Stay on Track with these Handy Tools

Stay on Track with these Handy Tools

The best way to measure weight loss success is to set a reasonable goal, then monitor your achievements. We provide you with the necessary tools to track your progress as you change old habits into healthy new ones.

Learn what your BMI (Body Mass Index) should be for your height – it’s easy.

Kick-start your new lifestyle with our 7-Day Weight Loss Plan sample plans (Original or High Protein) to help you prepare sensible meals.

Keep track of your daily food intake with our Daily Food Journal – become aware of everything that goes in your mouth.

Join our 10-Week Weight Loss Program – check in every week for proven strategies to help keep you going.

Print out our Weight Loss Tracker – and watch the chart go down as you continue to lose weight.

The Body Mass Index (BMI) helps identify your healthy weight range. It is appropriate for people of stable body size and composition aged 20 to 65 years (excluding athletes).

BMI =

Powered by BMI Calculator

Less than 19: you are underweight, and may not be taking in enough nutrients. Malnourishment can lead to depression, anemia, lowered resistance to infections, flu and stress, and chronic fatigue. Very low calorie diets can lead to eating disorders in some people.

19-25: a healthy weight range for most people.

25-27: acceptable, but be cautious as the potential for health problems increase in this range.

More than 27: you risk obesity and associated health risks such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, arthritis and poor mental health. Drug therapy may be indicated along with sound nutrition and regular exercise.

7-Day Weight Loss Plan

As part of the Nutribar weight-loss program, we have provided a convenient 7-day weight-loss plan (printed on the inside of each package) to help you plan your meals. All meals have been created by a nutritionist and carefully follow Canada’s Food Guide.

This meal plan has been designed to work in combination with enjoyable healthy eating and regular physical activity, since exercise is crucial to weight loss and health. Dieting without exercise reduces the body’s ability to use stored-up fat, and it may promote obesity.

Beverages throughout each day include: water, club soda with lemon/lime, tea and coffee should be kept to a minimum, vegetable juice, and limited fruit juice.

Do not exceed more than 3 fruit servings a day, unless you exercise frequently. The more you exercise, the more calories are burned. The more calories burned, the more calories needed, therefore, more food may be eaten.

To determine portion sizes of meat, fish, or poultry, a palm-size piece (about the size of a deck of cards) is about one serving.

IMPORTANT TIP: Be certain you’re drinking enough water at least six to eight 8 oz. (250 mL) glasses of water daily.

Approximately 55% to 65% of adult body weight is composed of water. Virtually every body process depends on water and every cell, tissue and body fluid contains water. Water is essential to the buildup or breakdown of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. It is essential for digestion and absorption, for removal of metabolic and indigestible wastes, helps transport nutrients and all body substances and helps regulate body temperature. It is an essential element not only for your health, but also in the success of your weight-loss regime.

Kick-start your new lifestyle with our 7-Day Weight Loss Plan sample plans (Original or High Protein) to help you prepare sensible meals.

Congratulations

You’ve decided to get in shape. In making this decision, you’ve already taken the biggest step towards slimming down. Whatever your reasons – improved fitness, more self-confidence, a new and healthier lifestyle – Nutribar can provide you with the extra incentive and support you need to help you achieve your goal over the coming weeks.

Think of us as your safety net.

You’ll find the Nutribar approach fits easily into a busy day. There’s no need to drive miles for a special meeting, and no charges for a weigh-in or weight-loss information. We can provide you with the materials to chart your weight-loss progress, keep you on course, and help guide you toward gradual and maintainable weight changes. Each week, you’ll learn more about achieving a healthy weight, and the strategies you can adopt to maintain a new and healthier lifestyle.

Week 1 – Getting Started

In Week 1, we review the health risks associated with being overweight and help determine your healthy body weight.

Know the Risks
If you’re overweight, you’re overfat. Obesity is defined as being 20% over you ideal weight. When you’re overweight, you are:
6 times more likely to develop gallbladder disease
5.6 times more likely to develop high blood pressure
5.4 times more likely to develop endometrial cancer
3.8 times more likely to develop Type II diabetes
2.1 times more likely to develop hypercholesterolemia
2 times more likely to develop osteoarthritis
Source: Leimkuhler & Associates

The 39-Inch Waistline
If your waistline is larger than your hips, or it measures 39 inches or more, you are carrying too much fat around your middle. Excess fat around the middle is a greater health risk than excess fat in the hips and thighs. An apple-shaped body increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and possibly breast cancer. Men who carry excess weight around their middle are especially at greater risk for heart attack.

For the sake of your health, medical experts everywhere would agree that you need to adopt a new way of living. People who carry their weight around the middle may be less efficient at burning up sugary foods, and may do better to keep sugar intake low.

Understanding Seasonal Changes
Body fat can fluctuate during Summer/Fall and Winter/Spring, even though your weight and level of activity stay the same. Some experts believe that body hormones are responsible for these seasonal fluctuations. Changes in body fat are most noticeable in older women.

How Much Should You Weigh?
A healthy lifestyle is not about deprivation. It’s about setting reasonable expectations for yourself and having pride in your body and yourself, so that you can live life vigorously, (we will expand on this in future weeks). Many people find it helps to reward themselves along the way. For example, how about buying yourself a new pair of running shoes!

The Body Mass Index which follows is a widely accepted method of determining a healthy weight. For general guidelines, you may wish to refer to the following chart. The higher weights generally apply to men, who have more muscle and bone.

Height
(without shoes)
Weight
(without clothes)
Ages 19 – 34 Ages 35+
5’0 97-128 108-138
5’1″ 101-132 111-143
5’2″ 104-137 115-148
5’3″ 107-141 119-152
5’4″ 111-146 122-157
5’5″ 114-150 126-162
5’6″ 118-155 130-167
5’7″ 121-160 134-172
5’8″ 125-164 138-178
5’9″ 129-169 142-183
5’10” 132-174 146-188
5’11” 136-179 151-194
6’0″ 140-184 155-199

The Weigh-In
When your weight is under control, getting on the scale is easy. If you don’t like the way your clothes fit lately, getting weighed will be the last thing you want to do. But keeping a record of your starting weight and weighing yourself weekly will help keep you on track. When your clothes start to feel loose around the waist and hips, you’ll want to know how much you’ve lost.

Week 2 – Plot Your Way to Success

Weighing-In

Each week you should record your new weight on the Weight Loss Chart. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. (You may lose more at the outset).

Don’t worry if you hit a plateau for two or three weeks after noticeable weight loss. (A minor change in exercise routine could be all you need to get off this plateau. Try finishing your regular walk with a few minutes of jogging, or climb some stairs—both give your heart rate an extra boost. It could make all the difference.) Stick with losing one or two pounds a week, as it is the only safe and effective way to lose weight. It takes time to put on weight, and time to take it off. Imagine – if you lose at a rate of two pounds between now and Week 10, that’s a loss of 20 pounds! A loss of only five pounds can represent one whole clothing size on some people.

There are many practical approaches you will learn along the way as you proceed with your weight-loss regime. The most important ones you can incorporate into your lifestyle now include the following:

  • Organization is a big part of losing weight. Plan your shopping list ahead of time in order to prepare proper meals and avoid 11 th-hour bingeing.
  • Cut portion sizes in half. Control the amount you eat. You’ve probably been eating more than you actually need. For example, a palm-size piece of meat, fish or poultry equals one serving (50-100 g). Two thumbs equals one serving of cheese (24-28 g). A thumb-tip equals about the amount of margarine you’d put on toast (1 tsp/5 mL).
  • Develop a taste for healthful snacks (i.e. fresh fruits and vegetable crudités). Avoid empty calories from candy, cookies, potato chips and soft drinks. You may want to substitute low-fat or no-fat versions of your favourite snacks, but go easy. These all contain calories that add up. It may be better to enjoy the real thing, but less of it (for example, regular yogourt or a small square of excellent quality chocolate).
  • Become a label reader. There are many low- or no-fat versions of frequently used ingredients such as mayonnaise or salad dressings. Substitute whipped or light cream cheese for regular, for example. As you gradually cut more fat out of your diet, you will find that you miss it less. This is how new lifestyle habits are developed. Most people come to dislike the greasy feel of fat in the mouth, and learn to appreciate the lighter, healthier, cleaner taste of low-fat or unprocessed, whole foods. For more information on reading labels see below.

Read, read, read the labels!
Learning to read food labels is easier than deciphering wine labels and it will help you separate fact from fiction. (Make that “fat” from fiction.) By becoming a label-reader, you can make wise food choices on the basis of nutrient content. It won’t take long before choosing low-fat foods becomes second nature.

How much fat is OK?
Most people can maintain their ideal weight consuming 30% of their daily calories from fat. Of these, only 10% should be saturated fat (butter is a saturated fat) and the rest monounsaturated (i.e. olive oil or canola oil) or polyunsaturated (i.e. safflower or corn oil). These are the levels set by Canada’s Food Guide. Using the 30% guideline, a diet of 1500 calories a day would allow for 50 grams of fat.

The Fat Formula
Fat supplies almost double the energy of carbohydrates or protein, which is why eating more fat invariably leads to overweight. More specifically:

Protein = 4 calories per gram
Carbohydrates = 4 calories per gram
Fat = 9 calories per gram

Let’s apply the fat formula to your favourite granola-style cereal. Here’s the formula you will use:

Fat grams x 9 calories = Calories from fat
Calories from fat (Energy per serving) x 100 = Percentage of fat calories.

Now, let’s look at that cereal. The package says it contains “clusters of goodness.” But when you read the Nutrition Information on the side panel for a 30 g (1/3-cup serving), you see that it also contains 6.1 g fat per serving.

Using the fat formula, you discover:

6.1 g of fat x 9 calories = 54.9 total calories from fat
54.9 total fat calories (145 calories per serving) x 100) = 37% fat calories.

Your favourite cereal contains 37% of its calories from fat! Let’s look at this cereal label more closely, specifically the ingredients statement.

Ingredient declaration: rolled oats, brown sugar, rolled whole wheat, coconut oil, modified milk ingredients, dried unsweetened coconut, almonds, honey, natural flavour.

Since ingredients are listed in descending order of importance, that means there’s more rolled oats (first ingredient) than any other ingredients. So far so good. But look – brown sugar occupies second place. That means there’s a very high proportion of sugar in this product. This cereal also contains coconut oil and dried unsweetened coconut, which is a source of saturated fat! Not good for your arteries.

Perhaps you had better put this cereal back on the shelf and enjoy it occasionally when you have lost your excess weight, and have returned to a diet to maintain your healthy weight.

Week 3 – Regaining Control

Step 1

Take a moment to figure out why you want to lose weight. Weight loss can be futile, and is usually unsuccessful, when it’s done to please others (your physician is the exception).

Or because you think if you only were slim and fit, you would be happy, you would find the right mate, you would land a terrific job, you would have more friends, you would conquer your fears, etc.

Good reasons to shed fat include having a strong desire to regain or improve your health, and thus reduce the risk of chronic diseases associated with being overweight such as diabetes. Losing weight also helps to build energy and stamina for the activities you enjoy doing and the work you need to get done.

Step 2
Let’s take a close look at the “D” word. “D” as in “diet” has very bad connotations for many people. Perhaps they associate it with a poor grade from their early school years, or they are suspicious of any word with “die” in it. Or they have learned to equate diet with deprivation by trying to get by with too few calories to sustain an active lifestyle. Yet the original meaning of the Greek diaita, from which diet comes, actually means “a course of life.” A diet, then, to preserve the original meaning, is a way of life – and that can be a positive thing.

Think weight management, not diet, and you will be less stressed out by making the necessary changes. In weight management, the goal is to achieve the best weight possible for overall health. To take charge of weight management is to make a lifelong commitment to a more healthful lifestyle. As in other endeavours, it eventually becomes a habit.

Step 3
Think back on all the ways you have tried to lose weight. If it will help, write them down. Which approach(es) worked? Why do you think others failed? Perhaps it’s because of all the things you did to help – for example, drinking water (6-8 glasses a day), exercising to keep your appetite in check, snacking on an apple or other hard fruit in the afternoon so you don’t binge when making supper.

A national survey of weight loss participants in the United States showed that the most successful reducers were the ones who combined a change in diet with an increased level of physical activity.

Consider the season, too. Is it easier for you to lose weight in spring, or summer than in fall and winter? Appetites often wane in warm weather, and the desire to get outdoors and be physically active is strong. The combination makes weight drop. This is a technique you want to adopt all year round – eat less, exercise more.

Your choice of foods will probably also change from one season to the next. Perhaps a reducing shake makes a perfectly satisfying breakfast or lunch on an 80 ° (27 °C) day, but it won’t satisfy you as well on frosty days. That’s OK. Make whatever adjustments are necessary to your diet to keep your body supplied with the nutrients it needs to support your daily activities, and steady your appetite.

Remember that calories are simply a measure of energy. If you take in more calories than you require, you will gain weight.

Use all the strategies that have worked for you in the past to customize your diet! Think of new ways that can help you this time.

CONCLUSION: Give it time!
Losing weight is a process, so don’t throw in the towel after one week. You are tackling the very behaviour that led to your weight gain, and that takes real time. You are not alone if you find change difficult, and uncomfortable. It’s actually easier to form bad habits than turn them around.

After three weeks of committed effort, the process of transformation should start to “kick in.” For example, if you cut out sugar and sugar substitutes for three weeks, you will lose your cravings for sweets. That’s because you are re-training your tastebuds. Practise portion control for three weeks, and your stomach will become satisfied with smaller amounts. Your body is adapting to a healthier lifestyle.

A three-week commitment is also vital for information gathering about your eating patterns. Monitor yourself, but make no judgments. Simply observe. Your daily food record and weekly weigh-in will show, for example, whether the four food groups are represented, whether you are consuming enough calories, whether your weight fluctuates for hormonal reasons, whether some days you are hungrier than others without any apparent explanation, and whether stress triggers food cravings. Knowing these things about yourself (that your food intake is balanced and you are not starving, that you are a classic emotional eater who needs to learn non-food techniques for dealing with stress, etc.) will keep you from becoming demoralized.

Week 4 – Healthy Pleasures (Part 1)

Warm Up, Cool Down
Spend at least 5 to 10 minutes warming up before shocking your body with any “serious” exercise. It gets the heart beating faster, helps the muscles work more efficiently, and reduces the risk of injury.

Stretching is good for getting the blood moving. However, you may also want to do some very mild aerobics involving the muscles you intend to use (i.e. slow jog before running). A good warm-up will actually leave you perspiring mildly.

Bend and Stretch – Stand with feet shoulder width apart, arms at side. Slowly bend forward from the waist, gently stretching the spine, until your hands touch the floor. Don’t strain. If necessary, flex your knees slightly.

Arm Circles – Stand with arms straight out at sides, palms up. Keeping arms straight, make circles in the air with your hands, starting with very tiny movements and then making the circles as wide as possible. Repeat exercise, making circles in opposite direction.

Side Stretch – Stand with feet apart and knees slightly bent and fingers interlaced behind your neck. Slowly bend to the side as far as you can. Bend to the other side. Repeat several times on each side.

Sitting Stretch – Sitting with legs stretched out in front of you, place bottom of right foot on inner thigh of left leg (or against inside of knee). Reach gently forward from hips with both arms, sliding them along extended leg as far as you can go without feeling pain. Keep back straight. Repeat with other leg.

Hamstring Stretch – Stand straight, holding back of chair or doorknob. Bend one leg up behind you, gently pull up, grasping by the foot. The supporting leg should be slightly bent. Repeat with other leg.

Forward Lunge – Stand with right foot stretched out in front of you, arms at your side. Slowly bend right knee until knee is directly above your ankle. Keep other leg straight. Repeat with other leg.

Shoulder Stretch – Stand with knees slightly bent, hands clasped behind back. Slowly lift arms up, keeping hands clenched. To increase the stretch, bend forward at the waist and raise the arms higher. Hold for 15 seconds.

At Least Go For A Walk
One of the easiest exercises you can add to your busy day is walking. Walking is effective, and it requires no special equipment beyond good walking shoes. Keep your posture straight, not bent forward, as you walk, as if there were a string attached to the top of your head and someone were pulling it up. Let your arms swing freely. There are many books available that will explain in detail the mechanics of a “power” walk. Check your local bookstore or library.

Week 5 – Five Steps Toward Change

You feel scared. You think you’re on the verge of experiencing a setback, but you can’t figure out why. After all, you really want to lose weight! Rest assured: you are not alone if you are finding it difficult to change your eating patterns.

Understand that making lifestyle changes doesn’t happen overnight. Since people are creatures of habit, it takes time to adjust to the idea of change, and then more time to adapt to a new way of living. Significant change is always a process, not a one-shot deal.

More Than Cutting Calories
Don’t kid yourself: Changing old behaviours is difficult. In fact the behavioural changes involved in weight-loss are much more complex than making or breaking habits. Not only your physical but also your emotional body has to adapt.

Calories are just one factor in the battle to lose weight. People who do so successfully, and maintain their weight loss, go through the same five “stages of change.” If someone decides to lose weight before they’re fully committed, they may backslide, or even quit. It’s not that they’ve “failed” in the usual sense of the word. They simply may have failed to identify whether they were prepared to fully commit to a diet, so that the lifestyle changes they made would take hold. Think of it this way. Most of us are conditioned to eating whatever we want, whenever we want. Disrupting this pattern makes life feel unsettling. But that’s because change is unsettling. Like anything else in life, we take comfort in carrying on the same old patterns. After all, who wouldn’t rather wear a well-worn pair of blue jeans that took weeks to break in than a stiff new pair that doesn’t know any of your body’s contours? By the same token, it’s easier to sink back on the couch with food in your hand and watch TV instead of taking a walk. Most people don’t relish the idea of going through the initial pain of developing a set of healthy behaviours.

How people change
Don’t feel discouraged if by now you doubt your ability to stick with your diet. Perhaps you even feel like quitting, if it’s your first serious attempt to lose weight. It’s disturbing, but it’s normal. Behavioural scientists say most people are reluctant to change less-than-ideal behaviour, so most of our initial efforts tend to be lukewarm. But once you’re convinced that change is better than the status quo, then nothing can stand in the way of your success. Knowing what to expect can ease the tension you feel during this process of change.
As mentioned, change happens in stages. Most people might cycle through the various stages a few times before they achieve their goal. Taking action to lose weight means you’ve actually reached Stage 4. Look how far you’ve already come.

Here are the five steps toward change. What stage do you think you belong in?

    1. Pre-Contemplation. You were always aware for a long time that being overweight is unhealthy. You just weren’t prepared to do anything about it.
    1. Contemplation. Eventually, your weight bothered you so much that you began to toy with the idea of losing weight. You added up the pros and cons of going on a diet. You thought about how much better you would feel. But you also thought about the chocolate bars and chips you would have to give up! A person can spend months, even years, weighing the consequences of committing to change.
    1. Preparation. Finally, you took the plunge: you decided to go on a diet. At this point, it doesn’t even matter if you made the same decision once before, and didn’t follow through. This is the stage at which people are free to try, try, and then try again.
    1. Action. You are committed now. Your portions are adequate and the food is healthy. You are also becoming more physically active. Although each new day requires new motivation, you’re proud of what you’ve accomplished and believe you can succeed.
  1. Maintenance. You’ve reached your goal! But it’s not over yet. This stage represents time taken to prevent a relapse to old behaviours. You need this period to consolidate your new lifestyle. After all, you want it to become second nature. You want it to become the way the new you lives life, without even thinking about it. You determine how many calories are necessary to maintain your new weight, and carry on making exercise as much a part of your daily routine as brushing your teeth. This stage can last a lifetime.

How to Stick to A Diet

  • Be ready to change your lifestyle permanently, even radically. But don’t do away completely with the things you like.
  • Don’t focus solely on eating. Make exercise a daily habit.
  • Follow a low-fat diet in line with Canada’s Food Guide. Spread calories out over the day.
  • Chew foods slowly and enjoy each bite. Put your fork down between each mouthful.
  • Keep a food diary until portion sizes and nutritional information are second nature.
  • Set reasonable goals. Think back to the lowest healthy weight you were comfortably able to maintain (as an adult) for one year, and what effort it required. Expect that this time will take a similar effort.
  • To prevent a relapse, plan ahead. For example, draw up a list of all the activities you enjoy that don’t allow you to eat while you are doing them. (Avoid listing “reading a book” or “watching TV,” which leaves your hands free. Write down walking, or some form of arts & crafts.) Also, promise yourself to never eat until your hunger registers at least 3 on a scale of 1 to 5. If it’s less than 3, choose an activity from your list to distract yourself from eating.

Week 6 – Do You Want to Know A Secret?

The single most important motivating factor in losing weight and keeping if off is this: You have to want to be lean and fit, more than you want to eat the wrong foods.

In study after study, people who successfully lose weight and keep it off say controlling their food intake and cutting back on fat is worth the trade-off. Regular exercise is also important. People who maintain a weight loss burn off an average of about 400 calories daily. (The average man or woman uses about 100 calories to walk or run a mile.)

One survey of 208 people who lost an average of 64 pounds also showed that those who mastered their weight could remember the pain of being heavy, and that actually helped them celebrate their “loss”. Other lifestyle changes to successful dieting include keeping problem foods out of the house and out of sight. If you want certain favourite foods, then set aside days to enjoy them. Or, when you eat something you really love, simply cut back on extra calories the next day.

How are you doing so far?

1. Which best describes the way you’re trying to lose weight?
A. I’m making permanent changes in the way I eat.
B. I’m trying to watch what I eat.
C. I’m on a strict diet (i.e. severe calorie restriction).

2. Are you currently:
A. Maintaining eating-and meal-planning habits that help you lose weight?
B. Putting less time into planning food choices and meals?
C. Slipping back to old eating habits?

3. What’s your activity level?
A. I exercise vigorously for 30 minutes, at least three times a week.
B. I take a long walk once or twice a week.
C. I’m a couch potato.

4. Rate your appetite:
A. Generally satisfied.
B. Feel deprived.
C. Always hungry.

5. Are you:
A. Avoiding alcoholic beverages and sugary sodas?
B. Having one or two glasses of wine a few times a week?
C. Sipping cocktails without thinking about calories.

6. Do you feel:
A. Great about yourself and proud of your efforts?
B. Disappointed you’re not meeting your goals?
C. Sometimes sad and/or depressed?

7. How much do you know about the fat content of the foods you eat?
A. Very knowledgeable.
B. Moderately knowledgeable.
C. Not always sure of it.

Scoring: Give yourself 3 points for every A answer, 2 points for each B answer and 1 point for each C answer. If you scored 17 or higher, you’ve already made many positive changes; however, it’s time to think about increasing the amount of time you spend being physically active. If you scored less than 16, identify your problems and get back on track.

Week 7 – Healthy Pleasures (Part II) & What’s the Point of Exercising?

Exercise speeds up your metabolism. When you do aerobics and strength exercises, you build muscle tissue. Since muscle tissue uses more calories than fat, it means your body will start burning more calories throughout the day.

More importantly, exercise is one of the best ways to prevent:

  • Heart Disease
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Colon and Breast Cancer

A fit body also becomes efficient at ridding the body of toxins, including the chemical byproducts of your response to everyday situations. (Stress hormones released into the bloodstream put a strain on every cell in the body. Unchecked stress can lead to depression, headaches, and assorted muscle aches and pains.) Working muscles produce an enormous amount of heat, helping to burn off toxins and expel them through perspiration. This is another reason to drink plenty of water during exercise. Water helps regulate temperature. During a medium-intensity workout, you can sweat off almost one litre/quart of water.

So the next time someone says you’re looking “sweaty” after exercise, thank them, because you know you’ve done your body a good turn.

Going for Heart Strength
Aerobic exercise puts demands on your heart foroxygen, making it and your lungs stronger. (Aerobic means “in the presence of oxygen.”) Aerobic exercise burns fat, and makes you feel good. There’s also some evidence it can “limber up” your arteries, and it benefits your bones – living tissue which requires plenty of oxygen. (As blood vessels become rigid, blood pressure can rise.) A more efficient circulation system makes it easier for you to carry on your everyday activities.

Aerobic exercises should be done 3 to 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes. Running, power walking, stair climbing, cycling and racquet sports are all aerobic activities.

Building Muscle and Bones
A well-toned body not only looks attractive, it’s good for your health. Try to alternate aerobics with strength training (i.e. muscle-building) exercises to build flexibility and muscular strength. Do aerobics one day, strength the next. Both are important to over-all health.

Why build muscles? It’s simple: The more muscle you add to your frame, the more efficient your body becomes at burning fat. Everyone loses about five pounds of muscle per decade, and gains 15 pounds of fat. Your thin friends might look at the scale and feel pleased by what they see, but scale weight is no indication of fitness. That’s because muscle weighs more than fat. So don’t go by the scale when assessing your relative fitness. Let your energy level and the way your clothes fit be your guide as you incorporate muscle-building exercises into your weight-loss program.

Lifting weights or free weights, or using toning rings, helps build muscle. If you’ve been inactive, you may find it easier to begin by toning your muscles. Then, when your muscles are stronger and more limber, you can incorporate aerobics.

The added benefit of weight-bearing exercise (and that includes any exercise that requires you to carry your own weight, not just weight lifting) is that it increases bone density, which guards against osteoporosis, or bone-thinning disease. It may seem a far-off possibility when you’re young, but building big, strong bones early on in life is your best strategy for preventing this crippling disease. Bone increases in density until age 35, after which it begins to lose calcium faster than it can replace it. So while you cannot escape normal bone loss due to aging, if you start with more bone, you will have more bone left.

But Exercise Makes Me So Tired!
Almost half of the people who start exercising after being sedentary for a long time will lose the battle because of the initial fatigue they feel. Why do they feel so worn out, they wonder, if exercise is supposed to give you energy? Better quit, and so they do.

The body requires time to rebuild the number of energy factories in its cells, which go into decline when an individual stops being physically active. Some fatigue is normal. For example, perhaps you notice you want to go to bed an hour or two earlier than normal. That’s OK. Be patient. If you stick with your exercise program, your body will eventually increase its number of “power plants” and increase the number of capillaries that transport oxygen to those energy-burning sites. However, it may take a month to notice a boost in energy, and two months before increased stamina is part of your life.

To minimize fatigue, don’t rush into exercise. Start slowly, and pick up the pace after a few weeks when you feel more able. And try to get your normal amount of sleep. Don’t trim an hour off to go running.

Comparing Calorie Burners
Housework will keep you on your feet, but it does little for the health of your heart.

Activity Calories Expended in 30 Minutes
120 lbs. 180 lbs.
Ice Skating 150 201
Jumping Rope 297 402
Making Beds 90 135
Playing with the kids 120 159
Racquetball 255 345
Shopping 108 162
Shoveling Snow 240 300
Squash 255 345
Swimming 264 378
Tennis (singles) 180 249
Walking (4.5 mph) 165 270
Weight Training 201 270

Week 8 – Make sure you’re getting enough nutrients – For energy and well-being

Weight management is all about adopting healthful eating habits, so don’t overlook the role of nutritional supplements in your diet.

Your body requires small but vital amounts of vitamins and minerals, called micronutrients, to promote the biochemical reactions in your body that contribute to feelings of energy and well-being.

While it is always preferable to get vitamins and minerals from food since it contains many other nutrients that the body needs, this is not always possible. Dietitians have found that even non-dieters are likely to fall short of vitamins A, B 12 and C, folate, calcium, iron, and zinc, even though their food intake is greater than that of a dieter.

On a calorie-restricted diet, vitamin and mineral supplements can be a useful support. When you are eating less than you normally would of whole grains, fruits and vegetables–the mainstays of a healthy maintenance diet–you simply cannot get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs. This is one reason why meal replacement products are fortified with essential vitamins and minerals.

Many other nutrients
Not only does the body need certain nutrients to prevent deficiency diseases such as scurvy (caused by a lack of vitamin C), but these vitamins and minerals can actually help promote health. In addition to the daily-recommended amounts, many nutritionists now believe a second set of recommendations should be established for the promotion of health and the prevention of disease!

Take additional amounts separately
To maintain health, the body keeps a constant amount of micronutrients circulating in the bloodstream. It is not necessary, nor is it advisable, to take “mega” amounts of vitamins and minerals when your dietary intake is restricted. It is difficult to predict the nutrient interactions that may occur when a single nutrient is taken to excess, since the effect can differ from one individual to another.

Choose a basic multivitamin and mineral supplement based on the recommended daily intakes, or geared to your age and/or activity level. Then take additional amounts of individual vitamins or minerals as necessary, on the advice of your health practitioner.

“Natural source” is your best guarantee that a supplement adheres closely to the natural state of vitamins and/or minerals, and remains free of additives such as artificial flavours, colours and preservatives. Studies in nutritional science have already demonstrated that the natural form of vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol), and organic selenium and chromium are better absorbed by the body, which makes them more biologically active.

Never ingest two or three multis to get more of one vitamin or mineral. If you require extra calcium, take a calcium supplement, preferably one balanced with magnesium and vitamin D to enhance absorption. If you need extra vitamin B6 during monthly hormonal changes, take a vitamin B6 supplement.

To sort out any confusion you feel, speak to a dietitian or health practitioner. They can help work out a program that’s right for you, and might recommend nutrients that are easily overlooked. For instance, nutritional scientists recently learned that the natural pigments that give foods their colour play an important role in the body. Fruits, berries and wine, for instance, contain red and blue pigments called polyphenols. These substances are powerful antioxidants. Polyphenols are just a few of the newly identified food constituents that have been made available in supplement form.

Expert advice
If you remain wary about taking vitamin and mineral supplements under any circumstances, it pays to remember this advice from the experts: Small amounts can’t hurt and, in fact, are more likely to help.

Don’t fall short of these
Here is a brief list of some important nutrients, and a few reasons why you need them.

Vitamin A : for vision and cell development
Vitamin C: for healthy connective tissue and skin
Vitamin E : for antioxidant protection against damaging free radicals and other waste products.
B complex : for energy metabolism and red blood cell formation. The B vitamins also regulate the nervous system, which affects your mood. The Bs influence your response to stress, which can make it easier for you to cope.
Vitamin D and calcium : for bone formation.
Iron : for oxygen-rich blood.
Folic acid : to prevent neural birth defects.
Zinc : to promote healing and a healthy immune system.
Other major nutrients : phosphorus, magnesium, chromium, copper, fluoride, iodine, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, potassium and sodium.

Watching out for your nutritional health by taking supplements is one more way that you can take responsibility for your own health.

Week 9 – Words to Live by: START FRESH

Healthy eating is mostly a matter of common sense. The point is to consume “fresh foods frequently,” prepared as close to their natural state as possible.

That pretty much rules out a steady diet of highly processed prepared foods, and batter-dipped and deep-fried fish or vegetables, which might best be saved for the occasional meal, such as tempura at a Japanese restaurant.

Fibre for fullness
One good thing about the fresh-food philosophy is that it produces a diet rich in fibre. Fibre is so beneficial to the body that you really can’t ever get enough of it. Not only does fibre make you feel full, which is a benefit for dieters, it also enhances digestion and elimination, which reduces the risk of common complaints such as constipation or gallstones. More importantly, fibre helps prevent colon and breast cancers.

You get both types of fibre (soluble and insoluble) in a varied diet that includes many common foods: apples, oranges, grapefruits, cabbage, carrots, dried beans and peas, root vegetables, celery, oats, barley, wheat, and cucumbers, to name a few.

1200 calories and holding
Fresh fruits and vegetables are a prominent feature of the Nutribar diet plan printed on the inside of each package. Each day’s menu plan includes 5 to 11 servings of fruit and vegetables a day (but not more than 3 fruits daily), which is slightly more vegetables than recommended by Canada’s Food Guide.

During a diet, it’s important to include grain products, but equally important to limit the amount of grain products you consume. Nutribar’s plan includes 2 to 4 servings of whole grain and enriched products per day. (Don’t substitute highly processed cereals. You need the benefits that derive from natural grains.) After your weight loss, you can return to a maintenance diet of about 6 servings of grain products a day.

Although we’ve learned to fear the word “fat” in recent months, be aware that your body requires some fat each day for proper functioning.

Considering the very small amounts of fat called for in the Nutribar plan, it’s perfectly alright to indulge yourself with the taste of real butter wherever diet margarine is specified. (The only way to make a lifelong commitment to healthy eating habits is to overcome one’s fear of certain foods. Nutrition experts agree that moderation is still the key.) Or choose a non-hydrogenated tub margarine to reduce the health risks associated with trans-fatty acids produced when vegetable oils are chemically manipulated to harden them, which is how stick margarine is made.

Each Nutribar daily menu, including the Nutribar Powder and/or Bar, averages approximately 1200 calories a day. For variety, you can substitute Nutribar Fruit Drink or Nutribar Yogurt Fruit Drink, for your meal replacement bar.

Week 10 – A Lifelong Solution

Congratulations! You have reached Week 10 of the Nutribar weight-loss program.

With everything you have learned in the preceding weeks, you are well on the road to sustaining a better quality of life.

If you have achieved your ideal weight, see “Body Talk” for tips about maintenance dieting. It is time to start modifying your diet. Maintenance dieting is just that. It helps you maintain your weight. All you have to do is make wise food choices. And keep up the exercise!

If you are still working towards your weight-loss goal, then you’ll be inspired by “Mind Talk”.

In this final installment of the Nutribar weight-loss program, we summarize the key points of maintaining a positive attitude, and offer guidelines for maintaining your desired weight.

MIND TALK

Adjusting your attitude
Take pride in your body and yourself, express your feelings and needs, set reasonable expectations for yourself, and you’ll create a healthy, livable lifestyle.

Since most people find it much easier to lose weight with outside support, don’t hesitate to reach out. Read all the information you can about weight loss, or seek help from a registered dietitian, psychologist, or other weight-loss expert.

The behavioural side of weight management focuses on restoring certain life skills that may be lacking. One example is being able to say “no” to excessive demands made on your time, instead of trying to find emotional relief by overeating. Remember that you count, so make time for yourself. When planning your day, put your good health in the “absolutely-must-do” list. Make your health important to you, and you will find ways to achieve a healthier lifestyle. All it takes to remaster the basic life skills is some conscious effort, and practice.

Paying attention to your emotional needs and limits can make weight management feel more natural. It’s really a case of feeding your body what it really wants, and what it really wants might not be food. There are other rewards in store. Not only will you notice positive changes within yourself, but also in how well you relate with your family, friends and co-workers.

Nurturing Skills
Ask yourself
: Are you truly hungry? Or are you emotionally hungry?

Many people eat when they feel lonely, angry, anxious, sad or bored. Fatigue also makes people overeat. If you fail to recognize your true need, you risk developing an emotional or “stress” appetite. True needs are masked as a desire to eat, since eating is so soothing.

Recognizing your true needs is a nurturing skill. Before reaching for food, make sure it is hunger you are responding to and not a feeling. If you need a boredom break at the office, leave your desk and walk around the building. Check in with yourself periodically to see how you feel, and what you might need. Determine whether a little outside support would be helpful.

Limits Skills
Ask yourself
: Do others demand too much from me? Are my expectations for myself too low?

Protect yourself against stress by setting limits. Setting limits guards against unreasonable demands made on you at home and at work. Be sure to set limits on your own behaviour, too. For example, put limits on your eating–remember, wise food choices and portion control–and put limits on your feelings. You might not feel like exercising but do it anyway, barring sickness, because you know your body needs it. Set reasonable expectations for yourself. These are all instances of setting effective limits.

Health & Vitality Skills
Being able to set limits and find appropriate ways to nurture yourself restores emotional balance, making it less likely that you will abuse food. However, there is another skill, and that is building vital energy, and investing this energy in activities that hold meaning for you, including work. This approach to life will refresh your spirit, and keep your morale high.

Ask yourself: How does my body feel? Am I taking care of my body? Am I eating regularly?

Ask yourself: Do I eat only when hungry? Am I making healthy food choices? Is eating a pleasure? Which tastes, textures and colours give you the most pleasure: soft and creamy, hard and crunchy, salty or sweet? This self-knowledge will help you make healthier food choices.

Ask yourself: Do I pause in the middle of the meal to ask whether the food still tastes good, or to see if I am full?

Ask yourself: Am I physically active? Is my work meaningful? Am I taking enough time to restore my spirit?

BODY TALK

Maintaining your new weight
Once you reach your desired weight, it is time to loosen the diet restrictions. Continue with the Nutribar plan, but make small modifications in line with your own lifestyle and food preferences.

1. Create your own meal
Substitute one meal a week with the foods of your choice. For example, a sirloin steak for dinner makes a fine substitution, or you may wish to select other lean cuts of meat. Just be sure to substitute healthful choices. Continue with your weekly substitutions if you find your weight remaining consistent.

Keep in mind that weight does fluctuate, so do not be alarmed if you gain one or two pounds. If substituting one meal a week works for you, you can begin substituting another meal of your choice, or perhaps a low-fat dessert.

An alternative to substituting a meal is to add more grains, fruit or milk to the Nutribar menu plan. Add beans to a salad, or have another slice of bread, preferably whole grain.

Whether you substitute a meal or add to a meal, you will be adding more calories to your daily intake. But keep in mind that the more you exercise, the more you get to eat to replenish your body with fuel.

2. Keep a daily record
Write down the foods that you eat, the portions, where you eat, even how the food was prepared, etc. Keeping a record allows you to maintain a sense of control over your food choices. You can spot eating patterns easily, and decide what works best for you.

3. Increase variety
Continue to eat the same foods, but instead of jam on bread, have peanut butter, butter or margarine. Or instead of butter on a sandwich, use mustard.

4. Replace the daily Nutribar with an extra meal
One day a week, replace a Nutribar meal with a meal of your choice. For example, have waffles or pancakes for breakfast. Just choose healthier alternatives, watch the portions, and watch what you add in the way of sauces or dressings.

5. Continue exercising
If you have been less than disciplined about this important part of weight management, weight maintenance is the time to really get serious about it! Any type of physical activity is beneficial. Begin walking more, and build up from there. If you have been exercising faithfully, increase the amount and the intensity. Burning more calories allows you to eat more.

CONCLUSION

Well done!
There you have it! By sustaining improved eating and lifestyle habits, you will feel better, have more energy, sleep better, stay more focused, and feel less stressed.

If you need additional support in the weeks ahead, go back and reread some of the topics. “Regaining Control” (Week 3), “5 Steps Toward Change” (Week 5), and “Healthy Pleasures Part I and Part II” (Weeks 4 and 7), contain excellent tips to keep you in line. One last word of advice: To enhance the overall health benefits, quit smoking if you have not already done so, and limit the amount of alcohol you consume.