Five Ways to Maintain Your Weight Loss

weight lossWe all know that losing weight can be a difficult struggle; however, sometimes the hardest part comes after you’ve finally reached your goal—maintaining it. Anyone who has lost a significant amount of weight will tell you that they fear the after effects of regaining everything you’ve lost…and then some more – which can lead to a long road of yo-yo dieting.

Most people being their weight loss journey thinking only of the end goal – reaching those specific numbers on the scale and measurement tape. Because of this, many forget to plan for what comes after they’ve reached their goal. The problem comes down to this, how you chose to lose your weight directly correlates to how you have to maintain it. If you’ve opted for a trendy diet or fad diet pills, well, you’re more than likely going to end up regaining because you chose an option that isn’t long-term compatible, and didn’t plan for the maintenance phase.

But don’t fear! Even if you lost your weight through an unconventional method, it’s not too late to implement a plan to help you maintain it. According to an article written by Coach Christina for BioTrust, these are the top five ways to keep the weight off for good.

1. Be Committed to the Lifestyle

If you changed your lifestyle by adopting healthy behaviors, you need to view them as long-term habits. If you didn’t change your lifestyle, then now is the time to do it! Either way, eating healthier, nutritious, non-processed foods is the best way to ensure that scale stays right where you want it!

2. Know What Your Triggers Are

This involves taking a good look at the internal factors that led to your weight gain. Do you eat when you’re bored, stressed, sad, or lonely? What kind of food do you turn to in those moments? Knowing the reasons behind your behavior can help you prevent them from recurring. Feeling stressed or sad? Go for a run or head to the gym – exercise can release endorphins that will help boost your mood. Don’t just identify the triggers, but figure options in advance that can help you to prevent overeating.

3. Track Your Weight and Measurements Regularly

Keeping regular tabs on your weight and measurements can be the first indication that you may need to make adjustments to your regimen. By not waiting until your clothes are no longer fitting properly, you can catch any problems before they get too out of hand. Also, it can also help you maintain confidence in yourself and therefore focused on maintaining your lifestyle. It’s easy to get off track once you hit your goal, and like most of us there is always that one person telling you how great you look and that it won’t hurt if you reward yourself with treats. Rewards every now and then are fine, but it’s easy to get carried away. Keeping track of your weight can help you avoid those pitfalls.

4. Stay Active!

Exercise helped you reach your goal, so why stop now? Not only does it keep you healthy and fit, it can also keep you from going back to your old habits! Whether you’re going to the gym, hitting the bike, or running the track, staying active is necessary to maintain your goals and lifestyle.

5. Write Down What You Eat

The easiest way to slip up and start regaining weight is by losing track of your eating habits. Calories add up and even if you compensate by eating fewer meals, the amount of calories and carbs could still equal or even exceed your daily recommended amount. By keeping a food journal, you can monitor what you’re eating and ensuring that you aren’t slipping back into bad habits.

Remember, your weight-loss journey doesn’t end just because you reached your perfect jean size. Regular maintenance is necessary to your lifestyle if you want to make sure you don’t slip right back down to where you started. These tips will help serve as a daily reminder that you have to continue to work if you want to maintain your success!

Fitness Friday Blog: Top 5 Low-Carb, High-Fat Foods

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One of the best ways to lose weight, particularly belly fat, is a low-carbohydrate diet. There are many versions of low-carb diets, two of the most popular ones are Atkins and ketogenic, or keto for short. Low-carb diets consist of meals that are high-fat, adequate-protein, and low-carbohydrate—both sugar and starch carbs are extremely limited, which forces your body to switch from burning sugars for energy to burning fat instead; this process is called ketosis.

For many people, a low-carb diet can be extremely effective in losing weight quickly. However, it can lack diversity if you depend too heavily on red meat as your main source of substance. Below is a list of five great protein-rich alternatives to help diversify your diet while making sure you don’t go over-board—which can keep you from getting into or staying in ketosis.

Fatty Fish
On a low-carb diet you’ll do well to keep in mind that fish is one of your best go-to options when it comes to ensuring you’re maintain a healthy amount of fats. It doesn’t hurt that you’ll also be getting a ton of other health benefits too, such as heart, eye, skin, and brain health, improved immune and metabolic function, and healthy inflammatory response.

Coconut Oil
When you think about a low-carb diet, coconut oil isn’t the first thing to pop into your mind. But considering 70% of the fat found in coconut oil is a very special type called medium chain triglycerides, it should be. MCTs are easily absorbed, metabolized, burned for energy, and aren’t easily stored as fat—which is why they help to suppress appetite, boost metabolism, lower body weight, and reduce belly fat.

Eggs
Eggs are well-known as one of the healthiest foods you can eat; easily making it one of the best low-carb foods on your diet, especially since they have practically zero carbs.
They are healthy fats and a good source of high-quality protein, and provide nutrients that boost brain health and cognitive function, eye health and vision, and heart health. Eggs are your keto diet’s best friend!

Butter, Ghee, Heavy Cream, Sour Cream, and Full-Fat Cheese
Most people are still under the impression that saturated fats are bad for you, but it’s since been accepted that saturated fat is not associated with heart-related issues., but you should still be careful not to go overboard, as with any food.
Studies are also beginning to show that full-fat dairy is related to less belly fat and better blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and glycemic control. Far better than what was previously believed. Be sure to opt for the organic, pasture-raised cow brands, which will give you healthier fats than the conventional varieties.

Avocados
Add some flavor to your diet with this keto-perfect food. They provide about 80% of calories from fat, ensuring that you aren’t going too far over in your protein intake.
Avocados also provide a good amount of fiber and are a nutrient-dense food with upwards of 20 essential nutrients, including potassium. Half of an avocado 25% of the recommended intake for active people.

The key to an effective low-carb/keto weight-loss diet is, ironically, fats! While protein is important, it’s good to keep in mind that too much can stall your body’s ketosis and leave you right back where you started—balance is the crucial factor. For more tips on the best keto foods and why, read this article by Biotrust’s Tim Skwiat .

Five Sugars You Should Avoid On Food Labels

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Reading food labels can often seem a bit tedious and time consuming, especially when there are often words that you need a dictionary just to pronounce. However, it’s something that—if you don’t already do—you need to start doing immediately. The most important words you need to look for end with these three letters: OSE. Here are the words and reasons why you should be avoiding them at all costs, according to BioTrust’s Joel Marion.

 

  1. High fructose corn syrup – this is the most dangerous of the bad sugars and an ingredient that should be at the top of your list to avoid
  1. Fructose – is a fruit sugar in which too much intake has been linked to causing insulin resistance, obesity, elevated LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, leading to metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease
  1. Maltose – is a malt sugar that is produced when glucose is caramelized
  1. Glucose – is a type of sugar that comes from carbohydrates, while it is used by the body for energy, it can be bad in excessive amounts and can lead to high blood glucose levels
  1. Sucrose – is simply known as table sugar or just sugar

 

Keep in mind that the closer these words are to the top of the ingredient list, the more you need to avoid that food, as it is likely packed full of sugar and unfit for a healthy diet. Research has shown that these sugars are often the leading cause of obesity and diabetes.

For more tips on what sugars to avoid and why, click here.

How to Get Through a Rough Patch: Coping with a Dark Night of the Soul

Everybody goes through a rough patch. And sometimes that’s an understatement. Welcome to the Dark Night of the Soul. This is a time of great transition when you have lost your current identity but have yet to create your new one. You could be going through a divorce, a loved one passed away, you lost your job or just feel like you’re stuck and don’t know how to free yourself.

In any case, this is the time when good advice is essential. Dr. Michael Beckwith, a leader in the New Thought Movement, author and founder of the Agape Church in Los Angeles, has some of the best advice I’ve heard on the subject.

He says, when you’re losing your identification and you don’t know who you’re becoming yet, ask this question:

If this experience were to last forever, what qualities would have to emerge for you to have peace of mind?

As you know, what you focus on increases in size and strength. By answering this question you now become aware of the actual qualities that will get you through this dark night rather than keep you stuck in your suffering.

There is a reason for everything we experience in our lives. We may never be privy to all of the wisdom that would keep us away from life’s challenging times, but at least we can rest assured that when they come our way, we can move through them with integrity, resilience and hope. Thank you, Dr. Beckwith.

~Karen Abrams

 

This post was originally posted on GodSelf University

Theta Meditation for Projecting Hope

I’ve been having a hard time lately. This new administration’s appointees, ranging from global warming denialists to dictator-friendly diplomats, has made me anxious about the near future.

Going to bed and waking up, I have been weighted with a sense of dread in the pit of my stomach.

This is not the way I like to live my life.

But for some reason, even after many attempts, I have been unable to completely let go of this heaviness.

What is up with that?

According to Andrew Huberman, Stanford professor of neurobiology, the brain is “mostly a stress-reactive machine. Its primary job is to keep us alive, which is why it’s so easy to flip people into fear all the time.” So, when facing an uncertain future, “there is a litany of cognitive distortions and emotional overreactions that we fall prey to.”

When we are in a constant state of fear or anxiety, the parts of our brain that are responsible for thinking and forming memories shut down. They actually shrink in size while the part of our brain that is responsible for fear gets bigger.

So the other night, while I was lying in bed, I went up into theta and asked, “What can I do to change this? I keep projecting my fear out into the world.”

A simple voice came back to me: “Project your hope instead.”

I instantly calmed down.

I could project my hope, and become involved in the solution instead of the problem. It was so simple and yet those four words transformed my mind and body.

Apparently, my reaction was backed up by neural science. According to Justin Moscarello, researcher at LeDoux Lab, Center for Neural Science, “It’s your belief about your agency that ultimately determines your emotional outcomes… Believing you don’t have control over your own life can lead to depression… while believing that you have a voice, and can influence a situation, can lead to positive feelings.”

We create stories that disempower us, out of our feelings of uncertainty. It is an effort to control what is beyond our grasp.

Yet, we also have the power to create a positive story and become a part of manifesting that outcome. Remembering we have that power renews our faith.

Author Samuel Smiles once said “Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.”

We will always encounter uncertainty in life; just remember it’s a fork in the road, rather than a dead end. Your choice.

Sources:

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_hope.html

Rolling Stone, “Why We’re LIving in the Age of Fear” by Neil Strauss, October 6, 2016.

~Karen Abrams

Breathing Exercises for Relaxation

“Just calm down and take a deep breath.” It’s a go-to when you’re feeling stressed and anxious. Over 5 thousand years ago yogis brought breathing techniques into a daily practice as they began to focus on enlightenment through the body. These practices are still in effect today and as luck would have it, science follows right behind with an explanation.

Our Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) connects the brain to the body. When you experience unsettling thoughts, feelings and events, the nerves switch on the Sympathetic Nervous System which is responsible for your Fight or Flight response. This brings about a rise in your breath rate, heart rate and blood pressure. And that’s just the beginning.

Happily, the converse is true, too. When you change your breathing pattern, your heart and lungs are communicating the opposite message to your ANS to switch on your Sympathetic Nervous System (also known as your Rest and Digest or Relax Response). With an extended exhale (at a 2:1 ratio) your heart rate slows, your blood pressure drops, digestion improves and calm renters the picture.

Enter the 4-7-8 Breathing technique. This is a yogic breathing exercise made popular by Dr. Andrew Weil, considered to be the father of Integrative Medicine. Dr. Weil believes this to be a very powerful tool to calm anxiety, triggered emotions, sleep disruptions as well as deal effectively with food cravings.

The exercise is simple:

Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise.

You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.

Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.

Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.

Hold your breath for a count of seven.

Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.

This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.

For the first month, you should only practice with four breaths at one time and then extend it to eight. Immediate effects might include light headedness, but that will clear up quickly.

The magic happens relatively quickly but the REAL stuff occurs when you make it a daily practice for 1-2 minutes. Then you’ll have a very powerful tool to calm yourself, lower your heart rate, blood pressure and improve your digestion. Dr. Weill believes this technique to be as effective as anti anxiety medication without the heavy price tag. And having that at your beck-and-call is worth all the yogi tea in China.

Sources:

History of Yoga

How Your Breath Affects Your Nervous System – Baxter Bell, MD


http://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/body-mind-spirit/stress-anxiety/breathing-three-exercises

~Karen Abrams, GodSelf Faculty

Theta Meditation for Radiation

We had a blackout at my house and the electricity was off for 13 hours.  You never realize how much you rely on electricity/wifi/computers until you lose it completely.  But what I didn’t realize at the time was that my body was getting a break from all the radiation it receives from the electromagnetic fields that are generated from the devices in my home.  Our microwaves, tv’s, digital phones, computers, cell phones, wifi, laptops and tablets emit frequencies that can cause (at the very least) inflammation in the body and according to the World Health Organization can be classified as a possible carcinogen.

Since these technologies are not going anywhere and are so embedded in the way we connect and communicate with our immediate and extended community, let’s focus on some solutions instead of waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Here are some recommendations from the Foundation for Alternative and Integrative Medicine:

  • “Turn off your WiFi, Bluetooth and 3G when not in use and keep your mobile on your body as little as possible.
  • Switch off, via both hardware and software, Bluetooth and WiFi on your computers, printers and other wireless devices and use only cables.
  • If this is not possible, make sure that at least you switch off your WiFi router and all wireless transmitters at night…
  • If you have school age children, ask the school to limit /prohibit /abolish WiFi. There is now plenty of evidence that its use is ill advised. The World Health Organization and the European Council concur on this.”

Recommendations according to Dr. Joseph Mercola, Osteopath and Alternative Medicine Proponent:

  • Children Should Never Use Cell Phones or Wireless Device of any type: Children are far more vulnerable to cell phone radiation than adults, because of their thinner skull bones, and still developing immune and neurological systems.
  • Reduce Your Cell Phone Use: Turn your cell phone off more often…. As long as your cell phone is on, it emits radiation intermittently, even when you are not actually making a call.
  • Use a Land Line at Home and at Work

Now, how can Theta Healing support your health in the wireless world? The 3 minute Theta Meditation in the YouTube video at the top of the page is a resource for you to let go of harmful radiation you’ve picked up throughout the day. As your mind connects to your body, Divine Source supports you to release the harmful radiation that you come in contact with every day.  Use this every day at the end of your day and let it go!

~Karen Abrams

Thoughts on How to Remain Calm Inside the Storm

Sometimes when we hit major challenges or sudden shifts we can feel alone and isolated. It’s difficult to remain calm, cool and collected. In Theta Healing, we have a way of accessing love to help us through this time.

When events occur in ways that are unexpected, what do you do? What do you say?

After the initial shock you want to step back and get some accurate information about what really happened and act accordingly.  The more we know and feel that we are connected to All There Is, the more the answers flow in with grace and ease as we are able to move through this time and get on with living in our highest and best.

When facing conflict, step back, access the love in the universe, and let the solution flow in.

How Not to Care What People Think of You

The path of loving yourself leads to trusting your own opinion.

What people think about you can greatly affect the relationship you have with someone. It can govern the way you perceive the person as well as how you act around him or her. And most of all, it confines the space in which this relationship exists, disallowing it to become anything other than what it is at this moment.

The key to caring less about being judged by others is self-confidence and self-acceptance. But how do you get there?

In Theta, you can free yourself from being shackled to others’ opinions of you or anyone else. This comes from learning who you truly are from God’s perspective and loving yourself unconditionally from the inside out. These two bits of information redirect the way you make decisions and who you allow to come into your life. Better decisions bring better choices, and better choices bring in better opportunities to lift yourself to a whole new level.

Questions to Ask Yourself About How to Find Love

Most of us don’t realize that finding love is really about allowing ourselves to be open to love finding us. We often believe things and act on them in ways that prevent our soulmates from revealing themselves to us.

So ask yourself:

  • What’s holding me back from creating a loving relationship in my life now?
  • What are the unhealthy beliefs about love, relationships and family I hold onto?
  • What ways do I sabotage my love life?

Theta Healing teaches us how to heal the beliefs that are holding us back and bring our most compatible romantic soulmates into our lives.

We offer many sessions and classes on using Theta Healing to make love, including an entire day focused on bringing our most compatible romantic soulmates into our lives now. Created by Theta Healing founder, Vianna Stibal, this class gets to the heart of the matter and leaves you smiling when you go. Taught by Master Theta Healers Karen Abrams and Karen Ross, who look forward to helping participants find their most compatible, romantic soulmates!