Monday, May 30, 2011

Is it Possible to Lose Weight Safely and Quickly?

Is it Possible to Lose Weight Safely and Quickly? (Part 1)

Up until recently, my answer to that question would have been a resounding no. The typical diet designed for rapid weight loss is quite unhealthy. With most programs, losing more than 1-2% of your weight per week simply means you are sacrificing muscle as well as fat. So, even though you might lose weight fast, it really hasn't improved the BMI or your health.

There are more than a handful of fad diets that can help you lose it, but how many of them will help you keep it off? The percentage of people who use a diet to lose weight and keep it off long term is very small. Diets don't work; only lifestyle changes do.

Lifestyle changes not only take time, they are hard to make. Habits die hard; addictive foods proliferate the modern diet. Combine those two simple undeniable truths, and you'll know why people go to such drastic measures to lose weight. They range the gamut from cabbage diets to gastric by-pass surgery. Others turn to diet pills that promise rapid easy weight loss like Alli. A person has to be desperate to take something that warns of side effects like these!. (Please click the link and go read, especially if you are considering using Alli or any other fat blocking product!) Gastric by-pass surgery is not all it is purported to be either. "According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in October, 2005, the rates of death from gastric bypass surgery are far higher than previously disclosed. The study of over 16,000 patients found that, among 35 to 44-year-olds, more than 5 percent of men and nearly 3 percent of women were dead within a year, and slightly higher rates were seen in patients 45 to 54. Among patients 65 to 74, nearly 13 percent of men and about 6 percent of women died. In patients 75 and older, half of the men and 40 percent of the women died. With about 170,000 gastric bypass surgeries occurring each year in the United States, as many as 4,500 to 9,000 patients may die as a result of this surgery annually. This is more than double previous estimates." If you'd like to read the whole article you can find it here. Not only do many die from gastric bypass, the after effects are irreversible. People will subject themselves to horrid side effects, risk their lives, and make life altering decisions to lose weight. Why? Is it because people don't have enough self control to make lifestyle changes? Is it because they try all the fad diets, and don't lose weight? Is it because they want instant results without any effort? Or is it because they get to a point where they don't think there is any other way?

What if there was a natural way to retrain the brain and overcome the challenge of willpower? A way to overcome addictions to carbs and sweets without having to completely give them up, or deny yourself the things you love? The main challenge most people have is portion control. When they turn to Weight Watchers or other low calorie diets, they find the pounds come off very slowly, and many of them give up before they meet their goals. Or, maybe they are among those who are motivated by accountability and they actually lose the weight. How many of them actually keep it off? People who lose weight dieting typically gain the weight back, and then some.

Check in for part two, and find out how you can make simple lifestyle changes that will help you shed the fat, and keep it off forever.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

How Healthy is America?

I think we can all agree that our health care system is broken. In the year 2000 (the last published scorecard from the WHO), the US was ranked 37th in Health Care Performance. A quick look around the web (or in the local doctor's office) and it is easy to see that hasn't improved in the past 10 years. There is a huge national buzz about needing change, but no real change has been suggested, just government funding for more of the same. Will it help? Of course! But that really isn't the question to ask. We should be asking who will it help?


If you haven't watched the Town of Allopath video yet, you should. Until the problem is exposed, not many people will look for a real solution. We as a generation have grown up doing things the way we do them just because it has always been done that way. We are so far removed from Plato & Aristotle that asking the question "why" doesn't occur to us. "Why?" Because we have been taught not to question. It Is Because It Is ...that's why! We find ourselves in the era of improvement, not discovery. Without common sense questions, this is a scary place to be. "Why?" Because when we improve upon a method that is already faulty...all we get is faultier.


The model of allopathy is a case in point. It is a system of treating symptoms, not looking for causes. In a most simplistic sense, it appears reasonable. In order to expose the flaw, let's create a hypothetical example. When you have a headache a plausible solution would be to take a Tylenol, right? So....what if you have reoccurring headaches? Doesn't it make sense to try and figure out what is causing the headaches? At some point you might come to the conclusion that it is time to see a doctor to determine the problem. In most cases that requires a battery of tests which are designed to discover the cause. So far, this model seems like a good method. But what happens if there isn't a blatant explanation like a tumor? Or what happens if during the examination it is discovered that you have high blood pressure which is 'causing' the headaches? The doctor writes a prescription for a blood pressure med, and pats you on the back telling you it will get better. You are also told that you'll be taking this med for the rest of your life. On occasion you might get some instructions to exercise more and lose a few pounds along with a print out of one of the "low diets" (low fat, low carb, or low calorie). Oh, and don't forget to schedule your next appointment so you can get your prescription renewed.


There are actually a few allopathic doctors that have a little training in nutrition, but not many. In med school, the education is focused on pharmacology and diagnosis. In this case the 'diagnosis' was high blood pressure. But the real "why" was never uncovered. High blood pressure is a symptom. You might say, "But the doctor told me it was because I am overweight." Being overweight can contribute to high blood pressure, but it isn't the cause, otherwise everyone who is overweight would have high blood pressure. There are lots of skinny people that have high blood pressure. Even many doctors who consider themselves holistic in their approach, will treat allopathically with herbs instead of drugs. Though this is a better approach, it still only addresses the symptom most of the time.


It is my opinion that the best method is to apply common sense in a truly holistic way, much the same way that James Lind approached scurvy. A good first question to ask is "What is missing?" In the case of the Navy it was fresh fruits and vegetables. Deeper digging uncovered that citrus fruits we key. In the world of wellness, we do see this approach more broadly used. We even see it to a small degree in the development of the RDA. Here is a great article to read.


As we progress we are learning more about what nutrients are vital for good health. In recent years we have learned more about the importance of Omega fats, even though they aren't on the RDA list. Antioxidants have taken the front row as the baby boomers start to feel their age, because there is convincing research that antioxidants are essential to slow the aging process. We are learning more about macronutrients, and micronutrients. We are also learning that supplementing isn't good enough. We must use good supplements. Just because it says it has it all, A-Z, doesn't mean we will absorb it all.


For some people, even when they make changes to include everything necessary to promote good health, there are residual effects of prior bad choices. Toxin buildup needs to be addressed, and often parasites play a key role in preventing a wellness approach from working optimally. Sadly, we live in a world where people prefer to take a pill than to put forth the effort to take care of themselves properly.


Other influencing factors are the ever present drug reps promoting the latest and greatest pharmaceuticals on the market. Our society has evolved into a "fast food nation" that demands instant gratification. Logic isn't taught anymore, so we think more in terms of the here and now, than pondering the cause-effect relationship which forces one to ask the question, "What will be the long term result of following this protocol?" Common sense allopathy is an oxymoron. There must be a paradigm shift if we are going to make the changes necessary to improve our health score card which is inherently connected to the treatment model being used.


Thursday, May 12, 2011

One Day Only Special

Here's the Deal –

Today Only You can get a 4 day Skinny Mini –retail value of $30. I normally sell these for $25 but today only you can purchase it for 50% off!

For a mere $15 you can try the Zija Weight Management System. Limit of one per person please!

If you don't think 4 days will be enough OR if you want to take advantage of a better deal I have put together a Deluxe 8 Day Trial Sampler which includes:

8 days of Smart Mix

8 XM3 capsules

4 Miracle Tea bags (one tea bag will brew two days worth of tea)

And a 4 oz bottle of XM3 Energy Drink

All packaged beautifully in the black Miracle Tea box (I have people ask me if they can buy my empty boxes!)

The retail value of this Sampler is $68, you price….today only - $30!

I have a limited supply, so this offer is good for today only, and while supplies last! Shipping on all orders will be $5.00

Email me at or text your order to 478-508-2678

Monday, May 9, 2011

Why Diets Don’t Work

Why is it that we are still seeing the epidemic rise is obesity with so many diets to choose from? Is it because all those people just don't care that they are overweight? I don't think so! Billions of dollars are being spent in the weight loss arena, and yet people aren't getting lasting results. Why? Personally, I think it is because people have been sold a lie. Diets don't work - period! Only life style changes can give permanent results, and most folks are so caught up in the eating culture of today, that they aren't willing to make the necessary commitments to garner the results they desire. My biggest challenge as a coach is not to help people lose weight, but to help them retrain their brain so that they can maintain it even after our coaching sessions are over.

We live in a fast-food nation. We expect instant gratification in all areas of life. Few people embrace the idea that it took years to get to where they are, and there is no magic that will give them back their high school figure overnight. Many people jump from one fad diet to another thinking that *this* will be the magic one that will be quick and easy. There is no way that I could cover all the different fad diets because there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of them. I will address a few of the main ones being promoted and what makes them ineffective and unhealthy.

Low Cal

At the top of the list is one that has been around for quite some time. Scientifically it can be supported that the key to success is to simply eat less calories, and move more. From a common sense standpoint it seems like a valid hypothesis. If you can burn more calories than you are consuming, you have to lose weight. While this is true, there are many people who have a "thrifty gene" that kicks in when calories are reduced. Designed to help you survive during a famine, the "thrifty gene" can sabotage your efforts if you are using this method to lose weight. If you are one of those people who have a hard time losing weight no matter what you do, you have probably been blessed with this survival mechanism. Your metabolism will adjust itself to maintain on the caloric intake provided, even if it is less than what is recommended to lose weight. I find it interesting that about 85% of the people who find themselves in this boat have an O blood type. I happen to fall into this category myself so I know your frustration if you can relate to the description above.

Even for those people who *do* lose weight on a low-cal diet, it is not sustainable long term, especially using the pre-packaged, pre-measured, "convenient" snacks and meals that are popular with this diet plan. It also is important to mention that most of these products use artificial sweeteners to lower the calories, and I have already addressed that in a previous blog. Studies show that artificial sweeteners often cause weight gain not to mention that they are neurotoxins. Reducing calories also poses a health risk. Our food is so nutrient depleted that, unless you have a food like Smart Mix in your daily regime, you will quickly find your health failing from lack of basic nutrition. Even those people who stick with a low-cal diet until they reach their goal weight rarely have long term success because it is difficult to maintain it as a lifestyle change. The biggest problem with any diet is the mindset that accompanies them. Diets are designed to get you to your goal, but they don't retrain the brain to help you think like a thin person. The end result – people return to their old habits… and often end up gaining back more than they initially lost.

Low Carb

One of the most popular in this category is the Atkins diet. Our bodies require certain carbohydrates to function properly. A low carb diet will also eventually lead to health challenges, and for most it isn't sustainable… and neither is the weight loss achieved with this method. Once you return to eating a healthy amount of carbohydrates, you will pack back on the pounds. Many of these plans allow the dieter an unlimited amount of proteins and fats, which are difficult for the body to digest, and overload the filter organs. The premise behind the low carb model is that you cause your body to go into ketosis which will induce fat burning. While I would wholeheartedly agree that it is healthy to limit the amount of processed carbs, it is important to not eliminate all carbohydrates from the diet. Fruits and vegetables are the foundation of a healthy diet, with proteins and fats providing the pillars for wellness. Most people will admit that they don't even feel well when the majority of their sustenance comes from proteins. A healthier alternative would be to choose a "slow carb" lifestyle where high glycemic foods are avoided, but complex carbohydrates are still an integral part of the daily menu. Even though it is true that a greater majority will achieve "success" with the low carb diet method, I don't personally know anyone who has adopted a low carb lifestyle and maintained weight loss long term. In fact, I commonly hear from people who readily admit that they were able to lose weight easily with this method, but they gained it back as quickly as they lost it. Diets don't work. Only lifestyle changes do… and in order to make lifestyle changes, you have to find a program that you can live with and one that will help you maintain your health. Overloading your plate with proteins and fats while eliminating almost all carbohydrates is unhealthy. I always tell my clients, "Ask yourself if you are eating in a way that you can live with for the rest of your life." If you aren't, whatever results you get won't be lifetime results.

Low Fat

Diets that fall into this category are the biggest hoax of them all. We have been told for the past 40 years or so that fats are causing us to be fat; fats are causing heart disease, fats are bad for us. We have heard it so much that it will probably be hard for you to change your mindset. There is a great book called, "Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill" that I would highly recommend if you aren't convinced by this short synopsis. If you haven't read my recent blog post on sugar, you might be surprised by what Dr. Lustig reveals in the lecture he recently presented. He supports the notion that fats aren't the cause of obesity or the prevalent health challenges we are facing as a nation. Just like carbohydrates, our bodies need fats. Each of our cells is coated with structures that are formed with proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. These structures form the cellular alphabet that allows our cells to communicate with each other. Without an adequate supply of proteins, fats, and certain plant based carbohydrates our immune system won't function properly.

From a health standpoint, the elimination of all the good fats from our diets has wreaked havoc. About 60% of our brain is composed of fat! Getting an adequate amount of good fat in the diet is extremely important for proper brain function. The low fat diets limit the good fats as well as the bad. Some of the popular diet aids on the market tout that they flush all the fat you consume and advertise this as a benefit. We should absolutely eliminate the bad fats. Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils should never pass our lips, but unless you want to sacrifice your immune system and proper brain function I strongly recommend avoiding a low fat diet.

What Does Work?

It should be obvious that low fat diets (like low cal diets, and low carb diets) don't work. If they did, we wouldn't be one of the fattest nations on the planet. There is a low-fat or no-fat version of everything… and yet, we are still fat. If your goal is to lose weight AND be healthy, then don't opt for a diet of any variety. Choose to make lifestyle changes. Learn what foods are bad for you and avoid them. Learn what foods are good for you and consume them. Supporting a lifestyle change with a system like the XM3 Weight Management System is not only acceptable, but it is prudent. It supports the body's natural functions and helps you establish routines that will improve your quality of life – and help you live longer. As a weight management coach, I can honestly say you won't find a healthier, quicker way to achieve your weight loss goals.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Win/Win/Win Fundraiser

Bear with me as I meander down the cyber pathway and reflect. It is amazing how life has changed over the past 20 years. When I look back, I can't even recall what life was like before the era of cell phones, and the shrinking of the world. Actually, I do remember hauling around a big, heavy black bag with a "car phone" in it! Today not only is our technology "smaller" where we can carry both our computer and our phone in the palm of our hand, but our world has shrunk too. Think about it – how many friends do you have as a result of cyber connections, and irrelevant to distance? Not only is it a quick jaunt by plane to visit our long distance friends IRL (in real life), but we can also connect and share their lives in a very real way through social media such as facebook, and the wonderful world of skype. As I ponder the shrinking of the world, I also muse about how we can expand our world through the same outlets.

It was through facebook that I met my friend Heidi, and from a link in my newsfeed that I learned of her desire to adopt a special needs child. As I read through her blog I tried to think of what I could do to help. With 13 children, and nine still living at home, I often joke that all my assets are breathing. As I mulled over different fund raising options I came up with the idea to not only help Heidi, and ultimately the little boy they are adopting, but also the folks who want to help them.


Now bear with me again, as I do some "mind wondering". Cut me some slack. I am not ADD… just overwhelmed with compassion, and a little overtired. As a wellness consultant and weight loss coach, I am always looking for ways I can help people. How can I marry my desire to assist with the fundraising efforts, and my concern to help people with their health? What if I open up my doors to all those who are already, to some degree, attached to the idea of helping add a brother to the McFarland clan? I get to help more people and Heidi at the same time.

My heart is heavy for the people who are caught up in the pharmaceutical web, entrapped by the side effects of symptom masking drugs. Once in the trap most are forced to add more to counteract the side effects of the first prescription that is designed to be a maintenance drug instead of correct the problem. The challenge becomes balancing helping people with not overstepping my bounds and making recommendations that would be considered "treating" a condition. Trust me when I say that most health challenges are a combination of nutritional deficiencies and toxic overload. It isn't that difficult to address nutritional deficiencies, and it is amazing how the body comes into balance, and health is restored when you do!

As a weight management coach, my job in one sense is easier, but challenging all the same. Ultimately the only people I can help, are the ones that not only WANT help, but the ones that are READY for help. If you find yourself at your "tipping point" and are looking for alternatives, I would like to volunteer my coaching services… and will donate 100% of the proceeds to the McFarland fund. In addition to that, any orders placed from here will have all the proceeds directed to the McFarlands. If you want to learn more about some of the benefits you can expect read this, even if you don't read anything else. This is truly a win/win/win situation. AND I win too because I am helping my friend Heidi, helping bring their little boy home, and helping you to get your life back. I know what it is like to have debilitating health challenges, and I know what it is like to wish there were no mirrors in the house. If you want to love the way you feel and love the way you look, I can help you. In fact, I guarantee it! If you aren't satisfied with my coaching services, or with the improvements you experience when you get started on the best nutrition on the planet…you get your money back (keep in mind that Heidi will also have to give up the proceeds) – no questions asked!

Water, Just How Important Is It?

Recently a friend asked me my opinion about a water filtration system. As a wellness consultant, the topic of water comes up quite often. Since the second half of the radio show this week was concerning oral hygiene I chose water as the topic this week.

Without oxygen, we can only live for a few minutes. Without water, life is only sustainable for a few days. Food, on the other hand, is something we can live without for a few weeks. In that context, water is the second most important component to life, and yet we often neglect to focus on our need to stay properly hydrated. For many, it is simply ignorance. We don't know what we don't know. Most people think they know based on what they have been told. Sadly, we have been taught incorrect information in many areas for the past 30-40 years. Water consumption happens to be one of those misconceptions.

Everybody knows we should be drinking eight 8 oz glasses of water a day, right? What if I told you that was way off base for most people? Somehow, it was determined that we could arbitrarily drink a standard amount, regardless of our weight or body composition. Somehow, we've been led to believe that a person weighing 50 pounds needs to consume the same amount of water as a person weighing 300 pounds. Let's bring common sense into the picture for a moment before I share with you the "formula" for determining how much water you need.

Our bodies are at least 75% water. Is 75% of 50 even remotely close to 75% of 300? Would it stand to reason that maybe our generic rule isn't really applicable in the real world? The simple formula to use is to drink .5 ounces for every pound of body weight. For example, a 200lb person should drink 100 ounces of water per day. It is important to understand that we are talking about WATER here, and not liquids. Drinks containing caffeine will actually dehydrate instead of rehydrate, so if you are a caffeine consumer, you will need to add to your calculations. I suggest that you not only drink half your body weight (times ounces) but also match your other liquid consumption ounce for ounce. In other words, if you drink 12 ounces of coffee per day, and another 20 ounces of tea, you need to add another 32 ounces of water to the formula above. For our hypothetical person above, that would mean 132 ounces, or just a little over a gallon per day.

Most people say, "Wow, that's a lot of water! How can I ever drink that much?!" Amazingly, it really isn't that difficult! It helps to have a way to pre-measure, or measure as you go. Get yourself a BPA free water bottle and calculate how many you'll have to drink to meet your quota for the day. Some people like to pre-measure their water into a pitcher and keep it in the refrigerator. Another way to be sure you get your water in is to play games with yourself. Make yourself drink so much before each meal, and pour up a glass every time you think you are hungry. Interestingly, most people will find that they weren't really hungry at all. Our signals have gotten so mixed up that we often mistake thirst for hunger. Keep your water bottle with you at all times, and sip on water throughout the day.

It is important to note that the KIND of water you consume is just as important as consuming it. Not all water is safe. Not all water bottles are good for you. As you begin to transition to healthier living, you need to transition away from mindlessly making choices without considering whether or not those choices will affect your health. We have been using plastics for years without questioning their safety. It has only been recently that there have been studies conducted to see if plastics are a part of the overlying problem with chronic conditions and illnesses. If you visit you will be sure to find numerous articles claiming that safety has been established. However, you can also find research that indicates otherwise. BPA has become a buzz word in health circles. Marketing trends are following by labeling plastic containers as BPA free. Don't be fooled into thinking that "BPA free" is synonymous with "safe" though. When you move away from the hard plastics containing BPA you enter the realm of soft plastics that are laden with other alarming chemicals that have been linked to a myriad of problems, including estrogen imbalance, and hormone linked cancers. My container of choice would be glass, with stainless steel coming in second. If you have to use a plastic bottle, purchase a BPA free hard plastic bottle that you can fill from the tap and reuse. If you want some reference articles to consider you can read about BPA here, and what Consumer Reports has to say in this article. For more info on the softer plastics check this out.

Other reasons not to use bottled water would be cost (conservatively $7 per gallon) and pollution. Think of how many millions of water bottles litter the landfills! A simple way to do our part would be to use the money we would spend on bottle water and invest in a good water filtration system that will remove the chlorine and the fluoride from our drinking water. Even if you don't have a lot of money to put towards a filter, you could at the very least by a faucet filter that will remove some of the toxins. Most all of them remove chlorine. If you want to spend a little money for a top of the line filtration system you can buy a carafe from here that is inexpensive, and yet produces some of the purest water available. Reverse osmosis systems are good at removing a high percentage of contaminants from water, but they also deplete the minerals. Water filtration systems that create Hunza, clustered, ionized water are best, but also the most expensive. Distilled water should not be used regularly because there is evidence that it is so stripped of minerals that will actually cause the minerals to be depleted from your body. It is safe to use during a fast or cleanse, but not recommended as a constant water supply. Again, remember – do the best with what you have. Doing something is better than doing nothing!