Archive for April, 2010

Biggest Nutrition Myths

Separating nutrition fact from fiction can be difficult…

This week alone I got 3 questions that I thought deserved repeating …

…and we want to hear your most pressing nutrition/weight loss questions.

Here are 3 questions from people with very different backgrounds.

23 year old Professional Athlete: "I heard apples and bananas have too much sugar, so I haven't been eating them.  I need to lose weight, what should I eat?"

Early 40's Stay at Home Mom of 4: "I have this pooch around the middle I can't get rid of — what time of day do I need to stop eating carbs?"

Late 30's, surgeon, wife, no kids: "I work really long hours so am exhausted and rarely have time to eat.  How much caffeine is too much?"

Great questions.  Answers to come this week.

What are your most pressing nutrition and weight loss questions? 

Do You Rationalize Your Behaviors?

How do you define rationalize? 

You're not going to believe me when I tell you this story. 

So sometimes after a cold morning at boot camp, we head over to our favorite coffee shop in town, Highland Coffee.

It’s kind of like Cheers – where everyone knows your name – great place, great atmosphere, and great coffee, tea, etc.

Well yesterday morning we’re in there and behind a woman in line.  I was getting a bag of my favorite Persian Nectar Black Tea.

And the woman in front of us was ordering for her daughter, who looked to be about 7-9ish years old.

“Can she have a piece of the coconut cream cake and a medium hot chocolate, chocolate for weight<br />
lossextra chocolate and extra whip cream.  But can you make the drink with soy milk; her tummy hurt yesterday when we got this, so I think she might be lactose intolerant.”

Carly, at the coffee shop, said “well the cake has milk in it too.”

And her mom said “yeah, that’s OK, I think it was just the dairy in the hot chocolate.” 

There was a quick look of confusion across Carly's face, but this woman is the customer after all, so she was happy to oblige.

There are many things wrong on a variety of levels.

For starters, her daughter was starting her day with the equivalent amount of sugar as a 2 L bottle of soda (I wonder if she was offered the soda instead how she would feel?)

But then she also was taught that you can easily rationalize your behaviors to get what you want.

So do you want to know how WE define rationalize?

We think it should be two words:

Rationalize = Rational Lies that you tell yourself.

What behaviors do you rationalize?

I exercised this morning, so I “earned” this donut.
OR
The kids are stressing me out, I NEED dessert.
OR
I am way too busy to exercise, but I walked a lot at work, so I’m fine.

The list can go on and on.  And unfortunately it does – all too often.

And the more behaviors we continue to rationalize, the harder the struggle to reach our weight loss goals.   

So back to the woman at the coffee shop and her poor daughter … I have a feeling this girls “tummy was aching” from the extra chocolate and extra whip cream, in addition to the cake.  She wasn’t lactose intolerant … she was pour sugar down my throat intolerant!

Bottom Line: Think about ways you may rationalize your behaviors during the day.  Change them.  Just when you have the rationalizing thought to make yourself feel better for a second (like I don't really want to workout, so I'll make an excuse), make the more difficult choice of being honest with yourself and NOT telling yourself “rational lies.” 

Success will come that much more quickly and it will be that much sweeter!
 

What Is Your Favorite Lunch Food?

The other day I was walking through the a grocery store we don't usually shop, but I needed something quick and it was on my way home…

…and I saw arguably the most disgusting food available.  Well, at least the top 10.

Ham and Cheese Loaf.  It was vacuum sealed in the deli container and there were bits of junky looking yellow cheese spread throughout this sponge like looking, overly processed lunch meat

But then, interestingly, I was searching for an image of this "fine" processed, loaf of "disgustingness" when I found a lunch meat that topped it.are cold cuts healthy

I now present to you Ham, Cheese, AND Macaroni Loaf.

But then it made me think.

What do most people eat for lunch?

We talk with people everyday about their food choices … for busy moms who are at home all day, yet trying to lose weight … it's often a quick on the go meal before they run their errands.  Or for those who work in an office, it's usually a quick take out meal, sub sandwich, etc.

So I'd like to think that ham and cheese loaf (or, worse yet, ham, cheese and macaroni loaf) eaters are few and far between…

…but what about other lunch options? 

Cold cuts/deli meats?

Subway or other fast food stops?

Nothing?

What are some common meal items that you eat regularly?

Next week we're delving into the truth behind deli meats, lunchables, and many other options to help you make the best decisions…

Sorting thru Weight Loss Hype

"Lose fat fast with acai berry"

"Just take 2 of these super X fat loss pills to shed fat overnight."

Type "diet books" into Amazon.com and there are nearly 49,909 to choose from!

With all of this information at your fingertips and 100's of books lining the shelves at local bookstores, it's difficult to decipher nutrition truths from myths and hype. However, that doesn't mean you have to throw your arms up feeling defeated.

Unfortunately, many people prefer to try the quick fix fad diet instead of making the effort to lose weight through lifestyle changes that ultimately become healthy eating and exercise habits.

The truth is that there is no quick fix; there is one way to achieve health, and that's through eating supportively to fuel your mind and body and a regular exercise program.

Fortunately, it is possible to spot a fad diet, program, infomercial or pill, without first buying into catchy commercials and the latest trends. The fact of the matter is that all programs, no matter what their individual "catch" may be, are strikingly similar.

So these 5 tips can help you make sure you're not duped by the latest hype …

As a general rule, stay away from diets or programs that promise any of the following:

  1. Draw simple conclusions from complex medical research. Without seeing the entire study or understanding how to comb through the research, it is impossible to understand the conclusions. It is very easy to extrapolate individual components of a study to make it applicable to what is being promoted.  
  2. Promise permanent weight loss without exercise. While it is possible to lose weight without exercise, there will be large loss of lean body mass (muscle) weight in addition to fat. It is ideal to preserve as much lean body mass as possible during weight loss, even though it is inevitable to lose some. Research has also shown it is very difficult to maintain the weight loss without exercise.
  3. Requires the purchase of pills, potions, or other dietary supplements. Weight loss is very achievable with a slight decrease in calories and increase in physical activity (intensity or duration). Instead of decreasing the size of your stomach, most pills, potions, and other dietary supplements will cause a decrease in the size of your wallet.
  4. Eliminate an entire macronutrient or drastically limit any food group (e.g., low carbohydrate or very ow fat diets).  A balanced diet is the best and safest way to successfully lose weight and ultimately keep it off. Moderation and portion control is the key!\
  5. Rapid weight loss that is said to be effortless.

   
 

Substitute Almond Milk to Lose Weight

There were  a lot of great guesses to the question posed on Friday…"What is our favorite fat fighting food?"
almond milk burns fat
…and several correct answers.

Almond Milk is the answer.

No, no…there’s not any “magical” fat burning properties to this product, but Almond Milk is a daily staple in our house for good reason.

Let’s first look at the benefits:

  • 1/3 the calories of an equal amount of regular milk – just 40 per cup.
  • Lactose free — lactose sometimes gives people a bloated, gassy feeling (if you can’t break it down)
  • Vegetarian (if you are one)
  • It tastes incredible

I showed you how we made a high protein fat burning Dairy Queen Blizzard last week using Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk.  It gives just a hint of sweetness, a bit of an almond flavor, and literally makes the best smoothies EVER!

But of course you could use it in other foods too …

You’ll usually find it in the dairy aisle next to the “regular” milk.

Right now I’ve seen just two brands – Blue Diamond and Silk – but there are surely others available.  Blue Diamond Unsweetened Vanilla is the one that offers just 40 calories/cup and is our preferred choice for the flavor (and super low amount of calories).

Now it’s not a good source of protein, like cow’s milk … but it is fortified with vitamin D and calcium…and you’ll easily get protein from other foods, so give this a try for a dairy alternative once in awhile.

Click here to read our take on cow's milk — does milk REALLY do the body good?

 

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