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Mindful Eating

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Mindful Eating

 

Eating-weightloss-health-vitelaBack in the day meals used to be events, times of social interaction, and the term meal was synonymous with a break in your day.  Perhaps some of the time spent in reflection or engaging conversation.  With the advent of all of the time saving “help” that we have, there is more and more a disconnect with actual eating.  We have become mindless and as we shovel in more and more calories along with less and less nutrition.  The result is an unhealthy more and more pounds of fat and fewer building blocks that could actually aid our bodies in repair, upkeep and growth (the lean muscle kind).

When we talk about quick weight loss we must also talk about the habits that led us to the need of weight loss.  Unless we attack these when we actually reach some of the goals that we have set for ourselves we will slide back to the unhealthy “norm” that we never changed when dealing with the fat!  Once we lose we do not want the unhealthy overweight condition again!

Mindless eating is one of those habits that we need to address; this sort of eating needs to be replaced with mindful eating.  Mindful eating is being present with the meal.  That may seem a bit more mystical than I mean it to!  Mindful eating means that you are concentrating on the enjoyment of eating.  It means that you relaxing and allowing stress to fall from you for a short respite at least.  It means that you actually feel good about this process.  If we engage in mindful eating the amount of food is less important, the event becomes more important along with the fact that YOU are worth the time and energy to allot time to this most important activity.  It means noting the colors, smells and textures of your food.  It also means getting rid of other things that can fill your mind at meal times like TV, computer, and reading.  It also means coping with guilt and anxiety that some of us carry in relationship to food.

If we continue in distracted, mindless eating we will probably consume more calories, not be able to remember if we did eat, and our digestion is effected much like a “fight or flight” response.   Our tendency in mindless eating is not just to eat more but also to eat more quickly.  It takes about 20 minutes for our stomach to tell our head that we are full so there is a 20 minute potential during that mindless time to consume too much too quickly potentially adding unhealthy fat!

My weightloss clients sometimes will tell me that they are hungry to which I always reply:  Tell me, are you truly hungry or do you just want something in your mouth?  This is an important question because their answer will temper my coaching advice.

Experts suggest starting gradually with mindful eating, eating one meal a day or week in a slower, more attentive manner. Here are some tips (and tricks) that may help you get started:

  • Set a timer to 20 minutes, and take that time to eat a normal-sized meal.
  • Try eating with your non-dominant hand; if you’re a righty, hold your fork in your left hand when lifting food to your mouth.
  • Use chopsticks if you don’t normally use them.
  • Take small bites and chew well.
  • Enjoy conversation during the meal
  • Put your fork down in between bites.
  • Think about a pleasant occurrence – upcoming or past.

Weight loss must include change in thinking so that the weight loss is permanent.  Begin as you are shredding fat to shred some of these habits that got you here in the first place!

FAT – Is it really a bad thing? Part 2

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FAT — Is It Really A Bad Thing? Part 2

 
 

measuring-body-fat-overweight-obesityThis is the second part of my discussion of fat and though it is not meant to be exhaustive will give you some useful information in this whole area.

Fat cells secrete extra estrogen

An abundance of fat and fat structures yields a very interesting byproduct:  Estrogen.  This abundance of fat becomes an estrogen making machine to the extent that over abundance of fat actually become a sort of symbiotic parasite with a mind of its own.

It may also wreak havoc on your hormonal balance, leading to a variety of illnesses and health risks. Estrogen, the classified “female hormone,” is a fat-storing hormone that is also naturally present in small amounts in men. But with an abundance of fat, estrogen levels rise and other health problems ensue.

Estrogen is necessary in men; it regulates a healthy libido, improves brain function (especially memory) and protects the heart. When the levels are too high in men, testosterone levels are reduced, and many men experience fatigue, muscle tone loss, decreased sexual function, and in some cases, enlarged prostates. In other words, there are no good side effects to increased estrogen levels in men.  Men can also have enlarged breast area because of this hormonal imbalance.

 

I hear all of the time that soy is bad because of the increase in estrogen.  This is in a small part correct – but a much larger culprit is estrogen secreting fat.  If we were to think logically about this very volatile subject – look at the Asian population.  They have very little incidence of cancer in comparison with Americans and eat quite a bit of soy.  Though this is not about soy I will just mention here that all soy is not created equal though that is for a different time!

 

Quick weight loss takes more time than you may wish to think about but soy is definitely the friend of a person wanting to lose weight quickly with balance and success.

 

Fat tissue attracts cells that promote inflammation

Of course we know that you feel lousy when you’re packing a few extra pounds, but there are also internal complications that result from excess fat.

Fat tissue attracts immune system cells called macrophages that promote inflammation in the body. If you are carrying any extra fat, your body begins to produce an immune response similar to when you develop the flu or have an injury.

Inflammation’s intended purpose in the body is to fight infection and when that happens – your body is doing what it was intended to do – heal itself.  So in cases of sickness inflammation is good; but when it comes to fat your body sees inordinate fat stores as a parasitical invasion and inflammation increases.

One of the things that happens when you lose fat is that inflammation is reduced and health increases.  This is probably the joy of my heart – helping people lose fat, gain their life and their health.

 

 

FAT – Is it really a bad thing? Part 1

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FAT — Is It Really A Bad Thing?

 
 

1lb_fat

Fat is a word that most of us do not want to hear on a regular basis, especially when it relates to our own bodies. We associate it with growing beer guts, tighter pants, and less-than-ideal sex and social lives. In my life it is a daily vocabulary word as my expertise is helping people to shred it.  Most people know little about fat so I thought I would spend a couple of blogs educating you on it.

It plays a critical role in many of the processes our bodies go through each and every day, and is both positive and negative when it comes to health.

Fat cells can swell to as much as six times their minimum size

Fat cells are really fuel storage cells in the body.  They can swell to as much as six times their minimum size.  When you lose weight it is the weight that is stored in the fat cell that you are losing.  You do not lose fat cells.  Everyone has fat cells; they begin to form and take shape before birth and then again in adolescence.  When they are mature you will not gain any more fat cells.  The size of the fat cells, as they swell to store energy and flatten when that energy is needed, is what we see in the battle of the bulge!

Fat cells are critical for survival and help assist the body’s “store and management” energy system. If it is not used for fuel immediately it is stored for later use. We want to limit the fat storage; as Americans we have no fuel shortage in our bodies!  Actually burning this fat and not compromising muscle is what my coaching is all about.  It is a precarious balance but if the fundamentals of this are obeyed – fat only is shred!

 

If you lose a lot of weight, your fat cells shrink, but they do not disappear

Having 100 billion fat cells in your body from weight gain may sound scary. The good news is that you can still achieve weight loss after your fat cells swell; in fact, when you lose weight, your fat cells flatten and shrink. Although their total number only decreases slightly (if at all), the cells become less metabolically active and remain in your body, waiting for you to pick up a bag of pork rinds so they can expand again.

The structures that support the burgeoning fat cells break down and are absorbed by the body as unnecessary structures.  For instance – for every pound of it there are 7 miles of blood vessels that are part of the support system for swelled fat cells.

This means that it’s better to try to maintain a normal weight than to gain and lose weight.  Someone who has maintained a normal weight (i.e. has been relatively thin) all their life will have an easier time staying at that weight than someone whose fat cells have swelled.  If you, have had an abundance of it engorging your fat cells – take heart!  If you empty those fat cells of their fuel and allow the structures to absorb you have a great chance of maintaining your loss.  If however you lose a combination of muscle and fat you lower your metabolic rate and the structures are still in place ready to host more fuel storage.

 

With our coaching plan and proven fat burn* products you will burn fat only leaving your muscle in tact!  Read more about fat in my next blog.

 

*On this website you can find the clinical studies in full.  The term “clinical studies” is bandied about a lot these days but check out our sources and hospital studies.  It is truly proven.

 

5 Weight Loss Strategies to be Successful in 2013!

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5 Weight Loss Strategies to be Successful in 2013!

 

2013-Weight-Loss-New-Years-Resolutions-Medifast

 

Probably the most important thing in any New Year’s Resolution is having your head into the decision.  If that is not a factor you are probably destined for failure or at least the dreaded Yo-Yo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1.  Know Your Current Reality  In order to make a journey anywhere it is important to know where you are.  Know as much as you can.  Getting a body composition test is a VERY good idea.  There is no guess work here – no one telling you that you are in better shape than you think – or worse.  It is truth – maybe a truth that hurts but so much the better as we sometimes need that strong dose of reality to really go forward and ignore the “oh I am not that bad” excuse running around in our head that just will derail the process.
  2.  Map out Where you are going and WHY  Having a strong desire is the biggest weapon in your arsenal!  What EXACTLY is that desire?  Where is it that you want to be next year?  Next month?  Mountain climbing?  Playing with grandchildren on the floor? Going upstairs without losing your breath? Skinny jeans?  The dream in only important in that it is important to YOU.  No one can tell you what you want but you – so look deep within.  What is it?  No medications? Size 4? Find that WHY and you have a fortitude in you!
  3.  Have a PLAN  Having a plan is so important – or things will change as you go and nothing will be firm.  You will not learn new habits if you do not plan.  As a Health Coach I help people construct plans for their healthy future all of the time.  Having a plan is important.  It is also important that this plan works and that it promotes healthy weight loss not just weight loss.
  4.  Have a COACH  Studies have proved that people who use a Health Coach have an 80% chance of meeting that goal and 60% better chance of keeping the weight off!  Why risk all of this determination and grit when you could partner with someone who will help you to meet your goals celebrating with you your accomplishments?  A knowledgeable Health Coach is a must.
  5.  Be Ready to Upgrade your Plan  When you get close to your goal – reevaluate!  If you stop short of ultimate health you will be dissatisfied with your results.  Some of my clients reach their goals in several weeks, some in several months and still others as much as a year or two.  I have a client right now who began his journey at about 500 lbs and now after a year is over 200 lbs lighter!  Has he arrived? NO but he is on his way and does not want to stop until he is healthy!  His doctor is ecstatic!  And so are all who love him.

So as you can see my plan does not directly involve food – it involves your head.  How you think will make the difference between success and failure!  Join me and let’s succeed!

Eating Healthy Through the Holidays

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Eating Healthy Through the Holidays

weightloss-weight-loss-losing-eatingThere are many times that I am asked about the exceptions in life:  what about the wedding, bar mitzvah, party, Christmas, Thanksgiving and on it goes.  My stock answer is that no one should be in charge of what you put in your mouth but you.  That is a powerful statement.  No one should dictate to you that you must eat this or that – nor should you feel like you must eat what has been served to you –unless of course you would like to blame others for a decision that was clearly yours. Taking ownership of what goes into your mouth and you will have no problem Eating Healthy through the Holidays!

Actually most people will not notice what you do or do not eat.  When we make choices that we feel coerced into making perhaps we are looking for a scapegoat.  What gatherings are for is relationships:  PEOPLE.  When we make gatherings about food we come into a huge internal conflict.  The real reason you are at the wedding is because you matter to the people involved.  The real reason that you are invited to the party is because your hosts think that in some way you will make the room better.  No one invites you so that you will eat their food.  No one invites you thinking that they can influence your food choices.  So why do we respond in this way!? Remembering this will help you while you are Eating Healthy through the Holidays!

Weight loss and in particular fat loss is my area of expertise.  Choosing to put the right thing in your mouth at the right time makes all the difference in the world – or at least in your body!  Culturally we are changing.  No one tries to get the vegetarian to eat red meat.  We are moving away from insisting that the alcoholic drink booze – even socially.  I think we are also moving away from insisting that a guest eat fat, sugar and guilt laden foods.

So be one of the first to declare that you are eating clean.  You will make wise choices. You will stay in fat burn and not bend to the dictates of the buffet table.  If you are in a place where you are trying to shred fat this should be your mantra.  If you are in a stage where maintenance is your goal, wise choices are still the order of the day in so that fat is kept off!  This holiday season choose relationships over the chips and dip.  Choose a great conversation over the piled high plate.  Choose a new friendship over repeated visits to the decadent desert table.  What matters anyway!?

So enjoy your friends and family over the Holidays while Eating Healthy through the Holidays!

 

Type II Diabetes is DANGEROUS!

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Type II Diabetes is DANGEROUS!

 

Diabetes-weight-loss-over-fatWhy would I say such a thing?  I do not have Type II Diabetes nor am I a doctor but I am finding a large portion of the population either diabetic or pre-diabetic.  What is happening???  With the obesity numbers rising and the health of our nation plummeting we have found ourselves to be desensitized to the plight of real disease – simply because it is more prevalent.

Fact:  Diabetes is the #7 killer in the US and it is PREVENTABLE!!  Why would we subject ourselves to a killer disease?  I have met so many with type II diabetes that regulate their “health” by injections of insulin.  They reason that they may eat what they like with a little help from their needle!  That does regulate the sugars in their blood but it still is VERY detrimental to health.  Health that is a gift, health that is available, health that could be theirs if the detrimental fat was not part of their life and body!

Fact:  Diabetes causes kidney failure, heart disease and blindness.  So let’s say that you do not die from a heart attack – you simply lose your ability to see the sunset, or your sweet family’s faces?  Again we are talking about a PREVENTABLE disease!

One of the joys of my life is getting people off of their diabetic medicines.  Our eating plan is so balanced that I find blood sugars come into balance as does cholesterol and blood pressure in my clients!  How exciting is that!  This is what I love more than anything else – getting people healthy!

I have had many clients whose doctors have removed medications from their daily regime simply because they are healthy and have no need for them.  Exciting!  Wonderful!  Totally doable!  With the BodPod we can see not just weight loss but the KIND of weight that it is.  We can show you the loss of fat and the building of lean muscle mass.  In this journey you not only see what is happening to your body – you FEEL the joys of health!

Join me!  Get healthy!

Food Intake More important than Exercise in Losing Weight

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Food Intake More important than Exercise in Losing Weight

KiwiIn my business I often hear – “well I am just going to exercise…”

The truth is that I know for a fact that I can help a person shred fat faster with an eating plan than they ever could in the gym.  I know this and many times potential clients will agree with me.  So why do we hang on to the stereotypical idea that all we need is to become gym rats?

All of us who have frequented gyms (and I will tell you that I love working out at a gym) – all of us have seen those people who are always there and look exactly the same today as they did 3 years ago – paunch and all!  So what is the answer?  There is a new study done with the Hadza tribe that would indicate that exercise is not the key.  What we eat – when we eat it – and how much we eat is the dominant factor.

We do not want to hear that!  We want to have the decadent chocolate cake (the large piece please) and then just determine that we will “work it off” at the gym.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

The truth is that I can (and do) help people lose an average of 20 lbs a month.  That would be 20 lbs of FAT.  I can prove that with BodPod tests.  Even if you are not in an area where you can test in my pod I can still help you lose that sort of weight.  It is just science.  We have proved it for years.  My client base proves it – and now that Hadza tribe proves it.  http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/01/dieting-vs-exercise-for-weight-loss/

Food is made for fuel – and pleasure.  When we take in too much fuel the pleasure is gone – the health problems mount.

Why I love my job – Bill’s Weight Loss Story

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Why I love my job as a Health Coach – Bill’s Weight Loss Story

Slim girl in big size jeansI can honestly say that I love my job as a Certified Health Coach.  I love helping people lose weight but even more I love helping people who want to be helped.  It is difficult when you want health for someone more than they want it for themselves. That is why when you come in contact with someone who is truly grateful for your help, it is like
a breath of fresh air!

Bill is one such client. He weighed in at a helplessly obese weight of 486 lbs as of January this year. He began working with me and has been so successful. He has done all that this Health Coach has requested.  Because of that he has lost 148 lbs since that January day.  Every time we talk he has tears in his eyes because “you have given me my life back.” He is off of diabetic meds – his doctor certifying him non diabetic at this point and his blood pressure medicines are reduced and perhaps becoming a thing of the past.

He is not finished – and he is very aware of that.  It is wonderful to have a client that does not want to stop short of his goal. Another refreshing stance!  No wonder I love to coach this man!

Most of all the quality of his life is changed.  He can move!  Things that people take for granted – like tying shoes and walking even short distances has now become a reality for him!  What a joy! What a
change!  Life returning!  Is it any wonder I love my job!

What’s in a portion size anyways??

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What’s in a portion size anyways??

body-composition,-cdc,-center-for-disease-control,-eating-out,-food,-portion-size,-portion-sizesThe Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) “The New (Ab)Normal,” makes clear how the increase in portion sizes over the past 50 years has corresponded to America’s ever-expanding waistline. The average American is 26 pounds heavier than in 1950. About one-third of us are overweight or obese and that number is projected to hit nearly 50% by 2030. At the same time, the size of a hamburger has tripled, a basket of fries more than doubled, and the average soda has grown from a modest 7 ounces to a jumbo 42 ounces.

We must change the ways that we see food and the portion size.  We usually do not stop eating until there just is no more food in front of us.  One would think then that reducing the portion size of the food in front of us is of prime importance.   Bingo – it is!

How do we rectify this problem!??  At home the solution is simple – serve smaller portion sizes.  Use smaller plates—as silly as that may sound that indeed is a viable solution.  If your plate LOOKS empty we think it IS empty.  If it LOOKS full our mind says that it IS full.  Are we that easily fooled?  Fortunately yes!  Do not forget to make the plate look good.  Garnishes make us feel special and even if you do not think that you notice – studies prove that you do.

What about eating out?  Sharing an entree is one way to solve the portion size problem.  My husband and I have just come to this – finally!  I have wanted to share for some time but he wanted his own and of course I ate the entire one that I ended up ordering.  The other day we experimented and ordered one entrée and an extra salad.  Surprise!  Both of us were satisfied without over indulging.  We felt as if we had eaten but did not feel the uncomfortable “I should not have eaten all of that!” feeling.  Other possibilities are ordering a la carte or asking that the entrée be split and put in a to go box immediately for take home.

Two weeks ago we went to a fast food restaurant.  My husband wanted to eat and I was not going to eat at this time.  So he ordered a hamburger – that he insisted was healthy (he knows better).  I asked for the nutrition information.  It was posted as it was supposed to be – on the wall for all to see.  It was well above sight line and in 10 point font size so you had to want to read it.  His meal was almost 900 calories!  He could have done much worse – in fact easily he could have ordered twice that many calories.  No wonder he thought he was doing well!

I have not been to a fast food restaurant in over 3 years (that was how long ago I shed my 60 lbs.)  It was amazing what I saw there.  Not one person was fit.  All that I saw including children had weight to lose.  This is my business.  I test people for body composition all of the time so although sometimes I am surprised at the numbers I know there are pounds to be lost – and there were ample pounds to be lost here.

Super Size = Super Size!

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Super Size = Super Size!

5563418Source: CDC
In the mid-2000s, Cornell researcher Brain Wasink performed an experiment called the “bottomless bowl of soup.” He gave unsuspecting diners self-filling bowls of tomato soup to see how they would naturally regulate how much they consumed. On average, they ate 73% more than control subjects with normal bowls. Humans aren’t good at saying no to food.

When I speak about eating and portions sizes everyone agrees. The practical working out of those choices are very different.  There is nothing that makes more of an impact on fat accumulation than portion sizes. Yet as Americans we insist on the super size.  In conversations I have and overhear it goes something like this:  “Yeah — that is a great restaurant — you get a lot of food for the dollar!”  This translates into fat into belt notches going the wrong direction and zippers ultimately failing!

If we do not say no — who will.  No one wants this to be a governmental issue yet we seem to be incapable of reining in ourselves!  The high cost of health care and even worse HEALTH itself is staggering!
We must learn to say no to the staggering amount of food and yes to health!