by Louisa Graves & Lisa Matsuda

Louisa Beauty Shot 1

  1. Using Artificial Sweeteners – Surprisingly, “diet” foods are a huge contributor to weight gain. According to Dr. Alicia Stanton, author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Weight Loss”, these sweeteners trick the brain into expecting MORE calories, leading to even MORE cravings! They also decrease your desire for food that is not intensely sweet, such as fruits and vegetables, making them seem unpalatable and unappealing. Doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose of avoiding sugar?

One sweetener, Aspartame, breaks down into methyl alcohol, a chemical associated with causing seizures, decreased vision, migraines, memory loss, irritability, and hyperactivity. Sucralose has been linked to migraines and low thyroid. In addition, artificial sweetners lodge into the organs or our bodies over time, which can cause health concerns. Shall I go on?

Instead of drinking diet drinks and coffee loaded with these horrible additives, try this alternative to lemon-lime soda:

  • 2 lemons
  • 2 limes
  • 1 gallon of Soda water
  • Xylitol or stevia (stevia works well with citrus)

Add the juice from the lemons and limes to the soda water and sweeten to taste. Get creative and use other fruits as well! Ginger, lemon, and pineapple also make a great combination!

Or a simpler drink is squeezing some fresh lemon juice into a cold glass of water. Add stevia to taste (optional)

  1. Overuse of Electronic Devices – Did you know that being connected 24/7 raises cortisol levels? Yes! Anticipating what is in an email, constantly receiving messages, and checking social media keeps your cortisol levels raised all day. Cortisol can cause anxiety, sleeplessness, overeating, and drain the adrenals, all of which can add inches to your waistline and affects our wellbeing.

A study from Berkeley University found that ALL participants taking a break from their devices found improvement in focus, concentration, relationships, sleep patterns, and overall productivity levels. Interestingly enough, the participants in this study were all young people who had grown up using devices. Unlike the rest of us, they don’t remember a time without them!

Unfortunately, all of us rely on our phones and being disconnected is becoming impossible. We do everything online now: find dates, buy clothes, and now we even buy groceries online! Taking a break from electronics for a few hours a day can help break the cycle of dependency we feel.

  • If possible, leave your phone as far away from you as you can at work.  Let your family know that you will be turning your phone off at certain times of the day, just to take a break.
  • Don’t bring your phone to the dinner table! Connecting with your family over dinner is the best way for you to keep track of what everyone is up to.
  • And most importantly, leave your phone outside of the bedroom or in a sidetable, so you can relax and get a proper night’s sleep. I guarantee this will eliminate a lot of the stress you may not know you have! Less stress means less cortisol production, thus faster weight loss or maintenance.
  1. Too Few Bowel Movements –  Did you know that not pooping enough can interfere with your weight loss goals? Having fecal matter trapped in your intestines is not fun for you or your gut! It causes gas, bloating, and keeps the pounds on. The sedentary lifestyle many of us have adopted since Covid-19 isn’t helping! How to get things moving again? Take a walk after dinner and up your fiber intake, of course! To make this easier for you and everyone around you (think bloating and gas!), begin with a small amount of fiber and work your way up. See the easy ways to add fiber to your day, below. suggestions below.

Here’s an easy way to add fiber to your day:

Breakfast: Combine plain Greek yogurt with 1 tsp. chopped nuts, 1 tsp. ground flax, berries, and a little Stevia or Xylitol as a sweetener (optional). This makes a super delicious and high fiber breakfast or dessert! In addition to the fiber, the probiotics in the yogurt help your digestion and boost your mood!

Lunch or Dinner: Start with a fresh green salad before either or both of these meals. Salads not only product fiber, they offer beneficial antioxidants that he3lp keep you and your skin feeling and looking more youthful.

Bedtime: Start with 1 tsp. at bedtime in a glass of water. Follow with another full plalin glass of water. Eventually add a bit more ground flax seeds to your evening regimen, until you achieve regular morning bowel movements. Another suggestion is taking your magnesium supplement at bed. this helps to relax muscles, calms bruxism (grinding your teeth) and can improve morning bowel elimination.

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