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July 21, 2016

Word to the wise

12:11 pm - Posted by Gregg

As someone who used to weigh over 450 pounds, I’m not sure what people are more impressed by… The fact that I managed to take off over 250 pounds of excess weight through diet and exercise (as opposed to fads, pills or surgery) or the fact that I’ve kept the excess weight off for well over a decade.

I must admit that these two facts still manage to “Wow” me as well. Not in an egotistical way, but in a humble one. After all, I know that if I were to forget about these monumental feats and let my guard down, I’d be in trouble. That’s because maintaining my health and weight loss is something I have to constantly work at. But when I share this tidbit with people, sometimes their “Wow” smile takes a sharp turn and becomes a “That’s awful” frown.

I admit that back in the day, before losing all of my excess weight, even I used to visualize losing all of my blubber and then being able to ‘Eat whatever I want, whenever I want.’ And yeah, it was kind of a slap in the face to realize that steamed green beans and broiled chicken were going to remain a part of my life forever n’ ever. This didn’t mean I couldn’t revel in the occasional cup of frozen yogurt or gluttonously dip the occasional sweet potato French fry in a puddle of ketchup. But the key word with these kinds of treats is “Occasional,” as opposed to “Everyday.” And that’s because my everyday requires work to stay lean, mean and healthy (minus the mean – just going for the cliché there – sorry).

I often liken to my staying healthy to riding a bike. I must constantly keep pedaling. And the minute I stop pedaling, I fall down, skin my knees and gain back over 250 pounds. But in today’s society, it seems like people shy away from the word “Work” – especially when realizing the word – and the effort – need to be constantly applied to things in our life that really matter.

The concept of ‘Work’ doesn’t just apply to a healthy weight, of course. One of my dearest friends is madly in love with her husband of over 11 years and has what I consider to be one of the happiest marriages I know of. And yet she’ll be the first to tell anyone that asks that being happy and in love requires a lot of ‘Work.’ Again, people balk – perhaps wondering why something like ‘Love’ should require that particular 4-letter word. And yet when you think about it, it makes all the sense in the world.

Having to work for something doesn’t mean you have to be miserable doing it. It just means you are hopefully committed to whatever it is you’re working toward or working on maintaining. Whether it’s losing weight, maintaining weight, getting healthy, nurturing a relationship, raising children or any number of other activities, ‘Work’ is often the common denominator. And why shouldn’t it be? Aren’t all good things worth working for? Of course, they are. And when we put the required amount of work into things, the outcomes usually turn out better and, just as important, feel better.

Rather than sigh and haunch our shoulders when considering what ‘Work’ will be involved in accomplishing a goal, why not embrace the effort it’s going to take and approach said work with happiness and commitment, knowing that whatever we’re setting our sites on is worth it? Suddenly, ‘Work’ isn’t such a 4-letter word and, instead, is a healthy conceit that we don’t have to groan and moan about.

It’s all about a positive attitude, right?

So even though maintaining my healthy weight (and holding off the 250+ pounds that would love nothing more than to settle back onto my body) takes daily work (365 days a year), I do the work knowing that it’s worth it. I feel better, I look better (yeah, I said it) and I am better – not so much because of the actual goals I’ve accomplished, but because of the work I’ve been willing and remain willing to put forth toward attaining and maintaining these goals. So why not try readjusting your mindset toward this particular 4-letter word? You might be surprised to find out that the concept of work is suddenly one you embrace, rather than begrudge.

Have something you’re currently working toward? I’d love to know about it. Please share below (even if the sharing does require a little work).

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9:37 am - Posted by Gregg

By Lisa Goldberg, Licensed Clinical Nutritionist

In the 15 years that I have been helping my clients lose weight by changing their mindset, habits and behaviors around food and eating, I have observed that more than any other influence, our emotions seem to sabotage our eating behavior.

If emotional eating is something you struggle with and it keeps you on the diet roller-coaster, I want to offer you some strategies that you could start to implement so you could change your behaviors and begin to stop emotional eating. The next time you find yourself wandering into the kitchen or thinking about the fast food drive-thru, try implementing these strategies:

5 Strategies to Stop Emotional Eating

Strategy #1
When you “feel like” you want to eat, ask yourself “ AM I HUNGRY”? If you are not, try to figure out what you are really feeling that is making you want to eat. If the feeling isn’t hunger, make a cup of tea, drink some water or brush your teeth. (Believe it or not, this really works!)

Strategy #2
When you want to eat because of how you feel and not because of hunger, use the acronym H.A.L.T. and decide if you are Hungry, Anxious or Angry, Lonely or Tired. Find another way to soothe those feelings rather than through turning to food. And remember: Food won’t ever fix your feelings — and can often leave you feeling worse after a binge!

Strategy #3
Be sure you are pre-pared and pre-planned for all of your meals and snacks. Always have a healthy snack in your bag or your desk so you do not get too hungry and make bad choices. Have food in your home to prepare healthy meals and take a few minutes to look at the restaurant menu online before you go out to eat so you make the better choice before you get to the table. Planning ahead helps you make good choices and if you fear getting hungry, you are prepared.

Strategy  #4
Always remind yourself what you really want. You think you want the pastry in the moment, but what you really want is to lose weight and feel better about yourself. Also remember WHY you are telling yourself no. If you remember your why it will feel less punishing. Dropping a few pounds and feeling good about yourself will last longer and taste better than the pastry. Trust me on this!

Strategy #5
Each morning when you start your day, spend some time thinking about staying mindful in regard to your choices and what you really want for yourself. Any time you eat, you choose what goes in your mouth. Practice asking yourself “Why would I choose to eat something that makes me feel bad longer than it makes me feel good”? When you make choices that make you feel good, it prevents that voice in your head that says “I’ve blown it so I may as well keep going”.

The fact is, when you learn how to honor your hunger and learn how to get comfortable feeling your feelings, you will feel better both physically and emotionally and set yourself up for long-term success.

About the Guest Blogger:
Lisa Goldberg is a nutritionist with a Masters degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. In addition, her certifications and Licenses include: Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Dietician/Nutritionist licensed by New York State, Certified in Adult Weight Management by the ADA. Lisa is also a personal trainer certified by the American Counsel on Exercise since 1994. She was the Nutritionist at the New York Stock Exchange from 2003-2007 and for 10 years served as the nutritionist to traders on Wall Street. Anyone who would like to discuss their weight loss goals with Lisa can schedule a free 30-minute weight loss consultation with her by clicking here. (Simply let Lisa know you found out about her on the Just Stop! blog.)

A Note from Gregg:
As some of you Just Stoppers might remember, I have been lucky enough to be a guest in nutrition rockstar Lisa Goldberg’s recent weight loss summits not once, but twice. I love Lisa’s total approach to wellness, which not only includes getting to a healthy weight, but also enjoying life and learning to love and appreciate yourself in the process. And because we’ve had such a good time working together and sharing ideas, Lisa has graciously asked me to participate in her upcoming 6 month online group weight loss program (for the body, mind and soul) – during which you can discover how to break old habits and behavior patterns that keep you from losing weight once and for all. Holistic Health Coach Nicole Benson will also be joining us to add her knowledge and expertise.

Any Just Stopper who wants to find out more information (without any obligation), can click here to schedule a free 30-minute Discovery Session with Lisa herself to find out more about the upcoming 6 month online group weight loss program.

 

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12:36 pm - Posted by Gregg

If we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a million times… Working out not only helps us burn calories, lose weight, stay fit, look good and even feel better (thanks to the endorphins), but a recent study reveals that people with early Alzheimer’s disease who had better fitness ratings had less atrophy in key brain areas associated with memory. This according to research first reported at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease (AICD).

This study was the first time that MRI Brain Imaging was used to reveal the connection between cardio respiratory fitness and Alzheimer’s-related brain changes in the hippocampus (the part of the brain that’s important for memory and other functions). The hippocampus is reported to be one of the first areas of the brain to be hindered upon the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

In addition to the study mentioned above, ICAD also reported that home-based exercise programs lasting for 12-months actually helped with balance, help reduce falls and even help maintain independence among people challenged by dementia.

William Thies, PhD, Vice President of Medical and Scientific Relations for the Alzheimer’s Association, was quoted as saying “These studies reinforce the need for increased awareness and education about the importance of living a brain-healthy lifestyle, including staying physically active. Growing evidence shows that physical exercise does not have to be strenuous or require a major time commitment. It is most effective when done regularly, and in combination with a brain-healthy diet, mental activity and social interaction.”

If an exercise routine can bring benefits like these to people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, imagine what exercise can do for you – no matter what your current physical level is. You can always start somewhere.

Check with your doctor and devise an exercise routine that’s right for you, your age, your abilities – but don’t put it off any longer. Our bodies are made up of trillions of cells that live for a few weeks or months, then die and are then replaced by new cells. The scientific and medical communities continue to prove through research that an active lifestyle can have an amazing affect on the body in regard to cell growth and renewal – as well as overall health.

Sure, finding time everyday to workout can prove to be difficult given our way-too-busy lifestyles. But when you consider the alternative, we really don’t have much choice other than to make the time to workout.

And a gym isn’t necessarily required. Summer’s here — making this a great time of year to get outdoors. Try going for a walk around the block this afternoon or even during your lunch break. Just one block. And tomorrow? Make it two blocks. And add on from there. Your health – now and in the future – depend on it.

Click to these links for helpful information to build upon
or add to your own exercise program:

10 fitness tips to help you get started with a workout program — and stick with it

Walk Off Weight

Ten Tips for Fitness Walking

Walking for Health

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12:54 pm - Posted by Gregg

Are you ready to give yourself what you need to change how you eat, why you eat and re-wire your brain around food so you can lose your excess weight once and for all? To make self-care a priority? To be your best self? Would you love to learn how to lose weight and transform your life with the support of a community of people who share your goals and dreams?

As some of you Just Stoppers might remember, I have been lucky enough to be a guest in nutrition rockstar Lisa Goldberg’s recent weight loss summits not once, but twice. I love Lisa’s total approach to wellness, which not only includes getting to a healthy weight, but also enjoying life and learning to love and appreciate yourself in the process. And because we’ve had such a good time working together and sharing ideas, Lisa has graciously asked me to participate in her upcoming 6 month online group weight loss program (for the body, mind and soul) – during which you can discover how to break old habits and behavior patterns that keep you from losing weight once and for all. Holistic Health Coach Nicole Benson will also be joining us to add her knowledge and expertise.

Any Just Stopper who wants to find out more information (without any obligation), can click here to schedule a free 30-minute Discovery Session with Lisa herself to find out more about the upcoming 6 month online group weight loss program.

Some of the topics that will be covered:
➢ Low-Glycemic Impact Eating
➢ Improving Metabolism
➢ Self-Care
➢ Planning & Dining Out
➢ Managing Stress
➢ Overcoming Obstacles
➢ Emotional Freedom Technique for Weight Loss
➢ And many, many more

If you are ready to learn the best way to feed your body without feeling deprived, stop eating your feelings and stop the diet madness once and for all, then this could be the program for you. Enrollment is open now for this exclusive group, which begins in July! Anyone reading this who wants to find out more information (without any obligation), can click here to schedule a free 30-minute Discovery Session with Lisa herself to find out more about the upcoming 6 month online group weight loss program.

P.S. Even if you’re not sure if this program is something you want to commit to, I encourage you to take advantage of the free 30-minute personal phone call with Lisa. She is so warm and friendly – and sure to offer some valuable tips for whatever you might be facing in your journey to total health. She really is amazing. And if you do talk to her, please tell her Gregg says “Hi.”

Photo Credit: CFS

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12:07 pm - Posted by Gregg

Nutrition guru Joy Bauer has always been someone who inspires me – especially when it comes to throwing a dinner party featuring a main course that’s as delicious as it is healthy. And lucky for us Just Stoppers, Joy has graciously allowed me to feature another of her delicious recipes from her new best-seller, From Junk Food to Joy Food, here. This Grilled Chicken Parm recipe is as drool-worthy as it looks. Plus, it’s super easy to make (for yourself, for family or for guests). And bonus! We don’t have to “go off” of our diets or healthy eating plans to make and enjoy it. Joy also uses all natural ingredients in the recipe, which is always a big plus.

From Junk Food to Joy Food is loaded with these kinds of recipe makeovers — the kind that take everyday favorites (usually loaded with calories, salt, etc.) and swaps them out for brand new, healthier versions of the recipes (each of which guarantees the same amount of flavor and satisfaction — but without the food hangover). And no, this is not a paid endorsement. Although I’d happily bribe Joy for being kind enough to let me share this recipe with all of you.

For more information on From Junk Food to Joy Foodclick here. And for more recipes and tips from Joy herself, you can click to her website. In the meantime, if you try the recipe below, please be sure to invite me over for dinner! (That’s not too much to ask, is it?)

JOY BAUER’S GRILLED CHICKEN PARM
Junk Food version (before): 1,000 calories
Joy Food version (after): 310 calories

Ingredients:
Four 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ cup marinara sauce, homemade or store-bought
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
4 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
Dried oregano (optional)
Red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:
Grill the chicken breasts or sauté them over medium heat in a skillet coated with nonstick oil spray for 5 to 7 minutes per side, or until they are no longer pink in the center.

Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat the foil with nonstick oil spray.

Transfer the chicken breasts to the prepared baking sheet. Top each chicken breast with 2 tablespoons marinara sauce, ¼ cup mozzarella cheese, 1 teaspoon Parmesan cheese, and a pinch of oregano and red pepper flakes, if desired. Place the chicken under the broiler until the cheese is hot and bubbly (or microwave it for 30 to 60 seconds to melt the cheese).

(Makes 4 servings.)

Photo Credit: Joy Bauer

 

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