Dieting during the holidays can be torture, especially when you would rather be wolfing down delectable homemade goodies like fudge and eggnog without abandon. But, that is not how you are going to shed those extra pounds and fit into your favorite skinny party dress. For the best results, you must exercise some self-control along with your daily exercise routine and resist giving up at all costs; especially during this time of year when the lures of diet sabotaging treats are the strongest.
The following mantras will help you say no to high calorie Christmas cookies and say yes to your sleek and sinewy physique. Practice these mantras daily, or anytime you feel tempted by forbidden holiday foods.
I AM IN CONTROL
The phrase “fake it ‘till you make it” means that whatever you tell yourself you’ll soon believe it. Tell yourself you are in full control and before you know it passing on the whipped cream will be a piece of cake.
By Jennifer Gregory
Oftentimes couples gain weight together because of sharing unhealthy eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle. And many people find it challenging to lose weight when their other half continues to live the couch potato life.
The good news? Couples who diet together, benefit together. Here are some ways couples can start out and support each other on their mutual weight loss journeys.
By Jennifer Gregory
While dieting at any time requires planning and willpower, dating while on a diet can pose some extra challenges. Many dates revolve around dinner or drinks, and once you hit it off with someone it can be easy to spend time with your new partner instead of heading to the gym. If you aren’t careful, you can quickly gain back the five pounds you spent the last month working so hard to lose.
But don’t despair, it is very possible to both date and continue to lose weight by following a few simple tips:
Plan Active Dates
Instead of meeting for a meal, suggest a date where you both get moving. “Dieting is not all about food, it’s about being active, too,” said Kenzie Harrick, Certified Health Coach at KHolistic.com. Some ideas include a bike ride, kayaking, hiking, roller skating or even throwing football in the park together. “Active dates are a creative date idea, a way to exercise and a way to test your connection with more than dinner conversation,” said Harrick. During dates where you do eat out, suggest an after dinner walk to work off the calories and get some fresh air.
If a dieter decreases their calories, they also decrease their brain cells’ calories. This process has recently been researched and linked to the ultimate demise of most diets. As the hungry brain cells signal the body of that hunger, appetite increases, and metabolism slows. But what if the brain couldn’t send out those signals? That’s a whole new arena we’ve never been to before.
Recently, researchers have created mice whose brains can not send out hunger signals or appetite-increasing proteins. These mice were found to be leaner and ate less even after they were starved. It’s believed that these results would apply to humans since mice are often used as human biological models.
In the study the scientist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York were able to isolate the appetite-sensing neurons in the mice. These neurons are the culprits for increasing autophagy, a process where cells break down their used parts. When the breakdown of cells is increased, appetite-inducing proteins are released. Ultimately, the brain is told it’s time to eat due to these proteins.
When the researchers turned this process in the mice, their appetite-inducing proteins stayed low and even in times of starvation, the hunger signals stopped. Compared to normal mice, the mutant mice were 10 percent leaner, capable of burning more energy, and were more active. One of the most revealing facts was that these mice still ate less even after food was withheld to the point of starvation.
You have undoubtedly heard how important it is to maintain weight loss to avoid health problems. You’ve also heard that losing weight and gaining it back continually through fad diets or any other means just isn’t good for your health. Well now there is a study that shows that losing weight and gaining it back is better than not losing weight at all.
This study was done on mice, but it shows that yo-yo dieting isn’t as bad as it was once believed to be. There were three groups of mice in the study, placed into a low-fat, high-fat and yo-yo diet groups. The mice that were placed on the yo-yo diet alternated between a low-fat and high-fat diet.
The mice on the yo-yo diet were healthy when they followed a low-fat diet and had higher body fat, blood sugar and body weight when they were on their high-fat rotation. Another surprising detail of this study was that the yo-yo diet mice lived just as long as the mice that maintained a low-fat diet the entire time. This amounted to about six months longer than the mice that followed only a high-fat diet.
File this under, “In case you didn’t know…”
A recent report, profiled in the Journal of Consumer Research, shows that people who restrict their food intake in the name of weight loss are more stressed and angry. The study, conducted by authors David Gal, at Northwestern University, in Chicago, and Wendy Liu at the University of California, compiled numerous weight loss studies. The authors wanted to determine if exerting self control leads to anger issues.
In the first study, participants who chose an apple over a chocolate bar for a snack were more likely to chose movies with anger issues than a more relaxed movie. The second study showed that those who were financially responsible (choosing a gift certificate for groceries rather than one for a spa service) showed more interest in looking at angry faces rather than at fearful ones.
A survey from the UK teen magazine Sugar has found that 15 percent of girls 13-19 years old are regularly dieting. A young girl may be influenced to diet by comments made by their parents, pictures of exceptionally thin celebrities or models, and their peer group. If an adolescent girl has watched her mother try several new diets, she is 35 percent more likely to diet herself. Girls are also more likely to be concerned about their weight when they hear their mothers make positive statements about the attractiveness of slim celebrities. I am sure similar comments about slender friends and family members would have a similar impact. The editor of Sugar, Annabel Brog, summed these results up well with the statement, “Mums want the best for our daughters, but we live in a world preoccupied with body size, and inevitably daughters are picking up on, and assimilating, anxieties their mums have.”
Stress has become a part of our culture, and undoubtedly you may have experienced a sense of being overwhelmed quite often. For some, stress eating or stress drinking alcohol are enormous saboteurs on the path to health and wellness. It’s not just the excess calories that nudge you away from your goal. Here are four factors that people struggle with during stressful times:
1. Alcohol Backfires on Your Well-Being
Stress drinking cocktails or a few beers after a hectic day at work is what some see as a ritual to unwind, but this can backfire later. Alcohol prevents the brain from entering deep sleep leaving you unrested and stressed the next morning. Alcohol also dehydrates you. If you do drink, keep it to one drink a night. That means five ounces of wine or one shot of liquor… not an over-sized glass with a mixed drink.