Cut Artificial Sweeteners Out Of Your Diet

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

It might sound like a difficult feat if you are watching your calorie intake, but new research from Purdue University shows that consumption of artificial sweeteners creates a physiological reaction that makes you GAIN weight instead of lose it.

Honestly, when I saw this article from Times Online, I didn’t believe it.

I wanted to see the research. I wanted to see the data and that article didn’t provide it. Fortunately, I found the data from Purdue University itself:

This research was published in Behavioral Neuroscience 2008, Vol. 122, No. 1, 161–173. I worked in a research lab for a few years, so I can make out what happened in this experiment. The most telling of all is the graph of Cumulative Body Weight Gain, but it was too confusing if you haven’t slogged through the experiment method to find out which group is which. I did the slogging for you.

  • Non-Predictive – Rats fed yogurt with artificial sweetener half the time and unsweetened the other half. “Rats in the sweet nonpredictive group received plain, unsweetened yogurt for 3 of the 6 days each week that yogurt was provided and received yogurt sweetened with 0.3% saccharin for the other 3 days that week.”

  • Predictive – Rats fed yogurt with sugar half the time and unsweetened the other half. “Rats in the sweet predictive group received plain, unsweetened yogurt (approx. 0.6 kcal/g) for 3 of the 6 days each week that yogurt was provided and received yogurt sweetened with 20% glucose (wt/wt; approx. 1.2 kcal/g) for the other 3 days that week.”

  • Predictive Control – Rats fed only sugar sweetened yogurt. “The sweet predictive control group, was included to control for the total number of calories from the yogurt supplement per week (approximately 104 kcal per week). This group received only yogurt sweetened with 20% glucose (wt/wt; approx. 1.2 kcal/g) on the 3 days per week that rats in the sweet nonpredictive group received sweetened yogurt (i.e., this group did not receive any unsweetened yogurt).”

The rats that gained the most weight were the rats in the Non-Predictive group (artificial sweetener). Even though their calorie intake was the same as the same as the Predictive Control group and LESS than the Predictive group, they were significantly fatter.

Cumulative Body Weight Gain

What they found was that the artificial sweetener makes your body less able to regulate energy. Have you ever wondered how you could be eating so little, exercising so much and STILL gaining weight? This could be the problem.

Unfortunately, they have no data on whether you can reset your body to regulate energy correctly. Since it took about two to five weeks for the effect to take place in the rats, I’m hoping that a month and a half off artificial sweeteners might reset my body.

For years, Atkins recommended that you stay away from artificial sweeteners. He figured that the taste of sweetness caused you to crave sugars. Other nutritionists recommended staying away from artificial sweetened foods as well. Their logic was that you might overeat other foods because you were “good” and drank a diet soda. They had good instincts, if not good reasons.

After seeing this research, I’m cutting artificially sweetened foods out of my diet completely. Medical research may not know if I’m permanently damaged from drinking Diet Coke almost my whole life, but I’m going to do the best I can to fix it from here.


HairMixer.com: See A New Self

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Hair Mixer can let you try out a new body.If you have ever wondered what you would look like with a thin and svelte body, here is a cool email application that can let you.

This is meant to try out new hairstyles, but you can upload any photo and put your face on it. I gave it a test spin and found it to be a pretty cool application.

All you have to do is upload two photos and mark where you want to replace the face.

Upload the two photos to Hairmixer and it does the rest.

It won’t look like a Photoshop artist did it, but it’s good enough to give you an idea of what you would look like when you reach goal weight.

Via: EPIC-FU – episodes – web attack, ghostface killah, vampire weekend


Leonard Nimoy’s The Full Body Project

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

The Full Body Project: Photographs by Leonard Nimoy at Amazon.comSerious props go out to Leonard Nimoy for his book, The Full Body Project: Photographs by Leonard Nimoy. He is promoting a healthier vision of what makes a woman sexy. It’s a photography book that focuses on the larger sized woman.

He even had the cajones to go onto the Colbert Report and defend his book:

I love how he explains the importance of such a book to Stephen Colbert:

“There really has been a standard established and the standard is presented to us by the women who model the clothes. The issue is this: the average woman in this country weighs 25% more than those models do and they will never attain that body shape, so they have been sold on the idea that they don’t look right. You have been told that there is something wrong with you and you have to buy our pills, or buy our diet, or buy our surgery, or whatever…”

Stephen Colbert said that he wouldn’t call Mr. Nimoy a pornographer and then goes ahead and calls him a pornographer. He defended himself beautifully:

“This book would be appropriate on the coffee table of every home in the United States, particularly where there are young ladies involved and I’ll tell you why. Because young girls are standing in front of mirrors as a result of what they’ve been sold as being the standard and say, ‘I hate my body.'”

Thanks, Leonard Nimoy, for showing us that you can be fat and sexy.

Via: February 14 Colbert Report: Leonard Nimoy (Video) | TV Crunch


Ubisoft Announces My Weight Loss Coach

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

My Weight Loss Coach from UbisoftUbisoft creates fun learning games for the Nintendo DS, such as My Word Coach, My Spanish Coach and My French Coach. Now, they are turning their eye to health and fitness with My Weight Loss Coach.

My Weight Loss Coach features include:

  • Personal Profiles: Create your personal profile and evaluate your improvement potential, then set up your objectives following the recommendations based on your personal profile.

  • Input Reward System: Log your progress on a daily or weekly basis, tracking your physical activity and nutrition habits.Eat more fruits…

  • The Pedometer: A peripheral device that comes with the game and can be easily updated through your DS, it’s the best way to control your daily physical effort, challenge yourself and balance your food intake.

  • Real-Life Landmark Checkpoints: As a reward, all the physical activities you achieve and good nutrition habits you acquire are converted into measurable distances based on real examples.

To see more screen shots, click on over to DS Fanboy’s gallery:

Sadly, we have to wait until summer to get a closer look at this game. Maybe by then we’ll be to our goal weight.

Via: Littlest, Yellowest, Differentest – DS Fit: Ubisoft announces My Weight Loss Coach


Another Healthy Valentine’s Day

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Over the last couple of years, I’ve written a few entries about Valentine’s Day that I feel still apply today. You can see them here:

Record Crop from FlickrValentine’s Day isn’t about the candy or the fancy dinner. It’s about the greeting cards. Focus on the greeting cards and forget about everything else. Here are some fun tips for creating your own Valentines Cards:

Instead of thinking about who is giving you attention, focus on giving cards to all the special people in your life. This holiday is about telling those you love that you love them. Do it today!


Slim Coffee Pay $923,910 in FTC Fines

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

All of the clues were there. They said you could lose weight without having to change your diet and exercise. Sure, they said that their coffee had been tested in clinical trials, but they were still promising something for nothing. But when you watch the commercial, you can understand how appealing it might have sounded:

In January, the FTC cracked down on the sellers of Slim Coffee and the company agreed to pay $923,910 in fines.

Under the proposed settlement, Diet Coffee, Inc. and its principals, David Stocknoff and David Attarian, based in New York City, are prohibited from claiming that any product enables users to lose substantial weight without reducing caloric intake or increasing physical activity. The order also prohibits them from representing that any product or service causes weight loss, causes users to lose any specified amount of weight, reduces or eliminates fat, reduces or curbs appetite, or increases metabolism, or making any other health-related benefit or efficacy representation unless it is true, not misleading, and substantiated by reliable scientific evidence. In addition, the defendants are prohibited from misrepresenting the existence, contents, validity, results, conclusions, or interpretations of any test or study concerning such products.

Next time you see a commercial for a product that promises that they will help you lose weight, remember Slim Coffee and keep your money in your pocket.

Via: Diet Blog: Slim Coffee: Another Weight Loss Scam


New Year’s Resolutions: Week 7

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Every week, I’ll be giving you some direction for how to actually KEEP your New Year’s Resolution to lose weight or get more active. If you’re short on time, scroll down to the end and read “The Short Version” to get your weekly tips.

If you’re like a lot of people, you have given up on your New Year’s Resolutions, but are desperately trying to find SOMETHING that works. Somehow, you’ve found Starling Fitness. If this describes you, go back to New Year’s Resolutions: Week 1 and start from there.

If you have been faithfully following along since Week 1, this week is very much like last week.

Cut Your Intake By 100 Calories A Day

Your goal is to get to The USDA’s MyPyramid recommended daily calorie intake. If you complete their little questionaire, it will give you an idea of how many calories you should be eating every day. If you are still above that amount, then cut your intake by 100 calories a day.

If you are eating the right amount of calories every day, then keep it up. If you are eating LESS than the recommended amount, then increase your calories by adding healthy food. Never eat less than the USDA’s recommended daily calorie intake for your height and gender.

Save enough calories to eat two teaspoons of healthy oil each day

We talked last week about eating healthy oils. Increase your daily intake to two teaspoons. The USDA has a list of healthy oils that they recommend. My preferences are olive oil, flaxseed oil and sunflower oil. I don’t recommend just eating oil like medicine. Find a way to substitute healthy oils for other fats that you might use. How do I get my oils in? I cook with them and use them on salads. Sometimes I mix flaxseed oil with my cereal because I like the flavor of it.

Lean Proteins and Whole Grains

This week, manage your protein and “starches.” Choose lean meats with as little fat as possible. Choose whole grain breads and cereals over “white” bread. Choosing lean protein limits your fat intake and choosing whole grains increases your fiber intake. Both of these are supposed to be healthy. Once again, head over to the USDA’s MyPyramid to see the amounts recommended each day.

Plan One Non-Food Related Present Every Day

The longer you follow this program the more important it is to give yourself a non-food present every day. It will help you avoid the feeling of deprivation by finding non-food activities to nurture yourself. Since this is different for every person, think of some activities that you like to do. If you didn’t do this exercise, then go back to New Year’s Resolutions: Week 3 and work on finding out what these activities are for you.

Plan a non-food activity for yourself EVERY day and protect that time. It is your reward for eating healthy every day. You MUST reward yourself every day to stave off any feelings of deprivation that limiting your calories might cause.

Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day

One way to stay within your calorie range is to eat vegetables on a regular basis. You should be adding four to five 1/2 cup servings of fruits or veggies to your diet every day now. They are low in calories, provide essential vitamins and fiber and they keep you feeling full.

Save enough calories to eat two servings of dairy products each day

You need to make sure that you have enough calories saved up for two servings of dairy products every day. This is another healthy food to add to your diet. One cup of fat-free milk is approximately 110 calories. It’s probably your best option for adding calcium to your diet, so make sure you get two servings a day.

Increase Your Exercise

This week, I want you to increase your walking mileage to 2.0 miles five days a week. I want you to do it at the same time every day. If you want, you can increase your speed to really get yourself sweating, but if you end up sore the next day, you MUST slow down. It’s more important to exercise every day than to push yourself. Consistency is key. You need to learn the habit of exercising every day and that is WAY more important than going fast or covering a lot of miles.

If you are keeping track of your mileage, you can join us at Runner+ to track your miles and compete against other beginners.

Give Yourself Kudos

If you are still working toward your New Year’s Resolution, then you need to give yourself kudos. There are little boxes on the forms every day to give yourself a shiny sticker. Each day that you stay on the program, you need to acknowledge yourself and how good you are doing.

See you next week!

The Short Version:

  • Reduce your daily caloric average by another 100 calories. Write down EVERYTHING you eat including measurements and calories.

  • Choose lean protein and whole grains.

  • Save enough calories to eat two teaspoons of healthy oil each day.

  • Avoid the feeling of deprivation by finding non-food activities to nurture yourself EVERY day.

  • Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

  • Save enough calories to eat two servings of dairy products each day.

  • Increase your mileage. Walk 2.0 miles five days this week. You are allowed to increase your speed to the point of sweating, but if you are sore the next day you MUST go slow again.

  • Give yourself kudos for coming this far.


Pregnant? Don’t Diet!

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Dieting when pregnant? No, no, no!Many weight loss facilities don’t allow pregnant women to participate in their programs. I know Weight Watchers will keep your membership active, but won’t allow you to come when you’re pregnant. That seemed a little crazy to me and I wondered why they didn’t just up the points allowance a bit to compensate.

Here’s why:

In 1944, Germany starved the Netherlands with an embargo. Many starved to death and the women who were pregnant during the embargo were restricted to approximately 1000 calories a day. The children born at that time ended up with a high incidence of addiction.

We still don’t know why, but theories abound:

This heightened risk was most strongly correlated with exposure during the first trimester, when crucial brain development occurs. It is not clear exactly how starvation predisposes the brain toward addiction. One possibility is that decision-making and reward centers of the brain do not grow properly because there is a dearth of chemical resources. Another possibility is that the fetus senses the scarcity of food and comes out prepared to voraciously grab whatever pleasurable things that it can find.

So, if you’re pregnant, you shouldn’t be restricting your calorie intake. Follow the recommendations that your doctor gives you and worry about losing weight AFTER you give birth to a healthy and unscathed child.


Can You Be Sexy And Fat?

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

When I was watching this video, I was surprised at how sexy the main character of it is. She’s fat. She’s what the doctors would say morbidly obese, but she’s so cute.

Is it possible to be sexy and fat? What if you lose weight, does that make you even MORE beautiful?

I don’t know if you noticed, but the main character in this little animation is named Avant, which means “Before.” She was the before picture cut out of a weight loss advertisement. If you watch after the credits, she comes back and kicks the Apres (After) picture out of her spot and poses for the camera once again.

The fashion industry doesn’t care about me. The movie industry doesn’t care about me. All they want to do is sell clothing and DVDs. They are like the food industry, actually, trying to find the perfect mixture of flavor that will sell their products to as many people as possible.

So, I ask again, can you be sexy and fat? Hell ya! Remember that next time you’re getting ready for your day. You can be a red hot sexy machine and all you need to change is your attitude.

Via: Living and Loving Yourself Now and Not Only When You Reach Your Thin Dream! « HoneyBee’s Blog


The Top Ten Most Ridiculous Diets

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

When I think of silly diets, the Grapefruit Diet comes to mind. I never went on the grapefruit diet, but I watched my weight obsessed friend try it and the funny little pills that they sold for it so long ago. Brie Cadman has a list of her top ten most ridiculous diets.

The quick version is here:

  • Dr. Siegal’s® Cookie Dietâ„¢
  • The Subway Diet
  • The Cereal Diet
  • Cabbage Soup Diet
  • Slim Fast
  • Blood Type Diet
  • Russian Air Force Diet
  • The Three-Day Diet/Hot Dog Diet
  • The Apple Cider Vinegar Diet
  • The Writing Diet
  • The Atkins Diet

There are remnants of some of these diet fads that remain. For example, the cabbage soup diet lives on at Weight Watchers with their zero point soup that you can eat for zero points. If you are low on points, you can just make up some of their cabbage soup and fill up on that.

The Writing Diet: Write Yourself Right-Size at Amazon.comI had never heard of the Russian Air Force Diet or the Writing Diet. I love Julia Cameron, but I never heard of her book, The Writing Diet: Write Yourself Right-Size. Honestly, I’ve been writing about my emotions every day in my personal journal for years. I truly believe that writing does help me, so this might be a good book for me to try in the future.

For now, I think I’ll try the “Putting Less Food In My Mouth” Diet. It has worked for me for a while.

Via: Digg – The Top Ten Most Ridiculous Diets

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