Monthly Archives: November 2015

Logistics Of Losing Weight

Bar Harbor Penobscot Trail

A good health coach will help you find the “cairns” to lasting weight loss

Everyone has a different pattern and flow of filling their stomachs.  There are many aspects that go into the act of eating, and understanding these individualized aspects are essential for unraveling the dynamics of losing weight.  I call it the “logistics of losing weight”.

By definition logistics is the management of flow of things between the point of origin and the point of consumption in order to meet requirements of customers and corporations.  I take the liberty of substituting certain words of this term to get to my logistics of losing weight.

My definition of “logistics of losing weight” is the management of flow of things between an individual’s original weight to future goal weight in order to meet requirements of their physical and emotional well-being.  The more the client understands the flow of things, like eating patterns and variables impacting food choices, the more success the client will have at losing weight and keeping it off.

Factors In the Logistics of Losing Weight

There are many factors that impact the “logistics of losing weight” but they can be lumped into two categories:  the nutritive and emotional value of eating.  Losing weight is not just about eating less.  It’s a tug-of-war between fueling the body and satisfying the mouth in order to successfully keep the weight off.  And through it all, it means wanting it badly enough to forego immediate temptation in order to have long-term payback.

Nutritive Value of Eating

Nutritive value is the umbrella term for knowing how to plan, shop and prepare a healthy meal.  It means understanding the relationship between carbs, protein and fat and why they are each important.  It means knowing how to make substitutions that will still please your mouth, yet not compromise the end goal of weight loss.  It’s about finding the right foods that will keep you full.  It’s about knowing why eating whole, real food with simple ingredients is better than eating calorie free foods with lots of chemicals.  It’s about the journey in learning all these things over time, not overnight.

Emotional Value of Eating

Emotions play a big role in food choices.  Eating is a way people connect with one another and it often comes with expectations.  Addressing the emotional components of eating is essential for lasting weight loss.  This means being open to new recipes, putting time into planning and preparing meals and finding coping strategies to deal with temptation.   It also means exploring feelings of hunger and understanding what is real hunger, and what is mouth hunger and what is behind each type of hunger at different times.  It’s about continuously observing actions and patterns in order to gain “will-power” so you will get through temptation.  It also means becoming self-aware without judgement because this process is a journey and no one gets it right immediately.

A Good Health Coach

There is nothing like a good health coach to help you lose weight.  An impartial, supportive and knowledgeable coach will get you to your goal.  A good health coach will address both the nutritional and emotional components of eating by navigating you through your logistics of losing weight and keeping it off.

Barbara does personal health coaching in person or through Skype and can be reached at  Like her Facebook page at


Pumpkin Cheesecake Makeover

low-fat pumpkin cheesecake

Low-fat Pumpkin Cheesecake

It’s that time of year again when the average American gains between 7 and 10 pounds over the holidays.  And most people do not lose that with their New Year’s resolutions, they just continue to add to it each year.

Eating over the holidays can be approached several different ways if you really want to enjoy it without gaining the weight.  You can either use your favorite recipes being mindful of portions and “banking” your calories by eating lighter and fewer high calorie foods earlier in the day.  Or you can eat that dessert you wouldn’t normally eat and walk off those 400 calories which would take an hour at a 4 mph clip (Here is a great calculator on calories burned).  Or you can do a little of both by modifying a recipe to lower the calories and go for a shorter walk to burn off the fewer calories.

It’s Not Just About Calories

There is a science to food.  I’ve seen people not lose weight eating only 800 calories a day.  I’ve seen people reduce their calories from fat to a very unhealthy level and still not lose weight. The truth is, it’s really a matter of getting the right combination of carbs, proteins and fats.  And there also seems to be a genetic component to weight loss some having more success with a  low carb diet, and others on  a low-fat diet.  The Diabetes Prevention Program by the CDC focuses on total daily fat grams as you can see on page 28.

Physiologically we do know that rapidly rising blood sugars from eating large portions of carbs stimulates extra insulin production.  The presence of this extra insulin causes our bodies to store the extra calories as fat.  Insulin is a fat storage hormone.  Furthermore, there is a link between having high blood insulin levels and cancer.

So eating in a way that slows down and avoids high blood sugars is a great goal, along with keeping calories under control by not eating large amounts of fats.  Fats per gram, have more than twice the amount of calories than protein and carbs.  But what if you can have your delicious dessert, made in a healthier way lowering carbs and calories and adding protein and fiber, and NOT compromise taste!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Makeover

I made a healthier version of your typical 3 packages of “regular cream cheese cheesecake” and had our good friends with a discerning palate and belief in traditional recipes, taste it.  They were surprised at how good this tasted and how creamy the cheesecake turned out.  The key to my recipe is adding 3 tbsp of whole wheat flour to soak up the extra moisture from the  substitutions and stabilize the consistency.  You will be surprised at the calories saved by using my recipe, especially the dramatic decrease in saturated fat from 14 gms – which is more than the daily limit the American Heart Association recommends for a 2000 calorie diet – down to 5 gms.

Healthy Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe Makeover

Below are the ingredients for each of the pumpkin cheesecakes, the traditional recipe first and then my recipe.

Traditional Pumpkin Cheesecake Ingredients:

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 3 packages cream cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp each of nutmeg and ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 2 tbsp vanilla
  • 15 oz canned pumpkin

This is made in a 10″ spring-form pan and makes 12 servings with each serving containing:  395 calories, 27 gms of total fat, 14 gms saturated fat, 33 gms carbs, 1.4 gms fiber and 7 gms of protein.

My Pumpkin Cheesecake Ingredients:

  • 2 cups bran flakes
  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese
  • 8 oz  2% fat cottage cheese
  • 8 oz plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp each of nutmeg and ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 2 tbsp vanilla
  • 15 oz canned pumpkin

My version, made also in a spring-form pan, serves 12, but each serving has:  261 calories, 9 gms total fat with only 5 gms saturated fat, 31 gms of carbs, 3 gms of fiber and 10 gms of protein.

Because the “cheese” part in my recipe is either low-fat or fat-free, the total grams of fat is greatly reduced which accounts for the 130 fewer calories in my cheesecake.  Now that’s a makeover!  Click here for the full recipe.

Recipe Makeovers Means Being Open-Minded

It can be a little overwhelming re-examining grandma’s recipe for fear she might turnover in her grave.   Being willing to adjust recipes, especially if there is little change in taste and only slightly in texture, is really about not joining grandma just yet.  There are even recipe analyzer tools out there where you can see how your modifications improve a favorite recipe.  Being open to adjusting recipes or even creating your own gives amazing payback – called staying healthy to see your grand-kids grow up.