4 06, 2021

Take Pause in the Moment before Mindless Eating

2021-06-04T12:59:48-04:00June 4th, 2021|Motivational Letters|

It is so easy, and so common, for us to eat mindlessly.  I may come home and begin eating whatever is available without thoughts about hunger, need and the quality of food I’m eating at the moment. This is especially obvious when we snack in front of the TV.  We snack automatically, distracted by whatever we are watching and end up eating far too much without regard for the consequences of weight gain or impact on our metabolic health. Eating mindfully takes a willingness to sit and slow down; to become aware of the emotions inside of us.  We must [...]

19 03, 2021

“It’s Not Working”

2021-03-19T13:29:26-04:00March 19th, 2021|Motivational Letters|

I often hear the sentence: “It’s not working.” I hear this from patients, and from myself.  I hear you. Frustrating. Totally frustrating. We think we are doing everything right, and the scale is not moving! What is going on? How do we break through this?  To this complaint, I wish I had an easy answer; the reason is that the answer may not reside in the food you are eating, or not eating, but other factors. Presently, lack of movement is the most common thing I notice. I do strive for an hour of movement daily; my motivation for this [...]

19 02, 2021

Push Through Mental Fatigue

2021-02-19T07:54:22-05:00February 19th, 2021|Motivational Letters|

An important question to ask ourselves is: “Is this mental fatigue or physical fatigue?”  When I hear myself saying, “I should go out for a walk or ski, but I’m tired so maybe I will go tomorrow;” I know, for sure, this is mental fatigue. At the end of the day, we are drained from work stress, or life encounters (family, friends, negative news, or the overall stress of the pandemic), and indeed we do feel fatigue. However, realize that this is not actually physical fatigue. In point of fact, the one thing that will create more energy is movement, [...]

11 12, 2020

Make Conscious Choices this Holiday Season

2020-12-11T09:42:27-05:00December 11th, 2020|Motivational Letters|

With the holiday season upon us, we know we will be tempted with certain foods that we associate with festivities, nostalgic memories, or comfort and relaxation.  This year, many people feel as though special food and treats are what will make things “special”, since this year is lacking in the social connections we normally would have. I really get it.  However, it’s important to keep mindful about your long-term goals and health, while also feeling satisfaction and happiness through this festive season.  It’s highly unlikely we can resist all of the temptations, but if you choose to have treats, choose [...]

13 11, 2020

Choices

2020-11-13T13:26:40-05:00November 13th, 2020|Motivational Letters|

The choice to have or not have snacks or extra portions of food, comes down to giving in to our pleasure receptors, or suffering the pain of denying those receptors.  More often than not, the pleasure area of the brain wins. When I'm told "It’s hard", I couldn't agree more.  It is not easy (especially during these long dark evenings) to stop ourselves from gravitating to the fridge or cupboards, looking for some sort of snack. Even as I type this, my emotional mind is thinking about snacks.  Fortunately, I have a greater desire to try and finish this article [...]

8 10, 2020

Helplessness or Optimism

2020-10-08T15:11:05-04:00October 8th, 2020|Motivational Letters|

As I was tidying up the other day, I came across some old lecture notes from an Obesity Medicine conference we attended about 9 years ago. I remember feeling privileged to listen to a keynote lecture by Dr. Denis Waitley. He is a Psychologist, and at that time, was an advisor to the American Olympic team. His talk was on how we, as individuals, have choices: emotional choices. We can listen to the internal voice of helplessness or turn our minds towards optimism. He noted that it takes about 600 days for an athlete to develop a consistent habit of [...]

28 09, 2020

Work Towards your Metabolic Health

2020-09-28T14:22:24-04:00September 28th, 2020|Motivational Letters|

I am hoping my role is to help people become healthier, and not just focused on the number on the scale; of course we become healthier as we lose weight, but we can also become healthier well before weight loss. What is metabolic health? It’s a combination of factors including: regular activity, proper sleep, decreasing stress and a nutritious diet.   As we focus on each of these factors, our immune health (think COVID) improves, inflammation reduces, we lower triglycerides  and increase good cholesterol, we lower blood pressure, reduce fat in the liver (a huge risk to our health),  and in [...]

31 07, 2020

The Evening Snack Struggle

2020-07-31T13:53:15-04:00July 31st, 2020|Motivational Letters|

If there is one area of eating (or nibbling) that I could eradicate in all of us, it’s the mindless snacking we all seem to do in the evening. Mind you, I do meet the rare person who doesn’t have the urge to nibble while watching TV or reading a book. I’ve talked about my own struggles with this before, but it bears repeating. We all know that eating at this time is rarely out of hunger, it’s simply the desire to eat. The major issue, as you all know, is that these are extra calories (usually in the carbohydrate [...]

28 07, 2020

Keep Moving Forward

2020-07-28T13:40:42-04:00July 28th, 2020|Motivational Letters|

We all find ourselves at a crossroad when it comes to ‘diets’: do we continue despite frustrations, or just give up and try something else (even if something else has worked short term in the past, only to result in weight regain). There must be a certain tenacity when it comes to a healthy way of living; whether it’s in regards exercise (or lack thereof), the quality and quantity of food, getting enough sleep, or learning strategies to manage stress. There will be days, or weeks, of really poor food choices. There could be many reasons: friends visiting, a partner [...]

3 07, 2020

Thought Barriers, Defenses and Rationalizations

2020-07-03T12:11:52-04:00July 3rd, 2020|Motivational Letters|

I was thinking about my own rationalizations around habits recently, and remembered a letter I sent out 10 years ago that really touched on this subject.  I wanted to go back to it here, as so many patients I speak with are dealing with the same issue of thought barriers and rationalizations when it comes to making healthy changes. What is it that allows us to take our focus off our desire for successful weight loss and better health? We all share the hope to be optimally healthy, yet, in a flash, our minds come up with some pretty ‘acceptable’ [...]

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