Holidays are a time for family, friends and — let’s not kid ourselves — food. I love to go away for a few days and eat things I normally don’t in amounts that would shock a Sumo wrestler. Hence, it may be the season to be jolly, but it’s also a time when it’s all too easy to pack on the pounds along with the cheer.
Although new research suggests that fewer people are dieting in America (yay!), many of us are still puzzled when it comes to figuring out how to achieve optimal health, longevity and vitality. As a culture we’ve been trained to look at what we put in our mouths as the main event — the food, the calories, the protein, the fat — but we’re not taught or encouraged to look at what comes out of our bodies.
We want to turn this perspective around with a bold (and obvious) statement: Everyone poops. Yep, everyone sits on the porcelain throne. You already know this, so let’s get right to the reason we’re bringing it up in the first place.
Waste = weight.
The number oneweight loss secret that nobody really talks about is the fact that the extra poop sitting around in your colon is one of the main causes of excess weight. When you learn to rid your body of extra waste on a regular basis, weight loss and maintenance become effortless.
How do you lose weight? Substitute diet drinks for sugary drinks. Eat low-fat foods. Just eat less of the bad foods — it’s all about the calories. We are told, “Just have more willpower.”
These ideas are false. They are food- and diet-industry propaganda that makes and keeps us fat and sick. Lies by the food industry combined with bad government policy based on food industry lobbying are the major causes of our obesity and diabetes epidemic.
Now, more than 35 percent of Americans are obese, and almost 70 percent are overweight. This is not an accident but the result of careful marketing and money in politics.
We are told it is all about making better choices. If we all took more personal responsibility, we could stop this obesity and diabetes epidemic. We have been told there are no good or bad foods, that the key to weight loss is moderation. And, of course, if we all just exercised more, all of us would lose weight. These ideas hold us hostage.
by The FIRM nutrition expert Sara Ryba, R.D., C.D.N.
I remember my first sleepover as a young child, when my friend’s mom said we could have a midnight snack. It was so exciting to be able to eat junk food so late at night!
Of course, my opportunities to gorge like that were few and far between. But regular late-night noshing plagues many of us and can cause weight problems if you don’t control it.
Do you find that you consume too many calories after dinner? Are you continually returning to the kitchen for “one more thing”? Do you wake up in the morning annoyed that you snacked too much the night before? If so, you are not alone. Studies have suggested that people feel less inhibited to overdo the snacks after dark.
So, let’s do something about it! Nighttime eating is my weight-loss clients’ single most common obstacle. But it is a challenge worth taking on, as conquering this habit will open the door to long-lasting, successful weight loss.
When the editorial team at Gaiam got invited to go on a little field trip to try a new exercise class called QiDANCE, we were intrigued, excited and a little nervous. Truth be told, even with all the yoga we do, we aren’t the most coordinated bunch. But we didn’t let that stop us from lacing up our boogie shoes and giving it a try!
A while back, I took a teaching sabbatical and worked out of my house for a few months. Now, don’t get me wrong, I loved having the flexibility of working from home, but I had a small problem.
I would be working diligently at my computer, tap-tap-tapping the keyboard, when, all of a sudden, my fingers would stop. Then my legs would stand me up and walk me into the kitchen and, before I even realized what was happening, my hand would be force-feeding chips into my open mouth. It was as if my body was possessed by aliens!
I love walking — outside, on a treadmill, whatever — but I have a little problem commonly known as lack of motivation. On days when it’s cold outside, or drizzly, or appears to be either of the above, I am easily dissuaded from working out … and easily persuaded to sleep the extra half hour instead. But I hate the “no cookie for you today” feeling of regret that not working out brings.
Lucky for me (and you!), GaiamTV.com has a ton of great walking workout videos. They’re perfect for working out at home — no weather restrictions, no too-loud-for-the-downstairs-neighbors cardio; just fun routines for burning calories.
My favorites combine upper-body strengthening with the lower-body workout. If they have gorgeous scenery, so much the better! These videos eliminate my excuses and, in time, my jeans size. Here are my top five favorites from Gaiam TV. I’m confident you’ll find at least one in here that will tempt you to pick up the pace.
I am a Libra. Although I don’t read my horoscope, I do identify with those scales that represent my sign. Balance, balance and more balance. It is a daily challenge to keep those scales from tipping over. One side seems overloaded with the things we do for others and the outside world, like family, career, social life and housework. The other side of the scale, including exercise and nutrition, usually threatens to let go at any time.
I think the absolute foundation of a balanced life is good self-care, coupled with good self-awareness. That said … how are you doing? How is your eating? Do you get everything you need from the foods you eat? Hopefully you are eating healthy, life-affirming foods every 3-4 hours. How about exercise? Are you finding a little time to work out and get stronger? If you don’t know how you are doing, let’s take some time to figure it out.
Still, I find that once I’ve gotten into the habit of driving someplace — my daughter’s preschool, the Trader Joe’s on the other side of the highway, the garden store — I tend to keep on driving there, deeming it too far to reach on foot. The funny thing is, once I decide to test walking to a destination once, I realize not only how doable it is but also how satisfying running that errand becomes.
So now I’m on a quest of sorts: to debunk the myth that certain places in my everyday life are too far to reach on foot.