Archive | January 2016

How Consuming Bread Assists Weight Loss

Let me be clear. I respect all of Oprah’s accomplishments. She has done much to encourage others to be their best self. That’s commendable. However, whenever she proclaims success on her newest diet plan I cringe. Fans follow nearly everything she proclaims as truth.

Headlines yesterday declared:   “Oprah’s eaten bread every day and has lost weight!”   Wow, who knew someone could lose weight while eating bread?  Well . . . anyone who has consistently read my blog or read my books, that’s who.

I also have recommended Weight Watchers, which is now owned all or partly by Oprah. It is an excellent organization. On Weight Watchers, one learns how to eat real food and create healthier habits. I trust WW also gets to the heart of the issue of why one eats uncontrollably in the first place. For unless someone understands why they eat as they do, no change occurs.

I’ve lost track of how many diet plans Oprah’s endorsed over the years, but it reminds me of my patient who reprimanded me for not endorsing the Rice Diet. “It DOES work,” she professed angrily. “I know because it worked for me three times!” (The only good diet is the one which someone stays on for a lifetime as I have.) One should also be cautious of crying “wolf” so many times he loses credibility. I’ve only endorsed one diet plan and that’s God’s dietary plan. Plans such as the Mediterranean, DASH and Volumetrics are variations of His plan.

 Oprah is indeed an inspiration, having triumphed over a mountain of personal trauma. However as a nutritional counselor, I know one can’t be victorious until he/she recognizes why self-destruction occurs after each diet plan. Until one reconciles all the mental and Spiritual turmoil within, recognizing God loves us unconditionally, many will continue to strive for perfection which is unattainable. God loves us even in our imperfections. He has provided all foods for our enjoyment but urges us to remain in control, not becoming gluttonous or creating an idol out of food, which is sin.

“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”  (John 6:35) 

Why bread is fine, consumed in moderation:

In a 1975, Michigan State University conducted a controlled study: 16 overweight men consumed 12 slices of bread daily along with their normal caloric intake. They lost weight, debunking the no-carb theory of weight loss. Let me explain why:

  1. Bread contains many B vitamins. The purpose of B vitamins is to convert fats, proteins and carbohydrates into energy.  Duh.
  2. Bread contains fiber. The more fiber in the bread, the more weight loss in each participant. Recommendation: choose heavier, higher fiber bread whenever possible. (2-5 grams per slice)
  3. Fiber passes through one’s system, removing toxins. Toxins stress the body. Increased stress hormones increases weight. Less stress equals more positive vibes producing less nutrient loss and better weight balance.
  4. Carbohydrates have the same amount of calories per gram (4) as protein but are burnt up more quickly in the body. (30 minutes to 3 hours for carbs as opposed to 2-4 hours for protein.  Remember:4 grams equal 1 teaspoon.)
  5. Fiber absorbs water as it moves through the digestive system. This creates a feeling of fullness, in turn making us less hungry.
  6. When we consume bread we chew our food (or should.)  Chewing releases the enzyme amylase which escort proper nutrients to the necessary part of the body it needs to be at to function properly.

Enjoy God’s Bounty without guilt but remain in control.

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The Stubborn Culinary Child in All of Us

Sometimes as little children occasionally do, we’ll stomp our feet and declare, “But I want it now!”   Afterward when the regrets th1NDE1W02kick in, we ask ourselves, “Why did I think that was a great idea?”

Have you ever stopped to think that our Heavenly Father loves us so much, He will give us the desires of our heart even if those are bad for us?  It’s called “free will.” Naturally God hopes we’ll choose what’s best. But it’s our choice.

Have you ever debated if you should consume something even though you understand it’s going to create an illness? Then shake a fist at God and ask, “Why’d you do this to me?”

I know very few children who choose vegetables over candy, cake or even cheesy fries. After a few tummy aches however and children usually instinctively learn to choose better. Do we really think eating all that fattening, processed, chemically-laden packaged food is good for us? We need to conquer our food cravings and resist the tug of gluttony. We are not children anymore.

No food is bad (1 Corinthians 10:23) but our reaction to it sometimes is.  Who’s in control, you or are you lured by manipulation? Have you ever lost control, giving in to a decadent food only to become discouraged because you couldn’t stay on your health plan?

As God’s child we also need borders which will assure a healthier lifestyle. When young, our children need boundaries to keep them safe and healthy. Certainly you wouldn’t feed your child only candy? They need real food to grow and thrive. God laid out our diet plan in Genesis 1:29 and 9:3. Follow His plan and achieve a healthier lifestyle. So why can’t we resist temptation?

Unfortunately some never grow up. When presented with a menu of grilled fish or chicken or hamburgers and fries, they’ll still go for the fattier selection every time! THINK! Once in a while that’s fine but choosing an inappropriate choice every day and you’ll wind up with debilitating diseases and parasites, lovely.

Why do we fail to understand we answer to a Higher Authority? If I am out walking my pooch, I’m her authority. I want her to enjoy her journey but if she misbehaves and wants to chase squirrels across the road, I reign her in because I don’t want to see her run over! God provides boundaries for the same reason. He wants us to be safe! And because He is All Knowing, He realizes what will happen when we give in to temptation.

Emotional eating is not healthy. If you desire something unhealthy, work it off by exercising and you’ll remain in control.  If you’ve kept your food journal for two weeks as I encouraged, you might understand why you give in for reasons other than hunger. Continue to journal; asking yourself, what happened just before I gave in to my desires? A disturbing phone call, an argument? Are you lonely – food offers comfort. Bored? Eating is something to do. Angry? Crunching on food is a stress reliever. Sad? Chemicals in food release happy endorphins.

For example, chocolate contains  phenylethylamine which makes us feel loved. Since God created chocolate, it’s fine in moderation.  But if we’re motivated by a chocolate commercial on TV, losing control, we’ve become manipulated. Give in and you just made that food an idol before our Lord.

 “I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”  (Galatians 5:16)

Remaining in control and conquering addiction is a wonderful feeling. Conquer self and honor God.

#CHAMPIONSAWARDS – Thank you Carol!

What makes a Champion?  Have you ever needed one?  I have and I am pleased to say that one of my true Champion photoChampion friends has bestowed on me a very sweet, yet humbling honor.  Thank you Carol Balawyder for this lovely award which came from your heart. I urge you to check out this fabulous writer and blogger, becoming friends with her too:  http://carolbalawyder.com/  You’ll love her books!

My goal is to never miss a week of blogging  and for three and a half years, I’ve met that goal. Sometimes however, as you’ve probably experienced yourselves, it gets frustrating wondering what to write next. Maybe you’ve asked yourself as well: am I really making a difference?  Whenever I’ve gotten a little discouraged, the comments and encouragement of my blogging friends have kept me going. How I love and appreciate all you dear followers who have become friends!

The Champions Award is a way of saying thank you to those readers and writers who go the extra mile in support of others. I know with this award we needn’t say anything special, but this is how Carol went that extra mile for me:

Since Carol Balawyder is a writer herself, she purchased and read my first novel, “Sometimes Marriage is a Real Crime” (only 99 cents on amazon.com – shameless plug.) Not only did she read it but posted a fabulous 5 star review which sold a couple of extra copies.

So as I progressed on my sequel, I inquired if she’d be curious to read the first several chapters and simply let me know what she thought. Once again she not only read it, she assisted me with common sense advice to enhance my plot and enrich character details!  I’m happy to say that I’m thrilled with the final manuscript and now have it on the desk of a publisher in hopes they’ll bite. Thank you dear Carol for all your encouragement!

All my followers are Champions and I’ve selected these for this award:

http://cindygrasso.com/

https://thoughtsfromanamericanwoman.wordpress.com/

http://www.stroryland4.wordpress.com   ( aka:  Audria@TheWell.com )

http://www.lifeisnotaformula.blogspot.com

http://www.fromtrextotigress.com

http://www.yelobrd777.com

http://talkingtomyweightlosscounselor.com/

http://somebodylovesmeblog.wordpress.com

 

Friends, if you choose to accept the CHAMPIONS AWARDS, it’s simpler than most:  please do the following:

  1.  Post this Award Sticker on your blog, with the hashtag #CHAMPIONSAWARDS
  2.  Acknowledge the sponsor of your Awards.
  3.  Choose at least five of your own nominees and advise them accordingly, attaching these 5 guidelines.
  4.  Keep it simple… no need for explanations for the Awards… we know how great these folks are.
  5.  You are free to give out these Awards as frequently as you wish.
I hope blogging has enriched your life as much as mine!

“I thank my God each time I remember you”  (Philippians 1:3)

 

A Word About Fat versus Carbs

thKTHNDXC7The diet trend headlines are once again recommending consuming more fats and limiting carbs.  “Avoid carbs!” experts professed.” After all, we’ve conducted a “long term” (one year) study of 150 people” (and how many people live on this planet???)

I wonder if those experts ever counseled a high-fat dieter whose skin color has turned grey from consuming unhealthy fats while limiting vegetables or fiber-based foods? I have. My friends, please don’t be taken in by diet gurus who tell you that consuming bacon is better than beets. We wish!

Yes, of course we should limit simple carbohydrates like sugary donuts, candy and empty calorie foods. However, nothing in this article distinguished complex from simple carbs such as candy and donuts.

Some people actually believe they are smarter than God.  Complex carbohydrates: fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, seeds and herbs (Genesis 1:29) metabolize differently from simple sugars.  It’s all about nutrients, physiology and balance!

Our friend, the Fat Cell: It’s about balancing healthy fats.

A person is born with basically all the fat cells he’ll ever have.  Surprisingly men and women are born with about the same number. Unfortunately for us women, men lose weight faster than women, due to muscle, enzymes and hormone distribution.

1.  Muscle is an efficient fat burner. Men have more muscle, eerrrgh.  Women must find a fun way to exercise, developing more muscle and increasing heart-rate efficiency; dance, play with the baby, walk the pup to develop muscle.

2.  Regarding enzymes, (see “Our Mother’s Were Right! ” post)  they are like 3 assigned movers in one moving company, transporting your chewed food into the room it needs to go in. Humans have an innate desire to chew our food which releases enzymes.  Unfortunately women have more fat storing lipogenic enzymes, while men have more fat producing enzymes.

3. The hormone estrogen sends stored fat to hips, butts and thighs. (I sure don’t want a larger butt, do you?) Women were designed with a higher percentage of estrogen in order to bear healthy children. Women, we need to accept that fact graciously.

4. Don’t restrict all fats either – it takes energy to make energy – it’s the first law of thermodynamics. Good Fat produces Good Energy.

Balance fats with proteins and complex carbs. Not eating healthy fat stresses the body in this capacity:

  • Non-essential body parts such as hair and nails, become thin, brittle and break.
  • Creates loss of brain, bone, muscle and healthy skin tone. Skin tone becomes sallow.
  • Produces a loss of protective brown fat which cushions and warms vital organs. Once gone, it’s gone!
  • Consuming healthy fats metabolize the fat vitamins, A, D, E, K.
  • But consuming too much fat produces toxins, creating an acidic environment, weakening the immune system, risking illnesses, heart palpitations and possible cancers.

As a Christian I would trust you wouldn’t follow false prophets blindly but rather research the Biblical common sense principles endorsed by God. Don’t believe everything your “itchy ears” want to hear. (2 Timothy 4:3)  Especially this time of year when everyone’s trying to lose weight and by now might be either discouraged or desperate, willing to follow nonsensical advice. Who would you rather trust?

A fat cell is our friend and it’s purpose is to store and release energy depending on what our metabolic needs are at the time, filling and reducing, depending on how much we eat. Don’t overeat. This is God’s perfect, intricately designed plan.

“Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous–how well I know it.” (Psalm 139:14)

Living Under Dietary Bondage

The law is bondage. The law is restrictive and confining, so how can one live perfectly within it?  The answer is, we can’t. There is no one who lives perfectly except Christ  We all are guilty under the law.

“as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one;” Romans 3:10

police car behind

It can either be scary or comforting to live under laws. On one hand we can be assured that if needed, police officers would be at our assistance, even risking their own safety for us.

However, have you ever driven down the street and all of a sudden found a police car following you? Innocent or guilty, what’s the first thing we do but check our speed limit, right? Were we driving above the law? Do we go through a quick mental check list and ask ourselves whether we came to a complete stop at that street corner or possibly driven through a red light? We breathe a sigh of relief as the officer turns down another street.

Unfortunately most people drive a few miles over the speed limit, so legally what’s to prevent that officer from pulling all of us over? Because he/she allows us a grace period. The officer understands that no one can drive perfectly within the law every time they get behind the wheel. But if someone flagrantly flaunts the speed limit, driving recklessly, endangering others, he’ll absolutely restrain them for everyone’s good! The punishment will fit the crime.

So it is with dietary laws. If we eat recklessly, totally out of control, unconsciously, disregarding our dietary health, we could pay a high price too. We’ll feel disgusted with ourselves, sluggish, possibly ill and probably guilty at our lack of willpower. However, there’s no question that the punishment is deserved, right? We alone chose our pathway: to denigrate our bodily temple! Because no one else lives there but us.

Hopefully we learn our lesson not to break some reasonable physiological laws.

So why do we expect perfection?! If we’re attempting a weight loss plan, it takes incredible willpower to remain on it with all the culinary temptations offered around us. Especially this month with the football play-off parties each weekend. The odds are many will fall into temptation and break their dietary goal in some way. Then what happens?  Mostly discouragement and faulty thinking, “Why bother? I can never succeed!”

Never give up! Strategize. Have a reasonable plan beforehand, such as eating a bit before attending, so you don’t arrive famished or choosing wisely (shrimp appetizer versus cheese dip.)

If we happen to eat a few more appetizers than necessary, simply eat more nutritiously the following day. Even if I realized that I had been speeding, I’d slow down, being grateful to God that it didn’t cost me a fine. I’d change my ways immediately.

Why are we so strict and unforgiving when it comes to diets? We must learn to forgive ourselves and immediately get back on track if we overindulge at a function. Why do we expect perfection? It needn’t be “all or nothing.” Why can’t we give ourselves a grace period similar to the illustration above? God wants us to enjoy the life He gave us but not to harm ourselves.

I urge you as well to incorporate forgiveness and sensible boundaries into your lifestyle, without license to sin.

“For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.”  (Romans 6:14)

A Motivational Tool for Weight Loss Victory!

th81IPF28OChallenging a mountain begins with a single step.

“For the Lord your God is going with you!  He will fight for you against your enemies, and he will give you victory!” (Deuteronomy 20:4)

It can get very discouraging after weeks of success to step onto the scale and see not one iota of movement downward. You might be tempted to throw in the towel and professing your discouragement ask,”Why bother?!  If this is the way God wants me to be, so be it! I’ll simply eat whatever I want and show HIM!”  (Although we are a child of God, he prefers us not to be childish.)

Don’t be like the Israelites wandering in the desert, moaning, “Oh how I wish we were back in the land of leeks and garlic. Even if I was enslaved, at least we ate well.”

Having an addiction to food enslaves us. Release the chains – break free!

Sometimes reaching a weight loss wall is simply physiology. We might previously have been at this weight for a length of time and our incredibly designed body believes this is where we want to stay. It thinks it’s protecting us while all we’re asking is “Why am I not losing?!”

By consuming water-based foods for a few days, (salads, soups, juicing) different exercises or diverse caloric values, (1200 one day, 1800 the next, 1000 the next) it jumpstarts the metabolism. Try it.

Or perhaps God is testing our faith. Yes it’s true that only we can lose weight for ourselves, but we must rely on the Lord for strength. Are we getting too “big for our britches” as my mom used to ask? Remember: lose for the right reasons – because God wants us healthy. He desires what’s best for us. Maybe getting down to 105 pounds for personal reasons is not what God wants and would in fact, make us susceptible to illness.

It takes a tremendous amount of self-discipline to keep on going when the body stops losing. So here’s a tool to keep you motivated:

Keep a Quarterly Weight Loss Chart:

  1. Create a graph on a piece of 8 1/2 x 11 paper with twelve rows across. and about forty blank spaces vertically down the page.
  2. At the top left hand corner (off to the side) place your starting weight.
  3. Under that, place the date when you began.
  4. Using the top row across, once weekly write in the date you weigh yourself.  HINT: do this in the morning with no food in your stomach and wearing the same clothes each time.  Don’t drink anything because a pint equals a pound. If you have coffee/tea and weigh yourself, you’ll think you’ve gained weight when it’s only water weight.
  5. Each vertical block represents a pound of weight.
  6. Each week, fill in a blank space downward representing each pound you’ve lost. (If you gained, indicate the correct weight you’ve reached on the graph.  It’s normal to go up occasionally.) If you’ve gained over two weeks, check your food diary and figure out if you’re eating emotionally or changed your habits.
  7. As you look at your graph week after week and notice the successes you’ve sustained, why would you ever want to return to where you are? A graph allows you to tangibly see how much you’ve accomplished. Sure you might be two steps back occasionally, but you’re twenty-two steps closer to your goal! Don’t give up!
Viewing that chart instills confidence and creates a sense of accomplishment. We truly can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! Please keep striving for godly health, inside and out.
 
 

“Isn’t Weight Loss Complicated?” Not really

We certainly live in a complicated high-tech world today.  Everyone wants the latest gizmos and gadgets and can’t get along without them. Disagree? Okay, how many of you type on a typewriter or change the TV by an attached knob? Right, didn’t think so.

I enjoy new things too. But when it comes to weight loss, I’d urge getting back to basics! By that, I don’t mean some old ’60s & ’70s diet plans. Go back 6,000 years. Begin the diet encouraged by God. (Genesis 1:29 & 9:3) 

building wilpowerAvoiding processed foods, sugary sodas, chemically produced fast-food, dyes and questionable preservatives will ensure healthier living and honors our Lord.

“Put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24)

  1. Eat as naturally as possible. I like organic but there’s no need to go that far. Frequent supermarkets which carry locally grown. Purchase farm-fresh, local produce and lean meat as much as possible.
  2. Exchange your sugary sodas for seltzer water with fruit/cucumber slices or a splash of fruit juice.
  3. Use your lunch plates for dinner.  You’ll eat less.
  4. Eat balanced mini-meals throughout the day which increases energy, decreases temptations.
  5. Remember that B vitamins, which turns fats, protein and carbs into energy, are water-based. Therefore they will only last in your system approximately four hours before washing away.
  6. Consume fibrous foods:  whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and herbs. (No matter how tough a steak is, meat has NO fiber!)
  7. Consume water  I’ll have an entire post about this essential nutrient soon but suffice to say, increase your pure water intake to approximately 6-8 glasses of water daily. A few cups more if you weigh over 200 pounds.
  8. Slow down while eating! Practice putting your fork down between bites. You already know it takes twenty minutes for a brain to know its tummy is full, so savor your food.
  9. Find an exercise you enjoy. Whether it is walking, jogging, swimming, dancing, gardening or group sport, you’ll only continue if you find pleasure in it. I’ve always disliked calisthenics but the WII videos are fun. If you get your children involved they’ll appreciate the bonding time spent with them.
  10. Keep it simple and know what and why you eat. Create a food journal.

Keep a food journal for two weeks. It’s eye-opening!

Let me explain why a food journal is important.  It instills accountability.  You alone are responsible for everything that goes into your mouth!  Do you really want that item or are you only provoked by a feeling?  Let’s say you are watching TV and an ice cream commercial comes on. You think, mmm, that sounds good . . . There are Dove Bars in the freezer!!!  Are you hungry?  Probably not.  How do you like being manipulated, becoming a lab rat for an advertising company?

In your food diary write down the date, time of day you eat, why you are eating,  how you were feeling, (hungry, bored, anxious, tired, etc.) and what you ate. Only eat if you’re hungry. No one sees this journal but you, so be honest.  In two weeks I’ll tell you what it says about you.  Stay tuned . . .

Many believe if one loses weight, he must suffer to succeed. Wrong. I call that the “penance principle.” God is not Charlie Brown’s friend Lucy who pulls away his football and laughs at his failures. You can TRUST God, He wants your health quest to succeed.  The way to health is no more complicated than the Simple Plan to Salvation! I urge you to do as He says!