New Study Shows Avocados Are Good For Appetite Control and Weight Loss.

For anyone trying to lose or maintain weight, the hunger factor can be a big problem.  Diets always start out great. You’re following the plan, tracking calories and the pounds are melting away.

Then you hit a wall. You’re hungry. No, not hungry.  Famished!  You’ve been hungry for days, or even weeks, and you’re over the diet. You can’t live like this any longer and into the bag of kettle chips or tub of rocky road ice cream you go. You’re on a bender and there’s no stopping it.

Once you’ve recovered from the food coma you have a couple of options.  You can pick up where you left off and get back on the diet and deal with being hungry all of the time.

Or, you can think about your diet in a different way.  Instead of thinking about how many calories are in the foods you eat, you can pick your foods by where they fall on the Satiety Index.

Avocado

New studies show that avocados may be a natural appetite suppressant.

Solving Your Hunger Crisis

Some foods – potato chips for example – are irresistible.  It’s true that no one can eat just one.  The crunchy saltiness of a potato chip is one of those foods that can destroy a day of dieting because we can eat a ton of them before we feel the least bit full. Combine that with the fact that they are high in calories (20 chips has about 147) and have little to no nutritional value makes them a dieter’s disaster.

Watermelon, on the other hand, is a dieter’s friend.  It is sweet and crunchy, loaded with vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants.  It is low in calories (one cup has about 46).  Watermelon will fill you up quickly and keep you full much longer than the chips will.

Researchers have been studying satiety for year.  The results?  Some foods fill you up quicker and stay in your stomach longer and therefore do a better job of holding off hunger.

Avocados: Friend or Foe?

A recent study on satiety found that consuming half of an avocado leads to a greater feeling of fullness and less of a tendency to snack between meals.  Since the study, the internet has been aflutter with stories about how avocados can help people lose weight.

The avocado is a fruit rich in nutrients that is high on the Satiety Index.  Oranges, bananas, apples and proteins like lentils, cheese, fish and beef also rank high on the index.

In a detailed study, led by Suzanna Holt from the University of Sydney, researchers fed human test subjects fixed-calorie portions of 38 different foods.  They recorded the subject’s perceived hunger following each feeding.

From this study the researchers determined that satiety is “most strongly related to the weight of the food consumed”.  Foods that weigh the most, satisfy our hunger the best, despite how many calories they contain. The study also found that high amounts of certain nutrients, protein, and dietary fiber improve satiety.

Low In Calories/High In Satiety

The key is to consume generous amounts of those foods that rank high on the satiety chart, but are low in calories and, at the same time, avoid high calories foods that have a low satiety rating.  Potato chips, for example, have a satiety score of 1.2.  Watermelon is at 4.5.  A roasted chicken breast is at 3.4 while a Snickers bar is at 1.5.

You can spend a lot of time trying to find out where all of the foods you eat rank on the Satiety Index. If you purchase whole foods and make your meals at home you’re sure to consume foods higher on the scale.

Fast foods and heat-and-eat convenience meals have, through processing, been stripped of most their nutrients and fiber so they don’t leave much for your digestive tract to do once you’ve eaten them. Processed foods are on the Satiety Index along side the potato chips and Snickers Bar.

Meals that you create in your own kitchen have the most staying power. I love this video, How Cooking Can Change Your Life.  It says it all in two and a half minutes.

You can learn more about where some of your favorite foods rank on the Satiety Index, and get help calculating meals using the Fullness Factor at Self Nutrition Data.com.

What’s your favorite filling food?

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This Diet Is Making Me Hungry!

I gave a presentation at a lunch and learn last week on the topic of nutrition.  My goal was to provide information around some of the key points such as the link between poor nutrition and chronic disease which many people know is there, but most don’t realize the full extent.

I also provided some solid information on label reading, sugar and salt intake, and portion control.  These presentations always provide me with an opportunity to encourage people to eat whole foods, get off of the fast-food train and cook their meals at home. This can be a challenge because nutrition is a huge topic. It’s impossible to do it justice in a 40-minute presentation.

At the end of the hour we had time for a quick question and answer session and – you guessed it – people wanted to talk about weight loss and appetite control.

Diet

Forget about dieting and eat for your health. (Flickr photo by Thrice 18/3)

The specific question was, “What can I do about always being hungry?” Before I had time to answer, one of the participants piped up with his own answer, which went something like this:  Yeah. You know people aren’t going to stick with a diet or ever be able to lose weight if they’re hungry all the time.  You might as well forget it.

Did I say anything about a diet? I talked about eating nutritious foods. I showed pictures of how we’ve supersized everything – even our refrigerators – over the last 20 years so that we don’t even know what a true potion is.

I displayed pictures that showed how many teaspoons of sugar is in popular soft drinks and talked about the bad fats lurking in fast food.  This should be enough [I thought] to discourage everyone in the room from ever going through the drive-through again!

I provided the dietary guidelines for sodium, sugar and fat and provided tips on how to stay within the guidelines.  And, I gave an abundance of links to healthy recipes, nutritional information, and  on-line food trackers.  I was [I thought] inspiring people to buy and prepare the foods that will provide adequate fuel and nutrition for their bodies.

Nowhere in the presentation was there any mention of weight loss, dieting or deprivation. But, clearly, that is what people think about whenever the topic of ‘eating better’ is discussed.

By the end of my presentation I realized that there is a real disconnect between eating for health and eating to lose weight when there should be only one conversation taking place.

Food Related Illnesses

On the radio show that I listen to on my morning commute the dj’s were interviewing Dr. Travis Stork, author of the The Doctor’s Diet.  At the start of the interview he made this statement:  Ninety percent of all hospitalizations are due to food related illnesses.

What? You mean like food poisoning? (one of the dj’s asked?)

Nope.  Not food poisoning. Dr. Stork, who was an emergency room doctor, said that most emergencies are related to food. He’s talking about illnesses related to poor nutrition:  Heart disease. Diabetes. Metabolic Disease. Cancer.

The doctor contends these are the fatal risks associated with an unhealthy diet.  You can be robbed of good health by a poor diet, and, in many cases, your health can be restored by a good one.

Eating For Health Not Deprivation

Of all of the topics that were covered at the lunch and learn, being hungry getting in the way of weight loss was the one that held everyone’s attention and opened the floor for a good conversation about processed foods and why we should avoid them.

But what about the prevalence of this notion that if you want to lose weight you have to starve yourself and end up being hungry all the time? That’s simply not true if you’re eating the right foods. Plus if your only focus is on losing weight rather than eating for health, you may find you’ve lost pounds but are still at risk for the food-related illnesses that Dr. Stork talks about in his book.

A recent study that explored the feelings of fullness, also known as the Satiety Index, has found that there are healthy foods that can make you feel full longer and may be the key to effective weight loss.

Tomorrow We’ll Talk About The Satiety Index

Check back tomorrow because I’ll be discussing the Satiety Index study, and talk about what foods you need to eat to feel full, satisfy your nutritional needs, and lose weight at the same time.

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What You Can Learn From Olga Kotelko: Winning At Any Age

“It’s not how old you are; it’s how you get old.” — Olga Kotelko

For people needing motivation to stay active, eat whole foods, and not stress out over the little things, you have a role model in Olga Kotelko.

Olga is a 94 year old retired school teacher from West Vancouver, Canada that entered her first “masters” track and field competition at the age of 77. At age 85 she broke 20 world records in one year.  Now, at 94 she is the only woman in the over 90 age group that still competes in the sports of both long-jumping and high-jumping.

Olga

Minister Ralph Sultan and senior Olympian Olga Kotelko talked about her world record success over her cover of McGill’s Headway magazine.  Flick photo by BC Gov Photos

What’s her secret?

Olga shared six ‘lesson’s in a recent interview with Parade Magazine.  While Olga seems to have found the fountain of youth, there is nothing out of the ordinary in the lessons:

1.  Swap the Sudoku For Sneakers – You might suspect that Olga thinks it’s important to keep moving.  Olga has been active throughout her life and hasn’t slowed down in her golden years.  At age 75 she was playing baseball with a rag-stuffed ball when she got ‘tackled’ by an outfielder going after a pop fly.That experience spurred her to look for a safer activity.  That’s when she joined the masters track program, hired Harold Morioka, one of the most gifted masters athletes ever, to coach her, and began breaking records in her age group.

2.  Stay On Your Feet – Lesson number two is to spend as much time as you can out of that death trap known as The Chair.  She climbs the stairs in the home that she lives in with her daughter and son-in-law about 50 times a day. Beyond that she keeps busy with hobbies and activities that help her avoid a sedentary lifestyle.  Olga hasn’t given in to spending the majority of her day in front of the TV which, unfortunately, is where most people in Olga’s age group spend much of their time.

3.  Eat Real Food – Olga isn’t vegetarian, vegan or Paleo. She eats a balanced diet based on whole foods and consumes carbs and red-meat in moderation. She eats four to five times a day.  Her lighter meal in the evening.  She doesn’t skip meals or eat fast food. Olga doesn’t take vitamin supplements but does take a baby aspirin each day to prevent blood clots.  She takes glucosamine daily for joint support.

4.  Be A Creature of Habit – Olga is a creature of habit and has a schedule that she follows each week. If it’s the day when she goes to the track to run, she goes to the track and runs.  She has a stretching routine that she does each morning, bowls on Tuesdays, and goes to bed at the same time each night. Certainly being disciplined and not simply relying on motivation or the ‘mood’ to hit you will help you stay on top of your game.  The people that I know that are extremely disciplined (okay, sometimes I refer to them as anal) are the ones that seem to get the most done.

5.  Cultivate A Sense of Progress – I love this lesson. It’s easy to get stuck in those things that we didn’t accomplish, but Olga applies the “move the yardstick” strategy to her life. Moving the yardstick means that you gauge your progress by where you are now.  If you’re 50 you’re not going to be able to compete with a 20 year old. Accept that and set your goals accordingly.  Olga’s not trying to be 50.  She’s trying to be the best 94 year old she can be.

6.  Lighten Up – Stress will kill you.  We all know that stress is bad for our health.  Olga says she doesn’t have time to stress out over every little thing. Her motto is to enjoy life and not be ruled by stress.

Does One Lesson Stand Out?

If you had to pick the one lesson that has propelled Olga to do what no one else her age is able to do, what would it be?

That’s the question that struck me as I read about Olga.

When I first read the article in Parade Magazine I thought something would stand out as the ‘ah-ha’ factor.  I thought there would be one or two things that would jump out and I would think “that’s it”! That’s her secret. But nothing did. Olga is doing things that I think many health-minded people do at any age.

Maybe it’s that she is combining the healthy habits that she has practiced for her entire life and they are working for her.

Or maybe she was dealt a good hand genetically and is just lucky.

I’m certain part of it is the ‘can-do’ attitude that keeps her competing in – and winning – track and field events at the age of 94.

But, above all, Olga has a wildly competitive spirit. That is her secret.  Olga may not be competing with anyone but herself.  Olga might not  recognize that she fiercely competitive.

I do know that not many women at the age of 75 hire a top-of-the-line coach to help them fine tune their running skills unless they want to win.

Olga wants to win.  She wants to win at track and field.  She wants to win her age group. Most of all she wants to win at life.  That, my friend, is Lesson Number 7.  That is Olga’s secret.

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Do It Right The First Time So You Won’t Have To Do It Twice

“People don’t have time to do it right the first time, but they always have time to do it twice.”
– Dr. David Hunnicutt, CEO, Wellness Council of America.

Attacking your weight loss goals like you’re a contestant on NBC’s Biggest Loser may be one of the worst approaches for long-term success.  When you dramatically limit calories, sacrifice eating real food for pre-packaged shakes and heat-and-eat meals, and push yourself to lose five to six pounds a week, you’ll see drastic results the first couple of weeks.

After that you burn out and stop losing weight before you reach your goal.  Most people gain the weight back, and many put on more than they lost.

Blackboard

You’re Not In A Contest

Unless you stand to win a large sum of money for losing a lot of weight fast, slow down. You’ll have better success at dropping pounds, and keeping them off, if you approach weight-loss as a long-term project that will lead you to better health.

Don Moffitt, a state representative that lives near Peoria, IL, accomplished a personal goal of losing 100 pounds by doing just that. He tackled his 100 pound weight loss goal ten pounds at a time.  He lost the weight slowly, established new and healthier habits, and has kept it off for more than a year.

“I never looked at it as losing 100 pounds.  I just looked at it as taking off 10, and then repeated it nine more times,” Moffit said.

Don also put some other tried and true practices into play.  He tracked calories and tried to not consume more than 1500 a day.  He also set a target goal of walking 10,000 steps per day, which is about three miles.

Before losing the weight he was on medications for high blood pressure, cholesterol, and was told by his doctor that he would soon need medications for diabetes.

Not only did he shed pounds, but he is now being phased off of all medications, no longer has sleep apnea and has “kicked diabetes to the curb”.

Setting those small, realistic goals that we discussed in Forget About Lofty Resolutions and Set Achievable Goals applies to losing weight.  Whether you have 10 pounds or 100 to lose, a weight-loss goal of one to two pounds a week is realistic.

Take time to establish different eating patterns, find the options for physical activity that work best for you, and allow some wiggle room for an occasional set-back. Do it right the first time and you won’t have to do it twice.

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Forget About Lofty Resolutions and Set Achievable Goals

Have you seen this e-card that has been circulating on Facebook?

New Year New Me

It appears some people are fed up with New Year’s resolutions.  And for good reason.

We start out the New Year with aspirations to change all of the things we don’t like about ourself. We want to lose weight, get organized, eat better, exercise more, be more productive at our job.

But by mid-January or the first of February we aren’t giving much thought to the resolutions we made a few weeks ago.

If you’ve given up on resolutions and have decided you’ll never be able to do those things that you dream about on January 1, you’re wrong.  You can change.  You can achieve many of the things that you fantasize about. You just need to apply a strategy that will work.

Here are five steps to help you put your resolutions into action.

1.  Establish Your Resolution Goal. Lose the word resolution and replace it with the word goal.  The word resolution smacks of something that’s unattainable. Resolutions are big lofty ideas that would be great if you could make them happen, but you never take the time to put a smart action plan in place to actually get them done.

Instead of resolving to change your life, set one goal that will move you towards making the change that you desire.  For example:  A resolution would be “I’m going to get in better shape this year.”  A goal is:  “I’m going to do three 15-minute workouts on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday this week.

2.   Write it down.  Put your goal in writing.  Write it on a sticky note and put it on the fridge. Enter it as a reminder on your Smartphone.  Keep it in on a memo pad at your desk at work.

Goals that are written down are twice as likely to be achieved. There’s a sense of commitment that takes place when you put your goal in writing.  Writing it down means you mean it.

3.  Evaluate How You Did – If you’ve set attainable, realistic goals it is easy to evaluate how you did at accomplishing them.  If your goal was to do three 15-minute workouts on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, establishing how well you met the goal is simple.

On a scale of one to 10 (with one being not at all and 10 being you hit a home run), ask yourself how you did.  Write that number down by the goal and move on.

4.  Reset the Goal Every Week – Once you’ve evaluated how you did with the goal, either reset that goal and do it again, or establish a new goal. Resetting and repeating goals will establish a pattern that, over time, will become habit to you.

Once you find that you’re easily completing the three 15-minute workouts a week, you’ve formed the habit of getting those done.  Now, it’s time to establish a new goal to challenge yourself further.

5.  Set Achievable Goals – Success breeds success which is why it is absolutely vital that you set goals that you can achieve.  The success of reaching one goal is the springboard to conquering the next one.  Over time, you’ll develop confidence in yourself and know that you are able to set goals and achieve them.

New Year, New Me Can Be Yours

Remember, there are plenty of people that do change their behavior patterns and live their dreams.  It takes hard work, commitment and a strategy beyond clinking a glass of champagne and uttering a few words on December 31.

Are you ready to make this the year for reaching your goals? Try steps one through 5 in the action plan above and see how you do this year.

If you like this article, you might also like: How To Set New Year’s Resolutions That You’ll Keep (Part 1) and How To Set New Year’s Resolutions That You’ll Keep (Part 2).

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2013 Look Back: My Favorite Posts From The Past Year

Tomorrow we will welcome in a new year.  Most of us greet the start of a new year with excitement and anticipation.  I know that I do.

Ushering in a new year provides an opportunity for a do-over.  We get to hit the reset button.  Each year on January 1 we have a chance to start anew on some of those resolutions and projects that, while we had the best intentions, didn’t get accomplished.Blank Book

You might decide this is the year to tackle those extras 10 pounds.  Maybe you need the motivation to get more physical activity, eat more nutritional foods and get your portions under control.  Whatever it is you undertake, you’ll need a consistent dose of inspiration and encouragement.  That’s where I come in.

I’m looking forward to providing readers a year of fresh content  that I hope will help you reach your goals. I vow to provide articles and information that is free of gimmicks.  This site doesn’t promote fad diets or weight-loss prescriptions, nor does it serve up unrealistic promises.  What it does offer is the latest health and wellness news, healthy super-food recipes, inspirational stories, and exercise expertise.

But before I start churning out a year’s worth of content with all of the stuff you need to stay healthy in a supersized world, I want to take a minute to look back at ten of the most popular articles from 2013.

1.  How You Can Up Your Game With Plyometric Training – Whether you’re looking to bust through a weight-loss plateau, or want to increase your fitness level, adding plyometrics can have a huge impact on both. Learn how it can help you here.

2.  Do You Graze Or Fast? One Might Be Better Than The Other – The concept of intermittent fasting is replacing the theory that grazing (eating every three hours) throughout the day is better for weight loss.  Not convinced?  Check out the article that explains how it works.

3.  Twenty Reasons Why You Should Get 30 Minutes of Exercise A Day – We all know that physical activity is important, but there may be reasons to exercise that you’ve not considered before.  Check out 20 reasons you should get active here.

4.   Isn’t It Time For Your To Break Up With Sugar? – In this article I state that the best thing you can do for your overall health is to reduce the amount of sugar that you eat.  If you think that should be one of your goals for 2014, be sure and read this first.

5.  Take Your Life Off Of Auto-Pilot And Go Someplace Different – Learning to be mindful and live in the moment is key to a healthy existence.  It’s not always easy to do.  Read how you can take control of your thoughts and ultimately your life here.

6.  Post Workout Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie – To date, this is my favorite smoothie recipe.  And it’s so easy, creamy and delicious.  Check out the recipe here.

7.  What You Can Learn From Sheldon Silverstein – The What You Can Learn From series highlights inspirational people that can help you reach your goals. Sheldon is one of those creative geniuses that offers the timeless message, “anything can be”.

8. Meditation Can Keep Your Anxiety From Going Off The Rails – We all have plenty of stress in our lives.  Keeping it under control is a must if we are going to be both physically and emotionally healthy. This article explains how meditation can help you get your anxiety under control.

9.  Six Bodyweight Plateau-Buster Exercises To Do Everyday – The American College of Sports Medicine predicts that bodyweight exercise programs will be trending in 2014.  This post discusses why they are good for you.  Check out the six exercises you should be doing every day here.

10  Motivation For Your Monday (or any day for that matter) – This is a slideshow I created using some of my favorite motivational quotes.  Its intent was to help people get through the Monday blues, but you  might find it helpful any day that you’re feeling less than motivated.  Watch the slideshow here.

There’s the wrap-up for 2013.  Tomorrow we will turn the page and start writing the first chapter in the new book titled “Opportunity”.

What are you going to write in your book?

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Motivation For Your Monday

It’s Monday.  The day most of us dread more than any other day of the week. Some of us, me included, make the decision to just ‘get through’ Monday most of the time.  But if you think about it, what that means is we are making a decision to give less than 100% of our effort and energy one-seventh of the time.

Don’t resign yourself to the Monday blahs. Make it a goal to embrace Monday and your week will get off to a better start.

Here’s a short Monday motivational slideshow I’ve created for you.

Enjoy!

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You Can Beat The Battle of the Bulge This Holiday Season

The season of eating is here.  If you have been trying to lose a few pounds, or trying not gain back what you’ve already lost, this time of year can be a real challenge.

From carry-in dinners at work, to holiday parties, and long shopping days where your only option is food-court fare, at this time of year the focus is on eating.  The good news is there is a way to enjoy the holidays without greeting the New Year with five or six extra pounds to lose.

By implementing these basic strategies you can breeze through the holiday season without going up a pant size.

Beat the Battle of the Bulge

(Flickr photo by Bahrain Personal Training)

1.  Set A Goal – Millions of Americans gain a couple of pounds over the holidays.  While a weight gain of two, three or even five pounds doesn’t seem like a big deal, the problem is many don’t lose it after the holidays which means the pounds stay with them throughout the next year. And the next.

Over the course of several years these extra pounds become a real problem and lead to health risks.  Research by the National Center for Biotechnology has determined that holiday weight gain may be an important contributor to the rising prevalence of obesity.

Even if a weight gain of a few pounds won’t put you in the ‘at risk’ category, you don’t need to strategize so that you you ring in the New Year at the same weight.  Step one is to set a goal to maintain, not gain weight this holiday season.  Write your goal weight down and keep it in a visible place.

2.  Weigh-In Each Week – I’m not a big fan of weekly weigh-ins except in this situation where you can pretty much count on gaining weight if you don’t keep a close eye on it.

Schedule a time each week to weigh in.  To be consistent, make sure you weigh in on the same day of the week, at the same time of day, on the same scale. Track your weight by writing it down in a note book or on an index card.

3.  Create A Weekly Game Plan – On Sunday evening or Monday morning look at your calendar for the upcoming week so you can plan ahead for parties, office food fests, or shopping blitzes that provide too many – or too few – food choices.

Each year at work I offer an annual maintain, don’t gain holiday program and ask employees what their biggest challenges are going to be for the upcoming week.  One employee told me that this week is her husband’s company party, her birthday and her son’s birthday.

My response:  What’s your plan?   We talked through how she was going to navigate all of these special events by exercising portion control, drinking more water, walking more, and filling up on low-calorie fruits and vegetables.

If you take a look at what you’re up against, you’ll be better prepared to meet the challenge.

4.  Use Holiday Make-Over Recipes – Delicious and special holiday foods don’t have to be loaded with calories, sodium, and fat.  I’ve tried many make-over recipes that I find I like more than the original.

There are some excellent resources for healthy holiday recipes and they are no more than a mouse click away.  Two of my favorites are:

  • Skinny Kitchen.com – Skinny Kitchen has tons of healthy recipes that do not sacrifice flavor at all.  It also has a section dedicated to the holidays.
  • Live Better America – Live Better specializes in make-over favorites like green bean casserole and stuffing. There are so many recipes to choose from here, you’ll need to get started early selecting which ones you want to try.

Several months ago I wrote an article that highlighted the top ten websites for healthy recipes.  You will find tons of holiday recipes at any and all of these.  Check out the article here:  Top Ten Websites for Healthy Recipes.

5.  Keep Moving – I know this one seems like a no brainer, but it is harder to find time for physical activity during the holidays. You may find you don’t have an hour every day to go to the gym, or out for a walk or run.  But you do have time to take a couple of walking breaks every day, and squeeze in two or three 10 minute workouts during the week.

Any physical activity you can get in will help keep those extras pounds at bay.  Dust off the pedometer, put it on and set a goal to walk 10,000 steps everyday even if you have to walk in place at your desk at home or at work.  Little things add up.

6.  Have Realistic Expectations – Your life isn’t a page from Pinterest.  At least mine isn’t. All of the beautiful and glamorous images we’re inundated with from web sites and television commercials make us yearn for the picture perfect holiday.  This quest for perfection can set you up for a stressful holiday season and the side effects of stress are over eating and over drinking.

Find at least one thing to be grateful for each day. If you do find yourself wishing your life could replicate of one of the top Pinterest boards, get out of there and opt for web sites that will keep your sense of humor in tact but won’t leave you feeling like an epic fail.

What Else?

Remember that although we call the time from Halloween to New Years Day ‘the holidays’ it really isn’t one big event. It is a series of mini-events that come close enough together that they seem they like one.  If you separate them out and have a strategy in place to deal with them one by one you’ll get the best results.

What tips do you have for staying healthy this holiday season?  Be Social! Share! 

What If Fitness Professionals Stopped Promising Weight Loss?

Today I would like to give a big shout out to Isabel Foxen Duke, certified health coach and emotional eating expert and author of the article “If I Don’t Sell You Weight Loss, I Won’t Make Any Money”.

Isabel’s article, “If I Don’t Sell You Weight Loss” that she wrote for Huffington Post addresses what many wellness experts believe.  Wellness coaches, personal trainers, fitness instructor, and maybe even nutritionists, are afraid that if you can’t promise someone that you can make them thin, they probably won’t be very interested in your services.

But, Isabel decides to take a risk by telling people the truth.  The truth is that people want something more than being thin.

Weight Loss Schedule

There has to be more to it than this. (Flickr photo by UrbaneWomenMa)

From there she lists 15 things that she wants her clients to know.  For example, “I don’t really want to make you thin. . . . I want to help you fix your relationship with food.”  And, “I want you to cry when you’re upset, rather than diet or binge-eat.”

Here’s a couple more:  “I want you to Google sentences that don’t include the words “Paleo” or “cleanse”.  And, finally my favorite, “I want you to feel like you can eat a cookie without falling off the wagon and into a whole box.”

I want what Isabel wants.  And I’m willing to take a risk and bet that there are plenty of other wellness professionals out there that want it too.  We want people to have a health-centered approach to life and stop worrying about the number on the scale.

A health centered approach to life doesn’t mean you ignore your weight, chuck your healthy eating and portion control habits out the window, or give up exercise.  Rather, it means that you embrace the six dimensions of wellness and focus on a number of things that, when interconnected, will make you feel healthy, energetic, and whole.

Embracing The Six Dimensions of Wellness

The Six Dimension of Wellness were created by Dr. Bill Hettler, co-founder of the National Wellness Institue (NWI).  The NWI defines wellness as: The active process through which people become aware of, and make choices towards, a more successful existence.

The six dimensions of wellness model is based on the following:

1.  Occupational – The enrichment of life through work, and its interconnectedness to living and playing.

2.  Emotional – Self esteem, self-control, and determination as a sense of direction.

3.  Physical – The benefits of regular physical activity, healthy eating habits, strength and vitality as well as personal responsibility, self-care and when to seek medical attention.

4.  Intellectual – Creative and stimulating mental activities, and sharing your gifts with other.

5.  Social – How a personal contributes to their environment and community, and how to build better living space and social networks.

6.  Spiritual – The development of belief systems, values, and creating a world-view.

By applying the six dimensions a person becomes aware of the interconnectedness of each dimension and they how they contribute to healthy living.

What Else Do You Want?

Are you struggling with the ups and downs of dieting?  Do you obsess about your weight and how you feel you look to yourself and the world even when you’re at your goal weight?  Of maybe you beat yourself over eating that cookie and end up falling into the bag.

Living well, being healthy, and embracing a holistic health-centered approach to life goes way beyond the number on the scale.  To take the first step you must face the truth that you really do want more – a lot more – than being thin.

You want to have a healthy relationship with food.  You want to go out to eat without experiencing a mild panic attack over what’s on the menu.  You want to be able to enjoy the holidays without counting every calorie. You want to live your life minus the yo-yo diets, weight-loss supplements, food obsessions, and binges.

Thank you Isabel for saying so well what many fitness professional have been thinking.  We may not be able to make you thin.  But, give us time, and we’ll make you healthy and whole.  You can read Isabel’s article here: If I Don’t Sell You Weight Loss, I Won’t Make Any Money.

If you liked this article you might also like, “Five Tips For Adopting A Health-Centered Approach To Life”. Be sure and subscribe or follow me on Facebook or Twitter to receive article updates.

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Leftover Halloween Candy? When In Doubt, Throw It Out!

We had a ton of rain in our area for Halloween this year.  The tricker treater traffic was about half of what it would be in a normal year.  You know what that means?  Leftover Halloweed candy.

Does this look like the mess you're left with?

Does this look like the mess you’re left with? Flickr photo by Rochelle just Rochelle

I don’t want to be the Scrooge of Halloween and certainly don’t want to be compared to the woman in Fargo, ND that said she planned to send a ‘fat’ letter home with overweight trick or treaters instead of a treat.  This helpful (ahem) letter suggested that the parents limit the amount of candy their children eat at Halloween. She argues that she is trying to be helpful.

There is a lot of candy purchased and consumed on Halloween. When it comes to leftover Halloween candy, the garbage is the best place for it. The actual moment when you release the candy into the garbage might be excruciatingly painful but after that you don’t ever have to think about it again.

What To Do? 

On the morning F.M. radio station that I listen to on the way to work the DJs were talking about a lady that takes leftover Halloween candy and freezes it.  A year later she pulls it out of the freezer and passes it out to the trick or treaters again. Everybody thought that was kind of icky.  But . . . . . what do you do with leftover Halloween candy?  It’s a problem!

Do The Math

We all know that when leftover candy is in the house our brain gets in that loop and we’re thinking about it every 30 seconds or so.   After we’ve thought about it every 30 seconds for an hour, we’ve figured out a way to justify eating it:  “If I only eat three of the mini Twix bars it’s only 151 calories. That amounts to nothing really.”

That might be okay for two days, but if you’ve got a boat load of candy and eat three pieces a day for a week, you’ve consumed 1,071 extra calories in candy which may very well keep you from losing that pound you’ve been working on.

Some people think the answer to the problem is to take it to the office and torture the co-workers with it.  Rather than working, they will be thinking about the candy every 30 seconds and deep down they will hate you for it.

Did You Know That:

  • Children on average receive between 3,700 and 7,000 calories worth of Halloween candy each year.
  • They would have to walk for 44 hours to burn off the extra calories
  • Approximately 17 percent of children ages 2-19 are obese; 31 percent are overweight or obese.

Throw It Out; Feed A Child?  Umm. No. 

I beg of you.  Throw it away and do not feel guilty about it. Despite what our mother’s may have told us, throwing away food that we don’t want or need does not have any impact on a child starving somewhere across the globe. To help a hungry child we can donate to mini Twix bars it’s only 151 calories, 3,700 and 7,000 calories, or Plan USA.

You can throw away the candy and still help feed a child.

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