Posted on | June 15, 2010 | No Comments
CAN I LOSE WEIGHT WITHOUT DIETING?
Absolutely! Barring any medical problems you might have, such as with your thyroid or a myriad of other conditions, you CAN lose weight, using just some common sense. Here’s what I do to keep my weight in check:
1) Practice portion control. At each meal, stick to portions that are right for YOU, no more-no less. You can figure this out by first measuring a portion according the package labels and then reflecting on how you feel after you’ve eaten. For instance, when I tried eating a package’s definition of one portion of oatmeal at breakfast, I felt too full afterward and adjusted by 25% less. That felt fine to me, so I eat less than what is called for. For unpackaged foods, you may have to research the definition of a “portion.” For example, with fish, my research shows a portion to be the size of a deck of cards. I tried that and it felt fine to me, so that’s how much fish I will eat at a sitting. When eating in restaurants, where portions are usually much larger than recommended, I’ll cut away the correct portion and save the rest for a future meal at home.
2) “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen, and dinner like a pauper.” This little proverb is quite wise (and clever)! As the day goes on, you have less and less time to burn calories, so it makes sense to start big and cut back on food as your day passes. Not only that, but you need to start your day with lots of energy to get your work done, so a big breakfast can really kick-start it.
3) Control your starches, fats, sugars, and salts. Notice I said “control,” not “cut out.” These little culprits are well known to help you put on pounds fast, so you need to be mindful of them. You can enjoy them, but just watch how much you consume. As for starches, put very little on your plate or skip them at most meals. For me, at least, starches have been responsible for most of my weight gain, if I am not controlling my intake of them. For fats, it is recommended that you eat no more than 30% of your calories as fat. No, you don’t have to do a lot of math with calorie counting…just read labels to see how much fat percentage per serving there is in each product before consuming. Choose products well known for being low fat. For example, you want something low fat but crunchy and salty: opt for pretzels instead of potato chips. Plan your fat intake around meals. You want a chocolate bar? Fine, have one, but then make sure your next meal is low in fat (like a salad with low fat dressing). That’s a good trade-off. As for sugar, I have found that a lot of people (myself included) take in too much sugar through soft drinks. If you can’t go cold-turkey off of soft drinks and don’t want to consume the “fake” sugar, then make yourself drink mostly water throughout the day, with a promise of a soft drink at some point. Try several different bottled waters to see which tastes “better” or “sweeter.” You’ll be more likely to drink water if you like the taste. Also, the taste of water improves with time. You get used to it and in some instances, end up preferring it to sugary, syrupy sweet soft drinks. As for salt—it is a TOUGH habit to break and my only suggestion is to cut back little by little. And ALWAYS taste your food FIRST before adding table salt. You’d be surprised how many foods really don’t need it or any more of it. You do need SOME salt in your diet, but too much of it really just helps you retain water and raises your blood pressure. Another good way to combat the damage of salt is to eat more foods with potassium. I make sure to eat at least one banana a day to help with this. Other foods to eat that are high in potassium: oranges, cantaloupe, spinach, yogurt, beet greens, halibut, blackstrap molasses.
4) Drink a decent amount of water every day. By “decent,” I mean at least 40-64 fluid ounces. That’s 5-8 little bottles (8 oz) of water a day. That’s not too hard to do (I can at least drink 5 of those). You can get the rest of your liquids through other beverages, such as juice, tea, coffee, etc. Drinking the water helps keep you off of soft drinks and helps your body flush out what it doesn’t need, not to mention how great it makes your skin look!
5) Try to get 30 minutes of activity each day. This can mean taking a walk, doing exercises in front of your TV, doing housework–anything that gives you some kind of movement that gets your blood circulating, preferably earlier in the day. You want to rev up your metabolism to get calories burning throughout the day. If it’s an activity you enjoy, it won’t seem like exercise. It’ll be good for you and help control your weight.
6) Eat fruits, veggies, or nuts between meals. The fruits and veggies will give you fiber (to fill you up) and vitamins (always good) as well as juice (for hydration). The nuts give you protein (a well-known hunger crusher) and minerals (also always good). Clear out junk food from your fridge/cupboards to keep you from gaining fast and not getting any good nutrition.
Those are my tips for losing weight without dieting. There are many more things you can do. In fact, if you have other ideas to add to this list, please put them below, in the comments section…and thanks!
Posted on | May 27, 2010 | 2 Comments
When someone you deeply love leaves you (or makes you leave), it can feel like the end of the world. You get that punched-in-the-stomach feeling, pains in your chest…you feel like the person you loved so much just died. You feel lost, alone, rejected–like you will never love or be loved again. You can’t eat, sleep or work properly. Or maybe you can sleep, but just too much. Whatever, it’s all the same: you suddenly can’t function normally anymore. You’ve become accustomed to that special person always being there for you. You thought you knew them. You never believed they could ever do this to you. You thought they loved you as much as you loved them. You are in shock. What do you do? How can you go on? Yes, I’ve been there and done that. It’s a horrible feeling and you just feel like crawling in a hole and dying. But I got through it, and so can you.
While you can never really be in another person’s head and know what is really going on, you CAN go inside yourself for refuge. You are strong enough by yourself. You have a brain, and you can survive such a horrible experience by doing these things:
1) Do not think of just yourself and your pain. Think of this situation in unselfish terms. Think of how, if you really love this person, you would want them to be happy, wouldn’t you? Is it possible that this person you loved will be happier with someone else? Don’t you want them to find their happiness in this life? And isn’t it possible that they weren’t meant for you, but were just there to teach you something in life? One way to really love another person is to let them go. This is one of the best ways of loving others: giving love without expectation of any returns. It is better to give then to receive. And sometimes, when you let someone go, they come back to you. If they do, things may be better the next time around.
2) Don’t forsake what you two built together. It is deeper than friendship. You know this person inside and out. Possibly, you even lived together and so you got to know them on a daily basis. This person surely added some kind of value to your life, or you wouldn’t have loved them in the first place. Resolve to keep the door open for friendship, even though you feel pain now and/or they may not want the same thing (or their new partner won’t “allow” it). They may need you one day. Be a friend to them and keep your connection alive, or at least be there if they need you. Obviously, there are exceptions to this: a violent or malicious person, if threatening your safety, would not be someone you would want to put yourself around. Nor would it be wise to hang around them if they are bad for your self-esteem. But in general, you really CAN remain friends with an old lover/ex. Perhaps now that the romantic connection is gone (or may be gone), you can become real, true friends. And those are not easy to come by.
3) Spend some time meditating on why this relationship ended…journal about it, or talk to a friend or counselor. Feel your pain and see it just as mourning a loss, which is completely natural. And time will help heal the pain. Do not run directly out to get a new love just to cover up your pains. You will not appreciate the new love and you may find you are not careful in who you choose because you are in such a hurry to fill the void and pain. This is called a “rebound relationship.” Then you would end up possibly breaking someone else’s heart. It is said you should spend at least 6 months without a new partner so you have time to think, reflect, and ponder what happened and also who you might choose as a type of partner for the future. Everyone is different, though, and your time table for being ready to date again may be shorter or longer; the point is, you will know when you’re ready.
4) Spend some quality time with your circle of friends…or make new ones by going to places where people with your same interests hang out. This could be special classes, seminars, dance clubs, poetry readings, open mics, dinners with coworkers, or even online forums or social media networks (like Facebook). You could even try hooking up with a group of people with your interests, such as can be found at www.meetup.com . I can’t stress enough how my good friends helped me through my depression and sadness over a recent breakup. Yes, I could have done it without them, but they really helped speed up the process, and their advice and experiences were invaluable to me.
5) Spend time doing things you love and are passionate about. For me, it was going out to open mics to sing and play guitar; going to jewelry-making classes; reading personal development books, trying new recipes, and helping others through volunteer work. These things helped me get back to my genuine self, part of which I had lost in the old relationship. It gave me a clear view of how I should be more myself in any new relationship. You need interests and activities apart from your partner; it is how you keep your own identity in tact…and keeps you strong, should you lose your partner. It’s nice to share your life with someone, but remember: you are good enough and strong enough on your own as well!
6) Make a schedule every day, filling your calendar with things you can look forward to, such as outings with friends, local events to attend, favorite TV shows, etc. This way, you don’t sit around moping and feeling sorry for yourself; you are actually taking an active part in life! This is important for your morale during your healing process.
7) Try online dating, when you are ready. Really! It’s not as scary as some people think. Just be honest about yourself and don’t settle for what/who you don’t want. You will be surprised how many others out there have what you are looking for. And it is a more exact way of finding the right person than going to a bar or club and just hoping they magically appear in front of you, or settling for what you do find there. I highly recommend it. Some are paid memberships, but I chose a couple really good free ones. I was very happy with the results I got from www.plentyoffish.com It was an excellent experience for me. Go for it!
These are all the things that helped me get through a rough time, and become stronger in the process. What about you? Have you been through a major breakup? How did you get through it? Do you have some tips in addition to these? Help others going through a breakup by responding in the comments section!