Editor’s note: We’re happy to share this personal journey essay from our longtime real estate columnist Ruby Kaplan. We remind our readers that we don’t endorse any specific diet plan.
I am proud to say that I have been navigating the career of selling real estate for many years during all kinds of markets, and yet the effects of the pandemic were truly shocking and unprecedented, affecting everything including stocks, real estate, life patterns and careers for many.
After the initial quarantine scare in late March, I resumed working with my clients while implementing the necessary protocols of gloves, masks, “Purelling” and respectable distancing throughout. It is always important to me that I remain especially focused on maintaining my health and weight as a precaution not to weaken my immune system. I was especially determined to be vigilant and sustain a healthy lifestyle to avoid poor health during COVID-19. I knew I’d be back in full swing one day and didn’t want to suffer the consequences of weight gain. To me, the extra pounds would have bogged me down. We know that visceral fat and type 2 diabetes can be associated with unhealthy eating habits and lifestyle. You can bet that the extra calories and sugar turn into fat, and excess fat has proven to be one of COVID’s enablers. I am determined to avoid all consequences of poor health and vulnerabilities.
In spite of having read with interest every diet book on the market since I was 20 years old, and trying various weight loss programs over time, I gradually increased my wardrobe by two sizes during my adult years. I convinced myself that the weight gain was inevitable as part of the adult “growing” years yet had doubts along the way whether to succumb to my “new puffy look.”
Fortunately, in the past five years, I truly found the right program, which provides healthy fuelings that include a variety of chewable, nutritious and yummy bars, shakes and nutritious meals to allow for sustainable weight loss for the long term with the support of a coach whenever needed. I have tried other programs that allow for fat burning, but this was finally the only one that gave me the opportunity to look forward to every day of sticking to a plan without the feelings of hunger. The reason is simple. Optavia fuelings, which contain only 100-110 calories are all equally and nutritionally balanced with the exact same number of grams of protein and carbohydrates to be consumed every three hours no fewer than five times a day. Actually, the day is not long enough and you find yourself having to “fit” in the fifth fueling, whereas without the program the day was too long as you were constantly noshing on the wrong foods with empty calories, accruing an overabundance of wasted calories. I finally found the right plan to achieve my weight goal.
Why am I sharing this now? Having been on the regimen for over five years while meeting the challenge of whittling down the two increased sizes, I dare admit that during COVID isolation, I did pull back on the Optavia fuelings since I wasn’t as vigilant in ordering the products. There was a noticeable difference in my energy and ability to keep the weight off. I proved to myself once again that I truly enjoyed the daily eating routine with the nutritiously portioned, yummy, satisfying Optavia bar, which comes in flavors of chocolate, mint, cinnamon, lemon, cranberry, peanut butter and more. I immediately resumed my Optavia routine again, and my focus and energy to keep the weight off without the struggle resumed immediately.
Now, remember, all foods are not equal! You can eat your calories quickly, usurping a half day’s allotment of caloric accumulation with a shake containing 500 calories in 10 minutes’ time or treat yourself wisely to a shake that is nutritiously balanced for 110 calories, leaving room for other nutritious foods that keep you satiated. Which do you prefer? I’d rather savor the calories to allow for more fuelings with high protein for slow digestion, keeping you full with a low carbohydrate count combined with a portioned balance of nutrients. The daily home-cooked meal of protein and vegetables is key as well!
Compared to Optavia bars, many other “health” bars on the market are more caloric for a smaller portion size with nutritional values that are deficient. Generally, commercially sold bars could contain only two grams of protein instead of a full 11 grams, or a high carbohydrate count of 22 grams instead of only 14 grams. The Optavia fuelings are advantageous since the daily intake allows for over 100 grams of protein for satiety and up to 100 grams of carbohydrate, keeping you full and satisfied with a lower caloric allotment. The controlled but sufficient carbohydrate amount allows for a satisfying fullness that does not trigger intense hunger. The lack of sufficient carbohydrates dooms you to failure during or after any weight-loss program of low carbohydrates, because you binge to catch up on your body’s needs. The Optavia regimen eliminates the craving since you are having the carbohydrate amount needed throughout the program.
Be cautious! Read the labels! Always be an intelligent consumer aware of the right nutritional comparisons. Read the fine print! Compare “apples to apples” (but stay away from fruits initially since they do contain a lot of sugar): the weight of the bar, the caloric value, the protein count and the carbohydrate count. Make the right choices…remember, it is Elul and time to start now.
Most important is to stop fooling yourself…no more time for excuses…if your BMI results are in the overweight category, you have no choice but to bring it down to the normal/healthy category for long-term good health and happiness. The BMI score is calculated using factors such as weight and age. The healthy category score, which should be sustained, is between 18.5 and 24.9 whereas the overweight score is 25.0 and over…where do you belong?
BMI levels are the staple and motivator to ensure you sustain the right weight within the right category…that is the very least commitment you owe yourself! It allows for you to stop judging whether you gained a little or not because you will never be truly honest with yourself. The BMI chart is the holy grail of where you need to be for optimal health.
Now, back to life…family, health, BMIs, weight, community, career, Yirat Shamayim overall…and, best part and my biggest nachas, my first granddaughter is getting married. The most thrilling simcha to share for my family’s next generation of smachot…and can’t wait to wear that gown that fits just right!
Happy Rosh Hashanah to all! And, with all that we’ve gone through, make it the best Rosh Hashanah ever!
Contact Ruby at 917-576-4177 or [email protected] for information on making positive life changes to achieve your healthy weight & goals! You’ll be glad you did!