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Archive for the ‘lose weight’ Category

How to Lower Cholesterol: Step 3

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on March 30, 2009

In the last post I gave you the first step towards lowering cholesterol. Here is the third. Remember, by implementing these basic steps, you’re establishing a solid foundation that will support heart health and increase the effectiveness of medications and supplements.

Step 3: Lose weight and/or maintain a healthy weight.

Weight has a significant impact on your heart health and cholesterol levels. Weight loss alone may lower triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels. Losing as little as 10% body weight could drop your cholesterol back to the heart healthy range.

All the best,
Lisa Nelson RD

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Weight Loss – 9 pounds every 11 days?

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on March 23, 2009

Losing weight is not easy, so when you see a headline like the one above you want to believe it can be done. Unfortunately, I am here to tell you it is not that simple.

This article was triggered by the following question:
 
hi… when you have time, will you check out fatloss4idiots and see if you think it’s for real?? I saw this link advertised off to the side, was curious and looked at it… you have to pay to see the diet but they explain how it’s supposed to work and was wondering if it sounds legit to you….
 
If one person has this question, I am sure many of you do, too. I am going to give you the tools you need to spot what’s known as a "fad diet" on your own.
 
Fad Diet Defined
 
A fad diet is an eating plan that quickly surges in popularity and tends to just as quickly fizzle out. 
 
Most fad diets are unbalanced meal plans that lead to weight gain when you go off the diet.
 
Fad diets tend to be cyclical. For example, the Atkins diet was created in the 1970’s and made a recent comeback.
 
Fad Diet Identified
 
Ask yourself the following 11 questions when evaluating a diet program.
  • Does it promise a quick fix?
  • Do the claims sound too good to be true?
  • Is a list of "good" and "bad" foods given?
  • Are recommendations made to help sell a product?
  • Does it list dire warnings of dangers from a single product or regimen?
  • Are the recommendations based on a single study?
  • Do you have to eliminate one or more of the five food groups to gain promised results?
  • Are simple conclusions drawn from a complex study?
  • Are there dramatic statements refuted by reputable scientific organizations? 
  • Are the recommendations based on studies not reviewed by other researchers?
  • Do the claims ignore differences among individuals or groups?
If the answer is "yes" to any of these questions, then you are probably dealing with a fad diet.
 
When you review fatloss4idiots, you will see quick fix promises, claims that sound too good to be true, and very little information related to the science behind why the plan works. 
 
Fad Diet Examples
 
There are hundreds of fad diets on the market. Here are some common examples:
 
Atkins
Cabbage Soup Diet
3 Day Diet
South Beach Diet
Grapefruit Diet
Macrobiotic Diet
Low Carb Diet
Zone Diet
 
Successful Plans
 
A good plan will teach you to make healthy food choices (everything in moderation), along with an activity component. Weight loss and physical activity go hand in hand. 
 
Stop thinking – "diet". A "diet" implies short term changes. If you want to be successful with weight loss you need to find a plan you can stick with long term. Start focusing on next year instead of next month. Successful weight loss requires change and change is never easy. You need to start with small, permanent steps to achieve long-term weight loss.
 
Bottom line:
 
If it sounds too good to be true – it is!
 
© 2008 eNutritionServices, All Rights Reserved.
 
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Tired of burning hard earned cash on fitness gadgets you don’t use? End the vicious "cycle" now! Get your FREE report: "Stop Wasting Money – Take Control of Your Health" at http://www.lisanelsonrd.com.

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Weight Loss – The Search for a Magic Pill to Lose Weight

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on March 22, 2009

If you’re looking for an easy fix to your weight loss struggle be cautious. According to the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) it’s constantly battling fraudulent and bogus claims in the weight loss industry. Most recently the FDA has targeted 70 different weight loss supplements.

Many weight loss supplements contain “undeclared pharmaceutical ingredients”, frequently in levels exceeding FDA recommendations. These ingredients include drugs not approved in the U.S. These substances impact blood pressure and anti-seizure medications, diuretics, along with drugs linked to suicide, depression, and cancer.

Be smart! We’ve known for a long time the only way to successful weight loss is to eat right and exercise. It’s not easy, but it is possible. . .and well worth it!

All the best,
Lisa Nelson RD
The Best Way to Lose Weight

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Heart Health – The Dangers of Soda

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on March 20, 2009

My weakness is caffeine-free Diet Coke. For me, soda and popcorn go hand-in-hand. Well, even though I am drinking diet I have to remember I am not sitting pretty. Soda affects tooth decay, tooth discoloration, and for those that do not choose diet, weight gain.

Tooth Decay
 
Any drink that is carbonated has a low pH level. What you ask? Let me explain. The process of carbonation adds carbon dioxide and results in the formation of carbonic acid. This acid lowers the pH of a beverage. A pH of 1 is acidic and 7 is neutral. Battery acid has a pH of 1; water has a pH of 7. The pH of Pepsi is 2.49, Coke is 2.63, and Mountain Dew is 3.22. The acid in soda can damage tooth enamel in just 20 minutes. Think about how you usually drink your soda. Do you drink a 12 oz. can in 5-10 minutes or are you sipping on it over a period of an hour or so? You can help combat the effects of carbonic acid by drinking your soda in less than 20 minutes and rinsing your mouth with water after the fact. Saliva also helps neutralize the acid. Don’t forget to protect your children’s teeth! Children are even more susceptible to tooth erosion because their tooth enamel is not fully developed. 
 
Tooth discoloration
 
Habitual soda drinkers are adding layers of sugar, which turn to layers of plaque on their teeth. This plaque then absorbs stains from food products. This is how dark colored sodas lead to tooth discoloration. Bye, bye pearly whites!
 
Weight Gain
 
A 12 oz. can of regular soda contains about 150 calories. If you drink one can everyday you consume 4200 soda calories each month and 50,400 calories each year. This is equal to an extra 14 ½ pounds of body weight. Most people do not limit themselves to just 12 oz. a day. . . .one 20 oz bottle of regular soda daily would be an additional 26 pounds each year.
 
So, as you kick back and enjoy that acidic, staining, waist expanding can of soda, maybe you should think about splurging on a fancy bottle so you can switch it up and enjoy some refreshing water once in awhile instead!
 
Tired of burning hard earned cash on fitness gadgets you don’t use? End the vicious "cycle" now! Get your FREE report: "Stop Wasting Money – Take Control of Your Health" at http://www.lisanelsonrd.com.

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Lose Weight: Best Way to Lose Weight

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on March 18, 2009

If you are overweight and dealing with heart health concerns, you know weight loss with significantly improve your heart health. So, you need to find a way to successfully lose the weight and keep it off.

Here are tips for success:

Adequate Calories

Don’t cut your calories too low. Never go below 1200 calories and for some people the minimum is higher. Consuming too few calories drops you right into “starvation” (as far as your body is concerned), your metabolism drops, and weight loss grinds to halt. Also, drastic calorie cuts not only result in fat loss, but you lose muscle as well.

Realistic Goals

Set realistic goals. You may have a dream goal of shedding 40 pounds, but start with a smaller, achievable goal. Many studies show significant health benefits from shedding just 10% of your body weight.

Healthy Rate of Weight Loss

Plan for a healthy rate of weight loss. Aim to lose 1-2 pounds per week. Gradual, steady weight loss ensures you lose fat, not muscle.

Long-term Plan

Think long-term. Going on a diet is not the best way to lose weight. This is because the term diet generally implies a beginning and an end. If you want to successfully lose weight it requires permanent lifestyle and food choice changes. Changes you can and will stick with for life.

Steady Support

Surround yourself with a steady support system. By this I don’t only mean a spouse that supports you spending an hour at the gym after work or planning active family events. I also mean surrounding yourself with friends who are living the healthy life you want. I’m not implying you need to kick friends and family who are a negative influence to the curb, but look for ways you can gain friends that are living a healthy lifestyle. This will dramatically increase your success.

All the best,

Lisa Nelson RD
Be Heart Healthy and Lose Weight

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Weight Loss: What Causes Weight Cycling?

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on March 15, 2009

Do you find you find your weight frequently yo-yoing up and down? Do you tend to go through repeat periods of experiencing exciting weight loss followed by discouraging weight regain?

According to the Federal Weight Control Information Network, the cycle may be small, say 5-10 pounds up and down, or large, more than 50 pounds lost and regained repeatedly.

Weight Cycling Causes

The reasons for the weight cycle are often linked to the following four causes:

  • Selecting a diet that is too extreme or unrealistic for the long term. This would include “fad” or “crash” diets. They tend to be hard to stick with because you start to feel deprived.
  • Using poor techniques that cause you to overeat, such as skipping meals or doing well with your diet during the week but “taking a break” on weekends.
  • Unrealistic goals – Yes it’d be great to say you can fit into your old high school jeans, but is that really realistic?
  • Not surrounding yourself with a support system. Are the people around you health conscious and supportive of your new healthy actions or do they tempt you to stray?

Difficulty Stopping the Cycle

Oftentimes, your body finds a weight it likes and doesn’t want to change. So, you have biology working against you.

Your body uses hormones, such as leptin, to monitor your calorie needs and body fat. When you start to lose weight hormone levels change and your body reacts. Usually your body thinks “I’m starving” and switches to conservation mode by decreasing your metabolism (the rate your burn calories) to conserve energy and protect fat stores. In other words, you body is preparing for a famine. When this occurs you’ll typically begin to feel the urge to eat more.

So, let’s say your calorie intake gradually goes back up to your pre-diet level. At this level you should maintain your previous weight, but since your body has dropped your metabolism, your caloric needs are lower. That means your typical calorie intake which in the past maintained your weight, now leads to weight gain.

A cycle that is very difficult to overcome, but I don’t know many who say losing weight is easy.

All the best,

Lisa Nelson RD
Be Heart Healthy and Lose Weight

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Heart Health – Are you on the right path?

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on March 14, 2009

Did you know that every March since the 1970’s we have been celebrating National Nutrition Month? For those in a healthcare profession this is a time extra emphasize is placed on nutrition education and getting the message out to you. How can you get the most out of this time focused on nutrition? Every March provides you an opportunity to take an annual inventory of your nutrition habits. Are you “fueling” your body the way you want to ensure weight loss and heart health?

If this is the first time you have taken “inventory” focus on just a few areas. I will help you narrow it down by starting with beverages, snacks, and dining out. Do you select the healthiest choices in these areas? 

Beverages

What is sitting on the corner of your desk or in the cup holder in your car? Soda, coffee, water? If you are a soda drinker, consider what you can do to cut back. A 12 oz. can of regular soda contains about 150 calories. If you drink one can everyday you consume 4200 soda calories each month and 50,400 calories each year. This is equal to an extra 14 ½ pounds of body weight. What are you adding to your coffee? Frequent Starbucks consumption, or adding cream and sugar to your coffee means extra calories expanding your waistline. Positive steps towards being healthier – Switch to diet soda to drastically decrease sugar and calorie intake. Try nonfat dairy creamers, less sugar and cream, or adding sugar substitutes to your coffee. Save dollars and calories by brewing coffee at home and have Starbucks for the occasional treat. If you are toting around a bottle of water you are doing great. Everyone should be consuming six to eight 8-oz. glasses of water daily. Water is the beverage our bodies need and crave to keep us replenished and feeling our best.
 
Snacks
 
Are you heading for the vending machine for your afternoon snack? Most vending machines contain high fat and high sodium products. Forgo the Swiss cakes by bringing snacks to work with you. You know you are going to have an afternoon craving, so plan ahead.  Some good snack choices include fruit, yogurt, crackers and cheese, or a handful of nuts.
 
Dining Out
 
Is the drive in lane your destination several evenings after a long day of work? Most fast food is deep fat fried and includes significant fat, calories, and sodium. If you are tired and do not want to deal with cooking a meal at home you can select healthier options at the drive through. Opt for products that are not breaded, such as a grilled chicken sandwich. Forgo the fries and get a yogurt, side salad, or fruit to go with your sandwich. Your heart will thank you.
 
Just remember when March rolls around next year to take another inventory. Expand to other areas, such as fruit and veggie intake, omega 3’s, whole grains, etc. If you evaluate how you are doing every year and make modifications you are taking positive steps towards a healthy long life.
 
Tired of burning hard earned cash on fitness gadgets you don’t use? End the vicious "cycle" now! Get your FREE report: "Stop Wasting Money – Take Control of Your Health" at http://lisanelsonrd.com.

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Heart Health – Take Control of Your Health

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on February 16, 2009

Special Report – Article Excerpt

Stop Wasting Money – Take Control of Your Health

Ensure your success with lowering
cholesterol, controlling high blood pressure,
and weight loss by knowing how to achieve change.

Did you come across a treadmill for a great discount price and decide – I need to exercise more; I’m not going to find a better price, why not? So, you now have this piece of equipment in a corner of your living room or bedroom collecting dust or acting as an expensive clothes rack.

Why is it that your good intentions led no where? Sure, that first week or two you hopped on several times, but then your progress came to a screeching halt. Well, you may not have had everything in place to be successful.  You need to make sure all your “ducks are in a row” to ensure your success.  If you jump from Contemplation into Action you are skipping the critical Preparation phase. Huh? You will begin to understand what I mean as you read on.

For the purpose of this article, I will focus on the critical action step.  The goal I use is increasing physical activity. You can use the Stages of Change model to work on any area you are trying to change, such as eating habits to lose weight, lowering cholesterol levels, and/or controlling high blood pressure.

The Stages of Change model was first developed by psychologists James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente in the late 1970’s. They focused on changing addictive behaviors, specifically smoking. The Stages of Change model identifies the phases we go through when we change our habits.  The five stages are called – 1. Pre-contemplation, 2. Contemplation, 3. Preparation, 4. Action and 5. Maintenance.  Tailoring your actions based on the stage you are in will propel you forward.

>No need to waste time dwelling on the science behind the method.  Just know it has been proven a useful tool.  Now, let’s dive into how you can use it to your benefit. 

In this stage you are performing the behavior regularly, but for less than 6 months.  This means you have established a plan of action and have implemented that plan.  You are actively modifying your behaviors, experiences, and environment to overcome obstacles and achieve success.  The action phase is the most difficult and requires a considerable commitment of time and energy.  Change does not happen overnight.  It will take persistence for a new behavior to become an established habit.

The following four strategies are used to move through this stage of change:

Counter-conditioning

Substitute alternate positive behaviors for the negative behavior.  It can take up to 30 days for a new behavior to become a habit. Be aware of this and put safety guards in place.  Stick with your action plan and continue to replace old sedentary behaviors with new physically active ones. You may feel some loss.  You actually miss your old behaviors.  These behaviors are like old friends you felt comfortable with and change moves you out of your comfort zone.  Review your reasons for wanting to be physically active and the long-term benefits you will gain if you stick with your plan.

Reinforcement Management

Change the events that determine or sustain the problem behavior.  Reward yourself for achieving your goals, such as a new outfit, book, or running shoes.  Recognize your progress and reward yourself.  This will provide you with an incentive to stick with your new plan.

 

Helping Relationships

Turn to your support system.  Don’t get overconfident and think you do not need family and friends behind you.  Keep them in the loop with the progress you’ve made and identify new ways they can help you move towards your goals.  Now is a time to consider signing a “contract” with yourself to reinforce your commitment to change.  Have your family and friends be witnesses!

 

Stimulus Control

Be aware of triggers for reverting to your old habits.  What safety mechanisms can you put in place to negate these triggers?  Start replacing old behavior triggers with something positive.  For example, place your goals where you will see them daily – like the refrigerator.  Keep gym shoes by the front door.  Create reminders at work, such as tennis shoes under your desk for a lunch time walk.  Always be on the lookout for stumbling blocks and be prepared to brainstorm ways to overcome the hurdles.

You are doing great!  Maintenance is just around the corner.

Bottom Line:

During the action phase, you make your goals a reality.  Now is not a time to get cocky.  Hurdles will frequently pop up and you need to be ready with strategies to overcome them.  You will have some bad weeks.  Step back, evaluate what is keeping you from regular activity, and figure out a solution.  It may take some trial and error before you find the right solution for you.  Now about that treadmill – you have it and it is dust-free!

Tackling change is hard and determining exactly what steps you need to take can be confusing.  By recognizing that change has identifiable steps and strategies, you can use this knowledge to move forward and achieve your goals!

Are you tired of throwing away hard earned dollars on fitness equipment you don’t use?  Get your FREE copy of Stop Wasting Money – Take Control of Your Health now!  

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Lose Weight the Healthy Way – New Tools

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on January 21, 2009

New Tools Added to the Balance Program

Balance Program members:

Besides getting an 8-step system and working one-on-one with dietitian Lisa Nelson, you also get unlimited use of our tools where you will find life balance exercises, cooking tips, exercise demos, Pilates video, and more!

The tools section of the Balance Program is continually updated. Here are three new fabulous resources:

1. The Dirty Dozen Organic Food Guide
This guide will show you which foods have the most pesticide residues and which have the least.

2. Functional Foods: The Secret to Weight Loss, Decreased Aging, and Health
Learn about the phytonutrients in foods that can improve your heart health, immune system, aid your body in detoxing, and decrease your risk of cancer.

3. 28 Foods under 25 Calories
You may be surprised at some of the foods that make the list. Learn how to add these foods to your meals so you can eat more food, feel satisfied, control blood sugar, and reach your weight loss goals.

Just login to your Balance Program and go to the Tools section in the upper right hand corner!

Not currently a member? Sign up today with the coupon code “bestyou” for $25 off! Use dietitian code 3019.

All the best,

Lisa Nelson RD
Lose Weight the Healthy Way

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9 Tips for Living Well Before You Lose the Weight

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on January 9, 2009

I’ve been corresponding with a subscriber to The Heart of Health email. She shared an article with me related to her struggles with weight loss that I’d like to share with you. I agree with just about all her suggestions. It’s vital to love yourself before you lose the weight if you’re ever going to be successful and happy. The only point I disagree with is number 3. Yes, your weight loss struggle is personal; however, I think a show like “The Biggest Loser” can be very motivational for some individuals. Read on to learn more!

NINE TIPS FOR LIVING WELL BEFORE YOU LOSE THE WEIGHT
Niama Leslie Williams, Ph.D.
Copyright December 2008

for oprah

You may wonder why I dedicate this article to Oprah. I watched her show today, something I haven’t done since my days of daily addiction to her hour of power way back in 2000 when graduate school, warring faculty and a history of family trauma sent me back home–three thousand miles–with my tail between my legs.

I dedicate this article to Oprah because weight loss is never a permanent fix; addictions, however, are permanent fixtures waiting eagerly for any and every opportunity to spring from the shadows and once again seize control of your life, health, wealth, psyche and spirit. They literally lie in wait to destroy everything you love.

I feel Oprah’s struggle because I know that weight loss is not a battle, just as recovery from addiction is never permanent. Only a strong and relentless, tenacious even, belief in and dependence upon Your Creator, a force greater than one’s self, can relieve addiction.

We are not perfect, it will never be perfect, and we aren’t supposed to do it perfectly: that’s for angels, Oprah, not for humans.

Success and excellence, nevertheless, are always possible, and it is in that direction, helping us to live healthily and well in all areas of our lives, that I give this article to every man, woman, or child who has struggled with the weight loss demon. He really is a small, egotistical little imp who lives to make us believe we will never win. Think Napoleon on steroids and you have some conception of the Weight Loss Demon.

You can whip his narrow little self into submission with the following Nine Tips For Living Well BEFORE You Lose the Weight:

1. Self-care is essential.

If you’re too tired after showering or bathing to put lotion on every day, begin by doing it when you have a special event and take the time to FEEL your skin expand and relax as you moisturize it. At 413 plus, I was often exhausted after showering, and the idea of then slathering lotion all over my body? Yeah, right.
What changed? I began to feel, focus on and FEEL, my skin’s reaction to the lotion. Once I began to tune in and understand how much my skin appreciated that oh so necessary extra step, I became willing to take care of myself in that significant way. And boy, did my legs ever look fine at the end of the day, all nice and brown and NOT ashy!

2. LOOK at your body naked.

If you don’t begin to look at your body naked NOW, you won’t be able to see or trust what you see when you notice your body becoming slimmer. Look at yourself; get to know your image without clothes on. You will find body parts and areas that you come to love, and when they start shrinking, your smile will get wider and wider and wider. The pride you feel will be genuine.

3. Weight loss is neither a competition nor a spectator sport. I am not in this for humiliation.

I have yet to watch The Biggest Loser, and I am proud to say so. My journey is not spectacle nor is it cheap, vicarious entertainment. I’m serious and weight loss is serious. Respect me and respect my story.

4. I am not here for your approval.

Weight loss is TOUGH, so doing it for someone else’s approval is the road to disaster. DO IT FOR YOU. Do it because you want to be healthy and live longer, not for those skinny jeans. Think about it: once you achieve that first pair of skinny jeans, then what?

5. Recognize that weight loss is an INSIDE job that will touch on my deepest fears and know what those fears are.

My number one fear is of being thinner! Yes, I have moments of looking in the mirror, seeing my body shrinking AND BEING AFRAID. It’s tough, but I talk to myself and remind myself that THERE IS NOTHING TO FEAR. I’m just afraid of the unknown, and thin, for me, is the unknown.

6. Before, during and after losing weight, associate with those who support you; drop those who don’t.

This one couldn’t be simpler, and yet many of us tank because we don’t follow such sage advice. My mother tried to lose weight thousands of times during her marriage, and finally noticed that when she was doing well on her diet, my father would suddenly bring home ice cream. I’m sure that had nothing to do with their divorce when I turned seven. You know who your saboteurs are, and it won’t take much introspection to determine their motivations. If you can’t get them out of your life, talk with friends or a therapist about removing the power from their actions. Your life, and your weight loss, are with it.

7. Move. Move in ways and doing things that give you pleasure.

a. I love to shop. I feel true delight in going up and down each aisle, surveying the goods and their respective prices, determining what strikes my fancy as well as what is an exceptional bargain. I love beautiful things and quality products and finding them at the best price is a heady experience. And the walking!!!! I have accomplished more miles up and down the aisles in Genuardis and Wal-Mart, Target and Impact Thrift than any stressed out woman on a treadmill in L.A. Fitness! And I enjoyed myself at the same time! Can’t wait to do it again.

b. Then there is yoga. When I lived in L.A. from 2000-2003, my budget could stretch to afford private yoga instruction. Please buy my books so that I can return to that particular heaven. Until private yoga, I forgot that my body LIKED movement, liked standing while I did the dishes, liked standing while I cooked and chopped and steamed dinner, liked the FEELING of experiencing and reacting to physical stressors.

c. The most important part of this tip? Be IN your body when it’s moving. Be psychically present as your body experiences movement. Be conscious, emotionally, physically, and spiritually when your body is moving. You will be surprised by what it communicates.

8. Practice being IN your body.

a. I love doing this when I am being hugged. There is nothing like feeling every sensation when someone—and not just a lover—is embracing you. Be fully aware the next time you are hugged. If you are comfortable and the person really means it, the smiles will not be able to stay away from your face.

b. Practice healthy sensuality; it is the first step toward getting carnal satisfaction from activities other than food/eating, but you must be IN your body when you practice. Consciousness when in the body really is quite a cool thing. That’s why the angels sometimes envy us.

9. Practice NOW.

Living NOW. Being NOW. Rewards NOW, not after you lose the weight. If you can do it NOW, you will do it consistently, and consistency and regularity are the hidden keys to successful weight loss.

Live now, and love yourself in the process!


Niama Williams, Ph.D.

Niama Williams, Ph.D.


If you’d like to learn more about Dr. Williams and the programs she offers, visit either of the following links:
http://www.blowingupbarriers.com/howtoliwebey.html
http://www.blowingupbarriers.com/workshops.html

All the best,
Lisa Nelson, RD, LN
eNutritionServices

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