Nicki Anderson

Weight! You’ve Got It All Wrong!

By Nicki On July 31, 2010 Under childhood obesity, diabetes, Diets, Exercise, Extreme Weight Loss, family obesity, fast and easy weight loss, healthy eating, Make you thin, Motivation, Nutrition, obesity, overeating, unhealthy dieting, weight loss
I love my garden!

I love my garden!

For the past 20 years, I have worked to inspire others to start and maintain a dedication to healthy living. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s a passion of mine that makes what I do very rewarding. Since I started in this business,  much has changed. If you’re like me, you’ve probably jumped on the fat-free bandwagon, the oat bandwagon, low-carb, high-carb and any other “health” fad that came across weight loss radar. Like millions of people, if news was reporting that fat-free could save your life, by God fat-free was for me! However, in the last 5 or so years, I have come to understand that health and wellness information is like anything else we read, there are a hundred sides to every story. This means that it’s ultimately up to us to read, research and find out what is best for us and our body. What’s good for your sister, might not be the same for you.

In 20 years, the one constant I have found that is that weight loss is elusive for many because of nutrition. Yeah, yeah, exercise is certainly part of the equation but if push comes to shove and I have to pick, I would say that poor nutrition, or better said, confused nutrition is the reason that so many people struggle with weight. C’mon, how many times have you started an exercise program only to find that within 6 weeks the weight you’d lost was marginal and soon after tiring of the “diet” the weight came back, and then some?

I recently started training a new client. He’s very out of shape and for a young man, has lost control of nutrition. Additionally, like many other Americans, his job prevents him from keeping a regular exercise schedule alive. He’s pushing 50 and has been told by his doctor that changes need to be made or he’ll be on meds within 2 years. He came to me for exercise assistance and though we discussed the options for exercise, when it came to nutrition he said, “Well if I’m exercising, it really doesn’t matter, right?” WRONG!  He believed that he would be burning off calories so that anything he ate wouldn’t matter. There’s two things here, first, people don’t often exercise hard enough or regular enough to create a consistent deficit = sustainable weight loss. That’s a common misconception. Second, no matter how much you exercise, the fuel that you put in to your body DOES matter. It’s no different than saying it doesn’t matter if you pour a gallon of paint in to the gas tank of your car. Um, yeah, it might make a difference. Same with food, you put junk in, low quality food and that’s what you get, feeling “icky” and low energy.

When I shared with my client that food was the majority of the weight loss puzzle he said, ” I wouldn’t know where to start, further, I have a very busy job.”  I understand that all too well. So I encouraged him to first write down for a couple of weeks what he’s putting in  his mouth. I think we can all agree that very often we’ll pay little attention to the quality of food we’re eating as long as we’re satisfied, right? Once he has an idea on  his eating habits, where, why, what, THEN he can begin to address small changes here and there that don’t seem catastrophic to his current lifestyle. The truth is that many people aren’t willing to be inconvenienced by healthy changes, so the changes have to be small enough that they don’t seem that life altering. Make sense?

We are country that’s in a mess when talking about diet and exercise, there’s no doubt. But there is so much garbage, and promises of “easy” weight loss, that so many simply give-up because the task to lose weight and get healthy is daunting. For starters, ask yourself, “What do I want to change and why?” If you can answer that question with a response that will keep you focused, you can start making small changes. Start with something as basic as drinking more water. If you’re a diet soda drinker, strive to eliminate soda gradually from your diet. If you eat a lot of meat, try cooking some meals without meat (the internet is full of great recipes). If you’re a snacker, what is the quality of snacks you’re eating? If it’s chips, opt for a handful of almonds, or some rice crackers (not cakes, crackers) and a small bit of hummus.  A bowl of fruit. We have gotten so far away from the foods we’re meant to eat and instead ended up in the land of processed foods and it’s killing us. Start paying more attention to ingredients in your foods, sodium amounts, additives and quantity of food, we eat waaaaay too much food. If you’re a sugar person, how can you start today, by reducing the amount of sugar in your diet? Do you eat plenty of vegetables each day? If not, how can you begin to incorporate more. These are a lot of questions, but start with just one thing, when you feel you’ve mastered it, move on to another change and so on and so on.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you cannot expect to change unhealthy habits in a week, a month or even a year. I personally still strive to improve my diet and knowledge of nutrition every single day. I am a firm believer in “food and mood,”  when I eat well, I feel well. There is so much confusion about weight loss and nutrition it can make your head spin. Take it slow, listen to your body after you eat, what is it telling you? Your body is an amazing machine, trust that it has the ability to tell you what it needs and then be kind enough to respond positively.

There’s nothing more valuable than learning about healthy habits that can positively impact your life. Trial and error is part of  the process, but if you don’t try, you’ll never know what opportunities are out there just waiting for you!

Here’s to a healthier you!


Some of my favorite books: An End to Overeating by Dr. David Kessler

101 Optimal Life Foods by David Grotto, RD, LDN

Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes

Second Nature, A Gardners Education by Michael Pollan

2 comments - add yours

August 12, 2010

I have found that the following “snacks” have made a huge difference for me:
hummus and crackers
raw or blanched veggies (always at the ready in the fridge)
fruit (for when I have the sugar craving – it’s amazing how well a nectarine, peach or banana can satisfy that!)
a handful of homemade granola (that way I can control the content of sodium etc in it)

I drink water or unsweetened iced tea (green if it is available) instead of pop. Although I will splurge on a root beer occasionally – but only at places that make their own root beer. I honestly don’t miss pop for the most part. I always hated the taste of the diet ones. Water and tea are much more refreshing and don’t leave you with an icky sugary mouth feeling.

Meal wise –
I love pasta and would not be happy if I gave it up, but I have found that whole wheat and whole grain pastas are great and satisfy my love for pasta in a much healthier way. I have learned to make my own whole wheat pasta dough in order to make my own ravioli. That way I can choose the fillings myself and make them much healthier too.
Veggies at every meal except breakfast, whether it’s lettuce and tomato in a wrap, a salad on the side, or some steamed veggies as a side or thrown into pasta
Sub ground turkey breast in for ground beef – not even sure my husband has realized that change. Add a little extra spice, and it is virtually unnoticeable that you have changed the meat.
Choosing all lean meats when cooking – lean pork, leaner cuts of beef, chicken and turkey breast.
Breakfast is always homemade oatmeal or Cheerios, fruit, and a cup of green tea (coffee on weekends since my husband is home.) Weekends may occasionally be a homemade muffin made with whole wheat or oatmeal flour, or some eggs where I “split the difference” as Ellie Krieger would say – 1 whole egg with 1 egg white.

The big change is that if after one serving of everything, if I still feel hungry, I choose another helping of vegetables.

And research, research, research. If we plan on going out to eat, I go online and look at the menu in advance. That way I am aware of the healthier
choices before we go to the restaurant. I can choose some options and get my mind geared toward those before I am faced with the menu in the restaurant.

It is also helpful to realize that an occasional splurge on something that you really miss from your “old eating life” is okay. Just make sure it is something you have really been craving, eat it in moderation, and don’t dwell on it. If you are eating healthy 90-95% of the time, you should not need to feel guilty for the occasional splurge.

And last, exercise is important. It takes time, but it will eventually become something you just need to do. It has taken me 9 months, but now, if I don;t exercise in the morning, I find myself a little antsy in the evening and just need to move anyway!


August 18, 2010

You shared some fantastic information Sue. Thank you for taking the time to share what has been your journey and your success. Great stuff!