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March 21 2015


Weight Loss Tips - DOUBLE Your Weight Loss!

(Welcome to my Weight Loss Tips Series! I lost 115 pounds through diet and exercise and have kept it off for seven years. Now I share my vast weight loss expertise with you! My articles are ideal for anyone with a lot of weight to lose, and can site i found about living and eating well also be helpful if you're just looking to shed a few pesky pounds. Enjoy!)

Did you know that keeping a food journal can not only improve your chances of succeeding in weight loss, it can sometimes even DOUBLE the amount of weight you can lose?!

When I first joined Weight Watchers, which is how I lost the majority of my weight, the concept of "journaling" my daily food and exercise habits, a cornerstone of their program, was completely foreign to me. Had I written down what I'd eaten in a day when I was maintaining my 265 pound stature, my food diary would have read something like this:

McDonalds Breakfast Sandwich (In car on way to work.)

KFC Double Down Chicken Sandwich (Aaaaaah!!!)

Dinner at Applebees (Fried chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, an Oreo cookie shake.)

Late night snack/second dinner (Wendy's #2 Meal.)

Later night snack (Doritos.)

And no, I'm not exaggerating.

So the idea of keeping a food record was not only terrifying, it was also a huge commitment. It meant I was going to have to stick to my healthy-eating plan, or be faced with the horror of writing "three cheeseburgers, large fries and an ice cream cone" into my food journal.

Once my initial fears settled down, however, I quickly got into the swing of writing down what I ate. In a way, it curbed the anxious need to funnel food into my mouth. I was always a kid who liked new school supplies and wrote on the first few pages of any new notebook with perfect penmanship. (The last few pages of the notebooks were a different story...)

So I often got a kick out of beginning a new day of food journaling on a fresh, new page of my notebook - a clean slate. And writing down something fantastically good for my body like "steel cut oatmeal with mixed berries" gave me a sense of control and satisfaction that I'd often been looking for in other places before I started to lose weight.

Often, weight issues arise out of a need for control. So keeping a food journal helped me control my life in a new, more productive way.

I also found that making a list of what I ate allowed me to go back at the end of every week and try to asses, without judgment, how I'd done. There would be some days with giant X's through them because I got caught up in a food buffet at a party and the whole day went to heck. But there were also some days where I came in right at "budget."

Most excitingly, my food journals (all of which I've neurotically saved over the years the way a war veteran might save relics from stations along her journey) remind me that even though I ate three tacos on May 5, 2003, and even though I had four margaritas on August 8, 2006 and even though I ate way too much birthday cake on my 25th birthday, I was still able to lose 115 pounds and keep it off.

My journals are a written example of the idea that it's okay to be imperfect in weight loss (and in life, really) and that we can still achieve success even if we don't always follow the rules.

In 2008, Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research published a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine that showed that keeping a food diary can so much as double weight loss "as part of a managed program," according to MedicalNewsToday.com. Essentially, researchers found that the more food records their patients kept, the more weight the participants lost.

Keeping a food diary or food journal has remained in my toolbox for maintaining effective and lasting weight loss to this day.

Almost every day, I write down what I eat. And when I feel myself straying a bit, the first place in which I re-focus my efforts is on my food journal.

You can find a free printable food journal template here. Try to journal your food and exercise routine for one week. You will be amazed at how much more in control of your diet you will feel!

Check out some of the other articles in my Weight Loss Tips Series! And good luck!

Weight Loss Calculators - How many calories do I need to eat to lose weight?

Weight Loss Pills - Do they help or hurt?

What FOODS to Eat! + Does Exercise Matter?

Stay Away From These Foods!! KFC Double Down Chicken Sandwich


March 15 2015


How to Lose Weight with Prayer

See all 12 photos

Source: S. B. Middlebrook

Still Searching for a Real Weight-Loss Solution?

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled." Matthew 5:6

In this Hub, I am talking about how God wants us to love our body, in its present size, no matter what. That is not to say you should never attempt to lose weight. You should desire to do as much as you can do to take the best care of your body. You should engage in regular physical activity to help maintain good health, and you should not be a glutton about food. Remember the last line of the Beatitudes where Jesus says, "Ye are the light of the world." This Hub is about not allowing anyone to turn your light off (not even you), no matter what weight or size you are right now. Instead of simply wanting to lose weight, your strongest desire should be to love yourself better. You should want to take better care of your body so that you can maintain your health.

Two Choices--In a Nutshell

After many years of searching for answers to my life-long weight dilemmas and drama, I one day came to realize that the solution to my weighty problems, ultimately, came down to two choices: (1) I could continue believing that physical weight was my only problem, or (2) I could ask God to help me to discover how to love myself and my body in a way that would bring me greater health, allowing me to live happily with me, no matter what the scales said about my weight.

Option Two represented a new challenge. It was filled with potential for a chance at a new life; a new kind of happiness I'd never known before. It represented a chance for me to tap into a Higher Power to triumph over something I'd always found to be one of the greatest struggles of my life. Option Two was filled with the promise of hope for a new path to spiritual bliss.

Option One is the comfort of a never-ending routine that, ultimately, does not work. It entices temptingly, like all calls from God's Fallen Angel--the best Pied Piper of them all.

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Option One is the comfort of a never-ending routine that, ultimately, does not work. It entices temptingly, like all calls from God's Fallen Angel--the best Pied Piper of them all.

Source: S. B. Middlebrook

E-book by Beax Rivers, available on amazon.com, for $2.99.

See all 12 photos

E-book by Beax Rivers, available on amazon.com, for $2.99.

Source: S. B. Middlebrook

Option One, on the other hand, represented the enticing and satisfying comfort of routine. It was the status quo, the devil I knew. It was the same old beguiling melody I'd danced to for years, a familiar song owned by God's fallen angel--the best Pied Piper of them all. Habitual and non-threatening, I could have Option One without changing anything about my M. O., my method of operation for losing weight. It's beauty was that it didn't offer any new challenges. It wasn't filled with new promises for hope, new chances, or anything new. It was the same old, same old, and that's what made it shine. And, sadly, for too many years I continued to cling tightly to Option One. The comfort of routine, the serenity of not having to change my M. O., it was all just too easy, and I embraced it wholeheartedly, cleaving to it as though it was manna from Heaven.

See all 12 photos

Source: S. B. Middlebrook

If you're someone who has searched for a way to control your weight, for many years, you might see yourself in something I've said. You might know there is something else you need to be doing to save your life; something you can start doing to gain health, instead of continuing to fight losing battles while always struggling to lose weight. You might already know you need something other than Option One.

Have you realized that you are free to choose a new path, a new life of setting new goals and achieving more? You know you need more than a plan that helps you lose weight only to gain it all back again. Why? Because as you were losing weight on the last plan you tried, you failed to gain what it really takes to keep the weight off. Because you've realized that until you make a plan for gaining health, instead of clinging to plans for losing weight, you will continue to ride on a roller coaster of defeat while being a living, breathing, walking statement of self-loathing.

Yes, choosing to stay with Option One is choosing to live on a weight-gain/weight-loss roller coaster. It is a dizzying, unbalanced, fuzzy-headed existence that will take you to some very high heights and some very low depths, and it will always bring you back to the same starting point.

The weight-gain/weight-loss Roller Coaster. A dizzy, fuzzy-headed, existence that always bring you back to the same dreary place.

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The "weight-gain/weight-loss Roller Coaster." A dizzy, fuzzy-headed, existence that always bring you back to the same dreary place.

Source: S. B. Middlebrook

Stop Being Your Own Worst Enemy

Living on the dieting-and-weight-loss roller coaster will cast you as the ANTAGONIST in your own life story. In writing fiction, the antagonist is the adversary, the person who is opposed to the protagonist, the hero or heroine of the story. The antagonist fights against the protagonist, and is a story's "bad guy."

When I lived as the antagonist in my own life, I existed in a state of constant denial. Clinging hopelessly to Option One, even though I had full-length mirrors in my home, I learned how to look straight into them, and still not see the person I needed to see. My image was staring me right in the face, head-on, but as a "Queen of Denial," I could not see that my real problem was not what I weighed or how I looked at all. My real problem was the need to learn to love myself unconditionally. So, when I was looking at my mirror image, I wasn't really seeing me at all. I might have been focusing my eyes on what the mirror was revealing, but what I failed to see was that I was too focused on how I looked and what I weighed to pay any attention at all to what I really needed.

See all 12 photos

Source: S. B. Middlebrook

During my unenlightened years, I was not able to accept as sincere any compliments about any aspect of my appearance. For example, if someone would say, "that's a pretty dress you're wearing," at a time when I was wearing "plus-sized" clothing, I would hear the words of the compliment, and I'd say "thank you," but I always felt as though the compliment giver was really offering an expression of sympathy. I felt that it would have been more sincere for the giver to say something like "Gee I'm so sorry you're so fat that you can't wear regular size clothing, but I'm really glad you found something big enough for you to wear that doesn't look hideous on you."

I know it sounds silly, but that's how I felt. I don't know if anyone else has ever felt that way about a compliment, but that's how I often felt. Instead of accepting a good thought as a gift, an acknowledgement of my appearance as being pleasant to someone else, I interpreted compliments in a convoluted way; as expressions "pity." That way, I could relegate them to being just one more vehicle driving me to feel badly about myself. But, with insight gained from reading and studying the word of God, I learned that when you don't feel good enough about yourself to truly and freely accept someone's compliment, it means that deep down inside, you don't feel deserving of the compliment. Because I could not appreciate myself in the size I was, I gained even more weight from stewing in the misery of not loving myself unconditionally.

I was allowing the secular world's ideas about weight, obesity, and worldly standards of beauty to dictate how I felt about myself. The negative "translations" I got from hearing positive words were actually coming from inside of me. I was the one who was always engineering ways to keep feeling defeated and depressed about the size of my body. And even though I knew that secular society places way too much emphasis on appearance, and not enough emphasis on character, I still held myself "hostage." I denied myself the love I needed from me, and I was determined to deny me that love until I could reduce the size of my body; until I could reach a weight that was more in line with worldly standards of female beauty.

See all 12 photos

Source: S. B. Middlebrook

Seek to Learn More About "The Greatest Love of All"

Learning to love yourself truly is the greatest love of all. As I began to study the Bible in earnest, I began learning lessons from the Greatest Teacher of All. That's when I discovered what I needed to give myself, and what had been missing from all the things I'd tried in the past when it came to losing weight and keeping it off.

And, with those previously missing components came permission to feel the pain of what I'd given up or lost out on due to years of living a life without loving myself completely and unconditionally. As I learned to hunger and thirst for the righteousness of God, I finally started to realize my very life was a gift to me every day, from God. I knew that if I was truly grateful for the gift of life, I could not keep looking at it, and the hope and possibilities it represented--as being "not good enough." I had to learn to be thankful for the life God has given me, and I had to learn to live my life on purpose, every day, in order to find happiness in God, and in order to experience the greatest love of all.

By studying Holy Scripture, I was guided to the realization that there was a new way to move forward with my life. And I could embrace it, but first, I had to say good-bye to some relics of my past. I had to permit myself to grieve:

For the loss a loving, energetic young life that should have been lived with great love for who I was, instead of as someone who was constantly unhappy about what she weighed.

For the loss of not accepting dates, as a teenager and as a young woman, from guys who truly liked me for who I was, because I was always holding out for the day I'd be slim enough to attract the "popular" guys that all the other girls wanted to date.

For the loss of ever feeling truly young and beautiful as a young woman beginning my career, because I always compared myself to the standards of beauty embraced by my favorite secular magazines. Those magazines gave me no reason to feel good about the size I was when I wasn't starving myself, and I believed they were right.

For not having been thankful for blessings, for not cherishing my mind and my personality, or anything I accomplished, because it all paled in comparison to wanting to possess standards of beauty set by Hollywood and shallow people. The very people who said there was an acceptable size for a beautiful woman to be if she wanted to be accepted as beautiful.

Every year of my life from about age 16 until age 36, I made exactly the same New Year's resolution, "I'm going to lose the weight this year, for good." Finally, around age 37, it got to be so redundant and unbelievable, that I stopped resolving to do it, even though I knew, in the past, I'd always recited my resolution with heartfelt sincerity.

Through the years, in between the New Year's resolutions and on my days off from self-pity, I would try different weight-loss programs. From Weight Watchers(TM) to Richard Simmons to Jenny Craig(TM), to the Atkins Diet(TM), to Slim Fast Plan(TM), and even diet-candy plans. I tried everything. From fasting and semi-fasting, and almost every fad diet that came along. From the all-protein diet to the rice and fruit diet to the fiber soup diet (vegetables with lots of fiber cooked into a soup); you name it, I tried it. And throughout all these diets, I exercised. I was indoctrinated early in life with information about the importance of exercise, and fortunately for me, that is something that has stayed with me.

See all 12 photos

Source: S. B. Middlebrook

As I engaged in many and varied exercise and diet programs and routines, I would sometimes see amazing results from my efforts. At other times I'd see no results at all. But through it all, there was one thing that would become a surety, from the first weight-loss battle I engaged in until I found myself weighing nearly 300 pounds. And that was that no matter how much or how little I lost, I was sure to gain it all back again, and sometimes more than I'd started with. And as the weight came back, so did the cycle of dieting and packing and piling new items of hurt and humiliation into my already overstuffed personal storage container of misery.

Another thing that remained constant was a feeling that there was something I needed to discover in order to find peace with my body and myself. And then one day I discovered something important. Just as Dorothy found out in the Wizard of Oz after telling everyone how much she wanted to go home, I too discovered that I had the power all along. I already had the ability to take control of my own life, and that power was enveloped inside the need to learn how to love myself, unconditionally.

The funny thing about it is, somewhere deep inside, I think I knew I had the power all along, because I knew that God loved me. But I had to learn that not acknowledging my need for continuous guidance from Jesus Christ--is really what chained me to victimizing myself as a rider on the dieting roller coaster. I always had the power, but I kept looking outside of myself for answers that God taught me were on the inside of me already. I had to understand that God's love is the only thing that can empower me to love myself, unconditionally. And it was not until I was http://nih.gov/ able to truly comprehend this truth that I was able to become self-controlled, rather than allowing standards set by other people to control the way I felt about myself.

With the help of God, I became able to see that I am controlled by my own mind, not by other people, other things, or other situations and events in my life, past or present. That's why I know in order for you to get where you want to get, physically and emotionally--off the diet roller coaster, and into a comfort zone about your body, you need to realize God has given you dominion over your earthly body. You control it. Your mind and how you choose to use it, is controlled by you, and not by others, past or present. Only you can learn what you need to know about yourself, and you should ask God to help you to learn these things. Other people can help guide you to the truth, but you have to learn and apply the lessons yourself.

See all 12 photos

See all 12 photos

God Loves You Just The Way You Are

God loves you. He is not waiting until you lose 5, 10, 20, or 50 pounds before He can love you. He loves you right now, just as you are. So don't listen to negative talk about you, your size, or your weight, from anyone. Not even from you. Remember, in the Beatitudes, Jesus says "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake." Therefore, if you are thirsting after the righteousness of God, you are on a quest for God's idea of perfection. That means you are not already perfect as a human being, and God does not expect you to be. That means it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks of or says about you, your weight, how you look, or what size you wear. That means you cannot wait until tomorrow to begin to love you. It means you have to love you now, just as you are--right now.

You are God's creation, and that encompasses every inch or centimeter of you, just as you are. You are not perfect, but no one is; not even those people who would hold you to some unholy standard of what constitutes beauty. God made us all in His image, as human beings, and God does not make any mistakes or errors. The way that you look right now is exactly as you should look at this moment in time, because God has a plan and a path for your life--physically and spiritually. There are things you need to learn in life that you can only learn from being in the body you're in right now. If you were in a different body, you could not learn the lessons God has for you at this time in your life.

It's time to focus your attention on God and the lessons He wants you to learn, so that you can move on in your Christian journey on earth. If you are not able to truly love and accept yourself right now, as you are this very minute, then it could be that before allowing you to change what you weigh, God is waiting for you to change how you think.

Your Body: A Holy Temple of God

Your body is a temporary, physical embodiment for a spiritual being with an immortal soul. God placed you on earth in a human body, and you should be treating your body as though you are protecting it for God. Why? Because you need to use this "temporary housing" to do what He placed you on earth to do. Therefore, you have a holy purpose for being, and you need your holy temple to fulfill that purpose. You should not abuse your body or harm it in any way unless you want to say to God that you are not pleased with His creation. God loves you, and He wants you to love you too.

To begin to truly love the real you, you must take away all "conditions" for loving you. You cannot allow anything to stand between you loving you, and that means you must learn to take the best care that you can of your body, because it is a Holy Temple on loan from God. Believe this: If you cannot find it in your heart to love yourself as you are now, it will be very difficult for you to begin caring for your body the way you need to in order to improve your health and make positive changes in your body weight.

Your body is the vessel in which your spirit resides while you are on your earthly journey. It is a gift to you from God. Remember, in the Beatitudes, Jesus declared: "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savoir, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world."

Jesus wants us to feel good about who we are as salt--the unique flavor we bring to the world. We are not all the same size, shape, or color. Like salt sprinkled on different dishes, our bodily differences help to flavor the earth with different experiences, different dreams, different expectations, different challenges, and different outcomes and victories. And all of these things work together to glorify God when we are willing to accept the calling to put God first in our lives.

Even if you have a bulging belly or broad hips, you should still let this fly proudly from your lips, you should say, Wow, you know? I love my body just as I am, right now.

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Even if you have a bulging belly or broad hips, you should still let this fly proudly from your lips, you should say, "Wow, you know? I love my body just as I am, right now."

Source: S. B. Middlebrook

God wants you to love your body in its present size. He wants you to learn all you can to help you take better care of your body. Once you begin to do this, barring any other medical condition that could cause you to be overweight, you should begin to lose excess weight. But even before you do that, you need to accept that learning to love you, unconditionally and right now, is more important than anything else. Because no matter what you do to change yourself on the outside, ultimately, you are going to be the same person on the inside. Losing 5, 10, 50, 100, or even 200+ pounds is not going to change who you are. For this reason, you need to work on being the person you know God wants you to be, so you can love yourself, always.

Take it from someone who is living inside of a body that once weighed nearly 300 pounds. I've lost weight before, and once went from a dress size 20 down to a size six in less than a year. But I eventually gained back every pound I'd lost, and more, because I didn't learn to love myself unconditionally before I lost the weight.

You see, when you love yourself unconditionally, you make better choices about food, about friends, about activities, about who and what you will allow to affect you emotionally--you make better choices all around. But until you can see this, you will likely feel that losing weight is all you need to do in order to be happy. And you will be all wrong. And you will probably lose the weight. And you will gain it all back, and more. And guess what? This cycle is going to repeat itself, over an over again, until you realize that what you're going through is the process God has designed because He is trying to get your attention so that He can teach you something. So, stop. Listen to Him, and learn something.

Don't forget to add prayer to your daily routine. It is a vital part of learning to love yourself, unconditionally.

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Don't forget to add prayer to your daily routine. It is a vital part of learning to love yourself, unconditionally.

Add Prayer to Your Daily Routine

If you are overweight and you don't love yourself now, there's a good chance you're not going to love yourself if and when you become a slimmer version of you. You may love the attention you'll get from people who'll notice your new appearance. Or you might love the way you look in your clothing once your body is slim and trim. And most of all, you might love being able to buy smaller size clothing. But you still won't be fulfilled, because you'll know something is still missing. No amount of money, clothing, hair styles, plastic surgery, or anything else you can purchase will be able to fill the void in your life caused by not loving yourself--unconditionally. I've found that adding prayer to your daily life can help, so here are http://health.usgs.gov/ some of my prayer activities that I hope will bless and help you:

Every morning when you rise, ask God for the willpower you will need to apply self-control to your day. Pray for guidance in making the best choices for nourishment and for physical activity. Ask Him to inspire you to want to take better care of your body, so that you can be physically and mentally empowered to do His will while living your life on purpose.

Ask God to guide you to what you need to do to overcome constant cravings for unhealthy food or snacks. Pray that He will help you to keep in mind that food is to be consumed for fuel, and not as recreation. Ask Him to help you make better choices for your nutritional needs.

Pray for guidance toward the knowledge and understanding you need to begin to see how the adversary can use food in a beguiling way. Just as he tried to tempt Jesus to turn stones into bread, he can tempt you and me to overindulge, to see food as something to be worshiped; something that is a constant reward for misery. Ask God to help you remove this "rotten" thinking from your mind, so that you can see food in a way that is healthy, so that you can use it to improve your health.

Remember to thank God every day for empowering you to exercise self-control throughout the day. Before you close your eyes to go to sleep at night, make sure you have acknowledged your need for God's guidance and strength. Thank Him for being there with you and for you, for loving you fully and completely, even when you find it difficult to love yourself.

Get closer to God, and you will begin to feel empowered by His presence in your life. As you begin to believe more in the power of God, you will begin to believe more in His power to empower you. You will learn to love yourself with no strings attached, just as God loves you. Then, before you know it, you will have discovered that the best way to lose weight and keep it off is to focus on loving you enough to do all you can to keep your body strong, and in good health.

© 2012 Sallie B. Middlebrook, Ph.D. Last updated on September 30, 2013

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March 12 2015


Jessica Simpson flaunts weight loss benefits of vegan diet cleanse - National diets

Who wears short shorts? Jessica Simpson, who delights in displaying the weight loss benefits of her vegan diet cleanse by wearing Daisy Duke-style shorts regularly, reported Us Weekly on Aug. 22.

"Jessica did a vegan diet for about two weeks leading up to the wedding," said a source. To boost her weight loss from her plant-based cleanse, she also worked out with celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak.

Famed for her toned legs, Jessica performed lunges regularly as well as upper-body work. She also wore a pedometer and aimed for 12,000 steps per day, which Harley recommends for all his clients.

Jessica isn't the only celebrity to choose a vegan diet for weight loss. Beyonce and Jay Z went on a vegan diet for 22 days, according to E News. In addition, Jennifer Lopez chose a vegan diet to shed extra pounds.

And while all these celebrity dieters also exercised, Jennifer's trainer Jay Cardiello disagrees with the latest studies that say it doesn't matter if you eat breakfast when it comes to weight loss. While doing cardio in the morning without eating might help you shed pounds temporarily, "it's not sustainable," he said in an Aug. 22 interview with the Daily Beast.

Researchers have discovered that eating carbohydrates before you work out actually boosts your post-exercise "after-burn" more than fasting. That benefit means that you continue burning more calories during the day even after you've finished exercising.

If you do want to try the trend known as fasted cardio, Cardiello cautions that the method "shouldn't be used unless you are being looked after by a nutritionist, professional strength training coach and a medical professional." One of his clients, 50 Cent, used it but the trainer worked closely with the rapper to make sure he stayed healthy.

Jessica's trainer Harley feels hemorrhoid pain relief that breakfast is essential. "Contrary to popular belief (and maybe counterintuitively) eating breakfast actually helps you lose weight," he said in http://www.about.com/health/ a blog for People magazine.

Moreover, says Harley, studies show that eating breakfast helps prevent type 2 diabetes. That first meal also helps your metabolism function more effectively.


March 10 2015


5 Things No One Tells You About Losing Weight

There's little more inspiring than a dramatic health transformation. But in our typical narratives surrounding weight loss, we tend to focus on the obvious: the health benefits, the boost to self-esteem, the improved sleep.

And while it's true that losing a few extra pounds has a whole host of health benefits (stronger bones, lower diabetes and stroke risk and a longer life, to name a few), there are also often some challenges along the way that we don't always hear much about.

Because we know it's not easy, here are a few of those weight loss challenges no one usually mentions.

1. Your perception of your body won't change over night.

A dramatic transformation should feel great -- but what about when it doesn't?

"I still have trouble seeing what I've done these past two years," Kristin Griffin, who lost 83 pounds, told HuffPost in 2014. "The weight loss was the easy part; realizing and seeing the new me has been a daily battle."

"Many people attribute life disappointments to the fact that they're overweight, and they think, should they lose the weight, everything will be miraculously improved," clinical psychologist Ed Abramson, Ph.D., author of Emotional Eating tells The Huffington Post. "But the reality is, you're still you."

"At first, I thought I would just have this newfound confidence," Shannon Britton, who lost 268 pounds after having gastric bypass surgery, told CNN in 2014. "I'd be thinner and want to run around naked. OK, maybe not naked, but I had this fantasy in my head that one day I would wake up with a body that I loved and would feel comfortable putting into a bikini -- that I'd have no body shame whatsoever."

In fact, says Abramson, body image may be the very last aspect to change throughout such a transformation; much like people who have lost a limb may feel pain or tingling where it once was, so too may formerly overweight people believe they still take up more space.

But that doesn't mean it's impossible to get there, eventually. "For the first couple of years of my journey, I still had difficulty seeing myself as the new me," Maia Sutton, who lost 90 pounds, told HuffPost in 2013. "It wasn't until very recently when I seemed to have an unexplained epiphany and realized, I am good enough! I am worth all of this! For the first time in my entire life, I look at myself in the mirror and can say I look amazing. I find things to compliment, rather than degrade. I'm the most confident I have ever been in my life."

2. There will likely be excess skin.

If you've lost a certain amount of weight, you're likely to be faced with a very-real physical reminder of its disappearance: sagging, stretch-marked skin. Unfortunately, there aren't really any lifestyle measures to be taken to prevent excess skin. "How loose your skin gets after losing weight depends on several factors: how much weight you've lost, how old you were when you lost the weight, how many times you've lost and gained the weight back, and how quickly you lost it (the faster you lose it, the less time your skin has to tighten naturally)," Women's Health magazine reported.

Some opt for surgery. Brian Beck, who lost more than 300 pounds, told HuffPost in 2013 that he had surgery to remove 10 additional pounds of excess skin alone. Of course, surgery of any kind can have serious health consequences, and surgery to remove excess skin is also not typically covered by insurance. "I am happier, but I'm still stuck with a constant reminder of my past ... some serious mental scar tissue," Robbie Siron, who lost 155 pounds, told HuffPost in 2014. "For me personally, I am also left with excess skin. I'm frustrated that my insurance company would pay for me to have a triple bypass, but not to remove my excess skin."

However, body image is also at play, says Abramson. He encourages people who feel frustrated by excess skin to be at least a little skeptical of their own reflections. "Sometimes when you look at yourself in the mirror, your brain plays tricks on you," he says. "The brain's representation of your body may not be entirely accurate."

3. Some relationships might change.

Maybe your favorite new bootcamp conflicts with your old favorite TV show, which you always watched religiously with a friend over snacks. Maybe your wife feels like your new veggie-heavy dinners are silently nagging her to make changes. As your habits become healthier, you might find you have less (or more!) in common with certain people around you.

While new relationships forged at the gym or in the office weight-loss group can be extraordinarily motivating and empowering, research suggests older relationships, particularly romantic ones, may suffer if one person loses weight and the other does not. One study even found a higher divorce rate among people who undergo weight-loss surgery. Weight may serve as a sort of equilibrium in a relationship, explains Abramson. For example, he theorizes, a partner may feel more confident speaking up against the other after losing weight or more anxious about the other leaving the relationship after losing weight. Siblings may even feel more rivalry after one loses weight. "You upset the equilibrium," he says, "and sometimes conflict emerges."

4. Your new wardrobe might cost a pretty penny.

Once you've reached your goal weight, you'll probably find yourself in need of a few new things to wear. The more dramatic your transformation, the more likely it is you'll even need some interim duds, and you may find yourself shopping for new clothes at multiple stops along your weight-loss journey.

"Although it has been expensive, I get a big kick out of shopping for smaller clothes every month or so," Brad Bishop, who lost 65 pounds, told HuffPost in 2014. "My waist has gone down over 7 inches. I've had to go to a leather shop several times to cut my belts and punch new holes in them. I needed to have links taken out of my watch."

Thrift shopping http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/ and clothing swaps with friends can help you supplement your new wardrobe without totally cleaning out your wallet. If you can hold off, postpone buying new clothes until you really need them, and reward yourself with something that's less dependent on size instead, like a new hair product or piece of jewelry, says Abramson.

5. Others may think they're being supportive...

You're probably going to encounter some people who notice you're going through some changes. Many of those people will be perfectly supportive, compassionate and encouraging. Some may not. From unsolicited advice to guilt-inducing food pushing, not all of their attention will be welcome.

In fact, even the simple "You look great!" can feel http://health.usgs.gov/ straight-up awkward. For starters, being told how wonderful you currently look may make you question what those commenters thought of you previously. In some cases, focusing solely on the physical may be triggering to some people with difficult relationships to eating, weight loss or exercise. And in other instances, it might just seem rude. "I'm not fat, I'm not thin, I'm reasonably well-proportioned, and people ask if I've lost weight," said Abramson. "[I want to tell them:] 'Mind your own business!' I would encourage people to change the topic."

Try arming yourself with some smart comebacks, like these from Health.com, and know that what those folks are really trying to say, no matter how painfully, is to be proud of yourself.


March 08 2015


Fitness Trackers May Boost Weight Loss

by Rachael Rettner, Senior Writer

Date: 06 March 2015 Time: 07:33 AM ET

A woman exercises while holding her smartphone. Fitness apps may help you get in shape.

CREDIT: Woman exercising photo via Shutterstock

Fitness trackers may help some people get more out of using a weight loss app, a new survey suggests.

The survey, which involved more than 5,000 people who use the popular weight loss app Lose It!, found that 60 percent of users said they lost more weight when they paired a fitness tracker with the app, compared with when they didn't use a tracker. In fact, 96 percent of the responders said they were using an activity tracker along with the app.

Adding a fitness tracker to the app may provide "another level of accountability" for users, said Charles Teague, CEO of Lose It! "Motivation is a major factor in helping our members lose weight and it was exciting to great site with health information see the role connecting an activity tracker to Lose It! can play," Teague told Live Science.

The survey also showed that 92 percent of users said using a fitness tracker with the app helps them stay motivated.

However, it may be that people who use this app are more dedicated to their fitness trackers than people who don't. Eighty-seven percent of Lose It! users said they wear their activity tracker every day, and 78 percent said they have used their activity tracker for a year or more. This is in contrast to another recent survey, which found that about one-third of Americans who own a fitness tracker or smartwatch abandon the device within six to 12 months. [Fantasy Fitness Tracker: 8 Absolutely Must-Have Features]

Using the fitness tracker together with the app may give users a better overall picture of their health, Teague said. The Lose It! app calculates how many calories users should consume per day to achieve their weight loss goals, and includes a calorie tracker and a database of foods. Users can also manually log their exercise and weight, and challenge friends to compete toward a particular goal.

But the app does not automatically track workouts, sleep or weight, and can only track steps automatically if people are using an iPhone 5S or iPhone 6, and this is where a fitness tracker may step in.

Dr. Mitesh S. Patel, an assistant professor of medicine and health care management at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, noted that the new survey was not a scientific study, so there are limitations to what people can draw from the findings. For example, users did not have their weight measured objectively, so it's not clear whether they really did lose weight, Patel said.

Patel, who was not involved in the research, agreed that the people who responded to the survey are probably more motivated than the average person in the population.

And it's likely not the wearable device itself that's causing people to lose weight, but rather how the wearable or the app engages users to motivate them to change their behavior, Patel said.

Although wearable devices have the potential to help people change their behaviors, more studies need to be done to look at which engagement strategy works best for users, Patel said. These studies should be well designed and include a control group (for example, a group that does not use a fitness tracker, to be compared with a group that does).

Patel and colleagues are in the process of studying which strategies help motivate people the most to change their behavior. A previous study from Patel's group found that most smartphone apps are just as good at counting steps as wearable devices.

Follow Rachael Rettner @RachaelRettner. Follow Live Science @livescience, Facebook  Google+. Original article on Live how to get teeth white Science.


March 05 2015


Is Weight Loss Is A Misnomer And Do Bathroom Scales Lie? by Merril Bowater

Everyone likes to talk about ?weight loss? but what type of ?weight? are people actually losing? In this article, readers discover the truth about the term collectively known as ?weight loss?.

In 2003 I attended a seminar entitled ?Fat Loss health information not Weight Loss? as part of my Naturopathic training. Early in the day the lecturer made a comment that I have never forgotten. ?You can lose weight just by going to the toilet!? Although Mr. Eddy ND was stating the obvious; it wasn?t until that moment that it dawned on me just how misleading the term ?weight loss? can be. Losing excess fat, fluid, waste or toxins, should be the goal of any healthy weight reduction program. However, for most people, the success of a weight loss program is measured simply by a decrease in kilograms on the scales.

So when ?Anita? weighs herself on the scales and she?s 2 kg lighter, she assumes that this is healthy and what she is doing is working. And of course this is understandable given that the generalized notion of weight loss, is all anybody ever talks about! But what if that 2 kg weight loss came at the expense of a reduction in muscle and bone mass? Muscle mass is heavier than fat mass so when it is lost it has a dramatic effect on the scales. The irony is that muscle mass drives metabolism and enables you to burn fat more effectively. So while losing muscle mass might look good on the scales, it actually weakens your overall physique and body structure, decreases your immunity and slows fat loss.

Therefore, as any of my clients can attest, it is essential that you know what type of ?weight? you are actually losing. There have been instances among my male clientele where their overall weight has increased but their physique has improved substantially. This is because their increased weight came from muscle mass which enabled them to burn more fat. It should also be remembered that muscle mass also adds tone to the body and improves its overall appearance. It also produces increased stamina, strength and energy.

Overall physique is a very important consideration when attempting to reduce body weight. Many people have large frames with a high degree of muscle and bone mass. This can weigh quite heavily on the scales but it is very important for the body to have a strong structural framework. The body?s bone mass peaks at 20 years of age but according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 5 to 7 years after menopause bone mass declines by a whopping 20%.

This is because women Cool new site lose the protective effects of estrogen after menopause which predisposes them to developing Osteoporosis (porous bones) which fracture and break easily. Therefore, maintaining a healthy amount of bone mass is essential to offset this hormonal change.

My advice to anyone undertaking a weight reduction program is to make sure that they monitor and manage their progress with regular Body Composition Assessments (BCA) to ensure that muscle and bone mass is not being sacrificed in an effort to weigh less on the scales. Ideally BCA?s need to be done every three weeks as bone and muscle loss can occur with surprising speed.

On a final note I believe it?s unrealistic to compare one person?s weight loss success with another because there are so many variables. Among my clients there are examples of people who weigh lighter simply because they have a smaller frame. There are also examples of people who are heavier yet healthier than others, simply because they have more muscle and less fat mass overall.

Having conducted countless Body Composition Assessments, I can assure readers that there are definitely risks associated with weight loss if it is not monitored and managed correctly. Bathroom scales are next to useless because they do not give you the full picture. Be fully informed about the type of weight you are losing to avoid serious health issues down the track.


February 28 2015


Rocco DiSpirito: Healthy eating doesn't have to bust budgets

Healthy food means expensive food, right? Rocco DiSpirito says that's a myth in need of busting.

In an interview with CBS News, the celebrity chef and author of  "The Pound A Day Diet," argued that "pound for pound," healthy whole food is cheaper than processed meals, and worth the extra time it might take to prepare.


DiSpirito, author of "The Pound A Day Diet," embarked on his own battle to lose pounds in 2006.

 His New York Times bestselling diet promises to help participants "lose up to five pounds in five days" until reaching their goal weight, by following a series of menus for four five-day plans and four weekend plans. DiSpirito says he based the recipes -- which total about 850 daily calories on weekdays and 1,200 calories on weekends -- off the Mediterranean diet, which has been tied to health benefits.

He added that seeing the pounds come off motivates dieters to maintain healthy habits. However, calorie-restricted diets often raise questions over the safety and long-term effectiveness of rapid weight loss.

DiSpirito defends his plan as "a diet that's built on a foundation of medicine, science and deliciousness."

Does food that helps your waistline have to hurt your wallet?

It's a popular assumption, backed by a recent Harvard School of Public Health study which found that a healthy diet filled with fruits, vegetables, fish and nuts costs about $550 more a year than a typical U.S. diet filled with processed, foods, meat and refined grains.

DiSpirito however disagrees that healthy eating has to be more expensive.

"Pound for pound, healthy food, whole food, a head of broccoli, a whole chicken, is going to be much less expensive because you're doing the processing," he said.  "If you buy a package of hot pockets, and you compare pound to pound -- not serving size to serving size, which is what packaged food companies like to do, confuse people with serving size -- it's entirely mathematical that you'll get a lot more for your money with whole food than you will with processed food.

"Someone has to get paid to do the processing."

DiSpirito isn't alone in making the argument that healthy eating and dieting doesn't have to bust budgets.

"There's definitely ways people can eat healthy and have it cost even less," said Dr. Christopher Ochner, an assistant professor of pediatrics, adolescent medicine and psychiatry at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, who focuses on nutrition research and weight loss.

"Are fruits and vegetables more expensive than frozen pizza? Yea." said Ochner, who pointed out he's eaten healthily on a student's budget for the better part of his adult life. "But you can buy in bulk," he told CBS News.

Then there's unhealthy eating's costs to society and families over the long term, said DiSpirito. The extra gasoline needed to transport the population's extra pounds. The pricey medications prescribed to battle diseases linked to obesity.

"What does it cost a family when the primary income earner dies 20 years too soon?" he asked. "How much in potential income?"

What about all the time it takes to cook?

Fast food and processed foods are popular for a reason: They're compatible with a busy day.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that adults get about 11 percent of their daily calories from fast food, with obese individuals having the highest percentage of their diets made up from these convenient meals.

"Cooking does take time," DiSpirito admits. "But the question you have to ask is, not will it take time, is it worth my time? What's the return on investment? And I think when it comes to healthy, the return on investment is pretty obvious."

With his "Pound a Day Diet," DiSpirito said, he tried keep the recipes simple, and the cooking time to around five to ten minutes.


Rotisserie Chicken and Teriyaki Asian Noodles from DiSpirito's diet.

CBS News

 His rotisserie chicken and teriyaki noodles? "The slowest cook I know would take 15 minutes."

Buy a roasted chicken from the supermarket, DiSpirito instructed, "pull it apart, you throw it in a bowl with miracle noodles, which are noodles that are made out of fiber and calorie-free. You add sugar-free Asian flavored sauce... and two other ingredients, broccoli slaw and cilantro, and you're done."

How do you make healthy also tasty?

For DiSpirito, the question of making delicious food healthy, and healthy food delicious, gained a personal importance when he got a wake-up call in 2006.

"I was faced with my own declining health due to obesity -- I was 41 pounds heavier, I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels," DiSpirito said. "I was prescribed statin drugs, and blood pressure drugs that lower libido and have a lot of terrible side effects and when the picture was painted for me, I was given that option, the prescription medicine option or diet and exercise. And for once in my life, I made the right choice and picked diet and exercise." 


Sour Cream and Onion Sweet Potato Chips from DiSpirito's diet

CBS News

 A year later, he was competing in an Ironman 70.3-mile triathlon. The problem was, the dieting part quickly grew old.

"I got tired of the smoothies after a few months of training for that Ironman so I started to make the food that I love healthy," DiSpirito said. "And little by little I started to amass a number of dishes that were absolutely wonderful and much less calories."

The first dish he toyed with was lobster bisque: "Turns out that tastes better when it's made with lower fat liquids than when it's made with cream as it traditionally is."  

He applied his findings to the recipes in his new diet, keen on maintaining what he calls the "deliciousness factor." Dishes include sour cream and onion sweet potato chips, bacon wrapped chicken, and a banana cream smoothie.

The diet, while rich in dishes with delicious names, is also low on calories. But, calorie-restricted diets are often criticized for concerns that the weight might come back once the diet ends.

Is losing a pound a day healthy or sustainable?

DiSpirito's diet features an average daily calorie count of about 850, while the U.S. Government generally estimates daily caloric needs at above 2,000 calories per day for many adults. Depriving the body of those calories, DiSprito said, is the whole point, and accepted science.  

"You create a 3,500-calorie-a-day deficit and hopefully burn a pound of fat," said DiSpirito. "3,500 calories equals a pound of fat." 


Fresh raspberries with sugar free vanilla cream. Total calories: 83.

CBS News

 It's an approach that might sound extreme, but, DiSpirito said, it's intended to combat an extreme condition: potentially life-threatening obesity.

"It's a diet for people who need to lose weight. And only for people who need to lose weight."

Ochner, from Mount Sinai, said such a low-calorie diet can be safe for obese individuals and this particular diet contains a "pretty good" macronutrient breakdown of high protein, low fat and low carbohydrates.

But, he recommended for any calorie restricted diet, "It should definitely be done under physician supervision. There's no doubt about that."

With his rapid results diet, DiSpirito joins a long-running debate in weight loss circles: Slow versus fast. I believe this post is awesome. It actually handles my health situation correct now.DiSpirito cites two studies from the University of Melbourne and the University of Florida in his argument for fast, noting that both found that "people who experience rapid results at the beginning of the diet tend to stay on the diet longer."

"And it just makes sense on the merits right? When you get rapid results, you're more motivated."

The daily menu encourages eating smaller meals every two to three hours in an effort to boost metabolism and stave off hunger.


Banana cream smoothie. Total calories: 103.

CBS News

 Ochner said the data overall has been mixed about what weight-loss method works best. He noted that the rapid approach may have an opposite-than-intended effect for some dieters.

"After two weeks on the diet, some pounds have come off, so now maybe I can ease off a little. I've been going nuts for two weeks, what if I back off a little bit. I don't need to be as stringent about it," Ochner said. "And that's usually when you get a big big reversal."

But for DiSpirito, healthy living all comes back to investing the time in healthy eating.

"It's not a coincidence that the three countries with the lowest obesity rates are also the highest at home cooking rates: Italy, Spain and France. And they essentially live a lifestyle that is very sustainable, where they eat whole, fresh food every day, cooked at home. Imagine that," said DiSpirito.

"If everyone did that, you wouldn't need me and I'd be out of a job. But it would make me very happy, and it's how I grew up."

Ryan Jaslow contributed to this report. 

© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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