Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Jackie Warner This is Why You're Fat Diet Review & Summary

I had been searching for a good diet and exercise book to follow for some time. After browsing at Borders, a bit of oogling by my boyfriend led me to Jackie Warner's book This is Why You're Fat And How to Get Thin Forever (he was checking out her terrific abs - can't say I blame him). I decided to shell out the $26, buy it and try it.

Here are some of the most useful dietary changes she suggests:

• Drink 2-3 liters of water with lemon juice a day.
• One daily whey protein powder mixed with 8 oz. of water.
• 1 Decaf herbal tea at night (to curb cravings)
• Supplement with a good multivitamin, Omega 3, Vitamin C, and free form amino acids (the BCAAs).

Jackie Warner's Diet - The 5+2 Food Plan
Eat clean for five days, get 2 cheat meals on the weekend (make sure each cheat meal doesn't go above 1500 calories). The specifics:
• Eat four 4 oz. servings of lean protein a day (i.e., chicken, tilapia, tuna, turkey, sirloin, pork tenderloin, eggs, greek yogurt, low fat cottage cheese, low cal cheese, garbanzo beans, red beans, bean soups, whey protein, etc.)
-->2 eggs is one serving of protein
-->limit dairy to no more than 1 serving of protein per day
-->daily scoop of whey protein counts as 1 serving
• Eat 3 cups of vegetables a day
• Eat 2 whole fruits a day
• Eat 2 one-cup servings of whole grains a day (brown rice, oatmeal, whole grain products)
• 1 Serving (2Tbsp) of healthy fats per day (olive oil, flaxseed oil)

--> Eat 5 times per day, 3 meals with 1 midmorning and 1 midafternoon snack.

Sample Day
Breakfast: Protein, Grain, Fruit (2 eggs, 1 cup of oatmeal, 1 cup of fresh berries)
Snack: Protein Shake (1 scoop protein powder with water)
Lunch: Protein, Vegetable (baked chicken breast, 1 cup frozen veggies)
Snack: Vegetable (frozen single serving veggie)
Dinner: Protein, Grain, Vegetable (lean sirloin steak, 1 baked sweet potato, 1 serving frozen veggies)

Now, the book has a lot more information on what you should eat and why, as well as tons of sample menus and recipes. There's a whole section on how to diet in the real world, what really counts when reading a food label (max sugar content for example), what cocktails to avoid and what exactly she means by a cheat meal. For a full understanding of her diet I suggest buying her book. There's way too much information in it to reduce down to a single posting. It's a quick read and from someone who hates paying full price for a book - definitely worth it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Self Help Overload

After doing a few google searches and visiting perhaps one too many yoga studios, I noticed the self-help arena is chock full of conflicting advice, supposed gurus, and charlatans trying to sell you $400/person self-discovery weekend workshops. Like 99% of people, I would love to make some positive life changes and become more 'happy'. I feel a bit lost on my own, but one glance at the variety of advice on the topic is a quick recipe for feeling overwhelmed. There appear to be many paths to happiness, and one person's journey to another can fit like a size 6 shoe on a size 8 foot.

So what's the answer to this self help overload? How can we get results and discover our own recipe for happiness in the process?

Well, I recently purchased "The Happiness Project" and found the book to be helpful, but not in the typical way. This isn't a book that outlines exact steps to take in order to be happier - its a book about someone taking the time to sit down, reflect, and think about what might improve their life and in turn make them happier. The author does a bit of research on each area, picks strategies and then tests them out to see which are most effective and enjoyable for her. This concept is the most valuable take-away from the book. Happiness endeavors have to start from within as a desire to improve ourselves and enough curiosity to start sniffing around for answers that make sense to us. We can try to follow someone else's carefully outlined map to happiness, but it will never fit just right. This book encourages us to set out on our own journey and do our own due diligence.

I've decided I want to make my own personal map to happy. Here are the areas I believe tackling will get me to a happier place:

1. Banishing negativity, becoming a more positive thinker and person.
2. Beating procrastination and becoming an efficient, consistent producer.
3. Body transformation; Taking my soft, chubby body and turning it into a hard, toned, fit machine.
4. Personal rebranding; Matching the image I portray to people with the image I want to portray to people while staying true to myself and my values.
5. Increasing my finances; Learning how to sell my brand effectively, enjoyably, and for much more profit.
6. Meditation; Learning to calm the mind and attract the right things/people into my life.
7. Increasing patience, with others and myself.
8. Spreading happiness to others, without expecting/needing validation or a returned favor.

I intend to research these one at a time and post the most valuable insights and strategies I can find on these. Stay tuned..

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Weight Loss Strategies: How to Overcome Weight Loss Obstacles

My deadline for getting in shape looms dangerously close, and I still find myself reaching for the far too occasional cup cake and slathering on way too much ranch dressing instead of getting acquainted with Mr. Celery Stick. I didn't plan for this - actually if I had followed my plan I would be 10 lbs lighter. But I didn't.

I realize now that its not enough to intend to lose weight - to say, "Alright, I'm only going to eat x amount of calories and then exercise x amount of minutes and I'll be x lbs lighter by xx/xx/xxxx." I've done that a shameful number of times with little to no results. Why? Because we are not robots. We are emotionally fluctuating creatures and to meet our intended goals we have to implement effective weight loss strategies. That means we must plan to overcome our obstacles, we must reinforce the places where we are weak, and have plan B's for when all that fails. Planning for obstacles is sort of like laying out your clothes the night before so your morning goes more smoothly. It's planning not to fail by thinking ahead of the game.

If you find you cannot lose weight because the same obstacles keep popping up, then you may want take a moment to address them. Jot down a quick list and some strategies you can use to bypass those pesky obstacles. I did, and here's what I came up with:

1. My significant other (SO) and I love food & going out & sticking to a diet is difficult.

Obstacle bypass: Try to eat at home as much as possible and when going out is unavoidable, stick to salads and grilled chicken/fish with veggies. Avoid social eating situations and plan other activities, like bowling, biking, tennis, swimming, boating, etc.

2. It's hard to go to happy hours and not drink - which can easily ruin my diet.

Obstacle bypass: Take a pass on going out; Substitute cocktails for diet soda and stick to raw veggies and fruit for snacks. Don't be pressured into eating or drinking anything you don't want to! Remember, the next day they will be nursing their hangovers while you are blasting out some cardio while looking and feeling great!

3. It's hard to do my workouts (videos) when my SO is in the house because I like to do this in private. As the day goes by, it gets even harder to find time to fit in a workout.

Obstacle bypass: Exercise first thing in the morning, after SO has left for work. It gets it done, out of the way, and lots of experts suggest this is the best strategy for fat loss because you're not burning stored carbs but using stored fats to get through the workout. If first thing in the morning isn't possible, then Plan B could be right before lunch or 2 hours after lunch.

4. Sometimes its hard to whip up something healthy on the spot.
Obstacle bypass: Have a steady supply of your favorite lean cuisine meals on hand as well as tuna and whole grain crackers for lunch. When cooking dinner, try steaming or boiling instead of frying. A fast and quick healthy dish is some diced chicken sauteed in olive oil, combined with a pack of cooked frozen vegetables tossed together with some low carb pasta and seasoning. Delish and quick.

5. I have an insane sweet tooth that can devour boxes of cupcakes at a time.

Obstacle bypass: Avoid sugar at all costs! Sugar begets more cravings for more sugar, so limit yourself to none.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Slaying the Procrastination Demon & Reinventing Yourself

Ever since I can remember, I've had lofty goals of reinventing myself. When I was very young, I would daydream about showing up my snotty cousins who didn't quite understand me and didn't care to take the time to get to know me. When I was in high school, I fell just shy of popularity and often imagined a future where I wasn't pigeon holed into wallflower obscurity.

Not much has changed since then except for a different set of circumstance and a whole lot of [bad] life experiences in between. I still haven't found what I've been looking for all these years. In a sense, I have yet to arrive.

If I had to point my finger at the culprit, at THE reason I haven't even come close to my potential, it'd have to be procrastination. An inexplicable laziness that permeates everything that I do. I'm smart and I have great ideas, but I have a hard time getting to done. How I'm even here writing this blog amazes me, except when I realize that I have actual work to do and instead of that I started this blog. Then it makes perfect sense.

Procrastination has been my legal opiate of choice. And I'm ready to give it the finger. It has been slowly but surely robbing my life of its true potential and killing my hopes and dreams. I'm finally in a good place in life, and I'm ready for some big change in a positive direction. I'm done letting years go by with no progress. I have big goals, and I intend on getting them.

I bought The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play by Neil Fiore from Amazon.com. I'm starting the ebook tonight and will be posting my thoughts and progress.

Here goes everything.