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Healthy eating and cooking and weight loss

The right way to lose weight permanently and live a life of health and energy

Every year you say you're gonna diet or eat healthier, or exercise more, but it lasts maybe a couple of weeks before old habits kick in and you're right back where you started.

This year – it stops here!

First, lets take a look at some popular diets and why they don't work.

I've kept quiet on the HCG diet, even though my common sense tells me its not good. Afterall, it is recommended by Doctors, especially Dr. Oz. It is monitored by doctors.

Since more educated than me specialists were so high on this new hormone treatment, I decided to sit it out a while and see what happened.

Let me tell you – to sit by and watch people be subjected to a starvation diet, and taking hormones was really hard for me. I knew in my heart that it couldn't be good for you. I wanted to scream. But, there were all those doctors, and people were losing weight faster. “Maybe its OK,” I kept telling myself.

It so happens that a friend of mine is doing this diet, and she's been thrilled with the weight loss. Its been a real bummer since when she's on it, we can't do anything related to food.

But the real wake up call was when she was over the last time. She was inbetween rounds and just about to start up again. She said that she had gained 8 pounds last week.

“8 pounds? In a week? How the h*ll do you gain 8 pounds in a week?!!”

She said, “I've been really bad.”

Now wait a dog gone minute here. You would have to be stuffing yourself silly – to the point of making yourself sick to gain 8 pounds in a week – under normal circumstances. Something is really, really wrong here.

It turns out that this crazy diet is wrecking your metabolism. When people are off the diet they gain weight faster. You've trained your body to operate on this little bit of food. When you try to return to any sort of normal eating, you put on weight faster than ever before. And no one knows the possible long term effects of the hormones.

This is horrifying. Now I wish I had opened my mouth. She wouldn't have listened anyway. Who are you going to listen to – a friend, or your doctor?

What are you going to do? Stay on this perpetual yo-yo diet forever? Or never eat normally again? I shudder to think about what the long term ramifications are going to be from this crazy diet.

There has never been a fast miracle weight loss program that has worked long term or been safe in the the long run.

The safer alternatives -

Then there are the Jenny Craig and Nutrisystems. They solve a critical problem. You don't have to plan or cook.

However, they are expensive and the food is mediocre.

Most people sit and try to enjoy their prepackaged meal while their family enjoys normal food.

Can you see yourself on one of these programs forever?

Then there is Weight Watchers.

Weight watchers is one of the best programs out there. People do lose weight, and they learn more about how to eat correctly. The additional support helps a lot of people.

However – the point counting and meetings are a pain in the neck. Plus, you have to pay for the meetings in addition to your membership.

Do you want to spend the rest of your life counting calories or figuring out your points?

Again, once people quit the program, they return to some of their old habits. From my experience, people who cook and have used weight watchers do seem to have better long term results because you learn to make and eat better foods.

Then there is the popular Diet Solution.

I like this program as a foundation. She actually teaches you how to begin enjoying healthier foods choices. She teaches you what to eat for greater weight loss and gives you some delicious recipes. Its a great starting point for a lot of people.

But eventually you've got to figure out how to make it apply in your life for the long haul.

What really works long-term

What you really have to do is make a lifestyle change. It doesn't matter what short term solution you try – if you go back to your old habits, you will go back to your old body. Often worse than before.

Are you ready to get off the diet treadmill?

Lets take a look at what it takes to permanently lose the weight, and have a healthy energy filled life -

The first step in reaching any goal is changing your mind.

How important is it to you to be thinner and healthier?

Do you want to look better in (and out) of your clothes?

Do you want to feel better every day?

Do you want to have more energy?

Do you want to avoid all the diseases that everyone around is suffering with?

Do you want to keep more of your money for having fun instead of spending your life savings on medical expenses?

What are your reasons? Why is this important to you?

Stop and really think about this for a few minutes.

If your reason why is not really big and important to you – you won't stick with it. Its unfortunate that most people aren't motivated to change until they have a serious health threat that scares the sh*t out of them. Suddenly life becomes the reason why.

Then you start to think about whether you'll see your daughter get married, or whether you'll get to see your grandkids.

I saw a bit about this year's Half Their Size issue from People magazine.

One lady lost her position as a volunteer fire fighter because of her weight. She could no longer do what she loved to do.

One gentleman was rushed to the hospital. The Doctor asked him what he would like his obituary to say.

These people had big whys.

Can you come up with a big reason why before it comes to that?

Once you have your why -you need to learn to plan. Afterall – Failing to plan is planning to fail.

You want to have healthier foods in the house

You need to plan dinner to avoid the last minute swerve into the fast food lanes.

And you'll have to make your own food.

That sounds horrible, doesn't it?

But you'll quickly find that

  • real food tastes infinitely better than any packaged or fast food, and

  • you'll start losing weight, and

  • you'll feel better and have more energy.

Did you notice that earlier I mentioned returning to your old eating habits?

How you eat is a habit. It might have been instilled in you from the time you were a child. While it may take some effort at first, habits can be changed.

The secret is to make small changes one at a time.

"Good habits, once established are just
as hard to break as are bad habits."

~Robert Puller    

Some of the most successful small changes you can make are -

  • Stop drinking pop of any kind- current research shows that even diet pop packs on the pounds.

  • Make eating 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day a priority – even if you change nothing else right now. You'll be amazed at what a difference this little change will make.

  • Gradually eliminate packaged, processed, and fast foods from your life. All those chemicals, sugars and sodium do not do your body any good. Its no coincidence that since these foods became popular – obesity and disease skyrocketed.

  • Get some exercise every day – take a walk, walk the dog, go shopping, clean the house, golf, bowl, swim … Exercise does not have to be torture. Just get up and do something.

  • Get enough sleep. Seems counter-intuitive, but when you're tired, your body craves more carbs for energy. And its usually the bad carbs.

Those are some simple changes that you can start making today. Once you have those mastered, then you can move on to more ambitious changes. Don't try to change everything at once. That's usually a recipe for disaster.

Rebel With a Fork Members go through what we call Small Bites training where you learn to make consistent small changes. You learn things like how to trick your mind into being satisfied while eating smaller portions, and some mind pictures that will make you think twice about eating some of those bad foods. There's tips for planning fast dinners and how to eat 5-9 servings of vegetables a day. Its not as hard as you think. This year we'll be focusing more on fitness. We're always improving.

Learn how to live with healthier habits and you won't have to worry about dieting, or counting calories. You don't have to give up all kinds of foods, or eat tofu and wheat grass. You just need to eat smarter. When you give your body what it needs, it can ward off disease and maintain your weight by itself.

Always be a student -

You owe it to yourself and your family to stay on top of current findings -

  • What foods cause disease

  • What foods prevent disease

  • What's in the food you're eating – and do you want to eat it?

  • What combination of foods give you the biggest nutritional boost?

  • What foods and supplements help slow down aging?

There is always new research and new findings. Many times old beliefs are shattered – like lowering cholesterol to reduce heart attacks. New research finds that is a myth. (If there's big money behind it, its usually not true)

Learn to enjoy creating great tasting food

Learning to cook real food can be an intimidating thought – especially if you are already time crunched. The truth is that it really only takes just a few minutes longer than it would take you to stop and get something. A few years ago the Wall Street Journal did an article about this. They found that the average time savings was 5 minutes. Really. 5 whole minutes.

Once you start to appreciate better tasting foods, and feeling better and having more energy after you eat, you'll be able to diffuse the fast food temptations.

The first time my daughter chose going home and making dinner over fast food, I was floored.

It wasn't easy for me at first. I was a single working mom. It took a little while to come up with fast dinners. I didn't have anyone to guide me. And not many people were into eating healthier at that time. I was a lone weirdo. I did all the figuring it out for you. You are so lucky to have instant access to my recipe collection. You'll never be at a loss for something great to eat.

Don't fall for hype

There is information coming at you from all sides about what to eat and what not to eat. There is the trendy diet of the year. There's raw foods, low carb, high protein, restricted calories, and on, and on, and on.

Be leary of any diet that restricts an entire food group, or requires an extremely low calorie intake.

Your body needs a balanced diet of many types of foods for peak performance.

You need some animal protein.

You need some fat.

Vegetarians have problems with their teeth, and over time develop other health concerns. Remember the hub-bub over the Pope eating some meat for health reasons?

The raw food diet trend is fading away....(though half your diet should be raw fruits and vegetables)

Your body needs a minimum of 1200-1500 calories a day just to function. Below that and you are asking for trouble.

When you know in your heart that something is not good – pay attention. Use your common sense and your training. Don't fall for marketing hype.

All you need is a balanced diet of real foods

The only food group you need to remove is fake foods. Cut out corn syrup, soy, and chemicals. I mean, who in their right mind would think that a fake egg is better than a real egg? It was all marketing. So is the fake butter, the pop, the low carb, low calorie, low fat. It's all marketing hype designed to sell products. The best foods don't have a label.

If the food you are buying has a label – read it! Then decide if you really want to eat that, or put it back on the shelf.

The biggest hurdle is the mental one

You know, when you tell yourself that its too hard, or you won't be able to find things you like to eat, or that you don't have time, or any of the other excuses.

Make this a priority in your life. Make up your mind that your health, and your family's health are the most important things in your life. Without your health, nothing else really matters.

Every person who has made the change to real food will tell you that once you've been away from these fake foods for a while you will find that the next time you have them – they taste awful!

As you saw before, once you get sick the excuses seem lame. Its my hope that you'll start making changes before you get sick.

Document where you are starting

I've included one of the exercises from the Small Bites e-training. It helps you document where you started so you can track your results.

If you are already a member, its a good time to fill this out again to see how far you've come.

Snapshot Exercise

The first thing you want to do is document where you are today.

Print out a copy of this page. Fill in as much information as you can –

Weight _____________ Target Weight - _______________

Measurements - _____________ ____________ ___________

Blood Pressure - _____________ (target - 120/80)

Cholesterol - _____________ (target – under 200 mg/dl - controversial)

HDL (good cholesterol) - _____________ (target – Above 40 mg/dl)

LDL (bad cholesterol) - _____________ (target –controversial)

Triglycerides - _____________ (target – under 150 mg/dl)

Glucose - _____________ (target – under 110 mg/dl)

Attach 2 pictures – a full body shot, and a close up face shot.

Keep this someplace handy where you can come back to it in 3 or 4 weeks and compare.


Goal setting exercises -

Below you will find some exercises designed to help strengthen your decision

Section 1 – The Goal

Please describe in detail what your goal is. Be as descriptive as possible. The following questions will help form your answer:

  • What is your goal?

    • Why is this goal important to you?

    • How will you know when you have achieved this goal?

    • What will it feel like, look like and sound like?

    • How will attaining this goal affect the other people in your life?

    • How will not attaining this goal affect the other people in your life?

    • How long have you had this goal?


    • How long will it take you to achieve this goal?

    • Who else is involved in the achievement of this goal?

    • Is this goal the best you can do or are you settling for second best?

    Section 2 – The Reality

    It’s important to find the real reason behind setting your goal and what has prevented you from achieving it thus far. This section begins to help you think why you have not achieved the goal so far, and also the real reason for wanting to achieve the goal. Sometimes we set goals that we don’t really want or ones for which we have ulterior motive which even we might not understand until we thing about it. When answering this section please state facts as much as possible:

    • What is the real reason for you setting the goal above?

    • What has held you back from achieving this goal thus far?

    • What steps have you taken to try to achieve this goal?

    • How important is this goal to you and those close to you?

    • How far away are you from achieving your goal?

    • Have you always tried your best to achieve the goal so far?

    • What have you learned about yourself from having tried to achieve this or any other goal?h

    • What skills, experience and contacts do you have that can make the achievement of this goal?

    Decisions, Actions and Choices

    Decide –– this is the first step you must undertake. You must decide that you wish to make a change in your life. No matter what it is, a firm decision needs to be made, for example -

    I have decided to lose 50 pounds and take care of my health. (note the tense, have decided, more final than am deciding)

    Action - However making a decision is not good enough, you must then take Action. Action can be writing down an idea, making that call, talking to people about your idea. Until you take action nothing will happen. It is best to take action sooner rather than later. As those who procrastinate will wait and wait and wait.o

    Consequences - Every time you do something there are consequences. Always consider the consequences to see how they can affect your life, both in the positive and negative sense. Is going out with the gang for a few beers a good idea or will it cloud your judgment the next day? Will picking up fast food today really be a good idea? Will I feel betterif I go home and make dinner?

    Every choice we make causes change. By the way remove the word failure from your language set. There's now only missteps.

    Too many people fear what we call failure, however if you reframe the word and think of it as missteps and a way of learning from what has gone before you will begin to learn and grow.

    No road to any goal is smooth. We make mistakes along the way, and we learn from them. Everything we do can help us grow, if you see it in the context of missteps rather than failure.

    Ease up on the guilt

    One day of eating badly – like a holiday – isn't a failure. Its just a day. Tomorrow you get back on track. No big deal.

    The problem arises when you let too many of those days accumulate.

    You don't have to aim for sainthood. That's too much pressure for us mere mortals. Try to eat healthier maybe 80 or 90% of the time. You'll be pleased with how you look and feel, without becoming a sour faced martyr.

    You can change your life in 2012, but you must take action. Ensure you do the exercises in this report and stick to your goals.

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    Disclaimer: The content herein has not been reviewed or approved by the FDA. It represents personal views and experiences and should be treated as such. Implementation of any ideas contained herein can only be done at own risk. This information is designed to help adults make informed decisions about their health and is intended to be used for general nutritional information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to prescribe, treat, cure, diagnose or prevent any particular medical problem or disease. Women who are pregnant or nursing should always consult with their doctors before taking any supplements. You should always consult your health care professional for individual guidance for specific health concerns. Persons with medical conditions should seek professional medical care. Please use common sense.

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