Holiday Weight Loss: The Garter Belt Hypothesis
By using the words "garter belt" in my title, I wanted to grab your attention. However, over the years, I developed a theory that if I wore a garter belt, silk nylons and heels I would feel sexier and eat less.
Eventually it just took up too much time, but on occasion it still works for me. In my opinion, pantyhose are terrifically uncomfortable anyway, so why not give it a try?
It doesn't have to be the garter-belt scenario, but find something that makes you feel like you do not want to overeat.
I believe it was Sophia Loren who said she never wears anything with an elastic waist, as it's too easy to eat too much and gradually gain weight until you put on your clothes that have waistbands and find that you can't zip them. I have found this to be a good tip.
Standing up really straight also helps me to eat less, silly as that may sound.
The holiday season is renowned for being the packing-on-the-pounds season; so between the garter belt and the following tips maybe this year you can maintain or even lose weight during the season:
Chocolates in boxes are everywhere...
Don't have them on your desk or in your house. Don't put them in your freezer as that will not slow you down; they can be eaten frozen and we all know it. Give them away or if you have great self-control, limit yourself to one a day at most for up to five days per season.
When you have your one chocolate, you need to eat it after you eat a salad and do savor it. Remember, food should not be a reward. Being healthy is its own reward. Also, deprivation rarely works long term, so a few chocolates are OK!
The Buf-fat Table
Walk around the buffet table at least once to size up the selections. Are there fresh veggies and fruit? Watch out for all the cheese platters, breads, crackers and high-calorie choices. Your plate should be at least half vegetables with a small dollop of dip -- dips are usually high fat (and it's the wrong kind of fat) and high in sodium. Don't forget to select a protein source whether that is a piece of chicken or fish or a bean dish.
Calories and Sugar in a Glass
That would be alcohol. Four ounces of champagne or wine is about 100 calories. Many people have wine goblets, not glasses and it's very easy to drink much more than four ounces. And this unthinking drinking easily contributes to holiday weight gain.
Drink plenty of water, sip wine only with meals and limit your consumption. Remember in the nutrition world "support your liver" is the mantra; your liver really doesn't like alcohol.
The Bottom Line: Eat more vegetables, limit your alcohol and desserts, up your water intake and, of course, continue regular exercise.
In good health,
Patty James. M.S. is a Vital Health Educator and Nutrition Coach who founded the first certified organic cooking school and nutrition center in America.
December 21, 2009
5 Foods A Woman Should NEVER Eat
In a world where the list is king, doesnít it make sense to know what not to eat in addition to what you should eat?
Thatís how I look at it and you know how much I love me a good list!
The foods you should never eat are deserving of their own list too, doncha think? But Iíve done one better on this particular list. While Iíve named the culprit in disturbing your peace (health and weight), Iíve also named the hero in restoring your well-being (begin applause now).
Letís get right to business then and get rolling with this list. If you stick with me, youíll know how to dodge these negative nutritional bullets and make better choices at the grocery store and when dining out.
Culprit #1: Deep-Fried Anything
Sorry, but if you order deep fried, make deep fried or even use the words deep fried, you might as well look for a cardiologist at the same time. Deep frying is positively the worst possible choice for having anything prepared. And donít let the words, ďlightly friedĒ fool you either, as in tempura! Itís all wickedness!
Hero #1: Sauteed for Flavor
This cooking technique uses minimal oil (preferably olive oil) and gives your food the flavor and complexity youíre looking for. I sautť my green beans after steaming them in olive oil (not virgin, thatís too fine an oil for heat), a lot of fresh garlic, a little sea salt and a liberal grinding of fresh pepper. Unbelievable taste with very little fat and no bad fat, either.
Culprit #2: White Bread
Thud. Did you hear that? Thatís the sound of white bread landing in your gullet. Itís squishy, gooey and gluey and itís adhering to the sides of your intestines, do you feel it? Blech. Considering the negative nutrition associated with denatured flour, why would anyone make that choice in this enlightened century? Lose the white bread already!
Hero #2: Sprouted Wheat Bread
Okay, check this out. When you sprout grain, then make it into bread, not only is a lot easier on your digestion, itís packed full of nutrients traditional bread doesnít have! Consider this nugget: your body looks at sprouted grain as veggies, not starch! Thatís good news if your thighs sprout inches just by eating a sandwich with two pieces of bread!
Culprit #3: Shortening and/or Margarine
Solidified fats get that way through a process called hydrogenation, which in turn, makes a multitude of sins called trans fats. Yes, weíve all heard how bad trans fats are, right? Well, not only does margarine lower your HDL (good cholesterol) it also raises the bad (LDL). Ixnay all the way on margarine (and itís evil twin shorteningÖwhich is essentially unflavored margarine).
Hero #3: Butter
Hallelujah and pass the butter already! Butter, though a definite saturated fat, will raise your good cholesterol unlike margarine. Just use it very moderately. Try Better Butter: half unsalted butter and half extra virgin olive oil whipped together and kept in the fridge in a covered dish. Just like soft spread margarine only 300 times better!
Culprit #4: White Rice
Oh. My. Gosh. Are you really still eating white rice? This depiction of a grain is full of nothingness. The fiber is missing, the B vitamins are virtually unheard of and the glycemic load will take you one step closer to Type 2 Diabetes, if thatís your go-to carb! Dismiss this!
Hero #4: Brown Rice
With three times the amount of fiber, more B vitamins as well as other nutrients, the carb load on brown rice is much easier on your body and a smaller amount will satiate, too. Whatís not to love about that, especially if youíre trying to lose a few pounds?
Culprit #5: White Sugar
To quote Gomer Pyle, ďSurprise, surprise, surprise.Ē I bet you knew sugar would be on the list, didnít you? How can it not. Did you know that consuming white sugar will actually stun your white blood cells from doing their important health preserving work? Yes, sugar impacts your immune system! It doesnít just eat your teeth and add to your belly fat, it disrupts immune function. Repent from your sugar eating ways and return to the healthy fold!
Hero #5: Dark Chocolate and Fruit
You thought I was going to list alternative or artificial sweeteners, didnít you? Studies have shown that people who consume diet drinks tend to gain weight doing so. Why is this? The hypothesis is you canít fool your body like you think ó if it tastes sweet, your body may still react to it and gain weight.
Stinks, doesnít it? But we need to LOSE our sweet teeth, people! Thatís the problem, not finding the golden panacea that tastes just like sugar. If you want something sweet, have some fruit and an ounce of very dark chocolate (FULL of phytonutrients, yay!) Once you get over your addiction to sugar, this decadent treat (a bowl of fresh raspberries with melted dark chocolate drizzled over the top) will knock you flat. Youíll happily say NO to donuts!
Thatís it for now, yíall! Stay tunedÖ there is always more to come!
December 7, 2009
20 Ways To Better Health & Happiness
Health is more than just eating well. It's about enjoying, or learning how to Savor Your Life.
Here are 20 surefire ways to improve your health and happiness. And the good news is... they're FREE!
1. Give generously of yourself and your resources.
2. View everything and everyone you meet with gratitude.
3. Live each day happily without focusing on your problems.
4. Hum or sing a happy song every day (people will wonder what you're up to).
5. Foster a sense of humor.
6. Treat yourself to regular daily quiet timeóstudy, pray, meditate (my favorite); recharge yourself.
7. Include exercise as part of your daily life. Experiment with an exercise style that works for you. Try yoga, Pilates, martial arts, walking, running, bicycling, rollerblading, swimming, dancing, weight lifting, or competitive sports.
8. To increase your circulation, scrub your entire body with a hot damp washcloth morning and/or night.
9. Avoid wearing synthetic or woolen clothing directly on the skin. As much as possible, wear 100% cotton clothing, especially for undergarments.
10. Avoid excessive jewelry on your fingers, wrists and neck; fewer rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and piercings allow your natural energy flow to circulate more freely.
11. Avoid chemically perfumed cosmetics. For care of the teeth, use natural toothpastes.
12. Keep your home in good order, including kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and living rooms. You are your home.
13. If possible, include large green plants in every room of your home and office to freshen and enrich the oxygen content of the air.
14. Minimize television watching, or at least keep a good distance away from the television.
15. Avoid cooking with electricity, especially microwave ovens. Convert to gas when practical.
16. Avoid water with chlorine and fluoride. Use spring water or a good quality water filter.
17. Chew your food well, 30 seconds per mouthful or more, until it becomes liquid.
18. Offer thanks before and after meals.
19. Do your best to be on good terms with people, especially your boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, parents, children, brothers, sisters, friends and co-workers. Communicate with them regularly, either in person or via telephone or email.
20. Most of all, create a positive attitude and wonderful environment around you and enjoy the process of becoming healthier and happier every step of the way!
November 30, 2009