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Posts Tagged ‘eat’

Weight Loss is About Energy

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

I listened to a podcast today that was recorded many months ago. I listen to the Everything is Energy podcast when I go out for my 4 mile walk 5 times a week. I walk through a beautiful forest along the Fox river here in northern Illinois. I have been walking or jogging this trail for nearly 20 years and I never get tired of it.

On this particular podcast was a guy name Stu Zimmerman from Inner Espresso.  He talked about how money is like water. When it’s moving it is powerful. When it’s stagnant, it sort of gets sick and stagnant and “self-pollutes.” Suddenly I thought, “that that’s just like energy in your body.” When you eat something and the body does not process it into action, or heat or thought, it sort of gets stored as belly fat. Belly fat is like self-made body pollution from stored energy.

Belly fat and his side kick (the love handles)  is the stuff that we avoid for obvious reasons:

  • Causes heart attack
  • Causes type II diabetes
  • Drains your energy
  • Looks horrible on us.

You know the feeling of belly fat. You cannot bend over without feeling you are going to pass out or you just plain cannot tie your shoes. You can’t play with your kids in the yard or even get down on the floor with them, because of your gut. You would never consider taking off your shirt at the pool or beach. You always wear a hoodie or jacket with sweat pants, because it’s the only thing that can house your bulk.

Here’s why looking at fat like stored energy is really powerful. Although the body can store fat, the body was really mostly designed to process energy. Energy stored as fat is just a side business of the body. One of my bosses from years ago in my corporate days,  had a poster hung on his wall that stated “A ship is safe in a harbor, but that is not what ships are made for.” Same thing for body fat.

Here are simple steps to use in maximizing the energy that you put into your body as the next bite you will take:

  1. First – visualize the fat already stored in your body as stored energy.
  2. Second – Realize that when you take the next bite, you are already putting more fuel into your “fuel tank” that is way full. It’s more than full. As a matter of fact, you have created several auxiliary tanks to store all of your fuel.
  3. Decide to forego that next bite or snack and draw down on your fat reserves starting right now to reverse the direction of the weight gain.

It’s that simple. Every time that you put your body into a calorie deficit, you will lose weight. What’s a calorie deficit? It’s when you are using more fuel than you take in everyday. It’s simply a numbers game.

Try this right now. Total up the calories you ate today. Make a list right now of everything you ate today and how many calories are in them.  If the total calories you have eaten, or will eat, exceeds the calories burned for a guy your age, you will gain more fat. If it’s less, you will starting burning up fat, right now.

So now go do it.

Does Eating Really Satisfy You?

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Grumble Mouthed Fat GuyI remember when I was in grade school, my 6th grade teacher asked the open-ended question “what did we like most about school?”  The answer blurted out by the ever loud-mouthed guy sitting in the back of the class was “lunch!” That was probably more of a truthful answer than I think the teacher-dude had considered.

But, now I wonder whether the answer has really changed that much that I am older and supposedly smarter.  Up to a few months ago, I had adopted some daily habits that had high calorie meals, snacks and drinks built-in. It is often difficult to find out how these habits snuck into a formerly healthy eating habit.

Weight loss means fat loss. Runaway male eating habits are most likely where I had fallen off the wagon. When I was eating on auto-pilot is where I was packing on the fat on my belly, love handles and under my chin. Yuch! The dumbest part of this whole thing is that I was not really enjoying what I was eating either. An extra slice of cheese, another beer, a handful of cookies were just fleeting pleasures that were not that enjoyable.

When I recognized that this fat is heavily linked to heart attack, diabetes and hypertension makes this situation even more scary. Eating myself into dis-health is just plain stupid. I realized that this had to stop, because I saw this weight gain as sort of permanent. Even after 30 years of healthy living, I had lost control of my weight. I had to make a change.

The medical facts are that obesity is not linked to either eating too much fat or carbohydrates (see “Food preferences and body weight control” France Bellisle – 1995). It is not linked to food choices. Obesity has been shown to be more prevalent among lower socio-economic strata, yet look around at your well-educated friends and you will see many fat guys and gals.

Here is What To Do

Here are a few simple things to do to make sure that you are getting satisfaction out of what you eat. Think about your level of satisfaction of your food. I’ll bet it is more about habit than satisfaction. Addiction is sort of an emotional attachment to a habit. See if these things are true for you:

1. Do you see your typical day as consisting of a few “high satisfaction” moments or peaks of eating? If you do, it is addiction or at least heavy habits. There is nothing wrong with enjoying a good meal, snack or drink. But there is a lot of life going on between those peaks to be enjoyed. Food is just part of it.

2. Have you given up on losing weight? The question is have you given up on paying attention to what you eat, because you think you are a lost cause or not worthy of taking care of yourself. Or are you so attached to eating that your body is ballooning out of control? In this case, my guess is that you are not enjoying food enough. Sounds crazy, but fat guys are not the people that enjoy the food too much, but rather are hooked on the taste rather than savoring it.

3. Do you secretly fear going into a gym because you are terrified of someone seeing a pathetic fat guy? This is a real fear. Most likely the other people are way too involved with themselves and aren’t really paying attention to you. When you get home from this emotional ordeal, either food is a reward or a refuge. Don’t let exercise become an ordeal that you need to recover from. Food as a reward is also not a winning deal.

Here is a healthy definition of food that should help you decide whether you are running off the rails:

Food -  fuel that has been made tasty by nature.

Don’t stockpile fuel!

The Four Letter Word – Diet

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Ice Cream or Apple? - The Male Weight Loss QuestionLet me guess. Your gut reaction to the word DIET makes you sick, just thinking about it. It sounds like something women do, right? Maybe it is an aspect unique to being a man, maybe not. We don’t like diets. So let’s just agree openly, that there’s no uglier aspect of losing weight than THE DIET.

Is Food Your Payoff?

After you work all day, exercise, pay bills, take care of friends and family, you are probably looking for some type of payoff.  Food is probably the payoff and is your bad habit. Where I live in the Chicago area, we have great food – Chicago-style pizza, Chicago-style hot dogs, beef and sausage sandwiches and fries. These are some of the great cultural advantages of living here. Unfortunately, they’re all calorie monsters too.

Need To Get Your Belly Fat Handled

The gut, belly fat or love handles are the tell-tale signs of a guy that is eating “his share” and more. To lose weight, any one of the above  foods are very high in calories, and should be avoided. But to avoid heart attack, diabetes or high blood pressure, it is absolutely necessary to eliminate the fat on your waist. It is worth the effort to just simply gain back your energy and youthful vitality that comes from losing the gut.

Just Say No To Diet

What I am telling you in this article, is rather than drastic dieting,  start making only small changes. Your friends do not need to know what you are doing. And that is why this strategy works. Small habits stick. These are small changes that you can make once per week that will start taking you in the proper direction to reducing your bulk. Here are some examples of what I have done. I am living proof that these small improvements can change your life. But are you ready to be what you desire for yourself?

What To Do

  • Drink 2 glasses of water before each meal – you need the water (about 80 oz per day) and the water before the meal will cut down on appetite during any meal. While at work or out of the house, bring a large bottle of water with you and drink it before you eat lunch.
  • Some type of vegetable or fruit at each meal – and potatoes don’t count. I have learned how to eat raw carrots as a lunchtime snack. I also eat some type of fruit that I like – oranges, grapes, or an apple. Would this have been food I would have preferred? Well no, but it is really amazing how you can become accustomed to eating something that you know is improving your life with every bite.
  • Protein at every meal – protein is digested more slowly and requires more body energy to digest (up to 30% of the calories ingested are used to digest proteins). So eat some type of eggs, lean meat, chicken or fish. Boiled eggs are a good way of getting proteins when away from home.

Make Changes Slowly

Begin only one of these habits every two weeks. Do not start them all at the once. Start drinking the water one week and allow that habit to settle in before you even think of working on one of the other two changes. Be easy on yourself. It has taken a long time to acquire your current habits and it takes some time to establish new habits. Eventually, your habits would look something like the following:

How To Do It

If you just do these three things and make them a habit everyday, you will lose belly fat. Guaranteed. So how do you put this into practice? Here is a plan to follow:

Morning

After you wake up, drink one glass of water before you do anything (before shower, shave, exercise). It may seem like a lot of work the first time you do this, but once you get into the habit of it, drinking one glass of water is really easy. Just before you eat breakfast, drink another glass of water. Have your fruit – bananas, blueberries, strawberries, orange, apple. Put them on your cereal if you like.

Lunch

Drink one glass of water or 1/2 liter from a bottle before you break for lunch (before you leave your desk, office, factory, shop). When you actually sit down to eat, drink one more glass of water. Eat a  vegetable – salad, raw carrots or celery along with your main choice of protein. For protein, have a boiled egg or some other type of lean (un-fried) meat, chicken or fish. Eat an orange or some grapes as a dessert.

Dinner

Drink one glass of water or 1/2 liter from your water bottle when you get home, or right when you get in the car. Just before you eat, drink another glass of water. Eat a vegetable that you like – beans, spinach, salad. Use spices if you like to make them taste better. Spices do not have calories. Meat, fish or chicken is a very satisfying dinner main course and it is good for you, for the reasons I mentioned above.

The most important thing is that this food tastes good. Get over the fact that you can only be satisfied with fries, pizza, beer and chips. Eating this unhealthy stuff tastes good but is only a habit, and it is just a habit that you can change. And most of all, do not call the above changes a DIET.

Weekend Warrior Challenge – Results Are In

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Weekend Warrior ChallengeThe results are in from the Weekend Warrior Challenge. This challenge is about achieving specific fitness and health goals during the time of the week that are usually the weakest for me – the Weekend. This is usually when the baddest habits show themselves as a sort of reward for the best habits of the week. Odd isn’t it?

Here were my goals and the results:

  • Walk 20 miles during the week – completed the 20th mile by 10:30 am on a sunny Saturday morning. I walk 4 miles either outside (my preferred method) or on the treadmill depending on the weather. Last week I walked 12 miles outside and 8 miles inside. The legs are strong!
  • 5 Strength Workouts during the week - completed all 5. This consists of 2 alternating routines that I have been doing for many years.
  • Eat less than 2,000 Calories Per Day – done.  This was the biggie for me. I usually stay pretty close to the refrigerator on the weekend -  looking for a little calorie-lovin’  on the weekends. But I stuck to the plan. Being hungry a lot sucks and I am getting tired of the look of the  baby carrot bag.

Here are all the other people from around the world that have also done the Challenge for the weekend. I am thinking that we need to do this every weekend. Thanks to all of these people for making this as much as fun as I could have by not enjoying myself.

Belly Fat Male Weight LossGet your free E-Book on how to lose belly fat now – Click the book image to your left – provide your name and e-mail address and you will be reading this book in minutes – FREE.