Monday, March 31, 2014
Dr. Mickey Harpaz, PhD has degrees in applied physiology and nutrition. He has treated more than 10,000 menopausal women.
He starts Diet Reset by repeating that during menopause, progesterone, estrogen and testosterone decrease, while androgen increases. But he says estrogen plays the key role. Loss of it is what causes weight to creep up.
When blood sugar goes up, insulin goes up. That results in no weight loss or weight increase.
Here is what we do in daily life to cause this to happen:
1. Going without food for at least 3 hours. This sharply raises your insulin level the next time you eat.
2. Eating too much at one sitting. This causes a problem for the LIVER. It can't break all that down without increasing triglycerides. The excessive sugar taken in a big meal makes insulin go up. When insulin goes up, the body can't burn fat.
3. Eating more than 10 grams of simple sugar per serving. Same as above. Causes increased insulin and no body fat burned.
4. Eating two carbohydrates in one sitting or near the same time. How many of us eat potatoes and bread at the time meal? Or pasta and bread? The same is true if you eat two serving sizes of one carbohydrate. The liver can't handle that and insulin levels go up too much and fat burning is "demolished." (The word he uses.)
He says you should eat fruits and vegetables ANYTIME you're hungry, even if it hasn't been 2 hours since your last meal or snack.
You want to stop blood sugar spikes, because the higher it spikes, the lower it drops afterward. It is an equally inverse relationship every time!
There is one more part of the picture: lack of exercise. This is number 5. Exercise is VERY important to menopausal women. Not using your muscles is going to make your blood sugar go up too. "Your goal is to burn energy from morning until night." Quote unquote.
Did you know that a woman gains weight from the bottom up? And that she loses weight from the top of the torso first, then from the bottom? I thought the past several months that my midriff seems to be getting smaller, but what about everything else? Dr. Harpaz answered that. I have a way to go, but it will continue and balance out!!!
THE THERMOGENIC EFFECT OF FOOD
Dr. Mick lists three quick tips to create the thermogenic effect of food:
1. Eat a minimum of 6 times per day. Three meals, three snacks.
2. Reduce fat intake, increase carb intake, and eat sufficient protein. In a diet that is 1,200 to 1,800 calories, total fat intake should be between 240 and 300 calories. (This confused me a little, because I thought we were already eating too many carbs).
3. Eat more than 1,000 calories every day.
At this point, he gives specific advice with lots of menu ideas. (I mean pages).
Always eat something within one hour of getting up, even if it's just a small piece of fruit, so your blood sugar doesn't go too low. Snacks should 120 calories or under and less than 10 grams of sugar. Remember, you're eating every 2 hours.
Yesterday, I ate 89 grams of fat, because one meal consisted of guacamole and blue corn tortilla chips. The avocado was 35 grams of fat in itself. So I need to consider his advice and see what happens if I do things differently. Of course, I don't do that very often. No one was home at dinnertime and I was free to be lazy so that's what I ate. Nuts are a part of my daily diet so I need to check into exactly how many grams of fat I am taking in from them. I always thought that as long as my overall calorie expenditure was within limits, I was okay. Apparently not.
I think that vegetarians might protest this. Any vegetarians out there, please share your opinion or experiences. I can see a vegetarian eating beans and grain at one meal, a bean burrito for example. My calories are usually in range, yet I'm not losing weight. I might see what happens now that I am finally exercising again. But I will keep in mind that my fat intake should be dropped, even if it is healthy monounsaturated fat.
Eat a minimum of 5 times and up to 8 times per day. Mix one protein and one carbohydrate. Never have two carbs or a double portion of one carb at one meal. Each meal or snack should be eaten 2 to 2-1/2 hours after the last one. Keep sugar intake under 10 grams. Fat intake should be 10 grams per meal and 20-30 grams per day. (I'm already up to 54 grams today as of lunch. I have to stop this.) Each meal should be 60% carbs, 30% protein, 10% fat. Never have second servings. Never skip meals or snacks.
It's too bad that I didn't finish this chapter on Diet Reset before I started some soup this morning. I put sweet potatoes, corn, lentils, and rice in the pot! Egad! If this guy is right, I have to change my ways! Again, my calorie intake is okay, but between lack of exercise this winter and violating these guidelines, I can see why I'm not making progress.
Next, I will cover Movement Reset.
I already started reading Denise Austin's new book Side Effect: Skinny. I like to get different ideas. I couldn't resist hearing what she has to say these days. It's interesting how different diet and fitness experts have varying approaches and each claim success. I guess that's because everyone is different, just like Spark People has said. I remember early on after I started, they said different things work for different people. I hope you find something useful in this blog.
Have a great day! I'll be out walking my dog this afternoon. The weather is beautiful and it will be cooling off the rest of the week, starting tomorrow already! Until then, it's happy birdwatching and enjoying the balmy breeze!
Friday, March 21, 2014
I am ready to blog on Diet Reset but got distracted with the conflict and time taken to get my dad off the road. His license expired two months ago and with the cold weather, it was easy enough to keep him in their apartment with the icy conditions in their parking lot. As soon as the asphalt was exposed, he drove himself to the doctor on Monday. I followed in my car because I won't sanction him driving. He doesn't think of himself as breaking the law because of the provision to pay a late driver's license fee.
I'm not getting much help. The doctor didn't send in the physician form from the DMV that I personally printed up and drove down to his office last month. He apparently has a policy of not filling them out because a "I don't want you driving" speech is enough for his patients. Not my dad. Dad got that speech on Monday. He went to the DMV the next day and got his license. The nurse and office manager in the clinic said they would do a driving test. They didn't. How he got past them I will never know but it's a satellite office in a very small town. I spent two hours in the clinic that day just sitting around and by the time I drove home, I was trashed for the day. It wasn't until Tuesday night that my daughter called to inform me that she wrung it out of him that he went to the DMV that day and got the license.
So Wednesday, I printed a form that can be filled out by anyone and spent the day writing the things I had seen and heard from my experiences with him. I simply wrote on the form "see attached" on the lines provided and sent them pages delineating his medical problems and what he had done on the highways and streets of this area over the past 18 months. Then I had to drive 10 miles to the nearest fax machine because the DMV told me over the phone it would be better to fax it rather than wait for snail mail. I don't have a scanner connected to this computer.
All of this takes TIME, all diverting me away from taking care of myself and my family. I realize he has rights and we are trying to keep their personal rights intact. That's why they're not in a nursing home yet. But he shouldn't be on the road in his shape. There are enormous numbers of kids who will be on the streets in their town by June, going to library programs, the beach, summer school, riding bikes. It's a hopping place. And my dad has a history of clipping corners. The street from their apartment building comes out onto Main Street about two blocks away from the beach, and two blocks from the library from the other direction. There are always kids on that corner waiting to cross.
Another positive about his staying home all winter is I have been doing all their grocery shopping exclusively. I have not been bringing soda pop, ice cream, candy, baked goods that he had being bringing (two 12-packs of Coke at a time). He has lost 15 pounds over the winter. For a diabetic, that is a big deal. Now I hope he doesn't start going to the store and bringing that stuff back home again. He certainly didn't seem to miss it. I made them guacamole, healthy dips and spreads, brought lots of berries and fruits and veggies, other healthy snacks, and prepared them so they never were in want. He was happy and satisfied.
I'm spending whatever time is required to get him at least a decent evaluation from the state before he commences. I feel it is my responsibility to the community. Let's hope for the best. The DMV will evaluate his situation early next week. If they let him drive after that, then my conscience is clear.
I spent yesterday taking his VPAP machine to the medical supply company because it had died. He was content letting me do that for him and didn't give me any trouble about driving down there. I take him back on Tuesday to get his new one.
Diet Reset will come ASAP. It will be shorter than Mind Reset, I guarantee you.
Monday, March 17, 2014
Overview of Menopause Reset! by Dr. Mickey Harpaz
Installment 2: Mind Reset!
The most important weapon in your fight to get your body back is your mental attitude. Physiological changes of menopause are tough, but when mental and emotional changes are added, a downward spiral can result. A main symptom of this is stress. When stress builds, negative behaviors and actions lead to weight gain.
Stress hormones like cortisol signal to the menopausal woman's body that it should go into an energy storage mode called the famine effect.
Four Strategies to Start the Mental Reset
Strategy 1: Harness the Power of Desire
He focuses on core beliefs, goals, and achievement history. Remember the successful times in your life and your feelings at the time. By focusing on these, you can relight "the fire that can lift you higher." This fire is the beginning of ALL great achievement. You've got to get fired up about something in order to achieve it.
Desire has the power to transform what might happen into what will happen. It has been said that 1 person with desire equals the power of 99 people who just have interest.
See yourself already there. The intensity of your desire will determine how long it will take you to reach your goals. Don't give up if results don't come fast enough. The power of desire will carry you through the good times and the bad, give you the patience to continue, and help you out of the valleys of disappointment and heartache.
Words matter. You cannot and will not rise above your words. You cannot and will not rise above the words you tell yourself each day. The only comparison you should ever make is what you're doing versus what you know you are capable of.
Most people are used to doing just enough to keep things going smoothly. Here's a wee bit of advice: Do just a little bit more than you're dong now, and the results just might astonish you.
Strategy 2: Think of Today as the Beginning
He wants to wipe our mental slate clean of all the diet books, misinformation, unworkable beliefs. Most people focus too much energy on the past instead of looking toward the future. Each day when you wake up, you are given a blank canvas to be anything you choose to be, or to experience.
At this point, he discusses letting go of our past and enjoying today while accepting lessons learned from yesterday. Now he brings up the subject of fear. We were born with every possibility. Over time we accepted limits put on us by society, and they became like fences. We started to believe all these fences were real even though they were only beliefs. You were meant to have the kind of body or life you dream of.
Part of wiping the slate clean is learning to trust yourself. Live by these words: "As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live." In the past, we sought answers from anyone and anywhere. Even elite athletes rode the crest to the top, and once they hit the top, they got scared, and lost trust in themselves. Whether it is the exercise you choose, the food you eat, or the body you wish to have, you know deep down inside of you that you can trust yourself to make the best choices for you.
Strategy 3: Know Your Triggers in Order to Reduce Stress
These triggers include: feelings of deprivation, boredom, low self esteem, poor motivation, lack of self trust, unrealistic expectations.
How to reduce these triggers: develop a list of stressors, join a stretching class, create a list of the things you enjoy.
I thought his choices on reducing triggers was interesting. Basically stretching and having fun.
Next, he reiterates that the menopausal body is sensitive to stress. He says he has found a very effective way to diminish the impact of stress. How? By breaking down the things that cause stress into the Changeable and Unchangeable.
First the Changeable. He wants us to rank these stressors from least important to most difficult. Figure out how you can modify them so they won't cause stress. Put your plan into action immediately.
Second the Unchangeable. Rank these stressors. Now look for ways to change our perception of each unchangeable stressor. Example: if someone annoys you, start looking for their behaviors that you like the most.
Strategy 4: Set Your Sights and Stay the Course
Determine Why You Want to Succeed, Set Goals, and Don't Let Setbacks or Slumps Get You Down. If you have enough reason WHY, you'll find enough ways to understand HOW. He says the only reason to lose weight is to feel better and healthier for the rest of our lives!
Determine Exactly What You Want. Determine exactly what you want to look like. What body parts do you especially want to work on? Arms? Smaller waist? Think about the way you want your body to look.
Determine What It Will Take to Get That Body. How many days a week will you work out? What kind of equipment? Be sure that your workout matches the goals that you have. What kind of diet?
Establish a Definite Date for When You Want to Have the Body You've Wanted. Be realistic about this. If you're a beginner, you'll likely need more than a year to become an athlete. So, set short terms goals at first, so you can gauge how your body is responding to the program you have it on. From there, it should be much easier to judge how much time it will take you to reach your big goal.
Begin At Once to Carry Out Your Plans.
"Where the mind goes, the body follows" is a maxim Dr. Harpaz has found to be 100% true. We can only go as high as our thoughts and our beliefs in ourselves let us. If you believe you'll always be overweight, you'll never go beyond those boundaries until you change your thoughts to match the changes you want to see happen.
Never fear making mistakes. Rather, fear NOT making any. You will succeed BECAUSE of experiencing those things. To find the things we want, we first go through the experience of finding the things we don't want. To find things that work, we first go through the experience of discovering the things that don't work.
Follow your instincts, learn from your trials and errors as you fine-tune your approach, and you'll find just the right things that can bring your life great joy.
Cherish the Small Steps. As you move through Menopause Reset, there will be times when you will be very excited about exercising. There will also be times when you won't feel like exercising. But you won't quit, because deep down, you know how good exercising is for you and how it makes you feel when you don't do it. (How many Spark People have said that?)
Then he spends about 4-5 pages explaining what to do about a slump. At the end, he outlines how the four strategies worked in practice for an actual client of his. This covered the last 3 pages of this section.
Next Installment: Diet Reset
SP also does a good job of motivation and emotional aspects of weight loss. It often sounds like parts of this book.
I included as much as I did because different people can find different things that help them. I also wanted to cover Dr. Harpaz's advice thoroughly.
Sunday, March 16, 2014
We live in one of the colder parts of the country. Looking at the weather maps on TV, I get discouraged seeing everybody else having nice walking weather.
Then I remembered the Spark person I was when I started in August 2012. I had a different moniker then, so you can't go back and look at my blogs if you wanted to. But I know I posted a blog that said no matter what the weather, I was going outside to exercise! I said "there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes." What happened to that girl?
Last night I thought, good grief, this is the perfect opportunity to walk! I wear long sleeves, gloves, clothes covering my neck - I don't even need sunblock! LOL. Let's get going! The UV is so low, I don't think I'll even bother covering my face with it. The UV index is only 1 this morning with bright sunshine.
I realize there ARE positives to exercising right now!
And I even have pavement now! No snow, no slush, no ice! My dog will be so happy!
Thursday, March 13, 2014
I'll bet you never heard of this. Most people haven't heard of this reason for lowering carbs and insulin levels.
I found out last week in the doctor's office. No, it's not diabetes. Last night, I was reading a book on the subject and the author, a doctor, said to tell EVERYONE so they can be aware of it. Because it's sneaky. Very sneaky.
I put it off my visit to the doctor last month because I'm a caregiver. But you can't let this go. Fortunately, when I cancelled my appointment, I immediately made another for three weeks later (because I had to wait that long to get the test I needed).
Thank goodness I didn't put it off. This time, my checkups were different. When I saw the doctor last autumn, he wanted me to come back in four months. That was a change from my usual schedule of visits. So, I knew it was more important than ever to keep up.
I'm a pretty private person but after reading that book last night, I decided to tell my story. After reading the stories of other Spark members who have health issues, I was emboldened to contribute as well.
Last week I found out I have to put drops in my eyes for glaucoma. They may turn my green eyes brown. At first, I was upset about the possibility of losing my green eyes. But my younger son told me that it's better than going blind. Now I'm going to have my husband take photos of my eyes so I can remember what they used to be.
My doctor isn't 100% convinced yet that I have it. But he's not waiting to find out. He told me that exercise lowers the pressure in the eyes. After researching it, it's really a lowering of the insulin levels that lowers the pressures in the eyes. Exercise burns sugars, so the body doesn't have to rely on insulin to regulate it. Also, high blood pressure is a risk factor for it. Exercise lowers blood pressure by burning sugar. Sugar intake can cause sodium to be retained in the kidneys, thus the blood pressure to rise. (I learned that years ago from a pamphlet in a doctor's office I worked in).
Here's how to keep your eyes healthy:
1. Lower carb eating.
2. Walking, swimming, bike riding, any low stress exercise that doesn't raise your intra-abdominal pressure such as heavy weight lifting, or head-down yoga positions which raise pressure in the head.
3. Low stress level. Glaucoma is related to stress.
These are simple and far reaching.
Other factors that raise pressure in the eyes:
1. Tight clothing around the neck. Men wearing dress clothes should be sure to have a shirt with a big enough neck measurement to avoid this. Keep tie fairly loose.
3. Blinking hard or squeezing eyes shut.
4. Herbal tea (doesn't specify which ones).
7. Any straining, such as to lift weight in your work.
1. Age greater than 45, although it happens at any age. (My doctor has a patient in his 30s who wouldn't follow through and is blind).
2. African or Asian ancestry.
5. High blood pressure.
6. Migraine headaches may be involved; this is unclear and still being studied. (I have a history of migraines).
7. Any eye surgery or eye trauma. The body sees surgery for cataracts and other problems as trauma. (My son was hit in the eye with a baseball when he was about 5 and has a risk of glaucoma later in life because of it).
Estrogen and progesterone lower IOP (intraocular pressure) so I would think that menopause may play a factor, although the book didn't say that. Certainly age over 45 would cover that.
Bottom line: PEOPLE NEED TO GET THEIR EYES EXAMINED REGULARLY! EVERYBODY!
This book is about 10 years old and I'm sure there are updates. For example, the author postulates that gingko biloba may lower eye pressure. So, I will return with any new knowledge I acquire.
Just imagine such motivation to lose weight! Cold is supposed to lower eye pressure. What motivation to get in my pool this summer! The water comes out of our well at 59.5 degrees! And it's a new reason not to hate winter!
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