Tag Archives: weight

Is Alcohol Sabotaging Your Weight loss??

  alcohol As someone that has suffered from Alcoholism for many years, I have experienced first hand the role alcohol plays with weight loss or lack thereof. The biggest mistake dieters make in regards to alcohol is to either have "just one glass" of wine daily or to only drink on weekends but be soooooo good during the week. Well sorry, that does not help you get results, at least not at a good healthy pace. Let me explain why. Alcohol is metabolized differently than other foods and beverages. Under normal conditions, your body gets energy from calories in carbohydrates, fats and proteins which are slowly digested and absorbed within the gastrointestinal system. However, this digestive process changes when alcohol is present. When you drink alcohol, it gets immediate attention (because it is viewed by the body as a toxin) and needs no digestion. When the body is focused on processing alcohol, its not able to properly break down foods containing carbohydrates and fat. Therefore, these calories are converted into body fat and are carried away for permanent storage (FAT). So in short, it is not the calories of the alcohol that make you fat, but all the crap that you eat with it. And we all know how hard it is to resist salty greasy food when you are drinking. So now you understand why you can't lose weight while drinking on the weekends but what about the 5 days during the week when you are "Good"? Let me explain what happens there. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that it causes water loss and dehydration. Along with this water loss you lose important minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, calcium and zinc. These minerals are vital to the maintenance of fluid balance, chemical reactions, and muscle contraction and relaxation. Your bodies natural defense to this severe dehydration is to retain water. I can guarantee that after a night of drinking, you notice a gain up to 4 pounds the next day. However, on days that you really over do it, you will wake up all dehydrated, feeling skinny with a severe hangover from binge drinking. But later in the day after you start drinking water you will see the excess weight which will stick with you for the 2 days that follow. It takes the body up to 3 days to recover from a binger and during this recovery period, you WILL NOT LOSE FAT! Your body is simply not primed to focus on burning calories from fat when it is working to repair the damage from drinking. So as you can see, if you are a "WEEKEND DRINKER", that means that you are not losing weight:
  1. Friday - Saturday while drinking. In fact you store fat during these days.
  2. Sunday - Tuesday while your body is recovering.
This means that you have Wednesday - Thursday to actually get some successful fat calorie burning. Likely most of this calorie burning is simply working off the calories stored during the weekend. It is easy to see how this cycle sabotages any weight loss. This is a perfectly fine lifestyle for someone that is maintaining their weight as long as they are cautious about food calories and continue to workout but for someone trying to actually lose weight, fat chance!!! Sorry but its the truth and I lived it for YEARS. I am an expert of this cycle. In fact I drank many weekdays also in my past. And my weight just continued to rise until I topped off at 174 pounds and finally had enough. For those of you that are serious about dropping fat and getting healthy, kick the booze, at last for a few months. Don't fall into the skinny margarita trap. If you want to see my own story and results Here You Go.  

Yams Versus Sweet Potatoes – Which is best????

Yam or sweet potato, what in the world is it? Many people use these terms interchangeably both in conversation and in cooking, but they are really two different vegetables. Sweet Potatoes Popular in the American South, these yellow or orange tubers are elongated with ends that taper to a point and are of two dominant types. The paler-skinned sweet potato has a thin, light yellow skin with pale yellow flesh which is not sweet and has a dry, crumbly texture similar to a white baking potato. The darker-skinned variety (which is most often called "yam" in error) has a thicker, dark orange to reddish skin with a vivid orange, sweet flesh and a moist texture. Current popular sweet potato varieties include Goldrush, Georgia Red, Centennial, Puerto Rico, New Jersey, and Velvet. Yams The true yam is the tuber of a tropical vine (Dioscorea batatas) and is not even distantly related to the sweet potato. Slowly becoming more common in US markets, the yam is a popular vegetable in Latin American and Caribbean markets, with over 150 varieties available worldwide. Generally sweeter than than the sweet potato, this tuber can grow over seven feet in length. The word yam comes from African words njam, nyami, or djambi, meaning "to eat," and was first recorded in America in 1676. The yam tuber has a brown or black skin which resembles the bark of a tree and off-white, purple or red flesh, depending on the variety. They are at home growing in tropical climates, primarily in South America, Africa, and the Caribbean. Yams contain more natural sugar than sweet potatoes and have a higher moisture content. Which is best for a Healthy Diet? By far, the yam due to the lower sugar content. With Diabetes rampant in our country and becoming an epidemic, lower sugar options are preferred. See the nutritional contents for each below:
Sweet potato
Amount Per
100 g
100 g
118 86
% Daily Value
% Daily Value
Total Fat
0.2 g
0 g
Saturated fat
0 g
0 g
Polyunsaturated fat
0.1 g
0 g
Monounsaturated fat
0 g
0 g
0 mg
0 mg
9 mg
55 mg
816 mg
337 mg
Total Carbohydrate
28 g
20 g
Dietary fiber
4.1 g
3 g
0.5 g
4.2 g
1.5 g
1.6 g
0 mg
0 mg
Vitamin A
138 IU
14187 IU
Vitamin C
17.1 mg
2.4 mg
17 mg
30 mg
0.5 mg
0.6 mg
Vitamin B-6
0.3 mg
0.2 mg
Vitamin B-12
0 µg
0 µg
21 mg
25 mg

The relationship between Vitamin D and PCOS

Image I had some blood work done with an endocrinologist recently in an effort to see where my hormone levels are at. I have utilized diet and exercise to reverse my PCOS symptoms but have been very tired and fatigued the past few months. I was worried my symptoms were coming back. My blood results were a little shocking, I was EXTREMELY Vitamin D Deficient. In fact the doctor wants me to take 2,000 IU of Vitamin D daily. He also mentioned it may have a connection to me not getting pregnant. So you guessed it, I got on the vitamins and started doing my research. Here is what I found: A woman suffering from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome has to deal with all the annoying systems like irregular periods, depression, weight gain, excessive facial and body hair, cysts on the ovaries and infertility.  All these PCOS symptoms are caused by a hormonal imbalance and abnormally high androgen levels.  There are many things that can help to alleviate some of these symptoms such as proper nutrition and regular exercise.  Doctors now suggest that Vitamin D can play a key roll in helping to alleviate some of the symptoms of PCOS as well. Many women who suffer from PCOS are deficient in Vitamin D.  Since Vitamin D is beneficial for improving fertility, breast health, nervous system health and weight control, it is important for those who suffer from PCOS to take a Vitamin D supplement. It is not currently known yet if low levels of Vitamin D in PCOS patients are the cause for their polycystic ovaries or if it is the other way around.  There have been studies done that have shown that using Vitamin D supplements is suspected to decease insulin resistance in women with PCOS. In fact, many women have had some great results! However, you should talk to your doctor and be cautious because the studies that have been completed were not very extensive and there is still more research to be done before making the claim that Vitamin D supplements can greatly improve the symptoms associated with PCOS. If you suffer from PCOS and you do not currently know what your Vitamin D levels are, you can have a simple blood test done at your doctor’s office to check it.  Even though doctors are not totally sure that Vitamin D supplementation with PCOS is beneficial, it is still beneficial to everyone’s health to take a supplement of Vitamin D daily. So it certainly can’t hurt as long as your doctor gives you the okay! If you are interested in testing out whether or not Vitamin D supplementation will help to improve your PCOS symptoms, you can always do an experiment of your own.  Begin taking a daily supplement of Vitamin D and chart your PCOS symptoms each day.  By doing this you will be able to know if you can personally benefit by using a Vitamin D supplement.  It’s worth a try if it helps you to feel better and live a more fulfilling life as a result. Vitamin D can be increased in the body by simply soaking in some sunshine, but for many of us that is not a daily occurrence.  If you are not able to spend 10 to 15 minutes in sunlight per day, you may want to consider taking a vitamin D supplement. As my own experiment, I started taking a multivitamin with 1,000 IU of Vitamin D twice daily and I can honestly feel the difference in my energy level. I cannot believe it was such an easy fix for my fatigue. With the uphill battle against my PCOS symptoms and weight loss, I expected yet again another battle. But just taking a supplement, that is a relief. I have even started taking my coffee outside and just enjoying the sunlight daily. So ladies and fellow Cysters, please share this with fellow Cysters. Such a simple fix.

My Challenger Made me Cry

Bri transformation I had something wonderful happen that I just have to share. This is the 60 day transformation photos for one of the women in my challenge group. She started the group Day 1 very depressed and ashamed of herself, but hopeful. By no means did she look terrible but she just felt terrible and opened up to the idea of allowing me to guide her through the challenge group process. She did great!!!! While looking at her transformation photos after the 60 day challenge was over, I mentioned to her that her posture looked better in her 60 day photo. Her response was "You stand up straighter when you're proud!!" I totally lost it and was crying. This made my whole day. I am so dang proud of her. This whole process not only brought happiness to her and her marriage but to me as well. This is exactly why I love being a Beachbody Coach. I love sharing these stories.

How I reversed my PCOS naturally

It has been quite a long and painful journey from discovering I had PCOS to finally reversing it. So to share the story, I did a video with the help of some amazing friends that are huge supporters in helping me get the word out there. It can be done! PCOS can be reversed NATURALLY! You just have to be willing to BE THE CHANGE!!!! http://youtu.be/HcEudUdirEQ

How Many Grams of Sugar Should I Consume Each Day – Max

How Many Grams of Sugar Should I Consume Per Day??
sugar lips
How many grams of sugar should an average person consume per day?
I get this question almost once a week!  So I decided to do some digging to see what was acceptable and why!  Also, there are hidden sugars in so many foods that even I didn't realize!  So it's really important that when you are starting to watch your food intake that you use a tracking device such as myfitnesspal to provide you with accurate information.
There is no definitive answer to the question, but 40 grams is  the recommended amount for non-diabetic people. 40 grams of  sugar refers mainly to added sugar, which is anything that is put into foods rather that which is naturally occurring such as in fruit.  By this logic, for instance, ALL sugar in soda would be considered  "added," since the beverage itself is constructed rather than harvested.
To understand how much sugar per day you should take is very important. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) advises adults who eat a 2,000-calorie diet to limit sugar intake to about 40 grams (10 teaspoons) of added sugar per day. A teenager who follows a healthy diet can take about 18 teaspoons of added sugars, according to USDA. (Average sugar intake of teenager is about 34 teaspoons of sugar per day.)
American Heart Association (AHA) recommends how much sugar per day we should take, the recommended daily sugar intake, which is healthy and not harmful for the body, has been developed for men and  women. How much sugar per day should we take:
  • Recommended Daily Sugar Intake for Men: 36 grams or 9 teaspoons
  • Recommended Daily Sugar Intake for Women: 20 grams or 5 teaspoons
  • Recommended Daily Sugar Intake for Children: 12 grams or 3 teaspoons
Percentage of how much sugar per day The USDA sugar guidelines suggest that no more than 8 percent of our daily calories should come from sugar. It means that how much sugar per day we take should not be more than 8 percent. High Sugar Foods Using 40 grams as the Daily Value for added sugars might reveal how much sugar per day is ideal for our body. For example, a cup of regular ice cream contains 60 percent of the proposed Daily Value for sugar, a typical cup of fruit-flavored yogurt contains 70 percent, and a 12-ounce soft drink or quarter-cup of pancake syrup contains 100 percent.
High Sugar Diets and Obesity High sugar diets, or high glycemic index diets, can cause obesity. If you eat a high glycemic food or a high glycemic load meal, will triggers a rapid rise in our blood sugar levels, our pancreas is over-stimulated and releases large amount of insulin. Result? This large quantity of insulin rapidly mops up the excess sugar in our bloodstream causing our blood sugar levels to dip quickly below normal, causing us to feel hungry once more. So even though we may have eaten a high calorie meal, we are induced to feel hungry and eat again within a short time. This process may lead to excessive calorie intake and weight gain, possibly causing obesity.

How much sugar per day should you cut down?

The recommended daily sugar intake for diabetics varies from person to person, depending on whether he/she is hypoglycemic. It’s better to consult a doctor to understand how much sugar per day you should cut down and your individual requirements for sugar before following the above mentioned information. When the recommended daily sugar intake is spoken of, it refers not to simple sugars that we take in from sodas and desserts, but sugars from complex carbohydrates and fruit. You are not being asked to eliminate sugar completely from your diet, but to compensate for the excess sugar eaten, in the form of exercise. How much exercise will depend on how much sugar per day do you take. To know how much sugar per day you should take is not a simple task, but you can definitely control it, and by getting the right amount of exercise, you can regulate how much sugar per day is being ingested and digested by your body. Mass reduction in the sugar intake, or complete elimination, is not recommended, because your body is used to high levels of sugar, your blood sugar levels may drop, leading to several other health problems such as light-headedness, weakness, nausea, etc. However, excess can also cause fatigue and hyperglycemia. Consult your doctor if you have any health problems, and also to check how much sugar per day is suitable for you.
heart fruit veggie
Indulge in the naturally sweet taste of fruits, vegetables and other whole food. Be sure to choose the fruit and vegetables with the lowest amount of sugar present in it. Instead of having sweetened yogurt, try having plain yogurt and adding a fruit. It is recommended to add fruits like raspberries, cranberries and blackberries as they are fruits with the lowest level of sugar which is definitely fine and will not affect your low sugar diet!
Besides, have a cinnamon raisin bagel with non-fat cream cheese or a toaster waffle with fresh fruits that are mentioned above instead of a cinnamon bun. Craving for milkshake? Try a homemade smoothie with real fruit and fruit juice that taste just as flavorful as a milkshake. Thus, these foods should be able to keep your sugar level low. As for beverages, choose water or unsweetened iced tea instead of soda.
Why is the amount of   a daily sugar intake important?
Sufficient daily sugar intake will ensure that our body functions properly. However, if you are like most people, you are most probably having more than what you should each day. High sugar intake will therefore lead to consequences like low energy and weight gain. In addition, high daily sugar intake will also increase your risk of heart disease by damaging your blood vessels and increasing the level of your cholesterol. Moreover, it may even chip away at your memory and cause an increase in the risk of certain cancers.
What if you consume much more than you should in a day?
Too much of a daily sugar intake will also cause tiredness in an individual. Sugar, when first consumed, gives you a surge of energy. However, this energy will not last, instead it can you leave you feeling even more tired as before. In addition, a recent study has shown that excessive daily sugar intake will lead to the formation of wrinkles.
The worst foods to eat when watching your sugar intake are:
  • White bread (includes any bread with white flour in it)
  • Pasta, unless whole grain
  • White rice
  • White flour, and products made with it such as cake, cookies, crackers, pretzels, doughnuts, bagels, and muffins
  • Potatoes and potato chips
  • Corn and corn chips
  • Sugar and products with added sugar, e.g. canned fruits in syrup
  • Jams and jellies containing added sugars
  • Ripe bananas (green OK)
  • Raisins
  • Pineapple
  • Beets
  • Parsnips
  • Honey
  • Syrups
  • Salad dressings and sauces with added sugar, such as Teriyaki sauce
  • Fruit drinks containing added sugar
  • Sugar-sweetened soft drinks
  • Sugar-cured meats (e.g. ham is often cured with salt and sugar)
  • Beer
 Foods that are acceptable for low sugar diet.
  • All other vegetables and fruits (see low carb fruit and vegetable lists.)
  • Whole grains, such as brown rice and oatmeal
  • Whole grain flour
  • Products made with 100% whole grain flour (note that “wheat  flour” is NOT whole grain – it has to say WHOLE wheat), as long as they  have no added sugars
  • Beans
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Lean meats (remove skin from poultry, trim lean cuts of beef, pork, and lamb) Nothing sugar-cured.  (Low saturated fat meat list)
  • Fish and seafood (not breaded)
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and nut butters
  • Flax Seeds
  • Olive and canola oils
  • Low fat milk and other dairy products such as unsweetened almond milk, soy or rice milk
 How to decrease your sugar intake to a healthy level?
1. Cut down slowly. Forget going cold turkey. Therein lies  failure. Instead, if you normally have two candy bars a day, cut to one a day. Then next week, one every other day. The following week, one every three days, until you’re down to just one a week. If you normally take 2 teaspoons of sugar in your coffee, use the same routine, cutting down  to 1 1/2 teaspoons for a week, then 1, then 1/2. Eventually, get to the  point where you’re drinking your coffee black. The more sugar you eat, the more you’ll crave. So cutting  down slowly is the best way to tame a sweet tooth gone wild.
2.  Grant yourself a daily sugar “quota,” and use it on foods where  it matters most. For most of us, that means desserts. Don’t waste it on  dressings, spreads, breakfast cereals, and soda. Not only will this  reduce your sugar intake in a day, but it will help you lose your sweet  tooth. Sugar is incredibly addictive: The more you eat, the more  addictive it becomes and the more it takes to satisfy you. The opposite  is also true: Train your taste buds to become accustomed to less and  you’ll be satisfied with less.
3.  Instead of downing sugary-sweet drinks like lemonade, make your own “sun tea.”  Steep decaffeinated tea bags in water and set the pitcher in the sun  for a couple of hours. Add lemon, lots of ice and enjoy the natural flavor of the tea.
4.  Remember these code words found on ingredient lists. The only way to know if the processed food you’re buying contains sugar is to know  its many aliases or other forms. Here are the common ones: brown sugar,  corn syrup, dextrin, dextrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrate,  high-fructose corn syrup, galactose, glucose, honey, hydrogenated  starch, invert sugar maltose, lactose, mannitol, maple syrup, molasses,  polyols, raw sugar, sorghum, sucrose, sorbitol, turbinado sugar, and  xylitol.
5.  Look for hidden sources of sugar. Cough syrups, chewing gum,  mints, tomato sauce, baked beans, and lunch meats often contain sugar.  Even some prescription medications contain sugar. For a week, be  particularly vigilant and scan every possible food label. You likely  won’t forget what you’ll find.
6.  Choose the right breakfast cereal. Many of them are loaded with  sugar. You want one with less than 8 grams sugar per serving or,  preferably, unsweetened altogether (steel-cut oatmeal anyone?). Use  diced fruit to sweeten your cereal.
7.  Watch out for mixed alcohol drinks. Have you ever stopped to  think about the sugar quotient of a cosmopolitan? How about a margarita  or mai tai? Drink mixes and many alcoholic beverages are absolutely thick with sugar. Stick with beer, wine, or if you prefer spirits, mix only with unsweetened seltzer or drink it  straight. Of course, seltzer water with lime will also do just fine.
8.  Shakeology can cure a wicked sweet tooth.  One of my vices for sugar cravings is Shakeology.  I tend to crave sweetness in the evenings so lately I have been saving my shakes for the evening when I need something sweet!  It has been doing wonders for me.  I mix it with ice,  unsweetened almond milk, and Vanilla Shakeology!  Plus it's low glycemic index and doesn't cause a spike in your blood sugar!  Love it!!  You should give it a try if you struggle with cravings! Ciao, Coach Jenn Graham Check out my own Transformation and Story