Thursday, October 27, 2016

5 Tips for a Healthier Halloween

It’s that time of year again.  There is a crispness in the air and the trees are starting to change color.  Soon it will be that night when all the little ghosts and goblins are out with one thing on their minds……...CANDY!!!  But wait!  You are eating healthy.  How do you continue to eat healthy when you have all this candy in your house?  You could just turn your lights off, not buy any candy and ignore the sweet neighbor kids coming to your front porch.  You know if you do that, you will run the risk of having some toilet paper or eggs to clean up in your yard the next morning.  Here are 5 tips that will help you stay on track with your healthy lifestyle, let you enjoy the sweet neighbor kids and will assure you don’t have extra yard work!

Tip 1:  Stock up on some supplies so you get a treat too.  Be sure to have some Chocorite Patties or a Power Crunch bar for you to enjoy. 

Tip 2:  Buy candy that is not your favorite so you will not be tempted. 

Tip 3:  One way to quickly get rid of Halloween candy is to have a party or have some people over on Halloween night.  When they leave, let them take the candy with them.  That way you get all the fun and none of the leftovers! 

Tip 4:  Hand out some little toys instead of candy.  There are all sorts of Halloween pencils, rings and other little toys.  My personal favorite is glow sticks or bracelets.  The kids love them and it helps keep them safe!

Tip 5:  If Halloween is a planned junk day, give yourself permission to enjoy it but then get back to healthy days.  Don’t let Halloween derail you for a week.  We all know that candy is not good for us so don’t keep putting trash in your body for a week.

Remember, you can always use a combination of these tips too.  I usually get candy that is not my favorite and hand out glow sticks. 

Let us know if these tips were helpful or if you have some other ideas.  Happy Halloween! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Is Exercise all You Need?

For five years I was in martial arts. I earned a couple black belts along the way. However, I never lost much weight. I was “fit fat”; I could kick you in the head, but I didn’t look like it!. I was in shape but still overweight. It is easy to get the impression that if one simply exercises he/she will get the body he/she desires.

This mindset appeals to our instinct of “no pain, no gain”; however, exercise is not enough. In a recent sixteen week study two groups were tested. Group one did no exercise while group two exercised for three hours per week performing strength training with an Olympic weightlifting coach and they engaged in two hours a week of circuit training with a group exercise instructor. At the end of the study, the results were unimpressive:

  • The Non-exercise Group gained 1 pound of lean mass, lost 0.5 pounds of fat, and lost 0.5% body fat. 
  • The exercise group gained 3 pounds of lean mass, lost 2 pounds of fat, and lost 1.5% body fat. 
Yes, the exercise group did better, but given the amount of exercise, the results were not as good as one might think. Think about it, if you paid for those 80 exercise sessions (16 x 5), you would have paid anywhere from $1,600-8,000 dollars for a net loss of 2 pounds of body fat! Many dieters overestimate the amount of calories burned by working out! A 150-pound person who walks two miles in 30 minutes burns just 150 calories. As a point of comparison, an average six-inch bagel is 350 calories. You cannot out-exercise a bad diet.

The reality is that nutrition is 80% of the battle. I am all for exercise, but I know-from experience-that changing one’s nutrition is the biggest component in the weight loss battle.

At Achieve Weight Loss we supply that nutritional component by educating people about how to make the food from their grocery store work for them. Once you start making your food work for you the weight will start to come off. If you add exercise to the mix, you are going to experience even more benefits.

 Before you start an exercise program, make sure you know how to make your food work for you. (Hint: it is not just eating more fruit and vegetables! There’s more to it than that!). Make sure you understand how your body is using the fuel you are feeding it. Learn about the options from your grocery store that fill “voids”. Gaining knowledge about how to make your food work for you coupled with exercise will put you on the road to the best health possible.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Safe Pre-Popped Popcorn for Losing Weight

For most of us, living a lifestyle without being able to enjoy popcorn would not be fun. In fact, a lifestyle with no popcorn is a DIET! But let’s face reality: popcorn is not particularly health food and it can easily derail weight loss! What are the problems with popcorn and are there any options? Let’s start with the problems.

Problem #1: Microwave popcorns can be loaded with fat.
Fat is not evil, but many microwaveable popcorns over sixty percent of the calories can be coming from the fat. Plus, the fat combined with the higher carbohydrates inherently in popcorn can lead to driving out the Fat Truck resulting in fat storage.

Problem #2: Popcorn is not very satiating
This doesn’t automatically eliminate popcorn from a weight loss lifestyle, (Whew!), but you need to know that you are not going to get a long-last sense of fullness from the popped corn kernels. Popcorn has very little protein, which helps with satiation, so it won’t provide you with long term satisfaction.

Problem #3: Popcorn can be high in sodium
Popcorn itself is not inherently high in sodium, but due to the toppings some popcorn products may be much higher in sodium than others.

Despite these potential problems with popcorn, you can still enjoy them as part of a weight loss lifestyle for a couple good reasons. Here are a few good reasons to enjoy the right popcorns guilt-free:

Guilty Free #1: Popcorn can be low in calories
There are two-sides to the weight-loss coin: 1) Calories and 2) How the calories are processed. Depending on how the popcorn is prepared, it can be a low calorie food. Good popcorns are not loaded with extra calories due to fat.

Guilty Free #2: Popcorn is higher in fiber
Popcorn is not a high fiber food compared to broccoli, but it does have dietary fiber. This slows down the digestion of the popcorn resulting in a lower impact on blood sugar. Popcorn does contain a good amount of carbohydrates in the form of starch, but the fiber helps to keep the impact low. Popcorn is not a high protein food, but it does contain some protein also resulting in a lower impact on blood sugar. 

In this download, we are examining our top pre-popped popcorn pics (we will provide our top picks of the microwaved versions in the near future). There are many versions of popcorn on the market and it can be confusing to know which ones are the best. For that reason, we created a handy little guide ranking popcorns based on the following criteria per serving:

  • ·         Calories
  • ·         The ratio of fat to calories
  • ·         Impact Carbohydrates to Protein Ratio

We’ve also included a couple suggested additions to your popcorn snack which will result in longer satiation and great fat burn all while keeping calories in a snack range.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

5 Reasons Why Keeping a Food Journal Will Help You Lose Weight

Knowing something is a useful tool for losing weight and actually using that tool are two different things.  We have all heard that keeping a food journal is helpful for weight loss, but we just don’t want to take the time and effort to do it.  Also, we don’t see any point in writing down what we eat.  We tell ourselves, “I know what I’m eating!  What’s the point of a food journal?”  Here are 5 reasons why keeping a food journal will help you lose weight. 

#1: Keeping a food journal keeps you stay honest
(Only when you keep an honest journal!)

When you write down everything you are eating, you won’t get to the end of the day and think to yourself “I’ve been eating healthy” when you actually have been eating a lot of junk.  For example, it will show you that you ate 50 M&M’s and not just the 5 or 6 that you remember at the end of the day.

#2: Journaling Protects You
There will be some things you won’t eat because you do not want to write it down.  It sounds silly but it is true.  If we know we will have to write down that we ate 3 pieces of cake, it can actually keep us from eating the cake!  This is especially effective if you know that someone else is going to be looking at your journal.

#3: Journaling Exposes Patterns
Journaling helps you to see patterns and situations when you tend to eat bad food or go on a food binge.  You might see that every time you have a weekly meeting at work, you go for the doughnuts that some kind soul decided helps make these stressful meetings a little more bearable.  You will know what makes you stress eat and situations where junk food will be available and work out strategies to be prepared for them or avoid them.

#4: Journaling Helps You See Gaps in Your Nutrition
Journaling shows you if you are missing some key nutrients.  You may see that some days you are not eating enough protein or maybe not including enough vegetables.  It can also help you track if you are drinking enough water. You can also start to make the connection between missing nutrients and binge eating later in the evening.  Believe it or not, some people find out through journaling that they are actually not eating enough and are causing a starvation response in their body!  (I promise I am not making this up.  I have seen it happen.)

#5: Journaling Shows You the Link Between Success and Failure
Journaling helps you to link your food with your weight loss successes and failures.  You can look at a week where you hit your target weight loss goals and see what you ate to make that work.  Also, you can see patterns that happen in weeks when you gained weight and avoid those patterns.  For example, you might realize that when you eat dinner after 8 pm several times in one week, you tend to gain weight no matter how healthy the meal was.  (This is one I realized through journaling.)

Now that you understand that keeping a food journal is not just for punishing yourself when you get off track but can be a useful weapon in your weight loss arsenal, it is time to start journaling!  Let us know about your weight loss success and how keeping a food journal has helped and motivated you on your weight loss journey.  Happy journaling!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Enjoying Ice Cream While Losing Weight? YES!

Let me be honest, I could not live a weight loss lifestyle if I could not enjoy ice cream! I am not talking about an occasional scoop of ice cream one time a month. I am talking about the reality that I could eat ice cream every day and still be losing weight!

Diets often demand that you deprive yourself of those foods which give you pleasure. The first three letters of “Diet” spell “DIE” because the idea of a diet is you have eat things you don’t like or you can not enjoy food that brings you pleasure like ice cream. For that reason, so many people lose weight on a diet, but they cannot sustain that weight loss because the diet is not practical, sustainable or, at worst, not healthy.

We have research common ice creams which you can find in your grocery store. We have rated these ice creams in terms of the best impact carb to protein ratios and calories per serving. We have also included recommended portion sizes.

One question you may have is: How do they make these ice creams taste good without the fat storage effects of regular ice cream? In the case of most of these ice creams, they sweeten the products with sugar alcohol. Sugar alcohol is an organic compound derived from sugars. The reason sugar alcohols are better than sugar is they have less effect on your blood sugar level and don’t cause a rapid blood sugar spike leading to fat storage. You can tell if a product uses sugar alcohols by looking for ingredients with the “itol” ending. In some cases, excessive consumption of sugar may result in gastric distress. Most of the ice creams use the sugar alcohols Sorbitol, Maltitol or Erythritol.

Another way many of these ice creams are sweetened is with sucralose-which commercially known as Splenda©. Unlike sugar alcohols, sucralose has no dietary energy because the majority of it is not digested by the body; hence it passes through the body.  Sucralose has been subjected to extensive short-term and long-term studies in both animals and humans and has been shown be safe and is approved for use in over 100 countries. However, if you are concerned about the consumption of artificial sweeteners, there are a couple ice cream options for you which do not use artificial sweeteners like Sucralose.

Please note that simply eating these ice creams are not the key to weight loss. Effective, long-term, sustainable weight loss is a lifestyle of healthy choices throughout the day. However, it is good to know that those choices can include ice cream!

Friday, October 7, 2016

4 Tips to Motivate you to Start Losing Weight

We have all been there.  You look in the mirror and see the muffin top or the spare tire around your
waist or maybe you went to your doctor and your blood pressure or cholesterol was elevated.  You decide you need to start living a healthier lifestyle and you are going to start next week or after the holidays.

We have a huge buffet of excuses to choose.  You may not like this, but the big ugly truth is that there is NEVER a perfect, convenient time to start getting healthy and losing weight.  But wait!  Don’t throw in the towel and scarf down the pizza because here are some tips to help you get started on your weight loss journey right now!
Tip 1:  Decide WHY you want to lose weight.
You must have a clear reason why you want to lose the weight and get healthier.  Do you want to lower your cholesterol?  Do you want to have more energy?  Do you want to have confidence to participate family photos?  Whatever your reason is, it must be clear to you and you need to WRITE IT DOWN.  You can put it on your mirror, your refrigerator, your closet door or wherever you will see it every day. 

Tip 2:  Turn OFF the negativity.
Stop telling yourself, “I can’t do this” or “my metabolism is just slow” or “I just can’t eat any of the good stuff anymore”.  Get out of your woes me mentality and realize that we can’t eat whatever we want, be sedentary and expect to be at a healthy weight and feel full of energy.  Replace your negative thoughts with positive ones such as, “I CAN do this” or “If I exercise and build some muscle my metabolism will speed up” or “I have so many options of great tasting food I can eat”.

Tip 3:  Set up a REWARD system.
Set up some short term goals and some long term goals and then reward yourself when you reach them.  Be sure that you are not using food as a reward.  Pick something you like and reward yourself with that.  You can reward yourself with a massage, a new outfit, an afternoon with a good friend, or playing with your dog.  It doesn’t have to cost anything just something that makes you smile and feel good and that you enjoy.

Tip 4:  Keep it FRESH and FUN!
Try new recipes, experiment with new spices, keep it exciting.  Try a new way of exercising.  If you have been walking, maybe go for a bike ride or go for a swim.  It is easy to get in a rut and everything from what you eat to your activities just become a chore.
Now you have the tools you need to get started on a healthier lifestyle.  Please leave us a comment and let us know if you are ready to start using these tips today!

Join us for our next live, interactive workshop!
(Free workbook download)