Happy Health with Nancy
Your Path to Weight Loss and
Your Optimal Life
Why do you want to lose weight?
Firstly, why do you want to lose weight? This is not a flippant question, indeed it is crucial for your success. Do you want to eat your way out of disease, or avoid it? Do you want to move easily and confidently? Do you want more energy to do enjoyable activities with your friends and family? What does this look like for you? Can you picture yourself as a slim healthy person?
Health is not just the absence of disease. What would your life be like if your were slim and healthy? To be able to actually see yourself as you would like to be is a powerful motivator. Fear is generally not a long term motivator, nor is doing this for someone else. You must truly want to lose weight, and make clear goals, both short and long term for yourself, for me to be able to guide you on Your path to wellness and YOUR optimal life.
Once you know why, together we can work on how. This is not a diet that you follow for a while, lose some weight and then go off it, gaining the weight back and even more. This is a lifestyle change.
Learn why you gained weight and how to lose it and keep it off by adopting a healthy lifestyle, as well as a new mind set that leads to healthy habits that are as automatic and just as natural as stopping at a red light or brushing your teeth.
The only diet proven to improve your health as you lose weight
Any diet works, at least for the first few weeks. However, you don’t want to lose weight for a few weeks! You want to lose weight permanently, to regain and maintain optimal health!
My weight loss program uses the only proven diet to improve your health as you lose weight. I will teach you how you gained weight and how dieting can lead to obesity. I will teach you how you can eat yourself out of obesity, why a health promoting diet should not leave you hungry or feeling deprived, and that hunger is a natural human drive that need not be ignored. Starvation is not the key!
I will teach you that losing weight is not a matter of having an iron will, and that will power is a learned technique, not something that you either have or don’t have.
I can show you how your relationships can survive even though you may be eating different foods from the foods your friends eat. Dining out is not out of the question, and you do not have to promise to never eat cookies again! Perfection is your enemy! Lifelong dietary excellence is attainable, and with that your optimal life is waiting for you to take the first step.
It is crucial to learn some basic nutrition and weight loss. We can discuss this so you truly understand the concepts and how they apply to you. Knowing why you are making changes in your dietary choices will keep you from dropping this program and running after the next promising diet advertisement. Remember, this is not a diet, this is a dietary lifestyle. This is not just about losing weight, this is about attaining your optimal health so you can attain your optimal life.
This is not just about looking great, but feeling great! To have the energy to do the things you want to do, to move and play and feel confident in your own skin and to not fear a lifetime of being trapped in an overweight body.
Why meet with me?
On my website you can find articles on reversing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes as well as on articles on nutrition and losing weight. At the end of every article there are references to books and videos for you to learn more. However, think of all the people who know cigarette smoking is harmful but still smoke. Think of all the people (maybe you) who know exercising would be beneficial but do not do it. For many people support is required, and perhaps you are one of them. New thinking and new behavioral patterns need to be formed and having someone help you form a plan and to stick with it may be crucial.
Health improvement and weight loss take deliberate effort. People often forget the rules which lead to success in every other area of life, like education or your job, relationships, etc. This has to be a priority.
There is no goal worth achieving that has ever been accomplished without an enormous amount of deliberate effort, applied consistently over a sustained period of time
If you invest nothing, you get nothing. If you invest only a little you will get only a little, (most likely get discouraged and quit).
People who want to change any habit must ask themselves if they are ready for the hard work that doing this will take? Am I prepared for long-term commitment? Am I committed to changing myself, my thoughts, my behaviors? YOU will have to acknowledge that deliberate effort is required .YOU will have to acknowledge that there are no magical solutions for problems you’ve spent years, or decades, creating. Remember, it took time to build these habits and it will take time to break and replace them. Deliberate effort is a key component!
YOU will have to decide that you are going to treat changing your habits the way you treat everything else that is important in your life. YOU are going to have to follow through even when life interferes, things go wrong, people close to you die, unexpected things happen at work, and even when you just don’t feel like doing the right things anymore. Health and happiness is available to anyone who wants to have it, but these are not entitlements. These are privileges that you earn. They require an investment, and the “capital” in this case is deliberate effort, applied consistently over a sustained period of time.
I will meet with you every week, if you feel you need it. Many do! I will help you find which foods you like, and which exercises you like and will do. I will help you learn how to plan and prepare your weekly menus and shopping lists. We can find an eating plan that works for you and fits into your life. Some people love to cook and have the time. Others like a more fast food approach. These may include learning how to shop and batch cook on your days off. It is important to always be prepared for future and impromptu social situations, and to have the foods you prefer to eat easily available when you are hungry. We will discuss how to clean your environment of unwanted foods, and make healthy foods easy to find. I can help you discover your individual plan for nurturing your will power, and to learn how to recognize barriers you may have for executing these plans that you may not realize exist.
We will go over what you have done in the past and how you can use the tool of simply recognizing your past behavioral thought patterns and choices to adopt new ones.
Think about your childhood food memories, did you eat with family? Was it warm, or disturbing? Who cooked? What foods did you eat? What about holidays?
I ask you to explore your thoughts feeling and beliefs about food, so you can see how changing your behavioral patterns may require practice.
You can remember other goals you have reached, such as getting an education, learning something like an instrument or a dance, getting a job, etc, how these goals also took work, and required lifestyle changes.
Part of making the change is learning how to eat and why, but also how to talk to others who do not want to eat as you do, or who do not want you to change, as their bad habits require someone to go along with them, etc.
You might have to practice talking to a friend or relative: for instance what are you going to say when they ask you why you are having pizza without cheese, or are no longer eating meat.
This change, like all changes of habit requires that you recognize your barriers and prepare for difficult situations, learning from these encounters, and getting ready again.
Make a list of all the vegetables you like and can get (access and affordability) canned frozen or fresh —no oil
Same with fruit. Canned is hard because of added sugar
Then starch. Grains, rice (do you have rice cooker or instant pot? You can usually get a rice cooker used for cheap) potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, corn etc.
Start setting up goals, short term and long term, what do you truly want?
Can you actually see yourself making these changes?
Can you identify your barriers?
What will it feel like to be thinner?
There may be many thought patterns to address that are preventing you from losing the weight and attaining the health and life you wish to achieve. One is perfectionism: ‘if I eat a cookie, well my diet is over! I have failed! Might as well eat the whole box, and drive to the store and buy more!’, which includes the fear of failure, ‘if I can’t be perfect at this I don’t even want to try’. ‘I have tried every diet, and none of them work. Maybe it’s me, maybe I am no good’. ‘How can I tell my mom that I won’t eat her cake without hurting her feelings?’ There are many barriers that you may be aware of, and possibly many that you are not aware of. We can explore these, and maybe do some role playing, so you can learn how to take care of yourself. After all it is your health and your life! Will power is not something you have or don’t have, it is learned. So is, step by step, gaining confidence in your ability to lose weight, learning how to congratulate yourself when you do the things you wish to do and not to constantly criticize yourself when you slip up. We all slip up, it is natural, we are all human, perfection is un-attainable and not a goal. Everyone is beautifully unique. There is no one size fits all strategy.
So what is this amazing dietary lifestyle?
Not only is this dietary lifestyle amazing as it does not involve starvation, deprivation, counting calories or weighing and measuring your food, but the health results are amazing as it will not only help you lose weight but also has been proven to reverse coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes, reduce inflammation and pain, to improve mood and increase immunity. It is an oil-free whole food plant based diet.
What will you eat, and how much?
Plants! Plants, as close to the form mother nature gives them to us. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, oats, peas, beans, corn, beets, fruits, and vegetables, the list is endless and there are no required foods. Can you eat breads and pasta? Sure! As long as the bulk of your diet is whole foods.
Always 64 ounces of preferably charcoal filtered water a day. High fat plant foods like nuts, seeds, and avocados are healthy foods, but they may hinder your weight loss as they are calorie dense, and will not satiate your hunger drive as easily as a potato.
I recommend eating five or six meals (not snacks) a day. Many overweight people do not recognize when they are hungry or full, and this will re-set the brain and body to recognize true hunger (not just to ease emotional pain or continue with the habit of essentially mindless eating) and fullness. Also, you will never go hungry, although at first making it through those three hours might be a bit challenging if you are used to eating constantly. You can eat to fullness six times a day—that doesn’t sound like a diet, does it?
Strict low calorie diets lower your metabolism, and you most certainly do not want that! After a plant based meal your body burns more calories for several hours than after a high fat animal food meal. Plant eaters can eat thirty percent more calories than animal food eaters and maintain the same weight.
One challenge clients often have is eating enough as they have been programmed to starve themselves! Starvation may work for a while, as your metabolism gets lower and lower and lower, while your hunger grows and grows… and grows… and then… !!!
You can avoid this and many other pitfalls by learning how you gained weight and how this dietary lifestyle will work for you!
With a no oil whole food plant based diet and exercise you should be able to lose weight steadily and keep it off, …for good! Aging well should not be a problem, as the diseases most associate with getting older are diseases that come from a poor diet and lack of exercise. We also can talk about how to keep engaged socially and mentally to keep your brain active and happy!
Making the Change
Small Steps vs. a big leap
Research on change shows that people who take baby steps towards major life changes, and who have success and sometimes don’t, yet learn from each experience, are far more successful in the long run at making significant changes in their lives than people who have a smooth sail to their goals. Those who accomplish their goals too easily are often unprepared for the inevitable challenges life brings.
Sometimes you have to act as if you are motivated, even when you are not, as motivation often follows action. It is also very helpful if you have a trusted friend to hold you accountable, not to judge you, but someone with whom you can go over strategies, and congratulate you on your wins. It is many small steps, many small successes that will lead you to your goal.
Statement of determination
Firstly, you must make a statement of determination and write it down. It must be personal and specific. Not, ‘I will get healthier’, but ‘I will lose ten pounds and be a regular exerciser, I will fit into those clothes at the back of the closet’, and PICTURE yourself doing that. Make copies of this statement and have it everywhere and read it often. You are re-wiring your brain. Some people use their statement as a screen saver on their phone. This will gradually replace all the old and untrue ideas you have about yourself.
For dietary changes, it is crucial to ‘clean your environment’ if you can. Toss out the unhealthy foods and fill your pantry and refrigerator with foods that promote health. If your family or housemates want to eat their foods, don’t try to convince them otherwise, for if they see you gaining health they will join you,… or not. You can set aside a place for your healthy foods: a place on the shelves and in the fridge.
Also you must prepare what you will say and do when faced with temptation, ‘oh, I am trying something new, so I am not eating that right now’, etc. You can also make some of your friends into allies, telling them what you are trying to do and ask for their support. Make sure NOT to suggest that what they are eating is detrimental to their health! With every friend it might be different. If some continue to sabotage your efforts, you might want to give them a bit of space until you feel stronger.
Many small successes lead to big successes
Once you have a small success, congratulate yourself!, your brain is changing! Even delaying the eating of cake for 30 seconds more than you would have before starts to re-wire your brain. Every time you think differently about something your brain is re-wiring, and like forging a new path in the woods, trees and bushes and brambles must be cleared until it is the default path.
Recognize the more challenging situations and prepare for the next ones, and consider trying new things. For example, when eating out, call first and ask if the restaurant can prepare something for you. Often everyone at the table looks at our food and remarks at how delicious and fresh it looks. Or you can look at the menu before on line, and see if there is anything you can eat. Usually you can find baked potatoes, salsa, or a salad bar without the oil containing prepared salads. You can always suggest a restaurant that you know has something you can eat. For birthdays, cook a fat free, plant based cake and take it with you to the party. (https://www.thespruceeats.com/vegan-low-fat-chocolate-applesauce-cake-3376680 but use a non stick pan ) and don’t take any home.
It is crucial to always have foods you want to eat with you, and always have easily available healthy foods. Baked potatoes, fruit, cans of beans, etc. Never be tempted because you were not prepared.
Think of picking an apple tree, you don’t get a tall ladder out and start at the top, you pick the ones that are easy to reach.
However, if at the end of the year you have only picked ten apples, you might want to up your game a bit!
That is why I suggest, for those just starting to exercise, ‘walk out your door and walk for ten minutes and turn around’. People who start an exercise program with unrealistic goals do not seem to be able to meet even small goals. By starting small, you learn how to fit exercise into your day. Give yourself interim reachable goals. Be specific. ‘I will walk twenty minutes five days this week’ and write it on your calendar. Reward yourself. ‘Yay! I did it!’ You can feel like a winner, because you are! Those who believe that they will look like wonder woman in a short time will be disappointed and quit.
Specific short term reasonable goals
Short term goals need to be established. It can be ‘I will walk tomorrow or eat healthy tomorrow, this is when I will walk, or this is what I will eat’ and put it on your calendar in pen. Then when you do it, why, ‘I have done it!’ And you have!
Next, ‘I will walk five times this week’, then, ‘I will walk five days every week for a month’. Plan on a reward when you do it. Some people plan to buy new exercise clothes at the end of a month. Some people work with the opposite, and plan to give money to the opposite political party if they don’t meet their goals! You know better than anyone what makes you tick, you just have to pay attention.
Often future rewards seem hazy when faced with temptation, and you cannot always avoid temptation. However how does it really make you feel when you skip your exercise? How does watching tv and mindlessly eating unhealthy food really make you feel? Instead eat some fruit and use a treadmill or cheap plastic stepper (my favorite) and watch tv!
Remember, this is a lifestyle change, not a diet and exercise program, and it is part of your life. YOU must make it a priority.
Eventually this all becomes habit, and you need not even think about it, I promise!
Perfection is your enemy.
I would love to be your guide on your journey to health!
Why Am I S0 Hungry?
How You Can Diet Yourself Into Obesity
And How To Eat Your Way Out
Hunger and Survival
For most of our existence, humans have struggled to get enough food. Finding food has been historically unpredictable. Periods of starvation were common.
Our hunger drives are very strong, and the dopamine release (sense of pleasure) eating brings, motivates us to eat. Without these we would not exist.
Calorie-dense foods bring even more pleasure, because eating these foods increases the chance of survival even more! This ensures that extra calories will be eaten when available and stored as fat, as fat is the energy battery for our bodies. Storing fat was crucial for our survival. Overeating when you can is a normal behavior, but the opportunity to do it every day is not.
Times Have Changed
Food is constantly and easily available. There are few if any external constraints on getting food. There is not an ‘exercise drive’, as moving used to be part of getting food, and the pleasure derived from eating was associated with foraging for food. So today, energy expenditure has been disconnected from food acquisition. It’s easier to overeat and become fat today than it was just a short time ago.
During the last several decades there has been a huge increase in calorie intake accompanied by a significant decrease in physical activity. Between 1970 and 2003 Americans increased their food intake by an extra 523 calories per day. The biggest increase was in fats and oils, a 63% increase! Fats and oils are whisked away to be stored as fat. So, a person eating an extra 523 calories per day would gain a pound every 6.5 days, unless this was offset by an increase in exercise: how much? An average of 90 minutes per day of walking at an average pace, or an hour of running every day.
And people are not moving more, they are moving less! Modern living requires much less movement than it did a few decades ago. Remote controls for televisions, cell phones, fast food drive throughs, calling out for pizza…
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, less than 5% of Americans engage in just 30 minutes of exercise per day.
The number of calories you burn per day is called your metabolic rate. Sixty five percent of the calories your body burns is referred to as your basic metabolic rate (BMR). This requires no active participation like breathing, brain function, and beating your heart. Digesting food requires an additional 10%, and 25% is burned through physical activity like standing and cooking, walking, and lifting weights.
Your body composition affects your metabolism as well. One pound of muscle burns 14 calories per day, whereas 1 pound of fat burns 3 calories per day (muscle moves, fat doesn’t).
If you are starving, or on a calorie restricted diet, your body will increase your hunger, and store or retain fat more easily. Your body will also burn lean muscle for your energy requirements, which lowers your metabolic rate even more.
The process of losing muscle mass and gaining fat as one ages is called sarcopenia. If you eat a whole food plant-based diet and exercise this can be prevented and reversed. However, for most this worsens year after year.
As your body becomes fatter and your metabolism slows, and yet you consume the same number of calories, you will gain more fat every year and your metabolism will slow every year as your body composition changes.
A small increase in calories per day, even 50 calories, which is not noticeable, or a small decrease in movement, day by day, year by year, can easily add pounds, and this can cascade into obesity.
Your basic metabolic rate (BMR) typically declines by 1–2% per decade after age 20, mostly due to loss of muscle mass.
So starve yourself and exercise more? No…
Some people might try to just eat fifty fewer calories per day, (but this is impossible to do as no one can accurately gauge how many calories they are taking in).
Despite eating fewer calories, our bodies will choose how many nutrients and calories to absorb and what to do with them. Our bodies use many complex mechanisms, using most carbohydrate calories as energy, using protein as needed and eliminating the excess (with the resulting hard work on our kidneys and cannibalizing our bone mass), storing consumed fat as fat, and burning excess carbohydrate calories through heat or movement.
Diets low in protein and fat cause calories to be ‘lost’ as body heat. Dietary composition can cause small changes in calorie metabolism that can lead to huge shifts in your body weight.
So, increasing physical exercise while practicing extreme caloric restriction results in a lower BMR, as your body tries to conserve energy to survive.
Calorie reduction for weight loss should not be extreme, but rather slow and constant. Exercise increases your BMR by building muscle and burning fat. Strength training increases your total muscle mass, which also increases your BMR, and works against the aging process.
Muscle cells don’t ‘turn into’ fat cells
They are different, but muscle cells can become filled with fat, which makes your cells less able to burn fat and decreases the efficiency of your body’s insulin. When your insulin cannot work as it should it slows down your metabolism.
When you convert to a low-fat plant-based diet this causes the fat to move out of the cells, which results in an increase in both the number and efficacy of your cell’s mitochondria that burn calories to create energy.
Low fat plant-based diet---
Dr T. Colin Campbell’s The China Study showed that Chinese who maintained the same weight as Americans were consuming 30 percent more calories than Americans. They were eating a much lower fat plant-based diet, which burns more calories when exercising and resting.
Dr. Neal Barnard demonstrated that the digestion of low-fat plant based meal increases your metabolism by 16 percent for three hours after eating, compared to a meal of animal foods and fats (this is a good reason to consume several meals a day).
Scientists looked at 16,757 earthworm genes, turning each one off or on, one by one, to find which genes controlled weight gain, and found there were 417 genes that directly affect weight. How these genes work over time effecting each other is an infinitely complex precess. Some genes are dictator genes like the color of your eyes, but most are ‘committee genes’, and depend upon gene expression, not the genes you have. Not all genes are biochemically expressed all the time, they can be dormant. Gene expression is based on environment. Dr. Dean Ornish found, when proving that early stage prostate cancer was reversible, that in three months on a no oil plant based diet, the expression of over 500 genes changed, either turning them on or off, which ever led to better health outcomes.
So genes do matter, if many people eat the same disease promoting diet, they will have different diseases, but if they consume a health promoting diet, all will improve their health.
Men do have a higher BMR due to higher muscle mass and less body fat.
When people move from a country with low obesity rates to a Westernized country, their disease and obesity rates are the same as their adopted country within only 15 years, …did their genes change on the airplane? No! they adopt the diet and lifestyle habits of their adopted country, as well as their diseases.
Genes may give you your eye color, and sex, and a propensity for a more muscle-y body, and be somewhat responsible for your metabolic rate, but, genes are not a guarantee that you will be overweight or slim, as diet and exercise can boost a slow metabolism, and the lack of an optimal diet and not moving can slow a faster metabolism.
3,500 Calories Equals a Pound is a Myth
Dieters are told that losing weight involves mathematical calculations, that 3500 extra calories equals a pound. Eat 3,500 calories more, gain a pound, eat 3,500 calories less, lose a pound.
However, extreme calorie restriction makes your body react as if you are starving, even if you weigh 500 pounds! Your metabolic rate will decrease and your hunger increase! Eating less can actually result in gaining more, this is called the starvation response.
Even after you begin to eat more calories, this decrease in energy expenditure persists long after calorie-restricted dieting has ended, which makes it easier to regain any weight that had been lost, and then to gain even more.
Studies show that alternating periods of calorie restriction and excess calorie intake leads to even more weight gain.
Deprivation is a disaster for dieting… The Dieter’s Paradox
Adaptations that allowed our species to survive during long periods of food scarcity are your foe when you are trying to lose weight. Periods of calorie restriction, which initially result in some weight loss, are followed by periods of metabolic slowdown and increasing hunger, which eventually leads to eating more while your metabolism is still low. This leads to both weight gain and fat storage, which results in a bigger person who can eat less and less food while gaining even more weight.
However, if you eat the right foods your metabolism will not slow down, you will not get hungry, and you can learn this dietary pattern and find a new lifestyle that will make it easy to lose weight and keep it off. Your optimal health and optimal life are truly possible!
Dieting Yourself To Fatness
Hundreds of millions of people have dieted themselves to fatness. Most people do not remember changing their eating and exercise patterns, they just start gaining weight!
For both men and women, the most consistent positive association is between dietary fat and weight gain. The most consistent inverse association is between physical activity and weight gain.
Many overweight and obese people can no longer sense the feelings of hunger and fullness. There are stretch receptors in your stomach as well as nutrient receptors, and chemicals that tell your brain if you are hungry and chemicals that tell your brain that you are full. However, these do not seem to ‘work’ for many. You can reset these by eating on a schedule. Eat meals, not snacks at least five to six times a day. You may feel hungry before you eat, but if these meals are every four hours at the least, you can make it!
You need to eat food that is not calorie dense, which is low fat whole plant food. You must not deprive yourself. The main part of your meals should be starch: potatoes, rice, oats, etc. Then fill in the rest with legumes, fruit, and vegetables. Nuts and other high fat plant foods as well as dried fruits are healthy, but they are not helpful if you want to lose weight.
This is a shift in your dietary lifestyle, not a diet. It is not a lifestyle change! No one can remain hungry for long, as hunger is one of our strongest drives.
Eventually you will notice your hunger and fullness sensations returning, and you will start to lose weight. Some obese people have turned down their BMI so low, they may gain a few pounds at first, but as soon as the burners are on, the fat will be metabolized.
If you are over fat, it may be harmful to start exercising too soon, as it can be hard on your body, so water exercises are recommended. Please check with a medical doctor before starting an exercise program.
However, exercise is crucial! The most common habits people use who have successfully lost fifty pounds or more and kept it off for over five years are: eating a more plant-based diet, eating breakfast, exercising at least an hour daily, and weighing themselves weekly.
Many successful people have also kept journals to keep records of what they ate and how they felt at the time. If you feel you have a food obsession, please find a good cognitive behavioral therapist.
Remember, this is a lifestyle change, not a diet. There are many websites and YouTube video channels with low fat plant-based recipes. Find a few you like and stick with them. Most eat the same few meals every week, but if you are adventurous and like to cook you will find many treasures!
Cleaning your environment of unhealthy foods is recommended. If you live with others who do not eat the way you wish to eat, make you intentions clear, and make a space for your foods.
If you are busy, batch cooking is recommended. Plan your meals for the week and buy and prepare your food on the weekends. When mealtime comes, all you need to do is warm up your food.
Every time you eat a healthy meal, or go for a walk, congratulate yourself. You are on the road to optimal health and an optimal life!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ef1YOYGtmg0 (Why am I fat lecture)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAdqLB6bTuQ (How to lose weight without losing your mind)