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

Can Detoxing Help Me Lose Weight?

Do you experience any of these symptoms for prolonged periods of time?

  • No energy even after a good sleep
  • Poor digestion and bloating
  • Acne
  • Irritability
  • Brain fog (trouble thinking)
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Weight gain
  • White or yellow coated tongue
  • Bad breath
  • Moodiness

You could need a detox.  Our bodies are bombarded by toxins in our environment and food.  So how does detoxing help me with weight loss?  One of the jobs of the fat cell is to hold and sequester toxins keeping them from the vital organs.  When we detox, we release the toxins from the cells thus releasing the fat with it.  It is important that you drink a lot of water during detox to flush out the toxins and fat.  I will often put people on a detox program when they want to lose weight to kick start the release of fat.

So how does one detox?  There are so many detox programs (kits) available today at nutrition house.  You can start by doing a liver detox first, then a full body detox.  Some kits are for one week, some for 2 weeks and some for 30 days.  Some of them are really easy to follow you simply take the products as directed on the product.  I always suggest that you don’t eat red meat or pork during the detox to give the digestive system a break.  Proteins such as fish and chicken are far easier to digest.  I also suggest that you don’t eat any wheat or gluten or dairy during the detox phase.  This will not only help you lose weight quicker but you will feel so much more energy after 48-72 hours.

After the detox phase, stick to the keto diet as instructed in my blog.  You should have lost some weight during the detox which will keep you motivated to continue with your low carb diet.  Visit your local nutrition house store and ask the sales expert to guide you to the right detox for you.  Good luck!

Proper Digestion is Vital for Weight Loss

One of the secrets to weight loss is proper digestion. The fat collecting around your mid-section is a reflection of the direct relationship between sluggish digestion, slow metabolism and weight gain. By increasing digestive efficiency you can effectively shed extra fat, boost metabolism and support nearly every other area of health in the process.  Digestion is at the very center of our core health. It sets the foundation for health, happiness and well-being. We now have greater insight into the many roles digestion plays in immunity, hormonal balance, and even mental and emotional health. Traditional healing practices around the world have long recognized these relationships. In fact, some Eastern medical systems treat nearly every disease by addressing the digestive system. When we optimize our digestion, everything else comes into balance including your weight.

“Optimal digestive function means we’re breaking down food properly, absorbing enough of the right nutrients and eliminating the waste that we don’t need. It’s a very organized, efficient and meticulous process. But we need energy to perform these tasks, and much of that energy comes from nutrients we digest. It seems like a bit of a catch-22: We need energy in order for our digestive system to break down food, but we get much of that energy from food. If digestion is sluggish, we can’t break down nutrients properly to get more energy. This creates a vicious cycle that leads to a type of malnutrition in our cells, tissues and organs. Wastes build up, you retain water and your body converts excess calories to fat, since the body isn’t digesting them properly.

Usually, this cycle starts with unhealthy dietary habits: eating too many processed foods that hinder digestive function by depleting our enzymes, probiotics and other factors critical for strong digestion. Unhealthy foods, particularly refined sugars, also spike glucose and insulin. The result is inflammation — another major culprit in weight gain and slow metabolism.”  Dr. Isaac Eliaz

Basically every food group needs a specific enzyme to break it down and be absorbed.  Amylase breaks down starches, protease breaks down protein, lipase breaks down lipids (fats) lactase breaks down lactose (milk sugar) etc.  Let’s use lactose intolerance as an example that most of us have heard of.  Lactose is simply 2 milk sugars attached to each other.  It requires lactase (the milk digesting enzyme) to break it down into single molecules.  Humans are the only species that drink milk past the weaning stage and who drink milk from another species so we are not well designed to drink milk because many of us stop producing lactase past the weaning stage.  When you cannot break down a food, it sits in the gut and causes gas and bloating.  Over time if you are not paying attention to this, it could wear down the gut lining causing leaky gut syndrome and over a longer period of time, could cause autoimmune issues.

You know when your mouth waters just thinking about food?  That’s amylase, your starch digesting enzyme which is produced in you saliva and your pancreas.  That’s your body preparing for digestion.  The pancreas secretes all 3 types of enzymes so if you don’t have a pancreas you are going to have digestive issues, especially when it comes to fat and protein.

So what to do?  The first thing you should do is rule out food intolerance’s.  Eliminate all milk and milk products from your diet as well as gluten, corn and soy for at least 10 days to 2 weeks.  Then drink a huge glass of milk and see how you feel.  Did you get gas and bloating?  If so then you probably have an intolerance to dairy.  Add back each food group separately so you know which food is the culprit.  Don’t ignore the signs because food intolerance’s can cause a plethora of issues down the road as mentioned above.

It’s also possible that you don’t have enough enzymes in your gut to break down your food.  The truth is, most of us think that we have too much acid in our guts thus giving us heartburn where the truth is actually quite the opposite.  In most cases, you do not have ENOUGH digestive enzymes to break down your foods.  The churning action of the stomach muscles physically breaks down the food. The stomach then releases acids and enzymes for the breakdown of food. What happens when you eat and you don’t have enough enzymes to break down the food is that it sits in the gut and causes gas and bloating.  You will also give bacteria a perfect environment to feast on the undigested foods, causing a bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine.  This will cause the heavy bloated feeling and the heartburn.

If you are not breaking down your food properly, you will not absorb the nutrients from the food causing a lot of problems due to a nutritional deficiency.  This will cause weight gain because your body is “starving” for nutrients and becomes very efficient at storing fat for future energy.

I suggest taking a full spectrum digestive enzyme as well as a probiotic supplement and your symptoms should disappear pretty quickly but if you have food intolerance’s, you need to give up those foods and find a healthy alternative for them.  You should all know how I feel about gluten (and weight gain) by now and I have given you many alternatives for gluten-laden foods in this blog.  Just use your imagination and be prepared at all times.

How To Still Eat All Of Your Favorite Foods But Low Carb Version

Some people think that following a low carb or ketogenic diet is too difficult to follow especially for the long run but you would be completely wrong if you know how to substitute your favorite foods.  Let’s look at some alternative foods that are easy to make and taste virtually the same or better than the high carb choice.

Potatoes:  One small to medium potato has a whopping 30g carbs!  But what about our beloved mashed potatoes that goes so well with meatloaf?  Make mashed potatoes with cauliflower!  Simply boil cauliflower for 12-15 minutes until well cooked and drain it well.  You can put the cauliflower in a clean dish towel and squeeze until dry.  The dryer the cauliflower the better your mashed potatoes will turn out.  Mash them with some butter or coconut oil, ¼ cup sour cream (lower carb than milk), salt and pepper.  I like to add a little parmesan cheese and garlic for added flavor and my husband actually adds pickle juice and it’s actually really good.

Rice: 100g of white rice has 28g carbs, minimally.  White rice is also void of nutrients and is simply starch.  Substitute rice for cauliflower.  (I love this vegetable!)  Simply place cauliflower chunks in a food processor and pulse until broken down into rice-size pieces.  Or you can grate the cauliflower instead.   Heat some olive oil or coconut oil in a skillet and cook over medium heat until it turns slightly brown (3-5 minutes).   Mix in your favorite ingredients that you would normally put in your rice (low carb ingredients of course).

Bread: 2 slices of bread have between 20-25g carbs.  I have posted many recipes for low carb, gluten free bread, naan bread and buns.  Scroll down on my blog and you will see many recipes or you can simply google low carb almond flour bread or low carb coconut flour bread.  Most recipes I have seen have about 1-3 net carbs per serving.

Pizza:  1 large slice of pizza has at least 25g carbs.  You can make low carb pizza using yet again, cauliflower!  Prepare your cauliflower exactly the same as you do for the rice.  Boil the rice for about 5-7 minutes and drain.  Wrap the cooked cauliflower in a clean dish towel and squeeze until the cauliflower is dry.  Again, the dryer the better.  Put in a bowl and add 2 eggs (beaten), ½ cup mozzarella cheese, ¼ cup parmesan cheese, 1 tsp oregano, a little salt and garlic.  Mix well.  Don’t be afraid to get your hands in there to mix it well.  Put on baking tray lined with parchment paper so it doesn’t stick.  Press so it looks like a pizza crust.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Add all of your favorite (low carb) toppings and bake again for another 10 minutes or until browned at the top.

Pasta: 100g of pasta has no less than 25g carbs.  Well, this time I cannot give you a cauliflower recipe for pasta but I can recommend some low carb pastas that you can buy in a grocery store or local health food store.  While there are many low carb pastas to choose from, I recommend ones that are not made with wheat flour.  Some of them could include:

  • Miracle Noodles: There are 8 different types of Miracle Noodles (including a rice version) available which all have ZERO carbs and are made out of a water-soluble fiber made from the Konjac plant
  • Zucchini pasta: You can buy (or make) zucchini pasta which contains in 1 cup less than 4 total carbs and 1-2g fiber which leaves only 2 net carbs
  • Black bean pasta: Made from 92 percent black beans (and 8 percent water), they’re loaded with 25 grams of protein per serving, 17 total carbs and 12g fiber which leaves the net carbs at only 5g!

Add all of your favorite toppings but be careful with spaghetti sauce as it often has added sugar.  Used mashed tomatoes or olive oil instead.  Add some ground beef, cheese and spices like garlic and oregano and you will be in heaven!

So enjoy your favorite meals without the guilt!

How Many Carbs are in Alcoholic Drinks?

I have been asked many times about drinking alcohol while following a low carb diet so here is the scoop.  First, know that calories from alcohol are empty calories meaning they have no nutritional value.  Also, alcohol will be metabolized before any other food or drink.  Drinking alcohol can reduce the amount of fat your body burns for energy.  But if you have to have a drink or two, let’s pay attention to the amount of carbs that are in different drinks.

Spirits such as vodka, rum, whiskey, brandy, gin, bourbon and tequila have no carbs but be careful what you are mixing it with.  One can of pop has between 35-45 grams of carbs depending on the brand of pop.  1 cup of orange juice has between 25-30 grams of carbs.  Cocktails such as Mojito’s have up to 25 grams of carbohydrates if it is just a regular size however many restaurants and bars have jumbo drinks.  Martini’s have less than one carb per drink.

If you like a cold beer, you are looking at 12-15 carbs per beer and lite beer has about 5-7 carbs.  Red wine has about 2-3 carbs and white wine has 2-5 carbs per 6oz glass.

So if you want to have a drink, your best choice would be spirits mixed with club soda or water and lemon for flavor.  There are also sweeteners or water flavors that you can add to your drink but be sure to get them sweetened with Stevia and not aspartame.  Skinny Girl uses vegetable juice for color and Stevia Extract and cane sugar for sweetness.  When you look at Crystal Lite’s ingredient list you see 12 ingredients, including the artificial sweetener Sucralose and sucrose acetate isobutyrate, a thickening or “weighting” agent also found in printing inks.  In the Mio brand, the second ingredient is propylene glycol, a preservative, thickening agent, and stabilizer, also used as antifreeze to de-ice airplanes, as a plasticizer to make polyester resins, and found in electronic cigarettes.  There are so many brands of flavorings that you simply need to look at the ingredient list so you are not loading your body up with harmful chemicals, especially if you use it a lot.

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.