Category Archives: Food

Counting Carbs vs. Counting Calories

Is there a better way to eat? I’ve tried so many diet plans that I’m ready to get to the heart of this subject.

I boiled down the two best ways (for me) to lose this fat. Yes, I need to lose over 100 lbs. These two types of eating are counting carbs or counting calories. I HAVE to count something to keep my daily intake low enough to actually LOSE weight. So, I researched for days and found that a low carb method of eating is very good for my body.

I’m pre-diabetic, so I’m insulin resistant. I need to cut the carbs for sure. However, I tried eating low carb for a week. It was not enjoyable at all for me. It’s not something I can stick with very long. I like sandwiches on hearty bread and an English muffin with a poached egg between the halves. Never mind the hidden sugars in ketchup or every other sauce/dressing. I was driving myself crazy keeping up with the sugars and general other carbs.

So, I tried counting calories. It worked better for me but I still didn’t “feel” well. I realized I could (and should) combine these methods somewhat. It’s not strict Keto but it might work.

I started on a Wednesday and lost two pounds by the following Monday. I was happy with my diet choices, and my body felt pretty good so far.

I cut out desserts and processed goodies. I also choose sugar free BBQ sauce and ketchup now. I still like regular salad dressings, though, but I have discovered that a homemade balsamic vinaigrette saved the day for me (and hubby likes it, too). I’ll include this recipe below.

Using a glycemic index book, I discovered the many foods that were low and healthful. I also found out which made me feel bad. It was simple. You can look it up online. You don’t need a book. 😉

I also have begun drinking a two-ingredient mix that helps lower insulin response before every meal. It’s 1-2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a good amount of water (or other liquid of your choice). Do NOT just down the vinegar alone. It will hurt the enamel on your teeth, and isn’t so great for the stomach.

My crockpot has been a life saver. I can put in any protein and throw in some veggies, and voila! Dinner will be ready at 5:00 pm. There are also great slow cooker recipes for low carb diets online, too! I do not like to cook, so this way of getting dinner done makes me very happy, and my husband, Dave loves the homecooked meals regularly.

Have you ever roasted fresh veggies in EVOO and dried herbs? I love roasted brussels sprouts, green beans, asparagus, thin spears of carrot, and any other fresh veg that happens to look promising. Try doing this. I set my oven on 350 degrees and roast away until the veggies begin getting a charred appearance. You might want to stop cooking them earlier. LOL.

Since vegetables are a big part of this diet plan because they are low in carbs and SO good for me, I try to eat them as much as possible. I love frozen veggies that can be steamed in their own bags. Easy!

Salads are, of course, another go-to. Add some protein to the top (egg, chicken, turkey, tuna, etc). Soups are also a fave of mine. Canned or homemade, I enjoy both. More variety is had with canned, though, but they contain more salt and calories unless you choose ones without these additives. Read the labels closely.

I just ordered a variety of Cliff bars as snacks when I am traveling or running errands and need a snack. I’ll see how this turns out. They are not low in carbs that I am aware of but they are within my “snack” calorie limits.

Another tip, I’ve been having hot tea before bed. Herbal tea mostly but any kind will do – unless caffeine keeps you awake. During the day, I have matcha tea, chai, rooibos, hibiscus, green tea, and other herbal teas with great flavors like lemon or orange spice. A hot tea at bedtime curbs hunger or even the “I want a snack” mind hunger.

Sara Lee makes a light bread. It has 45 calories per slice, and it’s full of fiber. I have been purchasing this bread lately. If I don’t want a “bread” sandwich, I use a big leaf of romaine lettuce filled with my favorite sandwich middle. Yum!

Ok, time for the balsamic vinaigrette recipe I promised. Have a healthful day!

Lea’s Balsamic Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar, 1 clove garlic, salt and pepper, 2-3 Tbsp. honey (start with 2), 2 tsp Dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp dried thyme

Mix in a jar with a lid. Shake together. Keep in fridge for 2-3 weeks. Add salt or honey to taste at the end.

1 serving is 2 Tbsp./ 84 calories/ 5 carbs/ 6 fat/ 0 protein

7 Helps to Lose Weight!

According to the CDC, over 73% of American adults are overweight or obese. Being overweight is linked to diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

Try to lose weight slowly because fast losses can cause issues like gallstones and even existing muscle loss. You also need to avoid quick weight loss because you likely won’t get the nutritional needs your body requires. So, you would be deficient and lacking energy, as well. Nevermind that your mood will also be affected adversely.

An average female uses about 1200 calories just to maintain her bodily functions, so increase this calorie number by a few hundred, at least, to see losses in fat but to remain healthy.

Don’t forget to get some good sleep each night, too. That is when your body is repairing itself.

  1. Add fiber to your daily intake. Fiber helps you have a faster metabolism, so goodbye extra weight. Choose vegetables for this, if possible, because they also contain iron.
  2. Eat some protein at each meal. It will keep you full longer, and it boosts your metabolism so you will lost the weight more quickly.
  3. If you must have a snack in the afternoon, choose a protein with the snack. Watch the amount of food you choose for your snack. It’s not a meal.
  4. Don’t eat after dinner. You want your body to recover and repair itself while you sleep – not to have to digest food you just ate.
  5. Journal your eating habits. Include your beverages and snacks. I use the Loseit! app. It’s a calorie counter. Myfitnesspal is also a helpful app.
  6. Move your body each day. Do as much as you are able. Walk – it’s easy for most people. If you are bored, walk at a shopping mall or Walmart. Just don’t stop a lot to shop. Walk and look at the same time.
  7. Strength train! This keeps your muscles from wasting or your body from using your existing muscle as energy.

Remember, just START. Don’t put off your health. Take it one day at a time. Take it an hour at a time if you need to. You can do this! Lose the extra weight!

Yes! A Tea Can Really Do That!

Even if you have heard about Matcha tea, read this!

The Chinese and Japanese have a history of drinking Matcha tea, and they are healthier because of it. It’s been used for thousands of years!

My favorite way of drinking this tea is either pure (with hot water added) or iced with a bit of sweetener added and some almond milk. Go easy with the sweeteners, though, they can mess up a healthful drink. I make my own matcha at home, so I know exactly what’s in it.

Here are some great benefits to drinking this tea:

  1. It has a rare amino acid that gives you relaxation in the brain. Anxiety/stress may lead to an agitated mood but Matcha tea balances your mood. This amino acid is L-theanine and is common in teas but this tea offers up to five times the amount as other teas. How does that stand up to your black or green variety?

2. It increases your metabolism and helps you get rid of fat. You will burn more fat even sitting still than without the Matcha tea. Imagine if you exercise a bit and watch your calories at the same time. You could get some help losing weight.

3. You’ll get about 135 times more antioxidants than regular green tea offers. These antioxidants can get rid of those awful free radicals that cause such damage to your body. It helps you stop some of the UV rays to your skin, as well. So, you can look more youthful in your skin. 😉

4. It helps your immune system to work well. Want a healthy immune system? Drink Matcha tea. It treats inflammation.

5. It helps the memory. L-theanine also helps you to remember important facts. If you are learning all the time, it can improve that retention.

6. It helps you stay younger longer. Matcha has been thought to slow aging. That is like a fountain of youth! Have you ever heard studies of a portion of Okinawa, Japan about their living longer? They do, and often-consumed Matcha may be the reason.

7. There have been links between this tea and reducing cardiovascular disease. So, drink up!

8. Matcha tea can help with depression and anxiety. It can also increase blood flow, healing you from the inside. You won’t feel as stressed. That is worth incorporating this tea into your life.

9. It contains catechins which may have cancer fighting benefits.

So, YES, a tea really CAN do all that!

Weight Loss “Meds” – Which Work? Do Any?

  1. Alli is the brand name for the drug orlistat. It is a very popular weight loss pills.

Orlistat is available as a prescription drug and also sold over the counter. It works by preventing the body from breaking down of some of the fat you eat eat. The intestines absorb less fat, so weight loss may be the outcome.

Studies indicate that orlistat might increase weight loss a little bit. The review found that those who took orlistat lost an average of 2.9 percent more weight than those who did not take the drug.

Orlistat may cause a change in bowel habits. People taking it may experience side effects, such as diarrhea, stomach pain, and difficulty controlling bowel movements.

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2. Caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee, tea, soft drinks, and chocolate. It is also often added to diet pills and supplements.

According to a study of 76 obese adults, people who had high caffeine intake saw a greater reduction in fat mass, weight circumference, and overall weight compared to those who had a low caffeine intake.

Side effects of caffeine include jitteriness, increased heart rate, and trouble sleeping.

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3. Garcinia Cambogia is a fruit that contains hydroxycitric acid, which is thought to help weight loss.

Garcinia cambogia extract contains the juices from this small fruit and is available as a weight loss pill. Garcinia cambogia may inhibit or prevent a fat-producing enzyme called citric acid lyase.

There is little scientific evidence to support the use of this extract to help with weight loss. A report shows the effectiveness of the extract in long-term clinical trials and large-scale studies has not been proven.

Although garcinia cambogia extract may not aid in weight loss, it does not appear to cause many side effects when taken in reasonable doses. The report above also indicated that adverse effects did not occur with a dietary dosage of up to 2,800 milligrams (mg) per day.

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4.Green Tea – Many diet pills contain green tea because it may increase the body’s ability to burn fat, and especially fat in the stomach area.

Although more evidence is needed, some research indicates that drinks containing green tea extract may promote the loss of fat around the stomach area. The increase in fat loss may also result in modest weight loss.

Although green tea extract is usually well tolerated, it can cause stomach pain, constipation, and nausea.

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5. Hydroxycut is a popular dietary supplement. There are different Hydroxycut products which contain various ingredients. These products typically contain plant extracts and caffeine, although caffeine-free versions of the supplement are also available.

There are no studies that review Hydroxycut specifically. Caffeine, which has been studied, may contribute to small amounts of weight loss.

Since the ingredients of Hydroxycut vary, it is difficult to state the possible side effects. Hydroxycut supplements that contain caffeine may cause nervousness and increased heart rate.

Hydroxycut is considered a supplement and does not go through the same rigorous testing as drugs to determine its safety.

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6. Prescription Weight Loss Pills – (ex: Phentermine) Certain weight loss pills are only available through a doctor’s prescription. Although there are various pills on the market, most weight loss medications work by making it harder to absorb dietary fat or by suppressing the appetite.

Prescription pills may lead to some weight loss, but they can have strong side effects. Depending on the prescription, side effects of weight loss pills can include stomach pain, dry mouth, racing heart, increased energy, and diarrhea.

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A Takeaway from this is this:

When it comes to the best weight loss pills, it appears there is no magic bullet. Although some of the diet pills and supplements mentioned above may contribute to weight loss, the amounts are usually small and not really worth trying – especially long term.

Caffeine, green tea extract, and orlistat appear to have the most research to back up their claims.

Before taking any supplement for weight loss, it is best to talk with a doctor or other healthcare professional.

The best bet for people trying to lose weight is to reduce portion size, eat lean protein, fruits and veggies, and get regular exercise.

(Thanks for medical news today for information!)

What is Noom?

Noom is the weight loss plan I am following. It works when I work it – much like most plans out there. However, I enjoy Noom because of its daily lessons and periodic, short quizzes and online food journal that tells me how healthful the foods are that I am consuming. It also offers a personal coach and group support.

Click on the Noom link at the beginning of this blog to see an in-depth article about it. Best one I’ve seen yet.

Today, I begin my day with a fruit yogurt and coffee. I’m satiated and ready to start this Monday ahead of me.

I work online as a counselor of sorts and in between my calls, I research certain items of interest. I strongly suggest, if you have weight to lose, no matter how little or how great the amount, check out Noom to see if it suits your needs.

I’ll check back in with you in a few days. I’m eating well and feeling good!

Lea

New Diet – One Week In

Well, it’s been one week since I began this new way of eating (Noom.com). Actually, it’s been longer but it’s been a week since I dedicated myself to journaling and keeping it real.

I’m up two pounds! I’ve only exercised once. However, I see what my downfalls were. I didn’t count everything I ate in my journal – is one major thing. I was snowed in for five days. That was tough on the eating. There were chocolate candies here that my daughter had brought over. Needless to say, I did partake of them more than I should have.

As far as exercising, I only made it to the treadmill once. The other days, I let outside activities (my online job) keep me from walking. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

So, I have new goals for this second week. I will journal every single thing I eat, and I will exercise at least every other day.

Why is this so difficult for me? I know I feel better when I’m healthier and smaller in size. Yet, I continue to graze and snack and sit on the sofa – using my work as an excuse. I can take a half hour away to do the elliptical machine!

Stick with me, friends. Seeing your Likes and getting more and more followers does encourage me. I want to help and not be another person who “wants to lose” but doesn’t get her crap together to do so.

Today, is a grandson’s birthday party. No cake or punch for me. No chips. I will take some celery and a crunchy apple with me. I will like those just as much as a sugary piece of cake. I WILL be a success this week and lose at least 3 lbs. Join me in my Noom.com weight loss? Facebook has some great Noom support groups, as well.

Love,

Lea

Time to Journal!

Hello, friends! It’s only been a few days since my last post but I find myself struggling! This huge winter blast of sub temps and lots of snow has me homebound and finding it difficult to stick with my eating plan.

I decided today to make sure to journal every bite I put in my mouth. That’s not something I’ve been very good at doing. Toward the end of the day, I tend to forget my journal even exists.

Do you have issues with this?

I also am going cold turkey with the NO SUGAR. I started eating only one chocolate per day. Then I moved to two. Then it became as many as I wanted. I can’t “eat just one.”

I’ll still check back in with you on Saturday to share my loss for the week. If you have comments that might help me stay on track, please share. I’m sure I’m not the only reader who will benefit. I see that I have many followers who are in the health and physical ed fields.

((hugs)) on this freezing day. Spring will soon be here, and I need to be swimsuit ready!

Lea

Here Goes . . . My Final Diet

Today is the first day of my resolve to count daily calories NO MATTER WHAT. I’ve been semi-doing the Noom.com diet and think it is a great tool to help me shed the pounds (and I have a lot to shed). However, no eating plan will work for me until I stick with it. I’m down 5 lbs today but have been on this plan for over a month.

It’s a new day and a new chance to get healthy and slim. It’s pretty exciting, actually. Take a look at Noom if you have weight to lose. I find it simple and doable so far.

I’ll be back after a week on the plan to tell you how it is going. Hang tight!

Spring is Coming, Oh no!

Why would I say, “oh, no” when spring is coming? Because I’m not ready to put on last year’s swimsuit. It’s serious this time. I now have an inground swimming pool. The kids and grandkids will be coming over to swim, cookout, and have fun in the sun. Will I be the beached whale on the side of things? No!

So, I joined noom.com. It’s a calorie counting app that keeps up with my water intake, physical activity, and food intake. It also offers coaching and education. I like it. I’ve only lost 5 lbs though. I need to get serious about counting the calories!

I’m making homemade chili for dinner. No dessert unless it’s fruit.

Are you spring ready?

THAT’S my Size? No Way!

weight-scale

 

I hadn’t bought a blazer in almost six years. So, when it fit into the size 3X, I almost cried right in the store.

I had noticed that fitting into restaurant booths had gotten tricky and tight but a 3X?

Theater seats were crowding around my hips and bottom but a 3X?!

These limitations try to over shadow my recent weight loss of six lbs. I had to work for a month and a half to lose those six lbs.

Then, I saw something on my coffee table. It was a little glass canning jar that said Happy Jar on the side.

IMG_9618

 

It was decorated with colorful butterflies and flowers. My friend, Ginger, had made each of us one. At the end of each day, we wrote on a small slip of paper what we were happy about on that particular day. Some days, I would have to really get down to basics to find happiness.

I decided that black, 3X blazer would definitely be one of my “Before” memories  . . . and soon!

I never knew how hard it would be to actually lose this weight when I was “ready.” I always had been able to shed pounds fairly easily in my younger years. Now, exercise is tough because of bad knees, and my age (slower metabolism) and meds try to keep me fat. They have been doing a successful job thus far, too.

I feel defeated each time I don’t lose at least one pound in a week or am not a measly inch less around my frame. I stick with it, though. I hang in there. I have to. I may have to eventually cut even more calories and exercise despite the pain, but I will lose this fat..

A 3X? I can’t believe it.