Tuesday, August 30, 2011

16 Reasons Why You Can’t Stick To Your Diet

1.       Not using fish oils
Fish oils help with your serotonin levels, the feel good hormone. The higher your serotonin, the easier it is for you to stay on track. Serotonin is involved in the regulation of several processes within the brain, including, depression, mood, emotions, aggression, sleep, appetite, anxiety, memory and perceptions. Most cells in the brain, over 40 million, are directly or indirectly affected by serotonin levels as well as muscles, and parts of the cardiovascular and endocrine systems and as a result of its great influence, low serotonin levels are often attributed to anxiety, panic attacks, obesity, insomnia, and fibromyalgia. What can cause low serotonin levels? Alcohol, aspartame or other artificial sweeteners, Cigarettes, deficiency of nutrient co-factors, lack of exercise, lack of sunlight and insulin resistance to name a few.

2.       You don’t sleep enough
In one of my blog post ‘’10 ways to screw up your metabolism’’ I touched the subject briefly but it always comes back as one of the most frequent problem. Less sleep means lower leptin levels which bring on the cravings roller coaster. Since you have more time to eat, you go towards bad choices like sweets and junk. Lack of sleep interferes with your ability to metabolize carbs efficiently, it is much easier for your body to store bodyfat, increase your insulin resistance, your blood pressure and your risk of having heart disease. The Guinness world record is no longer tracking records for the longest period without sleep; they have considered it too dangerous (but sword swallowing and eating glass is ok…) so if they understood, anybody can.

3.       You consider your cheat meal a reward
I try to take out the notion of ‘’cheat meals’’ for clients as they always go overboard when it is time for them to let go of the strictness of the diet for a meal. What I have found is that when people think of cheat meal as a reward, they tend to overdo it. So the first thing they do when they want to reward themselves, they cheat, for any good reasons. They have a good week at work, let’s reward ourselves with food. They had a hard day, let’s get a piece of cake. It’s just too easy to reward ourselves with food, so I try to set a re-feed meal instead. Lowered calories over time always lead to a lowered metabolism so I always incorporate a re-feed meal every 5 to 6 days. It keeps the metabolism going and will make sure that you keep on burning body fat.

4.       You don’t adjust your training with your diet
Train like a madman and eat like a bird, you surely won’t get near your desired results. I never count calories but in this case, it illustrates well my point of view. Let’s take a huge bodybuilder for instance that trains twice a day with a lean body mass of well over 200 pounds. Depending on his training regimen and lifestyle, he could burn up to 3500 calories a day. Eating 3 to 4 times a day would be a big problem for him. He would have to eat 4 meals of almost 1000 calories. You get the picture? So the more you train, the more often you should eat, clean and balanced meals that is.
5.       You eat low fat
If you think low fat is still the way to go when it comes to dieting, you must still be doing endless sets of hundreds of sit ups on the first Ab roller that ever came out. You also probably think that the earth is flat. I think the best way to describe why you should eat fat is this: if you cut down on fat, your body will start to store fat. You cut fat; you will start to activate a hormonal cascade sequence that can lead to depression, insulin resistance, fatigue, lessened memory, inflammation and so on. Fat does not make you fat. Manmade food, sugar, grains, pasta, breads does.
6.       You skip breakfast
The only reason why I wouldn’t mind you to skip breakfast is if you were stuck eating donuts or cereals. Skipping breakfast is the best way to slow down your metabolism. It has been proven that people who eat breakfast will eat fewer calories throughout the day than those who skip it. In other words, skippers will have more chances to get fatter due to excess calories eaten later in the day. They will probably eat before going to bed, which is one of the most detrimental habits of those who struggle to lose weight. This leads me to my next point.

7.       You eat before going to bed
Ever wonder why you wake up sluggish and no energy in the morning? 90% of the time it is due to something you ate the night before. Even a little snack could disturb your sleep pattern. Sleep is a heightened anabolic state, accentuating the growth and rejuvenation of the immune, nervous, skeletal and muscular systems. It is observed in all mammals, all birds, and many reptiles, amphibians, and fish[i]. Eating prior to bed will disrupt this process or slow it down which is vital for a better day. Here is an article I wrote about sleep problems and how to deal with them. Having problem’s sleeping? Part 1 and Part 2.

8.       You take energy drinks
Of the numerous problems with energy drinks, the worst one is well hidden. The medical and fitness community are interested these days on natural and manmade toxins called obesogens. Those endocrine disruptors are found in very common products, such as corn syrup, and chances are that if you are a big fan of energy drinks, you got some endocrine disrupting going on[ii]. The other problem is the hidden sugar. It is comparable to soft drinks, even the sugar free ones. If you need energy in a can, don’t look at a can for the solution, look at what is causing you to look for a can as a solution.
9.       You blame it on bad genes
OK, maybe genes have something to do with it, but are you going to sit on it and grow a fat ass because of it? It’s just a lame excuse to stay home, eat donuts and be sorry for yourself. Get over it and do something about it.

10.   You believe what you think is right for you (actually what you have done for years)
People tend to believe their own crap just to not go towards harder alternative. My favourite line is; ‘’I eat very well, I really watch what I eat’’. In other words, it tells me that you don’t want me to change your eating habits because if you don’t eat some of your favourite foods (which I know that it is not from the veggies or meat family) you will die. I’m sorry, but what you ate before is the reason why you are thinking of losing weight, so get a reality check as fast as possible and change what you have been doing. You are greatly mistaken if you think that only exercise will help you burn the fat. The more bad habits you change, the better are your chances of losing fast and most probably for good.
11.  You believe the celebrity diets
When a celebrity speaks, people listen, even when it is a brainfart. Best example is Tracy Anderson and Gwyneth Paltrow. Woman shouldn’t lift more than 3 pounds or they bulk up. Give me a freakin break. Paltrow endorses her only because she is involved financially with Anderson so her opinion is worth that much. Here’s another one of Paltrow’s recommendation, the ‘’GOOP 7 day elimination diet’’ a 7-day meal plan mostly consisting of herbal tea, smoothies, soups, simple salads and coconut water. You are not allowed dairy, grains with gluten, meat, shellfish, anything processed (including soy), fatty nuts, nightshade vegetables such as potatoes, peppers or eggplant; condiments, sugar, alcohol, caffeine or soda. In addition, Paltrow recommends drinking half a cup of caster oil or using an herbal laxative for you know… the problem that will inevitably develop with this detox. It cuts out major food groups and is dangerously low in calories. Also, Paltrow even points out you’ll probably get constipated from lack of food. Reese Witherspoon tried the ‘’baby food diet’’. There are different versions of the diet, but the most popular is to eat 14 jars of baby food throughout the day in lieu of breakfast and lunch and then eat a normal dinner. Baby food is vitamin-packed and free of additives and those little jars don’t require refrigeration. Also, if you think chewing is too much work, you’re in luck.

12.   You don’t take your bodyfat
How can you know where you want to go, if you don’t know where you are starting from? You want to lose weight right? Good for you. You need to lose fat, and the only way to know is to take you bodyfat percentage. If you lose weight and your percentage goes down it’s a good thing. The difference between losing five pounds of lean mass and five pounds of fat is huge on your health. Never lose weight for the sake of losing weight. Do it the healthy way, it will be the difference between how you will be able to keep the fat off and how healthy you will be. Consult a bio-signature practitioner near you.

13.   You do only cardio, without weight lifting
I have nothing against cardio, to prove it, here’s a link to a post I wrote about it, Cardio Conundrum. The best way is to do a mix of both. Speeds up your metabolism, helps to burn fat faster with all the added benefits that weight lifting could bring like strength, flexibility, stamina and simply gives you a better shape and health.

14.   You don’t eat enough
Starving is the best way to fail. It slows down your metabolism, increases cravings, energy roller coaster ride and hello mood swings. It just tells your body to store energy as fat. Very simple to understand.

15.   You follow the government guidelines
Obviously the government is wrong. Why? Right now, 72 million obese people. I repeat obese, not overweight. In 2010, one American out of ten is diabetic. In 40 years, it will have climbed to three out of ten. Thanks to the cereal, low-fat eating propaganda endorsed by the U.S. government. When you think about it, Ancel Keys was sneakier than Stalin and Hitler as a mass murderer. Through is “rearranged” data, he manages to get the medical community to endorse his propaganda(from Charles Poliquin’s blog)[iii]. Instead of cutting out fat, cut man made food, sugar and any high glycemic carbohydrates. If you don’t believe me, I challenge you to at least try it out for about 3 weeks. Organic meats and wild game, veggies, greens, nut and oils, avocado, organic bacon for 3 weeks, than try all manmade food,  high carbs, low fat, high starch, pasta, breads, processed meats and deli meat. Tell me how you feel in each of those 3 weeks.

16.   You are delusional on how fast you want to lose weight
People fail because they set unrealistic goals. You can reverse the damage you did to your body in all those years in a matter of weeks. Maybe you will be able to do it fast, but always keep in mind that the faster you lose it, the harder it is to maintain it. The rule is 1-2 pounds per week of fat and you’re on your way to your dream goal. You want to lose fifty pounds? Give yourself a year. Too long? It’s funny, having that fat during all those years didn’t seem to bother you, so what’s a year compared to all those years. You should have thought about it years ago, would have made it a lot easier…I know, truth hurts.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Seems as if Accountability to myself isn't enough anymore.  I used to be a closet eater (or car eater - I'd eat in the car alone) and I find myself slipping back towards that more.  Not in the car this time, but locked in my room!!!!  It makes me feel like a hypocrite.  I tell everyone how strong they are, and how if they put their mind to it they can beat obesity! But I find myself struggling internally again!  

I found an article about Accountability, I hope it helps you all as much as it is helping me. 

Learning Self-Expression with Accountability Takes Discipline, Courage, Commitment... and Brains
© 1999 Michele Toomey, PhD

What is accountability?
It is an honest claiming of what is going on for us underneath the words or actions that we are being confronted about and held accountable for.

It is not: A defensive reaction, a counter-attack, a manipulation, a lie, a withdrawal, or a denial.

Why does it take discipline? Accountability is a face-to-face encounter with the truth and with ourselves. It requires a self-reflection and a claiming, not just a reacting, and that takes discipline. Reactions happen automatically, that is their nature. If not met with discipline they just continue as chain reactions. They ask nothing of us. Even infants can react. Automatic responses are just that, automatic. Accountability is a deliberate, thoughtful response. To be accountable we must be reflective and deliberate. We must conduct an honest search to discover the truth about what was and is going on for us and why. To be accountable we must confront our reactions and discipline ourselves to search and try to discover, understand, and claim what we've said or done, not just react.

Why does it take courage? It takes courage to be accountable because we have to be honest and claim our part in whatever we said or did that we are being confronted about, either by ourselves or by another. When confronted it is a natural tendency to want to duck the truth, either because we don't want to get in trouble, we are embarrassed and don't want to admit what we said or did, or we are angry at getting "caught" and feel trapped so we try to deflect, distract, defend or counter-attack. Accountability leaves us unprotected, exposed, and having to deal with the effects and the consequences of our actions. That takes courage.

Why does it take commitment? Without commitment to fairness and integrity, we will never be accountable. We must value fairness if we are to be fair, and accountability is the fairest thing going. No one is ever in jeopardy when fairness is the governing principle. The same is true of integrity (honesty). If there is fairness, then honesty is not dangerous. It is, instead, a relief. Even though there will be consequences when we are accountable for what we've said or done, the integrity of the process will provide its own protection. The understanding and resolution that follow will bring an intimacy, and a lessening of tension that provide a sense of peace and well-being, as well as a sense of being known and being connected. If we are committed to fairness and honesty, we can find the discipline and courage to be accountable. If we are accountable, the fairness and honesty bring us a sense of peace and connectedness and well-being. It is a rewarding process.

Why does it take brains? Accountability takes brains, because it is not just an automatic process. It is a deliberate one. We have to be self-reflective, ponder what is going on for us, search around in our past, present and anticipated future experiences, and make the appropriate associations and selections of what is relevant to the particular confrontation. Then we need to draw on the discipline and courage it takes to express what we discover with fairness, honesty and accountability. This is a complicated thought process involving strong feelings that could easily just turn into automatic reactions. It takes no particular brain power to react and bully, or react and deny, or react and manipulate and lie. It is easy. Initially it is much easier than being accountable. The problem is after... there is no relief, no peace, no understanding, no resolution... just reactions. Accountability requires sophisticated thought processes, and is both emotionally and intellectually hard. It takes brains. Hopefully, you will learn to enjoy using your brain to be accountable and consider it as exciting as being shrewd, clever and manipulative. Hopefully, your value system will prefer courage, commitment, discipline, integrity and fairness, and the understanding and intimacy that follow.

To Have Accountability We Must Have Confrontation. For self-expression to have accountability, it must first have confrontation. We have first to confront ourselves to discover what's going on for us before we can be accountable to ourselves or to others. A confrontation is a demand for fairness and honesty. It is not an attack, it is an invitation, a strong request, a demand, to look at something that seems unfair and many times abusive. As in accountability, it requires discipline, courage, commitment and brains.

When we are offended, angry, frustrated, hurt, afraid, or the like, it is a natural tendency to lash out or to withdraw. Our first reaction is usually strong, and if we're not disciplined it can easily lead to an attack that's as unfair or abusive as the original behavior.

A confrontation should first be a revealing from the one doing the confronting, claiming that something that was said or done felt unfair. The confronter has to have the courage to go first. The one being confronted needs to be able to listen and not just react, deny or defend. By going back and forth trying to reveal and understand why the situation occurred, a resolution should eventually evolve. New information about yourself and each other should be discovered. A better understanding should occur and that will lead to greater respect and caring for each other.

Think of a confrontation as a strong, straight up and down motion, and an attack as an abusive blow directed at the other person. In a confrontation, no one is attacked or abused, and no one tolerates an attack or abuse. Learning to confront with fairness, integrity, and accountability will, in my opinion, provide you with one of the most valuable and powerful tools of your life. I consider it a privilege to try to help you acquire this powerful tool.


Monday, August 8, 2011

Induction....ohhh how I hate theee!!!

Back on Induction this week.  Heading into my California Vacation I need to get this back under control.  Even though vacation helps me be on my best behavior....I will have EYES watching everything I put into my mouth!!! :)~ Gotta Love That!!!!  I do and appreciate it alot!!!

Lots on the Agenda this week....Work, Gym, Packing, Laundry, Grocery Shopping (Gotta make sure the kids dont starve while I'm away).  Lots of distractions.....

I leave early Thursday morning and will be on the go until I head back to Florida on Tuesday afternoon.  I will try and blog my adventures everyday!!!

Stay tuned for my 90-Challenge.  I will be inviting EVERYONE to join me!!! 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Thursday, August 4, 2011

More on Triggers & Emotional Eating

I realize that Emotional Eating has been my issue lately.  I let my surroundings and personal situations cause me so much emotional discomfort that I find myself making bad choices. 

This is a great article.  It helps identify the triggers and also gives ideas on how to distract you from the urge to eat.

Weight Loss: Emotional Eating
Emotional eating is the practice of consuming large quantities of food -- usually "comfort" or junk foods -- in response to feelings instead of hunger. Experts estimate that 75% of overeating is caused by emotions.
Many of us learn that food can bring comfort, at least in the short-term. As a result, we often turn to food to heal emotional problems. Eating becomes a habit preventing us from learning skills that can effectively resolve our emotional distress.
Depression, boredom, loneliness, chronic anger, anxiety, frustration, stress, problems with interpersonal relationships and poor self-esteem can result in overeating and unwanted weight gain.
By identifying what triggers our eating, we can substitute more appropriate techniques to manage our emotional problems and take food and weight gain out of the equation.
How Can I Identify Eating Triggers?
Situations and emotions that trigger us to eat fall into five main categories.
  • Social. Eating when around other people. For example, excessive eating can result from being encouraged by others to eat; eating to fit in; arguing; or feelings of inadequacy around other people.
  • Emotional. Eating in response to boredom, stress, fatigue, tension, depression, anger, anxiety or loneliness as a way to "fill the void."
  • Situational. Eating because the opportunity is there. For example, at a restaurant, seeing an advertisement for a particular food, passing by a bakery. Eating may also be associated with certain activities such as watching TV, going to the movies or a sporting event, etc.
  • Thoughts. Eating as a result of negative self-worth or making excuses for eating. For example, scolding oneself for looks or a lack of will power.
  • Physiological. Eating in response to physical cues. For example, increased hunger due to skipping meals or eating to cure headaches or other pain.
To identify what triggers excessive eating in you, keep a food diary that records what and when you eat as well as what stressors, thoughts, or emotions you identify as you eat. You should begin to identify patterns to your excessive eating fairly quickly.
How Do I Break Myself of the Habit?
Identifying eating triggers is the first step; however, this alone is not sufficient to alter eating behavior. Usually, by the time you have identified a pattern, eating in response to emotions or certain situations has become a habit. Now you have to break that habit.
Developing alternatives to eating is the second step. When you start to reach for food in response to a trigger, try one of the following activities instead.
  • Read a good book or magazine or listen to music.
  • Go for a walk or jog.
  • Take a bubble bath.
  • Do deep breathing exercises.
  • Play cards or a board game.
  • Talk to a friend.
  • Do housework, laundry or yard work.
  • Wash the car.
  • Write a letter.
  • Or do any other pleasurable or necessary activity until the urge to eat passes.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Its been a rough road lately!

I haven't posted in a while (since March) because I've been struggling and being honest with you all is even harder than being honest with myself.  I've let myself lose focus...and forget why I am doing this.  I need to get and stay healthy...for my kids, grandbaby and most importantly MYSELF! 

I've got the working out part down....every other day, sometimes two days in a row with a day of rest.  Eating is a whole other story.  I've not started eating the "white" foods again....just eating to much of the good stuff.  YES, there is such thing as to much of a good thing!!! :(

I promise I will be back....every day!!!  I need this as much as some of you do!!  I promised I would be here for you, and I've been slacking!!! 

I saw a blog post yesterday from one of the contestants from The Biggest Loser and it really hit home.  What are my triggers???? BOREDOM!!! EMOTIONS!! LOSS OF CONTROL!! What are your triggers???

Recognizing Your “Triggers”…

Addiction is a nasty thing…whether it’s food, alcohol, drugs, whatever you have trouble moderating, it is a serious thing. I’ve heard people say that food addiction isn’t as serious as alcohol or drug addiction, but if you look at the obesity crisis in our country and how many people die from obesity related issues I’d have to respectfully say…yeah right! Even those people that overcome addictions will tell you it’s a life long battle, and that it’s not always a successful one at times, but that it’s something you will always have to be mindful of and work at. The minute you think you’re in the clear is when it will come to bite you in the butt.
In my opinion that’s why I think some past BL contestants have a struggle with keeping their weight off at times. We tend to think “We’ve beat this…” but it’s just not true. The minute you start to believe you’re past it is the minute you start to become more relaxed with your daily routines and ways to fight off that addiction and you start to see the scale slowly inching up. I’ll be honest…I’ve struggled since the finale and have battled with the same 10-15 lbs since December. I’ll lose it…get relaxed about hitting it so hard…then it creeps back on…then I hit it hard again to get it off…and it’s a vicious cycle. But I’ve found in this past month or so is it’s not about losing 5 lbs a week anymore, or never eating salt…it’s about understanding what works for you, what your body will tolerate, and how to live a healthy BALANCED life. I haven’t had balance for almost a year…it was either HARD CORE or ehhhh, and that’s not real life!

I started to see a problem when I would feel guilty for working out less than 2 hours a day…or if my calories exceeded 1000-1200 a day…GUILTY!!!! Seriously?!?!? It’s ridiculous…that’s not balance, that’s obsession. Now, I’m not going to knock that lifestyle while I was on a competition show. Desperate times, call for desperate measures, but now that I’m not in that arena anymore it’s about finding balance and to be totally honest I’m having to reteach myself was balance really is for my life.

I also had to realize that I have an eating disorder…maybe not clinical, or one that can be classified, but I don’t have a healthy balanced approach to food at times. It’s either super low cal, low sodium, no carb, NO FUN…or eating to satisfy some kind of void. Those of you that know me behind the scenes could probably attest to the fact that my life has been a stress case since my finale for BL10. I’ve been handed a tough set of cards these past 8 months and have lost almost everything at the cost of being on the show, and I’m slowly starting to redefine myself and what my future will look like as I rebuild, but during this time I was able to use the self examination tools I learned on the show to really examine why I was abusing food and not looking at in a balanced way. When I was sad, I wanted to eat. When I was bored, I wanted to eat. When I was stressed, I wanted to eat. When I felt lonely, I wanted to eat. And you know what I finally figured out was the common thread of all these situations??? I felt out of CONTROL…Something made me sad and I couldn’t change what had happened to make me that way. When I was bored and had already done my workouts for the day, cleaned the house, and did whatever I could do around the house, and still there were hours left in the day and no money to go entertain myself, I felt like I didn’t have control of the situation. When certain things like losing my home, owing people money, having to trade in my car and not finding one that I could afford…all these things I felt like I couldn’t snap my finger and change so I felt like my control of the situation was taken away, and finally when I was lonely and the man in my life wasn’t around or family and friends weren’t around I felt like I couldn’t control the situation in bringing them around…so what did I do in all these situations? I ATE..why?? Because I can control that…but the problem comes in what I eat. Sometimes it was just a lot of the good stuff, and sometimes it was a craving for the classic unhealthy comfort foods.
Feeling out of control is MY TRIGGER, what is yours? Seriously, take a second and think about it. Before BL, and even during the show, I would say “I’m just an emotional eater…I eat to fill a void”…that’s not specific enough. Now that I have identified the specific emotion I can now recognize it and realize than when I feel that way I DO have control. I have control to find something to do to take up my time, I have control to work more hours or take on other projects to make more money to pay back those loans I’ve felt stressed about paying back. When I’m alone I have control to call an old friend and reconnect or go to the gym and take a group class and make new friends, I DO have control. I also have control over the balance in my life. For the last 8 months or so it was only about fitness…seriously, nothing else mattered. That’s not real life peeps…there’s also work, family, romantic relationships, FUN…so many more things that need to be a part of your life and honestly those other things have been neglected. It’s time for me to find balance and make time for everything. A 1 or 2 hour workout is good…eating 1200-1500 calories a day is good…taking a day of rest each week is good…spending time with loved ones and friends at the end of my day is great!

So take a minute to identify what YOUR trigger is, and make a game plan for how you’re going to tackle it next time you feel that way. What will you do, specifically, when you feel that way. For example, will you call a friend when you feel lonely and TELL them you feel lonely? Will you go to the gym or try a new group class when you feel bored? Will you call a loved one and talk about your stress next time you feel overwhelmed? What will you do to FIGHT? What will you do to have BALANCE? What will you do to live a HAPPY & HEALTHY life? I have my game plan…what’s yours?