Sunday, March 28, 2010

Keeping Food Diary Doubles Weight Loss!!

Found this article while surfing the net.  Food Journaling is a bit of a PIA but became much easier after I started using The Daily Plate at Livestrong. com.  It really makes you conscious of what you are eating and how many calories we ingest ever day!!

Dieters Who Keep Track of What They Eat Lose Weight Twice as Fast

Dieters may be able to take solace in the fact that one of the most powerful weight-loss tools available may be as close as a pen and paper. 

Inn a recent study by the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, participants who kept food journals lost almost double the weight of their nonjournaling counterparts.

And at a time when Americans spend $35 billion a year on weight-loss products -- a figure larger than the gross domestic product of most developing countries -- the finding could be good news for those searching for an inexpensive route to a healthier weight.

The study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, focused on the efficacy of various behavioral weight-loss interventions in more than 1,500 overweight and obese adults.

Participants were schooled on lifestyle interventions, which included weekly group sessions, regular exercise, a heart-healthy diet, reduced alcohol consumption and the use of food diaries.

fter five months, participants lost an average of almost 13 pounds -- a significant amount, according to physicians. However, those who used a food diary more than five days a week lost almost twice as much weight as those who didn't. And perhaps more impressively, they kept the weight off.

When keeping food diaries, dieters write down, for better or worse, every calorie that passes through their lips each day.

Frank Bitzer, a 64-year-old retired project manager and study subject, lost 26 pounds during the study, and his cholesterol dropped to healthy levels. Today, four years after the end of the study, he has kept off 20 pounds and continues to feel the positive health effects. Asked about his experiences with keeping a food diary, he described it as "enlightening." He attributed much of his success to the ability to gain immediate information and "see the error of your ways."It enabled me to see how much of an impact it made with even just a slight change in your diet, such as having a bowl of ice cream or a fast-food cheeseburger," he says. "That can really skew your calorie intake."

Why the Pen Is Mightier Than the Pounds

But why do the diaries work? Experts agree that the ultimate value lies in the formation of a "foundation of personal accountability." Almost everyone agrees that accountability is the most important ingredient behind any successful lifestyle change, including weight loss.
Dr. Patrick O'Neil, director of the Weight Management Center at the Medical University of South Carolina, agrees. "Most of us don't really know how much we eat and drink; we have very charitable memories," he says.

In short, he explains, food diaries force an increased awareness of habits and eating patterns. By allowing patients to follow their eating patterns throughout the day, the visual diary can highlight pitfalls that may have previously gone unnoticed by a dieter.

Additionally, when clinicians such as physicians or dietitians review a diary, they can often point out problematic cues, triggers and habits that may be contributing to weight gain. The increased awareness and knowledge allows for targeted problem-solving to improve these troublesome situations. As O'Neil says, "Sometimes a little Monday-morning quarterbacking makes for a better score the next weekend."
Madelyn Fernstrom of the University of Pittsburgh Weight Management Center agrees, adding that food diaries help in "transferring that written record into a permanent mental database."

When Diaries Alone Are Not Enough

Study author Dr. Victor Stevens says that the power of food diaries lies in their flexibility, allowing them to be tailored for accountability for different goals -- from calorie counting to diet quality to overall assessment of eating habits.

But when it comes to a comprehensive weight management strategy, they may not be enough. Stevens suggests that in addition to using a food diary, some dieters may benefit further from joining an organized weight-loss program that provides social commitment and accountability.

If no formal programs are available, he says, "get organized with some friends and make a commitment to help each other."

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Facebook Comment of The Day!!

 Hope Laura doesn't mind me borrowing her Facebook Comment. 

Love the Common Sense thinking.........
Laura Contreras Cole
Biggest problem with p90x is the ever-marketing of a quick-fix. People looking for quick results are then shocked at the amount of work it requires to get 'em, or they believe after 90-days they're all done. Fitness is for LIFE. Think: The Tortoise and the Hare. Do it. Do it hard. Keep doing it. Die. :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Few Small Changes/Big Results?

Weight Loss Made Simple
By Natasha Vani, MSc., ATCP

Once again your New Year’s resolution was to lose weight. You set your goals and started working toward them, but now, after less than a month, you find that you have fallen off your schedule more times than you have stuck with it. What are your reasons?

Other than the common complaint of lack of time, let’s be honest—the most common reason is that watching your diet and exercising just seem like too much effort.

What if I told you that you can lose weight with minor adjustments?

What if I told you that people only fail when they try to make huge changes in their lives? Sit back and look at your goals. You probably told yourself something like this: No chocolate, no candy, no chips, no pop, no eating before bed and (of course) exercise, exercise, exercise! Well who truly follows that?

Here’s what I want you to do: instead of feeling guilty every time you fall off your plan, follow these two simple rules and make minor adjustments. In doing so I guarantee you will achieve your goals.

The Rules
Rule #1
Set a realistic weight loss goal. Do not attempt to lose more than 2 lbs of weight in a week. If you aim for more, you will fail to keep the weight off in the long term. Besides, 2 lbs per week is a solid 10 lbs of fat lost in less than a month and half. Not bad!

Rule #2
Understand what 2 lbs per week means in terms of calories. Since 1 lb of pure fat equals 3,500 calories, 2 lbs equals 7,000 calories. So, each week you need to create a caloric deficit of 7,000 calories. Divide this by seven and you have 1,000 calories a day that you need to somehow get rid of. That may sound like a lot, but you know the best approach to losing weight is through diet and exercise, so, take 1,000 calories and divide it by two.
Your new goal is twofold:
a) to burn 500 calories a day through exercise, and
b) to eat 500 calories less.
f this still sounds like too much, no problem, just aim to lose 1.5 or 1 lb per week. To lose 1 lb a week you only have to burn 250 calories a day through exercise and eat 250 calories less each day.

Let’s assume you are aiming to lose one pound a week. The next step is to come up with activities you can do every day to burn 250 calories, as well as foods that you can eliminate or reduce to decrease your intake by 250 calories.

For caloric information on various foods, visit the Truestar Food Trakker.
To give you an idea, here are some common foods that contain roughly 250 calories:
  • 1 muffin
  • 1 bagel
  • 1 chocolate bar
  • 1 small bag of chips
  • 500 ml of juice
Here’s how to burn 250 calories in a nutshell:
In the gym
  • 35 minutes of cycling
  • 30 minutes of rowing
  • 30 minutes of cross training
  • 30 minutes of stair climbing
  • 90 minutes of weight training
In the pool
  • 35 minutes of light effort swimming
  • 40 minutes of water aerobics
Fun winter activities
  • 45 minutes of skating
  • 90 minutes of snowmobiling
  • 35 minutes of snowshoeing
  • 40 minutes of tobogganing
  • 35 minutes of cross country skiing
  • 55 minutes of downhill skiing
General activities
  • 1 hour of walking briskly
  • 35 minutes of light running
  • 45 minutes of dancing
For other activities and the calories they burn, visit the Truestar CALObrator.

One last tip to keep you going
If you can’t exercise one day, don’t stress about it, simply eat a little less that day. And if the opposite is true, that is, you found indulge a little too much, just exercise a little harder. Finding and maintaining this balance of energy in versus energy out is the key to successful weight loss. Keep it simple and enjoy your triumph!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

More Sanity vs Insanity.

As many a diet plan has stated (when describing the competition), "rapid weight loss tricks your body into thinking you're starving and overwhelming you with hunger."

We've watched ourselves and others try this thing or that, only to balloon out again as soon as the goal is reached...or before. I, for one, am saying it's time to stop all the diet programs and live the way we already know is healthy.

There is a rational, common sense, dare I say, simple way to reach our optimum weight and stay there.

Diet Pills, Plans, Programs And Publications exist for one sell you something. You can follow the plan in any of the ads next to this article and lose weight. Your doctor is probably the best judge of which program is best for your specific health condition.

Most doctors I've spoken to say the same thing that the diet products say, "A healthy, well-balanced diet with lots of vegetables is necessary to lose weight." Now, the plans may differ on what the right balance is but they all say balance is required. Even the ones guaranteeing you fast weight loss by "starving" your body of something (carbs, fats, etc.) caution you to transition back to, what...a well-balanced diet?

So, why don't we transition ourselves without the expensive pills, plans, programs or publications? With a doctor's advice, it should be easy to transition to a healthy diet a little at a time, without shocking our system into starvation.

Eat A Little Less: Our common sense diet begins with a gradual transition to eating less. Not that anyone in the diet industry will tell you, but, if you are overweight, you're probably eating too least that's the way it works with me.

One person told me, "Glen, to lose weight, you don't need to do push-ups, just push-backs."

Pushing back from the dinner table is the concept behind gradually eating less. We don't need that second serving...and certainly not that dessert. So, transition to eating less by taking smaller servings for a month (while transitioning to at least 3 meals per day).

Then, in a few weekly meals, eat only one serving...then 10 meals...then all of them. When offered another serving, get used to smiling while saying, "No, thank you! I've had enough!" Since most of us eat foods that are unhealthy, our common sense diet needs to do more than eat less. We need to slowly transition to more healthy foods.

Eat Unhealthy Less Often: It isn't that we can't ever eat pie, ice cream, cake, pizza, ribs, etc...It's that we can't eat something like that every day. Probably not even every week. We'll get into how to transition away from these things in the next section, but first, let's accept that they are not healthy foods.

We all know this even while we're chewing on that last tasty bite. Common sense says, you can't stay on a diet that rules these things out or replaces the real thing with those imitations that taste like cardboard. Eating is about more than nutrition! So, have them! If someone serves you a piece of pie, enjoy it! Go out to eat less than once a month but enjoy it when you do. Christmas party...have fun! Instead of imprisoning yourself, empower yourself by making those things a special treat.

Do you have a favorite dessert or meal? Agree with yourself that you can have that as a reward, once you reach your goal weight. That way you'll make room for eating healthier.

Eat A Little Healthier: Just like eating less, what makes this diet work is a gradual change to healthier foods. Begin by developing a taste for fresh green and yellow vegetables. While adding salad and lots of veggies to main meals, cut the carbs back to only one serving. Then, a month or so later, replace dessert with fresh fruit. A month later, replace chips with light crackers. Then, ice cream with sugar-free pudding, for instance. Replace beef, lamb and pork with chicken, turkey and fish for 35 % of your meals, then 60%, 80 %, 95%. Add fiber and fiber foods to your diet a little at a time. Add plain water to your diet, gradually working up to 10-12 8oz. glasses a day. By eating little healthier gradually, our bodies adjust without going into shock.

Shop Healthy: It's difficult to eat healthy when there are so many unhealthy things around the house to eat. As we gradually move from unhealthy foods, the supermarket becomes a very tempting place.

By following this one rule, we can eliminate 90 % of the temptation to abandon our new diet. Here's the rule:

If you don't buy it, you can't eat it.

We started this article with the idea that you can lose weight on all diet plans. That's the easy part! The hard part is staying trim and healthy without the diet plan.

That's impossible unless we've developed the habits of eating a healthy, well-balanced diet. It's the weakness of every diet that, after you reach your goal you have to learn how to live without the diet program.

Isn't it just good common sense to reach your goal weight by eating a healthy, well-balanced diet in the first place? 

That's why it's called the common sense diet!

Glen Williams is Webmaster for, founder and CEO of EHF, Inc. He has done extensive research on personal and family health and fitness issues and has been helping and advising people on health since 1987. You can comment on his articles at Health And Fitness Forums.

Are All Carbs Bad?

The Common Sense Diet

Use common 
sense to lose weightWe've entered the Twilight Zone when it comes to the multitude of diets being promoted today. Starting with the Atkins Diet, then the South Beach Diet.

Both higher in protein, lower in carbs, but the distinction should be quality of carbs, not singling out one nutrient entirely. If you are on the Atkins Diet or South Beach Diet simply adjust from eating low quality carbs like refined flour and sugar products (think comes in a box) to eating more whole food products like fresh vegetables and fruits - yes fruits.

Apples vs. Apple Jacks - You be the Judge
I know the traditional Atkins Diet doesn't advocate much fruit (too high in sugar) but think about that for one minute. My strong belief is that an apple is a good food, a bowl of Apple Jacks cereal may not be on an equal level. One is highly processed sweetened by added white sugar and corn syrup, and one is natural, plucked from a tree and sweetened by the sun. Which would you choose? Don't shun fresh fruit for the sake of following your low carb diet to the letter.

Eliminating healthy, wholesome foods is not the best way to learn to eat better, but severely cutting back on the frequency of eating highly processed foods is. I saw a site which called it GM or MM: God Made or Man Made. If you think of those terms when you go to choose your foods, it starts to make more sense. No one says you shouldn't eat chips, or whatever strikes your fancy, but make them a treat - and eat the GM foods more often.

Common Sense Diet
Common sense will answer the question about what to eat. If you are on Atkins, South Beach or any variation of low carb diet, avoid processed foods, not natural foods. Stop using "instant" breakfast, and cook whole rolled oats for instance. Sure you might have to get up 10 minutes earlier, oh well. You're worth it! 

You can still stay on a higher protein food plan, but this one minor adjustment will allow you to continue with your eating plan for a lifetime, rather than a short-time. I'd go insane if I couldn't eat my daily apple, banana or other fruit. I love fruit. I think there's a very good reason humans desire sweet foods - Vitamin C, and other nutrients, including bioflavonoids.

Addicted to Fruit?
I heard someone complain they were "addicted to fruit" and I had to wonder, what do they eat? The person who refuses to eat fruit because they believe it is too high in sugar, probably does eat cookies, crackers and sugary cereals. They might even drink artificially flavored and sweetened drinks, but they refuse to eat a natural food, grown from our earth? That makes no sense, if you think about it. 

Did our planet develop and thrive based on processed foods? No, of course not. They are very recent in the evolution of our world. Very recent. In fact, we've had processed foods less than 200 years while our planet is millions of years old.

With the high incidence of obesity, and our high consumption of processed foods, it's hard not to draw the conclusion that one causes the other. You won't hear big industry stating that case because our economy depends on us buying the products being produced by the companies that employ us. 

You'll never see it reported that "scientists discovered refined flour kills," even if it were proven true because it doesn't support our way of life. We need industry.

Witnessing the epidemic of food illnesses such as Mad Cow, and now Bird Flu, I can envision a society without the mass produced meat industry. It will come to pass—nothing but your local farm will be allowed to sell meat, because the big farm industry cannot guarantee safety of the food supply.

Meat will become much more expensive because when they can no longer mass produce it, there is nowhere for prices to go but up.

So, do we whine and cry and moan about our misfortune or do we start to think of meat as something to savor and enjoy like the Sunday roasts we had years ago? Most families never ate meat every day then - and we weren't so fat either. We simply didn't eat as much processed foods.

Yes, progress marches on, but when it comes to your body, common sense rules the day. The Common Sense Diet!

Try it on for size today.

About the Author...
Kathryn Martyn is a master NLP and EFT Practitioner and has developed an 8-step process for ending the emotional struggle with weight loss. She is the owner of and runs a successful practice in Vancouver, Washington.

Interesting Article on Motivation!!

Betting on Weight Loss - Is it a Gamble?

Posted on Jul 10th 2009 9:00AM by Bethany Sanders
Photo: Lisa Kong,
Think you can't lose weight? I bet you can. Let's put money on it -- or not. When it comes to money being a motivator for weight loss, the jury is decidedly out.

Earlier this year, we heard about studies that found that some people -- especially men -- were motivated to lose weight when it meant making or losing money. Sites like and FatBet allow people to put money where their mouths are -- betting on their ability to take the weight off for good, and workplace bets were becoming popular too. But a new study suggests that when it comes to getting serious about weight loss, money just isn't a factor.

More than 2,400 people -- all overweight or obese -- enrolled in workplace weight loss programs were studied. One group was offered $60 for maintaining weight loss for one year. A second group of folks paid $100, with the promise it would be returned once they lost 5 percent of their weight. A third was told they'd receive $20 just for staying in the program for 12 months.

What they found was that -- meh -- the money really didn't matter. The group that lost the most weight, 3.6 pounds, was the one with participants who paid $100. But weight loss in the other groups was modest -- 1.4 pounds -- at best.

Perhaps the problem was that researchers didn't offer enough money. After all, weight loss is hard work. It takes dedication, mental and physical discipline, time and effort. Sixty dollars? No way. Ante up and maybe we'll talk. Better yet, maybe the wiser idea is to find motivation in a more important, lasting source -- yourself, your health, your future.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Simple is Good Common Sense!!

Every good weight loss program has to address both sides of the energy equation: calories consumed (diet) and calories burned (physical activity).

The great thing about aerobic physical activity like brisk walking is that a person can get fit while losing weight at the same time.

Fitness cannot be attained just by diet; in fact if much weight is lost by dieting alone, significant amounts of muscle will be lost as well as fat. That is a bad outcome for a person's metabolism.

Establishing the habit of walking every day and gradually working up to 60 to 90 minutes of daily brisk walking should produce both weight loss and a high level of fitness for adults. (Getting advance medical clearance for this activity is important for older adults and for anyone with a chronic medical condition.)

Sources: "Health Risks of Overweight and Obesity" (accessed February 12, 2010) National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. "2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans" Chapter Two, (accessed February 12, 2010) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The Mayo Clinic Diet, The Mayo Clinic, published 201

Read more at Suite101: Walk Every Day to Lose Weight: A Permanent Weight Loss Program for Adults

Walking Motivation Moment!!!

Does 10,000 steps sound overwhelming?

A little perspective: It translates into 4.5 to 5 miles, or one hour of rapid walking. Still sound like a lot? Try breaking it into shorter bits: three 20-minute errands on foot, one breezy 30-minute walk before breakfast and another after dinner. Or simply commit to getting up once an hour, every hour throughout your day and moving for five minutes.

However you break down the steps, there's only one fabulous result: a slimmer, more energetic you. In 60 minutes of walking, you'll burn 300 to 500 additional calories.

Keep that up for 10 days and you'll lose a pound. Keep it up for a year and you'll be 35 pounds lighter — without a minute of dieting.

By Julia A. Savacool in Good Housekeeping

Monday, March 15, 2010

Common Sense Dieting!!

 I found an article by a writer named Mark Kantrowitz and edited it some......Nothing alarming here but it makes more sense than another silly fad diet....basic, good common sense!!!

There are many diets, and most don't work. Some try to get you to lose weight too quickly, leading to a yo-yo effect as you regain all the weight you lost (and maybe a bit more). Others encourage you to eat an unbalanced and unhealthy mix of foods. There are also magic diet pills and herbal supplements that perhaps put your health at risk.

Many of these diets try to convince you of their power through pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo about "good" and "bad" nutrients and unproven claims to change your metabolism to burn more fat. 

But the real goal of these diets is to produce income for their creators.

The key to dieting is not losing weight -- most diets will allow you to shed pounds -- but in keeping the weight off after you've lost it. Fad diets that require major changes in behavior won't succeed in the long run. Diets that make only minor changes in behavior can be continued long-term, making it easier to maintain the weight loss.

The simple diet described below is based on sound principles of weight control. It is just plain common sense that if you eat less and exercise more, you'll lose weight. The diet described below helps you achieve this by gradually changing your habits, leading to sustainable lasting results. It won't be as easy as popping a few pills, but you can do it. Judge for yourself whether you think this diet will work for you. 

Cutting 100 calories a day from your diet will let you lose about 10 pounds a year. That's just one can of soda a day. (The mathematics is straightforward. 100 calories per day multiplied by 365 days in a year is 36,500 calories in a year. To lose a pound, you have to burn about 3,500 calories. So that means that a can of soda a day is the equivalent of 36,500 calories divided by 3,500 calories per pound, or 10.4 pounds.) 

Take it Slow

It took you a long time to gain all that weight. It is going to take you just as long to lose it. If you try to lose it overnight, you will end up regaining it just as quickly. Starving yourself doesn't work on a long-term basis. Your goal should be to find a way to lose the weight in a slow but steady manner. Such a diet will be sustainable, allowing you to keep the weight off permanently.

Generally, if you want to lose weight, you should aim to have the difference between your calorie consumption and the calories you burn be around 1,500 calories a day. But a lot depends on the level at which you are starting.

Trying to lose several pounds a week may be overdoing it. A better goal is half a pound to a pound a week. This is achievable and sustainable. It may take you more than a year to get back to a healthier weight, but you will reach it if you take it slow. 

Small changes are the key to sustainability. Take the dieting one small step at a time. Make a small change, get used to the change, and then make further changes, instead of trying to get from point A to point B all at once. 

You should also plan on using a combination of diet and exercise to control your weight. Doing one without the other is unlikely to be successful. 

Track your Weight

Weigh yourself on a daily basis, and keep a log of your weight. One of the best ways to do this is in a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel, where you can graph the results and see trends.
Tracking your weight gives you feedback. It makes you aware of how much you weigh, and whether you are gaining or losing. Just awareness of your weight may make it easier to control your weight. If you see that you're continuing to gain weight, you can make further small changes. 

Use Portion Control

Counting calories can help you lose weight, but most people find portion control to be more effective. Portion control allows you to eat the foods you like, just a little less of them.

You know how much food you usually put on your plate, and whether you go back for second and third helpings. Just try to cut back the amount of food you eat by a little each time. If you help yourself to multiple servings, try eliminating one of the helpings, or reducing the amount of food you put on your plate each time. 

For example, instead of eating a whole sandwich, try eating a half sandwich, and save the rest for tomorrow's meal. (Or toss it. It may seem like a waste to throw away food, but it's better for it to go to waste than for it to go to your waist.) Eat just a single bowl of cereal, instead of two or three. Eat that calorie-rich dessert every other day, instead of every day. Instead of a 20-ounce bottle of soda, drink a 12-ounce can.

Some people find it helpful to serve themselves on a smaller size plate, such as a salad plate instead of a dinner plate. Most people have a tendency to fill up their plate with food, treating it as a target, so if you use a smaller plate, there'll be less food on your plate.

Don't eat out of the package or with the refrigerator door open. Mindless grazing like this makes it difficult for you to appreciate just how much you are eating. Often, you'll be eating for the sake of eating and not because you are hungry. Instead, put the food you want to eat on a plate, and sit down at the table to eat it

By seeing the total amount of food you are consuming all at once, instead of in small impromptu snacks, you will naturally inhibit your consumption, eating a little less.

Remember, your stomach is about the size of your first. If you eat more than two fistfuls of food at each meal, you're probably eating too much.

When you start to use portion control, start slow. Don't eliminate too much at once. Cut back a little once a week, and then try to maintain that level for a while before you cut something else. Try to reduce your calorie intake gradually, not suddenly.

Some people find it helpful to have two small planned snacks a day, in between the meals. 

Make Substitutions for Calorie-Rich Food

Portion control can only work so far. If you're eating creme-filled donuts, inhaling ice cream sundaes and drinking soda every day, you may be reaching your calorie limit in just one little snack. 

It helps if you keep a diary for a day or two of everything you normally consume. Then, review the diary to see how many calories are associated with each item. Don't forget that the nutritional information is given in terms of servings, and consuming the entire package often represents several servings. So multiply the calorie count per serving with the actual number of servings. 

Reviewing the list, you'll see several items with very high calorie counts. Try substituting alternatives that have lower calorie counts and are more filling, such as fruits and vegetables. Substitute pretzels for potato chips, fruit for candy bars, fish or chicken for red meat, a small cookie or two for a creme-filled donut and ice cream, skim milk instead of 2% milk and 2% milk instead of whole milk, and a glass of water for a can of soda. (Frozen yogurt is not a good substitute for ice cream, because frozen yogurt is almost as bad these days.) 

Also make substitutions for your condiments: mustard instead of mayo, jam or cream cheese instead of butter or margarine, salsa instead of cheese dip, and fat-free dressing instead of creamy dressing. 

Try to avoid fried foods, since such foods stimulate appetite and make it harder to stop eating when you are full. 

Drink Water

Water has no calories. When you feel the urge to eat a snack or drink a can of soda, drink a glass of water first. Often you eat when you don't really feel hungry, but have gotten in the habit of snacking. If you drink a glass of water first, you'll start to substitute a new and healthier habit. Eventually, the glass of water will be enough. 

Water will cause your stomach to feel full sooner without any calories or carbohydrates. Drinking a full glass of water at least 15 minutes before any meal can help you lose weight. 

When eating a meal, take frequent sips of water. The water will make you feel full, causing you to eat less. 


The experts encourage you to exercise for half an hour three times a week. It is actually better to exercise for half an hour to an hour a day. But most people don't exercise for even an hour a week, so something is better than nothing. It is especially important to exercise if you have a sedentary lifestyle. 

Just as you are cutting your calorie consumption gradually, you should start exercising gradually. If you overexert yourself, you won't be willing to continue with the exercise regimen. 

A key to exercising is to find something enjoyable about the exercise. This can range from a type of exercise you enjoy (e.g., walking your dog) to exercising with a friend (e.g., taking a walk with your spouse). Some people find it helpful to exercise in front of the TV, since that will distract you from the fact that you're exercising. 

For example, I have an exercise bike and treadmill in front of the TV, and watch one or two DVDs each time I exercise. I currently exercise 2-3 hours a night. I started off with just 15 minutes of exercise per night, and built up to my current level over the course of three years. As soon as I stopped exercising, I would pause the DVD player. I only watch TV when I'm exercising, so if I want to watch TV I have to exercise. 

Eat a Balanced Diet

Most people eat too much meat, eggs, salt, cookies, cake and ice cream, and too little fruit, vegetables and whole grains like rice. While you gradually cut calories, you should also try gradually shifting yourself into a more balanced, healthier diet. The key, of course, is to make the changes gradually through portion control. Cutting out the foods you love suddenly will cause you to drop the diet. You don't need to eliminate them entirely, just eat a little less of them.
Often it helps to focus on adding more fruit and vegetables to your diet, and to eat them before the rest of your meal. Substitute an apple or orange for one of your snacks. This will gradually cause you to eat less of the less healthy foods, by filling your stomach.
If you don't particularly like apples or oranges, try other fruits. I happen to like pears and mandarin oranges. Organic fruit and vegetables that aren't force-ripened also taste better.
Don't try to make excuses that a slice of apple pie or fruit cake is a serving of fruit. Pies and cakes are mostly sugar.
If your diet is unbalanced, you should take a daily multivitamin in addition to gradually restoring balance to your diet.

Control When You Eat

Put together a schedule of when you will eat. This can include the times of breakfast, lunch and dinner, and one snack in between each meal. Try sticking to the schedule. If you get the urge to eat at an unscheduled moment, look to see how long it is until the next snack or meal, and try waiting until then. (A good schedule is 7:00 am breakfast, 9:30 am snack, 12:00 pm lunch, 3:00 pm snack, 6:30 pm dinner.)
Whatever you do, do not snack after dinner.
When you eat, eat more slowly, savoring the flavor. It takes about 20 minutes for you to feel full after eating, so if you eat more slowly, you will end up eating less food. Try to avoid inhaling your food. Chew your food thoroughly, instead of swallowing it whole.

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Note On Cortisol and Over Exertion

I felt pretty crappy after hitting the caffeine pretty hard then walking 5 miles during the course of the day.   Did a little research then came up with this little tidbit. Its part of a whole article entitled "Recognizing the Signs of Stress and Over Training"

I took out the most important paragraph and posted it here to keep things simple and easy!!

"Over-training ties into the fact that hormones work in pairs. When adrenaline is released in response to stress, the even more powerful hormone, cortisol, is also released into our bloodstream. Excess cortisol stimulates glucose production and simultaneously catabolizes (breaks down) lean muscle tissue for energy. This is obviously not a good outcome for anyone on a fat loss program or for someone trying to build lean muscle tissue."

What are the symptoms of over-training?

* Tiredness, bordering on apathy

* Chronic fatigue

* Insomnia

* Injuries that do not heal

* Loss of lean muscle tissue

* Frequent colds and infections, due to a lowered immune system

* Biochemical depression

* Craving stimulants caffeine and sugars

* Having a tough time getting started in the morning

* Muscle cramps, due to mineral deficiencies

* Feeling 'brain-dead'

Teya Skae M.A.
Clinical Kinesiologist/Nutritionist
EFT Expert and Coach
Teya is the founder of Empowered Living

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Top 10 Reasons You Keep Getting Fatter

If you exercise  and eat right but keep getting fatter then this will be the most important article you'll ever read.

Here's why. In this article I'm going to share with you the top 10 reasons why you keep getting fatter. Studies have PROVEN it. My experience has shown it. Bottom line is... at least one of these 10 hidden "weight gainers" is your primary culprit... guaranteed!

Here's the best part...

You can fix them right now. TODAY! It really is pretty simple stuff. Anyone can do it.

Now most likely you'll pinpoint three or four reasons on this list that are packing on the pounds. Maybe more.

But that's great news. Just means that if you address them quickly then you'll be able to start seeing significant results. Only takes a few days or less! I've witnessed this happen dozens of times to people just like you.

So read through the list of "The Top 10 Reasons You Keep Getting Fatter" and find your culprits. Then fix them. That's it.

Here's the list...
1. You believe you were created to be fat. That it's in your genetics.
2. You're living a "low carb" lifestyle.
3. You're dieting, cutting calories, skipping meals or flat out starving yourself.
4. You're consuming too much bread.
5. You continue to make bad food choices. (Bowl of ice cream at night.)
6. You're stuffing your face with "starchy" carbs like pasta or pizza crust.
7. You do not have a specific "goal" weight and a specific time-frame for achieving it.
8. You're consuming lots and lots of refined sugar. (Just check your labels for things like high fructose corn syrup.)
9. You're not working out at least five days each week.
10. You're not keeping your body in a constant state of hydration.

So what is the #1 reason that people struggle? Well from what I've seen there are actually four that stand out as the biggest culprits. They are #6, #8, #9, #10. But any of the other items could definitely be your reasons for getting fatter.

Here's how to make this really really easy...
Just take the top two items on this list that you feel have caused you to keep getting fatter and focus all your attention on them.

For example... if you strongly feel that item #9 and #1 are the dirty devils holding you back, then just begin to exercise five days per week and cement into your head that many studies have found that genetics play almost NO role in abnormal body fat

If you do that for two weeks and don't see results, then just try another couple of items on this list that you believe might be it.

That's all.

Super simple stuff. But it's wildly effective!
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Fad Diets Don't Work!!!

Excellent article from a Teen Site called "Take Five"

Time to get real and knock off the stupidity!!!

5 Ways to Spot a Fad Diet

Lots of today's popular diets take advantage of our desire to drop weight quickly. Unfortunately, though, "quick-fix" diets don't work.

Here are 5 clues that a diet may be more about empty promises than real results:
  1. The diet is based on drastically cutting back calories. Starvation-type diets that require the body to fast often promise quick results. But our bodies simply aren't designed to drop pounds quickly. In fact, doctors say it's nearly impossible for a healthy, normally active person to lose more than 2 to 3 pounds per week of actual fat, even on a starvation diet.

    Here's the trick that very low-calorie diets rely on: The body's natural reaction to near-starvation is to dump water. So most, if not all, of the weight lost on quick-weight-loss diets is not fat — it's just water. And the body sucks this lost water back up like a sponge once a person starts eating normally again.

  2. The diet is based on taking special pills, powders, or herbs. These are usually just gimmicks — and the only thing they slim down is your wallet.

    Many diet pills contain laxatives or diuretics that force a person's body to eliminate more water. Just like restricted-calorie diets, the weight lost with these supplements is mostly water, not fat.

    Other supplements claim that their ingredients speed up metabolism; suppress appetite; or block the absorption of fat, sugars, or carbohydrates. For most diet supplements, there's no reliable scientific research to back up their claims. And doctors consider diet supplements risky for teens because not much is known about how the ingredients affect the growing body.

  3. The diet tells you to eat only specific foods or foods in certain combinations. There's no reliable scientific proof that combining certain foods works. And limiting the foods you eat means you might not get all the nutrition you need.

  4. The diet makes you completely cut out fat, sugar, or carbs. Depriving our bodies of needed food groups is a bad idea (especially when they're still growing). It's better to eat smaller portions in well-rounded meals (meals that contain servings of protein, grains, fruits, and veggies). When your body gets the right balance of nutrition, it's less likely to send you willpower-busting cravings! Eating smaller portions also helps you set good eating habits that will help you keep the weight off. 
  5. The diet requires you to skip meals or replace meals with special drinks or food bars. As with diets that ban certain food groups, skipping or substituting meals can mean you don't get the nutrition needed to support healthy development. Plus, you miss out on the enjoyment of sharing a satisfying meal with friends or family.

How Much Walking to Lose Weight?

I've done tons of reading on this subject, so I will give you my opinion on how much walking needs to be done!!

30 Minutes - Basic Health Gains. Lower Blood Pressure, etc

60 Minutes - Damage Control for the Days Eating. Break Even on 
                       the Days Food Consumption. Even while Bad. 

90 Minutes - What is necessary to actually lose Weight!!

Hope that's not to depressing but it's the bottom line from all of the articles I've digested.

Keep in mind it doesn't all have to be done at once!!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Captain's Log - 3/10/10

Decided to give my blog some focus dedicating mainly on good solid health advice minus most of the BS you see and hear out there!!

The "Captain's Log" segments are mainly a way of giving my blog a personal touch.

I am finding out as I navigate through middle age that the best exercise has to be something I like that I can do consistently!

Yes..I have a gym membership and am involved in Treadmills, Ellipticals and Strength Training but I have found the most consistent thing I do is Walk an Hike!

I can Walk or Hike just about every day and I can do an awful lot of it if I break it up during the day. Today I knocked out 5 miles in 3 different sessions and it didn't even inconvenience me!

I even had time to eat dinner, watch playoff Hoops, and even do the Laundry!! 

We are getting unseasonably warm temps in the 50's here in Northwestern Ohio and it feels great to finally get outside after spending the winter at the Gym!!  I've been averaging at least 4 miles a day now for about a week and, mind you, I refuse to get out of Bed early for anything!!

The big test will come next week when the temps fall back in the 40's!!

Common Sense from the Calorie Control Council!!

Forget Fad Diets

Are you trying to lose those pesky pounds gained over the holiday season? Instead of turning to a fad diet in search of a quick fix, try healthy eating and physical activity, say experts.

The British Dietetic Association (BDA) says there are many varied "fad" diets offering miracle weight loss, but warns consumers that losing the pounds while on one of them is simply due to eating fewer calories.

The BDA has produced a list of the "worst fad diets to avoid this New Year" including the maple syrup, detox, blood group, warrior, peanut butter and banana or the cabbage/fat-burning soup diets.

The professional body for British dietitians also took aim at the Atkins and the Zone diets, instead urging consumers to reduce their food intake, exercise and eat more fruit and vegetables. 

Walking Motivation 101

One of the best kinds of exercise is also the simplest!!!

Walking is the one thing anyone can do just about anytime!!

Based on research studies, walking on a regular basis has the following health benefits:

  • It reduces your risk of dying from heart disease or stroke
  • It lowers your risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, colon cancer, and diabetes
  • It lowers high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • It protects against falling and bone fractures in older adults
  • It may help protect against certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer
  • It increases the number of calories your body uses, which helps to control your weight
  • It helps control joint swelling and pain from arthritis.
  • Helps keep your bones, muscles, and joints healthy
  • Reduces anxiety and depression, boosting your mood
  • Helps you handle stress
  • Helps you feel more energetic
  • Helps you sleep better
  • Improves your self-esteem