Posts Tagged ‘WebMD’
Sweet dreams (no, really!)
Longtime readers know that I’m always reminding people wanting to lose excess weight that getting enough sleep is one of the four tenants to lasting health (along with healthy eating, exercise and drinking enough water). But for many of us, getting a good night’s sleep is something that’s easier said (and/or dreamed about) than done. What seems like a 24-hour work cycle keeps us all on our toes night and day. And many of us end up robbing much-needed rest time in order to be able to accomplish everything we “need” to get done. But make no mistake, sleep is essential.
WebMD has this Sleep Checklist, shared above, that might prove beneficial to those of us wanting to improve our sleep habits (and time). Although I must point out that my loyal sidekick, Latte, does not agree with the third tip from the bottom. But as with any check- or idea-list, we can pick and choose the suggestions that resonate with us and ignore the rest. Even so, there are some good ideas here for catching more Zzzzs and improving our overall health. You can read more about WebMD’s Better Sleep Checklist by clicking here.
And to all? A good night!
Photo Source: WedMD
Rockstar Dieting Tip #1
As you might have gathered from the #1 in this post’s title, Rockstar Dieting Tips is going to be an ongoing series here at Just Stop Eating So Much! Each writeup will contain a specific tip that will hopefully help you out on your journey to lasting health — whether you’re in the process of taking off excess weight or you’re at your goal weight and working to maintain it.
This first tip is one that might seem very obvious. But I know that it’s one that a lot of us (including myself) struggle to achieve on a daily basis. And yet it’s one of the most essential steps we must take in order to permanently shed — and keep off — those unwanted pounds.
Rockstar Dieting Tip #1 — Drink Lots of Water
This is one of my biggest diet “musts” — along with eating less and exercising more. (Duh, right?) But seriously… The more water, the better. We’ve got to rinse out those fat cells along with the other impurities we’ve built up through years of unhealthy eating. Also, more activity (like exercise) requires more water.
I know. I know. We’ve heard it all before. But fact is, if you’re not drinking enough water, you’re not giving your body (not to mention your metabolism) what it needs to purify your body, rinse our your fat cells and keep you hydrated before, during and after exercising.
According to Gina Shaw‘s writeup on WebMD, the director of performance nutrition at Athletes’ Performance, Amanda Carlson-Phillips, RD, reports “In my experience, most people are not aware of how much they’re drinking and are not drinking enough — many, as little as half of what they need. Water’s involved in every type of cellular process in your body, and when you’re dehydrated, they all run less efficiently — and that includes your metabolism. Think of it like your car: if you have enough oil and gas, it will run more efficiently. It’s the same with your body.”
To determine how much water you should be drinking on a daily basis, check out this Hydration Calculator courtesy of about.com.
If you have some Rockstar Dieting Tips that you’d like to share, feel free to contact me directly — or simply post the tip as a comment below. We’re all in this together… And together we can reach lasting health!
Photo Source: images.wallpaper.com
Are you on the “Band” Wagon?
By now, you’ve likely heard that New Jersey governor Chris Christie underwent secret gastric band surgery in February of this year and has shown some “success” in dropping the pounds since then.
Although Christie claims “This is an intensely personal issue,” political pundits note that candidates often try to lose weight as they prepare for major political campaigns. The Washington Post reminds us that former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee lost more than 100-pounds before running for president and then even went onto pen a book about healthy living.
WebMD reports that gastric banding surgery is the second most common weight loss surgery (after gastric bypass). WebMD details that gastric banding is considered the least invasive weight loss surgery. It is also the safest according to WebMD. They go onto report that the procedure can be reversed if necessary, and in time, the stomach generally returns to its normal size.
No matter what Christie’s true intents are (whether health or politically oriented), I wish him luck with his endeavors to attain better health. Although personally, I question the legitimacy of any kind of surgery to help with weight loss. I have several friends who have undergone these procedures and disagree with me. And I know that many readers of this blog would disagree with me as well.
But at the end of the day, the key to weight loss is eating less and exercising more. And anyone can achieve this without invasive — and potentially dangerous — surgery. Yes, it takes a lot of will power to achieve this. But why not work to tap into that before taking such extreme measures? Not only do people who undergo these surgeries often throwup a great deal right after having the surgery (due to initially still overeating), but they often gain the weight back. We’ve seen examples of this in Carnie Wilson and others.
If you’re considering surgery to achieve weight loss, I urge you to consider the pros and cons. Click here for more information.
People often look depressed when I tell them that keeping off the 250+ pounds that I lost over a decade ago still requires work today. Everyone wants the simple solution and/or to know that after the weight loss they won’t have to think about dieting anymore. But as people who are or who have been extremely overweight, this is something we can never stop thinking about — otherwise the weight will creep back on (no matter how the weight loss was achieved in the first place).
What do you think of Chris Christie undergoing weight loss surgery? And do you think people (all potential voters) will be impressed if he loses all of his excess weight even though it’s through surgery? And are you for the surgery or against it? Are you a surgery success story? No matter where you weigh in on this debate, I’d love to hear from you.
Photo Source: Zap2it.com
When we lose, we gain
Too often when dieting, we focus on what we’re giving up rather than what we’re (for lack of a better word) gaining. In fact, medical research has shown that we don’t even have to reach our goal weight before our bodies will begin to benefit from the healthy perks that can come about after losing just 7 to 10% of our body weight.
In a compelling writeup on WebMD, Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD reports that best selling author David Katz, MD, MPH, Director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center and the Yale Preventive Medicine Center confirms, “’Lifestyle changes that include healthier diets, regular physical activity, and weight loss of 7%-10% have shown phenomenal health benefits that can be more effective than medications.”
In fact, Katz confirms on WebMD that 90% of all diabetes, 80% of heart disease, and 60% of cancers are preventable with healthier lifestyles and normal body weights.
Researcher Catherine Champagne of the Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center reports to WebMD that “We have seen a consistent pattern in our weight loss studies that when patients lose 5%-10% of their body weight, they lower blood pressure, reduce LDL [AKA “bad”] cholesterol, improve glucose tolerance, and in general, lower the risk for cardiovascular disease.”
Champagne went onto tell WebMD that some doctors have reported that they have successfully taken patients off blood pressure and cholesterol-lowering medications after the patients lost small amounts of weight.
Article author Zelman goes onto suggest that we consider how much harder it would be to climb stairs or simply to walk if we were carrying around a backpack filled with 5- or 10-pound bricks. Now imagine how much lighter we would feel without the backpack. That’s the feeling we could get from losing as little as 5 pounds or 10 pounds.
Zelman also recommends that we think in terms of “progress,” rather than “perfection.” This translates to ignoring stricter diets along with the dated notion that I takes “All or nothing” to truly achieve success on a diet.
Zelman also reports that Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, of Northwestern Memorial Hospital Wellness Institute, affirms that “Anyone who actively makes healthy lifestyle changes will begin to see and feel the improvements in 8 to 12 weeks.”
To conclude her insightful article, Zelman includes five simple health tips from Katz that you can read by clicking here.
So next time you start thinking about what you’ve given up (food-wise) or what you’re doing without (treat-wise), focus in on the medical benefits that you’re going to gain by eating healthier and moving more. And, it turns out, you won’t have to necessarily reach your goal weight to start feeling – and enjoying – the perks.
Can you tell me what you ate last Tuesday night for dinner? Or what you had for Sunday Brunch this past weekend? Or even what you ate for breakfast this morning? Chances are, if you’re not keeping a food diary, you’re not as aware of what you’re eating (not to mention as aware of the types of portions, calories and nutrients) as you might think.
But hey, don’t take my word for it.
A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine reports that keeping a food diary may be a key component of losing extra weight. The study found that food diaries incorporate accountability and awareness, which can help immensely with successful weight reduction.
This particular study includes findings from 1,685 overweight or obese adults, ages 25 years and older. The participants were encouraged to keep and use food diaries for a period of six months (while making healthy food choices and making an effort to be physically active). These participants also met in weekly groups to share their food diaries and to learn more about proper food portions.
According to Victor Stevens, PhD, senior investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon, the most important predictor over the course of the study in regard to how successful participants would be corresponded directly to how many days a week they kept a detailed food diary.
Participants who recorded all meals and snacks at least six days a week (including beverages) lost almost twice as much as those who made food diary entries one day a week or less, Stevens reported to WebMD.
Said Stevens, “I think the most powerful part is accountability and the next most powerful part is increasing awareness of where those extra calories are coming from.”
Further findings showed that sharing food diaries with someone else brought about even more success. This is because sharing food diaries creates accountability not only to yourself, but also to someone who cares about you and your health. Food diaries can also identify areas for improvement. For example, you might notice you’re eating too many late night snacks or adding too many calories to a certain meal.
Even keeping track of an accidental binge or overeating on one day of the week can help. When you weigh yourself, you will be reminded of where you might have gone off course. Although initially a bummer, this will show you why the scale didn’t necessarily go in the direction you wanted and can help you realign your efforts for more success the next time you weigh yourself.
Keeping a food diary is easy – and something we all should do. And there aren’t any rules about what the actual diary has to look like. You can choose from a number of published food diaries that are for sale or even just pick up a journal that inspires you and use a page a day to log what you eat and drink. You can also find a PDF of the food diary offered in my book by clicking here. (Feel free to download and print – and to share!) Another free food diary can be found by clicking here. For another variety of free, downloadable food diaries (including specific diaries that help track emotional eating or salt, sugar and fat intake), click here.
Do you already keep a food diary? Do you find it helpful? Or a chore? Or a little of both? Do tell via the comments section below. And, if you’d like, share what you had for breakfast today – assuming those of you who don’t keep a food diary have had enough time to remember.