Sunday, June 29, 2014

Two Magic Words That Could Change Your Life

If you were to listen to the tape loop that plays in a woman's heads, you might hear something like this:

I'm too fat.

I hate to exercise.

My nose is too big.

Or some other variation of negative self talk.

For some reason, it is easier to talk trash about ourselves than celebrate our finer qualities. Which could partly explain why there are so many self acceptance memes floating around the Internet.

Like this one...

And this one...


Sure, these "you are special" memes help for a moment, but five minutes later we are back to telling ourselves our fingers are too short or our ears are too big. Or that we can't control ourselves around doughnuts.

And that's where the two magic words come in.

"Even though..."

All you do is place the words "Even though" in front of a negative statement, and you turn a negative into a positive.

For instance:

Even though I'm too fat, I am discovering healthy new foods that I enjoy eating.

Even though my nose is too big, I have a rare type of beauty.

Even though I hate to exercise, it feels great walking around the block listening to music.

Even though I'm a slob, I love myself anyway.


Even though I can't control myself around doughnuts, today I chose to eat a protein bar instead.

And so on.

This may seem simple, but so is drinking water to quench thirst. The most complicated solution is not always the best.

The point is, we cannot let negative self talk go unchallenged like some kind of schoolyard bully. By placing the words "even though" in front of our most persistent negative messages and finishing each statement with something positive, we empower ourselves to think kinder, more helpful thoughts and make healthier new choices that will lead to permanent habit change.

You can purchase Medifast replacement meals directly from Medifast Centers, the Medifast website or -- for no extra cost -- through the co-branded website of a Medifast TSFL health coach. Medifast does not recommend purchasing its products from third party vendors, but if you choose to do so, you can find them on both Amazon and eBay.

Medifast replacement meals on Amazon

Similar posts:

How Medifast Helped Me Develop Better Habits

Medifast Centers Vs. DIY Medifast


My Favorite Medifast Kitchen Gadgets


Medifast Vs. Lean Cuisine Diet

Visit my other blogs:

Fit Kitty

Food Trends 


Bookish

Dictionary Woman

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Phantom Fat and Fun House Mirrors: The Lag Time Between Weight Loss and Accurate Self Perception

A young colleague at work who has shed more than 50 pounds was recently surprised she can no longer shop at her favorite plus-sized store. Despite the fact she has lost enough weight to create an entire third grader, her mind has not caught up with her new shape.
I have no idea what my co-worker sees when she looks in the mirror, but it is possible she sees a larger image of herself. An MSNBC article called Phantom Fat Can Linger After Weight Loss describes a woman who went from a size 24 to a size 4 and still worries she won't be able to fit into chairs. Like my friend, her mind has not caught up with her body.

Though in some cases this phenomenon is a mental illness called body dysmorphia, it's more likely that both of these women just have a temporary mental lag between losing weight and accepting their thinner selves.

In some ways, losing weight is like giving birth to a smaller version of yourself. It can take time getting comfortable with the new image you present to the world and accepting that the stranger in the mirror is really you.

For those who hold on to extra pounds as a protective mechanism, it may even be scary to be a smaller, more vulnerable presence.

Fortunately, most people who lose weight eventually perceive themselves correctly and enjoy their new shape. Shopping for clothes becomes a pleasure instead of a chore, and you can fit into just about any chair.

When I was a child I had a full-length mirror in my bedroom that made people look more slender than they actually were. My mother's friends would trek upstairs just to see themselves in the magic mirror. It wasn't until I was older and overweight myself that I understood their odd desire to see a positively distorted image, if even just for a moment.

After losing 35 pounds on Medifast, I still find myself surprised that I can wear smaller clothes and suspect the mirror is playing tricks on me.

You can purchase Medifast replacement meals directly from Medifast Centers, the Medifast website or -- for no extra cost -- through the co-branded website of a Medifast TSFL health coach. Medifast does not recommend purchasing its products from third party vendors, but if you choose to do so, you can find them on both Amazon and eBay.

Medifast replacement meals on Amazon

Similar posts:

How Medifast Helped Me Develop Better Habits

Medifast Centers Vs. DIY Medifast


My Favorite Medifast Kitchen Gadgets


Medifast Vs. Lean Cuisine Diet

Visit my other blogs:

Fit Kitty

Food Trends 


Bookish

Dictionary Woman

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Chipotle Ranch Dip Takes First Place in Opadipity by Litehouse Taste Test

After posting a love poem on my blog to my new crush, OPA salad dressings, the social media guy for Litehouse Foods contacted me on my Facebook page and asked if I'd like to sample other OPA products.

Do yaks have horns?

Who wouldn't want to try more primo OPA products made from high-protein Greek yogurt?

A few days later, a care package arrived with three new flavors of OPA salad dressings, the full line of Opadipity by Litehouse Greek yogurt dips -- and nine bottles of Litehouse Instantly Fresh Herbs.

Talk about Christmas in June!

I decided to test the dips first because my favorite snack has become veggies with dip since losing 35 pounds on the Medifast diet program.

To make the sampling more fun, I brought some celery and jicama sticks to work and set up a taste test station so my co-workers could help me judge these low-calorie creamy dips made from healthy Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise.

I placed the four dips atop a low bookcase, along with the crudites, and asked my guinea pigs to fill out questionnaires so I could determine which were their favorites and why.

Here's what I found:

Of the four dips -- Chipotle Ranch, Creamy Ranch, Spinach Parmesan and Cucumber Dill -- the clear winner was Chipotle Ranch. Some of the adjectives and phrases used to describe the chipotle dip were "delicious," "smokey," "has a bite to it," "almost has a barbecue flavor" and "can't even taste the yogurt." One taste tester said he was going to sub it for the chipotle mayo he typically uses on his burgers.
Chipotle Ranch was the winning flavor
in my "Don't Be a Dip" Opadipity Taste Test

This papaya-colored dip was my favorite, too. The smokey chipotle flavor nicely complimented the slightly sweet jicama, making for a perfect sweet-savory snack. I predict it will become a staple on my shopping list.

The next favorite dip was (drum roll, please)... Cucumber Dill. Yes, I was surprised, too. Tasters liked its cool refreshing flavor and felt it tasted more like ranch than the Creamy Ranch dip (which tasted "too yogurty" for some).

The third runner up was the Spinach Parmesan, which was described as "earthy," "flavorful" and "cheesy."

Aside from their pleasing, intense flavors, the nutritional profile on all four dips is impressive, running only 50-70 calories for a two tablespoon serving. You could even have two servings with crisp, fresh veggies and come out way ahead compared to a 100-calorie snack pack of empty carbs.

And because the Opadipity products have some protein and healthy fat, you'll feel full and satisfied after eating them, especially if paired with a fibrous vegetable.

The Litehouse Foods official website has a collection of delicious looking recipes that can be made with each dip -- from Chipotle Ranch Chicken Wraps to Spinach Parmesan Quiche (could be made crustless for low-carbers). I already have several contenders in my recipes-to-try bucket list.

Whether you're losing weight on the Medifast diet, eating low carb or just want another healthy snack option or recipe ingredient, Opadipity by Litehouse merits some real estate in your refrigerator.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, June 23, 2014

Is Keeping Your Fat Clothes Like Hanging On to a Bad Relationshp?

One of the first things I did after losing 35 pounds on the Medifast diet is give away all my fat clothes. I told myself if I gained weight, I would have to either be uncomfortable or walk around nude.
Is it time to thin out your closet?

The only reason to keep my old clothes would be that I expected to fit into them again one day.

But why waste all that effort to ditch the pounds if I had a back up plan to house them comfortably when they came back.

The idea for this post came from one of my favorite Medifast Facebook group friends Barbi Brown, a certified Take Shape for Life health coach. She was having mixed feelings about what to do with all her larger sized clothes.

"It's exhilarating and frustrating at the same time," she wrote. "What do you do with all these perfectly wonderful clothes that don't fit anymore? Some of them you love -- but there's no way you could make them work. It's like being in a bad relationship, except it is with your clothes!"

I love the "bad relationship" metaphor, but I'm at the point in my life where I'd rather be alone than hang out with someone who is bad for me. For me keeping the fat clothes in my closet would be like getting married with a prenup -- that is, saying "until death do us part" but meaning, "until I get tired of you and walk away with all my money."

An interesting forum thread on the 3 Fat Chicks website supports my view:

"I look at it this way. I lost 85 pounds and kept it off for a year. I gained a little back and it wasn't inconvenient because I wasn't worried about not having anything to wear (or) having to buy clothes, and I wasn't listening to my clothes telling me it was time to take action," wrote a woman named Carla, whose handle is showgirlaz.

"Don't give yourself the opportunity to excuse a little weight gain by saving too many sizes," she warned. "A gain of one size is 15 to 20 pounds in general. You shouldn't need to keep anything that much bigger if you are trying to stay in a manageable maintenance range."

Still, it can be overwhelming to get rid of so many clothes, especially those you love or to which you have an emotional attachment.

I waited until one day when I felt especially dispassionate and removed all the clothes from my closet. I then made four piles: Ditch, Donate, Consign Winter and Consign Summer.  I rationalized that I could at least get some cash for my higher quality items (with which I could buy more clotehs) and all the rest would go to a good cause.

So far I am maintaining my weight, and I hope that I never have to see rely on either of my back up options.

You can purchase Medifast replacement meals directly from Medifast Centers, the Medifast website or -- for no extra cost -- through the co-branded website of a Medifast TSFL health coach. Medifast does not recommend purchasing its products from third party vendors, but if you choose to do so, you can find them on both Amazon and eBay.


Medifast replacement meals on Amazon

Similar posts:

How Medifast Helped Me Develop Better Habits

Medifast Centers Vs. DIY Medifast


My Favorite Medifast Kitchen Gadgets


Medifast Vs. Lean Cuisine Diet

Visit my other blogs:

Fit Kitty

Food Trends 


Bookish

Dictionary Woman

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Why I'm Hanging Up My Medifast Health Coach Hat

I'm hanging up my coach hat,
but I will keep publishing my blog.
I became a Medifast TSFL Health Coach to help other people lose weight and gain optimal health through the Medifast TSFL program. More than a diet, Take Shape for Life provides powerful strategies that are designed to help people shed pounds and maintain their ideal weight by creating healthier new habits.

I was one of the thousands of successful Medifast dieters who became a health coach to pay it forward, and I really enjoyed it. My motives were not 100% altruistic; I also received a percentage on the orders my clients placed on my co-branded website.

One of the ways I attracted new clients was through this blog. I began Diet Skeptic Does Medifast when I first started Medifast as a client, and I continued it after becoming a TSFL health coach in February.

Which brings me to yesterday's phone call. It turns out that as a TSFL health coach I am legally representing Medifast and, therefore, cannot have an independent blog. And I'm totally cool with that. Businesses have to worry about lawsuits, and the diet industry is awash in suspicious claims. Even Dr. Oz is in the hot seat right now.

As a TSFL health coach, if I say that I lost 35 pounds in less than four months, it can be construed that I making that claim on behalf of Medifast. And even though it was true in my case, it may not be true for you or your cousin Mindy.

But as a Medifast client, with no legal ties to the company, I can state anything that is true for me.

The phone call from Medifast's compliance department was very respectful, and I was given several options on maintaining my status as a TSFL health coach while still publishing a blog. The woman said she actually liked my blog and felt bad that I would have to give it up in its present form.

The problem was that as much as I like being a Medifast TSFL health coach, I like publishing my own independent blog more. I want the freedom to delve into all topics related to diet and fitness and to review foods from companies outside of Medifast.

If I think a new Medifast product is meh or even outright inedible, I want the freedom to say so. If I find an amazing food from another company, like the HealthSmart Foods Chocolite Peanut Butter Cup Patties, I want to let you know about that, too.

I also sometimes stray from the TSFL party line. For instance, I don't have a problem with mindless eating if I'm eating the right foods. I wrote a blog post about that a while back and was concerned that might offend some people.

No more.

Meanwhile, for those of you looking for a great TSFL health coach, I will recommend a few in a future post.

And Medifast? No hard feelings. I still love you and will forever be grateful that you helped me become such a loser.

You can purchase Medifast replacement meals directly from Medifast Centers, the Medifast website or -- for no extra cost -- through the co-branded website of a Medifast TSFL health coach. Medifast does not recommend purchasing its products from third party vendors, but if you choose to do so, you can find them on both Amazon and eBay.


Medifast replacement meals on Amazon

Similar posts:

How Medifast Helped Me Develop Better Habits

Medifast Centers Vs. DIY Medifast


My Favorite Medifast Kitchen Gadgets


Medifast Vs. Lean Cuisine Diet

Visit my other blogs:

Fit Kitty

Food Trends 


Bookish

Dictionary Woman

Friday, June 20, 2014

Is Facebook Making You Fat?

You may not "Like" this, but Facebook is making you fat. At least that's what many articles are suggesting.

If you Google "Is Facebook Making You Fat?" there are tons of articles on this topic. So it must be true, right?

Maybe not.

As one commenter on Mashable wrote, "Isn't it good we have Facebook we can blame the extra pounds on now?? lol"

Still, it's food for thought.

Here are a few popular theories on why Facebook is making us fat.

Increased self-esteem from close ties with friends and family reduces self control. In a study called "Are Close Friends the Enemy? Online Social Networks, Self-Esteem, and Self-Control," researchers  had one group of people read their Facebook news feed and another read a news website. Afterward, the Facebook readers were more than twice as likely to choose a cookie over a healthier granola bar.

"Even a small five-minute ‘dose’ of social network use in our studies was enough to significantly lower self-control in subsequent choices and tasks. Heavy users likely expose themselves to multiple doses of this effect a day," the report stated.

Time spent on Facebook means less time for movement and exercise. A Men's Fitness article cited a study from the British Psychological Society which looked at 350 college students. Researchers concluded "most of the social networkers spent one hour a day online (and) . . . the most active social media users were also the least likely to play sports."

Facebook increases feelings of depression. Numerous studies have suggested a link between Facebook and depression (although the opposite has also been found). One of the main reasons suggested for Facebook causing depression is social comparison -- that is, inferring that everyone else is leading a more glamorous/fun/exciting life. If Facebook does positively correlate with depression, it makes sense that food and alcohol could be used to self-medicate and cause weight gain.

Ironically, I spend most of my time on Facebook reading and replying to posts on the several Medifast groups I belong to, and we are all losing weight. So Facebook can be used as a tool for getting thinner as well as fatter.

Let's face it, the people on Facebook who are not exercising would be watching TV or playing video games instead. And the people who get depressed from seeing their friends lead apparently superior lives would be imagining it otherwise.

Facebook is a hammer. You could hang a picture with it or smash your thumb. In my case, I use Facebook as a tool to keep up with friends and relatives and share ideas and inspiration from Medifast dieters all over the country who face the same challenges I do.

You can purchase Medifast replacement meals directly from Medifast Centers, the Medifast website or -- for no extra cost -- through the co-branded website of a Medifast TSFL health coach. Medifast does not recommend purchasing its products from third party vendors, but if you choose to do so, you can find them on both Amazon and eBay.


Medifast replacement meals on Amazon

Similar posts:

How Medifast Helped Me Develop Better Habits

Medifast Centers Vs. DIY Medifast


My Favorite Medifast Kitchen Gadgets


Medifast Vs. Lean Cuisine Diet

Visit my other blogs:

Fit Kitty

Food Trends 


Bookish

Dictionary Woman

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Sleep Yourself Slim: How Being 'Lazy' Can Help You Lose Weight

Would you rather get a good night's sleep or have sex?

If you said sleep, you're not alone. In a study released by the Better Sleep Council, 80% of women would opt for the zzzs.

Sleeping is perceived as a luxury for many people, whose lives are packed fuller than vacation luggage.

As Dr. Andrew Calvin of the Mayo Clinic told attendees at an American Heart Association conference, "Sleep deprivation is a growing problem, with 28 percent of adults now reporting that they get six or fewer hours of sleep per night."

If you're trying to lose weight, lack of sleep could be sabotaging your efforts. Instead of counting calories, carbs, points -- or even squats -- consider counting how many hours of sleep you are getting.

Here's why:

The more hours you are awake, the more time you have to eat. It is difficult to consume calories while you are sleeping unless you attach a Kool-Aid IV to your arm at bedside.
Can't sleep? Medifast will be releasing
sleep aid products later this year

The more sleep deprived you are, the more like you will be tempted to make bad food choices. Columbia University researchers attached two groups to MRIs and found the group who slept less had more activity in the reward centers in their brain when they saw pictures of unhealthy food.

Sleep is also linked to two hormones -- ghrelin and leptin -- that regulate eating. Ghrelin stimulates appetite. Leptin helps you feel satisfied after eating. Lack of sleep causes ghrelin levels to go up and leptin levels to go down. Which means if you only get four hours of sleep, you're more likely to feel hungry and less likely to experience satiety from food. In a preliminary study comparing two groups of people -- one getting sufficient sleep, the other less than their normal amount -- the latter group consumed an average of 549 more calories than the snoozers.

So the next time your smug co-worker brags about setting the alarm for 4 a.m. to get an hour in at the gym, don't feel so guilty for "wasting" that time in bed. Aside from its many health benefits, sleeping helps regulate your appetite and may even help you make better food choices.

Of course, if you're a new parent, good luck!

You can purchase Medifast replacement meals directly from Medifast Centers, the Medifast website or -- for no extra cost -- through the co-branded website of a Medifast TSFL health coach. Medifast does not recommend purchasing its products from third party vendors, but if you choose to do so, you can find them on both Amazon and eBay.

Medifast replacement meals on Amazon

Similar posts:

How Medifast Helped Me Develop Better Habits

Medifast Centers Vs. DIY Medifast


My Favorite Medifast Kitchen Gadgets


Medifast Vs. Lean Cuisine Diet

Visit my other blogs:

Fit Kitty

Food Trends 


Bookish

Dictionary Woman

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

How Medifast Cured My Empty Carbs Habit

After losing 35 pounds on Medifast, one of my strategies for keeping them off has been restricting empty carb calories. I was so used to not eating bread, pasta and potatoes on the Medifast 5&1 Plan it has been surprisingly easy to continue refraining from them.

Since I am no longer trying to lose weight, I do allow myself to eat some bread. However, a normal sandwich now seems way to bready for me; so I usually just eat an open faced sandwich. This requires a knife and fork to eat gracefully, which has the added benefit of slowing down my eating. I really prefer wraps since the ratio of bread to meat/vegetables is much better.

I have also virtually stopped eating pasta and pizza -- except for the occasional indulgence meal. Even then, I eat only a small fraction of the amount I would have consumed pre-Medifast. If I get a hankering for pasta at home I use my Veggetti to make zoodles out of zucchini. I am so used to not eating grain pasta, these curly vegetable strands now satisfy my noodle cravings. I am still working up the nerve to make a cauliflower pizza crust, and when I do I can foresee making this my go-to Italian pie.

Desserts and high-calorie sweet treats have also become rare events, but I do not restrict myself from the occasional splurge. On Father's Day my daughter made a mind blowing dessert of blondies with a caramel whiskey sauce. I ate a normal sized portion and savored every bite. Allowing myself to do this on occasion helps me say "no" the other nine times out of ten. Instead of reacting on auto pilot, I ask myself first, "Is it WTC?"*

*worth the calories

Prior to Medifast, I had thought maintaining my weight would be a bigger challenge than it has been so far. But I am convinced the Medifast Take Shape for Life program has permanently changed my way of eating. Now that I can eat fruits, more nuts and higher glycemic vegetables, I feel like I am splurging even when I am eating healthy.

You can purchase Medifast replacement meals directly from Medifast Centers, the Medifast website or -- for no extra cost -- through the co-branded website of a Medifast TSFL health coach. Medifast does not recommend purchasing its products from third party vendors, but if you choose to do so, you can find them on both Amazon and eBay.

Medifast replacement meals on Amazon

Similar posts:

How Medifast Helped Me Develop Better Habits

Medifast Centers Vs. DIY Medifast


My Favorite Medifast Kitchen Gadgets


Medifast Vs. Lean Cuisine Diet

Visit my other blogs:

Fit Kitty

Food Trends 


Bookish

Dictionary Woman

Sunday, June 15, 2014

This 70-Calorie Dessert Is My Secret Weapon on Medifast Maintenance

Now that I have achieved my ideal body weight on Medifast, my biggest challenge is to keep the pounds off for good. With the Medifast 5&1 Plan in my rear view mirror, I now get to make daily dietary choices that can keep me slim or make me chubby again. So far, I have managed to maintain my weight for four months, and I owe part of that to a secret weapon I call my finite dessert.

Trust me. It's better than tuna and catnip combined!
Before I tell you exactly what that secret weapon is, I'm going to travel back 20 years in my time capsule when I ate a delicious shortbreadcookiechocolatecandything on an airplane flight made by Worlds Finest Chocolate. It contained about 100 calories, and I liked it so much I ordered several boxes from the company's catalog. That was before there was such a thing as 100 calorie snack packs. I had beat Nabisco in figuring out that wrapping a finite quantity of food is a nifty portion control tool.

Fast forward to today and I have found another delicious finite dessert that has even fewer calories -- the Chocolite Peanut Butter Cup Patties made by Health Smart Foods. This Reese's clone rivals the popular candy but weighs in at only 35 calories per patty. I always eat both patties in the two-pack so my total damage is 70 calories. But I don't crave any sweets after that.

With 16 two-pack servings per box, this treat may seem a tad spendy, but if that is the only dessert I eat all day it's comparable to a bakery goodie or premium ice cream. And I don't ever feel a smidge of guilt.

As for the quality, here's what one Amazon reviewer said, "The chocolate coating really tastes like a darker milk chocolate with a good melting point. To be frank, I expected the chocolate to taste like saccharin-sweetened waxy plastic, but I was so wrong! I'm a chocolate snob and know all the best boutique brands so I'm not fooling around when I tell you how impressed I am."

Couldn't have said it better myself, Lia Soffia Ludovica.

Though most of the day I eat really clean -- salads, fruit, nuts, lean protein -- I always look forward to my daily dose of Chocolite Peanut Butter Patties. It has become my now-not-so-secret weapon in my war against fat.


You can purchase Medifast replacement meals directly from Medifast Centers, the Medifast website or -- for less cost -- through the co-branded website of a Medifast TSFL health coach. Medifast does not recommend purchasing its products from third party vendors, but if you choose to do so, you can find them on both Amazon and eBay.

Medifast Custom Order - You Choose ANY 10 Boxes



More from Diet Skeptic:


Fruck You! Fructose

Can You Drink Alcohol on Medifast

Medifast Centers Vs. Take Shape for Life


Planned Exceptions: What Is Your Pie Policy?

Wabi Sabi Dieting & Renee Zelwegger's New Face
Follow Nancy's board Low Carb Recipes on Pinterest.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Funny Excuses for Not Losing Weight

Whether it's to avoid diabetes, fit comfortably into an airline seat, or just look better in tight jeans, millions of people would like to weigh less.

But they can't because.... (and here is where the litany of excuses begin).

I know, because I used to make them myself.

Before starting Medifast last fall, I was convinced my 35 extra pounds were permanent and there was nothing I could do to change that "fact." Worse, my fat cells were having babies and I would probably wind up over 200 pounds.

Until one day when I couldn't find a dress that fit me for an upcoming job interview.

Instead of rationalizing my expanding middle, I finally decided to make a plan and ended up losing 35 pounds in less than four months through the Medifast Take Shape for Life Program.

I thought about my former lame excuses the other day when I saw a cartoon that reminded me of myself in my denial phase.


Absurd, right? But no more delusional than all the other things I told myself, like it was impossible to lose weight after 50 or I was genetically programmed to be fat. Who was I to challenge Mother Nature?

Or, as some dude named Jeffrey Fry said, "It is easier to make excuses about our circumstances than actually do anything about them.”

Still in denial mode? Here are some more funny excuses for not losing weight:




You can purchase Medifast replacement meals directly from Medifast Centers, the Medifast website or -- for no extra cost -- through the co-branded website of a Medifast TSFL health coach. Medifast does not recommend purchasing its products from third party vendors, but if you choose to do so, you can find them on both Amazon and eBay.

Medifast replacement meals on Amazon

Similar posts:

How Medifast Helped Me Develop Better Habits

Medifast Centers Vs. DIY Medifast


My Favorite Medifast Kitchen Gadgets


Medifast Vs. Lean Cuisine Diet

Visit my other blogs:

Fit Kitty

Food Trends 


Bookish

Dictionary Woman

Friday, June 13, 2014

Diet Psychology: Which Picture Should You Post on Your Refrigerator?

A recent debate on one of my Medifast Facebook groups made me think about the two basic types of motivation for any change -- desire and fear. The debate centered around whether it is better to post a picture on your refrigerator of yourself at your highest weight or a picture of yourself (or someone else) at the weight you want to be.

Some argued that when they see a picture of themselves at their heaviest, they think twice about grabbing something out of the refrigerator that is Off Plan. They do not want to go back to being that person.

Others replied that posting a "fat picture" is a negative approach; it is better not to remain stuck in the past. From their perspective, you should move toward something positive versus away from something negative. (Neuro-linguistic Programming types call this toward and away from motivation.)

In my view both sides were right because (drum roll please...) people are different.

Parents know that some kids are motivated by ice cream, others by losing TV. Managers know that some employees respond better to praise, others to fear of being fired.

When I was in the process of losing weight through Medifast, I used a combination of carrot and stick motivation. When I was tempted to cheat, I usually thought about the risk of getting kicked out of ketosis and stalling my weight loss for a few days. I would even picture the needle on my scale staying stuck on the same number. Was one cookie really worth all that?

Yet other times I would picture a slimmer version of myself and decide that reaching that goal was more important to me than eating a slice of pizza.

Though I did not post any pictures of myself on the refrigerator during my weight loss phase, if I were to do Medifast again I would probably post two photos: an unflattering picture of myself at my heaviest and another of myself at my desired weight.

If a carrot works and a stick works, why not use both?

You can purchase Medifast replacement meals directly from Medifast Centers, the Medifast website or -- for no extra cost -- through the co-branded website of a Medifast TSFL health coach. Medifast does not recommend purchasing its products from third party vendors, but if you choose to do so, you can find them on both Amazon and eBay.

Medifast replacement meals on Amazon

Similar posts:

How to Lose 40 Pounds in One Month

Medifast on Vacation


Medifast Ziti Marinara Review


Medifast Vs. Weight Watchers: Why I Chose Medifast


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Lose Weight By Laughing Out Loud

Can LOL lead to weight loss?

I saw a cool infographic on Lifehack recently that showed all the physiological and psychological benefits of laughter, which made me think about the relationship between laughter and weight loss (my mind wanders like that). I became convinced that laughter can be a powerful weapon to lose weight.

Here's why:

Laughter helps you sleep better

Laughter is relaxing and can help you fall asleep. But what does sleep have to do with losing or gaining weight?

An article in WebMD found a positive correlation between lack of sleep and weight gain. Insufficient sleep suppresses leptin levels; so you don't feel as satisfied after eating. Lack of sleep also increases the levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates the appetite.

"The two combined can set the stage for overeating, which in turn may lead to weight gain." said Atlanta sleep specialist Michael Breus, Ph.D.

Laughter stimulates the release of endorphins

When you have endorphins coursing through your body you don't need ice cream to feel happy.

Laughter reduces depression and anxiety.

Who among us hasn't self-medicated by eating when they weren't hungry? Reduce depression and anxiety and you reduce the desire to eat.

Laughter improves memory

When you remember stuff you're less likely to overeat. For instance, you might eat a hamburger because you forgot you ate a bucket of fried chicken an hour ago.

It's hard to eat and laugh simultaneously

Right?

So what can you do to start laughing?

1. Watch a comedy show on TV, especially one that makes you laugh out loud. For me it's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" or anything on Fox News.

2. Watch funny videos like this Spotted Dick video on Metallica Mom's You Tube channel.

3. Hang out with funny people.

4. Go to a comedy club or watch stand up on HBO or Comedy Central.

5. Observe your cats. They are natural comedians.

Whatever you do, be sure to get your daily dose of humor and laugh off those extra pounds.


You can purchase Medifast replacement meals directly from Medifast Centers, the Medifast website or -- for no extra cost -- through the co-branded website of a Medifast TSFL health coach. Medifast does not recommend purchasing its products from third party vendors, but if you choose to do so, you can find them on both Amazon and eBay.

Medifast replacement meals on Amazon

Similar posts:

How Medifast Helped Me Develop Better Habits

Medifast Centers Vs. DIY Medifast


My Favorite Medifast Kitchen Gadgets


Medifast Vs. Lean Cuisine Diet

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Medifast Popcorn Is Going to Be a Thing, Really

One of the foods I really missed when I was on the Medifast 5&1 Plan was popcorn. Sure the puffs sufficed in a pinch, but compared to popcorn they were like Sunny Delight to orange juice. My taste buds were not fooled.

So the news that Medifast is finally going to be offering popcorn is like Christmas in July.

Literally.

Medifast 2014 Product Launches Include Two Flavors of Popcorn


I just read in the Baltimore Business Journal that Medifast will be releasing two varieties of popcorn snacks in July and confirmed this delicious tidbit in the company's annual report.

Now if only I could find a way to sneak my cats into the movies....
Did I mention the two flavors of popcorn happen to be my favorites: cheddar & sour cream and sea salt? This is pure genius Medifast.

The popcorn snacks do not appear to be replacement meals, although it is not clear from the Biz Journal tease or SEC filing. I will clarify this as soon as Medifast issues a press release with more information.

In the meantime, I know what I'll be stashing in my purse when I go to the movies this summer!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Who Is Sandy and Why Is She Having So Many Awesome Kitchen Adventures?

When I first started Medifast last September, I surfed the web* for Medifast blogs to pick up some ideas. The Medifast forums are great, but it's nice to find independent blogs with a more personal spin. When I clicked on Sandy's Kitchen Adventures, I felt like I had won the Lottery.

*old school for Googled

I have never met Sandy Bass and hope she won't be offended, but Sandy is the baddest MFer on the planet. And I mean that in the best way possible.

According to her blogger profile, Sandy lives in Las Vegas and switched over to Medifast from Weight Watchers. The pointmeister's loss was our gain because Sandy is always cooking up something good in the kitchen and sharing it with other losers. Her specialty these days is lean & green meals that work perfectly with the Medifast 5&1 Plan.

Craving Alice Springs Chicken from Outback?
Try Sandy's Medifast version!
What Sandy does is find a tantalizing recipe that could work for Medifast, tweaks it, and then publishes it on her blog, along with an entertaining back story and photo tutorial on how to make it. You don't have to be Martha Stewart to makes these meals, and you probably have most of the ingredients in your kitchen already -- especially if you're on Medifast.

Here is just a tiny sampling of Sandy's recipes from the seafood category:

Italian Baked Tilapia
Jambalaya
Ranch Tuna "Noodle" Casserole
Shrimp or Chicken Fried "Rice"
Shrimp Salad with Peanut Dressing
Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Ribbons
Spicy Garlic Lime Shrimp
Shrimp Lo Mein with Spaghetti Squash 

Salivating yet?


Sandy also has recipes for such low-carb staples as Revolution Rolls and cauliflower pizza crust. Seriously, her blog is like a "Joy of Cooking" for Medifast.

If you happen upon this blog post, Sandy, please accept this jeweled crown of Medifast queendom and a sincere thank you from me and Medifasters everywhere.

I pronounce thee the queen of lean & green, Sandy Bass, and bequeath to you this crown.


You can purchase Medifast replacement meals directly from Medifast Centers, the Medifast website or -- for no extra cost -- through the co-branded website of a Medifast TSFL health coach. Medifast does not recommend purchasing its products from third party vendors, but if you choose to do so, you can find them on both Amazon and eBay.

Medifast Custom Order - You Choose ANY 10 Boxes



More from Diet Skeptic:


Fruck You! Fructose

Can You Drink Alcohol on Medifast

Medifast Centers Vs. Take Shape for Life


Planned Exceptions: What Is Your Pie Policy?

Wabi Sabi Dieting & Renee Zelwegger's New Face
Follow Nancy's board Low Carb Recipes on Pinterest.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

My Labs After Medifast: No Longer Down the Path to Chronic Diseasedom

Though I must sheepishly admit my main motivation for losing weight on Medifast was to stay out of the plus-sized shops, hovering in the background were lab results that harkened a future of chronic diseasedom.

My total cholesterol was on the wrong side of 200. My fasting glucose was in the pre-diabetic range. I deluded myself into thinking that eating more walnuts and blueberries would solve everything.

It wasn't until I could not fit into a dress for a job interview that I acknowledged to myself I was at an undesirable weight.
It feels great to finally wear
fitted clothes again!

Last fall I began the Medifast 5&1 Plan, and in less than four months I lost 35 pounds

End of story? Not quite.

Last month I decided to get my labs done again and I was thrilled with the results. My total cholesterol is down; the odds of my having a heart event or stroke in the next year are 1%. And my glucose levels are no longer in the scary pre-diabetic range. Best of all, my doctor told me not to lose any more weight.

Now that's doctor's advice I can follow!

Even though my motivation for losing weight may have been skewed at the outset, my vastly improved lab numbers gave me even more pleasure than being able to wear a fitted dress last month at my daughter's wedding. 


You can purchase Medifast replacement meals directly from Medifast Centers, the Medifast website or -- for no extra cost -- through the co-branded website of a Medifast TSFL health coach. Medifast does not recommend purchasing its products from third party vendors, but if you choose to do so, you can find them on both Amazon and eBay.

Medifast replacement meals on Amazon

Similar posts:

How Medifast Helped Me Develop Better Habits

Medifast Centers Vs. DIY Medifast


My Favorite Medifast Kitchen Gadgets


Medifast Vs. Lean Cuisine Diet

Friday, June 6, 2014

My Favorite Medifast Kitchen Gadgets

Q: What's the difference between a dreary diet and culinary adventure?

A: Having the right cooking gadgets.

Since embarking on the Medifast Take Shape for Life program last September, I have discovered a few clever gizmos that make preparing and eating Medifast replacement meals more doable.

Like most cooking geeks, I enjoy collecting kitchen gadgets; but I am not married to Donald Trump. So my first criterion for choosing a kitchen gadget is to find the most affordable (i.e., cheapest) version that will do the job. If you've ever perused one of those airplane shopping catalogues, you know it's possible to spend hundreds of dollars for the Cadillac version of a mere pencil sharpener. But why?

My second and third criteria for selecting a kitchen gadget is that it be safe and easy to clean. The reasons for both should be obvious to anyone who does not enjoy scrubbing food jetsam out of tiny crevices or being rushed to the Emergency Room.

With that in mind, here are some of my favorite Medifast cooking gadgets:
The blending container turns into a travel cup
that fits perfectly into my car's cup holder.





Hamilton Beach Travel Blender

This little blender hold 14 ounces and does not hog precious kitchen counter real estate. It's perfect for blending Medifast replacement meal shakes (which in my case are made out of the brownie soft bake powder). I fill the metal container half way with crushed ice and then add a little water and a packet of Medifast Brownie Soft Bake. In less than a minute I have something close to a Wendy's frosty I can drink on my drive to work. Sometimes I add coffee and sugar-free vanilla Torani syrup for my special version of a Fauxbucks mocha.

Stone Wave Microwave Cooker

I bought only one of these, but this set of two is a good idea
so you always have a clean one at the ready.

This cooking bowl is one of the few As-Seen-on-TV products that actually lives up to its hype. Almost any Medifast replacement meal -- from Ziti Marinara to soft bakes -- tastes better and has superior mouth feel when cooked in one of these magic bowls.

One of my favorite breakfasts is to mix the Medifast Chocolate Chip Soft Bake with a packet of Medifast pancake mix and 1/4 cup of water (this makes two meals). A minute in the microwave produces a magnificent cookie-pancake hybrid that is surprisingly satisfying.

Another big advantage of the Stone Wave is that it does not leave any mysterious white residue on the bowl, which I have finally  figured out is the magic Medifast fairy dust that melts off fat.

I have previously blogged about two of my other favorite Medifast cooking toys... er, gadgets: the Veggetti (which turns zucchini into noodles) and the Babycakes Mini Doughnut Maker (which turns Medifast replacement meals into crunchy-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside pastries). Click on the links to read about these terrific tools -- each of which costs less than $25!


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Medifast Vs. Lean Cuisine Diet

A friend at work was interested in losing weight and considered the Medifast Take Shape for Life program. She decided it was too expensive and made up her own diet of Lean Cuisine meals for lunch and dinner.

Three months later, she is still overweight and can't understand why.

Here's my best guess:

Medifast is not just a convenience meal diet. It is a convenience meal diet that has been formulated by nutritionists and approved by medical doctors to provide just the right balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. The specific ratio is designed to fuel fat burning through a process called ketosis (see What is Ketosis?).

In contrast, Lean Cuisine and similar frozen diet dinners are low calorie meals with insufficient protein and fat to induce satiety. Like the proverbial Chinese restaurant meal, you're hungry an hour later because there is not enough protein and fat in the meals to remain full.

Out of curiosity I decided to compare* two similars: the Lean Cuisine Spaghetti with Meatballs Dinner and the new Medifast Flavors of Home Turkey Meatball Marinara. The latter is one of the company's new microwavable convenience dinners that can substitute for the once a day Lean & Green meal.

Calories:

Lean Cuisine:270

Medifast:290

Protein

Lean Cuisine: 16g

Medifast: 26g

Carbohydrates

Lean Cuisine: 39g

Medifast: 8g

Fat

Lean Cuisine: 6g

Medifast: 17g

What I found most interesting was the inverse relationship of carbs and protein. The Medifast meal has more than three times as much protein as carbs. The Lean Cuisine meal has more than twice as many carbs as protein. The Medifast meal also has more hunger-curbing fat than the Lean Cuisine.

I should note that most Medifasters do not use Flavors of Home Meals as their lean & green meal option, but the ratios are fairly similar.

My theory on why Medifast works better than Lean Cuisine as a means to lose weight is this: the specific ratios prescribed by Medifast are designed to maximize satiety and fat burning with the minimal number of calories. When you're on a calorie-restricted diet, every calorie counts. Spending scarce resources (i.e., calories) on empty carbs is a bad investment. It's like trying to inflate a tire that has a small tear -- no matter how much air you pump in, it never fills up. And when you're stomach isn't full, you're way more likely to snack, right?

*Nutritional information sources:
Lean Cuisine
Medifast

Ultimately, the Medifast 5&1 Plan works better than a self-designed Lean Cuisine diet because is it is a complete program and not just a quick fix. Coupled with Take Shape for Life, Medifast not only helps people lose weight, it also helps them gain optimal health through lifelong habit change and the services of a free health coach who provides motivation, accountability and support.

You can purchase Medifast replacement meals directly from Medifast Centers, the Medifast website or -- for no extra cost -- through the co-branded website of a Medifast TSFL health coach. Medifast does not recommend purchasing its products from third party vendors, but if you choose to do so, you can find them on both Amazon and eBay.


Medifast replacement meals on Amazon

Similar posts:

How Medifast Helped Me Develop Better Habits

Medifast Centers Vs. DIY Medifast


My Favorite Medifast Kitchen Gadgets


Medifast Vs. Lean Cuisine Diet

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Stop Trying to Lose Weight: Yoda, Pencils and Diet Fails

As a customer service manager for a healthcare company, I roll my eyes when one of my employees tells me they will "try" to do something.

"Don't try," I say. "Just do it." Then I give them a pencil and ask them to try to sharpen it.

Point made (no pun intended).

Try is a weasel word padded with lame excuses not to do something. Which is why so many people try to lose weight -- and fail.

Back to my work analogy. I have learned to always ask my employees to tell me their strategy for any goal they are aiming for. Without a concrete plan, they are far more likely to fail than succeed.

Trying is lying
When I finally decided to lose weight instead of try to lose weight, I chose the Medifast Take Shape for Life program as my strategy. I loved that it had a structured eating plan and provided a free health coach to keep me motivated, accountable and educated. 

Medifast is not the only weight loss program that works. You can lose weight on many programs, including Weight Watchers, South Beach and the Dr. Oz diet du jour.

However, when I looked at the steps I would need to take to achieve my weight loss goal, Medifast looked very doable to me. The replacement meals would fit comfortably with my busy life. I would not have to fix a bunch of new recipes or turn into a treadmill troll. The one lean & green meal per day would teach me how to prepare the kinds of meals I would need to eat to maintain my weight after I ditched my extra pounds.

And guess what? Since I did not try to lose weight, I actually lost it. Thirty-five pounds to be exact. And I have maintained that weight loss for four months now with minimal effort.

The Medifast Take Shape for Life plan for losing weight and gaining optimal health may not be right for everyone, but it was right for me. And without a plan, chances are I would still be trying to lose weight.


You can purchase Medifast replacement meals directly from Medifast Centers, the Medifast website or -- for no extra cost -- through the co-branded website of a Medifast TSFL health coach. Medifast does not recommend purchasing its products from third party vendors, but if you choose to do so, you can find them on both Amazon and eBay.

Medifast replacement meals on Amazon

Similar posts:

How Medifast Helped Me Develop Better Habits

Medifast Centers Vs. DIY Medifast


My Favorite Medifast Kitchen Gadgets


Medifast Vs. Lean Cuisine Diet