Archives for August 2012

Non-Edible Tips for Winning Your Biggest Loser Contest

America's Obesity Crisis

The first of my non-edible tips for winning your biggest loser contest is to GET MOTIVATED because you are in danger! An article published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2009 said that for every 40 pounds overweight you increase your risk for: Heart Attack by 360%, Cancer by 80%, Type II Diabetes by 2000%, Hypertension by 260%, Dying by 110%.

MONITOR. Buy a scale and weigh yourself weekly; same time, same day. Think about this, what would happen if you continued to drive your car after the hot engine indicator came on? Disaster right?

This is “your” biggest loser contest because ultimately you have to live in that body. Outside of your health, other things might motivate you such as family, community or philanthropy. All of which will suffer when you lose your health.

GET EDUCATED! If your understanding of nutrition comes from the food commercials on TV you are in trouble. Eating a refined grain fortified cereal is really not the best strategy for lowering any of your high indicators. Food companies are in business to make a profit for the shareholders and just because certain marketing techniques are legal, it doesn’t make them ethical. Learn how to read labels!

You’ve heard this one before, but SHOP WITH A LIST. Stock your refrigerator and pantry with wholesome food that will fuel and build your body. Clean out the high glycemic garbage that will drive your insulin pump crazy and shorten your life. Create an environment of health in your home.

PLAN your day and your meals. Planning is where many people screw up. They get stuck somewhere in the middle of the day where a convenience store or a vending machine are the only options to correct the low blood sugar and the cycle starts all over again.

Speaking of planning, plan to EAT BREAKFAST. A glass of orange juice or a bowl of sugar frosted flakes are poor choices for breakfast (or any meal). It tastes sweet but your glucose with take off like a rocket, then your pancreas will shoot it down and before you know it, you are craving something sweet all over again. A low glycemic breakfast will provide you with steady energy through the morning and not play havoc with your insulin pump. If you don’t know what low glycemic means then GET EDUCATED.

DRINK! Actually, drink water. Often times people mistake thirst for hunger. Next time you are hungry have a glass of water. A good rule of thumb is to drink eight 8oz glasses of water a day or half your body weight in ounces. Diet soda does not count. Coffee and tea aren’t that great for hydration either. If you can’t hack just plain water, try a flavor infuser like Crystal Light and use it half strength.

JOURNAL. Record everything you eat in a day and when you eat it. You might just be surprised by what you learn about yourself. After all, it is “your” biggest loser contest.

WATCH LESS TV! I know that’s where some of you will draw the line or begin weeping. According to the National Weight Control Registry successful weight-loss registrants watched less than 10 hours of TV a week. Not only that, they ATE BREAKFAST every day and EXERCISED. So get up and get moving! You can join a gym if you want, but you can also walk the dog, ride a bike, go dancing and find activities that involve motion.

Have I mentioned EXERCISE yet? Exercise is a poor weigh to lose weight but is great for keeping it off not to mention it’s vital for health and longevity. The best exercise on the planet is the one you will do. So turn off the TV and just do it!

Thinking of the TV again, you might consider removing the TV from your bedroom because a certain number hours of quality SLEEP is vital for good health and is thought to aid in weight loss. Create an environment of peace and repose so your body has the best opportunity to restore and heal itself. Sweet dreams!

Finally, HAVE FUN! An ancient text says that a merry heart doeth good, like a medicine. Give yourself permission to lighten up a little. Take your focus off all the seriousness (stress) that surrounds you and become aware the good that’s there for your enjoyment.

‘ see you around the neighborhood, you big loser.

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Diets Do Not Work

Healthy Woman VolleyballThe short answer to the headlined dilemma diets do not work is the focus of a diet is to lose weight as opposed to adopting a life-style to become healthy and weight loss results.

Years ago my uncle Milo had a new neighbor whose dog would sit on the porch and howl all day long. Finally after a couple of weeks he went over and asked the neighbor what was wrong with the dog? The neighbor replied that the dog was sitting on a nail and it was his opinion that it did not yet hurt bad enough to cause the dog make a move.

As usual I’ve been doing much reading lately. I’m highly in favor of and recommend The Habits of Health by Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen. Dr. Anderson identifies the error of focus in the “diet mindset” on page 20. Paraphrased it’s something like this. Finally the pain (of any situation) causes action which in this scenario is to lose weight (get off the nail). After the pain is subsided (not eliminated) the motivation is gone and there is a relapse back into old habits that will land us back on the nail or worse.

The solution to permanent weight loss and consequently better health can only come as a result of a fundamental decision to realize or make optimal health a personal priority (core value). If an individual needs to lose weight, that will one of the first concerns. But the path doesn’t end when the weight-loss goals are met; really it’s just the beginning of the next phase of optimal health (living) which could include a higher level exercise program, broadening social contacts that support the core value, seeking better employment opportunities or even becoming a mentor to someone on the segment of the path they’ve just finished.

“Realizing” good health as a core value has come too late for many people. For example, take the man, a father who works hard to provide for his family that he loves dearly (a core value) yet fails to take steps protect his own health and dies prematurely as a result of life-style choices. In his last hour I doubt that he’s thinking of property or bank accounts.

To discover your core values, imagine for a moment you have arrived at your last hour. What will you value as your greatest accomplishments, your most prized assets and your most precious possessions? If it’s family, if it’s love, if it’s legacy of good, if it’s fulfillment of purpose then hopefully you realize that creating optimal health for yourself must be a core value you hold.

As you can see, realizing optimal health as a core value goes way beyond losing a couple of pounds so that you can fit into those “hot” size (smaller than you currently are) jeans. But I do admit that it’s a nice benefit.

The key to success to permanent weight loss is this: Make the fundamental choice that creating optimal health is one of your core values. Prioritize your goals that will help you manifest the core value. When faced with the seeming insignificant choices that arise hourly, make the (healthiest) choice that best supports your goal.

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