Slaying The Fat Monster
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
  Keep Up Your Weight Loss Motivation in December
By Janice Elizabeth Small

Wanting to lose weight in December is the pits, isn't it? While you may struggle the rest of the year with not eating too much and choosing healthy foods it's that bit more difficult when all around you are wolfing down goodies of every kind with seemingly total abandon.

Everyone you visit offers you tempting treats and no doubt you have more than enough food at home to sink a battleship for the visitors you get. And the food doesn't always stay "just for guests" once it calls your name from the cupboard.

But if you want to avoid regret with even more pounds to lose by January then you need to be stronger than ever.

1. Daily reminder

Every day remind yourself of your reasons for losing weight. Why do you you want this? Why is that important to you? Ask yourself whether any temporary pleasure from food is worth the regret you will feel at going backwards in your plan.

2. Set an intention

Before every meal set an intention that you will enjoy it and have what you want but that you will eat just enough to satisfy your hunger and no more.

3. Enjoy the special foods

Don't deny yourself your favourites but have just a little of those things which you know are full of calories. Enjoy a little as much as a lot by eating the food slowly and really tasting it.

4. Stock up

Treat yourself to some healthy foods that you might not normally buy, such as smoked lean meats and fish, exotic fruits and vegetables, caviar. Make food special without the calories so that you don't feel deprived at all.

5. Quality not quantity

Buy the very best of everything you can afford and savour it. If you're going to buy chocolate get a small box of handmade exquisite Belgian chocolates and not a multi-pack of cheap chocolate bars. That way you really feel you are celebrating in style but you won't go too overboard.

6. Make a Game of "No"

If you tend to eat just because food is offered without even thinking about it, now is a great time to practise saying "No thanks not just now" or even "Thanks - I'll take a piece for later" because food will be offered everywhere you go! Look at this like a game you are playing and keep your score. How many times can you say "no" in December?

7. Deal with lapses

If you over-indulge at any time, don't abandon all hope and give up until the party season is over. One meal won't do much damage - after all you have to eat an additional 3500 calories to gain a pound. It's when you do this day in day out for the whole period that you start piling on the pounds. So just get right back on track and start again at the very next meal - eat when you're hungry, stop when you're full.

8. Keep up your exercise

Even if you're too busy to go to the gym, do a little every day at home. Even 10 minutes walking or stair-stepping a day will help remind you that you are taking active steps towards your goal and will help you avoid thoughts of giving up for the month. If you can fit in several sessions through the day so much the better. When you keep as active as possible as you go about your day you will be gently reminding yourself that you care about your shape and your health and it will be easier to keep things in check.

9. Looking good

Wear your nicest clothes throughout the period. Make the effort with your hair, nails and makeup and show yourself that you deserve the very best. Instead of giving yourself food as a reward or when you you need cheering up, give yourself the best possible care and attention.

10. Gift of health

If you have a tradition of giving presents in December (or even if you don't) ask for or treat yourself to a few gifts that will help motivate you. An exercise video, a voucher for a personal trainer or a piece of home gym equipment ( such as a rebounder, step or balance ball) are great to help kick start a new exercise plan.

Copyright 2005, Janice Elizabeth Small

Janice Elizabeth is a weight loss coach and slimming club owner with a no diet approach to permanent weight loss. Subscribe to her FREE weekly "No More Diets" ezine full of tips and recipes and receive a 24 page special report "How to have a Great Christmas without piling on the pounds." Subscribe at TODAY!

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Tuesday, November 08, 2005
  Healthy Eating Shopping List
This is a great refresher artcile on shopping healthy. If we learn to put healthy things in the grocery cart we will then put healthy things in our bodies!

Healthy Eating Shopping List
By Kathryn Whittaker

Healthy eating starts with careful planning and organization. Since fresh produce has a very limited shelf life, regular grocery shopping is a must. Creating a menu for the week and writing out a shopping list will save you time and money; while helping you stick to healthy recipes. Local health food stores and farmer markets are very money-wise solutions. Plus, frequent visits will allow you expand your culinary horizons as well as mingle with other health-concerned people.

Healthy eating means using fresh ingredients and gentle cooking methods without adding any artificial ingredients and fats. Healthy eating requires a lot of cooking, since take-out food often contains too many refined fats and artificial seasonings. However, with modern appliances you will discover that cooking is no longer an annoying chore reserved for special occasions, but an exciting part of everyday life.

So which products should we buy when we actually decide to begin eating healthy food? Here’s what your weekly shopping list should include.

Vegetables. All vegetables should be eaten young, when they are tender and not coarse. Vegetables are best bought from fresh food markets or seasonal, when they are sold in boxes or baskets. Supermarket vegetables are often genetically modified or have been picked green and ripened in boxes when traveling long distances. Sprouts and brightly colored vegetables contain the most vitamins and antioxidants.

Fruits. Again, the trick is to buy seasonal fruit, since exotic fruits have often traveled long distances and ripened in their boxes, not on trees. Local, naturally ripened or, better yet, organic fruit are the best choice for the health-conscious cook.

Herbs. Aromatic herbs and spices can be used fresh or dried. The best idea is to plant the aromatic herbs in pots on your window and use them fresh whenever you need them. To preserve flavor, you can buy spices whole and use them freshly ground.

Cheese. Although cheese is quite rich in fats, cheese is a great source of vitamins and minerals. Buy only fresh cheeses in small quantities and try to eat them at once, since gourmet cheeses don’t have a lengthy shelf life.

Eggs. Buy only organic or free-range eggs, and shake them before buying to ensure freshness.

Fish and shellfish. The best way to buy fish is fresh and unfrozen. Again, most of the fish in supermarkets comes from fish farms where it is fed with artificial substances, and this fish cannot be used in healthy recipes. Pink salmon and other popular kinds of fish will most likely come from a fish farm. Shellfish is a more healthy choice, since shrimp, for example, does not live in chemically polluted water. When you boil mussels, discard those that do not open.

Meat. For truly healthy eating purposes it’s better to skip meat entirely, since it’s almost impossible to find meat that comes from an environmentally and health conscious farmer. Most of the meat in supermarkets has enormous quantities of growth hormones and antibiotics. The best meat for use in healthy recipes comes from small farming communities or organic farms.

Grains. Whole wheat and whole grains should become a staple of your healthy eating routine, because many healthy ingredients are contained in the grain shell. Rice is the only exclusion from the rule, because, even though the rice grain shell is removed, many nutritional elements still remain in the rice grain.

What we eat become a part of us. So make your kitchen a starting point for your new healthy eating habits, and enjoy preparing healthy meals.

Kathryn Whittaker writes articles on a number of different topics. For more information on living a Healthy Lifestyle please visit Healthy Lifestyle Guide and for additional Healthy Lifestyle articles please visit the following article page - Healthly Living Articles.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2005
  Watch Your Weight This Halloween
By Tracie Johanson

For those of us who are looking for quick weight loss, Halloween can be a scary experience! While just one night of indulgence in Halloween candy might not be enough to break your belt, dipping into the leftover stockpile for weeks on end will surely derail your diet or weight loss program.

In 1921, in Anoka, MN, the United States enjoyed our first recorded instance of a Halloween celebration. Annual candy consumption has climbed almost unabated since then. According to the Census Bureau, Americans eat nearly a half-pound of candy each week for an average of 25 pounds of candy a year. Candy is big business, with the United States boasting 1,040 manufacturing establishments producing chocolate and cocoa products in 2001. These establishments employed 45,913 people and shipped $12 billion worth of goods that year. Another 616 U.S. establishments manufactured non-chocolate confectionery products in 2001. These establishments employed 26,400 people and shipped $7 billion worth of goods that year (source:

The overwhelming popularity of the South Beach Diet, Zone Diet, and Atkins Diet has prompted low-carb weight watchers to eat less candy. Overall consumption has actually declined over the last few years; as recently as 1997 the average annual candy consumption was a sky-high 27 pounds.

-> The Problem:

Most people on a diet plan or weight control program look at candy as little brightly-colored fat bombs. That assessment isn’t far off the mark, either, with most candy packing little nutritional value and a ton of calories.

Some of the more popular Halloween candy has too many calories to be included in any healthy diet:

* Twizzlers 1 treat size pkg.= 45 calories

* Almond Joy 1 snack size bar = 90 calories

* Milk Duds 1 treat size box = 40 calories

* Butterfinger 1 snack size bar = 100 calories

* Milky Way 1 snack size bar = 90 calories

* SweetTarts 1 treat size pkg. = 50 calories

* 1 Tootsie Pop 1 pop = 60 calories

* 1 Tootsie Roll 1 small roll = 13 calories

Note: Calorie content is based on 1 serving of Halloween ‘snack’ or ‘fun’ size packages, not full size servings found in the candy aisle.

While just a few pieces of Halloween candy won’t obliterate your diet program or weight loss plan, it’s the temptation to keep having ‘just one more’ that will pack on the pounds. It only takes nine small fun-size candy bars to put on a quarter-pound of fat. Besides candy, Halloween threatens many other high-calorie treats like Caramel apples (243 calories), 8-oz. apple cider and a cake donut (319 calories), or a slice of pumpkin pie (240 calories).

-> The Solution:

Is it possible to cope with the menace of Halloween candy without taking all the fun out of the holiday? Absolutely! If you’re looking for fast weight loss, and don’t want Halloween to bring your fat loss to a screeching halt, consider these healthy Halloween tips:

1) Walk with your kids while they’re trick-or-treating. A 165-lb. woman strolling along (walking slowly) for one hour will burn approximately 150 calories (source:

2) Out of sight, out of mind. When the kids have unloaded their stash, store it in an airtight container and put it in the cupboard. A bowl full of candy on the counter is an open invitation to have ‘just one’, but a stockpile you can’t see is less tempting.

3) If you’re going to give out candy to trick-or-treaters on Halloween, don’t buy it until October 31st. Having a candy supply in the house before Halloween only entices you to have some early.

4) If you must buy candy before Halloween, buy a kind you don’t like. Again, this will reduce the temptation for you to dig in.

5) Hosting a Halloween party? Supply vegetables, healthy dips, and low fat snacking alternatives instead of candy.

6) Set a Halloween candy deadline by which all Halloween candy must be either consumed (by the kids) or it will be thrown away. Saving that candy for weeks, or even months, only keeps temptation in the house.

7) Put more emphasis on dressing up in a great costume, and less on candy. This is especially true for the kids, who often view Halloween as a candy free-for-all dream come true.

8) By hosting a party on Halloween night, you can control the menu and have fun with friends at the same time.

9) Focus on Halloween activities other than eating. There are lots of options available, from hayrides to haunted houses to bonfires.

10) Candy has a long shelf life, and there’s no reason why you couldn’t put some of it in airtight bags and store it in the freezer. Allow the kids to take out one bag every two weeks until it’s gone. This tactic will at least space out the temptation and minimize candy binge eating.

Of course, the absolute best way to avoid weight gain, and perhaps even achieve some easy weight loss, during the Halloween season is to bump up the amount of exercise you’re getting. There’s no better way to lose weight fast than a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Make sure the workout you’re doing includes both aerobic and resistance training, as it is critical to get both types of exercise to maximize weight loss. It’s also important to exercise for at least thirty minutes, three times per week, which is the most recent recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (source:

A fantastic strategy is to find the best weight loss program for you now, before Halloween hits. The reason is that the last three months of the year are packed with holidays, special dinners and seasonal treats. Starting with Halloween candy and ending with Christmas fudge, many people find that they’re packing on more pounds during this period than they do any other time of year.

Joining a gym is an excellent way to combat Halloween and holiday weight gain. Finding a good gym to join now will not only help keep off those holiday pounds, but will even make you slimmer by New Years.

For more free weight loss information and weight loss tips, go to and click on the ‘Articles’ link.

* Copyright 2005 Pick Up The Pace. Permission is not required for the distribution of Pick Up The Pace articles as long as they are used in their entirety, are properly credited to Pick Up The Pace, and are accompanied by our website link:

* The information in this article and on this site is for general reference purposes only and not intended to address specific medical conditions. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice or a medical exam. Prior to participating in any exercise program or activity, you should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional. No information in this article or on should be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition.

Tracie Johanson is the founder of Pick Up The Pace, a 30-minute exercise studio for women, focusing on fitness, health and nutrition for maximum weight loss. Please visit for more information.

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Thursday, September 22, 2005
  Man In The Kitchen
I came across a quality blog that is worth clicking. Man In The Kitchen is written by a working husband and father who does most of the family meal preparation. Start with his first post, We Lost That Meal and read your way through family friendly healthy recipes intermixed with ideas and thoughts of living well and eating well as a family. Keep up the good work, Man In The Kitchen. What time is dinner tonight?
Thursday, September 15, 2005
  Journaling For Health and Wellness
I visit many health/diet websites each day and one thing is consistently recommended, keep a journal. Even though I fancy myself a writer the thought of writing a daily journal seems daunting and burdensome. But what if it were a short-term assignment? Say 30 days? I could keep a journal for 30 days. Doreene Clement, author of the 5-Year-Journal has some great ideas for 30-day journal assignments, take a look:

Three 30 Day Journaling Ideas
By Doreene Clement

Here are 3 journaling or diary ideas that can contribute to, and enhance your life. You can use a notebook, The 5 Year Journal, a blank book, even a computer.

1. Start a 30 day goal journal. Pick one specific goal. "I want to lose 20 pounds." "I want to change careers." "I want to write a novel." Journal everyday for the next 30 days just about that goal. Why you want the goal. How you will achieve your goal, the actions you will take. Your feelings about yourself as you move toward your goal.

2. Journal for the next 30 days what you are grateful for. Take time each day to remember the small and the big things that happened to you each day. Think about what you are the most grateful for, and write that down. Today I am grateful for________________________________________ This can also be a great family project. Set one book where the whole family can see it every day. And everyone can jump right in, journaling what they are grateful for that day.

3. Start a dream journal. Set the book by your nightstand for the next 30 days and write down your dreams. You can write the whole dream or journal what stands out for you. You can even write down just the symbols, say it was rain, clouds, flying, or school.

Copyright Doreene Clement All rights Reserved Doreene Clement

Doreene Clement, a cancer victor and author of The 5 Year Journal, is currently writing a new book, Blessed, about her life and her cancer experience. For more information 480.423.8095

Copyright 2005 OMDC, LLC All Rights Reserved

Feel free to pass this along to your friends. About Journaling,

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Monday, September 12, 2005
  Are You Losing Body Fat or Water?
This is the best explanation I've found for water weight gain and weight loss. It comes to us from Meri Raffetto, owner of Real Living Nutrition.
Meri holds a bachelors degree in nutrition and psychology - what a perfect combination for coaching us to live healthier lives. Be sure and give her site a visit.

Are You Losing Body Fat or Water?

By Meri Raffetto

“I tried that diet and lost 8 pounds in the first week!”

“I’ve gained three pounds in one day! It must have been the cookie I ate
or maybe the mashed potatoes!”

These are comments I hear so often that I decided it would be a good topic for an article to help people have a better understanding of the fluctuating numbers on their scale. It is important to understand, when we step on a scale, it is measuring every part of our physical being at that moment in time, which means it measures our fat, muscles, organs,
tissue and water weight.

Water weight can affect your total weight anywhere from 1-10 pounds and sometimes even more. It is important to understand what kinds of dietary factors can make these fluid shifts happen. To start, many of the high protein, low carbohydrate diets such as Atkins, or the beginning of South Beach can cause a dramatic shift in your water weight. This is because as you significantly cut back carbohydrate intake your body starts breaking down the stored carbohydrates (glycogen) to use as energy, and this breakdown causes the body to excrete large amounts of water. Once the body begins to use stored fat for energy, weight loss slows. This is why most people lose a significant amount of weight right away on a low carb, high protein diet. Extreme low carb, high protein diets can often lead the body to a state of dehydration because of the significant fluid loss.

What is misleading is when a person following a low carb plan eats a carbohydrate-rich food they can easily gain 1-3 pounds. However, this weight gain is just your body replenishing the fluid it lost and is not gained fat. I have had numerous clients struggle with this and they end up yo-yoing back in forth with fluid weight thinking that it must be the half cup of rice they had the night before that caused them to gain that 2 pounds when in fact eating the rice just allowed them to regain some of the fluid they had lost from following a strict low carb plan. The fact is carbohydrates do not affect your weight quite that simply. Excess refined carbohydrates can strongly stimulate insulin production, which promotes fat deposition and increases appetite. This kind of weight gain will happen gradually, not dramatically overnight.

Sodium is another dietary component that can lead to fluid gain. Sodium can cause the body to retain fluid, which can lead to these frustrating daily weight fluctuations. Some people are more sensitive to sodium than others. Watch your diet and see if your weight gain corresponds with a high sodium meal the day before. For example, eating out in restaurants can often increase your sodium intake significantly.

The best way to tell if you are retaining fluid is to pay attention to your body. If you get indentations on your ankles and lower legs from your socks then you are retaining fluid. If you wear rings and they become tight and leave an imprint in your fingers when you take them off then you also likely retaining fluid. Any kind of puffiness in your skin is a good indication of water weight.

The bottom line is that it takes 3500 calories to gain or lose 1 pound of body fat. This equates to an extra 500 calories a day over 7 days to gain a pound. This means if you gained 3 pounds in one day you can chalk it up to fluid weight otherwise you would have had to consume10,500 extra calories that day which is not likely! True weight gain happens gradually and likewise we lose it gradually. Check your weight weekly instead of daily and look for overall trends. If you are seeing dramatic daily changes in your weight, it is likely the ever-changing shifts of our bodies’ water weight.

Meri Raffetto is a Registered Dietitian and owner of Real Living Nutrition Services. Sign up for her monthly newsletter to learn what's new in nutrition, weight loss success stories, healthy recipes, and more. Go to for more details.

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Wednesday, September 07, 2005
  Healthy Relationships = Healthy Living
Hello Everyone!

Sorry I've been a sloth about posting - chalk it up to the lazy dog days of summer and much preferring to be outdoors rather than in front of the computer! I hope you are all healthy and well.

I found this fascinating article about couple relationships. It is my experience that the best health is achieved when one is enjoying a healthy respectful relationships. The rules presented here by Mr. Herring can be applied to all of our interpersonal relationships. I hope you enjoy!

Universal Laws for Couples

By Jeff Herring

The Law of Connection: Spouses are either growing closer or growing apart. You don't get to stand still in relationships for very long. So we need to know two things: What does it take to continue to feel connected to my spouse? And what does it take for my spouse to continue to feel connected to me?

The Law of Nagging: I've rarely seen a situation where one person was being accused of nagging where the other person was not being irresponsible in some way. Nagging is no fun, for the nag-ee or for the nag-er. It takes two people working together to stop the pattern, one to be responsible, and then one to not nag.

The Law of Emotional Needs: Most, if not all, conflict in marriage can be traced back to unmet emotional needs. So what are the emotional needs of your spouse? If you find yourself in the middle of a conflict, especially one that occurs over and over, what emotional needs are not being met?

The Law of Underwear: After you have been together for a while, it's easy to slip into doing things you never would have done when you were dating. So don't hang around in your underwear, unless it's sexy.

The Law of Communication, Part 1: Human communication expert Paul Waltzslavick said, "You cannot not communicate." If this is true, the question then becomes "what am I communicating to my spouse on a regular basis?" Not only by what you say, but by what you do, as well as what you don't say and don't do.

The Law of Communication, Part 2: True communication is a two-part endeavor. It's the responsibility of the person talking to make sure that the message is getting across and the responsibility of the person listening to make sure to get what the other person is saying.

The Law of Manners: It's all too easy to begin taking each other for granted. It's important to continue to treat each other well. So when you need to get by someone, saying "excuse me" is still a whole lot better than "move."

The Law of the Other Person's Eyes: In marriage, we don't have to always agree with our partner, or even see things the exact same way. We do need to be able to step into the world of the other person and be able to see through their eyes.

The Law of Fun: The couple that laughs and plays together has a much better chance of staying together.

The Law of The Anniversary: I really like this quote about celebrating anniversaries: "A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity. The order varies for any given year." - Paul Sweeney

The Law of 3 People: When you marry someone, you don't marry one person, you marry three. The person you think they are, the person they really are, and the person they will become as a result of marrying you.

Copyright 2003 by Jeff Herring

Jeff Herrring, MS, LMFT is a marriage and family therapist, relationship coach, speaker and nationally syndicated relationship columnist, and founder and CEO of You can email Jeff at and sign up for his f'ree internet newsletter "Couples-Connection on his website at

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Slaying The Fat Monster: Making Sense of Today’s Health Information & Incorporating It In Your Lifestyle is a one-stop resource of today’s best health, dietary and fitness knowledge. It is not a diet, plan or program. It is a dynamic resource to empower people with up-to-date knowledge to incorporate healthy diet and fitness news into their lifestyle.

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