Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Is obesity the new norm?

Today, I feel as though I had revolutionary thought that may change the way I personally view the obesity epidemic.  After reading articles, research, and media reports on the contributing factors of weight gain and the new approaches to slow down the ever-growing American waistlines, I thought to myself:

"Well, we know what is causing obesity and people know that diet and exercise is the key to controlling it.  But, for some reason the epidemic continues to multiply... why?"

Any answers out there?

I think there are many answers.  The one that came to my mind today is the fact that obesity has become the new norm.  And when I say "norm," I don't necessarily mean the overweight character "Norm" from the TV show "Cheers." Or, maybe I do...

The majority of Americans are overweight or obese.  Movie theatre chairs are widening and so are elastic waistbands.  Previously, chairs and waistbands helped to indicate when we were getting a little pudgy-wudgy.  However, now that these things are expanding along with the muffin-top,  it leads to losing sight of what being at a healthy weight looks and feels like.  So, the visual norm for weight has shifted under the intense pressure of our own weight.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Women, Food, And God

A great insight into the fat and skinny influences that drive food choices and battles.  Well worth the read...

An excerpt from Geneen Roth's Women, Food, and God.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Holidays. Stuff your face.

Holidays.  Stuff your face.  It is the only thing that holidays seem to be good for these days, right?  Maybe so, but not entirely!!  Holidays present the ultimate temptation for the world's dieting woes.  Extra stuffing, anyone? Sure and while your stuff the turkey, I'll stuff my face like no one is watching!

But alas, wait a minute - someone is watching - it's called your food conscious.  It is the inner part of humans that signals when they are overeating but chooses to ignore the signs for just one more lick of food bliss.  The food conscious appears to the horror of most dieters presenting the thought "I'm already full but it tastes so good, why not just finish it off?" Well, there are a lot of reasons not to finish it off especially if you don't want to stuff your body into jeans like the stuffing is put into a turkey on Thanksgiving.

So lay off the stuffing, and give this a try. Use holiday meals as a challenge.  A challenge to yourself to help aid in defining your diet.  How you may ask?  Well, make clear guidelines for yourself such as plan to only eat one plate of food instead of 3.  Or, perhaps, listen more closely to your food conscious when it says "Warning! Stuffing alert! Step away from the turkey!" as a signal that you've had too much.

Holidays. Stuff the turkey, not your face...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Healthy. It must be...

Healthy.  It must be healthy if... There are a lot of words or phrases that can complete the rest of this sentence.  Just because a food comes from a certain supermarket promoting whole foods or organic goodness does not mean that eating an abundance of sugarcoated candied nuts is a healthy choice.  A delicious one, maybe, but a healthy one, maybe not.

The same goes for cooking methods or food ingredients.  Fried foods scream "I'm fat! Eat me now!" Most foods prepared via the deep fryer or other lard application will have a higher calorie count than their non-fried counter parts.  However, the calorie count of foods labeled as "low fat" may also be a calorific shocker to body's level of blubber.  The reason for such high calories in low fat foods is due to the fact that removing fat from food products requires the fat to be replaced by other ingredients.  Quite typically, these ingredients are made from carbohydrates and proteins.  While not as calorie dense as fat, in order to make the food taste just as good, more of them are needed in the product and thus, the product is now equal to if not contains more in calories.  Shocker.

To help avoid the healthy versus non-healthy food dilemma, learn how to properly read the product packaging.  Beyond the nutrition panel found on every food product (food product referring to a manufactured product), there is a list of ingredients that tells exactly what the product is made of.  If an ingredient is not pronounceable, would you want it in your body? Well, that's up to you as you begin to define your own diet but at least now you some truth to what is healthy.  Just as health is personal, so are food and your food choices.

Healthy.  It might not be...

(Feel free to post comments with questions regarding nutrition labels and ingredients in food products)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Healthy Food Tip #2 - Guac Me!

In need of a quick and delicious snack... then search no more!!! Avocados are a great source of healthy for you fats that can help keep you not only feeling fuller for longer but also satisfy that snack craving.

Try this fresh Guacamole recipe for a spring pick me up! My own Fat & Skinny Guide Recipe!

Smash one avocado and spritz with a wedge of lime.  
Lightly sprinkle in garlic or onion salt, cracker pepper, and a bit of cumin to taste.  
Halve a 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes and mix with a fork.

Serve with whole wheat pita chips or your favorite baked chip brand.  Remember - veggies also make great dippers so try not to over do the chips or challenge yourself to just eat one chip and the rest with vegetables!

The trick to snacking and defining your diet is to eat something you and enjoy that is also good for you and satisfying! Otherwise, you may just end up searching for something else to eat after...

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Skinnyenvy. Yes, you are reading that correctly. Skinnyenvy is a combination of the words: skinny and envy. Everyone knows someone who embodies this newly formed word. They come up to make a comment about how skinny you've gotten or how much weight you lost. Of course, the main question that is really being asked is "how did you do it? how did you lose the weight?" Usually, said with such amazement and well, envy of your new skinnier self.

Annoying? Yes, skinnyenvy certainly can be (especially when it happens on a daily basis). Flattering? Well, the envier certainly thinks this weight loss is a remarkable feat. Sense of jealousy? Obviously, usually these are the type of people that have a dire need to lose almost to an obsession or simply are watching your dietary habits and the resulting spin cycle of weight loss - just to comment.

The best part of skinnyenvy is the resulting awkward conversation about how the poundage melted away. This conversation is usually weighted with trying this diet or that food fad and failing, only to gain more weight in the end and carried on by the skinnyenvier. The end is what seems to be an epiphany that they too will do what you do and be successful. The only problem - they are not you and therefore, it may not work unless they tailor it to meet their needs.

Skinnyenvy. Tailor your diet to a skinny self.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Starvation. The Myth.

Starvation.  Starvation is a diet myth.  Trust me – even a Hollywood starlet could not survive a starvation diet. Why is that you might ask?  Well, the answer might surprise you.   The human body is a miraculous thing that is not only adaptable but also has a mind of its own.   You might even venture to call this “mind” a brain that takes over even when your willpower cannot.

Bears can survive winter hibernation due to the fact that their body’s processes have slowed to a snore in order to make it through the winter without a single morsel of food.  Ever wonder why they are so grumpy when they wake up?  I think you would be too, if you hadn’t eaten in months.   The same is true for the human body but in a less of a hairy and grouchy extreme.   Starvation is similar to hibernation only in humans the body adapts by slowing the metabolism in order to conserve calories for future use.  It is an innate feature in all of us – whether we are aware of it or not.
(Bear-inspired German Chocolate Cake)

Starving oneself will only cause the body over time to come to a sluggish halt – leading to fatigue, hunger, and a bear-like grumpiness.  Yes, weight will initially be lost and rather quickly as it takes some time for the body to adapt to a starved state but slowly the weight loss will slow to a terrifying halt.   The damage is not only a mental confusion but can do more physical harm than being mauled by a bear itself.  When the body does not have enough calories to burn it starts using muscle and then fat reserves for quick energy.  The result – muscle loss.  And well muscle, muscle is the only metabolic tissue in your body and therefore, your metabolism dwindles to a drool.

Starvation.  A body slowing truth.