By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist
Have you ever wondered about how your diet habits compare to other Americans? Check out the findings below, from a national survey of American adults ages 18 to 80 by the International Food Information Council, to see.
Weight and Health:
- 90 percent describe their health as good or better. Most—62 percent—report having “excellent” or “very good” health.
- 56 percent say they’re trying to lose weight.
- 27 percent are trying to maintain their weight.
Mark Bailey is a speaker, motivator and full time chef with a culinary focus on breakfast food. He’s even penned a cookbook titled, “Cooking in Boxers with Chef Bailey: 50 Ways to Keep Your Mate In Bed.” Today he’s a champion for living a balanced life and incorporating healthy meals and exercise into his daily routine, but he admits it took years to break his bad habits.
How did Mark (Chef Bailey) go from, “chubby boy” to the guy pictured in his undies on a cookbook? This is Mark’s 65-pound true weight loss story.
“My weight struggles began when I was 12 years old,” Mark explained. “I like to say this is when my ‘fat gene’ kicked in because prior to my preteen years, I was a relatively thin kid. But by 13, I had become a chubby boy.” Mark said eating second helpings was a regular habit, especially when it came to mama’s home cooking. This pattern of overeating followed him into his adult years. In his late twenties, while visiting his parents, Mark started looking through old photos. “It was at this moment, that I came to realize I had spent the better half of my young adult life yo-yo dieting,” he said. “This eye-opener motivated me to not only make a change but approach my weight loss effort differently.”
Instead of focusing solely on losing weight, I had to figure what I needed to change permanently thereafter to keep the weight off. My workout routine was about to become a way of life instead of just a means to an end.
Chef Bailey’s 4-Step Plan:
The public has spoken up about Rachel Frederickson’s shocking weight loss on “The Biggest Loser” season 15. So has the media. Finally, the trainers from the show are releasing statements. Although between you and me, it’s pretty easy to read between the lines on this screen shot from the big reveal:
Here’s what the stars of “The Biggest Loser” have to say:
On Tuesday, February 4th, our own Brandi Koskie tuned into the season finale for “The Biggest Loser” season 15. She was watching the program from her living room, which was unusual—she’s been in the audience at well over half of the past season’s finales. What she saw shocked her, and she’s not alone.
The winner of the contest had lost a shocking 60% of her body weight, reducing her 5’5″ frame to a painfully thin 105 pounds. Although Koskie was one of the first to rally against NBC and the show, telling them they’d gone too far, other news outlets soon followed suit. Winner Rachel Frederickson said she feels “absolutely great”, but this didn’t stop any of the concern for her and criticism for the way the “game” is played.
Last night’s Biggest Loser finale wasn’t exactly the celebration we were all hoping for. Rachel Frederickson, a favorite to win, and one of our favorite contestants to watch, was named the Biggest Loser over Bobby Saleem and David Brown. Her victory should have been wonderful, but instead had a sour taste to it.
What stuck out was how thin she appeared to be. At just 105 pounds, Rachel lost 60 percent of her body weight during her Biggest Loser journey, setting a new record for highest percentage of body weight lost during the show. NBC has offered “No comment” about Rachel’s weight loss.
Mary Hartley, R.D., spoke out against the speed at which Rachel lost weight.
“Fast weight loss is often associated with muscle loss and protein-calorie malnutrition since protein from the muscles and organs is converted to glucose to feed your brain. Muscle glucose makes up for the lack of glucose coming in. Rapid weight loss, and any starvation, leads to psychological changes that promote binge eating as the body attempts to replace lost mass.”
From a starting weight of 260 pounds, Rachel lost 155 pounds in 7 months. What concerns us about her weight loss is Rachel admits to being 5’5″ tall which puts her current BMI at 17.5. That’s solidly in the underweight range, and she is the only contestant in Biggest Loser history (worldwide) to end their season underweight.
By Team Best Life
The more walking you do and the faster you do it the healthier you’ll be, suggests a new study. People who got more than the recommended 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity per week in the form of walking were 33 percent less likely to die during the 9-year study; those who met the activity recommendations were 11 percent less likely to die. And speed matters: Slower walkers were more at risk than those who kept a quicker pace. Those who walked slower than a 24-minute mile were 44 percent more likely to die of any cause.
Every burst of activity you do during the day counts toward that goal. Every time you walk to speak to a coworker instead of calling or emailing, every time you take the stairs instead of the elevator, every time you park your car a little farther from your destination and walk the rest of the way—those minutes count toward your daily tally.
During winter I make a lot of soup. But it’s hard to find a recipe that has enough protein, fiber, fat and so forth to keep me satisfied for hours after mealtime. Recently I tried a new take on tomato soup—one with lots of chickpeas in it. It’s actually pretty similar to the Best Life Diet’s Chickpea and Tomato Soup, only I add a scoop of pesto and leave out the ginger, cilantro, curry, and lemon.
This is no overindulgence—all of the ingredients are healthy and eaten together they really do provide a filling, tasty meal. But I was pretty surprised to see that the aforementioned recipe packs a 446-calorie punch. This isn’t a crazy amount of calories—as I mentioned, it feels filling enough that I tend to skip my afternoon snack when I eat it for lunch—but it still seems high for vegetable soup. Add on the fact that I sit at a desk for most of the day and you’ll see how a even a healthy soup could potentially lead to unwanted pounds.
So, how can I make sure that this delicious soup fuels more than just my fingers, typing away on the keyboard? Here are 3 ways to burn off the 446 calories in from this bowl of soup:
Fat makes you fat, right? Wrong.
For years, all fats have been made out to be a delicious incarnation the devil. As a health and nutrition coach, I get questions all the time from my clients about low-fat diets and avoiding avocados and olive oil in case they cause weight gain. Some have even justified eating an entire bag of Twizzlers because it says, “No Fat”.
Listen up: Fat is not the enemy! At least, not entirely.
Let me be clear in saying that there are many kinds of fats, including the saturated and trans fats found in candy bars, processed foods, and T-bone steaks—these are generally no good. But there are also the natural fats found in whole foods like avocados, nuts, seeds, salmon, coconuts, and olive oil, which are so, so good!
People will do some weird things to lose weight. In my teens and early twenties I skipped meals, downed cans of protein shakes and one time I decided if I ate all my food with toothpicks, I’d be exhausted and just give up before I consumed too many calories. These were all unhealthy and ineffective, especially the toothpicks because let’s be honest, I still had hands, which I used to shovel the food in my mouth anyway.
Below are seven other crazy ideas that actually have some merit to them:
Spice It Up – Adding spicy ingredients like jalapenos and habaneros to your recipes can boost weight loss. Scientists who studied a group of rats found that capsaicin, the active ingredient in some hot peppers, may actually inhibit fat accumulation.
Just Look At Yourself! – Hanging a mirror opposite you at the dinner table keeps you mindful of your posture, how much you’re eating and how long you’ve been at the dinner table. It’s also handy because you don’t have to ask your dinner guest if you have spinach in your teeth.
Sit At The End – Not because you’re shy, because you want to avoid all that mindless before-meal snacking. Bread baskets, chips,salsa and other free appetizers are usually situated in the middle of the table. If you can’t reach it, you can’t eat it.
I’ll be the first to admit that a glass or bottle of fresh juice is a delicious treat. I’ve been known to order a green juice after yoga class or a beetroot juice before bootcamp. In fact I’ve even followed 1-day juice fasts with both Blueprint Cleanse and Cooler Cleanse.
But I’ve long wondered just how healthy the juicing cleanse trend was. After all, once you strain away the healthy fiber of fruits and veggies you’re left with a lot of nutrients (pro) and also a lot of sugars (con). People claim to feel lighter and “detoxed” after drinking these fresh blends, but regular juicing never sat right with me. After all, nutritionists regularly steer clients away from juice because of its high concentration of sugars and calories, recommending whole foods like salads and pieces of fruit instead. Why would a diet of just juice be good when a glass of juice is often considered bad?
When I read a recent Opinion piece in the New York Times, about how Jennifer Berman’s health habits—including juicing—were having the opposite affect, I wasn’t all that surprised.