Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Weight Loss Success - Dan's Amazing 100 + Story

I had been slowly adding weight, in particular over the last decade, until my weight was North of 320. I'm not sure how much higher I got than that, but did hit 320, and I was miserable. I was tired, sick, sedentary, and realized I was sending myself to an early grave. I'd tried a few diets without success, and was contemplating gastric bypass surgery.

Then I saw my friend Mike Schiebel, who I'd not seen in 4 months, and he was down 35 pounds. He was slim, had abs, and I was astounded. Basically, I said, "Whatever you did, sign me up!" ...and that was TSFL. He explained the MediFast 5+1 plan and the coaching, and I decided to give it a try. I would commit myself to 30 days, and see if I saw a change, and would continue. I also made a deal with my wife -- if I dropped 100 pounds, I could get a Harley, since long-term super-obesity is more dangerous than riding a motorcycle. If I could no longer be obese, I could have a bike! 

After I dropped 28 pounds in 30 days, I was hooked. Over the next 6 months, I lost an average of 10.9 ounces per day, and achieved my first goal, dropping 100#, and then my second goal, 1-der land!

Losing weight is a learning experience.

I'm still working to get to maintenance, because I went to transition at 177 pounds and messed up, and quickly packed on 30 pounds (!!!!!) which I'm really bummed about. But, I know the plan works, and I'm back on the plan. Meanwhile, I have energy, and many people tell me I dropped 10 years when I dropped 100 pounds, and I believe them.  I feel much younger, like I did in my 30's. I'm much more active now, playing and wrestling with the kids, exercising and enjoying life.

And, yes, I got a 2008 105th Anniversary Edition Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe that I ride ALL the time. In fact, I only drove to work 4 times last year after getting my Harley. I may never hit 175, because I've started lifting weights, running and training to achieve the Ohio Peace Officer Academy entrance exam, a goal that was unattainable for me previously.

Read how dramatically Dan's 100 pound weight loss impacted his health!

Before the TSFL plan my life was sedentary and I had lots of health problems - sleep apnea, hypertension, pre-diabetic/hypoglycemia, high cholesterol. All that is now gone. Trigylcerides down from 660 to 61, cholesterol down from 240 to 113, blood glucose down from 239 to 81, HDL up from 21 to 49, blood pressure now steady at 114/62. Before, I had 14 of 15 biometrics in the danger zone, all are now normal. Susan Schiebel is my coach, and has been the key to my success, she's been awesome. She communicates with me however I need it - usually SMS text, email or Facebook, with a few face-to-face and phone call meetings. Now, I have a new zest for life. I feel that I was a decade from dropping dead. I feel I've gained 20-30 years.

Great job Dan!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

25 Pound Weight Loss Story!

Sheree's Skinny Burgers
Congratulations, Sheree!

25 pounds has left her body by following the Medifast meal plan. And she doesn't want them back! Sheree also met her weekly “new habit” goal by coming up with different ideas for her lean & green meals so she would not get bored. This involved going to the store and taking the time to really shop, read labels, ingredients and make healthy choices that were compliant.

During our coaching call tonight, Sheree and I began talking about different Medifast recipes she has found online and I learned she has already come up with some new, great recipes. She really enjoys cooking and has promised to write out each one, take a picture and send them to me to post. I’m really excited for everyone following this blog because they are GREAT!

Just to give you an idea….look at the picture she sent of compliant “skinny burgers” she recently made. I don’t know about you but they look uum good to me!

Once again, congratulations for completing this week’s exercise and the awesome weight loss in 6 weeks!

Stay tuned as we come up with a cool “chef” name for Sheree, and start posting her recipes.

Let us know your favorite Lean & Green recipes and also any involving the Medifast meals.
Your Diet Diva Blog

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Arline Makes Major Breakthrough in Behavior

Arline is a successful client of mine on the Medifast weight loss plan. She's lost over 50 lbs. We had a conversation the other day about the importance of continuing to keep in contact with your health coach through all 3 phases of the plan. She is now in maintenance and continuing to use the skills she learned during weight loss to keep her in those size 6 jeans!

Yeah, Arline!! You go girl!   Here's what happened and what she did.

"My husband was eating haystacks (which I of course really like) and I told him how good it smelled but that I was wearing my size six jeans and that felt better".

Like so many people, including myself, a person gets to the maintenance phase of their diet and things get a little bit scary. Your thoughts tend to turn to, "OK, I just lost all this weight AGAIN and can I really maintain it, long-term"?

From my perspective the answer is yes, as long as certain skill sets are in place. I tell every single client when they are thinking about starting their weight loss journey with me; they must make a commitment to the entire program or I cannot see long-term results happening for them.

It has everything to do with your thoughts about food. What is going on in your head just before you make a decision about food? If you are entertaining the same thoughts you had before you lost 80 lbs, that former thought process will not support good health or long term result.

It takes time to connect the "old" mind to the new body once you have lost weight. One critical step is to maintain your support system. You must continue to work on a new set of behavioral skills with someone. That person keeps you accountable until the new skill becomes permanent. New circumstances at your new weight will show up and working on the behavioral skills is more important than ever.

Your Diet Diva Blog

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Protein Lean-Shrinkage Chart

It can become confusing when you start a diet and want to be using the correct portion size for your protein servings each day.

When reading a recipe and it lists a 6 oz of portion of protein, most often this is cooked weight. It's important to understand the shrinkage that takes place in protein in order to make sure you are getting in the correct amount. Shrinkage happens as the protein is cooked and the juice is lost through the heating process.  You are very aware of this when you have been served an overcooked piece of meat that has lost all it's moisture.  It's dry and tough.

Not all protein shrinkage is the same.

Here's an example of two different types of protein :
  • When purchased, an uncooked 10 oz Tilapia fish fillet will shrink to approximately 7 oz when cooked because of the amount of moisture that will be cooked out..
  • When purchased, an uncooked 6.7 oz boneless beef sirloin will become approximately 5 oz of cooked weight because of the density.
Below is a protein shrinkage chart I think you will find useful.  If you find yourself ready to take control of your life and get started on a path to good me at 

Lean Shrinkage Chart
The teal color represents your "Leanest" cuts of meat
The yellow color represents your "Leaner" cuts of meat
The purple color represents your "Lean" cuts of meat
As Purchased
Cooked Amount
Fish - fillets and steaks
10 ounces
7 ounces
Fish - whole, dressed
1.625 pounds
7 ounces
Lobster, meat only
1.75 pounds
7 ounces
Shrimp - Raw, in shell
~ 13 ounces
7 ounces
Shrimp - Raw, peeled and cleaned
~ 11.2 ounces
7 ounces
Chicken – Breast, white meat
~ 9.1 ounces
6 ounces
Turkey - Breasts, whole, skinless
~ 10.5 ounces
6 ounces
Beef - Ground, 85% lean
6.25 ounces
5 ounces
Chicken - Thigh, dark meat
10 ounces
5 ounces
Lamb - Chops
~ 11 ounces
5 ounces
Lamb - Roast, leg, boneless
~ 8.2 ounces
5 ounces
Lamb - Roast, leg, with bone
~ 11.1 ounces
5 ounces
Pork - Chops, loin, with bone
 ~ 12.2 ounces
5 ounces
Roast - Chuck, pot roast, boneless
~ 7.14 ounces
5 ounces
Steak - Tenderloin, trimmed
~ 5.5 ounces
5 ounces
Steak - Sirloin, boneless
~ 6.7 ounces
5 ounces
Steak - Flank
~ 7.46 ounces
5 ounces
Steak - Ribeye
~ 6.85 ounces
5 ounces
Steak – Round, bottom, boneless
~ 7.14 ounces
5 ounces
Steak – Rump, boneless
~ 8 ounces
5 ounces
Turkey - Ground
~ 5.9 ounces
5 ounces

Monday, February 4, 2013

Do Cravings Ever Go Away?

Everybody has moments when they crave something sweet, spicy, salty, or crunchy. I have even had times when I crave foods higher in fat. The problem with cravings is that they hinder our diet plan and weight loss efforts.

Night time cravings can be the worst of all because you can have a day of sticking 100% to your plan and then the clock strikes 7 PM and you have an uncontrollable urge to eat pizza, chips or anything salty or sweet. Cravings can be triggered by hormones fluctuating or emotions. Experience with my own behaviors and those of clients have taught me that many times it is a habit and habits can be changed, even emotional habits.

Cravings go away one of two ways: either when you decide to definitely give in to it, OR when you decide definitely not to give in to it. At worst, a craving might last 15 minutes, but it will go away MUCH more quickly if you distract yourself.

For me, when I’m craving a food there is a sense of anxiety attached to it (will I give in? will I go for the food?). The moment I decide one way or the other, the craving starts to diminish and I need to tell myself that.

If you decide to give in to the craving, it starts to go away even before you put food in your mouth because the anxiety related to having to made the decision goes away.

Many times snacking is due to feelings of sadness or a generally unpleasant mood. Something may have come up at work that you felt was unfair and when you get home you grab something sweet to soothe the stress you are feeling. Did those few bites of food help your situation at work? NO!

3 Essential Steps To Take When You Have A Craving: 

1. Label it. Tell yourself. "This is just a craving, it doesn't mean I have to give in. Just because I want to eat this right now doesn't mean I should. This feeling will pass".

2. Firmly make the decision to NOT give in. You made a plan, now stick to it.

3. Distract yourself. The moment your attention is on something else is the moment the craving will start to go away. CRAVINGS ALWAYS GO AWAY!

       Things to try to distract yourself:

  • Look up a healthy recipe 
  • Check emails 
  • Do a home improvement project 
  • Take a bath or shower 
  • Polish your nails/toes 
  • Find an online support 
  • Search the internet for interesting vacation spots  
  • Take a walk 
  • Check out ebay for some great bargains 
  • Call a friend 
  • Read to your children 
  • Drink a low-calorie beverage 
  • Play a game on your phone 
  • Plan your next 3 days meals
  • Organize your office
Every single time you have a craving you have the opportunity to strengthen your resistance muscle. Like lifting weights, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

If you would like the support of a health coach during your weight loss plan, contact me. I’m only an email away.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Passion Slaw

Photo by Laura Werneck
This sensational recipe comes from Hawaii’s culinary ambassador, Sam Choy, who is known for his fresh island cooking. My daughter invited us over for dinner and made this delicious salad recipe created by Sam Choy. The aromas were simply amazing.

I wanted to share this with everyone, especially my gluten-free friends since you can use the wheat-free/gluten-free tamari to replace the soy sauce. Add grilled chicken and you have a perfect combination for a great dinner.

Servings: 4 


12 passion fruit
1/4 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. olive oil
2 TBSP. honey
3 TBSP. "raw" sugar
2 TBSP. sesame oil


1 c. julienned fennel
1 1/2 c. fresh baby spinach
1/2 c. julienned carrots
1/2 c. sliced red cabbage
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 c. bean sprouts
8 mint leaves, chopped
8 shiso leaves, chopped

Cut passion fruit in half and scoop pulp into a sieve over a bowl. Gently crush the pulp to get the juice; discard the seeds.
Add remaining dressing ingredients and whisk together. Cover and chill for about an hour.
In large bowl toss the vegetables together. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss until well combined. Serve alongside grilled fish.

My daughter recommends starting out with only ¼ of the dressing. You can add more as needed but really good without using as much. The dressing recipe makes a lot!

If you are ready to take the next step and lose weight, contact me today and tell me about your health goals.