Losing Weight, the Healthy Way

Being overweight, mostly obese, is not something to take lightly. Studies show that obesity is a serious health challenge, that continues to impact more and more of the population with each year. In December of 2020, the Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC), released a study from 2017-2018, stated the age-adjusted prevalence of obesity in adults was 42.4%. Another study from 2019, showed about 18.5% of children ages 2 to 19, living in the United States, were obese. In a Harvard study from 2020, it had referenced an average of one out of every three adults is obese, which is about 36% of the population in the United States alone. 

What’s your BMI?

What does it mean to be obese? 

To be diagnosed as obese, the body mass index (BMI), waist circumference measurements, and other symptoms are measured. The BMI factors in the height, body weight, gender, and age. Normally, a BMI of 30 or higher, and a waist measurement of over 35-40 inches, often indicates obesity. Obesity is considered a medical condition, which is a result of the excess amount of body fat. Having too much body fat can increase the risk for health problems and contributes to problems of its own. 

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What causes obesity? 

The most common and well accepted reasons linked to obesity is due to reduced physical activity and fast food. But there is evidence the main causes of obesity is largely circumstantial. To understand more about the causes of obesity, read my article, “10 Possible Causes of the Obesity Epidemic.” Most causes can be reduced and even eliminated. Regardless, obesity is a serious issue that shouldn’t be ignored. 

Can it be prevented? 

One way to prevent this scenario is to make people aware of the risks of being overweight or obese.  

Here are some diseases that you are putting yourself in risk of if you are carrying a lot of extra pounds:  

  • heart disease 
  • stroke  
  • diabetes 
  • cancer 
  • arthritis 
  • hypertension 

Losing weight helps to prevent and control these diseases.  

The quick weight loss methods which have spread like fire these days do not provide lasting results. Often, dieting methods which involve dietary drinks, foods and supplements or pills do not work. If they do, the results are just temporary.  

It is better to rely on a healthy weight loss option which will provide lifetime results. You must set realistic goals and not expect to lose a lot of pounds in a short span of time.   

Here are some tips on how you can lose those unwanted pounds the healthy way: 

1.   Do not starve yourself.  

The key to a healthier way of losing weight is: Do not diet.  

You may seem happy and feel that you are losing those unwanted flabs on your belly and thighs by skipping meals. But remember that this would not last long. Your body cannot tolerate having insufficient food to fuel the energy that you use up every day.  

If you get used to skipping one or two meals a day, your stored calories will be used up instead of the energy that should have been provided by your meals. So, if you just eat one huge sandwich in one day, it will end up straight to your problem area (i.e. highs, buttocks, hips).  

2.  Start your day right.  

As the say, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. Have a healthy meal in the morning to jump-start your metabolism.  

Your food intake after you wake up will be used to burn fat all day long. 

3.  Eat small, healthy meals frequently.  

Five small-serving snacks per day is better than three hearty meals. Eating more frequently, and in small servings, can prevent overeating. This will also increase your metabolism and make calories burn faster.  

4.  Decide on how much weight you want to lose.  

Keep your goals realistic. In the long run, it is virtually impossible for you to lose 40 pounds in 2 weeks. Have a mindset that you want to eat healthy to stay healthy for the rest of your life.  

Once you have decided on a weight loss plan or program, stick to it and make sure that you follow your own set of dieting rules.   

5.  Drink lots of water.  

Your body needs enough water to burn fat and keep your cells hydrated and healthy.  

6.  Avoid too much sugar.  

Plan your meals around lots of fruits and vegetables, some bread, rice or pasta for that carbo fix that you need, plus lean meat and protein rich foods. Sweets, sodas and pastries should be once-in-a-while indulgences only. 

7.  Watch your fat intake.  

Fat is not the culprit to being overweight. You need this to keep your weight at the proper level.  

There is such a thing as healthy fats. Olive, peanuts and canola oil have them. Tuna, salmon and mackerel have omega-3 fats which is good for the heart.   

8.  Exercise.  

Leave your car if you are only going a few blocks from home, take the stairs instead of the elevator, jog, cycle or skate. Use these activities and other home chores if you are too lazy to go to the gym and take exercise classes. Make sure that you do this regularly and you will not even notice that you are already shedding pounds with these mundane activities.  

It does not matter how much weight you plan or need to lose. What is important is that you set realistic goals for yourself.  

Go slow. If you have already lost 5 or 6 pounds, give yourself a break then try to lose the next 5 pounds.  

Eat healthy, drink lots of water, have enough sleep and exercise. This will give you a higher chance of losing weight and improving your health, which would result in a new, healthier you.  

A Healthy Diet and Lifestyle is Key to Fighting Obesity

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DISCLAIMER:  

This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read. 

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10 Possible Causes of the Obesity Epidemic

It’s well accepted that reduced physical activity and fast food are linked to obesity. But the evidence that these are the main causes of obesity is largely circumstantial. To stimulate debate, experts suggest 10 other possible causes of obesity, outlined in the International Journal of Obesity.

  1. Sleep debt. Getting too little sleep can increase body weight. Today, many get less shut eye than ever.
  2. Pollution. Hormones control body weight. And many of today’s pollutants affect our hormones.
  3. Air conditioning. You have to burn calories if your environment is too hot or too cold for comfort. But more people than ever live and work in temperature-controlled homes and offices.
  4. Decreased smoking. Smoking reduces weight. People smoke much less than they used to.
  5. Medicine. Many different drugs including contraceptives, steroid hormones, diabetes drugs, some antidepressants, and blood pressure drugs can cause weight gain. Use of these drugs is on the upswing.
  6. Population age, ethnicity. Middle-aged people and Hispanic-Americans tend to be more obese than young European-Americans. Americans are getting older and more Hispanic.
  7. Older moms. There’s some evidence that the older a woman is when she gives birth, the higher her child’s risk of obesity. Women are giving birth at older and older ages.
  8. Ancestors’ environment. Some influences may go back two generations. Environmental changes that made a grandparent obese may “through a fetal driven positive feedback loop” visit obesity on the grandchildren.
  9. Obesity is linked to fertility. There is some evidence obese people are more fertile than lean ones. If obesity has a genetic component, the percentage of obese people in the population should increase.
  10. Unions of obese spouses. Obese women tend to marry obese men, and if obesity has a genetic component, there will be still more obese people in the next generation.

These other contributing factors deserve more attention and study. Even more explanations include: a fat-inducing virus; increases in childhood depression; less consumption of dairy products; and hormones used in agriculture. What do you think can be attributed to the epidemic?

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DISCLAIMER:  

This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read. 

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10 Ways To Sneak Some Extra Fruits And Vegetables In Your Family’s Diet

We all know by now that we should be eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. But knowing and doing are two different things, aren’t they? Sometimes it is just not easy to get them all in there. We are constantly tempted to fill up on convenience and junk food. You may have a family that would prefer to grab a bag of chips or a bowl of rice or pasta instead of trying an apple or a plate of steamed broccoli. So, we’ll have to get creative. Here are a few ideas to “sneak” some extra vegetables and fruits in your family’s diet.

Girl eating candy and potato chips of the laptop. Unhealthy eating child at the computer.

1. Start the day with a breakfast smoothie. All you must do is throw some fruits, low-fat, non-dairy yogurt and ice in a blender. You may also want to add a scoop of protein powder in there for good measure. Just blend for a few seconds and you have the perfect breakfast ready to go. I like to sip mine in a thermal cup on the way to work. To make it even more appealing for your kids, use some frozen non-dairy yogurt or a scoop of non-dairy ice cream in the smoothie. They won’t believe that you are letting them have ice cream for breakfast.

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2. Dried fruit makes an excellent snack any time of the day. Add some small cartons of raisins to your child’s lunch box, pack some goji berries, or dried cranberries in your husband’s briefcase and keep some trail mix sitting around for snacking. You can also add dried fruit to oatmeal and cereal in the morning. My family loves banana chips in their breakfast cereal.

3. Add some fruits and vegetables to your family’s sandwiches. You can add some banana, sliced apples or strawberry slices to any nut butter sandwich. Top a seitan sandwich with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and anything else they will eat. You can even make a sub shop style vegetable sandwich by combining several different vegetables with some vegan mayonnaise and non-dairy cheese on bread.

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4. Have a salad bar at dinner. Set out a variety of chopped vegetables, some non-dairy cheese and croutons as well as several choices of salad dressing along with the lettuce and let everybody create their own perfect salad.

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5. Let them drink their fruits and vegetables. Keep an assortment of fruit and vegetable juices in the fridge and encourage everyone to drink them as a snack. Get creative. You could start “family cocktail hour” by pouring everybody a glass of his or her favorite juice over ice. Add some straws, cocktail umbrellas and sit together to talk about how everybody’s day went.

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6. Try this for dessert. Put a small scoop of non-dairy ice cream or frozen non-dairy yogurt in a bowl and top it with lots of fresh or frozen fruit.

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7. Offer fruits and vegetables as snacks. You can cut apples into slices and top them with nut butter or non-dairy cheese. Freeze grapes, as another fun and healthy snack. Cut up some fresh veggies and serve them with homemade dip. And of course, there’s ants on a log. Spread some nut butter on the inside of a stick of celery and sprinkle raisins on it (wow, fruit and vegetable in one snack).

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8. Try some new fruits and vegetables. Pick something exotic to get your family’s curiosity. With a little luck their curiosity will outweigh their initial apprehension to trying something new. You could try artichokes, plantains, papaya, mango, star fruit, or anything else you can find in the produce department of your local store.

9. Make a pot of vegetable soup or a stew that’s heavy on veggies and easy on the meat. Both make some great comfort food when the weather gets cold.

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10. Start “My Veggie Day”. Each family member gets to pick a vegetable one day of the week. They qualify to pick a vegetable if they tried each vegetable the week before, otherwise they lose a turn and Mom gets to pick.

Incorporate a few of these ideas and you will have everyone in your family eating more fruits and vegetables in no time.

Here is another tip:

Now that everyone in the family has gotten a taste for it, make sure you always have plenty of fresh fruits and veggies available and ready to snack on.

African girl feeding dad in kitchen, giving him cherry tomato while cooking salad, copy space

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DISCLAIMER:

This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.

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Elements of Good Nutrition

With the amount of information that exists about good nutrition, you would think it was a big mystery. The truth of the matter is, there is no mystery involved in getting the proper nutrients that your body needs. Why should you care about getting the proper nutrients? Many people are under the misconception that eating healthy is for the young because they are growing. Tissue and cells are constantly being renewed in both children and adults. The failure for these elements to repair themselves can result in diseases of lifelong misery or worse, death. To lower your risk of developing a disease, you simply need to follow three simple steps of good nutrition. 

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Proper Hydration

Plain and simple, your body needs water. Being properly hydrated will benefit you from head to toe. Water keeps your cells hydrated and flowing throughout your body. It doesn’t take long to witness the benefits of drinking enough water. Just a week of being hydrated and your skin will have a new glow. If you need to lose weight, water can help you achieve your goal. In many instances, people misinterpret thirst for hunger. Unless it’s been a few hours since you have eaten, have a glass of water the next time you have hunger pains.

There are numerous guidelines for how much water to drink. Consuming eight glasses of water each day is the most popular guideline. People have different needs. A better indication of how hydrated you are is your urine. When you are properly hydrated your urine is almost clear. There is the possibility of water intoxication, so you don’t want your urine to be completely colorless.

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Eating Healthy

In addition to being hydrated, you need to eat a variety of foods. Forget fad diets that restrict certain foods. The key to healthy eating is to eat in moderation and variety. Your food choices should include a large percentage from complex carbohydrates, which is enough for energy. You should also consume several servings of fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy every day. You should limit your servings of protein and fats to two or three servings each day. By including all of these food groups in your diet, you are less likely to be hungry or have cravings for sweets and other non-nutritional foods.

Vitamin Supplementation

If you live in a country where food is plentiful and produced safely, you should have no problem obtaining the number of vitamins and minerals your body needs. However, food allergies, dislikes, and illness may prevent you from eating certain foods. Some people, for example, are lactose intolerant and cannot consume dairy products. In these instances, supplementation should become a part of a plan for healthy nutrition. You don’t need a prescription to purchase vitamins, but it is a good idea to discuss your needs with your medical doctor. Consuming excessive amounts of some vitamins can cause toxicity and unpleasant side effects.

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DISCLAIMER:

This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.

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ALL ABOUT VITAL WHEAT GLUTEN – THE BEST “MEAT ALTERNATIVE” INGREDIENT FOR VEGANS

Sometimes being vegan can be challenging. I miss certain animal-based proteins. Not often, but sometimes. In fact, occasionally I’ll miss eating a good steak. That’s where vital wheat gluten comes in. Vital wheat gluten is the main ingredient in seitan, which is the perfect vegan source to create my favorite “meat” dishes. Not only is seitan one of the best meat alternative sources, it’s also a healthy alternative.

Vital Wheat Gluten is low in fat, and low in carbs, but high on protein – which helps you maintain healthy weight. Because of the very low-fat nutrient Vital Wheat Gluten has, it can contribute to maintaining reasonable cholesterol levels.

It’s true that Vital wheat gluten is not so great for persons with gluten intolerance. So, be mindful if you are on a gluten-free diet. Otherwise, Vital Wheat Gluten is a healthful alternative to animal-based proteins and has zero soy. Most tend to think of wheat as a carb, forgetting that wheat is a good source of protein. In fact, it’s about 15% protein – which is mostly in the form of gluten. Vital Wheat Gluten is the protein source.

Vital Wheat Gluten is sold in powder form, like flour. It’s the key ingredient for making seitan, which to me, is one of the healthiest meat alternatives you can use. The gluten is what makes the seitan’s texture chewy, and provides a nice meaty texture, binding all the ingredients together. It’s amazing how like steak the texture of prepared seitan is. Besides seitan, Vital Wheat Gluten can be found as an ingredient in soy-based sausages, burgers, and other meat alternatives. One of the best brands of Vital Wheat Gluten I have found on the market, is packaged, and sold by Anthony’s Goods. Anthony’s offers a variety of organic, and natural, flours, meals, and food. “I absolutely love their products!” If you’d like to try wheat gluten, I highly recommend choosing Anthony’s Goods brand. Use my affiliate link and save some money while you are at it!

ALL ABOUT SEITAN

As I mentioned earlier in this post, the main ingredient in Seitan is Vital Wheat. Seitan is most frequently used as a meat alternative in vegetarian and vegan diets. It’s a great substitute for meat, as it’s stringy, and chewy in texture. Seitan can be marinated, baked, fried, and cut into slices and chunks. Although you can find a variety of premade brands of seitan on the market, preparing your own is truly the best. It’s not only healthier, but the experience in preparing seitan is quite unique. Seitan is easy to make. It’s made by mixing the vital wheat gluten powder (or flour) with water or vegetable stock, and mixing it well, dissolving and removing most of the starch and fiber, then forming it into a sticky, elastic doughy mass of protein. Usually, you further cook the gluten dough balls in hot boiling water till they rise somewhat, and then drain and cook however you choose. Obviously, you will want to flavor your seitan prior to complete cooking, depending upon what you are creating with the seitan. Check out my seitan recipe here.

I hope you give Vital Wheat Gluten a try and make your own seitan. It’s a great source of lean plant-based protein, and a healthy alternative to eating meat. Be sure to purchase your own bag of Anthony’s Goods Vital Wheat Protein, by using my link.

Peace! 😊
Debbie

FREE 3-Day Mini-Course Green Smoothie Program

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Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution!

Famous Chef Jamie Oliver recently won the 2010 TED award for his work with creating a “Food Revolution!” to stomp out child obesity. His “thank you” speech is incredibly motivating and touching. He is truly a new and conscious healthy food leader! Please checkout the YouTube.com video below. When you’re done, link here to learn more about Jamie Oliver’s mission!

Jamie Oliver’s Wish
“I wish for your help to create a strong, sustainable movement to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook again and empower people everywhere to fight obesity.”