Tag Archives: weight loss

Is losing weight the last thing on your mind this time of the year?

I love Autumn. I love the cool, crisp mornings, the changing of colors outdoors, leaves falling, the tasty seasonal coffee flavors and COMFORT FOOD!

From soups to casseroles that make me feel cozy and sleepy, and the smell of fresh baked cookies in the kitchen on the weekends. While I do love to run in the cool outdoors, I also like to eat a whole lot more. Can you relate?

Comfort Food

It is also the time of the year that I normally do a “cleanse.” Now, my first experience with a cleanse was witnessing a dear friend and cubicle mate of mine drink some vinegar-cayenne-lemon-honey drink for several days while depriving herself of food. Food deprivation also led to a hangry shebeast (sorry my dear friend) that near about ripped my head off whenever I was in the general vicinity. I did not dare ask her how she was doing for fear that I would get a barrage of angry, bitter, and hunger induced emotional verbal assault.

As a result of this joyful experience, I swore I would never do a cleanse… I would never put my body through that experience.

In 2012, I was introduced to Herbalife and I watched a friend of mine have a very different experience with the Herbalife 21-Day Herbal Cleansing Program. She simply took two tablets in the morning and two tablets at night and drank an aloe-mango drink once a day. She ate her normal meals throughout the day, her skin looked amazing, and she seemed quite light in her step (if you know what I mean). So, I decided to give the 21-day cleanse a try.

I was skeptical at first, considering I had never needed something like this in the 30 or so years I had been on this planet thus far. After all, isn’t the occasional stomach bug every few years a good enough cleanse for the system? I decided to do the cleanse last Fall, just as we were getting into the season. By the third day, I was more than pleasantly surprised. I wasn’t running to the bathroom every 5 minutes, I wasn’t drinking some weird concoction, and even though I was enjoying my regular Fall casseroles, I didn’t feel heavy and sluggish. By the end of the 21 Day cleanse, several friends asked me what I was up to? What was I taking and was I sneaking into the tanning bed. After the cleanse, I was left feeling refreshed, healthy, regular, and didn’t experience any bloating and digestive issues. I now do the 21-Day Cleanse in the Fall and just before summer.

How does it work?

21 Day Herbal Cleanse

21-Day Herbal Cleansing Program

1. AM Replenishing Formula. Take two tablets in the morning. Contains Milk Thistle, traditionally used for liver support, which helps promote the body’s natural elimination of toxins.

2. PM Cleansing Formula. Take two tablets before bed. Contains herbs traditionally used for healthy digestion, including Dandelion, which supports healthy elimination.

Herbal Aloe

Herbal Aloe

Drink one serving per day alone or mixed in with herbal tea. Herbal Aloe soothes the stomach, relieves indigestion, and supports nutrient absorption.

Invest in a cleanse today and strengthen your immune system, digestive health, weight management, and skin!

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Weight Watchers…. A 2009 failed experiment

Weight WatchersWeight Watchers overhauled their diet plan system in 2010, so I technically embarked on the old system when I did it in 2009. Under the old plan, ” you could use your points anyway you like. But we now know if you use your points wisely by eating foods rich in protein and fiber — these foods fill you up, keep hunger at bay, and help you lose weight in a healthier and more nutritious way,” Kovach says WebMD.

Weight Watchers has been around for over 40 years and they have continued to revamp their company and their system. I have to admit that the current plan, Weight Watchers 360, looks pretty darn sexy and appealing. Furthermore, Weight Watchers is one of the most recognized companies when it comes to weight loss, so they are clearly doing something right and helping people sustain smart weight loss the right way.

I decided to give it a try in 2009, after the birth of my first child. After the first few months after having a baby, the pounds just melted off. About six months post baby,  I still  had about 20 pounds I wanted to lose and joined with a friend. It seemed expensive to me at the time and the time to attend meetings and travel to a meeting really irritated me. Counting points and thinking and trying to figure out points of food I was eating was time consuming and I did not enjoy it. I often found myself saving up points for later and then eating wayu too much at the end of day because I would be so hungry. I stuck with the program for 6 months. About 2 months into the program, I stopped attending meetings and would walk by the meeting location and keep going- I figured that instead of talking about it, I would get out there and just do it. I stuck with the plan for 6 months and abandoned the plan right before Christmas.

1. Why didn’t I stick to the program?

Since hindsight is 20/20, I can honestly say now that the support groups and number counting was too time consuming (for me). I know that having a support system can be critical to helping one lose weight, but my time and money would have been better spent in a group spin class/kick boxing class/ in a running group or with a personal trainer. Talking about food only made me hungrier. The second aspect was lack of sleep. Being a new mommy and spending lots of nights awake with a hungry baby wrecked havoc on my metabolism and I didn’t realize it at the time.

2. Who would I recommend Weight Watchers to? 

Weight Watchers is an awesome program with an excellent support system, it just wasn’t the right fit for me. I would recommend Weight Watchers to anyone who enjoys being in a social support group, to anyone who feels like they have a lot to learn about nutrition and portion control, and to anyone who feels overwhelmed by the daunting goal ahead of them.

I would also suggest the program to anyone who is tired of their current plan. Sometimes we just need to change things up a bit. My taste buds enjoy variety and there are only so many chocolate protein drinks I can consume. Plus, some restaurants have Weight Watcher icons on their menu. When I see those, I know that particular dish is healthier and can opt for that dish and not feel guilty.

 

 

Hydroxycut: My Go-To Supplement From 2003 – 2005

Hydroxycut

According to WebMD, “Hydroxycut is a group of dietary supplements sold as both weight loss and fat loss aids. The active ingredients in most Hydroxycut products are:

  • Lady’s mantle extract (alchemilla vulgaris)
  • Wild olive extract (olea europaea)
  • Komijn extract (cuminum cyminum)
  • Wild mint extract (mentha longifolia)

There are no studies on the safety of any Hydroxycut product. But the FDA investigates when it gets reports that a supplement may be harmful. And sometimes the agency orders recalls of unsafe products.” (Full article: Hydroxycut).

One of my Army buddies introduced me to Hydroxycut while I was serving in 2003. There were fewer formulas of Hydroxycut at this time and my best comparison would have to be the Pro Clinical formula that is offered today.  I was instantly hooked! Not only did I lose those unwanted extra pounds, I was able to push harder through afternoon workouts (which were usually the second workout of the day). Hydroxycut gave me energy without feeling jittery and helped suppress my appetite.  I stayed on Hydroxycuton and off for over a year. During a regular workday, I fell 15 feet and broke my wrist (fracturing a small bone in two places), which required months in a cast followed by months of occupational therapy. Due to this injury, I stopped taking Hydroxycut and stopped most of my training.

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Day 21 of 90: Birthday Week, a Cold, and a Taper

21 days down. My stats:

Weight: 131.5 (loss = 3.5 pounds)

Chest: 38

Waist: 31.5 (.5 inch loss)

Hips: 36.5 (1.5 inch loss)

Bicep Circumference: 11.2 (.2 inch gain!)

Thigh Circumference: 21.75 (1.0 inch loss)

I’ve lost .4 pounds this week, a total  of 3.5 pounds total. My measurements did not change this week, but I am honestly surprised that I did not gain this week.

My triumphs this week: I lost .4 pounds this week,. I’ve built up to 3:10 minutes on holding the plank in my 30 day challenge. Taken and passed my CFP Tax Planning Final Exam. One class left to go!

My struggles this week: My two-year-old passed a cold on to me, so I have been consuming lots of fluids, more orange juice than usual and eating more. I was supposed to treat this week as a taper for tomorrow’s half marathon and the taper turned into doing nothing most of the week. My birthday was Thursday, which led to eating lots of sweets and a few big meals this week. So, I am very surprised to have sustained a loss this week instead of a gain.

Xenadrine…. First Diet Pill I Ever Tried

Xenadrine

According to Web MD, “One of the most popular weight-loss supplements in the United States — considered a ‘nutritional supplement’ and not a drug by current FDA standards — is Xenadrine, made by the New Jersey company Cytodyne Technologies. The main ingredient in its original formula, Xenadrine RFA-1, is ephedrine, derived from the ephedra plant. Ephedrine increases metabolism, the process by which fat cells are broken down and converted to energy, and it suppresses appetite. The effects of ephedrine are like those of amphetamines, also known as speed, and for some they can be deadly. Ephedrine can raise one’s heart rate and blood pressure, so people with heart conditions and high blood pressure are warned against taking it.” Full article : How Safe is Xenadrine?

I was introduced to Xenadrine while reading a Fitness magazine when I was in my early 20’s (so, about 10 years ago, more or less). At the time,  I was active and exercised regularly, but still wanted to drop 10 more pounds. So, off to GNC I went. This was my official trip to GNC, and most definitely not my last. The friendly salesperson had no problem pointing me to the diet pill section and was kind enough to offer stronger diet pills than Xenadrine,  but I declined. I picked up my bottle of Xenadrine and headed home to give them a try. Continue reading

Saving Money While Losing Weight

I don’t like to diet because it usually requires me to invest more money in food and special meal plans. So, to anyone out there that says they cannot afford to diet and have their own meal plan while their family eats something else – I totally understand. In light of the New Year and new beginnings, many articles are being posted about losing weight and starting the year healthier. I came across an article posted by Mint.com that I had to share, “6 Ways to Cut the Cost of Popular Weight Loss Plans.” I am a huge believer in the last one – Utilize Smart Prep (in my case – buy food I will actually eat in bulk). Since I drink a lot of protein shakes and fruit filled replacement shakes, I consume a lot more fruit than ever before. About every two months, I stop by Costco and stock up on bags of frozen fruit chunks to make smoothies with. I also pick up protein bars and dried fruit. Below is an excerpt from the article.

“6 Ways to Cut the Cost of Popular Weight Loss Plans” from MintLife.com

Utilize Smart Prep

If the diet entails you making your own food, use smart strategies like shopping sales and clipping coupons to cut your bill.

“When you’re buying a lot of fresh produce, it’s also a good idea to shake off water before bagging to avoid paying extra for that water weight,” says Pavini.

Some produce may even be cheaper in bulk, like multi-packs of avocados.

Plus, Frugal Foodie is a big fan of frozen fruits and vegetables – a 32-ounce bag of frozen blueberries is $10 at her supermarket, while one fresh 12-ounce pint is $4.

Frugal Foodie is a journalist based in New York City who spends her days writing about personal finance and obsessing about what she’ll have for dinner. Chat with her on Twitter through @MintFoodie http://www.twitter.com/mintfoodie.

Full article – http://www.mint.com/blog/saving/6-ways-to-cut-the-cost-of-popular-weight-loss-plans-0113/