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Posts Tagged ‘Losing Weight’

Bins of organic chocolate bars, cookies, and mini bottles of wine at Whole Foods

Those chocolate bars? They are 420 calories. And those cookies? They are 460 calories.

 

Shopping at Whole Foods is a good lesson in correlation vs. causation. It’s easy to walk around Whole Foods and see all of the skinny people and think, “If I shop here, I’ll lose weight!”

The reality is, you can shop at Whole Foods and gain weight, lose weight, or stay the same; it’s all based on WHAT you buy at Whole Foods. Take the cookies and chocolate in the above example. Since they are offered at Whole Foods and contain organic ingredients, they have a health halo effect, meaning you think they are healthier and won’t impact your weight as much. But in terms of calories, sugar, etc. these foods aren’t any healthier for you and will set you back on your weight goals (unless you’re trying to gain weight).

The benefit of upscale grocery chains such as Whole Foods is that they have an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, and unprocessed foods. If you stick to those while shopping at Whole Foods, you have a much better chance of reaching your weight goals.

 

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A beer, a large pretzel, two white sausages, and sweet mustard on a picnic table

“Weisswurst lunch at Viktualienmarkt” by Thomas Kriese, via Flickr Creative Commons is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Last year, my now-fiance and I took a vacation touring various parts of Germany.  The entire trip, I showed little restraint on food, as I absolutely LOVE German food. So, I happily ate sausages, pretzels and beer.

And to my shock, I not only didn’t have any issues with my blood sugar and hypoglycemia, but I also lost weight!

Ever since then, I’ve been curious as to why that is, and during a recent call with my dietitian, I asked. Here was the highlights of her response:

  • While I wasn’t working out like I usually do, and the walking all day probably didn’t burn extra calories, walking all day is a slow carb burn vs. a big, fast carb burn with an intense workout. She advises her clients, if they do gorge on carbohydrates, to go for a 10-15 minute walk after to start the burn process. So, while I was walking, I was slowly burning the carbs off vs. the high/low calorie/carb burn of my usual day.
  • The fat and protein in the sausages probably kept me full, allowing me to eat less often and eat less calories.
  • There’s a difference between American and European wheat, which could impact how it impacts my hypoglycemia. I’ve actually noticed this myself, when I drink American beer, I end up feeling ridiculously hungry and not well. If I drink German beer, however, I don’t feel this way. I think it has a lot to do with the additives and such we put in our beer.
  • Portion sizes are smaller over there.  Maybe so, maybe not, I’ve eaten some pretty giant pretzels and drank some giant beers, but overall, probably so.

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Today, on Lifehacker, there’s a great article, If you want to lose weight, you have to like your new lifestyle. An excerpt of the article:

Looking to their success stories, published both online and as highlighted by Anne Fletcher in her book exploring the registrants, Thin for Life, the one common theme is that while maintaining their losses requires ongoing effort, that effort isn’t perceived by these weight loss masters as a hardship but rather as just living with new lifestyles, and lifestyles that they enjoy.

This is something I’ve witnessed regularly in my own practice. Looking to my experiences working with thousands of patients over the course of the past dozen years, it’s clear that liking the life you’re living while you’re losing weight is the key to keeping it off.

I agree with this completely. When I was losing weight, I had to find cardio that I liked doing, and I had to (admittedly slowly) change what I liked to eat. The eating part also changed naturally as my body got used to less sugar and, thus, didn’t like high-sugar foods anymore.

I’d like to take it a step further though and relate it to hypoglycemia, also usually a huge diet change. You have to learn to enjoy your new diet. It’s a process, but the more of your new diet you eat, the more you will crave it. I now look forward to vegetables, my daily salad, etc. I promise you, if you stick with it, you’ll feel so good, you will love it too.

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A very large bowl (I used my "Flirty at 30 coffee mug for scale) of chopped carrots, cucumbers, green peppers and red peppers. In 5 work days, my goal is to eat all of this.

A very large bowl (I used my “Flirty at 30 coffee mug for scale) of chopped carrots, cucumbers, green peppers and red peppers. In 5 work days, my goal is to eat all of this.

 

Sundays I nickname “Set yourself up for success day.” It’s usually the day I do everything I can to make it easy throughout the week to stick to my diet and fitness goals, including controlling my hypoglycemia.

It usually consists of:

  • Meal planning. I don’t plan-out each meal per se, but I plan out at least 2 fully-cooked recipes (which usually make 4-6 servings), so enough for the whole week.
  • Grocery shopping. Especially for fresh fruits and vegetables and any healthy meal items so I’m well-stocked for the week.
  • Chopping vegetables. I’ve learned a valuable thing about myself: an unchopped vegetable (unless meant to be eaten whole) will never get eaten in my house. I chop them all and prepare a huge bowl of them to take to work for all week noshing.
  • Prepare my workout clothes for the following day.
  • Laundry. Since I’m busy around the house anyway.
  • Ironing any clothes that need it.

Although it looks like a lot, it doesn’t take up the whole day, just a few hours. And it makes the rest of my week so much easier.

Do you something similar? What do you do to ensure success of your health and fitness goals?

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A fashion model walks a catwalk in Paris

“Raquel Z -Stella McCartney” by fervent-adepte-de-la-mode is licensed under CC BY 2.0

France took a step in the healthy weight direction this month by banning fashion models under 18 BMI. But does that go far enough? Nope.

Most of my readers know me personally, but for those of you that don’t, I currently am a size 0-2 and have 16.8% body fat, which is considered extremely lean. I’m often told I’m almost too skinny and have often been compared to a fashion model body. I don’t say this to brag, but to give some background. So, I used an online Body Mass Index calculator to see how much weight I’d have to lose before I’d be “too thin” under France’s new law.

17 lbs

Seriously? I can’t even imagine how horrifically thin I’d be at that weight.

Then I decided to have fun with some celebrities whom I consider to have amazing bodies. To be under an 18 BMI:

  • Drew Barrymore would have to lose 18 lbs
  • Natalie Portman would have to lost 10 lbs
  • Brooke Shields would have to lose 22 lbs

I doubt anyone would encourage these women to get to these sizes. The general public, for sure, would find them a lot less appealing and probably try to sign them up for treatment.

So, while I applaud France doing something, they still didn’t do enough.

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Me, “I need 4 oz of chicken in each salad to get my protein…how the hell am I going to ballpark 4 oz of cubed chicken? (long frustrated problem-solving pause) Oh wait! I bought a food scale a while back!” (pulls out scale, zeros it with plastic container on it, and perfectly portions 4 oz of chicken into containers.)

I bought this one in case you are curious: Weigh Masters ProChef Kitchen Scale

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Lifehacker has started a new Vitals health and fitness section. This is one of their first articles. It’s full of useful information including how to calculate your average calorie expenditure each day and how much protein you need.

Check it out!

Exercise vs. Diet: Which Is More Important for Weight Loss?

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