10 December 2015

Weight Loss Challenge: The Weekend No-Dinner Diet

5 Lovely Thoughts
Christmas is less than 20 days ahead! Losing weight for Christmas is not my goal anymore. 2 weeks is too short a time to achieve a significant weight loss. But I still need to lose weight for my health. That's my ultimate goal and that's the reason why I never stop trying to lose weight even though the weight loss deadline is almost or already over.

Ways to distract yourself from eating mindlessly.

Last weekend I decided to challenge myself to do another tweak to my diet. At first, I want to do the weekend detox but I'm not mentally prepare for it because there's always family outings on the weekend and dieting while outing is CHALLENGING. So I tried the less extreme diet plan - the weekend no-dinner diet. I am actually not new to this. I've tried to go to bed without dinner many time in the past. Not because I want to lose weight, partly yes. But the main reason why I skip dinner was because I was lazy to cook. :‑Þ

The No-Dinner Diet
The no-dinner diet is not exactly a diet btw. It's more like a pattern of eating that reduces your eating window. I know some friends who skip dinner and lose weight. I think the logic is pretty simple. Skipping dinner may lead to weight loss because well, skipped meal means skipped calories. Choosing to omit one or two meal a day will make it easier to restrict your caloric intake over the course of the week thus will give your body a chance to lose weight as you're simply just eating less calories than you were consuming before.

Why the no-dinner diet? Because it's an easy hack to simplify your day. You don't have to worry about meal planning and food preparation every 2-3 hours. Since you simply skip a meal or two, you just need to focus about eating food in your eating window.

The Drawbacks with The No-Dinner Diet
Feeling hungry and miserable.

When you eat every 2-3 hours, your body will becomes used to expecting to it and then your body will start to get hungry at that hour. The transition to skip to one meal a day might shock the body into changing for a little while but from my past experience I've found once you get locked into your routine, your hunger hormones will adapt.

How to survive the No-Dinner Diet
1 - Distract yourself from thinking about food.
I made the no-dinner diet last weekend! I avoid dinner by treating myself to a massage, thanks to Mr. hubby for taking care of the kids while I'm enjoying my spa session. There are many ways we can distract ourselves from eating. Read a motivational book, paint your fingernails, exercise or calling a friend on the telephone.

Ways to distract yourself from eating mindlessly.

2 - Sleep early.
Late sleepers equals more eating . Lack of sleep also increases hunger and slows down metabolism making it more difficult to maintain or lose weight. Studies show that the metabolism may actually increase during sleep. So get a good quality of sleep for a healthier metabolism.

3 - Choose your lunch carefully.
Aim for a mix of lean protein, whole-grain carbohydrates and healthy fat that will fuel your body until tomorrow's breakfast.

4 - Chug a couple glasses of water.
Water does not have some magical property but staying hydrated could help you reduce appetite and make you burn more calories. A small study says it may help you burn about 50 calories per liter or quart of water, or about 25 calories per water bottle-full of water. Always having a water bottle around will make it easier on you to drink more water.

A challenge will push you far outside your comfort zone. What challenges you have set for yourself lately? Share in the comments. 

Does Pooping Actually Help You Lose Weight?

2 Lovely Thoughts
I believe that I'm not the only one who used to think that you'll lose weight if you poop as much as you eat. The irony because apparently most weight loss products and slimming tea in the market promoted their product with the same concept, or at least I think so.
Does Pooping Actually Help You Lose Weight?
My husband is very supportive of my weight loss effort. I try my best not to keep unhealthy food in the house and my husband is totally supportive by not brings junk food home. But yesterday I asked him to buy me curry maggie, my favorite junk food. I haven't had maggie in a pretty long time, a non-scale victory I'm so proud of. But yesterday I just have to give in. I have a strong cravings for this food, blame the monthly hormones. And I am feeling so guilty now to confess that I have tried fiber drink to...I know this is sounds ridiculous but I've resorted to fiber drink to stimulate the need to go to the bathroom. It just gives me a peace of mind to know that I can 'take care of the big business' after I eat a meal. I have this theory that when I'm emptying my colon after a meal I'm basically pooping the calories back out. HA-HA. #myth

I quit taking fiber drink last time because I realized that I have became dependent on it. I was at the point where I can't poop when I skip the drink. I have became so obsessed with it. But recently I start taking a fiber drink again to ease constipation. Only now I won't drink it regularly, only when needed though as to avoid dependency on that. Constipation happens to me sometime especially in the week or so before my menses and causes headache. And when I had a bad food choices or eat something that I am not suppose to eat, it's just so comforting to think that I can probably undo the bad eating with a sip of fiber drink. #anothermyth

How does fiber drinks work
I don't have the exact idea how it works for weight loss but from my general reading (got info from the leaflet and their website), fiber drink are one tool for adding fiber to your diet, usually contain soluble fiber extracted from vegetables and fruits and to be taken before meal. When you eat your food, this fiber drink will work like a blocker that block the binding process of enzyme alpha-amalase (produced in the saliva) with starches so the carbs will move quickly out of the body without being absorbed. Fiber also act as laxative where it works by increasing the water content and bulk of the stool, which helps to move it quickly through the colon.

NH Vege F'bre Plus Review
I am currently drinking NH Vege F'bre Plus by NH Detoxlim. (FYI, this is not a sponsored post) This drink does not contain preservatives and chemical additives, no synthetic coloring and flavoring. According to the label, NH Vege F'bre Plus is made from all-natural ingredients - Soluble fruit fibre (ananas comosus, scientific name for pineapple), soluble vegetables fibre (brocolli, spinach), fructose, wheatgrass, vitamin C, chlorophyll and semen plantago ovata.

Plantago ovata containing product is already taken by many people world-wide to control bowel function, may be a useful supplement in weight control diets as it affects fat intake, and may have some effect on the subjective feeling of fullness.
NH Vege Fibre Plus to ease constipation and lose weight
NH Vege Fibre Plus: It is formulated for Asians with hectic lifestyles, imbalanced diets and weight problems.

NH Vege Fibre Plus to ease constipation and lose weight
Natural: NH Vege Fibre Plus is made from 100% natural ingredients
The label also reads, taste nice and refreshing. But in my personal opinion, it taste a bit yucky. Actually it taste like green juice made from raw leafy green vegetable, well because it is green vegetable. I have tried green smoothies before but the taste is not really pleasant to my taste. This fiber drink has the similar taste, I had to hold my breath and finish the drink at one go!
NH Vege Fibre Plus to ease constipation and lose weight
Green drink: Empty one sachet (5 g) NH Vege Fibre Plus into a glass of
lukewarm water (about 250ml to 300ml). Mix well and enjoy!
NH Vege F'bre Plus can have some effect within 5-8 hours, so I always plan my schedule and make sure I am in a comfortable place 6 - 8 hours, or be close to a bathroom cause the effects will be immediate. There will be a light stomach cramp but it usually doesn't last forever. That's just the way it works. NH Vege F'bre Plus continues to work in the system, so I always keep in my mind to limit my eating or I'll increase the number of trips to the bathroom. Drinking plenty of water is a must. What I like most about this drink is how it makes me feel lighter. It is definitely cleaning your system and much better than salt water cleanse.

So does emptying your bowels after every meal help you lose weight?
Pooping is imperative to a good cleanse, de-bloat and helps flush all that extra water weight from your body.

1 - YES you might see the number on the scale swing up a bit after you have a bowel movement. 

2 - ...but it DOESN'T COUNT as actual weight loss.

According to dietician Alexandra Caspero, R.D., founder of Delicious Knowledge, our body's weight fluctuates throughout the day and it's typically normal. Constipation links to water retention and if you haven’t used the restroom before weighing yourself, it'll affect the number on the scale. Going low carb diet is a natural way lose excess water weight.

Water weight isn't as "real" as weight from muscles and fat, it tends to magically melt away as your kidneys restore your body's salt/water balance. But here's the thing - water weight is still weight, right? Losing 5 kg or 10 kg of (water) weight may look or feel different -- and there are health choices we can make to keep it at bay.

I will be updating my progress after I start seeing more weight come off. Have you tried any home remedies for weight loss to get your diet off to the right start? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

04 December 2015

Weight Loss Battle: Why Bad Habits Are So Difficult to Kick?

2 Lovely Thoughts
I have decided to stop trying to lose weight.

Weight Loss Battle: Why Bad Habits Are So Difficult to Kick?

NO, actually not.

It's already December and I AM STILL FAT!  I can't commit to exercise regularly so I tried to focus on eating healthy instead, but even so I still fail in this department. I've tried to wean myself off white stuff especially white rice and white bread over the past few weeks, I tried to quit sugar but my unhealthy habits keep breaking my weight loss effort.

Why bad habits are so difficult to kick?

Our daily behavior runs on autopilot. For example when your phone rings, you naturally go to answer it. If someone throws you a ball, you catch it. Other habit-forming activity like brushing your teeth and exercising are formed through repetition.

Psychologists have begun to understand that a lot of our everyday behaviors are often caused by circumstances or related to specific situations. For example, you eat pretty healthy at home but you can't do that at a social gathering. You might bite your nails when you watch TV or when you concentrate at work without thinking about it. You might find that you eat a large dish of ice cream whenever you get home in the evening.

Five Ways to Developing a New Habit

Dr. Arthur B. Markman, the member of Dr. Phil Advisory Board provides these strategies focusing on breaking bad habits and how to replace them with good ones.

1- Define Bad Habit and Commit to Change
You need to identify the habit you want to change. If you decide to arise early and exercise each morning, commit to act in a specific way 100% of the time, and never make excuses or rationalizations during the process until this becomes automatic.

2- Disrupt the Habit
Disrupt the specific actions that make up the habit. An obvious way is to avoid the situations in which you usually do your bad habit. For example, if you want to stop drinking alcohol as part of a move towards a healthier lifestyle, you should avoid the people and places where you used to drink.

3- Replace Bad Habit with Smart Habit
Sometimes you cannot change environment. If you often bite your nails in bed, then you cannot stop going to sleep just so that you can quit biting your nails. When you cannot change the environment, try to replace your behavior with something else. For instance you are trying to quit biting your nails in bed. Try doing something else that will keep your hands busy when you get ready to go to sleep. A manicure before bed, or maybe do a crossword puzzle before going to sleep.

4- Create Habit Diary 
Regular writing make you feel good. Writing down positive things that happened to you or tracking your mood can help you identify good patterns in your life which you should make time for and identify bad patterns that should be eliminated.

5- Reward Yourself
When you successfully devote some time to your new habit, give yourself a reward. Each time you reward yourself, you reaffirm and reinforce the behavior. But make sure your rewards don't compete with your new behaviors.

Weight Loss Battle: Why Bad Habits Are So Difficult to Kick?

I have tried food journaling before, but the habit journal or mood journal thing is something new to me. Keeping a mood journal sound so much fun. Perhaps it is a better way to understand my mood and tracking my daily goal.

It's now your turn, share in the comments: 
- What bad habit you have successfully dumped recently to become a better person? 
- What major step you have taken to ditch your destructive habit?

20 November 2015

Fitspiration Friday: Sandy's 70 lbs Weight Loss Story

4 Lovely Thoughts
My bad. I totally forgot about this weight loss story and it has been fermenting in my draft for weeks. This week's Fitspiration Friday is featuring the adorable Sandy Montanez. Be ready to be inspired as you read how she successfully went from 236 lbs to 186 lbs.

What made you decide to lose weight?
I decided to lose weight when noticed my size 16 was fitting a bit snug. I hated the person looking back at me in the refection of the mirror.

What challenges you face in losing weight?
I am a very impatient person. I like instant gratification. So having the patience day after day in order to see results was the worst.

What changes you made to lose weight?
I brought a Fitbit, joined MFP calorie counting site, downloaded the app on my cell and brought walking videos to do at home.

How long does it take to see your weight loss result?
I started Jan 5, 2015 and even though the scale number was going down I began to visually see results in May 2015. By July 2015 I had lost 50 lbs. I would still like to lose about 40 more lbs.

How has your life changed after losing weight?
I feel great, I get asked out on dates more. I can shop in normal people stores. I no longer have to struggle to walk up stairs, or to find clothes to wear. I love the person I see in the mirror.

How do you maintain your weight loss?
I continue to calorie count and log everything I put in my mouth. Even when I go out with friends and have a drink or two. I log it.

Your best weight loss tips
1 - Take it one day at a time
2 - Don't think of it as diet but more a weight loss journey
3 - One bad meal, or one bad day will not ruin what you have already accomplished
4 - If you mess up today, tomorrow is a new day
5 - Take it one meal at a time.

Share to us your diet plan.
It's all about eating less calories than you burn. Calories In vs Calories Out. As long as you create a caloric deficit, whether thru eating less or burning more calories thru working out, you will lose the weight.
  • Breakfast: egg white omelet with jimmy dean turkey sausages, peppers and onions 
  • Lunch: Whole wheat thin bread slices with healthy choice turkey breast,lettuce and lactose free cheese and a fruit. 
  • Dinner: 6 oz of a protein with veggies, and a sweet potato or yam. 
  • AM/mid day/PM snacks: peanut butter with apple slices, pure protein shake, yogurt 
Your workouts plan?
I do work out videos at home. Like Zumba, Turbofire, Walking to lose etc.

Do you have a success story to share? Tell us about your weight loss success stories and inspire others to fight obesity. Your weight loss achievement is really something to be proud of!

19 November 2015

Diabetes Awareness: Three Basic Thing You Should Know About Diabetes

3 Lovely Thoughts
Today I received a shocking news that our well known local pastor has passed away. I am so sorry for the family lost, my prayers and thoughts are with them during this time of sorrow. I heard she died from diabetes. I heard from a friend, not actually sure but things for sure is death news, especially caused by illness is always a kind of awakening moment for me.

Things You Should Know About Diabetes

I know everyone will die someday. But if people died because of a preventable disease, it is something to be regret forever. Today's focus is about diabetes. Some cases of diabetes may be directly inherited, but not all. Skinny person can get diabetes despite the myth of thin people don't get the disease. But that is another story.

I am obese and the scary truth is obesity will likely lead to type 2 diabetes. Women have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes if their waist measures 80cm (31.5 inches) or more. Being overweight especially around your waist seems to be significantly risky.

Now my priority to lose weight has change. I always wanted to lose weight to have a younger appearance. Obesity makes people look much older than their real age. But now my main goal is to lose weight so that I can keep up with my two children who are ages 8 and 5 years old. I want to have energy to play with them. I want to lose weight to prevent Diabetes and other obesity related diseases, and so that I can watch my children graduate from college or get married. I want to lose weight not just because I want to fit into that Christmas party dress. But I want to feel more at ease with my body and get my confidence back.

Let's see the general causes of diabetes and how we can reduce the risk or prevent this disease.
Symptom of Diabetes
Symptom of Diabetes

1. Overweight or Obesity
In many studies, waist circumference which reflects abdominal fat accumulation is a strong predictor of type 2 diabetes. Excess fat changes the way that your body responds to insulin, leading to a condition called insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body produces insulin but does not use it effectively. Instead of being absorbed by the cells, glucose builds up in the blood leading to type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.

Prevention: A major clinical study proved that losing modest amounts of weight lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by more than half.

2. Watching too much TV
A study shows that zoning out for hours, often combined with snacking increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Prevention: Reduce sitting. Regular physical activity is a key element when it comes to weight management and prevention of obesity.

3. Poor diet
The relationship between diet and diabetes has been documented more recently. Eating too much of the wrong kinds of foods can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.

Prevention: Change your bad and unhealthy eating habits.
- Replace saturated and trans fats with unsaturated fats, including sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Ensure generous consumption of fruits and vegetables and adequate folic acid intake.
- Consume cereal products in their whole-grain, high-fiber form.
- Limit consumption of sugar and sugar-based beverages.
- Limit excessive caloric intake from any source.
- Limit sodium intake.

How Diabetes Kills You
Diabetes is a silent killer. Type 2 diabetes may have a long term consequences if diabetes is not well-controlled. Some of the effects are including heart attacks, kidney failure, poor circulation in the feet (sometimes requiring amputation), and blindness. At first, the organs only lose blood supply and slowly begin to fail but then these life-threatening events can occur. Diabetes management can be frustrating, so prevention is better than cure.

As you can see, the formula to prevent diabetes is pretty basic. Sleep well. Eat real. Exercise. Repeat.
Long term effect of Type 2 Diabetes
Long term effect of Type 2 Diabetes 

Diabetes should not be taken lightly. Do you have diabetes stories to help or encourage others? Share your story in the comments. Every story matters.

11 November 2015

Weight Loss Struggle: 5 Things to Remind You About Why You Started When In Doubt

2 Lovely Thoughts
I was busy moving to another town these past weeks, and while busy arranging the children new school and adapting to new surrounding, I piling on the pounds. I fall off the No Cheat Challenge wagon.

There are times when sometimes I don't care about my weight anymore. I know am in a bad shape and I know that I must lose the weight but sometimes I just feel like I don't want to do it anymore. I am a SAHM, I spent most of my time at home with my family so I feel less pressure to lose weight. But when I have to attend an event or when I have to go out hanging with old friends, I have this sudden urge to lose weight like I WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT RIGHT NOW because all my clothes are not fit anymore. I looked tired and old. But when I get back to my comfort zone, the motivations to lose weight just fade away like the dew of the morning.

Have you ever felt like this? Not wanting to do the things that you need and want to do? So I took some time to reevaluate myself and my weight loss and health goal. Okay maybe this can restore your faith too, these are 5 things to remind you about why you started when you feel like giving up.

1. Remember that your feeling to give up is just an emotion
There are saying, 'don't promise when you're happy, don't reply when you're angry, and don't decide when you're sad.' You may regret the decision you made in that moment of frustration once the wave has passed. This emotion may be a sign that you need to change your approach to exercise and learn how to improve your diet.

2. Remind yourself of past successes
Not all progress can be seen on the scale. Non scale victories like quitting junk foods, manage to keeps your food portion under control, hitting the gym without fail are small accomplishment that worth celebrating.

3. Admit the things that are not working out 
Life is a series of choices and YOU get to decide on what will move you closer to your goals. Don’t try to rationalize things that are not working in your life. For example, I always wanted to rise early every morning before everyone else and use the opportunity to meditate and exercise. But I am not a morning person, I tend to feel most energetic just before I go to sleep at night. So if exercise in the morning is not working, don't try to make excuse for it. Embrace your inner night owl. Exercise in the late afternoon or early evening whenever you have the best chance of getting it done.

4. Don't believe those weight loss lies you told yourself
We might not notice it, but we all believe lies. The lies that you can't lose weight because you have this fat gene, the lies that telling you that you are too old to lose weight and get fit, that no matter how much you lose, you will eventually gain back all the weight you lost. That's a lie! Identify the lies, express your frustration, let it all go, but do not give too much power to your negative thoughts. Challenge these negative thoughts by finding and stating the truth.

5. Imagine the taste of success
Imagine being able to order clothes from a catalogue without worrying if they will fit. Imagine being able to wear something that doesn't say PLUS on it. You are no longer afraid of looking fat in tagged pictures. You don't have to worry about rashes and sweating anymore. The children are also not embarrassed about the way you looks. Most of all you feel better about yourself. How liberating is that?

It's important to remember why you're doing it in the first place and once you rediscover the spark, you'll find it's easy to start the flame again.

Now it's your turn: Share in the comments how do you overcome loss of motivation when you're feeling a bit hopeless, lost and stuck? 

23 October 2015

10 Items in Your Fridge that Have More Calories Than You Think

2 Lovely Thoughts
I don’t usually count calories, but every once and awhile, I get curious about what’s going into my body. So I decided to look up the calories of an avocado, a previously-indispensable part of my breakfast. And boy was I gobsmacked by the results. An average avocado has upwards of 320 calories!

As I stood in front of my kitchen sink, trying to take in the bad news, I started wondering what other foods might be harboring more than their fair share of calories. Here’s a list of the most sneaky culprits.

1. Greek Yogurt
We at Modernize love our Greek yogurt. It’s got lots of protein, and about half the carbs of typical yogurt. Plus, if you’re like me, you prefer the creamy texture. In its plain form, it’s actually pretty low-cal, running you only about 150 calories.

The problem is that plain Greek yogurt is, well, plain. So you start adding honey, nuts, fruit, and sugar, and then you have a problem. And goodness help you if you add granola—another sneaky calorie goblin. Since it’s so healthy, the best idea is just to shop carefully—get the brands that contain fewer calories, and stay away from the low-fat brands, as more often than not that’s just code for “more sugar.”

Via Allwomenstalk

2. Multigrain and Wheat Breads
The good news is gluten may not be as bad for us as we thought. The bad new is many breads contain refined flours—even those that may seem healthy.

It’s important to look at the bread you buy and make sure it says it is 100 percent whole wheat. Otherwise, you might as well be eating white bread, for all the nutritional benefit you’ll get. Wheat breads that are not made from 100 percent whole wheat flour contain enriched flours, where all the healthy vitamins and nutrients are stripped from the flour during processing.
Via Health Works

3. Your Smoothie Ingredients
You may think you’re being super healthy by glugging down that smoothie every morning—and it’s true, smoothies have lots of vitamins. But they can also pack a calorie punch if you’re not careful!

To solve this, stay away from adding peanut butter, yogurt, or chocolate to your home-made smoothies, and look for lower calorie recipes that will make sure you’re not accidentally guzzling 700 plus calories every morning.
Via Yogurt Frenzy

4. Coconut Milk
If you’re substituting coconut milk for a glass of milk or in your morning coffee, beware! While coconut milk does have health benefits, such as helping your body fight bacteria and infections, with its hefty load of saturated fats, it has a pretty high calorie rate.

So use it in moderation, and check the packaging before you buy for lower calorie servings.
Via Vital Routine

5. Cheese
If you’re on a strict diet, you’re already probably avoiding cheese, but if you are still eating it, you may be surprised to learn that the average portion size is an ounce—about four die-sized cubes. Also, different kinds of cheese have different calorie counts.

Your healthiest option is to stick to mozzarella (about 85 calories per serving), and skip the gruyere (about 120 calories). Via Philadelphia Magazine

6. Prepared Tofu
You may be subbing tofu as a healthy alternative to meats, but if you’re buying it seasoned and prepared from the grocery store, you could be loading yourself up with calories.

If the prepared tofu has been fried, the frying oil adds calories. Also, sugar-laden sauces, like teriyaki, rack up the calories in otherwise healthy salads and stir fries. Via Food.com

7. Your Salad Supplies
By now, you probably know that salad dressing contains a lot of fat, but did you know it’s also hefty in the calories? Plus, some of your most coveted salad ingredients may be adding to the count. Chickpeas, for instance, rack up a whopping 286 calories per cup. Add that to a sugary or fatty salad dressing, and you could be looking at a salad with 700 to 800 calories. Not exactly low-cal.

To solve this, make sure you’re picking an oil-based dressing rather than the creamy kind, and look for products that have oil, vinegar and water as the first three ingredients listed. Also, stay away from low-fat dressings, as they often have more sugar to make up for the lack of fat.
Via Eat&Relish

8. Hummus
Hummus is good for you. Prepared traditionally with olive oil and paired with vegetables, hummus has fewer saturated fats that other snacks.

However, to save money, some commercial brands use other, less healthy oils instead of pure olive oil, which decreases the health benefits and adds on calories. Via Boston Magazine

9. Pepperoni It’s your cheat day, and you’re hankering for pizza. But you still want to be healthy about it. You’re only eating a few pepperonis on your slice, so it can’t be that bad for you, right? Wrong. One small slice of pepperoni can add as many as 30 calories to your meal. Multiply that by four, and you’ve just added over 100 calories to an already calorie-dense meal.
Via Delish

10. Juice
Okay, so it’s a drink, not a food, but you still might be thinking that orange juice is good for you. What about all that vitamin C? Well, although orange juice has lots of vitamins, a cup of it also nets you an extra 112 calories, and has a bunch of carbs, to boot.
Via ABC News

About the Author
Erin Vaughan nurtures her HGTV obsession and passion for all things home decor by writing for Modernize.com She is an aspiring homeowner based in Austin, Texas.

30 September 2015

Mesothelioma Awareness Day: What You Need to Know About Mesothelioma Cancer

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I stumbled upon this sad story on Daily Mail about an art teacher, who died from lung cancer 'after years of pinning pupils' work to asbestos-lined classroom walls'.

Jennifer Barnett, 60 passed away last September, just 14 months after she was diagnosed with mesothelioma - a cancer whose most common cause is asbestos. Her husband, Nigel, told an inquest into her death in January that his wife worked at various schools as an art teacher from 1977 until 1995, often hanging paintings on walls containing asbestos.

What is Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is a rare but aggressive cancer affecting the membrane lining of the lungs and abdomen. It is a fatal disease caused almost exclusively by exposure to airborne asbestos fibers.

Asbestos is commonly used in many construction and consumer products for its versatility, strength, fire resistant and resistance to fire or heat. In 1935, medical researchers made a first probable causal relationship between exposure to asbestos and lung cancer. Seven years later, a member of the National Cancer Institute confirmed asbestos as a cause of lung cancer.

People who work in asbestos mines, asbestos mills and factories, and shipyards that use asbestos, as well as people who manufacture and install asbestos insulation, have an increased risk of mesothelioma. So do people who live with asbestos workers, near asbestos mining areas, near asbestos product factories or near shipyards where use of asbestos has produced large quantities of airborne asbestos fibers.

According to this statistic, approximately 3,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year. Between 1999 and 2010, more than 31,000 people in the U.S. died due to mesothelioma. From 1999 to 2010, the number of people who died each year in the U.S. from mesothelioma as an underlying or contributing cause increased by 10%.

Asbestos in Your Home 
A few years back when we renovated our home, I remember our contractor asked us what material would we like to choose for our bathroom ceiling tiles. We choose ceiling planks over asbestos based ceiling tiles because we find it way cheaper. Little did I know that asbestos exposure can actually lead to serious health risk.

Asbestos containing material is not generally harmful unless it is friable, means that the asbestos is easily crumbled by hand, releasing dust or fibers into the air where they can be inhaled or ingested. For example, if an asbestos ceiling tile is drilled or broken, it may release fibers into the air.

Asbestos is commonly found in:
  • Asbestos cement on garage or shed roofs
  • Asbestos cement on shed and garage wall panels
  • Asbestos cement drain pipes
  • Asbestos cement or insulation board
  • soffit, infill panels and partitions
  • Asbestos cement on the side of bath panels
  • Roof felt or lining panels
  • Roof sheets or tiles
  • Asbestos cement cold water tanks
  • Old ventilation pipes
  • Textured coatings (Artex) and ceiling panels
  • Hot water pipe insulation
  • Panels behind fires or heaters
  • Fire door panels
  • Floor tiles and linoleum products in kitchens and bathrooms
  • Some old toilet seats and cisterns, (usually black)
Examples of ceiling that may contain asbestos cement sheeting in older Malaysia’s homes built in the 1970 and 80′s. But quite often, plywood was used as well. Image from Malaysian Asbestos Removal Guide. 

Asbestos is still not banned globally, and can be found in older buildings, homes, and consumer products such as crayons and children’s toys.

Most Common Mesothelioma Symptoms
The most common symptoms of mesothelioma are:
  • Dry Cough or Wheezing
  • Shortness of Breath (dyspnea)
  • Respiratory Complications or Difficulty Breathing
  • Pain in the Chest or Abdomen
  • Fever
  • Pleural Effusions

Mesothelioma Prevention
The best way to reduce your risk of mesothelioma is to prevent or limit your exposure to asbestos at home, in public buildings, and at work.

At work, protective gear should be worn any time the presence of asbestos is suspected. Any clothes worn while working with asbestos should be left at the site. Wearing asbestos-covered clothes outside the work area could subject others to unwanted exposure.

At home, you should always wear protective gear when doing any serious renovation work on a home built prior to 1980. Do-it-yourself projects can catch non-professionals off guard. Do take every precaution to avoid damaging asbestos-containing material. Keep activities to a minimum in any areas having damaged material that may contain asbestos, including limiting children's access to any materials that may contain asbestos. Don't dust, sweep, or vacuum debris that may contain asbestos. If you cannot avoid walking through the area, have it cleaned with a wet mop or call an asbestos professional if a large area must be cleaned.

Mesothelioma Awareness Day
Mesothelioma Awareness Day was on Saturday, September 26th. I have to admit I am a little late on this game but I would be remiss if I didn't talk about this deadly but preventable cancer. Thank you Cameron Von St. James and his blogger wife and mesothelioma survivor, Heather Von St. James, for tagging me along into this good cause.

Heather was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma 9 years ago. She was unknowingly exposed to asbestos as a young girl by wearing her father's work jacket to do outside chores. Her doctor gave her 15 months to live, but after a highly-invasive surgery that involved the removal of her left lung, Heather is now a survivor! She now works to spread awareness with her husband Cameron.

What can you do to help: 
Help us spread the word and raise awareness of Mesothelioma by donate your social status here or get on Facebook or Twitter and use the hashtags #MesoAwarenessDay to helps raise support and awareness of mesothelioma.

Leave your comments below when you done sharing. I always love to hear feedback from you. Have a good day!

16 September 2015

Lose Faith in Losing Weight? Three Simple Things You Can Do to Restore Belief in Yourself

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So I drove a car last Sunday for the first time in 13 years.
Nervous mom inside
Nervous mom inside: I haven't driven since getting my license because I'm...
My husband came over the weekend. After two night stay, we had to say goodbye. The children complained, why dad could not stay longer. I think I wrote this earlier in my previous post. Due to my husband's job changes we really had no choice but to live 168 miles away from each other and only spend every weekend together until everything being taken care of - the children's school, new house, etc. We sent daddy off to bus terminal and I had to drive alone with the kids afterward.

I was so freaking nervous!

It's an auto car, but I still worried that I might run into someone else's car, or anything bad like that. When I first got my driving licence, I was 20. I wanted to drive my father's car back then but my parents especially mom, the natural worrier did not allow me to. "Wait until you're good at it (driving)", they said. Whhhat? How on earth you can be a better driver without practice? I knew my argument won't change their mind so I rest my case and haven't driven a car ever since.

I know it sound cliché but last Sunday, it was a touching moments for me. My husband was so convinced to let me drive alone and he did not show any sign of worry. He believes in me more than I do to myself. Of course we survived the "trip", the kids and I arrive home safely and I manage to park the car nicely but what actually I really wanted to share here is about believing in yourself. My husband believe in me, why can't I believe in myself. The same applies with weight loss.

Lose Faith in Losing Weight: Simple Things You Can Do to Restore Belief in Yourself

If you hear yourself saying: "I am born to be fat", "I have no willpower", "life is no fun when I'm on a diet", "I am a hopeless failure. I haven't lost a pound these two weeks", guess what… you won’t be able to lose weight. If I choose not to believe in myself, I'd never lay my hands on the steering wheel that day and we will never reach home. If you don't believe in yourself to hit your weight-loss goals, you may see the path to weight loss as a task that you’re afraid of failing. You may not realize this but your feelings and beliefs can affect your action. Your body will going to respond accordingly. Just as you feared, you’ll fall off your diet or avoid exercise and ruining your weight loss effort.

“No matter how many people believe or don’t believe in you,
you must be the ultimate believer in yourself!”
― Pablo

The driving experience with my husband help me to discover three simple things you can do to restore belief in yourself, to be stay focused while you're losing weight or boost your confidence in whatever life goal you might have now. Hope this may help you too.

1. See yourself as having already achieved the goal
I use this FaceinHole app to visualize myself losing weight. As you all know, weight loss is a constant struggle for me. Weight loss affirmation is a great way to send positive messages to your subconscious mind with new thoughts and image so you'll be nicer to yourself.

2. Remind yourself of past successes
Make a list of your past accomplishment. Remember not all progress can be seen on the scale. Feeling healthier, keeps portion under control or you probably able to do more repetitions are an examples of non scale victories that are well worth celebrating.
3. Keep trying until you achieve the results that you know you can achieve
Because weight loss failure is a possibility, we tend to feel quitting or giving up. Failure happens to the best of us. Stop worrying about failure and start to make peace with it by figuring out what doesn't work and what is. Allow each failure to serve as an opportunity to learn about willpower, persistence, self-discipline, and the value of hard work.

Talk it over, take some time to leave your answer in the comments below:

  • What are your biggest goals and dreams?
  • What's stopping you from pursuing them? Why? How can you overcome them?

31 August 2015

Weight Loss Chat: Why You Should Stop Doing Cheat Meals

6 Lovely Thoughts
I haven't been updating this blog for many many weeks. Let's just assume I have had blogging block. I have yet to find my blogging mojo but I think I better just type along to to get over the block and get back to blogging.
I don't remember in which post did I mention that I've gain somewhere around 83 kg and since then I have stop weighing myself. I am afraid of any possible bad news. What if I surpass that 83 kg mark? Going 85? 90? Touch wood. What a shame. I've been trying to lose the baby weight since I gave birth to my second child 5 years ago, and till now I'm still trying! It's encouraging to read those amazing weight loss stories on the net, how fat people started their weight loss journey 1 year ago and have lost weight today, getting fitter than ever. But part of me feels a bit disappointed for my poor progress.

Weight loss failure. Is it because I cheat on my diet too much? I used to believe in cheat days, cheat meals...to keep you sane and happy while dieting. But come to think of it, cheat meals may have gets in my way, way too much that my focus get distracted and a healthier lifestyle gets pushed aside. I read a worth reading article on Authority Nutrition about why you should stop doing cheat meals. Here I'm going to talk about those few points from the article that I can relate to.

Why You Should Stop Doing Cheat Meals

1. Because Cheat Meals Can Feed The Addiction
For some people, moderation is the key to diet success. But not in my case. When I give into food cravings—once I start, I just can't stop. I want more and more, more than I want to. Giving into these cravings will just make the cravings even stronger. The only way to fight cravings and beat the addiction is by avoiding these foods COMPLETELY, period.

2. Because You Might Binge and Eat Way Too Much
My cheat meals often turns into binge eating. Worst of all, one cheat meal become cheat days, and then cheat week. The dark side of cheat meals.

3. Because Cheat Meals Make You Feel Guilty Afterwards
After a binge, I used to feel bad, guilty and sad about the out-of-control eating. Negative emotions can affect your health. The food that might comfort you for a moment, now making you feel guilty, miserable, anxious, depressed or low on self-worth. Such shame leads to more bingeing and sets off a cycle that’s hard to break.

August is officially over. I've been eating so well these past week, not because I want to but because I had to. My husband quit his job and join a new company recently. He is being stationed to this new work place which is miles away from us. Switching school is not easy in the middle of the year, so the kids and I have no option but to patiently wait to reunite with the father only on weekend. And sometimes once in two week when we are short of cash. Since the daddy is not around, we are no longer hang out outside a lot like we used to be. The kids and I have not been eating out lately. I don't even remember the last time I grabbed junk foods. I make sure to always get healthy food in stock for a week because I am too lazy to grocery shopping every two or three days. And even though I am poor at meal planning I had to do it to save money. All this changes resulting in 5 kg weight loss - when I weighed myself last week.
I am feeling hopeful. My SEPTEMBER NO CHEAT CHALLENGE start today. No sodas, alcohol, fried, processed foods! I can't promise myself to be perfect but I'll try my best.

Let's talk:
  • Do you cheat on your diet? Is it OK for you?
  • How do you enjoy your cheat meals?
  • What do you do after cheat on your diet? 

28 July 2015

Weight Loss Gem: Three Way to Stay Positive After a Diet Slip Up

5 Lovely Thoughts
Yesterday was a very bad eating day. But not really.
I cook at home but I overestimate the portion sizes for three. And in order not to waste the food, I had to use my stomach as a trash can. I ate excess calories, I felt bad and tying in guilt.

Have you ever find yourself messing up your diet one day, and so to "comfort"" yourself you go all out binge eating throughout the week. Helplessly eat whatever you want, without restriction. That was me before. When I felt like a failure after making weight loss mistakes, I shamefully give up dieting. But you don't slash all three car tire just because you got one flat, right?

After a series of wake up call to lose weight, I convince myself this time not to make one bad day into one bad week. I may have failed today but that is not the end. So I'll stay positive. If you remember, I blog not a long time ago about How To Pick Yourself After a Setbacks This is one of the lesson: Consider what you did right today instead of focusing on what you did wrong. That's the way to go!

How to Stay Positive After a Diet Slip Up

1. Get Right Back on Track
Don't wait until tomorrow to bounce back. Things happened. People make mistakes and it's normal. But don't dwell on it. Allow yourself move past it and simply return to your original weight loss goals. Don't go overboard and beat yourself up, resolve to eat healthier instead.

2. Remind Yourself That Weight Loss Doesn't Happen Overnight
Neither does weight gain. So don't worry about those 500 or 1000 extra calories you ate. It can easily be made up over the next week or two simply be reducing your daily calorie intake by 100-200 calories per day. In the end, your body isn’t going to be able to tell the difference.

3. Be Kind Towards Yourself 
Focus on the good choice you've made and tap your back for a job well done. I might have ate excess calorie yesterday, but I didn't touch any junk food. I have a good reason to celebrate.

It's okay to reward yourself from time to time. It's one way to keep yourself striving for your goals. Only don't reward yourself with food or something that can sabotage your weight loss effort. Treat yourself with new workout top, bikini, a manicure, massage or a long bubble bath if you have been making significant progress along with your diet.

It's your turn: How do you stay positive when your weight loss effort or something you plan ahead is not going according to plan? Share in the comments. 

22 July 2015

Pray Yourself Thin: A Special Prayer to Conquer Gluttony

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Pray to lose weight. I don't know what's your reaction when you read this but I know some people are skeptical about the idea, some may even laugh or judge. I remember my mama. She said, 'no matter how hard you pray, you'll never lose the weight if you don't watch what you eat.' I know right.

Prayer for Weight Loss

When I said pray to lose weight, I don't mean that you simply pray and expect that your body fat will melt away immediately while you enjoy all the food you like. Prayer is not some sort of mantra which you say your words and WHOOSH!!! you suddenly turn into a slim and slender Miss World. Like magic? No. Prayer is an act of surrender your life fully to God. By praying you are saying to God that you need help. By praying you're admitting that you cannot escape obesity with your own willpower, you admit that you cannot do everything alone. By praying to God and giving up your weight problem and health issues to Him means you're surrendering the burden to God. When you pray to God, don’t pray to Him to make you a size 0. Even though God listens and responds to every prayer, He is not going to do that. Because He never takes away our free choice. He gives us room to grow — space to accomplish things on our own. So when you pray, ask Him for the strength and inspiration to make the right choices.

If you're not Christian but a member of another religion or tradition, or maybe you're atheist or non-religious, no problem! Ask your Creator as you know him (or her) and put whatever faith you have into gear.

I found this beautiful biblical prayer by Germaine Copeland. If you're on the same path as me struggling with overweight or obesity, this is maybe one of the best prayer to help us with weight loss and health challenges.

Victory Over Gluttony

Gracious Heavenly Father, it is written in Your Word that if I confess with my lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in my heart that You have raised Him from the dead, I shall be saved. Father, I am Your child and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord over my spirit, my soul and my body. I make Him Lord over every situation in my life. (Romans 10:9, 10) Therefore, I can do all things through Christ Jesus Who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13) 

Father, I have made a quality decision to give You my appetite. I choose Jesus rather than the indulgence of my flesh. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

I command my body to get in line with Your Word. I eat only as much as is sufficient for me. I eat and am satisfied. (Proverbs 25:16)

When I sit down to eat, I consider what is before me. I am not given to the desire of dainties or deceitful foods. (Proverbs 23:1-3)

Like a boxer, I buffet my body — handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships — and subdue it. I bring my body into subjection to my spirit man — the inward man — the real me. Not all things are helpful — good for me to do, though permissible. I will not become the slave of anything or be brought under its power. (1 Corinthians 9:27 amp)

My body is for the Lord. I dedicate my body — presenting all my members and faculties — as a living sacrifice, holy and well pleasing to You, presenting them as implements of righteousness. (Romans 13:14) I am united to You, Lord, and become one spirit with You. My body is the temple, the very sanctuary of the Holy Spirit Who lives within me, Whom I have received as a gift from You, Father. (1 Corinthians 6:19)

I am not my own. I was bought for a price, made Your own. (1 Corinthians 6:20) So then, I honor You and bring glory to You in my body. Therefore, I always exercise and discipline myself, bringing under authority my carnal affections, bodily appetites and worldly desires. I endeavor in all respects to have a clean conscience, void of offense toward You, Father, and toward men. I keep myself from idols — from anything and everything that would occupy the place in my heart due to You, from any sort of substitute for You that would take first place in my life. (Romans 6:13)

I no longer spend the rest of my natural life living by my human appetites and desires, but I live for what You will! I am on my guard. I refuse to be overburdened and depressed, weighed down with the giddiness and headache and nausea of self-indulgence, drunkenness (on food), worldly worries and cares; (Luke 21:34 amp) for I have been given a spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind. I have discipline and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:7 amp)

Father, I do resist temptation in the name of Jesus. (James 4:7) I strip off and throw aside every encumbrance — unnecessary weight — and this gluttony, which so readily tries to cling to and entangle me. I run with patient endurance and steady persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before me, looking away from all distractions to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith. (Hebrew 12:1-2 amp)

Christ the Messiah will be magnified and get glory and praise in this body of mine and will be boldly exalted in my person. (Philippians 1:20 amp) Thank You, Father, in Jesus’ name! Hallelujah! Amen.

Have you tried incorporate prayer into dieting and weight loss? If you have a testimony that you would like to share, drop your comments below because we would love to hear it!

10 July 2015

A Really Really Embarrassing Moments Get My Diet Back On Track

8 Lovely Thoughts
Have you ever been stuck on the Tomorrow Diet? Well, that what was happened with my Oatmeal Fast plan.

I wanted to blog about my journey doing this oatmeal fast, but I don't want to write anything yet until I pass the critical day 10. I always eating on autopilot. I snack while I'm cooking. I am constantly tasting what I am preparing. I always feel the need to open the fridge and munch on something every time I literally pass it. I repeatedly raids the fridge and cupboards although I'm not hungry. When I find myself binging on large portions, exercise is the last thing on my mind. I can't work any harder than anyone else and I felt that it is impossible to burn all the calories I have eaten. So in my opinion exercise is pointless for me.

I am actually ready to just give up on trying to lose weight when this embarrassing incident happened to me.

I will never forget June 1. Ever. 

It was school holiday and we spent the week at my in-law. He lives in a rural livelihood, where they still use squat and pail flush toilet. Whenever we came to visit I'll make sure to colon cleanse the day before and limit my food intake so that during our stay there I don't have to get up to do heavy business in the toilet. I didn't mean to be rude but I feel a bit uncomfortable using the toilet, and  toilet is also outside the house. I am scared to go to the toilet at night. Not just at my in-law actually, I absolutely hate to poop somewhere that isn't my own home. This is my strongest anxiety about travelling.

Back to the story, I usually very particular with what I ate when I am on the go. I avoid spicy food and make sure not to overeat but I don't know why at that time I ate totally mindlessly like I don't care. And my biggest fear came upon me. We were planning to leave the next day but then I get a sudden urge to go to the toilet to poop. This may sound ridiculous, but I plan to hold it in until tomorrow. Unfortunately...at one point I can't hold it in any longer.

I rushed to the toilet. I took some time to got water from the pipe nearby (I grew up in a culture where water is used after using the toilet) then after that rushed in to fix the toilet's broken key before I can get down to do my business. In the middle of the "chaos" I suddenly heard a loud sound PRAAAK!!! and out of nowhere I found myself already in a sitting position on the floor with one of my leg hanging inside a hole. Took me a few second to process and realized what just happened. I just had a misstep on the toilet and broke it. Imagine human waste down there, my foot may have touched...so disgusting! YUCCKK!

The falling: Sorry if this picture makes you uncomfortable (^_-)v
I knew that when people first heard about it, the most common response is... Fat woman breaks toilet. My sister in-law laugh herself to death when I ran to report her this. I'm shocked, the urge to poop is completely gone. Now with egg on my face for breaking a toilet and being laughed at, I had to face my father in-law to tell him what happened. I actually want to keep it silence but it could be more embarrassing if I do. From that moment, I promise myself, promise to my husband I never want to set my foot in his hometown anymore, not anymore until I lose a significant weight. That's a vow.

I am waiting, finding too much time to lose weight all this while. I know I wanted it but can't set my mind to just do it. I know I have to start somewhere but don't know where to start. I remember about this story I read from a local magazine about this boy who is overweight. He knew he must lose weight but did't have the motivation to start until he diagnose with diabetes. It was a big wake up call for him but he kept procrastinating his plan to lose weight until at one point he had one of his leg amputated due to diabetes. Too sad. I learnt a very important lesson from his story. It's never too late to lose weight but don't wait until it's too late. Don't wait until there's tragedy in your life.

Weight loss quotes: Don't be stuck. If you don't like your situation, change it.

With the belief that it's not too late to start again, I start today and throughout this whole weekend, I will ban sugary drinks. That's for a start. Sound like a small step but I believe promise a huge result. 1 day without sugary drink, how much calorie you can save? Imagine 21 days.

Sometimes you just know that it's time to start a new chapter of your life. How do you start over and have the life you want? 

26 May 2015

Escaping From Obesity: My Oatmeal Fast Experiment

5 Lovely Thoughts
I am honestly feeling a bit down for not losing weight on the Drop10 challenge last month. But it's ok. Like what I've mentioned in my previous post, real success is not having things, but having victory over yourself. The scale didn't move but I am one step ahead for being no longer jeopardized by mindless eating. I'm one step ahead of success for craving healthy foods now instead of junk foods!
Escaping From Obesity: My Oatmeal Fast Experiment

Weight Loss Goals for May
Dear Lord May is almost over and I accomplish nothing this month. Ahhhhh I know procrastination is my greatest enemy! You see I didn't update for weeks because of this --- my diet went offshore. I still watched what I eat, tried to eliminate junk foods but  there are times when I feel like I messed up and my weeks are gone, not consistent with my workout and so. But I don't want to get this month completely wasted. A little bit late for writing a new goal for May but let's just say this is an early weight loss goals for June.

My weight loss goal for the next 40 day is to become OVERWEIGHT. My ultimate weight loss goals is to reach my ideal weight, and to be able to wear jeans again for the first time after 5 years. But I want to go step by step so I'll feel less overwhelmed with the amount of weight I have to lose. I stand at a cute 4'10" and  based on my height my BMI says that I am worryingly obese at 80kg (BMI: 36.5) If your BMI is greater or equal to 30 you are considered obese. I don't want to rush off the weight this time. I aim to ESCAPE OBESITY first and gradually move into overweight category 55 - 65 kg (BMI 25-29.9), and achieve my ideal weight later which in my case the number between 41-54 kg (BMI 18.5-24.9) is the right weight for my height.

The Weight Loss Plan
I will undergo my first 40 day oatmeal fast start yesterday May 25, 2015 through July 3, 2015.

But first, I want to make it clear that I am not a doctor, nurse, or even a nutritionist. This is just me tracking my own weight loss progress, sharing with you my journey, what I'm doing, and my opinions regarding the oatmeal diet. It may be for you or maybe not – you do at your own risk.  It's always wise to consult with your doctor before undertaking any new diet plan.

The oatmeal fast is a partial fast which similar to Daniel fast which abstaining from certain foods for a prolonged period of time. You can eat as much as you like – but only oat. Oatmeal fast is a milder types of fasting. It's easier to do than to water fast or juice fast because you ARE relatively eating something. Oatmeal fast does offer the same benefits of healing and cleansing of the body but the speed at which detox occurs can be slower, but that also means it will be more comfortable.

Sample Meal Plan

Breakfast - A half cup of oatmeal made with a half cup of skim milk, and seasoned with cinnamon or raisins. Take note, if you make your oatmeal with milk instead of water, you’ll add more carbs to your breakfast. Your small 8-tablespoon serving of oatmeal quickly goes from 14 grams of carbohydrates, all the way up to 28 grams of carbs if you mix in milk, honey and berries.

Lunch - Eat a half cup of oatmeal and top with half cup of flavored yogurt to make oatmeals less boring. Yogurt can also help your digestion stay on track.

Dinner - Prepare half cup of oatmeal and make it more colorful by mixing in fresh berries, a banana, dried cranberries, or sliced peaches. Try this oatmeal combinations suggested by Bryn Mooth, SparkPeople Contributor.
  • 2 Tbsp dried cranberries, 1 Tbsp toasted pistachios, 1 tsp sugar (115 calories)
  • 2 Tbsp raisins, 1 Tbsp chopped pecans, 1 tsp sugar (125 calories)
  • 2 Tbsp dried cherries, 1 Tbsp chopped almonds, 1 tsp sugar (115 calories)
  • 1/4 cup blueberries, 1 Tbsp chopped walnuts, dash of cinnamon (70 calories)
  • 1/2 cup diced apple, 2 Tbsp dried cranberries (90 calories)
  • 1/2 cup diced pears and 2 Tbsp dried cherries (100 calories)
  • 1 Tbsp Nutella (chocolate-hazelnut spread), 1/2 a banana, sliced (150 calories)
  • 1 cup diced apple, 2 Tbsp raisins, sprinkle of cinnamon (140 calories)
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, 1 Tbsp maple syrup,1 Tbsp chopped toasted walnuts (140 calories)
  • 1/2 cup diced apple, 1 Tbsp raisins, 1 Tbsp peanut butter (165 calories)
  • 1 Tbsp honey, 2 Tbsp raisins, 1 Tbsp chopped walnuts (175 calories)
  • 1 Tbsp honey, 1 Tbsp peanut butter (160 calories)
  • 1/2 sliced banana, 1 Tbsp peanut butter (145 calories)
  • 1/2 cup sliced peaches, 1.5 tsp. brown sugar, 1 Tbsp sliced almonds, dash of vanilla extract (120 calories)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce, dash of cinnamon (35 Calories)
  • 1/4 cup apple butter, dash of cinnamon and allspice (or pumpkin-pie spice), 1 Tbsp dried cranberries or cherries (170 calories)
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh or frozen strawberries, 1 Tbsp sliced almonds, dash of almond extract (75 calories)
  • 3 Tbsp of your favorite fruit spread or preserves (80 Calories)
  • 1 Tbsp dry-roasted peanuts, 1 Tbsp raisins, 1 Tbsp mini chocolate chips (150 calories)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped dried banana chips, 1 Tbsp dry-roasted peanuts, 1 Tbsp raisins (120 calories)
  • 1 Tbsp dried cranberries, 1 Tbsp raisins, 1 Tbsp chopped pecans (130 calories)
  • Italian oatmeal: 1/3 cup part-skim ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup diced tomatoes (125 calories)
I once said I hate calorie counting but I'm taking my words back. I admit that the most basic way to lose weight is to slash calories so I am going back to basic - calorie counting. Even though on oatmeal fast I can eat as much oat as I want, but for this plan I would limit my calorie to 500 a day (totally sedentary lifestyle). One serving of cooked oatmeal (about 1 cup cooked) contains 150 calories, 3 grams of fat, 27 grams of carbs, around 6 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber.

Benefits of Oatmeal Fast

1. Oatmeal can help lower cholesterol level -  Oats, oat bran, and oatmeal contain a specific type of fiber known as beta-glucan. Since 1963, study after study has proven the beneficial effects of this special fiber on cholesterol levels. Studies show that in individuals with high cholesterol (above 220 mg/dl), consuming just 3 grams of soluble oat fiber per day (an amount found in one bowl of oatmeal) typically lowers total cholesterol by 8-23%. This is highly significant since each 1% drop in serum cholesterol translates to a 2% decrease in the risk of developing heart disease.

2. Oatmeal is a natural appetite suppressants - Not only does it stop cravings, oatmeal is also low in calories and makes you feel full longer thus boost your weight loss effort.

3. Oatmeal is high in fiber and protein - Medical experts often recommend eating fiber to ensure that you have healthy bowel habits and prevent constipation. Fiber can also lower blood sugar, cut cholesterol, and prevent colon cancer.

4. Oatmeal also help stabilize blood glucose - Oatmeal has a pretty high glycemic index, high in soluble fiber and complex carbohydrates which makes them slower to digest meaning it could prevent spikes in your blood-sugar levels. Stabilizing your blood sugar is crucial to increase your metabolism and help you lose weight. Much of the food we eat is converted into blood sugar that circulates in your bloodstream which is used by the body for energy or be stored for future use. Problems occur, however, when we are getting too much glucose, it leads to high blood-sugar levels, which your body can’t break down and stores as fat. On the other hand, eating too little glucose can lead to a low blood sugar level, causing your body to go into “starvation mode” where it burns your lean muscle instead of the fat. 

5. Oatmeal taste good! Oatmeal is not just a breakfast cereal anymore. Oatmeal is quick and easy to prepare, and it makes a perfect meal for lunch and dinner.

Escaping From Obesity: My Oatmeal Fast Experiment
I am extremely so out of shape. I really need to help myself to get healthy! 

Drawbacks of Oatmeal Fast

Along-with benefits, oatmeal fast has several loopholes also. Let’s find out what they are.

1. Being a fad diet, oatmeal fast cannot be called a healthy diet program. Moreover, mostly nutrient dense foods such as vegetables and several other highly nutritious food items are forbidden in the plan.

2. In the beginning, it might be challenging for you to mold you with the fast schedule. You are likely to experience dizziness, nausea, headache etc. in initial days of the program.

3. No matter how favorite the food item is to you, when you are supposed to eat the same foods over and over again, you are likely to despise them.

4. You cannot continue your workout regime while abiding by the plan because you require calories and energy to continue with your workouts. However, oatmeal fast does not bestow you sufficient energy to go along with workouts.

5. Oatmeal fast like all other fad diets provides only short term benefit of weight loss. You will regain weight as you will revert to your old eating habits.

What diet plan have you done in the past? Does it work? How do you set yourself up to weight loss success? 

05 May 2015

Drop 10 Weight Loss Challenge Recap

4 Lovely Thoughts
The April's Drop 10 WEIGHT LOSS challenge is now officially over.
Drop 10 Weight Loss Challenge Recap, Non Scale Victory
I set up this weight loss challenge for myself to push myself to shed pounds, and feel better. I aimed to lose at least 10 lb (5 kg) during the challenge, but... #Drop10 is just NOT happening!

Weight loss - lose at least 10 lbs (5 kg)
Exercise - Follow the Drop 10 workout 3 times per week and cardio at home least 3 times per week
Diet - Daily intermittent fasting. Eating window between 11 am to 6 pm. Try to eliminate carbs especially rice and bread in my diet. Avoid fast food, party foods, junk food, and sweetened beverage.

Weight loss - Weight static at 80 kg.
Exercise - I follow religiously the Drop 10 workout on the first week but I lose the motivation to keep going the following weeks.
Diet - Daily intemittent fasting but sometime the eating window get extended. I ate less of rice and bread. I did not touch party foods except for weekend when I allow myself to take a rest from the plan.

I went from 76 kg to 80 kg after Christmas last year. During this #Drop10 challenge I hope to jump start my weight loss journey but weight loss does not happen as expected.

What did I learn from this #Drop10 challenge?

1. Drop10 failed because I am eating too much
I have already cleaned up my diet big time but I'm still not losing weight, it may be that my calorie intake stay the same. In order to shed pounds your body needs to burn more than you consume. In other word, create calorie deficit.

2. Drop10 failed because I'm not being consistent enough 
No fitness plan in the world works if you don't do it consistently. Focusing more on 'eating healthy foods' is not enough for significant weight loss. One of the biggest success points of people achieving their goals is consistency of training and eating. That being said, you are not necessarily spend more time in the gym to be fit. Your workouts should be intensity-dependent. Key: the harder you work, the shorter your workout time may need to be. Got that!

3. Drop 10 failed because I am eating wrong foods 
I did well in avoiding excess bread, sugar, and anything else that’s processed. Starchy carbohydrates (like potatoes, brown rice, grains) should be eaten on days of strength training but on rest days or when I'm doing light cardio, I should've try to stick to just protein and veggies and not a lot of those starchy foods.
Drop 10 Weight Loss Challenge Recap, Non Scale Victory
Not losing weight: I expect that wearing kaftan top would hide my look-alike-6 month-pregnant belly but it appeared to even convinced  others that I  were pregnant when I were not!

Is It Success or Failure?

On scale yes I'm maybe FAILED. But wait I'm NOT fail altogether. During this Drop10 challenge I've learned to develop this mindful style of eating. I've learned how to curb my cravings and avoid junk food. I'm craving healthy foods now- not junk food any more! I now find that junk food does not taste as good as it used to. To sum up, I consider myself a SUCCESS despite what the scale said.

How do you define success? 
Share your two cents in the comments below! 

Previously on Drop 10 Challenge:

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