Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Guest Post: Diet vs. Exercise - What’s Better for Weight Loss?

When it comes to weight loss, the facts are clear: 80% of weight loss comes down to dietary changes.  The food choices you make on a daily basis create the biggest impact on your weight loss goals. Nutrition is absolutely CRITICAL to slimming down;  the quality of you food you put into your system 3 to 4 times a day determines how your digestive system, metabolic system and even reproductive system function, making food an integral part of weight loss as well as overall health and wellness.

Physical activity is great for overall health, vitality and keeping your body fit, but you can’t exercise away a bad diet. If you’re spending hours in the gym but eating anything and everything you want before and after, all that sweat and energy is futile. To burn fat and help your body rid itself of extra storage, you need to eat clean and nourish your body with foods that promote balance and health.

So what are these healthy, weight loss promoting foods?

•Fresh Fruit: Berries and citrus are lowest in sugar, which can be helpful for those focused on losing weight, but even high sugar fruits, such as bananas and pineapple, are an excellent source of essential vitamins, minerals and fiber. Plus, fresh fruit can be an excellent substitute for sugary saboteurs such as cakes, cookies and candy.

•Vegetables: Sneak as many greens into your daily meals as possible. Loaded with nutrients and fiber, they promote internal AND external health while keeping your energy stable and your belly satisfied. And eat a variety of vegetables to keep your taste buds engaged, your meals interesting and your fat-burning potential humming.

•Lean Protein: This can mean lean animal protein from wild caught fish, free range beef, cage free chicken and organic turkey or also lean plant protein from sources such as lentils or spirulina.

•Healthy Fat: Avocado, olive oil, coconut or seeds add flavor and satiety while encouraging the body to burn fat. A little goes a long way, so think moderation when it comes to health fats.

To get the most fat-burning, weight loss results from food changes, avoid the following:

•Processed Food: As Michael Pollan says: ‘If came from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don’t.’ Take a peek at the ingredient list of packaged food and you’ll immediately see all the additives, sugar and chemical fillers that sabotage weight loss plus lead to serious, chronic illness and disease.

•Refined Sugar: Ah, sugar; the cause of much distress for so many. And rightfully so; refined sugar spikes blood sugar, leading to energy crashes, sugar cravings, poor metabolic function and hormonal imbalance. Satisfy your energy and ‘sweet’ cravings with fresh fruit, sweet potatoes and coconut shreds.

•Alcohol: While moderate alcohol intake can be part of a balanced life, it’s also one of the biggest hindrance to weight loss. Try reducing or substituting alcohol intake while focusing on weight loss to boost your slimmer body efforts.

In addition to weight loss benefits, you also want to think about the long term effects of your food choices when it comes to diet vs. exercise. Consider the stories you read about people who lose weight by eating McDonald’s once a day. They’ve restricted their caloric intake so much that yes, they’ve lost weight even though they’re eating Big Mac’s. However the negative health effects of such a diet reach far beyond the initial weight loss. For starters, this is not a sustainable diet. And secondly, on a diet such as this, the body is not getting adequate nutrients, vitamins and fiber, leading to malnutrition. And finally, the inflammation and internal distress caused by eating this way can and will lead to serious health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure and even cancer. This is not health. The scale may temporarily report a lower number, but the damage done to the body will reduce your quality of life, prematurely age you and lead to an earlier death.

So eat clean to lose weight, energize your body and accomplish your health goals!

Guest blog post by Jodi Geigle.

Jodi Geigle is a board certified nutrition counselor and founder of Eat Clean Health, a holistic nutrition company that specializes in weight loss, digestive problems, women's health and sports nutrition. Jodi works with clients who are interested in transforming their health through clean eating. The nutrition programs offered by Jodi via Eat Clean Health encourage clients to develop a deeper understanding of food and nutrition, leading them to implement lasting changes that improve energy, digestion, balance, and overall health and wellness. For extra support and information, reach out directly and talk with Jodi about your personal health needs and concerns. eatcleanhealth.com

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Be just a little bit better tomorrow

You can always learn more about weight loss or nutrition, and even yourself that can help you be just a little bit better tomorrow. 

A healthy lifestyle is a process. Think of it as an exciting adventure of self-discovery that will help you build a more meaningful life. 

The most important action one can take when trying to lose weight is to change what you eat and how you eat.

Friday, October 31, 2014

When we act, we create growth and change

You are probably aware that you need to eat differently or perhaps be more active, but understanding concepts is very different from experiencing them. 

Without action the knowledge itself is somewhat useless. Understanding how to lose weight is not the same as turning that awareness into action.

There is no change without action.  Many times we know what we need to do, but we just have to push ourselves to take action. And when we act, we create growth and change.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Guest Post: Vary Your Grains

A well-balanced meal contains a protein, vegetables and grains. People often over indulge in pasta and white rice, but don’t eat enough whole grains. Whole grains have been shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases including heart disease and diabetes. Due to their fiber content, they can ease constipation, and aid in weight loss and assist with weight control.

When choosing whole grains, always read labels. Remember that just because something is dark in color does not make it a whole grain. Always read the nutrition facts label to make sure the whole grain is the first ingredient. With so many whole grain varieties, you don’t always have to choose brown rice or whole wheat pasta. Consider giving quinoa, farro, or wheat berries a try.

Quinoa is a complete protein, which means it contains all of the essential amino acids. Try adding quinoa to salads or soups, or enjoy it for breakfast with fruit, cinnamon and nuts.

Farro is a good source of protein, fiber and magnesium and works well in place of rice or pasta in recipes. Similar to quinoa, farro also works well as a hot breakfast cereal.

Wheat berries are high in iron, phosphorous, fiber and protein. Try them as a side dish or add them to salads. You can even use them as a yogurt topping in place of granola.

What is your favorite whole grain recipe?  

Guest blog post by Linzy Unger, MS, RD, CDN

Linzy works as a Registered Dietitian at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, and is the founder of NutritionA-linZ. She believes that healthy eating should not be stressful or challenging, and teaches her clients how to live healthy without feeling deprived. Visit Linzy’s website at http://www.nutritiona-linz.com and let her help you achieve the healthy lifestyle you have always desired!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Barriers to Healthy Eating

Healthy eating means making changes you can live with and enjoy for the rest of your life. It is one of the best things you can do support your weight loss goals. Changing your eating habits may take time and practice.  But it’s important to stay on track and keep trying. Making any king of change in the way you live your daily life is like being on the path. The path leads to success.

There are many things, such as confusing information, easy access to fast food or emotional eating that can make it hard to change how you eat. They are barriers to your healthy eating. Barriers are things that get in the way of making a change and staying with it. Finding your barriers and learning how to get around them can help you reach your healthy-eating goals. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Unhealthy food decisions while away from home

Last week was a perfect example that eating healthy while away from home could be difficult. 

I was away from home for a week and found myself in this challenging situation again. 

Hotel rooms are really tough places to make quality food choices and eating generally means restaurants, fast food places, or hotel lounges.

I tried to stick to a healthy eating routine but it was impossible. Limited time, not knowing where to buy healthy food, and eating between meetings prompted me to make hasty, unhealthy food decisions. I ended up with consuming processed foods, heavy fats, and unhealthy preservatives.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

We must become more knowledgeable

The weight-loss industry has exploded in recent years. Consumers are expected to spend about $66 billion this year on diet soft drinks, health club memberships, dietary supplements and other products aimed at weight loss.

Some manufacturers are feeding on the false hopes of so many people who would do anything to lose weight and in the quickest amount of time.

By promoting unrealistic expectations and false hopes, they doom current weight-loss efforts to failure and make future attempts less likely to succeed.

We must become more knowledgeable about achieving and maintaining healthy weight and more skeptical of ads promising quick fixes.

The more you know, the more likely you are to do the right thing. Knowledge is the first step to a successful weight loss, but it is the application of knowledge that yields sustained success.

When people know more about the realities of weight-loss, fewer will be inclined to waste their money, time and effort on products that don’t work as advertised.

And the real secret they don’t want you to know is that while losing weight may not be fun or easy, but you don’t need to take out your wallet to do it.