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Friday Fit Tip: Variety not the spice of life

Friday, May 30, 2008

Would you believe too much variety in your diet can actually hurt you? It's true. It's a somewhat uniquely American problem, too.

When people are given access to a variety of food, they tend to eat more. They did a study with jelly beans, and those offered a variety of jelly beans ate more than those offered only one kind.

We want to try everything. I know it's certainly true for me: if I find a couple of new flavors of a favorite protein bar, I'll buy them, but when I get home, I want to try all the flavors!

You do need to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. But when it comes to snacks and treats, you're better off limiting yourself.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JULJUL13 5/31/2008 8:01PM

    I never thought about this before. But subconsciously that's probably why I stay away from buttets...hahaha

Thanks for the tip.

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VAL503 5/30/2008 10:04PM

    Great point! I find myself only eating two things.. yogurt and cereal, or steel cut oats for breakfast. I can never seem to move beyond that, but I like it! And, I always know about what my calories are.. it feels comfortable.
I agree that too many snack choices can lead to trouble :-) Thanks for another great post!

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FOREVERGREENE 5/30/2008 9:06AM

    Thank you for this tip!

Information is always needed. Especially for me!


emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CURVYMOMMIE 5/30/2008 8:33AM

    That is so true! "You On A Diet", the book recommends you give yourself two options every morning for breakfast and stick to that. I guess when we stick to foods we know our body just knows how to break down more quickly. I think that's what I remember reading.

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A simple equation?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Losing weight is a simple equation, isn't it?

Burn more calores than you take in = weight loss

Or is it?

I read about a study recently, I forget where. Anyway, they fed a group of people 1000 extra calories a day. I don't think exercise was mentioned, but I don't remember. Guess what? They gained different amounts of weight, I mean, a wide variance among the group.

Nothing's simple when it comes to weight loss!

Exercise is a very important component of weight loss. You *will* lose more if you move more. And exercise alone won't contorl your weight. I have a acquaintance who started doing those walk for the cure races -- the ones where you go 60 miles in 3 days. Lots & lots of training and walking. Yet she was still overweight.

You have to couple exercise with food awareness. You could, for instance, meet your daily minimum calories by only drinking coke all day. I bet you'd be really wired and hungry, but you could do it. Chances are you'd totally pig out at some point because you miss actually chewing your food, not to mention all that sweetness would set you up for craving even more sweets. Yes, that's a very extreme example.

But let's say you eat good for breakfast and lunch, but make bad choices at dinner -- yet are still within your calorie ranch. You think great -- I can pig out at one meal and still do this. Chances are, eventually that kind of eating is going to catch up with you. We're not naturally thin people, or we wouldn't be here.

To lose weight we have to make wise decisions for the majority of what we put in our mouths. That doesn't mean you can't eat your favorite foods, but it does mean you need to look for ways to lighten them up, keep them in moderation, or find healthy substitutes that actually satisfy you.

Satisfaction is the key to weight loss. You might think a box of cookies is satisfying in the moment, but you know you'll feel sick and guilty afterwards. But an apple plus 1 or 2 cookies might be satisfying.

And if you fill up on healthy foods first, you may find yourself not craving unhealthy foods as much. Because you'll already feel satisfied.

Sometimes it takes me a while to get to my point, but yes, I do believe that satisfaction is the key to weight loss.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOODLANDMYST 5/29/2008 7:44PM

  I'm practicing eating until I've had "just enough". I believe I AM a naturally thin person - but up until recently I didn't behave like one, I didn't think like one, I surely didn't eat like one.

Having said all that, I overdid at supper tonight. Need to go out and play with the dog for a while.

Have a good one! Cyndy

Comment edited on: 5/29/2008 7:43:07 PM

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CJROMB 5/29/2008 7:14PM

    This is exactly how I feel. You're expressing this in an excellent way, in way less time and more effectively than I did! :)

There was some study on the front of some big magazine recently (I think I mentioned this in one of my blabbers) that found "all diets work". The reason? For the people that followed them, they tracked, and they became food aware.

I think HOW each of us become food aware and handle exercise is different. We each have to craft a plan that works for us, make incremental changes that we can stick with based on who we are, be honest with ourselves, be ready and willing to make adjustments when we learn new things that resonate with us, or find that what we're trying isn't working, remember to reward ourselves, think positive, be open and as public as we can be about what's up, and use powerful language in our heads that serves us.

And I swear more than anything, I think one of the most important things to remember is to focus on our ACTIONS, on things we can control, because as you point out, everyone loses the actual weight at different times and different paces.

OdeTo150 has a great thing on her site about the 5% that make it. I like going back there and reading it.

Thanx for your blog!

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WHIMSYT 5/29/2008 3:59PM

    Absolutely! There must be satisfaction with your daily nutritional intake, or else it's just going to be one more diet in a string of serial diets where there's "cheating" and "falling off the wagon" and eventually gaining back all that hard work.

You mention having been a WW leader. WW can be a great guideline for healthy eating, but if it's viewed as a "diet" where, once I get to that golden number on the scale I can go back to eating whatever I want whenever I want in any quantity I want, well, that's just going to put me right back where I was before I started. But, if I view it as a fantastic "outline" for my daily food intake for the rest of my life, then there is no "diet" to follow or fall off of.

Personally, I think the new WW Core program is great. Or the Flex, although the Flex requires a whole lot more futzing with, and to me, has more of a diet "feel" to it. But that's just me.

You're right--losing fat is far more than a simple caloric equation. It's a lifestyle change, a permanent lifestyle change, one meal at a time, for healthy eating. That does NOT mean no treats! It does take diligence, attention, and effort, but the larger picture will get us there now.

Hang in there! Spark People is fabulous! I'm so glad you're here! emoticon

p.s. I, too, have 2 emoticon and 2 emoticon, and I emoticon , emoticon, knit, etc.

Remember, one step at a time! emoticon

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CHARQ09 5/29/2008 1:39PM

    I totally agree. I personally don't believe in self-deprivation. That can lead to binging. A small treat now and again while dieting can help maintain sanity!

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Celebrating successes, again

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I did go to my WW meeting last weekend. And I was quite surprised that I'd lost almost 1 pound! 1 pound in 1 week is huge for me, although I know many get frustrated with that small amount. But I celebrate it. Any move down is a move in the right direction.

I've struggled a bit with the decision of whether or not to weigh in again this week. Now you don't have to weigh in every week; they give you a no-weigh pass, which is something they didn't have back when I was still active. Which is great!

I will go to weekly meetings. But I don't want to weigh in every week. Weight fluctuates too much, and it can be really depressing when it doesn't go down or especially when it goes up. Although I did feel like I'd lost weight last week, and also felt that I'd eaten particularly well, I still didn't expect much of a loss.

I personally find that by really paying attention to what I'm eating and why, and just simply writing down what I eat, plus measuring and judgining by how my clothes fit, I can get a fairly accurate view of how I'm doing. But sometimes the scale doesn't reflect that. But for me, it's not about a number on a scale (even though that number still holds a lot of power), it's about how I feel and how I feel when I look at myself. And I pay a lot more attention to how I feel when I don't know what the scale says, personally.

I am also going to try several different meetings. I didn't feel a real connection with the leader in the one I tried. And there's no reason to go to a meeting when you don't feel a connection with a leader, unless you have no other meetings available to you. So I'm shopping for a new leader.

And I hadn't even begun to record points last week!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DESHRINK 5/28/2008 2:17PM

Just popping in to take a moment to celbrate with you.
Congratulations on your loss.

Personally I think a lb. a week is perfect and thats my long term goal.
I try to burn off half of each one exercising.
Over dieting, for me, is counter productive.
I want to learn to eat right and allow my body to adjust to the positive changes.

I agree that paying real attention to what you're eating and why is key.
The scale is not the measure of success, but must follow it....all in due time.

Wishing you the best success with your goals.


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Pay it forward

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

For those who never saw the movie, it was about doing three nice things for people: people you love, or just people off the street. With no expectations of being paid back, just putting it out there. To see what happens. How the world might change.

Today's "Healthy Reflections" from SP had this quote:

"Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day."

- Sally Koch

It's amazing how doing something nice for someone, with no agenda, can change both your mood *and* the mood of the recipient. It's called karma, folks; what goes around, comes around.

Oddly enough, it isn't always easy to do the right thing. Other than this blog, and my personal blog about my animals, I also journal. Most days. Yup, that's actually sitting down and writing my thoughts out. It's a combo-journal, too: I do stream of consciousness writing, where I just put pen to paper; I write down 3 things that I'm grateful for each day; I write down 10 things I want out of life, both big & small; and I also write 5 nice things I did that day. Guess which one is the hardest one to do?

Granted, at the moment I'm living by myself. I don't work. I'm not a total shut-in, I do agility with the dogs, I walk the dogs every day, I volunteer at a friend's small cat rescue, I grocery shop, I attend Weight Watchers meetings.

Still, it's often hard to come up with 5 nice things I've done in any one day! Some things repeat themselves over and over. And once in a while I do something cool. When I was in San Jose several months ago, I came across a woman attending to her colony of feral/stray cats. I gave her $20. My husband would probably never do that; he wants a receipt so that he can write off his donation. But I know how hard it can be to manage a feral colony -- they depend on you every day for food, whether the weather is good or not, it's a holiday or not, and perfect strangers rarely come up to you and just hand you money. I didn't do it to have something to write down or to get something back, it just felt right to me.

We get so caught up in ourselves in our weight loss journey. So worried about what we ate, what we didn't eat, how much we exercised, how we compare to the body next to us. It's funny how we forget about food altogether when we do something nice for someone else.

How many nice things did you do today, big or small? What will you do tomorrow? Care to share?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WHIMSYT 5/29/2008 4:05PM

    I bet you do way more than 5 things a day........but you're only looking at the "big" ones. Do you ever smile at someone in the store, or say, "wow, you're really busy today" to the frazzled cashier? How about making people smile when they see you out walking with your dogs? My two cute Pomeranians NEVER fail to bring a smile to people's faces when they see them, and I consider even that as doing something good in the world! It cheers people up! for one second, they forget about everything else and just enjoy that one moment of pure bliss of smiling at a cute dog. Isn't it fabulous to be able to share that moment with strangers?

Thanks for your great thought-provoking post!

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JOANIE214 5/27/2008 7:50PM

    That was a great reflection today.
I do nice things daily & it feels good. Especially when you know it was appreciated!

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MUM2FIVE 5/27/2008 5:38PM

    I did MANY nice things this morning...
I had an impossible patient that was Detoxing in the ICU and I never broke, even though she was driving me crazy, I let her know how important she is. It's a really tough job. There have been days when you just want to give in and tell an IMPOSSIBLE patient how it's all there fault they are so miserable, NOT YOURS!! But we don't, we care and soak it all up.
It was a hard morning being told how "horrible" a person I was from someone I'm trying to comfort and care for. I know she was just miserable and taking it out on me, but it's still hard to take it.
see, there I am again bloggin on your blog! lol
Have a great day!

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You're not alone

Monday, May 26, 2008

Are you by yourself this holiday? Maybe missing loved ones, or wondering why no one seems to love you?

You do have to love yourself first. People are drawn to others who are happy in their skin like moths to a flame. Doesn't matter what size they are, either.

I know, I know; you're thinking how can you love yourself when you're so fat, so lazy, so out of control, so __________ (fill in the blank). But you're not, you know. You're taking control of your life, one baby step at a time. Congratulate yourself. Celebrate every success, no matter how tiny.

And if you're alone today, please don't use that as an excuse to turn to food for comfort. We all know where that gets us. Log on here! Ok, so you did that already if you're reading this. But keep going. Read some articles. Comment on other people's blogs, even if it's only to say good job -- you know how much you appreciate it when someone compliments you; spread it around. Take a look at the message boards. Join a sparkteam. Give someone a sparkgoodie, even a total stranger.

Once you're off, go for a walk. Maybe watch a parade. Pray for our armed forces. Watch a movie. Read a book.

Whether you're with loved ones or not today, you are not alone. And you are stronger than you ever thought. Make today -- and every day -- a great day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JULIE*JULIE 5/27/2008 4:13PM

    I love ALL your blog entries, and am adding you to my friends...so I can check in all the time. And THANKS for my GOODIE!!

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GRAMMYSKIDS58 5/26/2008 6:34PM

    That is a great blog!! Thanks for sharing it with us. I hope you have a great day and good luck on your lifestyle journey!!

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CJROMB 5/26/2008 2:52PM

    Hey, I LIKE being alone. :)

But this is a great blog, cuz I know there's a lot of people who have a hard time with it. Thanx for taking the time to write down some ideas for people who're searching around for them.

Hope you have a beautiful day! I'm sure wishing we weren't in this record-breaking-high-temperature streak! Glad I went riding (minus the falling part) this morning.

And, yeah, I probably SHOULD take a little time off, but I have a goal, and I will NOT be railroaded by some silly bruises. Gotta make 13000 this month! Ooo, and I'm SOOO close!

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