Life is Short: Don’t Wait, Lose Weight!

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to make excuses for your not losing weight or keeping it off?  Days come, days go and you are still waiting for the magic right moment.  Or you gained a few and you are waiting to work those few off.

I certainly have had my own excuses.  Here is the deal.  If you want to lose weight, you have to get your butt in gear and stop the excuses.  Ask yourself what you are doing to stop yourself from losing and find a way around it.

Examples:

1.   “I just can’t do it.”  (But, yes you can!)

2.  “My body is holding onto fat and won’t lose weight.”  (Go see your doctor and find out if there is a problem, not just assume it!”

3.  “I don’t have time right now.”  (Cut something out that you don’t have to do to find the time.)

4.   “I am too stressed.”  (Exercise will help your stress, and you will lose weight, so that is just an excuse because there will always be a reason to wait!)

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10 Things You Can and Should Do to Lose Weight:

(Rules that skinny people follow)

1.  Figure out what protein snacks you need to bring with you during the day so that you are eating small protein foods every 3-4 hours.  If you let your body go without food for too long, then it goes into starvation mode and holds onto the weight longer.  I bring small individual bags of nuts or low-carb protein bars.

2.  Eat a breakfast every morning.  In a hurry, I grab a hard-boiled egg that I buy pre-done from Costco or Trader Joes.  Not in a hurry, I make some eggs with cheese in the AM.  Doesn’t take long and it is filling.

3.  Bring non sugary fluids with you and fill up on fluids all day long.

4.  Prepare earlier the night before or on weekends to have breakfast, lunch and dinner foods and bring them with you for lunch or to work or after if you don’t have the money to eat out somewhere where you CHOOSE healthy proteins, salads and vegetables for a meal–and it has to be the right proportion of food (4 ounces of meat), handful of veggies.  You can also have two small servings of fruit per day, but keep in mind that some fruits are higher in carbs (bananas) and some are lower in carbs (berries/citrus’).

5.  Eat 6 small proteins per day.  Eat two small servings of fruits per day and 4 small servings of vegetables per day.

6.  Avoid sugar and high carbs and keep carbs down (between 50 to 100g of carbs per day).

7.  Read labels of things before you eat them.

8.  Exercise!  Get in at least 30 minutes, 3 times per week and more if you can do it.

9.  If stressed, don’t eat food, go for a walk, have a drink with no sugar/carbs.  Or talk to someone.

10.  Put yourself first for half an hour per day.  Learn to cut down on something each day to get in the exercise.  I have put off folding laundry to get in some time on the elliptical.  The laundry can wait, but not your weight!

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No more excuses:  MOTIVATE and start now.  Anytime is a great time to start!

CHANGE! Giving up means Gaining–but not in Weight!

“One reason that people resist change is that they focus on what they have to give up, rather than what they have to gain.” –Rick Godwin

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How many of you don’t like the idea of dieting because you feel like you are giving up your favorite foods or that your diet will be boring and no fun?

Giving up the wrong foods and the wrong way of eating lets you gain so much in self-esteem and being healthy.

Let’s face it, you have been doing it “wrong” for years or you wouldn’t be here right now.  I know that is true, I have lived it.  And yes, you might have a health issue (like me) or aging (like me) and it is harder to lose weight and you can’t eat nearly all of the same things you used to love to eat.

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Look at it this way.  How lucky for you to eat all of those so-bad-for-you foods for so long, but now it is time to grow up and learn how to control yourself.  You are not a child anymore and you don’t have to eat all of your favorite things every day.

I eat at a salad and sandwich shop a lot and every time I am there, I am shocked to see how many patrons who are overweight, buy a bag of potato chips with their healthy salad or sandwich.  If you want to be thin, you must have portion control and you have to count carbs.

I don’t eat sandwiches for lunch anymore because there are anywhere from 11 to 36g of carbs PER slice of bread.  And the bag of chips has about 14g of carbs.  So, if you eat a sandwich with a bag of chips, you could be eating anywhere from 36 to 86g of carbs per lunch (without counting meat, cheese, etc) and sugary carby soda.  If you want to lose weight, you have to eat between 50g and 100g of carbs per day and you just had almost all of it in one sitting.  This is why people find it hard to eat right or diet.  They have had NO idea how to count carbs and eat in a way that is conducive to a maintaining a normal weight.  Now, you can eat all of this if you are going to go for a run later…but how many of you do that?

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But, even my own family member who refused to change her food habits has finally changed after she was told she is VERY pre-diabetic.  Do you have to wait until you are that sick to finally do the right thing for yourself?  Go to Overeater’s Anonymous or a Medically supervised plan (like Lindora), join a workout club or group exercise (like my Pilates and Yoga–start with the beginner classes), but get help and do it right for the New Year–this year should have prosperity and well-being.  Do it for yourself.

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Stressed Spelled Backwards is Desserts!

Sorry, I have been remiss in my blog writing.  Life has a way of getting in the way of things you love to do.  I have had another “diagnosis” of another medical issue (not related to weight) and I have been a bit bummed out.  And what happens when you are stressed or sad?  Cravings.  Luckily, they haven’t been too bad and I have stuck to the usual nuts and cheese snacks…but still now and then you need something tasty.

So, I found some GREAT low-carb ice cream bars.  They have anywhere from 11g to 13g of carbs per bar and they are delicious.

Carb Smart has a line of ice cream and ice cream bars of all different types.

Here is my favorite Carb Smart bar and I found them at my local grocery store, Fresh and Easy and Smart and Final. They are also at Wal-Mart (and they do melt if they not in the refrigerator).

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I also discovered that another brand makes low-carb ice cream bars and sandwiches:  Bluebunny.com.  They have a WHOLE line of low-carb products!

They have a locator:  http://www.bluebunny.com/About/Locator.aspx

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So, you can have ice cream, it is “measured out” through being in a bar and you can’t overdo it.  And it has chocolate bits on it–and some have nuts!  And it is low-carb!  You can’t beat it!

Sugar Does Not Reduce Stress: There are Better Ways to De-Stress

I have a friend in my Sunday Pilates class.  She is pretty awesome.  She works hard, works out like crazy and has lost a ton of weight.  She is in excellent shape, but she desperately wants to lose a bit more weight.  Yet, she is under a lot of anxiety and stress and tends to run to sugar for her comfort.  I am writing this article in her honor!

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Things that are BAD for anxiety:

Going to sugar and carbs is a way for many people to deal with their anxiety.  However, it actually is counter-productive.  It is actually the worst choice for anxiety.  Sweets (including sugar, honey and corn syrup) makes us temporarily feel better.,Here’s why: Sugar is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream. The absorption causes an initial high or surge of energy. But that surge wears off as the body increases its insulin production to remove the sugar from your bloodstream. The result: You’re left feeling tired and low.  It also makes you continue in a vicious cycle of SUGAR and STRESS!

Vicious_Cycle

Going to coffee isn’t going to help.  Instead, drink water because if you drink coffee, you are actually dehydrating.  Some people drink coffee and other beverages that contain caffeine (tea, cola, and hot chocolate) to help boost their energy levels. The problem is that caffeine has been shown to inhibit levels of serotonin in the brain, and, when serotonin levels are suppressed, you can become depressed and feel irritable.  Even mild dehydration can cause depression. Caffeine also can keep you awake, leading to stress and anxiety. Remember that you need to sleep well to be in a positive mood.

Going to alcohol is not good either.  Some people drink alcohol because it seems like a good way to ease anxiety and stress.  Unfortunately, the good mood is only temporary. In the long run, alcohol is a depressant. Like caffeine, alcohol is a diuretic, and it’s important to stay hydrated for a number of reasons, including mood. If you do drink, drink in moderation.

Processed foods, such as hot dogs, sausage, pie, cookies, and cakes cause anxiety or other mental health issues?There have been studies, people who mainly ate fried food, processed meat, high-fat dairy products, and sweetened deserts had a 58 percent higher risk of depression than those who ate “whole” foods such as fish and vegetables. So skip the processed foods and have fresh foods!

Here are foods that are GOOD for anxiety:

1.  Foods with L-tryptophan.  Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin (a neurotransmitter, which helps you feel calm).  Foods with it include:

 turkey, chicken, bananas, milk, oats, cheese, soy, nuts, peanut butter, and sesame seeds. You can also take it by pill form in 5 HTTP, available in health food stores.

2.  Foods with Vitamin B.  Vitamin B (including thiamin or Vitamin B1, helps with mood.  A deficiency in B Vitamins (such as folic acid and B12) can trigger depression in some people.  You can also take it in pill form in a good B Complex formula.  Foods with Vitamin B include:

beef, pork, chicken, leafy greens, legumes, oranges and other citrus fruits, rice, nuts and eggs.

3.  Foods with carbohydrates will increase the production of serotonin in the brain.  However, you want to watch how many you get in order to not gain weight (50g to 100g a day to lose weight is recommended).  The rights carbs to choose:

Whole grains (whole wheat bread, brown rice, etc) and not processed choices like sugar, candy, white bread or white rice.  

Whole grains take longer for the body to break down, and release sugar into the bloodstream slowly. Processed carbs may give you an initial surge of energy, but that can be followed by an insulin rush, which rapidly drops blood sugar levels, ultimately leaving you feeling lethargic.

4.  Foods with omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA),  help improve mood and reduce risk of heart disease.  Foods with Omega 3s are found in:

salmon, tuna, lake trout, herring, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines.

Walnuts, chia seeds, flax-seed and basil.

5.  Greek Yogurt and Other High-Protein Foods:  Proteins helps stimulate the production of the brain chemicals norepinephrine and dopamine, which, like serotonin, are neurotransmitters and carry impulses between nerve cells. Higher levels of norepinephrine and dopamine have been shown to improve mood, alertness, mental energy, and reaction time.  Good sources of protein include:

Greek yogurt, fish, meats, cheese, eggs, nuts, beans, soy, and lentils. 

And don’t forget that eating fresh fruits and vegetables, taking some “me” time, getting enough sleep, exercising and getting in foods with natural spices to reduce cravings (like cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, cloves, or cardamom.) will all help reduce anxiety.

Another trick is taking 200 mg of L-Theanine to reduce anxiety.  It really works!  http://altmedicine.about.com/od/greentea/a/Theanine.htm  It is available at any health food store and it is amazing.

Follow these tips and you will feel better and lose weight too.

Eat Breakfast, Lose Weight, NO Excuses!

So, I try to eat breakfast out with my husband on Sunday.  It is a nice treat.  However, I don’t like eating out and getting fattened up.  So, when we go out, I make appropriate choices.  I usually get an omelette, and substitute fruit and tomatoes for toast and potatoes.  I limit the fruit and the omelette and bring home half of it.  The portions are really big.  Now, I have a meal for tomorrow too.  Eating appropriately helps you look better and save money too!

Basically, if you want to lose weight or even maintain your weight, you must have breakfast.

Research has shown that people who skip breakfast may not be as successful with weight management as those people who eat breakfast regularly. Why? Eating breakfast may help you reduce snacking and avoid overeating.

Eating breakfast is like filling up a gas tank. When you wake up in the morning, your body is low on fuel, like a car running on empty.

A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that breakfast eaters fall prey to impulse snacking less often than non-breakfast eaters.

Don’t fall prey to stupid excuses not to eat breakfast.

Excuse 1:  “I don’t have time”:

NOT EATING BREAKFAST EXCUSES

Excuse: I don’t have time to make myself breakfast. The only things available to me at work are doughnuts and cookies from the vending machine.
When time is of the essence, have things that are easy to throw in your car or prepare the night before.

  1. Try a hard-boiled egg,
  2. string cheese and a piece of fruit.
  3. And for those real crunch times, high-fiber, high protein and low carb protein bars.

Excuse: I just can’t eat before 1:00 p.m.
You don’t have to eat the second you are up, but it is a wise idea to eat within several hours of waking up. Try the string cheese or the hard-boiled egg. After a few days, your body might naturally look forward to this a.m. fuel-up and you can try more substantial meals.

Excuse: I’d like to eat breakfast but I’m afraid it will set my hunger into overdrive.
Many people experience less erratic eating patterns (like mid-afternoon and after-dinner munchies) when they eat several small snacks and meals throughout the day.

 

And on Sunday, you do not have to pig out and eat the pancakes, toast and so forth because you gave yourself the excuse that it is the weekend.  It should be exciting enough to go out and be served and get a nice protein-based meal and coffee.  The reason you gained weight is because you gave yourself eating excuses.  Excuses=No Progress!

 

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And don’t let people sabotage your efforts, even when they give you a hard time and make you feel bad about eating well.  This is your body, not theirs.  Tell them to eat their food and leave you alone.

Want to Lose Weight? Eat Breakfast!

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If we skip breakfast, we’ll make unhealthy choices at lunch. People who skip breakfast eat more during the day.  Your breakfast can set off a cycle of cravings and blood sugar spikes that dooms for weight control. Better to start the day with stable blood sugar and ultimately fewer calories with breakfast.

I, personally, never leave the house without first having my coffee and eggs, or omelette or hard-boiled egg with either some bacon or turkey sausage. Otherwise, it makes me cranky and want to scarf my next meal and ruin my diet.

Breakfast Calories: What to Eat

You may have to find your perfect breakfast food through a trial and error process.  It’s fine if you prefer a small turkey sandwich or a hard-boiled egg to traditional breakfast foods.

Consider whole grains. Whole grains are a good choice because they keep you feeling full, according to a dietary study that compared feelings of satisfaction between people who ate a hot whole-grain cereal for breakfast and those who ate refined wheat bread. Those who ate the whole-grain breakfast reported feeling less hungry over the following eight hours than the comparison group. I have discovered a delicious bread and I only have a slice once or twice a week.  It is organic and healthy, with high fiber and protein.  It is Dave’s Killer Bread.  I buy the 60-calorie per slice version.  It is low net carb.  A slice is not bad, but when you start having sandwiches with more than one slice, you don’t realize how many carbs are in a sandwich and you are sabotaging your diet.  Plus, we can get most of our fiber and nutrients from proteins, vegetables, nuts and seeds and fruits.  We don’t need whole grains to be healthy.  Plus, gluten does nothing as a nutrient and it causes inflammation in people’s guts and or brains.  So, I prefer to stay away from it and gluten-free breads are not that good.  However, I have had gluten-free pizza (half of a small with some salad) and it is delicious.

The issue with whole grains and oatmeal is that it has a lot of carbs. You have to read the label and determine how much to serve yourself to keep yourself in the realm of 50 to 100 grams of carbs per day, to lose weight. Less than a cup of oatmeal or having a slice of whole grain bread, only three times a week is an option.

Opt for eggs. A study of people between the ages of 25 and 60 who were trying to lose weight found that those who ate two eggs for breakfast lost 65 percent more weight than those who ate bagels, and they also reported having higher energy levels throughout the day.  Ask your doctor about egg-white alternatives.

Avoid high-sugar choices. Eating doughnuts, breakfast pastries, and sugary cereals may begin that cycle of cravings and blood sugar lows that can undermine your efforts. And there are too many carbs in them to be considered a good choice for weight control.

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First thing in the AM

When you first wake up in the morning, if you are not a breakfast person, but you can eat two hours later, that’s fine. Have a little yogurt, a little bit of peanut butter on some gluten-free bread (look at carbs), or a low-carb protein bar.  Your choices don’t have to be traditional fattening breakfast foods, like cereal or pancakes.  Please don’t eat Toaster Strudels, Pop Tarts or Frozen Waffles.  Too many carbs, nothing nutritional about them and full of sodium and other chemicals.  Stay away from these type of processed foods.

But, remember to eat or you are going to be too hungry and ruin your diet at lunch or dinner, not to mention slowing your metabolism down because your body goes into starvation mode.  And you can’t operate well without food in the morning.  Try running a car on gas fumes!  It doesn’t work for long.  Even your kids will have attention or memory issues at school without a decent nutritious (that doesn’t mean sugar) breakfast.

Planning

Once you find the breakfast options that suit your diet and your taste buds, plan ahead so that these foods are on hand when you want them — and you can get and keep a healthy habit that will last a lifetime.  Stop running out of the house without food.  If you are a last-minute person in the morning, then plan the night before with nuts, seeds, cheese, peanut butter on that one slice of Dave’s Killer Bread or Ezekiel bread– and protein bars as options to take with you in the car.

EAT LOW-CARB NUTRITIOUS FOOD FOR BREAKFAST!

Killer Bread On A Diet

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Found this bread at Smart and Final.  It is ORGANIC, safe to eat (unlike the yoga mat in Sara Lee bread), and so healthy.  The delivery had to deliver it cold to keep it from spoiling because of the lack of preservatives in it.

It is low in carbs, has fiber and protein, and it is delish!  I have given up on wheat, but once in a while, I will have something with wheat in it.  Bread has anywhere from 15 to 30g of fiber a slice, but not this one!  12g of carbs per slice, minus 3g of fiber is 9g of net carbs.  And it is healthy and SO good!

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To locate a store that carries it, use this locator: http://www.daveskillerbread.com/locator/

Ice Cream On A Diet

How can you have ice cream on a diet or as part of weight maintenance?  This is actually simple.  You have to pick one that is low in sugar and carbs.

Let’s look at some examples of my favorite brand:

Breyer’s Vanilla:  There are four vanillas.  Two have 28g carbs and 28g of sugar per cup.  All of these ice creams have the same sugar grams and carb grams.

(The label says 14g per 1/2 cup.  Pay attention to tricky labels.  So, a cup is 28g.  It is more likely that if you eat a scoop, that it will be the size of a measuring cup.)

This is a cup of ice cream:  Learn the measurement:  Portion control is key.

Vanilla Ice Cream

 

Breyers Homemade Vanilla has 32g of carbs per cup and the Extra Creamy has 36g of carbs per cup.

There is no fiber or sugar alcohols to subtract from the numbers to get a net carb.  So, those are the carbs.  Those are really high, so if you want to keep your carb grams between 50 to 100g a day to lose weight, that really messes up your count for the day.

 

BETTER CHOICES:

HOWEVER:  Breyers No Sugar Added Vanilla has 26 g of carbs per cup and 8g of sugar.  That is a lot less sugar and honestly, it tastes creamy and really good!  You won’t really notice a difference from the majorly sugary one.  There is 8g of fiber and 8g of sugar alcohols.  So, per cup, the net carb is 10g of carbs.

Breyers CarbSmart vanilla. Only has 4 grams of net carbs per serving!  13g total carbohydrate, subtract 5g of sugar alcohols and 4g of fiber.
Breyers has chocolate CarbSmart, but not all stores carry it and you should ask your store to order it.  They also have bars.
Other companies have better no sugar added choices.  Read the labels.  You can have a treat that won’t ruin your diet, if you do the work and read the labels and make proper choices.

 

 

Just Say No Mas to the Bad Mexican Food Choices

My husband and I went to Poquito Mas tonight and ate low-carb. We had tostadas, but without beans and rice-and we did not eat the shell or the chips. The tostada eaten this way should be under 10g of carbs.

However, there were a lot of larger people eating differently than we were eating. Burritos with rice and beans, chips, etc.

Let’s look at this way, if you want to lose or maintain your weight, you have to count carbs. Between 50 to 100g of carbs per day does the trick.

If I eat 6 protein meals a day and keep my count between those numbers, I am fine. However, what about what those other people are eating?

Chips: add on another 20 to 30 g of carbs.
Beans: add on another 20 to 30 g of carbs.
Rice: add on another 20 to 30g of carbs.
The burrito shell: add on another 30g of carbs.
Taco shell: add on 15g of carbs.

There are nutrition calculators online to check for accuracy. But. Can you see how easy it is to gain weight?

You have to educate yourself and make better choices. Fillers like rice, chips and flour and corn products will bulk you up fast. You could end up eating over 109g of carbs in just one meal! And the meatless vegetarian stuff is even more carbolicious.

Stick with protein, salad and veggies. This means meat, cheese, vegetables, salad, avocado (good carb, but watch the amount), sour cream. A few beans are ok, they are a good carb, but watch the amount.

The world is getting fat because of the filling carbs. Watch your choices, stop eating purely based on taste and find better and newer things to enjoy. Get off of unnecessary carbs for awhile and you will feel and look better.

And put those chips they bring to you in the garbage before you are tempted to eat them. They are about 1g of carb per chip. There is no nutrition there and the salt on it is the basis of the addiction. Throw them out.

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Want to Lose Weight? Eat a Salad Twice a day, but don’t put these 10 things in it!

A salad with two cups of lettuce and a half cup of two vegetables each in your salad, with 4 ounces of a protein in it is great for losing weight. Eat this twice a day.  But, you will not lose weight if you sabotage it with high-carb items, which can :

1.  Croutons

2. Tortilla strips

3.  A starchy vegetable like corn or peas

4.  Pasta

5:  Sun-dried tomatoes (eat fresh ones)

6.  Candied nuts

7.  High-carb salad dressing

8.  Barbeque sauce (high in sugar)

9. Don’t eat it with bread

10.  Rice or beans (a few beans are ok, but high in carbs, so watch it).

 

A good salad can also be delicious and filling.  Eat healthy and you will enjoy it!

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