10 Bizarre Weight Loss Tips That Really Work

Reader’s Digest published an article for bizarre weight loss tips and believe it or not, I have heard of most of them and they do have some science behind them.  Here is the list they put out:

  1. Sniff a banana, apple or peppermint: The more frequently people sniffed, the less hungry they were and the more weight they lost—an average of 30 pounds each. One theory is that sniffing the food tricks the brain into thinking you’re actually eating it.
  2. Eat a bigger breakfast than dinner: According to the physicians of The Doctors, in a recent study one group of obese women consumed 700 calories at breakfast, 500 at lunch, and 200 at dinner. Another group ate the same foods but had 200 calories in the a.m. and 700 at night. After 13 months, the big-breakfast eaters shed 18 pounds, while the big-dinner eaters lost only about seven.
  3. Tie one on: “A number of French women wear a ribbon around their waist and underneath their clothes when they go out for dinner. It keeps them conscious of the tummy—particularly if the ribbon starts to feel tighter as the evening goes on!”
  4. Hang a mirror opposite your seat at the table: One study found that eating in front of mirrors slashed the amount people ate by nearly one-third. Seems having to look yourself in the eye reflects back some of your own inner standards and goals, and reminds you of why you’re trying to lose weight in the first place.
  5. Take a picture of your food: Rather than writing down every morsel, take a picture of it; a visual account may help curb your intake. “Snapping photos and then looking back at them can make people stop and think before indulging.”
  6. If you must eat candy, stick with wrapped candy: People ate 30 percent less candy when they had to unwrap it first, a Swiss study found. Peeling off the wrapper requires effort, which can make you eat less.
  7. Light a vanilla scented candle after your meal: The aroma has been shown to dampen dessert cravings. One group of 160 volunteers actually lost an average of 4.5 pounds each by wearing vanilla-scented patches.
  8. Surround yourself with blue: There’s a good reason you won’t see many fast-food restaurants decorated in blue: the color functions as an appetite suppressant. Researchers have found that people eat 33 percent less in a blue room; the bluish light that results evidently makes food look less appealing. So eat on blue plates, dress in blue while you eat, and use a blue tablecloth. Avoid red, yellow, and orange; studies find they encourage eating.
  9. Turn the lights up and the tunes down: Restaurants don’t just dim the lights to create a romantic atmosphere; they do it so you order more food. Low lighting lowers eating inhibitions. As for music, soft tunes playing in the background actually encourage more leisurely chewing and goes against hurry-up, stress-related, mindless eating patterns.
  10. Eat 3 fewer bites of your meal: One less treat a day, or one less glass of orange juice. Doing any of these can save you about 100 calories a day, and that alone is enough to prevent you from gaining the two pounds most people mindlessly pack on each year.

More Info On Low Carb Diets From Dr. Mercola

I ran across this article from Dr. Mercola website while searching what doctors think of low carb diets and had to share it with you.  See below to see his opinion on a low carb diet and I will say that I totally respect his opinions!  Please know that this entire article below is taken from his website: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/01/31/high-fat-low-carb-diet-benefits.aspx

If you want to read more, click the link above…

“Your body can burn both carbs and fat, but your body will burn carbs first. As long as you’re eating carbs, your body will try to burn those first. They’re like the bully cutting in line. You may just think of them as kind of a throw-away nutrient too, because your body cannot store high levels of carb.

You have to try to oxidize them and burn them first. But if you’re carb intolerant, which is highly prevalent in this country, you can’t burn carbs, by definition, very well.

Your body then only has one alternative, and that’s to convert the carbs you eat into fat. That happens to a greater extent to folks who are insulin resistant or carb intolerant. That really sets the stage for a lot of metabolic problems. Again coming back to how do you train the body to burn more fat; it all starts with removing the availability of carbohydrate because, as long as it’s there, it’s going to take precedence, and will simultaneously inhibit burning of fat.

These are very sensitive and exquisite mechanisms in place for this to work. You eat just a single meal of carbs and your fat-burning shuts down right away.

This is why a low- nonfiber carb diet works so well to shift fuel use over to fat. You restrict the amount of glucose and starches that you’re consuming, and your body naturally shifts over to preferring fat for fuel. It does take some time to adapt to that. Your cells have to shift over their machinery to handle the increased levels of fat and lipid-based fuels. It takes a matter of weeks to get that adaptation.

But once it’s there, they’re fairly robust adaptations that don’t just go away. This is why there is an adaptation period to a low-carb diet. It can be disrupted though if you reintroduce carbs. But a lot of the adaptations do remain.”

Finding Your Ideal Carb Level

According to Volek, a level of non-fiber carbs that allows you to enter into nutritional ketosis (a metabolic state associated with an increased production of ketones in your liver; it’s the biological reflection of being able to burn fat) is on average about 50 grams per day or less of digestible or absorbable carbohydrates. However, we all vary how we respond to the same food, so this is not an exact recommendation.

Some people can be in a full fat-burning state with full ketosis at a level of non-fiber carbs that’s higher than 50 grams; maybe 70 or 80 grams. Others, especially if you’re insulin resistant or have type 2 diabetes, may require less than 40 grams or even 30 grams per day.

Again, it bears repeating that when we say carbohydrates, we’re referring to non-fiber carbs only. If you look at the nutrition facts on a processed food package, it will list total carbs, and that’s not what we’re talking about. Don’t get confused about this or you’ll get really nervous. You do need carbs, but you need most all of them from vegetables.

By volume, vegetables are not very calorie-dense. You could have an 85 percent fat diet, and the volume of the fat would be one-tenth the volume of the vegetables you’re eating.

To find your personal carb limit, it’s important to actually measure your ketones, which can be done either through urine, breath, or blood. This will give you an objective measure of whether or not you’re truly in ketosis, rather than just counting the grams of carbohydrates you consume.

“That even varies within a person over time,” Volek says. “You may be able to tolerate more carbs when you’re in your 20s, but suddenly now you’re in middle age and the same level of carbs is resulting in a few extra inches on your waist, your blood sugars are creeping up, you now have prediabetes, or worse.

The appropriate level of carb for an individual is bit of a moving target, but it is a very important element to personalizing a diet, which I think is fundamental to this idea of personalized nutrition. It’s finding the appropriate level of carb for you at any given point in your lifespan that allows you to maintain health.”

Research has shown that ketosis is a very safe and a therapeutic metabolic state to be in, especially if you’re diabetic or suffering from carb intolerance. But there are people who are naturally very insulin sensitive and carb tolerant that don’t need to be in ketosis to thrive. So there’s certainly room for flexibility, depending on your individual situation.”

Dr. Mercola

Need a Good Weight Loss Supplement? Try CLA Burn by Alora!

Let me start off by saying I am not one to talk a lot about weight loss supplements but when we received this one in our store (nutrition house) I was very impressed.  It’s called CLA Burn by Alora.  The reason I love this product is because it has all of the ingredients that I would recommend by itself and this product has them all!  Let me start by saying that this product has fat burners, energy boosters and stress busters!  I am going to break it down a little for you and why I love this product.  First it is All natural, Soy free, GMO free, Gluten free and sweetened with Stevia not artificial sweeteners.  Let’s look at the ingredients and know that they are all standardized extracts which means they guarantee their potency:

CLA (2000mg): CLA is derived from 100% pure safflower oil.   It inhibits the absorption of fat by blocking an enzyme called lipoprotein which helps the body absorb fat into cells.  Think of fat melting this way: When you put fat in a frying pan and turn on the fire, what happens? The fat heats up and melts.  This process happens in the body when fat is broken down or lipolysis occurs (lipo = fat; lysis = break down), and energy is made to create heat, or thermogenesis.  That’s how exercise works to melt fat: Exercise expends energy, which creates heat.   It reduces body fat while maintaining lean body mass.

Green Coffee Bean (350mg): Extracted from the green coffee bean (unroasted coffee beans) this contains the active ingredient Chlorogenic Acid (CA), which helps to burn fat.  (Most of the CA is removed when roasting coffee beans.)    Studies show that it can reduce the absorption of carbohydrates from the digestive tract, which lowers blood sugar and insulin spikes.  Some studies have shown that CA can reduce fat absorbed from the foods you eat as well as reduce fat stored in the liver.  It can also improve the function of the fat burning hormone adiponectin.  On top of this CA has also been shown to drastically improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Cissus Quadrangularis (250mg): This supplement has been shown to decrease body fat composition, decrease waist circumference, improve blood sugar control, and reduce appetite in humans.  It may also reduce the absorption of fats and carbohydrates, blocking these calories from entering the blood stream through the intestines.  It also may further increase lean muscle mass and promote muscle building, helping to support increased metabolism.

Green Tea Extract (200mg): I talk a lot about green tea for its anti-oxidant properties as well as to reduce stress and increase energy but it is well known for its fat burning properties.  Know that you would have to drink 5-7 cups of green tea to get somewhat close to this amount.

L-Theanine (50mg): Extracted from green tea, L-Theanine helps to reduce stress levels.  Remember that it is difficult to lose weight when you are stressed because your body is in a fight or flight response and it stores fat automatically because it doesn’t know how long you are going to run or fight so it HAS to store fat for future energy.  L-Theanine is also a known fat burner.

Astragin (50mg) (Astragalus & Ginseng): Increases bioavailability of the above ingredients as well as increase energy and support the immune system.  The increased bioavailability of all the nutrients present in this formula makes it even more efficient at producing the desired effects of fat burning, increased energy, endurance and recovery.

What a great synergistic combination of ingredients to help you lose weight!  If you are interested in trying this, let me know and I will let you know what nutrition house store carries them that is closest to you.

Teas for Weight Loss

Millions of people love to drink tea.  It’s soothing and tasty.  Because herbal tea is a very low-calorie beverage, it can help you reduce your overall calorie intake when used in place of higher-calorie beverages which is beneficial when you’re trying to shed pounds.  There are so many kinds of teas available but the most popular and researched are regular black tea, green tea and white tea.  That’s because they are a good source of flavonoids which are potent antioxidants, meaning they protect you from degenerative diseases.  Flavonoids are one class of phytonutrients (plant nutrients) which provide the plants with their colorful pigments. Within the flavonoid family are about 4,000 subtypes that offer a range of health benefits.  This is why eating a diet of different colors offers different protection depending on the color.  Teas have a type of flavonoid called “catechins” that may boost metabolism and help your body break down fats more quickly. And the caffeine in many teas increases your energy, causing your body to burn more calories. These two compounds probably work best together for weight loss.  Keep in mind there are many teas that do not have caffeine.  Personally I cannot do any caffeine.  I am extremely sensitive to it so I am well versed in what teas that are naturally caffeine free.  Keep in mind that when drinking tea to lose weight, it typically takes 4-5 cups per day.

Some teas have weight loss properties which is what I am going to discuss today.  Let’s have a look at some of them.

Black Tea:  Research suggests substances called “polyphenols” in black tea might help block fat from being absorbed in the intestines but only if you drink it black.  Adding milk might inhibit its fat burning properties.

Green Tea:  Very high in “catechins” particularly EGCG.  Green tea is a known fat burner, especially in the belly area.  It triggers fat for release and then speeds up the liver’s capacity for turning that fat into energy.  We actually sell EGCG in capsule form in our stores to reduce stress.  Remember that if you are high stressed your weight loss efforts will be deterred because your body in high stress goes into a ‘fight or flight’ mode which causes your body to store fat.

Matcha Tea:  Like green tea, Matcha tea is very high in EGCG, in fact it has more than green tea.  It will help to boost your metabolism and burn fat.

Oolong Tea:  Like green tea, it’s a rich source of “catechins”.  In one study, more than two-thirds of overweight people who drank oolong tea every day for six weeks lost more than 2 pounds and trimmed belly fat.

White Tea:  Some studies show that white tea speeds up the breakdown of existing fat cells and blocks the formation of new ones.

Rooibos Tea:  This tea is high in the flavonoid called “aspalathin” which research shows can reduce stress hormones that trigger hunger and fat storage.

Yerba Mate Tea:  Yerba Mate contains high levels of “mateine” which is a stimulant similar to caffeine but without the known side effects of caffeine.  Mateine can increase your metabolism and increase your energy, thereby burning fat in the process.  It also has a relaxing effect which helps to reduce stress levels (and now we know what stress does to your weight loss efforts).  Yerba mate has been known to stop craving and helps you feel fuller, longer so you are less likely to overeat.

The Rules of a Low Carb Lifestyle

I think following any diet that consists of low carb, HIGH good fats and moderate protein is the healthiest thing you can do for your body. I promise if you follow what I am telling you, you will start to lose weight right away and your energy will increase and most importantly, you will lose all cravings for sugar/carbs. Please see the rules below. This program works by starving your body of sugar forcing it to burn fat for energy. The #1 fuel that your body can and does easily use is sugar. When you keep your sugars/carbs below 30 NET carbs, it has NO CHOICE but to burn its reserve energy which is fat! See below for checking how much fat you are burning.

#1 RULE to remember…EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING with the exception of meat and fat is a carbohydrate and all carbohydrates are sugar! This includes fruit, vegetables, grains…everything except meat and fat breaks down into sugar.

RULE #2: You are only allowed 30 NET carbs per day or less. What is a NET carb? Not all carbs are created equal and some behave differently than others. For example, fiber (which is a carbohydrate) and sugar alcohols (xylitol, sorbitol etc) cannot be absorbed by the human body so they go through the system unabsorbed and more importantly, they do not have a glycemic response. This means they do not require insulin to be metabolized. So to determine your NET carbs, here is the math:
Total Carbs – Fiber – Sugar Alcohols = NET carbs. (Note: Atkins products uses glycerine in their bars and some other products which cannot be absorbed but he never lists the amount of glycerine so the math never works)
Example: Total carbs = 30 Fiber = 15 Sugar Alcohols 11. So 30-15-11= 4 NET carbs. The carbs left over after subtracting fiber and sugar alcohols (and glycerine) have a glycemic response and require insulin to be metabolized and these are what you are counting. Remember only 30 NET carbs per day. You will be surprised how many carbs are in an apple or a cup of broccoli. Here is the link for the Atkins carb counter site. Use it for reference all the time:
http://files.atkins.com/1501_CarbCounter_Online.pdf

RULE #3: No potatoes, NO pasta, NO rice, NO bread and NO fruit (for now). I have a deadly recipe for low carb, gluten free bread made with almond flour and psyllium husk but you cannot have this for at least 2-3 weeks until you break old eating habits.

RULE #4: You MUST increase your good fats. These include coconut oil, olive oil, macadamia oil and MCT oil. I use MCT oil for my salad dressings, coconut oil for EVERYTHING including cooking (it is very stable under high heat conditions) and take a shot of MCT oil mid-afternoon and/or prior to my meals.

RULE #5: You MUST check your ketones. This is non-negotiable! When you are burning fat (it usually takes 2-3 days to convert your body) a by-product of fat burning is ketones. This means that once you start burning fat for energy, ketones will be in your urine. Go to the drug store and ask for ketone stix. You can even get ketone/diastix which will show fat burning and blood sugar levels, should you have blood sugar issues. The ketone stix go from a beige color all the way up to deep purple. The darker the color, the more fat you’re burning! If you are not burning ketones, you are NOT burning fat, simple as that. This means that you are still eating too many carbs or more importantly not eating enough fat. There is no cheating on carbs on this program. Your body will happily use sugar way faster than fat for energy as it is the easiest. It’s actually exciting to pee on that damn stick to see the dark color knowing that I am burning fat! I have noticed that if I don’t eat enough fat, my ketones are just showing trace. Once I started taking more MCT oil (shots in the afternoon and as a salad dressing) my ketones went large! You will see the difference right away.

Glycemic index and glycemic load: It is important to note the glycemic index in your food choices. The low glycemic foods do not require as much insulin to metabolize. You can download lists of food and their glycemic index from Google.

So what are you eating?

Protein (eggs, cheese, meat, bacon, protein isolate shakes for snacks etc). The ONE bars ad Quest bars are low carb but I would stay away from them for the first few weeks to wean off of sugar taste. Also, they may take you out of ketosis but you will know by checking it.

Vegetables but not the root/starchy ones. Good choices are all lettuce(s), cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers, cabbage, celery etc. CHECK the Atkins carb counter for amount of carbs in these vegetables. We have been programmed to count calories but calories do not count on this diet. You MUST however count carbs (NET carbs).

I strongly suggest that you have a dozen boiled eggs in your fridge at all times, as well as cooked chicken and cut up vegetables and lettuce. Sometimes we get lazy cooking and so having stuff prepared makes it much easier. I also have a home-made soup in the fridge at all times. My soups have chicken and vegetables (the ones allowed above). Be careful not to eat too many vegetables though as they are carbs.

 

Have you heard of the “Fat Set Point’?

The body weight set point theory is simple: it suggests that the body uses hormones, hunger, behavior changes, and other physiological mechanisms to “defend” a certain range of body weight (and body fat in particular).  A simple way to think of this is as a “thermostat” or “cruise control” system for body weight and fat levels. Whatever numbers are set are what your body strives to maintain.  But is this true?

The human body is able to adapt to situations of excess or insufficient energy intake (food). Several studies have shown that not only eating habits, but also genetics determine adult body size. For adults who do not consciously try to control their body size, weight is remarkably stable over time. These three factors together have led to the description of a “set point” – a reference point around which the body tries to keep a weight stable. An example of another set point is body temperature – if temperatures go above or below 37ºC (for example, from infection or exposure to a cold environment) there are a variety of physical mechanisms that “kick in” to try to get back to, and
maintain normal body temperature.

Each individual may have a genetically determined set point for adult weight. If weight is gained it has been shown that some people experience an increase in metabolism so that excess energy is wasted. Following this period of weight gain, it is relatively easy to revert to the previous set point weight. However, trying to go below the set point weight has the opposite affect. Metabolism can slow down as less food is eaten or exercise is increased. This leads to a slow down in weight loss, a plateau, or even weight regain on few calories. This is your body’s attempt to keep your weight stable.

These mechanisms have been used to explain why few people are able to maintain any weight loss following a reducing diet. Those who do maintain a lower weight were probably above their set point when they started the diet. They lost weight down to their set point and were able to maintain at their set point without constant restriction. However, for those already at their set-point, but above “average” weight, a reducing diet attempts to get them below set-point, resulting in slower metabolism and quick regain on few calories, as the body attempts to keep the physically “normal”, but culturally “high” weight. Your set point, unlike your brain, does not care about current fashion. You may say that a weight of 175 lbs is too high for how you would like to look, higher than the height/weight tables tell you to be and, indeed, higher than your family doctor tells you to be. However, it may be exactly what your genes are telling you to be. This creates a real conflict.

One frustration with the concept of set point is that there is no direct way to measure it. You cannot say that your set point is 150 lbs. You can only estimate that you are at set point if you have been eating “normally” and participating in moderate exercise for about a year. It is estimated that it takes that long, free of dieting, to allow your metabolism and weight to return to what is normal for you. Of course, this applies to adults. The concept cannot be applied before growth has stopped. One other observation to make is to look at your family of origin. What size were your parents, their siblings or their parents? Predisposition to be a certain size “runs in the family”.

There is controversy about what alters set point. Pregnancy, for example, increases the amount of body fat as well as weight. It is an area of research interest, looking at why a group of women revert immediately to their pre-pregnancy weight, and other women never do. Some researchers say that factors such as repeated dieting or certain drugs permanently elevate the set point, meaning that you will likely stay at this new higher “natural” weight. Others say that you are “artificially above set point” and will revert to your “natural” weight in time. At present, there are more questions than answers.

So what does this mean? Does this mean you can never be thin? Does it mean that you can eat whatever you want and never gain weight? You can lose weight; you can gain weight. However, the implication of the set-point concept is that the farther you get from your set-point, the more difficult it is to continue, and your body will try to revert to your “natural” weight. Allowing your weight to remain stable, at your own set point, is healthier than the diet-regain cycle.

It means that you should consider weight as you consider height. Just as people have the genetic background to be short, average or tall, they have the genetic predisposition to be thin, average or large.

To summarize, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that you do not have to keep beating yourself for being “weak-willed” or “lazy” as reasons for your inability to maintain weight loss. The bad news is that we are living in a culture which highly values thinness in women. We need to learn to accept ourselves and others at whatever they natural weight and to challenge the notion that thin people are necessarily happier, smarter and have more fun.

Resource: Donna Ciliska, R.N., Ph.D

 

Appetite Control and Leptin

Appetite Control and Leptin

Leptin, the “satiety hormone”, discovered in just 1994 is a hormone made by fat cells that helps to regulate hunger.  After you eat, leptin is released into the bloodstream where it travels to the brain telling you to stop eating because you’re full.  Without leptin we could continue to eat until we explode.  Some people have what’s called leptin resistance where the brain is unable to pick up its signals causing mindless eating and overeating.  It’s also a cycle where the more you eat, the more engorged your fat cells, and the greater the risk of worsening your leptin resistance because it is your fat cells that make this hormone.  The more you gain, the more sensitive your body becomes to leptin.  Leptin resistance is associated with certain other medical conditions, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, thyroid issues, and elevated triglycerides in the bloodstream.  Leptin’s main role is long-term regulation of energy balance… the amount of calories we eat and expend, and how much fat we store on our bodies

People with leptin resistance may find that they have frequent or even constant cravings or feelings of hunger. Researchers are still working to fully understand and develop effective treatments for leptin resistance, but for now, controlling cravings is the key to combating the effects of this condition.  If you’re eating lots of sugar/carbs, or if you’re very stressed or sleep deprived, you’re more likely to feel like you have an appetite you just can’t satisfy. To beat your cravings, protein and fiber are the keys as they both keep you very full for a long time.

Reversing Leptin Resistance:  How do you know if you’re leptin resistant?  There is no set blood test done to determine leptin levels. The best test to do to determine if you are leptin resistant is to look in the mirror.  If you have a lot of body fat, especially in the belly area then you are almost certainly leptin resistant.  Leptin resistance occurs years before insulin resistance and full blown diabetes.

So what can we do?  The low carb, gluten free diet will help you tremendously!

  • Cut out grains, refined sugars and processed foods and replace them with “slow burn” foods like protein and fats so you avoid leptin spikes that cause leptin resistance
  • Increase the good fats in your diet including avocados, coconut oil, MCT oil, fish oils, butter, ghee and olive oil. Take 2,000mg-3,000mg Omega 3 (fish oils)
  • Avoid processed foods
  • Increase fiber in your diet. I recommend taking fiber supplements 30 minutes before each meal
  • Always have protein with each meal
  • Eat 3 meals per day and not snacking all day stabilizes leptin levels and avoids spikes
  • Exercise like resistance training increases leptin sensitivity so the signals can reach your brain that you’re full
  • Reduce your stress levels and get plenty of sleep

So here is yet another reason to follow a low carb, gluten free lifestyle.  Eating real low carb/sugar food, exercising and sleeping well are all lifelong endeavours that require a shift in lifestyle.