In the Weight Loss Trenches

How are you doing on your new journey into a new life? You know that weight loss, if it is to be life long, must be more than a diet. It isn’t a temporary thing. Diets, on the whole, are bound to end in failure. Diets are generally something one cannot stand for very long and so after a short stint of gagging down over-salted low fat frozen dinners, low fat cottage cheese, sugar free candy, butter-less green beans, low fat thousand island dressing on a salad of iceberg lettuce…

We QUIT! Arrrrgh.

No, diets on the whole are not designed to help you do what you really need to do and that is be part of a new approach to life. If I would lose weight I will have to grow up and realize several things: It’s time to be as tough on me as I am on my kids, telling myself, “no, one cookie is enough”. Telling me to drink more water. Exercise even though I don’t feel like it. It is time to take responsibility for my choices in life.

I know I talked about this recently but I have to reiterate that a real weight loss diet one that is meant to help you really lose weight and keep it off is just training ground for a new life – diet only be part of it.

Many weight loss experts are beginning to call this by a better term: weight management or lifestyle management. After all, weight loss is really just a benefit of making better eating choices, adding an exercise habit, choosing a more active part in your own life instead of just going with the flow, listlessly absorbing TV ads for food forms, carelessly buying stuff at the store.

Weight gain is the result of many factors, many of which are a result of poor early education on what to eat, how MUCH to eat, when to eat, whether to and how much exercise, among other things.

If you are like me, you just ate what was there in front of you because Mama said so. Then when you got a little freedom and some money in your pocket you spent it on what, broccoli and carrots? No, I wager it was the biggest candy bar you could afford.  I did that and some kite string.

So, today I want to reinforce at least one of my new habits.  Eat smaller meals more often.  That is my biggest  new habit: to eat more often.   Too many years of skimpy snacks and evening binges to overcome.  I have a hard time remembering to eat before noon.  So, I need to make it part of my day to eat.

What about you?  What is your biggest new habit to make (hardest old habit to break)?  Make notes to yourself.  Tie the old string around the finger.  Do whatever it takes to keep that new habit in the foreground till it is part of your day.

Got to go…I need to eat!

BUSTED! “Safe” Quick Weight Loss Diet

This dangerous myth is actually more of a stumbling block and the main reason why we go on disposable diets. You know, those diets blaring at you in red on woman’s magazine. Disposable diets are the reason we are staying fat! This desperate attitude fuels the whole diet industry. It is the basis on yo-yo dieting. You see, when we have a desperate, “I HAVE to lose weight NOW!” attitude, we are acting emotionally and will make poor or rash eating decisions.

Like not eating breakfast or living on those weight loss bars or shakes in order to lose weight. Or taking on a high protein or some such diet.

Now, I have nothing in particular against a high protein diet, per se. Or using a weight loss bar or shake as a supplement. It is the reason we started the diet in the first place that concerns me. Our decision to lose weight must be a conscious decision based on sense and facts, not a reaction to your waistline.

I found that once I began to make better food choices, decided to eat smaller more regular meals and add regular exercise, the weight began to come off. I also realized weight loss is a long term, if not, lifetime commitment. Because once the weight is off, you will still want to make wise choices.

This is why the better weight loss programs are actually lifestyle management or lifestyle modification programs. They instruct the person to take on new habits. Eating choices that are balanced and based on real food. Regular and small meals. Goal setting and maintaining a cheerful mindset. Reasonable and regular exercise.

When setting out to lose weight, look for this kind of program.

Determine now to stop reacting to your weight. Accept that you are where you are but then begin to take steps to change the things you can. Taking the focus off the fat and placing it on getting healthy. Add new good habits that promote health and slender body.

BUSTED! Disposable Diets

If you have looked at my site for long, you know how I feel about those diets that “sell” magazines. You know, the ones that say lose 10 pounds in 14 days! These diets are disposable in that they rarely are doable past the 14 days prescribed.

Who could stand to eat carrots and tuna with cottage cheese or peanut butter crackers with celery sticks or chicken breasts with mustard sauce… for more than 14 days!?

No, these diets are designed to sell magazines. You know the kind.  You are desperate to lose 9 or 10 pounds so that when you see the latest diet emblazoned in Bold Red Letters on the cover of some women’s  magazine, you grab it. You quickly scan the article to determine the food for the menu for a week and set off with a will – THIS time I am going to lose 10 pounds!!  uh huh!

Folks, these diets are losers even before they begin. For one thing, they are self limiting! 10 days or 14 days or whatever? Unless all you have to lose is 8 or 10 pounds you will want to stay with it for much longer. And face it, there is no physical way to lose 10 pounds of fat in 10 days. When you lose weight on one of those magazine diets, it is made up of mostly water weight, some minerals and a pound or 2 pound of fat.

To top it off, because you starved yourself for the duration, your body is now saying, “Hey, you starved me. So, now I have to save up energy/fat for the next starvation period.” And there you go, gained all the weight back and more!

No, unless you only have to lose 5 to 10 pounds total, these diets are bound to fail. It is these diets that give weight loss dieting a bad name, too.

If you are serious about losing weight – for good – you have to decide to eat better food choices, exercise regularly, drink plenty of water, get fresh air, de-stress your life. There are no short cuts.

Take a look around this site for sound advice for safe, healthy weight loss.

Making Exercise a Habit

I am by nature a lazy person. I avoid exercise like it was the plague. I am not afraid of work. I can work circles around my family members. But when it comes to exercise, I just drag my feet.

Till now, that is. I am going to be 48. I am some 50 pounds overweight and am beginning to feel it! So, I am going to make myself accountable to you wherever you are, dear reader, to add exercise to my days. I bought a very nice commuter style bicycle two years ago and never rode it! Till last week.

I actually got on it and started to try to ride it. My kids are great! I love them so much and you know why?? When their mama got on the bike and wobbled around and barely got herself up the road, they just cheered me on. Not a hint of a giggle.

Then when I could barely get my Jello like leg back up over the seat to get off – don’t laugh – I crumbled. But I was smiling! I made it up the street! woo hooo! Panting like I just ran a marathon, too. But I did it, thank you, Lord!

That was last week and now I am getting around the block twice!! Still smiling, too. Hey, by next week I will be going up the second block and beyond! Burn fat, burn!!

What are you doing? Are you walking? Biking? Swimming? Just do it! Take a look at the folks stuck in a nursing home and remember that that could be you someday unless you start to do something about it – today!

BUSTED! Never Try to Lose Weight During Pregnancy

Weight loss at any time in your life is never unsafe – IF it is approached with healthy foundations and not in response to your emotions. “I’m FAT. I have to lose weight NOW!”, is emotional. With this kind of thinking you will be tempted to do one of those disposable, temporary and often dangerous diets that usually are severely limited in their caloric intake and missing some essential nutrition.

Whenever anyone takes on a weight loss program to lose excess fat, they must come to terms with the fact that they will be in this for the long haul. Real weight loss programs consist of healthy balanced meals that anyone can use (unless you have specific allergies or limitations imposed by your physician). So it stands to reason that a nursing mother, even a pregnant woman can safely lose weight by eating smaller meals of real foods.

Weight loss is something a woman must undertake to gain over all health. When approached with an attitude that you are going to eat like this for the most part for the rest of your life, then weight loss becomes part of the natural course of things. You lose weight eventually when you eat smaller, more balanced meals.

As it happens, most of us want to lose it all now. We see our bulges and flabby tummies and we react by severely cutting our food intake. This causes more weight gain as the body feels it is starving and conserves food as fat.

What anyone, pregnant or nursing or otherwise, must realize is that weight loss is going to be the result of a conscious choice to make the right eating choices and eating on a regular basis and coupling it with sensible regular exercise. There is no short cut to a slim body. No “nine pounds in 14 days diet” will work in the long run.

True weight loss depends on you making a commitment to establishing good habits. Get serious about eating good food and allow yourself planned treats. Take up walking or biking on a regular basis. These are things that anyone can do to start on the way toward a healthy weight.

The key is to not react to your fat but respond by planning to lose safely no matter how long it takes. So, Mama, be patient. Be consistent. Make better food choices. Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with healthy snacks in between. Walk wherever you can. Take up a favorite sport for exercise. Above all, enjoy life and let the weight take care of itself one pound at a time.

Diet Myths Busted!!!

I am a diet myth buster! I love to read anything about weight loss, healthy eating and fitness for “normal” folks.  As such I get to read everything from the sensible to the complete and utter nonsense!

Look for posts labeled BUSTED! to see what I think about what’s out there.

Let’s make this a community section too. You are welcome to contribute your suggestions and ideas.

Product Review: Fit Yummy Mummy Gets *****

OK. I know the name is quirky but once you (quickly) get past that, you will find an almost nearly perfect weight management program! Seriously, I have looked high and low for a comprehensive lifestyle make-over with the view to weight loss and lifetime health.

Anyone who has read my free report, It’s Time To Get Beyond Dieting, knows that there are some 7 Laws that must be adhered to to get and maintain a lifetime of health and slimness. Fit Yummy Mummy answers all that and more.

Holly Rigsby, the creator of the program, has geared this to women, especially moms, who need to get off that extra “baby’ weight. She doesn’t exempt other women, though most of us have been moms at some time or other. So, we can relate to the frustration of that extra baggage we pack on after baby(ies) come.

It isn’t a book of suggestions. Holly comes right out and tells you that this is a life changing program that takes a commitment on your part. You will be adding new healthy habits over a period of 4 – 16 weeks, that will add to your over all weight loss and health. Goal setting is part of it. Eating balanced nutritious meals. Regular short exercise sessions. Maintaining a positive outlook.

You, see I have been needing to lose weight but denying it for too many years. I have looked at ‘diets’ for a long time. I have made it a little more than a hobby to research weight loss, metabolism, health in general for years and NONE of the diet plans fit.

Maybe I used that as an excuse to not lose weight – I don’t know. But sooner of later you have to stop looking or analyzing and just do it!

Well, you know the adage – When the student is willing, the teacher appears.

Enter Fit Yummy Mummy. Oh, I was put off by the name, I admit. I had skimmed the website looking at all the before and after pictures and thought, wow, they look great, but didn’t really take a close look at it because the name threw me off. I guess I thought if it was a serious lifestyle management program it would have a more serious name. Boy, was I wrong.

I am not sure why I took the plunge but one day I decided to really look at it. I guess I knew there really is no risk anyway, because I have dealt with Clickbank before and they give instant refunds.

I am happy to report FYM passes the test – 100%! I guess I could go on and on but I think if you take a look at it for yourself, you will see what I mean.

Just Keep Moving!!

I am going to preach today!  So brace your selves.

When not caring for my children and husband, writing and researching about health and weight loss,  taking on my own weight management program I get to care for my husband’s parents.  This is a mixed blessing.

I say mixed because I love them dearly and want to help them anyway I can.  I am a fixer by nature – most mothers are.  So, when I see my dear in-laws in their current failing health I just ache to “cure” them.   I “know” what will help them – but the other part of the equation is = can they be helped?

Years of disuse and the choice to be inactive has slowly broken down their health.  In their 70s, they have many potential years of vital living ahead of them.  Instead, they chose to sit.  When in pain, they chose to take medicine and sit.

They are not the only ones who have chosen to sit when it gets hard to move.  But like the rest, rather then choosing a passive approach to pain and long term health, continuing to move could have helped iron out those pains and given them many more years of health.

The human spine is designed to move and bend.  It isn’t designed to sit!  Sitting is the stop we take between walking, standing, sleeping – moving.  But it should not take up the bulk of our day.

Sitting is hard on your spine.  Oh now I know that sounds screwy.  But gravity takes its toll on a sitting spine.  The head is heavy and comes forward.  This eventually pulls the shoulders and upper back forward.  To compensate, the lower back sways the other way and our rear bumps out.

Then when we stand, our backs and shoulders ache from this progression of degeneration. Which in turns causes us to sit some more.  And so it goes… and that is why my in-laws are where they are.  Pinched nerves, bulging discs, sciatica pain, arthritis and bone spurs, grinding hip pain, worn out knees and achy feet.

Solution:  Keep Moving!  Sit long enough to accomplish a task and no more than 45 minutes at a time.  Out of every hour take 15 minute breaks from sitting.  For those of you who have computer jobs, add a standing desk station where you can vary your position.  Yes, your back may ache at first as you retrain it to stand but in the long run your body will thank you.

Oh, I mentioned the mixed blessings.  The other blessing that has come out of this relationship is that the one person I can help is ME.  So, guess what!  I am going to keep moving!

A Journey of a Thousand Miles…

Welcome to my very own weight loss blog/site thing!

I started out wanting to make this site a collection of tips and ideas to lose weight safely and permanently that I have gleaned over the recent years. But then it occurred to me that you don’t know me from Adam. Why would you be interested to read another person’s thoughts and opinions of this subject: weight loss. After all, thousands of books fill the shelves of Barnes & Noble that spout someone’s version of how to lose weight for good.

I guess I really felt it was necessary to keep track of all I had sorted through about diet and healthy living over the years. Sometimes it just takes someone who doesn’t have a vested interest in whether someone agrees on my take on how to eat and how to exercise, etc.

I have a very decided opinion that the human body is the result of amazing design and not mere chance. Yes, I believe in a special creation by a benevolent Creator Who knew what He was doing when He designed this body of ours. I sometimes wonder how much of eternity is took Him to just figure out how to balance catabolism with anabolism – the two opposing processes of metabolism. For 75 or more years this harmonious process happens all without a hitch – unless we mess with it. I wonder, too, how He thought of our nervous system. Nerves course through our bodies – interconnected and yet headed to one central control – the brain.

The human body is a marvel. Designed to live flawlessly for 7 or 8 decades (actually more) only quitting when we wear it out – or kill it with illness or bad habits.

Sorry for rambling… I decided to share the bits and pieces of knowledge gleaned over time that “fit” a special creation rather then the current view that the body is a mechanical device that can have parts exchanged for worn out ones and disease can be poisoned or irradiated like it won’t affect the rest of the body. While I agree that technically a calorie is a calorie and that the body will burn or store calories regardless of the source.

BUT how that calorie is packaged is the material difference. The 100 calories packed in 8 oz. of plums is “packaged” differently than those of the 100 calories in 3 level tablespoons of rich vanilla ice cream! Take a look at the insert below.

100 calories of fresh plums is about ½ POUND (7.8 oz) and has:

1.52 grams of protein,

21.4 grams of carbs and

0 (read zero) grams of fat

3 grams of fiber

jammed with numerous vitamins, minerals, enzymes. I dare say you would get a belly ache on that many plums.

100 calories of “rich vanilla” ice cream is 3 tablespoons(!), has:

1.4 g of protein,

8.9 grams of carbs and

6.4 grams of fat

zero fiber

minor amounts of minerals and vitamins.

While the protein grams are relatively the same in both, there are twice as many carbs in plums but ZERO fat plus there is fiber, 3 grams. Plus we are talking sugar packaged n its natural state combined with real enzymes, vitamins and minerals. Then there is the volume and therein lies the problem! You would fill up on the ½ pound of plums but when was the last time you were content to have just a 3 level tablespoons of ice cream?

God designed this body “machine” to work and adapt to its environment. As seasons change, food would be more or less available – He knew that before he put the first man down here. Some foods would be more plentiful different times of the year. Sometimes food would be scarce. He knew that and designed into His creation the ability to make it through those tough times. The very wise Creator planned for us to work and sweat for out daily bread. Yet He gave us a brain that was equipped to design and create and invent.

So man designed “better” ways to make food available. domesticating animals. Planting in rows. Canning and freezing. All wonderful innovations but making it easier to have more than enough food to survive.

So here we are, in a body that was originally designed to handle harsh times in a world where things are far from harsh.

I’m getting long winded so I’ll continue next time.  But think about the kinds of foods and food forms we have available and how that would work with this amazing body machine.

Tell me what you think.

How Metabolism Works

You cannot have fat loss/desired weight loss unless you change how your body utilizes your body stores of fat. When we talk about fat loss we need to have a basic understanding of metabolism. There is a great deal of misunderstanding on how the body uses the food we eat. Rather than getting to technical here i will present the facts as simply as possible.

When we take in food the body has two choices:

#1 – it must break it down and use it

OR

#2 – break it down and store it.

Food doesn’t just miraculously pass by the protein “counter” in your intestines where some “attendant” takes just what the body needs and discards the rest. Depending on how well the food is chewed and then mixed in the stomach, the body has two ways to deal with it: use it now or store it for later. Same with fats and carbohydrates.

When we eat food, the body will attempt to convert those proteins, fats and carbs into energy (We are not talking about the other uses of protein, carbs and fat at this point but just as it relates to energy) which we will use right away. But the remaining unused energy (calories) will not just flush away (don’t we wish!). These units of fuel will be converted and then stored – as fat. Why???

History of food consumption and the Principle of Adaptation

Whether you take the view of evolution or special creation, nearly all scientific experts agree that this is the way man has functioned for at least the last 10,000 years of human history. So, for the past 10 millennium, the human genetics hasn’t varied in how it processes its food intake.

In essence, the body is designed to eat raw and minimally processed foods in season and found locally. This coincides with the fact that for the greater part of human history, food had to be hunted and gathered. That took time and vast amounts of energy to gather food, when it was available. Then when food wasn’t as available, the body adapted to the lower caloric intake conserving the body’s use of its stored fat and by storing fat from the little food it was taking in.

As technology advanced, man has been able to improve on agricultural methods making food more accessible and plentiful. Animals were domesticated so we didn’t have to chase down our food. Crops were sown so we didn’t have to go so far to gather and made food more accessible. As time went on, we discovered ways to make food last longer for later use. Man devised methods of preservation early on which consisted of drying and fermenting among other things. There were no more long periods of starvation and so the body adapted. While nourishing, these foods weren’t perhaps as tasty as they could have been and didn’t stay edible as long as it might, soooo…

Our ingenuity has caused us to find ways to make food last longer on the shelf. Thus came in canning techniques and then freezing (as electricity came along) as well as ways to modify the food so that, frankly, it doesn’t resemble the original (take ketchup and French fries as an example).

To tackle the aspect of making food taste better and better man has come up with all sorts of delicious concoctions and additions. This has been done at the expense of common sense.

So while human genetics has not changed significantly in 10,000, the way we get food has. Thus our bodies will take in excess food, convert it to fat and store it. It’s as simple as that. Then when we attempt to lose that stored fat the body, in its attempt at self preservation, will lower its caloric needs to whatever amount you are feeding it. It adapts because it thinks it is going into a period of starvation. You will typically feel more tired and perhaps even sick, which happens as the body attempts to conserve its energy for only essential bodily functions. And thus you lose the courage to stay on your self imposed fast.

You then resume your normal food intake (fall off the wagon), and the body says, “OK, everyone! Since we just nearly starved, we need to gather in more energy to store for the next fast! Let’s store it on the hips this time.”

Or something like that. It has no idea that you are dieting it just thinks its being starved like our hunting ancestors of old, but it acts as though it is by packing on more than before.

So it goes with dieting. Whether you purposely cut your calories through dieting or you go through a time of fasting (i. e. starve the body), your body responds by conserving its energy and diverting it to essential functions of keeping the heart beating, the body just getting by. When the food intake increases after a period of starvation, the body will store fat for future periods of fasting.

That is the short version of it. So, what can we do to work with this system of ours. Can we manage to get around the rules that have been established these 10,000 years of man’s existence?

We can by mimicking the way this body was first designed/adapted to do. It’s time to stop trying to make the body do something for which it was not designed.

It’s time to stop dieting!!! Forever!

Can you imagine a Ferrari functioning well on “junk gas”? Seriously, we give our cars the best fuel we can afford. We buy the best diet for our animals we can afford. Why do we persist in buying the worst diet for our bodies??

The Ferrari manufacturer recommends high octane gasoline – Premium, right? Regular oil changes, keep water to proper levels, lube the joints, wash the wind shield, etc… It makes sense to follow the manufacturer’s instruction or to say the other way around – insane to try to do it your own way.

Now, we didn’t come with a manual. But we did come with a brain!! The car depends on an intelligent user to keep it running smoothly. Our pets depend on us to keep them healthy. Our body depends on us to keep IT healthy.

So, using our brain, just what would be a healthy diet for this body?

Hmmm, our ancestors ate as they found food. Perhaps they even gorged on it (like after a kill).

But we don’t have to do that. We have ready access to food so we don’t have to gorge. Knowing what we know about how our body deals with overeating (it stores all excess calories), we can manage to feed it smaller, consistent meals. In this way, the body doesn’t feel threatened (by a diet/starvation) and can “relax” and use what it needs. The key for us is it to only give it just what it needs to carry on it’s daily functions and no more.

Rule #1 It’s time to eat in moderation. Smaller meals. More frequently throughout the day.

Then just what did our forebears eat? Meat from game and plant material (roots, leaves, fruit in the form of grain and fleshy fruits and vegetables (apples, berries, legumes and such).

OK, how does that translate for us? Eat organ and muscle meat from naturally raised, domesticated and wild animal and any by products like eggs and milk products. Eat greens, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, raw or processed minimally.

Rule #2 It’s time to eat food as close to the way it was when it was first harvested or killed.

To be continued…