The fullness factor: A key to post-holiday weight loss

This is the time of year when people begin searching for that motivation and method for shredding some weight before spring.  For some this is weight acquired during the holiday season.  For others, it is weight they’ve been hanging onto for too long, hoping for a way to start letting go.

We’ve all heard the all-to-familiar weight loss formulas…counting calories, counting carbs, counting the hours in the gym, counting, counting, counting…

In reality, there is SOME truth to all of these weight loss formulas.  However, there is also a major obstacle…when we get hungry, we EAT.  Therefore, for any weight loss or lifestyle change to be successful, we need to address the Fullness Factor.

Hunger is both a physical and emotional state.  Both will be addressed but to start, let’s address the physical.  Below are some simple steps to get you started.

  1. Plan.  Don’t make it complicated.  Plan a day or two at a time.  Prepping some food makes us not grab for the first available (often high calorie) option.
  2. Drink water.  Again…don’t make it complicated.  There isn’t really a need to count your ounces here.  Simply drink 2 full-size glasses of water when you wake up, before each meal and 2 hours before bed.
  3. Add fiber.  Fiber makes us feel full and then we eat less.  There are several options for fiber but the important thing to remember is timing.  Many people eat fiber with their meal and while that provides nutritional and intestinal benefits, it takes 30-60 minutes for the body to recognize the fiber in the stomach and send a signal to the brain stating that you are full.  So…ingesting fiber is important 30-60 minutes BEFORE eating other food.  For most of us, we don’t want to eat a small fiber item, then wait 30 minutes to eat the rest of our meal.  Luckily, we have another option.
  4. Take Glucomannan 30 minutes before your meal.  It’s a simple capsular form of fiber that has been around for over 1000 years in oriental medicine.  This fiber provides the great benefit of making us feel full.  In studies, people watching their food intake plus taking Glucomannon, compared to those just watching their food intake, lost significantly more weight over a 5 week period (30-45%).

Remember that when you are considering supplements, quality matters.  Talk to your provider about recommendations for supplement companies that are 3rd party tested.

Using these 4 simple steps will get you started on your weight loss journey easily and allow you see to results quickly.

Best wishes on your health journey and stay tuned for how to address the emotional Fullness Factor in future posts.

For more information on Glucomannon or weight loss strategies, contact Dr. Skinner at jskinchiro@gmail.com

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Where did the time go?

How many times have you asked yourself that question?  There are many events in life that can spark reflection about how quickly time goes by.  Children grow up.  Milestone birthdays with elaborate celebrations come and go.   We lose someone we love too soon.  We look in the mirror and see an extra wrinkle, dark circles or gray hair.  These past two weeks, I’ve been reminded of how valuable our time is and how quickly time goes by.  My reminder was the loss of a friend.

Yesterday we celebrated the life of Steve “Grimey” Grimes.  I got to be a part of his funeral service and was further blessed by listening to his many family and friends talk about their fun time with Grimey over his full 38 year life.  Today, when I reflect on the past two weeks, I have a better appreciation of time.  We measure time in seconds, hours, days, weeks, months and years.  When I think about these measurements now, I’ve decided to change my mind about how I view time.  When looking at Steve’s life, quantity does not define it.  He lived a full life.  Everyday.  As his uncle said yesterday, he was a passionate man.  His passion for life was pretty unparalleled actually.  Many questioned it at times – myself included – because he didn’t always passionately pursue the things others thought he should pursue at the time others thought he should pursue it.  He did things on Grimey time.   When I think about that now, I actually think he was pretty inspirational.  His life path had a LOT of forks in the road.  He was on the path of an elite baseball pitcher when a rare form of Leukemia interrupted his life.  And the forks in the road that came as a consequence of the treatment for Leukemia – those twists and turns are unimaginable for most people at any point in life – but especially a 19 year old. Even with all the challenges, this guy had a laugh and a smile for anyone at pretty much anytime.  He could talk to anyone.  He could be both awkward and genuine.  And the guy followed his own path to the fullest.  Do I wish we all would have had MANY more years with him?  Absolutely. However, I think his life was pretty darn full.  I can’t imagine Steve every having wondered “Where did the time go?”

Maybe there are lessons we can take from Grimey.  For one, none of us are every promised tomorrow.  So when we find ourselves making a mental or physical list of things to do, shouldn’t we have the mindset of doing the things we are passionate about today.  Secondly, we really spend a lot of time worrying about the small stuff (that feels like HUGE stuff at the time).  What does any of that worrying ever get us?  Instead, when there is a task ahead of us, why not spend that “worry energy” jumping into our plan of attack. Lastly, Steve found fun in everything.  If only we could get our mental attitude in that mindset, wouldn’t even our most boring tasks become a little more enjoyable?  Wouldn’t we find ways to align our lives in ways that we were passionate about? Wouldn’t we smile and laugh and develop that contagious positive energy that fuels a great life that doesn’t need the constraints imposed by the concept of time?

Next time you find yourself asking “Where did the time go?”, what will your answer be?  I want my answer to be this…I spend my time loving, laughing and living in this moment.  And all these little moments add up to a really great life – a life that no concept of time can ever measure.

The thumb has no report

I am reminded of the phrase “the thumb has no report” today when thinking about the complexity of the mind/body relationship.  I have a friend who is a highly trained orthopedic surgeon.  She and I would discuss at length the mind/body relationship because we both understand deeply that there cannot be a separation of parts when dealing with any human condition or injury.  One day while doing our own internal body surveys, she says outloud, “the thumb has no report.”  We burst into laughter for several minutes before continuing to check in with our bodies for any signs of tension or distress.  Looking back at this funny little interaction, I am reminded that while, in the moment, there was nothing particularly interesting about that part of the body, the thumb actually had a useful role in that body scan.  We both had busy and sometimes stressful jobs and we NEEDED the laugh.  Now as I teach my patients how to better listen to their bodies, I am reminded that even in silence we learn something about ourselves.  Maybe next time you sit still and listen to what your body needs you will get a loud PAY ATTENTION TO ME signal.  Maybe you will get silence or the urge to giggle or a thought will randomly pop into your head when scanning some random area of your body for information.  If it’s a thought, write it down.  If it’s a giggle, let it out.  If it’s silence, breathe and sit in it.  Just the 2-3 minute routine of paying attention to your body and mind can bring about insights you never imagined and have the GREAT benefit of addressing symptoms of problems before louder symptoms occur.  So get going…start your scan…what does you thumb have to report today?

Dr. Google or Dr. You

With the popularity of Dr. Google and Dr. Wikipedia today, most of my patients come into the office having an idea of what their diagnosis is likely to be.  Dr. Google and Dr. Wikipedia, even Dr. Mayo Clinic and Dr. WebMD, provide us with important information about what might be going on with our bodies.  I think these resources are nice to have to give us an overview of different health conditions, different laboratory tests and even different treatments.  But do you know who the greatest resource of information about your health condition is?

YOU!

Every human being has an internal guidance system that tells them when things are going well and when things are not.  Many times we forget this important aspect of self.    We look outside ourselves for the answers instead of inside.  We ignore early indicators that something is wrong.

Our bodies have indicators that we often pass off as being normal.  I hear the phrase “normal aches and pains” all the time in my office.  It’s so difficult to bite my tongue when I hear that phrase – many times I don’t.  Pain IS NOT normal.  It is our body telling us that something needs to happen differently.  Sometimes the thing that needs to happen isn’t the top of our priority list such as exercise, stretching, de-stressing, eating well, sleeping, taking prescribed medications and supplements, scheduling a doctor’s appointment, talking about our feelings, etc.  But…in most situations, there is something that we can do to stop the pain cycle.  Think of your body like you would your car for a moment.  When the gas light turns on, if you ignore it what happens?  What about that service needed light?  Tire pressure light?  Check engine light?  How long will you ignore these indicators?

Your body’s indicator lights might not flash or beep constantly at you but they are there if you are paying attention.

How is your energy? How often do you feel rested? Do you have pain? Are you comfortable when you sleep/sit/stand/exercise? Do you have “normal” headaches? (Another phrase I just love to hear.)  Are you retaining water, gaining weight, losing weight… This list could really go on and on.

I’m not suggesting we all become hypochondriacs and believe every body indicator is a sign of a disease in progress.  However, I do believe that if we pay attention and take care of the small indicators, we can prevent many diseases from occurring or progressing.

My challenge for you this week is this…Check in with your body.  Figure out what questions you need to ask yourself – what are the indicator lights you are ignoring? What are you willing to do to help your health and prevent future disease?

 

Breaking through the weight loss plateau

Getting started on a weight loss program can be overwhelming.  There are so many choices out there.  Some are certainly quick weight loss fads and others are a more balanced and long-term lifestyle change approach to health.  The purpose of this short blog is to address that looming “is this worth it?” mindset that happens during the weight loss journey.  The truth is…there are fairly easy and relatively inexpensive ways to keep you going on your weight loss journey (or get you started on one that works for you and keep you going on it).

I would say 75-80% of my patients who ask me about weight loss have already started their weight loss journey but have reached that annoyingly frustrating weight loss plateau.  For many, when a plateau is reached, the first action is to CUT more calories or foods out of their diet.  This is exactly the opposite thing to do if you want to be successful at getting those pounds off, building lean muscle mass and ultimately staying at your goal weight when you reach it.

My patients and I work through their weight loss plateaus primarily by doing two things: removing (or at least decreasing) any stresses causing interference with their body’s ability to have an optimal metabolism AND using specific pressure points in the body to boost metabolism, decrease cravings and promote healthy digestion.  So many times the body starts to actually store fat because we get to the point where the body thinks it is in starvation.  The body is made to survive.  It does that by increasing stress hormones and increasing fat storage.

Have you reached your healthy weight goals or do you need a little help to get through your weight loss plateau?

I am here to help!  Weight loss sessions typically only require about 10 minutes of your time and only cost $10 per session.  If you are ready for a change, go online to http://www.skinnerchiropracticcenter.com and schedule your 10 minute weight loss visit.

When everything is new…

Much excitement exists around the “New”.  For many at this time of year, it’s New Year’s Resolutions – a time for new goals, increased effort and greater investment (in those things we value such as family, community, career, health, etc).  For some the “New” lasts for months and months while for others maybe a few days or weeks.  When asking a variety of people why they believe New Year’s Resolutions don’t last as long as people intend, I get a diverse set of answers with one common thread –   People Get Stressed! Something else becomes a priority and then life becomes unbalanced and stressful.  Life happens and as we all have certainly experienced, change is the only constant.  So the question becomes – “What can we do to keep that ‘New’ excitement momentum when the stressors of life start to get to us?”

Here are 3 recommendations:

  1. Whenever possible when making a new goal, plan out potential obstacles and create a variety of options for how to navigate the obstacles.
  2. Enlist help.  This is a MAJOR reason that life becomes unbalanced.  We tend to not want to ask for and take in honest feedback when we get it.
  3. Use some traditional stress management techniques: prioritize, eat nutritiously, get adequate sleep, exercise, take 15 minutes a day of “me time”, do something enjoyable every single day, laugh, breath, sing, dance…you get the picture.

You might be asking why a chiropractor is writing about stress…

First – Stress is universal.  I have to do things daily to manage stress at a healthy level.  Luckily – I have learned over the years to do the above and for the most part, it WORKS.  Secondly, I GET ADJUSTED.  I have learned that there are enormous stress reduction benefits from chiropractic techniques.

Did you know…There are techniques which require no “cracking” – really no force at all – that are focused on balancing the autonomic nervous system.  These techniques keep the systems of the body in balance which in simple terms means this…Healthy elimination of the physical effects of stress, improved ability to physically and emotionally cope with stressors, and…LESS ILLNESS which happens more frequently in individuals experiencing high levels of stress.

Maybe a low stress New idea in 2016 is to give chiropractic a try.  Ask your chiropractor if they will use a technique to balance your autonomic nerve system to help you manage stress in a healthy way!

3 SIMPLE Ways to Improve a Monday (or any day)

Starting off the week just gets easier and easier.  Yes – you read that correctly.  In the past year I’ve discovered many things about myself, about starting a business, about finding my niche and about keeping things simple.  Like many, I always tend to be drawn the the complicated.  I believe I am hard-wired to excel best in complicated environments with complicated dynamics.  As a child, teenager and young adult, my energy in life went primarily towards two things – music and sports.  I wasn’t content with playing just one instrument – I had to play them all and I had to challenge the most difficult songs and as many competitions as I could.  I would not “just pick one.”  No way!  As an athlete, I had to play every sport available to me.  I even ran cross country at one point and trust me – I am NOT a distance runner.  Ultimately, I focused mostly on softball.  But, of course, I had to be a catcher despite my small stature because I had to be involved in every aspect of the game at all times.  This served me well though because college softball paid off well during my undergraduate education.  So how does all this apply to keeping things simple?  This is what I’ve learned most this past year.

1) Keeping it simple means DOING WHAT I LOVE.  Even when it may seem to the outside word that it’s “difficult”, “challenging”, even “exhausting.”  Doing something that I love everyday – no matter how “complicated” – gives me LOTS of energy and lots of calm at the same time.  It’s who I am.  Don’t fight who you are – that takes energy.  Instead embrace it! So to improve your Monday (or any day), do something that you love.

2) Keeping it simple means QUIETING THE INNER CRITIC.  We all have thoughts that jump into our brains at random times throughout the day.  Find a phrase that works for you and stop those thoughts IMMEDIATELY when you recognize them.  If you pay attention, and you will now that this concept is in your awareness, then you will recognize this inner critic voice and you will put it on mute much more frequently.  I used to have some specific phrases I would use to quiet the critic such as: “I am enough.”  “I am talented.”  “I am…”.  Now I’ve even simplified this process.  Now I just see a picture of myself hitting a MUTE button.  And I laugh internally as I feel empowered by my true self.

3) Keeping it simple means SPEAKING IN GRATITUDE.  Words are incredibly powerful.  They have so much physical, emotional and spiritual energy.  I understand the muscular and neurological components that go into the the formation of a thought and conversion into a spoken word.  It’s complicated.  It’s also a simple thing that we do many times a day without conscious awareness.  Make a commitment to speak one gratitude at the start and the end of everyday.  I promise you will be amazed at how this simplifies even the most challenging times.  It changes our internal energy which simply changes everything.  SIMPLY.

Give it a try.  Make a simple.  And ENJOY!!!