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Dorene's BeyondDiets Blog


Are you Programming Yourself for Success or Failure?

It’s easy to want to lose weight. It’s another matter to actually want to embark on a new—healthy—lifestyle that requires eating better and exercising. After all it’s just human nature to want the prize without having to do the work.

The biggest obstacle between you and success with weight management however, probably isn’t eating better or even exercising—it’s very likely negative thinking and sabotaging self talk. It may never have occurred to you that long term success with weight management ultimately hinges on fixing your thinking.

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You CAN Still Learn to Cook!

I consider myself a good cook, and a pretty good baker. I remember my mom having me “get dinner started” before she got home from work when I was just eight or nine. We didn’t know that we were latch-key kids; grandmother lived next door. It was 1967. To me cooking assignments were fun and I liked being helpful (and probably feeling like I was more grown up than my brothers).

As a weight management specialist—for nineteen years now—I’ve long been aware that cooking skills have a lot to do with eating choices. For good or bad we pass our skill, or lack of skill, to our children.

Recently, I read a book that got me thinking more about my own cooking skills: The Kitchen Counter Cooking School--How a Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices into Fearless Home Cooks, by Kathleen Flinn.

Like the nine novice cooks in the book, I cook a lot like my mom. For instance, since reading the book I noticed that while I know how to roast, or sauté, fresh veggies, I often warm up frozen veggies in the microwave. Maybe that’s because like most of us I feel time-constrained, and I already have the entrée to deal with. On the other hand, mom used mostly frozen veggies. Thankfully, they are a healthy choice that we needn’t feel bad about! Still, more roasted veggies will be showing up on our dinner table.

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“I’ll get back on my diet tomorrow…” but at what cost?

The most fascinating—and destructive—behavior pattern associated with dieting occurs when you break the “rules” of whatever diet you’re attempting to follow. Odds are if you have any history of dieting you’ll recognize this behavior pattern immediately. 

There are a host of cognitive distortions (irrational thoughts) that come into play—basically setting you up for a big fall over the slightest perceived transgression.

First a few definitions:

  • All-or-nothing thinking: thinking in absolute terms like “always”, “never”, and “every”, which sets up both unrealistic expectations and a false situation that allows for only two alternatives (no shades of gray).
  • Disqualifying the positive: ignorring everything you are doing right.
  • Catastrophizing: blowing things out of proportion regarding anticipated ramifications of a perceived transgression (in this case regarding one’s diet).
  • Emotional reasoning: resistance to shifting from emotional self-judgments, or emotional situational assessments, to analytical evaluation of factual details.
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Popcorn: A Healthy Snack You Already Love!

Popcorn is whole grain and naturally loaded with healthy micronutrients. Recently, at the meeting of the American Chemical Society, researchers presented findings about popcorns’ antioxidant content. Polyphenols are cancer-fighting antioxidants that also naturally occur in many fruits and vegetables. Popcorn is loaded with polyphenols.

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Are Sweet Treats Tipping Your Scale?

What proportion of daily calories would you guess the average American “spends” on “grain-based desserts” (cookies, sweet rolls, pastries, donuts, cakes, pies, cobblers, etc)?

Grain-based desserts are actually the leading source of calories in the average American diet for all people over age two! Yikes, no kidding! They are also a leading source of solid (saturated) fats, sugar and refined grains (three things we eat too much of).[i]

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