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A Guide to Hunger

November 18th, 2013 Yolanda Posted in Health and Wellness No Comments »

How to know when you’re hungry and avoid overeating.

With the holidays just around the corner, many of us have already started planning elaborate meals and baking delicious treats for our friends and family.  But, for those trying to lose a few pounds, this time of year can pose a real challenge.  I mean, who can resist all that yummy, coma-inducing food?  It’s pretty darn hard, BUT, if you follow these simple guidelines to help you figure out if you’re eating because you’re truly hungry, or just because the food is there, you can save yourself thousands of calories.

Ok, I’m going to really break this down for you because even with consistent use of SENSA, many of us do not know when we are truly hungry, so I’m going to give you a scenario and a suggested solution for each level of hunger.  If you follow these suggestions and sprinkle SENSA, you might even lose a pound or two over the holidays! (It’s totally possible)

 

Level 1: Cravings

You just ate breakfast, but you can’t stop thinking about those tasty cookies you baked the other day.  The cookie is invading your thoughts and the more you tell yourself no, the more you want it.

  •  Hunger Tip: If you’re thinking about eating something specific, then you’re probably not actually hungry.  When you pass up an apple for the cookie, you’re simply having a craving, because when you’re actually hungry, you will eat whatever is in front of you.  These cravings are usually the result of stress, boredom, an emotional response, and even thirst, not hunger.  Ask yourself, “Am I really hungry right now?” Once you realize you aren’t actually hungry; wait out your craving, which should pass within 15 minutes or so.  In the meantime, keep telling yourself that succumbing is not worth it.  Remember, every time you resist emotional eating, you are building up will-power and confidence in yourself.  We all know how we feel when we give in…guilty, like we failed ourselves.   Another neat trick from SENSA Founder Dr. Alan Hirsch, MD, is to trick your brain into thinking it’s getting what it wants with a sweet or savory-scented candle.  Since about 90% of taste is actually smell, if you continually smell something that smells like chocolate or another food, your brain interprets it as taste….cool right?

 

Level 2: Hungry

So, you resisted the urge to snack, but now its lunch time and you feel like you HAVE to eat.  Everyone has different hunger signals, but many times, it comes in the form of headaches, low-energy, or Hanger (Hungry + Anger).

  • Hunger Tip: Time to load up on energizing food that will also keep you feeling satisfied for a few hours.  Fresh veggies and lean proteins, with a small serving of low-glycemic carbs will do the trick.  Fill up on the veggies, which are packed with essential vitamins and nutrients that help your body run efficiently, which gives you energy for the rest of your day. If you’re still feeling hungry, wait 20 minutes before eating more, as it usually takes that long for your body to recognize it’s full.   If you are still hungry, instead of going back for a plate of food, grab a handful of pistachios in the shell.  A 2011 study published in Appetite found that people consumed fewer calories (86 to be exact) and were more satiated when they had to remove pistachios from their shells.  Keep a pile of those shells as you snack as a visual reminder to how much you’re eating.  Mandarin oranges are also a great sweet snack that’s about 50 calories, easy to peel, and loaded with stress-fighting Vitamin C.

 

Level 3: Ravenous

You skipped lunch so you can finish running errands and prepping for your elaborate family meal, but now, you feel you could eat somebody’s arm, you’re so hungry.  Your attitude is bad, you have a headache, and you can’t concentrate.

  • Hunger Tip:  This is a crucial time when your energy is too low to hunt down healthy food and you’re looking for a quick fix that’s probably loaded with sugar or caffeine.  But, just because this is your natural response, it doesn’t mean you have to give into it.  When you realize you’re on a dangerous path leading to an over consumption of fat and sugar, take a moment and center yourself.  Stop what you’re doing, take a deep breath, and think about the immediate consequences of gorging on a box of cookies or eating a whole bag of chips, like stomach ache or guilty feelings.  Then, find yourself something on the somewhat healthy side to eat.  This way, you’re not running on autopilot, you are consciously and actively making healthy decisions, which make you feel empowered, boosts confidence, and help you reach your long-term goals.

 

Level 4: Satisfied

This is what you’re aiming for…satisfaction.  I know figuring out when you’re satisfied isn’t easy, but with practice, you will become more mindful of the fact that you’re NOT thinking about or wanting food.

  • Hunger Tip:  According to Dr. Hirsch, “Hot food has a greater odor and therefore better flavor”.  It also helps you to eat slower which will help you better realize when you’re full.  It’s not necessary to finish your plate to feel satisfied either.  Many people think that the last bite will be the best.  Well, here’s another Dr. Hirsch random fact for you.  “So much of the sensory experience of the food is in that first bite.  Your sense of smell drops down with each subsequent bite. If you’re eating a steak and someone swaps it out for horse meat halfway through, you might not notice the difference.”  After 20 minutes or when you start to feel satisfied, put your fork down, and stop thinking about your meal.  You’ll be surprised at how much less you start to eat.

 

Level 5: Stuffed

You have to loosen your belt or unbuckle your pants and you feel like you want to fall into a turkey induced sleep…YOU. ARE. STUFFED!  Put the fork down and follow these next steps…

  • Hunger Tip: This is when you know you have overeaten.   Stay awake and upright.  Going to sleep right after a heavy meal slows digestion so sit up, stand up, or go for a walk to help your body flush out your meal.  Rubbing your belly gently in clockwise circles relaxes your abdomen and aids in digestion too.  Just remember, you have full control over food, not the other way around.  You can resist overeating if you truly want to.  During the holidays, instead of putting every single piece of food that’s being served on your dinner plate, use a salad plate and load it full of veggies and lean meat, but only a little of the usually starchy, fatty sides.

I hope these guidelines help you get control over your eating.   It’s easy to gain one or two pounds over the holidays but it’s much harder to take those pounds off.  With practice and will-power, you will figure out a healthy way to fight your urges.  And SENSA makes it so much easier!  Make sure you sprinkle SENSA on every meal and snack to help you overcome the urge to overeat even more.  I know you can do it!  Good luck!

 

Yolanda

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Never Say These Things to a Person on a Diet

July 9th, 2013 Guest Blogger Posted in Health and Wellness, Main No Comments »

Never Say These Things to a Person on a Diet

(h/t avantard, Flickr)

Support is a major key to successful weight loss. But most of the time it can feel like our whole world is against us.

Huffington Post asked their Facebook Community and Twitter followers to share what they wished other people would stop saying to them while they’re trying to lose the extra weight. Check out these gems:

  • “You should stop eating carbs.” – Gozde Ulkuer
  • “You don’t really want to eat that, do you?” – Rosemary Schmidt
  • “’Don’t get TOO skinny! I’m maintaining/gaining muscle weight, but the general population just doesn’t get this.” – Mona Martinez
  • “My biggest complaint about people saying things is: I don’t look that big. Hello, I’m 100 pounds over weight. Stop your lying to me.” – Randy Bitters
  • “I hate when you have told your friends you’re trying to lose weight, yet they still offer you more food or unhealthy foods.” – Liv Del Carmen CastilloVaro
  • “’Do you exercise?’ BTW, yes I do!” – Arti Rajvanshi

Do any of these sound familiar? What about you? Share what you wish people would stop telling you about your weight loss efforts in the comments below.

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What’s the Best Way to Lose More Weight? Money + Competition.

April 3rd, 2013 Weight Loss News Posted in Health and Wellness No Comments »

(h/t 401(K) 2013, Flickr)

(h/t 401(K) 2013, Flickr)

Researchers studying weight-loss in employees wanted to find out which group would lose the most weight over six months and keep it off for at least three months:

  1. Employees losing weight alone for a $100 cash reward every month (if they met or exceeded the goal)
  2. Employees losing weight as a team for a  stake in a $500 cash reward every month (A team member could earn more if teammates didn’t meet their personal goal)
  3. Employees losing weight alone with no reward

After six months:

  1. Employees losing weight alone for the cash reward lost approximately 4 pounds
  2. Employees losing weight as a team for cash lost approximately 10.5 pounds
  3. Employees losing weight alone with no reward lost just over 1 pound

So the employees losing as a team lost over NINE times as much as the solo group with no reward and more than TWICE as much as the solo group with reward.

And even after three months, the team group maintained more weight loss than the other two groups.

The study is published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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My Breast Cancer Story

October 9th, 2012 Guest Blogger Posted in Health and Wellness, Main 54 Comments »

Did you know that breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women in the United States alone? According to the American Cancer Society almost 40,000 women will die from breast cancer this year. This makes it the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer.

We hear all these terrifying stats, but to be honest, but unless it actually affects you or someone you love, it sort of goes in one ear and out the other. At least it did for me. Then my mother was diagnosed. Nobody in my family has had breast cancer and it took me by total surprise. At the time of her diagnosis my mother was in South Carolina on vacation with my father, grandfather and aunt. It took every ounce of willpower to stay in California, and wait for her return. I just wanted to be with her. But my brother, who is far less emotional than I, cautioned me to save my time off for when she was back and undergoing treatment. He reasoned she was already surrounded by family, and would need us more upon her return.

Things moved at a glacial pace. It seemed to take forever to get to all the different doctors who’s opinions and referrals were required to move forward with treatment. My brother argued that she take a natural approach to treatment utilizing a plant based diet as described in the documentary Forks over Knives.  But my mom felt more comfortable going for a more traditional approach and I wanted to support whatever decision she made. Eventually my mother elected to have a single mastectomy followed by 6 weeks of daily radiation treatment. Fortunately, she did not have to undergo chemotherapy after her surgery, and hopefully she never will. Today she is over halfway done with her radiation and while it has some yucky side effects (her skin is blistering and she’s very tired) she’s happy to be cancer free and alive.

This experience taught me a lot. Frankly it taught be things I should already know at 34. Life is very precious and the moments we have with our loved ones are irreplaceable. Thinking about losing my mom put everything in perspective, and it’s an attitude I’m trying to maintain even though she’s doing well now. My mom handled the entire situation with such dignity and grace. I can only hope that if I’m ever faced with a situation like this that I’ll be half as strong as her.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month we’ll be donating $1 for every new “like” on Facebook. So get to clicking and help us fight the battle against breast cancer.  You can also win a “Keep Calm and Sprinkle On” 24 oz tumbler and Pink Breast Cancer Shaker Case.  Just tell us how SENSA is helping you make healthier choices in the comments below.  We’ll randomly choose 9 winners to receive the cup and Pink Breast Cancer Shaker Case on Monday Oct. 15th at 4pm, PST.

Take care and happy sprinkling!

Miss T

 

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My Resolution is to Not Make a Resolution!

January 3rd, 2012 Yolanda Posted in Health and Wellness, Main No Comments »

Hi Sprinklers!

2012?!  I remember when everyone was worried about “The Millenium”  and here it is 12 years later.  So much has changed, yet one thing remains the same.  Millions of people nationwide will be making resolutions to lose weight once and for all and 80%  or more will fail…again.    How many times have you made this same resolution?  Do you wonder why every year you fail to fulfill this resolution?  Well Jonah Lehrer of the Wall Street Journal thinks it’s because “willpower, like a bicep, can only exert itself for so long before it gives out; it’s an extremely limited mental resource.”  I think the main culprit is the “ALL OR NOTHING” attitude that’s associated with these types of resolutions.  There’s so much pressure surrounding it and even though we usually don’t set a time-limit, mentally there is one, which is why mid-February, gym membership declines and people start returning to habits that led them to making that resolution in the first place.  So, as someone that can identify with this vicious resolution cycle, I thought I would share my plans to transform myself into the woman I want to be.

1. I ditched making ANY resolutions.  I decided to set goals, many of which have no time limit.  One of my goals for 2012 is to make drinking water a habit by logging the amount of water I drink on MySENSA.  I have also made it a goal to stop eating fast food.  These are small changes that I know will lead to better health over all!

2. Speaking of small changes, I have also made it a goal to pace myself.  It’s the small things that are sustainable that will help you reach your goals, so no more jumping in with both feet.  I’m going to ease into my new lifestyle one toe at a time to make sure the changes stick permanently.  So instead of going to the gym 4 times a week and eating salad everyday, I’m going to commit to eating healthier and once that’s second nature, I will start working out.

3. I had to start being realistic about my results.  Yes, I am sprinkling SENSA and I am eating healthier, but that doesn’t mean I am going to lose 15 pounds in one month.  We want the weight gone tomorrow, but that’ s not going to happen, no matter what you’re using.  And if it does, beware, it may come back to bite you in the…you get the idea.   I would like to lose 30 pounds and I’m giving myself 6-7 months to do so.  And I know, with SENSA, and my new outlook on the subject, I can do it!

I wish you all the best in 2012!  I hope everyone who sets out to make healthier goals for the year achieves every one of them. Don’t forget to sprinkle and please keep me posted on your progress!!

 

Yolanda

 

 

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Good Fats vs. Bad Fats: What’s the Difference?

August 17th, 2011 Guest Blogger Posted in Health and Wellness, Main No Comments »

One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to lose weight is buying everything fat-free, when actually about 30 percent of our daily calories should come from fat.

Most “fat-free” foods are over-processed and contain little nutritional value (or taste). You’d probably be surprised to find out that your body burns more calories digesting whole foods over processed foods.

Think about it: Eating an ear of corn is a lot more satisfying than eating a bowl of cornflakes. You eat a bowl of cornflakes and you’re hungry again 10 minutes later.

The truth is your body needs fat to function properly.

For instance, we’re always told how we should avoid saturated fat, but when eaten in moderation (about 10% of our daily calories), saturated fat actually increases your good cholesterol and decreases your risk for heart disease.

So what fats can we eat? What are good fats and bad fats? There are lots of healthy fats out there that add flavor to your meals and may even take inches off your waistline!

The key is to determine which fats you need and how much you need so your body can benefit from them.

Avocados can lower cholesterol.

Source: Flickr user Murtada al Mousawy

What are Good Fats?

Let’s talk about the benefits of good fats first. Good fats have anti-inflammatory and anti-aging effects that assist your body in self-maintenance and repair. You’ve probably heard of Omega-3 – maybe you take a vitamin for it.

Foods with good fats include:

  • Saltwater fish, such as salmon, herring and tuna.
  • Olive oil and canola oil are a great substitute for those creamy processed salad dressings
  • Half an avocado per day gives you just the right amount of monounsaturated fats
  • Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts – almost any unsalted nut – have heart-healthy fats

What are Bad Fats?

As you can probably guess, bad fats are a lot easier to come across than good fats. A lot of restaurants and grocery stores sell food that is packed with saturated fat and trans fat. I mentioned earlier that saturated fat is only beneficial in small doses. If more than 10% of your daily calories comes from saturated fat, your cholesterol – not to mention your weight – will skyrocket.

But where does trans fat come from and how can you spot it?

Trans fat comes from partially hydrogenated oils which can withstand repeated heating without breaking down. Restaurants like using trans fat oils because they’re cheaper and don’t spoil as easily. Those drive-thru fries may taste good, but they’re attacking your blood vessels.

Fast food fries are loaded with trans fat.

Source: Flickr user fritish

Foods with bad fats include:

  • Any commercially fried food and most drive-thru restaurants in general (Click here for a list of the 88 Unhealthiest Fast Food Menu Items)
  • Packaged foods that market themselves as “low-fat.” The manufacturers replace the flavor from fat and load them with refined carbs and sugars that spike insulin and cause weight gain. Instead, you should indulge in a full-fat version of your favorite treat as an occasional reward.
  • Foods high in saturated fat, which include red meats and dairy. You can still eat them, just don’t eat too much!

Eating in moderation is essential for losing weight. No matter how healthy something is, too much of it will go straight to your hips. If you notice yourself going back for seconds, you should order a free trial of SENSA – you’ll feel full off smaller portions.

Remember, if you really want to lose weight, you need a healthy dose of fat!

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