A Weight Off My Mind, Thyroid/Autoimmune Diet Newsletter -- Back Issues
Helping Thyroid and Autoimmune Disease Patients Lose Weight and Feel Great|
from Mary Shomon
Welcome to the first issue of "A Weight Off My Mind," Mary Shomon's email newsletter for thyroid and autoimmune disease patients who are interested in losing weight and feeling better through diet and nutrition. You are receiving this issue because you signed up at some point in 2001 to receive this free email report. (Note: If you are no longer interested in receiving future issues, or you wish to unsubscribe, email firstname.lastname@example.org.) Also, if you have something you'd like to see covered in future issues, drop me a line anytime at email@example.com.
IN THIS ISSUE
In this issue, you'll find some fascinating information, including our key feature, an interview with Dr. Larrian Gillespie, author of the top-selling books, "The Goddess Diet," "The Gladiator Diet," and "The Menopause Diet," with some thoughts about how people with hormonal problems can tackle the challenge of losing weight.
We'll also take a look at some other key topics, including:
In future issues, I'm going to share some of my own weight loss challenges and successes, profile successful efforts of other people with thyroid and autoimmune disease, review various online diet and weight loss support services, revisit some of the popular supplements -- such as CLA and chromium -- for weight loss, talk with other experts about conventional and complementary approaches you can take, go in-depth into the L.A. Weight Loss Program and find out if it works, highlight books that can help, and much more.
- Have the September 11th Attacks Terrorized Your Eating Habits?
- 10 Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
- Can Antidepressants Help You Lose Weight?
- Is Xenadrine Safe?
So, let's get started!
OVERCOMING WEIGHT LOSS SABOTAGE: DR. LARRIAN GILLESPIE'S KEY TIPS
Dr. Larrian Gillespie is author of the top-selling books, "The Goddess Diet," "The Gladiator Diet," and "The Menopause Diet." I asked her how best to effectively lose weight in light of hormonal problems, and she shared some of her refreshing straight talk solutions.
Mary Shomon: What do you think is the most important thing that sabotages a woman's effort to lose weight?
Dr. Larrian Gillespie: Having bad information should rank right up there as the #1 reason women get
sabotaged when they try to lose weight. For years, all our advice has been based on how men metabolize foods, not women. It wasn't until 1995 they even DID studies on women's metabolism and got a big shock: men use carbohydrates for energy, women use them to store as fat. Even more important, if we eat
less than 40% protein, we shift the metabolism of estrogen into the cancer stimulating pathway. So women need to understand how our hormones affect our ability to store or utilize fat if they want to lose weight. Too much progesterone, which is seen during perimenopause/menopause causes women
to hold onto food in the stomach as much as an hour longer than men, making us super-efficient at sucking out carbohydrates to store as fat. So we need to eat in smaller meals, more frequently in order to stimulate our metabolism. In my books, "The Menopause Diet" "The Goddess Diet" I give women all
this information and more so they can keep insulin levels smooth, which helps with our burning excess body fat for energy.
Mary Shomon: What do you think is the most important thing that sabotages a man's effort to lose weight?
Dr. Larrian Gillespie: Other men comes to mind. Let's face it. Men don't worry if their thighs are getting fat or their belly could double for a zeppelin. There's no peer pressure from other men, EXCEPT when it comes to their sexuality. Men do not equate health with sex, which explains why they never go to the doctor unless they fear something rather important is in danger of falling off! Men don't realize that eating high glycemic carbohydrates lowers their testosterone and increases the amount that converts to estradiol, the "sissy" hormone :-) that increases their risk for diabetes, heart disease, impotency and stroke. In "The Gladiator Diet" I tell men the truth: if you want to remain virile and healthy, you need to eat like ancient gladiators by selecting foods that will slow down estrogen conversion. Now, we know the majority of men won't read a health book, so I wrote this for women to know how to care for their
man, so he will be around to be their companion.
Mary Shomon: When people are hypothyroid, doctors typically say they can expect only a 15 pound weight gain or so, but many people report gaining much more. Do you have any thoughts about how and why
Dr. Larrian Gillespie: Body fat is one way to try and produce estradiol, though it's not very efficient at doing that unless you gain a lot! So, when your thyroid is not functioning, you slow down metabolism even MORE. Now kick in lowering estradiol levels, and you've created a fattening stew of hormonal imbalances
that turns fat cells into gluttons. If we consider most women need 10 pounds of body fat to product 30 pg of estradiol, a weight gain of 25 pounds equals about 70-90 pg, which is where a woman's level is about 7 days after menstruation. So, it makes sense we gain around 25 pounds with thyroid/estrogen problems.
Mary Shomon: If you had to offer just a few "survival" tips for dieters during the holidays, what would they be?
Dr. Larrian Gillespie: First of all, we know that depriving yourself during a time of celebration only results in over indulgence, so here are my suggestions: Decide to eat something you consider "forbidden" in moderation and stop obsessing about food. I prefer to indulge in chocolate desserts and keep other foods in the moderate glycemic range. Choose protein dishes whenever possible, as this will help with your stomach's ability to empty properly. Get lots of sleep. When you don't sleep enough, you affect melatonin levels, which in turn bumps up your insulin levels, which stimulates fat storage. Don't forget exercise, even in 10 minutes segments, can help you burn fat. Finally, smile a lot. You've got more to celebrate every day that you're alive.
For more information about Larrian's terrific books, see: http://www.thyroid-info.com/larrianbooks.htm. In addition to "The Goddess Diet," "The Gladiator Diet," and "The Menopause Diet," you'll find the humorous, intelligent and useful cookbook "Menopause Diet Mini-Meal Cookbook," with 135 mini-meal recipes that allow you to deliciously put into practice principles Larrian has developed. You can also order Larrian's books easily via 800-number, 1-800-554-3335.
HAS SEPTEMBER 11th TERRORIZED YOUR EATING HABITS?
If you answer "yes," you're not alone. A survey by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) shows that about 20 percent of us have made unhealthy changes in the way we eat since the events of September 11th. Almost 20 percent of those surveyed said they were eating more "comfort foods" like mashed potatoes and gravy, fried chicken and macaroni and cheese. About 13 percent said they had been eating more rich, hearty foods like steak, stews and lasagna. Sugar cravings are also up, with 19 percent of us saying we are eating more sweet, sugary foods like desserts and ice cream.
Melanie Polk, RD, Director of Nutrition Education at AICR has said, "It appears that about 1/5 of us got an early start on holiday eating this year. And that's why we're advising people to become aware of what they're eating, and why they're eating it. If you realize that the reason you're eating has less to do with hunger and more to do with anxiety or sadness or boredom, it's easier to put on the brakes."
For more on this study, including a chart detailing additional findings of the AICR survey, visit www.aicr.org.
Note from Mary: I know that just a few days after the attacks, I headed out to a diner for to satisfy my craving for an open-faced turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes, and have definitely been looking for more starchy carbohydrates like macaroni and cheese in the last few months. But overindulgence in carbohydrates just makes you crave them all the more -- it's a vicious circle. Maybe we can all make a New Year's resolution to cut down drastically on the high-glycemic carbohydrates -- but can we make it after the holidays? ;-)
10 WAYS TO AVOID HOLIDAY WEIGHT GAIN
Ok, we shouldn't wait until after the holidays, or we may end up with as much as 10 extra pounds, which is what some experts estimate that some people gain during the season. I don't think that's what any of us have in mind when we think of spreading holiday cheer.
Most experts agree that losing weight during the holidays is not a realistic goal. You can, however, maintain your current weight. Here are some tips to help you keep the holiday pounds at bay:
1) Make time for exercise. Get to the mall early and power walk before you shop. Quality and intensity are key components to results-oriented exercise. If you're short on time, add sets to your weight lifting and shorten the rest period between each set to increase the intensity of your strength training sessions. Incorporate high-intensity interval training to burn more calories in the same amount of time during your cardiovascular sessions.
2) Pick ONE party during the holidays where you let yourself splurge. Don't do it at all of them. It's a long season.
3) Reduce stress. For many people stress can cause binge eating. Take a deep breath, take care of yourself, and, most important, enjoy the holiday season!
4) Drink lots of water. The cold of winter months - not to mention the effects of indoor heat -- are drying. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Often when you feel hungry, you're actually dehydrated. Drink a glass of water and wait half an hour to see if you really are hungry.
5) Plan ahead. If you know you're going to a party, eat lighter than usual during the day, but DO NOT skip meals. Skipping meals will make your blood sugar low and you will be very hungry when you arrive at the party - making you less likely to be in control of what you eat.
6) Call the hostess and ask if you can bring something. Offer to bring a veggie or fruit platter so you know there will be something light and healthy to eat.
7) Limit alcohol consumption. Drinking alcohol stimulates your appetite AND lowers your resistance to impulse. Try alternating alcoholic beverages with nonalcoholic ones -- water or club soda are great! -- or volunteer to be a designated driver. You won't hate yourself in the morning!
8) Don't deprive yourself. There are no forbidden foods. The key is portion control. Take small portions of your favorites so you don't feel deprived -- but don't go back for seconds!
9) Monitor yourself. Studies show that the most effective tool for weight loss is keeping records. Keep a journal of everything you eat and drink -- as well as your exercise -- and review this journal regularly.
10) Don't give in to guilt. Don't let a relapse make you abandon your new, healthier lifestyle. If you overdo it at a party, just start over and make your best effort to do better at the next party. Increase your exercise over the next few days to make yourself feel less guilty. Just don't give up!
Note from Mary: One thing I plan to do this holiday season is to forego sweets in favor of foods...I would much rather have some stuffing, than a piece of cake or cookies. Pick your favorite indulgence, and give up another indulgence that doesn't mean as much to you, and you'll minimize the holiday damage.
TEST OF METABOLISM ENHANCER BEGINS ON HUMANS
Everyone has at least one slender friend who can eat what she or he wants and never gain an ounce. Most of us would give our right thigh for a drug that would help us eat -- and look -- just like her or him. Well, good news! Scientists at Millennium Pharmaceuticals say they may have an obesity drug that works by changing metabolism.
Most obesity drugs work by taking away hunger and often have serious side effects. The new drug appears to alter metabolism and boost fat burning. Mice given the drug didn't gain much weight, even on high-fat diets, plus they maintained normal muscle mass and showed no obvious side effects.
The drug, known as MLN4760, is being tested on 50 volunteers. It's based on the discovery of a gene that controls the production of an enzyme that scientists believe tells the body to store fat. The drug inhibits the enzyme's action -- theoretically prompting the body to burn fat, not store it. In addition to testing the drug's safety, scientists are studying the genes of the volunteers to find out whether the gene is altered in people who are overweight or in people who are thin.
And more weight loss drugs are on the horizon. French company Genset SA is hoping to test Famoxin, an enzyme-based drug that appears to boost fat burning. Genetic studies have shown that the gene for the Famoxin enzyme was altered in 23 percent of obese people, compared with only 5 percent of the general population. Also, German company AG and CuraGen Corp., of New Haven, Conn., said they planned to spend as much as $1.34 billion over the next 15 years developing obesity drugs.
Note from Mary: While we're all hoping for a miracle drug, the reality is, in order to lose weight, even with weight loss drugs, we still need to cut back on how much we eat, and change the way we eat, how often (or infrequently), and the fat/carbohydrate/protein composition of what we eat -- not to mention, exercise.
FDA CAUTIONS AGAINST USE OF DIETARY SUPPLEMENT LIPOKINETIX
The dietary supplement LipoKinetix is under fire from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA is warning people not to use this supplement after receiving several reports of liver injury or liver failure in people who used the product for 2 weeks to 3 months. In all the cases, LipoKinetix was the only clear cause of the liver damage. The supplement is advertised as a weight-loss aid, and it contains norephedrine, caffeine, yohimbine, diiodothyronine, and sodium usniate. If you have used LipoKinetix, you should stop using it immediately and call a doctor if you develop nausea, weakness, fatigue, abdominal pain, or any change in skin color. To report an adverse reaction to this or any other product, call the FDA product problem hotline at 1-800-FDA-1088, or contact them through their Web site: http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/how.htm.
CAN AN ANTIDEPRESSANT HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT?
A drug used to treat depression and help people stop smoking seems effective for long-term weight loss, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center. In the study, women who took bupropion (brand name Wellbutrin) and followed a reduced-calorie diet lost significantly more weight than women on the same diet who were given a dummy pill or placebo. Even more promising is the fact that those effects were sustained for up to two years. Also, while weight loss can result in the loss of bone density -- increasing the risk for osteoporosis -- in this study, there was no change in bone density after 24 weeks of bupropion treatment. (Keep in mind, however, that in some people, bupropion can have negative effects as well, including reduced sex drive, abdominal pain, and other bothersome side effects. So talk to your physician about whether it's worth trying bupropion as part of your weight loss effort.)
IS XENADRINE SAFE?
You've seen the commercials for Xenadrine. Tantalizing promises of rapid weight loss using this "natural" supplement? They certainly got my attention numerous times! But a woman involved in a fiery fatal crash and the families of her victims are suing Cytodyne Technologies, the manufacturer of Xenadrine, claiming that the main ingredients in the capsules -- ephedra and caffeine -- can be a dangerous combination.
Xenadrine is just one of many weight-loss supplements advertised nationwide that contain ephedra, caffeine and other herbal ingredients. Since 1994, the Food and Drug Administration has received 1,400 complaints -- including 80 reported deaths -- from people who said they took ephedra-based products.
Dr. Carlon Colker, an expert on natural supplements, conducted a study funded by Xenadrine's manufacturer. He said the product is not a health risk for most people. However, another study, funded by the ephedra industry, raised serious safety questions. The study looked at 35 healthy people who took ephedra. Eight quit the study due to side effects that included heart palpitations, chest pains and high blood pressure.
FREE POCKET THYROID DIET GUIDE
To help you get started on the right track in your effort to lose weight, I've compiled the in-depth information so many people regularly ask for into a special "Thyroid Diet Success Guide." The "Thyroid Diet Success Guide" features information about why it's harder for thyroid patients to lose weight, insulin resistance, the role of the adrenal system, and lots of practical suggestions to help you finally enjoy weight loss success.
Just a few of the key features in the Guide include:
The "Thyroid Diet Success Guide" features a diet plan that you can follow, and specific information on exercises, and many other tips and resources. The Success Guide will help you get on the right track, with information that has actually helped other thyroid patients -- including me -- to effectively lose weight!
- Thyroid Weight Loss Success Story: How I've Lost 25 Pounds in 12 Weeks
- The Ultimate Thyroid Exercise Program
- How Much Weight Do You Really Need to Lose?
- Choosing the Right Weight Loss Program
- Popular Weight Loss Myths
SPECIAL OFFER: If you order by January 15th, you'll
receive the free Pocket Thyroid Diet Guide, with tips
and information you can carry with you to help in your
weight loss efforts. PLUS --The Thyroid Diet Success Guide is usually $15, but if you send in your order by January 15th, 2002 you can get a special 2001 Holiday Discounted Rate of $10.
To order, U.S. residents can send a check for $10 (which includes shipping and handling) to:
Mary Shomon's "Thyroid Diet Success Guide"
P.O. Box 565
Kensington, MD 20895-0565
Remember, mail your order by January 15th, 2002 to get the special discount rate of $10.
COMING IN THE NEXT ISSUE
In the next issue, just in time for New Year's resolutions, we'll be looking at some of the various online diet and weight loss support services you can sign up for, such as Ediets, and will start a multi-part series on the L.A. Weight Loss Program and whether it might be right for you.
Thanks again for subscribing to "A Weight Off My Mind." I'll look forward to hearing your feedback. May you have a happy holiday!
"A Weight Off My Mind" email edition is published regularly by Mary Shomon.
Please invite your friends to subscribe! Send them a copy with your recommendation. "A Weight Off My Mind" is copyright 2001-2002, by Mary Shomon.
Regular mail: Mary Shomon, P.O. Box 565, Kensington, MD 20895-0565. Fax: 425-977-1175
To unsubscribe, email firstname.lastname@example.org
To subscribe, email email@example.com
Weight Off My Mind Diet News Back Issues Index