Amy Culver - The Queen of Lean
October 08, 2011    

My new book is available

Weighing & measuring

Holidays are coming

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Amy Culver

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My new book is available

I have an exciting announcement to share with readers:  my new book is available! 

Click on the cover image (left) to see it on Amazon.
The book is intended to provide inspiration and advice for obese and morbidly obese people. 

I am a food addict and have been where many people are today: overweight, depressed, and wondering if I'd ever be able to conquer my food addiction and lose weight.  Suffice it to say, I ate large quantities of food on a daily basis.  It was hard for me to move.  I hurt inside and out most of the time.  My marriage and family life suffered terribly.

I once weighed 300 pounds, smoked and lived an unhealthy lifestyle.  While I was working on my weight loss, I discovered that small lifestyle changes made big differences.  I was able to lose weight in a slow, healthy manner while not completely disrupting my life or using any dangerous fad diets.

The book consists of three sections:

• The details of my journey - how my weight problems began and how I was able to overcome them.

• Advice to help you create your own personalized food and exercise plan.

• My "Little Tips for Big Weight Loss" - small changes you can make to help you achieve your own Healthy Living Lifestyle.

My goal is to reach as many people as possible and stop as many obesity-related "suicides" as I can.  I want the morbidly obese to know that there is hope and to know what losing weight can do for them.  I want to express the joy of feeling fit and healthy.  I want them to know there is someone who knows just how they feel.

The book is titled "The Healthy Living Lifestyle" and is available at Amazon (search:  "Amy Culver") or click the following link:

Please see my website for additional details.

Weighing & measuring

I'd like to talk a little bit about weighing and measuring.  It's a step that is really easy to eliminate after you have been on plan for a while.  It's time consuming, makes more dirty dishes to wash, and besides, is that REALLY all the cereal you get for 250 calories?!?  I know, it's hard, but I can't begin to stress the importance of it.

Not weighing and measuring your food is like writing checks while having only a vague idea of your bank balance.  It might work out sometimes, but on the whole, you are just asking for a lot of trouble.

I still weigh and measure whenever possible and I don't envision ever stopping.  It's become a habit.  I have good measuring cups and a good scale (ounces and grams) that sits on my counter.  I use it many times each day. 

Now, in addition to doing the actual weighing and measuring, it's important to know how to do it accurately.  Here are some tips for common foods:

• Meats – weigh these by the ounce after cooking and after trimming.  You want to know the exact amount you are actually going to be eating.  A proper portion is 3-4 ounces.

• Cooked grains like rice, oatmeal or pasta should be weighed prior to cooking.  This is because you are only adding water to the weight during the cooking process (which doesn't change the calorie count).  If you weigh prior to cooking, you know exactly how much to put into the pot; weigh in grams for more accuracy.  When cooking for more than one person, after cooking, weigh again, this time in ounces, to divide accurately.  For portion sizes, check the nutrition label. 

• Oils should be measured using measuring spoons.  Do not use your regular eating spoons, use measuring spoons.  Use oils by the teaspoon, even though the portion size on the label says tablespoon. 

• Calories for fruit servings are generally based on a "small" piece of fruit.  If you are eating a larger fruit, you will want to count it is as 1.5 or 2 servings.

There is, of course, one type of food you can eat as much of as you'd like:  leafy and watery vegetables.  This includes items such as lettuce, onions, peppers and celery.  Use these foods to supplement and make your meals larger and more satisfying.  Add them to sandwiches, cut them up and add them to rice, or sauté with cooking spray in a non-stick pan and pour them over your meat.

If you are finding that your scale is stubbornly stuck, try getting accurate with your weighing and measuring.  Just this one small step can make huge differences in your weight loss success.

Holidays are coming

Well, here it is already, October, and in case you haven't noticed, the Halloween candy is already available in the stores.  That is your signal:  start now to make concrete holiday plans. 

Last year around this time I gave some tips on creating a holiday plan that you can refer to and build on from year to year.  If you did that, it's time to get it out and start making notes for this year.  If you didn't make one, start it this year.  You can find the previous newsletter here:

One very important habit to develop (or continue) is making notes of what works and what doesn't each year.  Do you remember how you did with your weight loss or maintenance last year?  If it was poor, do you know why?  The reasons vary for each of us and include everything from just wanting to indulge to having no time to prepare healthy foods.

This year, try to tackle just one or two items and see if you can make improvements.  Perhaps you can shop a little bit earlier, or do some advanced meal planning?  One option you always have is to scale back your celebrations and make things a bit simpler for yourself.  Given the economy, that's probably a good option for most of us!

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