Archive for the ‘Weight Loss’ Category

Roadblocks to a Thinner You

You’ve gone the whole nine yards and yet you’re still seeing little or no results on your weight loss program. While losing weight seems to be a breeze for some, others find it to be a constant uphill battle they just can’t win.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Medications

Medicines have a direct effect on our body’s many processes including our body weight. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs (aspirin, naproxen and ibuprofen), corticosteroids and high blood pressure medication causes fluid retention. Female hormone pills for example hinder weight loss and could actually contribute to weight gain.

If you’re currently under medication, the best thing to do is to discuss this with your physician. Try asking for alternative medications which doesn’t have this side effect. If this is not possible, switch to a low fat diet and a more aggressive exercise program to offset weight gain. But of course this should first be consulted with your doctor to avoid complications.

You’ve reached your normal weight

A Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18 and 25 is considered normal. Losing weight after reaching your ideal weight could be difficult since this could face opposition from your body. BMI is computed by dividing your weight (in kilograms) by the square of your height (in meters).

If you still believe that your are “fat” even if you’ve reached your normal weight, then this could be a  symptom of a psychological or eating disorder. People suffering from Anorexia nervosa for example, go into extreme diets and exercise programs just to have a thinner figure.

Hormonal Changes

There are many factors that cause hormonal changes in our body. Any change in the level of hormones has a direct effect on our body’s normal processes including weight gain. Aging, medication, medical conditions, menopause and menstrual periods are just some of the factors affecting hormone levels.

This is a condition that affects women more than men. Female hormone pills, menstrual periods and menopause for example are just some of the conditions that affect the levels of hormones in the body. The best way to lose weight is to tailor your weight loss program accordingly. Consulting a dietician could help you develop a personalized program could make dieting healthier and more effective.

Extreme diets

If your weight loss program requires extreme dieting then this could actually cause your body to store more fats or reduce the amount of fats being burned. Undergoing prolonged periods of “starvation” causes your body to turn into its own defense mechanisms in an attempt to compensate for such extreme measures. It reaches a point where human nature takes over and you are mentally unable to resist eating. Rather than losing weight in a gradual and healthy pace, suddenly depriving your body of its basic needs could lead to sickness. Our body requires its share of daily supply of nutrients. And that includes fats to power our daily activities.

Stress and Anxiety

Major stumbling blocks to any diet program or any life changing decision is a person’s mental condition. Stress, anxiety and unrealistic expectations leads to self doubt undermining any weight loss program. Any changes to your normal daily routine and eating habits can be very stressing. Having a positive disposition, getting the right support (friends and family) and having realistic goals is your best defense when things are not going your way.

Losing Weight and Aging

Remember those times when we could almost get away with eating anything and still manage to keep our figures slim? It seems that each year brings more and more hurdles making it difficult if not impossible to keep those fat deposits at bay.

The easiest solution is to deny ourselves the pleasures of eating often opting to take a small bite of our favorite cake. Keeping slim has become so difficult that even our best efforts seem futile. Each year we grow older seems to add a corresponding inch to our waistline making weight gain synonymous with growing old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accept this change

The first step towards keeping a slimmer body is to accept these changes and plan accordingly. Preparing yourself mentally for the difficult tasks ahead will give you a better perspective of your condition. In the past, aging did not mean gaining weight. This was because people were actively had more active lifestyles and the food was generally healthier.

With all these modern conveniences that makes people soft and all the abundance of processed foods and sugary drinks keeping our body slim has become a challenge. Be conscious about the changes that aging brings and live your life accordingly.

Medical conditions

Weight gain may not be the direct result of aging. An underlying medical condition such as metabolic related diseases could be the culprit. Years of abuse on our body caused by unhealthy lifestyle habits can be responsible for weight gain in our advanced age.

Metabolic conditions such as those associated with the thyroid makes it almost impossible for people to lose weight. One of every five people over the age of 40 suffer from hypothyroidism. This tiny gland is responsible for regulating metabolism or how effectively we digest food. Visit your doctor regularly and have a thorough medical exam. You might never know if your weight gain is the symptom of a medical condition.

Eating Schedules

Living a healthy lifestyle is not denying or starving yourself. If you’ve already switched to a healthy diet and don’t see any results then eating small frequent meals could do the trick. Accept that your body might not be as efficient in digesting food. Eating small frequent meals makes it easier for your body to convert food into usable energy rather than converting it into fat deposits. A light breakfast followed by a healthy snack before lunch is recommended. Just remember to keep this within 3 to 4 hour intervals.

Keep yourself satiated, extreme dieting could lead to binge eating which only makes your weight condition worse. Food taken after 8 pm is more likely to go into in your waist or belly. Never skip breakfast. It still remains the most opportune time for our metabolism. Breakfast fuels our body for the rest of the day.

Aging and our Body

Reaching 40, our body undergoes numerous physical changes which can affect how our body works. This is evident not only in our outward appearance but more importantly our internal processes. The changes are subtle and are not readily seen. This is mainly due to hormonal changes, other factors that affect digestion and metabolism.

Ketogenic Diets – Is It For You?

Ever wondered what a Ketogenic Diet is? This type of diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that forces the body to burn fat instead of carbohydrates. Its food ratio consists of 60% to 80% total calories from fat, 15% to 35% total calories from protein and 5% or less calories from carbohydrates.

A Ketogenic Diet is similar to other strict low-carbohydrate diets such as the Atkins or LCHF Diet. However, one major difference is it restricted when it comes to protein. A Ketogenic Diet reduces the levels of insulin thus increasing fat burning dramatically. This in turn makes it easier to burn fat stores helping you lose weight more easily.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Upside of a Ketogenic Diet

Several health benefits have been attributed to a Ketogenic Diet. This includes increased energy levels and improved weight loss. A Ketogenic Diet also reduces our risks for some health conditions.

  • Reduced Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

People suffering from pre-diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes and are not on insulin medication can reverse their condition by switching to a Ketogenic Diet. Medical research has shown that low-carbohydrate diets that limit the intake of sugar and process grains can have a positive effect on people suffering from diabetes.

  • Reduces Cancer Risks

Studies show that highly-processed, low-nutrient, and pro-inflammatory diets feed cancer cells which makes it easier for them to develop and multiply. Some studies suggest that a Ketogenic Diet may actually starve cancer cells and prevent it from growing rapidly. Generally, diets that encourage us to eat healthy reduce our risks for cancer.

  • Improved Weight Loss

Diets are designed to keep people healthy but one of the most popular reasons is to shed weight. A Ketogenic Diet is highly effective in helping people lose weight. Low-carbohydrate diets keep you feeling fuller longer and speeds up the fat burning process. With less insulin released, the body does not store extra energy in the form of fat. Instead, it focuses on burning existing fat stores for energy.

Foods You Should Eat on a Ketogenic Diet

Vegetables

  • Cabbage (3g)
  • Avocado (2g)
  • Cauliflower (4g)
  • Zucchini (3g)
  • Spinach (1g)
  • Brussels Sprouts (5g)
  • Kale (4g)
  • Green Beans (4g)
  • Broccoli (4g)

Fruits

  • Blackberries (Half a cup which contains 3 grams of carbs)
  • Plum (One medium-size contains 6 grams of carbs)
  • Kiwi (One medium-size contains 8 grams of carbs)
  • Raspberries (Half a cup which contains 3 grams of carbs)
  • Blueberries (Half a cup which contains 6 grams of carbs)
  • Strawberries (Half a cup which contains 6 grams of carbs)
  • Clementine (One medium-size contains 7 grams of carbs)
  • Cantaloupe (One cup contains 11 grams of carbs)
  • Peach (One medium-size contains 13 grams of carbs)
  • Cherries (Half a cup contains 9 grams of carbs

Snacks

  • Zucchini Chips
  • Salami and Cheese Chips
  • Tortilla Pizza
  • Onion Rings
  • Sesame Crispbread
  • Keto Garlic Bread
  • Egg Muffins
  • Cinnamon and Cardamon Fat Bombs
  • Kale Chips

Nuts

  • Brazil Nuts
  • Hazel Nuts
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Pecan Nuts
  • Macadamia
  • Peanuts

Overcoming Obesity

Any way you look at it the statistics regarding obesity are unbelievable…

In the U.S., 55% of adults are overweight, nearly 25% are obese. 

Each year there are approximately 280,000 deaths in the U.S. that can be attributed to obesity. 

There is no longer any doubt that the most widespread and the largest threat to our health is being overweight or obese. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And while these statistics are shocking to most, there are still as many as 80 million people in the United States dealing with obesity.

What experts are trying to get across to these millions of people who are dealing daily with this disease is that obesity is not going to cure itself overnight.   There is not a magic pill that someone can take that will reverse the toll we have taken on our bodies over the years.

There is not a magic pill that someone can take that will reverse the toll we have taken on our bodies over the years.

We, as a society, need to learn that losing weight and keeping that weight off is a commitment – a lifelong commitment – and something that won’t come easy to many people.

Weight loss is not a short term goal.  Instead it is a long term lifestyle change that you must be ready to take on before you start any type of diet or fitness regimen.

Keep in mind there are plenty of support groups out there that will help you get you where you need to be as far as diet and fitness goals and most importantly: don’t give up!

Overcoming Obesity

abcAny way you look at it the statistics regarding obesity are unbelievable:

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In the U.S., 55% of adults are overweight, nearly 25% are obese. 

Each year there are approximately 280,000 deaths in the U.S. that can be attributed to obesity.

 There is no longer any doubt that the most widespread and the largest threat to our health is being overweight or obese.

 And while these statistics are shocking to most, there are still as many as 80 million people in the United States dealing with obesity.

What experts, like those at Prevention Magazine, are trying to get across to these millions of people who are dealing daily with this disease is that obesity is not going to cure itself overnight.   There is not a magic pill that someone can take that will reverse the toll we have taken on our bodies over the years.

We, as a society, need to learn that losing weight and keeping that weight off is a commitment – a lifelong commitment – and something that won’t come easy to many people.

Weight loss is not a short term goal.  Instead it is a long term lifestyle change that you must be ready to take on before you start any type of diet or fitness regimen.

Keep in mind there are plenty of support groups out there that will help you get you where you need to be as far as diet and fitness goals and most importantly: don’t give up!

Easter Candy Calculator

Easter may be just around the corner, but that Easter candy always sticks around for a few weeks and sometimes months.  While it’s ok to satisfy your sweet tooth use this calorie calculator to monitor your intake!

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From marshmallow peeps to chocolate, find out the calories of the content of your Easter basket…

4 Peeps Marshmallow Bunnies: 130 calories

1 Peeps Hollow Milk Chocolate Egg: 420 calories

5 Mars Mini Chocolate Eggs: 179 calories

1 Cadbury Solid Milk Chocolate Easter Bunny: 890 calories

1 Cadbury Crème Egg: 150 calories

8 Robin Eggs: 180 calories

1 Milky Way Bunny: 160 calories

12 Cadbury Mini Eggs: 190 calories

5 Mini Kit Kats: 210 calories

12 Cadbury Chocolate Eggs: 190 calories

1 Dove Solid Chocolate Easter Bunny: 230 calories

1 Nestle’s Crunch Solid Chocolate Easter Bunny: 692 calories

1 Snickers Cream Sports Egg: 140 calories

1 Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg: 180 calories

1 Reese’s Reester Bunny: 798 calories

1 Brachs Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Egg: 43 calories

5 Brachs Malted Easter Eggs: 180 calories

35 Jelly Belly Assorted Jelly Beans: 140 calories

1 Cadbury Caramel Egg: 190 calories

5 Peeps Marshmallow Chicks: 136 calories

1 Large Solid Chocolate Bunny (7 oz.): 1050 calories

1 Hollow Chocolate Bunny: 270 calories

1 Tootsie Pop: 60 calories

2 Tootsie Roll Snack Bars: 100 calories

2 Small Boxes of Dots: 140 calories

Walk Off that Easter Candy

Feeling a little guilty after learning how many calories are in your favorite Easter treats? (See “Food for Thought section of this newsletter.)

Don’t worry!  Just use this handy guide to determine how much walking you need to do to work those calories off!

Editor’s Note:  Mileage is based upon eating only one serving of each of the following candies.  Should you eat more than one serving (according to package) or a combination of any of the following then your mileage will need adjusted.

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Jelly Beans: 1.4 miles

Peeps: 1.6 miles

Robin Eggs: 1.7 miles

Small Chocolate Bunny: 1.4 miles

Medium Hollow Bunny: 2.6 miles

Large Chocolate Bunny: 10.5 miles (!!!!!!)

Chocolate-covered Marshmallow Bunny: .6 miles

Chocolate-covered Marshmallow Egg: 1 mile

Cadbury Crème Egg: 1.7 miles

Cadbury Caramel Egg: 1.9 miles

Lindt Chocolate Carrots: 2.1 miles

Prefer real eggs over chocolate eggs?  You may need to do some walking, too.  One hardboiled egg requires .76 of a mile to walk it off and a half of a deviled egg takes .73 of a mile to burn!

Strange Reasons Why You May be Gaining Weight

So you have been working out and eating right, but you still can’t get that scale to move in the right direction? Well, there may be a “strange” reason why you are gaining weight instead of losing weight.

Here are some strange factors that could cause you to be gaining weight, even though you are doing everything you can to lose weight.

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  • If you are depressed and taking medication for it, you can expect to see about a 5 to 15 pound weight gain, with accumulated weight gain the longer you are on medication. Even if you are not taking medication, if you are depressed you can still be causing unnecessary weight gain because people that are depressed typically turn to “comfort” foods like foods high in fat and calories or they may cut back on physical activity.
  • If you have digestive issues, like having slow bowel movements, you may be gaining weight from that.  Ideally, you should eat and then in an hour or two, have a bowel movement.  To be considered “regular” you should have one to two bowel movements per day.  Staying hydrated is important to become regular and having a diet rich in fiber is also important.
  • If your body is low on vitamin D, magnesium or iron, then your body’s immune system can be comprised, your energy levels may be decreased, or your metabolism may be altered in a way that makes it much harder to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  You can increase your red meat and spinach intake to help improve your iron levels, and improve your magnesium levels by eating more almonds or Brazilian nuts.  Add a supplement of vitamin D to get that all important vitamin.

It’s Turkey Time… How many calories are in your meal?

November is here and once again families will gather around to take part in the traditional Thanksgiving feast.

But, before you carve that turkey or dig into those casseroles, here is a handy calorie calculator that can tell you exactly how many calories are in your meal.

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Main Course:

6 oz. cured ham: 300 calories

6 oz. white and dark turkey: 340 calories

½ cup stuffing: 180 calories

½ cup cranberry sauce: 190 calories

½ cup mashed potatoes: 150 calories

½ cup gravy: 150 calories

½ cup green bean casserole: 225 calories

½ cup candied sweet potatoes: 150 calories

1 dinner roll: 110 calories (45 extra calories with one pat of butter)

Drinks:

1 mixed drink: 250 calories

1 glass of wine: 120 calories

1 glass of cider: 120 calories

1 cup eggnog: 343 calories

Salads and Appetizers:

3 cups salad (with light dressing):  100 calories

½ cup jello with fruit: 120 calories

½ cup Waldorf salad: 110 calories

1 cracker with cheese: 70 calories

½ cup mixed raw vegetables: 25 calories

½ cup mixed nuts: 440 calories

1 oz. tortilla or potato chips: 150 calories (75 extra calories per tablespoon of dip)

Desserts:

2 small chocolate chip cookies: 150 calories

1 piece apple pie: 410 calories

1 piece pecan pie: 480 calories

1 piece pumpkin pie: 180 calories

½ cup whipped cream: 75 calories

½ cup ice cream: 145 calories

Leftovers:

1 turkey sandwich with mayo and cranberry sauce: 450 calories

1 open-face turkey sandwich with stuffing and gravy: 290 calories

Slimming Foods for Fall

Fall can be time for festivals, pumpkin patches, get togethers, football games and many more events where food plays a huge role in the activities of the day.  If you are like most people you want to watch what you eat during the fall season, as you know that the holidays are just around the corner – which means more overeating!

But, even though fall is synonymous with fattening foods there are some fall food items that can actually help you to slim down.

slimming foods

One of these foods is the apple.  Apples are low in calories and high in fiber (95 calories and 4 grams of fiber per medium fruit) and are great tasting!  In a recent study, dried apples have been found to help people lose weight and lower their cholesterol.

Another great fall slimming food is the squash (and who doesn’t love squash from butternut to acorn?)  Just one cup of cooked squash packs 214 percent of the recommended daily value for vitamin A and a third of your recommended daily dose of vitamin C.  Squash are also only 80 calories per cup –compared to its more fattening fall friend the sweet potato at 180 calories per cup.

A good way to add squash to your existing soups and stews is to puree the squash, so you are adding texture and creaminess to your food, without adding all of the extra calories.

Broccoli is another great fall slimming food – a cup of broccoli is just 31 calories and 2.4 grams of fiber.  Plus experts say that when you add fresh vegetables to any food you tend to eat fewer calories so you can add broccoli to virtually any meal to decrease your caloric intake.

Lastly, there is kale.  These days dark, leafy vegetables like kale are the go-to when you are talking about healthy foods.  Kale is packed with vitamin A, loads of fiber and isothiocyanates that help your body to detoxify.