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Slow it Down! Ten Days…Ten Ways

Posted on April 14, 2014 by

10 Practical Strategies for Slowing Down Your Eating

We tell you this all the time – it takes at least 17 minutes for the message to get from your stomach to your brain telling you “I’m full”.  As a result, you are likely to eat more than you really need – especially if you eat fast.  It may be easier said than done, but here are some strategies that are sure to help you slow down as you eat.  Savor the taste.  This will also make it easier to eat to live…not live to eat.

Add one of these tips each day for the next 10 days. By the end of the period you will have accumulated new healthy habits. It takes a little more than a month for a new habit to be ingrained in your routines so keep them rolling to make them stick.

  1. Sit down for all of your meals and snacks – this REALLY helps!
  2. Keep your serving bowls/platters off the kitchen table. Dish up each plate in the kitchen and watch serving sizes
  3. Put your utensils down between bites
  4. Use salad plates (no more than 10 inches in diameter) and small/baby utensils so you take small bites. Seafood or cocktail forks are ideal
  5. Cut foods into small pieces (like the size of a nickel)
  6. Count your chews – aim for 25-30 chews per bite of a dense food item like meats
  7. Use the “half plate strategy”:
    1. Divide the food on your plate into two halves
    2. Take note of the time
    3. Eat the first half of your food
    4. After the first half of your food is consumed, take note of the time again
    5. Wait until 15 minutes has passed and then eat the second half of your food
  8. If you are right handed, use your left hand to eat and vice versa
  9. Try to be the last one at the table to finish eating. How many minutes did it take?
  10. Control your eating environment – remove distractions such as TV – play mellow music, dim lights or light candles…remember to truly taste your food and savor the flavor

**Bonus – Avoid eating while driving – instead, drink water – it is a GREAT way to get your 8+ glasses of water in each day – I do this all the time!

*Adapted in parts from Parade Magazine

Are You Ready to Lose Weight?

Posted on April 11, 2014 by

Cucumber Dill Salad

Posted on April 11, 2014 by

Cucumber Dill Salad

Cucumber Dill Salad

Serve up a side of zesty crunch!

 

Ingredients

2 medium cucumbers

1 cup reduced fat sour cream

2 Tbls finely diced yellow onion

2 tsp fresh chopped dill

1 Tbls cider vinegar

Salt & pepper

 

 

Directions

  1. Peel cucumbers. Slice off ends and discard. Slice in half lengthwise and again into half-moon slices.
  2. Combine sour cream, diced onion, dill and cider vinegar in large bowl. Add cucumbers and toss to coat. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Serve ice cold and garnish with fresh dill.

 

Makes 4 servings

 

Nutrition Facts:

Calories 105

Total Fat 7g

Effective Carbohydrates 7g

Dietary Fiber 1g

Protein 3g

 

 

From The Good Carb Chef

Print Recipe: Cucumber Dill Salad

My Whole Life Has Changed and Yours Can Too!

Posted on April 09, 2014 by

Drive Thru Dilemma

Posted on April 08, 2014 by

The Hormone You Need to Understand for Weight Loss – Insulin

Posted on April 07, 2014 by

CFWLS-20110922-018webInsulin is a hormone made by the pancreas and helps keep your blood sugars in a normal range.  The higher your blood sugars go, the more insulin is released to help bring your sugar level back down.   The fasting insulin tells you how much insulin it takes to keep your blood sugar at the fasting level.  That is insulin’s main job.  It tries to keep blood sugars in a normal range.  It does this by facilitating the transfer of sugar molecules out of your blood stream and into your cells.  Subsequently, the blood sugar comes down.  But this also means that the sugar content in the cells goes up.  Your cells then need to “do something” with those sugar molecules.  The cells generally only have two choices of what to do with the sugar:  use it immediately for energy or store it for later.  Most of your cells cannot store sugar as sugar.  They must convert it to fat (which it can do very efficiently).  So if the cell does not need the sugar molecules for energy immediately, it stores them – as fat.  So…insulin is a fat storage hormone.  Insulin also does some other things which are potentially detrimental to our health:  increases cholesterol and triglycerides, increases blood pressure, and increases water retention.

The “drive through version” (reviewed in much more detail during your Weight Management University™ program) is that anything you can do that will bring insulin levels down will help your overall health.  When insulin levels come down and stay low, you mobilize fat…not store it.  And…isn’t that the point of a weight loss plan?  So the real question you have then is – How do you stay in “fat burning mode” NOT “fat storing mode”?

Fortunately, insulin is one of the few hormones which you have some control over.  Insulin only goes up when blood sugars go up – in order to bring blood sugars back down.  So the way to bring insulin levels down is to keep your blood sugars as low in the normal range as possible.  The lower you keep your blood sugars, the lower your insulin levels stay.

So what keeps blood sugars low?  The simple version – avoiding carbohydrates (especially simple, refined carbohydrates) is what keeps blood sugars low.  All carbohydrates are eventually converted to sugar molecules.  So any carbohydrate can potentially increase your blood sugar.  The bottom line to all of this is that it takes a low carbohydrate diet to bring insulin levels down.  If you aren’t sure how to make that work with your lifestyle, let us know – it’s one of our specialties.

Bacon & Cheese Squash Boats

Posted on April 04, 2014 by

Bacon & Cheese Squash Boats

Bacon & Cheese Squash Boats

Who doesn’t love bacon???

 

Ingredients

6 small to medium yellow squash

Salt & pepper

Onion powder

¾ cup shredded Cheddar cheese

4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/3 cup light sour cream

1 green onion, thinly sliced

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Cut ends off yellow squash, then cut each in half lengthwise. Place halves cut side up on baking sheet.
  3. Sprinkle squash with salt, pepper and onion powder. Top each with an even amount of cheese and crumbled bacon.
  4. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and squash has a little bit of give to the touch. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of green onion.

 

Note: You may want to scoop a small trough in the squash to create more of a boat.

Makes 6 servings

 

Nutrition Facts:

Calories 130

Total Fat 9g

Effective Carbohydrates 3.5g

Dietary Fiber 1.5g

Protein 8g

 

From The Good Carb Chef

Print Recipe: Bacon and Cheese Squash Boats

Hormone Havoc

Posted on April 02, 2014 by

What Behaviors Keep You from Losing Weight?…and what to do about them!

Posted on March 31, 2014 by

Your life tomorrowSometimes you know what to do and you know why you need to do it but somehow you can’t make it work in your life.  This is likely due to habits or behaviors that are comfortable or just “easier”.  Not many people really like change – especially if you have memories of deprivation. However, with the knowledge you have learned here, you can see that deprivation isn’t necessarily a good thing.  If you eat the right kinds of foods in the right combination, you will be quite satisfied (that is if you take the time to ask yourself if you are “really” hungry).  Couple that knowledge with changes in your behavior and you have a recipe for success!  What behaviors keep you from losing weight?  At CFWLS, here are some of the more common traits that we find prevent people from losing weight (unfortunately, there are more but don’t despair – we can help you overcome them).

  1. Level of Commitment – If you want to have good weight loss, you cannot just “kind of” try to lose weight.  You either want it or you don’t, and commitment is crucially important.  Your commitment is closely linked to your motivation which is generally linked to your short and long term goals.  So start with setting realistic goals and imagine yourself at the “finish line”.  Write your goals down and make sure they are time limited (i.e. I will lose 10 pounds in 5 weeks and decrease my body fat by 1%).  Post the goal where you will see it a lot!  Employ the support of others and you are on your way.
  1. All or Nothing Attitude – This is such a common thing.  You get all excited to start your new lifestyle on Monday which includes an entirely new way of eating, exercise for 1 hour 5 day/week and no more desserts.  Hmmm – does that seem realistic to you?  The truth is – life happens – and you need to allow yourself to respond in a flexible way so you don’t end up guilt ridden when things turn south.  Those with an all or nothing attitude will throw in the towel, start eating, skip exercise and “try again” on Monday instead of making an allowance for this hiccup.  Does any of this sound familiar?  Baby steps will result in accomplishments that increase your motivation and guide you on a steady path to short and long term goals.
  1. Lack of Sleep – Studies show that you need about 7 hours of sleep each night.  Inadequate sleep has been shown to interfere with metabolism of carbohydrates and as a result, cause high blood glucose levels which increases insulin levels and results in fat storage (not good).  It has also been shown to decrease leptin levels which affects our appetite (causes us to crave carbohydrates).  Another significant effect is reduction in our levels of growth hormone which can result in storage of fat as well.
  1. Saboteurs – This is a very expansive topic.  Saboteurs can consist of yourself (yes – your negative self-talk), others (friends/family/acquaintances) or situations (vacations/holidays).  The trick is – you have to let them sabotage your weight loss efforts.  This means that you need to be able to identify saboteurs (people or situations) and know how to deal with them.  This ability to stay in control is easier said than done.

When you are faced with sabotaging thoughts or situations, you can do a few things.  First, you can give in (this will never help you reach your goals). Second, you can run or avoid them (this is sometimes a viable short-term option as you navigate your way through how to better manage them but will not be a long term solution).  Third, you can learn to turn those sabotaging thoughts or situations into something helpful instead.  This takes work/practice (but is very worth it) and often the help of a coach such as the ones at the Center for Weight Loss Success or if necessary, a clinical psychologist.

Blueberry Coconut Parfaits

Posted on March 28, 2014 by

Blueberry Coconut Parfaits

Blueberry Coconut Parfaits

A cool & creamy snack~

 

Ingredients

1 cup plain low-fat yogurt

1 Tbls bulk sugar substitute

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 ½ cup blueberries

2 Tbls unsweetened shredded coconut

 

 

Directions

  1. Whisk together yogurt, sugar substitute, lemon juice and vanilla.
  2. Divide blueberries between 4 parfait glasses and top each with equal amounts of the yogurt mixture.
  3. Sprinkle each with coconut and top with single blueberry. Serve garnished with mint leaves.

 

Note: By using Greek yogurt, you increase the protein!

Makes 4 servings

 

Nutrition Facts:

Calories 90

Total Fat 3g

Effective Carbohydrates 11g

Dietary Fiber 1.5g

Protein 4g

 

From The Good Carb Chef

Print Recipe: Blueberry Coconut Parfaits