Is Your Thyroid Making You Fat?

For about three-quarters of a year now, I have been having low energy and battling keeping my weight from going up.  I have managed to keep it down to a 21 BMI, but I want to get back to 19.  I have eaten correctly, I have exercised a lot, and I am so frustrated and pissed off because I work hard daily to have better conrol on the numbers.  I finally saw my doctor and it was my thyroid.

thyroid def

I have been on medication for my thyroid for years and it my body was now needing a change.  My tests came back showing I need  I have been battling new numbers and weeks of waiting for the medications to kick in and balance.  It has been a real hassle and hard because I have to be even more careful to eat closer to 50g of carbs per day.  And it is hard to exercise when you feel like you could just lay down and die.


I started to lose weight easily when my medication kicked in, but it adjusted again and now it is hard again until my new medication arrives in the mail, that is if my insurance company can finally send it to me!

My point: If you are following the rules and you are still having trouble with your weight, get your thyroid checked out. And don’t let them do just one test, which could show nothing. Ask for the whole shebang.

The experts at Thyroid page say:

“Many practitioners believe that for thyroid patients who want to lose weight, the first step is to optimize — not just normalize — your thyroid treatment. What is considered “optimal?” Not only are TSH, Free T4 and Free T3 levels considered important, but Reverse T3, ferritin, leptin, and other issues come into play in terms of optimal thyroid treatment.”


So, ask for this.  See your doctor and ask.  It will be easier to control weight if your body is your friend and not your enemy!

Processed Foods Can Cause Weight Problems


I have put food items on my blog that are “processed foods.”  But, when losing weight and you are NEW to changing your lifestyle, it is very hard at first to give up everything.  I do believe in making the changes and not worrying too much about processed foods until you hit a point where your sugar cravings have disappeared and you are used to eating smaller portions of proteins six times a day, with two small servings of fruit and four small servings of veggies.

So, let’s assume you are used to your new eating plan.  What are processed foods and how are they bad?

Processed food has a bad reputation as a diet saboteur. It’s blamed for our nation’s obesity epidemic, high blood pressure and the prevalence of type 2 diabetes. But processed food is more than boxed macaroni and cheese, potato chips and fast food. Whole-wheat bread, homemade soup or a chopped apple are also processed foods.


Different types of processed foods:

Minimally processed foods :

  • bagged lettuce, spinach, etc, cut vegetables and roasted nuts — are often simply pre-prepped for convenience.

Moderately processed food, processed at their peak to lock in nutritional quality and freshness:

  • canned beans, tomatoes, frozen fruit and vegetables, and canned tuna.

More than moderately processed foods with ingredients added for flavor and texture:

  • sweeteners, spices, oils, colors and preservatives) include jarred pasta sauce, salad dressing, yogurt and cake mixes.
  • Ready-to-eat foods, like crackers, granola, and deli meat, are more heavily processed.

The most heavily processed foods:

  • frozen or pre-made meals like frozen pizza and microwave dinners.

worst procssed foods


Some processed foods are ok:

Processed food can be beneficial to your diet.

  • Milk and juices are sometimes fortified with calcium and vitamin D, and breakfast cereal may have added fiber. Canned fruit (packed in water or its own juice) is a good option when fresh fruit is not available.
  • Some minimally processed food like pre-cut vegetables are quality convenience foods for busy people. Bagged vegetables and salads are helping people eat more vegetables.  They’re more expensive, but if your choice is between paying less and chopping it when you know you’re not going to do that, and paying a little more for the bagged vegetable you know you’re going to eat, the [bagged vegetable] is a better choice.

You need to read the ingredients list and review the nutrition facts panel.

Look for Hidden Sugar, Sodium and Fat

Eating processed food in moderation is fine, but consumers should be on the lookout for hidden sugar, sodium and fat.


Sugar isn’t just hidden in processed sweets. It’s added to bread,pasta sauces and cereal. The number of carbohydrates on the nutrition label also includes naturally occurring sugars which may be a significant amount in foods like yogurt and fruit. Instead, review a product’s ingredients list and look for added sugars among the first two or three ingredients such as sugar, maltose, brown sugar, corn syrup, cane sugar, honey and fruit juice concentrate.

Most canned vegetables, soups and sauces have added sodium. We need some sodium, but we often consume much more than the Dietary Guidelines for Americans’ recommended 2,300 mg a day (1,500 mg a day for those over 51 years of age, or African-Americans, diabetics and those with hypertension or chronic kidney disease). High sodium intake is linked to hypertension, or high blood pressure.

Three quarters of our sodium intake comes from processed foods.  Only 20 or 25 percent of it comes from salting our food.

Canned vegetables, soups and beans can be packed with nutrients, so don’t cross them off your shopping list entirely. Instead, look for reduced or low sodium on labels. Also, always rinse canned beans and vegetables and reduce sodium content by about 40 percent.


Some fat in your diet is good for you.  It isn’t the fat that is the problem in weight gain….it is SUGAR and CARBOHYDRATES.  Your body needs fat.  It doesn’t need sugar or carbs.  But, your brain and body can get addicted to sugar and carbs.



Tossing everything in your pantry out all at once is a good way to waste money, but gradually replacing processed foods with fresh alternatives helps curb cravings and hunger. Highly processed foods are low in nutrients, causing the body to seek more food to find the nutrients it needs, which leads to a vicious cycle of overeating.

  • You don’t have to empty the pantry all at once, but slowly start making swaps like fresh fruit and yogurt for protein bars (which can contain as much sugar as a candy bar) or hummus and fresh veggies instead of nutritionally devoid pretzels.
  • Eat fresh food.  Fresh meat, salads, fruits and vegetables.
  • Learn to Cook!  It isn’t that hard.  Find time. Your iPAD games or Playstation is not more important than your health.  You can prepare foods and have leftovers for days.  Some things take little time to cook.




  • Learn about Genetically Modified Food and how it is ruining your body and keeping us overweight and sick.  Start to read labels on whether the items you are purchasing are organic, grain fed or not.

Genetically modified food is a huge problem for people and has been, since it was introduced 30 years ago.  Notice the obesity rate has increased since they started messing with how they grow or raise our food?!  There are also more stomach and colon issues because our intestinal balances are completely being messed up. GMOis a whole other Oprah and perfect for another blog day.  If you want to read more, and!


Prevent Halloween Holiday Weight Gain

The holidays are upon us.  This usually means that people start to eat things that are higher-carb and they will put weight on themselves.   The “traditions” of the holidays–are man-made–and perhaps should be modified, as our society gets bigger and bigger.  I am not sure who came up with the idea that on Halloween–that we need to give a bunch of sugar items to children all night long.  I know their teachers are usually not too happy about it the next day because those kids are all wired from the whole event and the toxic poisoning of all of that sugar.

The carb-fest at Thanksgiving and Christmas is a whole other Oprah.  Let’s talk about Halloween though.

Here are some guidelines to follow if you are trying to lose weight on Halloween:


At home:

1.  Buy candy you don’t like so it will be easier to resist temptation.
2.  Purchase candy at the last-minute so you won’t be tempted to sample it.
3.  Keep in mind that you will need to walk nearly a mile to burn off that 90-calorie “fun size” or “snack size” candy.
4.   Get out and walk with the kids or look at neighbor’s homes so you aren’t tempted to eat candy in your house.

At work:

1.  Do not bake and bring Halloween muffins, cookies, etc to work and when they are at work, stay away from them.  Have your healthier snacks available to you so you will not be hungry.  If you have to be standing or sitting near those sugary items, then eat your snacks before you are there and near them.

2.  There are recipes online for low-carb baking items and you should consider that if you need a treat.  There is also low-carb chocolate out there.  Eat a Power Crunch bar or a Nature Valley Protein Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate bar as a replacement of a regular candy bar.

Can Popcorners Help With Your Diet?

popcorners collage

A new trend of snack.  Popcorners.  All kinds of flavors.  Advertised on their website as, “- a sensible snacking solution that is all natural, gluten-free, and non-gmo.”

Great, but natural in the food market could mean just about anything.  Gluten-free is great and so is non-genetically modified.

However, how is it for losing weight or keeping weight off?

The nutritional content says that it ranges from about 20-23g of carbs per bag small one ounce bag.

If you want to lose weight, you have to keep your carbs between 50g and 100g a day.  The closer to 50g, the better.

If you are eating almost half of your daily allowance in a bag of popcorn (similar to the carb content of a bag of chips), then what the heck can you eat the rest of the day to keep your carb count down?

You will NOT lose weight on chips, pretzels (double the amount of chips), or Popcorners.  In fact, I personally stay away from anything that is made from corn, potatoes or rice.  Major carbs and starchy, shoots your glucose way up and helps to continue to sugar roller-coaster and cravings.  It is just crappy so-called “food.”


One of my clients has stopped sugary carbs for a few weeks now and he no longer craves any of these things.  He used to crave shakes, chips and french fries and it went away with time (withdrawal).

Snacks should be protein-based.  Low-carb protein bars or shakes, meat, low-fat cheese, eggs, measured out nuts, low-fat chocolate pudding, low-carb Greek yogurt, fruit, etc.

Why not make an omelette with veggies and some low-fat cheese?  I do that and it is really good.  Get some good turkey bacon or sausage.  Stop eating processed foods from a bag.  If it can live in your closet for an undetermined amount of time, it is probably NOT good for you.  Even protein bars go bad after a while.

Eat better food.  Garbage in, garbage out.

Do You Know That Stress Can Make You Fat?

What’s so bad About Stress?

Under normal daily stress conditions, normal cortisol levels (stress hormones) help the body control blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and even inflammation. But, in prolonged stress. When stress becomes chronic, too much cortisol in the body wreaks havoc.

cortisol-chart2 copy

Signs & Symptoms of a Cortisol Imbalance

Chronically elevated cortisol levels may contribute to:

  • Thyroid problems
  • Cognitive decline
  • Sleep disorders
  • Anxiety & depression
  • Compromised immune function
  • Increased blood pressure

Do you think you’re a  victim of increased cortisol levels.  Speak to your doctor, but the following questions may help you discern if you’re suffering from a cortisol imbalance.

  • Do you suffer from depression, anxiety, nervousness or irritability?
  • Do you struggle with sleep waking frequently in the middle of the night, unable to get back to sleep?
  • Do you feel light-headed when standing up quickly?
  • Do you crave carbs?
  • Do you struggle with weight gain?
  • Do you have high blood pressure?

If you answered yes to more than one of those questions, you may have a cortisol imbalance.

Your doctor can conduct  a 4-point salivary test.  Saliva has been proven to be a better source of cortisol testing over blood and offers concrete results.

Tips for Controlling Cortisol Levels

You should always consult your physician when it comes to achieving healthy cortisol levels.

However, these lifestyle changes may be of help when dealing with a cortisol imbalance.

  • Eat REAL food. Limit or avoid packaged, processed and non-organic foods.
  • Avoid additives and dyes. Additives, preservatives, GMOs, dyes, food coloring, hormones, pesticides, and antibiotics increase the toxic load to the liver – adding stress to the body.
  • Avoid sugars. Cortisol causes gluconeogenesis, the production of sugar from non-carb sources – elevating blood sugar levels. Avoid a diet heavy in starchy carbohydrates and added sugars to help counteract the response of cortisol.
  • Eat healthy fats and/or Take Omega 3 Fish Oil. Omega-3 fatty acids, are anti-inflammatory and help counter the inflammatory effects of cortisol. Try adding a quality omega 3 fish oil into your daily diet.
  • Drink water! Water will help hydrate cells and detoxify the body. Stay hydrated!
  • Get Your ZZZ’s. Sleep is the most important thing when it comes to reducing cortisol and restoring the adrenal glands. Aim for  7-8 hours of sleep. Have trouble falling asleep?  Turn off all artificial light. Artificial light tricks the body into releasing more cortisol, suppressing melatonin, making it difficult to fall asleep.
  • Take a multivitamin daily.

Your doctor can conduct a test, but there are some saliva tests you can do yourself through online services like this one.

Weight Plateau War

Diet_Plateau_cartoon (1)

I had to go on steroids over a month ago for allergy-related itching and it set me back.  I gained a few pounds and they started to go off, but they came back.  I am stuck.  So, now I have to set myself into a new schedule to fight back this plateau.  My body seems to like where I am at right now.  This  happened every now and then when I was first losing the weight.  It happens all of the time and you have to then change your food and exercise routine to fight the body’s weight plateau.


I just went shopping and bought some grapefruit.  So, here is the schedule, starting tomorrow.

1.  Breakfast.  An egg.   Half of a grapefruit.

2.  3 hours later, a protein snack.  preferably, a liquid protein snack or a LOW carb protein bar.  I will probably have a Protein Crunch.

3.  Lunch.  Salad with either turkey, chicken or fish.  No starchy veggies like carrots. Some steamed or cooked spinach and a half of a grapefruit.

4.  3 hours later, same as number 2.

5.  Dinner.  Same as lunch.

6.  Same as number 2 again, but most likely a Carbolite.

No nuts, no other snacks, no matter how low-carb.  I have to do this to lose those pounds.  I probably will be drinking a lot of liquids to combat hunger issues and I will always remember to eat every 3-4 hours.  Coffee will be my friend.

Goal:  5 pounds from today.  I will keep you informed.


Your Big Belly Is a Product of Carb Consumption, Not Fat Consumption

I used to get asked when my baby was due and I was never pregnant.  I cut down my carbs and I lost “the baby” (my gut)!  Carbs is the problem!

As Americans cut fats from their diet (an unknowingly–protein as well), they replaced them with bad carbohydrates (good carbs are in vegetables).  This is partly a result of Americans’ reliance on unhealthy carbs — bagels, pasta, pretzels, rice, potatoes, etc.  So, now a full two-thirds of the U.S. population is overweight or obese, and nearly one of out four Americans is overweight.

The idea that cutting carbs from your diet can lead to weight loss is beginning to catch on and even moderate reductions in your carb consumption can help you shed extra pounds.  When I finally cut down my carbs to between 50-100g a day, I finally lost my long-held weight gain.

An important point is that a reduced-carb diet promotes the loss of deep belly fat, also known as “visceral fat,” even when no change in weight is apparent.

Visceral fat is strongly linked with type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and other chronic diseases. It is thought that visceral fat is related to the release of proteins and hormones that can cause inflammation, which in turn can damage arteries and enter your liver, affecting how your body breaks down sugars and fats.

While it’s often referred to as “belly fat” because it can cause a “beer belly” or an apple-shaped body, you can have visceral fat even if you’re thin. So even if you aren’t trying to lose weight, cutting unhealthy carbs in your diet could have a positive impact on your levels of visceral fat, and thereby potentially reduce your risk of chronic disease.

People on low-carb diets lose weight in part because they get less fructose that can be made into body fat quickly. Although fructose is naturally found in high levels in fruit, it is also added to many processed foods, especially in the form of high-fructose corn syrup. If your only source of fructose came from eating an apple or orange a day, keeping your total grams of fructose to below 25 per day, then it would not be an issue.

But what many completely fail to appreciate is that fructose is the NUMBER ONE source of calories in the United States and the typical person is consuming 75 grams of fructose each and every day. Because fructose is so cheap it is used in MOST processed foods. The average person is consuming 1/3 of a pound of sugar every day!

Evidence is mounting that excess sugar, and fructose in particular, is the primary factor in the obesity epidemic, so it’s definitely a food you want to avoid if you want to lose weight. This means you have to  keep your fruit amounts down each day, but avoid added fructose in your food.

Many dieters snack on pretzels in lieu of potato chips and other salty snacks, believing them to be healthier alternatives. But eating pretzels is just as bad as dipping a spoon straight into a bowl of sugar.

Don’t be fooled by the fact that they’re “fat-free” – remember it’s the carbs that are the culprit.

Your body prefers the carbohydrates in vegetables rather than grains because it slows the conversion to simple sugars like glucose, and decreases your insulin level. Grain carbohydrates, like those in pretzels and bread, will increase your insulin resistance and interfere with your ability to burn fat — which is the last thing you want if you’re trying to lose weight.

Even cereals, whether high-fiber, whole-grain or not, are not a food you want to eat if you’re concerned about your weight. If they contain sugar, that will tend to increase your insulin levels even more, regardless if they are so-called “healthy” cereals or not.


A “healthy diet” is qualified by the following key factors:

  • Unprocessed whole foods
  • Often raw or only lightly cooked
  • Organic or grass-fed meat/eggs, and free from additives and genetically modified ingredients
  • Come from high-quality, local sources
  • Carbohydrates primarily come from vegetables (except for corn or potatoes)
  • Good-Carbs-vs-Bad-Carbs

Happy Thanksgiving and a Thanksgiving Food/Exercise Match Up Chart

I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.  Remember, it is about family and fun.  It doesn’t have to be about BAD food, it can be about good food.

3 helpful blogs to help you through the holiday food issues:

1. What I recommend to eat and what I will be eating.

2. How not to pig out at Thanksgiving.

3. How people sabotage at holiday dinners.

BUT if you do pig out, here is a chart to help you exercise off that pie and whatever other carbliicous things you ate.


A thought… If you skipped the pie, the marshmellow/sweet potato casserole, the bread (roll and stuffing) and the cranberry sauce, you will save yourself almost half of the calories from your meal and most of the carbs.  Your pancreas will thank you too for not having to work so hard and send out so much insulin to deal with all of that sugar!

If there are no vegetables that aren’t smothered in cream, then eat those (or eat those and wipe away the breaded onion) and eat the turkey and maybe just a little of the potato and gravy and you will be doing a lot better.

Worse case scenario, I will not be eating pie unless it is made with Splenda, but if you do, only have half of a slice.  Bring it down to 30g of carbs vs. 60 or 70g grams with a big slice.  And you could  do some exericse to burn off some of those carbs!

Happy Gobble Gobble!