Before the stockings have been unhung from the chimney with care and the last remnants of wrapping paper have been fished out from under the sofa, it shows up.
Stark, plain, and sucking the joy from the holidays, the diet products appear overnight replacing the cheery Christmas items that were there only days before.
Scales, diet drinks, supplements, pills, potions and more. All of it aimed at consumers who are aware that they have enjoyed their holiday feasting and endless bowls of chocolates, maybe a little to much.
It didn’t take long for things to start showing up on my newsfeed with offers of help by joining groups, or buying secret sauce potions that would magically get rid of Christmas fluff.
If there is one thing that predictably shows up at the start of a new year are diet traps.
I’m not quiet on this topic
I speak out on this quite often, much to the annoyance of some. I am vocal on the topic because the diet industry rakes in millions of dollars a year from people desperate for a miracle fix. This comes often at a high price.
Whether it’s from grocery store shakes, pills, and meal replacments or pricey products from MLM companies making pie in the sky promises, the competition is fierce to collect on those who are desperate to lose weight and get fit.
Some thing’s may work…
Listen, there is a vehicle for everyone that will lead them to success on their weight loss journey. There could be a certain “thing” that works for a person that starts them on a path to success. That, is more rare than not. Most will have good intentions and buy into some program or structured plan ( that is not tailored for their body and specific needs) they will throw money at it, make a go of it for maybe 4-6 weeks before they fall back into their old habits. The only thing lighter being their bank account.
So what works?
As much as I’m “anti-diet” and the whole quackery of the diet industry, I’m very much about sane and practical methods that are sustainable and can be done for your life. These practices are *free* and really require a person to make a daily commitment to small consistent choices. This will lead to weight loss and a sustainable way of living. Oh…and it won’t suck the joy from your life either.
Tips and tricks
There are things you can do that will lead to good habits and building good habits can make positive changes in your life
Move. Every day if possible do some purposeful activity even if it’s a 10 minute walk. Do something for yourself. Challenge yourself to increase your time.
Rest. Often overlooked, getting sleep and having energy for your activities will make you feel good.
Water. Most people come nowhere near drinking water they need that keeps you hydrated and provides crucial fluid to your body. Try to get a glass in first thing in morning, even before your coffee ☕
Intuitive eating. This basically means listen to your body. Hungry? Eat. Hunger satisfied? Stop eating. Not hungry? Don’t eat. We have become so conditioned to eat at specific times without listening to our bodies that we are losing touch with our natural body signals.
Don’t starve. Nothing will derail you faster and send you running back to the Cheetos than depriving yourself of food. Food is fuel and you need a certain amount to operate optimally. You don’t have to starve and be miserable to lose weight.
Eat. Make your daily food intake healthy whole foods as much as possible. Eat balanced meals that incorporate all food groups. Eat foods you like, in moderation. Remember that “listening to your body’ thing 😉 and don’t remove all “treats” from your life. Just be mindful of them and selective on what you do have. Remember a treat is an occasional thing.
Know your triggers. If certain foods trip you up or cause you to binge, don’t have them available. Try to understand the reasons why you eat, basically, what’s your relationship with food? Most of us have deep reasons why we eat and it goes beyond hunger.
Be kind to yourself. Life is a journey. Make your goal of weight loss and fitness a part of your journey. Take one day at a time and remember slow and steady is the best plan to success. Weight loss ( done right) takes time and not “2 weeks”.
Happy New Year kids. What goals do you have this year?
You know that old saying “don’t reinvent the wheel”? It basically means don’t duplicate a basic method that has already been optimized.
I’m carrying this thought over in today’s post to weight loss.
Heads up…I may get on my soap box regarding this topic…..
So I may be a little passionate about it
I’ve seen plenty of those weight loss “health and wellness” posts from companies lately and they just make me twitch. You know the multi level marketing gimmicks your neighbor may sell or the current hype a celebrity is pushing?
Why does it bother me? Because there are so many people desperate for a quick and easy fix to get rid of their fat and feel better about themselves that they are willing to throw money ( and a lot of money) at a bunch of hyped products and supplements that will give them the good life.
The reality is, for the most part, all the majority will lose is a lot of their hard earned money.
And listen up, if they have a secret group, will “PM you” info or won’t publicly share what their great weight loss programs are about, run.
Run far away.
If their stuff is so awesome they should be willing to shout from the roof tops to anyone who will listen.
Also, if they can’t discuss their miracle products with you and refer you instead to the cookie cutter company video on it, run. They should be educated enough on it to discuss with you. Sadly, most of them are clueless to what’s in those “amazing” products they pedal.
If your new daily diet consists of using more of their products than eating good food…..well……you better be getting away from that too.
The other reality is this……
No matter what vehicle you try to use to lose weight, it comes down to relatively simple science.
You have to expend more calories than you take in for weight loss to occur. It’s not a complicated. Yet on the daily people try to way over complicate the process.
They keep trying to reinvent the wheel for losing weight.
They keep looking for the easiest way out, the fastest way to get there.
There is no fast way, weight gain doesn’t happen overnight nor will weight loss.
Let’s get back to the wheel
I know the old school way for weight loss isn’t cool or trendy. It’s not a current diet fad or an over priced “health” program.
But somehow, it works. And if you get going and stick with it you will develop a new way of thinking and behaving. It will become a lifestyle for you, a way to simply live.
You don’t have to reinvent ways to lose weight nor does it need to be made harder than it is.
You don’t have to count calories and log every bite of food although if doing so keeps you on track, do it.
I’ve used an app called Lose It that calculates your daily calories by what you enter. Or you can use pen and paper to keep track.
To have an idea of how many calories your body needs you might find a BMR ( basal metabolic rate) calculator online. You plug in all of your info, including purposeful exercise you do ( or don’t do) and it will tell you how many calories you need to live each day. From that number you can make small reduction of calories to help with weight loss.
A reasonable, healthy and sustainable weight loss is 1-2 lbs per week. You may lose more in the first week with water weight and some weeks you may lose a bit more ( or nothing)
Any program promising big losses week to week is not realistic or sustainable.
Eat real food. Crazy I know. Don’t get caught up thinking you have to eat some weird diet foods or starve to lose weight or worse you use a companies “fat burning ” products haha ( which are nothing more than pills loaded with caffeine)
Eat real, nutrionally dense foods. Think single ingredients or five or less on a label. Eating real food, and enough of it, will keep you satisfied and not hungry. Eat foods you enjoy.
Oh and that….you don’t have to starve and be hungry all the time to lose weight. If you’re hungry eat a healthy, snack. It’s ok to get hungry before a meal ( those are natural given signals for us to eat)
Speaking of….get back in tune with your body. If you’ve forgotten what it’s like to be hungry, get back to that. Learn to eat when hungry and stop before you “feel” full. This could take a bit of training but it’s the best way to build a healthy relationship with eating. You don’t have to empty your plate.
Practice mindful eating. Be aware of what you eat, how it tastes, smells etc. Being mindful helps you slow down and savor the experience.
Don’t deprive yourself. Eating what you enjoy leads to success. Learn to eat smaller amounts and allow that to satisfy you. In time this will become a habit.
Weigh in weekly to check your progress . Anymore than that becomes counter productive.
Allow for treats. Life is going on, enjoy the birthday cake or an evening out. Just get back on track with your goals the next day
Exercise. You don’t need it for weight loss, ( it helps) but it does make you feel good and strong not to mention it helps clear your head too. Find activities you enjoy and pursue them. Get good at doing it.
Know how many calories your body needs for daily living then subtract 10-20 % to create a deficit.
Eat real food, enough of it, to satisfy hunger.
Set realistic weekly/monthly weight loss goals.
Relearn your bodies cues for hunger and satisfaction
Allow for occasional treats.
Plan for purposeful exercise, most days of week ( this helps with your calorie deficit) find exercise you enjoy doing.
Be patient with yourself on your journey. Change takes some time!
You don’t need magic pills, potions or other extreme measures to lose weight . The old tried and true method works perfectly, you just need to implement it and give yourself time to reach your goals.
Tell me, do you fall back on other things to lose weight or approach it like a slow and steady lifestyle?
Often when the topic of weight loss and a healthy lifestyle comes up, there are certain things that may come to mind.
Deprivation. ( ohhh that MUST go with weight loss!)
Following rigid plans.
Following rigid plans for a number of weeks or months before getting back to “normal”.
Cutting out all foods you love that bring you joy.
The list can go on. Can you add to it?
So often in a quest for a healthier lifestyle people overlook other areas that are more than “diet related” to being healthy and living a healthy lifestyle.
Let’s look at a few areas that can contribute to the overall success of a healthy lifestyle.
We live in a world that promotes constant work and productivity. Often we sacrifice rest in the pursuit of busyness.
Yours truly can be just as bad.
I’m a night owl by nature but try to respect that my alarm still goes off a 6 a.m. no matter what time my head hits the pillow.
If there’s one thing being athletic has taught me, it’s the value of rest. Our bodies heal and repair in this time and honestly if I want to feel like I’m doing my best in my days quality rest is just as important as eating quality foods.
Don’t short yourself on rest time.
Get in outdoor time
It’s no secret that being outdoors is my jam. I will hands down, take a solid workout flying down the road on my bike, running or walking, over working out inside. It’s not just the exercise, but being out in the elements that makes me feel good. It clears my mind and feeds me mentally.
Being outdoors has wonderful therapeutic benefits. Make sure you get out not just for your physical self, but your mental self too.
Don’t cut out foods that you love
You know why so many people don’t last on structured, restrictive diets? Because they have a misguided idea they have to cut out all the things they enjoy.
Supposedly being on a diet means you have to suffer, do without, and be miserable to lose weight.
No. No you don’t.
In fact you have a higher chance of success if you allow your favorite things into your nutrition plan
You can still lose weight while building in foods you love. Doing so will keep you from binging or giving up because you feel deprived.
Remember to treat yourself
Really. Get a pedi. Have that special coffee treat. Buy that cute dress ( or shirt!)
Do the thing that makes you happy.
Treats are those non-essential things in life that make life fun. Give yourself permission to do an occasional treat.
Spend time with those who matter
Pretty self explanatory right? Physically we’re designed for relationships.. they give us a wholeness and completeness in our lives. Family and friends not only love us but can be our support system as we work towards a healthier, more fit lifestyle.
Keep these non-diet tips in mind to help you reach your health and fitness goals.
Ah the dilemma. The dilemma of what to put into my Saturday Snippets for you to read as you eat your donut and wash it down with coffee.
I thought I’d continue with my healthy living theme that I’ve got going on right now.
A few years ago when I began to um…accidentally…wander into the health and fitness world I had clear ideas of how I thought things should work. I still do although some have been dialed in on more since I’ve learned and grown more.
The one thing now that is so important to me is using my voice through my blog and other social media to share how crucial good nutrition is to someone wanting to lead a healthy lifestyle.
I love exercise. I’ve loved the hard work and challenges of training for big events. I love getting out of my comfort zone and doing stuff some of y’all tease me about 😁
However, at the end of the day, the best exercise I can do is make careful choices as to what I choose to shovel or not shovel into my mouth.
This is where it makes or breaks for all of us.
I firmly believe a sensible eating plan that includes all food groups is extremely important.
Sustainability long term ( can you do it forever) and important vitamins, minerals and nutrients your body needs from all food groups.
Yes, exercise I believe is crucial to our complete well being. However, if you want to lose weight, keep it off, and live “normally ” you need to do a couple things.
* Eat a balanced diet of all foods.
* Don’t engage in plans that restrict or offer “cheat days” or leave you feeling deprived and restricted.
* Practice mindful eating. Listen to your body.
*Portion control. You really don’t need seconds.
* Remember anything that is labeled as low fat, fat free, sugar free, gluten free, paleo, keto, low carb, whatever, whatever, still has calories! And your body only needs a certain number a day to do it’s thing. Eat over that, you won’t lose, eat under that requirement and you’ll lose weight. Remember, its science boys and girls 😏
Make a point to daily choose real, whole foods, allow for a wee bit of fun stuff, eat enough to satisfy your appetite, listen to your body ( it’s ok to get truly hungry!) then add as well some purposeful exercise to balance it all out.
If you need to start somewhere though, remember the best exercise is mindfulness of what your hand brings to your mouth and the quality of food you eat.
Anyway, besides trying to make that all good and lovely, I’ve been trying to work on those old relic furniture pieces that I love bringing back to life to go in my little cozy room at the Vintage store.
In the mix of all that you know I’m training for a duathlon. It’s official “official” as I actually paid the MONEY today to torture myself… I mean….. participate….. mostly in a field of athletes that are my kids age….
Yeah, I’m out there reppin’ the old people, cheer me on 😉
I’m pushing more on my training, but gosh, the weather is pushing back pretty hard too as in… heat and humidity.
I knocked out 24.5 on the bike Sat and followed it with a 2 mile run. Sunday I took off on the duathlon course and ran the first and last leg of the race course.
No matter how early I get out there, that sun is already waiting. But here’s what I’ve learned from past training in the heat. Come cooler weather, there are happy payoffs as my body now finds it wayyyyy easier to work, which typically means my speeds increase too.
Let’s see how that all plays out this year.
In other horrifying news…..
My Garmin bit the dust. As in… it’s not working for me anymore. Literally the face plate came off and I guess, weirdly, it likes that securely in place to make sure it all works well. This is my second one in 2 years.
Am I just hard on the poor things or do they have a short life?
I got the Garmin Vivoactive HR when it first hit the market. I love that it tracked all of my activities and even some I knew I’d never use….hello…golf?
It also tracked my heart rate which was a feature I really wanted. As my training increased, I watched my resting heart rate drop lower and lower ( remember your heart is a super important muscle that gets worked and strengthened too. A lower resting rate means it has to work less hard) and in other non-athletic things it was synced to my phone which gave me at a glance info on everything from incoming calls to my socials and a bunch of other nifty things.
I feel crippled without the thing right now. My arm bears obvious signs of our relationship….
I’ll keep you posted on how this plays out….. meanwhile… no stats to track which bothers me ’cause it’s a constant carrot in front of me working for better times and not to mention, tracking my distance…
( as this post goes live this morning, I spoke with Garmin and they are gonna hook me up with the newest Vivoactive Garmin… yay! I promise a report on the new model )
Onto todays topic….I have one….
it seems lately I’ve caught convos from people who are riding the ongoing wagon of losing weight and attempting to change the lifestyle they live. Eating and nutrition now days to me, seem cut and dried. I guess my understanding has grown over the past few years of what good nutrition is and what the hype and nonsense are that ultimately won’t work.
I remember last year my husband coming home from his yearly check up and discussing his convo with doctor and telling me… “you aren’t going to like what he said” as I gave him a blank look to which he responded… “he said exercise won’t make you lose weight”
My response was… “He’s right”.
It’s a common myth that if you exercise you will easily lose weight and have no worries.
Don’t misread me here… exercise is great and our bodies are made for movement. We’ve become a lazy, sedentary, “please make it as easy and effortless as possible for us”, world. All things set aside, we need exercise just for the health of our bodies, not for weight loss.
The first and foremost way to losing weight, keeping it off, and living a healthy lifestyle is to eat a proper amount of calories to support your (personal ) lifestyle. Eat to many calories, you’ll gain. Create a deficit and you’ll slowly lose. Exercise or not.
This is the smart way to go about it.
There are other factors that are invisible calories. Or things we don’t think we get many calories from.
Sugary drinks and alcohol being two big offenders.
When someone mentions they are trying to lose weight but aren’t being successful, but drinking is a part of their lifestyle, I can assess that is a possible link that’s hindering them. Alcohol packs a huge punch of calories and has high levels of sugars and carbs. And let’s not forget all the negatives it has on the body, in general.
And then there are sugary drinks, sodas, juices, fluffy coffee drinks with whipped cream and all that stuff. Do that frequently enough it will hinder your weight loss efforts.
I think these areas people often turn a blind eye to not wanting to see that those beverages contribute to their lack of success.
Your body requires a certain number of calories a day to live and carry out the activities you do. You must eat and drink within the right perimeter for your needs, and if weight loss is the goal, you must create a small deficit each day to accomplish that goal.
I laughed when someone told my husband they read it thinking I was gonna tell them they didn’t need to exercise.
Exercise is important overall for our health. It is not the magic thing to make us lose weight but it can be a helpful tool as you’ll obviously use more calories in your day which can help contribute to your deficit as mentioned above.
Do enough vigorous exercise all week and you’ll most likely find it easy to not just lose weight but maintain it as well.
Well, I mean, as long as you don’t use your exercise as a reason to justify eating more otherwise, you’re gonna be losing the battle.
Having a good nutrition plan in place alongside strong vigorous exercise (most) days of the week is a good combo to lose weight.
Thankfully, I’ve never fallen into the mindset that I just ran or biked a million miles I can eat all the food. I eat enough to satisfy my appetite and leave it there.
So when I hear someone talking about their weight loss struggles or lack of success in that dept, naturally I inquire as to what purposeful exercise they participate in.
When I get a response of they do “some things” or they walk around the block a couple days a week, this is not the kind of exercise that will be a helpful tool to weight loss goals.
The recommendation here in the U.S. is 30 minutes of exercise, 5 days a week. I think this is a great starting point but if you want to see changes, you need to work on kicking that time up.
And like it or not, cardio exercise is the thing that drives fat loss. Most people don’t like cardio work because this is when they come to the quick realization of how out of shape they are. Cardio is like brisk, quick walking, running, cycling, rowing, jump rope or any other activity that makes your heart and lungs really work.
So what’s gonna help me lose weight?
Both. However, your diet needs to be what you are most diligent on. Going for a 2 mile walk then thinking you can go grab a donut pretty well negates anything ( caloric) you just did. Yeah, you’ll feel good for getting out and have your head cleared and maybe come up with a creative solution for a problem but you won’t be helping your weight loss goals.
When it comes to exercise, go ahead and be prepared to get a little uncomfortable. It’s ok to feel that way, and you will till your body starts getting stronger and adjusting to the new demands you put on it.
Eating healthy and sensibly ( at least 85% of the time) ’cause you know.. ice cream or cake… or whatever floats your boat… root beer float? there’s life going on too… eat right and make a diligent effort to workout vigorously ( most days) of the week and in a slow and steady way, you will see weight loss.
If after a month you feel you aren’t seeing results, you may want to track everything you eat and drink to see where the weak areas are. Seeing it in black and white works better than mentally dismissing something as “not that big of a deal.”
Remember most of all, the biggest key to success is to keep moving forward and not giving up.
Tell me what things you’ve found that work best for you? Have you found the right balance of diet and exercise to met your goals?
Calories. You can’t see a label on a food package, or now days be in a restaurant, without noticing the calorie count. If you are someone who “diets” then you might be controlled by counting calories in your day and monitoring them in the foods you eat or you may go through your day oblivious to them.
You may be waking up right now trying to get your first cup of coffee in and wondering why on earth we’re talking about calories already and “Oh my word… is she really holding a powdered donut in her hand with a box of spinach??” as you note the picture I’m using for todays post.
Yeah, you aren’t seeing things and yes we are considering calories in todays post.
But first.. what IS a calorie?
You ever realize there are things you “know” about, but don’t necessarily “think” about? Like, calories have been a part of our lives forever, but do you really sit around pondering them? Other than understanding to many of them make you fat and to few make you skinny?
Simplified, a calorie is a unit of energy. In nutrition, calories refer to the energy people get from the food and drink they consume and the energy they use through physical activities.
Calories are essential for human health. The key for all of us is consuming the right amount for our health and daily activities.
There are “standard” guidelines put out suggesting what men and women need as an average each day. I don’t entirely agree with that since I think caloric intake is really determined person to person based on many different factors including sex, age, size and activity level.
I may be a woman, but based on my physical training, there are probably many days I require more calories than a lot of men. I also know there are days I need less calories based on my daily activities. For me, not every day will have the exact same calorie need. Understanding your body, knowing what you do, and all other factors will play into what you need each day.
Other calorie facts….
People in the U.S. consume more than 11% of their daily calories from fast food. 😦
Foods high in energy and low in nutritional value provide empty calories. The parts of food that provide empty calories contain virtually no dietary fiber, amino acids, anti-oxidants, dietary minerals, or vitamins.
That being said… you shouldn’t be eating many of these foods on the daily…
Meaning, not all calories are created equal
Now back to that powdered donut….
I’m not ignorant of calories, I have a good rough estimate of what my body needs to operate on. I also understand that my caloric needs vary as to if I’m laying around for the day or if I’ve put in a lot of miles that morning on foot or bike, or both. I know that on given days my needs can look different. It’s been a road of learning on that issue.
I do not obsess over calories. I know and understand their place in my life but I don’t monitor and count them
No. Just no.
But one morning I had this revelation. I was stumbling around the kitchen and I wanted one of those donuts.
I like them, ok? Don’t judge me.
There’s just something about their sweet powdery goodness that gets to me. And I’ll tell you, not all are created equal either. I bought a different brand one time, took one bite of one, and didn’t touch them after that. Yuck.
But as I was drooling all over one eating it, I happened to actually glance at the calorie content on bag.
I mean, who really looks at that when they are stuffing donuts in their face?
Oh no, ignorance is bliss in that regard. Am I right my donut loving friends??
Well I couldn’t help but notice how it informed me that 4 of them would cost me….250 calories.
I did a double take. I thought my beady little eyes weren’t open fully yet and were misreading ’cause I’m old and that print isn’t what it used to be, ya know?
Nope, it was there big and bold. 250cal for 4 measly little delicious donuts.
I should mention, I never actually eat 4. Usually 2 is enough to satisfy that urge and I put them away. But it got me to thinking of foods I could have that delivered up a lot more volume and bang for my caloric buck.
I mean really, if you only get a certain number in a day, don’t you want them to have as much packed into them as possible?
Not all calories are created equal
As mentioned above, empty calorie foods don’t contain the healthy nutrients your body needs. They are often high in fats ( not the good kinds) and sugars. Therefore, foods we eat each day should be nutrient dense and contain the calories we need for good health and sustaining our daily activities.
If I chose 4 small donuts at 250 calories, (130 of those coming from fat) that certainly isn’t going fill me up and will most likely cause my blood sugar to spike then I’ll come off the sugar rush.
Now consider my carton of spinach. A serving size is considered 3 cups. It contains 20 calories.
20 calories… for 3 cups.
I could honestly consume the whole carton for less than 100 calories.
Now you’re sitting there thinking… “spinach vs. donuts??” no contest… I’d take the donuts.
I can tell you this, when I use a lot of spinach with other veggies, whipped up with some eggs for breakfast not only is my appetite satisfied, I’m not hungry for a long time. I can consume plenty of food because ( not all calories are equal remember?) meaning all those veggies and protein fill me up and keep me satisfied for hours without any of that sluggish feeling you may get eating things like donuts or pancakes or cereals and for only a small fraction of the calories.
Not to mention all those veggies, fruits and protein deliver lots of good things to feed my body in a healthy way that gives me plenty of energy and keeps me decently lean.
It’s a win/win thing.
I’m not sure about you, but I’d like to eat a decent amount of food that fills me up, but isn’t calorie laden either.
So it’s a matter of choices….
Whether you’re out to lose some weight, or just maintain a healthy place where you are now it all comes down to the caloric choices we make each day.
You can eat a whole lot of nutrient dense foods that offer tons of good health benefits for your body, that really fill you up and will contribute to weight loss or you can choose foods that are higher calorie, less nutrients and will not help you lose weight or live a healthier lifestyle.
A few things to consider;
pay attention to those labels. Note the serving sizes and calories for serving. People as a rule greatly over estimate a correct serving size.
Consider things you can swap out for a lower and healthy calorie count.
Find foods you can eat and enjoy that give you the most bang for your calorie buck.
Have a good working idea of how many calories you personally need each day to maintain or to lose weight then choose your foods wisely to support your goals and daily activities.
And hey, remember, it’s ok to have that donut now and then. 😉
How aware of you are calories Do you think about them? Do you count them?
Do you remember the kids story “The Tortoise and The Hare”? It’s been in existence since the dawn of mankind.
A quick summary, the rabbit challenges the tortoise to a race, confident of his abilities to win he dashes so far ahead that he decides he’s done enough and has it solidly in his paw to win, so he decides to take a quick nap on the roadside.
Meanwhile, tortoise who has been plodding along, is taking it slow and steady, keeping his little beady eyes on the goal of the finish line.
He eventually passes sleeping hare and ultimately winds the race and the big time bragging rights in the forest that he beat the mouthy, sassy hare in a race.
I hope tortoise worked it for all he could.
Today we’re gonna talk about the goal of weight loss and fitness journeys in that context.
I did a mini post on it for my social media last week and the idea has kinda kept growing. Basically, I thought about how there were two types of people when they decided to get serious with the idea of weight loss and fitness.
They are either the tortoise or the hare in their approach to it, go all out, or slow and steady.
The Hare approach
Don’t get me wrong. I think the hare had a crazy amount of confidence. I like that. Confidence is good. It can help you take on things you never thought possible and help you own yourself in a whole new way. Hare was a bit too confident though in his approach to being successful at reaching his goal. I’m pretty sure he didn’t plan well or make provisions for the unexpected. Hare was going to go all out with everything he had and thought he’d accomplish his goal in a quick amount of time. Unfortunately, by the time he knew what was happening his prize had slipped away from him and he didn’t hit his goal.
All to often I observe people decide that they are going to lose weight and start exercising. It’s a common wish and desire among thousands. Making it happen for them is often another story.
So when they decide it’s time, they are possibly armed with a little information and a long ago workout idea or plan they haven’t done in years. They decide “come Monday, it’s time to diet”. All the negative not “good” food is gotten rid of, sometimes by consuming it in preparation for Monday.
They make radical, broad, sweeping changes in their daily nutrition often cutting out the very things they enjoy. They restrict their calories in a way that leaves them feeling miserable most of the day ( hungry) and embark on a to vigorous exercise plan that their dormant body isn’t used to.
They may often have goals that are to lofty for the time frame they have in mind ( to much weight loss to soon, a fitness level achieved that might take longer, getting into a certain size etc) they weigh in constantly hoping their restrictive diet and new exercise will work wonder miracles in weeks.
They are often very focused and determined, but miserable along the way. After weeks of drastic restricitions and their bodies hurting from doing to much to soon, they begin to make excuses or begin to revert back to those comfortable old eating habits. Eventually, they lose sight of the goal, their prize, and lose the race they set out for.
The Tortoise approach
Those who are the tortoise in the pursuit of weight loss and fitness know that it will be a slow, steady race. They understand that getting to the goal isn’t going to be fast. They don’t look for weight loss schemes to get them there faster. They understand that they just need to settle into a new routine and let their bodies naturally do what they are meant to do.
They don’t wait for Monday or a special occasion. When they determine they are going to do it, they just start. Even if it is on a Wednesday.
They won’t throw in the towel if they have an off day. They will simply keep going focusing on those positive changes.
The tortoise people will learn to make slow steady changes in how they eat, and they will eat enough food to keep the hunger away and not to much to allow for weight loss to occur. They will not have a “last supper” mentality that says to eat everything “bad” in the house because they will never have it again. They begin to understand that if they want a chocolate chip cookie along the way, they can have it and still keep moving to the prize. They learn to appreciate healthy, nutritious foods and not view them as punishment because they aren’t eating a big burger and extra large fries.
They start to see how their body feels and looks from eating healthy foods and then those less nutritious foods seems not so desirable anymore. They have new energy and realize, hey! I think I’m gonna win this race. Along the way, they may pass others who sped off in the beginning with some weight loss gimmick or shake or whatever but because they’ve learned to sustain their bodies with real, whole foods they’ve not only got energy but they’ve been slowly, steadily losing a bit of week each and every week and those little amounts are now starting to add up.
Each day that has gone by they have tried to make small, healthy, choices and decisions everything from passing on the stale office donut to getting up 30 minutes earlier to get a workout in and the prize is in their reach. At this point the tortoise is so comfortable living a new lifestyle with healthy habits they have no worries about getting to the goal.
It may have taken a bit longer, but their results will be permanent.
Which are you?
If you are among the many who desire to make changes in their life by losing weight or getting more fit how do you approach the race? Does the speed off and get there fast seem appealing? You just want the weight, flab and lack of energy to disappear over night so you’re willing to try whatever the new kid on the block is with weight loss sorcery. Maybe you don’t buy the sorcery but you just think the extreme cut everything out and be restricitive approach will get you there already.
Or perhaps, you’ve already been around the block a time or two with that approach and know it’s a process going nowhere.
You’ve learned and know and understand you haven’t gained weight and gotten out of shape overnight and it’s going to take some time to reverse the process. You just settle in for the long haul, taking it one day at a time celebrating each new day as you make decisions that will transform your life, physically, mentally and emotionally.
I want to win this race!
The first step to being successful is having a desire to do it. An understanding that it will take time is your first move to being a tortoise and not a hare.
Allow for changes to take place that need to take place. You didn’t gain weight overnight, you won’t lose it overnight.
Make small daily dietary changes, not broad sweeping ones that leave you feeling hungry and deprived.
Eat a bit less. Don’t eat seconds. Add in a veggie or fruit if those are low on your nutrition list. Go for a walk if you haven’t exercised in a long time.
Schedule activities for yourself that you enjoy that make you feel good, mentally and physically.
Make new healthy recipes instead of eating out.
Learn to find activities to do when you feel like eating.
Weigh in only once a week. Look for other ways you are improving mentally and physically. There is much more to process than your gravitational pull on this earth.
Settle small realistic goals. Continue to adjust as you reach them. ( i.e. focus on losing only 5 lbs at a time and not the whole 50 you really want to lose)
With some consistent, slow and steady moves, you will reach your weight loss and fitness goals and maintain them forever.
Tell me. In your approach to help and fitness are you the tortoise or hare?
Full disclosure here. I’ve been camped on this topic for a long time now. Sometimes ideas come to me and they are easy to write off the cuff. Others require a bit of time to brew in my head and yet some I’m just left pondering how to deliver the message. This is usually when a topic is a wee bit controversial or “not politically” correct or whatever term can be applied.
Since I’m one who is fairly comfortable speaking my mind, I won’t hold back.
When I saw the quote above it was one of those things that resonated with me immediately. Mainly because the truth of it in our culture and society today is so true.
Food has become the drug of choice for many and it’s taking a toll on their health and living a energetic lifestyle. This drug also has the ability to end lives with the diseases that obesity brings with it. Food is a socially acceptable way to often medicate things deep inside yet it doesn’t fix the problems a person deals with.
With obesity at an all time high in adults and more disturbingly in children, some are eating their way to the grave. Unfortunately, food is often mindlessly, mechanically consumed and in quantities beyond what is needed to satisfy our hunger.
With restaurants and food establishments offering larger and larger portions or the “super sizing” we are super sizing ourselves into obesity and the joy of carting around extra fat on our bodies. This taxes our heart and lungs, puts excessive work on our joints, causes our organs to work hard to compensate for the excess which then causes our body to develop ( very preventable diseases)
According to the CDC (Centers for disease control) Nearly 4 in 10 adults have a body mass index classifying them as obese. Young Americans as well have been piling on the pounds and obesity rates among the country’s youth ( 2-19) stands at 18.5 percent. This trend is most worrying as young people are far more likely to stay obese while childhood obesity is linked to a higher chance of early death in adulthood. More troubling yet, 70% of Americans are either overweight or obese making people with normal weight a minority.
But wait… it’s not just an American problem….
Globally there are more people ( children and adults) who are obese than underweight – this occurs in every region except parts of sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
Overweight and obesity are linked to more deaths worldwide than underweight.
Some key facts
Worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975.
In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these over 650 million were obese.
39% of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight in 2016, and 13% were obese.
Most of the world’s population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight.
41 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2016.
Over 340 million children and adolescents aged 5-19 were overweight or obese in 2016.
Obesity is preventable
So why are people getting so fat?
Being over weight, simplified, is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended.
Worldwide there has been an increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat; ( think fast foods, overly processed, high calorie, refined sugars etc. ) and an increase in physical inactivity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work, changing modes of transportation, and increasing urbanization. And sadly let’s not forget an overall laziness or desire to just not physically exert ourselves.
So basically, we’re shoveling in more food, and not the good kinds, and moving our bodies less and less.
It’s the perfect storm for disaster.
Are there common health consequences for obesity and being overweight?
Yes. Our bodies are not designed to handle excessive fat and often develop diseases because of this.
cardiovascular diseases (mainly heart disease and stroke), which were the leading cause of death in 2012;
musculoskeletal disorders (especially osteoarthritis – a highly disabling degenerative disease of the joints);
some cancers (including endometrial, breast, ovarian, prostate, liver, gallbladder, kidney, and colon).
high blood pressure
And what about our kids?
Childhood obesity is associated with a higher chance of obesity, premature death and disability in adulthood. But in addition to increased future risks, obese children experience breathing difficulties, increased risk of fractures, hypertension, early markers of cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and psychological effects.
My brother was overweight as a young adult. Children are awful in how they treat others. The psychological effects can be huge for kids.
How do we fix the problem?
First and foremost, someone has to have the desire to change patterns, habits, and behaviors that have led to obesity or being overweight. Without a personal desire nothing will change.
Overweight and obesity, as well as their related diseases, are largely preventable.
Preventable meaning we have control of them. Meaning we can change things if we don’t let it get to far. There are things you might not have control over, but maintaining a healthy weight is something for the most part, we can all have a measure of control over.
Supportive environments and communities are fundamental in shaping people’s choices, by making the choice of healthier foods and regular physical activity the easiest choice (the choice that is the most accessible, available and affordable), and therefore preventing overweight and obesity.
As adults we are in control of the choices we make, good or bad. If we have children then we are responsible for the foods we buy and provide for them. If high fat, sugary foods are the mainstay of what’s available, they will be consumed. Children cannot go buy their own food so we must be mindful of providing them with the most nutritionally sound foods that we can. Treats aren’t bad, but they should be limited. If certain foods aren’t available in the home they can’t be consumed.
The same goes for us. If we limit/control the amount of non-nutritional foods we bring home, we won’t eat them.
I told hubby when we were shopping recently that I know and fully understand if I bring home a bag of salt and pepper kettle potato chips, it’s the equivalent to bringing home crack to a druggie.
I just can’t be trusted with them. The best thing then is that I don’t buy them, and if I do, I fully accept the consequences.
Steps to take in losing weight
On an individual level we can:
limit energy intake from total fats and sugars;
increase consumption of fruit and vegetables, as well as legumes, whole grains and nuts; and
engage in regular physical activity. Find something you enjoy and do it. Do it most days of the week. Children need to be moving and should be encouraged to participate in sports and other activities to keep them healthy and work off excess energy 😉
limit the amount of fast foods or overly processed foods eaten.
Try to eat more natural foods without things added to them.
Develop a balanced and sensible nutrition plan.
Plan a 1-2 lb loss a week.
Keep a healthy perspective
Keeping your goals small and realistic will lead to success. Understand building new habits and behaviors will take time but they will be worth having to help you live a permanent lifestyle of health and wellness.
Accept good and bad days on your journey but don’t quit. Keep moving forward every day celebrating all your body can do for you.
Make small consistent changes. Don’t go for the “all or nothing” or drastically cut all things you love from your daily nutrition.
Get friends or family on board to have a support system to help you. Often it is hard to do something like this on our own, having others who can hold you accountable, ask you how you are doing and celebrate your successes with you can help tremendously.
If you and your family need to lose weight, brainstorm on how you can work together as a team to reach goals individually and as a group.
Finally, be patient with yourself and learn to celebrate each step along your journey and before you know it, you will have reached your goals your set for yourself.
What healthy practices do you use? Do you think the super sizing of foods has contributed to obesity problems?Do you think food is often used to medicate feelings or emotions?
Oh I’m so excited to be able to finally do this book review! There is nothing I love more than being able to talk up something I can support and get behind. Mainly because the truths and information in this book can be life changing. Lives have been changed and people come into a real working knowledge of understanding themselves better and more importantly understanding their relationship with food. They build new habits, and in the process losing weight and never thinking of another diet ever again. Ever.
With the start of a new year comes a plethora of new books on weight loss, nutrition and fitness all of them vying for your attention and your money.
No wonder. The weight loss/diet industry is a mega dollar business and it’s a competitive market going after you, the consumer, who is wondering what the next step should be to finally losing weight and getting in shape.
For good. Once for all and done with the yoyo lifestyle.
8 years ago when I decided I was going to just finally do it, I didn’t have a “plan” or an organized diet I followed. I was tired of things that didn’t make sense, made me feel deprived, left me always hungry or thinking about when I could finally… for the love of God.. have food again.
What a sucky way to live.
So I basically just started taking one day at a time. I made slow changes, learned to modify my food choices, and I didn’t deprive myself. Incredibly, I was losing weight, almost painlessly. With enough time I guess those behaviors turned into new habits that I began to do without even thinking about it. I got more into exercising and that helped too.
I learned to eat when I was hungry and stop when I felt satisfied. I began to think more about what I ate and I also learned that I didn’t have to have an all or nothing mentality. I could have chocolate in the house and not eat it, but if I wanted a piece or two, I did with no guilt attached.
Such freedom in developing healthy habits and behaviors with food!
I didn’t focus on losing a certain amount of weight or let the scale rule me. I just lived one day at a time and weight loss, slow and steady, occurred.
Several years went by and I saw a friend post one day about a book called “Lean Habits For Lifelong Weight Loss” I read enough in the post to intrigue me which sent me searching out the book to see what it was about.
I was shocked that the young woman writing it had eloquently written out things I had somehow stumbled on and taught myself that had led to my success and evidently many others were learning and being taught similar things.
It’s the only “weight loss anything’ I recommend to someone.
After buying it, I read it almost overnight. I eventually wrote a post here on my blog for my readers, wanting to share this great find.
This past fall Georgie contacted me letting me know the paperback version would be dropping in December and would I mind writing another review?
Mind?! Ha, not at all.
My position is still very much the same on the book and habits lifestyle now as it was when I wrote first review. The paperback copy is small, light and an easy book to drop in your bag and whip out when you’re sitting somewhere waiting … like a doctors office where your appointment was an hour ago and you’re still waiting 😉
Although smaller in format and composition it still packs all the valuable, smart, and incredibly sane information the hardback book contains.
I’m thrilled to do my part in an industry that wants to teach people freedom from food and diet nonsense so they can live successfully in their health and fitness endeavors.
The book is neatly formatted into 4 main core habits that you pace yourself on. You do one until it becomes second nature. Until you don’t even think about doing it. Once you feel you’ve mastered it, you can move on. Georgie lays them out clearly with tips, ideas and cool science stuff to go along with it. So if you’re kind of a science nerd, you’ll like those parts. Once you get the 4 core habits down you move into the 12 supporting habits which covers everything from eating treats to emotional eating and everything in between.
The book is easy to read and she often makes you laugh so that’s an extra bonus ( in my opinion 😉 )
Basically at the end of it she’s got you thinking “Hey, I can do this!”
Not only that, I love how she talks about not wanting to make the process horrible or hard for her clients because it doesn’t have to be that way.
“My goal as a coach has always been to help my clients achieve that calorie deficit in the most comfortable way possible. The experience of losing fat doesn’t have to be all that bad!” p. 37 Lean Habits For Weight Loss
How many times have you thought you have to suffer, be miserable, starve, and hate life to lose some weight?
You don’t. Trust me.
Thousands of people have used this approach to almost effortlessly lose a little ( or a lot) of weight and change their lives.
Does it take work? Persistence? A willingness to know you’ll have good days and bad days but you just keep on practicing those habits till you do them so automatically you don’t even thing about it? Yes.
Is it worth it to live the rest of your days in peace with food? Absolutely.
So. The new book review. I’m getting there.
I wanted to take a different spin on this review. I wanted to ask Georgie some questions to help you know a little of who she is, where her passion is at, and how she came to writing this book. One thing I’ve learned about her and following her is that she is passionate about this idea of living free from food bondage and teaching others how to do it too.
Let’s hear from her now and see what she has to say……..
For those who don’t know, can you share a little background on who you are ? What are your degrees and training?
GF: I grew up in New Jersey and did my undergraduate degree in Nutritional Sciences at Rutgers University. Then I went to Cornell University in upstate New York for my Dietetic Internship, and became a registered dietitian in 2005. Not quite ready to stop learning, I enrolled in the PhD program in Nutritional Sciences back at Rutgers University. After another five years of PhD work, I was academically doing well but personally and healthwise I was struggling. I had been working as the Sports Dietitian for Rutgers Athletics during my grad school years and it had become so clear that working in counseling was for me, not a career in academia. I had to get out of the lab, and out of my high pressure, chronically broke life. So I decided to move to the mountains of Colorado, sans PhD, and work as a clinical dietitian. Not long after that, I began counseling online as well as in person, and eventually transitioned into all online nutrition consulting in 2011.
Was there something specific that helped you choose the field you are in ?
GF: I was an athlete in high school and somewhat obsessed with nutrition and health. I suffered from anorexia nervosa as a teenager, exercised compulsively to manage my anxiety and depression, and throughout my college years was still repairing my relationship with food and exercise. I had always been a science fanatic, and my love of food and my love of science just meshed perfectly into studying nutrition!
Why write this book? Was there a defining moment to do so ?
GF: Well, when I started learning all this, it was purely about getting my own life on track! And after that happened, and I just kept meeting person after person who was suffering and I could help them with what I learned. It’s the best feeling in the world for me to work with a person and see them changing, becoming happier and more confident and feeling empowered and enjoying food instead of feeling tense and stressed about it.
But at the same time there is a disappointing limit to working with people one at a time; I can only work with this tiny little sliver of people who want help, and it’s a drop in the bucket because millions of people want this info and can benefit from scientifically-sound, easy to implement nutrition guidance. Books are one fantastic way to spread information to larger amount of people, which is also the reason we put our nutrition courses online for free, so anyone can take them. (Head to onebyonenutrition.com and you’ll see).
I put off writing it for a year, actually, because I was intimidated about writing a proposal and getting rejected by publishers, but eventually I got brave enough.
Why would someone want to use the lean habits system over some of the other current trendy diets or plans out there right now?
GF: If you want results that last, you can’t do a certain set of behaviors temporarily. This is maintainable, it’s flexible, you can go on vacation, eat your favorite foods, and keep practicing. It fits into real life without being a major pain in the butt, and it actually feels really good to take charge of making your own food choices and know that you are on the right track without weighing or counting things. And it ends helping a lot of people deal with their emotions and relationship with food in a beneficial way. It’s like a rehabilitation program after too much dieting has left you with food guilt, no clue what hunger and satisfaction feel like, and still that extra weight you wanted gone.
What is your biggest passion in what you do? Your biggest frustration?
GF: My passion is to listen to people like they have never been heard before, to ask the questions that help me understand why they eat the way they do, and to then communicate it back to them so that they understand it too.
My biggest frustration is when people don’t want to understand, learn, or change, and think they can just buy a meal plan from me.
Do you have a favorite lean habit success story I can share with my readers?
GF: Oooh yes. I just got a client email actually….. (see below)
“Like most people who struggle with nutrition and health, I have spent my life beating myself up for my failures. Georgie Fear helped me learn how to transform my critical inner dialogue. Georgie is incredibly knowledgeable about all facets of health, but, more importantly, she is caring and willing to walk through struggles without judgement. In fact, she would often share difficulties from her own life to give me hope to overcome my own mistakes. Georgie asked great questions and was patient with my missteps along the way. Her guidance transformed all of my life as I learned how to rejoice in mistakes and challenges as an opportunity to learn. I am a better husband, father, and friend because of this change. Today, I no longer tear myself down during difficult times; instead, I build myself up and forgive myself for my mistakes. Georgie guided me to a place where I no longer needed a coach, and I am healthier today than when I finished working with her. I practice healthy habits daily, and I know how to easily build new habits into my life. The time I spent working with Georgie will positively influence me for the rest of my life; it has been the best investment in my personal growth that I have made.” With immense gratitude,
Alright, so there it is. If you are at your wits end with diets, being hungry, hating the yoyo game of losing and gaining, perhaps this is for you.
It you’re tired of counting calories, weighing food, feeling hungry and deprived only to quit and go on a food binge, perhaps this is for you.
If you’re ready to put in some effort and work to build new healthy habits that will last a life time and understand your relationship with food, maybe, just maybe, you should consider this.
You won’t find meal plans or a list of foods you can or can’t eat. You won’t find painful restrictions or deprivation. You won’t have to miss out on having a little piece of Aunt Susie’s birthday cake either.
You will find positive support, develop new habits, and build a healthy lifestyle that can be sustainable and actually enjoyable.
Head on over to Amazon and see about getting your copy today.
I had to laugh once again seeing an “ideal” weight chart come up in my research. I couldn’t help but glance at the numbers and wonder what or who came up with them.
Not only that, I could pull up several different charts and be given different numbers to work with. IF I paid attention to any of that.
One thing those charts don’t recognize ( well a lot they don’t recognize) is your body and what you do or don’t do. They don’t address your nutrition or your body mass ( is it more muscle or fat? or a balance of both?)
If there is one thing I see that people begin to get fixed on as they lose weight is what they perceive as their “ideal” weight.
Sometimes it’s a weight they were back in school or when they got married. Maybe it’s a weight they felt good or most confident at. Nonetheless, they have an ideal weight goal they set before them to achieve.
That of itself isn’t bad. It’s good to have something to shoot for, something that keeps you focused and working towards your goals.
Often though what we see as our ideal weight might not be so ideal where we are now. Maybe you looked good at a certain weight in high school but 30 years later, it might be to thin for you. Perhaps a few more pounds on you might make you look better and be easier to maintain in the long run.
Sometimes people believe getting to that weight will make them happy. They will feel they have “arrived” and that there is nothing left to achieve. Perhaps they think at that weight their body will look the way they think it should look.
Whatever the reasons, it’s at the top of the list when people are striving to lose weight.
Back to those charts.
I’m amused at some of those suggested weights for me. It might not be apparent if you are reading my posts, or seeing my photos, but I’m 6’0 and solid. Those charts don’t take into account I’ve built a decent amount of muscle on my frame or my body structure. If I were to weigh in at some suggested weights I’d look…well… beyond lean. I’d look scrawny for sure.
One thing I’ve learned in the past few years is how my body can fluidly change depending on what I’m doing. In my heaviest part of my marathon training it was fairly effortless to stay on the super lean side. I was running 50-55 miles a week if not more. I certainly didn’t take in more calories than I was burning off. If anything long training tended to kill my appetite and not help it. I topped some of my lowest body weight and body fat numbers during that time.
However, when not heavy training my body tends to bounce back to what I think of as my “happy weight” or the weight that is most effortless for me to maintain. It’s also a reasonable healthy weight.
Yes, when I started on my weight loss journey a few years ago I had a distinct number in mind. I’ve since learned to allow fluctuations in that weight and that it’s ok.
Was I happier at that weight goal? Well, on one hand yes, I’m goal oriented and love nailing my goals. On the other hand, nothing earth shattering happened reaching it. One thing I’ve found is once that goal is achieved the work isn’t done. You work to maintain and keep it there. And that can become a very mean task master if one is controlled by numbers. If those numbers moved up even a few pounds from there, it could ’cause you to feel unhappy or not satisfied. Or if you’re smart, you make adjustments you need to get the numbers closer to where you want them.
Numbers do kinda matter though
Ok I might be making fun of charts but it is good to understand, recognize, and know your body does have a “window” in regards to weight that you should know and should strive to maintain. A few pounds over it should be cause to make changes to keep you in your “window”.
Obesity is a major cause of many health related diseases and is totally preventable. Obesity here in the states is at an all time high in adults and more disturbingly, children. Maintaining your weight in your healthy zone can prevent health related diseases.
If you are highly active or do activities to build muscle, that as well will cause numbers to fluctuate. My body structure is now more about a body fat percentage versus the standard BMI which doesn’t take into account an athletes muscle mass.
I have a weight that is what I consider my “in season” weight when I’m training longer and heavier and an “off season” weight when I can be 5-7 lbs “heavier”.
Both of those are “ideal” for me. I’m really not focused on a set of numbers anymore as much as I am my bodies ability to perform well, to be strong, and to be energetic.
I’ve also learned enough of myself that there is a place that is healthy and easily sustainable without me being rigid and constantly watchful of what I eat.
It’s a pretty free place to be.
Find your happy place.
If you have weight to lose, know what your “window” can be and work towards that. Allow that you might get within 5 lbs and be totally happy or see that you look good right there and don’t need to lose more.
If you’re highly active and engage in heavy sports, understand how your body works and the processes it can go through in and out of training and how those numbers may look on the scale.
Finally, once you know what that place is ( happy and healthy) it is easier to maintain it and enjoy life without obsessing over numbers.