Weight Loss: A Simple, Secret Weapon

One of the most simple and useful tools for effective, long term weight loss is keeping a food journal, diary or meal log. It is a basic principle I share in my book Today is Still the Day and my 7 week weight loss plan. One of the first things I suggest to a weight loss client is to set up a food diary. I personally like to keep a small physical notebook but you can do it on your phone, the computer or use any one of a number of apps. Regardless of what you call it or of how you choose to do it, just do it!

It seems almost too simple but just keeping track of what you eat and how it makes you feel will help you to understand your eating habit patterns, identify the foods you eat on a regular basis that may or may not agree with you, as well as provide a record of measurable results to keep you motivated. This one, simple step can eliminate the problem of lack of awareness and control over what you’re eating, which makes all the difference in successful weight loss.

Studies have shown that women who keep a food journal consistently lost about 6 lbs. more than those who did not. In order to reap the most benefit from keeping track of your meals, you must be accurate and consistent. You have to be honest and write down exactly what you eat, how much, when and how it made you feel – did you feel gassy, bloated or nauseous within an hour or two? Note that as it may indicate a food you need to eliminate, at least temporarily. And I suggest writing it down as soon as you eat it so you are as accurate as possible. If you wait until the end of the day, chances are you won’t be nearly as accurate.

I also recommend you note how much exercise you get each day. This will let you know if you are getting enough activity or need to step things up.

I always recommend only weighing in once a week or once every two weeks. You should note that in your journal. Try and weigh at around the same time of day and on the same day of the week. This way you can go back and if you gained a few pounds you will be able to see what you may have done differently or what you may need to change.

This doesn’t have to take much of your time. Food tracking apps like MyFitnessPal or LoseIt! can make it easier and faster for those who are more tech-inclined. I find it doesn’t take more than 5 minutes per meal to note what I am eating and any other details. It’s definitely time well spent!

 

Do you keep a food journal? Would you consider using one? Why or why not?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.      

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Weight Loss: 5 Simple Tweaks

Everyone loves some simple tweaks that can help them be more successful in their weight loss efforts. I have shared several in my book, Today is Still the Day, and companion 7 week plan.

They sound too simple to make much difference but you’d be surprised at the difference they can make.

Make it a Meal. For example don’t eat standing at the kitchen counter or on the run. Set a plate at the table, sit down and pay attention to your meal. Appreciate the aroma, how it looks, really enjoy the flavors. When you do this you register it as a meal versus a snack and that makes a difference!

Slow Down. This tip follows along with the first one: Don’t scarf down your food like someone is chasing you! When you eat too quickly, you don’t allow your brain a chance to register that you have eaten and satisfied your hunger. It may take up to 20 minutes for the brain to realize that you’re full. A review of 23 studies found that fast eaters were approximately twice as likely to be obese, compared to slow eaters.

Plate Size. Some studies recommend choosing a salad plate rather than a dinner plate. It is a simple way to control portions. Just going from a 12” plate to a 10” plate resulted in a 22% decrease in calories. It is an illusion but if it helps you believe you are eating more than you really are, it’s worth it. Also if the food portion is very large to begin with, you will eat more of it because you don’t notice yourself making a dent in the meal until a lot has been consumed.

Plate Color. The color of your plate can make a difference as well. In one study, when the color of a participant’s plate matched the color of their food, they served themselves almost 30% more because when the color of your food blends in with the color of your plate, the amount of food doesn’t appear to be as large.

Fork Size. Use a dinner fork rather than a smaller dessert fork. A 2011 study found participants who ate with larger forks left significantly more food on their plates than those who ate with smaller forks, leaving an average of 7.91 ounces of food compared to 4.43 ounces. Those who ate with larger forks became satisfied more quickly and ate less than those who ate with smaller forks. This is a visual cue – the small fork gives a feeling that you are not making much progress in satiating your hunger, which results in more consumption compared to when you have a large fork.

What do you think about these simple tweaks for helping you eat less?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.

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Happy, Blessed Easter and Passover

As we celebrate the joyous holidays of Easter and Passover, I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for reading my posts and for your comments, support and encouragement. They mean more to me than you know.

I wish you and your family every blessing as we begin these joyous celebrations. In the spirit of Easter and Passover I want to share this little thought someone sent me in an email once again:

Jesus died over 2,000 years ago.

No one has ever referred to Him as the “late’ Jesus,

not even those who don’t believe; nowhere in history.

Nowhere has He ever been referred to in the past tense.

Because He is The Living God!

May He smile on you and your family today.

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Osteoporisis: Have We Put The Cart Before the Horse

It is commonly believed that fractures that occur in older adults are mainly caused by osteoporosis, that patients at high risk can be identified via screening and that the risk is then responsive to bone-targeted treatment and medications. Isn’t that what you thought as well? If an older person falls and breaks a bone, they must have osteoporosis, which weakened their bones and caused the fall. Well this is now being disputed.

According to the new study referenced above, while most fracture patients have fallen, they actually do not have osteoporosis. As people age and tend to become frail, their likelihood of falling increases. So it isn’t the osteoporosis that caused the fall as we have been led to believe. It is the frailty as a result of aging.

Furthermore, the study shows the screening currently available doesn’t effectively identify those people who are most likely to sustain a fracture and some of those who have a high risk score will never actually break a bone.

Finally those pharmaceutical drugs advertised on TV to prevent bone loss and hip fractures not only have dangerous side effects, but have not been shown to be effective in preventing hip fractures in real life studies.

The bottom line of this study is that falling and not fragile bones is the primary reason why fractures occur. Since it is a statistical fact that the older you get the more often you fall, and since the older you get the less dense your bones become, it is easy to confuse the lower bone mineral density as a “cause” and not just an “association” with increased fracture risk.

What do you think about the results of this study?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.      

Posted in Fitness, Overall Health and Wholeness, Women's Issues | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Weight Loss: To Snack or Not to Snack

For years I heard people recommend eating 6 small meals a day. I tried it and felt awful! I actually gained weight back then and that definitely was not the goal. For a long time I just figured it didn’t suit my particular metabolism. I know people who feel they need a snack between breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner and others who prefer to graze all day long. While I don’t tell people they can’t snack, in Today is Still the Day, I do talk about this:

“One of our goals in this plan is to switch over from being a sugar burner to becoming a fat burner. One effective strategy is to stop snacking between meals because every time you eat, you spike your insulin levels, which prevents fat burning and encourages fat storage. Eating between meals creates insulin resistance, so I strongly suggest cutting out snacks and just eating properly structured meals.” p. 62

I talk about eating properly structured meals that include the highest quality foods from each of the three macronutrients – protein, carbs and fats. The carbs are primarily from fiber-rich, non-starchy veggies and the fats are healthy fats from olive, avocado, hemp and flax oils, pasture butter and coconut oil as well as nuts, seeds, olives, avocados and meat from grass fed and finished animals.

When you truly nourish your body at the cellular level, you will find you are not looking for snacks because you are truly satisfied. Well-structured meals turn off hunger hormones and normalize blood sugar and insulin levels.

Eating constantly throughout the day sets you up for exhaustion and premature aging as well as less fat burning and here is why:

When you eat, the process of digestion begins. This requires your body to expend time and energy breaking down that food into molecules that can be absorbed and utilized. Complete digestion usually takes six hours or more. When you snack in between meals, in effect you are asking your body to restart a process it has not completed from the last time you ate. This leads to weight gain because when your body cannot absorb and utilize food, it stores it as fat. Additionally, restarting the process of digestion by snacking cuts short your body’s ability to burn fat in between meals because there is almost no “in between” meal time.

That makes sense, don’t you agree? And I haven’t even touched on the quality of most “snacks” which are usually high carb, junk foods. But it is true even if they are healthy foods. This is why intermittent fasting, which restricts your feeding to one or two meals within a small window of time, is so effective. It gives your body that down time it requires to process the fuel you put in it.

Are you a snacker? Do you eat 5 or 6 small meals throughout the day? How has that affected you?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.      

Posted in Digestive Health, Nutrition, Overall Health and Wholeness, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sugar and Inflammation: My Experience

When I work with clients, regardless of whether they are trying to lose weight, normalize blood sugar or cholesterol, dealing with arthritis and joint pain or some other health issue, inflammation is at the root of it. Chronic inflammation has been proven to be the underlying cause of heart disease, not cholesterol levels.

Here are links to two previous newsletters where I dealt with inflammation and digestive health and how emotions influence inflammation in case you’d like a bit more info.

Inflammation is caused by oxidative stress, which in turn is triggered by emotional or physical trauma, nutritional or environmental pollutants. There are many things known to cause chronic inflammation, including:

Processed and fast foods

Refined sugars

Artificial sweeteners

Pesticides and herbicides

Heavy metals

Pollution

Prolonged stress and emotional upset

Prolonged, intense exercise

Excessive alcohol intake

I want to share an experience I had over this past Thanksgiving that I hope will really clarify this for you. Normally, I do not eat sugar and grains. I pretty much follow the detox weeks of my Today is Still the Day plan 5 days a week and then eat what I want on the weekends. That being said, I still pretty much avoid refined sugar and most grains. This is true except during the holidays. While I bake with healthier flours and use organic sugar or coconut sugar in my holiday recipes, I don’t deny myself anything and I enjoy every bite. I go right back to normal eating within a few days.

This past Thanksgiving that’s what I did. I noticed that following Monday when we went for a walk on the local trails, my left knee was extremely sore and painful as we walked. I never have pain when I walk so this was new and definitely concerning.

As I do whenever there’s any muscle strain or pain, I started taking a turmeric supplement and within two days was perfectly fine. When I really thought about it, I realized that it came on suddenly after eating a lot of carbs. Thanksgiving is definitely a carb-heavy meal and very different from my normal pattern. Once I got back to normal eating and supplemented with turmeric, the knee pain totally resolved.

I thought that was really interesting so I decided to do an experiment over the Christmas holiday. I still ate all the cookies and holiday foods I cook once a year and definitely look forward to, but I supplemented with turmeric throughout the holiday season. I only enjoyed all the cookies and goodies for the two days of Christmas Eve and Christmas day (who doesn’t love the left overs?), and I did not experience the joint pain this time.

I realize this isn’t scientific, but it is definitely evidence-based and the results were clear to me. Excess sugar – even organic – and grains, even organic or heirloom flour that has less gluten, was still inflammatory to my joints. And turmeric was definitely protective.

If you experience regular or periodic joint stiffness and pain or any other inflammatory symptoms, pay attention to your diet and see if there might just be a connection. It’s a simple fix. Why not try it?

Could your diet be increasing inflammation in your body and causing symptoms?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.      

Posted in Brain health, Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Health, Nutrition, Overall Health and Wholeness | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Heart Health: A Novel Method to Keep Arteries Clear

Chances are you’ve seen pomegranates in the supermarket, bottles of pomegranate juice or even containers of their arils, the juicy red seeds they contain, but may have never tried it. I even find the frozen arils which I love in my smoothies. I hope you will try them because not only are they delicious but they have numerous health benefits. I explained some of those benefits in more detail in this past No-Nonsense Nutrition Report.

Today I wanted to just highlight the benefits of pomegranate juice in unclogging arteries. Clogged arteries are known as atherosclerosis. When arteries become inflamed, the body sends out cholesterol and immune cells to smooth over the damage. When this happens too often the arteries become stiff and thickened from all the cellular debris. This can ultimately result in a blockage, heart attack and damage.

Most often doctors will prescribe statins to prevent this from happening but besides having devastating side effects, they don’t address the root cause which is inflammation. This study found that consuming pomegranate juice daily for a year reduced the arterial thickness by up to 35%, with no dangerous side effects. Even more exciting was that those in the control group experienced increased carotid artery stenosis of 9% within 1 year. So in the pomegranate juice drinking group, it is possible they reduced thickening of the arteries by over 60% beyond what would have occurred had the natural progression of the disease been allowed to continue with no intervention.

Would you consider a simple intervention like drinking pomegranate juice daily over taking a statin or other drug to prevent atherosclerosis?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.      

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