Weight Loss Motivation

Weight Loss Motivation Blog

Instant Gratification for Weight Loss - Try Turkey Walk

Ever wonder what it feels like to lose 15 lbs or 30 lbs instantly? Ever wonder what it feels like to lug extra 15 lbs or 30 lbs around all the time?

You can feel it with the Turkey Walk.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Weight Loss Inspiration

Dallas Carter - a Hawaii man stuck to a healthy diet and exercise routine for 2 years and lost 190 pounds, more than half of his body weight. Quite an inspiration! Here is the full report and video.


"I ate a lot of lean meats and vegetables. I set small goals. I said I don't care how much weight I lose, I told myself I am going to stick to this diet regiment and my exercise routine." Dallas stuck to it, and two years later, he went from big to small.

"I found so much joy in other things. I found joy in walking around, spending time with my family, climbing on the jungle gym with my daughter. Those things are what makes me happy. They fill what used to be filled by food," said Carter.

He lost about 190 pounds and gained both confidence and a desire to help others achieve the same goal.

"If you can honestly do your best everyday you will succeed and pick yourself up when you fall and keep going forward cause it can happen. I mean the whole world and society told me it wouldn't be able to happen for me." Dallas now weighs 165 pounds and doesn't plan on losing anymore weight. His goal now, is to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

If you are struggling with the holiday foods, here are two things to keep in mind. First, be aware of your calories. Avoid empty calories like sugar-loaded soft drinks. Eat healthier foods like green veggetables and lean meats. Don't overdo it at the dinner table. If you ever worked out on a treadmill, you remember how long it takes to burn 100 calories. Getting 100 calories is nothing but a piece of cake, literally.

Second, move your body. It is so tempting to sit around with the families and watch TV during the holidays. If you don't have to sit, stand; if you don't have to stand, walk around, even inside your house. You will be amazed how these little things can make a huge difference.

Don't feel guilty if you guard is off on a day or two. That happens to everyone. But do remember that it is you who gains the weight, it is also you who can lose it!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Weight Loss - Long-Term

Changing your "set point" for permanent weight loss.

Lately I've been thinking about what why losing those ten pounds is so difficult. I know that losing some weight will cause my body to function better, so why does it seem to fight it so much? Is times long past our bodies were storing resources up for a time of famine or drought. Many of us are now in the enviable position of having too many resources. So, we have to retrain our bodies into losing weight. There is a pertinent article on this subject on WebMD (a great resource by the way for diet and health issues). This author writes that our bodies are set to a specific weight known as the "set point".

"Just as your body temperature is programmed to stay around 98.6 degrees, your body weight is naturally regulated to stay within a range of 10%-20%, says Thomas Wadden, PhD, director of the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders at University of Pennsylvania Medical School. This weight range is known as the "set point." A complex set of hormones, chemicals, and hunger signals help your body naturally maintain your weight within this range, says American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD."

Increasing your weight will also increase your "set point". It's easy to increase this number, but difficult to lower it. "'Overeating swamps the internal regulatory system, and, as a result, the set point increases -- which is much easier to do than it is to lower it, says Wadden. The body adjusts to the higher weight and "resets" the set point to defend the new weight". The higher set point can be adjusted to a lower number but it does take some work. "A recent book, Break through Your Set Point: How to Finally Lose the Weight You Want and Keep It Off, by George Blackburn, MD, suggests that maintaining a 10% loss for six months to a year helps your body adjust to the lower weight and thus reset the set point.

Wadden explains that when you lose large amounts of weight at once, you set up an internal struggle and hormones like ghrelin spike to make you hungrier as your body tries to defend its comfortable range. Instead, experts recommend that you try losing 10% the old-fashioned way -- by slowly changing eating and exercise behaviors -- then maintain this new weight for a few months before trying to lose more. Not only will your body get the signal to lower its "set point, 'but you'll give yourself a chance to get used to new food choices, smaller portions, and regular exercise.'

I've been working on changing dietary habits and varying exercise for about two months. I do hope I begin to see results soon. This slow pace will be worth it, if the weight stays off.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Losing Weight with Small Changes

Small changes can result in big results.

I am a runner who has been trying to loose ten pounds for over a year. I often feel frustrated because I do exercise; I run 3-4 miles about five times a week. But I still feel overweight. I believe I have reached the dreaded exercise plateau. Because smaller changes are easier and longer lasting then huge ones, I've decided to tweak my lifestyle instead of attempting a complete overhaul. Here are some small changes that may bring big results.

Exercise tweaks - "Different Day, Different Intensity"
Varying your activities or cross-training is important to avoid or break through a plateau. While cross-training the type of activity is often recommended, it is also
important to cross-train the intensity of your workouts. Specify different days of the week as low, moderate or high-intensity days. Try interval training work at a low intensity for a couple of minutes and increase to a high intensity for a couple of minutes, and repeat..." ( by: Gillian Hood-Gabrielson)

I think the idea of varying the intensity of each day is an attainable goal. If I know that today’s hard work means a bit of a respite tomorrow, I think I'll be able to push myself harder. Interval training is another small tweak that has big results. A workout can be measurably more effective simply by increasing the intensity for brief period of time, then backing off.

Diet tweaks

Instead of a croissant at breakfast, I've been eating a yogurt. It seems to stave off the hunger pains for at least an hour longer. I'm slowly removing carbohydrate snacks from my diet in an attempt to eat less.

Eat Low-Fat Protein to Manage Hunger Pangs - New findings show that a high protein diet can help squelch hunger. Protein foods work by suppressing ghrelin, a hormone secreted by the stomach that stimulates appetite (yes, it triggers hunger!). In a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, researchers found that foods high in fat actually raised levels of ghrelin and increased hunger. Carbohydrates soon made people even hungrier than they were before they had eaten. But it was the protein foods that lowered levels of ghrelin substantially, helping to keep hunger pangs in check. (Quoted from here)

Attitude Tweaks

Reward your behavior, and not your weight. You are probably used to rewarding yourself and being rewarded by others for losing pounds, rather than for altering your behavior. Create a system of rewards for the positive changes you make, rather than the numbers you see on the scale. Make your rewards based on your ability to stick to your goals, and on your changes in thought. When you are able to go through an entire day without self-defeating thoughts, you deserve a reward.

All in all, it is important to remember that your thoughts guide you to action, whether they be positive or negative. If you are self-depreciating in thought, your behaviors will be unproductive, and you will become discouraged easily. If, on the other hand, you acknowledge small accomplishments: more positive self-talk, increased activity, eating more nutritionally balanced meals, feeling healthier, feeling stronger, then your behaviors will reflect that. You will be more encouraged to continue exercising, you will find it easier to resist food temptations, and you will gain self-esteem—not because you are losing weight, but because you are managing your life and your body in a way that is responsible and worthy of praise—and the weight loss that follows will be but a side effect of the behaviors in which you engage. Quoted from Here

This change is the most difficult and the most important. How we speak to ourselves internally greatly affects how we make life choices. I have started to take note of every time I feel fat during the day. When those thoughts come, I label them as negative energy, and move on. If I do not engage in defeatist thinking I will want to eat better and make healthier lifestyle choices. After all if you don’t value yourself, how will you take care of yourself? Losing weight is should be a holistic activity that brings about positive changes on the outside as well as on the inside.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Lose Belly Fat

Big belly never looks pretty. It can cause serious back pain. Big belly is linked to dementia. Now this study suggests that even if you are not overweight, having a big belly can increase women's death rates.

Having a big waist may raise women's death rates, even in women who aren't overweight.

That news comes from a study of 44,600 female nurses enrolled in a long-term health study.

The bottom line: Waists mattered more than weight.

Being in the normal weight range was less important than having a waist less than 34.6 inches and a waist-to-hip ratio of less than 0.88 .To calculate your waist-to-hip ratio, divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement.

"Although maintaining a healthy weight should continue to be a cornerstone in the prevention of chronic diseases and premature death, it is equally important to maintain a healthy waist size and prevent abdominal obesity," the researchers write in the April 1 edition of Circulation.

Belly Fat Study When the nurses were 40 to 65 years old, they measured their waists and hips for the study. At the time, none had had heart disease or cancer.

Every two years, they updated their health and lifestyle records for the study, including their physical activity, smoking, alcohol use, and menopausal status.

The nurses were followed for 16 years. During that time, a total of 3,507 of the nurses died, including 751 who died of heart disease and 1,748 who died of cancer.

Regardless of other factors, including BMI (body mass index, which relates height to weight), women with larger waists and greater waist-to-hip ratios had higher death rates from all causes, including heart disease and cancer, which are the top two killers of U.S. women.

For example, among women of normal weight, those with a waist larger than 34.6 inches were three times as likely to die of heart disease, compared to women with smaller waists.

Large hips weren't a problem, if the waist wasn't also large. In fact, having large hips and a small waist was associated with lower risk of death from heart disease.

Quote from WebMD

Monday, March 31, 2008

Bigger Belly Linked to Dementia

Having a big belly in your 40s can boost your risk of getting Alzheimer's disease or other dementia decades later, a new study suggests
It's not just about your weight. While previous research has found evidence that obesity in middle age raises the chances of developing dementia later, the new work found a separate risk from storing a lot of fat in the abdomen. Even people who weren't overweight were susceptible.

That abdominal fat, sometimes described as making people apple-shaped rather than pear-shaped, has already been linked to higher risk of developing diabetes, stroke and heart disease. "Now we can add dementia to that," said study author Rachel Whitmer of the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California.
She and others report the findings in Wednesday's online issue of the journal Neurology.

The study involved 6,583 men and women who were ages 40 to 45 when they had checkups between 1964 and 1973. As part of the exam, their belly size was measured by using a caliper to find the distance between their backs and the surface of
their upper abdomens. For the study, a distance of about 10 inches or more was
considered high.

The researchers checked medical records to see who had developed Alzheimer's or another form of dementia by an average of 36 years later. At that point the participants were ages 73 to 87. There were 1,049 cases.Analysis found that compared with people in the study with normal body weight and a low belly measurement:

  • Participants with normal body weight and high belly measurements were 89 percent more likely to have dementia.
  • Overweight people were 82 percent more likely if they had a low belly measurement, but more than twice as likely if they had a high belly measurement.
  • Obese people were 81 percent more likely if they had a low belly measurement, but more than three times as likely if they had a high measurement.

Whitmer said there's no precise way to translate belly measurements into waist circumference. But most people have a sense of whether they have a big belly, she said. And if they do, the new study suggests they should get rid of it, she said.
It's not clear why abdominal fat would promote dementia, but it may pump out substances that harm the brain, she said.

Dr. Jose Luchsinger of the Columbia University Medical Center in New York, who studies the connection between obesity and Alzheimer's disease but didn't participate in the new work, cautioned that such a study cannot prove abdominal fat promotes dementia. But the study results are "highly plausible" and "I'm not surprised at all," he said. High insulin levels might help explain them, he said.
Dr. Samuel Gandy, who chairs the medical and scientific advisory council of the Alzheimer's Association, said the results fit in with previous work that indicates a person's characteristics in middle age can affect the risk of dementia in later life.
And it's another example of how traits associated with the risk of developing heart disease are also linked to later dementia, he said.
Quoted from CNN

Excessive body fat at any body part can be harmful. It is widely known that a big belly is a main cause of all sorts of back problems. Having a big belly is like constantly carrying a heavy watermelon, that over the long run, puts a lot of stress on the spine.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Binge Eating

Here is an interesting story about a young woman's battle against the binge eating disorder. She was overeating because food had become a source of comfort to her. An eating disorder is often the manifestation of some psychological problems, such as low self-image and self-esteem. Eating disorders can't be fixed simply by weight loss, since if the psychologic issues are not solved, the weight will come back. There are treatments for eating disorders. Such treatments are effective in losing weight when combined with weight loss.
Morgan Wylie doesn't know how much she weighs. She says that the last number she knew was frightening to repeat. Yet although she's 6 feet tall with broad shoulders and a hefty figure -- what we gamely call "a big girl" -- she's nowhere near the behemoth you're led to expect from reading her blog, Fatgrrl.

Wylie, 27, is a recovering binge eater, and while it's going to be one day at a time for a long time, she recently experienced an amazing success -- if only it could have felt that way in the moment.

Binge eating is about eating alone, eating secretly. "I didn't want people to know how much I was eating," Wylie said, aware that her eating was abnormal. She thought about eating all the time, obsessively planning what to have, where to get it, how to fix it, what to do when it was gone. The ritual gave her comfort, slowed her thoughts.

Her mind has raced for years, always in pursuit of perfection. She was raised by a mother who served in the military, which meant a lot of moving and being the new kid. She was always bigger than the other students, or as she refers to them, "the little bastards on the playground."After a disastrous first job, Wylie was hired by the Walker, but needed a second job to pay her food bills. Life was up and down. She read "The Fat Girl's Guide to Life" by Wendy Shanker and laughed, an emotion she'd never associated with the food she kept hidden in her filing cabinets. Then she ran across Big Fat Blog, a Chicago-based blog about fat acceptance, notable for founder Paul McAleer's coining of the term Fatosphere. She began blogging herself, finding a voice and a community.
... ...
Bring up eating disorders and most people think "15-year-old suburban white female with anorexia," said Jillian Croll, director of education, research and program development for the Emily Program. Yet anorexia affects about 1 percent of the U.S. population and bulimia affects 4 percent, while the portion of binge or compulsive overeaters is closer to 10 percent, she said.

"The tricky thing is that many people have no idea that there's help for it," Croll said. "They think it's just how they live their lives. 'Oh, I emotionally overeat.' So do lots of people."

Treatment involves identifying the feelings that are masked or soothed by overeating, so that as people improve their attitude about eating, they improve their attitude about themselves.

Sessions are intensive, especially the experiential meals in which clients learn not only nutrition, but also "how" to eat. Take the pizza dinner. The dietitian was urging people to pick up the slices with their hands, while everyone was stubbornly using their knives and forks. Why? Because eating with a fork lessened the chance that something would drip onto their shirts. "There's a huge thing of not wanting to spill on yourself, because then you'll appear slovenly and disgusting, which you already think you are," Wylie said.

Breaking such chains of behavior is a prime goal, Croll said. "There's a lot of black-and-white thinking: I had one doughnut, so I might as well eat the whole box.' We help people to realize that you don't have to go to that black-and-white thinking, that there is a gray area where you can say, 'I had one, I wonder what it would feel like to stop now. Or to stop at two,' then move on and not feel as though they've committed a mortal sin."

Warning signs of bingEing or compulsive overeating
  • Overeating or eating uncontrollably, even when not physically hungry
  • Eating very rapidly
  • Eating alone due to shame or embarrassment
  • Feelings of guilt and shame due to overeating
  • Depression or mood swings
  • Isolation, often from activities involving food, due to embarrassment about weight or eating
  • Eating very little in public, but maintaining a high weight
  • Preoccupation with weight, dieting and food
  • Chronic dieting
  • Typically, awareness that eating patterns are abnormal

Quoted from: http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/health/16086527.html

Friday, March 14, 2008

Boost Metabolism

B vitamins: B vitamins are key players in DNA synthesis, the central nervous system, metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and protein and energy production. Inadequate amounts of B6, B12, folate, thiamin and niacin can leave you feeling depressed and fatigued, slow the body’s metabolism and increase your risk for chronic diseases. Get the bulk of your B’s from food, where they pair up with other vitamins and minerals for a complete synergy of action. Foods high in the B’s include: spinach, asparagus, beans (navy, soy, black beans), melon, broccoli, fish, poultry and eggs.

Magnesium: Magnesium is a mineral needed by every cell in your body and is used in more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including proper muscle, nerve and heart function, protein synthesis and energy metabolism. The National Institutes of Health reports that most Americans are not getting enough magnesium in their diets for optimal health. Boost your intake of high magnesium foods to give your metabolism a boost. Go green with your vegetables. Green vegetables such as spinach provide magnesium because the center of the chlorophyll molecule contains magnesium. Other excellent sources of magnesium include: halibut, nuts such as almonds, cashews and peanuts, soybeans (edamame), whole-grain cereals, oatmeal, and legumes such as black-eyed peas and lentils.

Snacking can help ignite your energy by giving your body a fuel boost. Eating healthy snacks, in snack-size portions, can help you avoid the overhungry-overeating syndrome that often leads to overweight and can leave you feeling lethargic. Be sure to include healthy carbs and protein in each snack such as: peanut butter and banana, trail mix, hummus and baby carrots, or an apple with low-fat Cheddar cheese. The protein/carbohydrate combination help regulate blood sugar, energy levels and feelings of satiety.

Want to increase your metabolism? Eat breakfast. Studies indicate that eating breakfast may increase resting metabolism by 10 percent and reduce the risk of obesity and diabetes. Make sure it’s a healthy morning with whole-grain cereal and fruit, whole-wheat toast and peanut butter or fat-free yogurt and a handful of granola.

Speed play (aka Fartlek) — Fartlek, commonly known in the U.S. as interval training, is the Swedish word for “speed play.” Interval training or speed play is a great way to pump up your metabolism and make your workouts more fun. Interval training alternates short bursts of intense activity with lower intensity activity. For example; alternating sprints with a slow jog, or powering up a hill followed by an easy downhill lope. Interval training teaches the heart and muscles to use oxygen more efficiently. A few studies have found that interval training alters the mitochondria (the enginelike organelles that produce energy in cells) to burn more fat. You will likely burn more calories, increase your metabolic rate and your level of fitness at a faster rate than with your old familiar workout.

Strength training — As we get older we tend to lose muscle, gain fat and our metabolism slows down as a result. One way to combat this metabolic slowdown is with regular strength or resistance training. Resistance training stimulates muscles to become stronger and healthier, providing your body with beneficial improvements in strength and function. Resistance training also reduces fat mass and increases muscle mass. Research suggests that resistance training may even increase life expectancy.

Depriving your body of fuel is a surefire way to slow it down. Food stimulates energy metabolism needed for digestion in a process called “dietary induced thermogenesis.” When you slash calories, the calories burned by eating are greatly diminished and so is your metabolic rate.

Restricting calories also signals the body that there is no food available, so it tries to conserve stores of carbohydrate and fat by slowing down its metabolism. The best way to keep your metabolism revved is to eat regular meals with snacks when necessary to give your body a constant supply of healthy fuel.
Quoted from: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/23547010/