A Dieter's Silver Bullet

Let's get real.  There is no silver bullet.  If your intentions are to crash diet, fast, drink some concoction that will melt off the weight, you're in for disappointment in the long run.  Years ago, I subscribed to a great diet newsletter, Toot's Diet Tips (or some name to that effect).  The one thing Toots emphasized on every email was that your everyday habits dictate your weight.  Pure and simple, yes, you are what you eat.  And if you pack away half a dozen cookies, a pint of ice cream along with 3 full means, yeah, you could end up with giant saddle bags as I did.  Unless you are one of the 3% of all human beings with screamingly high metabolisms.  Then, I envy you.

For the rest of us, eating 3,600 calories a day will translate into a pound of fat, beyond the regular metabolic demands our bodies (which vary from person to person).  Funny thing, I was flipping through a restaurant application on my iPad this morning, and was astounded at the calorie counts at some of my favorite stops.  Boston Market, being one of those, has really high calorie counts on some of what I thought were relatively good choice.  OK, well, maybe I got what I deserved with the sweet potatoes in brown sugar and marshmallows at nearly 450 calories per serving.  But thinking of what that one side dish potentially translated to when coupled with a meal.  I could easily reach nearly three quarters of what would translate into that pound in one meal.  When I started counting up the calories, my head was reeling.  It's no wonder I packed on the pounds so quickly.  But I was bewildered when I got on the scale.  WTF?  Where was it coming from?   Wasn't I making good choices?  

It occurred to me while chatting with a co-worker recently, that it's sometimes difficult to see weight gain.  She lost 10 pounds recently, and showed me pictures of herself roughly a month ago and you could see the difference in her appearance.  Granted, she was conscious of what she was eating, and adding a good morning walk into every day.  But, is it true?  Can a picture really reveal the truth?  Take a look at the before and after pictures on my blog and you'll see what I mean.  For the life of me, when I carried those 30 extra pounds, I would look in the mirror and not see what was vividly evident to everyone else.  For me, it was denial.  I was always the petite girl in school, how could I look like a beached whale? 

When my son was 5 years old, he asked me if I was having another baby.  Huh?  I was 3 years post partem with my daughter ... I looked pregnant?  And then I turned to the coverage in our family albums and home videos.  I took a hard look at myself and realized what complete denial my ego had put me into.  Regrettably, I could then see why he thought I was pregnant.

If you want to lose weight, here are some of my most coveted suggestions:

  1. Think of it as a journey, not a destination.  Weight loss is best achieved while striving to live a healthier lifestyle.
  2. Stick to the basics.  The food pyrmaid is based on good common sense, use it as a guideline and you'll find yourself making better choices.
  3. Drink water 'till you sprout gills.  OK, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit, but drink twice as much water as you think you need.  Water helps your body function better, and helps to wash out impurities in your body.
  4. You are what you eat.  Argh, this is an annoying cliche, but true.  How you eat on a daily basis will determine how your body metabolizes food.  And put genuine thought into your portion size.
  5. Balance the input with output.  Find ways to incorporate activity into your daily life.  Don't get caught up in thinking you need to block out an hour of time.  Do some crunches or lunges while watching your favorite TV show.  Take the stairs.  Walk where you can.  It all adds up.

Diet pills, food plans, so many of these options out in the marketplace are short term solutions.  I'm not suggesting they don't work.  Many folks have experienced successful weight loss.  But, there are lots of folks out there who have regained the weight later.  Make a commitment to yourself for a healthier life, and you'll find the road to weight loss and feeling better will naturally follow.

~ Lisa

The Top Best Diet Plans

Opportunities2 There are so many diet plans out there. How do you tell them apart? Some may be controversial, some may take longer and have lesser results. Thankfully Findthebest.com has developed a great Diet Plan comparison chart that takes into account all sorts of diet plan attributes.


Here are the top 10 best diet plans according to FIndTheBest.com. Check out all available plans with their very useful and easy to use Diet Plan Comparison Chart:

Compare    Diet NameAdvertised Weight Loss (total)
Advertised amount of weight creators claim you could lose on this diet plan.
Advertised Length of Time
The amount of time the creators claim it will take to lose the advertised amount of weight if following diet plan.
Advertised Weight Loss (lbs per week)  Acceptance
How is the diet plan received in the health community? Most diet plans in our database are generally accepted, but be wary of diet plans that are controversial or have little to no scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of the plan.
7 Day Diet 11lbs 7 days 11.00 lbs/week No scientific evidence to support effectiveness of diet plan
Cabbage Soup Diet 10lbs 7 day 10.00 lbs/week Controversial
UltraSimple Diet 10lbs 7 days 10.00 lbs/week Generally accepted
The Scarsdale Diet 20lbs 14 days 10.00 lbs/week Some scientific evidence supporting effectiveness of diet plan
Jump Start Juicer System 10lbs One week 10.00 lbs/week Generally accepted, Some scientific evidence supporting effectiveness of diet plan
3 Apple a Day Diet 4lbs 3 days 9.30 lbs/week Some scientific evidence supporting effectiveness of diet plan
Weight Loss Cure 30lbs 30 days 7.50 lbs/week Controversial
Weight Loss Grail 28lbs 28 days 7.00 lbs/week Generally accepted
New York Diet 14lbs 2 weeks 7.00 lbs/week No scientific evidence to support effectiveness of diet plan
Martha's Vineyard Detox Diet 21lbs 21 days 7.00 lbs/week No scientific evidence to support effectiveness of diet plan

Feeding Frenzy

Generally, I consider myself a relatively calm, level-headed person.  Well, maybe I do have the occasional rant, or rave, I'm no different than anyone else out there, right?  So how is it that during times of emotional duress, I can eat like the world is about to explode?  Emotional eating is my Achilles heel.  It springs from something deep inside me, I'd venture to even say it's a subconscious tendency.  Even worse, it manifests itself like a physiological reaction - I can feel my hand reach across my desk seeking the nearest sugar fortified food to stuff in my face.  I don't think I even taste what I eat at times like this.  It's as though I become the black hole of eating - and I can't understand how someone with such resolve and determination can repeat this pattern, but I do.  I think it comes down to one thing...

I'm only human.

Well, that and the fact that I'm currently living through one of the most stressful periods of the human experience after death of a loved one, divorce.  There, I said it, the "D" word.  Yes dear blog readers, as this post goes up on Wednesday morning, I'll be standing in the Bergen County Superior Court, divesting myself from a man I've associated myself with for nearly 20 years.  For those survivors of divorce out there, you have a pretty good inclination of how stressful this can be.  And for an emotional eater like myself, this is like rocket fuel.  I've had to all but chain off the kitchen cabinets with my kid's snacks and goodies.  

When faced with emotionally trying times in life, whether it's family, work or relationships, many of us reach for food.  It's something that was conditioned in me from a very young age.  Have some kielbasa and cheese ... a few cookies will make you feel better ... a scoop of ice cream?  It always came back to food as a means of comfort, when it probably should have been some tea and sympathy instead.

Here are a few tactics I've picked up here and there to deal with emotional eating.  It's all common sense stuff, but they're good reminders to keep top of mind...

  1. Learn the difference between physical and emotional hunger, which is the difference between eating to fill a physical need and eating emotionally.
  2. Eat slowly and listen to your body for clues that you're physically satisfied.
  3. Don't eat mindlessly in front of the TV.
  4. Don't deprive yourself of foods you love – just don't overdo it.
  5. Don't eat in bed or on the sofa. Eat at the kitchen table. Stop emotional eating by eating in the same place all the time.
  6. Treat your body with respect: nourish it, move it around, listen to it, and pamper it. Tune in to your body to stop emotional eating.
  7. Look for connections between the events in your day and your cravings for food. Identify the triggers that push you over the line and make you want to eat mindlessly (eg, fights with your partner or child).
  8. Deal with your triggers. If you can't cut them from your life entirely, find better ways to cope with your feelings. Eating mindlessly makes things worse.

Controlling emotional easy is not an easy proposition.  If it were, than why do so many of us struggle with it?  It defies reason so far as I'm concerned.  So many of us are educated, rational people - emotional eating is like temporary insanity.  Take it one day at a time, and learn to be more forgiving of yourself.  Remember, each day is a new opportunity.  After all, we're only human, right?


Laugh it Off!

A funny thing happened on the way into work yesterday - feel the punchline coming on yet?  Most mornings on my way into work I'm plugged into my iPod, indulging in the luxury of my own personal thoughts before heading into the office and turning my brain over for the day.  As I stood up to allow a passenger into the open seat next to me (I've a preference for aisle seats - quick escape!), another standing by mouthed something to me, so I pulled out my earplugs to hear.  The smiling passenger asked me "What do you call a mountain goat that can build?"  With a leery look on my face, I shrugged and he said "A Yak of all trades!"  How could I not reward this silly soul with a bubbling laugh in response, apparently the look on my face yesterday cried out for a good yuck!  

 While the jury is still out on the potential benefits of laughter on our health, there's one thing for certain, it does make you feel good.  The physiological affects of laughter are pretty clear - muscles throughout our face and body stretch, pulse and blood pressure increases, and we breathe faster, sending more oxygen through our body tissue.  Some health advocates will even claim that laughing can be comparable to a mild work out and could possibly offer similar advantages.  A small study conducted by Vanderbilt University discovered that 10-15 minutes of good hearty laughter, resulted in a burn of 50 calories.  Anyone out there know any good jokes we could swap for the next 15 minutes?!

Laughter may be the best medicine, according to some proponents, but don't plan to ditch your exercise regimen yet.  The correlations between laughter and fitness/well being are still under study.  There are some interesting effects on our bodies from laughter according to various studies ...

  1. Immune Response - Stress tends to depress the efficiency of our immune systems, and some studies have shown that humor may raise the level of infection-fighting antibodies in the body and boost the levels of immune cells, as well. 
  2. Blood Flow - Humor stimulates blow flow.  A study conducted at the University of Marilyn showed that blood vessels expanded and contracted more easily after subjects had watched comedies.
  3. Blood Sugar Levels - Laughter can help to serve to reduce the levels of sugar in our bloodstream.
  4. A Better Night's Sleep - Some patients with pain management problems were able to sleep with more ease after watching comedy movies like the Marx Brothers.

Whether it's to put a glow in your cheeks from the improvement in circulation, increasing your count of infection fighting T-Cells, or de-stressing with your buddies, laughter does a body good.  Make sure you get your daily dose of laughter to stay healthy! 

How Many Calories?

Here's some food for thought!  Have you ever come across a really great deal at a retail or online store  where if you hadn't done a little research ahead of time, you would have paid full price?  Well, today, I've done some homework, and uncovered that hot tip that will save you time and effort!  And the best part is that it doesn't come in a bottle or can, and you don't have to lay out any cash - bonus, right?  

So many people have asked me about what I eat, how many calories, etc. did it take to get me to where I am today.  Let me clear the air on this right now - your caloric needs are different from mine, the woman sitting across from you in the doctor's office, your mother, get the picture?  Not only do our bodies metabolize differently, but the amount of calories you need depends on your age, height, weight and activity levels.  If you pick up any nutrition label in your kitchen, you'll discover that all those lines of nutritional value, are for an average daily diet of 2,000 calories.  Someone with a height of  5'2" & 109 lbs like myself is going to go through those calories in a much different manner than another person who may be 5'9" and weighs in at 140 lbs.  Here's my suggestion for today - get thee to a calorie calculator!

Ahealthyme.com has a really quick & easy Calorie Needs Calculator to help you figure out just how many calories you need.  It factors in age, gender, height as well as activity levels.  Once you've punched in your information, not only will you find out how many calories you need for someone like yourself, it also makes some suggestions on how to cut back if your choice is to lose weight.  

OK, I'll be the guinea pig, let's try this using my info!  I'm a 41 year old 5'2 woman who is currently 109 lbs, and I fall into the heavy activity category - I exercise for at least 20-30 minutes daily, with heavier work outs 2-3 times per week.  Here were my recommendations ...

  1. 2,110 calories daily to maintain my current weight
  2. Of this, 2,110, 1,110 calories are required to meet my body's basic energy needs
  3. To lose about one pound per week, I need to cut back to 1,610 calories per day
  4. And I loved the extra suggestions like how to ditch the 500 calories. "A half-cup serving of Ben & Jerry's ice cream packs a whopping 230 to 370 fatty calories, depending on the flavor (vanilla is at the low end, peanut-butter cup at the top). If you pick nonfat frozen yogurt instead, you'll get only 120 to 140 sugary calories. Leaving that ounce of cheese off your sandwich will trim 100 to 115 calories, and you can cut out 100 sneaky calories by flavoring your potatoes and other vegetables with spices instead of a tablespoon of butter."  The visualization really helps me to visualize what I'm doing - it rocks!

This calculator was extremely easy and quick to use.  Knowledge is power in my opinion, and knowing not only how many calories are currently keeping you where you are is enormously helpful, but knowing where to cut back with examples is golden!


Maybe it's Not Just You...

Many of us get frustrated when it comes to losing weight and getting fit.  While I've drummed on repeatedly about seeking a doctor's advice before beginning a fitness regimen, I thought I'd share my experience in a bit more detail to show you why this is so important.  Let's go back into my dark and murky past  for a moment ...

Back in May of 2004 there I sat in my gynecologist's office utterly frustrated to the point of tears.  "What is wrong with me?" I lamented.  "I swear, I could drink just water and breathe, and not be able to drop an ounce - what is my problem?"  At a time when I should have been reveling in all the blessings of my new found motherhood, a gorgeous, bright 7 month old boy to proudly showed off to the world, and there I was in utter despair.  It was a point in my life when things were swirling out of control with my health, something I had not put much thought behind previously, other than the annual check-up with my gynecologist I needed to endure to renew my birth control prescription.  "Let's run some tests to see if your thyroid has anything to do with what's going on," suggested my doctor.  And hence my thyroid saga began.  After a few simple blood tests, we learned that my thyroid levels were problematic, and off I went to meet with an endocrinologist to explore the situation in more depth. 

Within about a month, we discovered the root of my problem, a tumor in my thyroid that was half the size of the organ itself.  If you pressed against the hollow of my throat, you could feel it poking out there - "here I am, the cause of your woes in brilliant technicolor!  By July of 2003, I was stretched out on an examining table in Hackensack Medical Center, getting biopsied for the tumor.  To me, having someone stick needles in my neck without any anesthesia was fodder for some of my worst nightmares.  And to add insult to injury, the results were inconclusive - the tumor could not be determined to be either malignant or benign.  Next stop, a brilliant ENT surgeon in NYC that specialized in just my type of problem.  Due to my plans to give birth to another gorgeous child, I was told the tumor had to come out, or I would put both myself and the unborn child at risk.  "From a thyroid tumor?" I asked.  Apparently, the hormones a woman produces during a pregnancy stimulate not only the growth of a child, but that nasty clump of tissue taking residence on my thyroid.  There was a good chance the tumor would grow and cause internal bleeding, and the last thing I wanted to endure for myself or an unborn child was surgery.  Great, chalk up another surgery for Lisa, something to look forward to.

Within 2 weeks following my appointment with the ENT, I was scheduled for surgery, and all I can recall is my brilliant, yet grumpy surgeon holding my hand before going into the operating room, telling me gently to not worry, I was in good hands.  He was right.

Fast forward a few weeks, the tumor was evaluated by two different hospital labs, and the results confirmed.  One of the greatest moments in my life was when the examining room door swung open, and my ENT surgeon walked in, looked at my obviously panicked face and said "Stop worrying, you're fine.  It's benign."  I think I almost passed out from relief at that moment.  

Within three months I was pregnant with my beautiful daughter, Sabrina.  The pregnancy moved along without incidence.  My endocrinologist is an essential part of my annual health maintenance now, and after some trial and error, we got my dose of synthroid to the point that is optimal for my body.

While it took me another 3 1/2 years after Sabrina was born to really take an active hand in my situation with my weight and fitness levels, I had cleared out what had been a frustrating obstacle to achieving my goals.  The moral of the story?  Maybe it's not just you, maybe there's an underlying medical condition that could be thwarting your efforts.  Moving into a healthier lifestyle isn't just about eating and exercising, it's about taking an active role in your well being overall.  That means taking on the role of health advocate for yourself, a decision that only pays off throughout the course of your life.  

Think your thyroid could be standing between you and a healthier lifestyle?  Check out WebMD's article Fatigue or Full Throttle:  Is Your Thyroid to Blame?  I was diagnosed as hypothyroid by my endocrinologist, which can be identified by the following symptoms:

  • Tired, weak, and/or depressed 
  • Dry skin and brittle nails
  • Difficulty standing cold temperatures
  • Constipation
  • Memory problems or trouble thinking clearly
  • Heavy or irregular menstrual periods

Fat Tuesday (...and Wednesday, and Thursday ...)

I have a friend who always gets a charge out of "Fat Tuesday."  It's hard for me to not laugh when I think about the concept of this holiday - it's basically the height of indulgence before the Lenten season kicks off on Ash Wednesday.  For those of us looking for excuses to indulge, this holiday was custom made to order!  

Losing weight has been a "sobering" experience for me, so this is an appropriate time to reflect on my efforts and goals.  The thrill of new year's resolutions has lost its lustre by now for many of us, and in my experience, this is about the time my enthusiasm deflates, or what was left of my efforts is rapidly dwindling.  That's why it was so important to tie my weight loss into a higher aspiration - not a quick fix of losing a few pounds, but to strive to achieve a healthier lifestyle.  Which is why I've pulled together some more tactics to aid in the weight loss battle.

Take your time - see if you can time your meals to take 20 minutes to finish.  Enjoy the aroma, taste and texture of what you're eating.  Slowing down gives your body time to register that it's full.  You'll be surprised how much less it takes to feel full from this practice.

Be more discriminating - Reserve your calories for only your most favourite indulgent treats.  Think of it this way, if you're going to risk calories then hold out for the best.  And don't fall into the trap I did, everything became a special occasion.  If it helps, keep a running list of all your "indulgences" then look it over when temptation strikes - can you afford the calories?

Get your beauty sleep - According to a University of Michigan study, getting one extra hour of sleep nightly could potentially help you to shed 14 lbs in a year by serving to replace indulgent eating behaviors.  Sleep on that one!

Keep the prize in sight - your skinny clothes!  This is an exercise in visualizing your goals - a reminder of the cute clothes you're shooting to wear can help you to stay on track.  Now's the time to do it, while it may be bitterly cold out now, swimsuit season will be here before you know it.

Eat Fruit Before Every Meal - This is one I love to use!  Eating fruit before a meal could prevent you from over eating.  According to a study from the Penn State University, people who ate apples 15 minutes before lunch ate about 187 fewer calories.  This is a trick that's always proven effective for me, I'll grab an apple, or a small low-cal yogurt before lunch and I inevitably find myself full before I can finish my meal.

Becoming healthier is work, I won't hedge on that one.  Every day I think about what I'm eating, my portion sizes, processed versus natural foods, fitness and activity, I can go on and on.  But it's all worth the effort when I put on my slinky black dress with the spaghetti string straps, and looking in the mirror, amazed at the transformation.  If you're unhappy with your weight and how you look, make a commitment to yourself to change.  Aren't you worth sticking to that promise? 

Day ? - Getting Back on Track

For those of you following my weak attempt at a Bridget Jones documentation of my own weight loss, you're probably wondering, what the _?  I think my small experiment was a good example of what happens to tmany of us.  Life gets in the way.  Now, don't get me wrong, the experiment wasn't a total disaster.  It did one important thing for me, it forced me to think about everything I was eating.  When I kicked off the effort at the beginning of the year, my plan was to lose 6 pounds in the span of 2 weeks.  Any takers out there as to why I didn't achieve my goal?  Anyone?  Anyone?  Very simple, too ambitious a goal in too short a span of time.  Who was I kidding after all?  What a hypocrite I felt like, hammering in on dropping 500 cal a day for a net weekly loss of 1 pound per week.  I was lucky to get myself down to 109 lbs before my trip. 

Today?  Stepping on the scale this morning, I'm down to 107 lbs.  This is a more "normal" weight for me.  I went up to the CDC's website this morning to check my body mass index - BMI.  BMI provides an indicator of body fatness for most people and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems. My BMI?  19.6 which puts me in the normal range for someone within my height/weight class.  Want to give it a whirl?  BMI Calculator

The CDC also offers some great answers to commonly asked questions on weight loss that I thought were worth passing along ...

Q: If I eat late at night, will these calories automatically turn into body fat?
A: The time of day isn't what affects how your body uses calories. It's the overall number of calories you eat and the calories you burn over the course of 24 hours that affects your weight.

Q: I've heard it is more important to worry about carbohydrates than calories. Is this true?
A: By focusing only on carbohydrates, you can still eat too many calories. Also, if you drastically reduce the variety of foods in your diet, you could end up sacrificing vital nutrients and not be able to sustain the diet over time.

Q: Does it matter how many calories I eat as long as I'm maintaining an active lifestyle?
A: While physical activity is a vital part of weight control, so is controlling the number of calories you eat. If you consume more calories than you use through normal daily activities and physical activity, you will still gain weight.

Here's a tip of my own for you, it's a little visual exercise you can use as you go through your day.  Imagine a scale where you balance your food on two arms.  On the first arm, I want you to think about how many fruit & vegetables you've eaten today.  On the other side, think about all the calorie dense and processed foods you've eaten.  Which side of the scale is heavier?  For me, it was always the calorie dense side.  And this was due to a need to put something that felt "heavy" in my stomach to satisfy my constant cravings.  What I've found works better for me is to have fruits and vegetables or low calorie snacks (yogurt, almonds) on hand to reach for.  Don't get me wrong, it takes time and effort to do this.  Those of you with really bad sugar/carb addiction know what I'm talking about!  The goal is to become more conscious of what you're feeding yourself, and learn to become satisfied eating foods that are ultimately better for your body in terms of calorie content and nutrition.  It does work over time! 

DAY 1 - A Moment on the Lips ....

... a lifetime on the hips, or so the saying goes!  Well, the holidays have come and gone, leaving their mark on me to the tune of 6 lbs. weight gain.  Yeah, I indulged a bit, and now it's time to pay the price.  For all of you following me, I'm going to pull a bit of a Bridget Jones, and log my daily weight, eating and activity until I shed those 6 lbs.  How long will it take?  According to my iTouch application, "Losin' It" I can possibly tackle this in 2 weeks time, woah.  Let's see if I can actually pull it off!  I've tossed all my cookies (in the garbage that is) and plan to up my activity levels.  My incentive?  Someone special to look good for - nuff said!


Weight:  111 lbs

Activity:  Climbing stairs wherever possible today, 1 1/2 hours of karate tonight, 20 minute walk during lunch in the freezing cold (brrrrr!)


Breakfast:1 cup coffee w/skim milk (35 cal), 1 cappuccino @ work (140 cal), 1 fruit salad for bkfast (120 cal)

Lunch:  Large tomato cous cous soup for lunch (260 cal), 1 diet cokes (1 cal)

Dinner:  Carrots (52 cal for 15 baby carrots) & Cucumber (23 cal for 1/2) with Hummus (70 cal for 3 tbl)

Snacks:  4 Brazil Nuts (124 cal) & 1 candy cane (60 cal)

Approximately 884 calories consumed from a daily calorie budget of 631

Activity:  Climbing stairs, brisk walk, karate for 1 hour 15 min tonight (595 cal burned according to Losin' It)

No, I'm not trying to starve myself.  My logic is to consume as many water soluble calories as possible.  It was my over-consumption of calorie dense foods (cookies & breads) that got me into my predicament.  I'll update at the end of the day with the final version of what I ate.  Can I do it?  Stay tuned to find out!!

Getting a Handle on Holiday Eating

Holidays are like a perfect storm.  They start off brewing with the best of intentions, but then the velocity of the winds pick up in speed, and stress comes pouring down like a soaking rain.  These are the times of the year that dieters are put to the test.  An abundance of food, all too convenient small portions (that add up quickly!), and a heavier load of responsibilities.  And the food pushers seems to increase exponentially.  From family and friends to co-workers, everyone seems to have excessive amounts of cookies, snacks, leftovers and other assorted edibles they wish to unload.

Is it any wonder that the new year kicks off with such an intense focus on dieting and fitness?  After all, we have to start somewhere to undo all the damage from the period spanning from Thanksgiving through New Year's!

All this shifting from our normal routines has an impact on our bodies if we're not nourishing them properly.  Mood and energy levels can swing like crazy at this time if we don't take care of ourselves.  As you hover over that holiday spread,  your goal is to seek out slow-digesting foods.  Opt for brown rice with salmon or chicken breast, a peanut butter sandwich on whole-wheat bread, or a spinach salad and half a turkey sandwich with milk. Try to eat either quality carbohydrates or carbohydrates mixed with protein according to a recent WebMD article on Foods that Boost Mood and Fight Holiday Weight Gain.  Fods that absorb quickly will cause your blood sugar levels to spike, and ultimately put a damper on your moods and sap your energy. 

Need some ideas on how to get a handle on your mood and energy levels?  Here are some suggestions from WebMD ...

  • Eat breakfast! If you skip it, what you eat for the rest of the day won't matter. Breakfast-eaters report maintaining a better mood and more energy throughout the day, studies show. 
  • Get hydrated.  If you're dragging your feet, don't dig in the holiday treats you've been baking. Instead, down a glass or two of water; then see if you're still hungry. Not drinking enough water is the first thing that will impact your mood.
  • Drink nonfat milk. According to WebMD's expert, it has the tryptophan you need for your brain, plus the natural carbohydrate that assists its transport as well as being a fabulous energy drink, and an excellent way to rehydrate both before and after exercise.
  • Avoid alcohol. You may feel relaxed in the short term, but drinking interrupts sleep and increases depression and anxiety -- not the best way to boost your mood. 
  • Banish High Fat Food.  Lose the bowls of high-fat foods like chocolate, and replace them with small low-fat crackers, popcorn, pretzels, and hard candy.