Do you want to lose 10, 30, 50 or more pounds? Have you recently reached your weight loss goal but want to maintain it? Are you willing to dedicate yourself to a healthy lifestyle? Then this blog is for you!
I have lost 118 pounds and have maintained the weight loss for two years. One of the things I have learned during the weight loss process is that it is much easier to reach and maintain your goal weight if you surround yourself with like-minded individuals to support you in the process (whether they be in person or online).
I also have learned that learning as much as possible about healthy living gives you the knowledge and expertise needed to lose weight the “right” way. So this blog includes regular posts, a book list, website list, TV list, video list and book and website of the month. In addition, there is a recipe of the month and product review section. Visitors to Weight Loss Aficionado can just enjoy the site for informational purposes or can comment on posts, ask questions, share resources, their triumphs and pitfalls during the weight loss process.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Monday, January 30, 2012
Book Review: “Bring It! The Revolutionary Fitness Plan for All Levels That Burns Fat, Builds Muscle and Shreds Inches” by Tony Horton
I really enjoyed taking the assessments and consequently did extremely well on them. My fitness level is Warrior according to Tony Horton! It’s good to see that going to the gym 2 ½ - 3 hours a day has paid off!
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Friday, January 27, 2012
- The first thing you should do is your research. There were two recent studies done one by Consumer Reports and another by US News and World Report. I featured them both in past blogs. You can start there. You should also, of course, visit the websites of any diets that sound interesting to you and get more information. In addition speak to friends and colleagues and see what diets have worked for them.
- Second, keep in mind your lifestyle when choosing a diet. For example if you have a family at home Weight Watchers might be the right choice because you can cook the meals for your entire family. Whereas, if you are a single professional Jenny Craig might be the right choice for you because the meals are pre-packaged and taste great!
- Third, keep in the mind the type of support you need. Do you want to meet new people and share your successes and difficulties or would you prefer to meet one on one with a counselor for individualized support. If you want the “fellowship” Weight Watchers might be the right choice for you because after you weigh in you sit down with a group of individuals led by a diet counselor and have the opportunity to share and ask questions. Whereas if you want one on one attention Jenny Craig might be the right choice for you because you get to sit down with a weight loss counselor one on one in her office for support and the weigh in.
- Lastly, keep your taste buds in mind. Your diet will be more successful if you enjoy the food! Jenny Craig meals taste great! It’s like gourmet pre-packaged dining. Whereas, with Weight Watchers you can cook your own food and there is the option of WW frozen meals which taste pretty good. Nutrisystem in my opinion needs to work on creating tastier food!
- I will take charge of my life. Today is the first day of the rest of my life
- I will be accountable. I will no longer be a victim of circumstances, my surrounding or others influences.
- I believe in the importance and value of self- improvement.
- I believe that everything happens for a reason. Rather than allow myself to feel like a victim of bad circumstances, I will look beyond everyday challenges to figure out why they happen and how I can better control them.
- I love and accept myself. Among everything else I rank myself first.
- I will incorporate good living, healthy eating and spirituality into my everyday life. I’ll make it ritualistic like brushing my teeth.
- I am the captain of my own ship called destiny
- I make health and wellness my top priority
- Failure is not an option for me. If I set attainable goals and reasonable expectations, I will succeed.
- I live in the present. I do not live with,” I should haves” or “I could haves”.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
When we last rated diets four years ago, the winner was the Volumetrics diet, based on eating high-bulk, low-calorie food. In a sense, it's still a winner: The Volumetrics brand is now part of Jenny Craig, which is why we're not rating it separately this time. As for taste, Jenny Craig's prepared food was decent, though not great, as we noted in "Diet taste-off" in our February 2011 issue.
So if you need to lose weight, should you immediately sign up for Jenny Craig? It's obviously worth considering, but if you don't like the idea of eating pre-packaged meals, it might not be for you.
The diet that works is the one you can stay on, says Kathleen Melanson, Ph.D., associate professor of nutrition and food sciences at the University of Rhode Island and director of its Energy Balance Laboratory. "If you're forcing yourself on a diet you hate, it's going to be really hard to stick with long-term," she says.
And these days, choices abound. You can follow the Ornish diet, a near-vegan plan with very little fat, or its diametric opposite, the Atkins diet, which allows almost two-thirds of your calories from fat. Or you can settle somewhere in between with the moderate regimens offered by Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig. As you make your decision, bear in mind some basic realities about weight-loss diets.
Calories, with an asteriskTo lose weight, you have to burn up more calories than you take in, no matter what kind of diet you're on. "The first law of thermodynamics still applies," says Dean Ornish, M.D. But emerging evidence shows that some forms of calories are more filling than others. Protein is the most satiating nutrient, followed by high-fiber grains, fruits, and vegetables.
"We used to believe that it was the same if you ate 200 calories of a cream puff or 200 calories of a chicken breast," says Karen Miller-Kovach, R.D., chief scientific officer for Weight Watchers. "But people would ask, ‘Why do I feel hungry sooner after eating the cream puff?'?"
Diet creators are taking advantage of this new insight to tilt their menus toward foods that will enable you to shed pounds with the fewest hunger pangs. For instance, most of the diets we rate feature liberal amounts of fiber and/or fruits and vegetables.
In late 2010, Weight Watchers unveiled PointsPlus, a major revision of its venerable Points system of calorie-counting, to steer hungry dieters to the most filling foods. That chicken breast will use up only three points of your daily allowance, but the cream puff for dessert will cost you nine points.
(The company has completed clinical trials of the new diet, Miller-Kovach says, but the results haven't been published yet, so we couldn't incorporate them into our Weight Watchers Rating calculations.)
It's OK to go low-carbThe 2010 edition of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which we've used as the basis for the diets' nutrition Ratings (available to subscribers), still frowns on eating 10 percent or more of calories from saturated fat from meat and dairy products and more than 35 percent from fats overall. So the Atkins diet, which is 64 percent fat calories overall and 18 percent saturated fat, ends up with only a Fair nutrition score.
But there's more to the story. Evidence is accumulating that refined carbohydrates promote weight gain and type 2 diabetes through their effects on blood sugar and insulin. "If you have insulin resistance, your insulin may go up to 10 or 20 times normal in order to control your blood sugar after you eat sugar or carbs," says Eric C. Westman, M.D., an associate professor of medicine at Duke University who co-wrote the newest version of the Atkins diet. "But the insulin also tells your body to make and store fat. When you restrict carbs, your insulin goes down and you can burn your body fat, so you eat fewer calories and aren't as hungry."
Isn't it dangerous to eat so much fat? That's still a subject of vigorous scientific debate, but it's clear that fat is not the all-round villain we've been taught it is. Several epidemiology studies have found that saturated fat doesn't seem to increase people's risk of cardiovascular disease or stroke. Other studies suggest that you might be even better off if you replace saturated fat with unsaturated fat instead of with certain carbs, the ones that turn to blood sugar quickly after you eat them, such as white bread and potatoes.
A nutrition researcher, Frank B. Hu, M.D., of the Harvard School of Public Health, recently wrote that he believes "refined carbohydrates are likely to cause even greater metabolic damage than saturated fat in a predominantly sedentary and overweight population."
Moreover, clinical studies have found that an Atkins or Atkins-like diet not only doesn't increase heart-disease risk factors but also actually reduces them as much as or more than low-fat, higher-carb diets that produce equivalent weight loss.
On the other hand, the Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease, which includes a low-fat diet along with exercise, stress management, and group support, has proven so effective that Medicare now covers it for cardiac patients.
While scientists sort this out, what's a low-carb dieter to do? Michael L. Dansinger, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at Tufts University and a longtime weight-loss researcher, suggests this middle ground: "a low-ish carbohydrate diet that's high in vegetables and lean protein, including dairy; moderate in fruit; with nonsaturated fat from sources such as olive oil, nuts, avocados, and fish."
Support mattersOur past reader surveys have found that the overwhelming majority of people who succeed at weight loss do it on their own. But don't discount the impact of a good emotional support system.
The Jenny Craig diet, for instance, includes weekly counseling sessions, and group support meetings are the foundation of the Weight Watchers plan. Dean Ornish's program has run support groups for decades to help people follow his rigorous program. "Most people think they're going to have the hardest time with that support group, and yet it's the secret sauce that makes the diet sustainable," he says. "We have people still meeting 25 years after our first study ended."
*Editor's note: We received some criticism for not having mentioned that over the course of the two-year study participants didn't have to pay for the prepackaged food that is the backbone of the Jenny Craig program, which may have improved adherence. Read our response to that criticism as well as our review of the study data, which again placed the Jenny Craig program on top of the Ratings.
Copyright © 2006-2012 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc.
- We admitted we were powerless over food — that our lives had become unmanageable
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
- Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to compulsive overeaters and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
- Do you think you are addicted to food? 63% said they may be addicted to food.
- Do you think people use the term food addict as an excuse? 48% said yes.
- Do you think food addiction is as bad as alcohol and drug addiction? 77% said yes.
- I spend a lot of time thinking about food although I’m not hungry.
- I get more pleasure from food than anything else.
- When I eat certain foods I eat more than I had planned
- I hide food in my car, home and workplace
- My relationship with food interferes with my life
- Know your body’s cues and when you truly need to eat.
- Wean yourself slowly off addictive foods. Do not go cold turkey. This will increase your trigger points.
- Know your trigger time
- Know your trigger emotions
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
- I ensure I plan out my meals ahead of time. I put what I plan to eat during the day into my "myfitnesspal" tracker and stick to it. If I decide to change something last minute, which is rare, I just adjust it in "myfitnesspal". The great thing is that the minute I put the item in the tracker it gives me subtotal of calories consumed.
- I do not keep “trigger” foods in the house. Instead, if I am really craving something I go to the corner store or deli and buy a small “one portion” bag or container of the item. I’ve learned that if you are really craving something you should allow yourself to have it once in a while, but make sure that it is only one serving worth. Completely removing it from the foods you eat will cause you to eventually binge and you don’t want that!
- I keep fruit and water on my night table. This way if I get up at night and am “really” hungry, which is now rare, I will eat something healthy and low cal.
- I always eat at the table, especially when I eat my evening snack.This for some reason makes me think more about what I am putting in my mouth.
- I eat slowly and enjoy every bite of what I’m eating. This gives my stomach more time to feel full.
- I always ensure if the food leaves the kitchen it is only one serving worth (i.e. I don’t bring the box of Wheat Thins to the coach. I take 16, 1 serving, out of the box, put it on a plate and bring it to the table).
- I eat 3 meals and three snacks every day (and limit my calorie intake to 1300). This keeps my metabolism up and ensures I am not ravenous in the evening.
Monday, January 23, 2012
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012
My suggestion is to start scoping out the individuals in each class that impress you (work out like they are pros).When regularly going to the gym you will see there are people that work hard in each of your classes (i.e. ones that do great in kickboxing, ones that do great in yoga and ones that do great in every class) and those that are slackers. Seek out the pros! It's a bonus if one of these individuals have lost weight over the time you have seen them in your classes.
Once you know who the pros are, stand next to them in class and talk to them. Suggest working out together. Your new "workout buddy" can give you the impetus you need to get to the gym each day.
Important Note: Do not make friends with someone at the gym that does not give 100% of themselves when working out. This can slow you down. I made this mistake when I first started working out and I regretted it.
- Safflower Oil- may reduce belly fat and increase muscle
- Calcium Pyruvate (1000 ml before meals)- calcium helps pyruvate get into the fat cells and burn fat more effectively
- Chitosan (1000 ml before meals-comes from the skin of shrimp). It acts like a barrier and keeps fat from absorbing into the walls of the intestines.
- GLA (800 ml a day) reduces inflammation and convinces fat cells to get rid of fat Dr. Oz recommends you try this one first.
I don't currently use any supplements for weight loss but, I plan on doing more research on each one of these and choosing one to try. As any person who has been through the weight loss process before knows, it gets harder to lose weight the closer you get to your goal weight. At the start of my diet I was losing 2-3 pounds a week. Now I'm losing 1-2 pounds a week. This may give me the extra oomph I need!