Posts tagged ‘lose weight’

Weight loss – it’s complex, so DON’T JUDGE

It is so easy to judge others when you just look at the situation from the outside and don’t know the underlying factors involved.  I think of the old “walk a mile in my shoes” song by Elivs Presley:

Walk a mile in my shoes
just walk a mile in my shoes
Before you abuse, criticize and accuse
Then walk a mile in my shoes

The Weighing it up: Obesity in Australia report by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health and Ageing reported that overweight and obese people can be perceived as “lazy, bad, weak, stupid and lacking in self-discipline”.  One witness told the Committee of her ‘overwhelming sense of shame and hurt’ at the remarks passed by strangers, friends and work colleagues about her weight.

A small, seemingly insignificant energy imbalance results in weight gain over time. In their submission, the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) told the Committee that over the past 20 years the average weight of Australian adults has increased by 0.5-1kg. This gain is caused by a daily extra energy intake of as little as 100 kcal, equivalent to one slice of bread, a soft drink or 30 minutes of sitting instead of brisk walking.

There are a number of factors that influence the ability of individuals to control their body weight. These include:
biological reasons;

  • the obesogenic environment;
  • psychological factors;
  • socio-economic levels; and
  • knowledge/education.

BIOLOGICAL REASONS:  The body is designed to store fat as an energy reserve for lean times – a feature we developed during the thousands of years when a regular meal could not be guaranteed. It explains why weight is relatively easy to put on – but hard to get off.  A related biological factor that influences a person’s ability to lose weight is the body’s homeostatic regulation. When we change our dietary or activity habits, the body may react to maintain or increase its current weight by adjusting the basal metabolism. (Our basal metabolism is the amount of energy we use to maintain our bodily functions, like breathing, when we are at rest.) This response is linked to our survival mechanisms, allowing the body to protect itself from starvation. If you eat less, your body will use less energy. If you exercise more, your body will stimulate your appetite so that you eat more.  The body can really fight to maintain its weight making big changes to the basic metabolism that you cannot consciously control.

THE OBSOGENIC ENVIRONMENT:  Societal changes have created an environment where we are time poor, rely on cars, walk less and have increased access to convenience foods. Maintaining healthy weight has ceased to be a by-product of everyday life, and instead has become a personal project requiring constant vigilance and resistance to widespread cultural and social patterns.

PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS:  People suffering from anxiety, depression and low self-esteem will find it very difficult to make the behavioural change necessary to alter their eating and exercise habits. Psychological factors and obesity often operate in a cyclical fashion so that someone who is overweight becomes depressed, or someone who is depressed puts on weight.  It can be difficult to distinguish which is the root cause.   The emphasis on body image in our society exacerbates the mental and emotional problems associated with being overweight. Many individuals spoke of denying their condition while at the same time being ashamed of their body image. One witness told the Committee she had been able to ignore her body image while she was obese but, once she took control and began to successfully lose weight, she was overly focused on it, worrying about how much she had lost each week.  “You look at yourself and you think, ‘How can I have gotten like this?’ I think it becomes a much bigger issue than people realise. Psychological support is crucial.”

SOCIO-ECONOMIC LEVELS:  There is a direct link between lower socio-economic status and obesity.  People in lower socio-economic groups may not be able to afford to buy good quality food and do not have easy access to recreational activities.

KNOWLEDGE/EDUCATION:  Individuals need assistance to negotiate the abundance of information, some of which is conflicting.  The confusion over food choice is compounded by the loss of basic food skills such as cooking. Evidence suggests that cooking is no longer learnt in the home and is not taught in schools, so people are unsure how to prepare nutritious meals. Food is often marketed to us on the basis of convenience of preparation rather than true nutritional value.

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY

Throughout the course of the inquiry, the Committee repeatedly heard that ultimately individuals must take responsibility for their own health, including their weight. Obesity is caused by an imbalance in energy intake (from diet) and expenditure (from activity). Individually we make the decisions as to how much we eat and how much activity we undertake.

While putting weight on can happen gradually over time without us noticing, getting it off usually requires concerted effort.  So don’t judge others. We haven’t “walked a mile in their shoes”.  We don’t know the complex interaction of factors that may be affecting their ability to achieve health and wellness.

Let me encourage you:  Don’t give up when change proves difficult and results do not come quickly enough.  The end result is worth the effort.  Continue with your quest to be the best that you can be.

Sections of this article have been taken from the report Weighing it up: Obesity in Australia.   The full report can be found at http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/haa/obesity/report.htm

January 6, 2010 at 10:28 am Leave a comment

New technology for fat loss

No matter how many health products you take, until you are lean you are not healthy.

Many diets focus on weight loss. The weight that is lost can be muscle mass, as well as bone density. This is not the result you want, as Muscle is the foundation of your calorie burn – the more lean muscle you have the more calories you burn. What you are really after is not to lose weight, but to lose fat.

Low fat, low carb, low calorie diets do not work. Australian statistics on obesity tell the story.  Since 1996 Male obesity has risen from 52%  to 62% in 2006 (2/3 of men are obese) and female obesity has risen from 37% to 45% (nearly 1/2 of the remale population is obese). Obesity is increasing, rather than decreasing.

To assist with fat loss (not weight loss) I recommend a new technology.  This proprietary powder is a supplement containing whey protein, fat-loss peptides and calcium-rich minerals from milk. Using an exclusive patented process, specific parts of whey protein, called peptides, are separated and concentrated to ensure the optimal level of fat-loss peptides.

This all natural proprietary powder works in four ways:

1.  Burns 3 times more fat by telling the body to convert existing fat into energy

2.  Converts protein into lean muscle mass

3.  Reduces the amount of new fat being stored

4.Helps with appetite control by telling your body you are not as hungry.

The powder does not contain preservatives or fillers, unlike most diet plans or meal replacement drinks that include synthetic flavors or sweeteners, preservatives and unnecessary calories. The powder also provides 20 percent of the recommended daily value of protein and 22 percent of calcium per serving.

How To Use the Powder

Mix 2 scoops (12.2 grams) of powder in 8 fluid ounces of liquid or add to food twice daily. For best results, take the powder in 8 fluid ounces of liquid 20 minutes before breakfast and 20 minutes before dinner.

This Program is very powerful results are Guaranteed. Take the product and follow the plan for 6 months. If you don’t feel as though you have had any benefit, you will get 100% of your money back. What have you got to lose?

For further information on this proprietary powder, go to http://www.mannatechosolean.com/.

Contact me by visiting http://www.mannapages.com/suzi and I’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.

For further reading, have a look at these blogs:

Diets don’t work

What is Low GI eating?

I can’t exercise because …

April 13, 2009 at 10:15 am Leave a comment

HYDRATION and WEIGHT LOSS

Weight loss requires a few things – water being one of the most important.

Many of us do not realise we are dehydrated, or the effects of this.

* In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is mistaken for hunger.
* Even MILD dehydration will slow down one’s metabolism as much as 3%.
* One glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of people.
* Lack of water is the No 1 trigger of daytime fatigue.
* A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and diffuclty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.
* Having 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.

Drink … drink … drink … water.

Put away the frizzy drinks. Stop buying sweetened fruit beverages. Don’t think that “diet” drinks are a good alternative – the artificial sweeteners used are really bad for you: they stuff up your liver function and make it almost impossible for you to lose weight. Forget the sports and energy drinks – with caffeine and other stimulants, multiple types of sugars and artificial ingredients they are not the health foods they are marketed as. Ignore the advertisements for milkshakes, cold coffee beverages and iced tea. Choose water instead.

Why? Water has zero calories, quenches your thirst better than sweetened beverages and helps keep our bodies cool in the summertime heat.

How much water should you drink? The basic recommendation is 8 x 8 oz (240 ml) glasses of water a day. But the amount of water you need depends on your weight and activity level. A good indicator as to whether you are drinking enough water is to check the amount of coloration in your urine. If your urine is dark yellow in color then you are probably not drinking enough water. If it is close to clear in color then you are drinking enough to give your system a good cleansing.

Water – The Miracle Worker

When it’s pure and free of contaminants — water is truly a “wonder drug.” Without chemicals, additives, or anything unnatural, a steady dose of 8 glasses of water a day will:

* improve your energy
* increase your mental and physical performance
* remove toxins and waste products from your body
* keep skin healthy and glowing
* help you lose inches
* reduce headaches and dizziness
* allow for proper digestion
* help to keep you more alkaline

Drinking Water and Weight Loss

Water is a natural appetite suppressant, so developing a good water drinking habit can be a long-term aid in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. Most times your “hunger” is your body asking for water – not food.  Many of the calories we consume come from what we drink. So drinking only water is an easy way to reduce calories without making drastic changes in diet or lifestyle. Incorporate these tactics into your daily routine:

* Bring along a water bottle in the car.
* Keep numerous filled bottles on your desk so that you don’t have to refill as often.
* Keep a cooler full of water with you on outings.
* Add a twist of fresh lime or lemon for a zingy taste.
* Make it a personal challenge. Keep a pitcher of ice water in the fridge, and drink it all by the end of the day.
* Place an 8 ounce glass on the counter. Every time you walk past, fill it up with water and drink.

March 15, 2009 at 12:04 pm Leave a comment

GET SOME HEALTHY FATS

The low fat, low carb, low calories diets that have been promoted over the last 10 to 15 years do not work. The Australian statistics on obesity tell the story:

1996 2006
Male 52% 62% (2/3)
Female 37% 45% (1/2)

Obesity is increasing, rather than decreasing. So it seems that low fat diets do not work, and yet many of us still buy into the idea that fat is bad for us because it will clog our arteries and give us heart disease.

  • Fat is a rich source of energy and is important for carrying fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K which support thyroid function and healthy metabolism.
  • Fats also supply essential fatty acids for healthy skin and have a role in regulating body functions.
  • Fats are needed for proper function of serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin is the body’s natural “feel-good” chemical. A lack of fat in your diet can make you feel depressed!

Not all fats are bad for us – fat can make you thin, if it is the right kind of fat. It is about both quality and quantity.

Good fats: include things like cold pressed olive oil, avocados, nuts, fish oil

Bad fats: found in pastries, cakes, take-away meals, potato chips, butter and dairy products (full fat milk, cream, cheese, etc)

So if you’re serious about fat loss, get some healthy fats in your diet.

February 27, 2009 at 12:52 pm 2 comments

LOVING THE SELF

What has self love got to do with losing weight?

The short answer is – a lot!

Love gives us a respect for ourselves and this shapes the way we treat ourselves. If we love and appreciate ourselves then we have gratitude for the miracle of our body and how wonderfully we are made. If we really love ourselves, then we will take loving care of our bodies, feeding them foods that are nourishing and energy-producing.

When we are lacking in self love, we abuse our bodies by adopting a high fat diet full of refined processed foods and empty carbs that are devoid of real nutrition. Convenience foods are the go. We try fad diets, seeking a quick fix to the years of neglect that have brought us to our current state. It is a lack of self love that allows us to eat erratically, deprive ourselves of sleep and remain highly stressed over long periods of time.

In her book “You can heal your life” Louise Hay contends that THE PROBLEM is rarely the REAL problem. We can waste a lot of energy trying to correct a problem, for example being over weight, which is not the real problem. She refuses to focus on excess weight (the problem), and works instead on self love (the REAL PROBLEM). Berating ourselves for being too heavy, feeling guilty about every bite of food we eat and criticising ourselves constantly for our failures is not self love. Louise Hay contends that “loving the self begins with never, ever criticising ourselves for anything”. Tune into your self talk for a while. How do you speak to yourself? Do you sound like a harsh, critical parent, or do you lovingly encourage and affirm yourself? Imagine if you spoke to a small child the way you speak to yourself – what effect would it have on the child? Would it produce a child who is confident and happy, or one who is convinced he/she will never be good enough?

Try speaking to yourself in love. Try acting towards yourself in love. Real self love is a great motivator. You will want to do the right thing by yourself, because you love yourself enough to believe you are worth it.

Go to a mirror. Look yourself in the eye. Use your name and say “(name) I love and accept you exactly as you are”. Repeat, until you start to act as if it is true.

February 23, 2009 at 12:45 pm Leave a comment

What is health?

Do you enjoy good health? What is health anyway?

A lot of people define health as the absence of disease. The reasoning is: “I don’t have a disease, therefore I am healthy”. When do we know we have a disease? Usually not until some symptoms surface to alert us to the fact that all is not well and we go to the doctor for a diagnosis. We then begin treating the symptoms and may not even be fully cognisant of the underlying causes. Many diseases develop over a long period of time, so the absence of symptoms does not guarantee the absence of disease.

What about ageing? Can we be healthy as we age? Do we have to lose mobility, suffer arthritis, dementia and diabetes, rattling from the volume of blood pressure and other tablets we need to control the myriad outworkings of old age?

Our definitions and expectations of age are changing. In 1924 the average Australian male lived for 60 years, and the average female lived for 64 years. Have a look in a family photograph album at pictures of your parents and grandparents at 50 years of age. At 50 they were old people – only a little more than 10 years from death. Advances in medicine and better health care have now pushed life expectancy to 78 for men and 83 for women. Today’s 50 year old has 30 years or more of life ahead of them!

We are starting to realise that we need to invest in our health and wellness to be able to enjoy the longer lifespan with which we have been blessed. It is possible to have a biological age which is lower than our chronological age. In 1991 Evans and Rosenberg formulated a list of 10 measurable “biomarkers of ageing”. They are:

1 muscle mass
2 strength
3 basal metabolic rate
4 body fat percentage
5 aerobic capacity
6 blood sugar tolerance
7 cholesterol/HDL ratio
8 blood pressure
9 bone density
10 ability to regulate internal body temperature.

All of these biomarkers of ageing can be altered for the better by changes in lifestyle. Muscle mass and strength are the primary biomarkers. As we start to age and the “mid life spread” begins, many of us focus on losing or maintaining body weight, but that is not the key thing. Our target should be body composition, improving the ratio of muscle to fat. The key is to minimize inactive fat tissue and maximize active muscle mass. People with a greater ratio of muscle to fat burn more calories, enjoy a higher metabolism and don’t have to worry as much about gaining weight or about how much they eat. Conventional wisdom that muscle mass and strength decline with age, accelerating after 45, is wrong. If you use your muscles frequently, you can maintain their strength. And, if you push your muscles to the limit of their capacity by exercise, you can actually increase their strength—no matter what your age.

The ultimate goal of controlling the 10 biomarkers of ageing is to extend our years of good health and compress the years of decline. By making positive changes in your biomarkers through a combination of exercise (especially strength training) and eating right, you can enjoy optimal health – right throughout your life.

Contact me if you would like more information on achieving optimal health:  suzimorrisblog@gmail.com

February 15, 2009 at 12:27 pm Leave a comment

DIETS DON’T WORK

Let me tell you why I’m convinced that DIETS DON’T WORK!

Do you go on a diet and lose weight, only to put it all back on when you return to “normal” eating? Have your weight loss efforts left you feeling discouraged and disappointed? Have you given up on ever achieving the body shape you desire?

The good news is, you didn’t fail – your diet failed you!

Some fad diets give quick, temporary results that make for good marketing, but result in the yo-yo effect in the long term. A friend of mine shared with me that through successful dieting she lost 30 kg last year – which I thought was fantastic, but then she told me that she weighed more at the end of the year than she did at the beginning! That is because she dieted, lost 5 kilos, put it back on, dieted, lost 5 kilos, put more back on, etc throughout the year. My friend had been successful with her diet, but her short term success set her up for long term failure. Yo-yo dieting plays havoc with your metabolism and your health. She didn’t fail – her diet failed her.

Many diets are not sustainable in the long term. If you are on a diet which is very restrictive, you may through willpower and determination stick with it for a period of time, but you are going to feel like you are missing out. Depriving yourself of foods you love only increases your desire for those foods. Worse still, if you focus on a drastically reduced calorie intake you may even feel hungry. If you don’t eat enough food, or don’t eat often enough, your body goes into “starvation mode”. It starts to store all it can and develops fat reserves to see it through the perceived scarcity of food. Again, your diet has failed you.

For these reasons, diets don’t work. They are setting you up for failure. A better strategy is to gradually make changes in the type of foods you choose to eat, replacing unhealthy foods with more supportive, low GI alternatives. I strongly recommend low Gi eating as the way to go. You can enjoy a wide range of foods and it is a way of eating that can be sustained for life. You are never on a diet. You are not deprived. You are not hungry. Imagine never having to go on a diet again!! I talk about Low GI eating in another blog.

Another way that diets fail you is by making you focus on losing WEIGHT. When you diet and lose weight you may be losing excess water, muscle and even bone density rather than losing FAT. In a reduce kilojoule diet, half of the weight lost was fat and half was muscle. This loss of lean muscle mass makes it harder to lose weight and harder to maintain the weight loss you have already achieved. The odds have been stacked against you. Again, your diet has failed you.

I recommend that you focus on FAT REDUCTION. If you are building bone density and building muscle mass then your weight may actually be going up, but your body fat will be reducing. Take your measurements instead. A reduction in size around the waist is proof of a loss of fat – that “spare tyre” is not made up of muscle!  When your clothes start to fit better you feel better! So throw away the scales and take out your tape measure.

If you think a diet is your answer to achieving the body of your dreams, then the diet is bound to fail you. Dieting alone won’t do it. You need to help your body burn fat by revving up your metabolism. Small regular meals throughout the day is one way to boost your metabolism. The most important thing though is to increase the amount of activity you do each day. Adopting a strict diet whilst living the life of a couch potato won’t get you the results you want. You MUST increase your activity. Your goal should be to increase your lean muscle mass, because this helps you to burn more fat.

In summary, don’t diet. Switch to Low GI eating. Don’t try to lose weight, focus on fat reduction. And increase your activity level.

Acknowledge your past efforts and know that you are not a failure – your diets have failed you.

Put yourself on the path to success. Contact me – SuziMorrisBlog@gmail.com – I’d love to help you.

January 27, 2009 at 10:57 am 1 comment


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