Posts Tagged With: Weight Loss

Healthy Living-Choose Health!

One of the greatest things about Whole30 was seeing a change in my waistline and skin. The photo above was taken after 3.5 rounds of Whole30. It has not been modified. It just is a selfie taken at a weird angle. The dress I have on I could not wear for a long time. Now it fits.

I guess it would help to show you where I started in 2017. The photo below is of me and my friend in Phoenix this May. I had already started Whole30 and dropped about 7 pounds. I was quite uncomfortable as clothes were becoming more challenging to fit.

I made a choice I wanted to be healthier.

Being healthier or healthy for me was not about dropping 4-5 sizes, which I did. Nor was it about being skinny or meeting a number on a scale. It was about becoming a healthier person.

Healthy is about living a better life and being a healthier person.

Whole30 changed the way I view food and health. I tried other plans, worked out like a crazy person and saw slow unsustained change. I worked hard for any progress.

Whole30 brought about change that I can see lasting a long time. It was only challenging at first. Afterwards, it became a blessing. Once my body adjusted to the plan, foods off the plan tasted not so good to me. They were too greasy, too salty, and more food was needed to be satisfied.

No more slavery to the gym…

I did not workout while doing Whole30, other than just walking. I can not imagine how the results would be if I hit the gym like crazy.

What does it mean to be healthy…

  • To love thy self. Loving me is vital to loving anyone else.
  • To cease the busy. It’s so easy to be busy. Busy can lead to stress. Stress can lead to weight gain or poor food choices.
  • To cease investment in one sided or toxic relationships. I chose January 1rst to stop investing in one sided relationships; best decision ever.
  • To cease using food for comfort. Food is fuel.
  • To cease the fast food and out to lunch habit while working. Whole30 forced me to buy groceries, pack lunch, and forgo fast food options.
  • To give thanks. Lots of great things happened this year. Lots of hard things too. Giving thanks re-calibrates things for us.
  • To look up and around more. There is beauty in God and nature.
  • To pursue the best option. Candy, cake, chips are not the best steady options. Fruit, veggies, and lean protein are steady options.
  • To think of what will be a blessing to my body, soul, and spirit. Asking the question, “Will this help or hurt?,” was and is beneficial.
  • Rest is a weapon. Going all the time is hard on the body and soul. A wise person takes time to rest. Inhale, exhale.
  • Meditation/Prayer are vital to thriving. As a person of faith, part of thriving is the ability to focus on God, listen, and not simply ask for things-give thanks and meditate on the goodness of God.
  • Meal Prep is for my health, not a mundane task. Healthy meals make for an energetic week. Taking the time to prep meals is vital to healthy living. So the time spent doing something else needs redirected to what is the most beneficial.
  • To let go. I love the serenity prayer which leads us to let go of the things we can not change and to acquire wisdom for the things we can change. Some things we simply must lay at the feet of God and let it go!

My encouragement to you is pursue health. So many people make New Year’s Resolutions. How about starting today? How about choosing health today? How about moving towards a healthier you today? It takes one decision, followed by another healthy decision, that brings about a healthier you!

If I can do it, so can you. What’s stopping you?

To your health…you can do this!!

Erin

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Cheat Meals

Hello fitness friends,

So I finished two rounds of Whole30. Delighted with the results. Now that it’s over, I have been trying new foods and old foods. What I have learned is the non Whole30 foods do not satisfy my hunger. I eat them; I am still so hungry.

Last week I tried pizza and I was famished later. The calorie content was far higher than my normal meal plan and I was so hungry.

There is something to be said about whole foods. They are packed with nutrients and fiber. Our bodies respond to healthy food like great fuel. Clean eating does a body good.

My plan is to return to a Whole30 plan on Monday. It has been the most effective program for fat loss I have ever done. I have lost over 30 pounds. It’s just beyond what I expected. I did not exercise beyond walking.

I think we need a break sometimes, to just eat those favorite foods. I also see how sticking with a program is beneficial and changes the way we view food. I prefer eating whole foods and feeling great over processed foods and feeling crummy!

My encouragement is to not allow a cheat meal to become a cheat lifestyle. Think of the progress you have made, don’t shrink back into poor eating habits.

If you struggle with the restrictions of Whole30 or clean eating, try an 80/20 approach. 80% of the time eat very clean, 20% of the time splurge a bit. Your body will thank you for eating clean!

To your health!

Erin

All photos from Pinterest

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Whole Food Lifestyle

This year I completed 4 rounds of Whole30. I know it’s supposed to be a 30 day program, yet the results were so great I decided to keep going. I lost roughly 7 pounds a round. I am down several sizes. I feel better. All the digestion issues I had went away.

I noticed a different relationship to food. I learned that I was not as hungry eating whole foods. I noticed that I did not really miss those sugary drinks and bread. I did crave pizza and tacos, let’s be honest.

Since I finished a round yesterday, I tried tacos. I did not enjoy them as much as my dairy free and flour free tacos. I tried another dish off the plan and my stomach was not a fan.

So the plan forward is modified Whole30. I will add hummus, maybe some quinoa. My meal plan will be mostly Whole30. I have not found a plan that works better.

I barely exercised during this program and lost fat. I was concerned about muscle loss, yet that did not happen!

How do we make eating whole foods a lifestyle?

Easy, we choose to. It is a myth we need all the dairy, processed foods, bread or grains. If you are vegetarian or vegan, the Whole30 rules of no beans or grains would be a challenge, yet they have a program guideline for those who do not eat meat. Whole9 for Vegetarians/Vegans.

Are you trying to be a whole food foodie for life? Here are some options for substitutions (note: Whole30 restricts peanuts):

I had many swaps during the program.

  • Mixed nut butter instead of peanut butter
  • Lettuce wraps instead of bread
  • Apples instead other carbs
  • RX bars and Larabars for meal substitutes
  • Sparkling water instead of soft drinks
  • Unsweetened tea instead of sweet tea
  • Olive oil instead of butter
  • Plantain chips instead of potato chips
  • Frozen fruit instead of dessert
  • Guacamole instead of cheese on burgers
  • Avocados instead of cheese on salads
  • Almonds instead of peanuts

Mostly I love the way eating whole foods impacts my body. I feel better. Life is too short to be bloated and not feeling great. Good fuel means the body runs better. We want to feed our bodies good things!

Wishing you the best on your wellness journey. Take care of yourself!

Xoxo

Erin Lamb

Photo sources: Pinterest, myfitnesspal

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Meal Prep is Your Friend

Aloha fitness friends,

One of the ways we can stay on track with our goals involves meal prep. Planning ahead helps with staying on track throughout the week. Planning ahead can also help with the monthly budget.

Those who fail to plan, plan to fail,”~Benjamin Franklin.

Americans spend approximately 1,000 a year on eating out (just lunch). The average meal out costs 10-22 dollars. If a person goes out to eat three times a week, that piles up to 3,200 a year. Imagine saving 1,000 to 3,000 a year.

Now let’s talk about the waistline. Many meals out have more sodium, fat, and calories than a home prepped meal. The portion sizes are often much larger in restaurants, enough for two to four people. Some are not as nutritionally dense as what you can make at home. The less nutritional content in our meals, the more we eat.

When I do not prep meals, I end up going out to lunch. When I go out to lunch I end up buying a salad for 7 dollars and fruit for 2-3 dollars. With that one meal I could have purchased a bag of apples, bag of spinach, dressing, and grilled chicken strips. I could have made 3-4 meals out of one. Fortunately I am on Whole30 again so there is no temptation to fast food. Yet if I were not doing Whole30 I would be drawn to the drive through experience and eat 2-3 times more calories than needed.

So what are you prepping this week?

I cooked potatoes, sweet potatoes, later this evening I will boil eggs, cook fish, and prepare other proteins. I will place spinach and arugula in sandwich bags. The goal is to have lunch and breakfast ready to go. I even started making my own coffee at home to save money!

P.S three rounds of Whole30 has produced 30 pounds of fat loss.

Cheering for you!

Erin

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Life After Whole30

I hope you gave Whole30 a shot. I did and do not regret it. I lost 14 pounds without exercising much. I did take my Whole30 further than the 30 days. I went for two rounds. Yet 7 pounds a month is great progress. It is healthy progress. 

If you did or are trying Whole30, I highly recommend easing back into eating non Whole30 foods. They provide guidance for reintroducing foods-one group at a time. I started with some grains, example corn. I was okay with grains. Then I tried dairy. Ummmmm…my stomach hated it. So I am less prone to eat dairy post Whole30. It is rare to have it. I tried beans. Another irritant. Therefore, I have built a new meal plan that is 80/20. Eighty percent is Whole30 and 20 percent is non Whole30. 

I have not gained weight by reintroducing non Whole30 foods. I am still losing and have incorporated more exercise. 

After talking to your doctor, I would highly recommend this program. Whole30 changed the way I view food. It changed the way I make meals. It changed the way I eat. 


Eating processed foods does not appeal to me. In the rare occossion of eating junk food, it does not make my body feel good. I prefer fruits, vegetables, and whole foods. My body runs better on whole foods. I still read labels, and ditch foods loaded with chemicals. I have a fondness for bananas, mangoes, berries, almonds, olive oil, purple potatoes, steak, roasted chicken, natural salad dressings, spinach, broccoli, and tomatoes. 

Learning a new way to eat is good. All the exercise in the world does not negate a poor meal plan. Changing the way we eat is a lifestyle change, not a temporary diet. Changing the way we eat leads to a better life, to wellness. 

So ditch the excuses and do something for your health! 

XO, 

Erin 

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You’ve Met Your Goal; Now What?

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Hello fitness friends. I have not forgotten about you! Tonight I wanted to write about maintaining.

We’ve talked in the past about how people push-even to unhealthy means to reach a goal only to gain the weight back. If they lost muscle in the process, they normally gain back more than they lost.

How do you maintain?

1. Use healthy means to get the weight off! Starvation diets, crash diets, over exercising, etc…are all sure fire ways to sabotage your metabolism. Once you increase calories or cease the workouts, weight gain commences.

So use healthy means to get it off! What can you maintain. If you’re eating bird food and burning a 1,000 calories a day-it’s not only unhealthy…it’s not something you can maintain for life. If your doctor approves of a special strict diet, that’s different.

2. Slowly increase calories. Don’t go from 1500 a day to 3000 a day. Try 1500, 1600, 1700, to 1800. Build while continuing to exercise until you get to the calories needed to maintain.

See calorie calculator link below:

http://calorieneedscalculator.com/mobile/calclb.php

3. Don’t ditch resistance training if your doctor approves. Muscle burns more calories than fat. If you lose muscle, you slow your metabolism.

4. Portion control. You can have some of your favorite foods in moderation. Binge eating is not your friend. Opt for smaller portions. The French eat calorie rich food, yet they are leaner than Americans. Portion size matters.

You can opt for 1 cheat meal a week if you must.

5. Understand if you consume more than you burn, you will gain weight. Especially if you’re sedentary.

6. Find an activity you love and do that! I love dancing. It doesn’t seem like exercise, yet it is. You may like tennis, volleyball, basketball, running, boxing, gardening,…whatever you love to do, get moving!

7. Recall how hard it is to get the weight off! One thing I did with the fitness challenge was taken before pictures. Looking at them is motivation not to go backwards.

Lastly I say that having a goal that grows is key. I finished phase I. I set a new goal for the next 4 weeks. The goal is to keep going! I hope you keep going.

Erin

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Get back on that wagon

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Hello fitness friends. As the holiday season comes to a close, I’m sure there are at least a few of you thinking, “I ate too much and gained too much this season!” Well, this post is for you!

I admit it’s challenging to not indulge in the cookies, pies, or carb loaded sides. It’s all fun and games until that muffin top becomes a pound cake or those delicious pies bring you thunder thighs!

If you ate poorly this season, know life’s a journey…not a destination. I hate “dieting.” It’s like a swear word. I do like healthy eating. I feel better and look better.

Step 1. Stop beating yourself up! Yep! Make a decision to change today. Examine what went wrong and move forward.

Ex. People kept giving me cookies and treats this season. At first I felt obligated to eat them. Then I started giving them away. Eat one, share the rest. Even now, I’m giving treats away or throwing them in the garbage. Sugar and white bread will add weight quickly. Recall stable blood sugar leads to fat loss.

2. Get moving! Sitting on our bums leads to weight gain. If we eat more than we burn, we gain. It’s a simple mass balance. And if you can, do some resistance training. Muscle burns more calories than fat.

3. Throw out the junk food! If it’s tempting you or you’re binge eating, get it out of the house.

4. Join an online group or find an accountability person. If someone is monitoring you, you’re less likely to stay in a rut. Start your own Biggest Loser contest with friends, coworkers, or family.

5. Trade high glycemic foods for low glycemic foods. You’ll see your percentage of fat drop quickly.

6. Water! Green Tea! Drink them. Stay hydrated and green tea is great for fat loss.

7. Fiber y’all! Get some. Fiber makes you feel fuller. So you’re less likely to overeat. I take glucommanan. I also eat beans, sub kale and spinach for lettuce, and eat fiber cereal. If you’re concerned about stomach upset, test out natural sources of fiber instead of supplements at first. Talk to your doctor before taking any.

8. Prep meals at home. Less sodium, fat, and sugar is in the food you make at home vs. what you get at a restaurant. You can monitor it too! Many restaurant veggies are overlooked and loaded with oil or butter and salt.

9. Take it one day at a time! It’s a lifestyle change, not a diet. What can you do for life, not just to drop 10-15 pounds?

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10. Encourage yourself! You can do this!!! I am cheering for you.

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Detox!

I have tried plenty of detox methods and purchased some of the celebrity trainer cleanses. They all claim to kick start your metabolism and make you healthier.

You can stop by the grocery and find select teas, drinks, pills. You can even go online and find all kinds of information on foot detox, colon cleanses, and ways you can purge toxins from your body. Is it necessary?

Our bodies were not designed to take in all the chemicals, toxins, and pollutants. We can slow our bodies fat burning efficiency by overloading our liver with processed foods. It is imperative that we have all the organs functioning for fat loss, overall health, and emotional health. If our kidneys are overloaded, they are not flushing toxins out of the body.

So, should you run out and buy pills? You don’t have to. Here are some things you can do to detox your system. Talk to your doctor before changing your diet and always eat at least 1200 calories a day.

1. Drink more water (80 oz for women, 100 for men). Add a squirt of lemon to your water.

2. Eliminate sugar, processed foods, caffeine, and red meat. This doesn’t have to be forever, just try it for a week or two weeks. If you’re a coffee drinker or sugar addict, you will have withdrawal symptoms.

3. Eat vegetables and legumes (beans). Fiber helps!

4. Cut back or cut out animal products ( especially dairy).

5. Cut out simple carbs: white bread, rice, pasta, etc…

6. Make time to relax! Prolonged stress causes hormonal imbalance.

I love the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. Food can be healing. Eating healthy foods helps the body detox itself. Some choose fasting from food to detox the body, but you should use caution with prolonged fasting especially if you have pre-existing health conditions. If you choose a liquid cleanse, drink water and lots of it, and talk to your physician. I’m not here to give medical advice just to share what I’ve learned.

The sugar and simple carb detox I completed last fall was amazing! I had better results and felt better than with any pills. Body fat melted off, and I felt great! Whole foods are good for us! 🙂

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Hormones that Promote Weight Loss

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Hi friends, I have not forgotten about you. I told you I would do another post on hormones. There are hormones that can prevent weight loss and there are hormones that can help promote weight loss. I am not recommending you take supplements for your weight loss. Diet and exercise help to keep hormones stable. Talk to you doctor if you believe your hormones are not well-regulated.

Adiponectin, a protein used by the body to regulate metabolism.

Adiponectin is a protein-based hormone produced naturally by the body that manages fat lipids and glucose (blood sugar). The hormone has direct control over the way a body metabolizes insulin, and so adiponectin is believed to play a key role in the management of type 2 diabetes, although research is ongoing. The hormone is abnormally low in obese people, suggesting a healthy diet may contribute to adiponectin production, and that may, in turn, help prevent people form developing diabetes. Adiponectin also reduces inflammation in cell tissue inside blood vessels and so holds some clinical promise in treating cardiovascular disease.

You’ve probably heard of this hormone is relation to raspberry ketones which reportedly causes the fat within your cells to get broken up more effectively, helping your body burn fat faster. This is due to raspberry ketones helping to regulate adiponectin. Supposedly apple cider vinegar also helps as well. Not enough supporting evidence on the research on for these two supplements.
Testosterone is a steroid hormone from the androgen group and is found in mammals, reptiles,birds, and other vertebrates.

In general, androgens promote protein synthesis and growth of those tissues with androgen receptors. Testosterone effects can be classified as virilizing and anabolic, though the distinction is somewhat artificial, as many of the effects can be considered both.

Anabolic effects include growth of muscle mass and strength, increased bone density and strength, and stimulation of linear growth and bone maturation, http://www.wikipedia.com

We can maintain healthy levels of testosterone by weight lifting. The more muscle we have, the more calories we are burning.  If you believe you have low levels of testosterone, get checked out by your primary care physician. I do not recommend taking any supplements to aid with testosterone production.
Three of the best ways you can keep your hormones in check are with diet, exercise, and sleep (6-8 hours). Proper nutrition and weight training (if you are able to) are vital to health. If you believe your hormones are out of whack, talk with your doctor. As stated in the previous post about Hormones that Hinder Weight Loss, you can be doing all you know to do and still not lose weight if the issue is hormonal.
Best of luck to you, and I will hopefully be back to weekly posts now!
Erin
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Hormones that Hinder Weight Loss

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Hello wellness friends. I have not forgotten about you. I hope you are sticking with your program and working out/eating well. Tonight I wanted to talk about hormones. When we think of metabolism, some don’t think that our hormones tell our bodies to lose weight or gain weight. So, it is not simply calories in and calories out all the time. If our hormones are out of whack, we can exercise and workout and gain weight! Let’s start with some definitions.

Disclaimer: I am not a physician. I am a scientist. This site is not set up to diagnose or treat any illness. Consult your Primary Care Physician (PCP) or Endocrinologist (specializing in treating metabolic disorders).

Hormone: A chemical substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the activity of certain cells or organs. Many hormones are secreted by special glands, such as thyroid hormone produced by the thyroid gland. Hormones are essential for every activity of life, including the processes of digestion, metabolism, growth, reproduction, and mood control. Many hormones, such as neurotransmitters, are active in more than one physical process (MedicineNet.com).

Metabolism: The whole range of biochemical processes that occur within a living organism. Metabolism consists of anabolism (the buildup of substances) and catabolism (the breakdown of substances). The term metabolism is commonly used to refer specifically to the breakdown of food and its transformation into energy (MedicineNet.com).

Here are some (not all) of the hormones that may be inhibiting your weight loss.

Thyroid hormones. If you are not producing enough thyroid hormone, you will not be able to lose weight and even on a diet you may gain weight. A condition known as hypothyroidism leads to weight gain, puffy face, intolerance to cold, brittle hair, fatigue, poor muscle tone, and more. If you are working out and eating right and not seeing any results, contact your PCP and have your thyroid hormones checked. A simple blood test (T4 and TSH) will let your doctor know whether you are not producing enough of this hormone.

If you are not producing enough thyroid hormone, your doctor may prescribe synthroid or a generic form of thyroid hormone to help your body return to normal functioning.

Cortisol. It’s also called the stress hormone though synthetic forms are used to treat disease. High, prolonged stress, and even over consumption of salt can trigger the body to produce this lovely hormone. This hormone causes weight gain!

  • Its primary functions are to increase blood sugar through gluconeogenesis; suppress the immune system; and aid in fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism.It also decreases bone formation. Various synthetic forms of cortisol are used to treat a variety of diseases (Wikipedia).

A great way to combat cortisol is to get plenty of sleep, workout daily (but not excessively), cut back on salt, rest, and find ways to minimize stress. There are many supplements marketed to treat Adrenal Fatigue or excess cortisol. Talk to your PCP before taking supplements. Some can have serious side effects.

Insulin. Stable blood sugar is key for weight loss. Dips and peaks in blood sugar tell the body to store fat. Some people suffer from insulin resistance due to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (POS) and find it difficult to lose weight.

  • It is a peptide hormone, produced by beta cells of the pancreas, and is central to regulating carbohydrate and fat metabolism in the body. Insulin causes cells in the liver, skeletal muscles, and fat tissue to absorb glucose from the blood (Wikipedia).

Ways we can combat insulin issues. 1. Talk to your doctor if you believe you have diabetes, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), or POS. 2. Eat healthy. Ditch the sugary foods and opt for fiber, veggies, and lean protein. Don’t eat dessert or foods with loads of sugar alone (causes spikes in blood sugar). Add protein and or fiber to meals with desserts. Cut back or cut out high glycemic foods (white potatoes, bread (white and wheat), white rice). Opt for sweet potatoes, quinoa, greens, and lean proteins.

Ghrelin (Appetite regulator) and Leptin (Full/Not Full). We talked about these hormones before. They tell your body it’s hungry and when it’s full. When these two hormones are out of whack, you feel hungry all the time and never full. Lack of sleep is normally the culprit for messing with the balance of these two hormones.

Try to sleep 6.5 to 8 hours a night! Turn off that computer, TV, smart phone an hour before bed.

Well, my friends I want to end here. I might do a follow-up post on more hormones later like estrogen, testosterone, etc… The summary is this. If you are eating healthy, working out, and do everything right and you’re still not losing weight or seeing improvement-talk to your doctor.

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Keep up the good work! I am cheering for you!! xoxo Erin.

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