Want to drink more water everyday? Read Monica’s tips here: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2013/09/13/how-to-drink-more-water-each-day
I’ve observed several people walk up to the snack vending machine during my lunch time today.
If you have to stand there deciding what to eat and it takes more than 3 minutes, THE ANSWER IS NO! Just walk away. Bring carrots tomorrow.
Oh, I brought a fresh salad I made for lunch today. Made my wife one, too.
Now, to eat my apple.
It’s a widely quoted statistic: 95 percent of people regain lost weight. Such a statistic makes you wonder if you should even bother with the workouts and the healthy eating. Before you turn your treadmill into a sanctuary for unfolded laundry and hang-dry only clothing, you should know a few facts about why people regain weight and exactly where that astonishing statistic originated.
The year is 1959 and a small study out of the Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders concludes that 95 percent of people regain weight within a few months to a year of losing it. The study included only 100 participants and made a catchy headline that rapidly became a centerpiece in the mythology of obesity.
In 1999, two doctors set out to determine if this discouraging fact was indeed a fact. Dr. Wena Ring and Dr. James O. Hill conducted an analysis of the National Weight Control Registry and quickly identified more 2,000 success stories of weight loss and maintenance. This surprising information spurred them to compile more detailed data and survey the successful dieters. They found that on average, most dieters maintained a loss of 67 pounds for five years and 12 to 14 percent maintained long-term losses of more than 100 pounds – proving that the 95 percent failure rate was poorly founded.
So if success isn’t so futile, then why do so many people regain lost weight?
The wrong mindset
The number one reason people regain weight is the diet mentality. The word “diet” earned its reputation as a four-letter word because it has become associated with a period of deprivation and what some would classify as torture. For many, “diet” means a set span of time during which you must exercise superhuman willpower to resist delicious temptation and overwhelming pains of hunger at the end of which you can finally reward yourself with junk food favorites.
Very few individuals perceive the concept that healthy eating is not finite – it’s a lifelong commitment. Fad diets don’t work, because you can’t sustain that way of eating forever. Choose a healthy eating plan that incorporates whole, nutritionally balanced foods
I have worked with Amanda for years, and I have been thrilled by her determination, strength, and success. You will be encouraged as you read her story. The after photo was just now taken (7/16/13 at 5 pm).
Amanda M: “My weight has been an issue for me since my late teens. I started gaining in high school and by graduation was considered overweight. Over the years the pounds just kept adding up due to inactivity and excessive overeating and drinking. I’ve had success losing weight a couple times, both times by tracking calorie intake, but I was on a “diet” and as soon as I lost weight I’d return to my old eating habits and the weight would come back.
My lifestyle was mostly sitting, eating and drinking. I rarely got physical activity and when I did every joint in my body would ache. I was to the point where I would grunt and groan just putting on my underwear in the morning. I couldn’t find any clothes that fit and the embarrassment over my appearance had curbed my social activities and affected my marriage. I knew I had to do something but always had an excuse not to start. It was so easy and comfortable to just eat, drink and be merry and I didn’t want to give up that lifestyle.
Finally, at 37 years old, 5’8” and 224lbs, I saw an announcement at work that they would be starting a Weight Watchers group. We’d be able to attend the meetings at work with people we are comfortable and familiar with. I went to my first meeting and was instantly hooked on the program. It really does work. The Weight Watchers app for my iPhone made it so easy to track my food and activity and made me realize what smart food choices were and what foods to avoid.
I started slowly by experimenting with different foods and substitutions for the things I normally would enjoy. Now I’d much rather reach for some watermelon instead of cake or extra green beans instead of mashed potatoes and gravy. I still eat the foods I love, like steak and shrimp, but I watch my portions, load up on protein, fruits and veggies and season with herbs and spices instead of butter and oil.
One thing I realized pretty early on is that I’d have to cut out alcohol. I love wine. I loved a whole bottle of wine with dinner every night. I had to learn to love a glass of wine on special occasions. A day that ends in d-a-y is not a special occasion.
Once you start to pay attention to the nutritional information you see just how bad the average American diet is for you. You have to pick and choose the right time to indulge. The program I follow allows you to do that and doesn’t restrict you from enjoying those treats you crave.
After I changed my eating habits I started to see results within a few weeks and it inspired me to get active. I dusted off the old treadmill and started walking. Just walking. At first it was 30 minutes a few times a week but over the months I’ve increased the speed and incline and now spend about an hour a day working on cardio. I also mix in some strength and core training a couple times a week. It feels so good to be active. I have energy and strength I never knew I possessed and I can finally keep up with my husband and 10 year old son.
The change in the mirror is unreal. I’m amazed by how different I look and feel and my confidence is through the roof. I can’t count the number of people that have told me they didn’t even recognize me. My own mother in law didn’t know who I was when I saw her out in public the other day. It’s still hard to believe that I don’t have to shop in plus sizes anymore. I can actually go into trendy stores and the clothes fit! But wait, it gets better. I used to have so many health problems…heartburn, stomach upset, insomnia, the list goes on. Since I’ve adjusted my lifestyle all of my health issues have been resolved. I can’t remember the last time I had to take an antacid or was up tossing and turning during all night.
When people ask me “How did you do it?” I always answer “Eat right and exercise. You know everything they tell you to do.” I never say the word diet. Diet implies something you’re “on”. To maintain a large weight loss you need to find a healthy balance of calorie intake and exercise that becomes your daily routine. Setting small goals each week helped me to introduce changes gradually. These were just little goals like drinking enough water or eating vegetables with every meal. When you add these changes together they create a healthy routine. Tracking is extremely helpful to me too. Tracking makes me aware of my food and exercise choices and holds me accountable.
I’ve truly gone through a lifestyle change during this process and I will continue to track my daily food and exercise even after I reach my goal. I’ve lost 65lbs so far and have 15 more to go. It takes perseverance. But just keep at it and you can make these changes, too. It’s all up to you.
Remember, no one can do this for you. You have a choice and are in complete control. The ability to change is within each of us. One day I simply believed I could do it and I did. So can you.
by Jessica Girdwain
Look beyond apples and oranges: Obese adults who ate about half a mango a day for 12 weeks saw a significant reduction in blood sugar levels, according to research presented at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.
The results likely translate to normal-weight men, too, says study author Edralin Lucas, Ph.D. Mango’s power could lie in active compounds like plant polyphenols, which may inhibit the development of fat cells and reduce their size, says Lucas. The fruit is also high in fiber, reducing the absorption of sugar, she adds.
Though the study is preliminary—read: no reason to fill your fridge with mangos just yet—one sliced cup of the fruit only contains 100 calories, and is a healthy add-on to any diet. But your best bet to keep blood sugar in check? Exercise and a diet generally rich in all sorts of fruits and vegetables, says Lucas. In fact, people who ate produce-packed diets had a decreased diabetes risk and lower blood sugar levels than those who didn’t, according to a 2012 meta-analysis.
from Men’s Health…
I remember going to my first nutrition class at Penn State.
I was eager to jump right in since that was what I was there for, but had to wait until some of those darn pre req classes were out of the way.
I walked in day 1. Liz Evans was our professor. And she certainly didn’t look like the people I saw in the pages of the magazines I was getting all my information from up until this point. Hey, you have to start somewhere.
Anyhow, after going over the syllabus, “one of the most important lessons in nutrition — in the entire course,” Liz said, “is that all calories are equal. Nutrition, health and weight loss are really simple” she continued “Calories in equal calories out, your weight is stable. Calories out are more than calories in, you lose. If calories in are more than calories out, you gain weight.”
Like all the other students, I was writing as quickly as I could.
And this message continued. Through my masters and into my PhD, where my research focus was on teaching people how to lose weight permanently.
But it was then that I started to question things a bit more.
REALLY? Are all calories the same?
It didn’t make sense to me. You see from a law of thermodynamics, it does make sense. If you walk for 1 mile you burn 100 calories. If you eat 100 calories worth of food, you’ve essentially created a “wash.” Nothing gained. Nothing lost if we’re solely looking at this with regards to body weight.
But what if you compare extremes?
1 pound of sugar = 1,540 calories
~26 apples = 1,540 calories
Same calories. But do you think the quality of 1 lb of sugar and 26 apples is the same? Of course not…aside from the laundry list of nutrition problems eating a days worth of calories from just sugar would cause (nutrient deficiencies, scurvy, tooth decay, etc), how do you think the person eating the 1 pound of sugar would look, feel and perform after she did so? Of course 26 apples isn’t the ideal “diet” either, but you get the point.
It’s kind of like the saying, a pound of bricks is the same weight as a pound of feathers. Sure, they weigh the same … but there are certainly different qualities between them, even though the scale may read the same.
So as we started to look into this more on our own, with our own clients at Mohr Results, and with our own writing & research … we changed our tune and go against the grain of mainstream nutrition to instead give this message:
QUALITY of the diet is more important than QUANTITY of the diet.
Of COURSE calories still do matter.
But quality is crucial to permanent success. And it made us even happier when we read a recent study by researchers at Harvard University confirming our point of how the quality of the diet — above and beyond just quantity — can help with fat loss.
The study certainly wasn’t the final word — and definitely had limitations — it wasn’t a “cause and effect” study, but rather a correlation study that asked over 120,000 healthy, well educated men and women about their dietary habits every 2 years for a total of between 12 and 20 years.
They then teased out some of the food items that were associated with weight loss or weight gain among the subjects.
First, as a whole, they found that the average participant gained about 0.5 kg (1.1 lb) per year. Who cares, right? It’s JUST 1 lb. The problem … year after year after year … that 1 lb adds up and people never lose it and long term it’s more and more dangerous.
The question, then, is what foods did they find contributed to the weight loss vs. those that contributed to weight gain?
Whole grain foods
Sugar sweetened drinks
Again, we’re certainly not saying there aren’t limitations to this study or this type of correlation study, but there were some interesting findings to consider. The take home points from the authors were to not focus so heavily on calories and rather look at the quality — limit processed or refined carbohydrates and focus instead on veggies, fruits, and healthier food options … even if they are higher in calories (like nuts). Basically a lot of this boils down to how these foods affect the hormones in our body – namely, insulin, a powerful storage hormone.
Again, it’s not just how much you eat, but WHAT you eat.
Just as an aside, we also don’t think potatoes are a “devil” food — we do think the ways people eat them (such as French fries) are. Again, take this data with a grain of salt.
At the end of the day, though, we want you to focus on overall diet QUALITY … our message remains the same. Lots of veggies and fruits, nuts, healthy fats, lean protein and some whole grains.
Pretty basic. But very effective.
6. Never Skip Breakfast:
Yes, mornings are crazy. But they’re also our best hope at regaining our nutritional sanity. A 2005 study synthesized the results of 47 other studies that examined the impact of starting the day with a healthy breakfast. Here’s what they found:
People who skip breakfast are more likely to take up smoking or drinking, less likely to exercise, and more likely to follow fad diets or express concerns about body weight. Common reasons cited for skipping were lack of time, lack of hunger, or dieting.
Bad news. Sure, it would seem to make sense that skipping breakfast means eating fewer calories, which means weighing less. But it doesn’t work that way. Consider:
People who eat breakfast tend to have higher total calorie intakes throughout the day, but they also get significantly more fiber, calcium, and other micronutrients than skippers do. Breakfast eaters also tended to consume less soda and French fries and more fruits, vegetables, and milk.
Breakfast eaters were approximately 30 percent less likely to be overweight or obese. (Think about that—people who eat breakfast eat more food, but weigh less!)
5. Snack With Purpose:
There’s a big difference between mindless munching and strategic snacking. Snacking with purpose means reinforcing good habits, keeping your metabolic rate high, and filling the gaps between meals with the nutrients your child’s body craves.
Chew on this piece of trivia: In the 20 years leading up to the 21st century (1977 to 1996), salty snack portions increased by 93 calories, and soft drink portions increased by 49 calories.
Combat portion distortion by eating healthy snacks: Triscuits and peanut butter; string cheese; a sandwich bag filled with homemade popcorn; or that classic of kid’s snacktime nourishment, ants on a log.
4. Beware of Portion Distortion:
Snack portions aren’t the only things that have increased wildly in size. Since 1977, hamburgers have increased by 97 calories, French fries by 68 calories, and Mexican foods by 133 calories, according to analysis of the Nationwide Food Consumption Survey.
A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine looked at 63,380 individuals’ drinking habits over a span of 19 years. The results show that for children ages 2 to 18, portions of sweetened beverages increased from 13.1 ounces in 1977 to 18.9 ounces in 1996.
One easy way to short-circuit this growing trend? Buy smaller bowls and cups. A recent study at the Children’s Nutrition Research Center in Houston, Texas, shows that 5- and 6-year-old children will consume a third more calories when presented with a larger portion. The findings are based on a sample of 53 children who were served either 1- or 2-cup portions of macaroni and cheese.
3. Drink Responsibly:
Too many of us keep in mind the adage “watch what you eat,” and we forget another serious threat to our health: We don’t watch what we drink. In fact, according to research from the University of North Carolina, Americans now slurp up nearly 25 percent of their calories in liquid form—nearly double the rate we used to drink just 20 years ago. One study found that sweetened beverages constituted more than half (51 percent) of all beverages consumed by fourth- through sixth-grade students. The students who consumed the most sweetened beverages took in approximately 330 extra calories per day, and on average they ate less than half the amount of real fruit than did their peers who drank unsweetened or lightly sweetened beverages.
One important strategy is to keep cold, filtered water in a pitcher in the fridge. You might even want to keep some cut-up limes, oranges, or lemons nearby for kids to flavor their own water with. A UK study showed that in classrooms with limited access to water, only 29 percent of students met their daily needs; free access to water led to higher intake.
Another important strategy: Be extra careful about the juice you purchase. Too many “juices” are little more than sugar water masquerading as the real thing. Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry, for instance, has just 15 percent real fruit juice. The other 85 percent? High-fructose corn syrup and water. Make sure the juice you buy says “100 percent Fruit Juice” on the label, and try to choose one made from a single fruit, not a mix of high-sugar fruits like white grapes, which are commonly used in fruit juice blends.
2. Eat More Whole Foods and Fewer Science Experiments:
Here’s a rule of healthy eating that will serve you well when picking out foods for your family: The shorter the ingredients list, the healthier the food. (One of the worst foods we’ve ever found, the Baskin-Robbins Heath Shake, has 73 ingredients—and, by the way, a whopping 2,310 calories and more than 3 days’ worth of saturated fat! What happened to the idea that a milk shake was, um, milk and ice cream? Let’s be grateful that Baskin-Robbins finally pulled this monstrosity from their menus.) The FDA maintains a list of more than 3,000 ingredients that are considered safe to eat, but we’ve found reasons for concern for a number of the additives on that long list, and any one of them could wind up in your next box of mac ’n’ cheese.
According to USDA reports, most of the sodium in the American diet comes from packaged and processed foods. Naturally occurring salt accounts for only 12 percent of total intake, while 77 percent is added by food manufacturers.
1. Set the Table:
Children in families with more structured mealtimes exhibit healthier eating habits. Among middle- and high-school girls, those whose families ate together only once or twice per week were more than twice as likely to exhibit weight control issues, compared with those who ate together three or four times per week.
Of course, the notion of a 6 p.m. dinnertime and then everyone into their pj’s is a quaint one, but it’s hardly realistic in a society where our kids have such highly scheduled social lives that the delineation between “parent” and “chauffeur” is sometimes difficult to parse. While we can’t always bring the family together like Ozzie Nelson’s (or, heck, even like Ozzy Osbourne’s), we can make some positive steps in that direction. One busy family I know keeps Sunday night dinner sacred—no social plans, no school projects, no extra work brought home from the office. Even keeping the family ritual just once a week gives parents the opportunity to point out what is and isn’t healthy at the dinner table.