Healthy Eating

What Are Your Secrets to Weight Loss? Here Are Mine

If you are someone who lost excess weight and kept it off, how did you do it?  Have you adapted new habits?  Do you stress less about weight than you used to before you learned how to keep it off? Do you feel better? 

As a health coach, I study all aspects of nutrition, including weight loss.  There are many factors that enter into success or failure for anyone seeking to lose weight. 

Secrets That You Need to Know

  1. You are unique. All aspects of your life story matter when you make a plan to lose weight. A one size fits all does not work with weight loss. 
  2. The proportion of fat and muscle in your body influences the amount of food that’s right for you.  Fat/muscle ratio affects your metabolic rate. Muscle is lost when weight loss is rapid, so don't try crash diets. 
  3. The number of hours you go without eating may affect your weight.  You should have a minimum of 12 hours of not eating to burn stored fat and better regulate your body’s hormones. 
  4. Learn to LOVE YOUR BODY.  It’s very hard to eat healthy and take care of yourself if you hate your body.  Stop criticizing your body and honor it as if it’s a temple.  You’ll treat it better when you do. 
  5. Be patient.  No one gains their extra weight at one time; it is a gradual process that sometimes spans decades.  When you decide to lose weight, focus on your improved eating habits and how they make you feel.  Consistent healthy eating will trim the excess pounds. 

What I Recommend as Essential Practices for a Healthy Weight

  1. Move your focus away from the scale and calorie counting and focus on eating well and eating with awareness.  
  2. Eating well means eating simple whole foods, mainly organic, that you prepare at home
  3. Eating with awareness means consciousnly enjoying the experience of eating and noticing when you have had enough. 
  4. Hydration is an important factor in weight management.  You should take your present body weight, divide it in half, and drink that many ounces of water, herbal tea and other liquids each day. It not only hydrates your body, it also gives you a feeling of fullness and supports regular bowel movements.  
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Squash and Apples  - Two Sweet Delights

Here's a soup for those of you looking for a little sweet in autumn.  

24 oz. of chicken or vegetable stock
1 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 med. apple, peeled, cored and cut into 2-inch pieces
1sm.. onion, finely chopped
1 med. shallot, finely chopped
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp. dried
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried leaf
1/2 c coconut milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. finely ground pepper

Extra rosemary, parsley or thyme leaves

Heat stock in 6 quart enamel or stainless steel casserole until simmering.

Add squash, apple, onion, shallots, and herbs. Simmer covered for 30 minutes or until all vegetables are soft and tender.

Puree in food processor fitted with steel blade or in blender.

Return to pan and add coconut milk. Add salt and pepper and simmer for 6 minutes. Taste for seasoning.

Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with herbs

A Doctor's Recipe for a Healthy Breakfast

Dr. Monique Tello of Harvard School of Public Health is a working mom who takes the train to work. She needs something quick, easy and transportable as many of us do.  She combines fruit/yogurt/grain/nut bowl for her breakfast, which happens to be my daughter's daily breakfast. I personally cannot eat the same thing for breakfast every day. If I have time to eat at home it's likely to be sautéed vegetables with a pasture raised egg.  That is not transportable so it's only on eating in mornings I have that. In the office the fruit/yogurt.grains/nut bowl works perfectly. 

Here's Dr. Tello's description of her breakfast ingredients:

  • "Frozen fruit: berries, mixed fruit, fruit with kale bits, whatever. Fruit is frozen at the peak of freshness, so the quality and vitamin content can be better than what’s in the produce aisle. We buy large bags of frozen mixed berries at the wholesale club or discount grocery, as they are much more economical than fresh and don’t go bad.
  • Nuts and/or seeds and/or grains of your preference: for example, unsalted nuts, toasted seeds or grains, or a combination such as a low-sugar granola. 
  • Your favorite yogurt, ideally plain or low-sugar.

Either the night before or the day of work, grab a plastic container that can hold at least a few cups, and fill with the frozen fruit, heaped up at the top (mine holds 3.5 cups). Defrost it in the microwave (mine takes about 3 minutes). Put a top on it. Throw that in your lunch box alongside a snack-sized baggie of nuts and/or seeds and/or grains (I like cashews), and the yogurt. Don’t forget your spoon.

Why is this a healthy breakfast?

The fruit is not a token sprinkle, nor a decorative touch. The fruit makes up the bulk of this meal. There’s fiber in the fruit, and plant sugars in their natural form, not to mention healthy fat in the nuts, and protein in the yogurt. A low-sugar yogurt will leave us feeling more satisfied, for longer. We won’t get the insulin spike that triggers hunger pangs (unlike when we eat processed carbs).

If you want to step it up a notch, ditch the dairy. We can get plenty of calcium and other vitamins from leafy greens and other veggies. Personally, I’m not there yet, as I love yogurt, and have weighed the added benefits of my beloved creamy protein and probiotics against the recognized risks of regular consumption of animal products. So, I limit my intake of animal products as much as I can, and enjoy my daily morning yogurt."

How would that work for you?  Additional at work options might be whole oats that you reheat in the morning and add nuts, cinnamon and fruit. 

Planning Is Key

We can have the best of intentions, but unless you have the ingredients you need at the ready, a healthy breakfast, lunch or dinner just won't happen. 

If you're not sure of what a healthy shopping list looks like, contact me and I will send you one.