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Malia Frey

Weight Loss

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Quick Diet Trick Helps You Eat Less

Wednesday April 16, 2014

Malory BandLooking for a simple way to eat less during the day?  A clever gadget from Great Britain might do the trick. It's called a Malory Band and it serves as a reminder to stick to your diet throughout the day.

The Malory Band is simply an adjustable cord that you wear around your waist.  You put it on in the morning, then throughout the day, if your belly expands from overeating, it serves as a reminder to back off.  According to the company, "It acts as a psychological alarm bell to your conscious mind, warning you not to over-eat."

Of course, this isn't the most sophisticated way to change your eating habits, but it might work for some dieters.  How often have you stopped eating because your jeans were getting too tight or because you had to unbutton your waistband?  The band serves a similar function.

In the United States, the Malory Band is only available through Amazon.com.  I asked a representative from the company why a dieter wouldn't just tie a ribbon around their waist rather than paying  nearly $40 for the band from the company.  They told me that aside from the fact that the band is pretty, it provides certain benefits over a ribbon.

"Our band does not stretch, will not break, snap, rot, rub or fray and doesn't retain water (so you can shower in it). Also, it's fully adjustable: the band has a unique button-hole system running its entire length. As you lose weight, you simply adjust the band to the next button-hole. This means you only ever have to buy one Malory Band and also that you can chart your progress through the number of button-holes that you have moved."

The Malory Band isn't a comprehensive diet fix and it certainly isn't the solution for everyone.  But it's a clever idea that might work for some.  I would suggest, however, that if you try the band (or simply tie a ribbon around your belly) that you examine the factors that affect your eating so that you can reach and maintain a healthy weight over the long term.

(photo source: Malory Band/Amazon)

Faith-Based Weight Loss Programs Show Promise

Tuesday April 15, 2014

faith based weight lossIf your church provides you with a sense of community and support, you may be able to use those pillars to make your weight loss program more effective.  Churches across the country are beginning to offer faith-based weight loss programs.  According to research into the programs, they often work, especially among minorities.

Get Support, Honor Your Values

So why should you go to your church to lose weight?  It might seem odd to head to the chapel instead of the gym to slim down, but in many ways it makes sense.  The people who share your faith are also most likely to share your values and your priorities.  They can offer meaningful input when you are struggling to maintain your commitment to a diet or exercise program.  In addition, these are people who you are likely to see on a regular basis when you attend services.  Seeing and communicating with them may help to hold you accountable.

Find or Start a Faith Based Weight Loss Program

If you are ready to lose weight, ask your local pastor or rabbi if there is a weight loss program in your community.  If not, consider starting one.  You don't need to be an expert to begin.  Simply gather friends and members of the congregation to meet and share recipes, walk or participate in other physical activities, and communicate about diet successes and failures.  The group can also follow any of my free e-courses together and support each other through the process.

And remember to connect with me on Facebook, on Twitter, at Google+ and through my newsletter.

(photo source: morguefile)

Healthy Monday Tip: Manage Holiday Stress to Avoid Overeating

Monday April 14, 2014

holiday stressThis week, millions of families will join together to celebrate Passover or Easter.  For some dieters, the gatherings cause stress,.  Holiday schedules can make sticking to your workout routine a little bit harder and navigating meal time can be tricky.

Get Diet Support

If you are trying to lose weight, don't be afraid to ask for help.  If there is one thing that successful "losers" have told me repeatedly it's that they would not have lost weight if they didn't learn to reach out to friends and family for support, especially during holiday gatherings.  Sound scary?  Use these ideas to approach your loved ones.

If you are preparing the holiday meal, don't be afraid to add a few healthy holiday items to your table.  If you are visiting someone else's home, call ahead to see if the host or hostess would be willing to add a diet friendly dish or two that you prepare.

Get Creative to Manage Snacks and Sweet Treats

Another tactic that I often use is to modify the 80/20 Rule (my favorite eating plan) for daily use.  So, instead of indulging throughout the whole day, I choose an hour or two to make more relaxed food choices.  Then I stick to a clean diet during the rest of the day.  I also like to keep large glass pitchers of orange/basil water around because they look festive and help me avoid unhealthy snacks.

Got a tip to avoid overeating?  Share it on my Facebook page!

(photo source: Jessica Miller)

Let's Get Honest About Honey, Says FDA

Thursday April 10, 2014

is honey good for your diet?If you use honey to sweeten your food or drinks, new guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration should make buying the product a little bit easier.  The FDA has drafted guidelines to clarify the use of the word "honey."  According to the new recommendations, manufacturers that blend corn syrup, sugar or other products with honey will have to say so on the label.

Is Honey Good for My Diet?

Honey, blended or otherwise, may or may not be the best choice for dieters. Some healthy eaters prefer to avoid artificial sweeteners and choose natural alternatives instead.  This isn't necessarily a bad idea since some researchers are finding that use of artificial sweeteners may cause you to crave more sweet foods in the long run.  But that doesn't mean that honey or other natural sugars are good for you, especially when consumed in large quantities.  Honey is a form of sugar and eating too much sugar, natural or otherwise, can cause problems.

Reduce Your Sugar Intake

If you are trying to lose weight or clean up your eating habits, trying to reduce your sugar intake is the perfect first step.  You may not realize how much sugar you consume each day because hidden sugar is added to many foods that aren't sweet, like salad dressing and pasta sauces.  Dieters are especially vulnerable because many low-fat foods are high in sugar.

Take the quiz to find out if you consume too much sugar, then make small changes to reduce your intake, increase your energy level and lose weight.

(photo source: morguefile)

 

Are Juice Diets Safe?

Wednesday April 9, 2014

Peaches Geldof juice dietThe untimely death of 25-year old socialite Peaches Geldof has raised questions about the safety of juice diets.  According to some reports, the young mother had been trying to lose weight by drinking an all-juice diet for weeks at a time. While investigators do not know the cause of Geldof's death, a spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association told the Daily Mail that "surviving just on fruit is a dangerous diet."

Is Your Diet Safe?

Common sense is your best defense when you choose a diet.  Any weight loss plan that eliminates entire food groups or promises unrealistic results is probably not based on good science and may not be safe.  Liquid diets and/or very low calories diets (those that provide 800 calories per day or less) generally require medical supervision.

Choose a Diet that is Safe and Effective

Sometimes, quick weight loss plans can be effective in the short term.  But in most cases, weight loss plans that deliver a 1-2 pound weight loss per week and include real (solid) food from all food groups are most effective in the long run.  It might be tempting to try a trendy, extreme plan but the results usually aren't sustainable over the long run, and the diet could cause more harm than good.

Get informed before you try juicing or any other trendy weight loss plan:

(photo source: Dell Inc/Wikimedia Commons)

Jobs with High Obesity Rates Identified

Tuesday April 8, 2014

jobs with high obesty ratesProfessions with the highest obesity rates have been identified in a new study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.  The analysis evaluated various occupations, work organizations, and work-related factors to find out which job circumstances are associated with excess weight. Do you want to know if your job is on the list?

Job with High Obesity Rates

According to study authors, "employment in health care and social assistance and public administration industries, as well as architecture and engineering, community and social service, protective service, and office and administrative support occupations was also associated with increased obesity prevalence." In addition, researchers point out that working long hours (over 40 hours per week) and working in a hostile work environment were also significantly associated with an increased prevalence of obesity.

Lose Weight in Any Profession

Of course, if you are in one of the jobs listed above that doesn't mean that you are destined to gain weight or that weight loss is not possible.  But it may mean that there are certain environmental factors that affect your weight.  Workers in those fields who want to slim down may benefit from finding healthy ways to reduce stress, finding ways to  improve scheduling strategies, and by evaluating barriers to weight loss.

(photo source: Nash Photos/Getty Images)

Healthy Monday Tip: Diet Foods Can Be Bad for Dieters

Monday April 7, 2014

food facts for dietersTrying to shop for diet-friendly foods is getting more and more difficult.  Smart shoppers look for foods that are low in sugar, low in dangerous trans fat and lower in calories.  But healthy eaters also know that their food choices need to be satisfying and filling enough so that they don't over eat.  And to make matters worse, you usually can't believe what you read on the package.  Foods that are advertised to be healthy, low fat, or low calorie are sometimes not good choices for dieters.

Learn more about reading labels and understanding ingredients to find the food choices that will help you slim down faster.

(photo source: Peter Nicholson/Getty Images)

A Donut for Dieters - Worth the Calories?

Friday April 4, 2014

diet donutIf you knew that there was a donut for dieters with less fat and calories than the typical donut, would you buy it?  If you live in New York City, you'll have the chance to do so beginning in May.  And online shoppers can do it today.  HoleyDonuts.com bakes gourmet lower-calorie, low-fat donuts and ships them around the country.

Diet Donuts - Pros and Cons

I checked out the nutritional information for Holey Donuts to see how it compares to a donut that you might buy at Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kreme.   Unfortunately, the comparison can be tricky because the size of the donut can vary from brand to brand.  For example, Krispy Kreme donuts range in size from approximately 63 grams to 100 grams. According to Frank Dilullo founder of Holey Donuts,  his products are handmade so the size varies. But he estimated the size to be roughly 90-100 grams.  For comparably sized donuts, the calorie count and fat content of Holey Donuts is lower than Dunkin Donuts and Krispy Kreme.

Dieters may also be interested in the sugar content of diet donuts.  A common criticism of low-fat foods is that manufacturers lower the fat content of their products by adding excess sugar.  In the end, dieters end up less satisfied with these foods and often eat more to compensate.  So how much sugar is in Holey Donuts? Unfortunately that nutritional information is not provided by the company.

Should You Eat Diet Donuts?

If you find yourself craving a donut, and you can eat a single Holey Donut and find satisfaction, then a low-calorie, low-fat donut may be a good choice for you.  Why consume more fat and calories if you don't need to? But the trick is to eat just one. Holey Donuts still contain roughly 163- 279 calories per treat. That's still a lot of calories. And if you are trying to reduce your sugar intake to lose weight, this product may work against your efforts.

If you want to try Holey Donuts in New York City, their new bakery will open on May 1st at 101 7th Avenue South.  Readers who send an email to Holey Donuts with "NYC"  in the subject line can get pre-grand opening invites,free gift bags and more.

(photo source: morguefile)

How to Train Yourself to Make Better Food Choices

Thursday April 3, 2014

better food choicesMost of us know which foods we should eat.  And most of us know the foods we should avoid.  But when it comes to putting food on our plates and in our mouths, that knowledge usually doesn't guide our decisions.  We eat what our bodies crave.  So wouldn't it be nice if there was a way to train your body to crave healthier food?  New research reveals that there might be a way to do just that.

Exercise Trains Your Brain

A small study in England recently revealed that a bout of exercise can change the way your brain responds to food.  Researchers examined the brains of a small group of men and found that after an exercise session on a treadmill, the men viewed low fat food as a "reward."  This reward reaction did not occur after an hour of sedentary relaxation.

Boost Your Own Health Potential

Even though the study was small and limited in scope, it confirms what many of us already knew.  When we feel good about our bodies, we treat them better.  We make better food choices, we get enough sleep, and we stay active during the day.  In fact, one of my recommendations for healthy grocery shopping is to go to the store immediately after you exercise.

Exercise not only provides an endorphin high, but it provides a sense of empowerment.  It also helps to boost your self-efficacy, a tool that can help you stick to your weight loss program.  So the next time you are feeling bad about your body or you find yourself craving the wrong foods, lace up your shoes and go for a walk.  You'll burn a few calories and boost your health potential at the same time.

(photo source: Michael Hevesy/Getty Images)

Ditch Diet Drinks for Better Health

Wednesday April 2, 2014

diet sodaYou've now got one more reason to ditch your diet drink.  Postmenopausal women who drink two or more diet drinks a day may be more likely to have a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular problems, says new research that will be presented at the upcoming American College of Cardiology's 63rd Annual Scientific Session.

Diet Drinks - Bad for Your Health?

Researchers are beginning to look more closely at the relationship between diet drinks and overall health, including weight.  In the study mentioned above, scientists established a relationship between drinking diet soda and risk for a cardiovascular event.  They did not say, however, that diet drinks cause those medical problems. But some previous studies have suggested that when we drink diet soda, we don't always make good food choices.

Can Diet Drinks Help You Slim Down?

If you are currently a soda drinker, switching to a diet soda might be a good first step, especially if you are trying to lose weight.  The calories in full calorie drinks can add up quickly and can ruin your diet.  But eventually, you may want to consider reducing your intake of diet soda or eliminating it altogether.  Not only will you save money, but if you can replace your soda habit with a water habit, you'll improve your health.

Want a little more incentive? Learn more about drinking soda, then learn how to make your own delicious flavored water.

(photo source: Arker/Morguefile)

 

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