Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Dukan Diet

Someone mentioned the Dukan Diet to me recently. I checked it out, although I'm very skeptical of diets in general (especially one you have to pay for). However, I was actually impressed with Dr Dukan's diet because it makes the most sense of any diet I've heard of so far

The first phase is strictly carb free (except for oat bran - which keeps you from getting constipated) and is designed to rev up your metabolism. You're getting into the habit of walking and drinking water. Your weight should just fall off (remember we covered this concept in the series Feed Your Brain, Lose Your Belly), you should feel much better and have more energy from this stage.

Phase 2 is a low carb diet - adding veggies to the meat, cheese and eggs, walking more, still drinking the proper amount of water. His list of 100 foods should really help keep you on track. The weight should still come off fast and the oat bran you're still taking should keep you cleaned out.

Phase 3 is probably what makes the real difference and is why I think this diet is a really solid one. That phase is basically Weight Watchers.
The reason he has you do this phase is to stabilize your weight after you've lost it, so your body adapts to the new weight, helping you to stay at that weight. During this phase, he is teaching you to eat healthy.

Phase 4 (the rest of your life) you eat whatever you want (which should have changed a lot since you've followed his plan) but stay active, keep taking the oat bran and eat carb free 1 day a week.

This seems like a very good plan and is surprisingly not unreasonably priced.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dairy and Weight Loss

Growing up, I never liked milk. I would drink it with cookies or pour it on cereal, but besides that, I didn't like the taste.

When I started Weight Watchers, one of their Good Health Guidelines (which are really what make the program work well) is Dairy. They recommend 3-5 servings a day and I definitely wasn't getting in that much.

I used to worry about the points in milk so to make it easier to use milk more often, I bought skim milk. I actually started to like milk at that point. I could even drink it – without adding flavor. :)

Studies have shown that people who consume dairy are more likely to lose weight but exactly how or why is not known.... Nice. We live in the 21st century and we can't figure this one out?

Milk has been called a 'complete food' because it is a protein, carb and fat. My theory is that dairy helps us lose weight because it gives more nourishment than a lot of foods do.

I don't know how exactly dairy effects weight loss, but I know that adding dairy seemed to help me eat less. Yogurt and a handful of nuts is a filling meal when you need something quick.

IMO - Raw Milk Is Best

We buy raw milk. As long as we are able to afford raw milk, that is the best choice for our family.

I started buying raw milk not only because I know the many health benefits but because my husband and daughter have a lot of digestive issues. I was hoping to eliminate some of them by buying raw milk. It definitely has helped.

Milk you buy at the store has been pasteurized and homogenized. Pasteurizing kills beneficial bacteria and enzymes. Pasteurization was necessary when it was first introduced because milk, at the time, was not being handled properly and people were getting very sick. Since it extends the shelf life and there are probably lots of dairy farms who don't keep things as clean as they should, I imagine the majority of milk will always be pasteurized.

Homogenization breaks the fat into smaller sizes so it no longer separates, allowing the sale of non-separating milk at any fat specification. - Wikipedia

Raw milk is more nutritious but be careful - make sure you trust your source. Raw milk has gotten a bad name because some people were not keeping their facilities clean. Because of the strict laws that are in place now, it is a lot easier to get good milk from trustworthy sources. These sources usually have to jump through many hoops to get raw milk to you.

Please read more here: Raw Milk Facts

Weigh-In Tuesday!

Weigh in today - 174 lbs.

So I lost the 5 lbs plus some. Although I can't take credit for it since I have been having health issues again that I have to eat less and less fat. But I'll take it!

I am still struggling with the mental block about exercise. I have to admit that I'm just trying to keep my head on straight and accomplish each day what needs to be done in the few hours I have and adding exercise just seems like one more thing. But I will succeed. I WILL find a way to add exercise to my life.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Weigh In Tuesday!

Oops. Up 3.4 lbs. Not too surprising (see yesterday's journal post).

I will get it back off!! I will look great in size 8!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Eating Low-Carb

I do not like low carb diets as a rule because they don't work long term and are not healthy unless you follow them correctly and most people don't.

If you were going to follow a low carb diet, Susanne Somers is my favorite version because she doesn't tell you to cut out carbs completely, she tells you to eat them seperate from fats (3 hours between). However, when I tried it before, I didn't have much success trying to eat carbs without fat. I'm sure it can be done, but it wasn't something I was successful at. Also, because you tend to be limited, deprivation will end up causing you to 'fail'.

This is how I make low carb work for me. When I eat, I look at my food in one of 2 ways:

1) Limit carbs, fat and amount of food overall (i.e. cold cut sandwich, mustard, easy mayo, proper serving of chips, bell pepper strips) or...

2) Low carb (i.e. egg scramble with sausage, spinach, bell pepper, cheddar or steak and salad/veggies)

If I'm going to eat carbs, I eat reasonable portions, being careful to not eat a lot of carbs - kind of like I did on Weight Watchers. If I remember, putting my food/fork down and emptying my mouth between bites (Paul McKenna's plan), is really helpful. I eat so little if I do that, that it's not even funny. And I don't usually get hungry either (one time I felt a little hungry later and ate some grapes before the next meal).

If I'm omitting carbs, I don't worry too much about the amount.

Make sure when eating low-carb that you are getting in enough fiber. If you're eating a lot of meat, cheese and eggs, and you're not getting in much fruits and veggies, you're damaging your health. All the other 'stuff' is important too (whole grains, dairy, fruits and veggies).

IMO, breakfast is the easiest meal to eat without carbs. Eggs, meat and cheese are typical breakfast foods and you don't end up feeling as deprived since there are less carbs to avoid (bread, rolls, potatoes, chips, desserts, etc). It's a mental thing really. :)

I pay a little extra for Sara Lee's 45 calorie bread because the slices are thinner and the calories are lower. It might cost a little extra for the same amount of bread, but it is worth it to me that it is sliced thinner, which creates more servings (the loaf lasts longer) and less bread per serving for me to eat. This is a big deal when losing weight. Also, 100% whole grain has improved a lot (no longer tastes like cardboard) and for me is the only option. It not only is healthier but seriously helps with weight loss for so many reasons.

Journal Post

I'm sure Paul McKenna's plan - eating til you're full would work marvelously, if you actually wanted to stop eating. If you ignore the plan altogether because what you're eating just tastes too good or you're craving, you'll totally miss the signal from your body that tells you when you're full. And you might do it on purpose. You actually have to want to do it.I'm guessing the hypnosis DVD is what helps with that and I have not listened to the DVD.

I'm not entirely sure what set me off, but for some reason, about a week ago, I let myself eat too much. It might have been because I ate junk food. It seems like my body must have been craving nutrients and eating the junk food just made it need even more, but I ended up eating a lot of junk over the last week. It didn't help that I not only ate junk food, but I couldn't seem to limit myself either. Toward the end, I was able to eat more healthier foods but I have really just eaten whatever whenever this week. I've gained 5 lbs as of this morning but I'm confident that those 5 lbs are as good as gone.

I forgot to exercise this week. The last 3 days of this week were spent helping my hubby tile our shower so I definitely didn't think much about it those days, but I have not been successful yet at implementing exercise. I kind of feel like I just took a break last week entirely from losing weight.

I went shopping with my daughter yesterday. I had planned to buy some things for myself. Seeing myself in the mirror and realizing that I was not going to buy anything because I'm in between sizes and departments right now helped me remember my goal. I also would like to know why my hiney is not losing as fast as the rest of me. I can wear a size L shirt but I'm still tight in some size 16 skirts. Gotta look into that. :)

Today is a new day and I plan to get back on the wagon now.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Exercise Hang-ups

If you don't have hang-ups about exercising, then you probably don't need to read this post. But for those who like me, have exercising hang-ups, read on.

Our lives used to be more active because our day to day chores required us to be busy and moving. Our washing machine, cars, dishwasher, garment factories, and the grocery store takes a lot of work out of our lives for us. Exercise is a good way to add the benefits of activity back in to our lives.

Some of the many benefits of exercise:
More energy and strength
Clearer thinking
Weight loss
Increases metabolism
Stronger heart
Stronger lungs
A healthier body overall
Better mood – Exercise releases endorphins, the feel good hormone, relieving depression even.
Improves appearance
Builds muscle which deteriorate at a more rapid pace with each birthday
Prevents bone loss
Better sleep

Still have a problem with exercising? Yeah, me too. I'm preaching to myself here. I have lost 50 lbs almost completely without exercise. I cannot hang my weight loss on exercising. I know it will boost my efforts but I have to separate exercising and losing weight in my mind if I even want to start exercising.
So our goal is TO CHANGE OUR MIND. My negative associations with exercise is what is defeating me. This is an experiment for me too. I'm going to be learning this with you.

Fear is a negative motivator. If you are using the fear of unpleasant consequences as the motivation to exercise or live healthier, stop right there. Fear doesn't last and it will not sustain itself. Find a positive motivator instead.
Motivation to Exercise

What you think about, you get more of

If you think about red cars, you will start to see red cars every where. Don't focus on what you don't want, think about what you do want.

Stop thinking:
I need to exercise.
I am not fit.
I am not an active person.
I don't like to exercise.
Exercising is hard.

I am an active person.
I like exercising.
I will exercise for 5 minutes today.
Exercise makes me feel great.

Replace negative thoughts with positive statements. It might not FEEL true at first but after you say it the right way enough times, it WILL be true.

And then... Try these tips:
Lower your expectations. Make small goals. Do 5 crunches or spend 5-10 minutes being active. Doing this will likely motivate you to keep going longer than you originally intended and will help you turn it into a habit (it takes only 21 days to form a habit).

Don't make it complicated.

Do something fun! Skating, biking, dancing, tennis, swimming, walking the dog, playing Frisbee...

Do something different each time if it helps. DON'T do Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred for 30 days straight. You WILL burn out (I speak from experience – I knew better).

Start with 2-3 times a week.

Make an x on your calendar for each day you exercise are active.

I will be doing this with you. Let me know how it's going for you!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Metabolism, Shmetabolism

Increase your metabolism. Slow metabolism. Boost metabolism. Speed up metabolism...

So everyone has heard of metabolism, but does anyone really understand what it is?

Years ago, I was reading the book called Curves, written by the guy who developed the Curves exercise facilities, and he talked about eating more food to increase your metabolism. He said that when you reach a plateau you need to eat more food. Eating more speeds up your metabolism.
Until recently that is pretty much all I knew about metabolism. Now I've learned more and am excited to tell you what the mysterious metabolism is.

In years gone by, there were people who had to hunt for their food and food might be scarce for a while. Our bodies are designed to survive this sort of event. This mechanism is called our metabolism.

When our body senses a coming food shortage, it slows everything down - the rate our hair and nails grow as well as energy usage. Our body starts hanging on to its resources to ration it out until you can find the next animal to shoot with your bow and arrow to feed your family.
Unfortunately, because we don't have a food shortage, there are habits we have that are causing our metabolism to work against us. Your body will even resort to borrowing resources from your muscles in times of 'crisis' meaning your muscles are being consumed!

Some resources will tell you that heredity impacts your metabolism while others say that isn't true. I really believe that your metabolism isn't a fixed thing and you can adjust it. I'm really tired of people blaming being overweight and such on heredity. That held me back for years. My mom's whole family is overweight. But I have now proved myself wrong on that theory and I'm hoping if that thought is in your head, you will root it out and toss it!

There are 2 main things that effect your metabolism:
1) Eating
2) Exercise

When you eat plenty of food and stop depriving your body, it learns that there is plenty of food and speeds up your metabolism to supply energy efficiently system wide. It stops hanging on to your resources and starts using it. Skipping meals (especially breakfast) or eating like a bird is a good way to make your body think a shortage is coming.

Exercise can almost double your metabolic rate.

I know you love to exercise... Yeah, me neither. But Paul McKenna might be on to something. Beyond losing weight, exercise (which doesn't have to be some extreme regime, moving your body more than sitting on the couch will raise your metabolism) has many benefits including reducing stress, improving your mood (because exercise releases endorphins), releasing tension, slowing aging, etc.

Quoting his book I Can Make You Thin:
While the biggest exercise myth in the world is the idea of "no pain, no gain," the reality of exercise is this:
No effort, no gain; a little bit of effort, tremendous gain.

So why aren't you doing more of it?
Well it's probably because in the past you thought about exercise and imagined yourself huffing and puffing on an exercise machine, listening to a maniacal aerobics instructor shouting "feel the burn," or looking into a wall-size mirror surrounded by people who look so much better than you that you just want to go home and throw up.
The problem is that you have not yet linked pleasure to the thought of exercise.
It really is that simple - if you want to exercise regularly, you must enjoy moving your body, both as you're doing it and after. Until you deliberately root out your negative associations with exercise and install new positive ones, you will continue to tell yourself you "should" do it and beat yourself up for not listening.

By the way, I have lost 50 lbs with nearly no exercise so I know it can be done, but knowing I can lose even more efficiently by adding more activity, I'm interested in changing my mind about exercise. We'll figure out how to do that in my next post.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Weigh In Tuesday!

That annoying Paul McKenna program made me eat only ONE slice of my super yummy pizza last night! I THOUGHT I was full after one slice and quit eating. I left the pizza out on the stove thinking I would be hungry later. After all the dishes were done, I finally put it away. I never did get hungry. :)

I lost 2.2 lbs this week and have officially reached 50 lbs lost!!! Woohoo!!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

The NON-Diet Way To Lose Weight

The book I am currently reading is called I Can Make You Thin by Paul McKenna.

I really want you to read this book but I will tell you some of the basics. I think this is on of the best methods I have ever heard of for weight loss. There are NO food restrictions. He literally says to eat exactly what you want and not what you think you should.

He helps you retrain your body to listen to cues of fullness. I've used this idea only a few times but I can already see his point. I have not been hungry although I am eating even less than I already was.

I will not be using his hypnosis CD. Although I am dying to try it and it sounds like it would really help, I want to only use methods and ideas that I can pass on to my readers. If I use the hypnosis CD and others aren't comfortable with that idea, then my weight loss will be based on something I cannot pass on to you. If anyone tries it, PLEASE let me know how it goes and what you think!

He goes over three reasons people have trouble losing weight:
1) Obsessive dieting
2) Emotional eating (that's me)
3) Faulty programming - your thinking about food is all wrong

The idea is to eat whatever you want, whenever you want but follow a few rules.

Rule #1:

When you are hungry - EAT

Hunger scale:
1) Physically faint
2) Ravenous
3) Fairly hungry
4) Slightly hungry
5) Neutral
6) Pleasantly satisfied
7) Full
8) Stuffed
9) Bloated
10) Nauseous

Don't let yourself get to a 1 or 2. Eat when you feel around a 3 or 4. Practice scoring yourself every hour or so.

Rule #2:

Eat what you want - not what you think you should.

Instead of cleaning the junk out of your cabinets as most diets recommend, go through your refrigerator and get rid of everything that doesn't inspire you. If it's not something you want to eat, get rid of it.
No foods are off limits. As soon as you make one off limits, that's what you're going to be thinking about. He says "As long as you are actually hungry, enjoy, enjoy, enjoy."

In my opinion, I would caution you to be careful. A houseful of 'inspiring' junk foods will derail your plan quickly. Use the visualization technique (below) on your trigger foods.

Rule #3:

Eat consciously and enjoy every mouthful.

There is a weight loss spa that focuses on helping you slow down when you eat. There is a coach who sits with you at meals to make sure you slow down and savor your bites.

Put your fork down and empty your mouth between bites.

Get rid of distractions. Don't eat mindlessly - i.e. while watching tv.

Rule #4:

When you think you are full, stop eating!

The human body is designed to eat when hungry and stop when satisfied. However, we have been programmed to eat until full, or until our plate is clean.

When you slow down, you will be able to recognize that signal from your brain telling you that you are satisfied. When that happens, stop eating no matter how much food you have left.

So, what if you're hungry again in 10 minutes? Then eat! You will learn to listen to your body.

BTW - see the hunger scale? Never let yourself get to #8, 9 or 10.

Last night we stopped at Sonic while grocery shopping. Typically a burger and a few tots is what I would eat. I was halfway through my burger, taking a deep breath between bites, when I felt full. I literally didn't eat any more and didn't feel hungry until this morning.

This morning I ate oatmeal. That's really what I wanted. I loaded it up with healthy fat (coconut oil, fresh cream) cinnamon and honey. I was half through the amount I typically eat and felt full. I wasn't hungry again until about 11:30 when I saw pickles on the counter that need to be put away. So I ate a few.

Cancel your membership to the Clean Plate Club

You being overweight is NOT going to help the starving kids in China, India or Africa.
Make it a habit of leaving at least one bite on your plate to start reprogramming your brain to stop thinking you have to clean your plate.

Use the Magic Weight-Loss Elixir

Sometimes your hunger is actually thirst. Drink water when you feel hungry. If you're still hungry – eat!


Stop thinking about things you DON'T want (i.e. get rid of love handles or muffin top, lose weight, not be so fat) and start visualizing what you DO want (i.e. to be slim, fit, lose 50 pounds, fit in a size 8 dress, etc).

Also, try using your imagination when it comes to eating things like... cake. Try this:
Imagine a piece of chocolate cake. Tell yourself you can't have it. Then imagine how it tastes as it melts in your mouth. How well are you holding up against the cake using willpower?
Now imagine the cake with wriggling maggots all over it. Doing better resisting it? : )

Quotes from this book: Stop Dieting!