Archive for February, 2010

All Carbs Are Bad: Myth 2

In my last post I exposed that fats make you fat is truly a myth. Today I am going to share with you another common nutrition and weight loss myth and that is:

All Carbs Are Bad
FALSE: Cutting carbs is not the answer to all your problems by any means. Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy, and the only source useable by your brain. Decreasing your carbohydrate intake can result in low energy and decreased mental faculties…without the weight loss! There are, however, good carbs and bad carbs.  Good carbs like fruit, vegetables and whole grains provide fiber, water, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, along with carbohydrates required to make energy. When eaten in their whole forms, these parts and pieces work synergistically, allowing a slow release of the sugars for you to use during the day. Bad carbs are void of their fiber, vitamins and minerals, like in refined white flour, white sugar, white bread, white pasta, and white rice. Their sugars then flow quickly into the bloodstream, spiking your sugars. Excess insulin is released; sugar is removed from the bloodstream and stored in cells as fat. Cutting refined carbs and increasing your fruit and vegetable carbs will go miles in your weight loss journey.

Stay tuned for Weight Loss Myth #3, coming up in a couple of days!


Fats Make You Fat: Myth 1

There is so much information out there, and so much of it is contradictory, what can you actually believe? How do you determine the difference between myths and facts? First and foremost, determine the perspective of the author – are they coming from the holistic, mind/body place? Today is the start of a series of posts I will doing to expose the Common Nutrition and Weight Loss Myths, and why they are not ideal for you to reach your ideal weight goals.

Fats Make You Fat
FALSE: We ate like this for so long – cutting fat out of everything we ate – even resorting to things like fat-free whipped topping. (What is an edible oil product made of if it has no fat?) Seriously, if eating fat-free worked, we’d have a whole society of skinny, healthy people. Fats are required for the membrane of every cell in your body, all your hormones, your brain, and for balanced emotional health. Since these are such important roles, if you don’t get good fats from your diet regularly, you hold on to every last bit of fat you have. To lose excess fat, you need your body to know that it’s getting the good fats it needs on a regular basis so it has no need to store them, and that it’s safe to use up the currently stored fat. Eat raw nuts and seeds, avocados, fish, flax oil, and coconut oil regularly in moderate amounts to allow your body to burn fat.

Stay tuned for Weight Loss Myth #2, coming up in a couple of days!


Common Nutrition & Weight Loss Myths

With so many books, magazines, and articles on how to lose weight, along with all the weight loss programs and diets out there, it’s no wonder that so many people are confused. One day we hear that low-fat diets are the way to go, then we hear about low-carb diets, or high-protein diets, it seems almost every week there is a new fad diet or magic weight loss pill. With all this information it can be overwhelming to the point you may think why bother trying. Over the next few weeks I am going to be exposing the truth on many of the common nutrition and weight loss myths and help you gain some clarity on all the confusion that surrounds you on a daily basis.   

Stayed tuned for my next post where I expose Weight Loss Myth #1.


The Special K Diet: Does it Work?

Is it true that I can eat cereal and cereal bars twice a day and lose weight? That question probably goes through most people’s minds when they see ads for the Special K Challenge and the seemingly tasty treats that come with it. Let’s really check out what makes this concept work, and what is so very wrong with this thinking.

The Special K Challenge gives you a meal plan for the week, based on Special K of some kind for breakfast, a balanced lunch and dinner, and two snacks, at least one being a Special K treat of some sort. Why it kind of works is that it’s based on 1800 calories per day – and very small portions over the day. Anyone can lose weight (in the short term) restricting calories. But what’s is your body actually getting? What kind of nutrition is found in Special K? Is this maintainable? Are you getting your healthy carbohydrates from whole grains or refined sugars? Are you getting any healthy fats at all, that keep us satisfied and produce healthy mood hormones? These are all questions you should ask yourself before jumping on board.

There are all sorts of fancy flavors of Special K cereals, but their ingredients aren’t something I would want to make my body out of. Every flavor has many types of refined sugars in their ingredient list, as well as many artificial chemicals and preservatives. The second ingredient in Special K Red Berries is sugar (though they do seem to use whole grains); the Special K Fruit and Yogurt Flavor (Flavor is part of the title) contains modified milk ingredients, yogurt powder, and shellac; and Special K Satisfaction contains sugar/fructose-glucose, simulated flavors (since when did we stop saying ‘artificial’?), sucralose (Splenda – an artificial sweetener that actually increases our appetite), and BHT (a preservative that is meant to keep pests out of the packaging that happens to cause birth defects when fed to rats). Even the Original Special K has sugar/fructose-glucose as the third ingredient, and contains BHT is well.

The Special K Bars, like the Almonds & Peanuts, contains sugar, sugar/glucose-fructose, fructose, dextrose, sorbitol, and glycerine. The Strawberry Flavored ones don’t even contain strawberries – they have sugar and oil coated strawberry flavored cranberries. The Mocha Bar contains 46 ingredients – all in a tidy little 90 calories. I challenge you to identify the root food of all 46 of those ingredients. Cause if you can’t, how is your body going to know what to do with them?

We put all of this in our food in an effort to lose weight – but is it really worth it and does it actually work? A small percentage of people may lose a couple of pounds from restricting calorie intake, but in the long term, that extra sugar will stress out your pancreas and translate into extra fat cells. It is important to follow a much more balanced, holistic approach, focused more on where the calories are coming from than thinking that all calories are created equal. Does it logically make sense that our bodies will do the same thing with 90 calories coming from a Mocha Special K Bar as it would 90 calories of grapes?

Feed your body well and it will look after you for life. Put in what you would like to be made of. Think for yourself – and don’t let the marketing from multi-million and billion dollar companies decide what is right for your health.


Overcoming Emotional Eating

Food is an essential component for us to survive! But, as Galbraith said, “More die in the United States of too much food than of too little.”

To overcome this problem of excessive eating or better still, emotional eating, you need to identify the issue and motivate yourself to make the required changes.

“Motivation is like food for the brain. You cannot get enough in one sitting. It needs continual and regular top ups.” – Peter Davies

To make the required changes, there needs to be a mind shift, and for this mind shift to take place, there needs to be an identification of the limiting decision that creates the limiting belief that drives you to “emotional eating.”

Let’s now have a look at some reasons why people emotionally eat:
i. Boredom
ii. Loneliness
iii. Fatigue
iv. Stress
v. Many other emotional reasons

It may seem odd that this is the leading cause of obesity in the world! The reality is that none of these reasons have anything to do with real hunger. They are just triggers that strategically placed in your mind to reach for food when you get emotional.

The association you have with food occurs at an unconscious level, and it would be wise to realize that all learning, behavior, and change will occur at that same level.

Here are the steps to overcome emotional eating:
1. Become aware of your habit.
2. Identify the triggers that lead you to emotional eating.
3. Identify the limiting decision that was made for this trigger.
4. Once the limiting decision, and thus the limiting belief, has been identified, this belief needs to be changed and the trigger pattern interrupted and replaced with a new belief and a new strategy.

Once you become aware of the beliefs that lead you to unwanted behaviors and decisions about food you will be able to take the steps necessary to change them.


Become Empowered to Lose Weight & Feel Great: Tip 5

Today I will reveal the last tip in the five tips I have shared on how to create the mindset necessary to achieve permanent weight loss.

To recap, here are the first four tips I shared with you:
1.    Visualization
2.    Affirmations and Positive Self-talk
3.    Replacing Negative Thoughts
4.    Gratitude

Today’s tip and the final tip in this series is:
Be responsible for your feelings. Just as you can’t make other people happy, don’t expect others to make you feel happy or good about yourself…and don’t blame them if you feel guilty or bad about yourself. You create your own feelings and make your own decisions. People and events may set the stage for your emotions, but they can’t dictate them. What others think about you and say to you can only have as much effect as you allow it to have. What’s important is what you tell yourself, and how you react to others. Don’t be a victim, become a victor!

Let go of the past; you must look to the future to change. Stop thinking of old diet or weight loss failures. They are the past. This is NOW. Remind yourself that this time you’re focusing on the core issues that will ensure your success. BELIEVE IT!

It doesn’t matter how you choose to dispose of these past failures as long as you do it. You must say good-bye, so long; you’re out of my life forever! You choose what you want to say. In another symbolic gesture, walk to the sink and wash your hands. Now you’re FREE to work toward the weight at which you’ll feel happy and healthy.

“The true key to achieving your ideal weight is in your mind.” ~ Melonie Dodaro


Lose Weight with Gratitude: Tip 4

I am really excited to share today’s tip with you as I believe it is a very powerful tool, that is so easy to do! Here is tip #4 in my series of five tips to creating the right mindset to achieve permanent weight loss.

Gratitude. A practice that should be followed in your everyday life is having an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’. By adding gratitude into your life, you have an accelerated way of reaching your goals. To develop a gratitude list, simply write down all the events, things and people for which you are thankful. Expressing gratitude and appreciation for people in your life brings joy to both of you. A great practice is to find new things everyday for one week to be grateful for and then continue with new things the next week and so on.  Using gratitude on a regular basis will cause a significant shift in your mindset, one that will be very helpful in ensuring that you achieve your ideal weight.

I hope you have enjoyed the first four tips and stay tuned for the last tip in a couple of days!


Eliminate Negative Thinking and Lose Weight: Tip 3

In my last post I shared with you the power of affirmations and positive self-talk. In this tip I want to talk about how you can use another technique to create the mindset you need to be successful, specifically with achieving your ideal weight. This is the third tip in my series of five tips to creating the right mindset to achieve permanent weight loss.

Replacing Negative Thoughts. It is important to begin to pay attention every time you have a negative thought. In order to weaken these negative thoughts you need to interrupt them each time they occur. Each time you have a negative thought replace it with a positive one. This may be difficult when you begin but it gets easier and becomes more effective as time goes by. Once you have acknowledged your negative thought and replaced it with a positive one, one that relates to the thought you are replacing, then feel good about yourself for gaining control over your mind. Reward yourself as rewarded behaviors increase in frequency.

Stay tuned for Tip #4, coming up in a couple of days!


Affirmations and Weight Loss: Tip 2

In my last post, I shared with you how visualization can be a powerful tool for in your quest for your ideal weight. Today I am going to share the next tip in my series of five tips to creating the right mindset to achieve permanent weight loss.

Affirmations and Positive Self-talk. When seeking to achieve permanent weight loss positive thoughts are extremely important. Here are a few examples of affirmations that you may want to use:
    I’m enjoying being at my ideal weight.
    I choose to make positive healthy choices for myself every day.
    I choose to exercise regularly.
    There are ways to enhance the effectiveness of your affirmations. The more of these you do, as you say your affirmations, the more deeply the message will register in your conscious and subconscious mind. Here are some tips to make your affirmations more effective:
•    Believe you can achieve them (even if you don’t yet know how)
•    Say them out loud
•    Say them with emotion
•    Imagine how you will feel and/or look when have successfully achieved them

Stay tuned for Tip #3, coming up in a couple of days!


Super Bowl Party Healthy Menu Ideas

What comes to mind when I say hot wings, nacho dip and copious amounts of beer? Some may say an ideal Super Bowl party, others their worst nightmare. What happens if your significant other is having people around for the game? How can you both be happy? Here are some great healthy hosting alternatives to the typical 8,000-calorie snacking binge that’s been know to occur in the past.

•    Appies – Everyone loves to dip. Make sure what they’re dipping with and into are the healthier versions of typical football party choices. Good options are a layered dip of hummus, mashed avocado and salsa, dipped with baby carrots. You can also make spinach dip with tofu and a bit of plain yogurt and natural mayo instead of sour cream and cheese. Provide lots of raw veggies and whole grain natural bread and crackers for dipping. Skip the random bowls of chips and candy; the more items available, the more people will eat. Instead, place just a few bowls of almonds and dark chocolate squares around for meaningful eating.

•    Mains – Serve a big crock-pot of vegetarian chili. High in fiber with all those beans and veggies, this will also keep you full for much longer than a refined choice. Another substantial option is baked bell peppers stuffed with bulgur, spices and mushrooms. Homemade pizzas are a good choice; try a whole grain thin crust, add veggies and goat feta, and you’ll be good to go. Turkey burgers on whole grain buns with lots of vegetable toppings like grilled mushrooms and onions, salsa, and lettuce will fill up any stomach. If you must include wings, make sure to bake them. Find a sauce recipe made from whole food items like hot sauce and honey.

•    Sides – This is a great time for extra veggies. Roast a big pan of root veggies – a bit more of a seasonal version of salad. Make homemade coleslaw (with cabbage, carrots and beets) with a vinaigrette dressing. Opt for a potato salad with carrots and parsnips with a dressing of red wine vinegar, mustard, and olive oil. Try yam rounds baked with curry powder. All are great ways to fill up your guest with phytonutrients.

•    Dessert – Your guests will probably be too full to really miss a full-on dessert spread, so why not provide cut-up fruit and homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies?

•    BeveragesBeer is such a staple at a football party…but wouldn’t it be great if you remembered the end of the game? Let’s be honest – there is next to no nutritional benefit to drinking beer; it’s just supplying easily absorbable sugars to your body…empty calories that quickly spike your blood sugar. It’s important for you to have a plan before the party begins. Are you going to choose to have a beer or two, and consciously avoid the wings and pizza instead? Will you choose light beer (~100 calories/can) or non-alcoholic beer (~75 calories/can) over regular (~150 calories/can)? Are you going to stick to the sparkling water with a splash of 100% cranberry juice? Any of these options are fine – just make a conscious decision beforehand so that by halftime you haven’t already tripled your quota. If you do decide to keep some alcohol on your menu, make sure you eat food with your drink to decrease the ill effects on blood sugar.

One important point to remember is that there will be leftovers. Ensure they’re something you’re comfortable with eating by being mindful about what you offer to your company. Treat them like real guests; don’t feed them food you wouldn’t want to eat yourself. Eat a healthy breakfast and small lunch before guests arrive, so you’re not grazing as you prepare and gorging during the game. But do remember – it’s a party! Have fun! Finding recipes with healthy options will make it all the more easy for you to enjoy yourself and watch the game.