Top 5 Weight Loss Plans

Top 5 Weight Loss Plans

Determining which Top 5 Weight Loss Plans will best help you with your goals is a task that I sincerely hope to help you with today.

Weight loss is hard and to make it more challenging there is so much information to sift through that it can be daunting.  Before I continue, you should know that this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on or purchase one of the product links I’ll receive some compensation that will support my addiction to all things coffee.

So without further ado, let’s get started sorting out the Top 5 Weight Loss Plans.

The Atkins Diet, Eat Right Not Less

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Top 5 Weight Loss Plans

First, in the Top 5 Weight Loss Plans is the Atkins Diet plan.  This is a low carb approach to weight loss.  See it on Amazon

Dr. Atkins, a well-known cardiologist, limited his patients’ intake of sugar and carbohydrates.

As a result, many of his patients successfully lost weight and kept it off – even though they had previously been unsuccessful on regular low-calorie diets!

The body burns 2 types of fuel. Sugar (carbs that are converted to sugar) and fat.  A person can be on a low-calorie diet but still consume too much sugar. Which fuels cravings for more carbohydrate which makes it difficult to lose weight.

Atkins claims that by consuming a low carb, low-calorie diet, a person is less hungry and more satisfied. This also helps reduce cravings for carbs.

100 DELICIOUS WHOLE-FOOD RECIPES: Not only are the recipes in this book low in carbs and sugar, but they also contain a healthy balance of proteins and healthy fats, and they are nutrient-dense.

MEAL PLANS TO HELP YOU ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS: Six full weeks of meal plans packed with variety, these healthy takes on classic comfort foods offer simple solutions for eating the foods we love in a healthier way.

Reviews:

Andrew says, “I’ve been looking for a decent diet program. I was going to try Keto but read somewhere that Keto was basically just the first stage of Atkins so I thought I would look into it and lo and behold they were releasing a new book. Arrived yesterday and so far it’s really good.

While I already knew some of the science behind it, it does a really good job of explaining the program for new people and the recipes look good although I do wish they had pictures for every recipe. While an Atkins veteran might not find this worth buying, anyone looking to start their weight loss journey should start here.”

Review:

Next, G. Taylor has this to say, “It’s a lifestyle, not a diet. Once you realize that you can lose all the weight you need to and keep it off. Take it from me. I lost 125 lbs and then went right back to old habits… hey, the diet is over. Gained 75 lbs back. 16 months ago I decided that “diets don’t work”! Now I live a low carb lifestyle and have lost 100 lbs. I am happier, look good and feel great! Again… it’s not a diet. It’s a lifestyle, and that means for LIFE.”

Review:

Finally, Kelly Faas had this to say, “Positives: The graphics and page layouts are nice.
Cons: The first 100 pages are all rehash of the Atkins program. Good info, but not what I was looking for. This is just old info that is being re-wrapped in a pretty bow for those who don’t know anything about the Atkins program.

The recipes are nothing new as well. Some are so simple they shouldn’t require a full-page recipe, but perhaps a page of “what you can do with an egg,” for example. Many of the recipes do not have pictures. I am a visual person and like to see what I am cooking should look like.

Overall: It is a good-sized book, sturdy cover, nice pictures, the print is appealing…………..but if you have been working the Atkins plan for a while, you will be disappointed. If you are a newbie, looking for who Dr. Atkins was, the history of the plan and very basic information, then this is the book for you.

Number 2 on the Top 5 Weight Loss Plans is

The Keto Diet by Leanne Vogel:  See it on Amazon

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Top 5 Weight Loss Plans

 

The Keto diet claims humans thrive on high-fat, low-carb diets. The Keto diet claims also that scores of people around the world have discovered that a ketogenic lifestyle is a key to weight loss, disease prevention and intervention, and more vibrant life. The Keto diet suggests gone are the days of constant hunger and low energy. This book leads you on a path to better health, a slimmer waistline, elimination of cravings, and endless energy.

I personally have tried ketogenic dieting and I have had success with losing weight. One thing is for sure, I was never hungry. Really helpful when you finally get serious about losing weight.  This is why I chose “The Keto Diet” as number 2 on the Top 5 Weight Loss Plans.

Author’s Biography

Leanne Vogel is the founder of Healthful Pursuit, best-selling author of over 11 health programs, host of The Keto Diet Podcast, and the creator of Fat Fueled living – a holistic, paleo-friendly approach to a ketogenic, high-fat diet. She has been in the field of nutrition since receiving her holistic nutrition certification in 2007. Leanne shares free videos, podcasts, recipes and keto-friendly resources on her blog, healthfulpursuit.com.

Reviews:

One review from D McC mentions that Keto has Beautiful illustrations, a very thorough and comprehensive guide to every aspect of keto you can think of, and also great recipes (all dairy-free with the option of subbing in dairy).  Keto lists types of fats/oils, how to make kinds of nut milk, to different types of keto, to what to expect from side effects.

Review:

From Kathy Lonergan is this rave review:   The approach in this book offers so many options and is much more practical, the recipes are great and easy to make, and the ingredients are easy to find. This is the first time I’ve been able to stick with it for almost 3 weeks and am actually experiencing the benefits….loss of sugar cravings, more energy, less inflammation, and improving digestive issues.

My husband is really liking it too. He was miserable the last time we tried it but was willing to give it another shot. I highly recommend this book whether you’re just starting out or have experience with this way of life. Other books I’ve tried to read required a master’s in some area of science to understand it all. this book is an easy and interesting read, for the everyday person.

Review:

Finally, this last review from Colorado Sun; Leanne is down to earth, relatable and clearly knows Keto like the back of her hand. This is my first experience with a Keto Diet; I’ve done Atkins several times. This diet is far superior to Atkins because of the focus on nutrition and the quality of food.

I’ve been doing the Daily Fat Burner (the one suggested for nursing mothers) plan and much to my surprise it put me in ketosis the first week, even while I enjoyed fruit throughout the week. It is an all-encompassing textbook for Keto; really the only book you’ll need. I have been doing the dairy-free option and even though I went through cheese withdrawals I feel so much better. I highly recommend the book!

Number 3 in the Top 5 Weight Loss Plans list

The Mediterranean Diet Weight Loss Solution: The 28-Day Kickstart Plan for Lasting Weight Loss by Julene Stassou MS RD (Author)

Top 5 Weight Loss Plans EmbracingAging.us

Top 5 Weight Loss Plans

The Mediterranean Diet (See it on Amazon) is more than just a diet—it’s a sustainable way of life.”—Mark Sapienza, MD

Deciding to diet is easy, but finding and sticking to a diet long enough to keep weight off and feel the results isn’t always so simple. No one knows this better than the author and dietician Julene Stassou, who recommends the Mediterranean diet to anyone looking to leave fad diets behind for lasting results.

Serving up mouthwatering recipes and weekly meal plans alongside realistic routines for losing weight, The Mediterranean Diet Weight Loss Solution is your go-to reference for a long-term lifestyle change. Not just another diet book to help you lose weight.

Reviews:

This review from Gerri states, “after a heart scare, cardiac doctor recommended a (low sodium, low carb) Mediterranean diet. Thank you, doctor! Having no idea what a Mediterranean diet looked like…I turned to Amazon for a solution. Enter the Mediterranean Diet Weight Loss Solution! I am so glad I ordered this reasonably priced book. The recipes are so easy to follow and normal foods.

The dishes are so flavorful and filling, you feel like you must be cheating. The included, complete shopping lists simplify the grocery buying and planning. I do modify and lower the salt just a bit, to accommodate our low sodium needs. We don’t really notice as the Mediterranean spices add so much flavor to the dishes! I highly recommend this book! My husband and I have each lost 20 pounds in just over three months.”

Review:

This next review by Mary Babcock speaks volumes: ” Who knew eating healthy could be so delicious. I am in week 2 of the plan and have enjoyed every meal. The ingredients for the meals are at my local store, and I live in a smaller community. The recipes are easy to follow, and the utensils needed to cook the meals are normal utensils.

highly recommend this book as I feel better, the food is delicious, it is easy to prepare, and simple to find in stores. If a person reads the intro, the recipes, and purchases items on the already prepared shopping list, it is a near painless process to move to healthy/delicious food.

Prior to purchasing this book, I did little to no cooking. Reading the recipes and suggestions for preparation prior to cooking has proved to be most effective at facilitating the cooking process even with a novice cook like me. I am losing weight, which is somewhat of a surprise as I feel satisfied (not deprived or starved).”

Review:

Allie O. says, “This is a fabulous book and I would highly recommend it! It has encouraged me to be more mindful of what I’m eating as well as what I’m purchasing at the supermarket and feeding my children. It has motivated me to take my bicycle, walk, take the stairs…and it includes various strength training exercises that are clearly outlined.

The recipes are delicious and easy to prepare and focus on “whole foods”. The Mediterranean Diet is not just a weight-loss plan, it’s taking a holistic approach to creating better daily habits as they relate to food and exercise. The book is laid out in an easy to read format with wonderful photos!

Not only is the Mediterranean Diet extremely healthy it also leads to longevity. So for that reason, this plan is number 3 on the Top 5 weight loss plans.

The Dash Diet Weight Loss Solution: 2 Weeks to Drop Pounds, Boost Metabolism, and Get Healthy by Marla Heller

Top 5 Weight Loss Plans EmbracingAging.us

Top 5 Weight Loss Plans

The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension)  See it on Amazon

The DASH diet isn’t just for healthy living anymore–now it’s for healthy weight loss, too. Using the newest DASH diet research, bestselling author, foremost DASH dietitian and leading nutrition expert Marla Heller has created the most effective diet for quick and lasting weight loss.
This is the only book to bring you the latest updates for the DASH diet, integrated with the latest weight loss research, which works synergistically to maximize results. This effective and easy program includes menu plans, recipes, shopping lists, and more. Everything you need to lose weight and get healthy!
Readers will enjoy a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat and nonfat dairy, lean meats/fish/poultry, nuts/beans/seeds, heart-healthy fats, and limited amounts of whole grains.
Banished are the empty calories from refined grains and added sugars. The result: improved metabolism, lower body fat, improved strength, and cardiovascular fitness–with the diet plan proven to lower cholesterol and blood pressure without medication, and without counting calories!

Reviews:

J. Adams says, “This book has helped me tremendously! My doctor recommended the Dash Diet for my high blood pressure. I have to say, it was not easy to break my addiction to sugar. Phase one (2 weeks) is painful. I failed a few times before finally breaking through and sticking with it.

Review:

I had SO much success on phase one, I was afraid to move on and reintroduce fruit and whole grains to my diet so I remained on it for another 2 weeks. In one month of following the diet closely, I lost almost 20 pounds. My blood pressure dropped so dramatically that my medication had to be significantly decreased.
 I did not do the exercise as recommended in the book due to very low energy levels but imagine that if I had, I would have lost more weight. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has high blood pressure or cholesterol and wants to lose weight.

Review:

Next is Misty Dawn’s review. “When my doctor suggested this instead of medication, I figured it was worth a try even though I was not very excited about it. Totally easy read and so helpful. I’ve recommended it a few times already. No one ever thinks a diet will make the difference, but this one made all the difference for me.

Review:

Finally, Temis Clark says in part,  “I bought the book back in December, but didn’t start the program until 01/13/2014. The book is basically divided into 2: 14-day plan for quick body reset and results, during which carbs and fruits are completely removed, and another 14 days where both of them are slowly reintroduced. The purpose of the first 14 days is to stabilize blood sugar and get rid of cravings, and does it work!

I’ve been in the movies, and not eat popcorn. I sat 2 days ago with my nephew while he ate Doritos and popcorn while watching a movie back home and I didn’t even blink.

In the first 7 days, I lost 3.3 lb, my swollen (fat) belly has reduced a great deal, my hands are starting to look more like an adult’s and not a baby’s. I haven’t really been hungry since I eat every 3 hours or so, but smaller portions, and I get full with a lot less on every meal. This program is great.

I have friends and family members who struggle with hypertension so this one’s for you. I really liked this one for number 4 of the Top 5 Weight Loss Plans

Dr. Neal D. Barnard has been at the forefront of cutting-edge research on what it really takes to lose weight and restore the body to optimal health. Now, with his proven, successful program, in just three short weeks you’ll get fast results-drop pounds, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, improve blood sugar, and more. With Dr. Barnard’s advice on how to easily start a plant-based diet, you’ll learn the secrets to reprogramming your body quickly:

· Appetite reduction: Strategically choose the right foods to naturally and easily tame your appetite.

· Metabolism boost: Adjust eating patterns to burn calories faster for about three hours after each meal.

· Cardioprotection: Discover the powerful foods that can help reduce cholesterol nearly as much as drugs do in just weeks.  See it on Amazon

Whether you are one of the millions who are anxious to get a jumpstart on weight loss or who already know about the benefits of a plant-based diet but have no idea how or where to start, this book is the kickstart you’ve been waiting for.

Complete with more than sixty recipes, daily meal plans for the 21-day program, tips for grocery shopping, and more, this book will teach you how to make the best food choices and get your body on the fast track to better health.

Reviews:

Francesca says this about the plant-based diet, “I have been on the diet for 4 weeks now, as it made me feel a lot healthier, I don’t miss meat, fish, eggs or dairy… I am surprised, I thought it would be much harder. There are so many things to replace the protein, without all of the fat.

I have lost 6 lbs, but better than that I feel good. I consider myself to be well educated in foods and nutrition, but I learned so much from this book, it is very well written and so easy to understand. I highly recommend it. Of course, as the book says, check with your Dr before starting any diet.

Review:

Regina Loveday says, “Excellent book for wanting to live a more healthy life by introducing the plant-based way of eating. Dr. Neal Barnard writes for the common man to easily understand how certain foods affect our bodies backed up with scientific research that he himself has been involved in for many years.

It is very educational, motivating and exciting as he makes it interesting and fun to begin a process of doing something good for yourself & your body. I highly recommend this book to anyone!

Review:

Finally, Wifesk1 says this, “My vegan bible. I refer to this book often and recommend it to others who are considering a vegan diet. the recipes are easy and delicious. I’ve cooked almost everyone in the book. This helped me change the way I eat and lose weight in the process. By omitting meat and dairy, I lost 20 pounds without trying and lost that paunch. I highly recommend this book to anyone contemplating a whole foods diet. This makes it easy.

By all means, talk to your Dr. about which diet plan would be the safest and most effective for you.  You may have special health concerns that need to be addressed before starting a new diet plan.  Diabetes, high blood pressure, and chronic pain and others are worth discussing with your doctor.

This plan is a plant-based diet and a lot of people have had great success with this type of diet plan.  This is why I chose this plan for number 5 in the Top 5 Diet Plans.

Make yourself a priority.  You deserve to be energetic, vital and bright.  I encourage you to try to do what you can to feel your best.

That’s all for today friends.

I hope you enjoyed this discussion. Please share your thoughts and, feel free to leave your comments and share this post with friends.

I’m Karen with Embracing Aging

Reminding you to Embrace Your Age

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Everyone Should Know About Inflammation

This is a true story about inflammation that I could literally see with my own two eyes.  It was quite interesting actually to see it up close.

My beautiful daughter who is a third-grade school teacher, was on medication to aid her with weight loss.  She had a terrible allergic reaction to the medication. Next, she broke out in hives/whelps all over her body. Just so you know, this kind of inflammation is brought on by histamine.

Before I continue, you should know that this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on or purchase one of the product links I’ll receive some compensation that will support my addiction to all things coffee.  “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

She needed something to soothe her skin.  I volunteered to go to Walgreens to pick up some Aveeno lotion to help her get some relief.

Now, she hadn’t eaten dinner so she wanted something quick and easy so ramen noodles to the rescue… Or not.

I stayed with her while she ate and I kid you not, about 15 minutes after she ate those noodles, her hives turned bright red and doubled in size!

Inflammation at work

This my friend, is inflammation at work. The fact that she had hives was bad enough, but eating those glutinous noodles put her in an advanced state of misery.  The poor thing!

Now, sadly I wasn’t surprised. I didn’t tell her or advise her not to eat this particular food because she’s a grown woman. (And I’m still her mother and she’s not going to listen to me anyway.)

What’s the point of this story?
Sometimes it takes getting kicked while you’re down to understand how inflammatory foods affect you.

Gluten gets a bad rap.   However, there are quite a few other foods that cause and aggravate inflammation, illness, bone and joint conditions beyond arthritis and bring on headaches and migraines seemingly out of left field until you investigate the cause.

I know all too well how unhealthy eating habits can take their toll on a person’s quality of life. Long story short, I have lost as of today 176 lbs. Yes, I had weight loss surgery which was only the beginning of an entirely new way of life and journey to health and fitness.

Replace inflammatory foods with anti-inflammatory foods

 

What everyone should know about inflammation - Embracing-Aging.com

Omega 3 found in fish help put out the flame in inflammation. Feel free to pin this image.

The sooner one can make the necessary food substitutions the sooner one can get on the path to feeling healthier, energetic and vibrant. I believe the most important part of eating better,  when replacing an inflammatory food with an anti-inflammatory is to make it easy. A perfect example adds olive oil to your cooking replacing vegetable oil.  Starting with small adjustments will motivate you to do more to feel better.  I wrote Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition to inform myself and others about foods containing the most nutritional value.

8 Food Ingredients That Can Cause Inflammation

When you have arthritis, your body is in an inflammatory state. What you eat may not only increase inflammation, it can also set you up for other chronic conditions such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.  From Arthritis.org, here are 8 typical food ingredients that may trigger more inflammation in your body.

Sugar

It may be hard to resist desserts, pastries, chocolate bars, sodas, even fruit juices. However, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition warns that processed sugars trigger the release of inflammatory messengers called cytokines. Sugar goes by many names so look out for any word ending in “ose,” e.g. fructose or sucrose on ingredient labels.

 Trans Fats

In the 1990s, Harvard School of Public Health researchers helped sound the alarm about trans fat.   Trans fats,  trigger systemic inflammation. Trans fats are in fast foods and other fried products.  Such as processed snack foods, frozen breakfast products, cookies, donuts, crackers, and most stick kinds of margarine. Avoid foods with partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredient labels.

Saturated Fats

Several studies have shown that saturated fats trigger adipose (fat tissue) inflammation.  This is an indicator of heart disease and also worsens arthritis inflammation. Pizza and cheese are the biggest sources of saturated fats in the average American diet, according to the National Cancer Institute. Other culprits include meat products (especially red meat), full-fat dairy products, pasta dishes, and grain-based desserts.

Omega 6 Fatty Acids

Omega 6 fatty acids are an essential fatty acid that the body needs for normal growth and development. The body needs a healthy balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Excess consumption of omega-6s can trigger the body to produce pro-inflammatory chemicals.  Fatty acids are in corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, soy oil, peanut oil, and vegetable oil; mayonnaise; and many salad dressings.

 Refined Carbohydrates

White flour products (bread, rolls, crackers) white rice, white potatoes (instant mashed potatoes, or french fries) and many kinds of cereal are refined carbohydrates. According to Scientific American, processed carbohydrates may trump fats as the main driver of escalating rates of obesity and other chronic conditions. These high-glycemic index foods fuel the production of advanced glycation end (AGE) products that stimulate inflammation.

 MSG

Mono-sodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor-enhancing food additive most commonly found in prepared Asian food and soy sauce, but it can also be added to fast foods, prepared soups and soup mixes, salad dressings and deli meats. This chemical can trigger two important pathways of chronic inflammation, and affect liver health.

 Gluten and Casein

People who have joint pain and are sensitive to gluten, found in wheat, barley, and rye, or casein, found in dairy products, may find relief by avoiding them. And those diagnosed with celiac disease, in which gluten sets off an autoimmune response that damages the small intestine and sometimes causes joint pain may find relief when they adopt a gluten-free diet. There may be an overlap in which some people with arthritis also have a gluten sensitivity or also have celiac disease.

Aspartame

Trying to go sugar-free? I get it. For me, sugar is far more problematic than Aspartame.  This might not be true for you.  People with diabetes depend on sugar substitutes for blood sugar maintenance.

However, Aspartame is a non-nutritive, intense artificial sweetener found in more than 4,000 products worldwide. While it’s approved by the FDA, studies on its effects are mixed, and the impact on people with autoimmune disease are unknown. If you are sensitive to this chemical, your immune system may react to the “foreign substance” by attacking the chemical. This reaction will trigger an inflammatory response.

Alcohol

Alcohol is a burden to the liver. Excessive use weakens liver function and disrupts other multi-organ interactions. Furthermore, alcohol causes inflammation and should be eliminated or used in moderation.

Better food choices

Gluten is not the only offender. Especially if you’re fighting illness or dealing with arthritis or healing from an injury. Here is where the handy-dandy infographic comes in.

I see no need for reinventing the wheel, so I borrowed this infographic from Dr. Amy Neuzil, ND.  She is the author of What the Health. To read more you can go to her site dramyneuzil.com 

What everyone should know about inflammation - EmbracingAging.us

Infographic from What the Health

Keep track of your health and wellness

So the next time you aren’t feeling as good as you should, take a look at what you eat.  You can feel significantly better by switching out inflammatory foods for anti-inflammatory foods.

When I have a way to keep track of my food intake and exercise routines, I do so much better.  Using a habit tracker, food, and water tracker makes it clearer to me how I’m managing my health and wellness.

 You Can be 25 pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook

The printable You Can be 25 pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook, is full of questions for you to contemplate and tips to help you find your way back on track.  Most people know what they need to do. However, getting started can be half the battle.

Furthermore, being honest with ourselves is sometimes tricky when it comes to being accountable for what we eat and how much we exercise. Real progress comes when we are being really honest with ourselves. Using the tools included in this guidebook will serve you well if you use them every day.

Included are:

  • Items you may need list
  • Goal setting guides
  • Food, Water, Exercise and Habit Trackers
  • Weight and inches lost tracker
  • Resources to connect you to more valuable & helpful content

Also, there’s help for you to use positive thinking and visualization. Plus ways to help you stay focused are also included. The printable You Can be 25 pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook is what helps you find your way back to vitality and regaining physical stamina

You Can be 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook - EmbracingAging.us

You can be 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook

Physical Stamina and Vitality

I reclaimed my physical stamina and vitality. However, I did it all on my own and it took me years and years to accomplish what I know today. It’s my most heartfelt wish to save you the time and impart to you the tools and information I’ve acquired to help you on your journey.

That’s all for today friends.  Finally, I hoped this post ” What Everyone Should Know About Inflammation” helped you.  I would be so appreciative if you would take a moment to share this post with your favorite social media outlet.  Please feel free to leave your comments and share your healthy aging tips.

I’m Karen with Embracing Aging,

Reminding you to Embrace Your Age.

 

 

 

What Clean Eating Means: Here Are Some Ideas to Get You Started

What Clean Eating Means

So, what does it mean when someone says they are “clean eating?” Honestly, it’s different for everyone. What’s normal for one, may not be for another. Before I continue, you should know that this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on or purchase one of the product links I’ll receive some compensation that will support my addiction to all things coffee.    What’s healthy for one may be a disaster for another.  These are some diets or styles of eating that are often considered clean eating styles.

Kiwis, Lemons, and Oranges What clean eating means. EmbracingAging.us

Clean eating can include fresh fruit for quick energy  Feel free to pin this image.

Some fruits and vegetables aren’t compatible with some medications.

The following is a list of clean eating styles

Then there are the foods you may NOT have due to religious views, allergies, or diet restrictions

  •  sweeteners
  •  sugar
  •  pork
  •  red meat
  •  processed foods
  •  shellfish

I’m sure you get the idea. There may be a combination of diet restrictions that constitutes clean eating for different people for different reasons.  Someone with type two diabetes is going to eat very differently than someone who is not diabetic.

Food and drug interactions

Let’s not forget how medications can also play a very prominent role in clean eating.  Someone on blood thinners is not going to be eating food that promotes clotting (foods high in vitamin k)
Grapefruit is very problematic for all different kinds of medications, always check with your pharmacist or doctor to see if there are any foods that would be best avoided when beginning a new medication.

About the time I turned 47, I learned that I have a sensitivity to dairy and gluten.   Could I say I was very strict about avoiding these foods?   Perfect, I’m not.  PCOS (Polycystic ovarian syndrome) is a condition that improves when avoiding dairy and simple carbs. (I wish I could say there was a cure but there isn’t one)  This is just a sample of how eating clean for me is probably different for you.

Fitness styles affect the type of foods you may need

Furthermore, there is so much to consider for different body types and styles of fitness that the science that goes into figuring out what each individual needs on their journey is enough to make one’s head spin.

Different types of athletes will eat different ways according to their protein, calorie and fat demands.  A bodybuilder isn’t going to eat the same way like a lean cyclist. A long-distance runner may not eat the same way as a female who goes to the gym 4-5 days a week trying to obtain an hourglass figure.

Wheat field, trees, and blue sky. EmbracingAging.us

Pay attention to how you feel after eating gluten. Headaches, joint pain, and gastric upset can be caused by gluten consumption.

Next time, if you hear the phrase “clean eating”, just know that you have to determine what’s going to work best for your body’s chemistry. You have to accommodate your body’s demands. Taking into consideration:

  1. Style of fitness
  2. Desired outcome
  3. Food allergies and sensitivities
  4. Medical conditions
  5. Medications
Wooden bowl and spoon with Kidney beans. EmbracingAging.us

Beans are a superfood and can add years to your life.

You Have to Practice Clean Eating According to Your Bodies Specific Needs.

So if I handed you a child-size shoe, and I said, “Here, this is a lovely shoe. It’s brand new in this lovely shade of blue. Wear this shoe and you’ll love it.” If you are a 6’2″ tall man with a size 11 foot, that lovely child-size shoe in blue, no matter how perfect it is, will not work for you.  Everyone has to define for themselves what clean eating means for them.

Web MD has this to say about clean eating The basic idea of clean eating is to choose foods that are as close to their natural form as possible. So instead of boxed, bagged, or packaged foods, choose fresh, whole ones. Think whole turkey instead of frozen turkey meatballs or raw grapes instead of gummy snacks made with fruit juice. Bonus: When you avoid highly processed foods, like chips, cookies, and ready-to-eat meals, you skip their loads of calories, sugar, salt, and saturated fat.

Beverages

When it comes to drinks, I agree with what Web MD has to say:  Instead of sugar-heavy soft drinks and juices, sip low-calorie beverages, such as water and herbal tea. Water can curb your hunger and help you feel full, but it can also fend off fatigue and give you more energy. Miss flavored drinks? Try infusing your water with a slice of citrus or sprig of mint.

Artificial Ingredients

Artificial colors, sweeteners, preservatives, and other manmade ingredients don’t have a place in a clean-eating diet. At the grocery store, read food labels and avoid items with the fake stuff.

Going Organic?

Some believe eating organic food is the best approach to clean eating.  This excerpt from Web MD says:  Organic farmers use natural pesticides and avoid man-made ones, so some people say organic produce is the best way to eat clean. It’s up to you to decide how important it is to your diet. You can also shop at your local farmer’s market to find out what kinds of pesticides the vendors use. Another tip: Pesticides usually wind up on the outsides of fruits and veggies, so you can choose non-organic foods with skins you don’t eat, like avocados, corn, and onions.

Basket of fresh vegetables. EmbracingAging.us

Eating food that’s fresh, vibrant and alive can make you feel the same way.

Medical News Today states:

Some people on a clean diet may refuse to eat foods that have been treated with hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides, while another person may choose not to eat foods packaged in boxes or jars.

Magazines and books on clean eating often promise that a clean diet will help a person enjoy many health benefits. These can include heightened energy, glowing skin, and weight loss.

What Clean Eating Means Here are Ideas to Get You Started - EmbracingAging.com

What Clean Eating Means.  Feel free to pin this image.

However, according to an article in the British Medical Journal, many of the claims regarding clean eating are a “loose interpretation of facts.” While clean eating can help a person feel physically better, so can less-restrictive dietary approaches.

Not all additives are bad

Just because foods have additives does not mean they are unhealthful.

Some people on a clean eating diet may refuse to eat any foods that contain additives because they believe the food is not in its purest, natural state. However, there are some beneficial food additives.

Examples include vitamin D that can be added to milk to enhance bones or iron to orange juice. While these foods may not be pure in the literal sense, they can help a person achieve their daily nutritional needs.

However, some additives are not beneficial and could be described as dirty. An example is trans fats, which are added to foods to extend their shelf life. Trans fats are thought to increase a person’s cholesterol levels significantly, which can result in problems with heart health.

This is an example where making cleaner choices and avoiding trans fats can be beneficial.

If you would like to read more about the myths and facts of clean eating, visit Medical News Today.

What does clean eating mean to you?  I would love to know your thoughts on this fascinating subject.  Feel free to share this article if I was able to give you food for thought. (pun intended)

I’m Karen with Embracing Aging,

Reminding you to Embrace Your Age

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You Can be 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook

Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome

Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome

According to the Mayo Clinic, Insulin Resistance & Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. These conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels.

You should know, this post contains affiliate links.  In other words,  if you click on or purchase one of the product links, I’ll receive some compensation. Which further allows me to support my coffee addiction.

Having just one of these conditions doesn’t mean you have metabolic syndrome. But it does mean you have a greater risk of serious disease. And if you develop more of these conditions, your risk of complications, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, rises even higher.

Metabolic syndrome is increasingly common, and up to one-third of U.S. adults have it. If you have metabolic syndrome or any of its components, aggressive lifestyle changes can delay or even prevent the development of serious health problems.

Symptoms

Most of the disorders associated with metabolic syndrome don’t have obvious signs or symptoms. One sign that is visible is a large waist circumference. And if your blood sugar is high, you might notice the signs and symptoms of diabetes — such as increased thirst and urination, fatigue, and blurred vision.

When to see a doctor

If you know you have at least one component of metabolic syndrome, ask your doctor whether you need testing for other components of the syndrome.

Causes

Metabolic syndrome is closely linked to overweight or obesity and inactivity.

It’s also linked to a condition called insulin resistance. Normally, your digestive system breaks down the foods you eat into sugar. Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas that helps sugar enter your cells to be used as fuel.

In people with insulin resistance, cells don’t respond normally to insulin and glucose can’t enter the cells as easily. As a result, your blood sugar levels rise even as your body churns out more and more insulin to try to lower your blood sugar.

Risk factors

The following factors increase your chances of having metabolic syndrome:

  • Age. Your risk of metabolic syndrome increases with age.
  • Ethnicity. In the United States, Hispanics— especially Hispanic women — appear to be at the greatest risk of developing metabolic syndrome.
  • Obesity. Carrying too much weight, especially in your abdomen, increases your risk of metabolic syndrome.
  • Diabetes. You’re more likely to have metabolic syndrome if you had diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) or if you have a family history of type 2 diabetes.
  • Other diseases. Your risk of metabolic syndrome is higher if you’ve ever had nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, polycystic ovary syndrome or sleep apnea.

Complications

Having metabolic syndrome can increase your risk of developing:

  • Type 2 diabetes. If you don’t make lifestyle changes to control your excess weight, you may develop insulin resistance, which can cause your blood sugar levels to rise. Eventually, insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes.
  • Heart and blood vessel disease. High cholesterol and high blood pressure can contribute to the buildup of plaques in your arteries. These plaques can narrow and harden your arteries, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Prevention

Mayo Clinic’s book Healthy Heart for Life is an excellent resource for help.

Mayo Clinic Healthy Heart for Life Book Cover -  Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome

Mayo Clinic Healthy Heart for Life

  See it on Amazon

A lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle may prevent the conditions that cause metabolic syndrome. A healthy lifestyle includes:

  • Getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days
  • Eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and whole grains
  • Limiting saturated fat and salt in your diet
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Not smoking

If you would like to contact a professional at the Mayo Clinic, here are a few resources that can help you.

 Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome - Embracing Aging.us

Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome

   Smart Carbs and Proteins

Healthy bread - Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome - EmbracingAging.us

Bread can be healthy when it’s whole grain and nutrient-dense.

7 of the Healthiest Breads you can choose

  • Sprouted whole grain
  • Sourdough
  • 100% whole wheat
  • Oat bread
  • Flax bread
  • 100% sprouted rye bread
  • Healthy gluten-free bread

Over at Healthline.com, you can find a detailed description of each one of these healthy bread options.

Also, homebaked bread using whole grains and whole mixed grains can be a healthy option over sugary store brands.  I enjoy homebaked loaves of bread with walnuts, cranberries, and dates. I like being able to control my ingredients from choosing gluten-free coconut flour and using a sugar substitute.

  Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome- EmbracingAging.us

Healthy dried fruit and nuts in a whole grain loaf.

 Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome risk increase with abdominal fat

 Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome - EmbracingAging.us

One of the most dangerous places to have fat is around your chest and belly.

Harvard Medical School’s Publication Harvard Health had this bit of important documentation about the dangers of visceral fat around your internal organs:  Abdominal, or visceral, fat is of particular concern because it’s a key player in a variety of health problems — much more so than subcutaneous fat, the kind you can grasp with your hand. Visceral fat, on the other hand, lies out of reach, deep within the abdominal cavity, where it pads the spaces between our abdominal organs.

Visceral fat has been linked to metabolic disturbances and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. In women, it is also associated with breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery.

Are you pear-shaped or apple-shaped?

Fat accumulated in the lower body (the pear shape) is subcutaneous, while fat in the abdominal area (the apple shape) is largely visceral. Where fat ends up is influenced by several factors, including heredity and hormones. As the evidence against abdominal fat mounts, researchers and clinicians are trying to measure it, correlate it with health risks, and monitor changes that occur with age and overall weight gain or loss.

  Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome - EmbracingAging.us

Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome risk increase with abdominal fat

 

The fat you can pinch is subcutaneous fat. The fat inside your belly (the visceral fat) can be seen and measured, but not pinched.

One reason excess visceral fat is so harmful could be its location near the portal vein, which carries blood from the intestinal area to the liver. Substances released by visceral fat, including free fatty acids, enter the portal vein and travel to the liver, where they can influence the production of blood lipids. Visceral fat is directly linked with higher total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower HDL (good) cholesterol, and insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance means that your body’s muscle and liver cells don’t respond adequately to normal levels of insulin, the pancreatic hormone that carries glucose into the body’s cells. Glucose levels in the blood rise, heightening the risk for diabetes. Now for the good news.

Exercise and dieting helps you lose belly fat

So what can we do about tubby tummies? A lot, it turns out. The starting point for bringing weight under control, in general, and combating abdominal fat, in particular, is regular moderate-intensity physical activity — at least 30 minutes per day (and perhaps up to 60 minutes per day) to control weight and lose belly fat. Strength training (exercising with weights) may also help fight abdominal fat. Spot exercising, such as doing sit-ups, can tighten abdominal muscles, but it won’t get at visceral fat.

Diet is also important. Pay attention to portion size, and emphasize complex carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, and whole grains) and lean protein over simple carbohydrates such as white bread, refined-grain pasta, and sugary drinks. Replacing saturated fats and trans fats with polyunsaturated fats can also help.

Scientists hope to develop drug treatments that target abdominal fat. For now, experts stress that lifestyle, especially exercise, is the very best way to fight visceral fat.

Getting control over Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome can be jump-started by losing 25 pounds.

You Are Your Own Best Resource

You are your own best resource. What the heck does that even mean?  Well, it means that if you don’t take care of yourself, who’s going to take care of the important things that you do?  The kids, the job, the dishes, walk the dog. Whatever it is you’re doing there are folks or fur babies that count on you to be there for them regularly. I created a guidebook to help those who would like to lose 25 pounds.  You Cabe 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook. 

It doesn’t mean that you put your head down and put your nose to the grindstone.  I’ll work harder, longer, faster.  Rather there are ways to use positivity to motivate us to take care of ourselves better.  I’d like to use weight loss as an example of how we can take care of ourselves as a resource.   Let me rephrase “THE” resource.  You are the only you,  you have to take care of yourself so you can take care of the things and the people you love.

You Can be 25 pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook

The printable You Can be 25 pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook, is full of questions for you to contemplate and tips to help you find your way back on track., Most people know what they need to do. However, getting started can be half the battle.

Furthermore, being honest with ourselves is sometimes tricky when it comes to being accountable for what we eat and how much we exercise. Real progress comes when we are being really honest with ourselves. Using the tools included in this guidebook will serve you well if you use them every day.

Included are:

  • Items you may need list
  • Goal setting guides
  • Food, Water, Exercise and Habit Trackers
  • Weight and inches lost tracker
  • Resources to connect you to more valuable & helpful content

Also, there’s help for you to use positive thinking and visualization. Plus ways to help you stay focused are also included. The printable You Can be 25 pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook is what helps you find your way back to vitality and regaining physical stamina

You Can be 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook - EmbracingAging.us

You can be 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook

Physical Stamina and Vitality

I reclaimed my physical stamina and vitality. However, I did it all on my own and it took me years and years to accomplish what I know today. It’s my most heartfelt wish to save you the time and impart to you the tools and information I’ve acquired to help you on your journey.

An ounce of prevention is supposedly worth a pound of cure so maintaining wellness visits to the doctor are recommended with a place to include your notes and ideas for best results.

That’s all for today friends.  Finally, I hoped this post ” Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome” helped you.  I would be so appreciative if you would take a moment to share this post with your favorite social media outlet.  Please feel free to leave your comments and share your healthy aging tips.

I’m Karen with Embracing Aging,

Reminding you to Embrace Your Age.

Graph image from EmbracingAging.us

Fairy-tale World Weight Loss vs. Real World Weight Loss

Fairy-tale world weight loss vs. Real-world weight loss

In fairy-tale world weight loss, we would all like to get on the scale every morning and see it go down even if it’s only by a tenth of a pound. Before I continue, you should know that this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on or purchase one of the product links I’ll receive some compensation that will support my addiction to all things coffee. Everyone is setting their new years’ goals, figuring out hopes dreams and ambitions. Usually at the top of the list is weight loss.  However, in the real world, you most definitely will have your ups and downs.

Yo-yo diet? No. Not at all.  It’s a naturally occurring process of weight loss that is not a steady decline, but rather an ebb and flow of your body’s work to lose fat, manage fluids, retain muscle tone and balance hormones. There’s an awful lot going on in our bodies. Remembering this solid truth will keep you from losing your everloving mind? as you go through the process of losing weight.

 

Graph image of Fairy-tale world weight loss from EmbracingAging.us

Fairy-tale world weight loss vs. Real-world weight loss

Fluctuating weight doesn’t have to drive you crazy

Fluctuating weight becomes more erratic as we age. Our metabolism slows down and the motivation for exercise wanes.  Moving our becomes challenging due to arthritis, excess weight and other concerns. Naturally, this wreaks havoc on our effort and motivation to stick to a weight loss plan.

Positive self-talk

When you step on the scale, are you holding your breath thinking to yourself, “If I haven’t lost at least 3 lbs. I’m gonna be so frustrated.” Or do you look in the mirror and think if I just walked further, or ran longer.

Well hold up just a minute here and let me ask you this: Would you talk to your best friend or your loved ones the way you are talking to yourself?

I seriously doubt it. You would probably try to say something more encouraging like, “It’s alright, today is a new day.” Or “Don’t give up, your hard work will pay off soon.”

This is HUGE!

One of the most powerful tools you have is how you perceive your personal progress. This is huge so pay close attention. We all have a hormone called cortisol. It’s our stress hormone that slows weight loss when it’s too high. Think belly fat.  When we use negative self-talk and when we are excessively critical of ourselves what do you think that does to our cortisol levels? If you guessed raised them, then you scored bonus points. So it’s important to say to yourself,  “Yesterday’s walk was good, I’m looking forward to today’s walk.” instead of, ” I only walked ten minutes  yesterday.”

Weight loss is as much a mental discipline as it is physical.  You can make things better by changing your mind’s way of perceiving your efforts.  Any effort you make is progress, any step you take forward on your journey is an accomplishment. When your mind realizes how important positivity is your stress level lowers and weight loss doesn’t have to be a hard as some would have you believe.  If you are saying, “I have been on this plateau for weeks and I might not ever get off this plateau”. Your body here’s this conversation and believes this is true.

This brings us to progress reports

If you’re weighing every day because you can’t help yourself, then you will need to be extra patient.

Furthermore, go ahead and create a record/chart so you can see the natural ups and downs of your progress. Staying out of a fairytale weight loss world is important when trying to reach those goals.

Charting your progress will keep you in tune with what is working and what is holding you back. Remember to jot a note to yourself nudging you forward with gentle encouragement. “You got this.”

Baby steps lead to feet and feet lead to yards and yards lead to miles. So,  just keep putting one foot in front of the other and move forward. Celebrate every single time you make a move forward toward your goals.

 

If you enjoyed this discussion and have ideas you’d like to share, feel free to leave your comments and share this post with friends.

I’m Karen with Embracing Aging

Reminding you to embrace your age

 

“We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”