food addiction

In his book, the Big & Tall Chronicles: Misadventrues of a Lifelong Food Addict, Gary Marino tells his very personal story, from his relationship with food, to therapies he’s tried; to managing his weight and taking on a super sized challenge – The Million Calorie March.

It is an inspirational story that tells us that even people like you and me can do this. Gary is a self-proclaimed food addict in recovery. He wasn’t on a hit show, excluded from temptation and equipped with experts from every field. He lost weight on his own. And he lost half of his total weight!

What I like about the Big & Tall Chronicles is how honest and funny Gary is. I can relate to many of the episodes in his life --- from being an overweight child to hearing the cheesecake calling my name.

His journey had its share of setbacks. He would slip up, regain some of the weight and fall off the wagon before getting control and finding a way to lose the weight and keep it off.

He fought off denial, depression, emotional eating, binging and relapses. But he pulled through it all and became a stronger person for it.
Powerwalking became his new obsession. This led to his project, the Million Calorie March. He had been on a losing streak for a year and wanted to share what he learned.

His goal was a one-man walk from Jacksonville, Fl. To Boston, MA with the hope that others would join him along the way to walk off some extra pounds.

The walk took place in 2004, but his journey didn’t stop there. In February of 2006 they started production of a movie based on his experience as retold in the book, the Big & Tall Chronicles. Look for the movie this Fall, “The Million Calorie March: The Movie.”

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the sugar solution
The Sugar Solution: Real Solutions for Real Symptoms from the editors of Prevention magazine and dietitian Ann Fittante, MS, RD is a tool for reducing your blood sugar levels and regaining control, allowing you to lose weight without a struggle.

If you are used to reaching for sweets and hitting the vending machine to help get you through your afternoon slumps, this book may serve as a real eye-opener for you about controlling your blood sugar and preventing diseases, such as diabetes.

According to the Sugar Solution, controlling your blood sugar will stop the cravings and put an end to the cycle of high levels of insulin that slow the reduction of body fat and low levels that trigger food cravings. Trying to diet while battling varying levels of blood sugar is a losing battle. The first step to getting your blood sugar under control is to follow the 28-day lifestyle makeover, as laid out in this book. By eating the rights foods and getting more exercise you will build muscle to help store insulin properly, get more sleep and better manage stress and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

The Sugar Solution contains several tests you can use to find out what type of eater you are and your risk level for such diseases. It also offers 60 recipes to help you through the program, including desserts. You will not feel deprived on this plan, but it will help you gain control over your sugar intake. They even suggest that you treat yourself once a day to help you stay on track.

Looking at the big picture, the book also suggests that you examine your lifestyle to see what type of exercise personality you have. Once you’ve done that you can plan your day around that and use things like yoga, relaxation, walking, hobbies, strength training and having fun to control diabetes and set yourself up for a success on the 28-day program and an overall healthy lifestyle.

The Sugar Solution is full of solid advice from experts who share their knowledge on how to reduce your blood sugar and regain control over your life.

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Since many of us eat for emotional reasons and use food to make up for other needs that aren't met , it only makes sense that having sex could improve your chances of losing weight. Having sex can reduce your food cravings and help you shed pounds.

Though you can't actually count the calories you burn during sex as exercise, it does work in your favor when trying to lose weight. It is the satisfaction you get from the intimacy and the feel-good chemicals you receive in the brain from having sex that count. When your brain feels this satisfaction it stops sending you signals to eat.

The key to losing weight is to find something other than food to satisfy your needs. Sex is one such activity that can work in more ways than one. It produces the same feel-good chemical in the brain as food does. Aside from that, anything that keeps your mind and hands busy will keep you out of the refrigerator. And who can think of activity that is more fun?

The bonus is that eating healthy foods and exercising will increase your sex drive. Pair this with the fact that you are raising self-esteem because you are creating a stronger, slimmer you and you've got a win-win situation.

Sex and weight loss have another common link - stress. Sex reduces stress and stress-reduction is needed to lose weight. Sex also helps some people sleep better, which is also needed for weight loss.

All things consider, having safe sex and eating right go hand in hand and make weight loss not only possible, but enjoyable.

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obesity
Dateline recently aired a show called Food Fight where they explored who is to blame for the obesity problem in America.

It's an interesting question. Do we blame ourselves (and parents) for our own poor choices? Do we blame the fast food industry? Do we blame the food companies for their endless marketing campaigns? Or should we blame it on the hurried way of life we live these days where families don't have time to sit down to healthy dinners all week?

The answers Dateline found were mixed. Everyone seems to have a different opinion of why we are faced with an obesity problem.

McDonalds was featured as an ever-changing fast food chain. In reality, they really have worked to change their menu. They have revised menu items (changed the oil used for fires and made the nuggets all white meat.) They've also added new menu items like salads, bottled waters, apples and yogurt.

The problem may lie more with individual choices. Most of us don't like to tell ourselves "no." Even the best intentions of ordering a salad can turn into ordering a big mac once you walk through those golden arches.

Having a burger and fires on occasion isn't a problem. It is the super-sizing and eating the same foods throughout the week that is a problem. Fast food shouldn't be a way of life; but an occasional treat. As with any eating plan, we need to exercise balance and moderation.

So, who's forcing you to eat fast food and other prepackaged foods? Maybe it's just how your lifestyle is set up and if you set it up differently, these choices won't seem as appealing anymore. Eating the right foods and being prepared ahead of time for each meal will help you make better choices and be able to pass a McDonalds or a box of cookies without thinking twice about stopping.

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Pescatore takes an informative approach on creating a healthy diet with a 30-day meal plan - recipes and all.

He discusses oil in depth and strongly discourages the use of olive oil and tells us to ditch the canola oil because they are overly processes, heated during treatment and are generally unhealthy oils, despite what we've been led to believe. He suggests using macadamia nut oil for our dressings and for all of our cooking needs.

In addition to using macadamia nut oil, he advises that we follow a low carb diet and explains the harmful effects of the popular low calorie diets on the market. Each of the recipes in his meal plan include the number of carbs in the meal and they can easily be exchanged for an item of the nume number.

The basis of the diet is a combination of the Mediterranean Diet and the popular diet used by the rich and famous in the Hamptons. This diet isn't about depriving yourself, but choosing delicious foods that are good for you.

mediterranean diet

Is is possible to lose weight on this diet? Absoutely! Is is going to be easy? No way! The meal plans use products that may be difficult to find. To start, I could not find the macadamia nut oil at the supermarket. It would require a trip to a health food store. The diet can also get pricey as he suggests using organic foods as much as possible. The recipes may also require a certain taste. These aren't average foods I serve my family, such as the Shad Roast on a Bed of Raddish, Celery, and Fennel; Montauk Shrimp in Gansett Green Sauce; Fiery Esolar with Tabasco and Horseradish and Cold Devon Asparagus soup with Lemon Creme Friache. That's not to say that any diet is easy and if you have a taste for something different, this plan may be for you.

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south beach heart program

Belly fat is a sign of high risk for future heart attacks. In The South beach Heart Program, Arthur Agatston discusses prediabetes (metabolic syndrome) and its effect on your heart, as well as ways to reduce your risk.

While you may think being overweight or obese is harmless, it can actually be a major contributor and predictor of heart attacks. To prevent hearts attacks, people need to heed the warning signs their bodies are giving them and work to reverse the damage. This means losing weight, lowering cholesterol, and reversing the effects of diabetes through exercise and natural eating.

Effects of Diabetes

Being diabetic, prediabetic, is harmful to your arteries and can cause heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Overeating will not only cause unsightly body fat, it will increase your chance for potentially fatal heart attacks and stroke.

With insulin resistance, you are able to process insulin, but your cells don’t use them the way they are supposed to. What happens to the sugar? It stays in the arteries longer than usual. As the sugar and fat are stored in the bloodstream, cholesterol deposits form. This is how your risk of heart disease increases.

Belly fat complicates the digestion of sugar by dropping your blood sugar fast, making you crave even more sweets. It is important to eat properly to manage your blood sugar level effectively to reduce the cravings and make weight loss possible.

Are You Prediabetic?

If you suspect you are diabetic or prediabetic, but have not recently been tested by your doctor, there are a few questions that may help you figure it out on your own (with the help of a blood test):
  • Is your waist measurement large (35 or more for females and 40 or more for males)?
  • Are your triglycerides higher than 150?
  • Is your HDL low (less than 50 for females and 40 for males)?
  • Is your blood sugar higher than 130?
  • Do you have a fasting glucose of more than 100 mg?

Reverse Insulin Resistance

A diagnosis of prediabetes is a warning sign for heart attacks. But you can reverse the effects of insulin resistance. According to The South Beach Heart Program:
  • Increase fiber to slow down the digestion of carbs and maintain a level blood sugar
  • Avoid fad diets
  • Increase your metabolism with resistance training and cardio exercises
  • Eat foods close to their natural form, with minimal processing
  • Eat small meals throughout the day
  • When diets and exercise don’t work, consider taking the right medication

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