Archive for July, 2008
Continued from July30 blog… 7. Eating at the salad bar is always best Years ago when we were encouraged to eat salads as part of healthy eating, many restaurants began to incorporate salad bars as a way to attract more patrons. Of course they expanded beyond just salad and added things like bacon, cheeses, croutons, eggs, bread, cold cuts and all kinds of fattening items. What started out as good nutrition has turned into a dieters nightmare. High fat and high sugar dressings top the list of high calorie choices. And while you can eat healthy at most salad bars it is going to take some real attention on your part. You still have to eat consciously at the salad bar to avoid the high calorie foods. 8. Take the latest diet drugs As far as a magic bullet pill there is none. Even if some medications are effective in curbing appetite there are side effects to consider. Remember the Fen-phen craze of the 90s? That ended up with a class action lawsuit from people who suffered damage to their health. There is no way to replace exercise, good nutrition and mental awareness as the key to losing weight and keeping it off. Pills, shakes, frozen meals and such have been around for years. Stop wasting your time and start living your life. 9. Carbs make you fat New diet trends come and go but low carb eating has been a trend for several years now. In Hollywood its the diet of choice. Just make sure that you are cutting out the right carbohydrates. White foods, like breads, cakes, pastas, rice and pretzels are OK to eliminate. But dont cut out most fruits and starchier veggies like carrots just because the Atkins diet does. Learn about carbohydrates to distinguish good versus bad, complex versus simple carbs. 10. Diet foods will help you drop pounds Those low calorie meals in a box are not necessarily a good choice. Some have high levels of sugar and trans fats. Even the ones that have better ingredients are so tiny that they leave open the real chance that youll get hungry again and be tempted to eat more than you actually need. Fresh, healthy food is always a better choice.
Continued from July 29 blog… 4) Diet sodas help you lose weight Diet soda has no nutrients whatsoever. They are really wasted calories. Water, dye and chemical sweetener. Research now shows us that even though they dont contain sugar, diet sodas can lead to overeating and binging by raising blood sugar and making us hungrier. We always knew that regular soda was full of empty calories but now we know that diet soda is no better. Consume it in reasonable quantities. 5) Nighttime eating makes you fat There has been a lot of discussion about whether eating after dinner makes us gain weight. But the verdict is still out on this issue. There is very little substantial research that says nighttime eating will make you gain weight. So basically it is still what you eat not when you eat it. Although eating a large meal late at night and going right to bed may not be the best thing for you stomach. But Europeans are known to eat late night dinners and they are half the size of most Americans. 6) Dont weigh yourself Years ago we were told not to weigh ourselves while on a diet because of psychological reasons. The thinking was that slow downward movement of the scale would demoralize somebody trying to lose weight. I totally disagree with this, as without getting weighed once a week there is nothing to gauge how well you are doing. But I do agree that jumping on the scale all the time can be defeating. Also dont forget that the scale does not differentiate between fat, bone, water and muscle. Another way to see results is to get measured every 4-6 weeks. More diet myths to follow.
Toward a Healthier You! The diet industry is so hyped-up with misrepresentations and outright lies about how to lose weight that its astonishing anyone believes their claims. The strategy here is to get people to buy on an emotional level. Out of sheer desperation to lose weight, a lot of consumers will try almost anything. Short term results are highlighted and very few have anything approaching a long term success story. The $46 billion dollar a year diet industry spends millions yearly to lure you to buy products that promise nothing but sheer misery at the end of the rainbow. Here are some myths you should be aware of: 1) You can lose 30 pounds in 30 days. This, or any other quick fix or gimmick,is just that. Do not fall for the promise of super-fast results as true weight loss requires lots of commitment and a lifestyle change. A long-term healthy lifestyle does not happen overnight, it takes small changes made daily. 2) Lose weight without eating. By not eating you will be depriving your body of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. If you want a healthy body you need to eat; good whole nutritious foods such as fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts and proteins. By not eating, you will begin to lose muscle mass rather than fat. Having less muscle mass slows the metabolism. Even though you will lose weight by fasting you will almost certainly gain it back. 3) Do not eat fats. For years we were told not to eat any fats because they were to blame for all of the worlds weight problems. We were told not to eat fats because of their high caloric count per gram. Today we know a lot more of the science of fat. The research shows that not all fats are alike. The truth is that, some fats, like hydrogenated oils are unhealthy and some, like olive oil, are actually good for you. Fat is a nutrient. Essential fatty acids, like vitamins cannot be made in the body. They must be eaten. Stay tuned for more myths…
Toward a Healthier You! Unless you are running marathons, you should be eating more proteins and not carbo-loading. I can say with ease, that most women eat way too many simple carbohydrates such as breads, bagels, pasta, etc. These foods store in the cells and if not worked off by aerobic activity they will stay there and that is how we gain weight. For my money, proteins such as meats, fish, peanut butter and avocados are the way to go. They will help you to stay alert and you certainlywill not feel that bloated, sluggish feeling that we all get from eating bad carbohydrates. Proteins have an amino acid called tyrosine, and this helps to elevate feel-good chemicals in the brain such as dopamine and nor-epinephrine. Proteins also increase a feeling of being fuller and that can stop a binge in its tracks. A couple of scrambled eggs for breakfast with some turkey bacon will make you feel fuller and keep you from thinking about the next meal.
Toward a Healthier You! 1) Eat smaller and more frequent meals. Research is now telling us this is the way to go and it makes so much sense. A large meal takes longer to digest and will make you feel tired. Smaller meals, especially ones that are not cooked, such as fruit salads or veggie salads, are broken down quickly and used for energy in the body. That is a good thing. 2) Get moving! Your body was made to be active. Sitting on the couch with the remote is OK once in a while but 3-4 times a week you must get into a fitness routine. Take a class, a nice brisk walk or do a ShapelyGirl workout! 3) Drink water, as it is great for the bodys digestion and skin. It also helps in the elimination process and that contributes to feeling and looking better. 4) Eat a variety of good foods. Do not get into a rut of eating the same foods all the time. Your body will not get smaller, fitter or healthier that way. Try to add new foods but make sure they are fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains and nuts. Make sure you get snacks in 2 times a day that are no more than 150 calories, watch out for those quick and easy snack bars. They can be loaded with sugars. I cant say this enough: Read the labels. Anything under 10 grams of sugar should be fine. 5) If you do not already do this, take a multivitamin daily.
Toward a Healthier You! Every food that is eaten by us falls into 3 categories: fats, proteins or carbohydrates. Carbohydrates have been the buzzword for years now and they have really gotten a bad rap. They do fall into two categories, healthy vs. unhealthy. Food such as candy, cookies, cake, chips and other foods like these are what we call the unhealthy or simple carbohydrates. These are the foods that will make you feel terrible by raising blood sugar levels up and then send you crashing down again soon afterwards. They also are not figure-friendly and will make you gain weight. Sometimes – lots of it. Even foods you assume are healthy like juices may actually be sugar laden. Read the labels. If you see words like high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, glucose, sucrose or ANY word ending in ose that means sugar. On the other hand, complex carbohydrates are much better for you. They include fruits, which contain fructose, yes, a sugar, but a natural one that the body will digest more easily. Vegetables are in the carb family but, by far, have the lowest amounts of carbohydrate in them. That is why most diets tell you to eat them in volume or whenever you are hungry. Grains are also carbohydrates, and while cereals and some bread can be healthy, you absolutely must read the labels. There can be lots of sugar added to the grain to make them taste better. So while low carb diets continue to be very popular I favor a program of drastically reducing sugar and white flour products while eating the healthy carbohydrates that should be the basis of a good diet.
Toward a Healthier You! In todays fast paced world, it is sometime very hard for women to eat healthy in light of family obligations and long work schedules. We put our needs last and that often means that our diet gets overlooked. Here are some tips on how to incorporate good eating into your busy life. 1) First, never go without eating breakfast. It does not need to be a sit down meal. A banana and healthy breakfast bar will do the trick. Fruit and yogurt takes no time to eat and you are getting good fuel into the body to get the day started. The bars I like are Soy Joy, Cliff or Luna; they have lots of protein, fiber and are low in sugar. 2) Try to get a salad in your diet at least once daily. Fresh veggies are packed with fiber, vitamins and nutrition. And they are more and more available as takeout or on restaurant menus. 3) Fruit makes a great daily snack for women on the go because its portable. Right now the summer fruits are sweet and taste great. A ripe nectarine, a slice of watermelon, a bowl of berries are delicious and chock full of anti-oxidants and many other things that are good for you. 4) Keep portions of low fat protein on hand. Chicken, turkey and fish are great. Protein makes you feel full and you will not have the urges to eat junk food after eating protein. 5) Stay away from the drive-thru window. While fast food restaurants now offer better options its too easy to make a poor choice and consume a lot of fat and white flour. Being time starved is no excuse. Take it from me, eating healthy will make you feel terrific every day.
Toward a Healthier You! With the economy in such bad shape these days and gas prices at an all time high, it is no wonder that people are totally stressed out and overeating. For those who use food to medicate themselves as a response to stress – this is prime time for binge eating. Food prices are also on the rise and for some, that means buying cheaper food for survival reasons especially when feeding a family. When we cut back on spending at the grocery store naturally eating habits will shift. For example, going to places like the dollar store to buy food is definitely economical, however it might also be disastrous for your health. Consuming more ramen noodles, hot dogs, or macaroni and cheese is not the answer. Increasing the amount of processed food we eat can have a disastrous impact on our health. There is solid evidence that a diet full of junk food creates high levels of blood sugar that can lead to Type 2 diabetes. Sometimes called adult onset diabetes, this illness has also been linked to certain cancers.Too much blood sugar can increase a women’s risk of pancreatic, skin, urinary tract, uterine and breast cancer, according to a Swedish study published last year in the journal Diabetes Care. Its easy to reduce blood sugar levels with a diet high in fruits and veggies and by maintaining a healthy body weight. But produce costs more than cheap food made with white flour and sugar. So how do we keep those food bills from spiraling off the charts and still but those health foods? Before you eliminate good quality, healthy foods take a closer look at what you are buying that you really dont need. Could you do without the soda? The chips? The spring water? The more expensive cheese? Maybe you can cut back on convenience or frozen foods which cost more. Or maybe you can cut out the daily lattes and dedicate the money you save to eating healthy. Plant a garden, buy in bulk, cook more, watch the sales and check out places like Trader Joes that sell natural foods at good prices. It is possible to eat well and wisely on a limited budget. It takes creativity, smart consumerism and a commitment to your health.
As a young woman I spent decades dieting with every fad of the 1970s and 80s. At one point, I think I even had the urine of pregnant cows injected into me. Guess what? It didnt work. Neither did that fasting program, the soup diet or having my jaw wired shut. (Remind me to tell you how I got a milkshake through the wires.) I work with a lot of women and I would say at any given time half are on a diet. Im not talking about the one who watches what she eats. I am speaking about the woman who drastically alters her life by going on a low-calorie or fad diet to lose weight quickly. These diets capitalize on the fear of being overweight and promise instant results, although most have no scientific research to back them nor are they medically safe. Instead, these plans rely on testimony from people who have tried them and gotten short-term results. What they actually do is drastically lower metabolism, putting the body into starvation mode. When this happens, the body begins to store fat and, instead, you begin to lose lean muscle mass. The mentality is comparable to that of an athlete who uses steroids to win. The pressure to be thin in this society is tremendous and larger women are often perceived as being out of control. Diets are an act of desperation. A lot of women make the decision to lose weight because they arent happy with themselves. You may have gained weight as a result of stress, depression, boredom, anger or frustration. Food becomes the comfort that may temporarily relive the emotional pain. However, binging makes you feel guilty, ultimately escalating the original pain. Eating gets out of control, clothes dont fit and you may even isolate yourself. I did. As food consumption starts to be the focus, dieting becomes the desperate attempt to get back in control. This diet is different. Sound familiar? As the end of the diet approaches and your goal weight is almost reached, it is time to get on with your life, you figure, because dieting is not part of the real world. Coming off of it, youve learned nothing about your body or how to eat properly. Needless to say, old patterns return, setting you up for failure. So if diets really dont work, what are we supposed to do to get to a healthy weight? First, educate yourself and learn to follow a consistent and balanced food program one that stresses health, not just weight loss. Parents must remember the dieting mentality sets up our children to develop eating disorders. I advocate making exercise the first priority. When you start moving, youll find you are motivated to make better choices. Finally, stop beating yourself up for imperfections. Learn to nurture yourself with the love and patience it takes to be the best you can be. Debra Mazda is an exercise physiologist, certified personal trainer and president of ShapelyGirl Fitness, which includes workout DVDs, CDs and an online community at www.debramazda.com. Contact her at email@example.com.