Shirley M Has Kept the Weight Off for Three Years

shirley

“I’m also able to receive support even after reaching my weight loss goal, and this is important for my long term plan to keep it off!”

My older brother has challenged each of us to do “something that would push us” on the occasion of our 60th birthdays — he was able to train for and climb Mt. Whitney. I turned 60 this year, so it was my turn to take on a challenge. Although my original plan was a horseback riding adventure in Europe, a series of injuries and personal issues took that off the table. I began to realize it was time to address my weight and fitness levels. I would not only “push” myself, but I was determined to fulfill horseback riding in Europe when the time came. The only way to achieve my goals was if I lost 60 pounds. Continue reading

The Doctor’s Corner | The Importance of Breakfast

Many of you in the GreenLite program have been drilled on the importance of breakfast. However, A new study shows that breakfast could be a factor in your tendency to indulge on high-calorie foods.

Past studies have shown that people who skip breakfast actually tend to eat more high-calorie foods and be at increased risk of weight gain, but now researchers in England believe they may have an explanation of how this happens.
A group from Imperial College London used MRI’s of brain activity to see what happened in the brains of people who skipped breakfast.  What they found was that their brain “reward” centers were activated more by the sight of high-calorie than low-calorie foods. The findings were based on the subject’s ratings of how much the picture foods appealed to them.
When the same 20 healthy, non-obese, subjects ate breakfast, functional MRIs were taken about 90 minutes after eating and showed no significant activation of the brain’s reward centers when the subjects viewed pictures of high-calorie foods.
“Our results support the advice for eating a healthy breakfast as part of the dietary prevention and treatment of obesity,” lead author Dr. Goldstone, said. “When people skip meals, especially breakfast, changes in brain activity in response to food may hinder weight loss and even promote weight gain.”
So don’t forget to fuel up in the morning, your success could depend on it!

Tips for Getting Fiber on a Low-Carb Diet

Fiber

Fiber is one of those nutrients that many of us know is important but that remains a bit of a mystery.

Basically, when we talk about fiber, we’re referring to carbohydrates that the body can’t digest. Fiber is present in all plants, including whole fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. Research shows that high intake of fiber aids in weight loss by reducing hunger, not to mention that it lowers the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and diverticulitis – a condition that is characterized by the inflammation of the intestines and poor digestion.

But fiber also provides you with another important benefit: it keeps you “regular.” As fiber blends into water, it adds bulk to stool and softens it, making elimination easier and more frequent.

To prevent getting “backed up,” most women should shoot for more than 20 grams of fiber a day; men should try to get more than 30 grams. However, studies show that most Americans consume nearly half of the recommended daily amount of fiber. And when you’re following a carbohydrate-restricted diet, you’re most likely to get only about seven to 15 grams of fiber a day, which in turn makes you prone to constipation.

To complicate matters further, constipation can also be a side effect appetite suppressants, which many patients use on on our weight loss programs, as they slow down the transit time through the large intestine.

Since constipation is much easier to prevent than to treat, we highly recommends that you take a fiber supplement every day. Keep in mind that a single serving of a fiber supplement (such as two teaspoons of Benefiber or an individual packet of Metamucil) is equal to three grams of fiber, so even if you’re taking it three times a day, you’re only getting nine grams of fiber a day. The way to go, then, is to eat a variety of foods high in fiber throughout the day (see list below), take a fiber supplement, and drink lots of water to flush it down.

If you don’t drink extra water along with high-fiber diets, this actually increases the risk of constipation since fiber needs water to do its intestinal sweeping job. More fluids in your diet adds more fluid in your bowels, lessening constipation and thus helping the body release excess weight.

Some helpful tips about fiber:

  • Increase slowly. Adding lots of fiber too quickly can lead to gas and bloating, as good bacteria within the colon help break down the fiber and thus produce gas as a by-product. So, increase your fiber gradually. For example, if you’re using Benefiber, take two teaspoons with a meal for one week, then add two teaspoons twice daily for one week, then go up to two teaspoons three times per day.
  • Try different brands. Different sources of fiber may produce different amounts of gas, and the effects vary from one person to another. This makes the selection of the best type of fiber a matter of trial and error.
  • Add fluidsIncreasing fiber intake will only help if you’re drinking enough fluids along with it. Since fiber absorbs water, high amounts, without fluids, can actually aggravate, rather than alleviate constipation. So make sure to drink 100-128 ounces of fluids per day, preferably mostly water.
  • Eat a variety of fiber-rich foods. Studies show that both soluble and insoluble fiber is necessary for regular bowel movements. Thus, what matters is not only the total amount of fiber that you consume, but also the types of fiber. Keep in mind that over-the-counter fiber supplements only provide soluble fiber, so make sure that you are getting additional sources, including insoluble fiber, from your diet. You’ll find plenty of insoluble fiber in vegetables such as green beans and dark green leaves; fruit skins and root vegetable skins, beans, seeds, and nuts. For example, substitute beans for meat (up to ½ cup a day) in chili and soups, and eat whole fruits and vegetables with their skin instead of juices.

Good dietary sources of fiber include:

  1. Medium artichoke = 10.3 grams
  2. Blackberries (1 cup) = 8 grams
  3. Raspberries (1 cup) = 8 grams
  4. Lentils (½ cup) = 8 grams
  5. Black Beans (½ cup) = 7.5 grams
  6. Medium pear = 5.5 grams
  7. Broccoli (one cup raw or ½ cup steamed) = 5.1 grams
  8. Edamame (½ cup) = 5 grams
  9. Medium apple = 4 grams
  10. Strawberries (1¼ cup) = 3.8 grams

Low Fat=High Sugar

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Much of the processed food labeled “low fat” instead has sugar added to improve taste, but when it comes to harmful health effects, sugar is worse than fat. Sugar drives fat storage and makes the brain think it is hungry by stimulating more insulin secretion and contributing to insulin resistance. Eating usually stimulates secretion of insulin and leptin. Leptin feeds back to turn off hunger and eating. However, the fructose in sugar does not feedback to leptin and so the brain continues to think that it’s hungry. Over time, the fructose also contributes to insulin resistance and abdominal fat accumulation.

Before you try to talk yourself into that “healthier,” low fat option, remember to check the nutritional content for the sugar. Avoiding the sugar can help you gain more control of your hunger and help you lose weight over time.

Real Weightloss Story | Surai J.

Real Weightloss Story | Surai J.

I have Type II diabetes and weighed 204 pounds after giving birth to my second child. My primary care physician was adamant that I lose weight and do so quickly given my family history of heart disease and early heart failure.

I started the Greenlite Medicine program on December 6, 2009, and from the moment I arrived, the Greenlite staff members were completely focused on and dedicated to ensuring my weight-loss success; and by February 16, 2011, I had lost a total of 25 pounds. My favorite staff members are Maria, Elaine and Dr. Rugh. Unlike my previous experience with nutritionists (18 months of weekly appointments prior to Greenlite), I looked forward to my weekly appointments.

I met with Dr. Rugh during my first visit. She really took the time to understand and asked questions specific to my concerns and my history. There were of course the standard forms and questions to fill out but Dr. Rugh seemed to genuinely want to know what made me tick and made recommendations specific to my preferences. Other places talk the talk about how they “customize” their treatment plans, but after my first visit with Dr. Rugh, I felt confident that Greenlite would treat me as an individual and not just a number.

Within a month or so on the Greenlite treatment plan, I experienced a major change, one that I’ve never experienced before. I had a new sensation every time I sat down to eat. That sensation was a feeling of not wanting to clear my plate. Since childhood, I’ve always cleared my plate and eating seconds or thirds was almost a daily habit. My appetite had shrunk to the point where I didn’t have to force myself to stop eating. I would, without feeling deprived, just voluntarily push my plate away. I am so grateful to have reached this milestone in my life.

Another major change is that I am more aware about my level of energy and stress. I now rest rather than push through my exhaustion. I’ve come to realize that resting plays a major role in restoring my mood and keeps me from overeating. I used to overeat when I felt fatigued and used this feeling to rationalize my indulging in food.

My workout regimen consists of working out four to five times a week, where I enjoy taking group exercise classes, running and swimming. I also discovered the value of strength training; and in just one month, I gained five pounds of lean body mass and lost five pounds of body fat by taking classes at the Bar Method studio. I also enjoy Zumba and other forms of fitness dance and will be getting certified as an instructor in March. And after the weight loss and feeling more confident about my fitness, I am eager to resume scuba diving, another activity that I gave up when I gained weight. My favorite places to travel are: Paris, NYC, Fiji, Half Moon Bay, and Santa Cruz (my local sanctuary).