Posts Tagged ‘weight loss’

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Today I came across an article by a fellow massage therapist, Dale Favier, on his blog, Portland Home Massage. Dale’s post is How to Stop Eating Too Much, in Ten Moderately Difficult Steps.  

Dale Favier, Portland Massage Therapist

I liked Dale’s approach to dietary lifestyle change for a few reasons:

1. He did not advocate a rapid immediate weight loss plan which can actually be unhealthy and lead to only short-term weight loss..and potentially, later gains.

2. He cautioned readers to really get to know their own eating habits. We often THINK we eat less than we do. Or we think we eat healthier than we are eating. For example, eating a salad as Dale says, but loading it with fatty dressing and other oil based toppings.

3. He gave readers a lot of encouragement to go slowly, make changes over a period of time.

In essence, what Dale is advocating is a major lifestyle change in diet and activity. But done slowly, with careful though and planning.

Read Dale’s blog post and let me know, what do you think about Dale’s plan? What is your plan for healthy lifestyle change? And how has it worked or not worked?

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

US Navy 050203-N-4729H-005 Navy Delayed Entry ...

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For anyone that’s ever dieted or struggled to keep excess fat off, you know that conventional wisdom (increase activity, decrease calories) has tended to recommend very caloric intake for losing weight. But living on super low-calorie diets is not only not sustainable int he long-term, but it’s very difficult to maintain even for short-term results. Now scientist shave found the way to lose weight is not as strict and severe as we once thought! And the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has produced a wonderful new tool that allows you to more accurately estimate how many calories you need to consume and how you need to adjust your activity level to lose unwanted fat. This tool is called the Body Weight Simulator and is accessible here.

To use the Body Weight Simulator, you need to enter your Base Weight, your activity level and your age and height. The tool does the rest, providing you with an estimate of the number of calories you need to reduce each day to lose weight for the short-term as well as the number of calories you need to reduce to maintain the loss for the long-term. I tried the simulator myself and the number of calories I’d need to cut to lose 10 pounds in 6 months is just much smaller than most diet plans would have me reduce. (About 270 per day versus 500-1000 calories per day.)

The tool also provides graphs and charts that show the progression of weight loss, body fat % change, and activity level change.  Try it yourself and see how reasonable the new calorie goals and activity levels can be for your own fat loss plan!

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Body Fat meter

Body fat meter. Image via Wikipedia

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

I am a big believer in being clear about our goals so that we don’t waste a lot of time pursing a fitness or nutritious goal that isn’t realistic or attainable. To me, saying “I need to lose weight” is inaccurate. What most people really mean is that they want to reduce their total body fat. If we wanted to simply lose weight, it wold mean we would lose muscle, fat and bone mass across the board. And that is NOT healthy.

I cam across a good article on fat loss and weight training myths. Check out this article for some great ideas on spot reduction, lower abdominal myths and the myth that high repetitions burn more fat from exrx.net, Fat Loss & Weight Training Myths

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Potato chips

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

A recent study, Changes in Diet and Lifestyle and Long-Term Weight Gain in Women and Men, published in the New England Journal of Medicine led to some not so shocking conclusions:

Over a 4-year period, weight gain was most strongly associated with:

• potato chip intake (1.69 lb)

• potatoes in general (1.28 lb)

• beverages sweetened by sugar (1.00 lb)

• red meats (unprocessed: 0.95 lb,  processed: 0.93 lb).

And to support what nutrition experts have been saying for years now,  weight gain was reduced by those that ate more of the following foods:

• vegetables (−0.22 lb)

• whole grains (−0.37 lb)

• fruits (−0.49 lb)

• nuts (−0.57 lb)

• yogurt (−0.82 lb)

While this is not earth shattering news, it is important research. For one thing, the study compared weight gains over a 4-year period. This means that weight gain is likely not caused by seasonal factors and is more likely accounted for by actual types of foods participants ate. In addition, the study gives further support to the adage that we should eat our vegetables, add a little colon caring yogurt to our diets and cut down on red meat and potatoes.

The study also found support for the other well known adage: Exercise helps you reduce or maintain weight loss.  According to the study, “Other lifestyle factors were also independently associated with weight change (P<0.001), including physical activity (−1.76 lb across quintiles); alcohol use (0.41 lb per drink per day), smoking (new quitters, 5.17 lb; former smokers, 0.14 lb), sleep (more weight gain with <6 or >8 hours of sleep), and television watching (0.31 lb per hour per day).”

Link to the full article about the study here.

Take this short fun quiz to test your own knowledge of nutrition facts here.

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapists, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Check out a great site to check the calories of your foods via Calorie Count here. According to the site,  you can use Calorie Count in one of two ways:

Diet Your Way

Calorie Count doesn’t prescribe a particular diet. Eat any foods you want as long as you burn more calories than you consume.

Get Help from Friends

Motivation is very important in dieting! Get support and encouragement from our community to stay on track – permanently!

The Calorie Count Website gives you some basics about nutrition that should help you get started no matter what your  approach to dieting and fat loss. Read the following excerpts from the website below.

What are calories?

Calories are the amount of energy that is produced by a given quantity of a food. Calories are supplied by the carbohydrate, protein, fat, and alcohol in food.

Why count calories?

Fact: When you eat more calories than you need, you gain weight. The wild card is determining what you need because there are so many variables. In general, an individual needs only the calories he is able to burn. You can maintain a healthy weight by matching the calories you take in to the calories you burn day-after-day. You lose weight by taking in fewer calories than you burn.

Counting calories is a real eye-opener. Research shows that most people don’t realize how many calories they eat. They don’t see the extra calories that come from large portions and from high fat foods.

As a weight loss method, calorie counting doesn’t give you rules about what, when, and how much to eat. The only recommendation is to have a balanced diet of the foods you prefer within your calorie requirements. Calorie counting induces people to adjust their food choices, portions, and physical activity to reach their calorie goals.

Diet & Nutrition Tools from Calories Count

Diet  Profile

Determine Your Diet Profile
Take our test and learn about your food habits
Cell Phone

Nutritional Info on Your Phone
Use your cell phone to analyze foods on the go
BMI Tool

BMI Tool
Determine your ideal weight
Burn  Meter

Burn Meter
Learn your calorie burn profile

Food & Recipe Databases

Food Browser

Food Browser
Browse our database of 109,000 foods
Recipe  Browser

Recipe Browser
Browse our database of 362,000 recipes
Recipe Analyzer

Recipe Analyzer
Get the nutrition facts on your favorite recipes
Unit  Converter

Unit Converter
Convert common kitchen and dietary measurements

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

I have to come clean and admit it, I am an Android user. Although I love Mac products overall, the iPhone’s marriage with AT&T did not sway me away from the clearer phone connections and fewer dropped calls I get from Verizon. (And, no, Verison is not paying me to say this!  I used to use Cingular (now AT&T) and had to switch to Verizon to save my business when I dropped a client call 4 times using Cingular.)

I know some of my clients do have iPhones so a while ago, I posted about Iphone apps that help you get healthy here. But what about us Android users? Mashable.com, a top social media guide, has a great list of the top 8 Android Apps for health and fitness. Here’s a brief summary of their list. Go to the original blog post to read more here including info on cost of the apps and screen shots of each app.

Cardio Trainer Screen Shot

CardioTrainer + Racing–combining two apps to help motivate you to run a better race. Cardio Trainer can be combined with a weight loss app as well.

Fast Food Calorie Counter-let’s you find the healthiest choices from among Fast food options. This app provides calories, fat grams, fiber, carbs and protein for 72 fast food restaurants. Watch the video review here.

Endomondo Sports Tracker–tracks time, distance, speed and altitude. it also gives you a history of your workouts. This app also integrates with Googlemaps making it a great resource for runners, hikers and those out for a fitness adventure!

Calorie Counter by FatSecret–this app provides calorie and nutrition facts. It incorporates a bar code scanner to help you find the healthiest food options and calculates the recommended daily intake to help you achieve your fitness and weight goals.

AllSport GPS– this app lets you track your routes, distance covered, time your speed and even the calories you burn when running or hiking. The app also provides you with maps, virtual races, down loadable routes and elevation info.

Beer Gut Fitness–this app tells you how many calories you consume with each beer or glass of wine and how much exercise and what type of exercise to do to burn those calories!

Absolute Fitness–an app that combines the best of all apps and lets you track your food intake, exercise routine and monitor your fitness goals.

and finally, my favorite app:

Backpacker GPS Trails
–this app acts as a hand held trip database and personal navigation gizmo. use it to track your own hikes, geotag photos and videos, share your trips with others. it provides you with download maps to find trails that include thousands of trips taken by Backpacker magazine.

Read the entire list with screen shot pics, pricing and app size info at Mashable.com here.

For 101 Great Android Apps, go here.

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Saratoga chips at the Mississippi State Fair i...
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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Having a hard time switching from potato chips to carrots? You are not alone! As people in our country continue to grow more and more obese, many research scientists are putting in long hours to investigate biological causes. Last month, scientists from the Scripps Research Institute issued a report that shows -definitively, for the first time- that the same biological processes that cause drug addiction are behind the compulsion to overeat. Many obese people have been making this statement for years–that they feel out of control after eating junk food, and the more they eat, the more they want.

In the study, scientists monitored brain chemicals in rats, noticing that as the rats got more obese, their brains were less and less able to issue a reward to the body. As this pleasure center in the brain became less and less responsive, the rats developed the tendency to overeat, seeking that chemical reward. This is the exact same pattern that occurs in rats that are administered cocaine or heroin, and scientists believe that the pattern plays a large part in the development of drug dependency.

Paul J. Kenny, an Associate Professor at Scripps, conducted the study. He says that the nearly three year long study confirms the “addictive” properties of junk food:

“The new study, unlike our preliminary abstract, explains what happens in the brain of these animals when they have easy access to high-calorie, high-fat food. It presents the most thorough and compelling evidence that drug addiction and obesity are based on the same underlying neurobiological mechanisms. In the study, the animals completely lost control over their eating behavior, the primary hallmark of addiction. They continued to overeat even when they anticipated receiving electric shocks, highlighting just how motivated they were to consume the palatable food.”

The scientists offered the rats many types of food, but they always chose “junk” food. As a test, the researchers removed the junk food and tried to put them on a nutritious diet. Their preference for junk food was so strong, however, that they starved themselves for nearly two weeks.

To read the entire article, visit the original Press Release.

So if anyone tells you junk food is not addicting, think again. And pass the carrots!

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