Labels Are More Important Than Calories

I promise you that if you follow the next tip, you will lose weight and even feel better with more energy and a clear mind.

I usually take my snack to “work” (I do quote marks because my job is not work for me. It is my passion ;)). However, many times I end up forgetting my snack at home. When this happens, I go to the supermarket to get it.

It is very interesting how I have trained my brain. I go straight to the produce area and pick up a couple of pieces of fruit. Sometimes I feel like eating something different. Nevertheless, I know that I will end up finding mostly junk in the supermarket. I turn around, pay for my fruit and go back to continue working on my passion.

Before I knew about processed foods, I would grab something that reminded me of my childhood. I bet you have a product that reminds you of your childhood. Since I’m from Mexico, of course, there are some Mexican pastries that take me back.

After I studied the effects of processed foods and understood why I had some extra fat and also how they were affecting my health, I started to check the labels. I was not checking for calories; I was checking the ingredients. I honestly didn’t remember that these products had so many chemicals and preservatives. It could be because companies did not use them as much when they were smaller, but as they grow and start exporting they need to use them. Or it could be because I simply was not aware and I did not care and did not pay attention to the labels. The truth is that now most processed foods are full of things that affect our weight and health.

I do a Grocery Tour 4 times at year for the community. The tour is very simple. We go aisle by aisle, and I let people choose their product.

One of the big mistakes most humans make, including me, is tending to think that people are like us. When I pick up processed foods, my habit is to first check the ingredients, so I feel like everyone must do the same. When I assess people I make the mistake of thinking that people know what products to avoid when we talk about them. Nevertheless, that is not the case all the time.

I noticed that many people choose their product for the appearance of the wrapping or because they were introduced to it without checking the label. Also, others check for calories and others only for sugars and fats.

But many people don’t know what is in their “foods” or that many corporations know how to hide their sugars, preservatives and chemicals as “vitamins,” “barley malt,” “agave nectar,” “dextrose” and others.

While there are some canned products that are acceptable, most of them are just junk.

Next time you go to the supermarket and get anything that is processed, read the labels, and you will be impressed how many ingredients you will find in your product or how clever companies can be in hiding their chemicals and sugars.

It got to the point that I checked my favorite pastries’ label only in hopes that they’d changed the ingredients so I could have one, because I do miss the taste. But I came to the conclusion that they never will, and because my health is more important than any flavor, I stick with my fruit.

If your goal is to stay healthy and lose weight or not gain fat weight, read the labels. It would make a big difference in your life.

This Is How I Avoid Food Temptations

Last week I was interviewed by a high school boy who wants to be a personal trainer. On my way to the interview I was thinking about the best advice I can give him so he can succeed in this career.

I know how important it is to have questions prepared before interviewing someone so that no one’s time is wasted. I didn’t think this young man would be ready with questions.

But to my surprise he asked several very good questions. So my plan to give him good advice didn’t work the way I expected. It happened organically, and I answered his questions with my story.

We talked about how I got into this career, what is difficult about the business, how I passed my test, and food. He was especially interested in food. He wanted to know what to eat and how do I eat, so I told him my basic rules and my diet.

First, I told him that I get all my nutrients from food, I don’t take any supplements,

I eat a high percentage of veggies for lunch and dinner, I eat my fruit as snacks, I eat on schedule, and I avoid processed foods, fast foods, sugar, added sugar drinks and alcohol. I also do my best to eat whole foods.

After giving him an idea of my basic food rules he asked me a very good question that many of us ignore: “How can I avoid temptation?” I replied that I am not a machine, I am a human being just like him, and I do understand how that feels. I know how it feels to be tempted by things that we’re not supposed eat.

So the first thing I do is what a rehabbed alcoholic does: I don’t go where I’ll be tempted. A rehabbed alcoholic must avoid bars, and I avoid fast food restaurants or any other place that sells processed foods that I like.

Then I make use of my best tool: I think about my goals and the end results. If I want a healthy life and a nice body, eating the wrong foods won’t help me. So I always take into consideration the end results of the action I am about to take. Having in mind the goal and the purpose of the goal helps me walk away from temptation.

I think besides wanting to become a great personal trainer, my interviewer also wants to practice what he’s going to teach.

He seems to have some struggles with eating, like most of us. It reminds me of a guy who works at a car part shop who told me that he is doing his best to lose 10 pounds and he has not been able to. He could stand to lose 20 pounds for sure.

I told him that it is very easy.

All he has to do is eat healthily, and he will lose that 10 pounds in a month or two at the most. Then I showed him a picture of my father, who lost 22 pounds in only 5 weeks, to show him that it is possible.

So to start losing weight all you have to do is pay attention to your eating and eat the best, healthy foods. To complement the process, it is also important to remember the results of the action you are going to take when eating the wrong foods and remembering the goal and purpose of losing weight.

Vitamin and Supplements For Weight Loss

I have yet to meet a personal trainer that does not receive commission for selling supplements. I can increase my revenue by at least $1000 to $2000 dollars a month by recommending or pushing supplements on my clients. For example, protein, vitamins, workout aids and so on. The reason why I did not join the trend is because I care about our members’ health. Money is not the key but the value that I provide to them is.

Vitamins have become part of some people’s lives, while many other people don’t use them and are still meeting their daily requirements.  Sometimes people ask me whether it’s advisable to take vitamins.  Some doctors, nurses and nutritionists recommend vitamins or supplements.  While is true that many people don’t meet their daily vitamin requirement, supplements are not always the answer. I am not a doctor and I am not pretending to be, but what I can share with you is what I have discovered through my own experiences.

As an example, people who drink more than the recommended levels and people who use drugs (recreational or prescribe) may have a vitamin deficiency.  The solution in most cases is the change of lifestyle and eating habits.

However, proper and balanced levels of essential nutrients are important for a range of complex processes in our body.  When vitamins are taken as supplements, they are introduced into the body at levels that could never be achieved by eating the healthiest diet.  This statement does not mean that the more the person takes vitamin, the healthier the person will be.

If the person opts for taking vitamins, it may run into a second problem such as, diarrhea, kidney stones, dangerously levels of iron, calcification, liver intoxication, hair loss, nerve damage and improper absorption of minerals.

The best way to get vitamins is by eating whole foods.  And  though some  people worry  that they won’t  meet their daily vitamin  recommendations via diet,  the truth is that all the vitamins we need–including folic acid and omega 3–are in food, mostly in common vegetables.    For instance, folic acid or vitamin B9 are in asparagus, broccoli, and citrus fruits.  One plate of romaine lettuce, turnip greens, or kale a day provides an individual with the daily recommended intake of folic acid.  Flaxseeds, walnuts, beef, Brussel sprouts and cauliflower are foods that contain omega 3.  Nevertheless, these are not the only foods that are rich in folic acid and omega 3. Other foods are also reach in folic acid and omega 3 are  lentils, beans, avocado, almonds, celery, carrots, squash, papaya, strawberries, raspberries and corn. With all these possibilities, I doubt that people will lack folic acid or omega 3 if they eat properly.

Keep in mind that vitamins are not drugs or miracle cures pills and taking large doses of vitamins can be harmful. Eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains will provide the body with all the vitamins it needs, at the right level and in the right balance. Vitamin pills or supplements can’t replace a healthy diet.

Health Starts Within

Health Starts Within

Are you aware of how many knowledgeable and wonderful health care professionals we have right here in the Roaring Fork Valley? I had no idea until I began to organize with them to build awareness around natural health and ways to improve your life through our knowledge. That is how I came up with the idea to bring you the Annual Health Fair. This is a gathering of professionals who are committed to sharing valuable information and services with the public. Unfortunately, the Health Fair was last weekend, but I have the video here in case you missed it! Keep yours eyes open for more information regarding this next event.

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Factors Add Up

Are you familiar with compounding? If not, here is just a little information about it. The exact definition of compounding is: “make (something bad) worse; intensify the negative aspects of.” In this case we are talking about weight loss and how your decisions good or bad can compound to produce certain results. This video goes into great detail about the decisions and factors that you are making or that are compounding to yield the results you are experiencing. This seems like common sense, right? If we make good decisions and all the right choices all the time, ultimately we will get exactly what we want. Even though there is much truth to this conclusions, it is not realistic and many times we are not making the “right” choice that will produce positive results. Rather, we make poor choices and then justify them thinking that we will do better next time or it is just this once. This is normal human behavior due to the fact that we are pleasure seekers, and often times the things that bring us pleasure are not always the things that will move us closer to our goals. Therefore, we must learn how to be realistic and understand that some choices are OK once in awhile, but if we continuously make poor choices, and justify them over and over, they add up quickly and will leave us running in circles, ultimately trapping us in a viscous cycle that will keep us from reaching our weight loss goals.This video will help you realize what you can do to break this cycle and live a happier and healthier life!

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Meal Plan Creator

Have you tried Chiles Rellenos? It is a Mexican dish, one of my favorites, by the way. I am not very picky about my food. However, I like it to have some flavor. Having a dish that is pale without flavor is not something I am looking forward to at the end of the day. I like spicy sauces and many times I love to pan sear my veggies.

When I started to learn more about diets, I began understand why many diets are not realistic. While many diets are good, many people can’t stick to them because they are not suitable for that individual.

At any rate, the truth is that many people, just like me, are accustomed to their cultural dishes and there is nothing wrong with it. People can still lose weight while enjoying their foods. Even though we should only eat for nutrients, we still want it to be a pleasurable experience.

This is how I help CBF’s members to lose weight and transform their bodies, by helping them to understand that they can still enjoy the foods that they love and continue losing weight. In fact, last week I assessed one of our members and she has lost 19 pounds in two months. She had many question about the way she was eating and I answered them all. She was very confused in the past and so happy that she has found a solution that she starting crying. She believed many myths and wrong recommendations about food, and this is the reason why she was not very successful about her weight loss before she came to CBF.

Here, I want to share with you this video I made to help you design your meal plan. It is very simple to follow. I teach you how to set realistic and achievable goals. Plus, I teach you how to eat your meals and snacks on a schedule, what products you should not be eating and what you should be eating. All without omitting the dishes you love.

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How To Achieve Weight Loss Goals

I get very excited when new clients walk through my door ready to start their weight loss program.

After I introduce myself, we go straight to the body composition assessment. Based on their body composition, we start talking about their lives, desires and goals.

It is very important for my clients to be transparent about what they hope to achieve and what is stopping them from achieving it. Before we set up goals, I ask basic questions that help me understand if their problem is superficial and can be properly fixed by healthy eating and exercise.

In most cases this is simple and straightforward. This means that most people only need to understand their bad habits and replace them with good habits. This is when goal setting is very simple.

But that is not always the case. Sometimes it is not so simple to achieve weight loss goals. I have some clients who come with other difficulties: some are taking anti-depressants, others don’t have control of their lives yet and some are going into a very difficult part of their lives.

While weight loss is possible for people in these situations, the reality is that most people need to take care of their first issue, or at least have a plan to overcome it, before being able to stick to a weight loss program.

Here is an example of how one such issue can affect weight loss: anti-depressants contribute to weight gain.

While a person can lose weight while using anti-depressants, the weight loss might be very minimal. They must be extremely meticulous about what they eat and exercise rigorously to see a change. The problem is that most people can’t follow a structured lifestyle plan under these circumstances.

While I help my clients set up their weight loss goals, I advise them about the limitations they face because of the other factors that contribute to weight gain. I think the most ethical thing a professional can do is to disclose all side effects, including short and long-term, to the client.

With knowledge comes power. The best we can do is provide accurate information, but it’s up to the client to ultimately make a decision.

Before planning any weight loss program my advice is to talk to a capable doctor and find all the factors that may be contributing to your weight gain.

Then, when you start your weight loss program, you won’t feel like you’re swimming against the current.

Also, having a supportive family is a powerful contribution to adhering to a weight loss program. This means that the members of the family will respect the individual’s decisions about what is best for him or her in their weight loss program.

Forcing a person to do something she or he does not want to do will not deliver results. Understanding and support will deliver results.

Having devastating events, such as losing a loved one, are events we can’t control.

However, we can control what we can do about it. Many people decide to change their life and lose weight when they’re going through some emotional pain.

There is nothing wrong with changing one’s life in this stage. However, we need to understand that our commitment must be stronger than our emotional pain.

Evaluating all the factors that will impact on your weight loss program is a must for you to be successful.

These factors can be from medication, to support and emotional events. Find the right answers to all of them and don’t settle until you achieve your goal.

Committed to your happiness, health and well-being,