Monday, December 29, 2014

Fear is my strong motivator

You may not feel that being overweight or obese is a problem to you. So, you may have little motivation or desire to lose weight. Or perhaps, you may be good at rationalization that nothing works. That is fine, so long as you understand the health risks. Your wake-up call will come in the form of the massage from your doctor.

In my case nothing motivated me until the moment, when in May 2010 the doctor informed me that there might me something in my heart and mentioned possible methods of treatment (surgery). He added that losing weight might make the procedure less likely.

That immediately got me motivated. Correction. It got me extremely motivated. I was determined to do anything that is humanly possible to lose weight. The fear of surgery was strong and effective motivation for me.

I am a positive minded person and strongly believe in using positive approach in influencing other people’s behaviors, whether it is raising children or managing subordinates. But no positive motivator was strong enough for me to lose and keep the weight off previously.

I do not wish anybody to get to the point that fear would have to motivate you to lose weight. Be smart now and use other people’s “experience” in this area. The plaque that builds up inside our coronary arteries can’t be removed. Once the buildup of plaque occurs, it stays there. Over time, plaque hardens and narrows our coronary arteries. Heart disease is currently the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States.

I want to include a positive message to everybody struggling with their weight: it can be done and there are ways to make it easier. Weight loss can be achieved without exercise, calorie counting and most importantly without being hungry. 

Having received my super motivation in 2010, I quickly lost 46 pounds that summer and then kept going on a bit slower until I lost a total of 91 pounds.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Planning what to eat in advance

Achieving weight loss is just like achieving everything else in life: success requires planning.

Preparing and cooking healthy meals after work can be very challenging. Doing so while being hungry is difficult and may not always lead to weight loss success. When I am hungry I want to eat rather sooner than later. In addition, when I am hungry I am likely to make poor food choices.

Therefore planning meals in advance can be a crucial element of clean eating based weight loss approach. Since I don’t cook I buy ready to eat grilled chicken salads and eat them five times a week. 

If the salad comes with cheese I remove the cheese. To keep salads fresh I pack and seal each salad in a separate plastic bag. Buying ready to eat fresh and unprocessed food in advance works for me very well. When I started weight loss process I used to make salads myself. It was difficult for me and I was very happy to graduate to a better way in planning and preparing food in advance.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Psychological and social consequences of being obese

Being overweight or obese can have a serious impact on health but it is also associated with many serious physiological, psychological, and social consequences.

Carrying lots of unwanted weight causes difficulties with day-to-day living. Normal tasks become harder when you are obese, as movement is more difficult. You also tend to tire more quickly and you find yourself short of breath often.

There are additional consequences. They are related to psychological and social well-being. Consequences like social isolation or negative self-image can be very painful and damaging. More people lose confidence and are demotivated because of their weight than any other factor out there. 

Not surprising, some obese people prefer not to go out in public because they feel self-conscious or they simply cannot enjoy activities that most people take for granted.

I believe that there is more to life than spending it fretting and being depressed about your physical appearance.

Obese individuals have typically made multiple attempts to lose weight, with little or no success. Their previous attempts result in discouragement, frustration, hopelessness, and lead to helplessness about the prospect of losing weight in the future on their own.

Many people throw in the towel on weight loss because they feel deprived and hungry when they eat less. But there is another way. It is decreasing calorie intake while maintaining an adequate nutrient intake. Eating fewer calories doesn't necessarily mean eating less food.

People get full by the amount of food they eat, not the number of calories they take in. To be able to cut calories without eating less and feeling hungry, you need to replace some higher calorie foods with foods that are lower in calories. The key is to eat foods that will fill you up without eating a large amount of calories.

Being obese has a complex impact upon the individual. 
While health effects of obesity are real and they are dangerous, it’s the social and emotional issues associated with obesity that cause suffering and influences individuals’ psychological state.

I understand that it is a personal and sensitive issue, but when I see obese or overweight people, I feel empathy and desire to help. I write this blog and described what worked for me on website in attempt to try to help people for whom losing weight seems to be an impossible task.

There is help available if you are overweight or obese. It is a condition that you CAN do something about. The more you know, the better you will be able to take action and do something about it.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Why did I eat that way today?

Today I drove several hours (each way) to pick up my daughter from college and bring her home for the Christmas break. Unfortunately I used travelling as an excuse and did not stick to the Eat like Me healthy eating. 

I had pizza on the way there and pizza again while coming back. I even supplemented just eaten pizza with almonds in dark chocolate when buying coffee at Starbucks. Used my usual excuse that almonds and dark chocolate are good for heart.

I prepared myself for the trip and took apples to the car to avoid hunger, but ended up with eating only two of them. I am back home now and trying to find the answer to the WHY question. Why did I eat that way today? I think the honest answer is my arrogance. 

The arrogance that I “can afford” to have one bad day because I know how to lose weight, and the next few days will bring me back to where I should be. Unfortunately I use this rationale more often than I should. 

Just two weeks ago I wrote a post about challenges during travel. What’s wrong with me? I knew I would regret eating poorly later but I did it anyway.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Making a commitment to yourself

Making the decision to lose weight, change your lifestyle, and become healthier is a big step to take. You can start simply by making a commitment to yourself. 

Many people find it helpful to sign a written contract committing to the process.  If nothing comes to mind you can use this:

Today, I am making a commitment to myself to change the way I eat. I will stay focused and every day I will do something, big or small, to help me achieve my goal. I will continue even when it seems like it won’t happen or others say I can’t. I will not give up.

Writing down the reasons why you want to lose weight can also help. It might be because you are scared of heart disease, or because you want to see your kids get married, or simply because you want to feel better in your clothes, or have better sex.

You really need to accurately state and define what your motivations are for losing weight. Whatever your driving force, write it down and read it daily.

No excuses. Excuses are giving up before you even begin.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Stick to healthy eating strategies when on the go

Travelling for the holidays can mean plenty of hearty family dinners and brunches where the calories can add up fast.

That’s why it’s important to have a game plan for sticking to your healthy eating plan when on the go. Instead of relying on the nutritionally corrupt offerings at gas stations, convenience stores, vending machines or overpriced airport bakeries to quell a rumbling stomach, pack your own arsenal of healthy snacks. I take apples with me when I travel by car.

Planning ahead can help you eat healthier. If you can't prepare ahead, choose wisely. Rather than the chips, smoothie, or candy bar, pick whole fruit or salad. Instead of reaching for juice or soda drink water.  

It’s important to stick to healthy eating strategies when on the go. Whether you’re driving to the in-laws or boarding a flight to a far-flung sunny location as part of the rising tide of running tourism, travelling can throw a wrench into your diet. 

If you don’t stick to your healthy eating plan when on the go, you risk bringing home a few extra pounds as souvenirs from your holiday.

See also:                                            

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving only comes once a year and so does Christmas

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We all love holidays. A gathering of close friends and family is one of the happiest times of year for all of us. Celebrations like Thanksgiving can easily distract us from our healthy diets. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the sea of delicious, but not so healthy dishes at your Thanksgiving table.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are always challenging for me. I know that if I stare down foods and try to make the best choices, Thanksgiving will be a very stressful holiday. I am realistic. I know that even if I tried I would give in to temptations. I also accepted that it’s unrealistic to expect that Thanksgiving dinner will include healthy food. My solution? I simply take a break from my healthy eating habits for a day.

I justify my behavior by thinking that one day doesn't make that much of a difference. I just hope that I will be strong enough not to indulge all the days after. I have to be careful here, because Thanksgiving only comes once a year - but so does Christmas

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.

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 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. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Misleading ads for weight loss products

Misleading ads for weight loss products target consumers desperate for results. 

To make it easier to spot false weight loss representations the Federal Trade Commission has compiled a list of seven statements in ads that are likely to be a tip-off to deception.

Think twice before purchasing a product that promises the following:

1. causes weight loss of two pounds or more a week for a month or more without dieting or exercise;
2. causes substantial weight loss no matter what or how much the consumer eats;
3. causes permanent weight loss even after the consumer stops using product;
4. blocks the absorption of fat or calories to enable consumers to lose substantial weight;
5. safely enables consumers to lose more than three pounds per week for more than four weeks;
6. causes substantial weight loss for all users; or
7. causes substantial weight loss by wearing a product on the body or rubbing it into the skin.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

How does eating real food lead to weight loss?

Consuming real food leads to weight loss as a result of nutrients that are added to the diet, and the ingredients that are removed.

Nutrients that are added are namely fiber and omega-3 fats. Ingredients that are removed are added sugar, refined crabs and other additives and preservatives that both contribute to weight gain and stand in the way of weight loss.

I do not cook and I want to assure you that switching to a real-food food diet can be done and it is not difficult from the planning point of view.
The way to achieve permanent weight control and a long healthy life is to base your diet on vegetables, fruits, and grains. Plus some protein. These are the most powerful foods for controlling weight, and most people can eat all they want of them and stay slim and healthy.
So, where do you begin? Your success starts with your next meal.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Change in thinking

You can change you diet around, and in doing so you can lose weight and change your life.

Change can be hard. But change is also part of life. No matter how bad your diet is, you can start fresh now.

You can embark on a new way of living today. Changes that you can start making right this minute will not only lead to weight loss but can do incredible things for your health.

The act of succeeding on daily basis will make you feel wonderful about yourself. And just knowing that you are making changes that will lead to weight loss and better health can be incredible empowering.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Losing weight can be done without feeling hungry

Losing weight can be done without feeling hungry. Eating large amount of the right food is the key to success.

A diet which requires someone to be hungry all the time over the course of a life time is not going to work. 

It is hard to force yourself to eat less. But it's possible to choose what you eat.

The secret for reaching and staying at your proper weight is to eat whenever your feel hungry, but to eat only the foods that will not make you fat.

Friday, May 2, 2014

We are stronger than we think we are

Millions of us face overwhelming challenges with food and weight that feel impossible to overcome. But we’re stronger than we think we are. We can lose weight and keep it for good. While weight loss can be challenging, it is achievable and many people are successful.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

High nutrient eating

Knowledge is the power. There is a lot of distorted understand and misinformation about what constitutes excelled nutrition. Learning how the foods you eat affect your weight gives you the power to rapidly create weight loss. Once you understand the fundamentals and see amazing rewards of healthy eating, you will feel comfortable eating fewer calories.

High nutrient eating is the most successful route to weight reduction and better health. The secret is to eat high-nutrient, low-calorie foods that will provide you with the most needed nutrients without feeling hungry. I did it and I know that it is possible. Wrong food choices brought you to where you are now. Changing what you eat may feel a little uncomfortable at the beginning and takes some effort, but in my opinion it is the best way to lose way without feeling hungry.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Taking a positive approach

Sometimes even the good things in live, like holidays, can throw our healthy habits into a tailspin. I think it happens to many of us at some point. I need to get back to what worked for me best when I started losing weight and use the same way of thinking that had made me start eating healthy then.

I will try to use this as opportunity to further evaluate my situation, determine why I moved away from strict compliance with healthy eating and plan what I will do to prevent it from happening in the future.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

When the holidays are over

Did you gain weight between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day?

I did. I think that weight gain during the winter holidays happens to many people. Eating clean during this time is hard. A certain amount of indulgence is practically unavoidable over the holidays.

There are things I can do that will help me get back to the game.  So now, when the holidays are over, I am getting back to better compliance with clean eating, the simple formula to that led me to 91 pounds weight loss success before.

Monday, January 27, 2014

My breakfast step by step


I start my day off with a good breakfast. Breakfast helps me prevent hunger later on. It jump-starts my metabolism and sets my body in the optimal fat-burning state. The protein consumption (a slice of lean turkey), when eaten as part of the daily first meal reduces my appetite throughout the day. It is very important for me to stick with protein breakfast option. Initially it was a little challenging because proteins are usually not a part of typical "breakfast foods".

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Do we eat more in the winter?

The winter months bring cold weather, holidays, and the potential for weight gain. For me winter is a challenging season when it comes to weight loss.

Do we eat more in the winter? I think we do eat more during the winter time. There’s something about the winter that makes us eat more. Part of the weight gain may be because of our tendency to stay indoors and snack more than we do during the summer.
Developing goals that focus on healthy eating habits for the winter makes it easier to optimize eating winter holiday meals. Healthy winter eating habits can really make a difference with holiday weight control.  

What do you do to prevent winter weight gain?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year's Resolutions You Will Stick With

On January 1 many of us make all kinds of promises that “starting tomorrow, things are going to be different.”

How can we take advantage of our good intentions on January 1 and make them work for us throughout the year, or at least for longer than they would naturally last?

For long-term success, a detailed and sustainable action plan is key.

Take advantage of these moments of clarity at the start of the New Year and take actions that would commit us to making good decisions in the future.
For many people the New Year means a fresh start, and another New Year’s resolution.We are determined to make 2014 the year we stick to our health and fitness goals.
And while making the resolution to lose weight is easy, keeping it, can be a challenge.
However, when you are convinced that losing weight is more important than what you are giving up, then you are ready for action and you will likely succeed.