Starks or Lannisters? Boxers or briefs? Life is full of so many painful choices, and for many, “stay skinny or drink beer” is one of them.
But that’s not a choice you necessarily have to make – enjoying beer doesn’t require a beer belly. I would know. Drinking does make things more challenging, but not because of anything inherently fattening about alcohol. All you need to do is follow the three rules below.
Rule #1: When drinking, swap protein for fat
To explain this rule, let’s start off with a primer on macro-nutrients. Every food that you consume is made up of one or more of the following macro-nutrients: protein, fat, and carbohydrates. These macro-nutrients have specific properties, such as the number of calories they contain, their impact on your levels of hunger and fullness, and so on, and the only other substance that provides calories is alcohol.
Of these four, fat is probably the most misunderstood. There’s a misconception that dietary fat (fat that you consume) makes you fat, but that’s not necessarily the case. If you’re expending more calories than you consume, then dietary fat is readily used by your body, even if you consume a diet high in fat. However, drinking alcohol confounds this process somewhat.
Alcohol is toxic and cannot be stored by your body. Because of this, Mother Nature has thankfully blessed us (and other animals) with the ability to prioritize alcohol as a source of energy over all other macro-nutrients. This means that your wild buzzed dancing and subsequent poor decisions are, quite literally, fueled by alcohol. But this also means that your body’s ability to utilize fat as fuel (also known as fat oxidation) takes a back seat. As a consequence, any fat that you consumed earlier is readily stored as adipose tissue.
To counteract this, opt for low-fat foods on days you know you’ll be drinking. Additionally, consume a copious amount of lean protein. While your body might not be able to use all the fat you eat that day, the protein will keep you fuller for longer, so you’re less likely to undo your work with a late-night IHOP session… which brings us to our next rule.
Rule #2: Avoid binge food
When it comes to gaining weight, alcohol gets a worse rap than it deserves. Nutrition researcher Alan Aragon who, despite looking like the lovechild of Bruce Lee and The Hulk, has been known to kick back a beer (or four), took a look at the evidence to see how alcohol contributes to weight gain.
“One study found that men consuming an average of 56 grams of ethanol per day (four beers) took in 16 percent more total calories than a matched group of non-drinkers. The two groups – drinkers and non-drinkers – had identical amounts of physical activity. So, logically, you’d think that the drinkers packed on some pounds. They didn’t. Both groups had the same body-mass index, despite all those excess calories for the drinkers.”
As it turns out, the reason that alcohol seems to make people fat is the good ol’ phenomenon of correlation-not-causation. It’s an easy trap to fall into, and many people simply blame alcohol for any weight gain. But they’re probably forgetting the late-night kebabs and burger runs that came with the booze. And those are the real culprit.
Let’s say that you need 10 shots to get you through a Saturday night, which, whoa, but no judgment. That’s less than 1,000 calories, much of which you’ll probably expend thanks to the aforementioned questionable dancing. In contrast, the double quarter pounder meal that you consume afterwards might contain somewhere around 1,600 calories.
Realistically, even the most committed can (and probably will) make this mistake. You’ll probably be out with friends, and despite bragging about your bench press and your “nearly there” abs, you might be peer pressured into a late-night feed. And just like that, a minor case of the munchies sabotages your quest for a six-pack.
I handle this common scenario using two two practical tips. First, steer your posse towards a diner. Diners are a great option, because while others can indulge in greasy, fatty food, there will always be a relatively lean, high-protein option – chicken breast and fish, for example, are fair game.
Second, while you’re still sober, write future-you a note telling you exactly what you’re going to do at the end of the night: “We’re going to go to Denny’s and get the grilled chicken breast with a side salad instead of mashed potatoes.” Yes, this might seem silly, but it works; reading this message will remind you of your overall goals when you’re more prone to making bad decisions.
Rule #3: Pick drinks with a higher alcohol-to-calorie ratio
Sticking to our 10-drink example, you can probably see how certain kinds of beverages would rack up the calories to absurd levels pretty quickly. Ten whiskeys will be less than 1,000 calories, whereas the equivalent in piña coladas may be three times that amount due to all the sugar and coconut milk mixed in.
Which drinks contain the highest alcohol-to-calorie ratio? You can’t go wrong if you choose from the following: liquor, red or white wine (the drier the better), Champagne, or light beer.
Anything with a B- rating or higher from this incredibly helpful list should get you where you need to go without doing excessive damage to your waistband.
But if you really, really want that strawberry daiquiri, order it at the start of the night when you’re likely to be present enough to enjoy it most, then switch to drinks that are more fitness-friendly.
Sticking to the rules above might be challenging at first. You will mess up, but you’ll get better with practice. Don’t focus on being perfect when it comes to adherence. Instead, focus on adhering as best as you can and improving a little bit more each time. Look on the bright side: when else can you use the words “practice” and “drinking” together in a sentence that’s related to self-improvement?
I have been doing a lot of reflecting lately about my weight loss journey. I help people on a daily basis who are starting to take their first steps in their personal journey and I felt the need to share some old photo’s (many of which have never been shown to anyone before) of my own journey!
This is not meant in anyway to “fat shame” or offend anyone who struggles with weight problems. I just want to share where I came from and what I learned along the way. This is where I was at. These are my personal feelings about how I felt about me and my situation.
When I was young I never struggled with weight I was always thin and active in sports/running. As kids started coming along I started to see that change as my energy level and activity decreased. Weight started to slowly creap up on me over the many years of pregnancies.
After baby number 4 I took note of where I was at. 5’3″ and 165 lbs. I wanted to have another baby but didn’t want to be 200+ while pregnant, struggling with lower back issues and knee problems which caused me great concern for my small frame.
(This is the first time sharing this picture. I took this picture before starting my weight loss journey. It was a year after I had baby number 4 and people would ask how far along I was on a daily basis. It was a painful reality that I looked like I was still pregnant.)
I decided to lose weight first before getting pregnant. Most people thought I was nuts to do all that work to just get pregnant, but I had a goal and I didn’t let anything get in my way. I did the HCG diet and lost over 40 lbs. in 6 weeks. It was the biggest game changer for me. I never thought I could be thin again. It helped me realize that anything was possible.
(This is the first time sharing this picture. I took this picture before starting my weight loss journey. It was a year after I had baby number 4 and people would ask how far along I was on a daily basis. It was a painful reality that I looked like I was still pregnant.)
After I had baby number 5 I started training in the gym hard and changed my lifestyle forever and how I thought about myself and food. It wasn’t easy and I learned a lot about myself and what drove me to food as a crutch in dealing with my emotions. I was able to face my demons and change my habits.
I love what I’m doing now. I feel happy with my life and the direction that me and my family are headed. I don’t think of myself as a role model but I love helping people. If this in some way helps or inspires someone to better themselves then I am happy to share my story.
(After 5 kids and a long journey of ups and downs I can say that I have learned a lot about myself and faced my demons. Food no longer control’s me and I finally feel that I am in the driver seat. I control where my life takes me and how I feel while I am getting there.)
Here’s to tomorrow. Good luck with your own personal journey’s, wherever they may lead you!
I would love to hear from you. Your stories, comments, questions. Post a comment, email me or IM. smile emoticon
Cardiac Surgeon and Medical Talk Show Host, Dr. Oz, recently featured the HCG Diet on his syndicated television show. With testimonials from real life stories and insight from fellow physicians, many of the questions about the validity of the HCG Diet were addressed.
The biggest concern posed by Dr. Oz was the part of the regime that limits the dieter to only 500 calories per day while taking HCG. Specialists explained that while taking in only 500 calories a day, your body receives the remainder of energy and calories needed from the excess fat stores within your body.
For overweight individuals, the ratio of fat stores in the body to energy used is vastly disproportionate. By taking the HCG liquid, 10 tasteless drops at a time,3 times a day, your energy levels increase; which in turn, burns those excess fat stores and brings the ratio of fat and energy to a more even level. It’s a science that brings you to a healthy level of living.
Obesity creates many significant health problems:
Diabetes, Hypertension, Cardiovascular disease, Stroke, Pulmonary disease, Reproductive disorders, Osteoarthritis, Sleep Apnea, and Cancer.
The epidemic of obesity is growing at an alarming rate. Statistics reveal that heart disease and stroke, two ailments often directly related to obesity, are the principal causes of death and disability among people in the United States.
Over the last 25 years, obesity rates have been climbing steadily. According to a recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 33% of men and 35% of women are obese. Even among children and adolescents, 16% were found to be obese.
Obesity should not be ignored or accepted as the norm. It’s a grave danger to your health. Fortunately, it’s never too late to take that first step in taking control of your health. Contact us today for more information.
Don’t be fooled by product labels and tag lines!!!
Have you ever picked one grocery item over another because of the health claims on the label? You may have been duped. That’s because terms like fat free or all natural are often slapped on a food item that may not be healthy at all.
Frustrated? You’re not alone. Nearly 59% of consumers have a hard time understanding nutrition labels, according to a Nielsen survey.
Don’t be fooled, all natural doesn’t mean all that much. The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t define it, although food makers won’t get in trouble as long as so-labeled food doesn’t contain added colors, artificial flavors, or “synthetic substances.”
That means there’s room for interpretation.
So a food labeled natural may contain preservatives or be injected with sodium, in the case of raw chicken. “Some natural products will have high fructose corn syrup and companies will argue that since it comes from corn, it’s healthy,” says Stephan Gardner, director of litigation at the Center of Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). “Well, that isn’t true.”
No sugar added
If you’re concerned about calories and carbs (maybe because you have diabetes or are trying to prevent it), you may toss no sugar added products in your grocery cart.
But foods, including fruit, milk, cereals, and vegetables naturally contain sugar. So although these products may not have added sugar they still may contain natural sugars. And no sugar added products still may contain added ingredients like maltodextrin, a carbohydrate.
Carbohydrates—which can be simple sugars or more complex starches—raise blood sugar, and no sugar added doesn’t mean a product is calorie- or carbohydrate-free.
Sugar free doesn’t mean a product has fewer calories than the regular version; it may have more. (Although food makers are supposed to tell you if a product isn’t low-cal). Sugar-free products have less than 0.5 grams of sugars per serving, but they still contain calories and carbohydrates from other sources.
These products often contain sugar alcohols, which are lower in calories (roughly 2 calories per gram, compared to 4 per gram for sugar), but compare labels to see if the sugar-free version is any better than the regular version. (Common sugar alcohols are mannitol, xylitol, or sorbitol).
Caution: Sugar alcohols can cause diarrhea so don’t consume a lot in one sitting.
Although a food label may say free range chicken, don’t assume your bird was scampering around outside Farmer Brown’s barn.
Although the US Department of Agriculture does define the words free range, there are no requirements for the amount, duration, and quality of outdoor access.
“What it’s supposed to mean is that they are out running in a field,” says Bonnie Taub-Dix, nutrition expert and author of Read It, Before You Eat It. “But what it really means is they just have exposure to the outdoors.”
This is a notoriously misleading label. When the dangers of saturated and trans fat became clear, the market was flooded with products that touted their fat-free status. The problem? They sometimes contained nearly as many calories as full-fat versions.
“Just because it says it’s fat-free, doesn’t mean you get a free ride,” says Taub-Dix. “Packages could say it’s fat free, but be loaded with sugar, and sugar-free products could be loaded with fat.”
Check the label for calorie content, and compare it to the full-fat version.
A food label may say a product, such as olive oil, is light, but manufacturers have been known to use the term to refer to the flavor rather than the ingredients.
“The flavor might be lighter, but you aren’t saving one calorie,” says Taub-Dix. “The wording on light products can be confusing for consumers, but it is important to read the nutritional facts.”
To be considered a light product, the fat content has to be 50% less than the amount found in comparable products.
Gluten-free products are becoming easier to find, which is great for those with gluten intolerance. For everyone else though, there’s no advantage to buying them. In fact, gluten-free whole grains may have less fiber than the regular version.
“Unless you have metabolic problems, gluten-free products don’t help you lose weight and are not necessarily good for you,” says Taub-Dix. “But because it’s a buzz word, it’s put on packages.”
Made with real fruit
Products that claim to be made with real fruit may not contain very much at all, or none of the type pictured on the box.
While companies must list the amount of nutrients they contain, such as fat and cholesterol, they do not have to disclose the percentage of ingredients, such as fruits and whole grain, according to CSPI.
In 2012, a California woman filed a class-action lawsuit over Fruit Roll-Ups, which contain “pears from concentrate” and no strawberries (in the case of the strawberry flavor).
Although the FDA has definitions for terms like reduced sugar, no added sugar, and sugar free, companies sometimes come up with marketing lingo that is, well, just made up.
One of those terms is lightly sweetened, which isn’t defined by the FDA.
“Whether Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats Bite Size is “lightly sweetened” should be determined by federal rules, not the marketing executives of a manufacturer,” according to a CSPI report from 2010.
Cholesterol free doesn’t mean, literally, no cholesterol. Cholesterol-free products must contain less than 2 mg per serving while low-cholesterol products contain 20 mg or less per serving. Foods that say reduced or less cholesterol need to have at least 25% less than comparable products.
Cholesterol is made by the liver, so only animal products like meat, dairy, eggs, and butter can contain it. If a plant-based product (such as corn oil) touts its cholesterol-free status, there’s no benefit compared to other vegetable oils, which also don’t contain it.
(The American Heart Association recommends people consume less than 300 mg of cholesterol daily.)
While organic was once a bit like the term all natural—open to interpretation—that’s no longer true. If a product has a USDA label that says organic, 95% or more of the ingredients must have been grown or processed without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides (among other standards).
A label that says made with organic ingredients must have a minimum of 70% all ingredients that meet the standard.
Keep in mid that organic is not synonymous with healthy. In fact, it may be anything but. Organic food can still be packed in fat, calories, and sugar. “Companies like to add magnetic words on products to make you think it’s healthy,” says Taub-Dix.
Two percent milk
Two percent milk sounds great—it’s such a low number! What most people don’t realize is that whole milk contains only 3.25% fat.
So 2% milk contain less fat than regular milk, but not that much. It isn’t technically considered low fat; only 1% milk and fat free (also called skim milk, which has less than 0.5% fat) meet that standard.
Two percent milk may say reduced fat however, because it has at least 25% less fat than regular milk. But the American Heart Association and other health experts recommend that adults choose 1% or fat free over other types of milk.
Food manufacturers can be tricky with serving sizes. To make a product look low in fat or calories, they may list information based on a tiny, unrealistic serving size.
And FDA recommendations on serving size, the Reference Amount Customarily Consumed (RACC) index, tend to be outdated, based on eating habits of decades past. For example, the RACC for ice cream is a half-cup, or one scoop—a lot less than what most people now eat in one sitting. For example, a pint of ice cream would be considered to have four half-cup servings, a buzz kill for those of us who could eat the whole thing in one sitting.
If you are a two-or-more scoop kind of person, double, triple, or quadruple the label’s calorie and fat information as needed.
“When I was 38 years old I was over weight. I had been slowly gaining weight for the last 10 years. I had tried many different diets. From South Beach and Adkins to Body for life and Lemon Cleanse. I lost weight on all of them but I would quickly regain all the weight and then some. When I came across HCG Renew I weighed a whopping 290lbs. I skeptically ordered a 6 week kit. I Received excellent service through their help and coaching, I lost 60lbs in just 6 weeks! I went from a 46in to a 36in waist. Before the HCG program I was diagnosed with severe Sleep Apnea and had to sleep with a breathing machine at night, since my weight loss I sleep great and the breathing machine is gone! At the start of this diet I was hoping to get to 250lbs again. This program has exceeded all my expectations. I have not weighted in the 230′s since I has 20 years old! The energy I have now is amazing! The 60lbs are gone now and it has stayed off! This program has changed the direction of my whole life.”
You too can achieve results and get the expert help you need to reach your goals. Visit our website at www.hcgrenew.com or call us at 855-424-7363
“When I started the HCG I was out of options. This was my last ditch effort to reclaim my life. After having 5 kids my body was a mess. My weight was out of control and I felt that my dreams of competing in bodybuilding competitions was over. I started the HCG and in weeks lost 40 lbs. I was shocked. Nothing had ever worked for me like that. I tried every diet out there. Once I got down to my goal weight I started lifting again. Going to the gym was easier and I felt more confident. I competed in my first competition in March 2013 and won 1st place. Everything was happening and it was all thanks to HCG Renew and this wonderful product!!!”
My weight loss journey has been continual. I started with the HCG diet and from there I have been exercising and building muscle to do what I have always wanted to do, competing in the Physique Competitions.
For a long time, while I was having kids, I always kept it in the back of my mind that I would like to compete some day. But having kids was my passion at the time at I loved my babies. The struggle that I had as time went on was losing the weight after each child. It seemed with every pregnancy I gained more and more and my dream of competing was slipping away. I literally tried everything. I did extreme diets like the Lemon Cleanse, Adkins..I also did Body For Life and counting calories. It was the same result with each one. I would lose maybe 10 pounds and then would be stuck.
When I heard about HCG I was really skeptical. I wasn’t sure if it would work but I had tried everything else so I figured I would give it a shot. I did the diet and I was in absolute disbelief each morning waking up and seeing the scale keep moving down. That had never happened. I kept expecting that at any moment it would stop and I would be stuck again but luckily for me that was not the case and it was the most successful diet that I have ever been on.
For anyone who is not sure about the HCG. This is one thing I have to say. It is worth the shot. It worked for me and I know hundreds of people that have also had success on it as well. HCG Renew has specialist that will help with your diet and help you complete the program correctly to get the best results. Try it out you will not be disappointed.
My first competition March 2013. I trained for a 1 1/2 years to get on stage and it was well worth all the work.
My front and back poses on stage. I was really happy with my results and all the hard work paid off!
2013- My photo shoot that I did after my show.
Megan S. from Clayton, Georgia…
“A few years ago I started to research the benefits and weight loss effects of HCG. I rested upon hcgrenew.com. I started the diet full force(a 6 week round) and dropped right at 60 pounds…. After a 6 week break I did a 3 week round and lost another 30. After those two rounds I figured out how to maintain my weight and lose more weight, by clean eating and exercising. If I can do it anybody can. Get your mind to the right place and dedicate yourself and you will be surprised what you can accomplish…. My top weight shown in left picture is between 345 and 350. Right picture is 187 with 23 pounds to go!!! “
The Biggest Loser has long since been recognized for its motivational properties. But as many are finding out, with the newest winner of the Biggest Loser, there is a price to playing a game and healthy weight loss is not one of them. We teach our clients to change lifestyle while living in the normal conditions of their everyday lives. We have been successful in helping thousands of our clients achieve success! We love when our customers share their weight loss journey and feel that these real results from people not hiding on a weight loss farm are more motivating than any other. We invite to read about Megan and decide that you too can achieve success! Let us help you get started on that journey.
Visit us at www.hcgrenew.com
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This amazing new substance is derived from unroasted green-coffee beans. The extract contains numerous poly-phenolic compounds such as chlorogenic-acid. These compounds have been discovered to possess powerful antioxidant properties. Unroasted coffee beans are a much better source of antioxidants than roasted coffee beans.
Once the coffee beans have been roasted, the amount of chlorogenic-acid is significantly reduced and therefore does not produce the same health benefits. Green-coffee bean also appears to have other health benefits besides fighting against free radicals in the body. It decreases blood glucose levels, protects against the build up of visceral fat, increases weight-loss, and helps lower blood pressure. It also improves vasoreactivity, which is the contraction of blood vessels.
The Study: Sixteen overweight young adults were given a 1,050 milligram dose of green-coffee bean extract for six weeks, then a two-week break, then a daily 700 milligram dose for six weeks, then another break, and then a placebo. For some of them, the order was different. The results bowled the researchers over.
Without altering their calorie intake, over the full 22 weeks, the volunteers lost an average of 17.5 pounds, reducing their total body weight by 10.5 percent and their average body fat by 16 percent. And as the amount of extract they consumed increased, so did the amount of fat and weight they shed. Six of the initially overweight 16 test subjects, almost 40 percent of the group, actually wound up with BMIs in the “healthy” category.
It was also observed that the lower 700 milligram dosage continued to generate weight-loss, while the placebo pills did not produce any weight-loss.
Other research studies for green-coffee bean extract were conducted on mice. The study showed that green-coffee bean extract was able to suppress weight gain in both visceral fat and overall body weight.
Visceral fat is the fat that builds up around the abdomen and surrounds the liver, heart, kidneys, and pancreas. High amounts of visceral fat has been known to increase the risk of diabetes, metabolic disturbances, cardiovascular disease, and even some types of cancers. Researchers believe that it is the combined effects of the chlorogenic acid, polyphenolic compounds, and caffeine in the coffee beans that work together to fight off toxins in the body and suppress weight gain.
African-mango is a great fruit that can help curb hunger by increasing the sensitivity to leptin in the body. Leptin is a hormone that sends a signal to the brain that the stomach is full, therefore reducing hunger and controlling food intake.
It is commonly observed that overweight and obese people have a weight-induced disorder that causes the brain to ignore leptin signals. African-mango will improve leptin sensitivity so that the brain will once again become receptive to leptin signals.
Kelp and grapefruit have been added to provide a rich source of vitamins and minerals that support the healthy functioning of the entire body, including the thyroid and nervous system. It also helps to maintain a healthy urinary tract, boosts metabolism, and reduce the chances of weight gain.
Green tea extract is used to treat many ailments such as depression, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, headaches, toxicity overload, and low energy levels. It also helps reduce the risk of heart disease and promote brain health.
Acai-berries and Resveratrol are a great source of antioxidants. Antioxidants will help neutralize free radicals in the body that can cause damage to healthy cells. Damage to cells can lead to developing rapid signs of aging, illnesses, and even diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Apple cider vinegar has been used in many medicinal practices, but it is becoming better known for its ability to improve the health of the digestive system. It helps with bowel movements to make digestion and waste elimination less stressful on the body.
With all of these amazing ingredients, most people have found that they do not need to do any starvation diets or military-style workout routines.
It does not contain any fillers or harmful additives. And unlike a traditional cup of coffee that causes “jitters” and nervousness, there are no known side effects that have been associated with the use of Green Coffee Pure. You can try a bottle today with a full 60 day risk-free guarantee so that you can experience the dramatic results for yourself.