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Natural Ways To Lose Weight

Natural Ways To Lose Weight

If you’re like me, you could stand to lose a few pounds, there are many diet programs that you can read about online or in books that purport to help you get to a healthy weight. It is important, however, to use caution and consult with your doctor before you start on any weight loss program. Some diets are dangerous, and may cause harm to those who blindly follow them. The good news is that there are some safe, natural ways to lose weight and a few of these are presented in the list that follows.

1. Eat Pears

In an article published in March 2003 in the journal “Nutrition,” researchers reported that overweight, non-smoking women aged 30 to 50 who ate 3 pears a day for 12 weeks lost more weight than those who had a similar diet but did not eat pears. The average weight loss for the pear group was 2.7 pounds. Pears are a high-fiber food, and they contribute to the feeling of being full. Since you feel full, you are less inclined to overeat.

2. Daily Almonds

Reporting in the “International Journal of Obesity” in November 2003, researchers described their study in which a group of obese adults were able to achieve an 18% reduction in their weight after they ate three ounces of almonds every day for 24 weeks. The almonds were a supplement to a 1000 calorie per day liquid diet. The control group had the same 1000-calorie liquid diet, but instead of almonds they ate wheat crackers as a supplement. The control group achieved only an 11% reduction in weight.

3. Green Tea

According to Dr. Nicholas Perricone, medical researcher and author of the book “The Perricone Weight Loss Diet,” you can lose weight by regularly drinking green tea. If you are a coffee drinker, you can lose weight by replacing coffee with green tea, says Dr. Perricone. The weight loss may be the result of increased metabolic rate. The University of Maryland Medical Center advises, however, that if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney or liver problems or stomach ulcers, you should avoid green tea. In addition, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not drink green tea. You should consult your doctor if you have questions about the effects of green tea. Green tea supplement comes in capsules as well as a drinkable tea. You may also see some health benefit from the extract Forskolin. This may include weight loss, lower blood pressure and more energy. Here’s what you should know about forskolin before trying it.

4. Walking

According to the Mayo Clinic, if you walk briskly every day for about 30 minutes, you can enhance the weight loss you get from decreasing your daily intake of calories. Walking is a natural form of exercise and just about everyone can safely enjoy it. If, however, you have been leading a sedentary life for a prolonged period of time, you should check with your doctor before you start any kind of walking regimen.

5. Drink More Water

In the December 2003 issue of “The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism,” researchers report that people who drink more water each day, can increase the rate at which they burn calories. According to the researchers, if you increase your daily intake of water by 1.5 liters, then over the course of one year you will burn 17,400 more calories than you would without increasing your consumption of water. This translates to a weight loss of about five pounds.

The many health benefits that you can derive by controlling your weight are well documented. In order to maintain a healthy weight, you don’t have to resort to complex diets. The natural weight loss methods discussed here are easy to implement, and can contribute to your overall well-being.

Donald Milford writes about healthy living and fitness for various online publications.

The Power of Joy

The Power of Joy

Is a secret to personal power sitting right under your nose? It was mine. I grew up a negative, cynical kid, and it wasn’t until relative adulthood that I discovered the ability for simple joy to help me find my power in otherwise powerless situations – mostly, but not only, on the job.

Turns out I’m not crazy or stupid (the remnants of that old cynic talking). Research into the power of positive thinking is thrusting happiness into the business and leadership press. It turns out that positive thinking leads to success more than success leads to positive attitudes. The U.K. is even launching a national Happiness Index this year to measure the national well being.

What goes around comes around

I like to dig beneath the data, because when we understand the dynamics producing the information, we gain power over how to bring it intentionally into our lives.

People respond to those around them. This is how we have power to affect others emotionally – and to be affected. To understand how this dynamic affects the business climate, we don’t have to look any farther than the stock market, which fluctuates our portfolios based on some impossible-to-predict-or-measure emotional confidence factor (we don’t fully understand it but we measure it in the Consumer Confidence Index).

Using the market dynamic as an example, it follows that when you inject an attitude of joy and optimism into the group around you, you provide others the opportunity to be infected with your positive outlook and thus infect even more people. This ability to infect and affect others works for good and bad – especially as it impacts those below you in the pecking order. So the question is, what do you want to be coming back at you from those you infect?

Choose wisely.

More Joy

But there’s more to the positive attitude power than even that. The feeling of joy is a clue that you’re doing something – surrounded by something – “onto something” – that lights up your soul. If you treat it like a clue and follow the clues, your joy will lead you to places that bring you even more joy. This is true in our careers as much as it is in our personal lives. If we really let it lead us, it takes us straight to our purpose in life, and in our purpose, we discover power we didn’t know we had that can fuel and support us as we take on the tough work required to change the world.

Of course we are all programmed with lots of “reasons” to ignore the joy clues littering our lives, or otherwise diminish them, to the point where many of us don’t even notice the little energy blip of joy that lights up sometimes when we do things that would bring us joy if we just paid attention.

If you’re on a personal power journey, however, I suggest that you begin to pay attention to those joy blips. Anytime you are faced with a choice on where to put your energy – open this email or that? – go the long way or the short way? – tackle this project or that? – follow the more joyful choice and see what it has to teach you about yourself and what powers you up. Think of it like a life-sized version of Angry Birds. You’re always working to make your next flail at the pigs more effective (i.e., your daily, Sisyphean life) but if you can snag one of those little golden eggs, you get some extra points that pay off in other ways.

Always snag the joy in every activity you can and over time your joy-score is higher.  You’re more positively infecting those around you and – according to those who measure such things – you’re increasing your chances of success. You have nothing to lose except your cynicism and everything to gain. What are you waiting for?

6 Dynamics of Transformation – for Your Business and Your Life

6 Dynamics of Transformation – for Your Business and Your Life

Good leaders need to be reasonable managers, able to make sure the important stuff gets done from day to day, but a true leader’s potential is discovered and exercised during times of business transformation.  It is in those times that the leaders truly change the world. The words “change and transformation” are used a lot interchangeably and I’ve come to believe their meaning has pretty much been lost in modern business. “Change and transformation” don’t just mean “different than the way things are today.”

What is business transformation?

I love Chris McGoff’s distinction of CHANGE VS. TRANSFORMATION in The PRIMES. Change is improvement on the past (e.g., better, faster cheaper, ______er.) Transformation is something else altogether – a new thing, designed to achieve a vision of the future that isn’t here yet and is waiting to be created by us.

Transformation is what happened to Shell Oil in the mid 70′s when they redefined themselves as an energy company instead of an oil company. Transformation is what happened when the Internet turned into the web thanks to intuitive interface inventions like the hyperlink and the browser that organized information for human consumption instead of computer consumption. Transformation is what happened when Zappos gave customer service agents free reign to make customers happy instead of instructions about how to handle their calls.

From the outside, transformation can appear magical – like the emergence of a butterfly from a caterpillar cocoon, but when we look inside, we see very definite patterns which are repeatable if not predictable, and this is why transformation is more an art than a science.

Repeatable Patterns of Transformation

Here are the key elements of any business transformation, using the examples above and a few others:

  • Define radical success: In any transformational effort, the definition of success initially sounds a little crazy. Zappos went for 100% customer satisfaction, Shell set a target that a meaningful percentage of their revenue would someday come from chemical products. Looking at these things with our 40/40 hindsight, including how the market and technology developed, makes sense. However, from the perspective of where the market had been, and prevailing norms at the time these way-out goals were set, these were radical goals.
  • Understand what’s at stake if you don’t: It takes more than just a dream of the future to motivate groups of people to change, much less transform. For people to get up and move, they must not only be able to understand the radical definition of success you offer, but they must also believe that complacence with the current situation is not an option. The major inhibitor to transformation isn’t failure, it’s inertia. The catch in business is that you have to counter the inertia of many different people, all motivated by different things. Chris McGoff has identified the three ways people are motivated – intellectually, emotionally and financially – to transform in his STAKE PRIME. If you want to start seeing Change and Transformation happen in your world, starting asking people what’s at stake if things stay as they are. For an example of this, read about my recent power breakfast.
  • Look back once, and then never again: Make sure you honor the past and take from it a few things of value, but don’t let it be your guide. Transformation is like reading the wind while sailing, you may have to tack to one side and then the other, but your horizon point is always the goal. Shell could not grow it’s chemical business by doing things the way the oil business worked. They had to stay focused on doing what was necessary to grow a new kind of business and adapt their company along the way.
  • Experiment and do more of what works: Once you’ve really unhooked from the past, you have tremendous freedom to try new things. Many won’t work and that’s ok because you’re learning what does. Fail fast and when you find out what works, do more of that and learn from the wisdom of failure. Sure you have limited resources, which provides some urgency, but there’s too much at stake and no going back, remember? The development of the Mozilla browser birthed the internet and even though Netscape (the company that productized Mozilla) isn’t around anymore, its investors made so much money they are now the Silicon Valley funders of much of the technology underlying the Internet as it continues to morph and grow so fast that less than two decades later people like me can build and manage a web site.
  • Constantly let go:  Skilled transformers are always ready to release that which has outlived its usefulness – a brand, a technology, a market, or a customer. Microsoft is actually a good example of doing this well and failing. Under Bill Gates, Microsoft at first ignored the Internet because its business model relied on multiple private enterprise networks, not a single public, open network. After Netscape’s wild success, however, Microsoft saw the writing on the wall and risked much of its product integrity to transform itself successfully into the dominant Internet-savvy company for a time. With the successful release of Internet Explorer it succeeded in dominating the desktop software market once more, putting Netscape out of business. However, while adapting its products to the Internet, it did not become Internet-centric and remained vulnerable to Google and subsequent Cloud initiatives. It remains to be seen whether Microsoft can, or wants to, transform itself fully into the Cloud. There is always a little bit of caterpillar carcass sticking to us and we must be ready to shed it the moment we are certain it’s holding us back. The art of it is in learning to know when that moment to let go actually arrives when you can begin leading your customers just as they are ready to let go too (you don’t want to get too far out in front of your customers).
  • Be comfortable – but not too comfortable – with risk: There are no guarantees in life and there are certainly none with transformation. If transformation is anything, its unpredictable. Those that survive and thrive in it pay close attention and adapt quickly, managing and mitigating risk instead of trying to avoid it. Quite often the secret to success comes at odd times and in odd forms, and if you don’t open yourself to risk you’re not likely to discover it.

Learning the art personally

Because it’s an art more than science, the way to learn transformation is to experience it. Sometimes we’re thrown into a situation where we have no choice, but an opportunity we all have all the time is to become adept at transforming ourselves. It’s not just businesses that can transform, people can too and transformative leaders are often transformative human beings who become skilled at managing transformation in their own lives as well as at work.

Research says that it’s a small percentage of people – 5% – that can do so, but I take a broader view of transformation. I think we can become skilled at it if we try because we already are. We transform from children into adults, our bodies are biologically transforming all the time and everything I listed above is available to us all personally at any time. All we have to do is want that brighter future, understand what’s at stake if we stay where we are, and step boldly out to let the past go.

What do you think? Do you think transformation is hard? Do you think anyone can do it if they try? Can any company? What’s your experience with transformation?

The Leadership Effect

What if everyone woke up one day and decided to lead from inside their power? We all can. All you have to do is set your intention. And do it.

“Don’t make us wait any longer to benefit from your greatness and contributions.”

What are you waiting for?

Thanks to Sagestone Partners for putting together this awesome video, inspired by The Girl Effect(also an awesome video). And thanks to Mike Henry and the LeadChange group for sharing this so widely.

What Are You Worth?

What Are You Worth?

Let’s start with the notion that you are priceless – an utterly unique mix of experience, judgment and talent. Do you feel resistance to that notion? Not true? Impractical? Culturally irrelevant? Play with me anyway. Let go of those negative ideas for just a minute. Just find that part of you that knows you’re priceless and let’s move on.

Next we’ll accept the fact that there are limited resources in any particular situation – a company, a project, a market, a country – whatever. No matter how limited, it’s important to realize that there are resources and they do find their way to people in a variety of ways. If they’re not coming to you, they’re going to someone else. Does that feel unfair? Hey, I didn’t say you were the only one that was priceless, did I?

People Aren’t Worth Anything

People – including you – are totally priceless, which makes us all worth the same, which makes us all worth nothing – because people aren’t worth money, that’s called slavery. But this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do our best to access the resources we can because we have mouths to feed, bills to pay and any number of other responsibilities that we can only fulfill with money.

I have always taken an InPower approach to financial compensation – and my satisfaction with financial remuneration has fluxuated with my situation. I’ve given up money in order to obtain experience (new challenges, new expertise, new contacts or lifestyle bennies like flexibility) and I’ve taken money to use my talents on behalf of others. Now that I’m a consultant it’s easier for me to negotiate financial vs. other benefits on a project-by-project basis, but the same dynamic held for me in my corporate jobs. And I don’t regret this approach at all. In some cases, I had to take a job for less (learning later I left money on the table) to learn not to do that anymore!

One thing all this negotiation has taught me was that when it was the right job or project, money has never been the issue. I didn’t say money wasn’t an issue for the jobs I wanted, I said for the right jobs – where my employer/client and I both gained tremendously – it wasn’t an issue. More often than not, for the right job I am compensated more than I expected and sometimes more than I asked for. And what this means is that I know now that I can ask for whatever I want (within “reason”, see below) and the right jobs will give it to me.

In the Equal Pay Gap – What’s “Reasonable” Compensation to Ask For?

Here’s the crux of it. The data tells us that women still make less than men and so I believe that’s true on a statistical and social scale. They also tell you that women often don’t negotiate for as many benefits, making their total package worth less. The science of this is fascinating but here is what struck me most clearly in a recent article at Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge Blog:

Research shows that in conditions of ambiguity, if you bring men and women into the lab and you say either one of two things: “Work until you think you’ve earned the $10 we just gave you,” or “Work and then tell us how much you think you deserve,” the women work longer hours with fewer errors for comparable pay, and pay themselves less for comparable work. But if there’s a standard [that men and women know], then this result goes away. (Hannah Riley Bowles)

If find this hugely empowering because it indicates that ambiguity is often the culprit, and ambiguity is something we as individuals can deal with. How? In applying for the job we need to get information to fill in the gaps in our knowledge about what this employer typically pays, what others make, what are industry standards in our geographical location etc. The research implies that if we’re armed with such information all of us – men and women – will often negotiate for the right sized package.

This is a perfect example of how to turn an unempowering situation – negotiating salary or project fees – into an InPower situation. Armed with knowledge and your own assessment of your value, in that situation for that opportunity, employees feel confident in their ask and are likely to get a fair salary.

If you don’t negotiate for your salary,
they walk away happy that they paid you less
but wonder why they hired you.
— Kathleen McGinn
As a leader, we’re often in the position of hiring, in which case this principle works in reverse and we bear the responsibility for giving all applicants similar information about salary so we don’t unintentionally – or unethically – disadvantage some of the applicants from getting a fair salary.

Standing In Your Power in Salary Negotiations

So knowledge is good and evens the playing field a bit, but it’s not where the true power lies in the negotiation. Here’s the secret to an InPower salary negotiation: as the employee – when you make the informed ask, do you feel worth it? If they say no, do you feel like it’s their loss? If they say yes, do you make your choice fully and freely and 100% unapologetically?
The way to tell if you’re not InPower is that once you give your agreement – freely and of your own volition – you feel abused or regretful the moment you sign the employment contract or send the email saying “no thanks.” Try to work this part out before you close the negotiation. Imagine how you’ll feel when you’ve said yes and if you feel at all regretful, review your negotiating position and try to come up with another response – or walk away. The power in any negotiation is held by the person who is most willing to walk.

As the employer you need to make sure you’re InPower also. Did you make a fair offer based on researching the comps? Was the applicant adequately informed of the salary range? Was the applicant fairly treated?

If the answer to all these things is YES! then no matter which side of the negotiation you’re on, you cut a good deal and can feel proud. Even more importantly the actual dollars involved have just become largely irrelevant. Social stats be dammed.

Sure it takes some work to get the information, work through some of your own demons about self-worth and competitiveness and stuff, but hey – what are you worth to you?