Lose Weight Online

We can do everything via the web now, so why not lose weight online? Using online tools, such as food and activity journals can help you stay on track with a healthier lifestyle. But, what about other products and services? I recommend being very careful. If you decide to hire a weight loss coach make sure they have a degree in Nutrition or a related field. Don’t sign up for anything that promotes rapid weight loss. This will be followed by rapid weight gain and is extremely hard on your body. Also beware of plans that are overly stringent and have you only eat certain foods. You should be concentrating on all the wonderful food you can eat while losing weight. Focusing on what you can’t have usually causes a lapse or relapse in unhealthy eating and the end to a weight loss/management plan.

You have to remember anything worth having in life takes some work on your part. If you went to college, I bet you didn’t get your degree in a day; I know you didn’t walk your first day on the planet; you probably didn’t instantly know how to read and write, someone had to teach you. I also bet you didn’t gain 30 pounds in 30 days, so don’t expect to lose 30 pounds in 30 days. I know why you want to feel better fast, but I promise you losing it slowly and keeping it off for the long run is a whole lot more fun, then losing it quickly and gaining it all back.

Here are a few online resources:




You can do it! If you need additional support, drop me an email at karen@karenhummel.com.

Physical Signs Of Stress And Anxiety

On my post yesterday I mentioned I had thought the costochandritis I had suffered with the past seven weeks was caused by stress. Stress can manifest into many physical signs and symptoms, so make sure you are listening to your body!

Pretty much any physical symptom can be a sign of stress. Some of the more common stress syptoms are stomach pain, headaches, lack of sleep, over or under eating, anxiety, depression, and heavier alcohol consumption. But stress can also manifest in skin conditions and heavier panic attacks that send people to the hospital, thinking they are having a heart attack. Eventually stress can affect your immune system, so stop stressing already. Easier said than done!

If you read my last post you may have made the decision it is time to work on controlling your stress. So what next, it’s time to track your stress and find out exactly what is stressing you the most. Here is where I tell you to keep a stress diary. If you have been following me and are keeping a food and activity log you can add stress to that one. The ideas is to write down everything that causes you a feeling of bad stress. The type of stress that makes you feel a little anxiety or overwhelmed to massively anxious or overwhelmed and then rate your stresses on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being very little stress, 10 being, I just can’t take this anymore. From there you can start working on your biggest stressors first. Obviously, we will never have zero stress, some stress is actually good for you. Unfortunately today, most of us are carying too much stress and it is causing us to lack energy, become sick, and not reach our life goals.

Here is to managing your stress and reaching your health, weight loss and fitness goals. I know you can do it!


Even A Wellness Profesional Can Get Stressed Out

I talk about stress having a huge impact on both health and weight often with my clients and I am sure I will be doing the same on my new radio show. I have to admit; recently I let my own stress get the best of me. I believe that is how I ended up with Costochondritis, which I am happy to report is getting much better. So if a preventative health and wellness professional can let life bring them so much stress that it impacts their health. I would venture to say, “It could happen to anyone”. So what to do?

The first step is always to make the decision to change. I recently had to do that. I told myself, nothing is worth hurting my health; I am going to do everything possible to relieve my stress. I have started meditating, doing EFT techniques, walking away from situations that cause me undue stress, stopped listening to the news and started getting more sleep. I’m not saying you have to do these things. You may have other things that trigger your stress.

I just cracked open Stress Management For Dummies. The words “Grandma never carried a beeper” jumped off the page at me. Yes, past generations had more physical labor, but they did not have to deal with the information overload we are dealing with today. The very things we have created to make life easier often cause more stress. We are online 24/7 and usually available, making it more difficult to take the necessary downtime, so we have to take a stand for our own health and wellness. Shut off the computer and cell phone once in a while. I know I am hearing gasps from my friends in Internet Marketing! The truth is we will all be stronger if we take some free time away and enjoy simple pleasures. We will be that much more likely to be healthy, creative and strong when we return to our families, hobbies and work.

Personally, I am still working on managing the stress cycle I created for myself. But, I noticed it was an issue and started working on it. Decide today to manage the stress in your life. I promise, it will make it much easier to reach your goals, whether you want to lose weight, start a new project, or start being more physically active.

Karen About Your Health Radio Show Starting Soon

I have great news. The “Karen About Your Health” radio show will be debuting on the  Lucy LLC radio networks Health Channel starting later this month. I will keep you updated of my start date, so you can listen in.

The reason I am unclear about my start date is because I am still dealing with costochondritis, which makes it difficult to talk for any length of time without getting a dry cough. The Health Channel, being true to their name and mission, told me to take care of myself first. I feel very lucky to be associated with a network that talks the talk and walks the walk.

The show will also mean some changes for my BLOG. I will now be updating you on more than just weight loss, but other health topics. My goal for both my radio show and BLOG is to get real information out to the public about preventative health, nutrition, fitness, weight loss and more.

I will definitely be interviewing someone on costochondritis.

All the best,


Missing My Exercise Routine

Hope this Monday finds you well. I continue to battle costochondritis and am unable to workout. Just walking up a flight of stairs exacerbates the symptoms and pain level. I asked you last week to get a workout in for me. Did you?

I am asking again. If you are healthy at the moment I want you to think about how lucky you are to have your health and then plan a workout in honor of someone you know that is too ill to exercise! You can exercise for me if you would like. I would greatly appreciate it. If you do, let me know on my BLOG or at Karen@karenhummel.com. I would be both touched and honored.

Now, what will you do? Here are a few ideas:

  1. If you are new to exercise take a small walk to get yourself started. You can add weight training and other forms of exercise later. Just getting used to exercising at the same time each day is a great start!
  2. Is there a class you have imagined taking but have let fear hold you back? Don’t let fear hold you back any longer. Go try it this week! If you are new to exercise I would suggest waiting on taking a class unless it is geared to beginners. If you have been exercising, still tell the instructor you are new to classes and/or the form of exercise you are trying.
  3. Go out and play! Were you a mean tether ball payer in grammar school like I was, go play. What about kick ball, four square, dodge ball, you get the picture. Go be goofy, have some fun and burn calories.

Well, I need to get some more rest. Hope you enjoy whatever workout you decide to try.

All the best!


Healthy Menu – Tips For Staying On Track When Dining Out

As my friends and family know I am famous for asking questions, substituting foods, and ordering dressings and sauces on the side. I know some people are embarrassed to do this or think they are somehow putting the food server out. I have never had a problem, in fact servers are always happy to help and often times give me ideas on how to make what I am ordering a little healthier.

Even though you are probably trying to lose weight, you can still have fun dining out and make healthy choices. Here are some tips:

You can call ahead or ask your server if the restaurant will:

  • Trim visible fat from poultry or meat
  • Serve dressings and sauces on the side
  • Accommodate special requests
  • Use less cooking oil when cooking

Now it’s up to you to order healthy options:

  • Steamed
  • Broiled
  • Baked
  • Roasted
  • Poached
  • Lightly sauteed

Remember ordering healthy does not mean it will be tasteless. Also, remember my most important tip. Tip your server well.

Happy Dining!

Karen Hummel

Safe Exercise

Many of my clients are starting exercise either for the first time or after decades of not being physically active. I am sure you may be in the same boat. Your safety is very important to me, so I have a few tips to help you stay safe.

Stop your activity right away if you (Please see your physician if you have any of the symptoms below):

  • Have pain, tightness, or pressure in your chest or neck, shoulder, or arm.
  • Feel dizzy or sick.
  • Break out in a cold sweat.
  • Have muscle cramps.
  • Are extremely short of breath.
  • Feel pain in your joints, feet, ankles, or legs. You could hurt yourself if you ignore the pain.

    Wear Suitable Clothes

    • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting tops so you can move easily.
    • Wear clothes made of fabrics that absorb sweat and remove it from your skin.
    • Never wear rubber or plastic suits. Plastic suits could hold the sweat on your skin and make your body overheat.
    • Women should wear a good support bra.
    • Wear supportive athletic shoes for weight-bearing activities.
    • Wear a knit hat to keep you warm when you are physically active outdoors in cold weather. Wear a tightly woven, wide-brimmed hat in hot weather to help keep you cool and protect you from the sun.
    • Wear sunscreen when you are physically active outdoors.
    • Wear garments that prevent inner-thigh chafing, such as tights or spandex shorts.

    Stay safe and enjoy your exercise program. Please let me know if you need additional information.

    Karen Hummel


    Save Money On Groceries

    It’s the food choices we make over the long run that make a difference in  our health. I often have people comment that eating healthy costs too much. So I have some ideas for you to save money at the grocery store.

    Before going to the Grocery Store

    • Eat before you leave. Don’t shop hungry.
    • Make a list of meal ideas for the coming week. Keep in mind the days you’ll be pressed for time and look for quick
    • Review ads, clip coupons, and organize them at home.

    At the Grocery Store

    • Sign up for your grocer’s discount card for additional savings.
    • Try store brands. The most costly brands are often placed at eye-level. Store brands that may be cheaper and just as good are often placed higher or lower on the grocery shelves.
    • Look for the unit price to compare similar foods. It tells you the cost per ounce, pound, or pint, so you’ll know which brand or size is the best buy. Most stores show the unit price on a shelf sticker just below the product.
    • Buy in-season fruits and vegetables. Use local farmers’ markets when possible— the foods are fresher and tend to cost less.
    • Purchase canned (in water or in their own juice) and frozen fruits and vegetables. They’re healthy, less expensive, and last longer.
    • Buy a whole chicken and cut it into pieces at home instead of buying pre-cut chicken (breasts, legs, and wings) that may be more expensive.
    • Stock up on sale items you can use in a timely manner. Buy in bulk for quality and value.
    • Use your food budget wisely. For the price of a large bag of chips and a box of cookies, you can buy a lot of apples, bananas, carrots, potatoes, peppers, and other healthier foods.

    Later at Home

    • Assemble healthy snacks in small baggies using foods such as nuts and seeds, and fresh veggies and fruits.
    • Cook a large portions ahead of time and freeze them in portion sized freezer bags.
    • Take advantage of planned leftovers to cut preparation time and save food dollars.

    Happy Shopping!

    Karen Hummel

    Fitting In Physical Activity

    I haven’t added to my BLOG this past week, as I have been very sick with costochondritis. If you have not heard of it you are not alone. It’s the inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the breast bone. It feels like you are being suffocated. Here’s hoping you never get this and I never get it again.

    The biggest bummer is I’m not allowed to exercise for another full week. I so miss SPIN class and weight training. If you are healthy be thankful and take the time to fit physical activity into your day. Your exercise can be done all at one time, or intermittently throughout the day. You want to work up to a minimum of 30 minutes most days of the week. Start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of the exercise. This will protect you from injury. And, remember you don’t have to necessarily go to a gym. Common chores and sporting activities also work. Here is a list of moderate intensity options:


    • Washing and waxing a car for 45–60 minutes
    • Washing windows or floors for 45–60 minutes
    • Gardening for 30–45 minutes
    • Pushing a stroller 1.5 miles in 30 minutes
    • Raking leaves for 30 minutes
    • Walking 2 miles in 30 minutes (15 min/mile)
    • Shoveling snow for 15 minutes
    • Stairwalking for 15 minutes


    • Playing volleyball for 45–60 minutes
    • Playing touch football for 45 minutes
    • Walking 1.75 miles in 35 minutes (20 min/mile)
    • Basketball (shooting baskets) for 30 minutes
    • Bicycling 5 miles in 30 minutes
    • Dancing fast (social) for 30 minutes
    • Water aerobics for 30 minutes
    • Swimming laps for 20 minutes
    • Basketball (playing game) for 15–20 minutes
    • Bicycling 4 miles in 15 minutes
    • Jumping rope for 15 minutes
    • Running 1.5 miles in 15 minutes (10 min/mile)

    Weight Loss Help

    I often get emails asking for weight loss advice. I always respond and try to be as helpful as possible, but candidly it is difficult to give the best possible advice without a client health/fitness history and nutrition/fitness assessment.

    Today I am going to share the persons question and my response, as I am sure many of my readers have similar questions.

    Email to Karen


    I was reading through the forum on health boards and came across your post on proper diet and exercise.
    Now I am trying to do a similar thing and was wondering if you could give me some advice or tips because I don’t seem to be getting the desired results.
    For breakfast I am eating 1 bowl of porridge then I go to the gym. My routine is every day 1 hour of cardio. then 30 min of weight training alternating exercise groups ever day. Once done with my workout I’ll have a protein drink. For lunch I normally have a wrap (whole wheat) with a couple slices turkey meat and a humus spread. In between lunch and dinner I will have an apple and a banana. Then dinner is always a mix up chicken/fish/lean beef with steamed veggies. Now I’ve been doing this for about a month and am noticing that i am starting to gain muscle mass but my ultimate goal is to lose weight. I am sitting around the 220 mark and am trying to get down to around 180. Any advice? Ideas or things I’m doing blatantly wrong? Thanks

    Karen’s Response

    It’s really difficult to give advice without a complete picture, so I will throw out some ideas. Usually when I give out information I have a complete health history and a pre-assessment, so I would know if you had any previous injuries, how long weight has been an issue for you, what your age, height, weight, body fat, BMI, etc… are and more.

    Good job on hitting the gym regularly and doing your best to eat right! You are on the road to your goals. It is great that you have put on some mass as this will increase your basil (resting) metabolic rate, so it will be easier to keep the weight off moving forward. Not sure what type of weight training you are doing, but if you are going heavy for 5 to 8 reps, you may want to go a little lighter and do 8 to 12 reps. Not to light though. You still want it to be hard to lift the weight during the last couple of repetitions.

    Again, not sure what your cardio routine consists of. Here are some ideas:
    1. Don’t do the same routine everyday. Your body will adjust to it.
    2. You could create a shorter workout that includes cardio and weights. You could have 5 to 10 exercises you rotate through for a number of sets or rounds. This way you could jump rope, run stairs, etc…
    3. Make sure you are interval training. You don’t want to go at one pace the entire workout.

    Nutrition – without knowing serving sizes I would guess you may not be getting enough calories. This may sound crazy, but your body will hold on to weight when you don’t eat enough. Initially you may see some weight gain on the scale, but over the long run you will get the results you seek. I also did not see healthy fats in your day. Like avocado, almond butter, olive oil, etc… In the morning you may want to start with a bigger breakfast. Have your cereal with some fruit and a table spoon of almond butter.

    I have my one on one clients keep an online food diary and measure their food at first, so I know exactly what is going on. You had emailed what you were eating, but its not enough information for me to be 100% sure you need more calories or healthy fat in your diet. You may want to go to http://www.fitday.com and start a food diary to get a clearer picture of what you are doing.

    Lastly, I would suggest getting a metabolism test done. The last time I had one done it ran around $97.00. I workout at 24 hour, but I am sure many other gyms carry the body gem or something similar. Basically, you breath into a machine for 15 minutes or so. The machine gives a read out for your basil metabolism. This will tell you exactly how many calories your body burns at rest. Some gyms will also give you recommendations for fitness and nutrition, based on the read out and your goals. Sometimes this is an extra fee though.


    PS Depending on where you workout, you may want to hire a trainer. Just make sure the trainer has a degree in some type of exercise science and a respected personal trainer certification. The degree is important.