Thursday, November 17, 2011
If you’re surprised every time you step on the scale, you may be eating more than you think.
Every day, we make decisions about what to eat and when to eat, yet most of us are completely in the dark about what influences how much we choose to eat. To some degree, everyone is guilty of unhealthy mindless eating, which is triggered by hidden cues that persuade us to overeat. By increasing our awareness of certain seemingly innocent triggers, we can and should become a healthy mindful eater and stop consuming unnecessary empty calories that add up to unwanted pounds. Here, in descending order, are the top 5 habits that are making you gain weight and how to break them.
Here's a rude awakening! How many of us knew that since the "cut down" on fat; low fat, fate free food craze began roughly 30 years ago, the obesity rate in America has actually more than doubled. Of course, many other factors are at play in fueling this health crisis, but what many people don’t realize is that “fat-free” does not mean low in calories. In fact, to make up for lack of flavor, manufacturers tend to add more refined sugars, flour and thickeners to fat-free products, which causes the calorie content to be greater. It's because the fats in these foods are replaced with low-performing white carbs that digest quickly and are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. This causes the classic sugar high and crash followed by a hunger rebound.
No wonder when we start cutting back or eliminating sugars altogether we experience withdrawal, with severe headaches, and cravings that will only squelched with succumbing to eating something sweet.
And how many, be honest, often view a low-fat or fat free label as a green light to eat much more than they normally would, unaware that low-fat versions or fat free of foods are usually not much lower in calories than the regular versions?
By staying away from deceptively low-fat packaged foods like cookies and chips we most certainly can Break the Habit! Only by choosing low-fat food items that are not highly processed, such as low-fat we can dairy products including milk, cheese and yogurt we can certainly Break the Habit .
And how many of us remain aware of how much and of what we are eating when we eat out with one or more persons be it family or friends? For instance, if you eat with just one other person, we’re likely to eat about 35% more than we normally would. And when we eat with four or mre people, our consumption rate jumps to 75% more. And when eating with a group of seven or more, you eat about 96% more than if you were eating alone!
Here's important food for thought: The average person eats out with a group about three times a week. This means that if you’re not cautious, you can consume 72,000 extra calories over the course of a year, which translates into about 20 pounds of weight gain.
I'm not saying we have to give up on our social life! Eating with others is not only part of life, but also has positive effects on our overall well-being. But we need to remember: The healthy part revolves around the company, not the food. To avoid mindless overeating:
Being mindful; don’t pace yourself with the fastest eater at the table. Instead, pace yourself with the slowest eater. Also, try to be the last person to start eating!
Making arrangements to do other things with friends and family besides just eat is also helpful. And if your plans do involve eating, make sure to also include a physical activity afterward. It can be as simple as a 20-30 minute walk.
And then there is meal multitasking How many of us doing other things while we’re eating, such as: watching TV, reading, working at the computer or driving while eating (which is also dangerous). These habits take the focus off the food and make you more likely to overeat without realizing it.
To Break The Habit; first, power down or move away from the distraction. Find a place away from your desk or TV that is peaceful and free of anything that may take your focus away from your food.
These days too many of us are busy and can’t even find 30 minutes to sit down and focus on a meal. However, 15 minutes is doable and better than eating in a distracted state for 30 minutes
And how many of us eat bag-to-mouth? This way of eating is a sure recipe for disaster since it’s impossible to gauge serving sizes this way. When you’re grabbing out of a seemingly bottomless pit, you’re likely to underestimate how much food you’ve actually eaten.
To Break the Habit; look before it’s too late. That means plate it and then eat it.
Pre-packaged snacks provide a visual cue that we’re finished. While putting together your own 100-calorie snack packs of fruits and vegetables, are a good idea here, there are more affordable ways to control your eating. Buy your favorite snack in bulk, measure out the appropriate serving, and pack it up in plastic baggies to save money and calories.
And the number one habit hiding in plain site Artificial Sweeteners
man oh man! Look at this!
The average American consumes 24 pounds of artificial sweeteners each year, a habit that could actually be making you heavier. Studies show how these substances may confuse the body’s regulatory systems that control hunger. Whenever you eat, your body is trained to expect calories, but it’s not getting them when you eat zero-calorie sweeteners. You actually end up craving more food and not feeling full. What’s more, artificial sweeteners are up to 7000 times sweeter than natural sugars and this can desensitize taste buds!
And too, beyond the commonly used serving packets, artificial sweeteners are often hidden in everyday items not advertised as diet foods such as cereal, vitamins, sauces and even baby food. Look for these key words on food labels to spot artificial substitutes:
Neotame (used in stable baked goods)
Acesulfame (found in diet sodas)
If addicted; To Break the Habit
Consume no more than two servings (two packets or one diet soda) of artificial sweeteners per day.
Try combining a half a teaspoon of your preferred artificial sweetener with a teaspoon of raw sugar. Then eventually wean yourself off the artificial sweetener.
Choose natural alternatives such as honey or agave. Or try coconut sap syrup, which has a low-glycemic index and just 10 calories per teaspoon. It also contains B vitamins, potassium and amino acids. Because these are all quite sweet tasting, you’ll find you don’t need to use much of them. Coconut syrup is available at health food stores for about $7.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
“When you're trying to motivate yourself, appreciate the fact that you're even thinking about making a change. And as you move forward, allow yourself to be good enough.”
— Alice Domar
Maybe you've hit a motivational wall and need to get back on track. Or maybe it's time to head down another road entirely. But how? What you're looking for is a breakthrough to make it happen.
When Grand Plans linger in the daydream stage, there's always a risk that they'll die there.
1. Go Public
Going on the record is one way to keep them alive. "If you tell everybody you're running a marathon, you don't want to quit "When you put your goals in front of others, there's accountability, and serious motivation in not wanting to lose face or let yourself down. Whatever your goal you can draw enthusiasm and ideas from like-minded dreamers.
2. Confront the Risks
You might think that projecting certainty will get your loved ones to buy into your goal, but often it's being honest and vulnerable about the stakes that can really activate your support system.
3. When in Doubt, DIY
If help isn't forthcoming ask yourself: 'Is there another way to make this happen?'
If you have a dream, you can't let people tell you no!
4. Know Your Strengths
Sometimes Strengths—our abilities seem so obvious, and so they're easy to overlook. Play it forward.
5. Spread the Word
"Develop a supportive community
6. Cultivate Wonder
"Many of the world's inventions don't come from people simply working hard and throwing themselves at a project," says life coach Kathlyn Hendricks, PhD. "They come from wonder—from curiosity and a willingness to be delighted. That is your fuel source and your reservoir, and most people need to practice it at least ten minutes a day." The best way to shake free of your usual thinking patterns, Hendricks adds, is to make the sound hmmm aloud. "It's impossible to criticize yourself when you're making that sound," she says. "Follow it up with a question: 'Hmmm, I wonder what I'll feel like after exercising for the first time?. Hmmm, I wonder if I need a Web site of supportive weight loss. Hmmm, I wonder if I can....'" The answers will often launch you into new territory.
7. Embrace Your Critics
Naysayers come with the territory. Take all the negativity and tell them where to stuff them." Your in this for the long haul whatever it takes Commitment, consistency and control!
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
No matter what our weight, we can and should be using the cues from our physical and mental selves to judge how healthy we are rather than using the numbers on the scale as the defining rod.
Health is not and should not be a numerical concept and cannot be defined using statistics. Human beings, however, tend to want to quantify well-being into easily understandable figures. We feel compelled to ascribe numbers to every aspect of wellness, from the qualities of our food to our fitness levels to the physical space we occupy. As a consequence of social pressures, we turn our attention away from health and focus instead on the most contentious of these figures—weight—checking our scales to see how we measure up to our peers and role models. Yet low and behold each of us is actually equipped to gauge our relative healthfulness without any equipment whatsoever! Trouble is we seldom use it!
What we should be doing is as with everything else in life finding a balance. This includes the use of the scale, When we have that balance and stop defining our health by numbers we instead commit to a lifestyle that honors the innate wisdom that comes from within our bodies, mind and spirit. It is logical of course to examine how we feel while considering our health—as a strong, fit, and well-nourished individual we'll seldom feel heavy, bloated, or fatigued.
If we have concerns regarding our weight, we should remind ourselves that at its proper weight, our bodies will feel buoyant and agile. Movement becomes a source of joy. Sitting, standing, walking, and bending are all easier because our joints and organs are functioning as they were meant to. When we are physically healthy, our minds will also typically occupy a place of well-being. Mental clarity and an ability to focus are two natural traits of whole-self health. Surprisingly, promoting this type of easy-to-discern wellness within ourselves takes no special effort outside of satisfying our hunger with nourishing, wholesome foods and moving our bodies.
The numbers you see on the scale, while nominally informative, can prevent us from reaching our healthful eating goals by giving us a false indicator of health. You will know when you have achieved true health because every fiber of your being will send you signals of wellness. When we actually choose to listen to these signals instead of relying on the scale, our definition of well-being will be uniquely adapted to the needs of our body and of our mind.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Creating a soft place to land; a refuge from the stress of the day.
Our day-to-day demands can quickly take their toll on our well-being if we are not vigilant about caring for ourselves as best we can. One way we can ensure that we have an opportunity to relax and recuperate at the end of our day is to create a soft place to land. This landing pad, whether it is an entire room or merely a small corner of a larger area, can provide us with a safe and comforting refuge in which we can decompress and recover from the day’s stresses. There, we are enveloped in feelings of security that transcend other issues that may be unfolding in our homes. Our landing pads also act as way stations that enable us to shift our attention away from our outer-world concerns and back to our inner-world needs.
To create a soft place to land, begin by scouting potential locations. Or perhaps your entire home is your landing pad in which case you may only need to de-clutter. Your habits can often provide you with insight into the perfect spot, as there may be an area of your home you gravitate to naturally when you are in need of comfort. Any space in which you find it easy to let go of stress and anxiety can become your landing pad. A basement or attic, spare room, or unused storage area, furnished with items that soothe you, can give you the privacy you need to unwind. If you appreciate the elements, you may find that spending time in a section of your garden or outdoor patio helps you release the day’s tensions. Preparing these spaces can be as easy as replacing clutter with a small selection of beautiful objects that put you in a relaxed frame of mind. Remember to consider noise and activity levels while choosing the site of your landing pad. If you know that ordinary human commotion will distract you from your purpose, look for a secluded spot.
The soft place to land that you create should inspire within you the mantra, “I can breath here. I can relax here. I know I am safe here.” When you return to your home after braving worldly rigors, you will feel a subtle yet tranquil shift occur inside of you as you settle in to this most personal of retreats and feel centered once again.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Most of us express our individuality in many ways throughout our life times. Although, as we proudly share our offbeat traits and preferences with the world, we take great pains to downplay those eccentricities we ourselves deem odd. Instead of living lives colored by these quirky impulses, we seek out socially acceptable outlets for our peculiarities. We may not realize that we are editing ourselves in this way because our individual societal awareness is unintentionally attuned to the attitudes of the people we encounter each day. Over time, we have learned to suppress some of the most fun aspects of individuality. To rediscover and embrace these buried traits, we need only ask ourselves what we would do if we knew for certain that no one would judge our choices.
Visualizing this day without judgment can help you better understand the idiosyncrasies that are an important part of who you are but seldom manifest themselves in your existence. Perhaps you secretly dream of replacing grown-up, conservative clothing in favor of a changing array of costumes. You may envision yourself painting your car electric-green, hugging the trees in a crowded local park, singing joyous songs as you skip through your community, or taking up an exciting hobby like fire spinning. Try not to be surprised, however, if your imagination takes you in unexpectedly simple directions. In your musings, you may see yourself doing things such as breaking out in dance or dying your hair a fun color. Regardless of the nature of your suppressed peculiarities, ask yourself what is really stopping you from making them a part of your life, and then resolve to incorporate at least one into your everyday existence.
Life as we know it is so short. Making the most of years we are granted is a matter of being ourselves even though we know that we will inevitably encounter people who disapprove of our choices. When you shake your tail feathers like no one is watching, you will discover that there are many others who appreciate you because you are willing to let go of any inhibition. By doing this you help others know it is okay. No one else in the world is precisely like you and, each time you revel in this simple fact, you rededicate yourself to the celebration of individuality.
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