Saturday, May 31, 2008

Daily Weight Loss Tip

Keep a Food Diary. Keeping a food diary can be a huge asset in successful weight loss. Devote some time each day to record what you have eaten and how much, your hunger level prior to eating, and any feelings or emotions present at the time. A food diary can provide a large amount of self-awareness. It can identify emotions and behaviors that trigger overeating, foster greater awareness of portion sizes, and help you discover your personal food triggers. Study any patterns that emerge from your food diary and identify where you may be able to make more healthful changes. A food diary provides an added benefit of keeping you focused on and committed to your goals.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Childhood Obesity : "Young Lives at Risk"

Childhood obesity has always been a sensitive topic for me. I don't ever remember being a normal size. I always joke that I went from diapers to a size 22. I vividly remember the ridicule I endured from other kids, the quest for clothes to fit my oversized body, and the disappointment of failing diet after diet. I always vowed that whatever it took, my child would not go through that. However, I knew that I would have to lead by example. That was also one of the motivating factors for me in deciding to undergo the surgery and lose the weight.

The US has done a horrible job of addressing this epidemic. Bottom line, if we are concerned about the rising costs of health care, it would behoove us to deal with this now. If these kids aren't given the resources they need, they will continue to spiral out of control and become adults with even more serious health problems.

However, we just can't blame the government, the media, and the school system. Parents have to lead by example. If the fridge is filled with junk, what other options does that child have? If Mickey D's is what's for dinner every other night, that parent is part of the problem.

Check out the Washington Post series, Young Lives at Risk: Our Overweight Children. It features heart-wrenching stories of children battling obesity, information for parents on what they can do to help their kids, and also words from the campaign trail...what the next President plans to do to combat this epidemic.
Vivrant Thang blogs about live, love and music over at Songs In The Key Of Life.

Daily Weight Loss Tip

The more muscle tissue you have, the more calories you will burn. This is why world class weight lifters must eat thousands of calories a day to maintain their weight. Muscle is active tissue, fat is not. Thus, muscle "burns" a significant number of calories each day for its own maintenance. In her book Strong Women Stay Slim, Miriam Nelson, a Tufts University researcher, showed that a group of women who followed a weight loss diet and did weight training exercises lost 44% more fat than those who only followed the diet. While aerobic activity can help burn calories, muscle's where it's at when it comes to giving your metabolism a significant daily boost even at rest.


Diet Mondays: Portion Control -- It Works

One the easiest and least painful ways to get your diet started is to use portion control. So often, in much of diet literature, portion control is overlooked or not discussed seriously. Many “experts” claim that it’s too hard and the everyday individual is loathe to practice it because of its difficulty. The reality is portion control is quite easy and if you follow a few simple steps you can be on your way to a slimmer waistline:

1. Fix your plate the way you normally would. Pile the food on. Don’t worry about whether you’re putting too much on your plate, just follow your normal routine.

2. When you’re done take half the food off your plate and put in a container for later.

3. Eat the half you have left.

4. After you finish eating, wait 10 minutes and if you still feel hungry go and get the food that you put away and take half of that, put it on your plate and eat it.

5. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Try it for a week. After the first couple of days you probably won’t even need that second helping and my guess is, by the end of the week, you may have lost a couple of pounds. Ultimately, portion control is about eating less food so you consume fewer calories. If you’re now eating half of what you normally eat then you’re consuming half the calories and pounds will begin to come off.

Obviously what you eat matters, but if you’re just starting a dieting regime and you feel overwhelmed with all of the health and fitness advice from the “experts” this is a simple way to get the ball rolling. Once you see those early results you will feel motivated to keep it going and make even bigger changes in your diet and lifestyle.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Daily Weight Loss Tip

Limit salt in cooking. Other names for salt include baking soda, baking powder, MSG and soya sauce.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Born With Fat Cells You Have

The damn things just won't die:

Every year, whether you are fat or thin, whether you lose weight or gain, 10 percent of your fat cells die. And every year, those cells that die are replaced with new fat cells, researchers in Sweden reported Sunday.

The result is that the total number of fat cells in the body remains the same, year after year throughout adulthood. Losing or gaining weight affects only the amount of fat stored in the cells, not the number of cells.

Daily Weight Loss Tip

Know Your Danger Zones

If you know sitting in the kitchen is going to cause you to raid the pantry... leave the room. If lingering at the dinner table makes you long for dessert... vamoose!

For example, don't use the kitchen table for other activities like paying bills if you know you can't fight temptation. (The cookie jar always calls my name when I'm busy crunching numbers.)

Or, even better ... as soon as you've finished your meal, head outside and take a walk. Not only will it get your mind off of eating, you'll have the extra benefit of exercising!


Adore The Skin You Are In

You live, you die
And spend the years in between asking the question
Why you've been through what you been
You lose, you win
You even pay for other sins
But you must always adore the skin you are in

A couple of weekends ago, I went out to a sports bar with a girlfriend. We were dressed to the nines as we planned to head out to a club afterwards to meet up with some folks for a birthday celebration. I was wearing a sassy skirt and a sleeveless top that dipped dangerously in the middle. When I weighed over 300lbs you wouldn't dare catch me in anything sleeveless. Even though my weight was pretty evenly distributed over my 5'9 frame, my arms were extremely large. I was disgusted by them so naturally everyone else would be. For most of my teens years into my twenties, I kept them under wraps.

Now that I have lost the weight, my arms still remain fairly large. Although it's been a while since I stopped covering them up, whenever I see pictures of myself, my eye still goes to my arms and how they appear in comparison to the rest of my body. I often try to pose to hide them.

On this particular night as we were finishing up dinner, a photographer came around taking picture for the restaurant website. I hate being photographed because I don't consider myself especially photogenic. Probably stems from the days I was super morbidly obese and was reminded of how I looked to other people every time I looked at a photo of myself. As the photographer started to take the picture, I unconsciously pulled my jacket up over my arms. He gave me a disapproving look until I removed it.

Afterwards, he sat down next to me and told me how beautiful I was and how women out there were paying thousands of dollars to get what I had. "Love what you got. Don't be ashamed of it or cover it up." I didn't get the sense he was trying to get his mack on. He was just telling it as he saw it. His words definitely gave me plenty of food for thought.

When I decided to have the surgery, my main goals were to be healthy and to truly be comfortable in my own skin. I wanted to like what I saw when I walked past the mirror. So many women, whether they are a size 2 or a 22, are not happy with themselves. If you're not happy with yourself, how can anyone else be happy with you or around you. I don't want that. I want to truly embrace and adore the skin I am in.

Do you? If not, what are you doing about it?

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Daily Weight Loss Tip

Be positive! The more you feel good about yourself the easier and faster it is to lose weight.


Foods You think are Healthy but They Aren't

I'm sure we've all chowed down on food that we swore was healthy only to find out later that it was anything but. Well, AOL compiled a list of 12 popular "healthy" foods that are probably adding more calories to your diet than you realize:

1. Pasta Salad

2. Pretzels

3. Baked Beans

4. California Rolls

5. Low-Fat Salad Dressing

6. Yogurt with Fruit on the Bottom

7. Corn Oil

8. Granola Bars

9. Croutons

10. Fruit Cocktail in a Can

11. English Muffins

12. Low-Fat Peanut Butter

So which one of these are you guilty of? For me it was the yogurt with the fruit on the bottom. Yogurt was a little meal in a cup or a quick an easy snack after running. I would eat 2 or 3 a day. The calorie count was 120 so I was thinking, "Eh, not bad." But then one day I said let me look at the sugar count. There were like 25 grams of sugar (coulda been thirty), I said...Damn. Maybe I need to put that down.