MORE Weight Loss Plateau Busters!

If you’ve read my first article entitled “Busting Through Weight Loss Plateaus,” then you’ve already received some major ammunition to use in combatting the bulge. However, there is still so much more you can do to make your progress even better. Now is not the time to come up with excuses and just allow those extra pounds to accumulate—You worked hard to get those first inches off!!  If anything, this is a time to get some of your best results yet!

That being said, what better time could there be for the second article on “Busting Through Weight Loss Plateaus?” That’s right! Here is article number two. It is jam-packed full of new information and strategies for busting through those stubborn plateaus and getting your weight down to the digits your desiring. Everything you’re about to read is backed by science and practical application. Sources are cited as well as additional supporting links for your enjoyment.

I hope you find these strategies both informative and helpful in your journey to live a healthier and leaner life.  

  “15 ways to Bust Through Weight Loss Plateaus”

 

According to Brian Wansink PhD, author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think (www.mindlesseating.org), and director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University, it is our minds that control our eating habits, not our stomachs—and our minds do not always do a good job of making food decisions. Brian says, “Most people put on weight because their minds don’t accurately keep track of how much they have eaten, not because they lack the willpower to put down their forks.” Brian has done extensive research on the psychological reasons we eat.

Based on his findings, Brian recommends the following suggestions as ways of helping to drop the weight:

1.       If it looks like a small meal, it feels like a small meal.

“Our eyes, not our stomachs, tell us when we’re full.” Studies consistently showed that those eating on eight-inch dinner plates consumed 20-35% fewer calories than those eating on twelve- inch plates. Because their portions looked smaller, those eating on twelve-inch plates were certain that they hadn’t eaten any more than usual because their portions looked smaller.

What to do: “Use smaller plates, bowls and spoons if you want to eat less. Drink from tall, thin glasses—not short, fat ones—so you will think you are drinking more. When possible, serve food over a bed of lettuce so that the plate looks full.”

 

 

2.       We feel full when there’s visual evidence that we have had a lot to eat.

Graduate students given chicken wings to eat while watching the Super Bowl were split into two groups. One group had their chicken wing bones cleared away from the table as soon as they finished eating each one, while the other group’s bones were left on the table.

Students with the bones removed ate an average of six wings apiece. Students with the bones visible only ate an average of four apiece.

 

What to do: “When you’re eating—particularly when snacking—leave out candy wrappers, peanut shells and other evidence of snacking so that your eyes can warn you about how much you have eaten.” Just imagine how many fewer cookies or chips you would eat if you wrote down a number for each cookie or chip consumed…try it!

 

 

3.       When there’s no distance to the food, there’s no thinking before eating.

“Office workers consumed an average of nine Hershey’s Kisses per day when we put bowls of the chocolate candies on their desks. Their consumption dropped by more than 50% when these bowls were positioned just six feet away. Six feet is only two steps, but even a short distance forces us to think twice before we eat.

 

What to do: “At home, fill individual plates at the stove, and leave the leftovers on the stove or a sideboard. The more hassle t is to eat, the less we eat. You will have fewer additional helpings if you must stand up to get them. A bowl of salad or vegetables can be brought to the dinner table because second helpings of these foods won’t add many calories. With snack foods, pour a serving into a bowl rather than eating straight from the bag. Then if you want more, you have to go to the kitchen to get it.” Put leftovers in the fridge immediately after taking your servings. If the food is cold and wrapped, you are less likely to get second helpings. Upon completing your meal, go brush your teeth. You’ll feel less inclined to eat again with clean teeth.

 

 

4.        Strategies 4-9 are from Mehmet C. Oz, MD, medical director of the Integrated Medical Center and director of the Cardiovascular Institute of New York-Presbyterian Medical Center and professor and vice chairman of surgery at Columbia University, both in New York City, is coauthor, with Michael F. Roizen, MD, of You On a Diet: The Owner’s Manual for Waist management. Free Press.

According to them, one way to increase your metabolism is to “spice up” your meals with cayenne and other forms of red pepper. They contain capsaicin, “a substance that suppresses appetite signals, increases metabolism and decreases the desire for food later in the day.”

 

 

5.       Consuming fiber early in the day increases the level of “appetite- suppressing signals in the small intestine. Eating fiber early in the day makes people less hungry in the afternoon—the time when most of us tend to eat snacks and other calorie dense foods. Consume about 30 grams of fiber daily in the form of high fiber cereals, fruits and vegetables, and 100% whole grains.

 

 

6.       Eat your healthy fats (i.e. monounsaturated fats found in raw nuts) and fiber first at your meals before the carbs! Monounsaturated fats stimulate “the production of cholecystokinin (CCK), a chemical messenger that slows the rate at which the stomach empties and reduces appetite without putting your body into starvation mode—that is, the point at which it starts conserving calories, rather than burning them.” Before each meal, a great combination of fat and fiber is a salad with avocado slices. You can also use fish oil or raw nuts. One of the benefits of slowing down the emptying of the contents of the stomach into the small intestine is better blood sugar control—this equals more energy and fewer of your calories being converted to fat. This is why those who follow a low glycemic eating plan can often eat foods that are a bit sweeter as long as some fat is present. Ice cream, while not a health food by any means, actually has a quite moderate effect on raising blood sugar levels. However, low fat ice creams tend to spike blood sugar even more. This is simply because the fat was removed. According to Steven G. Aldana, PhD, Brigham Young University, “People who increase their intake of mono and polyunsaturated fats and cut back on saturated fat can achieve drops in cholesterol that are comparable to those achieved by taking statin drugs. Improvements in cholesterol translate into a 12% to 44% reduction in the risk of heart disease and stroke. Get 20% of total daily calories from healthful fats (in olive oil, nuts, fish, etc.). Limit saturated fat (in butter, red meat, whole milk, etc.) to 10% or less.

 

 

7.       Turn up the thermostat. One reason that people tend to eat more during the cold months is that cold temperatures stimulate the appetite. Also, people with naturally low body temperatures tend to have a slower metabolism and are more prone to weight gain. Staying warm may be a natural form of weight control, particularly if you increase body temperature with exercise. Every one degree increase in body temperature increases metabolism by 14%.”

 

 

8.       Smell grapefruit. Grapefruit oil, available from aromatherapy shops, emits an aroma that is thought to affect liver enzymes and help promote weight loss. In preliminary research, animals exposed to grapefruit scent for 15 minutes, three times weekly, had a reduction in appetite and body weight.”

 

 

9.       Control emotional stress. People who live with chronic stress (due to family pressures, fast-job, etc.) produce high levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that increases the propensity for the omentum—a structure located near the stomach—to store fat. Excessive fat in the omentum can significantly increase waist size. Exercise is among the best ways to lower stress—and curb accumulations of omentum fat.” I personally find church to be a great stress reliever as well. There is beautiful music, friendly and supportive people, prayerful meditation, and a chance to just sit still and relax. I hope you find time to get to some place like this at least once a week.

 

 

10.   According to Carl Johnston, PhD, professor and chair, department of nutrition, Arizona State University, Mesa, and leader of a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, “Vitamin C helps you burn more fat when you exercise.

 

People who took 500 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C daily burned 39% more fat while exercising than people who took less. Since it is difficult to get enough vitamin C just from fruits and vegetables, take a vitamin C supplement to be sure you get at least 500 mg per day.”   http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/life/main/6685464.html

 

 

11.   Increase fiber. According to Steven G. Aldana, PhD, Brigham Young University, “For every 10 grams (g) of fiber you consume per day, your risk of heart attack goes down by 14% and risk of death from heart disease drops by 27%. People who eat as little as two servings of fiber-rich whole grains daily can reduce their risk of stroke by 36%. Fiber rich foods also reduce colon cancer risk. Fiber speeds digested food through the intestine and reduces the time that the colon is exposed to carcinogens. It also binds to excess estrogen and promotes its excretion in stool—this is important for preventing estrogen-dependent breast cancers. Fiber causes a drop in LDL cholesterol and reduces the risk of atherosclerosis, blockages in the arteries that promote heart disease. Get at least 25 g to 30 g fiber daily. Whole grains are good sources.

 

 

12.   Don’t eat in front of the TV!!! Studies show that people who engage in “mindless” eating take in far more calories. Jack LaLanne recommends exercising instead. He says, “Scoot down in your chair and hold on to the sides. Bring one knee to your chest, then the other, alternating and pumping like you’re riding a bicycle. This works your abs, back, thighs, heart and lungs.” Way to go Jack!!

 

 

13.   According to Mark Stengler, ND, associate clinical professor of the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland OR, and naturopathic physician at La Jolla Whole Health Clinic, La Jolla California, as well as author of Bottom line natural Healing newsletter—www.DrStengler.com, we may all benefit from following a calorie-restricted diet. “Investigators looked at lab reports and Doppler imaging of 25 people who had been practicing calorie restriction for about 6 years. The people, ages 41 to 65, consumed an average of 1,400 to 2,000 calories a day. Their blood pressure, heart functioning and inflammatory blood markers, including C-reactive protein—a measure of inflammation in blood vessels and elsewhere in the body—were compared to those of 25 people of similar age and gender  with an intake of 2,000 to 3,000 calories per day, the amount in a typical Western diet. Researchers found that diastolic function of the heart in the calorie restricted group resembled diastolic function in people about 15 years younger.

Calorie restriction has been shown to slow aging and prolong life span in other mammals. This was the first human study to show a correlation between calorie restriction and an anti-aging effect on heart function. Researchers theorize that chronic inflammation from a typical calorie-loaded western diet, which is heavy in animal products and refined sugar but low in fruits and vegetables, causes damage to—and premature hardening of—heart muscles. More studies are needed. Keep in mind that the quality of your food choices is as important as calorie restriction. For best results, opt for fruits, vegetables, cold water fish, lean poultry, whole grains and legumes, limited red meat—and watch your portion sizes.”

 

 

14.   Use supplemental calcium and Vitamin D during this cold season to boost your immune system, increase energy, and burn fat, and even build some muscle. Vitamin D—better known as the “sunshine vitamin” is often in short supply in these cold winter months.  Check out the link for yourself!!

 

http://www.wellnessresources.com/weight/articles/calcium_and_vitamin_d_for_fat_burning/

 

15.   According to Dr. Mercola of www.mercola.com, “In 2004, a study cited in the American Diabetes Foundation’s publication Diabetes Care[i] found that taking vinegar before meals significantly increased insulin sensitivity and dramatically reduced the insulin and glucose spikes that occur after meals. The study involved 29 people, divided into three groups….

 

The results were quite significant:

•All three groups had better blood glucose readings with the vinegar than with the placebo.

•People with prediabetic symptoms benefitted the most from the vinegar, cutting their blood glucose concentrations by nearly half.

•People with diabetes improved their blood glucose levels by 25 percent with vinegar.

•People with prediabetic symptoms had lower blood glucose than the healthy participants after both drank vinegar.

A follow-up study geared at testing vinegar’s long-term effects yielded an unexpected but pleasant side effect: moderate weight loss. In this study, participants taking two tablespoons of vinegar prior to two meals per day lost an average of two pounds over the four-week period, and some lost up to four pounds.

In 2007, another study cited by WebMD involving 11 people with type 2 diabetes found taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed lowered glucose levels in the morning by 4 to 6 percent.

Although the research to date looks favorable, more studies are needed to confirm the extent of vinegar’s insulin stabilization benefits.”

This “stabilization” of blood sugar is another great way to help lose weight, burn fat, and keep energy even keel. Simply mix a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar with a small cup of warm water and sip before any sugary meal. The acid present is thought to interfere with carbohydrate digesting enzymes and therefore prevent some of them from absorbing. This means that if you compare two people eating identical meals, the person who has a small amount of raw cider vinegar before their meal will absorb fewer calories than the one who does not—bonus!!!!

You can read more about the benefits and myths surrounding raw apple cider vinegar at:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/06/02/Apple-Cider-Vinegar-Hype.aspx

 

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