Archive for August, 2009

5 Strategies for Permanent Weight Loss

Weight loss seems so simple.

Eat less, exercise more.  Right?  When you’re trying to lose weight permanently, all you have to do is eat less an exercise more, right?  WRONG!

Ask any of the 50 million individuals who are attempting to lose weight each year and they will tell you it is not that easy. 

It’s not just changing what you eat and exercising.  Sure, those play a role with permanent weight loss, but they’re just 2 pieces to the weight loss puzzle.

In reality, it feels like battle.

After all, you are tackling the 10 year daily visit to the vending machine, the 20 year snacking while watching TV habit and the real doozy, the "dinner is not complete unless I eat something sweet" conviction.

To kick those bad habits that "prevent" you from eating fewer calories and making permanent change, than you need to be prepared to understand and change your behaviors.

These 5 Tips for Permanent Weight Loss will help you get to on (or stay on) track!
 

Know yourself

First, understand your motivation. Why do you want to lose weight permanently?  If you do not have a reason that is truly meaningful to you, than you will have an impossible road to climb. People who attempt weight loss because they feel they should, but aren’t invested, won’t be able to make the necessary permanent change in behavior. If you can’t identify a reason, brainstorm.  Write down every possible reason why you want to lose weight, set it aside for a day or so. When you return to the list, write down why that reason is important to you (what will it do for you specifically). When you’ve identified your top 3 and you feel strongly about them, it’s time to get started. If you still struggle, put the list away and return every couple of days, adding answers and revisiting old ones until you have identified your reason WHY.

Motivate yourself

Once you have identified the very specific reason as to why, hang onto it.  Make visible reminders. The reminders could be pictures of yourself, your kids, a swimsuit model hung in the kitchen, bathroom, etc., or the reminder may be a pair of pants you would like to fit into. When you are feeling like giving up, try on the pants. Notice how they fit, where they are still tight, where they have gotten bigger. Now imagine what it will be like to fit into them again. Take an index card and write one sentence summarizing your motivation. Carry the card with you. When you don’t want to go to the gym, read the card several times. Tell yourself tomorrow if you feel like not exercising, you’ll give in – but for today you will stick with it. The next time the scenario comes up, play the same game with yourself. Identify your motivation for giving up. Is going home and sitting on the couch, watching TV, or going to the mall really worth it? 

Is THAT going to help you achieve permanent weight loss? 

Coach yourself

We are our own worst enemy.  Despite working hard at changing our behaviors and making efforts to make it happen, we subtly tell ourselves things like "I hope I can do this", "I’ve been good, I deserve to take a day off", or "I blew it today, I might as well write today off and start fresh tomorrow."

The problem with these thoughts is they are all negative.  Scratch the word "hope" from your vocabularly … indicates uncertainty and that some element is not within your control. Remember permanent weight loss is possible.  Direct your thoughts positively and keep your motivation in sight.

Reframe your mind

Put exercise and eating well in the same perspective as the rest of your life. 

A lot of people think of exercise as something extra in their lives; something that happens when they have the time.

If exercise is never a priority, you will always identify things that bump it off the to-do list. Instead, make exercise part of your life.

We all have things we have to do each day — go to work, pay the pills, do the laundry, etc.  We do these tasks because if we don’t there is a price to pay. Treat exercise as though it’s obligatory.  Plan your exercise as just something else that needs to happen — daily.

Celebrate you!

Do you give your best to your job, your family, and your friends but never devote anything worthwhile to yourself?

Use these behavior changes as an opportunity to put yourself first.  Remind yourself you are taking steps toward a healthier, leaner you. If you do not see changes in your body or on the scale immediately, be patient.  Weight loss will happen when you are committed to your goal … and permanent weight loss will happen when you remain committed to your goal.

Sweet Surrender — Xylitol and Whey Low, Part 3

Xylitol (Malitol, and anything else ending in "…ol")

These sweeteners are known as sugar alcohols.  Xylitol is found naturally in a few foods, like beets and corn.  It is also used to as a sweetener in many low sugar, "low carb" items … sugar free gums and many "energy bars" come to mind, but also some beverages and other products as well.

So what’s the deal?  Is THIS the best sweetener that’s out there?

Xxylitol does have a few calories (about half that of sugar).  It’s almost as sweet as sugar and is only partially absorbed by the body.  Most packages suggest you can substitute for half the sugar in a recipe if using it as a replacement.

There are some solid data suggesting xylitol prevents bacteria from causing plaque to stick to teeth (hence its use in gums).  On the downside, too much of this stuff will make you a very unpleasant dinner guest as you’re running to the bathroom.  Remember, it’s not digested well by the body — good for calorie control, bad for, well, causing gas, bloating, and diarrhea.  Not sure those few extra calorie "savings" are worth it — just eat a little less to save the calories!

This last negative effect shouldn’t be an issue if you’re chewing some sugar free gum, but be careful eating too many "sugar free" type bars or other products, as they may have a pretty good amount of this stuff.

Whey Low

This one is a new kid on the block.  Many may not have even heard of it.

Basically it’s a unique combination of different naturally occurring sugars — fructose (fruit sugar), sucrose (table sugar), and lactose (milk sugar).

While that doesn’t sound that "special" — the unique combination of sugars is supposed to make them interfere with each other so they’re not fully absorbed, meaning less calories, but the same sweetness.  

It can be used as a sugar substitute in cooking since its flavor and texture are so similar; the problem is it’s a bit more difficult to find.

Whole Foods and similar stores often carry it.  Let’s see if it makes it a little more mainstream …

…to my knowledge, there’s no research using Whey Low vs. other sweeteners, but the concept is good.  I like "real" ingredients vs. the artificial stuff.

So that’s a wrap on the sweeteners — from sugar to xylitol and most in between!!! 

Take home points?  Eat real foods and if you can’t pronounce the name, keep it on the shelf!

Can you Lose Belly Fat if you Eat THIS?

There are over 30 names for sugar…

…turbinado sugar, raw sugar, agave syrup, fruit paste, raw honey, malt syrup and many more.

Of course we have our organic sugars too.  Are these any better if we’re trying to lose weight?  Ray from train2befit asked a question on the blog about the healthiest sugar options.

Is there such a thing?  A "healthy" sugar?
sugar
Clearly, when burning belly fat is a goal, sugar (all forms) need to take a back seat.  But let’s put a few of these under the microscope to see if there’s a best of the worst.  Afterall, with teens eating nearly 100 lbs of sugar per person, per year, we have some headway to make.  It should be no surprise that research shows belly fat has skyrocketed in this age group.

But adults aren’t much behind.  And the obesity epidemic we’re facing around the world is a tell tale sign that we’re overfed, yet undernourished. 

Let’s get to the good stuff.

First, just because something is organic, doesn’t mean it’s healthy.  Organic sugar isn’t a magical health food like it’s often considered.  It increases belly fat just like plain old table sugar.

Let’s cover a few of the most commonly questioned poisins in the fight against belly fat.

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

This one was invented in the 1970′s.  It’s in nearly every food and beverage in the super market — from breads to ketchup, fruit juice to cereals.  Some have claimed it’s caused obesity saying, this one sweetener is preventing us from losing belly fat permanently.  Interestingly, its use has skyrocketed the same way the obesity epidemic has over the last few decades.  And research has suggested there is a correlation.  This caused a negative spiral of media ads pointing the finger at this one ingredient.

And the Corn Refiners Association fought back.  They created commercials saying that HFCS is no worse than sugar.  What they didn’t say is both are junk, why eat them at all?

My first "problem’ with HFCS is that it was "invented."  I don’t want to eat anything that was "invented." I want to eat foods as close to the ground as possible.  You can avoid HFCS, just like you can avoid other sugars.  Sure, it is metabolized a bit differently than sugar, but you know what, the foods that are loaded with HFCS are junk — regardless of the form of sugar.  Soda = junk.  Fruit juice cocktails = junk. Popsicles = junk.  If you buy organic options of these same foods, they’re all junk and will prevent you from losing belly fat, put a halt to losing fat from your hips and thighs, or getting into your skinny jeans.  

Agave Syrup

This natural sweetener recently became popular.  Agave nectar is produced from a plant and is popular in organic markets and with vegans.  It is touted for its low glycemic index, meaning it won’t cause much of a spike in blood sugar.  But no studies are available showing how it compares to other sugars in terms of blood sugar control.  It is primarily made up of fructose, which is in fact lower on the glycemic index.  One important note – if you try this, look for USDA-certified organic products. Most agave comes from Mexico and there have been issues with recalls because of excessive pesticides in the products. 

Raw Honey

Often sold at Farmer’s Markets, supporters of this sweetener love that it’s not processed.  Me too.  And because it’s not processed, it IS higher in a few nutrients (mainly B vitamins).  With that said, honey wouldn’t be my first choice for getting in any vitamins and minerals.  I DO like that you can use less of it than table sugar because teaspoon for teaspoon, it’s sweeter.  There’s also some very interesting data showing eating local honey may reduce allergies, it can be used as an anticeptic, and much more.  (NOTE: I don’t recommend pouring it on an open wound).

But in the end, will too much honey prevent you from getting the body of your dreams and slashing belly fat?  Sure, it’s still empty calories when you compare it side by side with fruit, for example (which also is high in a form of sugar, but nothing I’d worry about).

Where does that leave us?

All sugars have relatively the same number of calories per gram.

Organic sugars will still prevent you from losing belly fat.  Non organic sugars will prevent you from losing belly fat. 

If you are going to use a sweetener, opt for local honey and use it sparingly.  Still, the best way to eat foods is in their natural state — fruit is sweet, enjoy that as dessert.  Grill it to bring out the sweetness.  Add balsamic vinegar to a pan and heat it up to create a calorie free "syrup" that’s great with fruit. Avoid foods with ingredients that have been "invented" — the closer to the ground they are, the better off you will be.

In the end, burn belly fat by eating foods with few ingredients and training right.

What do you think?  Leave your thoughts in the comment section.

 

How to Eat to Lose Fat

 

You’re bored…

…bored of the grilled veggies and chicken breast, the fish, or the yogurt and fruit for snacks.  Frankly, your fat loss meal plans stink.  I understand.

Since this week is the newly named "Subscriber Appreciation Week" at the Mohr Results Offices, we’ve got some exciting goodies for you.  A chance to win THIS: ellie-book1

 
While we love to cook at the Mohr house, we’re certainly not chefs by any stretch of the imagination.  But we do know what it takes to lose weight permanently. 

Sure, we have some great meals we come up with that taste incredible and ARE incredible for you.  But since we got so many questions lately (and continuosly do), we’re having a contest..

It costs you nothing.  You’re the only winner.

====> Here’s the deal:

Post your favorite recipes for fat loss to our blog (by Friday, August 14th) and we’ll enter you into a contest (random drawing of all blog posts) to win a FREE SIGNED copy of NY Times Bestseller cookbook, "The Food You Crave" by Ellie Krieger.

Ellie is not only a Food Network Celebrity, but this book recently won the James Beard Award, which is like the Nobel Prize for Nutrition Books, and as I mentioned, was a NY Times Bestseller!  And since Ellie is a friend, she’s graciously signed the books to boot!

The only "rules" for the recipe contest are that you must list all the ingredients, amounts, and directions for cooking.  And you have to post the nutrition information too.  After all, we’re aiming to teach people how to lose weight, so the nutrition information is important.

To show our appreciation for you being a subscriber, we’re also going to compile all the recipes into a FREE FAT LOSS RECIPES EBOOK that we give away … so you’ll have a whole slew of recipes at your fingertips.  This is only to subscribers of this newsletter; really, where else can you have the chance to win a free, signed hard cover book (shipping will be free too)

Deal?

Oh yeah, for every 25 weight loss recipes, we’ll give one more hardcover book away (up to 4), shipped, at no cost to you.  

We’re going to start it off with one of our favorite weight loss recipes.

Savory Grilled Veggie Pizza

Preheat oven to 450
1 sprouted grain tortilla
1 cup marinara sauce (jarred or homemade)
1/4 cup part skim mozzarella cheese
1 cup grilled veggies of your choice (we like squash, zuchhini, and onion)

Directions: spread sauce on pita, sprinkle with cheese, and sliced veggies.
Place on baking tray and in oven for approximately 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and slightly browned.

Calories: ~250
Carbs: 30 g
Protein: 15 g
Fat: 7 g

 

 

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