~ by Jo Jordan
“There are no good or bad foods; there are just good portions,” says Jaime Brenkus, certified Health and Fitness Instructor with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and creator of supermodel Kathy Ireland’s award-winning fitness video, Bodyspecifics and Reach.
We’re fat. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says 64 million American women over 20 are overweight, and 34 million are considered obese.1
For men and children, the picture is just as bleak; 17 percent of children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years were overweight, and 32 percent of American adult men aged 20 years or older are considered obese.
An estimated 300,000 deaths a year in the U.S. are directly related to obesity and an overweight population. Obesity costs the health care system in excess of $100 billion each year. The negative health effects of obesity are staggering…being overweight predisposes you to:
Type 2 diabetes
High blood pressure
Why Diets And Weight Loss Gimmicks Don’t Work!
With every possible kind of diet out there being promoted as effective, why do we continue to be overweight? The answer is simple. Diets don’t work. In fact, a diet will simply inspire your faithful body to pack on even more weight – if you cut back on the basics, such as carbohydrates, the animal instinct will kick in, triggering your body to bulk up…your head will think your body is starving!
“When you do not eat, [your body] assumes that you are in a time of famine and sends a red alert to your adrenals to release adrenaline and cortisol,” explains Dr. Jesse Hanley, M.D., public speaker, instructor, and co-author of Tired of Being Tired.
“Adrenaline releases emergency energy from sugar stored in your liver and muscles, and cortisol breaks down your own muscle mass to turn it into sugar.”3
So while overeating contributes to being overweight and an examination of our eating habits is necessary, it’s not so much that we need to put down our forks and spoons altogether; instead, we need to find ways to balance what we’re taking in.
7 (Easy) Steps To Managing Weight Loss: A Multi-pronged Approach
“If you want to be lean, you have to tweak your habits,” explains Brenkus, developer of the comprehensive weight loss clinic, ‘Doctor’s Weigh’. “Lean people lead lean lives. Developing new regimens will make weight control a non-issue in your life. And it shouldn’t be painful or unpleasant!”
Step 1: Advanced Supplementation And Weight Loss
One of the reasons we don’t lose weight and continue to overeat is that our bodies are starved for proper nutrients. With today’s Standard American Diet consisting mainly of processed, junk, and fake foods, our bodies are so depleted of life-giving nutrients that they panic, send out cravings for more food, and immediately burn up anything good, including muscle, in a scramble to find nourishment. Even as the most overweight, developed nation on the planet, Americans are actually nutrient starved.
So the first step in making changes that will move you toward weight loss is to incorporate a multi-vitamin into your daily regimen. Advanced supplementation is the foundation of good health, and works in conjunction with weight loss management. With a strong multi-vitamin in your corner, your body will be able to rejuvenate itself, and you’ll soon be ready to move into the next phase of managing your weight – one step closer to the goal you’re trying to achieve.
Step 2: Colon Cleansing And Weight Loss
If you’re eating three meals a day and two or three snacks, and only passing stool three or four times a week, well, you do the math. Imagine the burden all this food waste is putting on your gastrointestinal (GI) system…not to mention the excess “waste weight” you’re carrying around with you.
Considering much of what we eat is junk and processed food, devoid of actual nutrition, it’s practically waste before it even gets to our forks! So it’s crucial to use a good colon cleansing program to cleanse your colon of the toxins and accumulated wastes from processed food to enable your body to better absorb nutrients and vitamins.
Since many cravings are inspired by food deficiencies, a colon cleanse may also help reduce the desire for sugary and fatty treats; between the advanced supplementation and colon cleansing, you’ll be getting more of the vital nutrients your body needs. You’ll feel light and refreshed, and will have the energy you need to be more active. You may even be more motivated to make healthier food choices, and lose more weight!
Step 3: Weight Loss With Perfect Portions
We all want to eat what we love and still maintain a healthy weight, or lose weight. There’s a simple way to accomplish this: eat what you want, but ensure your food is proportioned correctly.
“Imagine that your plate is divided into quarters – it ought to contain one quarter protein, and three quarters complex carbohydrates,” explains Brenkus, whose Perfect Portions tool was approved by former Surgeon General, C. Everett Koop’s ‘Shape Up America’.
The concept behind proportioning perfectly is founded in solid, scientific research. Brenkus developed this simple tool – based on behavior modification – in collaboration with a certified dietician. It’s designed to assist people in measuring balanced proportions of the food they love, including choices from every food group, for each meal.
“It’s vital to include all food groups in each meal,” says Brenkus, who is currently designing the Slim-Fast Virtual Fitness Trainer program. “Any time you cut out food groups you’re in trouble, you lose balance, and get out of whack. Your body needs all kinds of food – even fats and complex carbs.
“But if you’re not a dietician balancing can be confusing, so we came up with Perfect Proportions as the perfect solution.”
What Does a Perfect Portion Look Like? Size
Instead of a 10oz steak, eat a 3oz steak Deck of cards
1 serving pasta Your fist
1 pancake A Compact Disc (CD)
1 serving steamed broccoli (1/2 cup) Standard light bulb
1 cup of soup A baseball
1 baked potato A computer mouse
1 serving of cake A 3×3 post-it stack
1 tsp of butter The tip of your thumb
1 tbsp of dressing Half golf ball
1 serving cooked rice (1/2 cup) A cupcake wrapper
Step 4: Weight Loss And Exercise – Less is More
Like many things in life, we often avoid exercising when trying to lose weight because we imagine it will be too difficult, that it requires more time than we could possibly find during our busy days, or that we have to be perfect at it for it to work.
But what if perfection weren’t a pre-requisite, and the task wasn’t time-consuming, or difficult? Brenkus and many other health and fitness experts stress the “Less Is More” philosophy when it comes to exercise and weight loss. After all, you don’t have to be as buff as Arnold Schwarzenegger to be fit. If you’re smart about your choices, you can implement activity into your life without even thinking about it.
“We’ve learned that the key to exercise is cumulative,” explains Brenkus, creator of the 8 Minute Abs work out videos. “Mini-bouts of exercise could be better for you than long periods of strenuous exercise. Activity throughout the day keeps your metabolism going, so instead of 30 minutes every day, try three 10-minute stints when trying to stay fit or lose weight.
“If we can get in the little bits, it’s better than nothing. If we can encourage people to move just a little, we have increased their chance of success immensely.”
Brenkus recommends some little things you can build into your daily regimen when exercising to stay fit and lose weight:
Lose the remote control – only your thumb is getting a work out!
Have fewer wastebaskets around the house.
Walk to the farthest bathroom.
If possible, do a set number of deep knee bends, push ups, or sit ups each time you use the bathroom.
Use only one phone in the house – the one you have to walk to.
Get a head set for your phone, and walk around while you’re talking – you’ll burn more energy standing than you will sitting.
Walk to the store to get milk.
Park in the farthest spot from the door to whatever place you’re visiting.
Skip the elevator or escalator and take the stairs.
Brenkus’s 8 Minute Abs videos have helped millions of people lose weight and get fit because it is something we can do in spite of our hurried lifestyles. If you want to lose weight, it’s vital to tone stomach muscles. Regular stomach exercises may help you achieve better posture, lower back flexibility, and improved digestion.
But exercise does more than burn fat, help you lose weight and strengthen your muscles. It can help you clear your mind, reduce your stress and, once you get started, you will have more energy to do all the other things you love to do.
Step 5: Weight Loss And Hydration
Say Goodbye To Soda If You Want to Lose Weight
Many of us were raised on Pepsi and Mountain Dew, but one of the best things you can do for both your teeth and your weight loss goals is to knock off the soda. Bodies need hydration to stay slim, and caffeine-containing sodas have diuretic properties that may actually work to dehydrate your body.
A Harvard study links soft drinks with the doubling of obesity in children in recent years. A single serving of many soft drinks contains more sugar than the total amount recommended by the USDA, which is 10 teaspoons daily. One 12-ounce regular soda, for example, contains 10 to 12 teaspoons of sugar! And some sodas contain monosodium glutamate (MSG), which can play a role in stimulating the appetite.
Increase Water Intake And Lose Weight
Ensure that your water intake is equal to one-half of your body weight in ounces. Adding water to your diet can have a number of benefits, including fostering a feeling of fullness that may reduce your appetite, and lead to weight loss. Drinking more water also ensures adequate hydration in the colon, which helps to relieve constipation. You will lighten your load by ridding yourself of waste more regularly.
Step 6: Increased Fiber Intake Can Help You Lose Weight
Tufts University, Massachusetts, reports that a high-fiber diet results in three times more weight loss than a low-fiber diet. Why? Because as fiber passes through your intestines, it actually carries fat and calories out, preventing your body from breaking down and absorbing some of the fat and cholesterol you ingest.
Fiber also slows digestion and the absorption of glucose, which facilitates your cells in burning sugar for energy rather than storing it as fat, and causing weight gain. By regulating insulin levels, hunger is controlled, and you’ll eat less as a result, and lose weight. Fiber requires more chewing than other foods, which triggers the body’s sense of feeling full. This is important because the brain is ten minutes behind the stomach when it comes to satiation, so by the time you feel full you’ve likely already overeaten.
You can also increase your fiber with Preserve, a psyllium-based supplement. This can help balance out your low-fiber consumption days. For more on fiber, checkout the fiber chart, and our article: The Secret To Weight Loss and Smart Foods articles.
Step 7: Food: The Most Vital Component Of Any Weight Loss Goal!
“Eat, eat, eat, all day long – graze your way to weight loss,” says Dr. Jesse Hanley, M.D., public speaker, instructor, and co-author of Tired of Being Tired.4
It is essential to eat a balanced diet, drawing from the five basics food groups:
Fats, Oils, and Sweets
Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese
Meat, Poultry, Fish, Beans, Eggs, and Nuts
Vegetables and Fruits
Breads, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta
The key to weight loss and weight management is portion control, and eating a variety of foods. Learn about Smart Foods, and how they work to promote weight loss.
Forget About Low-fat Food And Start Eating To Lose Weight
America’s obsession with low fat, low carbohydrate diets to lose weight merely encourages healthy eaters to fear good, nutritional food, and often results in unwanted weight gain, rather than weight loss.
Diets can affect the body as negatively as packing around extra pounds. Many diets deplete the immune system, lead to a breakdown of muscle, and rarely succeed in healthy, long-term, weight loss.
Fats, for example, are an essential part of a healthy diet. Simply cutting them out can have the same, equally devastating side effects as being overweight.
As the American humorist Fran Lebowitz so wisely quipped, “Food is an important part of a balanced diet.” So take it from both keen observers of human folly and savvy health experts, bodies need to eat…even if they want to lose weight!
References: 1. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Obesity and Weight Loss, article on www.4women.gov/faq/weightloss.htm#1.2. Ogden C., Carroll M., Curtin L., McDowell M., Tabak C., and Flegal K., Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity in the United States, 1999 – 2004, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) 2006;295:1549-1555. 3. Hanley, J.L. and Deville, N., Tired of Being Tired, Berkley Publishing Group, NY, 2001. (p. 62) 4. Hanley, J.L. and Deville, N., Tired of Being Tired, Berkley Publishing Group, NY, 2001. (p. 61)