Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A repulsive suggestion that will relieve the temptation to eat most anything

Someone, I forget who, suggested this a long time ago. It repulsed me and I never tried implementing that suggestion, which was: 

Eat naked.

The big turn-off is the idea of enjoying food while you are totally bare. Trying to eat and at the same time, being aware of how your body looks is extremely difficult and repulsive. While it is true that some body parts like arms are beautifully sculpted and function so well is not repulsive, other items as the abdomen, hips, butt and legs seem to lack that beauty. Looking at all of those parts as you try to eat, do you really have an appetite left?

Losing weight begins in the mind.....

Once you've made up your mind to become and remain slimmer, the rest, or the actual implementation gradually becomes habit-forming. You automatically enjoy food and eat balanced meals, as well as keep active continuously. It's all a part of you and who you are.

From my experience, I have found that turning a good weight-losing strategy begins in my head. For example, I've reached a point where I'm not tempted by processed foods, such as fruit roll-ups. And the habit of eating slowly is gradually becoming a part of me.

Deciding to lose weight begins in your mind. Once you've made that commitment, it is up to you to implement it and continue your efforts until a desired habit is established. The longer you implement a given strategy, the more likely you will increase your chances of turning it into a habit that becomes a part of you! After all, you are taking a big step by going outside of your comfort zone and that takes some time to get used to. But once you become used to it, you find that maintaining it day in and day out gets easier and easier. Case in point is my effort to eat more slowly. At first, eating more slowly was the hardest thing to do in the world. Chewing food seemed to take forever. Eating that way for the second, third and fourth times were still difficult. But now, eating slowly is a firmly-entrenched habit, so much so that I lost my desire to eat quickly.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Finding excuses to walk more

You can eat the healthiest food in the world, but if you just sit around or drive most of the time, you probably won't lose much weight at all. If anything, you'll more likely experience weight gain.

Walking is the easiest exercise and doesn't require special equipment or a specific time range. Walking is something that you normally do every day anyhow and to benefit from it even more, you can easily find ways to increase the time you spend walking. Obvious ways include using stairs instead of elevators and extending the distance from your usual bus or train stop to workplace. At first, increasing the distance and time of your walk may be uncomfortable, as you're used to the usual commute and to change it slightly means moving out of your comfort zone. Then as the walking habit becomes more entrenched in your daily routine, you will easily lose more calories, gain strength, and easily extend your new habit at other times, such as walking to the store instead of driving.

Probably the best way to get a good walking workout as well as motivate yourself to walk more often is to check out your nearest city's local attractions and plan to visit them by walking. Places such as museums, zoos and botanical gardens are filled with built-in motivation for walking. You get a chance to walk, look, linger and continue to the next attraction. Visiting London, for example, I walked everyday, visiting a number of attractions almost daily. I walked in Paris, Munich and Rome, reaching a point at which I was easily able to walk longer distances. Of course, I sampled various foods, especially sweets. On first thought, you might think that the consumed sweets alone increased the number of calories, and my weight. Arriving home, I weighed myself and found that I had lost a good 20 pounds from all of that walking!

Of course, traveling increases motivation, but isn't necessary. There are plenty of opportunities to walk nearby, such as trails, malls and nearby cities and parks. The cost to lose weight via walking is zero. If you walk on a daily basis, you should eventually see the results in terms of looser clothes and additional strength and vitality.

Friday, January 27, 2012

If you have a sugary item at home, you'll eat it

I used to buy large bottles of soda, one bottle at a time, and stored it in the fridge. If I needed something that was cold and sweet, I'd open the fridge, pour some soda in a cup and drink it. I knew that it was there and so as not to waste money, I'd drink it, a little at a time over an extended time, perhaps 3-4 months.

I kept other items within easy reach as well, such as cookies, cakes and puddings. And within weeks, I'd gone completely through that supply, even though it only consisted of a few items. I also kept fresh oranges within easy reach and unfortunately, did not reach for them for dessert. As a result, my weight did not change, but remained pretty much the same in the arms, belly and thighs. The flab was ever-present and poked noticeably in my jeans and tops.

Tired of not losing weight in those areas, I finally stopped buying and bringing that stuff home. That stuff would not be around to tempt me to eat it. I'd have to turn to fresh fruit or jello for dessert. The moral of this story is that if a sweet, fattening item is in the house, it will be eaten eventually. Of course, it should be thrown out in the garbage, according to experts on weight loss. But who wants to do that and waste money? If soda has to go, so do those frozen pizzas, dinners, and other faux foods like fruit rollups and the like. Best bet is to avoid the aisles in which they are featured in the supermarket entirely. You avoid temptation as well. Once you give in and buy a given item, you will definitely wind up eating it at some point in the future.

Eating less and enjoying food more

When I'm hungry, I find that eating slowly rather frustrating, as I'm not filling up fast enough. Years of scarfing food down to satisfy my hunger turned into a habit and having to slow down and really savor the taste of the food is, in my opinion, the most difficult thing to do.

But I'm still working on eating slowly, practicing at how slowly I can eat. I'll break off a piece of food, say, scrambled eggs, with my fork, put a little morsel in my mouth and chew slowly, savoring the taste of the eggs as I chew. But I find that watching tv while I eat makes eating slowly just a little easier....and more difficult to keep eating more as I watch. Ideally, I should not even have the tv on, but set the table and focus on enjoying the eating process. At least, that's what the experts suggest. If you're going to eat, eat. If you're going to read or watch tv, then read or watch tv.

I've already proven experts' advice true by feeling full before I've finished eating. The hunger is gone, as is the desire for more food, especially dessert. I could have eaten that dessert if I wanted to and taken care to eat it slowly. But not this time.

With a little more practice, I will soon be able to eat more slowly and savor food much better and lose weight in the process.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Eat practically anything ---- except chem foods ---- and still lose weight!

Processed, or chem foods, are your worst enemy. Pick up just about any canned, boxed or frozen food, and read the label and you will see a list of chemicals that have been added for food preservation and taste. A few of those chemicals are difficult to pronounce! And they can wreck your body and your health if you let them. One author even recommends going through the pantry and fridge, pulling out those chem foods and throwing them in a garbage bag.

People who eat those foods on a routine basis will most definitely gain weight. People who shun those foods will most definitely lose weight. Their clothes will feel looser. Those people will discover that fitting into a size 6 is doable.

Compare the taste of a real orange and processed orange juice. Which tastes better? Which costs much less money? Which is healthier?

And there's nothing wrong, or fattening, about macaroni and cheese if you prepare this at home. You know what is in it. You can eat and enjoy it, minus the chemicals that are in processed heat n' eat macaroni and cheese. Food prepared at home really isn't fattening, unless you drown it in gravy or butter, or in the case of sweets, syrup, sugar or icing.

But what if you don't always have the time to prepare food? You can use a crockpot, or have leftovers. You can also have canned soup or veggies.

My point is that processed foods are largely responsible for all of that weight gain. Try to avoid buying such foods and over a very short time, you will find that you have indeed lost weight. You will look it and feel it. You will also feel motivated to be more active, such as walking more instead of driving. Or cycling.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Getting slimmer and more fit --- naturally

The way to do it is by eating at home more often, and starting from scratch. That is, you buy fresh produce as potatoes, carrots, stringbeans, and the like, then prepare them at home. Doing this, you know what is in that food, as you added one or more ingredients and two, you stayed healthy and saved money.

You can prepare great salads and whether you add dressing to them is up to you. Eating a similar salad at a restaurant, however, you have no idea of how much dressing was dumped on a salad or one of its ingredients, say lettuce. And for that matter, salt and other ingredients that make that salad tasty. At the same time, eating out puts on those calories while draining your wallet. You may be absorbing more fats, salt and surgar than you really need.

I, for one, gained a lot of weight one year by eating hamburgers and cheeseburgers almost daily. I didn't supersize any of my meals, but sure packed away enough fats and calories that left me looking bloated and overweight. Clothes that used to fit well no longer did. In fact, those clothes often resembled a second skin, making those lumps more obvious and unsightly. Soon after, I just stopped eating hamburgers for awhile and lost weight and excess water. I lost weight and vowed to keep it off. Doing that still isn't easy for me, but I can't stop trying. It's worth the effort!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Overcoming overeating

So I was reading an interesting book written by a doctor whose claim was that sugar, fat and salt are used in a lot of foods, even so-called "healthy" salads and add up to huge gains in weight. These items all make food taste better, thereby motivating us to want and eat more of them. You probably remember the time in which you promised yourself that you would only eat one potato chip or piece of candy or cookie. And what happened after that? You ate more!

Now according to the doctor, these and other foods arouse your appetite and "act as an incentive" to eat. Recent studies have shown that people prefer sugar and fat and that is what they will eat more of, much more. The doctor claims that the food industry is responsible for manipulating the amounts of fat and sugar in foods. Even if you are dieting, you are probably absorbing more fat, sugar and salt in innocent, refined foods than you realize and will gain weight instead of losing it. To make matters worse, you'll feel motivated to eat more, thus defeating your efforts to reduce the likelihood of gaining more weight.

So there, the fact that you tried dieting and failed isn't entirely all of your fault!  I recommend this book highly for its value in helping people who want to lose weight finally "see the light." It reads better than any novel! Not only that, it will encourage and motivate you to eat more effectively. It's The End of Overeating by David A. Kessler, MD (Rodale, 2009).

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Eat fattening foods or we all starve!

There's yet another obstacle for people who are trying to do the right thing by omitting foods that they like, but which make them fat. From those peoples' frustrating experience in avoiding foods they love, it is clear that ultimately the foods and their manufacturers will win and dieters will lose.

And it isn't the dieters' fault.

We've all been set up to eat and WANT TO KEEP EATING FOODS WE LOVE, but which make us fat. The manufacturers of those foods,, advertisers, supermarkets, psychology and profits for the food companies all have a stake in this nefarious plan. How many times are we constantly exposed to messages from advertisers on tv and the media.  Something like, "Hey you! You're hungry for french fries or candy or cake or ice cream, so why are you trying to avoid us when you know darn well that you couldn't satisfy your appetite by heeding our message and continue to eat those foods packaged in colorful, attractive, irresistable containers. You need to keep eating those foods or we ALL starve!

The odds are stacked against us.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Losing weight means having to move around often

I know the feeling of getting so comfortable on a couch while watching tv, it is really hard to think about getting up eventually and doing something. That, in my opinion, is hardly motivating because while on the couch, the focus is just relaxing and sitting or lying still. And having eaten a satisfying meal, you just don't feel like getting up. I can relate to that feeling. In my fantasies, I imagine having someone around to wait on me hand and foot.

            - Comfy enough? that person would ask.
            - Yes, yes. Is my bed made yet?
            - Not quite. It will be made soon.
            - And the garbage is out and the dishes are washed?
            - Garbage still has to be taken out, but not to worry. Just relax. Can I bring you anything else to eat or drink?
            - Cup of tea with lemon will be fine, thank you.
            - I'll bring it out to you shortly. Is there anything else?
            - Feels a tad cool in here. Check the thermostat, would you?

But alas, no one is around to do my bidding, though it would be nice. The only downside is that I would wind up gaining weight and probably become lazier. Getting too comfortable and watching one tv program after another can be dangerous to your health and weight-loss efforts, because you bcome so comfortable, you lose a little self-discipline and control and promise yourself to shut off the tv right after your favorite program ends and finish any remaining chores. All of this takes some time to get used to doing.

I've overcome a lot of reluctance to get up and move around by looking forward to a book I want to read as soon as the chores are all done. Right now, I'm reading Robin Cook's Death Benefit that I hope to finish reading soon and return to the library. Looking forward to reading this novel motivates me to move around and get some exercise at the same time. It actually hurts to force myself to leave my comfortable chair and the tv and haul out the garbage and clean litterboxes. That's a lot of work! But that work makes me move around and maybe even keep my weight down. Now all I have to do is figure out how to integrate exercises that will help me lose weight more expeditiously.

Biggest Challenge You Face in Losing Weight

Have you considered that once you begin any kind of weight-loss activity or system, that you are opting in to a new lifestyle? And that you'll need some time to get accustomed to making it a part of your time, in other words, allow it to become habit-forming? That's the hardest part of embarking on any program and as far as I am concerned, the hardest part of doing so.

Suppose one part of a given program stipulates that you have to do five sets of jumping-jacks a day at a time and place of your choosing. At first, you think, why that's so easy, like stealing candy from a baby! I can do this. I WILL do this.

Ok, so after the first week or so, you've been making great progress in completing those sets of jumping jacks. You're getting used to doing them and you're also doing them pretty much at the same time every day.
At some point in the future, you still do those jumping jacks, but with somewhat less enthusiasm. They're a part of your routine, all right. But they've become something that you're not looking forward to. You slog through them half-heartedly and begin to skip the usual time to do them. You haven't seen any progress in losing weight yet. Certainly, no reduction in weight. Only exhaustion and boredom. So after five or six weeks, you finally give up the jumping jacks.

What happened? The jumping jack exercise regimen was incredibly easy and tempting. All you had to do was continue. This is the equivalent of keeping a written diary. At first, it's easy and simple. Over time, you lose interest and no longer look forward to doing it. It has become one more chore in your busy day. And it's a chore that doesn't seem to be yielding desired results. You've begun to dread doing it and don't look forward to it at all. Eventually, you quit. And it's back to Square One.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Do You Really, Really Want to Go on a Diet?

While there is much to be said about a good, well-balanced diet, there are a few downsides that need to be considered before you embark on one.

- Are you ready to commit yourself on a diet for the long term, say, a few years?

- Does that given diet include foods that you enjoy, or think you will enjoy?

- Are you ready to eat foods that you are not interested in eating and/or tend to shy away from, such as seafood, spinach?

- Are you the type who expects quick results after one or two weeks and give up when those results are not forthcoming?

Mind, it is easy to begin a diet and rather difficult to maintain it day after day and month after month. If you think that your commitment to a given diet is iffy at this point, you are probably better off not dieting at all. Look before you leap!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Which is Cheaper --- Eating in or eating out?

I read an article today about this topic and read it through. Well, as you might have guessed, its author claims that eating in will still be cheaper, though the gap between grocery stores and restaurants is closing. Why? Because, as the author claims, restaurants are very hesitant about passing costs on to customers, for fear that business will suffer. Food prices have gone up at grocery stores as well as at restaurants. To raise prices means customers will not only pay more, but decide not to return and/or afford the meals.k

So customers are virtually in the same boat --- damned if they choose to eat in OR out. They're still going to be paying higher prices for staples like milk, bread and butter. Demand for food has increased after all. The laws of supply and demand have you over the barrel, regardlsss of which option you choose.

But don't spend a lot of time worrying about the grocery stores, as they have not only increased prices, but shrunk the size of a product. A sound defeat for customers who mind very much paying more for less. Some customers rebel, hustling to Dollar Stores for bargains Those bargains also come at a price in that there is often limited supplies of a given product or only a generic version of a favorite brand. You gamble by buying that item, not knowing if it will be as effective as a brand name and quality. The plus side is that you've only gambled a dollar, as opposed to several dollars. So you'll have to decide and ultimately make up your mind whether eating in is worth the bother or just going to a restaurant and paying approximately the same price for a meal --- the total cost of groceries you bought just so that meal would be cheaper and probably a lot tastier.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

"How to Lose Weight in ---- Days" An interesting experiment/proposal

Titles of books promising weight loss in x-number of days never fail to fascinate me. Just the other day, for example, I spotted two such books side by side on the same shelf at the library, one's title had 17 days and another title had 21 days. I began to wonder about how long it would take everybody to lose weight in x number of days.

Suppose a contest was promoted. Everyone opting to lose weight in 17 days line up right here. Everyone opting to lose weight in 21 days line up there. After 17 days, participants who wanted to lose weight would again appear and be weighed. The number of weight losers would be recorded officially along with the weights of those who didn't lose much or anything at all. Ditto for the 31-day participants. Then all of the weight losers in one group would be compared to the other and a winner book would be declared, with its author winning a nice big fat prize. The successful weight losers would be scheduled to appear on various talk shows for pay and have a chance for fame and fortune.

Naturally, the author of the winning book would get bragging rights and privilege to milk his or her cash cow with dozens of paid speeches, lucrative book contracts .... but not before be subjected to a little test and eat the foods recommended in the winning book. Wouldn't that be a hoot?

Maybe I'm not being fair, but I cannot help it. Those two books left the field wide open, no pun intended. You can say you saw all of that here first, should something like that ever happen in the future. Happy New Year everyone!!!

Don't feel like eating much right now?

There are and will be times that affect your appetite positively or negatively. On the positive side, you've landed a new job or promotion or recognition for your hard work and all of that has given you an appetite. Good thing to do is eat foods that you really enjoy to celebrate and turn that occasion into something special. You've earned those good things, so why not?

On the other hand, maybe that job didn't come through as anticipated or you're bored with food that's already in the fridge or on the shelves or even worse, lost a pet. You still need to eat something regardless, even if it's very simple, such as applesauce or fruit cocktail. I mentioned applesauce in particular because it does go down smoothly and temporarily fills you up until your appetite comes back. Of course, if you have a flu or virus, you may want to avoid eating anything for the time being and stick to liquids like ginger ale, which won't upset your stomach and has no acid to induce barfing.

Negative events affect people in other ways, prompting a bigger appetite. Favorite foods such as chips and ice cream and hamburgers become "comfort" foods and tend to be eaten in greater quantities. Eating loo much can be just as bad as eating nothing or next to nothing. Only in this case, you may feel some guilt after indulging, along with the unpleasant sensation of your stomach accommodating a rather large lump of food that is going to take a long time to digest.

To make the most of either situation, take time to know yourself better. Figure that you'll experience both types of situations at some point and how you might react to them. Remember that those situations are temporary and won't always affect you by causing needless stress. Tomorrow's another day. Consider the given experience as a lesson learned in life and that you've handled it as best you could. You're already wiser and more confident. Stuff happens. I know this is easy to say, but the best option is going with the flow, accepting that something has happened and you're not going to let it stress you out. Ever. Here's to a better tomorrow!

Monday, January 2, 2012

It's my potato and I'll eat as many as I want to

I have a hard time understanding what so many so-called diet experts have against potatoes, aside from potatoes being starchy. I love the many forms in which potatoes wind up as part of a meal --- mashed, french fries, and baked. Even if they're not eaten with another veggie, potatoes are tasty and filling. I don't eat them everyday, but enjoy them on occasion. And eat as many as I want to. To heck with experts! For my part, those experts are in denial. They don't know what they are missing!

Another point is that potatoes can be as fattening as any other food if they're smothered in gravy, butter, milk or grease. Somehow, those ingredients bring out a potato's potential and appeal as a food. Skimping on potatoes means skimping on its vitamins, good taste and texture.