Hello, and welcome to another Healthy Tips on Tuesday post. October is Obesity Awareness Month, or improve your Metabolic Syndrome Health Marker if you prefer. You will find two videos below. I urge you to watch them both. Remember not only fat people have Metabolic Syndrome, and not all Obese people do either. But, if you are on a weight loss journey you simply can not ignore sugars.
Why can you not ignore sugars if you are on a weight loss journey, especially added sugars? I will give you some examples below, and what to try to limit your sugars to, to lose weight. Please note if you are a Diabetic this could be dangerous for you. Please talk to your doctor about Carb control, rather than sugar consumption.
Here is an example. When I look at a box of pasta, which is high in carbs, it only has 2 grams of total sugar per serving, zero of which are added sugars. The same thing with a baked potato, not sweet potato though. A baked potato has only 2 grams of total sugar, per potato, and of course none are added sugars. I used those two examples because pasta, and potatoes, are the arch nemesis of many weight loss diets. Pasta, enriched pasta especially, is a good source of nutrients, as are baked potatoes.
Now, the evidence is mixed on whether added sugars cause Obesity or not, or at least that is what the sugar industry say. I think the evidence is stark. Since the 1980’s when Obesity really started to take off, is when Americans started to eat more processed, readily available, easy to make meals. Watch the videos the stats are right there.
Quitting sugar is hard. It might even be addicting, read my post on this topic. My research shows that discretionary sugar may be the very reason you can’t lose weight. Wait, what? Discretionary sugar, what is that? After you have consumed all of the nutrients your body needs for a day you might have discretionary sugar left to eat in your day. WTH! That sounds horrible to have to try and track, understand, or even care about. Here is an easier method. For women you can eat up to 50 grams sugar, total, in a day, only 25 grams of that 50 should be added sugars. For men just double it. One thing to be careful of, though, is like for me I drink a Welch’s juice that does have sugars, but they are not added sugars. This does not mean I can drink as much as I want. I add only a small amount to my regular water to add flavor. Most processed foods, even organic processed foods, will most likely have added sugars in them. For me, right now, I am not focusing on the total sugars, but rather the added sugars. I am tracking that, ok only 1 day so far, to see if I notice any difference in weight loss, and more importantly waist circumference, as that is actually my goal. It is going to be tough to stick to 25 grams today, because it is family cookoff challenge night and I have to eat two sandwiches. But, I think the bread I bought will be OK. Yesterday, my tracking app said I ate 59 grams of total sugars, but I didn’t keep track of added sugars. But, I still lost some ounces when I weighed myself this morning.
I will be looking more into this sugar topic in upcoming posts, especially in relation to Diabetes, Cancer, Heart Disease, and Alzheimer’s Disease.
If you read this blog then you know I have had my own struggles with weight loss especially since reaching menopause. You also know I promote organic foods, when possible, and decreasing sugar. So, if you read my post from the other day about sugar being addicting then you got a good feel for the science. However, more explanation is needed especially when it comes to Fructose and sneaky names for sugar on food labels. Not only should you check for how many added sugars there are foods you buy in the supermarket, but also at the ingredients on each label. If you are having a hard time losing weight, or have Type 2 Diabetes, Pre-Diabetes, or Metabolic Syndrome, watch all of the videos below and learn about Fructose, High Fructose Corn Syrup, added sugars and how the body metabolizes sugars. You may have to pick your jaw up off the floor. None of them are long, and if you are at a high risk for Cardiac Disease pay particular attention to how high sugar amounts are leading to Cardiac Disease. This is not a paid post and I get no credit for sharing the videos. They are to help my readers learn.
There is one link, here, and the video is awesome, but be sure to read it all too. Do it last, though, after the other videos. It will make more sense.
Updated 3/17/2021 When I was first diagnosed with CKD way back in 2017, one of the first things my Nephrologist told me was that losing weight would help my kidney function. Like many of us who are over-weight, I was yep here we go the fat bandwagon. But, apparently he was right. As I have been researching topics for this blog, and for my own personal knowledge of CKD, there have been a few studies on this topic. As with all things CKD there are not many studies, and they are not particularly large, and are often sponsored by companies with products to sell. But, some is still better than none. While I have very good muscle strength and do not find it difficult to build new muscle, even on a protein restricted diet, like most women who have had babies and have reached Menopause, I do carry extra weight around my middle and hips. I have never been super slim, even before children. I have always had a bulky strong look to me, and the smallest I have ever been was 20 pounds over where my doctor said I should be for my height. It is very hard for me to lose weight. I lose inches, but the weight just really takes a long time to budge. Because my ultimate goal is to heal my kidney function, or at the very least get back to stage 2, weight loss is a very important part of that goal. Through all of the trials and errors, I think I have finally found a system that will work for me, not just in the short term, but in the long term as well. It is not an easy plan, and it is not fast, either. But, when I stick to it strictly, I can lose a half a pound a day, safely. I may write an ebook, or I may make the info a pdf for my newsletter followers. I haven’t decided yet, and it will be some time before I am sure the results are not just water weight or something like that. Plus, I need to have my labs checked to be sure it is completely safe.
The article above talks about how difficult it can be for people with CKD to lose weight, especially if you also have Diabetes, or HTN. I do not have either of those, but I am right at the borderline for HTN. Again, weight loss will help keep my blood pressure in a good range. Weight loss will also help egfr by decreasing inflammation, proteinuria, and hyperalbuminuria. I do not currently have any of those, but I did when first diagnosed. I do get inflammation occasionally when I exercise too hard, but some of that is normal body response. I also have a tendency to retain water in my fingers. I always have, but if I am not careful it can get worse. Most of the time it is when it is extremely hot and humid and I have not hydrated myself well enough. I have labs done at the end of next month, so I will have a good idea how my diet and exercise plan is effecting my kidneys.
The article also talks about Bariatric Surgery for those with CKD who are morbidly obese and just can not lose weight. The study showed positive results. While I am not a candidate for Bariatric Surgery, and I believe in Diet and Exercise, if you just can not lose weight due to issues with your CKD, you might want to look into Bariatric Surgery to see if it is a viable option for you.
Obesity is such a huge problem in the USA. With Obesity being a risk factor for getting CKD, or at the very least renal dysfunction, there is every good reason in the world to lose weight. If you follow my Portion Distortion posts on Mondays, you will know that most of us are consuming way more calories in portions than is recommended. I read a blog where they lost weight just by controlling their portion size. They didn’t follow any other restrictions such as Keto, low carb, low fat, a certain amount of calories per day, etc, they just ate the proper portion sizes according to package labels. Hats off to them! Now I don’t know if they were successful in maintaining that, and keeping the weight off long term. But, if you stick with something for at least 3-6 months it will hopefully become ingrained and a habit in your every day lifestyle. Of course, family and friends are huge obstacles to losing weight. You have to have more will power to succeed than their will power for you to fail.
If I stick to my plan I can lose 1/2 pound per day, and I have already lost several inches on my arms, waist, hips, and thighs, but not my chest, sadly. Vacation was tough and I did not stick to it, and gained back 5 pounds of the 6 I lost. But, I am back on track and have lost 3 of those 5 in just a week. Follow this blog to read future updates and how I am progressing on my Diet and Exercise plan. Don’t forget to read the article. It has some great info.
I am also a certified American Kidney Fund Health Coach. This is a volunteer position. Before covid came I was setting up in person classes, but that didn’t last long. Now, they have approved for us to do virtual classes, which I am very excited about. I can reach so many more people virtually. Anyway , I am doing the first class next Wednesday. It is kind of practice to see how it goes and what I need to change. Then I will be doing them publicly. I will post the info here on this blog as well as my Health Buddy Melissa Facebook page, and my personal page. The class is free, and anyone can attend that can read and understand English. The first one for the general public will be in August, after my son’s wedding. I will try to do two a month. Right now I am using Facebook events as I am familiar with that format. But, once I upgrade this blog I can do them right here. Or, Skype and Zoom are other options. I thing Google Connect also could be used, but I have no idea how to use that. So, I will have to familiarize myself with that.
If you would like to learn about using any of my Health Coaching services, please use the contact form at the bottom of this page, after the images, to contact me. Or, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.orgAsk about my brand new It’s A New Day, 30 day coaching plan.
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OK, I don’t really love cheese, but I do like it in small amounts on occasion. The problem with cheese, well there are three, is that it is a very calorie-dense food usually high in sodium and fats. The other issue with cheese is that it is often overeaten in large quantities adding unnecessary calories, fat, sodium, and phosphorus. Do you know what an actual portion of cheese is? See the image below. See it in reference to the size of a quarter. The correct portion size of cheese is 1 oz. That 1 oz of cheese has 110 calories, 9 grams of fat of which 6 grams is saturated fat, 180 mg of Sodium, 30 mg of cholesterol, and 7 grams of protein. Phosphorus is harder to figure out because it is not included on labels. However, according to Eat This Much, 1 oz of cheddar cheese has 14% of the daily requirement for phosphorus and 20% for calcium. That is a lot in such a small serving of food. If you have kidney disease cheese can be a very dangerous food.
That doesn’t mean you can not have cheese, unless you are stage 4 or 5, or your doctor has told you not to eat cheese. Otherwise, eating a 1 oz serving of cheese, and keeping track of food consumption in your food diary, you should be able to enjoy small amounts of cheese. Cheeses differ in their nutrition stats, but they are generally similar. Be sure and read your labels, and use a website like Eat This Much to help learn about phosphorus in foods. If you are trying to lose weight you can see how large amounts of cheese are going to add lots of unwanted calories to your daily needs. Stick to recommended serving sizes on labels. If you are eating out try to avoid cheese dishes, or ask for 1/2 portions, or eat just half and take the rest home. It does take a bit of discipline and it is not easy, but it is so worth it in the end.
If you have CKD, want to lose weight, want to start exercising by walking with me, or need to learn to eat better, and would like to learn about my health coaching services, use the contact form after the images to message me. Or, you can email me email@example.com
Well, it was an interesting past 7 days. My internet was in and out, and every afternoon went out for at least an hour. So, I have decided to try to blog in the mornings instead. I missed three scheduled posts last week, and I will get them done within this week. We had a tropical storm come by us, and it rained buckets for days.
I have started coaching my husband on diet and portion control. It is working quite well for him. He had no clue how much he was really eating. I am guessing a lot of people don’t follow the recommended portions on the food label of every food item. Plus, learning how much saturated fat is in fast food has really opened his eyes as well. He has already lost 5 pounds. Below you will see an image of my breakfast this morning.
This breakfast is one scrambled egg, 1/2 cup of skim milk, and 1 cup of Chex Vanilla cereal. This breakfast has 277 calories, and 12 grams of protein, and is the correct portion size of cereal and milk. The cereal may have a small amount of protein, but I had thrown the box away so I can’t say for sure. Cereal is a great option for breakfast. It is almost always fortified with vitamins and minerals. Be sure and try to find the lowest added sugar variety that you can tolerate eating. Why? Because, cereal is expensive and if you are not going to like it why buy it. If you add a 3 oz glass of orange juice, it will help the body absorb any iron in the cereal and egg. I do not tolerate orange juice well, so I don’t drink it. This portioned breakfast will help keep you going until lunch and give you a great start to your day.
How are your cereal portions? Check your portions, read the label, and realize how much you are really consuming.
If you need to lose weight this is a great place to start, proper portion control. If you are underweight, please disregard the portions I recommend. Chances are very good you actually need to eat more portions, and should seek the assistance. Believe it or not, being underweight can be just as dangerous to the body as being overweight.
Take care! If anyone is interested in learning more about my coaching services, please use the contact form below the image to message me. You can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Well, it has been an interesting week already. Monday, I didn’t get to do my planned post because my daughter needed my laptop for school, as hers was having issues. Tuesday, I sat down to write out my planned post and the internet went out and stayed out until this morning. Those 2 planned posts will be done next week.
An update on my Soy What post. I tried Tofu, and oh my gosh, it is a definite no. While I was able to tolerate eating it, I didn’t even notice it in the food, the effects it had on my Gastrointestinal system were absolutely disastrous. So, no more Soy for me. I will just live with hot flashes.
One of the most important things I have learned about Metabolism, in my Sports Medicine class is that increasing your Metabolism may be more of a myth concept and marketing gimmick. The effects these items have on Metabolism are minimal at best. As someone who suffers from a slow Metabolism this is sad. I also learned that the body can only consume 500 grams per day in Carbohydrates, and the rest is converted to fat stores. That totally explains how a lower carb diet can help people lose weight. However, very low carb diet can be dangerous. The body needs carbs to function, and fat. You can watch the part 1 video on Metabolism, here.
Happy Sunday! Before I get into the workouts I am doing for the next couple of weeks, I want to mention that anyone can join in the #walkingchallenge by posting their walking stats to Health Buddy Melissa Facebook page. I post on Sunday, but your week can be any start and end day.
I have been exercising regularly since Jan 2019. In 2018 I did some more walking, but not a real schedule of exercising. I was diagnosed with CKD in Jan 2017. 2017, was a rough year. I was so weak and tired from being ill, and it took a long time to start feeling normal again. I definitely don’t want to do that again. So, exercise has been a regular part of my daily routine. I have slowly started to increase my length and intensity of my exercise routines, being mindful of staying in the moderate heart rate zone. If you would like to learn about heart rate zones, and how to find your maximum heart rate zone, use the contact form at the end of this post to message me for a free meet and greet via email.
The Pilates video below is probably from the ’90s and is 45 minutes long. This is not a beginner’s workout. Please do not start your exercise journey with this video. You need to build up to it. It is 45 min in length and after 30 I am done. I will slowly work up to 45 minutes. I felt this in my legs for 2 days after. After doing the Pilates I do the 20 minutes Brisk Walk video, also below. This gives me a nice rounded day of exercise. I am only doing the Pilates 2 to 3 times per week, depending on how sore I am. On the days I don’t do them I am just doing Aerobics. Follow this blog via email to receive my weekly newsletter, or use the contact form below to message me.
Today, you can share your link to your WordPress blog. Please share in the comments. Anyone who shares a link should visit the other links, and like, follow, or comment on a post. Let’s show each other some love! This is for WordPress blogs only. Thank you.
From here on out, unless I revise this again, this is the page that potential clients will be referred to when asking about plans. Each plan will now have it’s own individual page, and a contract will be written up after the free Meet and Greet is completed, and the client agrees to purchase this plan.
The Advanced Health Buddy Plan is a 30 day plan, with four 30 minute sessions each week, via email. There are other methods of communication that can be used, and they are called Extras, which can be purchased separately. You will find an updated Extras page soon.
All clients must do a Free Meet and Greet, via email, before the advanced plan can be purchased. The Meet and Greet is done via email at an agreed to date and time. All Meet and Greets are in English, and follow Eastern Standard Time Zones. The Meet and Greet is meant to learn a little about each other, and what kinds of goals you may have. I will provide you with basic questions that you will need to answer. These are not fancy, no need to print, fax, etc. I just ask a question, and you answer, as honestly as you can. The Meet and Greet may go on for a day. I allot this much time to be sure all info is gathered.
After the Meet and Greet you decide if you want to purchase a plan to continue to work on the stated goals in your questionnaire. Please always read my updated Disclaimer provided below, before making a decision.
If you decide to purchase the 30 day Advanced Health Buddy Plan, we will meet at pre-arranged dates and times, four times a week, for 30 minutes, via email to discuss your goals, any progress you have or have not made, and how to overcome any hurdles you are experiencing. I will provide you with encouragement, tips, educational info, things to research, support, ideas, opinions, etc. Examples of goals are: stress reduction, sleep issues, weight loss, chronic disease issues, blood pressure, education, social life, parenting, home work balance, learn to cook, exercise, de-clutter etc. There are so many more. Those are just examples that pop into my head. Once you have told me you are interested in meeting goals, and using me as your Health Coach, a contract with a Paypal address to pay, will be emailed to you. You must print the contract, sign it, and email it back to me. Once I have told you I received the signed contract, you can pay for the Basic plan. There will be a privacy form, and any medical releases that your doctor may need to address, also. Not everyone will need the medical release form. The privacy form must be returned with the contract, before you and I can start to work together. I am only accepting up to 5 clients at a time. So, be sure and keep that in mind.
All payments must be made via Paypal, and in US dollars. My Paypal account is an account I have had for many years, like 20. It is verified, and in my husband’s name. Do not let that bother you, he never uses the account, and I have used it for all kinds of online business. I only speak, write, and understand English. So, please keep that in mind as well.
With the writing of this post, this plan is now active, and ready to accept new clients.
Please use the contact form below to message me, if you are interested in a free Meet and Greet. Another change I have made is that I will no longer post a calendar. Dates, and times will be discussed in the free Meet and Greet session.
Don’t forget to check out my Basic Health Buddy Plan, and the Monthly Health Buddy Group Sessions with a new topic each month. I will be updating all the other plans as well, and they shall be ready hopefully by early next week. The Group Sessions are limited to 5 participants, at this time, and the first one is in September. If you are more of a social, rather than one on one, these might be a great option for you. As soon as all my plans are updated, I will go back to my regular posts. Don’t forget to check out my new Merry Monday, Facebook page posts. I have now completed the Health and Wellness Coach Certification. I am now working on an Integrative Medicine certification, and that one is very exciting.
It is time to share a little bit about my weight loss struggle. I think one of the hardest things for people, is when a doctor, nurse, nutritionist, whatever health care workers tells you to lose weight, and they themselves are chubby. Because, I am only 4 11, it is very hard to maintain the weight on paper that the doctor says I need to weigh. Matter of fact I have never weighed what they say I should weigh. My whole life I have been a little chubby. But, I also carry quite a bit of muscle mass, which is of course never considered in the equation of a doctor. Because most of my fat is in my middle, like most women, this fat is particularly difficult to lose. I am also, like most women impatient with the amount of effort needed to actually lose weight, and keep it off. So I have been taking nutrition classes, which are awesome for increasing knowledge base. But, I still thought something was missing, since I am only losing like an ounce or two a week. That is way too slow! So, I figured out my Basal Metabolic Rate, and started watching My 600 Pound Life, I will tell you why below.
According to the BMR calculator, I need to consume 1500 calories per day, to just maintain my current weight. Most people need 1500 calories to lose weight, mine is just to maintain, ugh. That is problem number one. I have an incredibly slow metabolism, like almost non existent it seems. Even with increased intensity in my exercise, it still moves like a snail, and no I don’t have Thyroid issues. I am just very unlucky in the metabolism department. In order to lose weight, I would have to get rid of at least 500 calories per day. I have already increased my aerobic intensity, and time, so that leaves food. That means, my body, and my metabolism needs to consume only 1,000 calories per day to lose weight. Good grief, that sounds awful. Actually, I have been doing it for a week, or so, and while some days I actually had to go over a little, because of too intense of workouts and not having enough fuel, I am seeing results. So, on the days I do more intense workouts it is more of a 1200 calorie day, but on lighter days it is 1,000 calories. This seems to be working, now for how long we will see. I have lost 4 pounds this week. While it is not my goal to lose too fast, I do need some kind of results other than an ounce a week. It is a juggling act, just like anything else with a chronic illness. Since I have CKD I can’t eat high protein, but I need high density meals to give me enough fuel. I need at least 50 grams of protein a day, at this weight and activity level. That has been kind of tricky with just 1000 calories per day, but I am getting it with eggs and beans. I also am taking a high quality multivitamin every day now. I get blood work every 6 months, and have learned to know my body symptoms if something is wrong.
That leads me to the show My 600 Pound Life. I started watching this out of curiosity of how someone can really weigh that much. I don’t weigh 600 pounds, I don’t even weigh 200 pounds, but my thought was maybe I could learn something, and I did. Emotional eating, comfort eating, enablers who allow the over eating, very slow metabolism, depression, no drive to exercise, relationships to food, family dynamics these are all things I have discovered lead to people weighing that much. What does that have to do with me? Well one, I have an extremely slow metabolism, always have. 2- I didn’t think I had a bad relationship with food, but after much thought and examination I find I do. Not necessarily in the same way as the people on the show, but fear of being malnourished, and getting anemia again which was devastating to me, plus the fear of my good kidney failing, have all led me to over obsess about food, and drive me to eat too many calories for what my body actually needs. Plus, even though I thought I knew how much I was really eating, I am discovering I really did not. I was good at counting the protein, phosphorus and sodium to keep my kidney good, but calories and fat not so much. I also have a fear of too much exercise. While that probably sounds dumb, an injury will set me back, could make me lose work, and that always sits in the back of my mind. While I still have to be aware of that, fears only limit my abilities with no good outcomes. The show, by making me see through the eyes of others who struggle, that some of their issues are actually similar to some of mine. I can’t let fear win. I have to be more mindful of what I put in my body. I am mostly plant based, for the past couple of months, but bread and pasta, are part of that, which of course carries quite a bit of calories. Finding a happy balance to keep my body healthy is a journey. I have to learn to be patient, and mindful on the journey. My stamina, strength and balance have increased so much. That is just as important as a number on a piece of paper, and I have to remember that too.
Do you struggle with weight? Just because something works for one does not mean it should be done by another. We are all different, and our bodies have different needs. Illnesses, medications, all need to be considered when embarking on a diet and exercise regime, and should not be taken lightly. Talk to your health care provider for advice, if they are ineffective, then ask for a referral. I am blessed that my new primary care doctor believes in food as medicine, and even though the changes are difficult, it is a goal to hopefully never need medicine for my body to function the best it can. While a multivitamin can be considered as medicine, it is a necessity right now for me to take. Allowing my body to get malnourished would be detrimental to my health.