Check out my review of the EatSmart Precision Digital Kitchen Scale! You can purchase this new item directly from https://eatsmartproducts.com/
Whenever I do initial consultations with weight management patients I make sure to ask them what their ultimate weight loss goals are. Invariably my patients will mention a friend or relative who has the physique they desire, or they will mention a time in their lives at which they considered their own bodies to be ideal for them. At the end of the evaluation, I instruct my patients to find at least one picture of that ideal body and post it in a prominent place, either on a desk, bathroom mirror, refrigerator, or car dashboard. The whole point is to create a visual representation of the patient’s goal so that it becomes more tangible over time.
Another tip which I give to weight management patients is to take weekly progress pics so that they can monitor the subtle changes in their bodies over an interval period of time. What they might not see from week to week can be very dramatic when they compare their baseline photos to photos taken many weeks or months later. Over time it becomes easier to take these progress pictures. Trust me, I used to do it regularly myself when I was competing. These days, though, I have hit a certain rhythm in which I stay at a specific set point.
The tips I have just mentioned also work EXTREMELY well for people in the midst of contest prep. I typically advise contest prep clients to take weekly progress pictures, because they provide a great way to monitor subtle changes week by week, as well as yield information which I can use in order to make small changes in a prep plan.
When I first began competing in 2009, I quite randomly picked a couple of images of female competitors whose physiques I really admired, printed them, and placed them on my bathroom mirror. I saw these images daily, and was able to visualize my goal on a consistent basis. I did not remove these images from my mirror until I moved in October of 2012, and when I did so, I moved the images to bulletin boards in our den.
What is amazing now is that I have images of myself right next to the images of the ladies I had so admired, and you know what? I achieved my goal of attaining IFBB Pro Status and the best physique of my life, at the ripe age of 47. These days, I no longer look at the images of these ladies as something to aspire to, but instead look at them as peers.
In summary, there are two things you can do to visualize your goal:
1. FIND AN IMAGE OF THE BODY YOU WANT AND POST IT IN A PROMINENT PLACE.
2. TAKE WEEKLY PROGRESS PICTURES OF YOURSELF.
Visualize and make your goal materialize!
As a physician and fitness professional, I regularly evaluate people who want to lose weight and have often been asked if I can prescribe a weight loss aid such as phentermine, or place them on the HCG diet. I am staunchly opposed to medications and fad diets, and will never promote or prescribe them. Though I know that upsets some people, I refuse to compromise my strong beliefs and allow a patient or client to bully me.
Despite the fact that there is increasing awareness of proper nutrition, there are still plenty of people who make a habit of consuming foods which contain large amounts of fat, hidden sugar and salt, and preservatives. Quite often the portions consumed at one sitting are so large that the body ends up in storage mode which can lead to weight gain. By becoming aware of the value of nutrient-dense foods and re-patterning one’s eating habits so that such foods form the foundation of a daily meal plan, long-term weight loss and maintenance of a healthy weight can be accomplished.
However, the media pushes “quick fixes” by promoting severe caloric restriction and plans which are nutritionally unbalanced, thus creating a state of malnutrition. Fad diets such as the HCG diet are NOT HEALTHY, plain and simple. I don’t care how many of you want to argue against that, I am digging my heels in on this one. Any diet which requires an interval of time in which 500 calories are consumed daily is just plain stupid. That is, unless you want to trigger massive rebound weight gain.
It doesn’t get much better when looking at the weight loss pills which are available either. Many of those products can have deleterious adverse effects and should be taken with caution, if at all. The only exception I make is with thermogenics, which, if used properly, can serve as an effective aid in weight loss. And what about raspberry ketones, L-carnitine, and CLA? They are all great for AIDING in weight loss, but none of those supplements alone can melt away fat or offset a piss-poor diet.
The best “magic pill” doesn’t even exist. So I suggest you take a more realistic view of your daily habits and commit yourself to CHANGING THEM if they are unhealthy. Throw out processed foods, sugar, and avoid drinking alcohol on a daily basis. Pack your kitchen with nutrient-dense foods, drink plenty of water, don’t skip meals, and get plenty of sleep.
Summer is almost upon us, which means that more skin-baring outfits will appear, and the pressure to look as good as possible will be greater than ever. So what do you do if you’ve been cozily hiding under a layer of winter storage fat for the last few months or years? There isn’t much time to strip that away, but it definitely IS possible to reveal a trimmer, more toned you for the warmer weather that is right around the corner.
The first and most important thing to do in order to build a body transformation strategy for the summer is to define your goals. Make sure that they fit the SMART criteria: SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ACHIEVABLE, RELEVANT and TIMELY. Let’s look at each aspect more closely.
SPECIFIC: The more specific you are in defining your summer transformation goals, the more likely you are to be successful in reaching them. A good specific goal could be losing body fat.
MEASURABLE: Let’s look more closely at the body fat reduction goal that I mentioned above. What if you set a goal of losing 5% of your body fat? By doing this, you have now made that goal measurable.
ACHIEVABLE: Make sure that you can actually reach the goals you put in front of you. For example, if you have an excessive amount of storage body fat, it would be unreasonable for you to try to lose 15% of body fat by the beginning of July. However, an achievable goal of 5% is much more reasonable and completely attainable.
RELEVANT: The goals you set should match up to your abilities and interests. For example, if you have been a complete couch potato for years, it would not be relevant to your lifestyle or skill set to aim to prep for an Ironman competition by July. A relevant goal that would still enable you to successfully reach a higher level of fitness would be to prep for a 5k walk/run in July.
TIMELY: In the above examples, I mentioned early July as a timeline marker. By setting a target date, you will establish a framework upon which you will build an action plan.
When I perform nutrition and fitness assessments, I always advise my clients and patients to follow the SMART acronym. Another thing I love to suggest is the development of a vision board. A vision board can be as simple as having a photo of a celebrity or other person who has the kind of physique that a client covets. In some cases, the photo may be of the client from earlier, leaner days. In either case, the photo serves as a perfect carrot to chase after. I always suggest placing the photo on a bathroom mirror or a refrigerator door. Another clever and very effective place for an inspiring photo is to use it as a computer or phone wallpaper design.
If you really want to get creative and inspired, you can create a larger vision board, either digitally or via old-school printed photos and inspiring quotes and messages. Just make sure that whatever you create, you believe 100% in what is on the board, and that you can attain it all.
Yes, you read that title correctly. If you have been on one diet after another in an effort to try to lose those last 5, 10, 15, or however many pounds, perhaps losing some weight only to gain all of it back plus some bonus weight, then it is highly likely that you have damaged your metabolism via severe calorie restriction. There is a very good reason why the weight loss industry is so successful and why certain well-known weight loss programs keep their customers coming back. The reason has everything to do with severe caloric restriction which squashes metabolism.
Another common practice among those trying to lose weight is to skip meals in an effort to cut calories. As stated before, you wreak havoc on your metabolism when you skip meals by causing it to slow down. Why does this happen? When there is no food to break down, the body’s furnace slows down and becomes so sluggish that when you actually do eat something, your body is less equipped to break down the food quickly, so much of it is stored as fat. Depriving yourself of food also causes sharp drops in blood sugar, robbing you of energy and increasing insulin resistance. Increased insulin resistance over time can precipitate the development of diabetes.
Other consequences of skipping meals include the following:
• Malnutrition – If you do not feed your body regular, balanced meals, it is highly likely that you are depriving it of essential nutrients. Malnourished states can lead to weight gain, poor health and progression of disease over time.
• Poor concentration – This is due to the depletion of glycogen stores which occurs. The brain simply does not have enough fuel to run on, resulting in fogginess.
• Hunger pangs – When you skip meals, you may experience intense feelings of hunger along with anxiety, dizziness or nausea. In addition, such feeling may lead to overeating when you finally sit down to eat something. Loading the body with a large meal is overkill, and leads to poor digestion and absorption as well as increased storage in body fat stores.
Do yourself a favor and practice the following guidelines. If you do, you will be rewarded with a healthy weight for a lifetime.
1. Don’t skip meals.
2. Make sure to eat enough protein to sustain your energy levels and satisfy your hunger.
3. EAT BREAKFAST.
4. Commit to healthy meals.
5. When you turn to snacks, make sure healthy alternatives are available so you aren’t tempted to reach for a nutrient-poor convenience food.
For the past several weeks, I have been re-training my European Burmese cat Kazu to eat moist cat food so that she will lose weight. She is a very fussy eater, and it has been a guessing game, trying to determine which foods she will eat. My conclusion is that Kazu will only eat food which has had little to no processing, and is considered “human grade”. This little lady is insisting on a whole food diet, which is fine with me, but the kind of food she likes is expensive!
Today I decided to stock up, so I went to C&C Pet Foods (great place for discounted pet food in Burbank) and purchased 32 three ounce cans, 6 three ounce pouches and 1 six ounce can, which came to a total of $54. That’s pretty pricey if you ask me! However, Kazu has refused other brands of foods, so I have to stick with a small handful of brands (Tiki Cat, Weruva, and B.F.F.) which are not available at stores like Petco or PetSmart.
If you have a finicky pet, I would HIGHLY recommend these brands of pet food, because they are high quality and quite palatable to most pets.
Cats are known for being finicky, and this is certainly the case for both of my female cats, Shima and Kazu. Their constant fussiness is balanced out by my boy, Tenshi, who is one of the most food-motivated cats I have ever known. Tenshi will eat just about anything he can get a hold of, including asparagus, avocado, broccoli, bananas and blueberries.
Over the past month I have been trying to get Kazu to eat moist food and to avoid dry kibble, because she is about 30% over her ideal weight. It has been nothing short of exhausting, trying to figure out what she likes to eat. I have gone to the pet store twice, and have selected a bunch of different varieties and brands of food, though I have focused my purchases on the Tiki Cat brand of moist cat food because it is human-grade, the closest to human table scraps, and highly recommended by her vet.
I have purchased about eight different varieties of Tiki Cat, most of which were tuna varieties with other goodies mixed in, and also purchased B.F.F., Innova Evo, Wellness, and Evanger’s. I also purchased tuna and sardines from the grocery store. Here is the status of my experimentation with different types of food:
B.F.F. – Kazu really loved this food, probably because it was a tuna variety. She ate it pretty readily.
Innova Evo – Kazu completely ignored this stuff.
Wellness – Kazu did not like the varieties we tried (tuna chunks and turkey chunks). All she did was give the broth a couple of licks, then completely refused to have anything to do with the food.
Evanger’s – Kazu didn’t even give this food a second’s worth of interest. To be honest, when I opened the can and got a whiff of the food, I was pretty grossed out myself. As a matter of fact, I have noticed that if I find a food off-putting, Kazu will not like it either.
Tiki Cat – Kazu has liked all the tuna varieties, but she was rather indifferent when I offered her the sardine variety. I will say that I am VERY impressed by the consistency and smell of this brand of food. It is appetizing, without any strange odors. With the chicken varieties, you can see actual flakes of shredded chicken. The meats which are used in the Tiki foods are high quality and unprocessed. This has been the winning brand for Kazu, and though I want to try a couple more brands on her, this may be the standard which she will eat on a daily basis. Some varieties of Tiki Cat are priced at close to $2 for a THREE ounce can, so this stuff isn’t cheap!