31 March 2015

The 7 Dumbest Weight Loss Lies We Believe

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I hadn't post on this blog over 2 weeks. The children and I spent the school holiday at my parents. I hadn't update because when I'm not at home, I find it quite tricky to blog and get things done just by using my smartphone. Not only blogging. When I'm not at home, I'm prone to cheat on my diet.
The 7 Dumbest Weight Loss Lies We Believe

Who else having trouble coping with diet hurdles? Share in the comments the challenges you are facing when you try to lose weight and how do you overcome?

I believe that one of the many reason why me and most people who try to lose weight keep stuck where there are, is because they've been making excuse after excuse about why they can't shed the weight. When I was a young working mom, I blame peer pressure for not losing weight. My office mate often brought food to work. It's awkward to be someone who turn down food when everyone around you is eating. I always feel it's consider rude to not eating food people offer you, isn't it? After I had my second child, I quit my job and becoming a stay at home mom. I gain freedom from peer pressure but as a stay-at-home mom the kitchen is now fully accessible 24/7 to me and here's another lame excuse for not losing weight. That's a lie!

We all believe lies. We might not notice it. But it creeps into our minds and lives in such a sneaky way. Let's find out 7 weight loss lies we tend to believe and start doing something about it.

1. I can't lose weight because I have the fat genes

Genetics may play a role, but they're not entirely to blame. Jessica Alba famously quoted as saying she was terrified about getting fat because she got fat genes from both sides of her family. She grew up in a "heavily overweight" family. So she started make her own meals, cooking with fresh ingredients and lean protein since the age of 12 to beat the fat genes.

Genes account for only 20% of your health. It is always your own decision that will shape your destiny. According to a research, lifestyle especially diet can switch on or off the genes that control weight. It will be very hard to change the inherited eating habits, but I believe it's possible. For example, we are not born with the knowledge of finance. But we learned the skills and practice it and made into fixed habits - habits that can be changed.

2. My friends and family believe I can't lose weight. I am born to be fat.

Not everyone will understand your journey. That’s fine. It’s not their journey to make sense of. It’s yours. The key is PATIENT. Losing weight may be a long journey. Accept it. You are not gaining 50 pounds overnight, so don't expect weight loss to happen quickly. Work hard in silence, let success make the noise.

3. It'm too old to lose weight and get to the size I want.

Age is irrelevant. You are never too late, never too old to lose weight and feel great. Life goals and accomplishment do not have an age limit.

4. I cannot afford to get healthy. Healthy food is expensive.

It doesn't have to be. One way to save money on healthy food: buy seasonal produce from farmers’ markets. A study finds that grains, vegetables, fruit and dairy foods are actually cost less than foods high in saturated fat, added sugars or salt if you compare the price by weight or portion size.

5. I will gain back all the weight I lost.

You are predicting the worst future. When you do this, you will develop anxiety which will trigger your cravings for salty, sweet and high-fat foods. Margaret Thatcher was spot on about this: "Watch your thoughts for they become words. Watch your words for they become actions. Watch your actions for they become habits. Watch your habits for they become your character. And watch your character for it becomes your destiny. What we think, we become." 

When we start to repeat the same negative thoughts in our heads over and over, we will eventually start to believe it. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones and you'll start having positive results. Here are 60 examples of positive self-talk.

6. Party season all year round, I can't stick to a diet.

Easter, Memorial Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Labor day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. There are always excuses to hurt ourselves. The path to weight loss does not have to be bland, boring, and lonely. You don't need to lock yourself away in a secluded ivory tower for the sake of weight loss. It just takes a little forethought.

I still need to improve myself in this area - planning my meal ahead. It is always wise to expect what to be serve at the party you're attending and decide in advance if you want to stay on course with your weight-loss efforts or if you want to treat yourself to some extras at the party.

7. I am too busy to exercise

The 7 Dumbest Weight Loss Lies We Believe

Lie lie lie.We all have the same 24 hours in the day. It's how you manage your time that matters. Some cool tips from fitness expert and the author of  Shortcuts to Big Weight Loss (Rodale), Chris Freytag: Treat your workout like you would any other appointment—it has to be planned, specific, written down, and communicated to your family. "Don't just say, 'I'm going to exercise today. Be clear about what you're actually going to do, meet a friend, or sign up for a class.”

To break free of  lies you've been telling yourself, you must first identify and own the lies rather than suppress or deny it. Whenever you feel out of control, bored, or sad, identify the negative thoughts. Journaling is the best way to pinpoint them. Challenge these negative thoughts by finding and stating the truth.

Do you told yourself a similar lie? What's the biggest (weight loss) lie you tell yourself? How did you overcome the lie? 
Share in the comments. 

11 March 2015

Non Scale Victory – Self Control

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The struggle is real. I don't want to entertain the negative thought. But reality is it's hard to resist the temptation of snack food. You want to munch all day long. When you walking past the fridge, you automatically grab a snack. You find it comfortable eating your lunch while watching TV, which leads to more snacking.
Non Scale Victory – Self Control

Weight Loss Plan
I set a food curfew for myself as part of the weight loss challenge this month. No carbs after 2 pm. Carbs mean breads, pastas, and rice. The idea of restricting carbohydrates after 2pm is one way to encourage weight loss. Carbohydrates can be fattening if you eat too much. But I still allowed myself to consume complex carbs like veggies and fruit, just need to remember portion control.

Non Scale Victory

I am quite satisfied with my personal progress so far. I said "no more food" (simple carbs) after 2pm, but I still have messed up here and there. Only this time, I don't allow myself to slipped too far into it. Our eating habits are on autopilot. When it happened to me - I messed up my diet, I used to take it easy saying "I just blew it out today. I'll start fresh my diet tomorrow." The next day I accidentally took the same route again and I promised myself to start all over again tomorrow. I trapped in this cycle of failure for so long. This time around after a diet slip-up, I determined to pick myself back up and move forward. It's about damage control and I'm not allowing myself to make it worse! I'd have a dialogue with myself, 'are you sure you want to have that a-minute-on-your-lips-forever-on-your-hips treat?' 'Fat lasts longer than flavor, remember?'  I used to argue with myself, 'Just one bite. Just one bite won't hurt. But I try to convince myself that lack of discipline is the key of weight loss failure.

I have also stopped midnight snacking. Go to bed early is one foolproof weight loss solution. Or just drink water. Food cravings could also be a sign of thirst. I am proud of my Non-scale victory so far and hopefully can make this a good week!

Weight Loss Progress

I'm not going to weigh myself this week, not next week. 1 or 2 pound loss doesn't excite me. I don't want that scale discourage me or distract my focus. So I decided my weigh-in day will be the end of the month. Scary!!! The last time I step on a scale, I am a waddling penguin at 80kg! That was how much I weigh during my second pregnancy. It's time to get real about weight loss.

Now you're next: What is your Non-scale Victory this week? As always share in the comments.

10 March 2015

No-Sugar Weight Loss Plan: Where Sugar Is Hiding In Your Diet?

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I never put sugar in my drink. I used to drink my coffee with loads of creamer. No sugar. I am not very fond of sugar and sweet things. I love salty foods.
No-Sugar Weight Loss Plan: Where Sugar Is Hiding In Your Diet?

Just because you do not add sugar to your beverages, doesn't mean you are off the hook. Many people consider their daily intake of sugar to be low because most of the time they don’t add sugar to their food or beverages. But majority of the public does not realize that there is hidden sugar in our food. Small amount of sugar is acceptable but when eaten in excess can harm our body.

20 Harmful Effects of Sugar

  1. Sugar can lead to obesity in both children and adult. 
  2. Sugar can cause tooth decay. 
  3. Sugar can cause learning disorders in school children. 
  4. Sugar can cause premature aging. 
  5. Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis. 
  6. Sugar contributes to saliva acidity. 
  7. Sugar can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity, a stepping stone towards metabolic syndrome and diabetes. 
  8. Sugar can lower the amount of Vitamin E in the blood. 
  9. Sugar can decrease the amount of growth hormones in the body. 
  10. Sugar can increase cholesterol.
  11. Sugar can increase the size of the liver by making the liver cells divide.
  12. Sugar can cause fatigue, moodiness, nervousness, and depression. 
  13. Sugar can make many essential nutrients less available to cells. 
  14. Sugar can increase uric acid in blood. 
  15. Sugar can increase the amount of liver fat. 
  16. Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney.
  17. Sugar can suppress your immune system. 
  18. Sugar is highly addictive.  
  19. Sugar can give you cancer. 
  20. Sugar doesn't fill you up and instead encourages you to eat more.

Foods and Beverages with Hidden Sugars 

Weight Loss: Names for sugar you may not know
Disguise: Names for sugar that you may not know
1. Soda - Everyone knows that soda is packed with sugar. A typical 20oz (600ml) soda contains 16 packet of sugar. Drinking one soda each day can shorten a white blood cell's telomere, which is often linked to human lifespan.

2. Refined or processed foods - White foods like white flour, white rice, and white pasta act like sugar in the body. They spike blood sugar but we don't think them as a sugar. We should substitute with better options like brown, or as they call it, whole-grain rice instead of white rice.

3. Packaged and processed foods - It is in bread, ketchup, salad dressing, pasta sauce, many labeled whole grain cereals, flavored or fruited yogurt (especially those with clusters), ready-to-eat foods (i.e. frozen meals, canned foods or pre-packaged snacks) BBQ, marinades and more. These foods are full of sugar but hidden by all sorts of name.

Next, I'd like to hear from you. Do you prefer sweet or salty? How do you tame your sweet tooth? Share in the comments.

09 March 2015

Being Fat Sucks! 3 Critical "Focus" Strategy for Losing Weight

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I seeks fresh start to lose weight as the month of March begins. I made a vow to myself that I wanted to be healthy, change my destructive habits and exercise more. I don't even reach Day 10 when I already have a cheat day. This is so frustrating! I needed to stay focused to reach my weight loss goal. Daniel Plan has a new twist on faith and motivation.
Being Fat Sucks! 3 Critical "Focus" Strategy for Losing Weight
I'm currently reading The Daniel Plan by Rick Warren. The Daniel diet is basically a partial fast that is based on vegan diet. I post about Foods To Eat and Food To Avoid on Daniel Fast when I attempted the Daniel fast two years ago. Two years passed and still struggling. (-_-;) But that is just the basic idea about Daniel fast. The Daniel Plan book provide more comprehensive weight loss plan that covers not only about food and fitness but also faith and focus, friends, encourage you to deepen your relationship with God whilst you losing weight by making healthy choices each and every day.

Weight Loss Diet: The Daniel Plan by Rick Warren
The Daniel Plan by Rick Warren
Maintaining focus is very crucial in everything you do, weight loss included. I really encouraged by part of the book which discuss about focus, so I thought I'd share it here.

3 Critical "Focus" Strategy for Losing Weight 

1. Attitude Toward Failure
When you make a mistake just make a U-turn. When you make a wrong turn while driving a car the GPS device in your car doesn't call you an idiot. It just tells you where to make the next legal U-turn. Likewise if you pay attention to your mistakes, like failed to plan, skimping on veggies, or lack of sleep, they can be your best teachers. How do you learn to become a success? By learning what doesn't work and not doing it anymore.

Failure can also be motivational. Failure builds your character when you respond to it correctly. "What didn't work here, and what can I change?"

Failure can even reaffirm your faith. Admitting your hopelessness to God can be a statement of faith. King David said, "I believed in you, so I said, 'I am deeply troubled, LORD.'In my anxiety I cried out to you." (Psalm 116:10-11 NLT) No matter how you feel or what circumstances you are in, focus on God unchanging nature - His goodness, His loving kindness, know that He has a good plan for your life.

2. Creating SMART Goals
Just like prayer and spending time alone with God, goal setting is a spiritual discipline. Goals can be an act of stewardship where you say, "God, I give you back the life you've given to me, and I want to go in your direction."

Specific goals usually answers five "W" questions:
  • What: What do I want to accomplish? To lose 20 pounds? 30 pounds? Or 50 pounds? 
  • Why: Specific reasons, purposes, or benefits of accomplishing the goal. For example to get truly healthy, or have better energy. 
  • Who: Who is involved? Example, me, but it will also involve those closest to me. 
  • Where: Identify a location. For example, at home. 
  • Which: Identify the requirements and constrains. For example, food, itness, focus, faith, and friends. 
Energy that is focused has enormous power as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:26, "Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.

3. Mind Renewal
If you think you are a failure, even though you have had many successes, you are more likely to give up easily. Just by thinking that you have no control, you given yourself permission to eat anything you want at anytime you want. The next time you hear yourself thinking, I have no control, write that down and ask yourself, "Is it true?" If you think, I have fat genes, to blame your weight loss issues, write that down and ask yourself, "Is that thought really true? Is this really doesn't have anything to do with how much you eat?"

When you stop believing these lies and replace that negative thought with accurate thinking and God's truth and promises, your response to life events will shift and you will feel more hopeful on truths such as Jeremiah 29:11: "'For I know the plans I have for you,'declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"

Other Books Related to Daniel Plan 

1. The Daniel Plan Study Guide: 40 Days to a Healthier Life
2. The Daniel Plan Cookbook: Healthy Eating for Life
3. Daniel Plan Journal: 40 Days to a Healthier Life (The Daniel Plan)

 3 Critical "Focus" Strategy for Losing Weight

 It's hard to stay focused when your goal is so far away. How do you keep your (career, weight loss, fitness, financial, etc) goals on track? Share your thought and experience in the comments.

03 March 2015

Turmeric Tea And Weight Loss: What's The Connection?

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I first heard about turmeric tea for weight loss from my mom when I was younger. I mean a lot younger.(^_-) Turmeric is known to be one of the most magical healing herbs but back then I have no specific idea how turmeric can help with weight loss. Neither did mom.(^_^;) I guess. She got the tips from the other housewives in our neighborhood. And I bet she simply decided to give the tips a try. Later when I became a mom myself for the first time, I discover that drinking turmeric tea after delivery for 3 days in row can help relieve the pressure of a swollen uterus after childbirth.

Turmeric Tea for Weight Loss

Turmeric root contain an active compound called curcumin, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. How turmeric can help in weight loss? In my experience, drinking turmeric tea can suppresses your appetite thus help reduce your cravings for food. According to Slism site, curcumin in turmeric helps your body block fat.

How turmeric helps you block fat? Curcumin inhibits the formation of fatty tissue by blocking the mechanism used to form it. It does this by supressing your blood vessels used to form fat tissue. Turmeric can also be used in the treatment of diabetes by helping to moderate insulin levels.

 Turmeric Tea Recipe

Mine version is simple. You'll need:
  • 1 inches turmeric
  • 1 inches ginger
  • Tamarind paste 
  • 1 glass of hot water

You can grate turmeric with a microplane or smash with a pestle and mortar
1. Wash the turmeric and ginger root of any dirt before you peel it. You don't need to peel the turmeric and ginger but I prefer to. Crush the ginger and turmeric root using mortar and pestle. Be warned that turmeric will stain everything it touches yellow! That's why I don't use blender. But don't worry your fingers turn yellow with turmeric because it washes off skin pretty easily with any soap.

Fresh turmeric will stains surfaces and fingers.
Wear gloves while grating it if you don't want yellow fingertips.
2. Bring water to a boil. Pour hot water into a glass then put the crushed turmeric and ginger root with tamarind paste into it. You can use lemon or honey in place of tamarind paste. Stir slowly.

You can use turmeric powder if you can't find raw turmeric root. Only make sure it organic. I love to use fresh turmeric root each time I brew my tea because it provide a richer flavor.

3. Let the water sit for a few minutes.

4. Lastly, strain the mixture and enjoy your tea.

Turmeric tea taste bitter but the ginger and tamarind paste counter the bitter taste.
Please ignore my messy hair. Bad hair day.  >^_^<
You can make a big batch of turmeric tea each weekend and freeze it to enjoy throughout the week but I prefer warm over cold tea. Another tips I read from other blogs, limit your intake of turmeric tea to 2-3 times per week to prevent accidental overdose.

10 Other Amazing Health Benefit of Turmeric

1. Help prevent (and perhaps even treat) cancer
2. Useful in preventing and treating alzheimer’s disease
3. Incredible benefits against depression
4. Relieves arthritis
5. Immunity booster - turmeric contains a substance known as lipopolysaccharide, which helps stimulate the body’s immune system.
6. Heals wounds - sprinkle turmeric powder on the affected area to speed up the healing process.
7. pimples treatment - use as a face mask. All you need is turmeric and water. Apply this paste to the pimple-affected area and leave it for some time.
8. Remove stretch marks. Turmeric mixed with yogurt is good to remove stretch marks.
9. Help you to get rid of soar throat, cough, cold. Applied turmeric paste on forehead helps reduce fever.
10. Delay ageing and fight age-related chronic diseases.

Word of caution

I was thinking now about incorporating turmeric tea into my diet to boost weight loss but mom warned me that daily intake could cause pre-menopause. There's a case, someone she knew who used to drink turmeric tea every day finding it tough to conceive later.

Turmeric when combined with strong medications can also cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Turmeric has known for its liver-protective effects however it can cause significant liver damage if used in excess high doses. Long-term use of turmeric may also cause indigestion, nausea, or diarrhea. According to National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), people with gallbladder disease should avoid using turmeric as a dietary supplement, as it may worsen the condition.

My verdict? Too much of a good thing can be bad. Take running as example. Running is a good form of healthy activity. But too much running can be a serious threat to your health. So, moderation is the key here.

Have you ever made turmeric tea or tea with other herbs and spices? 
Leave your comments below, I can't wait to know 
how you incorporate turmeric into your everyday life

02 March 2015

Weight Loss Journey: Top 5 Convincing Reasons You Need a Fresh Start

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Weight Loss Journey: Top 5 Convincing Reasons You Need a Fresh Start
March is here! Are you focusing on maintaining your momentum or is it a fresh start for you this month?

Fresh start for me. Lately, I've been feeling stuck in the weight loss game plan, feeling like nothing is going right, feeling un-fullfilled, feeling trapped, joyless, bored, feeling like I have no clue what am I doing — look like a clear sign that I may need a fresh start.

Read: What To Do When Life Doesn't Seem To Be Working For You

Perhaps you don't need to lose any more weight. Whatever your case may be, new full-time corporate jobs, changing profession, or start ventures it's never too late to start all over and to be what you might have been. The idea of fresh start or starting over doesn't always sound exciting. But sometimes you just need to hit the reset button. If you need any convincing reasons to start fresh this month, here are a few sign that you may want to look into.

1.Nothing makes you feel motivated anymore 

You know you should workout, but you don't feel like doing anything. You dread going to work. You feel trapped in a life of routines, sameness and monotony. You know you need a change when nothing excites you anymore.

2. Your mood swings are terrible

You struggling to find passion. You are most likely don't really care about anything.

3. Full of lofty action plan, but no action 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? You were supposed to have your dream job by now. How much weight you want to lose? 20lbs? 30lbs? You are nowhere near to your weight loss goal. You mess up your diet so bad. What's wrong with you? Your plan is totally ruined.

4. You're tempted to make excuses 

You blame your parent for being obese. You blame the fast food and junk food industries. You want a new job but you're afraid to leave because you don't want to let your boss down. You blame other people for your unhappiness.

5. You’re always late and tend to procrastinate a lot

Lateness and procrastination is often a big sign of chaos or disconnection from the day. It’s a sign you’re not as committed as you could be.

Before signing out, don't forget to drop your comments: 
What's your goal for this March? Are you keeping up your momentum or is it a fresh start for you?  

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