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The Sequoia Advisor
IN THIS ISSUE                                                                March 1, 2009 
  • Curbing Carbohydrate Addiction
  • Workout With a Partner for BEST Results
  • Weight Loss Lecture: March 27th 6:30 pm
    Building a Better Support Team


Curbing Carbohydrate Addiction

Afraid to Use the "A" Word

The word addiction has historically been used to describe the chronic
overuse of drugs, cigarettes and alcohol. We now see the overuse of food
as an addictive process as well. How many times has the phrase "you just
need more will power" been used to describe your overeating or inability to
stick to a healthy diet? We now know that willpower has little to do with
. New research supports the notion that for some people, food
can be just as addictive as cocaine. Addictive overeating can be more
accurately attributed to reduced levels of serotonin in the brain due to a
stressful lifestyle; not to willpower.


What Science Tells Us About Brain Chemistry

Scientists Dr. Richard and Judith Wurtman at MIT have been studying the
interaction of carbohydrates and serotonin for over 30 years. Their
research shows that the consumption of carbohydrate foods triggers the
release of serotonin
, an important chemical signal, or neurotransmitter, in
the brain. The serotonin, in turn, was shown to suppress the desire for
carbohydrates. Some people, particularly those with night time carbohydrate
cravings, may unconsciously be using carbohydrates as a sedative,
capitalizing on serotonin's sleep-inducing property. Serotonin is also
responsible for elevating mood, suppressing appetite and decreasing
sensitivity to pain.


Why You Overeat

Simple carbohydrates, because of their strong effect on brain chemistry,
tend to be the overeaters "food of choice." In response to low serotonin
levels, eating simple carbohydrates dramatically raises your blood sugar.
Insulin is released both lowering blood sugar levels as well as allowing
tryptophan, an amino acid, to reach your brain more easily. The tryptophan
is then used to increase serotonin levels in an attempt to stabilize your
brain chemistry. The sleepiness after a large carbohydrate meal is partly
due to an increase in serotonin. So where does carbohydrate addiction come
in to play?


Are You Addicted?

Food addiction occurs when overeating becomes a chronic condition
associated with psychological, social and environmental factors. Food
addiction is often progressive and in some cases can be fatal. To determine
if you might have an addiction to food, ask yourself the following


1. Do you have difficulty controlling the use of food? A real-life example
might be having trouble sticking to a healthy eating program.


2. Do you have a preoccupation with food? A real-life example might be
thinking about your next meal before you finish the current one.


3. Do you use food despite adverse consequence? A real-life example

might be do you continue to eat and gain weight despite the fact it
negatively affects your high blood pressure and joint pain?


4. Does food create distortions in your thinking? A real-life example
might be if you become anxious
at the thought of missing a meal or
eliminating a certain food.


How to Curb Carbohydrate Addiction

The key to curbing carbohydrate addiction is balancing both your blood
sugar and brain chemistry. The following suggestions can help you beat the


1. Increase Physical Activity

Increasing physical activity raises serotonin levels without the use of
food and stabilizes blood sugar. Make sure to do 3 to 4 hours of walking and
weight training per week to keep your body and brain strong and balanced.


2. Eat Healthier Meals

Eating balanced meals with more fruits and vegetables keeps blood sugar
stable while reducing harmful chemicals and additives that affect your
brain. Complex carbohydrates will help increase serotonin without any drastic
blood sugar swings. Eating more whole foods and reducing processed foods
increases fiber and lowers sodium.


3. Lower Stress Levels

Physical activity helps lower stress but it's also important to balance
your activity with relaxation time. Make the time to get a massage, listen
to good music or take a hot bath. Read materials that can help you adopt

a positive attitude. Attitude also helps balance brain chemistry and reduces


Carbohydrates are not bad foods, they can just be addictive when serotonin
levels in your brain are low. Contact us to discuss how Fresh Start Healthy
Weight Loss 
can help put an end to carbohydrate addiction. Call to schedule
your free Fresh Start consultation. Call Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or
email to


Workout With a Partner for BEST Results

Don't Go it Alone
Less than 1% of all people who maintain regular physical activity programs
can successfully go it alone. Finding a good partner makes regular exercise
more fun and easier
to sustain. Your "Activity Buddy" will motivate you,
create accountability, help you have fun and be there for you through good
times and bad. A real buddy is a very special person; so it's important to
carefully choose a partner. Let's look at some of the attributes you'll
want to look for in a good activity partner.
Highly Motivated
Highly motivated people are good to have as regular activity partners.
When they are really motivated and excited about going for a walk, playing
a little tennis or heading to the health club, that enthusiasm rubs off on
you. Some of the best activity partners are kids (not necessarily your
own). Their outlook is fresh and bubbly. They'll see the walk as an
adventure and an opportunity to spend quality time with mom, dad or another
adult. If you have good friends with children, consider trading children
for your activity. Then the kids will behave better and you won't have to
act so much like a parent.
Enjoys the Journey
Find an activity partner who knows how to enjoy the journey. When you are
with them, you sense they are more concerned about having fun and not
constantly looking at their watch, trying to beat a time or focused on
getting to the end. Enjoying the journey is an important way to maximize
the benefits
of your activity. One of its major benefits is reducing
stress. Literally, you want to lose track of time; fully immersing yourself
in what's going on around you. If you do, stress will melt away from you
like hot butter. Having a fun conversation and then realizing that you have
been walking for a ½ hour is exactly the result you want.
Evenly Matched Abilities
Finding an activity partner with evenly matched conditioning maximizes
your fun together. Conditioning is not a crucial attribute of a good
activity partner, but more equal abilities results in less frustration.
That way, one partner won't tire after 15 minutes while the other is ready
to go on for another 30 minutes. Of course, it's easier for an
understanding partner with better conditioning to slow down than a lesser
conditioned partner to try and speed up. Either way, find someone to have a
good laugh with during your activity time.
Engaging Multiple Partners
Finding multiple activity partners is an especially good strategy because
of people's various time commitments and activity interests. It may take
several partners to cover the frequency and times you want to be active.
In our self-imposed, time crunched world, you may find a good tennis partner
for the weekends, a walking partner at lunch time and a strength training
partner for Sequoia. Having multiple partner choices gives you a good safety
especially if one of your partners gets sick or goes on vacation.
Where to Look
There are many great places to look for an activity partner. One of the best
is at Sequoia.
Ask to see if any of my clients need a walking or training
partner. Check at you church and see if one of the members is ready for a
little activity. Ask around at work and see if anybody else wants to start
walking at lunch. Finally, don't forget your family members. Activity is a
great opportunity to spend quality time with your kids or hubby.


Staying active and physically fit is the best way to avoid chronic illnesses like
heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's, osteoporosis and depression. Commit to
Getting Active, Eating Healthier and Reducing Stress while living a healthier
lifestyle. No matter how old you are, Fresh Start provides the education,
motivation and accountability necessary to improve your health while helping you
feel and look your best. For a free Fresh Start consultation, please call
Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or email to    



Friday Night Weight Loss Seminar Series Continues March 27th 


Building a Successful Support Team
It is important to know how to build a solid personal and professional support team in
your quest for healthy weight loss. In this lecture we'll teach you how to surround
yourself with people who can help rather than hurt you chances for success. 
We'll also look at the importance of Fun Activity when it comes to improving your health
and waistline.


Fixing the Stress-Weight Gain Connection

Stress driven overeating is the number one reason you are carrying around extra

weight. Get stress under control and the extra pounds will just melt away.

This seminar helps change the way you look at your weight once and for all. I'll show

you how to reduce stress induced overeating while taking better care of yourself.

You'll learn an easier and more effective way to get active and eat healthier foods.

I'll prove to you how much easier it is to lose weight when you work with rather than

against your body. 

Big Fat Mistakes! seminar series helps you:

  • Look at the most common mistakes keeping you from dropping those pounds
  • Bust the weight loss and fitness myths that have you stuck at that same old weight
  • Use The Healthy Weight Wheel to create a more effective and healthy plan to lose the weight and keep it off for good

If you are not completely satisfied, we offer a 100% money back guarantee. So you have nothing to loose except those extra inches around the waist. 


Cost: $15 per person or $25 per couple

Class Size: Limited to 20 people
Time: 6:30 to 8:00 pm

When:  March 27th and continuing on the last Friday of the month

Location: Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc. Herndon, VA

Please dress comfortably and bring water to drink.
For reservations or more information please contact:

Woody McMahon at Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc                   703-464-5171





Continued Good Health,


Woody McMahon

The Sequoia Advisor

Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc.
483A Carlisle Dive
Herndon, VA 20170  

Required Disclaimer: The material provided herein should not be construed as a health-care diagnosis,
treatment regimen or any other prescribed health-care advice or instruction. The material is provided with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in the practice of medicine or any other health-care profession and does not enter into a health-care practitioner/patient relationship with its readers. The publisher does not advise or recommend to its readers treatment or action with regard to matters relating to their health or well-being other than suggesting that readers consult appropriate health-care professionals in such matters. No action should be taken based solely on the content of this publication. The material and opinions provided herein are believed to be accurate and sound at the time of publication, based on the best judgment available to the authors. However, readers who rely on material in this publication to replace the advice of health-care professionals, or who fail to consult with health-care professionals, assume all risks of such conduct. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions. 

Copyright (c) 2006-2009 by Sequoia Health and Fitness
, Inc.

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