If you’ve ever been curious about the inner-workings of food marketing, I highly recommend this article, Supersize v undersize: food portions and obesity. As someone who interned in food marketing and took a couple of courses related to the subject in college prior to getting a full-time marketing job, this article does a great job of pointing out some of the tricks of food marketing including increasing package size, making portion sizes confusing, raising prices right before a “buy one get one free” offer, etc. When it comes to food, it’s definitely buyer beware and eater beware!
Archive for February, 2013
Posted in Hypoglycemic Diet, Hypoglycemic Living, tagged Balancing Carbs, Frozen Meals, Hypoglycemia, Hypoglycemic Diet, Live Right Fitness, Losing Weight, Low Fat, Meal Preparation, Packing, Pre-Planned Meals, Recipe, Traveling Healthy, White Chicken Chili on February 26, 2013| Leave a Comment »
As a hypoglycemic, I try to prepare a lot of my meals ahead of time, especially lunches. I try to make those once every 1-2 weeks and freeze them (this low fat white chicken chili recipe freezes well). So, I can definitely relate to this photo from LiveRightFitness on Facebook (except theirs are seriously lacking the carbs hypoglycemics need). Click on the photo to check them out!
Other valuable posts:
Posted in Hypoglycemic Diet, Hypoglycemic Living, tagged Alcohol, Diet, Exercise, Exercise Frequency, Exercise Routine, Food Log, Food Rewards, Losing Weight, Measuring Cups, Muscle Confusion, Portion Size, Small Meals, Snacking, Why can't I lose weight, Workout on February 17, 2013| 2 Comments »
For a while now, I’ve been working on a quiz, based on all of the information I read about health, to help people (including me) figure out why they aren’t losing weight. Take the quiz, see your results, and let me know what you think!
1. I exercise (elevated heart rate for 30 minutes)…
1) Never-2 days per week
2) 3-4 days per week
3) 5+ days per week
2. If I opened my refrigerator and freezer RIGHT NOW and assessed the entire contents (including drinks)…
a1) The majority of its contents would be considered processed foods (drinks other than juice, milk, and plain water; condiments, ready-to-eat meals, etc.)
a2) There’s hardly anything in my fridge and freezer.
b) About half of the contents are processed foods
c) A large percentage of the foods are not processed
3. Right now I am trying to lose weight and I am…
a) Not keeping a food log
b) Keeping a loose running total of what I am eating and the caloric, fat, etc. content
c) Keeping a meticulous food log of everything that goes in my mouth
4. If I’m watching TV and decide I want something to snack on (such as pretzels)…
a) I take the entire bag on the couch with me and don’t know how many I ate.
b) I grab what I want and take that to the couch with me.
b2) I portion out only what I’m supposed to eat, but go back for more
c) I portion out what I’m supposed to eat and only have that much.
5. I strength train for at least 30 minutes (lifting weights or extensive body weight exercises such as Pilates)…
2) 1-2 days per week
3) 3+ days per week
6. My exercise routine….
1) Is always the same or mostly the same
2) I have a couple of things I rotate between
3) I am constantly changing-up my exercise routine
7. I had a really great day at the office!….
a) I deserve (insert your favorite junk food here)
b) A nice meal or my fave snack would be great, but I think I’ll just celebrate by calling a friend
c) Food is not part of my consideration for rewarding myself
8. I drink alcohol…
a) All the time!
b) A lot or quite frequently.
c) Sometimes, but only a few.
9. When selecting a new workout to do…
1) I always modify it by making it easier (less reps, more rest, etc.) and keep it that way
2) I can always do the entire thing right away
3) I can’t do the entire thing right away, but work up to it within a few weeks
10. I eat…
a) 1-2 times per day
b) 3-5 times per day
c) every couple of hours (about 6-7 times per day)
11. I use measuring cups to measure the portions of my food…
b) I’ve read what portion sizes look like and eyeball them
c) Multiple times per day
Although other factors matter, diet and exercise are the most effective ways to help with your weight loss. So…
Any question that has a, b, or c as an answer is dietary-related. Any a’s that you circled are MAJOR culprits that are preventing you from losing weight. Any b’s that you circled are also an issue. They may not be the main culprit in why you aren’t able to lose weight, but they aren’t helping for sure. And, a few b’s can add up to a major issue. C answers are what you are looking for. Anything other than a c is something you need to work on to help you lose weight.
Any question that has a, b, or c as an answer is exercise-related. Any 1’s that you circled are MAJOR culprits that are preventing you from losing weight. Any 2’s that you circled are also an issue. They may not be the main culprit in why you aren’t able to lose weight, but they aren’t helping for sure. And, a few 2’s can add up to a major issue. 3 answers are what you are looking for. Anything other than a 3 is something you need to work on to help you lose weight.
Why are each of these a factor in losing weight?
- Frequency of exercise: Regular exercise is a key factor in weight loss and maintaining your weight once you’ve lost all you want to lose.
- Consumption of processed foods. Processed foods are a MAJOR problem. Even if you are ok calorically, processed foods include a lot of added ingredients that can hinder your weight loss goals. For example, most processed foods are very high in sodium, which will make you retain water and make it very difficult to lose weight.
- Mindless snacking. Not portioning your food and not being aware of how much you are eating can cause you to consume a lot more calories than you realize.
- Keeping a food log. A food log can help you become aware of exactly what you are putting in your body every day. For example, you might not think about the coffee creamer and sugar as a significant caloric bomb, but that’s 100 or more calories per day! Also, you might not realize that the “little sweet” you had is actually 400 calories and 15 grams of fat until you have to look it up and write it down.
- Strength training. Most people just walk or do some other form of cardio and that’s great, but there are SO MANY reasons to strength train. For the purposes of this quiz, strength training helps you burn calories ALL THE TIME. Even while you are sleeping, you will burn more calories because of the muscle, which will help you lose weight and/or maintain your current weight. And, ladies, don’t worry about getting big. I actually WENT DOWN two sizes when I started taking my weight training seriously.
- Changing up your exercise routine. The more you do the same exercise, the more your body gets used to it and the less effective it is. And, you are working the same muscles each time. Think about if you do something, such as play a physical game, that you normally don’t do. You exhaust easily and you are really sore the next day. THAT’S A GOOD THING!
- Alcohol. Alcohol is ok, but keep in mind that alcohol is empty calories. Three glasses of wine=300+ calories added to your day!
- Food rewards. Food should never be a reward for doing something. If it is, you are associating extreme pleasure with food. Yes, I love a good meal from time to time, but if you are using food as a reward, you won’t lose weight.
- Exercise challenge. Choosing workouts that challenge you and that you have to improve to do is the way to go to lose weight. See “changing up your exercise routine” to see why.
- Eating frequency. Small meals throughout the day will keep your body from thinking it is starving (and thus, store fat) and keep you from binging.
- Portion size. Portion sizes, especially in the U.S. are too large. Most people don’t consider how much they really need or eyeball way too much. The easiest way to fix this is to measure the food prior to putting it on your plate.
Other valuable posts:
When I tell people I’m hypoglycemic, one of the first questions they ask is how will they know if my blood sugar is low. One of my telltale signs is that I’m VERY forgetful. Seriously, I forgot to close my car door once when walking into a mall. HOW THE HELL DO YOU FORGET TO DO THAT??? Luckily, someone stopped me and pointed it out.
Memory loss is a symptom for most hypoglycemics, I jokingly call it my “hypo brain,” but it’s actually very serious. I forget people’s names that I darn well know, I forget to do things, I forget….well, I forget. And it’s not because I’m a natural blonde.
As with most things, scientific studies on the subject change all the time as researchers prove and then disprove their studies, but here’s what we know:
- Hypoglycemia is low blood sugar (duh)
- Low blood sugar can cause dementia or “forgetfulness”
- The more often someone has an extreme hypoglycemic low blood sugar episode, the increased chances for dementia
Here’s where things get fuzzy:
- I was told by a doctor when I was first diagnosed with hypoglycemia that a blood sugar below 30 will cause permanent brain damage. I’m not sure if this is still the rule or not.
- There have been studies that have suggested that hypoglycemia, as well as diabetes high blood sugar episodes, can cause long-term brain damage and dementia.
Like I said, the last two points are still up in the air and I don’t have the time or access to research them fully, but the thought that low blood sugar levels MAY cause long-term dementia should be enough to scare you. If not that, think about what could happen to your house and family if you, for example, forget to turn a stove burner off in one of your hypoglycemic episodes.
So, take care of yourself, eat like and when you are supposed to, and don’t take the risk.
More research on the subject:
Dementia due to metabolic causes (U.S. Government website)
Types of dementia (Cleveland Clinic website)
Other valuable posts: