“I’ve always been a tad bit on the curvaceous side compared to my peers. I gained 30 pounds in college, but I was popular and six-feet tall, so nobody ever referenced my weight. It didn’t seem like an issue to me. When I moved to Atlanta, continuous late nights and early mornings pushed the scale to 320 pounds. But I didn’t initially notice the weight gain until I saw a photo of myself and thought, ‘Hmm, she’s wearing the same thing I wore…wait.’ After I saw that picture, I called my mother, and she basically said, ‘You know what you have to do.’ When I was younger, she lost a significant amount of weight, so we both knew what it took to get in shape. After that, a friend took me to LA Fitness and bought me a gym membership. He basically told me, ‘We’re going to do a lot of big things, but I need you to be here to enjoy them.’ The weight loss started from there. So far I have lost more than 110 pounds and have been on my weight-loss journey for more than four years now. Although I had a gym membership, I lost a majority of the weight by working out at home with YouTube videos and different variations of high-intensity interval training workouts. I also stopped eating fried foods, began drinking a gallon of water a day, became a vegetarian, and started drinking healthy fresh-pressed juices.” —Lola Sims, lost more than 110 pounds
Archive for the Category »Help Me Lose Weight «
“Many new technologies, and dietary supplements and new diets, are sold to the public with little actual research behind them. Wearable technology to encourage fitness is no different,” Aaron E. Carroll recently wrote in The New York Times, pointing to a study first reported on last year.
Oh, we wish we could wave a wand and make losing weight and getting in shape as easy as bibbity bobbity boo for us and for you.
Regrettably, it requires a lot more patience and thought than putting on all that weight and getting out of shape did in the first place.
But today, as we launch our 10th annual News Journal-Christiana Care Healthy Living Weigh to Go Health Challenge, we can offer you 10 ways to kick start your own personal journey down the scale and up the mountain.
If you haven’t signed up for the challenge yet, you can do so at www.delawareonline.com/weightogo. We’ll track the weight you lost (you don’t have to tell us your actually weight; just how much you’d like to lose in the eight-week challenge). There are weekly prizes chosen at random among the participants that include 76ers Tickets; a Concord Pet gift card; Shop Rite gift bags; a Target gift card; a Hagley Museum Library annual membership; and a round of golf for four at Deefield. Grand prizes, also chosen at random from those who have participated, include a YMCA membership, YMCA memberships for a family of four and a grand prize of a $1,000 VISA gift card.
Already, Mary Dickert of Newark has been told she’ll get tickets to Riverdance20 when it hits the boards at the Playhouse on Rodney Square just for being among the first to sign up on Feb. 2.
Registration ends Wednesday.
Here are 10 simple ways to get started on your own health journey:
1. Out of sight, out of mouth. Either purge your kitchen, or hide the goodies that cause your downfall. Sometimes, it’s not so easy to just toss cookies, crackers, chips and other things that sabotage our diets. Maybe you don’t want to throw them into the trash after you paid for them. Maybe there are others in the house who want them. Maybe, like Girl Scout cookies, you can only get them for a brief period a year. But you can hide them. Get the chips off the counter or top of the fridge by tossing them into a cabinet you don’t use much. Throw the cookies in the back of the freezer. Put healthier choices in front of the cheating choices in the fridge. Because if you don’t see it, you are far less likely to think, “Oh, just onnnnnnnnnneeeeeeeeee” and then eat half the bag.
2. Start tracking what you put in your mouth. Do it in a little notebook or on your smartphone. Just stop a moment and write down. It makes you think about it. You’re less likely to grab candy from the office jar when you remember you had a Salted Caramel Coffee on the way to work. Keeping track will serve to slow you down a bit and make you think a bit. After you’ve been doing it a while, you can look back and find patterns you might want to reconsider.
3. Try to eat mostly plants. The fresher the better. That can mean salads or steamed veggies, but it can also mean tossing spinach and other plants into a smoothie. Plants include grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and beans. But do think portion control. Six handfuls of cashews at one time is NOT a healthy choice and unlikely to count as a balanced meal among most humans.
4. Join a gym or class. According to Medline, researchers from Iowa State University said those with a gym membership get deramatically more aerobic and strength-training activity than those who don’t. Study author Duck-chul Lee, an assistant professor of kinesiology, said in a press release: “Gym members were 14 times more aerobically active than non-members and 10 times more likely to meet muscle-strengthening guidelines, regardless of their age and weight.” U.S. health officials recommend that adults get 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week.
5. Read food labels. Knowing what’s in your food, whether it’s in the meat case or on a grocery shelf enlightens you and helps you make better decisions in limiting high-fat and carbohydrate-rich foods. Not sure what all that means? It’s easy to look up online, and ShopRite, Safeway and other area grocery stories offer lots of label information, as well as recipes, advice from their own dietitians and recommendations on the healthiest ways to shop the stores. Many also offer classes. Stop by and ask for help.
6. Increase your fiber intake.That not only means eating fresh fruits and veggies, or as close to fresh as possible, but also whole grain breads and oats. It will help you feel fuller and help your digestive tract work more effectively.
7. Study portion control. Americans in general expect and eat huge portions of food all day long. A bit of shorthand: Anything bigger than the palm of your hand is probably too big. That has bigger implications when it’s red meat or sweets.
8. Get some sleep. Studies have linked lack of rest with people being overweight and obese. But it’s also true that getting sleep can help your immune system operate at its best, which is useful with flu season raging around the state. Is someone telling you that you snore at night and wake yourself up, or that you stop breathing? Pay attention to that, and check it out with a doctor.
9. Add movement to your day. It doesn’t have to be dramatic. Set your watch and walk a lap around the office every hour, or around the parking lot or deck at lunch. Skip the elevator and take the stairs – even some stairs. Park farther away than normal. Stretch while you watch TV at night or do simple exercises that are easy to find online. Every little bit does count and will help. And if you start out small, how knows how far you can go over months to a year?
10. Cook for yourself. Lots of studies out there indicate that people who cook for themselves eat better and eat fewer calories. That’s partly because they know exactly what they’ve put into it and partly because they’re getting exactly what they want.
Contact Betsy Price at (302) 324-2884 or [email protected]
What’s coming in the 8 weeks of the Healthy Living Weigh to Go challenge
In the coming eight weeks of the Healthy Living Weigh to Go challenge, we’ll be looking at the best eat less, move more advice, but also at personal and community programs tied to the health of the First State.
Beyond what each of us put in our mouths, the state, Christiana Care and other health officials are moving to increase the base health numbers of all Delaware residents.
Some of that is through programs that are general, such as providing walking and biking paths around the state, and some of it is very specific, such as programs designed to get the disabled moving, the importance of health screenings and Knowing Your Numbers, a Christiana program designed to help education people about what blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol levels and more mean to their health now and down the line.
Along the way, we’ll look at violence prevention programs, educating teens about their bodies and health and programs designed to keep people in the healthiest of situations even in the face of money problems, recent surgeries, disabilities and age.
Freezing weather is no excuse to give up on fitness. As it turns out, you might stand a better chance of losing weight when it’s cold.
A new study published in the journal Scientific Reports found that people actively trying to shed pounds had the best results when the temperature dropped. The more inhospitable the weather, the more conscientious people became about keeping track of their meals and calories.
“Climate-related factors can directly change a person’s behavior, and these factors can have a certain impact on intentional efforts to lose weight,” said Sang Youl Rhee, who led the research team at Kyung Hee University Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea. “In addition, various climatic factors can lead to a significant change in the level of energy expenditure in the body.”
Researchers tracked the weight loss of 3,274 people younger than 42 throughout Europe, the Americas and Asia with Noom Coach, a fitness app that can pinpoint the location of users. They then used a meteorology service, called Weather Underground API, to monitor conditions, and they discovered that lower temperatures and lower dew points as well as higher wind speed and precipitation were all linked to the app users’ weight loss.
On average, people logged into Noom 110 days during the yearlong study, or roughly every three days. Men tended to use the app more frequently than women and were more likely to lose weight. People who logged their meals regularly, especially dinner, lost the most weight.
“It’s important to focus on changing the underlying behaviors that lead to obesity,” said Rhee, an endocrinologist. “Those who continue logging food and have an awareness around what they are eating will be most successful in losing weight.”
Other studies have explored the relationship between lower temperatures and burning fat. One study in the journal of Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism said spending time in the cold can boost calorie burn by as much as 30 percent. Yet those studies primarily examined the molecular breakdown of fat, not the behavioral connection between temperature and weight loss.
Chronicling meals, physical activity and weight have been proven in previous studies to be effective ways to lose weight. A Kaiser Permanente study of 1,700 people found that those who kept a daily account of what they ate lost twice as much weight as those who kept no record.
The study didn’t take exercise into account, but Petakov said that’s not necessarily a shortcoming.
“The popular notion is that physical activity is the key to achieving weight loss, but the truth is it’s more about nutrition,” Petakov said. “When it’s colder, you have more time to focus on the nutrition aspects, cooking more, for example, and just have more time to dedicate to it without as many distractions as far as going outside.”