Author Archives: William Anderson, LMHC

Can Your Smartphone Help You Lose Weight?

For many, no. Here’s why.

In the first week of my method’s training, clients keep track of the calories they consume. There is no diet, and not even an obligation to “be good”. They eat as they usually eat, but they keep an accounting of their caloric intake. And no guilt or shame is allowed! Just eat, and count.

These days, since the advent of apps like Myfitnesspal and Loseit, clients who love their smartphones ask if they can use their apps.

The answer is yes, but…

In 1985, when I first started teaching this life-changing method, all the logging and accounting was done by hand and recorded in a little pocket-sized ledger. The caloric values were obtained from reliable sources compiled by Registered Dieticians. This is a lot of work for a while, but it is worth it.

The end result is the ability to habitually eat in a way that is very satisfying and easy, eating what you like, and it also keeps the weight off. There is no need to record anything anywhere but in your mind. It’s a delightful way to live and has helped people to lose weight and keep it off for over 35 years.

The problem with using the apps is that this same result does not usually occur. Some have found the apps helpful during a time-limited diet to lose weight, but I’ve found that using an app for tracking calories can be a hindrance to creating long-term weight loss success.

Here’s why:

When we engage in the process of physically writing down what we eat, checking references for accurate numbers, and doing it over and over again, our brain undergoes an unconscious memorizing and reprogramming miracle. If we engage in the exercise as instructed, we reprogram our brain so that, given enough time spent in the training, we end up with habits and a new preferred way to live that makes us succeed by doing what we feel like doing. Our unconscious mind takes on the responsibility of keeping us fit with the behavior we’ve trained it to do. Eating in a way to maintain your preferred weight becomes the new normal, the way you feel like living, without the books or the apps or the feelings of deprivation and oppression.

What happens when we use a device?

When we use a device, outside of ourselves, to perform a function we would usually do with our own body and mind, our unconscious mind excuses us from performing that work, excuses us from the responsibility, and we become dependent on the device. Not only that, but we lose the ability ourselves!

Think of our dependence on calculators and iPhones. In the past, people used to know hundreds of phone numbers, easily associating a name with a number in a fraction of a second. Now, people don’t even remember the phone numbers of their family they call all the time.

At one time, people could make mathematical computations in their heads. Today, people cannot even make change without a machine. They can’t figure out what to give you back if you hand them a $50 bill for something that is marked $26.88. The machines were supposed to multiply our strengths, and in some ways, they have, but in some ways, they have weakened us.

It’s like using a machine to lift things, get in and out of chairs, get from one place to another miles away, or go to the 5th floor. When we make our body and mind perform, they rise to the occasion, build the muscle power or brainpower, and all those tasks become easy. When we rely on machines, the mind and body atrophy, and we lose the ability. We can’t calculate percentages, remember phone numbers, or keep track of what we are spending at the grocery store. We can’t take a few flights of stairs without being winded and stopping to catch our breath. We even forget we used to be able to do those things. People who have never done them, who never experienced life without those machines, don’t even know what they are capable of. They have no idea of what their mind and body can do, and often will not believe you when you tell them.

Do you know what you are capable of? Probably not.

Imagine succeeding in things you thought were impossible.

The goal of my approach is to create habits where we automatically eat the foods we like in the right amounts to reach and maintain our preferred weight. Instead of suffering diets and feelings of deprivation, we make it so when we eat in ways that make us feel good, we are eating in ways that keep us at the weight we want to be.

I discovered ways to make this happen with reprogramming techniques, some call it mind control, a repertoire of behaviors that create a result in our unconscious mind. The result is the ability to do something that we could not do with our conscious mind and will. The techniques and behaviors do not sound miraculous at all. They sound simple, perhaps even silly, unnecessary, and sometimes clients skip them. When they skip them, they miss getting the benefit they create.

The machines make everything easier, right? Why do all that work when a machine can do it? Why develop the ability to do mental calculations or remember phone numbers? The machines will do that, right? Why develop the strength and endurance to climb stairs? What good is that? Why keep a written log of calories eaten when a machine will do it? What good is that?

So, when clients make faces when I tell them to keep a written log, and they ask if they can use an app, I say “yes, but…” and I try to persuade them to write it down, by hand.

 

Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes Recipe, Only 331 Calories Per Serving!

Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Lindsey Lower

Here’s a great pasta recipe, found by a reader at http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/one-pot-pasta-spinach-tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can unsalted petite diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 8 ounces whole-grain spaghetti or linguine (such as Barilla)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 ounce fresh spinach
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)

How to Make It:

  • Step 1
  • Heat a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat.
  • Step 2
  • Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until onion starts to brown.
  • Step 3
  • Add tomatoes, stock, oregano, and pasta, in that order. Bring to a boil.
  • Step 4
  • Stir to submerge noodles in liquid.
  • ADVERTISING
  • Step 5
  • Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 7 minutes or until pasta is almost done.
  • Step 6
  • Uncover; stir in salt.
  • Step 7
  • Add spinach in batches, stirring until spinach wilts. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes.
  • Step 8
  • Sprinkle with cheese.
  • Step 9
  • Riff: Use fresh grape tomatoes instead, and add fresh herbs.
  • Step 10
  • Riff: Swap out spaghetti for any short pasta shape, such as elbow macaroni, rotini, or shells.
  • Step 11
  • Riff: Try adding chopped skinless, boneless chicken thighs, ground beef, or ground turkey for a heartier dish.

Makes 4 servings, 331 calories per serving.

Here’s What 1000 calories Per Day Can Be. Yum!

Have you been under the impression that it would be so little food that you’d starve? Think again. Here’s part of what I learned to lose 140 pounds permanently.

 .

Three great meals — total: under 1000 calories.

When you do the work to plan ahead (one of the Key Behaviors I teach) and learn the other technique I teach, you’ll find you can have plenty of scrumptious food that will fit your “caloric budget”. You’ll find that you can live well on 1000 calories per day and lose weight at a good pace. What’s more important, when you establish the habit patterns of eating the food you like in healthy caloric volumes, you’ll never have a weight problem again. I’ll lay out one day’s menu to give you an idea of how well you can live and lose weight at the same time.

Breakfast: Veggie and cheese omelette with buttered toast and coffee with real cream: 321calories.

This is an omelette I make at least once-a-week. With all the ingredients, even the buttered toast, it’s under 350 calories! That’s a lot less than a Denny’s Slam at over 1200! I’d have it more than once-a-week, but there are too many other good things I make!

I start with a small onion, sliced into rings, 1/4 of a green pepper, sliced, 1/4 of a red pepper, sliced, and a handful of quartered white mushrooms that I cook in a small covered saute pan with a tiny pat of butter, over a low-medium heat. You want the heat low enough so they don’t brown. They really steam in their own juices.

When the onions get limp and translucent, I add in 1/4 cup of egg substitute, like Eggbeaters, and let that continue to cook, covered over the low heat, while I toast the Publix low calorie bread.

I use a bit of Brummel and Brown spread on the toast, and then fold the omelette with 1/2 slice of Kraft fat-free cheddar inside. It’s terrific, and the whole thing is under 350 calories. I love my coffee in the morning, and I mix real half-and-half with fat-free to keep the rich flavor while trimming the calories, using Splenda to sweeten it, and the coffee is only about 30 calories a cup. This breakfast can’t be beat.

  • Onion = 30 c.
  • Pepper = 20 c.
  • Mushrooms = 20 c.
  • Butter = 20 c
  • Egg substitute = 70 c.
  • Cheese = 20 c.
  • Bread = 81 c.
  • Brummel and Brown spread = 20 c.
  • Coffee with cream = 30 c.

For lunch, Joey D’s Chicago Dog: 262 calories.

We are in the habit of lunch at Joey D’s once a week, and their Chicago Dog is a delight, and only 262 calories! They use a real Vienna Beef Hot Dog with a poppy seed bun and all the traditional trimmings: pickle spear, chopped onion, pickle relish, mustard, tomato slice and celery salt. I’ll usually have a Diet Coke with it. At 262 calories, it’s a fraction of what other typical sandwich-type lunches are in restaurants. In one of my other articles, I showed a burger and shake that was 2000 calories! The Chicago Dog seems like a lot, but its all the low calorie condiments that gives it the advantage over the high fat add-ons that others use.

  • Vienna Hot Dog = 120 c.
  • Poppy seed bun = 110 c.
  • Pickle spear = 3 c.
  • Tomato slice = 3 c.
  • Tbs chopped onion = 3 c.
  • Tbs sweet relish = 20 c.
  • tsp mustard = 3 c.

For dinner, grilled sirloin steak, fresh steamed asparagus and sour cream and chives mashed potatoes: 435 calories.

Many people think you have to give up beef to lose weight. Not true. In fact, one of the secrets of permanent weight loss is getting into the habit of eating everything you like in portions that will keep you at your desired weight for life. The meal above was just delicious, easy to fix, and came in at 435 calories. That brings the day to about 1000 calories, which will cause anyone to lose weight.

The steak is a 5 ounce sirloin. I buy a 2 pound sirloin when they go on sale and cut it into 4–5 ounce servings and freeze them in a gallon Ziplock bag. You can thaw one out when you want it, overnight in the fridge, on the counter for several hours or even in a small sealed Ziplock bag in some shallow room temperature water for 20 minutes or so. Grilling it is easy while the 5 ounces of asparagus is steaming for 9 minutes, and the 1/2 cup of Simply Potatoesmashed potatoes are in the microwave.

The buttery glaze you see on the asparagus is I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spray, really adds to the taste and palatability, and only 5 calories for 5 squirts

  • 5 ounce sirloin steak = 270 c.
  • 5 ounces asparagus = 40 c.
  • 1/2 cup mashed potatoes = 120 c.
  • 5 sprays, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter = 5 c.

Losing weight permanently can become easy!

Becoming successful at permanent weight loss takes work, but done right, it can become easy. It’s well worth it, believe me. I’ve maintained my ideal weight for thirty years now, after losing over 100 pounds, and it was the single most important thing that’s happened in my life. It changed everything for me, and it could for you. Read my book or listen to my audiobook to learn how.

Quit looking for easy, magical ways to solve your weight problem. As long as you do, you’ll avoid learning what you need to do to be successful, and you’ll stay overweight and unhappy like I was.

If you develop the right habits using behavioral techniques like I teach, it will eventually become easy, your new normal behavior, as natural and easy as the habits you have now, only they will keep you fit rather than making you fat. It’s not done with “will power” or just “making up your mind”. It’s done with the science of the mind.

Are There Any Weight Loss Products That Really Work?

(The author is a psychotherapist who lost 140 lbs. when he discovered his unique method, and he’s kept it off for over 30 years. Read about his method of fast permanent weight loss by clicking on the book cover to the right.)

YES! There are some great “weight loss products” that helped me lose 140 pounds permanently, and I’ll list them below.

1) I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spray

Veggies are low in calories and very filling, but without a topping, they can be bland and boring. Butter and fatty sauces can make them taste great, but are loaded with calories. This spray “butter” adds next to nothing! There is less than one calorie per squirt! Ten squirts are less than ten calories, and your veggies are covered with a tasty buttery glaze! It will make any vegetable better.

 2) Egg Beaters

If you’re not paying attention, breakfast can be the highest calorie meal of the day, especially if you eat out, often over 1000 calories. Eggs are a good choice for breakfast because they are high in protein and will suppress your appetite, but they have lots of cholesterol, and they’re 75 calories each. The eggs substitutes are half the calories and no cholesterol! So, you can have the equivalent of two scrambled eggs and a piece of diet toast for a little over 100 calories! Add a real egg to the mix to improve the texture, or make it a veggie omelet, and you are still very low in calories, and it will keep you fueled and satisfied all morning.

3) Walden Farms zero calorie salad dressings

Two tablespoons of their balsamic vinaigrette is less than five calories, so I can make a big salad with lettuce, spinach, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, and peppers for about fifty calories total. I can have that with a Michael Angelo lasagna, a 4oz. hamburger with bun or a lamb chop, and have a very decent low calorie meal. Walden Farms makes six different “zero calorie” dressings (they get to label a serving zero if it is less than 5 calories), though the one I like is the balsamic vinaigrette. Clients have liked the others and you might too!

4) Low calorie frozen dinners

“Fast food” has become the staple for families with both parents working. It saves time and trouble, but it’s making us obese. There is a good alternative you can stock your freezer with, ready to eat in 5 minutes – Frozen dinners. Today we have an array of very decent frozen dinners from Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice, Smart Ones, Kashi and others that appeal to the senses as well as the caloric budget. Many of these offerings are less than 300 calories and are great to have in the freezer when your plan to prepare the perfect fresh meal goes awry. They are also good to have at work for lunch.

5) Diet Soda Pop

I know diet soda has gotten a bad reputation, but it’s been a life saver for me. Water doesn’t appeal to me to have with lunch, and sugared soda and juices are loaded with calories. I know diet soda is not good nutrition, but I have seen no real science that backs up the scary stories saying it is so bad. My main health problem was obesity, and diet soda is one of the most important products that has helped me to achieve my ideal weight, excellent health and maintain them for over 30 years. I’d have died years ago if I hadn’t gotten rid of that surplus 140 pounds. I’m not afraid of diet soda. It’s helped save my life.

*   *   *   *   *

There are lots of other foods that you’ll discover that are great “weight loss products”. For instance, if you start looking up the calories in regular food, you’ll find that a good old-fashioned hot dog and bun with mustard, relish and onions is less than 300 calories! I often had one for lunch as I lost 140 lbs.! I’ve maintained my ideal weight for over 25 years now, and I still have hot dogs regularly!

Permanent weight loss is within everyone’s grasp, and my book will teach you what you need to do to succeed. There is work involved, but if you’ve gotten through high school, you’ve done a lot more and a lot harder work than you’ll need to do to solve your weight problem. If you really want to solve your weight problem and you’re willing to do some reasonable work, you are ready to succeed. Read my book or listen to my audiobook.

One Breakfast Here Will Make You Lose Weight. The Other Will Make You Fat. Which One Is For You?

 

(The author is a psychotherapist who lost 140 lbs. when he developed his unique method, and he’s kept it off for over 30 years. Read about it in his book at the right, or listen to his audiobook, free sample provided here.)

Pictured above is one of the breakfasts I had regularly while I lost 140 pounds. Its only 200 calories. It tastes great, made up of my favorite foods, keeps me going all morning, and at 1/8th of the breakfast pictured below, had me shedding pounds like crazy. Now, to maintain my loss, I eat more than the 200 calorie breakfast above, but still only a fraction of the American norm that is making people obese and sick.

meat lovers omlette

This above is Denny’s Meat Lovers’ Omelette at a whopping 1730 calories. That’s the kind of thing I used to pick that made me over 300 pounds. Think about that. 200 calories versus 1730. No wonder we have an obesity epidemic.

To lose weight, you need to learn how to eat what you like, not go on a diet.

For years I have resisted giving my clients food plans or telling them what to eat. Instead, I teach them how to succeed. I know how to help people be successful at weight loss, and its almost always contrary to what they think should be done. They think they need to follow some diet and exercise plan that some personal trainer or dietician will prescribe. Nope. They need to train in methods of behavioral science. I can guarantee that my client will lose weight if they follow me.

Clients who have trained in my method and people who have read my book know that the secret to success is learning how to eat what you like and learning the behavioral techniques that change the way you think and act habitually. Success does not come from diets and exercise plans that you know will come to an end when you want to live normally again.

To learn what I teach, read my book or listen to my audiobook, pictured at the upper right.