Saturday, March 31, 2012


Hi everyone!

Today is the final day of the contest! I hope you look back nearly three months and see that you are in a better place today than you were then. So, send in your reports and I will post results on the blog. Congratulations to everyone who made positive changes on the health front! I think it would be cool to have everyone send in the total pounds lost and I will add all of it up and we can see the total our group has lost. If you don't send in a final report maybe just send in your pounds lost so I can total that up. Thanks to all for participating. Let me know if anyone wants to continue a support group or if you have suggestions for improvements for another contest another time.

Most of all, be proud of yourself for signing up and taking the first steps to a healthier you and a healthier life. Remember that changes add up, and you are worth it! Keep up your good new habits, and enjoy Spring and summer when you can get out and move, and eat more fresh foods.Best wishes to you all! And thanks for participating and making this contest possible. Have a great weekend!


Total points is listed first, in parentheses is the weight loss (WL) and exercise (E). I've starred the ones that I've updated so far and will update the rest as I get more reports.

DeAnn (WL , E )
Debby (WL , E )
Donna (WL, E)
Erin 10.63 (WL 8.33 , E 2.3 )
Heidi 4.67 (WL 3.27, E 1.4)
Joanna (WL, E)
*Matt 9.773 (WL 7.173 , E 2.6)
Paul (WL, E)
*Paula 18.6 (WL 12.3 , E 6.3)
*Rebecca 19.464 (WL 13.064 , E 6.4 )
*Rozanne 17.302 (WL 10.802, E 6.5)
Sarah (WL, E)
Steve 8.41 (WL 7.01, E 1.4 )
Terrel (WL , E )

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Results for Week 12 (ending March 24)

Total points is listed first, in parentheses is the weight loss (WL) and exercise (E). I've starred the ones that I've updated so far and will update the rest as I get more reports.

DeAnn (WL , E )
Debby (WL , E )
Donna (WL, E)
*Erin 10.63 (WL 8.33 , E 2.3 )
*Heidi 4.67 (WL 3.27, E 1.4)
Joanna (WL, E)
*Matt 9.36 (WL 6.96 , E 2.4)
Paul (WL, E)
*Paula 17.1 (WL 11.3 , E 5.8)
*Rebecca 17.46 (WL 11.56 , E 5.9 )
*Rozanne 15.259 (WL 9.259, E 6.0)
Sarah (WL, E)
Steve 8.41 (WL 7.01, E 1.4 )
Terrel (WL , E )

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Results for Week Ending March 17

Total points is listed first, in parentheses is the weight loss (WL) and exercise (E). I've starred the ones that I've updated so far and will update the rest as I get more reports. Remember to send them to again this week.

DeAnn (WL , E )
Debby (WL , E )
Donna (WL, E)
*Erin 9.838 (WL 7.738 , E 2.1 )
Heidi 4.67 (WL 3.27, E 1.4)
Joanna (WL, E)
Matt 7.26 (WL 5.06 , E 2.2)
Paul (WL, E)
*Paula 16.3 (WL 11.0 , E 5.3)
*Rebecca 16.383 (WL 10.983 , E 5.4 )
*Rozanne 14.759 (WL 9.259, E 5.5)
Sarah (WL, E)
Steve 8.41 (WL 7.01, E 1.4 )
Terrel (WL , E )

Friday, March 16, 2012

Motivate your Metabolism

Losing weight isn't about eating less, it's about eating more-more nutrition-dense food, to crowd out the empty calories and keep you full all day. That's important, because restricting food will kill your metabolism. It sends a signal to your body that says, "I'm starving here!" And your body responds by slowing your metabolic rate in order to hold onto existing energy stores. What's worse, if the food shortage (meaning, your crash diet) continues, you'll begin burning muscle tissue, which just gives your enemy, visceral fat, a greater advantage. Your metabolism drops even more, and fat goes on to claim even more territory. Here are some no-brainer ways to motivate your metabolism to burn more fat.

 A study in Finland looked at sets of identical twins and discovered that of each set of siblings, the twin who slept less and was under more stress had more visceral fat.
2. EAT MORE PROTEIN Your body needs protein to maintain lean muscle. In a 2006 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, "The Underappreciated Role of Muscle in Health and Disease," researchers argue that the present recommended daily allowance of protein, 0.36 grams per pound of body weight, was established using obsolete data and is woefully inadequate for an individual doing resistance training. Researchers now recommend that women get an amount between 0.54 and 1 gram per pound of body weight. (If you want to lose weight, use your goal body weight as your guide.) Add a serving, like 3 ounces of lean meat, 2 tablespoons of nuts, or 8 ounces of low-fat yogurt, to every meal and snack. Plus, research shows protein can up postmeal calorie burn by as much as 35 percent.
3. GO ORGANIC WHEN YOU CAN Canadian researchers report that dieters with the most organochlorines (pollutants from pesticides, which are stored in fat cells) experience a greater than normal dip in metabolism as they lose weight, perhaps because the toxins interfere with the energy-burning process. In other words, pesticides make it harder to lose pounds. Other research hints that pesticides can trigger weight gain. Of course, it's not always easy to find-or easy to afford-a whole bunch of organic produce. So you need to know when organic counts, and when it's not that important. Organic onions, avocado, grapefruit? Not necessary. But choose organic when buying celery, peaches, strawberries, apples, blueberries, nectarines, sweet bell peppers, spinach, kale / collard greens, cherries, potatoes, and imported grapes; they tend to have the highest levels of pesticides.
4. GET UP, STAND UP Whether you sit or stand at work may play as big a role in your health and your waistline as your fitness routine. Missouri University researchers discovered that inactivity (4 hours or more) causes a near shutdown of an enzyme that controls fat and cholesterol metabolism, so you store more fat, rather than using it for energy, all day long. To keep this enzyme active and increase your fat burning, break up long periods of downtime by standing up--for example, while talking on the phone.
5. DRINK COLD WATER German researchers found that drinking 6 cups of cold water a day (that's 48 ounces) can raise resting metabolism by about 50 calories daily--enough to shed 5 pounds in a year. The increase may come from the work it takes to heat the water to body temperature. Though the extra calories you burn drinking a single glass doesn't amount to much, making it a habit can add up to pounds lost with essentially zero additional effort.

gym or house work?

Over the weekend I helped a friend clean his client’s house for his home-cleaning business.  This was a particularly dirty home as it hadn’t been cleaned in a long time and the client who just bought the home didn’t want to tackle the cleaning project by themselves prior to their move-in date.
We spent about 3 1/2 hours on our hands and knees scrubbing baseboards, cleaning doors, closet spaces, windows, toilets, mirrors, showers, floors, etc.  There was a lot of squatting, getting up and going back down to the ground, reaching high, and stretching down low. What  a workout cleaning this home was!
The next day my body was so sore! I woke to aching muscles, tired hands and a new-found appreciation for professional house cleaners!
To reach our fitness goals, we don’t always have to visit the gym.  Using our own body weight while doing every day chores in the home can provide us with the tools we need to give our muscles a great workout!  My quads are sore, but I am so happy they actually received a bit of a workout.
According to a calculator on, a 140 pound person performing 3 hours of housework will burn approximately 554 calories while a person weighing 190 pounds can burn up to 752 calories! That’s quite impressive. What a great concept: burning calories while doing housework!
The next time you decide going to the gym is just not an option, think about getting your workout in at home– cleaning baseboards and trim around your doors is a great way to burn extra calories while using your body weight to tone your muscles.
If housework is not your gig (you’re likely to hire out your cleaning duties to professional home cleaners), there are some great online cardio courses for you to use for your “home gym” or even outings to your neighborhood gym if that’s your preference.  I recently found a great 12-week cardio course that helps you achieve a lean look without bulking up–can’t guarantee the squats during your housework routine won’t bulk up your legs!
Whether your weekly household chores or your 12-week supercharged cardio workout session is your exercise of choice, one thing is for sure– you’re moving around and that’s all that matters!
(Me again: Good gracious, I really aught to clean my house! It is in sad need and I could use the workout time.)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Results for Week Ending March 10

Total points is listed first, in parentheses is the weight loss (WL) and exercise (E). I've starred the ones that I've updated so far and will update the rest as I get more reports. Remember to send them to this week since Becca is in the middle of moving to their new house.

DeAnn (WL , E )
Debby (WL , E )
Donna (WL, E)
*Erin 9.338 (WL 7.738 , E 1.6 )
*Heidi 4.67 (WL 3.27, E 1.4)
Joanna (WL, E)
Matt 7.26 (WL 5.06 , E 2.2)
Paul (WL, E)
*Paula 15.4 (WL 10.6 , E 4.8)
*Rebecca 14.84 (WL 9.94 , E 4.9 )
*Rozanne 13.07 (WL 8.07, E 5)
Sarah (WL, E)
*Steve 8.41 (WL 7.01, E 1.4 )
Terrel (WL , E )

Thursday, March 8, 2012

25 Tips

These are the 23 tips that Becca sent us the link to:

23 tips (there aren't 25 tips here. One of the tips was just recommended reading, one of them has to do with alcohol(i.e. drink less of it))

here's the link:

Time Your Meals
Set a timer for 20 minutes and reinvent yourself as a slow eater. This is one of the top habits for slimming down without a complicated diet plan. Savor each bite and make it last until the bell chimes. Paced meals offer great pleasure from smaller portions and trigger the body's fullness hormones. Wolfing your food down in a hurry blocks those signals and causes overeating.

Sleep More, Weigh Less
Sleeping an extra hour a night could help a person drop 14 pounds in a year, according to a University of Michigan researcher who ran the numbers for a 2,500 calorie per day intake. His scenario shows that when sleep replaces idle activities – and the usual mindless snacking – you can effortlessly cut calories by 6%. Results would vary for each person, but sleep may help in another way, too. There's evidence that getting too little sleep revs up your appetite, making you uncommonly hungry.

Serve More, Eat More Veggies
Serve three vegetables with dinner tonight, instead of just one, and you'll eat more without really trying. Greater variety tricks people into eating more food – and eating more fruits and vegetables is a great way to lose weight. The high fiber and water content fills you up with fewer calories. Cook them without added fat. And season with lemon juice and herbs rather than drowning their goodness in high-fat sauces or dressings.

When Soup's On, Weight Comes Off
Add a broth-based soup to your day and you'll fill up on fewer calories. Think minestrone, tortilla soup, or Chinese won-ton. Soup's especially handy at the beginning of a meal because it slows your eating and curbs your appetite. Start with a low-sodium broth or canned soup, add fresh or frozen vegetables and simmer. Beware of creamy soups, which can be high in fat and calories.

Go for Whole Grains
Whole grains such as brown rice, barley, oats, buckwheat, and whole wheat also belong in your stealthy weight loss strategy. They help fill you up with fewer calories and may improve your cholesterol profile, too. Whole grains are now in many products including waffles, pizza crust, English muffins, pasta, and soft "white" whole-wheat bread.

Eyeball Your Skinny Clothes
Hang an old favorite dress, skirt, or a smokin' pair of jeans where you'll see them every day. This keeps your eyes on the prize. Choose an item that's just a little too snug, so you reach this reward in a relatively short time. Then pull out last year's cocktail dress for your next small, attainable goal.

Skip the Bacon
Pass on those two strips of bacon at breakfast or in your sandwich at lunch time. This simple move saves about 100 calories, which can add up to a 10 pound weight loss over a year. Other sandwich fixings can replace the flavor with fewer calories. Think about tomato slices, banana peppers, roasted red bell peppers, grainy mustard, or a light spread of herbed goat cheese.

Build a Better Slice of Pizza
Choose vegetable toppings for pizza instead of meat and you may be able to shave 100 calories from your meal. Other skinny pizza tricks: Go light on the cheese or use reduced-fat cheese and choose a thin, bread-like crust made with just a touch of olive oil.

Sip Smart: Cut Back on Sugar
Replace one sugary drink like regular soda with water or a zero-calorie seltzer and you'll avoid about 10 teaspoons of sugar. Add lemon, mint or frozen strawberries for flavor and fun.
The liquid sugar in soda appears to bypass the body's normal fullness cues. One study compared an extra 450 calories per day from jelly beans vs. soda. The candy eaters unconsciously ate fewer calories overall, but not so the soda drinkers. They gained 2.5 vpounds in four weeks.

Sip Smart: Use a Tall, Thin Glass
Use a tall, skinny glass instead of a short, wide tumbler to cut liquid calories -- and your weight -- without dieting. You'll drink 25%-30% less juice, soda, wine, or any other beverage.
How can this work? Brian Wansink, PhD, says visual cues can trick us into consuming more or less. His tests at Cornell University found all kinds of people poured more into a short, wide glass —- even experienced bartenders.

Sip Smart: Go for Green Tea

Drinking green tea may also be a good weight loss strategy. Some studies suggest that it can rev up the body's calorie-burning engine temporarily, possibly through the action of phytochemicals called catechins. At the very least, you'll get a refreshing drink without tons of calories.

Slip Into a Yoga State of Mind
Women who do yoga tend to weigh less than others, according to a study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. What's the connection? The yoga regulars reported a more "mindful" approach to eating. For example, they tend to notice the large portions in restaurants but eat only enough to feel full. Researchers think the calm self-awareness developed through yoga may help people resist overeating.

Eat at Home
Eat home-cooked meals at least five days a week to live like a thin person. A Consumer Reports survey found this was a top habit of "successful losers." Sound daunting? Cooking may be easier than you think. Shortcut foods can make for quick meals, such as pre-chopped lean beef for fajitas, washed lettuce, pre-cut veggies, canned beans, cooked chicken strips, or grilled deli salmon.

Catch the "Eating Pause"
Most people have a natural "eating pause," when they drop the fork for a couple of minutes. Watch for this moment and don't take another bite. Clear your plate and enjoy the conversation. This is the quiet signal that you're full, but not stuffed. Most people miss it.

Chew Strong Mint Gum
Chew sugarless gum with a strong flavor when you're at risk for a snack attack. Making dinner after work, at a party, watching TV, or surfing the Internet are a few dangerous scenarios for mindless snacking. Gum with a big flavor punch overpowers other foods so they don't taste good.

Shrink Your Dishes
Chose a 10-inch lunch plate instead of a 12-inch dinner plate to automatically eat less. Cornell's Brian Wansink, PhD, found in test after test that people serve more and eat more food with larger dishes. Shrink your plate or bowl to cut out 100-200 calories a day – and 10-20 pounds in a year. In Wansink's tests, no one felt hungry or even noticed when tricks of the eye shaved 200 calories off their daily intake.

Get Food Portions Right
The top habit of slim people is to stick with modest food portions at every meal, five days a week or more. "Always slim" people do it and successful losers do it, too, according to a Consumer Reports survey. After measuring portions a few times, it can become automatic. Make it easier with small "snack" packs and by keeping serving dishes off the table at meal time.

Try the 80-20 Rule
Americans are conditioned to keep eating until they're stuffed, but residents of Okinawa eat until they're 80% full. They even have a name for this naturally slimming habit: hara hachi bu. We can adopt this healthy habit by dishing out 20% less food, according to researcher Brian Wansink, PhD. His studies show most people don't miss it.

Eat Out Your Way
Restaurant meals are notoriously fattening, so consider these special orders that keep portions under control:
Split an entrée with a friend.
Order an appetizer as a meal.
Choose the child's plate.
Get half the meal in a doggie bag before it's brought to the table.
Complement a smaller entrée with extra salad for the right balance: half the plate filled with veggies.

Reach for the Red Sauce
Choose marinara sauce for pasta instead of Alfredo sauce. The tomato-based sauces tend to have fewer calories and much less fat than cream-based sauces. But remember, portion size still counts. A serving of pasta is one cup or roughly the size of a tennis ball.

Go Meatless More Often
Eating vegetarian meals more often is a slimming habit. Vegetarians tend to weigh less than meat eaters. While there are several reasons for this, legumes may play an important role. Bean burgers, lentil soup, and other tasty legume-based foods are simply packed with fiber. Most Americans get only half of this important nutrient, which fills you up with fewer calories.

Burn 100 Calories More
Lose 10 pounds in a year without dieting by burning an extra 100 calories every day. Calories burned per activity will vary depending on a person's weight. Try one of these activities:
Walk 1 mile, about 20 minutes.
Pull weeds or plant flowers for 20 minutes.
Mow the lawn for 20 minutes.
Clean house for 30 minutes.
Jog for 10 minutes.

When you've kicked the soda habit or simply made it through the day without overeating, pat yourself on the back. You've moved closer to a slimming lifestyle that helps people lose weight without crazy or complicated diet plans. Phone a friend, get a pedicure, buy new clothes -- or on occasion, indulge in a small slice of cheesecake.