Simple Tips for Losing Weight Naturally

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Healthy Yogurt Chicken Stroganoff

This easy dinner recipe has both healthy chicken breast and low-fat yogurt. Eat it on pasta, rice, or other grains, and with lots of vegetables.

Yogurt Chicken Stroganoff

Add 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1 cup chopped skinless chicken breast or ground turkey, 1/4 cup chopped mushrooms, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a little pepper to a skillet. Add a pinch of dill weed, parsley, or garlic. Stir over medium heat until the meat is cooked. Stir 1 tablespoon cornstarch into 1/2 cup cold water and add it to the mixture in the skillet. Stir until thickened, then remove from the heat. Stir in 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt just before eating over pasta, brown basmati rice, bulgur, or hulled millet.

Makes 6 servings.

Relevance to Natural Weight Loss:

Weight Loss Tip: This easy yogurt chicken stroganoff can help you feel satisfied longer, especially if you eat it with whole grains and lots of green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, or salad.

Find more simple weight loss tips and recipes in this top-rated ebook at Amazon.

June 1, 2013   No Comments

Healthy Living eBook Free on Amazon

The Diet Dropout's Guide to Natural Weight Loss

This new health and weight loss book is free (kindle ebook) on Amazon May 14-16.

This book isn’t about the latest celebrity diet, wonder food, or miracle supplement. It’s about creating a personalized weight loss plan—your own easiest path to naturally thin. While you can lose weight with almost any diet, keeping the weight off is much more difficult, requiring permanent changes in eating and exercise habits. This book provides a science-based approach for making those changes in a way that works best for you, without wasting time, money, or effort.

“Well-presented and easy to understand, this one is highly recommended.”
—Susan B. Hagloch, Library Journal (starred review)

“Every now and then I actually find [a book] I am wildly enthusiastic about. This is one…The 10 short chapters cover everything you need to know about taking and keeping weight off.”
—Genene Coté, nutrition consultant, Down to Earth Fare

“If you are looking for a very practical, user friendly, fact based guide to weight control, this is the book for you.”
—Jennifer Miyagawa, Registered Dietitian, Jenmi Jenmi

“…every dieter must read this book.”
—Cascia Talbert, The Healthy Moms Magazine

“An excellent reference book for losing weight and maintaining the weight loss.”
—Dr. Joseph Maresca, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“I think it’s the only weight loss/healthy lifestyle book we need.”
—Kathleen Garber, SMS Book Reviews

“An absolute must for anyone who wants to learn how to lose weight permanently. It is the first fat loss book I have read that I cannot fault or disagree with.”
—Liam Sartorius, fitness and weight loss coach

“Dr. Spencer’s book presents a common sense, safe, and enduring weight loss program that presents the essential elements of a healthy lifestyle.”
—James E. Gangwisch, PhD, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University

“This book is information-packed! There are hundreds of books written on these topics, but this one brings it all together in one place in a logical format. I will recommend it to my patients.”
—Darrin Bang, Doctor of Chiropractic

“An excellent book that is well written and evidence based. It will help dispel a lot of the myths that surround weight management.”
—Gary Mendoza, PhD, Registered Nutritionist

“Very informative, and right on target.”
—Wayne Westcott, PhD, Fitness Research Director, Quincy College

Read more customer reviews at Amazon, and don’t forget to tell your friends.


May 13, 2013   7 Comments

Quick Mango Lassi (Mango Yogurt Drink)

Mango lassi is a delicious way to take advantage of the weight loss benefits of yogurt. Here’s a very simple recipe.

Quick Mango Lassi (Mango Yogurt Drink)

In a blender, combine 2½ cups plain low-fat yogurt, ¾ cup frozen peeled mango, and ¼ cup sugar. Blend until smooth.

Makes 3 servings.

Relevance to Natural Weight Loss:

Weight Loss Tip: To take full advantage of mango lassi’s weight loss potential, take small sips and savor each one. Whether you drink it as a snack or in a meal, taking several minutes to enjoy this drink will give your stomach time to register satisfaction, and will make eating anything else seem boring in comparison.

Find more simple weight loss tips and recipes in this top-rated ebook at Amazon.

March 20, 2013   22 Comments

Twitter Chat on #ChildObesity Feb 4

Twitter chat

Childhood obesity is everyone’s challenge. Please join me, The Healthy Moms Magazine, and Motherhood Moment for an hour-long Twitter chat on childhood obesity, Monday February 4, at 9:00 pm EST. You’ll find prizes and lots of good information. Register free here.

January 30, 2013   No Comments

The Diet Dropout’s Guide on the TODAY Show


The Diet Dropout’s Guide to Natural Weight Loss was featured with a few other new weight loss books on the TODAY show this morning. Here’s how Madelyn Fernstrom, diet and nutrition editor, described it:

“A slim volume that has the basics of behavior change, and includes all the ones people really struggle with.”

“It’s really [about] changing your relationship with food.”

“Dropout is a good word.”

The ebook is currently free at Amazon and ranked #29 in Kindle books.

January 18, 2013   1 Comment

This New Year Make a Weight Loss Resolution You Can Keep


Most of us have dieted to lose weight, only to gain it back again within a few weeks or months. It isn’t that diets don’t work. It’s that they don’t last. Most diets are so unpleasant, inconvenient, boring, complex, or expensive that they are difficult to stick with for very long. When you quite the diet, the weight returns.

Think of excess fat as a collection of calorie-adding habits. Lose the habits and you will lose the fat. Each time you give up one of these habits (all other things being equal), you will lose fat until your body naturally settles at a lower weight. The key to making these habits stick and successfully keeping the weight off is to create your own weight loss plan—one custom made to fit your particular needs, abilities, and preferences. When designed correctly, this custom plan is your easiest path to a naturally thin lifestyle and body. While each person’s optimal plan is unique, every plan for permanent weight loss should have the following elements:

Personal Preferences
There is no single formula for natural, permanent weight loss. You don’t need to make yourself miserable. Eating yogurt can help you lose weight, but if you really don’t like yogurt, don’t include it in your plan. There are plenty of other things you can do to lose weight naturally.

Changes You Can Live With
Include in your plan only those things you are willing to make lifelong habits. Giving up desserts for a month to lose weight may accomplish that goal, but the lost weight will return just as soon as you start eating desserts again. A better approach might be to limit yourself to one dessert a day, with more allowed on a few special days, and to make it a lifelong habit. You’ll lose less weight, but the weight you lose won’t be coming back. Permanent weight loss requires permanent changes in habits.

Easy Ways to Control Emotional Eating
We often eat for emotional comfort, not because we are hungry. This is called emotional eating. The best way to prevent emotional eating is to learn how to regulate your emotions in other ways. These may include getting more social interaction or using techniques such as meditation or mindfulness to calm your emotions.

Quick Ways to Calm Cravings
Cravings for junk food can crush even the strongest resolve and wreck your attempts to lose weight. The key is not to have more willpower, but to know how to make the cravings weaker so the willpower you already have does the job. For example, taking a brisk, short walk has been shown in scientific studies to reduce chocolate cravings.

Smarter Exercise
Trying to lose weight by doing exercises you hate is a recipe for failure. Find ways to get exercise that you enjoy. Even better, exercise with someone else. You’ll stick with it longer. Do exercises that build muscle, not just burn calories directly. The new muscle will boost your metabolism so you burn more calories even while you’re sleeping.

Removing the Temptations at Home
It’s usually easier to remove temptations than to resist them. Get rid of the junk food in your house. Try to avoid places that tempt you to overeat. Stock your refrigerator with weight loss foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, yogurt, nuts, and whole grains.

Making the Easiest Changes in Habits First
Your weight loss plan might include forming new habits such as meditating daily, eating more whole grains for breakfast, eating sweets only once a day, and exercising five days a week. Don’t try to develop all of your weight loss habits at once. Start with the ones that are easiest. After you have reaped the weight loss rewards of the easier habits you will have extra motivation to tackle habits that require more effort.

Not Expecting Quick or Immediate Results
It’s better to lose twenty pounds over the course of a year than to lose twenty pounds in a month then gain it all back. Changing habits takes time. You probably gained your extra weight slowly, one habit at a time. Let yourself lose it the same way.

After two or three weeks with each new habit, it will begin to feel natural, and you will be a naturally thinner person.

Find more help for making your New Year’s weight-loss resolution a success in The Diet Dropout’s Guide to Natural Weight Loss.

January 4, 2013   17 Comments

Eat a Bigger Breakfast to Lose Weight

big breakfast diet

Many dieters try to lose weight by eating a small breakfast or skipping it altogether. A study by scientists in Virginia and Venezuela suggests that eating a larger breakfast may be a better weight loss approach. They found that dieters who ate a 610-calorie breakfast each day initially lost less weight than dieters who ate a 290-calorie breakfast, but were more successful at keeping the weight off. Dieters who ate the small breakfasts regained much of the weight they had initially lost. By the end of the eight-month study, dieters who ate the larger breakfasts had lost nearly four times as much weight as the dieters who ate the small breakfasts. They also reported less hunger and fewer cravings throughout the day.

You can read more about big breakfast weight loss on The Endocrine Society’s web site.

Relevance to Natural Weight Loss:

Weight Loss Tip: Eat a hearty breakfast, and then make up for those extra calories by making supper smaller. A little extra food in your stomach will help you avoid cravings. You need that extra help during the daytime, not at night when you are sleeping.

Find more simple weight loss tips and recipes in this top-rated ebook at Amazon.

September 10, 2012   16 Comments

Easy Millet Recipe for a Gluten-free Whole Grain Hot Breakfast Cereal

millet breakfast cereal
Image by Elke Wetzig

People who start eating more whole grains tend to lose weight, according to a recent Harvard study. A good place to start adding whole grains to your diet is with breakfast. Old-fashioned oatmeal is a good choice. Cracked wheat is another good whole grain hot breakfast cereal. If you have a wheat allergy or intolerance, or if you want a little variety, try millet. Millet is a small grain that has been a food staple for centuries in much of Africa and Asia. It is gaining popularity in other regions as an alternative whole grain. If you can’t find millet in your local grocery store, try a health-food store. Here’s an easy recipe.

Millet Hot Breakfast Cereal

Place 2 cups hulled millet, 3½ cups water, 1 tablespoon oil, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a pan. Let it sit 1 hour. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer until the water is gone, then remove from heat and let it sit 15 minutes.

Eat as a substitute for rice, or as a hot cereal with milk and topped with fruit or nuts. You can also add a little honey to make it more satisfying.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Relevance to Natural Weight Loss:

Weight Loss Tip: For a healthy breakfast, think outside the box. Instead of processed, packaged breakfast foods, eat a hot cereal made of cracked wheat, old-fashioned rolled oats, millet, or other whole grain.

Find more simple weight loss tips and recipes in this top-rated ebook at Amazon.

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March 6, 2012   3 Comments

Exercise Makes You Happy!

exercise is fun

That’s according to scientists at Harvard University who conducted a study to find out what kinds of everyday thoughts and activities make people happy. Over two thousand iPhone users participated in the study. The researchers created an iPhone app to prompt the participants at random times as they went about their daily lives. Each time they were prompted by the app, the participants were to report on what they were doing, thinking, and feeling. Those who were exercising reported feeling happier than those who were working, shopping, eating, visiting, watching TV, reading, playing, relaxing, listening to music, or at their home computer. In fact, except for “making love,” exercising was the activity most strongly associated with happiness.

You can read more about the happiness study on Harvard’s web site, and see the complete report here.

Relevance to Natural Weight Loss:

Weight Loss Tip: If you don’t exercise regularly, maybe it’s time to give it a try. Find an exercise activity that you can enjoy. Exercise doesn’t have to be all push-ups and crunches. For even more enjoyment, exercise with a friend.

February 1, 2012   2 Comments

Count the Exercise Cost of Calories

running away from calories

A bottle of sugary (non-diet) soda contains about 250 calories. That’s a lot. Reminding yourself of this fact can give you the extra motivation to pass up the soda and go for a drink of water instead. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health think they have found an even better motivation: exercise cost.

To test their theory, they created a sign with the words “Did you know that working off a bottle of soda or fruit juice takes about 50 minutes of running” and posted it in a corner store frequented by thirsty adolescents. The presence of the sign reduced the odds that an adolescent would purchase a sugar-sweetened drink by about 50%. This worked even better than their sign that said “Did you know that a bottle of soda or fruit juice has about 250 calories?” If it works for thirsty teenagers, maybe it’s worth a try!

You can read more about the exercise cost of calories study on the school’s web site.

Relevance to Natural Weight Loss:

Weight Loss Tip: When you are tempted by junk food, think about how much exercise it would take to work off the extra calories. If it seems worth the cost, commit to doing the exercise before taking the first bite.

January 24, 2012   1 Comment