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Posts Tagged ‘weight loss’

Physical Activity – How much do you really need?

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on March 24, 2009

As I previously mentioned, The Health and Human Services Department sets physical activity guidelines after reviewing a good decades worth of research related to physical activity and health.

This report encompasses everyone from the age of 6 and up. Let’s go into a little more detail on the adult guidelines.

Adult Physical Activity Guidelines

  1. All adults should avoid inactivity.
    Any type of activity is better than nothing. Adults who include activity as part of their everyday life gain some form of health benefit.
  2. To see substantial health benefits, include at least 150 minutes (2 ½ hours) per week of moderate-intensity activity. If times a factor, you can see the same benefits by bumping up the intensity and being vigorously active 75 minutes (1 hr. 15 min.) each week.Yes, it is still okay to break your activity into chunks.For example, if your schedule doesn’t allow 30 minutes at the gym, you can include a 10 minute brisk walk during lunch break to count towards the goal of 150 minutes for the week. However, workout segments less than 10 minutes in length are not as beneficial.

    Also, the most benefit is seen by spreading your activity throughout the week. If you’re tempted to hit the gym for a power workout session on a Saturday for 2 ½ hours, that is not as beneficial as 30 minutes of activity 5 days out of the week. But, remember, any form/amount of activity is better than nothing!

  3. If you want to take things to the next levels, more extensive health benefits are seen when activity is increased to 300 minutes (5 hours) per week of moderate intensity activity or 150 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic activity.
  4. Don’t forget strength training! You want to include all major muscle groups on two or more days each week. Especially beneficial as we age and see a decline in metabolism (and corresponding weight gain) if muscle mass is not maintained.

Now, don’t let yourself be overwhelmed and give up without even attempting to meet these guidelines. Activity does not have to be hard or expensive. You can walk your dog, go dancing, climb the stairs at work, mow the lawn, and go to the gym. There are many, many options available to get 2 ½ hours of physical activity every week.

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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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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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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Physical Activity – How much physical activity is recommended?

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on February 28, 2009

By now you know being heart healthy and losing weight go hand-in-hand with physical activity. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you have to be regularly active. If you want to lower triglycerides you have to be active. If you want to raise HDL you have to be active.

The Health and Human Services Department sets physical activity guidelines after reviewing a good decades worth of research related to physical activity and health.

Here’s a quick review of the adult guidelines:

  1. All adults should avoid inactivity.
  2. To see substantial health benefits, include at least 150 minutes (2 ½ hours) per week of moderate-intensity activity. If times a factor, you can see the same benefits by bumping up the intensity and being vigorously active 75 minutes (1 hr. 15 min.) each week.
  3. If you want to take things to the next levels, more extensive health benefits are seen when activity is increased to 300 minutes (5 hours) per week of moderate intensity activity or 150 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic activity.
  4. Don’t forget strength training! You want to include all major muscle groups on two or more days each week. Especially beneficial as we age and see a decline in metabolism (and corresponding weight gain) if muscle mass is not maintained.

All the best,

Lisa Nelson RD

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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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Technology to Reduce Childhood Obesity

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on December 2, 2008

The Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior published a study last month (Nov. 2008) to determine the effectiveness of text messaging versus traditional paper diaries in children 5-13 years-old. The study found greater compliance (28% attrition) with follow-up when children used text messaging versus paper diaries (61% attrition).

I am all for using the cell phones and other “gadgets” young children run around with these days as a tool to reduce the growing childhood obesity epidemic!

All the best,
Lisa Nelson, RD
eNutritionServices

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Be Heart Healthy – Switch to diet soda.

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on November 18, 2008

Do you drink a couple cans of regular soda each day? If so, make the switch to diet. Switching from 24 oz (two cans) of regular soda each day to diet soda will save you 280 calories/day and 78 grams of sugar! This change promotes weight loss (~1/2 pound/week) and triglyceride control.

I can “hear you” arguing with me that there’s no way you can tolerate the taste of diet soda. Well, there are now many products on the market comparable in taste to regular soda without the extra sugar and calories. Start experimenting until you find one you like. Or cut out soda all together and opt for water:)

Diet soda doesn’t eliminate the issue of carbonation and tooth decay or the possible link between caffeine and blood pressure. However, diet soda is the better choice in the long run for your heart health and weight loss goals.

All the best,
Lisa Nelson, RD
eNutritionServices

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