Use Your Willpower For Weight Loss

January 26, 2012 By: office 1 Comment

As we move into the tail end of January, some of us are still going strong with our weight loss goals and some of us or not. There have been recent studies on willpower and its ability to help us stick to our fitness and weight loss goals. Willpower is a real form of mental energy, which is powered by glucose in the bloodstream.  Glucose is a simple sugar that we take in from food and is converted to energy.  Glucose is also used up as you exert self-control.  The result is called “ego-depletion,” as a state of mental fatigue.  The best way to keep your resolutions going and stave off this mental fatigue is to anticipate the limits of your willpower.

A new study published in December 2011 by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, tracked people’s reactions to temptations throughout the day.  The study showed that individuals with the best self-control are the ones who use their willpower the least.  Instead of fending off one urge after another, these people set up their lives to minimize temptations.  They play offense instead of defense, using their willpower in advance so that they can avoid crisis, conserve energy and outsource as much self control as they can.

These strategies are particularly important if you’re trying to lose weight.  The more you starve your body, the less glucose there will be in your bloodstream, and that means less willpower.  Because of this vicious cycle, even people with the greatest self-control in other parts of their lives can have a terrible time remaining slim.

  • Set a Clear Goal – Instead of resolving to “lose weight” or “eat healthier” set a specific goal- say, lose a pound a week. And limit yourself to one big resolution at a time but do make them.  With a finite amount of willpower, it’s hard to keep up with multiple resolutions. Individuals are 10 times more like to change behaviors if New Year’s resolutions are made compared with non-resolvers that have the same goals and motivations to change.
  • Pre-Commit – Plan meals in advance, keep junk food out of the kitchen, schedule workouts with friends or, you can be more extreme and bind yourself by emailing your goals to friends or by posting it on Facebook. There are even sites such as www.stickK.com that allow you to set goals, put up money on your goals and list a referee to check on your progress.  The more you pre-commit, the better you will do.
  • Keep Track – In the past, you were always recommended to weigh yourself once a week so you’re not hung up on daily fluctuations. Now research has shown that daily weigh-ins work better. Self monitoring is vital to any kind of resolution.
  • Don’t Overreact to a Lapse- One major reason that dieters fail is because they deal with a phenomenon called “counter regulatory eating”- otherwise known as the“what the hell effect.” Instead of just stopping where they are, they continue to eat thinking the entire day is blown anyway.  This thought process is far more dangerous than just realizing that you can stop what you are eating and immediately get back to eating healthy.  So when the desert cart arrives, promise yourself that you will have a sample, but just not tonight.
  • Reward Often- Don’t just use willpower to deny yourself of pleasure; it makes it a boring thankless form of defense.  Instead, reward yourself for each milestone. Once the waistline starts to shrink, reward yourself with new clothes. Even the tiniest and silliest rewards can make a difference.  If you want your willpower to last all year, every little bit helps.

At Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts, we are here to assist you with all of your weight loss obstacles through fitness classes, Behavior Change coaching and nutrition education.  Registration is already underway for our summer 2012 season! Hope to see you there!

The World of Whole Grain Breads

January 18, 2012 By: consultant 28 Comments

Everybody knows what professionals are saying: eat whole grains, don’t eat refined carbohydrates, and stay away from white bread-that seems to be the generic, go-to saying now-a-days.  But what does that mean when you walk into the bakery section of your grocery store?  There are so many different options; it gets confusing out there in the world of grains and breads! So here are a few tips on how to make sure you are choosing the healthiest possible (and usually the most delicious) breads and grains.

First things first- when you walk into the bakery isle, what do you see? White bread, multigrain bread, 9 grain bread, 12 grain bread, whole grain bread, whole wheat bread, wheat bread, oats and honey bread, and cinnamon raisin bread – the list goes on and on.  For some reason, there is an incredible variety of “healthy” breads out there, but are they really healthy?

We’ve all heard that white bread is refined and not the best choice for us, but why?  Well, white bread is definitely more processed than whole grain breads.  During manufacturing, they literally remove the “whole grain”.  They take out all the deliciously nutritious stuff like fiber and B vitamins and leave nothing but sugar and empty calories.  Now, I am not bashing white bread, I am simply stating a fact: it provides no nutritional value to its consumers.  But what is the difference between white bread and whole grain bread?  The difference is there is much less to process in whole grain breads because they use the entire grain, they don’t selfishly remove anything from it which keeps it  full of the fiber and vitamins that our bodies crave, making it a much healthier choice.

Now the next problem is how do you know what you are buying is in fact whole grain bread?  It’s simple-you can start by looking at the package and reading how it is advertised.  The problem is that manufacturers very often advertise in a way that may make us believe something is healthy when it is truly not. In order to outsmart them, read the ingredient list. They must, by law, include all of their ingredients in this list.  Looking for the word “whole” – not grain, not multigrain, not wheat – whole!  The word whole will tell you everything you need to know.  If it says “whole” you know, for sure that it is a whole grain product.

Next- you want to make sure it is 100% whole grain/wheat.  This is usually labeled on the front of the product because when manufacturers are actually producing a product that is healthy, they want their consumers to know it.  So if it says “100% whole wheat” you have made a great choice.

At Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts, our nutrition education classes are designed as an open forum to help you take the guess work out of making healthy choices at the supermarket.  It used to be you walk into the store, you choose your produce, you choose your meats, and you choose whole wheat or white bread.  Today is harder but it is more important than ever that we eat good, healthy food. So take an extra 10 seconds to read the food labels and be good to your bodies.  When you are good to your body, it will be good to you in return.

 

Why the Placebo Effect May Help With Weight Loss

January 6, 2012 By: office 3 Comments

According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, there seems to be some legitimacy for placebos and how our minds react to them.  When you think about a “placebo effect”, you assume a sugar pill works because people believe they are consuming the real thing.  We are now finding that placebos work on the mind as well.  If you believe something to be true, the brain will react accordingly.

One of the things individuals struggle with while trying to lose weight is consuming diet food and feeling full.   Ghrelin, a gut peptide, which is involved in the feeling of being satisfied and being full after eating, is directly effected by not only how many calories are being consumed, but how many calories the individual thinks are being consumed.  Ghrelin levels rise when the body needs food and falls as calories are being consumed, telling the brain that the body is no longer hungry.

One study surrounding food consumption and eating habits had two groups of people consuming a milkshake.  One group was told the milkshake was 620 calories and was “indulgent”, the other group was told the milkshake was 120 calories and “sensible.”  The Ghrelin levels fell faster in the first group and they became full and satisfied quicker than the group who thought they were only consuming 120 calories.  These results may explain why while eating diet foods, you feel unsatisfied.  Your mind is telling your body you are not getting enough calories.

In a different study around weight loss, hotel room attendants were told they were getting a good workout at their jobs, and over the course of four weeks, they showed a significant drop in blood pressure, and decrease in weight and body fat.  Other employees who did the same work, but weren’t told about the benefits of their job showed no change in weight.  Neither group of these employees changed their diet or physical activity. Again, the mind-set telling the body how to react.

At Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts, we not only provide you with the latest fitness classes , nutrition education classes and serve fantastic food ,  we also address how much impact your mind-set has to do with your success in your weight loss journey through our Behavior Change Coaching groups.  Come join us for this summer to help kick start your life with a new healthy lifestyle program.

 

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