POSTS WITH TAG: diets

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    Some people steer clear of dairy or gluten for fear of inflammation or an upset stomach. Others make conscious choices to abstain from animal products because of their personal convictions about the environment or long-term health concerns. But for me, I've consciously (and even subconsciously!) stuck to a laundry list of "no-no" foods that have absolutely nothing to do with an allergy and everything to do with fear.

    Growing up with a "weight problem" and always on a diet or "weight loss plan," from pediatrician-recommended shakes to calorie-counting and portion control, I internalized knowledge every weight watcher generally recognizes as true about certain foods: No matter which plan you're following (or if you're not even on a particular plan at all), there are foods that are off the table.

    For instance, if you have any hope at all of slimming down, you pretty much have no business eating the following ...

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    Ahh, the scale. You’ve had a great week of getting your workouts done, and eating healthy, and you step on the scale with excitement building -- how much will you have lost? Three pounds? Maybe four?

    Cue horror music as you look down and see the same number you remember from last week or, even worse, higher. But the reverse is true, too, when you’ve ... um ... "forgotten" a couple of workouts, and then the kids wanted to make cookies, and don’t forget the pizza. When you check your weight on the scale, certain that you’ve gained, doesn’t it feel amazing to see a surprise loss? 

    Why? Why are we tying our mood, and our self-worth, to a number on a scale? "Duh, because I’m trying to lose weight!" I hear you say. I’m here to tell you: The best way to lose weight safely and maintain your weight loss, is to forget about the scale. Get rid of it, seriously. Here’s why ...

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    I've always been a relatively thin person, dropping the baby weight after each of my four kids pretty quickly, but turning 38 hit me hard right in my midsection. And the back of my arms.

    And oh, hey there thighs!

    I've always been pretty active, maintaining a very healthy (and low-carb) diet, working out always daily, and generally remembering to stretch after I'm done. And if I fall off the wagon, I'm usually back into my pants with a little extra exercise and calorie watching.

    But just lately, I've noticed a distinct change in my body, mostly that my pants are tight in weird places. Turns out, I've been making these five exercise and diet mistakes that are probably not helping my cause. Are you doing them too?

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    Diet soda is a tricky little beast. I'm sure you've read stories about the artificial sweeteners they contain that can actually make you GAIN weight rather than losing it. Don't go chucking your favorite diet sodas just yet, though! Because a new study put a whole new spin on the ol' diet rigmarole. Turns out, if you suddenly start eating well, and exercising, cutting out your diet soda can actually hinder your weight-loss process.

    This was music to my ears since I am a rabid diet soda-swiller. Not because I'm perpetually watching my figure (unless you count watching it to see how awesome it is), but just because I like the taste. This new study made some pretty stellar points in favor of keeping your favorite diet sodas well-stocked. Three cheers for soda! It is the greatest! Hip, hip hooray!

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    If you're struggling to stop overeating and lose weight, here's one outside-the-box trick you could try -- and no, I'm not pushing an Internet hoax on you. A new book claims you can use "tapping" for weight loss. The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss and Body Confidence by Jessica Ortner harnesses the power of what's called Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT, to get out of the habit of eating when you're stressed out. All you have to do! Is tap yourself in various places around your face and body while you repeat a mantra like, "Even though I feel anxious about wearing a swimsuit I love and accept myself."

    Yeah. And if you believe that, I have some "vitamins" I could sell you that will give you superpowers. EFT sets off my BS detector like crazy, but I think it could actually work. Here's why.

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    There are always going to be mean people in the world who think it's within their right to say inappropriate things to you -- whether you're overweight, underweight, or the perfect weight. Cearra Swetman was out to dinner a year ago when she had the misfortune of running into a big jerk who felt compelled to remark that the Hooters chain restaurant T-shirt she was wearing should not be worn on a girl her size. Cearra weighed almost 250 pounds at the time. Instead of telling him to mind his own beeswax, she used his comment as inspiration to drop a remarkable 130 pounds. Good for her! But what she did after losing all of that weight makes me a little sad.

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    Whoa. Acupuncture can help you lose weight? I was skeptical when I heard this. Don't get me wrong, I've got an open mind generally speaking. While at the end of the day, I will do whatever my Western-medicine-practicing doctor tells me to do and take the prescriptions she writes out, if someone tells me carrying an amethyst in my pocket will make me feel calm -- why not try it?

    But I wasn't sold on the idea of having needles stuck all over my body, even if it meant losing a few pounds. Back in September I started a new way of eating and exercising (less of one, more of the other) and was slowly beginning to get into shape. After years of yo-yo dieting, I felt like I'd finally broken through to the world of healthy living. When I hit a plateau in my diet (something totally common), that's when a friend mentioned acupuncture for weight loss to me. 

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    Have you heard of Freelee the Banana Girl? No, she isn't some performer in a circus sideshow (though with a name like that, your confusion is understandable). Freelee is a self-proclaimed 'diet guru' on YouTube. She preaches the benefits of a raw, vegan, fruit diet as the key to losing weight and staying fit. So far that just sounds hard to do, but not insane, right? 

    That's until you get to the part where you learn pretty much all this woman eats is fruit. She stays 'raw until 4' eating meals of only uncooked fruit. After 4 she'll have a cooked meal ... or more fruit ... or potatoes. Thrilling. 

    Keep in mind, it's not like she's only eating a couple pieces of the stuff either. That's where it gets even more extreme. Freelee talks about how she can eat as many as 51 bananas in one sitting, or over 7 pounds of potatoes

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    I have a little confession to make, since I'm (mostly) all about keeping it real up in here. You see, I really, really love food. Like, ridiculously love food. You know the saying, "some people eat to live and others live to eat"? I don't even understand that first group. People that say they're so busy they forgot to eat? They might as well be speaking Greek. Mmmm, Greek yogurt. Wait, what?

    Anyway, not only do I love to eat, but I'm a stress eater. This one time in college, a friend said she always got really skinny after a breakup, because she couldn't eat when she was sad. I was all -- but, but, but ... ice cream!

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    A Venice, California ice cream shop called Kippy's! is making headlines all over the country for going well beyond the usual "skinny" offerings for your sweet tooth. Instead, they're actually claiming their product can be used to do a four-day ice cream "cleanse." Yep, just eat five pints of their non-dairy, sugar-free "plant-based, raw coconut cream" dessert for four straight days, do their daily yoga exercises, and cough up $240 to detox and lose weight. Aaaaand we are all collectively rolling our eyes.

    Or are we?

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