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Health Fitness Guru & Author Nicolette Dumke on ’10 Things You Didn’t Know About Weight Loss’

Nicolette Dumke enjoys helping people with food allergies and gluten intolerance find solutions to their health and weight problems. She began writing books to help others with multiple food allergies over 20 years ago and the process culminated in The Ultimate Food Allergy Cookbook and Survival Guide. She says, “This book contains everything I know to help with food allergies,” and it has helped many people come back from near-starvation. Her other books address issues such as how to deal with time and money pressures on special diets, keeping allergic children happy on their diets, and more.

A few years ago, while listening to the struggles of an allergic friend on the Weight Watchers™ diet, she remembered her own weight struggles* many years ago and thought, “There has to be a better way.” This was the beginning of a new quest, and she is now helping those who are overweight due to inflammation (often due to unsuspected food allergies) or high-in-rice gluten-free diets, as well as those who are not food sensitive but want to lose weight permanently, healthily, and without feeling hungry and deprived. Her unique approach to weight and health presented in Food Allergy and Gluten-Free Weight Loss is based on body physiology and reveals why conventional weight-loss diets work against rather than with our bodies and therefore rarely result in permanent weight loss.

* (Nickie’s weight loss story, briefly, is that in her early 20s she could not lose on a calorie-counting diet in spite of repeatedly further reducing the number of calories she ate and swimming vigorously and often. Then she found a diet based on blood sugar control, lost weight without being hungry, and still weighs what she did in her mid-20s).

Nickie has had multiple food allergies for 30 years and has been cooking for special diets for family members and friends for even longer. Regardless of how complex your dietary needs are or how much or little cooking you have done, she has the books and recipes you need. Her books present the science behind multiple food allergies and weight control in an easily-understood manner. She has BS degrees in medical technology and microbiology. She and her husband live in Louisville, Colorado and have two grown sons.

You can visit Nickie’s websites at http://www.foodallergyandglutenfreeweightloss.com and http://www.food-allergy.org.

About Food Allergy and Gluten-Free Weight Loss

Food Allergy and Gluten-Free Weight Loss answers the question, “Why is it so hard to lose weight?” Because it’s hard to put a puzzle together if you’re missing some of the pieces. We’ve been missing or ignoring the most important pieces in the puzzle of how our bodies determine whether to store or burn fat. Those puzzle pieces are hormones such as insulin, cortisol, leptin, and others.

In addition, we’ve been given some puzzle pieces that don’t belong or fit in the weight-control puzzle. Much of what we’ve heard about dieting and exercise is incorrect and can cause loss of muscle mass instead of fat or even result in weight gain. The idea that weight is determined solely by “calories in minus calories out” is an assumption not based in reality. Most weight-loss diets require us to endure hunger much of the time, but hunger means that our blood sugar is falling or low and our insulin level may be rising. Prolonged hunger leads to the release of adrenal hormones, and the hormonal cascade which follows results in the inability to burn our own body fat as well as causing any fat we eat to be stored rather than burned to give us energy.

Another problem with most weight loss diets is that they strictly dictate food choices, lack the flexibility that those on special diets for food allergies or gluten-intolerance require, and deprive us of pleasure. Individuals with food allergies face additional weight-loss challenges such as inflammation due to allergies which can lead to our master weight control hormone, leptin, being unable to do its job of maintaining a healthy weight. Those with gluten intolerance often eat a diet too high rice. Rice is the only grain which is high on the glycemic index in its whole grain form; thus eating too much of it will raise insulin levels and cause the body to deposit fat. Although the recipes in this book were developed for those on special diets, non-sensitive people will enjoy them as well, and the weight loss principles in this book will help anyone lose weight. (A chapter of recipes made with wheat and other problematic foods is included for those on unrestricted diets).

The most frustrating deficiency of conventional weight loss diets is that they don’t work long-term. Low-calorie, low-fat diets can lead to loss of muscle mass, and with less muscle to burn calories, this type of diet effectively reduces metabolic rate so we need less food. Rare is the person who loses weight by counting calories and keeps it off after they liberalize their diet! However, continual dieting for the rest of your life is not the way you need to live, and you do not have to be deprived of pleasure in order to lose weight. Overweight is not due to a lack of willpower. Rather, it is due to a chemical imbalance in our bodies. Once we begin to correct that imbalance by applying the principles in Food Allergy and Gluten-Free Weight Loss, we can lose weight without hunger or deprivation and can maintain a healthy weight permanently and easily by regaining normal self-regulating hormonal control of our weight.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Weight Loss

(from Food Allergy and Gluten-Free Weight Loss)

Why is the population of the United States getting heavier and heavier with every passing year? We go on diets, we want to lose weight, and yet our average weight continues to increase. It’s because we are misinformed about how body chemistry affects weight loss and gain. Here are the top ten things you may not know about weight loss:

1. Diets rarely work. Achieving permanent weight loss is extremely uncommon. After dieters reach their goal, they usually re-gain most or all of the weight they lost. They may even be heavier than when they started; if they lost muscle mass, their metabolic rate will be lower than before their diet.

2. Trying to lose weight does not mean having be hungry. Most diets which demand “No fat! No snacks!” have made us hungry, but hunger is part of why such diets don’t work. How long can one resist being hungry? Then when we finally eat, we overeat. In addition, hunger indicates falling blood sugar levels and rising insulin levels. High insulin levels affect enzymes that control fat metabolism and tell the body to store food rather than burn it and not to burn body fat.

3 “Counting calories is the way to lose weight” is a fallacy. Conventional diets say that all that matters when you want to lose weight is the number of calories consumed minus the number burned by physical activity. Although calories do have an effect, they are not the primary determining factor in how much we weigh. Our hormones, such as insulin, cortisol, leptin and others, are what really determine our weight, and we can control them. If your hormones are saying, “Deposit that food! A famine is in the land!” you will not be able to lose weight even if the number of calories you consume is very low.

4. Skipping breakfast, or other fasting, tells your hormones that you are at risk of being food deficient because you are living in a land of famine; this inhibits weight loss. Eating moderate amounts of food at three hour intervals (or two hour intervals if you get hungry that soon) is the best way to lose weight, and you’ll never be hungry! Eat breakfast within an hour of arising in the morning, and have small protein-containing snack between meals and a protein-containing bedtime snack.

5 “Fat is bad for your health – clogs the arteries – and should be eliminated” is a fallacy. This idea was derived from the calorie math described in #3 because fat contains nine calories per gram compared to four calories per gram for proteins and carbohydrates. (This is where the almost-no-fat, plenty-of-carbohydrate diets got their start). However, our bodies need fats of the right kind to make hormones, build cell membranes, and deal with inflammation.

6. The right fats promote weight loss! This sounds heretical, right? (And it doesn’t mean you should load up on unhealthy types of fat). Yet it is a scientific fact. Fats help with weight in two ways: (1) A meal or snack that contains fat will keep us satisfied much longer than a low-fat meal or snack, especially since these may be high in carbohydrates. Therefore, a person consumes less food! (2) Some fats, especially those that contain omega-3 fatty acids, reduce inflammation. With less inflammation, leptin, our master weigh control hormone, functions more efficiently. When it is functioning optimally and a person overeats, leptin will boost the metabolic rate and decrease appetite, thus automatically returning the person to a healthy weight. People whose weight fluctuates in a five pound range regardless of what they eat have a normally functioning leptin system.

7. Individuals may deny – or be unaware of – having problems with inflammation, but this is a fallacy if they are heavy. Sometimes inflammation is obvious; it causes redness, warmth, and/or pain. However, chronic inflammation can be silent. Overweight individuals may not know it, but they are experiencing silent inflammation. As we gain weight, our bodies do not add more fat cells. The fat cells we already have become larger and are just filled with more fat. They leak as they are stretched more and more. Then immune cells called macrophages come in to clean up the mess. The macrophages release inflammatory chemicals in the cleanup process. Some of these interfere with leptin functioning. In optimally healthy people, leptin is responsible for automatically maintaining weight at the right level. When leptin is made ineffective by inflammation, the dysfunction is called leptin resistance, meaning that even though a person might have normal or high levels of leptin, the leptin does not work to suppress appetite and speed metabolism to maintain a healthy weight.

8. Although #7 sounds like a depressing vicious cycle, there are ways to break the cycle. Briefly, these include consuming the right fats to reduce inflammation, eating to keep blood sugar and insulin levels stable, and eating anti-inflammatory foods. The additional good news is that as the slimming process begins, leptin resistance abates. Then when an individual reaches optimal weight and has inflammation under control, the struggle to maintain a healthy weight will end. The newly-functional leptin system will control both appetite and weight.

9. There are two commonly held fallacies about eating carbohydrates: (1) Very low or no-carbohydrate diets are the best way to lose weight, and (2) A diet low in fat and high in complex carbohydrates is the best way to lose weight. The USDA Food Pyramid promoted this second type of diet, and the weight of Americans increased every year when the Food Pyramid was our national standard. The truth is that we need carbohydrates for good health. Strictly limiting carbohydrates deprives us of the phytochemicals they contain which help reduce inflammation and allow our leptin to function properly. Furthermore, carbohydrates are not all alike. Simple carbohydrates are not all bad and starches are not all good for us. The glycemic index is a measure of how each carbohydrate affects blood sugar levels. This test is done using human volunteers, unlike calorie testing which is done with a machine (calorimeter). The best way to lose weight is to maintain stable blood sugar and insulin levels by eating carbohydrates with low or moderate glycemic index scores and balance these carbohydrates with protein.

10. Exercise, if excessive, prolonged, or done when we are hungry, can keep us from losing weight or even cause us to deposit fat. (Read the whole story about this here: http://www.foodallergyandglutenfreeweightloss.com/exercise_right.html). Moderate exercise, such as walking, gardening, house cleaning, or moderate bicycling or swimming, is the best way to lose weight because it does not “unsettle” our hormones. In addition, moderate exercise decreases leptin resistance, which was discussed in #7, thus making weight loss easier and normal self-regulating weight control possible.

There may be other things that you never knew about weight loss, but ten is the limit for this list. To find out more about how to lose weight permanently without hunger or struggle, read Food Allergy and Gluten-Free Weight Loss or visit http://www.foodallergyandglutenfreeweightloss.com. The principles in the ten points above apply to everyone. This book will help people with food allergies or gluten intolerance lose weight while staying on their special diets, and it will help non-food-sensitive people lose weight as well.

 

 

 

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Book Review: MAKING LIGHT OF BEING HEAVY by Kandy Siahaya

Making Light of Being HeavyAuthor: Kandy Siahaya
Title: Making Light of Being Heavy
Paperback: 90 pages
Publisher: Aardvark Publishing
Genre: Humor, Nonfiction
Language: English
Purchase at author’s website here.

About the Book:

These days everyone has a society-driven mindset and totally forget to laugh, especially at themselves. This may be cliche but Kandy truly believes that laughter is the best medicine. Period. Over the years as a person blessed with the fat gene, Kandy has been in many situations where if she could not find humor she probably would end up on the couch in the psychiatrist’s office. This book is about as politically incorrect as it gets for such a subject but it is also based on reality. This is a reality that many women have just like Kandy, but do not think they can (or should) at times just laugh about it.

Kandy’s intention when she started writing this book was to hopefully give insight to many who could never relate but at the same time perhaps provide a different perspective to women just like her. It is a point of view that has given her the strength to live her life happily and project these feelings onto everyone she comes in contact with. She has a great sense of humor and a quick with and guarantees you will be laughing (and thinking) with each chapter of Making Light of Being Heavy.

Review:

Kandy Siahaya is like a breath of fresh air. When Tracee Gleichner asked me to review this book, I knew I was in for a treat. Kandy opens up our eyes to the fact that heavy people are people, too, and if you can’t laugh at the situation, you’re going down the wrong path.

“I love life and I love to eat” is one of the frank comments she makes about her experiences being overweight and wouldn’t we all love to be able to say that if we’re fighting the battle of the bulge?

Kandy tried the Scarsdale diet in high school and lost 17 pounds, but still, she didn’t see it as a realistic way to eat on an every day diet. “On an every day basis,” she says, “people do have to have a Big Mac.”

Come on, people, you know she’s right! At least a few fries?

What I loved about this book is Kandy’s sense of humor. She touched on things such as:

  • getting a ticket for wearing no seat belt because she couldn’t fit into one
  • fitting into booths at restaurants
  • fitting into plastic chairs at special events
  • how public restrooms, plane bathrooms and cruise ship bathrooms can be so heavy people unfriendly
  • getting stuck in those little turnstiles they have at amusement parks

Kandy has accepted her fate – she’s overweight and still loves life. “I would rather know that I have lived happily,” she says, “rather than lived on edge constantly trying to be politically correct just because. If you mess up one day, just start over the next and keep moving.”

Kandy debunks such myths as:

  • If fat people really wanted to lose fat, they could.
  • All fat people are overeaters.

My favorite?

  • It is not healthy to be fat.

Wowzers. Bottom line? You are what you are if you are happy. As Kandy says in her final chapter, “Once we let go of unrealistic expectations and just get fixated on being happy things will fall into place.”

Although Making Light of Being Heavy is a humorous take on being overweight, it is also a serious look at the misconceptions people have about people who are overweight and helps to clear them up. This isn’t a rant book; this is a book that is a fact of life for overweight people everywhere. I’m so glad there’s a book like this out there and so proud that Kandy has the chutzpa to come out and tell us like it really is.

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Interview with Kandy Siahaya, Author of Making Light of Being Heavy

Making Light of Being Heavy

Today starts my 3-day virtual promotional extravaganza with Kandy Kiahaya, author of the humorous book, Making Light of Being Heavy!

After reading her book a few weeks ago, I asked her tour coordinator at Pump Up Your Book Promotion, Tracee Gleichner, if I could host her on my blog but do it up right.

First, let me begin by saying although I do call it a humor book, it actually takes a very serious look at what over half (I’m sure the statistics are much higher) of today’s men and women are facing – the fact that we just might be born this way and once we tell the world how it is from our point of view, maybe they’ll understand and not ostracize us for being that way.

I was a skinny person for years and years. I was made fun of for being skinny. If they only could see me now. Two kids and menopause sure did change things.

Making Light of Being HeavyMaking Light of Being Heavy is for all you gals and guys out there who aren’t model thin and would like to find out how they, too, can make light of being heavy.

Today I introduce to you Kandy Siahaya who can change your world. Tomorrow, Kandy will be back with “10 Tips on How to Make Light on Being Heavy” and we’ll wrap it up on Friday with a review!

Q: What made you decide to write a book making fun of being fat?

About five years ago a friend and I were walking with our kids along the sidewalks of Old Orchard Beach in the summer when a cute guy driving a pedicab stopped beside us waiting for the light. Joking around with him I asked him if there was a weight limit on that ride. My friend and I both were over 300 pounds and he was looking at us I think trying to come up with a “safe” number and he said “500 pounds” smiling. My friend and I started laughing and I jokingly said that we would have to have individual rides. While walking away we started talking about all kinds of instances like that one that we could laugh off and my friend said we should write a book.

Q: Since this book is based on life experiences, can you tell us what it was like when others made fun of your weight and how did you handle it?

Growing up my mother always had a saying, “Pretty is as pretty does” and I can remember consciously deciding that I was not going to let what other people say affect me and I never have.

Q: What do people love most about you?

My personality and sense of humor.

Kandy Siahaya 2Q: Of all the diet programs you have been on, which one would you recommend for others still fighting the battle of the bulge?

That is a hard one because everybody is different but I have always had good luck with the Scarsdale diet.

Q: Do you think that society can be partially blamed for people not loving the weight they are?

Yes, to some degree. I am just thankful that I have the perspective that I have because I know so many don’t and it is not something you can just take a pill for and change.

Q: What about genes? Do you believe genetics has a lot to do with people being overweight?

Absolutely. Like I said in my book, if everybody in the world fit into the proposed weight parameters based on height, age, and body structure we would all be the same size. Is that even possible with genetics? People don’t find it odd that a child has blonde hair if there mother has blonde hair or that little Joey grew to be 6 feet tall when his father is that height. Weight is not any different.

Q: Healthy foods cost more as stated in your book and is very true. Does that make sense to you?

Yes, even as unfortunate as it is because of the process necessary for fresh produce, whole grains, etc. But I truly do not believe that if you eat canned vegetables you are destined to be unhealthy.

Q: How can family and friends be supportive?

Just by being our friends and family. My mother is funny though because if she knows I am on my “diet” and she cooks something she knows I love she will not call to let me know because she doesn’t want to tempt me. Most times that backfires because I may go over later in the week and check out what is in her fridge and find the leftovers and eat them anyway :)

Q: Can you give us an example of your typical day’s intake of calories?

Well I don’t know about caloric intake but I will tell you what I had today – After dropping my son off at school I went through Tim Hortons and got a large coffee with extra cream and seven Equal, came home and had a bowel of Honey Nut Cheerios, mid morning had one piece of 12-grain bread with peanut butter, around 3 or so had a bologna sandwich with Miracle Whip, drank about three glasses of sugar-free grape drink throughout the day, and then for dinner around 7:00 with my son had chicken breast with noodles with some Alfredo sauce, whole kernel corn, and two pieces of garlic bread and a Diet Pepsi.

Q: Thank you for this interview, Kandy. Can you tell us where we can find out more about you and your wonderful new book?

www.makinglightofbeingheavy.com

Thank you!!

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IN THE MAILBOX: MAKING LIGHT OF BEING HEAVY by Kandy Siahaya

mailbagI’ve had this book for a few days now and I just now picked it up and started reading. This is hilarious stuff!

It starts out like this:

“Are you overweight? I am. Doesn’t it suck?”

Then she goes on to say:

“I think our bodies shape themselves into what they should be regardless of certain measures we take to prevent it when we live our life normally and happily. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure if I exercised for four hours a day and only ate rabbit food on a regular basis I may not be fat. But who wants to exercise four hours a day and only eat rabbit food every day? I don’t.”

making-light-of-being-heavy1And that’s not the funniest part as I couldn’t help myself and kept reading. This book is the bomb. I asked her tour coordinator if I could host her for a few days next month when she’s on virtual book tour with us and I’m waiting on her answer. No, I’m not the only one taking books on tour and, no, I don’t have a say (or too much, lol) on where she ends up, but after reading a few pages, I immediately asked Tracee if I could host her here for three days and I’m waiting on her answer.

This book hits so close to home, but I won’t spoil any of it until she comes in May. But, how many people who are naturally big can laugh at the situation? Kandy Siahaya is my role model. I was born a skinny person and up until about a year ago, I started really considering dieting. I have gained 50 pounds (shudder) since the birth of my first child. Of course, I was in my twenties and I was SKINNY, remember?

So, this ought to be fun. I’ll let you know if I can get Kandy here we can find out more about her, but it will include a review at least.

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