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Should you hurry your weight loss?

When you first began your quest to reduce your weight, the pounds came off by the 3s and 4s. Now after months of working to get to goal, it’s not the same. Some weeks it’s just a fraction of a pound and sometimes, there is no progress at all. Should you do something to hurry your weight loss?

Diana Ross and her mama know

Can’t hurry love
No you just have to wait
She said love don’t come easy
It’s a game of give and take
You can’t hurry love
No you just have to wait
She said trust, give it time
No matter how long it takes”
Does she know the same thing applies to losing weight?

You can’t hurry weight loss. You just have to wait (and work at it) because weight loss don’t come easy. It’s a game of give and take. That sums it up perfectly, especially the part about giving and taking and trusting and giving it time.

You give more attention to what you’re eating and take time to get more active. The more you can make the give and take a game, the better your results. By making it a game, I mean making it fun and keeping yourself challenged.

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For example, learning to fit all the foods you enjoy into a healthy eating plan is a kind of balancing game. It’s challenging, but not too hard with the right attitude. You’re learning skills that are helpful for maintaining weight loss at the same time. It’s fun to test yourself and because you’re not depriving yourself of the foods you love.

Expanding your food choices to include more foods that are naturally lower in calories and nutritionally dense and taste good is another fun game. It’s fun to try new things. If you don’t like something new, no big deal. Don’t buy it again. When you discover something that tastes amazing and fits the lower calorie/more nutritious qualifications it’s exciting and great fun.

Increasing physical activity is best when it’s all about fun and games. Start with your basic preferences. Do you like to do things alone or with other people? If it’s with people, how many? Do you prefer a small, tight circle of friends or do you like big groups. Do you enjoy competition? Do you enjoy working with or being around animals? Take these things into account. The more you like something, and the more fun you get out of it, the more you will do it.

Moving away from advice from the Supremes, or more specifically, their mamas, there are some other important reasons why you shouldn’t hurry weight loss. I’m not talking about health risks. Indeed, research shows that many of the health risks are temporary. For very large people, the risks of rapid weight loss are less dangerous than the associated conditions related to obesity.

If it’s not health risks, then what other possible reason can there be for not hurrying weight loss? The reason is losing control. Driving too fast can cause you to lose control and crash. Speeding up your weight loss can do the same thing to your success.

You may have a routine now that’s comfortable. You have become accustomed to your weight loss actions and they’re a good fit with your life. You have achieved flexible restraint. Things are going well and although your average weekly weight loss is only about a pound, it’s acceptable.

When you hurry your weight loss you must eat a lot less and exercise even more. That’s hard. You can’t enjoy an occasional treat. Heck, you can’t even eat a full meal. You’re hungry all the time but you feel guilty if you try to eat a little more to kill the hunger pains.

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Yup, that’s all you get for lunch. Eat it slowly to make it last. Nothing more ’til dinner.

You lose time doing things you enjoy because you’re going to the gym every day and spending several hours there. Missing one day, or even cutting a workout short makes you feel guilty.

Hunger and guilt – nothing is more deadly to losing weight. These things take over your mind, fill you with negative thoughts and self-doubt and steal you of your confidence. They are why weight loss fails.

Take advice from the Supremes and the tortoise (as in the “Tortoise and the Hair”) and don’t hurry love or weight loss. Slow and steady wins more than the race. It gets you to goal with the skills you’ll need to stay there.

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How to reset your weight loss after a weekend of eating and drinking too much

Summer weekends are notorious for impromptu parties. Friends and family gather and each brings their favorite appetizers, dips, dishes, and desserts. The beer and frozen summertime alcoholic drinks start flowing and everybody has a good time. The relaxed attitude leads to too much of everything.

Weight loss goals whether intentionally or accidentally get put on hold. After all, right now it’s all about having fun and enjoying the weather and the company. Summer is short and who wants to let it slip past without taking advantage of the laid back attitude of the season.

All of the feel good vibes of summer dim a little on Monday morning when it’s time to go back to work. The feeling of over-indulging is intensified by the bloating that comes with water retention. Humidity, a lot of carbs and alcohol all combine to turn our bodies into sponges. All that fluid makes us think the damage is much greater than it really is.

Here is how to reset your diet after a weekend of overindulging. These tips will get you back on track and feeling great before by  Wednesday.

1) Don’t eat any bread and rolls, tortillas, cereal, chips, crackers, pizza, rice, pasta and potatoes.

2) No sweets as in cookies, cakes, cupcakes, ice cream, candy and granola bars or foods processed with added sugars and fats. You’ll have to read labels or easier, just stay away from all processed foods for the week.

3) No dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt, butter) To ensure you get adequate calcium eat other calcium-rich foods such as dark, green, leafy vegetables (broccoli and kale), egg yolks and sardines or salmon with soft, edible bones or consider a calcium supplement.

4) Drink only water – no other fluids.

5) Eat 2 servings of fresh fruit daily and you can eat all the raw and cooked vegetables you need to keep hunger at bay.

6)  Have 2 teaspoons of olive oil, or 2 tablespoons of flaxseed, or 1/4 avocado daily. Try mixing 2 tsp of olive oil with 2 tsp of balsamic vinegar, a little salt and pepper, and any favorite herbs for an easy salad dressing.

7) Eat three 3-oz servings of lean meat – can be red meat with all visible fat trimmed off, poultry without skin, fish or eggs.

8) Walk at least 60 minutes every day (can be broken into smaller increments of time) at a brisk pace (about 4 mph) in addition to your normal daily activity.

Try to stick to this routine at least until Friday afternoon. If you want to indulge again on the weekend, it’s okay, you earned it.

Why does losing weight stink?

Why would losing weight stink? I’m not talking in a figurative way, although many people have pointed to a lot of reasons why losing weight stinks. It’s most notably because one needs to eat less and exercise more and everything that goes with making those behavioral changes.

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I’m talking in the most literal sense of “stink” as why would people losing weight smell bad. The stink of weight loss can both be bad smells of the body and bad smells coming out of the body in the form of bad breath and gas. Some people losing weight both smell bad and emit bad smells.

The rise in popularity of low carb diets, such as Stinky Atkins, Paleo, and South Beach, are mostly responsible for turning weight loss into a smelly proposition. The more your diet restricts carbs, the greater the potential it has to make you stink. South Beach, for example, restricts carbs to a lesser degree than Atkins making potentially better-smelling dieters.

Prehistoric man had more pressing matters to worry about than offensive odor.

Prehistoric man had more pressing matters to worry about than offensive odor.

When you make a drastic reduction in the amount of carbs you’re eating, your body goes into the semi-starvation state of ketosis. Ketosis is fat metabolized to provide fuel that your brain needs to survive. Normally the fuel comes from carbs in foods. Smelly ketones that are the byproduct of this process are released by your body in your breath, urine and sweat.

Typically we brush, floss and rinse with mouthwash to cure bad breath woes. The problem with halitosis with its root coming from ketosis rather than poor oral hygiene, is it can’t be removed or even disguised with the regular fixes for bad breath. The smell isn’t coming from your mouth, it’s coming from deep in your body and coming out of your mouth.

Brush and floss all you want but it won't get rid of ketosis halitosis.

Brush and floss all you want but it won’t get rid of ketosis halitosis.

The fix for bad breath due to a low carb diet, is to adjust your diet to increase the carbs. The other benefit to putting more quality carbs, specifically fruit, vegetables, and whole grains, back into your diet is satisfaction. It makes your brain happier too because carbs are its preferred source of energy.

Cutting back a bit on protein, especially fatty protein, such as red meat, and increasing quality carbs ensures that the calorie deficit necessary to lose weight isn’t lost. All that will be lost is stinky breath, stinky body odor, and of course, body weight.

If you’re totally dedicated to stick to your low carb diet and you want your breath to be less offensive to those nearby, these strategies can help:

  • Drink more water. Drink lots and lots of water to dilute the concentration of keytones. This also help with foul-smelling urine and sweat.

  • Chew sugarless gum. This is not a fix as much as it helps mask the odor.

  • Suck on sugarless mints. In particular, those that contain Xylitol also kill bacteria and can prevent cavities and cover the ketosis stink with the more pleasant odor of mint.

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Very low calorie diets (VLCD) are another cause of bad breath. The stink is more like something died and is rotting deep inside you. Fasting or skipping meals as a calorie-reduction strategy slows the flow of saliva. Saliva washes away bacteria and debris from the tongue and mouth. The trapped bacteria causes bad breath. Drinking more water and brushing teeth and tongue can help.

The deep, down “something is rotting” stink on the breath is often digestive juices in the stomach that are produced and without food to digest these acidic juices begin to break down and emit the foul smell.

VCLD, eating fewer than an average of 800 calories a day should never be attempted without a physician’s care and supervision. Even if you’re not following a VCLD, skipping meals or going long periods of time without eating causes bad breath. It’s better to eat smaller meals more frequently to avoid killer breath.

Changing habits to enable weight loss might figuratively stink – as in be difficult and no fun. If you approach it with the goal of making them a good fit with your life, they may only be temporarily uncomfortable. Eventually they become routine, something you do without even thinking about it, and natural. Changing how you eat can make you smell bad, but that too is preventable or at least minimized.

How does Weight Watchers work?

Weight Watchers® is a commercial weight loss service. That means people pay to use the program and attend meetings. Paying to lose weight isn’t a bad thing if you’re paying for a program that’s proven to work and endorsed by reputable, third-party organizations.

In an industry full or scammers and expensive but unfulfilled promises, it’s understandable that commercial weight loss services are mistrusted. Weight Watchers has earned a reputation as America’s most trusted weight loss program.

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Weight Watchers doesn’t make promises that can’t be delivered. Weight Watchers is built on sound, evidence-based science.

You will never see Weight Watchers advertisements promise overnight or unrealistic results such as these these images indicate.

You will never see Weight Watchers advertisements promise overnight or unrealistic results such as these these images indicate.

This is true because Weight Watchers started with a humble beginning in a Queens, NY housewife’s living room who invited some friends over so that they could support each other while following a New York City Department of Public Health diet. Since its inception Weight Watchers has never strayed from a weight loss program based on a healthy and scientifically sound weight loss plan focused of good nutrition rather than a simple calorie-counting approach.

Jean Nidetch, former overweight housewife from Queens, NY and founder of Weight Watchers

Jean Nidetch, at 87, former overweight housewife from Queens, NY and founder of Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers has been ranked best diet for weight loss for 7 consecutive years by US New and World Report. It also ranked #1 in four other categories.

NEW YORK , Jan. 4, 2017 /CNW/ — Weight Watchers International, Inc. (WTW) has again been recognized by the experts in the 2017 Best Diets rankings released today by U.S. News & World Report. Weight Watchers® earned the top spot in four categories:

  • Ranked #1 for “Best Diet for Fast Weight Loss” for the first year since the category was added in 2016
  • Ranked #1 for “Best Diet for Weight Loss” for the seventh consecutive year
  • Ranked #1 for “Best Commercial Diet” for the seventh consecutive year
  • Ranked #1 for “Easiest Diet to Follow” for the sixth consecutive year since the category was added

“We’re honored to be ranked at the highest level for seven straight years by the experts at U.S. News & World Report,” said Stacey Mowbray , President of Americas at Weight Watchers International, Inc. “At Weight Watchers, our goal is to continue providing innovative solutions for our members, so we can help them live well while losing weight, find joy in the journey and realize the benefits that go beyond just the number on the scale.”

Here is how Weight Watchers works.

It starts with calories because calorie reduction is essential to losing weight, then grams of sugar, saturated fat (sat fat) and protein per serving are added to the formula to get the SmartPoints® value. Foods with higher sat fat and/or sugar content have a higher SmartPoints value than a food with a similar calorie content but less sat fat and/or sugar. Foods higher in protein (and lower in sat fat and/or sugar) also tend to be fewer SmartPoints.

A member has a daily SmartPoints target based on gender, age, and current weight. Younger, taller, heavier, and male members have a higher starting target to start which will get smaller with weight loss progress. When a member reaches goal, the target increases to adjust for maintenance.

Nobody has a target of fewer than 30 SmartPoints (SP) per day.

To give you an example of how the program promotes healthier food choices compare the SmartPoints for:

  • any fruit – 0 SP
  • most vegetables – 0 SP
  • 3oz of chicken breast – 6 SP
  • chocolate candy bar (same calorie count as chicken) 12 SP
These are the kinds of foods that members are encouraged to eat simply by the way the SmartPoints formula works. Members can eat whatever they want, but foods higher in sat fat and sugar have a higher SP value making them foods that are enjoyed less often and in smaller portions.

These are the kinds of foods that members are encouraged to eat simply by the way the SmartPoints formula works. Members can eat whatever they want, but foods higher in sat fat and sugar have a higher SP value making them foods that are enjoyed less often and in smaller portions.

Weight Watchers is for profit and gives excellent value for the money. It’s been around since 1962 helping people lose weight and learn how to keep it off. During that time Weight Watchers efficacy has been studied by independent researchers (not hired or paid by Weight Watchers)

One such randomized study found that people who regularly attend Weight Watchers meetings lose 3 times more weight than people who take a self help approach. The findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Assoc. (JAMA).

Weight Watchers works because it gives members structure and flexibility with their food choices while nudging them to make healthier choices with their exclusive SmartPoints formula. The CDC has approved the Weight Watchers plan as an effective way to prevent type 2 diabetes for patients who have been diagnosed as pre diabetic. https://www.weightwatchers.com/…/Diabetes-Prevention…

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Weight Watchers Beyond the Scale® Program combines a healthy food plan and an exercise plan (FitPoints™) with a behavioral/cognitive component and reinforces these healthy changes in an environment of group support.

You can follow Weight Watchers completely online by subscribing to Weight Watchers OnlinePlus. Many people find that online weight loss programs work only about as well as any “do it yourself” approach. The idea of a weekly group support meeting to enable weight loss success doesn’t sound appealing, but millions of people all over the world have discovered that nothing works better – nothing.

What’s the scoop on ice cream and weight loss?

Hot, hazy summer days were made for ice cream.

Are some ice creams are healthier than others?

Stop looking for “healthy ice cream” right now. Ice cream is a treat, not a staple of a healthy food plan and it should be treated as such. Instead of wasting time and calories searching for the healthiest ice cream, make a point of eating a serving of the most satisfying ice cream.

The sheer cold, creamy, sugary, saturated fattiness of ice cream has turned it into a summertime guilty pleasure.

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Ice cream isn’t fattening, but the lies and the guilt we associate with the frozen confection are what why we associate ice cream with weight gain.

"Oh no! Did I gain weight because I ate ice cream?"

“Oh no! Did I gain weight because I ate ice cream?”

Addressing the lies and learning the truth about ice cream erases the guilt.

Ice Cream Truths:

The creaminess, and therefore yumminess of ice cream is directly related to the butterfat content. Why is Ben and Jerry’s ice cream so much better than most ice cream? Well, they do come up with really good flavors, and they often mix delicious things into the ice cream, but what really makes Ben and Jerry’s so scrumptious is the high butterfat content. Butterfat by weight is the fat from just the milk and cream.

When you shop for ice cream you’ll see a variety of ice cream and ice cream-like products on the supermarket shelves.

 Product                                                   Butterfat content

  • Super premium ice cream                                          14 -16%
  • Premium ice cream                                                    12 – 14%
  • Ice cream                                                                    < 10%
  • Frozen custard                                                            10% (1.4% egg)
  • Gelato                                                                          3 – 8%
  • Soft serve                                                                    3 – 6%
  • Ice milk                                                                        3 – 5%
  • Sherbet                                                                        1 – 2%
  • Sorbet (no milk, frozen fruit juice)                                0%

Lower fat, lower calorie ice cream has more air and weighs less per volume. Higher fat, premium ice cream has less air and weighs more per volume.

Other ways ice cream manufacturers reduce calories are by lowering butterfat content (9 calories per gram) and sugar (4 calories per gram) and adding artificial ingredients such as sweeteners (0 calories per gram) and additives (protein cloned from the blood of an Arctic Ocean fish) that make reduced-calorie ice cream have the rich, creamy texture of premium ice cream.

Cold or slow-churned ice cream sounds homemade, natural and wholesome, so how can it be a reduced fat and calorie product? The marketing makes the difference. Calling it slow-churned sounds appetizing, but how do you feel about any number of synthetic ingredients including Propylene Glycol Monostearate to make these lower fat, lower calorie versions taste better?

It sounds scarier than it is, although it’s not what you would expect to find in your your wholesome “slow-churned” ice cream. Whether you decide to eat it or not is up to you, but if you want that rich creamy texture with half of the fat, it may be the way to go.

Now you know all about what’s in ice cream. Here is what you need to know so that you can enjoy ice cream as part of a balanced, healthful food plan:

  • There is nothing, neither natural or artificial, in ice cream that makes ice cream physically addictive. If you “can’t stop eating ice cream” it’s because of the message you give yourself and your actions that make the message your truth.
  • If you like ice cream, you can eat ice cream even if you’re reducing fat and calories to lower your weight. Eat smaller servings less frequently to significantly reduce your fat, sugar and calories without giving up ice cream altogether.
  • Eating a whole pint in one sitting is no more satisfying than a single 1/2 cup serving scoop.
  • Once you start, you can stop. 
  • Track your servings to control your ice cream consumption.
  • Enjoy fully.

And that’s the scoop.

Weight loss for singles

If you think it’s hard to lose weight because you live with one or more people who don’t need to lose weight, try losing weight when you live by yourself.

It’s true you won’t have the challenges of people bringing tempting food into the house and it’s true you don’t have anybody intentionally or unintentionally sabotaging you. Losing weight when you live by yourself should be easy, right? Wrong. That’s the mistake people make when it comes to losing weight.

They think that their particular set of circumstances make weight loss hard for them, but everybody else has a situation that makes weight loss easier. Weight loss isn’t easy for most people under any and all circumstances. Each presents advantages and disadvantages.

I’ve already discussed the obvious advantages of losing weight when you live alone, but don’t be fooled, there’s plenty of disadvantages. Here are some big ones:

  1. Don’t want to cook for just yourself
    • getting more takeout
    • more dining out
    • in lieu of meals more snacking, unaccounted for calories and unbalanced nutrition
  2. Tend to eat more when eating alone (cook too much)
  3. Emotional eating, especially boredom
  4. Sedentary behavior
  5. Lack of accountability/ nobody is watching

The above list of 5 challenges represent some of the most difficult challenges anybody who wants to lose weight must overcome. When you live alone you need creative solutions.

Relying on frozen diet entrees or a weight loss program that ships your meals and snacks to you is a quick and easy solution, but possibly not one that works for you. It may not fit into your budget. Some people who’ve tried that route say it’s boring, sometimes not very tasty, and too often not tasty (totally disgusting) at all. Others say the food tastes very good but the portions are so small that they are left completely unsatisfied.

If you don’t want to cook and have already gone the prepared diet meals route, dining out can work for you if you take the right approach. Dining out can even work extremely well because you can eat a meal there, and in most cases have enough to take home for another meal.

If you find yourself eating for emotional reasons which include stress and boredom address the causes of what’s making you eat. Instead of trying to control the eating behavior, seek to find ways to change the underlying causes. What can you do to lower stress levels? What can you do to avoid getting bored?

Sedentary behavior and boredom can work together so that one triggers the other. Finding activities you enjoy that include moving helps alleviate both the boredom and the sedentary behavior. A dog is a great companion and gets you up and moving. If you’re not into dogs, or pets in general, or can’t have one because of where you live consider exploring hobbies or sports that interest you.

The most important thing to do if you’re serious about weight reduction is accountability. You can make excuses, and living alone gives you ample opportunities to come up with a lot of them, or you can make changes.

Weight Watchers is one way to reinforce your accountability to yourself, get ideas for ways to manage eating and getting more active, and form friendships with people who have the same goals as you. The support and camaraderie you’ll experience at weekly meetings ensures that you will not feel like you’re alone in your journey to weigh less and get healthier.

Is your metabolism really why you’re struggling with your weight

Lots of people sail through life without any worries about weight.

Their weight settles into a comfortable place that looks good and feels good. It doesn’t take much thought or effort to keep it there. All is well…

All is well until the 40th or so birthday, and this applies to the guys as well as the gals. After a lifetime of blissful weight maintenance something funny – well, strange and really not funny at all, starts to happen.

Shirts stop fitting well. They button but there’s gaps between the buttons. Pants get tight. A roll around the middle that’s never been there before becomes noticeable and it just seems to grow bigger everyday.

You’re not eating anything different or any more than you have always been eating.

That must mean it’s your aging metabolism. It’s grinding to a halt and that’s making you fat, right?

We’re led to believe it’s our slower metabolism, but the reality is, it’s just us who’ve slowed down. We need to get moving again.

Wrong. We’re learning a lot about metabolism and discovering that some widely-held beliefs are not accurate. New research and modern technology allows us to unravel some of the mysteries that, in the past, we answered with theories rather than scientific knowledge.

Metabolism is misunderstood and blamed for things it doesn’t do or on which it has very little effect.

Resting metabolic rate is a measure of how much energy we expend at rest. It’s determined by a combination of factors:

  • height
  • sex
  • the genes you got from your parents

It can’t be altered much, no matter what you do. I know, surprising, right?

It does slow as we age, but not to the extent that would make you fat. You can’t blame weight gain on your metabolism.

We recognize that our pets get less active as they get older, but don’t see it with ourselves.

Metabolism is the calories your body burns to sustain itself.

The majority of the calories you burn every day are burned by organs that are working all the time whether you’re awake or asleep.

“Brain function makes up close to 20% of” resting metabolic rate, Dr. Claude Bouchard, a professor of genetics and nutrition at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center of Louisiana State University, told The Los Angeles Times.

“Next is the heart, which is beating all the time and accounts for another 15-20%. The liver, which also functions at rest, contributes another 15-20%. Then you have the kidneys and lungs and other tissues, so what remains is muscle, contributing only 20-25% of total resting metabolism,” Bouchard said.”

Your metabolism slows, that much is true, how much slower isn’t enough to make you gain weight, however. Weight gain is because of something else. We get older; we move less. The calorie balance we maintained with our eating and moving habits becomes unbalanced. Moving less means we need fewer calories, but we continue to eat as though we’re still burning them up with activity.

Some people try to increase their metabolism with green tea. Don’t bother because it doesn’t work. Caffeine, chili peppers, and the stuff you saw on the internet won’t speed up your metabolism either.

Don’t let that discourage you. It doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about the weight gain. It doesn’t mean you have to start eating differently to cut calories although it’s a good idea to monitor what you’re eating.

Some folks have tried eating 6 smaller meals as a metabolism boosting strategy. Don’t bother, unless it suits you better than 3 meals, because it doesn’t make any difference. All you have to do is get moving and be mindful about when and what you’re eating. 

Don’t waste your time trying to increase your muscle mass so to significantly increase your resting metabolism.

You probably can’t increase your muscle mass enough to make a real difference, but that’s not to say that engaging in muscle-building exercise isn’t a good idea. It is. Strength training is a healthy habit that positively affects your agility and balance.

Cardio exercise burns calories and it doesn’t have to be boring. Cardio or aerobic exercise is anything that uses large muscle groups repetitively for a sustained amount of time. Ideally find activities that are fun so that you consistently do it 30 to 60 minutes at least three days a week, although more frequently is better.

No need to stay home, or hide. Get out and have fun doing the activities you enjoy.

Contrary to what the media is trying to tell you, your body is a perfect beach body – all bodies are perfect beach bodies. Go to the beach. Swim, play and have fun while you keep your healthy with regular physical activity.

If you want to end your weight woes forever, I’ll share the magic formula. The formula to manage your weight is eat well and keep moving.