Friday, November 30, 2018

How to guide on Cheat Meals

A huge part of losing weight is staying disciplined with your diet. In fact, I would say that is the most important part of losing weight. But isn't it okay to indulge every once in a while? When you are out with your friends and they are all eating all this delicious, marvelous, unhealthy food that is full of sugar and carbs, don't you want to join them. Well, the good news is that indulging every once in a while is okay. But it's important to get back on track after you indulge. Here are 5 Tips on how to do cheat meals properly. 

1. Make a cheat meal a reward! 
This is probably the most ironic thing that I have ever said, but making a cheat meal as your reward for losing weight will be a good way to motivate yourself. So let's say that you lost 10 pounds, go out and eat pizza or indulge in your favorite food to celebrate your accomplishments! You should be very proud of yourself for losing that weight because it is not easy! Invite your friends and your support system and have a celebration! It is an important reminder that your accomplishments are always worth celebrating! 

2. Don't overdo it!
Don't come in with the mentality of wanting to eat everything all in one day because it is your cheat day. You will instantly regret overeating so much! Remember, everything in moderation. So instead of eating the entire pizza maybe just have a few slices. Don't eat an entire pint of ice cream, eat maybe a bowl or two. Keep in the back of your head that this is not an excuse to eat as much as you want. Have self-control and practice disciple. 

3. Plan your cheat meal!
If you are counting your calories, remember to count your cheat meal with those calories that you are counting. Remember that an important part of losing weight is being honest with yourself. If you plan on eating 2500 calories a day, you should incorporate your cheat meal into that. While indulging, remember that your cheat meal counts in the daily number of calories you consume so plan around that so you have some wiggle room. If your daily calorie count is, 2500, let's say, and that pizza you are eating is 500, remember to only eat 2000 calories before you eat your pizza. Maybe also start a routine for cheat meals, like tell yourself, "once a week I will have a cheat meal." 

4. Get back on track!
After indulging yourself, remember to get back to your diet and regular routine. It is easy to tell yourself, "One more day of eating unhealthy isn't going to hurt me." Then all of a sudden, you are forming a habit. Discipline is key, remember your goals and what you want to achieve is more important than the comfort and satisfaction of eating unhealthy food. 

5. Don't check the scale the next day! 
 Remember to not check the scale the next day after eating really unhealthy or overeating. The reason being is because you know that your weight is going to increase and when you check the scale, you will feel demotivated and stressed by the minor weight gain that happened. Remember that it is important to not be obsessed over what the number on the scale is because, in reality, that is not healthy and will lead to you being stressed out and worrying. I made a blog post in the past about not worrying about small weight gains. Don't sweat the small stuff, remember that checking your weight the day after having a cheat meal is not going to be accurate because one day of overeating doesn't equate to your real weight and progress on your weight loss journey. 

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Worked out twice a day for a week: Benefits I noticed

I worked out twice a day for this entire week, with the exception of Wednesday. By an entire week I mean from Last Saturday to this Saturday which was yesterday. This was a total of 2-3 hours of lifting a day. There are certain benefits that I noticed. First is that it boosts your metabolism. Secondly, you are able to eat more because you burn off more calories. Third, I got way better sleep and felt way more rested. I struggle with insomnia and sleeping issues so being able to sleep well as a gift to me. Overall, a great idea and it is also a great way to keep weight off because you are burning off more calories and therefore don't have to worry about overeating. Now going to the gym twice a day doesn't give you the excuse to eat 10 McDonald's cheeseburgers. But you can eat more flexible if you are burning off more calories. I know that not everyone can do this because we all have school, work and many other things that keep us busy. But if you have a day off or a few days off I would recommend trying this because you will notice the benefits. I did this mainly because I was off for Thanksgiving break the entire week and I had the free time to do this. If you don't like working out, than I wouldn't recommend this. This is specifically for the workout junkies. One thing you also need to make sure of is that you don't work out the same body parts on the same day. So if you are doing arms in the morning, make sure you do legs in the afternoon. Maybe add in some cardio if you want to. Make sure you also are careful with this because working out twice in one day can increase your risk of getting injured. Also, be prepared to feel more fatigued throughout the day. Overall, I think this is a good thing to try if you have the time and are up for it.  

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Interview about Gestational Diabetes with Connie O'Connor(My Aunt)

This is an interview I did with my Aunt who is named Connie O'Connor who has Gestational Diabetes. She tells her story of how she got it, how she manages it, and advice to people who may be struggling with diabetes. She also biked across America twice while being diabetic which is very inspiring. I am so blessed to call her my aunt and I would love to share her story with all of you because she is an inspiration and living proof that Diabetes can't hold you back from doing anything. I have learned so much through this interview and I hope you do too!

At what age did you find out that you found out you have type 1/2 diabetes? What were the warning signs that you had it and what was your emotional reaction to the diagnosis?
I have Gestational diabetes that I got from when I was pregnant with my first child at the six-month mark of my pregnancy. She is my only daughter and her name is Claire. I have a son that is 19 months younger named Tommy. Gestational diabetes occurs when a woman gains weight from pregnancy combined with the pregnancy hormones that overload the system. Once I delivered Claire, I went back to having a normal blood sugar. Then in the first month of my pregnancy with Tommy, I became diabetic and had to go back on Insulin. How I found out I had diabetes again was because I was constantly thirsty, losing weight and constantly fatigued. The constant fatigue was normal for pregnancy but the constant thirst and losing weight wasn’t so I went for a blood check and they found I had high blood sugar and I had Gestational diabetes once again. I was frustrated because I lost weight and have done everything that my endocrinologist said and I still came out with the diagnosis. When I originally worried about Claire’s brain after the first diagnosis because I thought my health had affected her.   
How has this disease affected your day to day life?
I have to watch my diet and exercise. I have to count every single calorie that I intake into my body. I have to check my blood sugar every hour and I have to use insulin whenever my blood is too high. I also have to eat before six o’clock because if I need to be aware before I go to sleep whether I have high or low blood sugar. To check my blood sugar, I use a Continuous Glucose Monitor called Dexcom. It is a company in San Diego and it measures my blood every five minutes and I can use an app on my iPhone to monitor it. It also alerts me when it is too high or too low.   
What are some daily habits that help you manage your diabetes?
I eat four to six times a day instead of 3 times a day. I exercise at least an hour a day. I make my biggest meals my breakfast and lunch and if I want to eat a treat I will eat it at lunchtime.
How do you stay motivated with diet and exercise?

You know how you feel when you get the flu and you say to yourself, “I’m going to stay away from sick people.” It is the same with food. If I know something will make my blood sugar go too high and I get too tired and sleepy and I don't want to do anything. I avoid those foods.

What has to be your biggest piece of advice to someone who is struggling to manage their diabetes or who has recently been diagnosed with diabetes? Or someone who is in the prediabetic category?
Don’t count on other people, count on yourself. You are responsible for yourself, others are not responsible for you. Don’t be a burden to other people, don’t force people to do what you have to do. Just because you can’t eat certain food doesn’t give you the right to force others not to.
What does your daily diet look like?
In the morning I eat about a fourth of a cup of fruit with a little bit of diabetic yogurt, an egg and a piece of toast that is about 7-10 grams of carbs. Then for lunch I eat some kind of lunch meat or something with protein in it with half of a fruit. Then about at four o’clock I eat a little bit of string cheese and maybe a cracker. Then for dinner I usually have have 6 or 7 grams of protein, 8-10 grams of carbs and then some veggies. I eat
about 1400-1700 calories a day depending on how much I exercise.

One thing that I would like to add is that I am very impressed and proud of your accomplishments. I am amazed that you were able to ride your bike all across America twice while being diabetic. That is truly inspirational and I applaud you for showing people that diabetes can’t stop you from doing anything. Plenty of other people will be inspired by your story!  

Sunday, November 18, 2018

How to survive the Holidays while losing weight.

Thanksgiving is coming up and that means lots of eating. Your family and friends are going to be having a feast with you and it will be hard to not overeat. It is important to be disciplined and remember your goals. This goes for any social event. You need to remember your limits and to not go over them. You don't have to starve yourself this Thanksgiving but don't use the holidays as an excuse to overeat. Stick to your normal portions and your normal calorie limit. If you told yourself that you are only going to eat 2,000 calories a day, don't make Thanksgiving an exception. You don't have to say no to that delicious pumpkin pie but don't ask for a second slice. Stay disciplined during the holiday season my friends.

Don't Sweat the small stuff: Why small weight gains mean nothing.

As you anxiously step on the scale waiting to see what your weight is, you may feel some anxiety if you are a pound two in a day. You may see that you weighed a certain amount of pounds throughout the week and then at the end of the week, you gain two pounds and you are freaking out and acting like it's the end of the world. That two-pound weight gain didn't just derail all the progress that you have made. It could just be water weight, or it could just be that you ate a lot of food the night before. There are many reasons that your body gains weight temporarily and you will see fluctuations in your weight for many different reasons. I would say that if it is a small weight gain, basically anything less than 5 pounds, than you shouldn't worry about it. It isn't a big deal. Now, If you are consistently putting on weight then there is a reason for concern. This is why you shouldn't weigh yourself every day because if you do that then you are going to let yourself down if you gain weight one day. You should instead weigh yourself once or twice a week or maybe every other day but don't weigh yourself daily because it can mess with your motivation when you see a minor weight gain.

Friday, November 16, 2018

When You Diet Too Hard: Unhealthy Calories Restriction

Everything in life needs a balance, including the number of calories that you eat. Too many calories per day are unhealthy and too little calories.... is also unhealthy. Many of us who are obese or overweight, including me, have looked for easy ways out. We look for crash diets, special supplements, etc. I would never lie to you and tell you that there is an easy way out. In one of my older posts, I talk about weight loss is simple but not easy. I will link that post in this one if any of you want to check it out. We get really impatient and we want the pounds to start just shedding off. This mentality of impatience is what leads us to unhealthy weight loss methods including heavily restricting our calories to an unhealthy point. Obviously, a calorie deficit is necessary for weight loss but it's important to not make that calorie deficit too much. There are consequences for eating too little including the weakened immune system, hair loss, chronic fatigue and malnutrition(1). There is also the principle of what goes up must come down. It is found that one of the biggest causes of binge eating and binge eating disorder is extreme calorie restriction(2). This is a situation that is all too common, someone eats a ridiculously small amount of food a day, they lose weight really fast and then once they get to their goal weight than they start binge eating and gain back all the weight that they lost. Highly restrictive, extremely low-calorie diets are not sustainable. Yes, creating a calorie deficit is necessary for weight loss but if you are eating less than 1,000 calories a day, you are eating way too little. Remember to find that balance between eating too much and too little. Patience is a virtue and weight loss requires a lot of patience. Don't try to rush your weight loss, make it slow and sustainable. That is the healthiest way to lose weight. Not only is it the healthiest way but it is the way that allows you to not only lose the weight but keep the weight off after you lost it. Remember that the best things in life are worth weighting for(pun intended).

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Fats or Carbs, which one is your enemy?

When losing weight, We all want to know which diet will give us the best results. Should we cut out fats or carbs, which one would be more effective? Well, according to a study done by the "Journal of the American Medical Association" did a study that proves that both diets worked equally as effectively regardless of genetics, 

"Conducted by researchers at Stanford University, this study included 609 overweight or obese adults from the San Francisco Bay area. Through the study, participants were randomly assigned to either a low-carb or low-fat diet for one year. During this period, they attended regular classes where they received dietary instructions and support from certified dieticians.
For the first two months, participants limited their intake of fat or carbohydrates to 20 grams a day, depending on their assigned diet. They then slowly added fat or carbs back into their diet, while keeping fat or carb consumption as low as they could maintain. All participants were also encouraged to stay active and maintain a healthy diet throughout the study. After one year, researchers found no significant difference in weight loss between either group." Average weight loss was 12 pounds in the low-fat group and 13 pounds in the low-carb group(1)."
This was a good study to be done because it shows that it doesn't matter whether you go on a low carb diet or a low-fat diet but you have to choose some structured diet to lose weight. So the real question is now which one of these are you most willing to give up in your diet. If you like eating bread and many other things that have carbs in it than the low carb one isn't for you. If you like eating cheese and ice cream than the low fat isn't for you. Find a diet that allows you to eat the foods you want to eat(in moderation of course) and that doesn't sacrifice foods that you love eating regularly. When I started losing weight, I went on Keto(low carb) because I was still allowed to eat meat on Keto which was very important to me and I didn't really care about giving up bread or any high carb foods. So I was able to stick on Keto because to me it wasn't that huge of a sacrifice. Honestly, whether you do low carb or low fat is up to you but you should weigh out which one you are more willing to sacrifice. Going on a diet takes a lot of discipline but it should never be too uncomfortable for you to handle it. If it is too uncomfortable for you to handle then you should find another diet to do that better suits your needs and food choices. 

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Emotional Eating: How to deal with eating your problems away

We have all been there. Been through a bad break up and we get a pint of ice cream and watch cheesy romantic comedies. Or maybe we get upset about the loss of a job and we order an extra large pizza just for ourselves. I am going to explain here why you shouldn't eat your problems away and find a healthier outlet to release stress. Essentially, what you are doing is turning food into a drug. You are using it to escape reality. You are using it to comfort yourself during hardships. It is nothing but a crutch. This will often lead you off the deep as you will start to develop a problem with overeating. Essentially, what you are doing is associating negative emotions with food which is a habit that will stick in your brain. Food can be like a drug in the sense that it releases dopamine in our brain which is the feel-good chemical that gives us pleasure. It is the reward chemical in our brain. When our brain is over flooded with dopamine, that is when addiction starts. Being addicted to food is a problem that can kill someone. This addiction is bad because you can't stop eating food. You need to learn to control your food consumption. So it's not like you can just quit food and be done with it. If you quit eating you would die. So how to solve the problem of emotional eating, find other outlets to escape. If you are feeling down, go work out! If you are feeling stressed, meditate. Find something else to replace food as that outlet of stress, something that is healthy. Find healthy coping mechanisms to make your weight loss a lot easier!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Dealing with the Haters

As I was looking through a Facebook weight loss support group, I couldn't have noticed how there are people posting about their experiences being fat shamed and bullied. I personally found this disturbing and disgusting. IT IS NEVER OKAY TO FAT SHAME! You don't know a single thing about someone's life and you decide to berate and bully them for struggling with their weight. You don't know what they have been through, they could've lost a loved one and they could be using food to comfort themselves. They could be struggling with their emotions and food is their only coping mechanism. They could be working hard to better themselves. If you are fat shaming, remember that you are a part of the problem. You need to be supportive and treat others with kindness and respect no matter what. Yes, being obese is unhealthy and can lead to a lot of illnesses. I don't support the idea of ignoring the basic fact that being fat isn't good for you. If you are obese, it is important to lose weight so you can live a healthier, better life. But being obese doesn't make you any less of a person. You are a valuable person no matter what, don't let others tear you down and have your self worth be determined by how you look. The haters are just angry people who want to feel better about themselves so they just bring others down to do that. Don't let them affect you, just ignore them. Their opinion is worthless. Keep doing your thing, work hard and achieve your goals and show those haters that you don't care what they think!

Find your favorite exercise, then grind your favorite exercise

Have you ever heard someone claim that this exercise or that exercise is the best for losing weight/burning fat? Have you ever heard someone try to sell you a workout program claiming that you will be thinner after 6 weeks of doing this program? We all have heard these things, but the question is, is this true. What is the best workout you can do to lose weight? The answer is any workout. Find the workout that you enjoy the most. If you like biking, take a bike ride. If you like running, go out for a run. If you like weightlifting, lift your heart out. Do something that you enjoy, it doesn't matter what it is. Move your body in some sort of way. Remember that most of the work is done through your diet, that is the most important part and as long as you are burning calories, it doesn't matter what you do. When I first started losing weight, I skateboarded every day to exercise. I loved skateboarding and I ended up skateboarding 8-10 miles a day. I found something that I really liked doing and I did it to death. Just like dieting, exercise isn't a one size fits all. Everyone is different and Everyone prefers different workouts. Don't force yourself to do something you don't want to do though because then you aren't going to do it. If you hate running, try biking instead. If you hate lifting, try bodyweight exercises. Experiment and find the exercise that you like doing the most and do it to death. Because the exercise that you like the most is the one that you will be the most motivated to do and if you are motivated to exercise, you will burn more calories. And if you got a good diet in place, you will burn more calories than you consume and you will lose weight! Remember, the key is to find your favorite exercise and grind your favorite exercise!

Monday, November 5, 2018

How to keep weight off

Losing weight is not nearly as hard as keeping that weight off after you have lost it. You need to remain vigilant and self aware of what you eat and how much you eat. I have heard so many stories of many people gaining back the weight that they have lost. It is unfortunate when you work hard to gain the progress you have just to lose it. The truth of the matter is, your body doesn't want you to lose weight. Your body is used to being a certain way and it is hard for it to make these adjustments to your new weight. So why is it exactly that so many people who lose weight gain it back? Well the main reason is that these people go on crash diets that are extremely restrictive and once they go off these diets because they have reached their goal weight, they binge eat. We need to remember that weight loss requires long-term changes to our diet and eating habits. We can't just go on a diet for 2 months and then once we are done just eat whatever we want. Now of course, once you have reached your goal weight, there is nothing wrong with making your diet a bit more flexible. But you also need to remember to not go overboard. Once you have lost the amount of weight that you want to lose, the way that you can keep the weight off is by making sure you are not eating more calories than you burn off everyday. To get a good measure of how many calories you need to eat each day, You should calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate(BMR) which is basically how many calories you burn a day at rest. Then you should calculate your caloric needs which is the amount of calories you need to maintain your current weight. I will link a calculator in the description so you can figure out your BMR and your caloric needs. Also, another important tip when it comes to keeping weight off is to make sure that you increase your physical activity post weight loss. So when you are heavier, it is easier to burn off more calories than when you lose weight so you need to make sure that you become more physically active once you lose weight to keep burning off the same amount of calories. Hope this was helpful to you guys! Remember, don't be discouraged by a little weight gain. If it does happen, get back up and keep fighting! Remember that you are strong and can do anything you set your mind to!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Weight loss is simple but it is not easy

It is not hard to know how to lose weight. Weight loss is simply about having a caloric deficit. All you have do is eat less calories than you burn off and you will lose weight. There are simple ways you can do this by exercise and diet. You need to also make sure that while you are eating less you are eating foods that are healthy and have nutritional value. It is not rocket science to figure this out. Yet the difficult part of losing weight is implementing these lifestyle changes into your normal routine. It can be difficult and uncomfortable to make these lifestyle changes because it takes a lot of discipline. It also requires a lot of patience as you may not see results immediately. It is very easy to get frustrated and give up. So you have to be resilient. It is a battle between your logical mind and emotional mind. You may know logically that you shouldn't eat that sugary food or drink that soda, yet emotionally you want to because you know that it will taste good. While on paper, losing weight can simply be done using these simple steps, you need to remember that it is not going to be a walk in the park and you have to be very dedicated to get the results you want. I believe anyone can do it, it is always possible! Stay motivated, keep going and eventually you will reach your goals. The most important part is making sure to not give up when things are tough, because they will be, there is no avoid them yet at the same time, the rewards are worth it! Stay Motivated through thick and thin!