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Dieting But Not Losing Weight?

By Patrick Carrothers for the Owner of

You May Suffer From Portion Distortion!

ID-100120579It’s terribly frustrating to be dieting and not losing weight. Here are a few strategies to help you get past this bump in the road.

Are you eating out often? It’s difficult to dine in restaurants frequently and manage your calories. Restaurants are the number one source of portion distortion! You can be making what you think are healthy menu choices, selecting salads and grilled chicken or salmon and so forth, and when your food arrives the portions are huge. You can easily consume 1000 calories more than you want.

These days many foods we buy at the grocery store are super-sized too. Baking potatoes are like something out of Jurassic Park. No one needs to eat a whole one of those, and certainly not topped with bacon and sour cream. The way to measure a healthy portion of potato is to think of a computer mouse. You remember those don’t you?

Most bananas are twice the size they used to be. Try to pick the smaller ones or cut those giant bananas in half and share.

For healthy portion control, if it’s too much and you know it, only eat half.  And keep the fundamentals of portion size in your mind and put them to good use. It’s easy. With a little practice you can take one look at a plate and know the difference between a healthy portion and one that will super-size your waist.

myplate_greenHere’s a graphic that’s easy to remember from the US Department of Agriculture. Half  your plate should be fresh fruits and vegetables, about one quarter is for meat, fish or your protein entree, and about one quarter is for a bread or rice. Dairy gets a little side dish, and that’s a good way to remember to downsize your portions of cheese, not order extra!

When you’re dining out, that eight or 12-ounce steak will fill half of your plate, so cut it in half and save it for later.

Other ways to remember healthy portion control:


ID-10051640The standard portion recommendation is 3-4 ounces, or about the size of a pack of cards. It is nearly impossible to find a steak portion under 6-8 ounces. So what to do? Order your doggie bag early.



3 – 4 ounces of fish is about the size of a checkbook. You remember those don’t you?

Breads and Grains

Think one slice of bread or one small roll, and measure that foot long submarine sandwich against that! The sub may have nothing but veggies on it, but the bread alone could be four to six times a healthy portion for one meal, and it may pack about 450 calories.

With pasta, a healthy portion is like a tennis ball. You’re shaking your head right now, aren’t you? I know this sounds impossible, since restaurants always serve four to five times this amount. What’s a healthy eater to do? Doggie bag it.

Fruit Juices

Six ounces is a healthy serving of fruit juice. That’s less than a cup though, so go easy on the juice.

Snack Foods

When the urge for chips strikes, cup your hand. What you can hold in one hand is about the size of a healthy portion of potato chips or crackers.

If these dietary guidelines seem unrealistic, it’s because so many of us have been conditioned to believe that larger portions of food are more satisfying. This is a relatively recent development. When Coca-Cola introduced the first Coke bottle, it was 6.5 ounces. Now the average soda bottle is 20 ounces. When McDonald’s introduced their french fries, the adult size was equal to today’s kid’s size.

The portion distortions have become so prevalent in our culture that it seems normal and natural. But it is not. Eating less is good for us. You will adjust to smaller portions and someday you’ll feel a lot more energy because you’ve been eating less. I guarantee it.

And when you break through to a healthier lifestyle and start feeling more energy, I want you to come back here and leave me a note like, “Nancy you were right!”


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5 Steps to Stay On Course with Your Weight Loss

ID-100117015Have you hit a frustrating patch? Feel you’re working hard, being disciplined, making good choices and you’re not losing weight?

At times like these you’re often CRAVING things you have chosen to avoid. Fatty, greasy foods are calling to you. Sugary carbs are singing your name and it is hard to resist. At times like these, you often say, “Why the heck did I want to lose weight anyway?”

At times like these, that is exactly the question you need to ask. Why DID you want to lose weight? This is Step 1 in my Five Step Strategy To Stay On Course. It”s hard to think straight when you’re stressed or beset with cravings. So make a playbook now with strategies you can put to use when times are tough so you don’t have to think about it when it’s hard to think.

Here’s my Five Step Strategy To Stay On Course With Your Weight Loss:

1. Revisit Your Goals and Write Them Down Now

Remember exactly why you wanted to lose weight and make a list.

  • Did you want your waist back?
  • Did you want to feel like your old self again?
  • Did you want your thighs to stop touching?
  • Feel happier with your appearance?
  • Fit into your favorite clothes?
  • Make it easier to exercise?
  • Lower your blood pressure and improve your health?

2. Write Down Substitute Activities

  • Write a list of substitute activities you can do to distract yourself from temptation:
  • Pay the bills (if that isn’t too stressful)
  • Make a meal plan for the week and a grocery list of things you need
  • Clean your car or clean the house

3. Write Down Substitute Rewards

  • Make time for a relaxing hot bath
  • Get a manicure or pedicure
  • Get a massage
  • List other things that help you feel happy

4. Write Ways To Savor Your Mealtimes

  • Plan colorful meals and enjoy their beauty
  • Set the table with a little flair every day, not just special occasions
  • Add flowers to the table, cloth napkins, add some relaxing music
  • Use the good china on a regular basis if you can (if the kids are old enough!)
  • Put your fork down between bites and savor every bite

5. Write Ways To Relax Without Food

Make a list of your favorite ways to relax, ways to fill yourself up without food:

  • Take a nice long walk
  • Make time to read a favorite author
  • Take a nap
  • Ride a bike
  • Pray for others in your life, surround them with blessings
Taking the focus off yourself works wonders. Now you have a plan to turn to when the going gets tough. Keep moving forward to your goals!
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Don’t Spook Your Weight Loss This Halloween

By Patrick Carrothers for the Owner of

How Many Calories Are In Those Little Candies?

ID-100293383I like Halloween so I don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun! What I encourage is moderation, and that means fun you won’t regret in November.

This is always a fun day for me, but also a difficult one, since my husband buys far more treats for the trick or treaters than we ever give away. And that means I have to fend off the urge to eat too many treats myself. How about you?

When I was growing up, quite often the candy sizes were much bigger than they are today. I enjoy these new little treats occasionally. They are just the right size for a modest snack. Trouble is, we don’t often limit ourselves to one or two pieces! So just how many calories are in your candy jar?

Here’s how popular Halloween treats stack up, compliments of the American Heart Association:

  • Nestle Crunch bars (4): 200 calories
  • Snickers (2): 160 calories
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup (2): 170 calories
  • M&Ms Milk Chocolate Candies (3): 220 calories
  • M&Ms Peanut Chocolate Candies 2): 180 calories
  • Kit Kat (3): 210 calories
  • Milky Way (2): 210 calories
  • Almond Joy (2): 160 calories
  • Twix Caramel Cookie Bars (2): 160 calories
  • Starburst (8 chews): 160 calories
  • Tootsie Roll Dots (2 boxes): 130 calories
  • Tootsie Roll (6 “Midgees” or 4 “juniors”): 140 calories
  • Twizzlers Strawberry Twists (4): 120 calories
  • Nestle Butterfinger (4): 180 calories
  • Skittles (3 packages): 210 calories
  • Whoppers Milk Chocolate Malted Balls (6 tubes): 190 calories

Of course, these are the little “fun” size Halloween candies, not the “normal” sizes!


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How To Lose The Belly Fat

By Patrick Carrothers for the Owner of

Shrinking Your Waist Could Lengthen Your Life

​​ID-100159753Many studies since the mid-90s show a connection between waist size, aka belly fat, and death rates. Does that get your attention?

First, at this point in your weight loss journey you may be making real progress, losing some weight, making some changes in your lifestyle. I congratulate you!

Now I encourage you to keep it up so you can make a significant difference in your overall health. To do that I need to give you the skinny on waist size and why it’s important.

In a large study that tracked 15,000 adults, researchers found that waist size was more helpful of predicting mortality than your Body Mass Index.  According to the criteria used by the World Health Organization, about 70% of the study participants were centrally obese as defined by their waist to hip ratio and waist circumference. That means greater than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men.

What researchers found is that a man with normal-weight central obesity had a 78% higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease than a man with a similar BMI but no fat around the middle. For women in this same scenario, normal-weight central obesity more than doubled the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

A good long term goal for a woman is a waist size less than 35″.  If you’re a man, your waist goal is to be less than 40″.  Does this seem confusing? It can, because you’re being encouraged to lose overall weight, but at the same time we want you to focus on losing that difficult visceral fat around the belly too.

So what helps to lose belly fat?

Get Moving!

Whatever your ability level, try to get your body moving for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. If that’s not realistic for you, then start where you can and work from there. The important thing is to start where you can. Have you always felt like you couldn’t work out enough so you just didn’t do anything?

Today is the day I want you to just move around so you are having some fun and keep it up for however long you can. Tomorrow go for one minute more. Work yourself up to the next level gradually.

Your goal is to eventually get yourself huffing and puffing. If you’ve been sedentary for a while, I recommend you talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program.

Are you walking the neighborhood now for 30 minutes? That’s great! But it’s time to kick it up a notch. Get your heart rate up and your breathing up. Keep it going and also keep adding a little intensity to your routine every week.

Start changing up your routine to work multiple areas of your body. Mix some lunges or squats into your walks. Do a body weight strength routine once or twice a week. If you are ready, follow along with an exercise video.

Get More Fiber

Research shows soluble fiber reduces dangerous visceral fat. The Institute of Medicine recommends dietary fiber intake for adults aged 50 and younger of 38 grams for men and 25 grams for women, and for men and women older than 50, an intake of 30 and 21 grams, respectively.

But Americans are falling seriously short of the recommended goal, with an average intake of about 15 grams per day! Eat more of these fiber-rich foods:

  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Nuts
  • Barley
  • Oat bran
  • Peas
  • Seeds
  • Rasberries
  • Blackberries
  • Acorn squash
  • Pears
  • Prunes
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Avocado
  • Dark leafy greens

Learn Correct Portion Sizes

It may surprise you to learn what a serving should look like, especially if you frequently eat at restaurants! If you need to learn more about healthy portion sizes, click here to read my post on “Portion Distortion.”

Get Your MUFAs

If you haven’t already, switch to polyunsaturated fats like sunflower oil, canola oil and olive oil. These are high in monounsaturated fatty acids or “MUFAs.”  Avocados and olives are excellent sources also.

In a recent study, 39 young adults of normal weight were fed 750 extra calories per day for 7 weeks. Half of the subjects got the extra calories from polyunsaturated fat in the form of sunflower oil while the other half got their surplus from saturated fat in the form of palm oil. The diets were the same in other regards.

Those individuals who ate the saturated fat had a significant increase in the amount of fat in the liver and abdomen, particularly visceral fat surrounding their internal organs. Those given the polyunsaturated fat had three times as much of an increase in muscle mass!

Get Your Greens, Tea That Is

Green tea consistently shows very positive effects in reducing visceral fat and body fat in a number of studies. The secret ingredient in green tea seems to be substances called “catechins.” If you prefer black tea, it also has a high concentration of catechins, but not as high as green tea varieties.  Dark chocolate has a high count also, but watch the calories on this one!

To see a great collection of instant Green Tea concentrates in delicious flavors, check out my Herbalife selections here: Green Tea Concentrates.  If you want to see pricing, or order online, you need to register. Or contact me. and I’ll complete an order for you.

Practice Stress Reduction Until It Becomes A Habit

A body under stress puts out more cortisol, a hormone that is linked to higher levels of visceral fat. Who doesn’t feel under stress these days? So it is very important that you take active steps to reduce and manage your stress.

Whether it is via deep breathing, meditation, journaling, enjoying outdoor activities, or something that works for you, find a way to lessen stress and make it a habit.

Visceral fat, that belly fat you’re trying to lose, surrounds our organs and increases the risk of our developing hypertension, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and several types of cancer. So learn these ways to help beat that belly fat and improve your health!
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How To Diet Smarter, Not Harder, For Weight Loss

January 6, 2016

By Patrick Carrothers for the Owner of

Are Meal Replacement Shakes A Smart Choice?

When people ask my husband how he lost 26 lbs. over the past several months, he says, “By dieting smarter, not harder.”

Then he proceeds to tell why he likes meal replacement protein shakes and thinks this is “dieting smarter.”

Like most people that use meal replacements, he lists the following as the main reasons for his choice:


    “Great taste”


 “I like not having to think about breakfast,” he says, “except for what flavor of shake I’ll have that day. They’re very filling. I actually look forward to my morning shake. This fills me up until about 1 pm.”

No Worrying About What To Eat

Most people like anything that can make their weight loss journey a little easier. With meal replacement shakes there are:

  • No calories to count

  • No nutrition facts or ingredient labels to read

  • No worrying about what to eat!

Instead, you simply drink a shake one or two times a day, and then enjoy a “sensible” dinner in the evening, and some healthy snacks in between. Seems pretty smart so far doesn’t it!

For many people that struggle to lose weight with traditional low calorie meal plans, taking the thinking out of meal planning for one or two meals is terrific. I ‘ve seen studies that show meal replacement diets are at least as good as conventional diets in causing initial weight loss, and some that show they can be better than conventional diets for maintaining weight loss. Why?

We all have so many things to think about every day that this kind of decision-streamlining can be a great relief. I bet you feel  significant time pressure and mental fatigue by the end of a day filled with choices and decisions. This streamlining is a real plus for meal replacement shakes.

Aren’t They Too Expensive?

Many people believe meal replacement shakes are “too expensive” for them. Not true! I certainly don’t see that with Herbalife. A typical nutrition-rich, Herbalife meal replacement costs about $3.24 each. That includes the Formula 1 Powder, the Protein Drink Mix and the Total Control tablet. How much are you spending on that Big Mac?

The nutrition in a meal replacement shake can be outstanding and part of a balanced, healthy diet. My Herbalife options are full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants as well as the controlled calories and protein.

The individuals that often do best on meal replacement diets are:

  • People who have trouble keeping correct portion sizes

  • People who do well with routine and who live a lifestyle that allows for such routines

  • People who frequently find themselves “too busy” to eat well-balanced meals

  • People who are knowledgeable about nutrition and able to plan snacks and meals to achieve the optimal amount of nutrition for healthy weight loss or maintenance

  • Busy people who like time-saving meal options

So What’s The Downside of Meal Replacement Diets?

Some people become bored on these plans. They reach for foods they should not eat in combination with the meal-replacement products, which adds up to too many calories.

Sometimes it’s difficult to get enough fiber on these plans. This is not a problem with Herbalife. But check other products if you’re using them. Fiber is very important for weight loss as well as general health and wellness.

Many of the antioxidants found in whole foods are difficult to attain on meal replacement diets. Check labels and call me if you are confused by what you read there.

Some meal replacement products can be expensive. But not Herbalife, as mentioned above. Talk to me if you disagree.

Eventually, you need to go back to eating a “normal” diet. If that means back to your usual burgers and fries three times a week with chips and big desserts on a regular basis, you’ll simply regain the weight you lost.

Your Goal Is To Create Healthier Habits

While on your meal replacement diet, usually about 12 weeks, change your eating habits to healthier choices. Don’t just use the shakes as a “crutch.” Use raw vegetables as snacks that give you the “crunch” factor. Learn to make your “normal” diet one that’s rich in raw vegetables and fruits, lean proteins in small portions, and whole grain carbs in moderation, with lots of water in between.

You want to learn to live healthier in the way you eat and what you eat as well as adding regular exercise to your lifestyle.

If you have a pre-existing health issue like diabetes, liver or kidney problems, speak to your physician before starting a meal replacement plan.

Don’t Diet Alone

Let’s be real: dieting for significant weight loss can be hard, and doing it in isolation just makes it harder.  Enlist a friend or co-worker to join you on your weight loss journey. Consider working with a registered dietitian to help you stay on a healthy lifestyle path and avoid fad diets. Dieting in isolation can be very difficult and frustrating. Using a wellness coach that’s a registered dietitian like me can help you stay on track and learn new behaviors for the long run.

Now that’s what I call smart!

10 Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating

By Patrick Carrothers for The Owner of

Hear the jingle bells in the distance? Something’s coming – the most wonderful weight gain time of the year, or not! Are you dreading this holiday season? Worrying about gaining back the weight you’ve already lost?

Take pressure off yourself. Focus on weight management instead of weight loss during the holidays. As always, keep making “living healthier” your lifestyle and your habit. Approach the danger zones with a plan and with confidence. So here are 10 tips to add to your plan to celebrate holidays the healthy way this year!

Make time for exercise. This relieves holiday stress and prevents weight gain. Recent research shows even seven minutes of vigorous exercise a day makes a healthy impact on your body. With the wealth of free online videos and body weight workouts available, there are so many ways to build exercise into even the busiest schedule.

Do not skip meals. Skipping breakfast or lunch before a big holiday dinner can actually cause you to overeat.

Offer to bring something healthy along, such as a salad, vegetable dish, chicken or fish if you know you won’t find healthy choices at a gathering.

Savor, savor, savor! Make this your mantra. Slow down, pace yourself and become aware of what you are eating and drinking. Taste every bite. Be mindful of how much you have eaten and you will find it easier to stop before you are stuffed.

Select small portions. This will allow you to enjoy all the different foods offered, while still controlling your calorie intake.

If you drink alcohol, select lite wines and beers, rather than mixed drinks. There’s usually a keg of calories in the mixers that go into cocktails.

Stand away from buffet tables and food trays while networking and talking to avoid the urge to nibble.

Talk more, eat less. Sometimes we’re feeling a lot of anxiety about seeing family and friends we haven’t seen in a long time. Other times we feel anxious about meeting new people. Instead of using the food as your anxiety reliever, make a game out of seeing how many times you can engage others in conversation and giving them compliments. Make giving compliments your holiday gift to others during these events. That may help your holidays be more about enjoying company and conversation and less about the food.

Fill your plate with a rainbow of colors from varieties of fruits and vegetables.

Learn to say “no” politely. You can say: “No thank you. I’ve had enough. Everything was delicious.” This works even with most who will not take “no” for an answer.

Social events do not mean that you have to totally abandon your healthy eating habits or wreak havoc on your waistline. Even if you’re not completely successful at eating right on occasion, compliment yourself for trying. And then try harder the next time!

Did you know I have some excellent supplements for controlling hunger in my Herbalife line? Click here to learn more about our “Total Control” tabs. You can order directly online or call me to complete an order for you. Cheers to all!