Often times many people will try to lose weight using just their own common sense. Less soda, more water. Less fast food, more fresh foods. Less sugar and sweets, more vegetables. Less couch time, more activity. And quite often that’s all it takes (of course with an added dose of motivation).
However, there are many aspects to weight loss that may seem counter-intuitive–that is, they seem to go against normal and reasonable logic–and if you are unaware of some of these counter-intuitive “traps,” you could be hindering your own journey to a healthier you without even knowing it.
One of the most common counter-intuitive “traps” of weight loss that we at Letslose see people fall into all of the time is what we might call the “Sumo Wrestler Trap.” Did you know that a typical sumo wrestler eats a daily diet of 20,000 calories? That’s more than 10 times what a normal male should eat in a day! Now you may say, “What kind of a trap is that? Of course no one trying to lose weight will eat a 20,000 calorie per day diet.” But here’s the kicker: they eat all of those calories in only two meals. Let me say it another way: the normal day of training and exercise for a sumo wrestler (yes, they actually do exercise daily) begins by SKIPPING breakfast…and that is the “Sumo Wrestler Trap.”
So why do sumo wrestlers skip breakfast, and why is this a weight loss trap? Simple. Skipping breakfast slows down the wrestler’s metabolism, which enables them to maintain their weight (which for the average sumo wrestler is anything from 400 to 600 pounds!). By fasting through the night and morning, sumo wrestlers turn their bodies into fat-storing machines. And that is why it is also a weight loss trap. Many dedicated and well-intentioned people trying to lose weight will skip breakfast thinking the obvious: “Less food means less calories, means less weight.” But actually that first meal is extremely important to kick-start your metabolism for the day. So don’t skip breakfast. At least have a small something to eat to get your body awake and running. Just make sure to keep it a healthy something. And as you do, far from becoming the next professional sumo wrestler, you will watch those pounds drop off one by one as your own body’s metabolism does what it does best–burn off those calories.
Here are a few other counter-intuitive weight loss tips:
Eat more often: Eating five smaller (and healthier) meals per day can be more effective when trying to lose weight than eating three (and especially two!) meals per day.
Eat when you are not hungry: If you are going to be eating five times a day, you will probably find that you are not hungry when your next scheduled meal comes around. That’s great! Eating when you are not hungry means you will eat less. And if you never allow your body to get hungry before you decide to eat, your body (which is incredibly smart) will keep your metabolism running full speed, trusting that you won’t starve it and force it into starvation mode (which means slower metabolism).
Enjoy your food: Slow down and savor the food you eat. Eating slower can help you not overeat.
How will you ever get there if you don’t know where you are going?
Take some time to write down your goals. Sure, they will most likely change, but start somewhere. Here are a few good reasons to put your goals in writing:
Shows Intent & Fosters Commitment – with a written goal, you now have a plan. Just the simple act of writing it down shows intent, provides a constant reminder and fosters commitment to see it through.
Focus – When you write down your ideas you automatically focus your attention on them. Few if any of us can write one thought and think another at the same time. Thus a pencil and paper make excellent concentration tools. (quote -Michael Leboeuf)
Motivates & Makes it Vivid – If you take the time to continuously review your written goals, they stay vivid in your mind which in turn help motivate you to stick to the plan.
Enables you to see and celebrate your progress – seeing progress goes a long way to help keep you on track. Celebrating small successes is a perfect way to keep your eye on the prize.
NutriBullet: The Superfood Nutrition Extractor®. Turn ordinary food into superfood and add years to your life! Available at most major retailers.
Simply fill halfway with raw veggies and the other half raw fruits. Easy to use, makes delicious, nutritious smoothies.
In need of a brain-boosting breakfast to power your way through the day? For sustained energy and a nutritional boost, here are some superior choices in the breakfast bunch.
These bright blue beauties contain one of the highest antioxidant capacities of all fruits, making blueberries a no-brainer (…or shall I say a yes-brainer?) There is evidence that these superfruits can improve memory, as well as boost the immune system. Blueberries, along with other members of the berry family are lower on the glycemic-index (GI). A low GI along with their high fiber content helps slowly release sugar into the bloodstream for sustained energy.
What do you think of when you see an unshelled walnut? Looks like a brain, right? Well, that is no coincidence, my friend! Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids shown to boost brain health and reduce inflammation. The healthy fats found in walnuts will help absorb fat-soluble vitamins and the protein will “stick to the ribs” to keep you satiated until lunch.
Vitamin C found in the strawberries of our Berry Brain Boost NutriBlast (below) helps absorb the iron contained in spinach. Iron enhances oxygen distribution throughout the body, waking up the immune system, boosting energy, and enhancing brain activity. Spinach is also an abundant source of vitamin K (almost 200% of the daily value in one cup raw), a nutrient required to help build strong bones.
4. Rolled Oats
We’ve all heard oatmeal helps reduce cholesterol, but do you know how? Its high soluble fiber is key. It not only helps keep your heart healthy, it will also slow down the rate at which the sugars from fruits are released into the bloodstream. This prevents any drastic energy highs or lows, the foundation to keeping you awake and alert. Choose gluten-free to prevent any inflammation caused by potential allergies or intolerance.
5. Almond Milk (or other dairy alternative)
With milk intolerance and dairy allergies on the rise, it is best to choose a dairy alternative fortified with calcium to meet the needs of growing bones. Fortunately, there are several options available that contain even more calcium than a glass of cow’s milk. Almond, rice, organic soy, oat, flax, and hemp milks are a few options you can find in your local market. This will also lend a creamier consistency to your NutriBlasts that your whole family will love.
Incorporate these top 5 foods in a delicious, nutritious NutriBlast. It’s the perfect start to the day! Berry Brain Boost NutriBlast
½ cup blueberries
¼ cup strawberries
¼ cup raw walnuts
3 Tbsp gluten-free rolled oats
Unsweetened almond milk to the MAX line
Blast for 45 seconds.
Lose weight. Exercise more. Stop smoking. Eat better. With each new year comes new resolutions, or perhaps last years – recycled.
Attention Resolution Makers – The good news is that you’re much more likely to make improvements than someone who hasn’t made a formal resolution. Here are some tips to help you stay on track and achieve your goals.
Be Specific – Although lose weight, exercise more & eat better are worthwhile goals to have, their vagueness can make them hard to stick with. Be specific, like: Lose 2 pounds per week; walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes 3 times per week; eat at least one fruit and one vegetable at every meal. These type of goals are calculatable per specific time frame (day/week).
Buddy System or Make it Public – Don’t go it alone, either have an accountability partner that shares the same goal or announce your goals on social media, to your family or in your workplace. That way you will be held accountable by those closest to you.
Make Necessary Changes – Don’t depend on willpower. Take necessary steps to help you succeed; plan meals in advance, keep junk food out ot the kitchen, schedule workouts with friends, etc.
Keep Track of Progress – Make sure you keep track of your progress and reward small achievements. NOTE: If weight loss is the goal, be certain not to make food your reward, instead, splurge on a new outfit or accessory.
You Haven’t Failed Until You Quit – Don’t Overreact to Lapse – We are all going to lapse from time to time. It is important to deal with failures by getting back on track and continuing along your journey. One reason dieters fail is a phenomenon formally known as “counter regulatory eating” – and informally as the “what the heck effect.” Once they lapse, they figure the day’s diet is blown anyway, so they go on to finish the whole container of ice cream, causing far more damage than the original lapse.
The Choice Is Yours… What’s In Your Basket? Take a hard look at the food you have eaten in the past week. Would you say there is good nutritional value in it? If you are like the typical American family, then it is quite likely that there was little to none.
Processed food, fast food, sweet or salty snacks all have one thing in common, they are toxic to our systems, making us sick, fat and un-energetic.
When is the last time you ate fresh fruit and vegetables? Here are some tips to help you incorporate better eating into your lifestyle.
Keep fresh fruits & veggies, washed, cut up & ready to eat, in a clear container in the fridge on an eye level shelf.
When raw veggies are past prime to eat fresh, puree and freeze to later add to soups or smoothies.
Hide all kinds of vegetables as pureed in soup to ensure picky eaters or children get proper nutrition.
Eat by color! Typically, the darker, deeper, richer colored vegetables pack the most nutrients. Try to eat several different colors per day.
Try new Foods.
Buy organic when possible.
Pack your lunch for school/work; If you must eat out, try a veggie packed subway wrap or salad.
Be prepared and plan your meals.
Experiment with 1/2 Fruit, 1/2 Vegetable Smoothies.
Eat soup! Soup is one dish that retains all the nutrition during cooking.
If you eat wrong, no doctor can fix you, but if you eat right, no doctor is needed.
Now there is a way to calculate which fruits and veggies are the most nutrient dense. ANDI stands for “Aggregate Nutrient Density Index.” An ANDI score shows the nutrient density of a food on a scale from 1 to 1000 based on nutrient content. A value of 1000 being the most nutritious per calorie, and 1 being the least. ANDI scores are calculated by evaluating an extensive range of micro-nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidant capacities.
Start looking for ANDI scores at participating grocers.
Muscle Vs. Fat – The Benefits of Building Lean Muscle
If you have recently started working out, and the scale isn’t budging, or even worse, it keeps going up, but your clothes are fitting better and you are feeling smaller, don’t be discouraged.
The scale is just one tool used to measure your weight loss progress. A greater indicator is the way your body is changing and how your clothes are fitting. Before you toss the scale out the window there is a bit of critical information you must learn about Fat vs. Muscle.
Did you know that even though 5 lbs of muscle and 5 lbs of fat weigh the same, if you put them on the scale together fat takes up so much more mass then the same weight in muscle? This photo shows a clear picture of the difference in their mass. Sometimes your weight may not adjust much but when you replace fat with muscle you will be so much smaller and tighter.
Another benefit of building lean muscle is the amount of resources (calories) it consumes to maintain. Your body really does burn more calories maintaining muscle than it does maintaining fat. Which means that building muscle increases your metabolism.
Did you know that we have a corporate wellness program that provides discounted rates for weight loss products & services?
A company of healthy people is a healthy company!
Healthy employees are happy employees, and happy employees are some of the most valuable assets a business can have. Happy employees work harder, skip work less, and pass on their positivity to your customers and clients. Healthy employees will use fewer sick days and cause fewer insurance costs, and a group of healthy, happy people can create an environment where you, your co-workers, employees, and your customers can all look forward to seeing one another.
This is why LetsLose provides corporate wellness opportunities to businesses who want to invest in employee health! LetsLose partners with individual offices as well as whole companies that are ready to make a change for the better. We make team weight loss simple by providing successful programs and an encouraging, expert staff of specialists and physicians committed to seeing your workforce become active, vibrant, and happy. This is a great opportunity to build team spirit at your office while investing in a better, healthier lifestyle.
The following are a few of the companies that participate in our corporate wellness program:
State of Alabama
Don’t see your place of employement listed? We want to partner with you! Call Anita Fitch, Director of Corporate Wellness (334) 285-6050 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
A simple change can create BIG results. Portion control can be a key part in your weight loss journey. Start by making a more conscience decision about the food you are putting on your plate. Avoid the misery of overstuffing and give your body the chance to tell you when it’s full.
The most important factor is creating new habits that will last a lifetime and support a HAPPY, HEALTHY YOU!!
Research reports that when people ate mushroom-based entrees, they felt just as satisfied as when they’d eaten those same dishes made with beef—though they’d taken in a fraction of the calories and fat.
In one study, dieters who ate eggs for breakfast felt full for longer and lost more than twice as much weight as those who got the same amount of calories from a bagel for breakfast. Think beyond breakfast, too: eggs boost a salad’s staying power and make for a satisfying snack.
For a mere 95 calories, a medium apple contains 4 grams of fiber. And recent research, published in the Journal of Nutrition, suggests that boosting your fiber intake may help you to prevent weight gain—or even encourage weight loss.
4. Low Calorie Desserts
OK, so this isn’t exactly a “health food,” but we welcome the news that it may be easier to stick to your diet if it includes a little sweet treat. According to a new study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, banning sugary foods could lead to overeating. One reason may be that removing access to sweet foods stimulates the release of a molecule in your brain called corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), produced when you’re afraid, anxious or stressed, says Pietro Cottone, Ph.D., lead study author. And increased stress levels may lower your motivation to eat more nutritious foods, making it more likely that you’ll binge on junk food.
Research published in the journal Appetite has shown that people who start a meal with vegetable soup eat 20 percent fewer calories over the course of their meal.
Eating a breakfast made with “slow-release” carbohydrates, such as oatmeal or bran cereal, three hours before you exercise may help you burn more fat, suggests a recent study in the Journal of Nutrition. Here’s why: in the study, eating “slow-release” carbohydrates didn’t spike blood sugar as high as eating refined carbohydrates, such as white toast. In turn, insulin levels didn’t spike as high and because insulin plays a role in signaling your body to store fat, having lower levels may help you burn fat. Want options beyond oatmeal?
7. Hot Chile Peppers
In one study, consuming a little hot pepper (in tomato juice or in capsules) 30 minutes before a meal helped study participants feel less hungry and eat about 10 percent less.
Chew more to curb hunger. That’s what researchers concluded in a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in which they asked participants to chew a 2-ounce serving of almonds 10, 25 or 40 times. Participants got maximum satisfaction—they felt fuller longer—from the nuts when they chewed 40 times. Chewing more may cause a greater release of fat from the almonds, which triggers hormones that curb hunger, speculates Rick Mattes, Ph.D., R.D., professor of foods and nutrition at Purdue University, study author and an EatingWell advisor.