Combining Art and Weight Loss

2:54 AM Weight Loss Trainer 0 Comments

janice taylor
Taylor uses fresh ideas based on her love of art and her deep desire to lose weight. She started winning the weight loss battle when she channeled her cravings into her art projects. She calls herself a weight loss artist because she makes art out of food rather than eating it.

Taylor’s unique phrasing, thought process, recipes, tips and art projects make it different than any other weight loss book on the market. Her whole concept of weight loss is based on her inner voice, which she dubs “Our Lady of Weight Loss.” Many of her paintings and art projects revolve around this character, which was inside her all along.

The book is an honest look at the emotions we go through on our weight loss journeys and how dealing with temptation in a new way can have dramatic results. Taylor lost more than 50 pounds when she changed her response to cravings. She turned a box of pasta into a macaroni and cheese altar and a box of chocolates into a jewelry box.

Taylor also include confessions in her book where letters explain how others have fumbled along the way and her advice is always to forgive yourself and move on. She makes losing weight fun and interesting.

For a funny and motivational look at weight loss and fat removal, I recommend a copy of Our Lady of Weight Loss.

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Beginner's Workout Gear

4:11 AM Weight Loss Trainer 0 Comments

beginner's workout gear

If you're just beginning an exercise regimen or a new mom trying to shed extra pounds, you'll need exercise some very basic workout gear.

There are some essentials that you won't be able to do without, depending on the activity or sport you decide on.

Walking


Walking is the most common starting point because it is easy and free. Just strap on a pair of shoes and you're set to go. Be sure to invest in a good pair of shoes that fit well and are comfortable. Aside from that, all you need is comfortable clothing and a pedometer to measure your progress.

Hiking


A beginner hiker doesn't need much to get started. You should carry a compass, a simple handheld GPS unit to track your coordinates and a backpack with snacks and plenty of water. Again, the right shoes will make a big difference.

A more advanced hiker who is on the trials often and for longer periods of time, it's important to have a hydration backpack, specialty hiking boots, a first aid kit and a mire advanced GPS unit that will allow you to track and remember multiple coordinates.

Running


Runners can put in a lot of miles on their shoes. Make sure you choose the right ones for your feet, body size and running style. The average gym shoes won't suffice. Protect your feet by buying shoes that are made specifically for running. Seek expert advice.

A heart-rate monitor is also a good idea to make sure you aren't overdoing it. A quality watch with a heart-rate strap that monitors your heartbeat can cost $100 or more, based upon the features you are looking for.

Biking


A beginning biker doesn't need much either. A simple dirt bike with a helmet, water bottle and tire repair kit is all you really need to get a few miles in here and there.

For the serious biker or triathlete, the bike is an important purchase and you can't take it lightly. Compare models and find the one that suits your needs with the fewest alterations at the lowest cost. Expect to spend roughly $2,000 on a quality bike.

Swimming


For swimmers, it is critical to find a bathing suit with the correct fit and durability. In addition, you'll need a snug fitting pair of goggles and if you swim in colder water, you may want to invest in a wetsuit.

No matter what activity you choose as your exercise, you can start by purchasing the minimal amount of gear and work up to the high-quality items. By engaging in the activity frequently, you'll be able to see what items would make the experience more comfortable and enjoyable to ensure that you stick with it.

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Weight Loss Plateaus

2:32 AM Weight Loss Trainer 0 Comments

weight loss plateau

Do the scales seem to be stuck every time you step on them, regardless of all the exercise and healthy eating you do? This is common problem, and it’s to do with falling into some common traps.

Portion Size

The first major trap for the unwary eater is portion distortion. This is simply dishing up too much food, then eating all of it. The body requires only a certain amount of food each day, and it’s easy to eat too much.

Re-educate your eye for a proper-sized portion. Take a smaller plate than you’d normally use and serve up a slightly smaller portion than you would now. Decide whether you feel satisfied once you’ve eaten it. Correct portion sizes are critical in losing weight. Other good tips, especially when dining out, are avoiding bread, staying away from buffets, and drinking water with your meal, which will help you feel full.

Snacking

Absent-minded eating is also a major cause of weight gain. Those mid-morning sweets, spoonfuls of sugar in your coffee and slices of birthday cake in the office all add to the calorie count, and it’s easy to forget you’ve had them.

Staggeringly, keeping a food diary doubles the average weight loss. If you record everything you consume, you can see exactly what you’ve eaten and hold yourself accountable for your calorie intake. Write down the time of day, which meal you’re having, the type and brands of food you’re eating, and the quantity of each. Noting your motivation for eating and the mood you’re in can also help you monitor your eating habits.

Under-eating

Perhaps surprisingly, not eating can also make you fat. Losing muscle mass, which you do on an extreme diet, burns calories so when you go back to a normal eating pattern, your metabolism will be slower and you’ll gain even more weight.

Eating a sensible, balanced diet means you’ll keep the weight off. Skipping meals and cutting out major food groups won’t help. Inadequate nutrition means your body won’t be able to maintain muscle mass, repair itself or protect you from infection. Understand your food and what it’s doing for you so you can make the right choices.

Alcohol

Drinking alcohol is an aggravating factor in weight gain for lots of reasons. It’s high in calories, the ethanol is a poison that your body wants to get rid of as quickly as it can so you store fat more readily, your food choices are distorted by alcohol and it makes you eat more. Not only that, but alcohol is a depressant and slows your metabolism down.

Drinking red wine and any other type of alcohol may have some benefits, so you don’t need to cut it out completely, but keep your drinking to a minimum if you’re serious about losing weight and controlling your weight long term. A small glass of wine or can of beer is fine, particularly with a meal, but try to keep it just to that each time you indulge.

Exercise Routine

If you use the same exercise routine for every workout, you won’t be gaining the full benefit because ou’re just too good at those exercises now. When you’ve been doing the same activity for a while, no matter how vigorous, your body gets really good at using the least amount of energy it can to get you to the end of the workout.

If you usually cycle for exercise, go for a run or swim instead. If you do cardio exercises at the gym, try the weight machines or take up a class. Anything that uses different muscles or the same muscles in a different way will have you sweating again and burning those recalcitrant calories.

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Whole Grains and Weight Loss

2:43 AM Weight Loss Trainer 0 Comments

whole grains

Weight loss and dieting are a multi-million dollar industry in the United States today. Many of these diets can be expensive and are often unsustainable. And more concerning, some of these weight loss plans and strategies can be down-right unhealthy. One very effective and completely beneficial weight loss strategy is to regularly incorporate whole grains into your diet.

Weight loss is essentially a numbers game, calories eaten verses calories used. To achieve weight loss you have to have a calorie deficit, meaning you use or expend more calories that you eat. If your calorie intake is more than your calories use, you will store those extra calories as fat. If you have a calorie deficit, you will use some of your stored calories (fat) as energy. Eating a diet that is rich in whole grains will help you decrease your calorie intake.

Numerous studies show eating a diet rich in whole grains is associated with a lower BMI and decreases the incidence of becoming overweight or obese. In fact according to the findings in a recent Dutch study, every additional gram of whole grains in their subjects' diets reduced incidence of obesity by 10% on men and 4% in women (1).

What Does Whole Grain Mean?

According to the Whole Grain Council, the definition of a whole grain is a grain that contains all essential parts of the grain seed. If that grain has been processed in any way, it must deliver the same balance of nutrients as it would in the original grain form .

How do Whole Grains Help You Lose Weight?

  • Satiety/Fullness: Whole grain foods are typically high in fiber, so they help fill you up, with less volume. Fiber in food slows down how fast the digestive tract breaks down food, therefore you fill fuller longer. This feeling of fullness should help you eat less at that meal and decrease total caloric intake.
  • Low glycemic index: Whole grains are typically low glycemic index foods. Glycemic index (GI) is a function of how quickly a particular food breaks down and gets into the blood stream, to cause an increase/spike in blood sugar or glucose. GI is also a measure of how high that spike is. If a food has a high GI that means it digests and becomes blood sugar very quickly, but then is used up very quickly. You then have a rapid rise and fall of blood sugar. If a food has a low GI then it is digested and gets released into the blood stream more slowly, resulting in a more gradual rise and fall of blood sugar. One of the things that determines hunger and appetite are changes in blood sugar. If what you eat is rapidly “used up” then you will feel hungry sooner. This will increase your overall calorie intake throughout the day. Therefore, you should eat more low GI foods, such as whole grains, to help sustain more gradual blood sugar changes after a meal and throughout the day.
  • Decrease fat absorption: Fiber increases elimination rate… you go to the bathroom more often. Dietary fiber aids in regulation of normal bowel movements and increases how fast stool moves threw the gastrointestinal tract. This decreases the amount of fat that can be absorbed from the food you eat.
  • Increased protein content : It has been well established that increasing protein intake will help with weight loss and weight maintenance. Whole grains are typically higher in protein than their refined counterpart.
How Much is Enough?
The Dietary Guidleines for Americans recommends that whole grains make up at least half of all grains eaten. That is at least 3-5 servings per day. This may sound like a lot, but look at this sample 1 day menu for some ideas on how to incorporate whole grains into your day.

Breakfast:
  • 1 cup of Old Fashioned Oatmeal or Steel Cut oats (2 serving of whole grains)
  • 1 medium banana
Lunch
  • Turkey and cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread (2 servings of whole grains)
  • ½ cup of carrot sticks
  • Low fat/low sugar fruit yogurt
Afternoon Snack:
  • Whole grain granola bar (1-2 serving depending on the size)
Dinner:
  • 1 cup of whole wheat pasta with marinara sauce with lean ground beef (2 servings)
  • Side salad with low fat dressing

As you can see, this sample menu has 7-8 total servings of whole grains and could easily have more whole grain items. The bottom line is, as with any healthy lifestyle change, adding whole grain foods to your diet takes planning and forethought. Please do not be discouraged because with time and consistency this will become second nature, it will be just the way you eat!

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Bad Habits Hindering Weight Loss

4:28 AM Weight Loss Trainer 0 Comments

bad habits hindering weight loss

As those first few pounds start to melt off, it’s easy to be enthusiastic about your diet. But it’s after you’ve been on your diet (or food plan) for awhile and still not losing that you can get discouraged. Sometimes it seems you’re doing everything right but the scale still isn’t budging. Chances are there are some bad habits that are hindering weight loss.

Late Night Meals and Snacking

Oprah Winfrey’s weight loss coach, Bob Greene, contends late night eating can hinder weight loss. That’s because your body doesn’t have a chance to burn off the calories while you sleep. If you feel hungry, then be thankful, as it means your body has an opportunity to burn off fat.

A good rule of thumb is to finish your food intake about 3-4 hours before going to bed. In other words, if you go to bed at 11 PM, close up your kitchen sometime between 7 and 8 PM. Brush your teeth after you’ve eaten that last morsel for the day. After brushing, flossing, and using mouth wash you don’t want to undo that entire procedure.

Eating While Doing Other Activities

Do you eat your dinner to the evening news? When you eat a meal, sit down at your dining room table and focus on what you’re eating. Put away the newspaper, turn off the TV, etc.

Eating Fast

Most people who struggle with their weight inhale their food rather than eating slowly. A good discipline is to take a bite and then put your hand down, counting slowly to at least 10. When you eat too fast your body doesn’t even have a chance to determine that it’s full. And, you probably don’t feel satisfied and are more tempted to overindulge.

Tasting Food While Preparing It

Even healthy program foods such as chicken and meats can add up when you nibble. When tempted to take “just a tiny bite”, just imagine how many all those little bites add up to at the end of the day. Most often, you’ve tasted more than a serving size by the time you sit down to eat.

Record What You Eat

If it goes in your mouth, then record it. Weight loss programs such as Weight Watchers encourage members to write down everything they put into their mouths. This way you’ll know just how much damage is done if you do get out of control.

Limit Sodium Intake

A high amount of sodium can easily get in the way of your weight loss progress as sodium retains water. In fact, some weight loss programs such as Trim Club, Inc. (based in South Florida) don’t include regular diet vegetables such as pickles and celery in their food program because of the high amount of sodium.

Also, take diet sodas. Because they have zero calories, diet sodas are better than most choices when you need a snack. But it’s really best to eliminate them because of the sodium. If you feel you can’t diet without having diet sodas, then at least limit the number you drink each day. Rather than going “cold turkey”, wean yourself off them gradually. Whenever you have a craving for a diet soda, substitute for it with water. It’s better for you.

Finally, be patient. Even if you get rid of bad eating habits, there are weeks when the scale still fails to budge. When that happens, it’s a good time to take body measurements. Most often, you’ll see results. After all, people look at your body and not the numbers on the scale.

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Working Out In The Winter Weather

4:16 AM Weight Loss Trainer 0 Comments

working out winter weather

Keeping fit can be a real chore when the temperature starts to fall. Ice and snowy weather can make you want to just curl up in front of the TV and wait for summer but there are some ways to make working out in the cold weather much more enjoyable.

Take a Winter Walk

Just as everything looks different in sunshine and dark, the winter can make your familiar surroundings look like a different world. Taking a walk around your local park, along your favourite river or just around your own neighbourhood can be like entering a winter wonderland when it's covered in snow. On average, a person can burn around 100 calories for every mile that they walk so as well as being a great way to see your home in a different light it can also help you to lose weight.

Walking a little faster than usual will not only help you stay warmer but will also burn even more calories, so if you can pick up the pace it can be a good way to give you an extra boost. Do take care in the snow though, and wear appropriate footwear so that you don’t slip or fall over.

Enjoy the Snow and Work Out

Nothing is quite as much fun as playing out in the snow, and the good news is that it burns calories too. Taking the kids, the dog or your friends and family out to build a snow man or just to have a good old fashioned snow ball fight is a great way to lose some weight, have some fun and spend some quality time with your nearest and dearest all at the same time. The snow won't last forever, so why not bundle up and make the most of it while you can?

Make your Chores Count

Snow can cause a few problems around your home, like frosting up your car or piling up outside the front door, so why not make dealing with these a part of your workout? Instead of just turning on your car engine and waiting for the ice to thaw, why not take out your ice scraper and shift it yourself? All of that reaching and stretching is bound to warm you up which makes it a good source of aerobic exercise.

Snow piled up in the driveway or the front yard can be a real hazard so instead of waiting for it to melt (or for someone else to do it) get out there with your shovel and clear the path. Again, it’s a great source of aerobic exercise and the end result is a clear yard.

Try a New Workout DVD

If you really can’t face going out in the cold, then why not take the opportunity to try a new workout on DVD? Christmas saw the release of many new exercise DVDs and the long dark nights can be just the time to give them a go with no venturing out into the snow required.

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Do You Have the Metabolic Syndrome?

4:09 AM Weight Loss Trainer 0 Comments

metabolic syndrome

The abnormalities include abdominal fat (fat around the waist), poor blood sugar control, high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. All of these diseases have overweight/obesity and low fitness levels as their beginning point.
Lifestyle change consisting of increased physical activity and weight loss is recommended by health authorities for initial treatment and prevention of these conditions.

Those with these symptoms or at risk of developing them really do need treatment or prevention. A diagnosis of metabolic syndrome doubles your risk of heart disease, and bestows five times the risk of becoming diabetic. In addition, this condition is linked to other common conditions like fatty liver disease, gallstones, sleep apnea, and the polycystic ovary syndrome.

Diet Western or Prudent Diet?

It is essential to make dietary changes which, while reducing calorie intake, keep blood sugar levels controlled, while providing the nutrients essential for health. Foods that are especially linked to risk of metabolic syndrome development are meat, fried foods, and diet soda. A diet dominated by these foods is called a "Western Diet."

On the other hand, the so called "Prudent Diet" which is characterized by whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts has no association with metabolic syndrome. Much of this protection is achieved by avoiding the refined carbohydrate foods which rapidly increase blood sugar, like white bread, refined cereals, and white potatoes, and substituting with whole, high fiber foods which raise blood sugar slowly, such as whole grains, whole meal bread, and lentils.

Regular Physical Activity

Besides eating appropriately, getting enough exercise is also essential. Regular activity prevents the metabolic syndrome, and the higher the intensity of your physical activity, the greater the protection. Heart/lung fitness, often termed "endurance," is even more protective, so aerobic exercise which raises your heart rate for an extended period should be part of the mix.

So if you are one of the one in four Americans with signs of the metabolic syndrome, the most important being fat accumulation around the waist, then you are at heightened risk of several devastating diseases. But these symptoms can be avoided or reversed with simple lifestyle changes. Your choices directly affect whether your future consists of increasing medication or a quality of life that you can enjoy.

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Coffee Aids Weight loss

4:09 AM Weight Loss Trainer 0 Comments

coffee aids weight loss

A hot cup of coffee is how many people like to start the day. Some people swear by it and wouldn't think of beginning their day without a fresh cup. Others drink it by the pot. But is it safe? And will it help or hinder your weight loss efforts?

Research has been back and forth on whether a few cups of coffee a day is a healthy habit or not. The latest research shows that it is not only safe to consume several cups of coffee per day, but it can actually help you lose weight.

How Drinking Coffee Helps:

  • Coffee reduces the risk of type 2 Diabetes.
  • Coffee gives you more energy for a tougher workout that lasts longer, making it possible to burn more calories.
  • Coffee does not contribute to heart disease as we previously thought.
  • Caffeine speeds up your metabolism making it easier for us to burn more calories --- even while at rest.

What To Watch Out For:

  • Avoid fancy drinks from places like Starbucks that are loaded with hidden ingredients and additional calories. Frappacinnos and Mocha Lattes are not going to help you lose weight.
  • Don't add cream and sugar to your coffee. These only add extra calories and make you crave more sweets.
  • Don't give into the donuts, muffins and other similar goodies when you stop to grab a cup of coffee. A donut can add another 200-300 calories (and who can eat just one?) and a muffin can range from 450-700 calories depending on the size and type.
  • Don't try to cut out coffee and reduce calories all at once. Gradually reduce your intake to phase it out if that is your goal.

Overall, coffee has been given a bad reputation and as long as you don't fill it or pair it with sweets it is a healthy way to start your day and kick start your weight loss.

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