We eat when we’re happy, upset, stressed, bored — you get the picture. Oftentimes, these emotional indulgences become a more frequent event leading to weight gain. Use these 5 tactics to gain control.
#1: Recognize Hunger
Do you find yourself having an overwhelming desire to munch even when you’re not truly hungry? It could be that you’re bored or stressed—this type of emotional eating is a behavior we teach ourselves over many years— it takes time and effort to really gain control of it. The next time you get the urge to dig in, ask yourself “What I am really feeling”?
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- Remember the grapefruit diet?
I’ve read over 200 diet books and some of the advice I’ve come across is just plain wacky or even worse, dangerous to your health. Here are some of the nuttiest plans out there and suggestions on how to choose the right diet plan for you.
Oldies but Goodies
Some of the most famous fad diets are those that promote eating one specific food. These include:
Many of these diets have come out with updated versions that incorporate several well-balanced meals into their plan. However, their premise is still the same. They believe that eating more of a certain food is healthier and can help you lose weight. Unfortunately, more of one food usually mean less of another—and we should be eating a wide variety to make sure we’re meeting our nutritional needs.
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Want to know how to lose weight and keep it off? Registered dietitian Joy Bauer has helped folks lose hundreds of pounds on her Today show series Joy Fit Club. I had the privilege to speak with Joy on how people can achieve long-term weight loss success.
Q: Congrats on your new book The Joy Fit Club: Cookbook, Diet Plan & Inspiration. What prompted you to write this book which showcases 30 the personal stories of folks who successfully lost weight?
Thanks! I started the Joy Fit Club series on the TODAY show about 4 years ago – we were looking for a powerful way to inspire viewers and show them that lasting weight loss is possible. Every other week, we induct a new member into the club — someone who has lost at least 100 pounds with diet and exercise alone (no pills, potions, fasting, or surgeries). The series was so popular and we got so many questions from viewers after the stories aired that we decided to put together a companion book, which would allow us to go into greater depth on the strategies our members used to achieve success.
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The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Diet has been traditionally recommended for those with high blood pressure. However, this diet was recently ranked as the Best Overall Diet for Healthy Eating by U.S. News.
The DASH Diet was created by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in order to help prevent and lower high blood pressure (AKA hypertension). The diet promotes nutrients like potassium, calcium, fiber and protein, which have been shown help reduce high blood pressure. The plan emphasizes that you take in these nutrients by eating a variety of foods especially fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy. High calorie meats (like red meat), high fat and high sugar foods are all discouraged, and reducing salt intake is encouraged. Although this plan was created for those with high blood pressure, it is no more than a well-balanced diet where whole foods are encouraged while high calorie and processed foods are discouraged.
The plan also encourages regular exercise and an overall healthy lifestyle including not smoking.
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Actor and comedian Lenny Clarke (star of Are You There, Chelsea? and Rescue Me) shed close to 200 pounds and has kept it off for 5 years. How’d he do it? I had the opportunity to chat with him about his weight loss success.
Q: You weighed 388 pounds, then went on Weight Watchers and lost 182 pounds. What was your “aha” moment that made you start taking action to lose weight?
Everything bad that I could do, I did do, including years of booze and drug abuse. To weigh myself, I had to go on a truck scale— at my heaviest it said 388 pounds. People were coming up to me and said “you look good” with horror in their eyes. They would rub my belly like Buddha and that was hurtful.
Even when I was filming my weight was an issue. During a scene in Fever Pitch, I was supposed to drive Jimmy Fallon to a baseball game. I was so fat I couldn’t fit behind the steering wheel and they needed to adjust it for me. When they shot There’s Something About Mary, I played the fireman who was supposed to come through the window to help Ben Stiller when he got himself stuck in his pants. I was too fat to fit through the window, so they needed to rewrite the scene.
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- Boost your metabolism the healthy way.
Looking to rev up your metabolism? Say no to dangerous weight loss pills and wacky crash diets. Instead try any of these 7 safe ways instead.
Between genetics, gender, and age we have limited control over how much we can boost our metabolism. Men in general have a higher metabolism than women due to their higher muscle mass. As we age (especially after the big 4-0), our metabolism slows down. There’s not much you can do about the hand you’re dealt, but a few healthy habits can help boost it up.
#1: Resistance Training
A regular weight training regimen can help increases your muscle mass, thereby boosting your metabolism. The key word is “regular”—meaning, hitting the weights once in a while won’t do the trick. Aim for three times per week.
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- Kick your weight loss efforts into high gear with these 5 easy rules.
Trying to shed a few pounds (and keep them off)? Do it the right way – these tips can help.
Rule #1: Eat!
Taking in fewer calories will promote weight loss, but cutting back too much can bring your metabolism to a screeching halt. Slow and steady is best: reduce your current intake by about 500 calories per day to lose one a pound per week.
Rule #2: Move
Regular physical activity keeps your metabolism working at a higher rate. Increasing your lean body mass also means you’ll burn calories more efficiently. Try to get in at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day.
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- Dietitian Cheryl Forberg
The NBC hit show The Biggest Loser has helped contestants lose hundreds of pounds and motivate a country in dire need of weight loss. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes, including many hours of nutrition and food counseling provided by registered dietitian Cheryl Forberg.
Q: What was your role as the dietitian on The Biggest Loser?
As a member of the medical expert team, I participated in a week of screening physicals each season to help select the cast. I met with each prospective cast member to discuss their eating patterns, food preferences, weight loss/weight gain history to help me create personally tailored eating plans for each of them.
Q: I understand that you have both a culinary and nutrition background. Could you tell us about that?
Yes, I am a chef first, nutritionist second. I attended a sixteen month program in San Francisco to attain my chef diploma (formerly California Culinary Academy currently a Cordon Bleu school). I won an apprenticeship in France upon graduation and studied in restaurants in Champagne, Alsace and the Loire Valley. I returned to San Francisco to open Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio restaurant and moonlighted as a private chef to clientele, most of whom had some sort of dietary restriction — low fat, low sugar, low calorie. At the time there were few chefs with nutritional education and few dietitians with culinary training. I taught myself to adapt my classic French training to meet the needs of my clients. After several years as a private chef, I decided to legitimize what I was doing and returned to school at UC Berkeley to attain my BS in Nutrition and Clinical Dietetics and become a registered dietitian.
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- Is sleep tied to a healthy weight?
After giving birth to three kids in less than 5 years, I never had much time to sleep. Like most folks, I savor those nights when I can get 6 or 7 hours of shuteye. Now numerous studies tell us that getting our zzz’s also helps with our weight loss efforts.
A 2011 study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that folks trying to shed at least 10 pounds were more likely to achieve their goal if they slept between 6 to 8 hours a night and had lower stress levels.
A 2004 study by the Stanford School of Medicine found that the less you sleep, the more weight you’ll gain. They found that not getting enough sleep leads to higher levels of appetite-stimulating hormones and lower levels of the hormones that tell us when we’re full. Furthermore, lack of sleep was associated with a higher body mass index (BMI).
There are also numerous theories that find sleepless nights can lead to weight gain. One theory says that when you’re tired, you become less physically active during the day which can lead to weight gain. A second theory says that when you’re sleep deprived you don’t care as much to make conscious food choices—which can lead you off your healthy eating plan.
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- Do you need help keeping your new year's resolution?
If your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, it’s time to prepare yourself. Once times get tough, the excuses start coming. We asked top nutrition experts from around the country some of the most popular or outlandish excuses they’ve heard over the years. Do any of them sound familiar?
Excuse #1: “I end up eating my kid’s sweet snacks.”
D. Milton Stokes, MPH RD CDN, a Connecticut-based dietitian in private practice says “This is truly outlandish because the child doesn’t have to have those snacks (not that the snacks are forbidden, but unhealthy snacks aren’t manditory), but the parent seems to be using the child as a vehicle for dietary sabotage.”
Solution: Be mindful of the snacks coming into your home. Choose sweet snacks sparingly or for special occasions.
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