Thursday, 24 December 2009



The first rule of shopping when you’re trying to lose weight is to shop with a list. This is extremely important, because you don’t want to fall prey to the natural instincts of wanting to grab those cookies that are there on that special display at the end of aisle four. Stick to that list faithfully, too.

Plan before you shop. Of course! If you didn’t plan, how could you have the list, right? You need to decide what your meals are going to be and what ingredients you will need to prepare them. Be sure to include portion sizes when planning your meals.

Don’t just plan for dinners. Remember, you will be eating several smaller meals per day, so include all the meals in your agenda.

When you first start shopping for your weight loss trip, it might be a good idea to take along someone to keep you in check as you stroll the aisles. This needs to be someone who knows your struggles with weight loss and who can support this journey with you.

They need to be your shopping police, so don’t blame them if they take those cookies back out of your cart. Remember, you want their support, so don’t blame them. Give them permission to keep you focused. You may also want to involve them in the planning process as well so they have a better idea of what exactly you are trying to accomplish.

We can’t stress this next point enough: EAT BEFORE YOU GO SHOPPING! It’s a well known fact that if you are hungry when you go to the grocery store, you will be more prone to making impulse purchases that aren’t good for you because it sounds so yummy!

Learn how to read labels. As we’ve said before, you have to avoid products that have ingredients that will be bad for your diet. Look at the fat content, the sugar content, the salt content, etc. Be sure that you are buying weight friendly foods that you will be able to eat and not have to worry about when they’re in your cupboard.

Avoid convenience foods. Even though they are easy to fix and taste pretty good, these types of foods often contain additional calories, fats, and carbohydrates that you just don’t need. If you find yourself drawn to the diet dinners in the frozen food section, be sure to read the ingredients before you buy!

You will always be better off if you prepare your meals yourself. That means plan to cook from scratch. If you think you don’t have the time, think again. We’ll give you some great recipes that you can either make ahead of time or that you can prepare in less than 30 minutes!

When you cook your own meals, you will have complete control over what you put into your food (salt, sugar, etc.) plus they will taste a lot better than convenience foods.

While it may seem painfully obvious, we can’t stress enough – don’t buy foods with empty calories. Those foods include chips, cookies, candy, etc. You don’t need the temptation, and they provide absolutely NO nutritional value for you at all, so avoid them like the plague!

No matter how good you eat, you will have to exercise in order to lose weight.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009



We can’t possibly cover all of the foods that are acceptable to eat when you are trying to lose weight. Common sense can tell you that French fries are a no-no and an apple is great.

What we’ve decided to do is concentrate on those foods that you SHOULDN’T eat. Of course, this could be a long list as well, so we’re going to touch on the worst and give you some possible substitutions.


Stay away from anything with caffeine in it - don't forget that many sodas have caffeine. Caffeine has the same insulin-stimulating, weight-loss-inhibiting effect as aspartame. Unfortunately, this includes coffee. Stick to decaffeinated sodas, teas, and coffees.
Along the same lines, cut out any beverage that contains aspartame (Nutra Sweet), high fructose corn syrup, or refined sugar. Since you need to drink a lot of water in order to lose weight, try water with a slice of lemon or lime in it. It can be very refreshing and very satisfying!
Alcohol is a no-no in any weight loss plan. It’s OK to have a glass of wine with dinner, just don’t drink the whole bottle. There’s no better way to pack on the pounds than to drink excessive amounts of alcohol – even the ones that claim they have fewer calories. Moderation is the key with alcoholic beverages!

Boxed Pre-Packaged Foods

In general, you should stay away from a lot of these products. If the ingredients are not pronounceable, you should avoid them. In other words, anything with a lot of chemicals on the ingredient list are not going to be good for your diet.
White rice, while very filling, contains starches that can inhibit your weight loss. Stick to brown rice instead.
Pasta mixes are usually also not good because of the starches they contain. Stick to whole grain pastas instead. They taste just as good and are much better for you!
For the same reasons as pasta and white rice, white breads should also be avoided. Whole grain breads provide you with the carbohydrates you need and are less processed than the white breads. Be sure the bread you choose is made with whole wheat flour instead of just wheat flour. Believe me, it makes a difference.
If you love Mexican food, stick to whole wheat flour tortillas or corn tortillas when you choose your burritos, enchiladas, or soft tacos.
Canned and Jar Foods
Again, anything that is canned or jarred needs to be free of excessive chemicals. If the label contains ingredients with more than four syllables or are hyphenated, it won’t be good for your diet.
Chicken broth can be very fatty, so stay away. So are many soup mixes. The good news is that there are plenty of light or low fat choices out there. These are the ones you should choose.
Commercially-made tomato sauces or tomato based sauces contain ridiculously huge amounts of sugar and salt. A better choice is to make these sauces yourself where you can control what goes into it. We’ll have a recipe later in the book for you to do just that!
Do not eat canned fruit or canned vegetables. If it’s been canned, it’s been cooked thus it loses some of it’s most beneficial nutrients. They can also contain processed or refined sugars, so stick to fresh fruits and veggies instead.
If you have to have a little oil to cook your foods in, choose extra virgin olive oil over the vegetable or corn based oils.
Choose only lean meats to get your protein intake. It’s commonly known that you should try to stay away from red meats like beef. Of course, if you’re like me and love your steak, choose a lean cut and don’t make the portion any larger than your clenched fist.
Choose fresh fish instead of canned and be sure it’s of the lower fat variety. This includes salmon, tilapia, and cod. Don’t bread your fish either, broil it or grill it to get rid of any residual fat that might remain.
White meat chicken breasts are better than dark meat because the darker meat contains more fat. The same applies to turkey.
Tuna is always a good choice – even if it’s canned. Just be sure to get the tuna canned in water – not oil!


Skim milk should be your first choice over whole milk or two percent. Avoid drinking too much milk, however, because it naturally contains some fats that can turn into unnecessary fat on you!
Unfortunately, cheese on a diet is also a big no-no. However, you can find low-fat or fat-free cheese in most grocery stores, so always pick these first. But use it sparingly!
Eggs are all right on your diet, but you’re better off to use only the whites instead of including the yolks. Egg substitutes are a great way to get your egg fix, so look for these in the store as well.
Fat-free sour cream is alright in moderation, but try to substitute with plain yogurt instead.

Vegetables and Fruits

Almost all fresh vegetables are good for you. It’s a generally accepted belief that you can eat all the vegetables you want and still lose weight. That’s pretty much true – as long as they’re prepared the correct way. It’s always best to steam veggies. You can also drizzle them with a little olive oil and bake them in the oven or – even better – roast them on the grill! Yummy!
Be careful of eating too many fruits that contain a lot of natural sugars like oranges and peaches. Because the sugar is naturally there, it’s not horribly bad for you, but you don’t want to overload on sugars because it can be converted to fat.
One big thing you must do when you decide that you want to lose weight is to immediately clean the cupboards and refrigerator getting rid of all the foods that can inhibit your diet. That means get rid of the chips, processed sugar, canned fruits, etc.
Don’t throw them away – give them to a local food bank. Believe me, they’ll be happy to get whatever you have to offer – diet friendly or not!
Once you do that, you get to go shopping! Don’t dread it! Just shop smart!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

WHAT TO EAT (Weight Loss)


If you are trying to lose weight, choose food based on their weight-to-calorie ratio. You want to eat food that weighs a lot but has few calories and avoid food that is light in weight but hefty in calories.
Fruits and vegetables are the big winners in the heavy weight-low calorie department, according to Tufts University. They weigh a lot because of their fiber and water content and yet do not have many calories. For example, one cup of cantaloupe or 'melon' weighs 5.5 ounces but only has 56 calories. A cup of cooked spinach weighs six ounces but only has 42 calories.
Now, compare that to six cups of buttered popcorn that only weighs three ounces and contains 420 calories or, even worse, one ounce of potato chips that has 152 calories (if you ate four ounces, you would be inviting 608 calories to feel at home in your fat cells). That's what I call "small but terrible".
Most snack food doesn't weigh much but sure have a lot of calories. This means you can eat a lot of them without feeling full and without realizing it take in many excess calories that you don't need.
Most cookies weigh ½ ounce and contain 50 calories. Eat six cookies and you only have three ounces of weight but you've racked up 300 calories. 1.5 ounces of a chocolate bar contain 220 calories. A small croissant only weighs two ounces but has 230 calories.
According to the New Zealand University study, food that is light in weight but high in calories is probably the worse kind of food to eat if you are trying to lose weight. It's sort of like 'double jeopardy' - you are still hungry but you have already eaten many calories.
Choose lower-fat choices of the same weight food. There can be a world of difference between the caloric consumption of two people eating the same weight and type of food. How is this possible? Easy, if you consider the way the food is cooked or prepared.
Here are some examples (all of them weigh 3.5 ounces). Boiled potatoes have 62 calories compared to french fried potatoes with 328 calories. Sardines in tomato sauce contain 127 calories while sardines in oil have 372. Tuna flakes in water have 95 calories while tuna flakes in oil have 309. You get the picture.
Avoid the "light weight-high calorie" way of dieting. I know many people who don't want to eat regular sized meals because they think that if their stomach feels heavy, they are eating a lot of calories. Therefore, they think that by eating something light like crackers, they will lose weight.
What they don't realize is that just because a food is light doesn't automatically mean it contains few calories. One could easily eat nine crackers (420 calories) and still not feel full because nine crackers only weigh three ounces. Believe it or not but you could have a satisfying meal of ½ cup steamed rice, a cup of cooked spinach, a small piece of fish, and a cup of cantaloupe for less calories.
This complete meal would weigh a satisfying 18.5 ounces and only "cost" you 378 calories. By making the right food choices, you can cut down on unnecessary calories without starving yourself and feeling deprived.
You should also cut down somewhat on your carbs, but don’t cut them out completely! Because effective weight loss depends on exercise and activity, without some carbs in your diet, you won’t have the energy you’ll need to effectively burn off calories.
What you do need to do is begin with a “baseline diet” that dictates at least half of your calories come from vegetables, fruits, natural starches, and whole grains. The rest of your diet should consist of low-fat proteins like fish, chicken, and lean beef.
You need to balance out your carbs with your protein stay away from those carbs at night. Periodically, you want to take “carb-up” days to get your energy levels up.
When we talk about protein, many people wonder just how much is enough or how much is too much. In general, experts say you should eat 1 gram of protein for every pound of body weight per meal.
That might seem like a ridiculously large amount of protein, but remember, we’re talking about LEAN proteins. Plus, eating protein speeds up your metabolism and accelerates weight loss.
This might be a good time to talk about portion sizes. As a general rule of thumb, you should never eat a serving that is larger than your clenched fist. The good news about this is that you’ll be able to eat enough to get full without overdoing it.
Cravings might be the worst part about weight loss. Let’s say you love chocolate chip cookies like I do. If you’re craving a chocolate chip cookie, denying that craving will only make it stronger.
Instead of not having the cookie, go ahead, just don’t overdo it. Simply have one instead of three. You can indulge in your favorite foods as long as you keep it within reason.
Most experts agree that the traditional three square meals a day shouldn’t be part of a healthy diet. In fact, you should eat more meals every day. Doesn’t that sound like great news?!
The idea here is that you overeat when you are overly hungry. To combat that hunger, you should eat more meals with smaller portions rather than fewer meals with larger portions.
For women, it is recommended you eat five meals a day and for men, you should eat six. Try to make these meals a minimum of 2 hours apart to insure you don’t get too hungry.
The benefits will reveal themselves. By doing this, you are accomplishing the following benefits:
• Faster metabolic rate
• Higher energy
• Less storage of body fat due to the smaller portions
• Reduced hunger and cravings
• Steadier blood sugar and insulin levels
• More calories available for muscle growth
• Better absorption and utilization of the nutrients in your food

But you need to make sure you eat the right kinds of foods.

Monday, 21 December 2009


Getting Started

You can lose weight in many ways. Sure you could go the supermodel route and starve yourself, but who wants to do that. There are a few things about dieting and weight loss that most experts agree upon in general.

First, you need to drink a lot of water. Most individuals don’t drink nearly enough water. Colas and coffee don’t count! Yes, you really should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day - maybe more, depending on your weight.
Water is a natural appetite suppressant. If you drink a full glass of water before beginning your meal, your stomach simply doesn’t hold as much food.

No, you will not gain weight from drinking a lot of water. It’s when you don’t drink enough water throughout the day, your body gets dehydrated. When it does finally get water, it holds onto it and stores it for a future need. That’s when we feel swollen, and bloated with water weight.

However, if you give your body enough water on a regular basis, it releases it naturally. Drinking enough water gives you the benefit of hydration and fullness.

You should always eat a balanced meal. This might be the one thing we learned in elementary school that we really can use in our adult life – the basic food groups.
Proteins and carbohydrates are essential to a healthy meal. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy in our diet, and proteins burn fat. At a bare minimum, each meal should consist of a protein and a carbohydrate.
DO NOT skip meals. One of the worst things we can do, in our attempt to lose weight, is to skip a meal. I’ve seen it countless times: Motivated to lose weight, an individual decides to eat just twice a day. But your metabolism needs the consistency of regular meals. With erratic eating schedules, the body thinks it’s starving. So, everything it takes in – it stores as fat to be used for energy.
Finally, exercise. You just can’t lose weight when you maintain a sedentary lifestyle. People who exercise live longer and feel better. And, they lose weight quicker. But, keep it simple.
Thomas Jefferson said, “The sovereign invigorator of the body is exercise, and of all the exercises walking is the best.”
It’s never too late to get in shape. We’ll give you a whole separate section on exercise, but you don’t have to join a gym and become the next famous body builder. There’s plenty of ways you can get enough exercise to aid in your weight loss efforts.
Of course, there is a simple formula to help calculate weight loss: consume fewer calories than what you burn every day. For example, if you consume 2000 calories per day and you burn 2500 calories per day, you will lose weight.
You might just say "Why don't I just cut down on my calories intake considerably, hence I don't really have to burn many calories to lose weight?" Well that would be starving yourself and is not a good idea at all. This will make you weaker, hungrier and you will eat quite a lot after.
Your body needs food and calories to get energy. You need to eat enough so as not to starve yourself and be able to burn these calories and more after. On the other hand, if you burn out the exact same amount of calories that you take, you will stay the same.
The secret to losing weight without going hungry is to make the right food choices. You need to choose foods that are low in calories but can satisfy your stomach so you don't become hungry.
We found a very interesting study that illustrates how the way we eat affects our weight. It was performed by New Zealand’s University of Auckland in 1999.
The researchers divided male participants into three groups. Each group was put on a diet with different fat percentages (their total daily calories were composed of 60, 40 or 20-percent fat) but no calorie limits. The men were told to eat as much they wanted from the food choices they were allowed.
As expected, the men eating the 20-percent fat diets lost weight because they were consuming fewer calories. Fat contains nine calories per gram compared to four calories per gram for carbohydrates or protein. Therefore, the more fat a food contains the more calories it will have. However, in spite of the lower calorie diet, the men in this group were not at all hungry.
What the researchers discovered was that the men in the low-fat group unconsciously compensated by choosing foods that weighed the same as the men in the higher-fat groups and, therefore, were not hungry.
What this suggests is that the weight of the food you eat may play a more important role than fat or calories in satisfying your hunger. In other words, you may not need to eat high-calorie or high-fat foods to feel full but your stomach has to feel the weight of a certain amount of food.
There are several other studies suggesting that people tend to eat the same weight of food daily, regardless of the fat or calories that the meals contain. It's almost as if your stomach has an internal scale with a pre-determined weight that has to be reached for you to be satisfied and not hungry.
This may explain the rationale behind drinking a glass of water or having a bowl of soup before eating to cut down on your appetite. It may also explain why people can go on a low fat diet and yet gain weight if the majority of their food choices come from starchy food that is highly processed and low in fiber.
You can eat many slices of fluffy white bread before you feel full while eating two slices of whole wheat multi-grain bread already makes you feel like you swallowed the whole loaf. Eating high fiber foods like oatmeal helps you eat fewer calories (seven ounces of oatmeal only has 120 calories) without going hungry.
So how do you choose the right foods?