Tag Archives: diet

QUIT IT

What’s your reason for quitting smoking or overeating or acting out in anger?  The answer is an important one because the rationale has to be strong enough to keep you on the path.  Sure it could add years to your life, but what are you living for?

As a Pilates Instructor, weight-loss is often popular goal for clients.  I could recite all the health reasons why losing weight is beneficial but like quitting smoking, I think most people already know why excess weight is bad for health. When I pushed them to be specific about why they wanted to lose weight, here’s what I heard:

  • I want to be a better role model for my daughter
  • I want to hike in Vietnam and keep pace with the front of the group
  • I want to look/feel better naked

Specific, personal, and self-determined – that’s a golden combination.

THE WHY AND HOW
Once you’ve determined your strong motivator, the next step is figure out WHY you do what you do and put some strategies in play. Sometimes the answers can be simple.  For example, a client told me that she whenever she passes a fancy cupcake shop she can’t stop herself from going inside and eating a few.  When asked what she could do differently, she said, “I guess I could take a different bus route.”  Bingo.  She solved her own problem.  And that’s the key.  Good coaches/therapists can help you by asking the right questions so you can develop strategies that work for you.

PATIENCE AS A STRATEGY
I recently listened to a lecture by Buddhist nun Pema Chodron. She talked about how patience is the antidote to so many of our struggles and certainly it applies to addictions of every kind.  If we can add the balm of patience – just wait before you eat yet another cupcake or light up another smoke – we are one step closer to making a permanent change.

When we scratch the wound and give into our addictions we do not allow the wound to heal. Pema Chodron.

It will take time.  But keep taking steps toward your goal. Others have done it and so can you.  The choices you make in this moment will and do make a difference.

What one thing can you do right now that can help you quit?

Define it and do it.

Love,
JoAnn

THE BUDDY SYSTEM

When it comes to achieving health and fitness goals, the buddy system has a proven success record.  It keeps you accountable, provides companionship on the journey, and gives rise to a little competitive spirit. Just yesterday a client of mine was talking about how she starting a walking program.  Her daughter, 14 years old, wanted to run but mom didn’t want her jogging around their neighborhood alone. They found a nearby outdoor track where mom could walk and keep an eye on her daughter. Within a short while, mom started running too.

SMART PLANNING
Include both short term and long term goals to help you stay on task.  For example, if you want to lose 10 pounds, set a realistic target weight loss date (say 2 months) then set mini goals along the way (about 1.5 pounds per week). Then work your plan with your buddy.  Hold yourselves accountable and perhaps include a challenge – the person who wins is rewarded with a professional massage, paid for by the loser.  If you both win, treat yourselves to a spa day.

WHAT’S YOUR RATIONALE?

Everyone has a reason for wanting to losing weight or get more fit.  Be specific.  And remind yourself often.  One person may want to lose weight to be a better role model for their daughter; another to more easily trek during the next exotic vacation; or just to look sleeker in a slinky summer dress.  What matters is that it matters to you. 

FOUR LEGGED BUDDIES
Purina and Jenny Craig have teamed to help people and their pets slim down. It’s called the Power of Two program. “The support of a weight loss buddy can be invaluable, and a four-legged friend fills the role without judgment,” says Purina Certified Weight Coach Heather Prendergast. She adds that exercising with pets can actually help boost both the duration and intensity level. According to researchers in Canada, dog owners walk nearly twice as much as people without dogs, and a University of Missouri study determined that walking speed increases 28 percent with a dog.

Among the special offers with sign-up is a choice of a free consultation from Jenny Craig, for up to 90 days (plus the cost of food and shipping if applicable), and a $15 veterinary visit rebate with the purchase of Purina Veterinary Diets® OM Overweight Management® Canine Formula, available by prescription only.

So grab a buddy, build plan and reach your goals, together.

Love,
JoAnn

THE MENOPAUSE WEIGHT GAIN MYTH?

Women complain to me about their menopause middle and ask how to get rid of it.  Exercise, good nutrition and sound sleep –  the traits of a healthy lifestyle at any age, are ever more important at middle age.  According to Nancy Clark, author of the upcoming new edition of the best-selling Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook (Human Kinetics, November 2013), women do not always gain weight during menopause. “Yes, women aged 45 to 50 commonly gain weight as fat settles in and around the abdominal area,” Clark says. “But, these changes are due more to lack of exercise and a surplus of calories than to a reduction of hormones.”

STAY ACTIVEPilates ball exercise
In a three-year study of more than 3,000 women (initial age 42 to 52 years), the average weight gain was 4.6 pounds. The weight gain occurred in all women, regardless of their menopause status. According to Clark, weight gain is not caused by the hormonal shifts of menopause, but by other culprits associated with midlife. That is lack of exercise and excess calories.

Middle age women (and men) tend to be less active which is especially unhealthful as we age.  We need to keep our muscles strong and flexible for many reasons: better balance, good bone mass, and for weight control.

more muscle = faster metabolism = increased calorie burn

FORGET DIETS AND EXTREME EXERCISE – GO FOR JOY
You’ve probably dieted a gazillion times by now, has it led to permanent weight loss or are you dieting several times year?  That ought to tell you something about how effective that approach is.  There is no magic bullet when it comes to food or fitness.

What does work is eating fresh, whole foods that are nutrient dense. That is foods that pack a lot nutrition for the amount of calories – think apple vs pretzels.  They may have the same calories but your body gets more satisfaction out of that apple.

Choose movement that you enjoy.  If you like boxing – great! Weight-lifting, Pilates?  Perfer bike riding to dancing?  Do what feels good.  Mix up some resistance training with activities that increase your heart rate enough so that you can talk but not sing while you are doing it and you’ve got a good aerobic pace.

exercise 3 – 5x/wk for at least 30-minutes.

Once you experience how good it feels to live in a strong, fit and healthy body, you’ll want to keep it that way.  You only have one body, one life.  It is mostly up to you how you’re going to feel in it.  Of course, you’ll probably reduce or get rid of the menopause middle too.  That’s just the bonus.  Feeling great in your own skin is the real prize.

Love,
JoAnn

EAT LIKE A KID

Eating healthfully is an evolutionary process – a gradual shift in your food choices and eating behaviors over time.  Naturally, the food you eat and enjoy changes as you grow from a child into an adult. However, young children can teach us a lot about how to eat sensibly as they are born with built-in appetite wisdom. Like the gas gauge on your car that tells you when it’s time to fuel up and when it’s time to stop, children intuitively know when they are hungry or full – they are masters of self-regulation with food.

It is very telling when a child only eats a little and loses interest in food – the child is full. That’s the end of the story regardless of how long you’ve slaved in the kitchen! Fast forward 20 years – that child (now an adult) most likely will keep eating that gourmet meal because it’s not only delicious, but it’s there. Studies have shown that grown-ups tend to eat what is put in front of them – even if it’s too much.  Most of us shut off our internal cues of hunger and fullness – because our natural appetite instincts are overridden by the allure of second helpings and tasty desserts. The danger in this is obvious – overeating and weight gain – not great for health!

So what are some strategies to successfully rewrite your eating script to live a healthier, happier life?  Take a look at the check list below for some sure-fire ways to rethink what you eat and drink forever.

  • Avoid meal skipping, especially breakfast.  While all meals are a chance to get valuable nutrients, breakfast truly is the mac-daddy of your daily meal triad!
  • Do daily food jotting by keeping a notebook or your phone with you to write down what you eat and drink 24/7.  You’ll be surprised where excess, empty calories are coming in!
  • Swap sliced chopped or diced vegetables for refined carbs snacks like white flour-based crackers, cookies and chips.
  • Banish the regular soda for mineral water or zero-calorie fruit infused water.
  • Aim for the better butters such nut butters like peanut or almond butter.
  • Go meatless at least one day a week (it’s better for you and the planet!).  Make meals with plant foods like as tofu, beans, nuts, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.

Excerpted from The Essential Guide to Healthy and Healing Foods by

Victoria Shanta Retelny, RD, LDN with Jovanka JoAnn Milivojevic

Have Your Chips and Eat Them Too!

Want to satisfy that craving for salty crunchy snacking without eating oil laden, high fat, calorie-rich potato chips?  Well, if you tried rice cakes and felt like you were eating puffed air,  have I got a tip for you:

shop for snacks in the diabetic aisle

Don’t have diabetes you say?  Doesn’t mean you can’t gain the benefits of specially formulated snacks that are designed to be low calorie and nutrient dense (meaning you get high nutrition for relatively low calories).

Extend Crisps for example are:

  • high in fiber – so they break down more slowly in your body and help control hunger
  • high in protein – 7 grams in most single packs,  giving you more sustained energy
  • no cholesterol, no transfats, little to no sugar and gluten-free
  • low in glycemic index and load – again helping to stabilize blood sugar and keep your energy even keel
  • low calorie – about 130 per bag
  • great taste – REALLY chose from BBQ honey, white cheddar and zesty ranch

I stumbled upon these at the local Walgreens for $1.59.  I was surprised at how good they tasted.  The protein comes from mainly from soy.  And I’ve got to say, they really did satisfy my snack attack and my hunger.  Give ‘um a try and let me know what you think!

Snack Happy!

JoAnn

www.joannmilpilates.com