A Realistic Thanksgiving

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Hello buddies...
The average American will consume more than 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat on Thanksgiving Day.  Doesn't that seem crazy to you?  I don't want to rain on your parade but I do want you to take pause, be mindful of portion control and make good choices.  If you love grandma's stuffing enjoy it, if you're not really into Aunt Sue's mashed potatoes put a spoonful on the plate or skip it all together.  Knowledge is power....here's some knowledge.

Mashed Potatoes (with Whole Milk and Butter): 237 calories per 1 cup
Green Bean Casserole: 230 calories per 1 cup
Candied Yams: 206 calories per 1 cup
Canned Cranberry Sauce: 420 calories per 1 cup
Fresh Cranberry Sauce: 408 calories per 1 cup
Stuffing: 350 calories per 1 cup
Brussels Sprouts: 38 calories per 1 cup
Corn: 132 calories per ear
Spinach: 41 calories per 1 cup
Butter: 36 calories per 1 pat butter
150 calories per biscuit

Serving Size: 3.5 ounces turkey
Breast with skin: 194 calories
Breast without skin: 161 calories
Wing with skin: 238 calories
Leg with skin: 213 calories
Dark meat with skin: 232 calories
Dark meat without skin: 192 calories
100 calories per 1 cup of gravy

Pumpkin Pie: 323 calories per 1 slice (1/8 divided pie)
Apple Pie: 411 calories per 1 slice (1/8 divided pie)
Pecan Pie: 503 calories per 1 slice (1/8 divided pie)
Vanilla Ice Cream Scoop : 125 calories per 1/2 cup
Whipped Cream: 15 calories per 2 tablespoons

There are lots of tips out there.  I have a few of my own favorites such as no seconds
  • foods shouldn't touch each other on the plate
  • keep a large glass of water next to you at all times, sip at the wine, drink the water
  • feel free to taste as many pies as you want just make each piece is a sliver instead of a full slice
Remember this is one meal and you shouldn't undo weeks of dieting and exercise with one meal. 

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Less is More

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I stood behind two women on line at the pizza station in the food court.  Both were saying how this was a cheat for them.  The first woman ordered salad, a meatball, and a slice of pizza.  She felt good about her order and moved on.  The next woman ordered a slice of pizza and a bottle of water.  As they walked away I thought...less is more.  The first woman wanted to hit all her markers...vegetables, protein, and then her slice.  The second woman...knew she was cheating by having her pizza in the first place and felt that cheat was enough. 

I've given this a lot of thought and I liked the idea of just having a slice.  I enjoy going out to eat and want to find a way to order and feel good about my choices.  The servings sizes are unnecessarily large and I'm really tired of giving the business's an out by saying well they need to justify their prices.  I need to go out to eat and not gorge myself or have to ask them to half my meal or for a to go box.  I feel like it's becoming an inconvenience to me.  Perhaps instead of me having to over pay and hide half my food other people should have to double their orders!

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We went to the Olive Garden the other day and I had ordered the soup over the salad (less calories) and I like soup just as much.  I had the chicken with asparagus and I was full.  A glass of wine finished it off for me.  So instead of concentrating on how I can eat more food for less calories I am going to concentrate on eating less.  If I'm hungry later on I can always make myself a sandwhich or eat a piece of fruit.  Less is more.

I think this concept will carry on to other area's of my life.  I'm going to keep exploring this concept...especially the next time I clean out my closet.  :)

What do you think?

The Mirror and Motivation

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I was listening to the banter between two radio show hosts in the car today.  One called himself workout guy.  He retold his morning experience and I think it's one many of us can relate to.  He goes to the gym to work out every morning.  This morning he came home after a particularly great work out all sweaty and reading to take a shower.  He had taken off his shirt and caught his reflection in the mirror and thought to himself that he was looking really good.   As he looked this way and that he was getting more and more impressed with himself.  That was the moment when he thought I'm going to take a few selfies.  He did this with the thought of sending those pictures to his wife later on in the day.  You know, he'd say something like this is what's waiting for you honey, or hey...all this is yours.  You got the idea.  (chuckling)  He takes his pictures, jumps in the shower, gets out towels off and decides to look at his pictures, after all the camera does not lie!  He heart dropped....all he could see was his gut.  He thought, where did that come from?  When did it get here?  Why didn't I notice?!!!! After he settled down he thought his pecs did look a little better and his arms were a little tighter but oh gosh that gut had to go.
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The thing was he had this picture of himself in his head and the camera showed him something else.  I think that's why so many people become devastated in the dressing room.  In their minds they have a picture of what they look like and then...reality. 

I recall reading something that Jack LaLanne said. (he was the founder of what is now known as LA Fitness.)  Jack said so many people ask him for advice on finding motivation so he finally said this is what you do...go into your bedroom, turn on the light, lock the door behind you, take off all of your clothes, stand in front of a full length mirror, turn sideways and look at your reflection.  I've told people this and watched them squirm in their chairs just thinking about it. 

People are always talking about living in the moment.  Be conscious of what you're eating.  I think we need to stop every once in awhile and take a good look in the mirror.  It's not vanity it's more of a check in.  Your skin echos your health.  You're posture and how you wear your clothes convey a message to the world.  What do you want your reflection to say about you?


Shopping In Defeat

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I had plans for a weekend get a way and I had really wanted to lose a few more pounds before I went.  I failed.  You know that feeling...whether it was for a weekend away or an upcoming event it's frustrating. 

That's when I decided to go to the store and pick myself up something new anyway!  I did end up with something but as I was in the dressing room trying on item after item I started feeling a little down.  I really didn't like how I looked in most of the clothes and the ones I did like I already had a similar piece at home.  It looked like this was going to be a bust.  I started going over the clothes I already had and what I would wear for this day and that day and so on.  A feeling of resignation came over me.

Then I started thinking maybe I'll just get myself one item I really like and that can be my goal piece.  You know the one that you look at hanging in the closet just waiting for the day it will fit.  That idea quickly passed since I really didn't feel like buying something that ends up taunting me.

I left the dressing room defeated.  That's when the idea struck me....I really wanted a new bag.  I didn't need one, I just wanted it.   I never went much for oversized bags.  I guess part of it was that I was happy not to have to carry a diaper bag around anymore! LOL (Ok that was a long time ago) I also always thought that I didn't need to carry that much stuff.  Little did I know that I can put the same amount of items that I normally carry but I can easily see them because the bag was big enough to  spot everything! 

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You guessed it, I bought a new bag...yep it's big and I'd have to say a little slenderizing. ;)  That's the bag!  I turned my defeat into a win.  I haven't given up on losing weight.  It's still my battle but for that moment I was pretty happy.  Now if the rain would just move somewhere else this weekend will be amazing.

Remember when all else fails, you can always buy a new bag.  We got this!  If we didn't lose today then it will be tomorrow.  Let's not ever give up.

Have you had a similar experience?  Feel free to share below....

Using WLBs Cell Phone App

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Have you tried our phone app yet?  Many members have asked me if we have an app to download and we do have an app but you don't have to download and it's free.  All you have to do is navigate to our website www.weightlossbuddy.com on your cell phone and choose to put the icon on your homescreen.  You will not be sorry.  It's a great way to check in through out the day.  See what your buddies are up to, see if anyone responded to your post, see if anyone liked your post!  Yes...you can like posts and comments! So much fun!

You'll be able to tell if you have any messages waiting for you, access your profile wall (read comments on your own posts ) or newsfeed (see what are your buddies are talking about). 

In the upper right hand corner you'll see 4 horizontal lines.  Click on that and you can navigate to see the teams available to join, photo's, see if you have any pending buddy requests, search for new buddies, edit your user information, change your passowrd,  visit our skinny news (great articles!) or log out. 

Search for Buddies
The search for buddies on your phone looks a little different than the view you'll have from your p.c.  You won't be able to see who is currently  on line but you can see how many buddies the person you're looking at has and you can send a request to be buddies from the same page.  It's really great...you can see the last time they logged on and how long they've been a member of WeightLossBuddy.   So far I haven't found an easy way to view someone's profile.  No one wanted to make the app too complicated and I believe they've accomplished their goal of making it user friendly.

You can search for a team. 

Message box

Allows you to read any messages you received and reply to them. 

You can upload an existing photo or take a new one. :)  Tap on the choose file option and you'll be given 3 choices, Take Photo or Video, Photo Library, or iCloud Drive.  After you choose the file you want tap the green box labeled Upload!  You're picture will appear in your photo album and you can choose that as your new profile picture or just leave it there for your buddies to view.  If you decide to make it your new profile picture just click on the little figure.  To delete a picture click on the x.

Pending Requests
Here's the place to go to when you want to see if anyone has requested you to be their buddy.  If you haven't received any requests yet, don't worry.  Browse through the buddies and send out a few of your own requests!

Edit User Info
That allows you to change your first name.

Change Password

Visit Skinny News

Keeps you up to date on weight loss news. 

I found it easy and fun to use.  I hope you give it a try....it's a great way to get support while on the go.  Imagine waiting for your hair appointment or the million other opportunities we have to time to kill.  Why not check in with your buddies?


Not Losing Weight Despite Your Best Efforts?

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Not Losing Weight Despite Your Best Efforts?

When you feel that you've been giving it  your best efforts and the scale isn't moving, what can you do?  I managed to hit my goal and keep it for more than a couple of years but here it comes again.  It started with just a few lbs here and there.  Despite my best efforts the pounds want to stick around.   I keep thinking there must be something I'm doing wrong.  If you're with me on this let's take a second look at our must do list:

Food Journal?

We have a food journal right here on WeightLossBuddy, but there are others out there and the most important thing is that you are journaling.  For some of us, there is no substitute to writing it down, if that's the case pick up a pocket book friendly size memo book this way there are no excuses.  Just toss it in your bag and take it along with you.

Regular Exercise?

I felt like I was getting in regular exercise, I even wear a fit bit.  Then I checked my stats only to realize I really haven't been as regular as I thought.  I am allowing life to get in the way.

I did a search looking for idea's and I found a great check list by an author for fitness magazine who is also feeling stuck with her own weight loss efforts.  One of the items on her list was water.   We have heard that drinking water helps with our appetite, but did you know that when you're dehydrated, your kidneys can't function properly, so the body turns to the liver for additional support. Because the liver is working so hard, more of the fat you consume is stored rather than burned off.

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Just how much water should we drink?

About one-half your body weight in ounces every day, especially if you're exercising.  So the eight-cups-a-day rule applies only to sedentary women who weigh 128 pounds. If you consume an aggressive amount of fiber another eight to 16 ounces a day is a good idea," Dr. Smith adds.

Are you getting enough protein?

Several studies show that high-protein diets result in more pounds shed, at least initially. Protein enhances the feeling of satiety and prevents your losing muscle as you lose fat. You also have dietary thermogenesis, which is the energy you burn to process and use the food you eat, on your side. "Your body expends more energy to metabolize protein than carbs or fat," says Cari Coulter, RD, the program director for Wellspring Weight Loss Camp in Kenosha, Wisconsin. "So higher-protein diets make you burn slightly more calories."

Do you sit at a desk most of the day?

I was really surprised to read research finds that dedicated workouts simply can't compensate for being sedentary the rest of the time. According to one University of Missouri-Columbia study, sitting for just a few hours causes your body to stop making a fat-inhibiting enzyme called lipase. Getting up and walking for just two minutes during each of those hours burns an additional 59 calories a day, according to recent research from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Experts recommend setting a timer on the computer to remind you to move every hour, something I've been lagging on.  While those work outs are great it's more about just being more active.  Time to make sure that my fitbit is charged and ready to go. 

How did you score on the check list?  :)


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Are you feeling frustrated with your weight loss progress?  I can relate...which doesn't really help too much except that you know you're not alone.  Instead of us being frustrated together lets get our acts together and decide where to go from here.
I was recently reading this article about happiness and it clearly started we need goals in our lives to strive for.  I thought about it and I think there is a lot of truth in that statement.  Whether it's a goal about your career, financial growth or just where you'd like to be in life by a certain age.   We've all read the suggestions of having an outfit you want to fit into or setting smaller weight loss goals as to not over whelm ourselves but the basic idea is to formulate a plan of where you'd like to be.  It's a goal.

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Diet and exercise...those are our tools.  According to Cristian Angeli (An Australian personal trainer)     he recommends coffee before or during a workout to give you that energy hit and help metabolise fat.  Steer clear of high sugar chemical filled energy drinks and go for the natural espresso.  If you need a bite of food he suggests a banana beforehand but nothing heavy that will weigh you down or make you feel ill.

Your main fuel should come after a workout in the form of a shake or for example poached eggs and avocado on rye bread.  (That sounds like the Dr. Phil diet to me :)) This will help repair muscle and fuel you for your next workout as well as give you energy for your day.  There are tons of tips out there but Cristian says we should keep it simple.  Sugar down, protein up and don't be afraid to lift weights.  He keeps it real by adding that planning on that slice of cake once a week is ok.

So now we have a plan:

  • keep it simple
  • set a reasonable goal
  • exercise
  • banana/coffee before a work out
  • protein after a work out
  • allow ourselves the food we're craving in moderation...once a week 
Let's put a little substance to the goal.  Don't be so vague you never know if you are on task or not.  What I  mean by that is let's get more specific than just to lose weight.  How about having a goal to lose 4 lbs this month?  or to fit into those jeans by the end of the month?  or to work out 5 out of 7 days?

Have you made use of your goal chart on the diet page?  It's a great tool and let's you know if your on track as the month progresses.

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I know you can do it!  Good Luck and keep me posted!  :)

source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk

Collagen - the lastest fad?

I've been doing research on collagen and found it to be very interesting.  I've heard of collagen and gelatin for years and I can still remember my grandmother saying gelatin was good for your nails. 

Which brings me to my first question, is collagen and gelatin the same?

When you are speaking of supplementation collagen and gelatin can be used interchangeably.  The difference is how they are processed.

What is it?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, found in the bones, muscles, skin, and tendons. It is the substance that holds the body together.

With age, collagen weakens, leading to wrinkles and cartilage problems.

With age the body produces less collagen, and that starts somewhere around 20.years old.After age 25, our body’s ability to repair tissue and cartilage starts to diminish. This means joints, skin, hair, nails, etc.

Collagen powder can help:
  • Lubricate joints
  • Build connective tissue
  • Heal injuries
  • Promote healthier, stronger, younger-looking skin, hair and nails
  • Regulate the body’s metabolism
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Support hormone balance
  • Improve digestion

I like the powder form of collagen dydrolysate because I'm able to get the same benefits as drinking bone broth without the hassle and the cost.

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I have been gradually adding it to my diet by putting a scoopful (approx 1 tablespoon) into my tea once a day, building up to 2x a day, but many people add it to juices, smoothies or simply a glass of water.  It dissolves easily and has no taste.  If you didn't tell me it was there I'd probably not notice (other than my water being a little cloudy).

I've seen suggestions anywhere from a tsp to a tablespoon 2x a day.  My go to lady at the local health food store suggested I start with 1 tablespoon and build up to 2x a day. 

I've thought about after using it for a few months cutting back to 1x a day as sort of a maintenance but I think that will depend on how good I feel and a little more research.

After about 2 - 3 weeks I am feeling pretty good.  I have a little more energy.  I also feel like my digestion is a little better.  I've also lost about 1.5 lbs.  I'm also dieting so I can't say it's just because I used collagen, but I do feel that it's not that expensive and the benefits seem to be there.  I haven't noticed a huge difference in my hair or nails but I've read reviews that you need to use the product for about 8 weeks before you'll notice any differences and I'm only on week 3..

I don't think this is a fad.  My plan is to start adding a scoop to my husbands coffee....I'll keep you posted if he notices. 

Have you given it a try, or are you a bone broth fan looking for an alternative, please feel free to leave your feedback below...I'm always interested.

~ Mona



Why Do You Over Eat?

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I can't say why you over eat at times but I can tell you why I do and how I tackle that issue.

It just tastes so good. 

Yes, It does taste good and if I saved some for later it would taste good also.  If it's one of those dishes that doesn't taste that good reheated it's a sure reminder that I over cooked or over bought.  There is no reason for me to over eat just because it tastes good. 

My focus:
Slow down and enjoy.  Portion control.

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I'm so hungry!
At times you just get hungry, whether you are late to a meal, skipped a meal or had this awesome work out.  That really doesn't justify over eating, it's just an excuse.   When I'm preparing my meal I put fruit or some strips of bell pepper in a bowl on the counter and pick on that while while I'm doing my thing.  It stops me from popping everything in my mouth while cooking...keeps me in control of my portions...starts letting my brain know that I'm consuming food.  When I sit down to eat the meal I've made I'm no longer starving.  I took the edge off so I'm able to stick to my portion.  If I'm still hungry afterwards I do not justify another portion because after all....I missed this meal or I had this amazing work out.  I'll go do something else.  Clean up, make a cup of tea and then...if I'm still hungry later I can have a healthy dessert.  After having become so hungry it takes a little while for our brains to realize we've eaten. 

My focus:

Portion control.  Delay having seconds until I'm sure it's true hunger.

When will I eat again?
I know it sounds silly but it happens.  I'll be getting ready to run to a few stores, I know I may hit traffic and I think to myself, "well, Mona if you don't have a good meal now you're going to get hungry and start grabbing snacks outside and they may not be good choices."  Or the other scenario is I'll be doing a lot of running around today when will I have time to eat.  LOL You would think that I was going into the deep forest of Peru and may not come across food for days!  I'm stocking up, filling up, tossing granola bars in my bag.  When I really stop and think about it....it's a little over the top.  If I want to be honest I could probably make a comedy routine about it.

My focus:
Reality check.  Have a plan B just in case.  There are quite a few fast food places that have great choices in case.   There is no need to fill up as if I was going to war.

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 Use your measuring equipment.  You know all that stuff you bought when you decided to go on a diet.  I know you feel like your judgement is on the money but it's so easy to consume 100 calories while you think you're eating 50.  Those calories add up quick!

You really don't need to eat as much food as you think.  Stop eating with your eyes.  Take your portions and then walk away when you're done.  Get in touch with how your really feel.

Stop over eating because someone has told you this is what you need to eat.  For example if you just feel like eating 1/2 an apple....eat 1/2 an apple.  Don't feel that you have to add peanut butter, cheese or that handful of nuts.  There is nothing wrong with eating just 1/2 an apple if that's all you want and it will satisfy you.  

Please feel free to leave your comments below. :)

~ Mona

How Do You Feel About Food?

Today, I really want to talk about food.   At times I feel like food is the huge pink elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about.  If we ignore it the calories won't count and or we will have to make unpleasant choices about it.  Why are the choices unpleasant?  Because in reality we really wish we didn't have to make those choices.  In reality we wish we could eat what we wanted, when we wanted and stay as slim and as healthy as can be.  We can speak about food as medicine but then that would be implying we need medicine and well....that gets to be unpleasant again.   So, just consider this a conversation where we all look at the pink elephant. :)  It won't be so bad, I promise.

Whether we do it subconsciously or not we tend to put foods in categories.  There are the ones we won't ever eat, the ones we can have some of the time and the foods that we should mostly eat.  You would think there is one list but there isn't....we are all unique and so are our lists.

When you eat a food off of the do not ever eat we are making a choice to eat it anyway because we feel it's worth it in some way.  Whether it's because it's delicious or because we want it gone and can't bring ourselves to throw/give it away.  Isn't that crazy?  I've eaten food because I just want it gone.  If I eat this cookie then it will no longer be there to tempt me and I'll get....peace of mind.  I won't have to think about it anymore.  My husband thinks that is just plain crazy.  My husband can buy a bag of York Peppermint Patties and eat one a day.  One a day?!  I can't do that.  Maybe a few here and there but once it reaches a point where there are 5 left I have to eat them. 

Here's another thing that tends to be a problem.  Thinking about food.  For some of us, we plan our meals, purchase the foods, maybe even cook them ahead of the time, freeze them ... spend the day cooking but after that, it's a no brainer.  Have ever tried  Nutrisystem, or Jenny Craig, or another prepackaged diet system.  It takes the stress out of figuring out what to eat.  That is exactly why I like diets.  I want options that I don't have to think too much about.   I love picking up a group of lean cuisines and when I don't want to think about it...I just pop one in the microwave. 

Which brings to the final internal debate I want to discuss and that's are we making healthy choices?  Do I choose the prepackaged frozen food or make a large fresh salad filled with delectable fruits and veggies tossed in a healthy dressing. I've come to an answer for me that has been working and that's yes.  Yes, sometimes I need to be able to just pop something in the microwave, and yes, I do try to make more healthy choices than not.  What about yourself?

Today I had a fantastic lunch.  I had broccoli tots (susposedly a healthier version of tater tots, I'm not sure how much healthier they are but they taste really good so for today it worked.  I also ate hot dogs neither are clean foods.  They were Boars Head Lite (at 90 calories a dog) and were delicious.  I had a big portion of sauerkraut which is good for the digestive track and finished it off with blackberries and a cup of white tea.  That is not something I eat often since I consider it a little indulgent. I try to stick to mostly fish or chicken but every once in awhile I have to indulge in a little comfort food eating.  I did plan for it, I had a light breakfast leaving me some extra calories to spend.  I believe in making good choices most of the time, sometimes the choice is for the body and other times for the spirit.

How do you feel about food, is it a means to an end or something to enjoy?  Can it be both?