KRON 4 | Eat Your Fluids and Lose Weight

Drinking the recommended amount of water every day may sometimes seem like a daunting task, but here’s why you need water to lose weight — and why you don’t have to drink all that water.

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Which would you rather have….?

Why You Need Water to Lose Weight

  • Water suppresses your appetite naturally.
  • Your body often confuses thirst with hunger. You may think you’re hungry, but you’re actually just thirsty.
  • When you lack water, you store more fat. Water is the key to fat metabolism. Water lessens the burden on your kidneys. Your kidneys can’t function properly without enough water. Thus, the liver has to compensate and can’t do its job which is to break down fats and produce energy.

NOTE: An overweight person needs more water than a thin one. The more fat you have to lose, the more water you have to drink per day.

Recommended Daily Water Intake

Aim for drinking half your weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, drink 80 oz. of water (10 cups). Then adjust for hot weather, exercise, and medical conditions.

Fluid Content in Fruits and Vegetables 

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Percent Water in Vegetables
Cucumber, iceberg lettuce: 96%
Celery, zucchini, romaine lettuce: 95%
Tomatoes, bell peppers: 94%
Broccoli: 91%

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Percent Water in Fruits

Watermelon, strawberries: 92%
Cantaloupe, peach, nectarine: 88-90%
Plum, raspberries, apple, blueberries: 85-87%

Get More Mileage Out of Water-Rich Food

  • Water-rich food is full of water and fiber which makes food BIG and HEAVY. So it takes up more space (it’s filling!) without adding a lot of calories.

– Turn casseroles into soups.
– Eat rice (cooked with water) instead of dry, dense bread, bagels or crackers.
– Eat oatmeal (cooked with water) instead of cold dry cereal.
– Eat beans (cooked with water) instead of dense, fatty meat.

  • High volume foods help stop the diet-deprivation cycle. You can eat more food and feel less deprived.

When to Control Fluid Intake

Important note: People in the later stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD) have a limited ability to remove excess fluid since they have lost kidney function. Those living with CKD have to follow a fluid-restricted diet.

Apple c heart symbol_40x54 Fit Tip: Focus more on WHAT you eat vs. how much. Just eat more fruit at breakfast and add more veggies to lunch and dinner entrees.

Also, be sure to check the color of your pee. Your urine should be a pale straw color or transparent yellow (think light lemonade). If you’re dehydrated, your urine color will be darker yellow (think the color of honey or apple juice). Then it’s time to drink more water — about 1 to 1 1/2 cups to start — and eat some fruits and veggies!

KRON 4 | How to Stop Dieting and Lose Weight

You eat all the right foods — big leafy salads, bean soups, salmon, oatmeal and other whole grains — but you still can’t lose weight and worse yet, you may have even tacked on some extra pounds. Here’s why HOW you eat is just as critical as WHAT you eat to shed those stubborn pounds.

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Eat instinctively, that is, eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full.

‘Reach and Eat’ Behavior

Reach and eat behavior is mindless eating. It’s automatic. You eat without asking yourself, “Am I hungry?” or “Am I full?”.

‘Reach and Eat’ triggers: 

  • Walking past a vendor on the street
  • Driving by a burger drive-through
  • Passing a bowl of candies or food samples
  • Walking into the office snack room
  • Stopping at a gas station convenience store

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Use “The Hunger Scale” to Lose Weight (a.k.a. How to Stop Dieting)

Losing weight requires two key fundamental habits:

  1. Recognizing your own levels of hunger and fullness (satiety)
  2. Acting on your body’s hunger and satiety signs

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The Plus Side to Using The Hunger Scale

You decide what and how much to eat and cultivate a healthy relationship with food. Instead of focusing on external cues (i.e., being told what you should eat), you get to focus on your own internal cues (i.e., your level of hunger/fullness, cravings).

As a baby or toddler, you likely ate naturally when you were hungry, and stopped when you were comfortably full. Use “The Hunger Scale” as an easy tool to help re-learn how to eat. Master it, and you can lose weight without “dieting”.

The Hunger Scale

Tune out those external cues, such as what to eat and when to eat. Instead, listen to your own feelings by practicing ‘The Hunger Scale’ habit.

Don’t wait this long to eat…

1 Ravenous — “I’m starving!” Dizzy, weak, nauseous, shaky. You’re so hungry you’ll eat anything.

2 Uncomfortably Hungry — Lots of stomach growling. You are over-hungry and pre-occupied with hunger. You’re irritable, have low energy and a headache. Feel like ordering everything on the menu.

Eat now, then stop…

3 Very Hungry Stomach is beginning to growl. You have hunger pangs. The urge to eat is strong.

4 A Little Hungry — Beginning to feel hungry. It’s time to think about what to eat, but you can wait to eat.

5 Neutral (Neither Full Nor Hungry) — “My mind is on things other than food.”

6 Satisfied and Light — “I could eat more but…”. You are pleasantly full.

Stop eating before this point…

7 Full — Feel slightly uncomfortable. You won’t be hungry for 3 to 4 hours.

8 Very Full — Feel stuffed. Need to unbutton your pants. You don’t want anything else. “I ate more than I needed to.”

9 Very Uncomfortably Full Feel heavy. Thanksgiving full. Your stomach aches.

10 Painfully Full Feel so full you may be sick (binge fullness).

Stay in the range of No. 3 (Very Hungry) to No. 6 (Satisfied and Light). When you do, you’ll lose weight AND feel more energetic.

Apple c heart symbol_40x54Fit Tip: Become an “intuitive” eater by becoming reacquainted with your hunger and satiety signals. Eating mindfully also means eating slowly. Changing an eating behavior is not easy, so give yourself lots of time to practice “The Hunger Scale” habit.

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KRON 4 | The SMART Way to Lose Weight

How many times have you resolved to lose weight at the start of each new year, but the year went by and you hadn’t lost an ounce — or perhaps you gained weight? I explain why with Marty Gonzalez, KRON 4 Morning News weekend anchor, and provide some tips to make this year’s weight loss effort a successful one.

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Top Three Reasons Why Weight Loss Resolutions Go Astray

Aside from emotional eating and mindless eating that we talked about in previous weeks, here are more reasons why your weight loss efforts may have missed the mark.

  1. You’re a diet or exercise “perfectionist”. When perfectionists deviate even the slightest bit from a rigid diet or exercise regimen, such as eating a cookie or missing a workout, they feel like they failed (like they’re “bad”), so they give up since they couldn’t follow the program exactly. Perfectionists are bound to an “all-or-nothing” way of thinking. They’re either all in or all out — there’s no in-between with perfectionists.
  1. You focus on weight goals (“I’m going to lose 25 lbs.”) versus focusing on behavior goals. Weight is not a behavior.
  1. You don’t have a clear-cut plan. The quote, “A goal without a plan is just a wish,” rings true in the quest to lose weight. A sound weight-loss plan builds healthy habits with SMART skills.

Build Healthy Habits with SMART Skills (The SMART Way to Lose Weight)

SMART is an acronym for five behavior skills: Set a goal, Monitor your progress, Arrange your world for success, Recruit a support team, and Treat yourself.

“S” — Set a Goal: Goals put control back into your life and gives it direction, purpose, and power. In order to be effective, goals should be specific, observable, measurable, and achievable.

  • Goals are often too vague and too general, such as “I want to eat better”. Change to: “I will eat five servings of vegetables every day this week”. This goal is better because it focuses on precise details. (It is specific, observable, measurable, and achievable.)
  • New Year’s resolutions are often too ambitious at the outset and can cause you to get discouraged and stop trying. For example, if you’re out-of-shape and your goal is to jog an hour every day after work for a month, that’s likely not a goal that’s achievable. Change to: “I’ll walk 15 minutes during my lunch hour on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday this week,” which is more realistic.
  • Set weekly goals that are small and simple. Short-term goals are less daunting and help break big goals into small, doable steps. The simpler the behavior, the greater the chance you’ll accomplish it.
  • Be sure the goal is meaningful to you. That is, it’s based on YOUR desires — not those of someone else (e.g., spouse, parent). Otherwise, you’re destined for failure.

“M” — Monitor Your Progress:  If your goal is measurable, you can monitor your progress. Monitoring your progress makes you accountable, reinforces your behavior, and can be motivating.

  • This goal isn’t measurable: “I’ll make better beverage choices at lunch this week.” Change to: “I’ll drink 12 ounces of water instead of a can of soda for lunch at least three times this week.” This goal is something you can actually track and monitor.

“A” — Arrange Your World for Success:  Setting the goal is just the beginning. Deciding how you’ll achieve a goal is fundamental to accomplishing it.

  • If your goal is to walk 15 minutes during your lunch hour on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, then arranging your world for success may mean that you pack up your tennis shoes the night before, set them by the door, and take them to work. (This skill puts control back into your life and that’s extremely powerful if you lack self-control.)
  • Another example… if your goal is to eat no processed food for a week, then arranging your world for success may mean you clean out your pantry of all processed foods.

“R” — Recruit a Support Team:  Team up with others and seek outside resources.

  • Camaraderie is essential in building and sustaining healthy habits. Reach out to a friend, family member, or spouse for support as well as team up with professionals like a physician, exercise specialist, or dietician. Don’t try going it alone.

“T” — Treat Yourself: Set benchmarks. Weight loss is a slow, gradual process, so reward your achievements with NON-FOOD treats.

  • Establishing a new habit is no different from trying to potty train a new puppy. When he gets it right, you reward the behavior with a treat immediately. Reward your own efforts right away. Eventually, the behavior will become a habit and you won’t the reward anymore.
  • An example of a non-food treat could be 10 minutes of alone time or time to engage in a favorite hobby, a hot shower, etc.

The Bottom Line

1. Watch your language. When you use the words, “I have to”, “I need to”, “I should” — e.g., “I have to exercise. I need to lose weight. I should stop eating fast food.”, it implies that something is wrong with you and needs to be fixed. These are negative words and phrases and don’t put you in control of your goal.

  • When you say, “I want to” or “I will”, you empower yourself, and it puts you in the driver’s seat.

2. Make it enjoyable. Pick healthier foods and exercises that you enjoy. So if you hate to run, don’t. An exercise program should be sustainable, not torture. Try walking instead, or spinning, yoga, Pilates or Zumba.

  • Everyone has their own “fitness personality”. For example, if you’re a social exerciser (you like to talk), then you probably won’t like swimming laps, but that doesn’t mean you don’t like to exercise. It just means you haven’t found the right exercise for you.

3. Start anytime. You can start losing weight at any time of the year and on any day of the week — not just on Mondays or on the New Year!  A healthy plan doesn’t have a beginning and an end — it’s a lifestyle.

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How’s Your New Year’s Resolution Working for You?

exercise new year_600x600_dollarphotoclub_73123624If you made a promise to exercise more starting on the first of the year, three months have now passed. If you enthusiastically invested in the latest and greatest home fitness equipment or a membership at the nearest gym, how many hours have you logged in so far?

If you’ve had trouble sticking with your exercise regimen because it’s become too hard, too boring or just too _____ (you fill in the blank), here’s a New Year’s Resolution ‘addendum’ that may help.    Continue reading “How’s Your New Year’s Resolution Working for You?”

10 Ways to Lose Weight Without Sweating

If you’re trying to lose weight, join 69% of American men and women over the age of 20 who are also overweight or obese. Don’t fret. Here are 10 things you can do that’ll shed some pounds AND don’t involve walking on a treadmill, riding a bike, or running around the block.

Of these 10 things, how many do you do now? DO YOU…

☐ Stop eating when distracted by the TV, computer, phone, or a magazine/book?eating at work_dollarphotoclub_51568892_600x469


☐ Eat on a smaller plate? Do you eat on a 9″ dish versus an 11-12″ hungry man dinner plate?

Use smaller utensils or chopsticks and take smaller bites of food?

☐ Always sit down to eat?   

Chew slowly and steadily? Do you chew until your food has lost all of its texture or is liquefied?

☐ Finish chewing and swallowing completely before taking another bite of food?     Continue reading “10 Ways to Lose Weight Without Sweating”