Lose Weight By Eating Fewer, If Any, Processed Foods

Someone recently told me that they didn’t know how to lose weight. My response: “Stop eating processed foods.” Plain and simply, this is the perfect solution to a weight loss dilemma. Let me explain further…

Processed foods are defined as any food that has been changed from its natural state. These foods provide a convenience factor that can be hard to beat in our fast-paced society. Beware, though. These dangerous foods can easily put on the pounds.

These foods are calorie-dense, making them extremely dangerous for any weight conscious person. Being calorie-dense means they contain more calories per serving than unprocessed foods. You can start gaining weight without realizing it. You may be eating smaller amounts of food, but consuming more calories.

Packaging is another dangerous side of processed foods. Products may contain unsubstantiated health claims. Important details may be hard to decipher. Containers, in particular, can be very misleading. It is quite easy to believe that a serving size is the entire container, when in fact, it is only one-half the container size. This can easily lead to excessive calorie consumption.

Processed foods usually contain high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup is linked to obesity. Even in foods that are not sweet, this ingredient can be used by manufacturers to increase bulk. It is found in foods such as bread, ketchup, bottled and canned pasta sauces, boxed puddings and a variety of other prepared foods. High fructose corn syrup is especially harmful if you are trying to lose weight, since upon ingestion, it turns to fat. Unlike real sugar which fills you up, this additive has a reputation for not satiating the appetite. It fools your body into believing you need to eat more.

You can lower your consumption of processed foods by eating out less. Eateries can be extremely dangerous places for people trying to lose weight. Portion sizes are huge, which makes overeating too easy. Even if a menu item is listed as healthy, you do not know how it is prepared or what is added into the final product. Eateries are notorious for using a variety of commercially-prepared bases and mixes that contain added sugars, fats, additives and other items. These can play havoc on any weight loss program.

* The key to losing weight is having control over your food. This does not happen when eating out. To best avoid processed foods, order fresh foods without sauces, gravies and cream-bases. Instead, lower your calorie consumption by choosing salsas, fresh fruit compotes and have all condiments served on the side. Make certain your meals are made with the freshest of ingredients.

Avoid products made with refined flour. White flour, sometimes known as refined or enriched wheat flour, is a common ingredient in processed foods. Read the ingredient label on commercially prepared breads, crackers, cookies and baked items, boxed cereals, boxed cake mixes or other foods that are mass-manufactured.

* White flour is a processed food. White flour results from the processing of whole grain into a powdery substance void of any substantive nutrients. Consuming products made with refined white flour can be especially harmful if you are trying to lose weight since the foods contain zero fiber, making it too easy to consume larger quantities. This packs on the calories.

* Since refined flour has all the fiber removed, you will not receive that health benefit. The flour is especially dangerous since it is quickly digested, resulting in quick and easy weight gain. You will feel like you need to eat more, instead of less. It is a studied fact that processed foods promote binge eating.

* In comparison, the natural fiber found in whole grains provides you with a low-calorie appetite suppressant that fills you up. There are no side effects, either. The fiber is slowly digested by your body. This results in your appetite being quenched. You feel satisfied after eating whole grain foods.

Lose weight by retraining your buying habits. Eating less processed foods is easier than you may think. It just takes self-discipline, knowledge, and time. When in a grocery store, buy your food from the store’s perimeter. This is where the produce, meats and seafood, dairy and other natural foods will be found. Visit your farmer’s market and buy fresh foods. Talk to the farmers who grow the foods, the food’s source, to learn about your food. Learning about your food source is exciting and empowering.

Become a better informed consumer by realizing that the food industry is deceptive. Do not fall for their claims about processed foods being healthy for you. Some of those claims are completely unsubstantiated. Always remember that the industry spends millions of advertising dollars to sway consumer eating habits. Profits are the final answer, not health.

Getting back to the basics by eating fresh foods cooked in a healthy manner, exercising regularly and developing lifelong healthy habits will help you lose weight and keep it off.

Hope this helps others dealing with a weight loss dilemma.

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AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns. The site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 30+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

Patiently Waiting for March

Kudos to all the New Year’s resolutionists who bank of this being the year for getting in shape and losing weight. It happens every year. Then, around March they fall off the band wagon. It is at that time that this population realizes the hard work involved in reaching their goals.

Short note here…I am patiently waiting for March. That’s all I am going to say.

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An Easy Way to Avoid Overeating

I posted this to my healthy living blog, but wanted to include it here since it’s just as applicable…

The holiday season brings with it so many different foods that only come out this time of year. It’s the only time of the year that star or Christmas tree-shaped sugar cookies abound, for instance. And, let’s not forget everyone’s favorite, fruitcake. 🙂 For myself, it’s the only time of year I consume gravy and stuffing. Everyone is different, but overeating during this time commonly occurs for many people. The less you eat the less weight you put on your joints and tkr, too. What’s a good way to avoid this? Here’s my suggestion…

Use a smaller plate. Have you noticed how dinner plates have dramatically increased in size lately? It seems to have simultaneously occurred with the increased obesity epidemic and larger serving portions. Go figure. Dinner plates used to average 8” width, now they can be as big as 12” Yikes. The sight of these larger plates is just not pleasant, in my opinion. It’s just so much food. Way too much food.

If you don’t have any smaller plates in your cupboard, go to your thrift store. Past generations commonly used dinner plates that were 8” diameter. And, these items abound in thrift stores due to families donating estates. You can get an entire 8-place serving set for $20. If you look around, you may find a better deal.

You may also want to use dessert or salad plates as your main serving plate. This will decrease your portion sizes even smaller. Filling your smaller plates up with food fools your mind into thinking you’re eating a lot of food.

Give these suggestions a try. You will like it. Enjoy!

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My Tony Robbins Blog Post Update

My original post was dated June 4, 2009 about the Ultimate Edge program giving me the tools to lose weight and get in shape. At the time, I lost 10 pounds and wrote about it.

It’s 2.5 months later and I have an update. I’ve lost 20 pounds and feel great. 🙂 In addition to my daily exercise program, Tony Robbins gives a suggestion about drinking a healthy protein-packed greens beverage. At first I couldn’t see how it would benefit me. Then, I was in the store and saw the beverage product on sale. So…the price was right. I bought the drink in powder form.

I started drinking this greens drink after exercise. And…it does work. Besides increasing my energy, it decreases my appetite for unhealthy foods. I have to figure out more about why it works so well.

The drawback? It smells like the ocean (salt water) if you let it sit for any length of time. Not too appealing, but it still tastes better than I thought.

Hope this helps others…

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Exercise Feedback & TKR

Wanted to post a short message encouraging all who go through a tkr. I have been walking faithfully, everyday, for the past three months. It is approximately 3 miles round trip. Nothing fancy, just plain and simple walking. I say it’s plain and simple now that I can do it. We all know that’s not the case upon first recuperating from a total knee replacement. In fact, for 30 years I didn’t have a beneficial gait. Anyways…

The birds are chirping and singing their appealing songs. Yesterday a dear pranced across the road in front of me. A few days earlier I heard small childlike foot steps (or as Curly of the Three Stooges would say “I hear footprints”). As I kept walking, the sound was getting closer. I turned and saw a deer go into the woods on her merry way. 🙂

My tkr leg has a “normal” gait. It swings freely, like it has not done in 30 years (when I sustained the initial traumatic injury). My orthopedic shoes fit remarkably well and are unbelievably comfortable. I never thought I’d find such a comfortable pair of shoes and am just thrilled about it. It’s the simple things in life…like comfortable walking shoes. And….

I can fit into my smaller size jeans. 🙂 Plus, my eating habits have improved.

I partially attribute this success to listening to Tony Robbins. He’s cool..

Hope this helps others going through the same thing. TKR recuperation does get better.

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I Lost 10 Pounds With Help from Tony Robbins

I purchased The Ultimate Edge by Tony Robbins a couple of months ago. After I was able to walk comfortably, following my tkr and shoe buying experiences (about 3 weeks after receiving the program):?, I put into place his suggestions for getting in shape.

They have worked remarkably well. My overall body toning has increased, my clothes are getting looser, and best of all…the scale tells me so. Cool…:)

I still have about 10 more pounds to go. However, I’m confident that it will go well since I have the tools to help me.

I wasn’t sure how buying Tony Robbins program would help anyone lose weight. Now…I know. 🙂 It’s an added benefit to reshaping my thought processes.

Tony Robbins rocks!

I also received an hour’s personal coaching with Brook Bishop, Results Coaching Specialist, of the Tony Robbins Institute. He did some butt kicking, but in a nice way, that has paid off. If you’re interested in contacting him to find out how your life can be bettered, his contact info is: brook.bishop@tonyrobbins.com

Tell him Marie Buckner recommended it. Thanks!

P.S. Hope this doesn’t sound like an advertisement. 🙁 It’s just that this stuff really does work. 🙂

"Quick Fix" Weight Loss

Recently, I have had a few people approach me about putting advertisements onto my blog for weight loss products. Or, they want to have links on this blog to their websites that feature various weight loss products.

Now, please know that I am all for helping others as much as I can. Everyone deserves to make a decent living. And, weight loss is always such a hot issue. Our past paced society likes fast paced results.

However, there is one thing that I will not do. And, that is….make it sound like weight loss is a quick and easy thing to do. It is not. (Not unless one wants to undergo bypass surgery and other “fast” remedies, that is. And…that is an entire subject matter that I am not going to discuss here since I like keeping my blood pressure down).

Here is some insightful advice for losing weight and keeping it off: EAT LESS and EXERCISE MORE. Get disciplined. How simple is that?

These potential advertisers, or links, involve popping pills to lose weight. Right. Of course, there are before and after pictures of the people who have lost weight. I’m waiting for the day when the pictures are switched. As a kid, I remember my dad showing me a picture of an overweight person as the “after” and a thin person as the “before”. Now…that’s entertaining. 🙂

What happens when the pills run out? Is their health shot? Does the person gain the weight back? I bet they do. They haven’t retrained their eating habits. That’s the only way to achieve a permanent weight loss.

So, for all you “quick fix” weight loss promoters….leave us alone. You’re wasting your time with this blog.

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Reasons to Use Walking During a TKR Recuperation

Walking is an all-around great exercise that can be used in a variety of ways to help during a total knee replacement recuperation. Here are some reasons:

Cost. It’s cheap and economical. There are no added costs to enjoy walking. All you need are good walking shoes.

Pace. Walking can be done at your own pace. You can walk as slow or fast as you want. I was walking so slow after my tkr, a turtle could have beat me in a race. No complaints, just facts. I didn’t care, though. I was glad to be able to walk without the excruciating pain like I had before my tkr.

Leg straightening. Walking correctly helps straighten your leg. By walking heel to toe, your gait will start to swing. This helps loosen up the hamstring, which in turn will assist in straightening your leg. Walking was a miracle for me during my tkr reecuperation. I loved feeling my leg swing and my hamstring “open up”. Sometimes, though, there was pain prior to this happy feeling. 🙁 All part of recuperation, in my opinion.

Cardio. Walking can provide you with a good aerobic workout. It’s amazing how little needs to be done after a tkr that will produce a sweat. In my case, anyways.

Socializing. If you walk on community trails where dogs are allowed, you can meet a variety of dogs and talk with their owners. Or, you can walk with a companion and enjoy a nice conversation. Either way, it’s fun.

Weight loss. Regular walking can be a benefit to either weight loss or maintaining your weight level. That applies unless you choose to finish off that cheesecake after returning from your walk. 😉

Easy. This is if you are over the hump of a tkr surgery. Once that hurdle is over, walking is easy to do. Actually, this time period didn’t come until about three months after my total knee replacement surgery. My knee surgery recuperation takes longer than your average bear due to it being caused by trauma 30 years ago.

Rest. A good walk, in my case, results in a restful night’s sleep. That is until the pain of the tkr kicks in. 🙁

I swear by walking as one of the best exercises for a total knee replacement recuperation.

For more technical information, here is an article from the AARP (American Association of Retired People). Enjoy! Retrieved from: http://www.aarp.org/health/fitness/walking/a2004-06-17-walking-numerousbenefits.html

The Numerous Benefits of Walking
If a daily fitness walk could be put in a pill, it would be one of the most popular prescriptions in the world. It has so many health benefits. Walking can reduce the risk of many diseases — from heart attack and stroke to hip fracture and glaucoma. These may sound like claims on a bottle of snake oil, but they’re backed by major research. Walking requires no prescription, the risk of side effects is very low, and the benefits are numerous:

Managing your weight. Combined with healthy eating, physical activity is key to any plan for long-lasting weight control. Keeping your weight within healthy limits can lower your risks of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, sleep apnea, and osteoarthritis.

Controlling your blood pressure. Physical activity strengthens the heart so it can pump more blood with less effort and with less pressure on the arteries. Staying fit is just as effective as some medications in keeping down blood pressure levels.

Decreasing your risk of heart attack. Exercise such as brisk walking for three hours a week — or just half an hour a day — is associated with a 30% to 40% lower risk of heart disease in women. (Based on the 20-year Nurses’ Health Study of 72,000 female nurses.)

Boosting “good” cholesterol – the level of high-density lipoproteins (HDL). Physical activity helps reduce low-density lipoproteins (LDL or “bad” cholesterol) in the blood, which can cause plaque buildup along the artery walls — a major cause of heart attacks.

Lowering your risk of stroke. Regular, moderate exercise equivalent to brisk walking for an hour a day, five days a week, can cut the risk of stroke in half, according to a Harvard study of more than 11,000 men.

Reducing your risk of breast cancer and type 2 diabetes. The Nurses’ Health Study also links regular activity to risk reductions for both these diseases. In another study, people at high risk of diabetes cut their risk in half by combining consistent exercise like walking with lower fat intake and a 5% to 7% weight loss.

Avoiding your need for gallstone surgery. Regular walking or other physical activity lowers the risk of needing gallstone surgery by 20% to 31%, found a Harvard study of more than 60,000 women ages 40 to 65.

Protecting against hip fracture. Consistent activity diminishes the risk of hip fracture, concludes a study of more than 30,000 men and women ages 20 to 93.

The list goes on and on. Many other studies indicate a daily brisk walk also can help:
* Prevent depression, colon cancer, constipation, osteoporosis, and impotence
* Lengthen lifespan
* Lower stress levels
* Relieve arthritis and back pain
* Strengthen muscles, bones, and joints
* Improve sleep
* Elevate overall mood and sense of well-being.

Keep it Steady
A steady routine is the most important factor in getting the most out of your exercise program. Walking for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 or more days a week is recommended.

Use these tips to keep you on track:
* During your walks, you should be able to maintain a conversation. If you’re breathing too lightly, increase your pace. If you can’t catch your breath, slow it down.
* Walk around the local area after lunch or dedicate 15 minutes to walking up and down stairs. Climbing is an excellent way to strengthen your heart.
* At night, trade a half hour of TV for a brisk stroll around the block. Take a friend with you for company or get the whole family involved.

The Best Medicine
Any amount of walking is good, but for the best health results, set a brisk pace and walk for 30 minutes at least 5 times a week. Be sure to check with your doctor on the level of exercise that’s best for you.

Sharp Dressed Man – EJ Hradek

Well, our beloved NHL Live! Has returned. Today, EJ Hradek wore a white jacket and shirt and looked stunning. 🙂 It was funny how that became the topic of conversation for a while on the show today. He was, indeed, a sharp dressed man today.

And, Don LaGreca has obviously lost a lot of weight. Good for him. 🙂 I wonder if he used Jenny Craig? (Just kidding).

Anyways, speaking of well dressed men…I am reminded of that ZZ Top song. It’s a double whammy. Back when Don Cherry (aka “Grapes”) had his tv show, it would start with a video of him showing his cuff links, rings, and outfits. Very sharp. And, the video would include “Sharp Dressed Man”. That was always such a pleasure to see and hear.

So, every time I hear “Sharp Dressed Man” I think of both hockey and Don Cherry. It can’t get much better than that. 🙂

Note: I remember when I first saw Don Cherry’s show. It was on the CBC right before Saturday’s Hockey Night in Canada game. I thought he was so arrogant. He remember him telling his guests to keep quiet since “It’s my show and what I say goes!” Or…”I don’t care what you have to say!” Anyways, I noticed how his guests would just chuckle and go along with it. Or, they would start to give him feedback that made for great entertainment. Soon, he grew on me. 🙂

I knew I was a Don Cherry convert when one of my friends told me she had just watched his show and hated him. She couldn’t stand his arrogance. “He’s just so hung up on himself!” she said. I found myself laughing and saying, “Yeah, I know. He can come across like that. Just watch him a couple more times and he’ll grow on you.” Sure enough, two months later my friend came to me and told me how she got a kick out of listening to Grapes.