Bringing Wellness Full Circle

Posts tagged ‘weight loss’

The Biggest Loser


There are lots of things I don’t care about in  “The Biggest Loser” show,  but I have learned to not throw the baby out with the bath water, so… here are eight great lessons we can glean from the show:

togehter1. You shouldn’t go it alone. Camaraderie and support are vital in our quest for health and fitness.  There is indeed strength in numbers–I am pretty sure these contestants would not do so well if they were on their own. Doing everything by yourself can be lonely and discouraging. But having a buddy — or a team of supporters — totally helps us stick to it when the going gets tough. So here’s the tip: Instead of just going solo on the treadmill or bike, consider taking a group fitness class or joining a team sports league.

2. Attitude matters.  Seriously! The wrong group can drain your motivation and energy. Negative energy contributes on some level to struggles. Here’s the tip: Surround yourself with positive people!

3. You won’t always see results. It happens every season… no fun! But ups and downs are a reality for all of us. Losing weight isn’t as simple as a mathematical equation. Sure you need to burn more calories than you consume to lose weight, but even when you do everything right, sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way.  When it happens, all you can do is accept it and continue on. Trust that your efforts will show eventually. Remember, that even when the scale doesn’t budge, your efforts are making a difference. So here’s the tip: try to focus on other ways to measure your progress: how you feel, your health improvements, and how your clothes fit.

4. You have to train your brain. Do you notice how the trainers are training the contestants mentally as much as physically? The contestants wind up believing in themselves. With every little goal they achieve, their confidence is being built up. So here’s the tip: don’t let yourself think whatever you want. Think about what you are thinking about. And start with goals that you know you can achieve. Let success build success.


5. You have to change your lifestyle.  No matter how hard the contestants work and how much weight they lose while on the show,the pounds will surely come back if they revert back to their old habits at home. There is no magic… Getting healthy and managing your weight it is not a temporary thing. So here’s the tip: Set your mind on sticking with it for the long haul.

6. You have to work hard. Weight loss takes hard work–not for the faint of heart.  It won’t always be easy. Lots of people want to lose weight, but most aren’t willing to pay the price or make sacrifices to get there. So here’s the tip: Your success depends on your wholehearted efforts; no easy way out!

7. You can have fun! Boredom will kill your exercise routine. Instead on going to the gym for a mindless half hour on the stair climber, get outside and do some hiking or biking. Forgo the weight machines one day and head to a playground to swing from the monkey bars, climb, jump, run and LAUGH! So here’s the tip: Mix it up and keep your body guessing.


8. You have to be consistent.  Those who lose the biggest are consistent. They make healthy eating and exercise part of their daily lives — even after they go home. And even when they encounter setbacks along the way, they don’t give up. No matter how close (or far) you are from your goal — or even if you’re there already — the habits you learn along the way have to continue if you’re to be successful in the long term. So here’s the tip: Keep going!

Simple, right? Right…



Fish Oil and Fat Loss

OK, I know, we hear about fish oil all the time, and it’s good for you and everything and it’s supposed to help you lose weight. Really?


Here is a quick and simple rundown on fish oil’s benefits:

  • Protection against heart disease and stroke,
  • Improvement in brain development and function,
  • Reduction in the risk of certain cancers,
  • Body fat reduction
  • Help against depression

So, how does fish oil help with body fat reduction?

1. A study done at the University of Georgia found that fish oil with DHA helps stop the conversion of pre-fat cells into fat cells by causing them to die. This significantly decreases the accumulation of fat. [Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 136:2965-2969]  You just send in a fish oil knight-in-armor to kill off all those big bad fat cells before they can set up a stronghold in your body castle. Another research at the University of South Australia found that fish oil capsules combined with exercise caused more fat loss than exercise without fish oil supplements.  The fish oil group also had a far better improvement in their heart health markers. Of the 75 overweight adults in the study (ages 25 to 65) those who received daily fish oil supplements had a 10% reduction in LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and 14% decrease in triglycerides.

2. A more recent study done in Japan reports that omega 3 fish oil reduced weight gain in lab mice by boosting their fat metabolism. Scientists believe it’s also true for humans.  When two groups of obesity-prone mice were fed high fat diets, those also receiving fish oil supplements gained less weight and metabolized more fat than the group receiving no fish oil supplements. Lead scientist Takuya Mori concluded, “These findings suggest that an up-regulation of intestinal lipid metabolism is associated with the anti-obesity effect of fish oil.”

We need certain good fats to keep our hormones balanced, so that we feel balanced. Good essential fatty acids help keep the metabolism up and running at top speed. Besides, omega 3 fish oil contributes greatly to not feeling anxious and depressed, and this helps greatly in sticking with a healthy nutritional plan! Anyone ever ate way too many oreos because you felt depressed? Yep, I thought so.

The more fish oil fatty acids we get, the better we feel. High quality fish oil capsules can give us all these omega 3 fish oil weight loss benefits with just a few fat calories. So what are we waiting for?



So I’ll never be a Size 2

This is a very hard post to write. Because I have to be real down to my toes, and then some. But here is goes.

I lost 20 pounds and kept most of them off. I dared to face the lady in the mirror. I even smiled at her without cringing. I took hundreds of women with me on this journey, and we worked with each other, speaking truth to our spirits, minds and bodies, attending to this shell we live in, and now we all stand up a bit taller, more accepting of who we are, less degraded by the media. I ought to be pleased with myself. I know my stuff. I’m successful at it.

I said it at least a thousand times: “Don’t let the scale talk to you; it plays mind games with you, it seeks to poison the very core of you. It tells you lies about who you are, what matters, what your future is, where your beauty stands.” And we all agree.

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And then, I step on the scale. And it feels like my world is coming to an end. I forget who I am. I forget what truly matters. I forget that I am uncommonly beautiful. Wonderfully becoming.

How can these three little numbers on the scale have such power on me? My feelings go on a roller coaster and I wind up sick to my stomach, and I throw up from the ride. I lose all common sense, and these numbers convince me that I have no hope and I might as well dive into those cookies I have not touched in two months and I don’t really like anyway. And while I eat those cookies I am not hungry for, I decide that I am going to lose these last few pounds once and for all, even if it kills me.

I have lost my mind.

And no matter how hard I try doing all the things that always worked before, the scale won’t budge for me. And I drive myself insane; I am the lady who teaches by example, you know. I not only talk the talk but I walk the walk. How am I supposed to continue if I myself can’t lose the weight?

And when the tears are gone and I lost all my anger, the answer comes in the quietness of my soul. I hear my very heart repeat it time and time again: I teach by example; I walk the walk. That’s what works. Real when things go well, real when things don’t go as I want. That’s real life with its pretenses peeled away. Humbling, nitty-gritty life. The kind of life where it might be necessary to put the scale in solitary confinement for a while so that I can work against the power of its numbers. The kind of life where I own to and accept gracefully the lady in the mirror, even when she doesn’t match up with the one in my head. The kind of life where I don’t give myself excuses, but I don’t lie to myself either, pretending that size is where my worth comes. The kind of life that fights against the incessant need to be admired. The kind of life that is fulfilled because of the here and now, and the God who sustains.

Wonderfully becoming. That’s what I am. May I continue to teach by example, aging gracefully without hiding. Ever.

Need to Know if You Want to Keep your Weight in Check

Simple information about how we work and what works for us goes a long way sometimes!

INSULIN is essential to life in proper amounts but detrimental when produced in excess. All carbohydrates turn into glucose (blood sugar) once they enter the bloodstream, but some cause a very quick rise in blood sugar and trigger the pancreas to rapidly release insulin.  75 % of Americans produce too much insulin because of their food choices!  Insulin controls where blood sugars are stored.  Its main job is to convert glucose into glycogen which is typically stored in the liver.  Later, glycogen can be converted back to glucose and used as energy.  Only 2000 calories can be stored as glycogen in the body at a time, the rest is stored as fat.  Complex carbohydrates (not from processed or refined foods) don’t cause such a drastic increase in blood sugar levels, but rather they provide a steady source of energy.  Excess sugar in the diet sends blood sugar levels on a roller coaster ride.  Sugar consumption has risen 1500% over the last 200 years; the average American consumes his/her own weight in sugar yearly.    The roller coaster sugar ride leaves people exhausted, cranky and overweight.  Try to eat most of your sugar in natural foods.  Stevia (Truvia) seems good thus far.

ASPARTAME AND ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS  do not help in losing weight in any way.  They will help you gain unwanted weight. Aspartame is absorbed from the intestines into the liver.  Liver breaks it down to its toxic components, using a lot of energy to do this.  It can result in fat storing and sometimes excess fat build up inside the liver cells…  Aspartame also causes unstable blood sugar levels, increasing appetite and cravings for sugar.   Aspartame also causes water retention, making us look fatter than we are and increases cellulite…

FOOD ALLERGIES cause water retention and water weight gain because partially digested food causes irritation and inflammation in the tissues, and the body tries to reduce this irritation by retaining water, which dilutes the concentration of the offending material.  Fat cells expand and act as a buffer between the toxic chemical and the organs.  So the body hangs on to fat and water to ward off self-poisoning…  Also, inflammatory substances released during allergic reactions to food affects weight control by inhibiting metabolism and inhibiting the body’s ability to burn fat.   Food allergies are really wicked… Partially digested compounds in common food allergens act as morphine-like drugs, creating a temporary “high” and when that feeling wears off, people crave the allergens again… so the very food you are allergic to becomes a food you become addicted to.  More than “allergies,” these food issues should really be called food intolerances and sensitivities, as the reaction is not so obvious.  The body compensates with an addiction to the allergen (like nicotin).  Often, it is the food we crave the most that makes us sick…  Blood tests is a sure way to figure out food allergies.  What do you crave?  Eliminate it and see if water retention and bloating goes away, if metabolism is increased, if craving is removed and you start losing fat…

REDUCED FAT Diets are bad for us! R By cutting out  fat, we increase the sugar consumption and therefore have increased insulin and more stored body fat.  By cutting out fat, we also often give our  minds permission to eat more… Eating the right fat will actually curb appetite and decrease cravings.

FOOD CHEMICALS and Processed Foods cannot be digested, used or properly eliminated by the body; they get absorbed for an indefinite amount of time, impeding digestion and adding weight to us.  Sodium nitrate (hot dogs, bacon, ham, processed foods) and BHT are stored in fat cells!  The only way to stop this process and accelerate weight loss is to stop eating foods with chemicals, preservatives, additives, coloring…

IMPACTED COLON? Fiber, fiber, fiber!!!  Water, water, water!!!  Eat lots of fruits and veggies and lots of water to flush it all down! This “Internal cleanse” will cause metabolism, immune system and digestive system to function so much better.

Improper FOOD COMBINING: high  GI Foods without fiber or protein is a recipe for disaster…

WATER is a Gift from Heaven: it suppresses appetite and helps the body metabolize stored fat.  A decrease in water intake will cause fat deposits to increase, while an increase in water intake can actually reduce fat deposits…  Water protects against fluid retention, helps the body get rid of waster, relieves constipation…

Do you Need SUPPLEMENTS to Lose Weights?  The following could be useful: Chromium Picolinate helps build muscles and control blood sugar by assisting insulin.  Ginkgo Biloba increases the ability of brain cells to make use of glucose.  Fiber (FOOD) helps keep the colon clean and gives a feeling of fullness.  Vitamin C (FOOD) with bioflavonoids speeds up a sluggish metabolism.  Calcium (FOOD) is involved in the activation of lipase, an enzyme that breaks down fat for utilization by the body.

Simple Formula for CALORIC NEEDS: To calculate your daily caloric requirements, multiply your weight by 10, then add 30 % to that amount.  If you are moderately active, consuming this many calories should cause you to maintain your weight.  Remember, one pound of fat has 3500 calories.


I know we have talked about fiber before, but the bottom line is this: your need for fiber will never go away.

Here are four basic benefits of eating enough fiber that you might have not thought about:

  1. Reduces Inflammation: A study published in the American Journal of Clinical a Nutrition found that c-reactive protein (CRP) – a marker of inflammation and a predictor of future heart disease and diabetes – was inversely related to dietary fiber. As fiber consumption goes up, harmful inflammation goes down.
  2. Promotes a Healthy Weight: Not only does soluble fiber prevent the absorption of fat, but it also helps you to feel full longer. Appetite is reduced directly by the bulk of the fiber and indirectly through the delayed emptying of the stomach and the release of brain and gastrointestinal-tract hormones which signal satiety.Less hunger means fewer calories… and therefore fewer pounds. Researchers have calculated that if Americans doubled their fiber intake, they could cut 100 calories from their diet a day – which equates to 10 pounds of yearly weight gain!
  3. Improves Gastrointestinal Health: Soluble fiber is the favorite “food” of the healthy bacteria that live in your digestive tract. And a healthy tummy is a happy tummy! Soluble fiber can help improve digestion, enhance nutrient absorption and provide significant relief of IBS symptoms.
  4. Improves Blood Sugar Balance: Soluble fiber traps carbohydrates, slowing their digestion and absorption and aiding in blood sugar balance. In fact, a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that a high-sugar, low-fiber diet more than doubles women’s risk of Type II (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes.

Bottom line: fiber helps us lose weight, maintain our ideal weight and healthy cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of heart attack and developing diabetes, promotes bowel regularity and is a natural way to reduce the body’s absorption of fat and sugar.  So go ahead, eat those whole grains, beans, vegetable and fruits!


Keep it Off!

OK, you are a happy camper, having lost the weight you set out to lose; good for you! It wasn’t easy, but now you are so pleased with your results–how you feel, how you look and the sense of accomplishment that goes with a goal accomplished.

And hopefully, you did more than lose weight– you changes your lifestyle for good.  Right?

Any kind of lifestyle habit changes are prone to relapses, unfortunately.  So once you reach your goal, it is good to have a plan as to how you will maintain your new lifestyle.

Here are ten tips for you:

1. Keep monitoring your weight.  Maybe not weekly, but a couple of times a month would be good.  It forces you to stay aware!

2. Never skip breakfast! All studies done show that this is a key element in losing weight and keeping it off.

3. Don’t stop drinking your water, and lots of it! Remember that often, when you think you are hungry, you are just thirsty…

4. Stay consistent.  That’s how you lost it, that’s how you are going to keep it off.  Consistent in your eating, your prepping the food, your planning the menus, your exercise routine.  Just do it.

5. Surround yourself with people who support you: a workout buddy, a colleague who will ask you how you are doing, an encouraging friend… Pick one person and ask them if he/she can help you be accountable–maybe a weekly email or phone call to make sure you stay on track.

6. Keep exercising but change up your routine every so often to keep challenging yourself and your muscles.

7. Give yourself a couple of new health goals, like maybe working toward a 5K, or a toned tummy etc…Give yourself an ending date.  It will keep you focused and energized.

8. Remember to eat mindfully, enjoying your food.

9. Don’t read diet magazine articles.  Stick to what you know works for you!

10. Don’t forget to enjoy the new YOU!

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