Friday, March 30, 2007

Early Signs of Diabetes

Obesity almost always leads to diabetes, but if you're not yet diabetic (and still in your thirties) there's still time to turn things around. Ask your doctor to screen you for the "early signs of diabetes". If you're significantly overweight, chances are good that you have the early signs.

I'm a big believer in being "scared straight" as a healthy motivation to lose weight. That's what got me to a drop 55 pounds -- a scary report from my doctor about my future. Diabetes is a terrible condition, but fortunately it's preventable. Schedule a screening today with your doctor if you've been unable to motivate yourself to lose weight any other way.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Diet Tips For Busy Moms

People Magazine did a special double issue in January with the cover story, "Half Their Size". It was very inspiring to see and read about average people who'd been successful in their weight loss efforts. The story of Janene Campbell (who lost 317 pounds) was especially inspiring. She shared her best diet tips for busy moms in the article. They were:

1. Buy healthy versions of junk-food (such as no-sugar-added fat free ice cream). Kids can't tell the difference.

2. Sneak in exercise whenever you can. Examples: play with the kids on the slide, chase the cat around the house, take the stairs, park far away from the front of stores and walk the distance.

3. Share meals. When dining out, share food with your kids -- especially when eating at a restaurant that serves large portions.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

An Incredible Weight Loss Blog

Sometimes you come across something so amazing that words don't do it justice. So I'm not going to try.

Please click the title of this post to be redirected to the blog of a 36-year old married mother of two in Virginia named Carla. She's lost 115 pounds using Weight Watchers and The FIRM.

There are loads of photos....please page down all the way to see them all!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Burn The Fat -- Feed The Muscle

Lose body fat without wrecking your metabolism?

If you've ever started a diet, then smashed into the dreaded "plateau," it's probably because you cannibalized your own muscle and slowed down your metabolism. There's a system that can teach you the only way to prevent your metabolism from crashing. You will also learn more than a dozen ways to fire up your "metabolic engine" and accelerate your body's natural rate of calorie-burning.

Check out Burn The Fat -- Feed The Muscle by clicking on the title of this post. Feel free to leave your feedback here and comment on this post.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Losing The Baby Weight

Although I'm not a woman and can't personally relate, I know this is a struggle for many recent mothers. What makes it extra tricky is that there's a resulting change in metabolism that must also be factored-in to any post-partum weight loss plan.

In my wife's case, she managed to lose 55 pounds after having our last child because she and a buddy religiously worked at it using Weight Watchers. Even afterwards however, there was still the remaining weight from the extra skin around her tummy that could only be removed by surgery (abdominoplasty). She doesn't count that little extra weight loss however. She only counts the 55 pounds lost doing Weight Watchers.

I'm reading a couple of blogs right now that deal with losing your "baby" weight. I'll post links to them here in the near future.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Know Your Body Mass Index (BMI)

As a gauge of your overall health, the BMI is a great tool. It's calculated by taking your weight and dividing by the square of your height. This includes your body fat percentage -- which makes it a better calculation than just using your height and weight alone.

Once you've calculated your body mass index (BMI), you need to know how to read the number. There are BMI calculators available on the internet and they all work pretty much the same. Just do a Google search for "Body Mass Index Calculator" or click the title of this post for a link to a free BMI calculator courtesy of Fitness Magazine.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Nabisco's 100 Calorie Snack Packs

Smart snacking….or just a gimmick? You can make up your own mind, but here at my house, we've become big fans of those little individual "!00 Calorie Packs" that Nabisco has come out with. Especially the Lorna Doones!! A box contains eight individually wrapped packages of bite-size shortbread cookies and the entire package contains no more than 100 calories! What a cool idea!

If you're an avid calorie counter, you can now snarf a bag of these with the knowledge that a walk around the block will also be necessary to burn off the calories. For me, it works better to reverse the process and walk first so the snack pack is a reward after the fact. I'm putting the cart ahead of the horse, but hey….you do whatever works!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Junk Food Survey / Men versus Women

According to a Fitness Magazine poll, eighty-nine percent of all adults say they nibble at least once a day; nearly a third do it two or three times a day. Men snack more than women -- sixty percent of them claim king snack status; while a majority of women (54 percent) agree. The #1 trigger for a snack attack is boredom. Slightly more women (63 percent) than men (58 percent) placed it first.. In second and third place for both sexes -- tiredness and being mentally fried.

The survey also showed twice as many men as women snack four or more times a day. Nearly three-quarters of men and almost two-thirds of women, say the couch is the primo place for between-meal eating. Maybe the coffee table should be renamed.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Have You Heard About Flavonoids?

Red wine, purple grape juice, tea (black and green), apples, herbs (like oregano and parsley), raisins, prunes, berries, chocolate, even beer are all brimming with flavonoids-a term used for a family of antioxidants that may be even more potent than vitamin C or E. For example, the combination of flavonoid compounds in oregano packs 12 times the antioxi-dant punch of oranges, according to a study from the USDA.

Two recent studies found that flavonoids in apples, tea and chocolate can protect against heart disease. Those in tea, called catechins, are also believed to fight cancer and prevent bone loss that leads to osteo-porosis. Polyphenols, another type of flavonoid found in red wine, helps keep blood vessels open, ensuring adequate blood flow to the heart.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Thoughts On Permanent Weight Loss

Breaking the yo-yo dieting cycle is difficult because consistency is everything! Here's some tips gleaned from success stories of those who are no longer "yoyo-ing". You'll never get control of your weight without exercising. Join a gym and take an aerobics class twice a week. A surge in your energy level will be the first benefit. Weight loss should quickly follow. Strength training added-on to your plan will help sculpt your muscles and change your body shape.

You might have a few lapses though. Christmas binges for example, could lead to weight gain. You should start weighing and measuring your food. Once you decide to recommit to your exercise / aerobics / strength training / measuring portions strategy, and your weight loss will become permanent. For those no longer on the weight-loss yo-yo, those are the pieces to the puzzle.

For those doing Weight Watchers, simple replace the "measuring portions" piece with a "counting points" piece. Either way, you should have the puzzle solved!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Correct Mental Attitude for Weight Loss

Obviously, you gotta get your mind right! But you've also got to organize your actions and follow a mental checklist. Here's 8 good ideas for focusing your mind on weight loss:

  1. Define Your Motivation
  2. Get Your Priorities Straight
  3. Choose an Attainable Goal
  4. Uncover Emotional Obstacles
  5. Design Your Own Plan
  6. Celebrate EveryAchievement
  7. Visualize the New You
  8. Forgive Yourself

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Sneak More Fruits and Veggies Into Your Diet

In theory it sounds pretty easy. You eat more fruits and vegetables by "sneaking" them into your daily diet without being obvious. But it takes work. One idea is to buy more veggies than usual and leave them out on the kitchen counter so you'll be more likely to include them in your cooking (or snacking).

A better idea is to combine them with other foods. Cauliflower can be pureed in a blender and mixed into your mashed potatoes without a noticeable change in texture or taste. Grated carrots and/or chopped spinach can also be added to your spaghetti sauce (in the skillet) with much the same effect. A registered dietician wrote a book last year called, Stealth Health to guide people in this process. It should still be available on

Monday, March 12, 2007

Another Great Weight Loss Website

I've seen a lot written lately about the many good things available at ( It's a great site with a lot of useful and fun information. The "Latest Diet News" section is lively and entertaining and their Message Boards and Recipes pages are fantastic.

The editors don't take themselves too seriously either and have fun with the content. Here's another tip when visiting Visit their "Celebrities and Diet" blog. They regularly bash brainless celebs that are pushing worthless weight loss and workout plans. It's great! We're only interested in real weight loss ideas here -- not worthless stuff from those Hollywood halfwits.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Five Minute Diet

The Five Minute Diet. A weight loss plan that utilizes only five ingredients and only takes five minutes to prepare. It's pretty amazing and yet so simple you'll ask yourself why you didn't think of it first! Click the title of this post to see the details from the original article in Fitness Magazine (

There's a lot of great information on the magazine's website. To view an index of all their weight loss articles follow this link: There was a great article in their October 2006 issue about an easy way to burn 800 calories with a short workout routine. It may have been archived however. I'll find it again and link to it from a future blog post.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Weight Loss Without Exercise?

Weight loss without exercise is the holy grail for most people -- especially those who are handicapped or mobility impaired. Nutritionists claim that it can be done with a very specific diet tailored for a non-ambulatory person. Liquid supplements are also used by dieticians to aid in the process. I'm not aware however of a popular diet product currently on the market that promotes weight loss without exercise.

That "take a teaspoon at bedtime" stuff a few years ago was proven to be worthless, and Metabolife 356 no longer advertises weight loss without exercise. I'll be researching the current marketplace for such products and comment on them in a future post.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Thoughts On Food Addiction

Battling food addiction is a difficult, life-long process similar to battling any addiction. Unlike smoking though, there's no patch or Nicorette to help you "get off" of food. That's why recovery programs for food addiction concentrate on the psychological aspects of the behavior more than the physiological.

Getting to the root of a psychological behavior is likened to following an electrical extension cord back to the spot on the wall where it's plugged in. In order to deal with food addiction, you've got to first "follow the cord" back to where it's plugged-in. Professional counselors are trained to do just that. Once you've found out where the addiction is "plugged-in", you can work to unplug the source of the food addiction. Your recovery begins once it's unplugged.

I wish this was an easy process (or one that could be easily fixed), but unfortunately it's a day-by-day thing at first. Feel free to comment or share a thought.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Low Fat Salad Dressings

If you really need to gain weight, it's hard to beat bottled salad dressings for high calories and high fat. However since most of us aren't looking to pack on pounds, we need alternatives to fatty salad dressings. People kid themselves by eating a daily salad -- but not also reading the fat content on the dressing bottle. Typically the fat in the dressing offsets the benefits of the healthy greens.

The salad dressing makers fortunately now offer low-fat (or fat-free) dressings in squirt bottles. A simple spritz from the spray bottle applies salad dressing much more sensibly than a big glob from an old-fashioned bottle. This is a huge step in the right direction!

In the same way that spray-on butter substitutes have made it easy to reduce your butter intake, spray-on salad dressings are the latest wave. So let's be thankful for this wave and ride it!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

A Pocket Weight Loss Planner

Came across a really neat "Weight Loss Planner" in the supermarket checkout line today. About 5" by 8" and sized to fit in a woman's purse and priced at $1.99.

The one I saw was created by (or for) "The Biggest Loser" television show and was very detailed and organized. You've got to have a plan if you're serious about weight loss -- and a weight loss planner is a great idea.

Fans of NBC's "The Biggest Loser" would especially enjoy this because the planner referred to past contestants on the program. Keep an eye out for this the next time you're at the market....I think you'll like it!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Clinical Weight Loss Programs

Weight loss programs can be broadly placed into two categories: Clinical programs and Non-clinical programs. Clinical programs are those conducted in a medical center, doctor's office or clinic. Non-clinical programs are "do it yourself" programs of various types that may or may not include regular group meetings.

A good explanation of the pros and cons of the two types of weight loss programs is provided at This blog also contains other useful information -- including the USDA food pyramid that most of us have committed to memory.

Monday, March 5, 2007

I'll Pass On The Gastric Bypass

Thought I'd clarify a point about this blog and our thoughts on surgical methods such as gastric bypass or lap-band surgery.

We intend to stick with non-surgical methods in this forum and leave discussions on gastric bypass to others with a medical background. Because any surgery contains risks, gastric bypass is really a "last resort" method of weight loss. As such, we'll stick to non-surgical methods that include (but aren't limited to) diet, fitness, and lifestyle.

If I come across a good gastric bypass blog, I'll link to it from a future post here on Weight Loss Forum.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Walking or Jogging -- Any Difference?

Many of us with bad knees who can't run are avid walkers (or power walkers) instead. The question always arises whether fast walking (with ankle weights) has the same calorie burning power as jogging or running.

The good news is that although there's a slight cardiovascular advantage to jogging, brisk walkers typically burn as many calories as the average jogger. The only real exception to this would be marathoner runners who "carb-load" for a couple of days ahead of a race.

As long as the typical healthy walker doesn't eat nothing but pasta for two straight days, we can burn as many calories as a jogger can! Now go take a brisk walk....and smile!

Friday, March 2, 2007

Don't Skip Breakfast

Not only from a nutritional standpoint, but having breakfast every day is a necessity from a weight loss standpoint. You can't lose weight unless you jump start your metabolism -- and having breakfast does just that!

Once your metabolism is engaged, it's also a good idea to eat 5-6 small meals per day rather than two large meals (lunch and dinner). It's like stoking an old-fashioned furnace. You feed it 6 times during a 24 hour period to get an even consistent burn. If not, the furnace overheats then underheats.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Weight Watchers Success Without Meetings

I've explained how I lost 55 pounds, but my wife also lost 55 pounds (coincidentally) using a totally different method than I. She joined Weight Watchers and bought their hand-held "Points Calculator".

She and a friend then committed themselves to getting good at using the calculator and knowing the points of everything they ate. Neither of them ever attended a single meeting! They kept each other motivated at first, which later developed into competition. The "competition" kept my wife focused and she lost 55 pounds in 6 months.

Her friend also lost 50-60 pounds in the process. Weight Watchers works folks -- even without going to meetings.....