Posts Tagged ‘Weight Loss’

Nutritionists are Lying – A Calorie Isn’t a Calorie

I remember going to my first nutrition class at Penn State.

I was eager to jump right in since that was what I was there for, but had to wait until some of those darn pre req classes were out of the way.

I walked in day 1.  Liz Evans was our professor.  And she certainly didn’t look like the people I saw in the pages of the magazines I was getting all my information from up until this point.  Hey, you have to start somewhere.

Anyhow, after going over the syllabus, "one of the most important lessons in nutrition — in the entire course," Liz said, "is that all calories are equal.  Nutrition, health and weight loss are really simple" she continued "Calories in equal calories out, your weight is stable.  Calories out are more than calories in, you lose.  If calories in are more than calories out, you gain weight."

Like all the other students, I was writing as quickly as I could. 

And this message continued.  Through my masters and into my PhD, where my research focus was on teaching people how to lose weight permanently.

But it was then that I started to question things a bit more. 

REALLY?  Are all calories the same?

It didn’t make sense to me.  You see from a law of thermodynamics, it does make sense.  If you walk for 1 mile you burn 100 calories.  If you eat 100 calories worth of food, you’ve essentially created a "wash."  Nothing gained.  Nothing lost if we’re solely looking at this with regards to body weight.

But what if you compare extremes?

1 pound of sugar = 1,540 calories

~26 apples = 1,540 calories

Same calories.  But do you think the quality of 1 lb of sugar and 26 apples is the same?  Of course not…aside from the laundry list of nutrition problems eating a days worth of calories from just sugar would cause (nutrient deficiencies, scurvy, tooth decay, etc), how do you think the person eating the 1 pound of sugar would look, feel and perform after she did so?  Of course 26 apples isn’t the ideal "diet" either, but you get the point. 

It’s kind of like the saying, a pound of bricks is the same weight as a pound of feathers.  Sure, they weigh the same … but there are certainly different qualities between them, even though the scale may read the same. 

So as we started to look into this more on our own, with our own clients, and with our own writing & research … we changed our tune and go against the grain of mainstream nutrition to instead give this message:

QUALITY of the diet is more important than QUANTITY of the diet.

Of COURSE calories still do matter. 

But quality is crucial to permanent success.  And it made us even happier when we read a recent study by researchers at Harvard University confirming our point of how the quality of the diet — above and beyond just quantity — can help with fat loss.

The study certainly wasn’t the final word — and definitely had limitations — it wasn’t a "cause and effect" study, but rather a correlation study that asked over 120,000 healthy, well educated men and women about their dietary habits every 2 years for a total of between 12 and 20 years.

They then teased out some of the food items that were associated with weight loss or weight gain among the subjects. 

First, as a whole, they found that the average participant gained about 0.5 kg (1.1 lb) per year.  Who cares, right?  It’s JUST 1 lb.  The problem … year after year after year … that 1 lb adds up and people never lose it and long term it’s more and more dangerous.

The question, then, is what foods did they find contributed to the weight loss vs. those that contributed to weight gain?

Weight Loss:

  • Veggies
  • Fruits
  • Nuts
  • Whole grain foods

Weight Gain:

  • Sugar sweetened drinks
  • Processed meats
  • Potatoes

Interesting, huh?

Again, we’re certainly not saying there aren’t limitations to this study or this type of correlation study, but there were some interesting findings to consider.  The take home points from the authors were to not focus so heavily on calories and rather look at the quality — limit processed or refined carbohydrates and focus instead on veggies, fruits, and healthier food options … even if they are higher in calories (like nuts).  Basically a lot of this boils down to how these foods affect the hormones in our body – namely, insulin, a powerful storage hormone. 

Again, it’s not just how much you eat, but WHAT you eat. 

Just as an aside, we also don’t think potatoes are a "devil" food — we do think the ways people eat them (such as French fries) are.  Again, take this data with a grain of salt. 

At the end of the day, though, we want you to focus on overall diet QUALITY … our message remains the same.  Lots of veggies and fruits, nuts, healthy fats, lean protein and some whole grains.

Pretty basic.  But very effective.

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One of the Biggest Struggles with Nutrition

"I can’t eat vegetables … I don’t like any of them."

That’s what one of our clients recently told us.

None.  She said she doesn’t like ANY of them … can’t stomach them.

To be honest, she’s not far off from the rest of the population.  A recent study showed just 25% of the population at the absolute minimum recommendation of 3 servings daily.

Do you?

I’ll admit that eating veggies regularly DOES take a little more thought and prep than many other foods, including fruit.  But  you tell me — is a few more minutes of prep time worth:

  • Hitting your weight loss goals
  • Slashing your risk of cancer
  • Decreasing the risk of getting sick
  • And the list goes on…

So here are 5 insanely easy ways to eat more …

  1. Try spaghetti squash in place of spaghetti — slice it in half, roast in flesh side down for about 45 minutes on 350, or until tender.  Take it out, remove the squash with a fork, which looks just like spaghetti strands, top with your favorite sauce and voila.
  2. Add veggies to an omelet — it’s an easy way to up your intake — start your day on the right foot.  Check out our healthiest breakfast in the world video to see how we get about 7 servings in that meal alone!
  3. Replace 1 meal per day with a large salad (and add lean protein to it and a handful of nuts, like almonds)
  4. Replace 1 current snack with veggies with hummus
  5. Make veggies the base of your meals — if you have pasta, fill a bowl with veggies first and add pasta to the top.  Same with stir fry or even the omelet recipe in #2.  This way you have more veggies than the other part of the meal.

And, for those who say "they don’t like any veggies," I think it means what you’re used to hasn’t been good.  Maybe canned veggies which are loaded with sodium and little flavor.  Try branching out and eating ones that are a bit more unique. 

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My HUGE Mistake Can SAVE You…

I almost lost at my own game.

This is serious, but my mistake can REALLY help you!

I was traveling in Orlando FL for some talks.

I always plan and pack well – mixed nuts, some portable fruit, packets of salmon, etc.  But this trip is a bit different — I knew the setup, where I was speaking, and I’d have some great food at my fingertips whenever I wanted.

So I didn’t plan like I usually do — just some basics.

And it came back to bite me. 

I’m on the way home yesterday and was pretty hungry.  Fortunately it’s a decent size airport with some solid options.  Could always have more mixed nuts, some fresh fruit, or maybe even a smoothie if done right.

You see, when we travel we almost always carry along some packets of BiPro protein — our protein of choice here at the Team Mohr HQ. 

This way you can bring that to most smoothie places, ask them to use that, mix it with water or milk, some fresh or frozen fruit, and you’ve got a great quick meal.

Now, some people working there cooperate — others do not, but we always ask anyhow if we’re in a pinch.

But I didn’t bring the protein this time.

That’s OK, I thought — I’m going to venture into the dangerous waters of the 125 g sugar bombs that are sold at Smoothie King and the others — and figure out a decent option.

So there I am, staring at the menu; studying it like I was in med school preparing for the MCATs.  In fact I was looking so long, trying to decipher the marketing gibberish, that they asked me 3 times if they could help me.

I think they were ultimately sorry they asked.

"I’m checking out the Muscle Punch Smoothie — it says strawberries and bananas.  Is that real fruit or fruit juice or puree?"

"Real fruit for both."

"And do you guys use frozen yogurt as the base, regular yogurt, water or milk?

"Water"   I think we’re getting somewhere.

"So there are no juices, syrups, or anything else outside of what’s listed?"

"Outside of ice, no.  It is a soy protein in there, but we can substitute whey protein for the soy if you prefer that."

"Alright, I’m going to do that one — the small size — and I will substitute the whey for the soy."

I admittedly felt proud for navigating this menu — loaded with marketing hype — as best I could.

I watch him put the water in there.  Excellent.

Then the scoops of bananas and strawberries.  Perfect.

Scoop of protein powder.  Ice.

Then he added a few squirts of something in a container. 

"What is that," I asked?

"Wheat germ oil."  OK.  While I would have preferred actual wheat germ, since I love the flavor, the oil will work.

And then he grabbed two more bottles and added several squirts from each. 

"What are those two things you just added?"  He said "vanilla essence and honey" and mid sentence he added a scoop of something else.

Not even asking what the other scoop of powder was, I said "HONEY?  It doesn’t list honey on the menu. I have a honey allergy, so I’m sorry I can’t have that."

And I left, embarrassed that I was almost beat at my own game – but proud – I fortunately came out on top.

You might be thinking — MOHR, it’s HONEY — it won’t kill you. Lighten up a bit.

And you’d be right — it won’t.  But, first of all, it wasn’t a little teaspoon of honey.  It was a lot more.  And seeing as they didn’t list honey on the label, I also wondered what that powder was.

I got home, logged on to their website, and realized quickly what it was.

TURBINADO (ummm, in other words, MORE SUGAR).

In fact, here it is, cut and copied from their website.  "Strawberries, Bananas, Soy Protein, Non-Fat Milk, Vanilla, Wheat Germ, Nutritional Yeast, Turbinado, Honey"

Interestingly, in the store they listed just strawberries, bananas, protein and wheat germ.

And do you know what the smallest size cup of liquid candy would have given me — 84 grams of carbs, 75 of which ARE SUGAR!!! 

I didn’t want to pay for the shake I wasn’t going to drink, which is why I threw out the food allergy fib … it’s an easy way to always get you off the hook and since this guy already made it, it technically was otherwise mine.

Lessons from this trip:

  1. Plan ahead regardless of how well you think you’ll be eating.
  2. You’re in complete control of what is offered to you.
  3. You can always use the "food allergy" lie if you don’t want to otherwise say no. 

In case you’re wondering, I did get a little bag of mixed nuts from another vendor and called it a day. 

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Is Weight Watchers the BEST Way to Lose Weight?

Weight Watchers is the BEST Way to Lose Weight

…at least according to a recent study in the journal Lancet.

Basically the study separated subjects into two groups — one group who followed the Weight Watchers plan with weekly meetings or the other group who met once monthly with their primary care MD. 

What they found after 12 months was that the group following the Weight Watchers plan lost 11.1 lbs compared to the 5 who met with their MD’s. 

Few things here.

  1. Regardless of which "plan" was best, 11.1 lbs in 1 year isn’t impressive.  That’s less than 1 lb per month.  We’ve had people in Mohr Results Boot Camp lose this in just 1 boot camp session and continue on to lose 60 lbs in a year working with us.  More importantly, they’ve maintained it.
  2. Accountability works.  One of the reasons Mohr Results Boot Camp is successful is accountability.  It’s the same reason Weight Watchers is successful.  The more accountable someone is, the better they’re going to do.  So meeting weekly in the study mentioned earlier … to meeting one time per month with a physician is like comparing apples to oranges.
  3. Most physicians aren’t trained in nutrition/exercise.  In the physician’s defense, Weight Watchers staff aren’t either … but being surrounded by other people in the Weight Watchers group also incorporates the much needed social support to successfully lose weight.

We’ve also done our fair share of "diet coverage" and offered the most effective weight loss tips.

But you know what, forget the study in the Lancet or the countless other research studies out there.  Do you want to know the absolute BEST Diet in the world?  Hands down, no questions asked?

How can we be so confident?

Because we’ve seen it work.  Over.  And over.  And over again!

It’s the way people looking to lose weight in Mohr Results Boot Camp are so successful.

The Best, Absolutely MOST Effective Diet in the world …

is….

The One You Stick With!

Sure, we can discuss the various intricacies of The Dukan Diet vs. Weight Watchers vs. Zone vs. visiting monthly with your doctor ’till we’re all blue in the head.

And, to be honest, they all "work" if your sole goal is to lose weight.

But they work the best when you stick with them.

Any diet will work when you stick with it.  ANY. 

But that’s the challenge.  Sticking. 

So rather than splitting hairs about every little detail within a particular diet, let’s look big picture because that’s where you need to focus your efforts.

Take it one step at a time. 

Decide what YOU can do each day to make a difference.  Replacing a junky 100 calorie snack pack with a piece of fruit.  Perfect.

Swap out nuts for potato chips or pretzels.  Voila.

Trade in your doughy refined bagel for 2 eggs with a bit of veggies. 

Baby steps, like those, are what will work LONG term.

Diets won’t.  They’re short term, immediate gratification approaches to something that requires permanent change.

You can lose 5 lbs overnight if you eliminate carbs. Heck, you can probably lose more.  But is that really a long term success strategy? 

There are a few nuggets of weight loss "goodness" above — be accountable to someone and make sure you have positive social support (this could be online, in person, etc) to be able to lose weight and keep it off!

So, at the end of the day, the BEST Diet in the World is the ONE YOU WILL STICK WITH!

The Human Fat Loss GPS

I was driving the other day to meet with a company we work with — heading to Nashville TN.  It’s a straight drive from Louisville…except when there is construction and some areas of the highway are closed to 1 lane and there’s instead a TON of traffic.

Fortunately the GPS then offered a detour telling me that there was traffic ahead.  It’s smart like that.

Usually.

fat loss GPSFor those who have them, it also tells you when you make a wrong turn that you need to make a U turn to get back on track.

And it got me thinking.  Wouldn’t it be cool if our bodies inherently had one of those for food choices?

We go out with friends one night, have some drinks, appetizers, dinner, dessert, more drinks.  Repeat.

The ‘problem’ with doing this is not that it was one night of a lot of junk calories and alcohol, but instead it’s that the one night usually turns into a downward spiral of continued poor choices.

THAT is what leads to overweight, obesity … and gaining belly fat.

If you had that Human GPS, though, it would simply tell you to "make a U Turn" after your "diet challenged" evening. :-)

And it’s exactly how you have to think.

If you have 1 "bad" night out.  No worries.  It’s part of the 10% rule we talk about — eat well 90% of the time and allow a little "freedom" the other 10%.  Then just get RIGHT back on track and it will be like you never skipped a beat. 

 

 

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