Diet Dispatches

Feeling stronger every day

November 15, 2011 

Exercise pays off

Carole Tanzer Miller, features editor, writes: The scale is back on my side, bouncing comfortably between 136.2 and 138.7. My khakis fit a little looser. I'm breathing easier. Feeling stronger. Life is good.

I've been using meal replacements (having banana pudding as I write this) a couple times a day and watching my intake of sugars, and it is paying off. So is exercise. I'm using the stairs most of the time and getting in a half-hour of Wii Fit or walking most days.

The exercise has also had a beneficial effect on my bones. The results of my annual bone scan show that my bone density is significantly improved from a year ago. Weight-bearing exercise is a key part of the formula for preventing and reversing osteoporosis. I still don't enjoy it much, but I'm sold on the benefits.

Raw also pays off

Community blogger Tahira Nyabinghi writes: Beginning weight: 230/Current weight: 150

For many weeks, a chronic illness has put me in and out of the hospital and on long-term bed rest. During my extended absence from the blog, I have relocated and have taken a new job as well. I posted a current photo so you can see the changes (on the blog). In my case, the raw food lifestyle is better for my condition than consuming any type of cooked or processed food. My physicians informed me that my prolonged illness was due more to the weather and stress, not my diet. Physically, I am doing much better and learning how to appreciate the simplicity of life.

My family, though they understand my changes, can only see with carnivore eyes and do not care for my unique palate. Each day offers different challenges.

Avoiding the sugar

Community blogger Alan Foster writes: Beginning weight: 225/Current weight: 205

I recently read the book "The Belly Fat Cure" by Jorge Cruise. It gave me an interesting insight on the role sugar and insulin play on the amount of fat our body stores.

While I'm not actually counting the grams of sugar I consume as the book suggests, I am paying attention to the sugar content of everything I eat. I'm finding a lot of "diet" foods such as my favorite Lean Cuisines have a sugar content that is a little high according to the book's standards. Even my favorite fruits, such as oranges and apples contribute a notable amount of sugar to my daily intake.

Over the remaining weeks of this yearlong journey, I'm going to try to significantly reduce the amount of sugar I consume. I sure would love to get below 200 pounds before the holidays arrive with pumpkin pie, eggnog and Christmas cookies in tow.

Working out stress

Community blogger Muriel Watson writes: Beginning weight Jan. 1: 326/Current weight: 243

It was inventory week at the store, and that is a huge stressor for me. Rather than letting it get to me, however, I decided to prolong my workout rather than stress over the outcome. To me, working out is a great stress reliever. I ended up doing 130 minutes on the elliptical one day, instead of the usual 100 minutes. Afterward, I felt great!

I lost another 6.5 pounds over the week. After last week's disappointment (I had lost 6 pounds of body fat but had 6 pounds of extra water weight), this week's loss made up for it all. My doctor and I agreed that the extra water weight happened because I wasn't drinking as much water (140 ounces) as I should each day. Unfortunately, that backfired and caused me to retain even more fluid. I have learned my lesson and continue to drink all 140 ounces of water daily.

Overall as of this month, I have lost 166 pounds since I began my weight-loss journey in November 2009. It feels great to know that I am getting closer to my overall goal. I used to think it would never be possible, but now I know it is not only possible, but also becoming a reality!

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