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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Can flexing your mental muscles work for you? The latest weigh-loss advantage is all in your head. Here's how to use your imagination to lose.

You may not think of daydreaming as a weight-loss tool. However, new research suggests that your mind, much like your food diary and your scale, can help you shed pounds. In fact, you may actually be able to help curb your cravings for certain foods-from chocolate to french fries-by mentally "eating" those foods.

The mind can be a powerful weapon in weight loss. For example, in the months before her son's wedding, Mary W., 58, of Houston, TX, took a few minutes every day to flex her mental muscle: "I saw myself walking my son down the aisle in a halter sundress" she recalls. "His father & I are divorced, and I kept picturing the look on my ex's face when he saw me." Envisioning herself in a revealing style she wouldn't normally wear was the incentive that Mary needed to stay on track for the big day. Similarly, Heather H., 31, of Portland, OR, conjures up scenarios to help maintain her weight loss. One of the images that keeps her accountable is a big far-fetched, but it works. "I imagine myself as a runway model," she says. "Why not?"

These mental exercises may seem impractical or out of character for you at first. But when your tried-and-true methods (tracking, weighing and measuring) get stale and you need to shake up your mind-set, the techniques are a fun way to reinvigorate your resolve. Try imagining a thinner version of yourself doing something you wouldn't normally do, such as completing a maraton or strutting confidently into your college reunion.

Pick a time every day to spend a few minutes with your future self. Find a quiet place, close your eyes, and let your imagination run wild. Doing it first thing in the morning sets the tone for the day. Enrich your scenarios by giving them a soundtrack; for example, if you want to fit into a smaller jean size, see yourself zipping them up, and then hear your husband say, "Wow, you look good in those jeans." Use these techniques often to maintain your focus. And as your goals change, invent new images that help you move closer to the finish line.

(Adapted from Weight Watchers Magazine)

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOMIS1 6/19/2011 12:57PM

    There is actuall a book I read many years ago called "Think yourself Thin. Unfortunately I gained a lot of the weight back, however, I know for sure it does work.

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ROBBIE53 6/19/2011 8:22AM

    What a great idea! Thanks fo sharing.

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PJSTIME 6/19/2011 7:51AM

    We all need a few minutes of quiet time to reflect and set the mood for the day. Thanks for sharing this reminder.

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CAREN_BLUEJEANS 6/19/2011 7:47AM

    I picture myself on the beach where I grew up, with my school friends. Sure, I'm older, but so are they. And I look great, thin, fit & healthy. I'm wearing a bikini, and everyone is telling me I look fabulous.

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MOM2PHILNKEEG 6/19/2011 7:32AM

    I think this method definitly works especially in combination with thinking about getting stronger not skinnier. The pounds just seems to come off!

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CAM2438 6/19/2011 7:27AM

    Attitude is such an important thing. It sounds as though you are doing great with yours. Keep up the good work!

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The Weight Loss Trick That Works

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Eating breakfast is a proven way to shed pounds, keeping your energy cranked and cravings in check so you aren't tempted to binge later. Just make sure it's on the small side, about 400 calories or less (like a bowl of cereal and milk). A new study found that you're unlikely to adjust your lunch, dinner, and snacks to compensate for extra a.m. calories.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DODIERUTH 6/19/2011 12:21AM

    I have been known to skip breakfast, but in the last month I have been eating a small breakfast. And I have noticed it is easier for me to stay on task. And I am losing weight. emoticon

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SUSUSUZZZIE 6/18/2011 2:15PM

    Your blog title caught my eye. And you are so right-on here! I had to skip breakfast for lab work the other day and it was so hard to get caught up in a balanced way. Thanks for making me realize something that hadn't really set in.
PS - love the shot of the Blue Angels!

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MOM4407 6/18/2011 1:18PM

    Good Advice as always. I eat breakfast everyday even if it is just a piece of toast with peanut butter.

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RIKKI572 6/18/2011 10:57AM

    I used to always skip breakfast, having nothing but a coffee. Since returning to SP I have started to eat breakfast. This was not easy at first, but now, I find I have much more energy throughout the day.
Wishing you a fantastic day!!!

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WENDYLEE15 6/18/2011 9:53AM

    Yes this is so true! After you get used to eating breakfast every morning..you just don't feel as good if you happen to skip it. emoticon emoticon

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GAILRUU 6/18/2011 9:15AM

    I never miss breakfast.

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JUDITHANNIE 6/18/2011 8:57AM

    So true, since I've started eating breakfast my body tells me if I miss and I do feel like I do better starting out with breakfast. Another great helpful hint Judy emoticon

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ULTRA BALANCE = Living Ultra

Friday, June 17, 2011

Finding a work/play balance in your active life is challenging. Here are some suggestions to help you discover your balance and begin living the ULTRA life:

Try your best. Whether it's at work, in the gym, or at home, strive for excellence, not perfection.

Pick your priorities. Family, work, friends, education - identify what matters most and decide how much you value each. Don't forget to include yourself on the list!

Stay active. Exercise is a key element in the balance equation. Schedule time for workouts and vary your routines to stay motivated.

Eat and Treat. Maintain a balanced diet but take one day to indulge. This way you can still enjoy your favorite treats.

Lighten up. Make time for activities that you enjoy - yoga, running, gardening, playing with your children - whatever brings you joy and relieves stress. Have some fun - you deserve it!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

7356WILMA 6/17/2011 12:19PM

  So True!!

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DDOORN 6/17/2011 9:36AM

    Agreed: Balance is so essential!


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EVELYN5877 6/17/2011 9:20AM

    I always agree with your blogs, that's so annoying! I work on a 8/10 ratio, but more 10/10 while I'm actually loosing weight. What irritates me is that since I have no forbidden foods now, I don't know what to have to let loose on. Chocolate has never really done it for me, and I can't be bothered to make and cook the puds I used too.

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RIKKI572 6/17/2011 8:05AM

    A girls just gotta have fun!!! Thanks for sharing, and have yourself a fantastic day!

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"Because it's there"

Thursday, June 16, 2011

"Because it's there" is a fine reason for climbing Everest, not for eating a treat. Before you reach for the stale bagel in the conference room or a cookie sample at the supermarket, ask yourself whether you truly want it. If not, skip it. Those spontaneous nibbles aren't making you happier or svelter. We don't necessarily register these fly-by calories, but they can add up.

To avoid knee-jerk noshing, create a personal policy about it - "I splurge only on dark chocolate" or "One sweet a day" - so you don't have to decide nay or yea on the spot.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RIKKI572 6/16/2011 10:36PM

    I try to avoid grocery shopping on Friday and Saturday, as those are free sample days at my grocery store. That takes the temptation right out of my way!!
Have a wonderful day!

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MOM4407 6/16/2011 7:15PM

    Good advice especially the food samples. On Saturdays some stores the samples are so numerous one could eat lunch there.

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4EVER21B 6/16/2011 3:38PM

    Good advice, especially at Costco!

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GOATGIRLJM 6/16/2011 1:36PM

    I'll keep this in mind , thank u for inviting us to your page. Good reminder.

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LLLAWSON 6/16/2011 8:01AM

    Great reminders. Will think of Mt Everest next time I'm in that situation.

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HEIDI-25 6/16/2011 7:26AM

    Great reminder about thinking that the little things do add up.

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Free comes with a price

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A food that's "free" of something you don't want (such as fat) probably has more of something else you also don't want (like sugar or salt) to replace the missing ingredient. Trade a nonfat treat for a real-deal one that doesn't make false promises and satisfies your craving.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

7356WILMA 6/15/2011 1:39PM

  Thank you!!! Watch those labels!!

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DDOORN 6/15/2011 11:08AM

    What? You mean there ISN'T a FREE LUNCH after ALL...?!?! :-)


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RIKKI572 6/15/2011 8:30AM

    I love this. For medical reasons, I have to eat low fat, hubby low sodium. To get foods lower in fat, they increase the sodium. In low sodium foods, quite often the fat is increased. It really makes preparing meals a real challenge at times!!
Wishing you a great day.

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IDLETYME 6/15/2011 7:42AM

    You are soooo right! Buyer beware!

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CRYSTALGL77 6/15/2011 6:34AM

    Great advice! Thanks!!

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