Fat Burnin’ Foods in Place of a Low-Fat Diet
Written by Jennifer Lowe
Monday, March 04, 2013
Back in the 90’s slimmers everywhere were raving about the low-fat diet. From low-fat cookies to low-fat shakes – the fad paved the way for the low-fat-everything that lines the shelves of our supermarkets today. On the face of it, it all seemed to make sense back then. Lower fat food equalled less fat in our bellies - right? Well, not necessarily. It wasn’t until 2006 when Harvard University unleashed the results of their eight-year long study into low-fat diets. The study, in which 49,000 women participated, concluded that low-fat diets didn’t make us slimmer at all - In fact, it could do quite the opposite. What’s more, the low-fat diet didn’t even lower the risk of heart disease, breast cancer or colorectal cancer as first claimed, either.
The Low-Fat Flop
The low-fat diet, which emphasizes whole grain foods and fruit and vegetables (with a daily calorie intake consisting of about 20% from fat, 60% from carbohydrates, and 20% from protein) was found to significantly slow metabolism (the body’s fat-burning furnace, of course); with more recent studies also noting its adverse effect on both lipids and insulin resistance. Furthermore, because low-fat diets are high in carbohydrates (most of which come in the form of quickly digested foods, such as flour, rice, potatoes) the diet can also increase hunger - meaning it has the potential to be a particularly torturous experience for anyone who struggles with dietary discipline. Add to that the link between obesity, heart disease and additives (which are commonly used in low-fat foods as a substitute for flavour, after fats have been artificially removed) the low-fat diet isn’t as good an option as it might at first seem - especially for those of us who don't consume processed foods.
The Good Fats
Granted, avoiding the ‘bad fats’ (primarily trans fats) can help your lose weight; but in order to do so any budding ‘loser’ must acknowledge the good, healthy fats too – and not put them aside like the low-fat diet encourages. According to research, monounsaturated fats can actually prevent abdominal fat, along with providing a whole host of other health benefits; such as raising good cholesterol, lowering the bad and keeping your arteries plaque free. Monounsaturated fats can be found in olive oil, nuts, seeds and avocados. Polyunsaturated fats shouldn’t be overlooked either. Found within Omega-3 and Omega-6, they also contribute to overall well being. Omega-3 (found within fish, such as salmon or mackerel) improves brain function, mood and immune system; whilst Omega-6 (found within corn and beef) keeps skin and eyes healthy when consumed in moderation. Consequently, avoiding all fat isn’t necessarily a wise move when you’re in pursuit of a slimmer figure.
Foods That Boost Fat Burning Hormones
Aside from exercise, or in conjunction with it, altering your diet to stimulate fat burning hormones is an ideal way to lose excess weight. And unlike the low-fat diet, it makes scientific sense. Fat burning hormones are present in all of us; testosterone, HGH, Leptin and thyroxine, for example, all play a part in burning fat, and their efficiency and influence on the metabolic rate can be boosted by eating the right foods.
Seafood is fantastic when it comes to giving those fat burning hormones a kick in the rear. Oily fish high in Omega-3 fatty acids offer many benefits (as noted above) but also stimulate the production of leptin. The leptin hormone regulates and controls metabolism, therefore when your leptim levels rise, your metabolism speeds up and you feel less hungry - which is especially good news for those wanting to lose weight.
HGH (aka Human Growth Hormone) is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland, which does many useful things; including boosting energy, keeping bones strong, retaining muscle and of course burning fat - even whilst we’re asleep. Amino acids stimulate HGH, and can be found in nuts. Therefore Brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds can all contribute towards burning fat and weight loss.
Vitamin C Foods
Citrus fruits that contain vitamin C are fantastic for diluting fat, and helping to remove it from the body faster. Oranges, tangerines, limes (and perhaps the occasional margarita?) are all very useful in weight loss. As well as being packed with vitamins and all that good stuff you’d want anyway, they also give your metabolism a kick.
Foods that boost Metabolism
As well as the larger groups, there are plenty of individual metabolism-boosting foods that can contribute towards losing weight when integrated within your diet. Many of them stimulate positive fat-burning hormones, and some counter the negative ones, making them all pretty useful. Here’s just a handful.
Hot Peppers – are great for giving your metabolism a kick. Even a pinch of cayenne in your meal is shown to increase your metabolism by 25% for three hours after you’ve eaten.
Milk (raw organic milk is best) – Calcium is wonderful for the metabolism - it’s also recommended you have a daily intake of 1,200 – 1,300mg for your general health anyway.
Eggs (oragnic) – As well as stimulating metabolism, eggs are full of Vitamin B12; which contributes to breaking down fat.
Ginger – Great for both metabolism, and circulation.
Organic Dark Chocolate – Stress hormones can cause the body to store fat. Dark chocolate counters this, reducing cortisol levels.
Lean Protein – Lean protein is great for both energy and metabolism. When it comes to weight loss, protein helps you lose fat, as opposed to muscle. This can lead to a higher lean muscle mass, which in turn leads to burning more calories on a daily basis - further aiding weight control.
And of course, there are many, many more.
The Big Fat Truth
With obesity ever on the rise, fatty food is on everyone’s lips. There is a huge emphasis on what we shouldn’t eat, rather than what we should. With relatively recent studies like Harvard’s, turning out such dramatic revelations, perhaps we should see through the fog of dud diets, flimsy fads, metabolism myths, and celebrity weight loss sagas; instead turning our attention onto what science actually tells us. And what science tells us is that there’s a whole host of wonderful fat-burning hormones waiting to be triggered by good, non-processed, natural food. Therefore, eating yourself skinny is not as far-fetched as it might seem!
Volunteer at Our Next Kid's Nutriton Class Series
Friday, February 01, 2013
We will need some hands to help us conduct another kid's nutrition class this Spring. If you haven't been part of one, it is a lot of fun and great to watch the kids get so much out of it.
The classes are four Tuesdays: February 26th, March 5th, 19th, and 26th, from 4:15 pm to 5:15 pm.
There will be a pre-meeting all volunteers need to attend. It's Thursday, February 21st from 4:15 pm - 515 pm. The address is 715 W. 5th Street, Tempe, AZ 85281
For those that don't live in Arizona but are interested in helping us in this way, you can learn to be Certified Processed-Free Facilitator. Click here for more information.
For those interested in volunteering, please contact Michael McCaffrey of Processed-Free America at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Dee McCaffrey, CDC
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Did you know that parsley—that little bunch of curly greens that garnish restaurant plates—is one of the world’s seven most potent disease-fighting spices? It’s right up there with ginger, oregano, cinnamon, turmeric, sage and red chili peppers. I can’t remember exactly when I first started eating my plate garnish, and then buying a bunch of parsley each week to incorporate into my meals, but it had to be right around the time I learned of the nutritive power contained in this under-appreciated vegetable.
Although parsley is the world’s most popular culinary herb, it has health protective properties that rival those of many green leafy vegetables. When it comes to nutrition, parsley has you covered. It contains high levels of beta carotene (vitamin A), vitamin B12, folate (vitamin B9), chlorophyll, calcium, more vitamin C than citrus fruits, more vitamin K than kale, spinach and collard greens, and many other essential nutrients. Additionally, parsley contains two classes of unusual components—volatile oils and antioxidants called flavonoids—that provide unique health benefits.
Here’s what’s unique about the Power of Parsley:
Parsley's volatile oils—particularly one called myristicin—have been shown to inhibit tumor formation in animal studies, and particularly, tumor formation in the lungs. Myristicin has also been shown to activate glutathione, the powerfully helpful compound involved in liver detoxification. The activity of parsley's volatile oils qualifies it as a "chemoprotective" food, and in particular, a food that can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens (especially those found in cigarette smoke and charcoal grill smoke). Parsley’s volatile oils are also what gives it its legendary ability to freshen your breath at the end of your meal.
Antioxidant Power and Anti-Inflammatory Power
The flavonoids in parsley—especially one called luteolin— have been shown to function as antioxidants that combine with highly reactive oxygen-containing molecules (called free radicals). Luteolin is a strong antioxidant that searches out and eradicates free radicals in the body that cause damage to the cells. Luteolin also promotes carbohydrate metabolism and serves the body as an anti-inﬂammatory agent. In addition to its flavonoids, parsley is an excellent source of two other antioxidant nutrients—vitamin A and vitamin C—that are also important for the prevention of many diseases.
Vitamin A Power
Parsley contains high amounts of the carotenoid beta-carotene which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Beta carotene is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the liver, lungs and colon from free radical damage caused by toxins. Vitamin A is important for your eyes, skin and immune system and is also used for protein assimilation.
Vitamin C Power
Parsley contains more vitamin C than any other standard culinary vegetable, with 80 mg per cup of fresh parsley (106% of the RDA). Famous for boosting the immune system, vitamin C is also a key nutrient for the health of the adrenal glands. Along with luteolin, the vitamin C found in parsley serves as an effective anti-inﬂammatory agent within the body. When consumed regularly, vitamin A and vitamin C combat the onset of inflammatory disorders, such as osteoarthritis (the degeneration of joint cartilage and the underlying bone) and rheumatoid arthritis (a disease causing inﬂammation in the joints).
Immune System Boosting Power
A strong immune system is the key to warding off germs, viruses and diseases, and repair of damaged tissue and broken bones. The antioxidant power of vitamin C and vitamin A found in parsley both strengthen the body's immune system, but in different ways. Vitamin C is necessary for collagen, the main structural protein found in connective tissue. This essential nutrient will not only accelerate the body's ability to repair wounds, but also maintain healthy bones and teeth. Vitamin A, on the other hand, fortifies and protects the body’s entry points, such as mucous membranes, the lining of the eyes, and respiratory, urinary and intestinal tracts. It keeps germs and infections at bay. Moreover, white blood cells rely on vitamin A to ﬁght infection in the body. Vitamin A is a nutrient so important to a strong immune system that its nickname is the "anti-infective vitamin."
Vitamin K Power
Parsley is loaded with vitamin K—just 2 tablespoons of raw parsley contain 124 mcg or 155 percent of the RDA. The body uses vitamin K to help blood clot properly and to make osteocalcin, a protein that strengthens the compositon of our bones. It is necessary for bones to get the minerals they need to form properly. Vitamin K also prevents calcium build-up in our tissues that can lead to atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Finally, the body uses vitamin K to make the fat needed to maintain the myelin sheath around our nerves, to protect and strenghten our nervous system as a whole.
Folate and Heart Health Power
Folate, also called folic acid or vitamin B9, is one of the most important B vitamins. In addition to being an important nutrient for pregnant women, one of its most critical roles in relation to cardiovascular health is to convert homocysteine into benign molecules. Homocysteine is an amino acid that occurs in the body and can threaten the body's blood vessels when its levels become too high. At high levels, homocysteine increases the risk of heart attacks and stroke in people with atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease. The folate found in parsley helps convert homocysteine into harmless molecules, thereby helping to ward off cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack, stroke, and atherosclerosis.
Folic acid is also a critical nutrient for proper cell division and is therefore vitally important for cancer-prevention in two areas of the body that contain rapidly dividing cells—the colon, and in women, the cervix. One cup of parsley contains a whopping 23 percent of your daily requirement of this crucial vitamin.
Parsley is abundant in chlorophyll, which purifies the blood and inhibits the spread of bacteria, fungi and other organismsChlorophyll also suppresses viruses and helps the lungs to discharge residues from environmental pollution. It has potent antioxidant properties and is effective in preventing and treating many types of cancer.
Iron is the transporter of oxygen to your tissues and also rids the body of carbon dioxide, and parsley is an exceptional source of it. A half-cup of fresh parsley or one tablespoon dried has about 10 percent of your daily iron requirements. Plus, parsley has an abundance of the vitamin C your body needs to absorb iron, so it’s a very effective source of it.
Vitamin B12 Power
Parsley contains traces of B12 producing compounds. Such compounds are needed for the formation of red blood cells and normal cell growth, important for fertility, pregnancy, immunity and the prevention of degenerative illness. The action of vitamin B12, however, is inhibited by birth control pills, antibiotics, intoxicants, stress, sluggish liver, and excess bacteria or parasites in the colon or digestive tracts. Parsley helps to counteract these inhibitors.
Protein, Calcium and Many other Powers
Parsley contains the essential amino acids that the body uses to make proteins. Twenty percent of its calories come from protein, about the same amount of protein as mushrooms. One cup of raw parsley also contains nearly the same amount of calcium as one cup of raw kale (82.8 mg vs. 90.5 mg respectively), and the calcium in parsley and kale is more absorbable than the calcium in milk. Parsley also contains phosphorus, potassium, manganese, inositol, and sulphur—all important nutrients for overall long-term health.
So, next time parsley appears on your plate as a garnish, recognize its true powers and partake of its abilities to improve your health. As an added bonus, you'll also enjoy parsley's legendary ability to cleanse your palate and your breath at the end of your meal.
Enjoy raw parsley sprigs added to salads or soups, or sprinkle chopped parsley on top of scrambled eggs. Toss it into rice or quinoa, and use dried parsley in recipes.
"The World’s Healthiest Foods" by George Mateljan
Chia Seeds for Weight Loss, Brain Health, and More!
Written by Dee McCaffrey, CDC
Friday, January 04, 2013
You might remember chia as the sprouts that grow on terra cotta figurines called Chia Pets, however in the past few years the seeds of the chia plant have been making a new mark in the health food world. Though a newcomer to America, chia seeds were a staple food, like corn and beans, in the diets of the Aztecs and Mayans.
Chia seeds, which can be either white or black, are highly nutritious. They are now widely used in food products and are available online as well as in many natural food markets. Whole and ground chia seeds are being added to fruit drinks, snack foods and cereals and sold on their own to be baked into cookies and sprinkled on yogurt. They also make a great egg or oil replacer in recipes.
What makes chia seeds so unique is their “gelling” action. When the seeds are exposed to liquid (water, juice, etc.) the soluble fiber on the outside of the seed-shell is activated. Each seed grabs onto more than nine times its own weight in liquid, and holds it there, forming a “gel”.
Chia is also very versatile for adding to foods because it has no flavor of it's own. You can add it to drinks or food, and instead of changing the flavor, it will enhance it. Chia Seeds take on and distribute (never replace) the flavor of foods or drinks you add them to.
Chia seeds have become known as a “super seed” because of their many nutritional benefits. Just one ounce of chia seeds per day can provide you with a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, calcium and other minerals, complete protein, fiber and antioxidants. Also, because chia seeds’ fiber and gelling action keep you feeling full for longer periods of time, you won’t be tempted to eat between meals, so they’re a great weight loss aid.
Here’s what else makes chia seeds so great:
Chia Seeds are a Rich Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids For Brain Health - Chia is one of the most concentrated sources of omega-3 in any food. Ounce for ounce, chia seeds have more omega-3 fatty acids than salmon. Because of their omega-3 content, they have similar benefits to flax seeds and flax seed oil, but unlike flax seed, you don’t need to grind them to reap the health benefits. Omega 3’s are important for brain health, including memory and concentration. They also support heart health, weight loss, and beautiful skin, hair and nails.
Chia Seeds Balance Blood Sugar Levels and Aid in Weight Loss- Keeping balanced levels of blood sugar is important for both weight loss and lowering the risk for type 2 diabetes, but balanced blood sugar also ensures steady, constant energy throughout your day.
There are two ways that chia seeds balance blood sugar levels. Both the gelling action of the seed, and it’s unique combination of soluble and insoluble fiber combine to slow down your body’s conversion of starches into sugars. If you eat chia with a meal, it will help you turn your food into constant, steady energy rather than a series of ups and downs that wear you out.
Chia Seeds are High in Fiber and Keep the Colon Healthy- With nearly 11 grams of fiber per ounce, chia delivers 42 percent of the recommended daily value of fiber in a single serving. Fiber is vital for all aspects of health, and is especially key for weight loss, stabilizing blood sugar, and healthy digestion. Fiber helps slow digestion and makes you feel fuller by soaking up fluid and expanding in your digestive tract.
Chia seeds provide a high amount of soluble and insoluble fiber, which are necessary for good colon health. Each chia seed is coated with soluble fibers which aid its gelling action. The exterior of the seed is protected by insoluble fiber. The insoluble fiber is unable to be digested so instead, it helps keep food moving smoothly through the digestive process. Soluble fiber, and the gel coating of the seed keeps the colon hydrated and ensures proper elimination of waste from the colon.
Chia Seeds Provide More Calcium than Milk – One ounce of chia seeds delivers 18 percent of the daily value of calcium, which is three times more than skim milk. They also provide iron, niacin, magnesium, strontium, phosphorous and zinc.
Chia Seeds Are a Complete Protein - Chia is one of nature’s highest plant-based sources of complete protein, containing about 20 percent protein, a higher percentage than found in many other plant sources such as grains and legumes. Also, most protein from plant sources like grains and legumes are incomplete, meaning you have to combine them with other foods to get a complete protein source. But chia’s protein is complete, just like that of animal proteins. Chia seeds also contain strontium which helps to assimilate protein and produce high energy. The combination of complete protein, vitamins, minerals and blood-sugar balancing gel all work together to provide you with steady energy.
Chia Seeds are Loaded with Antioxidants - Chia seeds are an excellent source of antioxidants containing even more antioxidants than fresh blueberries. The high amounts of antioxidants in chia seeds also keeps the oils from going rancid - contributing to a long shelf life. This is what makes them advantageous over flax seeds, which need to be ground to get their benefits, but go rancid quickly after grinding.
Chia seeds don’t need to be ground to get their benefits. At room temperature, whole chia seeds stay fresh and ready to eat for over two years. This amazing ability is not found in other seeds like flax or sesame, because those seeds don’t have the same rich anti-oxidant content. Anti-oxidants help prevent free-radical damage in your body. Free radicals lead to conditions such as premature aging of the skin, chronic inflammation of various tissues, and the formation of cancer cells.
Chia Seeds can Replace Eggs and Oils in Recipes - You can easily replace one fourth of the oil or butter in a baking recipe with chia gel without noticing any change in the taste or texture, and can also replace eggs. The food will bake the same and taste the same (or better) from the addition of the chia gel, and it will increase the nutritional profile of your foods. Although it might be tempting to substitute a larger percent for a larger benefit, 25% is the maximum substitution ratio you can use unnoticed. Addint the chia gel to your recipes can keep the food moist and tasting fresh longer. This can be used in many things like cakes, muffins, brownies, quick breads or any recipe that asks for oil or butter.
Start by mixing ¼ cup chia seeds and 1 cup of water, stir, and let sit for 15 minutes or so. The seeds will turn into a gel that is the consistency of pudding or custard. You can store chia gel in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
To use chia gel in your recipes, divide the amount of butter or oil by 4, and then use that amount of chia gel to fill in. To replace eggs, use the following guidelines. Please note that you cannot replace both eggs and oil with chia gel in a recipe, it has to be one or the other. Combine water and chia and let sit for 10-15 minutes or until it gels:
Ingredients for 1 egg:
3 Tbsp Water
1 Tbsp Chia Seed
Ingredients for 4 eggs:
¾ Cup Water
¼ Cup Chia Seed
Ingredients for 8 eggs:
1 ½ Cup Water
½ Cup Chia Seed
Chia Seed Gel Makes Great Snacks – When you soak chia seeds in other liquids that have flavor, such as a fruit juice, vegetable juice, or flavored water you have an instant snack. Prepare a flavored gel by combining 1 cup of liquid and ¼ cup chia seeds, stir, and allow them to soak for about 15 minutes. You can eat the gel after 15 minutes or let it soak longer to increase the nutrition content.
Adding fruit or granola to the gel is a great way to make a unique snack and will give you a great energy boost. Sliced bananas, pears, or peaches are a perfect compliment. Blueberries, raspberries or strawberries also add an amazing flavor and texture. Stir the fruit in gently and eat the chia gel with a spoon.
The fruit juice chia gel makes an incredible topping for yogurt, oatmeal, and desserts as well. When the gel is mixed with fruit and layered with yogurt or custard you have a delicious parfait. The possibilities are endless!
Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding
1 ½ cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
4 drops liquid stevia, or to taste
1/4 cup chia seeds
fresh fruit toppings of your choice, optional
Combine almond milk, chia seeds, and stevia in a bowl and stir thoroughly. Place in the refrigerator for two hours or overnight to thicken, stirring occasionally. Spoon into serving dishes and top with fresh fruit as desired.
Eight Keys to a Slimmer, Healthier You in 2013
Written by Dee McCaffrey, CDC
Friday, January 04, 2013
At the beginning of a new year, a new month, week or day, it is tempting to make resolutions and promise to reform. However, it is best to approach any type of change as a lifestyle that is taken one day at a time. As a woman who continually struggled with obesity for decades, I know that diets don’t work and most resolutions are fleeting. I found a more effective way to start a new day, or new year, one that leads to lasting weight loss. It’s not about counting calories or fat grams, it’s about learning to have balance and live without eating inordinately. Here are 8 keys that I used to lose weight, and that I still use each day to keep the weight off!
1. Eat as a way of life and not a diet
When I first embarked on my weight loss journey, I was asked whether the way I was eating to lose weight was something I would be able to do for the rest of my life. It was a good question, and one that required considerable thought. My answer was yes, I can do this for the rest of my life. I can do it because it’s healthy, it’s satisfying, it’s balanced, it nourishes me, and it doesn’t trigger my cravings.
Eating as a way of life is an important key to permanent weight loss, because it means that you start eating healthy now so that when you get to your desired weight, you just keep doing what you’ve been doing to get the weight off. There’s nothing new that you have to add in or take out of your food choices.
The problem with diets is that they are only temporary, and often restrictive. You don’t learn how to eat for long-term health, and there is often a sense of guilt if you don’t follow it perfectly. Eating as a way of is a choice that allows for flexibility; it is something that you commit to each day, growing into it as your understanding food and your own needs deepens. Eating as a way of life gives you freedom with food in a way that dieting or inordinate eating cannot give you.
2. Cut the refined sugar and minimize natural sweeteners
In addition to the long list of serious health problems caused by consuming refined sugar (diabetes, heart disease, obesity, cancer, liver disease, etc.), refined sugars mask your desire for healthy foods and upset your body chemistry. When you are eating sugar and other processed foods on a regular basis, you find that you don’t really desire to eat fruits and vegetables. I can’t recall how many times in the past when I was overweight and eating unhealthy, that I had all good intentions by bringing an apple in my purse to eat during the day, but it always came home in my purse at the end of the day because I never got around around to eating it, yet I had eaten plenty of other unhealthy foods during the day.
Also, you won’t crave what you don’t put into your body. Sugar cravings are nothing more than a withdrawal response from sugar, in the same way a cigarette smoker craves nicotine. Your body doesn’t need nicotine, but if you give it a steady supply, it becomes accustomed to it. As the nictotine levels in the body begin to drop, that’s when you crave another cigarette. When you eat refined sugar, the same thing happens—your body doesn’t need more than the equivalent of 2 teaspoons of blood sugar (glucose) at any one time, so if you consume a lot of sugar regularly, your body becomes accustomed to a higher amount of sugar. As your blood sugar levels begin to drop down to normal, your body undergoes a withdrawal response, which you experience as a sugar craving. Most people don’t recognize that their body is just trying to get normal, and they cave in to the cravings. Withdrawal may be uncomfortable, but it is only temporary. Once your blood sugar levels are stable, your sugar cravings will vanish.
You also have to minimize natural sweeteners, because even though they are much more nutritious than refined sugars, they are still sugars and eating them to excess can still cause sugar cravings. I only recommend using natural sweeteners occasionally, not regularly. The one exception is stevia, which is not a sugar and does not affect blood sugar levels. It can be safely consumed on a daily basis.
3. Be prepared and anticipate that you might have a slip
Long term weight loss is a significant lifestyle change, and you have to always be conscious about your food choices. You cannot go on autopilot, and you cannot leave your healthy eating commitment in the hands of others. You must be prepared for any food situation. The best way to prepare is to have healthy foods and snacks on hand, and to always have a back-up plan in case you’re in a sitation when you don’t have what you want or need to eat healthy.
For instance, keeps fresh or dried fruits, nuts, or other healthy foods on hand for snacks, or bring them with you to eat if you get hungry between meals. Some easy snack foods are trail mix, oat bran muffins, hard boiled eggs, and whole fruits.
There will undoubtedly be times when you do make an unhealthy choice, either knowingly or unkowingly. That’s OK. You are not expected to be perfect, and you should be gentle with yourself if it happens. Remember, eating as a way of life is not a diet, so there’s no “blowing it.” Don’t let isolated slips derail you. Think of them as learning opportunities, and ask yourself “what can I do differently if I’m in this situation again?” Write down your answers so that you have them to refer to in the future.
4. Make healthy choices when you eat out
Eating out is definitely a treat. But when we have permanent weight loss as our goal, it’s a treat in a different way. It’s a treat to not have to cook or clean up, and you get to eat things that are different than what you make for yourself at home, but it’s not a time to eat unhealthy foods. Order dishes that focus on vegetables and whole foods. Try restaurants that cater to the health conscious crowd, and remember to ask your server how the foods are prepared.
5. Incorporate vegetables as much as your can into your meals and snacks
One of my Science of Skinny Laws is “the amount of vegetables you eat is directly proportional to how much weight you will lose.” This is because vegetables fill you up with minimal calories, they are high in fiber, they stabilize your blood sugar levels (to help reduce cravings) and they provide you with lots of energy. When looking to incorporate more vegetables into your meals and snacks, you may have to get creative. Think beyond the salad bowl or the side of steamed broccoli. Why not add that broccoli to your scrambled eggs, along with some sauteed onions, garlic, pepper, and tomatoes? Add a handful of green leafy vegetables like spinach or kale into your smoothies, Add some diced carrots and celery to rice or quinoa while it’s cooking to make an easy pilaf. The possibilities for adding veggies are endless!
6. Plan your treats and snacks
I have found that planning treats and snacks works much better than swearing off. However, I don’t recommend buying snack foods that are pre-made. It is best to plan and prepare your own healthy snacks and treats. Once thing that has worked very well for me is to make my own treats and only eat them occasionally. The occasional treat reduces the feeling of deprivation, and it also reduces overindulgence. Making your own treats using healthy, nutritious ingredients is a very important key to permament weight loss.
7. Get moving and exercise
It may be possible to lose weight without exercising, but it’s very difficult to keep it off long term if you don’t make exercise a regular part of your lifestyle. I walked 100 pounds off, and have kept if off over the years by staying with this main form of exercise. But you can move your body in other ways as well. For example, do calf raises while washing the dishes, dance around the house while listening to some good music, squats while brushing your teeth or arm curls with groceries while walking through the parking lot. The main point is to not be sedentary and move your body in some way every day.
8. Recognize and curb your emotional eating
Emotional eating is using food to make yourself feel better—eating to fill emotional needs, rather than to fill your stomach. Using food from time to time as a reward or to celebrate isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But when eating is your primary emotional coping mechanism—when you do it all the time—you get stuck in an unhealthy cycle where the real feeling or problem is never addressed. Compounding the problem, you stop learning healthier ways to deal with your emotions, you have a harder and harder time controlling your food and weight, and you feel increasingly powerless over both food and your feelings.
The first step in putting a stop to emotional eating is identifying your personal triggers. Learning to recognize your emotional eating triggers is the first step to breaking free from food cravings and compulsive overeating, and changing the habits that have sabotaged your commitment to healthy eating in the past.
Ask yourself what situations, places, or feelings make you reach for the comfort of food? Once you’ve identified your triggers, you have to find other ways to fulfill yourself emotionally. It’s not enough to understand the cycle of emotional eating or even to understand your triggers, although that’s a huge first step. You need to truly find a way to reach a level of comfort within yourself so that you don’t need to eat for emotional reasons. That is a commitment in itself, a journey of inner growth that requires caring for yourself on many levels, and having plenty of support along the way.
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LOST 100 POUNDS AND FEEL GREAT
Recommend Dee's Plan Almost Daily!
I lost 48 pounds in about 4 months and 100 pounds within a year and a half. Thank you, Dee!Read More
LOST THOSE EXTRA 30 POUNDS
Her Plan Made So Much Sense
As a certified personal trainer, I found it embarrassing that I could not lose those extra pounds of middle-age fat.
LOWERED BLOOD PRESSURE
Didn't Know What Feeling Good Was
Now I have more energy than I have had in years. I am 63 years old and still have the energy to work 16-18 hours per day.Read More
Science of Skinny Video Part 1: Dee's Story