  • Sprinkle on the cinnamon. Flavoring your oatmeal, cereal, coffee — you name it — with cinnamon may actually control the insulin spikes that often occur after you eat, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture finding. These spikes can make you feel hungry, which isn’t exactly ideal if you’re trying to cut calories.
  • Avoid creamy foods. Example: Dairy or creamy dressings like ranch have more unhealthy fats and are harder to digest than olive oil-based fats found in vinaigrette-like dressings.
  • Add more weight to your weight-training workout. It’s a myth that women “shouldn’t lift more than three pounds,” says Borden. “The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be,” she adds. So, don’t be afraid to pile on the pounds (to your weight room routine, that is) and don’t worry, contrary to popular belief, it’s actually hard to add bulk. If you can do 15 reps of an exercise easily, add more weight until your last rep is an effort, she says.

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Filed under All Things Foodie, postaweek2011

Tweets 2 hlp U stick 2 ur diet…

Image found @ Planet Sonia Blog

Words to Live by...

As my healthy food choice journey continues I have found very helpful and encouraging tweeters to follow.  The tweets I am sharing are the actual thread that was posted on my twitter timeline this past week with the links in tact. 
 
There is really something to say about 140 characters or less…little bitesize morsels filled with yummy goodness. 
 
A few have made me smile, a couple have been encouraging and several have given me helpful tips just when I needed them. 
 
Dave ZinczenkoDaveZinczenkoDave Zinczenko  EAT RIGHT RULE: The word “muffin” was invented so people wouldn’t feel guilty about eating cake for breakfast.
 
Eat This, Not That! EatThisNotThatEat This, Not That!  EAT EGGS: Folks who eat more protein-based calories burn 71 more calories a day, study says! 6 Foods to Flatten Your Abs: http://ow.ly/5tNP6
 
Dave ZinczenkoDaveZinczenkoDave Zinczenko  DOUBLE YOUR DIGESTION: Chewing gum settles your gut by creating more natural bicarbonate, which helps stomach-acid flow
 
Dave ZinczenkoDaveZinczenkoDave Zinczenko  WAIT IT OUT: Most temptations last about 20 minutes–the time it takes for serotonin to bounce back and kill the urge.
 
Eat This, Not That!EatThisNotThatEat This, Not That!  Opt for 1% milk. Some of milk’s nutrients are fat-soluble, so a touch of fat helps you absorb the benefits!
 
Eat This, Not That!EatThisNotThatEat This, Not That!  Love granola? Avoid the sugar attack. Eat Kashi GoLean Crisp! Toasted Berry Crumble instead! Best Supermarket Breakfasts: http://ow.ly/5uK1J
 
Dave ZinczenkoDaveZinczenkoDave Zinczenko HEALTH MYTH: Though we spend more on food labeled “natural”, it usually means nothing. (Tornadoes are natural, too.)
 
Eat This, Not That!EatThisNotThatEat This, Not That!  PERFECT TRAIL MIX: 2 c mixed nuts + 1 c raisins + 1 c chopped dried apricots + 1/2 c sunflower seeds!
 
Eat This, Not That!EatThisNotThatEat This, Not That!  Eating a high-protein, high-fat snack can boost your calorie burn for up to 3.5 hours! We like almonds. 15 Superfoods: http://ow.ly/5uMuo
 
Julie NewNewJulieJulie New  Discover the benefits of Good Nutrition… control your weight. Eat More Often, Lose More Weight! http://t.co/WFblikC
 
SHAPE magazineShape_MagazineSHAPE magazine  Half a cup of cucumbers has just 8 calories. We love dipping them in salsa. Crispy, crunchy, spicy, guilt-free. http://ow.ly/5kntd @FitSugar
 
Keri GanskerigansKeri Gans stop thinking about all the foods u shouldn’t b eating & start thinking about the foods u should :) #positivethinking

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Filed under Life..such as it is, postaweek2011

Breaking the Dieting Rules and it’s OK

A recent visit to the Doctor’s office and my subsequent 50th Birthday was the double whammy.  I decided enough was enough! Wishing for a smaller waist line while doing nothing of significance to effectively change the number that shows up on the tape measure is delusional.  I know that I can do anything I put my mind to.  However, It helps if you have an accountability partner, luckily my husband and I came to the same conclusion at approximately the same time. It is great having my husband walk this walk with me each and every day.  We are there for one another and can cheer each other on through our successes and failures.  

Together we decided to “cut the sugar” out of our diet.  Well, not all of the sugar  but most of it.   You know what that means, we have to give up the white stuff; rice, pasta, potatoes and processed sugar.  We are also giving up sodas, chips, sweet tea, almost all processed pre-packaged foods  and a whole list of other wonderfully delicious things we love to eat. 

 I also joined a Women’s Study Group that is using the DVD study by Lysa Terkeurst “Made to Crave”.  We are digging a little deeper into why we use food as a crutch in our lives.    It is great to have a handful of women to lean on and to share my “junk-food” cravings with and to find out I am not alone in my struggles.  Not that I thought I was the only person struggling with making healthy food choices.  But more accountability partners and a couple of close friends who will pray for me through this journey is just what this girl needs.

My first trip to the grocery store took two hours.  I read every label on every package.  I avoided the center aisles of the store as much as possible.  It is true that the best way to shop when trying to eat healthier is to shop the perimeter of the grocery store; produce, meat and dairy sections.   We have done really well this first two weeks.  However, we are coming up on the 4th of July weekend and I am thinking we need to schedule a “cheat day”.  (Did I hear a collective AMEN!?) 

Have you ever noticed when you finally decide to go on a diet, take on the challenge of a 10 day cleanse or even fast for personal or spiritual reasons every TV commercial is advertising just the things you are giving up.  It is almost like someone told on you and now you are being personally taunted by the big media box.  It doesn’t help that the screen is a 50″ and everything is digitally enhanced by HD and now the cupcakes are larger than life.

Just when the rules and the label reading were beginning to overwhelm me I found a little reprieve.  While surfing the net I was happy to stumble upon this article posted on yahoo. This might quite possibly help me to stick to my new healthy eating plan.  This is not a diet…this is a new way of eating.   Results to follow so stay tuned…

 The 5 Diet Rules It’s OK to break.

#1: Don’t eat after 7 PM.

Why it’s OK to break this rule: There’s nothing magical about avoiding eating at night. The key to weight loss success isn’t when you eat; it’s taking a close look at what you eat and staying within your daily calorie allotment, says Mosier. “It’s very helpful to keep a food diary and look at your eating patterns.” A study by Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research found that people who maintained a daily food diary had double the weight loss of those who didn’t keep any records. Writing down what you eat helps curb the urge to overindulge, by making you mindful of your dietary patterns and caloric intake, regardless of what time of day the food is consumed.

#2: Eat five to six small meals during the day.

Why it’s OK to break this rule: Although the theory behind this rule is that frequent eating keeps your metabolism stoked, the reality is that having more opportunities to eat often results in overeating, resulting in weight gain instead of weight loss. What’s more, new research from Purdue University founds that eating three regular-sized meals that include lean protein, such as chicken or tofu, made people feel more full than eating smaller, more frequent meals. The researchers also reported that eating three high protein meals also decreases late night eating and food cravings.

Avoid the worst fitness trends of all time.

#3: Stick to fat-free or low-fat foods.

Why it’s OK to break this rule: The American Heart Association recently reported that low-fat and fat-free foods can contribute to obesity, because these foods often contain as many or more calories than the full-fat versions, yet trick people into thinking that these are good choices for weight loss. Always check the nutrition facts on the label and avoid low-fat products that are loaded with sugar. Everyone, regardless of size, needs some fat in their diet to transport fat-soluble vitamins, such as A and E, around the body. Good fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, also play a role in heart health and may aid immune system function. The AHA advises limiting fat intake to less than 25 to 35 percent of total calories, with less than 7 percent of calories coming from saturated fat. Choose unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, nuts, or oily fish.

#4: Eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking.

Why it’s OK to break this rule: It’s true that studies consistently show that people who eat breakfast tend to weigh less and are more successful at maintaining weight loss. In fact, having breakfast daily is one of the habits that 78 percent of the “successful losers” who have enrolled in the National Weight Control Registry share. All of them have sustained a weight loss of 30 pounds or more for at least one year and some for up to 66 years. But that doesn’t mean you have to force yourself to eat first thing in the morning if you’re not hungry. Consuming breakfast later in the morning, perhaps after a workout to rev up your appetite, is equally effective. One study found that eating a big breakfast that’s high in protein and low in carbs helped overweight women lose an average of nearly 23 pounds.

#5: Cut out certain food groups.

Why it’s OK to break this rule: This “rule” recycles every few years. Some years we’re told to cut out red meat. Other years we’re told to avoid dairy or fruits. And we are always told to shun sugar. However, even with the willpower of iron, it’s hard to stick to a diet that leaves you feeling chronically deprived, which can set the stage for bingeing, Mosier points out. Instead, eat your favorite foods in moderation, and tweak recipes to cut down on calories. Understanding nutrition and taking a flexible, balanced approach to weight loss helps you make the smart food choices, without saddling yourself with the stress and frustration of a rigid diet that’s impossible to sustain over the long-term.

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Filed under All Things Foodie, postaweek2011