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Tag Archives: journaling

If you bite it, you must write it…

Posted on July 11, 2016 by

Weight Loss Mobile appYour food diary is a vital tool on your journey to lose weight.  Technological advances have made journaling so much easier and convenient.  Have you downloaded our free mobile app?  It tracks your food & fitness as well as water & weight loss progress!  Don’t have a smart phone? Good old fashioned pen and paper work just fine too. Some people claim that journaling is time-consuming and cumbersome.  The facts are that people who keep daily food diaries are much more successful with weight loss than those who don’t document.

Keeping a generic diary to record feelings and events can help with expressing emotions, aid in self-growth, and appreciating success and mistakes. Use a food/drink journal to increase awareness of your emotions in addition to what you’re putting in your mouth.  Here’s our top 5 reasons to keep a food diary:

  1. Helps to identify areas where changes need to be made
  2. Makes you cognizant of stressful, mindless eating
  3. Helps to pinpoint patterns of over-eating
  4. Provides an understanding of the source of calories
  5. Reveals where the surplus or deficit (protein or carbs) is

Dr. Clark and the counselors at the Center for Weight Loss Success especially want our patients to document protein, carbohydrates, and calories. We’re better able to provide support and assistance if we know exactly what you’re ingesting.

Don’t let the amount of calories you consume and where they’re coming from be a big mystery. Knowledge is power, and hiding from the truth isn’t going to bring you any closer to your ideal weight.  A recent study revealed people who kept a food journal six days a week lost almost twice as much as those who only recorded one day or less. This information is very impactful and advantageous. If you’re walking through the kitchen and feel like reaching for a cookie, you might think again if you have to record it!

Be accurate and honest when recording in your food diary.  If it goes in your mouth, it must be recorded.  All the “extras” add up.  For example, we recently had a medical client who was faithfully recording everything he ate daily, or so we thought.  It turned out, he had neglected to write down the dried cranberries he was sprinkling on his salad every day.  Those additional 25 grams of carbs and 20 grams of sugar made a big difference with his weight loss. Once discovered, the scale started moving again!

Tracking your intake may seem a bit time-consuming but pays big dividends and becomes easier with each passing day.  Take charge of your health!

Download the CFWLS free mobile app for iPhone at the App Store or for Androids at the Marketplace.

Motivation Matters In Achieving Your Goals

Posted on December 28, 2015 by

inspiredAnd maintaining that motivation is key to success. As the New Year approaches, most of us find ourselves looking ahead and contemplating some type of change.  Generally, one of our goals involves weight loss or some other health-related change. Sometimes the changes we propose can seem overwhelming. The following tips can help you stick to your fitness/wellness program:

1. When it comes to fitness – start slowly. We are all anxious to get moving and see results, but your body needs to adjust to your new routine. Make sure you begin every workout with a warm-up to get the muscles moving. Then start off with 30 minutes of cardio or light weights – walking, biking, a machine circuit or low-impact exercise class. Gradually increase your workouts as your endurance increases.

2. Take a mental picture! Every day take time for yourself to visualize your new healthier, happier self. Close your eyes, relax and see yourself at your desired weight, and feel how happy you will be when you finally achieve that goal. Many athletes practice this to achieve their goals and you can too..

3. Seek Inspiration. There is nothing wrong with maintaining your motivation with inspirational quotes posted where you can see them throughout your day.  Sometimes it’s just what you need to see to get you back on your feet and focused.

4. Stay Balanced. Success isn’t all or nothing – you will be more successful with your diet and exercise program if you start to make small changes in your lifestyle.  Small changes add up to big results! If you miss a day of exercising or eat something off your program occasionally, don’t overreact. Just get back on track the next day and continue with your fitness routine. Keep your eye on the goal and you will be successful!

5. Make it fun! The time goes by faster when walking with a friend for conversation and mutual support. If you like to exercise alone, consider this time for yourself. Crank up your favorite tunes and feel the energy! When you enjoy your fitness program, you are more likely to keep it up.

6. Weigh in Weekly. The daily fluctuation in your weight is normal and it’s easy to get too wrapped up in the numbers.  Increasing your lean body mass takes time and it won’t show up in those daily trips to the scale. Try to focus on improving your overall fitness and feeling healthy & happier in the New Year. Don’t get discouraged if the numbers move slowly! Keep focused on your exercise and workouts and it won’t be long before you see results.

7. Listen to your Body. No one time is perfect to exercise. If you are a “morning person” get up 1/2 hour earlier and do your workouts in the morning when you energy is at peak level. If you stay up (or get up) late, you would probably do better to exercise in the evenings. Work with your own personal body rhythm to keep your enthusiasm up.8. Consider a Personal Trainer or Health Coach. A personal trainer/health coach can really help keep you on track. We have some of the best trainers in Hampton Roads right here at CFWLS.  They can work with you to create an exercise plan that is right for you.  Our nutritional coaches can teach you what you need to know to feel your best and get that scale moving in the right direction.

 

 

Food is Everywhere

Posted on June 16, 2014 by

satisfactionOne of the biggest barriers to dieting is that food needs to be a part of our everyday life.  We must eat to survive.  The temptations of all the food choices surround us continually.  In the shopping mall there are food courts and stand-alone kiosks that pull you to them through their smells.  Even outside Home Depot and Lowes are food concessions calling your name.  Attend your child’s ball game and there stands another concession stand.  Drive down any major road and you are reminded numerous times of all the choices there are in eating establishments. Grocery stores packed full of choices all trying to persuade you to buy their product.  What are you to do?

D I E T!

D evelop

I ntelligent

E ating

T echniques

You have the power to over come this barrier by taking control of the choices you make.

  • Get a good 7-8 hours of sleep.
  • Start your day with 20-30gms of protein for breakfast.
  • Eat on a regular schedule approximately every 3 to 4 hours.
  • Avoid the food court when shopping in malls.
  • Have a protein bar or two with you when traveling.
  • Go shopping with a grocery list and stick to it!
  • Shop the perimeter of the grocery store.  Most of the carb-laden foods are down those aisles.
  • Keep your thoughts positive.  “I can do this!”
  • Get to know your triggers so you can avoid them.
  • Celebrate each time you practice your “NO”.

YOU CAN DO IT!

 

Menu Planning Strategies

Posted on April 30, 2014 by

How Can I Control My Cravings?

Posted on April 28, 2014 by

Food cravings are real!  While hunger produces physical sensations such as  stomach growling, lightheadedness and weakness that signals your body for the need of fuel, food cravings are an intense desire for a specific food choice. Normal hunger can be satisfied with a variety of foods while a craving can only be satisfied with a specific food, normally a sweet.

With that in mind, could there be a physiological component to cravings?  The answer is yes.  It is not all about will power.  Neurochemicals and hormones play a large part in hunger,   cravings, fullness and satiety.

There are over seventy neurochemicals that have been identified that play a role in memory, appetite and mood.  A few of them you may have heard of such as endorphins, serotonin and dopamine.   In addition to these neurochemicals, hormones also play an important part in  cravings, hunger and satiety.  They include insulin, cortisol, and leptin plus many more.

Let take a closer look at insulin.  This is a hormone that is produced by the pancreatic cells and is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels.  Since blood sugar is probably the single most important factor controlling appetite and mood, insulin is a key player in causing food cravings.

When we eat carbohydrates they are reduced to simple sugars.  These sugars enter our blood stream and trigger an insulin release.  The more refined foods containing ‘simple carbohydrates’, such as Dr. Clarks six C’s, lead to a quick release of insulin followed by a rapid drop in blood sugar (hypoglycemia) that triggers an intense need (craving) for more carbohydrates.

To eliminate or minimize this physiological aspect of cravings try:

  • Controlling your blood sugar swings by eating protein every few hours, at every meal as well as for snacks.  Keeping your carbohydrate levels below or equal to your protein   levels will help.
  • Avoiding those 6 C’s as well as rice, pasta, bread and potato (Think back to Chapter 1 WMU™ ).  These can raise your blood sugars fairly quickly.
  • Carrying protein-based snacks with you at all times. Never let yourself become famished.
  • Adding the mineral chromium picolinate has shown to be useful in curbing cravings.
  • Exercising helps get your mind off thinking about foods as well as utilize those excess    sugars in your blood stream.
  • Giving yourself a fifteen minute timeout.  Wait about fifteen minutes to see if the craving goes away.

 

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.

Could Appetite Suppressants Help Me Lose Weight?

Posted on February 12, 2014 by

Weight Loss Tips for Tough Times

Posted on January 20, 2014 by

changeThese 30 tips are tried and true. They come from Dr. Clark and the entire team at CFWLS and our successful patients! Remember, reading is one thing – applying what you learn is where you can make the most progress.
1. Start your day with approximately 30 grams of protein.
2. Stay away from foods that contain sugar.
3. Explore different tastes with a variety of spices – without adding carbs!
4. Carry a carb gram counter and your journal with you so you can analyze what may be causing your cravings or hunger.
5. Hit a plateau? Try reducing your carb intake by 5-10 grams.
6. Learn how to read food labels to count effective carbs.
7. Avoid excessive caffeine which may trigger hunger or food cravings.
8. Eat slowly; extending the time it takes for your brain to realize you have eaten.
9. Only eat until you are sat-isfied, not until you are full.
10. Use smaller plates at meal times. It may help you feel like you’re eating more.
11. You can have a bite of something without eating a complete piece.
12. If you have gone over your limit at a meal, forgive yourself and re-focus at the next meal.
13. Eat your meals at a table, concentrating on your food, avoiding watching TV or reading.
14. Don’t use a business trip or vacation as an excuse not to follow your plan.
15. Don’t miss a meal. Your body is counting on you to provide for it.
16. Always carry some emergency food with you (protein bars or nuts are good choices).
17. When eating out, engage your server in your eating plan. They may have some suggestions.
18. When eating out, ask about the ingredients of each dish.
19. Drink an 8 oz. glass of water prior to each meal.
20. Include your hunger scale in your food diary so you can analyze any patterns and im-prove planning strategies – your counselor at CFWLS can really help with this too.
21. Place any tempting foods in an out of the way place in your home so you don’t visualize it every time you open the pantry.
22. Keep your grocery trip on a list to minimize spontaneous buying.
23. Stay to the perimeter for the grocery store. Most processed foods and higher carb foods are in the aisles.
24. Plan your day ahead of time. Then stay on track.
25. Surround yourself with supporting friends and family.
26. Return to your food diary for successful weight loss weeks and repeat them.
27. Keep your protein levels equal to or higher than your carb level with each snack.
28. Avoid carbs prior to bedtime to keep your glucose levels event throughout the night.
29. Find ways to reward yourself in ways other than food.
30. Eat to live, don’t live to eat.

losingweightusa-thumbSign up for Losing Weight USA – Direct access to one of the most experienced  bariatric surgeons and bariatricians in the United States! Dr. Clark  covers up-to-date topics filled with information on how to increase your weight loss efforts in live weekly webinars. You won’t find this anywhere else!  Each week brings you new tip sheets, recipes and fitness ideas. Visit www.LosingWeightUSA.com for full details.

 

Mentally Preparing for Weight Loss Surgery

Posted on January 15, 2014 by

Controlling Your Cravings

Posted on January 13, 2014 by

Food cravings are real!  While hunger produces physical sensations such as  stomach growling, lightheadedness and weakness that signals your body for the need of fuel, food cravings are an intense desire for a specific food choice.  Normal hunger can be satisfied with a variety of foods while a craving can only be satisfied with a specific food, normally a sweet.

With that in mind, could there be a physiological component to cravings?  The answer is yes.  It is not all about will power. Neurochemicals and hormones play a large part in hunger,   cravings, fullness and satiety.

There are over seventy neurochemicals that have been identified that play a role in memory, appetite and mood. A few of them you may have heard of such as endorphins, serotonin and dopamine. In addition to these neurochemicals, hormones also play an important part in  cravings, hunger and satiety. They include insulin, cortisol, and leptin plus many more.

Let take a closer look at insulin. This is a hormone that is produced by the pancreatic cells and is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels. Since blood sugar is probably the single most important factor controlling appetite and mood, insulin is a key player in causing food cravings.

When we eat carbohydrates they are reduced to simple sugars. These sugars enter our blood stream and trigger an insulin release. The more refined foods containing ‘simple carbohydrates’, such as Dr. Clarks six C’s, lead to a quick release of insulin followed by a rapid drop in blood sugar (hypoglycemia) that triggers an intense need (craving) for more carbohydrates.

To eliminate or minimize this physiological aspect of cravings try:

Controlling your blood sugar swings by eating protein every few hours, at every meal as well as for snacks.  Keeping your carbohydrate levels below or equal to your protein   levels will help.

Avoiding those crunchy 6 C’s as well as rice, pasta, bread and potato.  These can raise your blood sugars fairly quickly.

Carrying protein-based snacks with you at all times. Never let yourself become famished.

Adding the mineral chromium picolinate has shown to be useful in curbing cravings.

Exercise helps get your mind off thinking about foods as well as utilize those excess sugars in your blood stream.

Giving yourself a fifteen minute timeout.  Wait about fifteen minutes to see if the craving goes away.