Archive for the tag - weight release

Stalled Diet: 4 Signs & Quick Fixes.

Leaning down is a common goal, but how can you tell if your diet has stalled?

When you notice any of the following four signs, it’s time to think about switching your diet, changing things up or moving to a weight maintenance plan:

  1. Your current diet has lasted 6 months or longer. Studies show that diets are most effective in their first 6 months, and that many participants regain weight in the second 6 months.

    Fix: If you’re happy with your current weight, switch to a weight maintenance plan that incorporates a lifestyle of healthy eating, exercise and peer support. If you’d like to lose additional weight, try for a different weight loss strategy (i.e., switch to a higher protein and lower carb diet, etc.). Work with a nutritionist to devise a plan that meets your needs.

  2. You’ve reached a plateau. If you’ve only lost a pound or two in the last month, then your current plan isn’t working. Change is needed.

    Fix: When it comes to nutrition, you may need to modify your diet to increase your caloric deficit or change the types of foods you are eating. When it comes to exercise, you may need to change any or all of the following variables: workout duration and frequency; intensity; types of exercise. Get additional information about breaking weight loss plateaus.

  3. You’re eating too few calories. It sounds counter-intuitive, but starvation is not an effective weight loss strategy. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that calorie levels never drop below 1200 calories per day for women or 1800 calories per day for men. If you’re eating fewer calories, your body will go into starvation mood; thus, severely decreasing your metabolism and ability to release weight.

    Fix: First, keep track of your calories to see where you’re at. If you’re in the danger zone, increase your caloric intake to boost your metabolism. Opt for a more reasonable, healthy and effective calorie deficit. If you are unable or unwilling to increase your intake, seek out professional help immediately.

  4. If you’re weaker. Weakness, either at home or at the gym, is a sign that your muscles aren’t receiving the fuel they need. It’s time to revisit your nutrition strategy.

    Fix: Keep track of your diet to ensure you’re getting enough calories and that your protein intake is adequate. Likely, you’ll need to introduce more protein into your diet. Lean meats, fish, beans and nuts are great, healthy sources.

While each situation is different, these four signs of stalled diets – and easy fixes – should help put you on a path to achieve your weight-related goals.

For more information, check out my downloadable fitness and nutrition programs.

Do Diet Pills Work?

Diet pills are a billion industry – but do they work?

Let’s face it: We’re a society that looks for quick fixes. And so the idea of losing weight by taking pills certainly has its appeal. And each year, dieters spend more than billion on weight loss supplements.

It begs the question: Do over-the-counter diet pills work?

Not to long ago, a German study was released that examined the effectiveness of popular weight-loss supplements. In the study, 189 obese patients were given either one of nine popular diet pills or a placebo. At the end of two months, there was no difference in weight loss between the supplements and the placebo. Thomas Ellrott, M.D., who authored the research, pointed out the problem:

We have so-called fat magnets, mobilizers and dissolvers, as well as appetite tamers, metabolism boosters, carb blockers and so on. The market for these is huge, but unlike for regulated drugs, effectiveness does not have to be proven for these to be sold.

Once a product is on the market, however, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can – and sometimes does – investigate for possible safety concerns or recalls. Courtesy of the FDA, below is a list of some weight-loss supplements and the FDA’s findings.

Product Claim Effectiveness Safety
Alli — OTC version of prescription drug orlistat (Xenical) Decreases absorption of dietary fat Effective; weight-loss amounts typically less for OTC versus prescription FDA investigating reports of liver injury
Bitter orange Increases calories burned Insufficient reliable evidence to rate Possibly unsafe
Chitosan Blocks absorption of dietary fat Insufficient reliable evidence to rate Possibly safe
Chromium Increases calories burned, decreases appetite and builds muscle Insufficient reliable evidence to rate Likely safe
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) Reduces body fat and builds muscle Possibly effective Possibly safe
Country mallow (heartleaf) Decreases appetite and increases calories burned Insufficient reliable evidence to rate Likely unsafe and banned by FDA
Ephedra Decreases appetite Possibly effective Likely unsafe and banned by FDA
Green tea extract Increases calorie and fat metabolism and decreases appetite Insufficient reliable evidence to rate Possibly safe
Guar gum Blocks absorption of dietary fat and increases feeling of fullness Possibly ineffective Likely safe
Hoodia Decreases appetite Insufficient reliable evidence to rate Insufficient information

Despite all the above, if you are hell-bent on taking a weight loss supplement, it’s important to involve your doctor in the decision. Some supplements may interact with other medications or impact an existing medical condition. Talk to your doctor first. And always keep in mind, weight loss supplements should be used as directed and never abused – as they can lead to addiction. If you or a loved one need help with any kind of addiction, programs such as Narconon Rehab are available.

At the end of the day, there really is no quick fix when it comes to weight loss. If there was, there would be a lot more skinny people walking around. And while weight loss might not be found in the form of an over-the-counter pill, it can be achieved through a combination of internal work (i.e., building a better relationship with your body), nutrition and exercise.

348lbs And Needing Help.

Davey,

Just left the doctor’s office. I’m 348lbs, HIV positive and feel like my life is smacking me in the face.

I don’t know how to eat though I can tell you I love food. I downloaded your program, any advise would help. Have to be honest though seems like it might be eaiser to step in front of a bus. My dad was a pastry chef I know what good pastry tastes like and now I’m supposed to eat cardboard? Like I said I need some help.

John

John,

Stepping in front of a bus might be easier – but it doesn’t mean that you don’t have the strength to transform yourself and your life. Becoming stronger and healthier is a challenge, but it’s also an opportunity – and should you choose to put energy and effort behind your intention, there is no doubt that you’ll produce real results.

As change first occurs on the inside, I’d invite you to build a stronger relationship with the body you currently have. Much progress can be made through forgiveness and gratitude. Write a letter of apology to your body; ask your body to forgive you for all the times you have neglected or abused it. Express gratitude for all the many important functions your body serves. Through both forgiveness and gratitude you’ll align yourself with real transformative power.

As you re-learn to love your body, both nutrition and exercise become much easier. Making decisions that honor your body feels very natural.

When I approach diet, I make the two following assumptions:

  1. No one wants to be hungry.
  2. No one wants to eat cardboard.

If your diet plan violates either assumption, it’s going to be difficult to maintain. Yes, you’ll have to create a calorie deficit (more calories out than in), but you don’t need to starve or eat distasteful foods. I’d encourage you to eat smarter. Make wiser choices. Discover all the colorful and tasty foods that are both nutritious and delicious. Contrary to popular belief, delicious is not synonymous with unhealthy; there are plenty of healthy choices that will leave you salivating. Lean meats, fresh produce and salads are just a few. And fear not – eating wiser isn’t about eliminating pastry. It’s just about eating less of it. As a general rule, try to eat healthy 80% of the time.

Beyond eating healthier, your body craves movement. And movement helps contribute to the calorie deficit that results in weight loss. It’s great that you’ve purchased my workout programs – but start small. Even doing a very small workout here – or just taking a few walks per week – will have a cumulative effect over time.

Your body’s transformation will be the sum total of little changes done over and over again. Make those little changes in your relationship with your body, in the foods that you eat and in the movement or exercise in which you engage.

You have the strength to create the transformation that you desire – but it’s up to you to muster it.

Love,
Davey

P.S. I want to leave you with a quote by Marianne Williamson that says it all:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

5 Ways to Connect with Your Body.

Scheduling some quiet alone time is one of the best ways to connect with your brilliant body.

Diane Petrella, spiritual weight release coach, is a great friend of mine who holds a refreshingly powerful and enlightened perspective when it comes to losing extra weight. She recognizes the importance of internal change to produce the external results that so many of us desire.

According to Diane, “Many dieters feel detached from their bodies, making weight release an anxiety-ridden, burdensome struggle. When you make the decision to actually create a relationship with your body, however, a respectful partnership develops. Your weight release efforts become more peaceful.”

To that end, Diane has developed 5 way to connect with your body on a deeper level. Diane’s philosophy resonates deeply with me, and so (with permission) I’ve reproduced her advice and action steps as follows:

  1. Acknowledge Your Body’s Brilliance: We are spiritual beings having a physical experience through the divine gift of our bodies. Our bodies allow us to see nature’s beauty, to hear a loved one’s voice, to experience luscious taste sensations, to smell a flower’s fragrance, to feel a warm breeze.When you expand your thinking in this way, your relationship with your body expands as well. Even if your don’t like how your body looks today, you’ll feel more connected with it as you begin to appreciate all it does for you.
    Action Step:
    Write an appreciation list of all the ways your body allows you to experience joy in your life.
  2. Commit to Physical Activity: Physical activity is one of the best ways to feel connected with your body. Cardiovascular activity conditions your heart and lungs. It’s also a great stress reliever.  Strength training is crucial to maintain good bone health.  It also helps you develop your inner power. Kinesthetic activities, like yoga, dance or tai chi help you move more intuitively and gracefully. When you commit to some form of physical activity on a consistent basis, you naturally will develop a stronger connection with your body.
    Action Step:
    Do one form of physical activity daily.
  3. Plan Quiet Time: A simple way to feel more connected with your body is to take some quiet time every day. This could be through formal meditation practice or simply sitting quietly with your eyes closed and gently focusing on your breath for several moments. When you take the time to be quiet and still, you experience the power of the present moment.  Your inner and outer selves begin to merge, helping you to feel one with your body.
    Action Step: Enjoy a five minute break today to just relax your body and breathe.
  4. Communicate With Your Body Daily: Because our minds and bodies are connected, our bodies actually respond physiologically to every thought we think.  In this way, you’re already communicating with your body all the time.  When you intentionally talk to your body with love and kindness, you use this mind/body connection in positive ways.  Simply telling your body you want to feel more connected with it begins to soften your alienation from it.
    Action Step:
    Every morning say to your body, “I want to take good care of you.  What do you need from me today?” Just ask the question and let it go.
  5. Practice Forgiveness: Body disconnection often results from underlying feelings of shame and self-loathing. Sometimes this is due to earlier childhood abuse. Forgiveness in all its forms helps you release these toxic feelings and become more connected with your body. Taking responsibility for ways you may have neglected and abused your body is empowering.  It’s also an important first step towards forgiving yourself.
    Action Step: Take some quiet, reflective time to say to your body, “I’m sorry.  Please forgive me for not always taking good care of you.  I want to treat you with kindness. Thank you for all you do for me.”

Let me know what you think of these 5 ways to connect with your body in the comments below! And for more information about Diane, or to use her additional resources, visit www.DianePetrella.com.

How Protein Can Help You Lose Weight.

Lots of high-protein beef right here!

You know that proteins are the building blocks for your body’s muscles – but did you know that they may help you lose weight, too?

Danish scientists discovered that if you eat 25% of your daily calories from protein, you’re twice as likely to lose weight – and to keep losing weight. If your recommended caloric intake is 2,000, for example, then the study suggests that you should aim to consume about 500 of those calories from proteins.

A similar study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. It reported greater satisfaction, less hunger and general weight loss when protein intake was increased. On average, study participants ate 441 fewer calories per day when they ate increased protein and regulated the rest of their diet.

Researchers aren’t certain of why the correlation between increased protein and weight loss exists, though it seems that protein lowers hunger levels. According to WebMD, this may be because “a high-protein diet causes the brain to receive lower levels of appetite-stimulating hormones. It may be due to eating fewer carbs and/or the specific protein effect on hunger hormones and brain chemistry.”

If you are losing weight (or hitting a weight loss plateau), this protein research is more than just food for thought. Give it a try and see if it yield results in your own experience.

How to Make Your Kitchen Sacred.

In a few hours, I’m heading out on a week-long pilates adventure in the south of France. My summer reading is (finally getting through) Marianne Williamson’s A Course in Weight Loss. It’s a spiritual approach to weight loss, and one that resonates with me as someone that was once overweight. If losing weight was just a matter of nutrition and exercise, all of us would be at our ideal weights. Weight loss, for most people, is a spiritual issue.

In the book, Williamson recommends creating an altar to love in your home. According to Williamson, we already have an elaborate altar for fear: Our kitchens. And it’s filled with cabinets, pots, counters, foods, pans and appliances. For many people, the kitchen is the headquarters for some of our deepest fears. By creating an altar for love, we invite transformative energy and true power into our lives.

Interestingly, I already have a love altar in my home. I sits on a small shelf and contains a few candles, some quote books, a small Buddha and a jar containing wishes, dreams and hopes that I’ve written onto paper. It’s a very real way to make love more present in my life.

Moreover, Williamson asks her readers to make their kitchens sacred by reciting the following prayer:

Dear God,
I dedicate this room to You.
May only love prevail here.
May fear have power no more,
in my heart, in my body, or in my house.
Amen

While some of Williamson’s language is a bit too religious for my own belief set, I understand the concept. If we view our kitchens as a sacred space that is used to nourish our bodies, we’re less likely to stock its shelves with foods that poison on our bodies – like sugary snacks, chips, soda, etc.

Smudging, which involves burning sage over a bowl, is a technique used by Native Americans to purify a space of negative spirits or energy. For the more adventurous and open-minded, Williamson believes it’s a worthwhile strategy to employ in your kitchen.

It reminds me of a story that I once heard called called Anna’s Box. It went something like this:

Many years ago a young child grew up watching her mother prepare their family meals. And towards the end of her food preparation she noticed that her mother Anna would always reach up over the stove and bring down this beautifully carved old box. Anna would open the box and take a pinch of the ingredients out and add this to the food. The young child asked her mother, “What is in the box?” Her mother would always reply, “An old family recipe – a family secret.” She watched her mother repeat this ritual many times over the years that followed. When the young child was grown with a daughter of her own, she was given the carved box upon her mother’s death. She, too, performed the daily ritual of Anna’s box, and told her young daughter that it’s a family secret. The young daughter was very curious about the contents of this magical box and could hardly wait to find out its mysterious secrets. The years passed and she forgot about the special box.

Then one day, many years later, her mother passed on – and she inherited the carved box. She was so excited to finally receive this box; she held it gently almost afraid to finally discover its hidden secrets. With held breath she opened it only to find it empty. This can not be she exclaimed. She lovingly closed the lid and smiled. She now realized that the box did contain a secret recipe. It was a recipe for the love a person has for her family – a reminder to cook with love. It was the action of looking into the box and remembering to add a pinch of love to every dish prepared that created the magic of Anna’s box.

Replacing fear with love, for many people, really has everything to do with releasing extra body weight. It’s very easy to talk about diets, nutrition and exercise – but sometimes we treat the symptoms without addressing the true problem.

Does Williamson’s advice resonate with you? Or is it too “out there” or extreme? Let me know in the comments below.

4 Ways to Get Motivated to Lose Weight!

Dear Davey,

I’m 14, and bassically obese. What can I do to inspire myself to lose weight?

From,
Todd

Todd,

Thank you for the email.

I, too, was overweight growing up – and so I understand what it takes to transform one’s body and one’s life.

First things first, it’s great that you recognize the importance of self-motivation. While many dieters look for external motivation, I firmly believe that the best kick-in-the-butt comes from within. So here are four ways to get yourself fired up!

1. The “So That” Strategy

Why do you want to lose weight? Get a piece of paper. At the top of the sheet, write the following:

I want to lose weight SO THAT…

Now fill the sheet will all of the many reasons why you want to lose weight. You might want to lose weight so that you’re able to live longer. Or so that you can go hiking or climb a mountain. You might want to lose weight so that you’re able to experience life with improved health. Spend several minutes thinking about all the “so thats” you might have – and record all of them on the piece of paper. The more, the better!

I recommend keeping the paper somewhere visible – like on the fridge or the pantry door.

2. Educate Yourself

A lack of education or understanding often prevents people from embarking on a weight loss journey. There can be an overwhelming feeling of not knowing where to start. Moreover, much of the weight loss information seems to be contradictory.

Turns out, a very basic understanding of exercise and nutrition will help demystify weight loss. And in all actuality, the fundamentals are fairly simple – and supported through decades of research.

When it comes to releasing weight, ignorance is not bliss. My “Weight Loss 1o1” article is a great place to start.

3. Play The “If I Do” Game

Find another sheet of paper. Ask yourself the following the question:

What will happen in the next week, month, 6 months, year and 10 years IF I DO take action now to release my extra weight?

Starting with one week, fill the paper with your answers. Indeed, the short and longer-term transformations to both your body and life will be massive – and you could fill many pages with answers. For example, if you do take action to lose weight right now, you may be 10 pounds lighter in another month. You may have lost 5 inches off of your waist in six months. Or you may have overcome diabetes in another year. The list is endless – but make it your own.

Again, keep this list in a visible spot so that you are reminded of it often. This list will help drive you forward and get you back on track.

4. Talk To Your Future Self

In a way, talking to your future self is visualizing the reality you want to create. And while some people might be leery of talking to oneself, it can be a very powerful – and motivating – exercise.

Find a quiet space and give yourself five minutes of quiet time. Close your eyes and imagine your future self in a year or five years – or whatever time frame works best for you.

Ask your future self what he or she did to release the weight. Your future self might say that the transformation came from exercising and focusing on the things that s/he could eat rather than the foods to avoid. Maybe your future self will tell you that s/he fell of the bandwagon many times in trying to lose weight – but that each time it was very important to get back on.

Ask your future self how life is now different. Many of the answers from your “so that” and “if I do” sheets may come up. Through the answers that you receive, let your future self serve as a guide.

So, those are 4 very powerful ways to motivate yourself to lose weight. If you have any other tips or strategies, feel free to share in the comments below!

Why Fad Diets & Fast Weight Loss Don’t Work!

Fad diets - like the above cabbage soup diet - aren't just dangerous... they're ineffective.

We’ve all seen the advertisements telling us we can lose 10 pounds in ten days! Or a dress size overnight. In fact, according to WebMD, Americans spend $33 billion a year on on fad diets like these.

However, unless your doctor tells you otherwise, most physicians and dieticians will recommend a target weight loss of .5 to 1 or 2 lbs per week. Why?

Rapid weight loss (usually defined as anything greater than 2 lbs per week) isn’t just unhealthy – it’s not sustainable. Dieters who lose weight fast are more likely to gain it back.

When it comes to health, rapid weight loss has been linked to any number of ailments and conditions including hair loss, dry skin, loose skin, muscle loss, dizziness, fatigue, malnutrition and even heart attacks.

Beyond the health concerns, rapid weight loss isn’t sustainable. Often, extreme dieters experience quick and sudden weight loss through starvation or starvation-related fad diets. But starvation also slows down the body’s metabolism. Because of this slow down in metabolism, consumed food is stored as body fat. All the weight that was lost will be gained back – and then some.

Safe and healthy weight loss of .5 to 1 or 2 lbs is best achieved through a combination of exercise, nutrition and spirit. From a scientific perspective, effective exercise and proper nutrition will result in weight loss. But almost any dieter will tell you that weight loss is also a spiritual issue, and that a more fulfilling relationship with one’s body and self is fundamental.

The bottom line: While it may be tempting to opt for fad diets or rapid weight loss, the risks far outweigh the benefits. Target slow and sustainable weight loss for real, lasting results.

Adjusting Caloric Intake for Exercise.

Hi Davey,

I’m trying to lose weight and get into better shape and was wondering about calorie consumption.

If I burn 220 calories after a cardio workout, do I have to eat an extra 220 calories to make-up for the workout?

Thank you,
Jen 🙂

Hey Jen,

Thanks for the question.

Since your goal is to lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit. In other words, your body needs to use and burn more calories than you are consuming. While some of this deficit can be created through better nutrition and decreased portions, the best way to create a calorie deficit is through exercise.

You might be aiming for a 400 or 500 calorie deficit, and the 220 calories burned during your workout can be part of that deficit. In other words, you wouldn’t need to increase your calorie intake to make up for it.

If, on the other hand, you’re burning 800 or 900 calories at the gym – which far exceeds your targeted calorie deficit of 400 or 500 calories, then you do need to increase your caloric intake.

Keep in mind that you’ll want to aim for weight loss of 1/2 to 1 pound per week. If you’re losing weight faster than that, adjust your calorie deficit according (i.e., eat more or exercise a bit less).

If, instead of losing weight, you were trying to maintain or build mass – then, yes, you’d need to increase your caloric intake to make up for the calories burned during your workout.

I hope that clears things up!

Love,
Davey

Question: Does Muscle Turn to Fat When You Stop Exercising?

Answer: Muscle turns to fat in the same way that lead turns into gold. It just doesn’t happen.

Fat and muscle are two very different and distinct tissues. There is no biological pathway for one to become the other.

But like many myths, this one does contain a kernel of truth. If someone is injured and can’t workout – or just makes the decision to eliminate exercise – then there is a good chance that they’ll gain body fat. This might create the illusion that muscle is turning into fat.

The reality is quite different. Fueling an active and muscular body requires an increase in caloric intake. Obviously, it takes calories to sustain a gym workout – but it also takes calories to maintain each and every pound of muscle that the body adds. When people stop exercising, the extra muscle begins to deteriorate in a process known as atrophy. Exercise is eliminated, the metabolism slows and atrophy occurs; the body’s need for calories has now been greatly reduced.

But when people stop exercising, they usually continue to eat what they ate while working out. Since the diet isn’t modified accordingly, the extra calories are stored as body fat.

So don’t let this pervasive myth prevent you from hitting the gym – or from taking off necessary gym time to help heal an injury. Muscle will never turn into fat.