Food Is Not Your Enemy


Should You Go Gluten-Free to Lose Weight?

Gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, seems to be our current food devil—the thing that’s allegedly causing all our weight and health problems. Avoid bread! Avoid pasta! Avoid beer! You’ve probably heard or read all of these exhortations somewhere.

For some people, gluten is indeed a very real problem. Sufferers of celiac disease will see serious damage to their small intestines if they consume any food containing gluten. And many other people who may not have full-blown celiac disease are truly gluten-intolerant—if they eat gluten regularly they may find themselves with chronic digestive problems, joint pain, brain fog, debilitating fatigue, or thyroid issues. Cutting gluten out of the diet for these people can be life-changing. I’ve seen it happen with many of my clients.

But if you’re healthy and not experiencing any of the symptoms of gluten intolerance, there is really no reason to cut gluten from your diet. I would argue that some people who cut gluten lose weight not because of the absence of gluten, but because they are avoiding junky food made primarily of white flour. If you stop eating calorie bombs like bagels, donuts, muffins, and the Olive Garden’s never-ending pasta bowls, then you’ll likely lose weight. It’s not the removal of gluten that made the difference, it was the reduction of calories and poor-quality foods that led to your weight loss.

So if you want to lose weight, it’s really better to think of white flour as the problem. Whole wheat and other whole grains containing gluten (especially if they are high-quality organic grains) can be a very healthy part of our diets, and shunning them in favor of white rice, for instance, won’t necessarily help you reach your weight and health goals.

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Tips for Achieving Your Weight Goals in ’13

Are you dreading making your New Year’s resolutions for 2013, because, once again, “lose weight” will be at the top of your list? Or have you made your resolutions already, but fear you won’t be able to stick to them, as you’ve never succeeded in the past?

If so, here are some suggested resolutions, promises you can make to yourself that should help you more than a vague resolution like “lose weight”:

I will not resolve to lose 50 pounds. This is a scary resolution that will likely stop you before you even start. Creating smaller, more manageable goals is the way to go. The next few resolutions will show you what I mean.

I will eat more fresh vegetables. Vegetables have a low-calorie density but are incredibly nourishing. Adding more veggies into your day will help crowd out less healthy, high-calorie foods.

I will move my body. Walking counts. Just get out of your desk chair and do something on a consistent basis.

I will not eat in front of the TV.  Studies show that people consume more food while watching TV. Concentrate on enjoying your meal instead.

I will sleep. Inadequate sleep leads to weight gain. You’ll be fighting an uphill battle to shed those extra pounds if you’re only sleeping five hours a night.

I will make time for my health. It’s so easy to say “I don’t have time”–I don’t have time to grocery shop, I don’t have time to cook, I don’t have time to exercise. But if you don’t do these things, your chances of developing a chronic disease due to an unhealthy diet and lifestyle are significantly elevated. Then you will have to make time to deal with that illness.

And remember that you don’t have to go it alone! If you need support and a personalized program to help you meet your weight and/or health goals this year, please contact me to set up a free one-hour consultation, which can take place either in person or over the phone. You can read my clients’ success stories here, and find out more about the programs I offer here.

Here’s to a happy, healthy 2013!



Free Healthy Eating Teleclass: Still Time to Sign Up

There’s still time to sign up for my free teleclass taking place this coming Monday, March 21, 2011 at 8 p.m. ET, during which I’ll be discussing the basics of healthy eating. You’ll find out how the types of foods you eat will affect your health, your energy, your mood, and your weight.

If you’d like to join me, you can sign up here. I will then send you the info you need to get on the call. I hope to talk to you then!



Free Teleclass on March 21 @ 8 p.m. ET: Healthy Eating 101

Want to eat healthier, but at a loss as to how to actually get started? On Monday, March 21, 2011 at 8 p.m. ET, I’ll be giving a free teleclass on the nuts and bolts of healthy eating–how the types of foods you choose each day will affect your health, your energy, your mood, and your weight. I promise that you’ll walk away with concrete information that you can implement in your daily life, such as:

  • Which foods will sap you of energy
  • Which foods will help you lose weight
  • Which foods will ward off the onset of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes
  • Which foods will actually help curb your appetite, and which will increase your cravings

If you’d like to join me, you can sign up here. I will then send you the info you need to get on the call.



Need Help With That New Year’s Resolution?

Happy New Year! If you’ve made a resolution to lose weight or to get healthy, remember that I’m here to help you reach your goals. The clients I’ve worked with have lost weight, cleared up digestive problems, embraced healthier foods, and gained more energy. There are no gimmicks with my programs–no fad diets, no pills, powders, or supplements. It’s all about using real, healthy, delicious foods to get where you want to go.

You can read testimonials from my clients and sign up for a free consultation with me here.



How to Get (and Stay) Motivated

Maybe you’re looking to lose weight. Maybe you need to get your type 2 diabetes under control. Maybe your blood pressure and cholesterol are high and your doctor said you need to change your diet. Maybe tomorrow.

Getting motivated can be tough. You use less salt at home, but will this one sodium-packed meal at Applebee’s kill you? You joined a gym, but it’s so hard to get there, what with your busy schedule. Will burning 300 calories today on the treadmill really make a difference in the long run?

It’s very easy to talk yourself out of healthier behaviors. Why? Because if your goal is something that feels very big (control diabetes), or too “into the future” (lose 50 pounds), it’s hard to connect how a single choice (like getting a Big Mac and large fries for lunch today) will really make much of a difference. You think, Well, I’ll eat better tomorrow, or hit the weights tomorrow–it won’t be such a big deal to indulge or be lazy just this once.

Of course, we all know that “just this once” happens more than just once.

The solution to this problem is not a matter of having stronger will power. It’s a matter of the moment. Rather than focusing on those big goals and big problems, hone in on how your body and mind feel today as a result of eating a gross meal or skipping your workout. Not only will a plate of fried food impact your waistline, it may also cause bloating, gas, or diarrhea. A breakfast packed with refined carbohydrates and sugar will likely have you feeling irritable, sleepy, or both within a couple of hours after eating it. Blowing off exercise may lead to stiffness, tension in your back or shoulders, or low energy. Drinking 800 calories’ worth of cocktails (a few drinks will get you there more quickly than you may realize) will lead to hours of depression the next day.

So begin to pay close attention to how your choices affect you physically and mentally right now. It’s much easier than worrying about how what you eat today may affect the numbers on your medical chart sometime next year. And the great thing is that the foods and habits that make you feel good now will also help your overall health. Now that’s motivation that’ll stick around.



Red Meat: Oh So Delicious, But…
April 29, 2009, 12:37 pm
Filed under: Meat | Tags: , , ,

“There was a time when red meat was a luxury for ordinary Americans, or was at least something special: cooking a roast for Sunday dinner, ordering a steak at a restaurant. Not anymore. Meat consumption has more than doubled in the United States in the last 50 years.”

 

So begins this week’s New York Times piece about how red meat is killing us.

 

Do I enjoy red meat? I sure do. From bacon to hanger steaks, pork shoulder to osso buco, I love it all. But should I be eating it every day, like I did as a kid when we got giant beef deliveries by truck from some deal called “The American Meat Plan”?

 

I decided about a year ago that the answer is no. As I’ve become more and more interested in nutrition and therefore started reading every nutrition article and study I could get my hands on, it became clear that we’re way better off treating meat as the luxury it once was in this country. The healthiest cultures on earth eat red meat sparingly–once a week, or less. And I’m aiming toward that myself. I’m pretty sure that decision has helped me lose 10 pounds over the past six months or so, weight I wasn’t even looking to lose. But hey, I’ll take it!

 

-Jennifer Schonborn