Tag: fat

10 Snacks To Lose Weight

Woman and man snackingI just wish that someone had told me how I could lose weight by eating snacks. It is a fact that  if you don’t know what you’re going to eat, you will overeat. It isn’t really a mystery why you’re overweight, is it? Another fact – food creates people. Unless you are made of gravel or ball bearings, you cannot live without food, you will not grow and will die. On the other hand, if you eat, your healthy well prosper. And taking this just a little bit further, the more food, the bigger the male you will become. Weight loss happens when you systematically eat on plan a known amount of food. Period.

What I have found is that when I plan my snacks, there are two important things that are solved that are essential to lose weight. Without these two things you will go astray and end up a little rounder than you like.  In order for a snack to help you lose weight, it must have or be:

1. Known calorie count - when you know what are going to eat, you know exactly how many calories you will ingest. When you command your daily calorie total, your body will begin to take over the controls and will lose weight on your behalf. Be read to count,weigh or measure to pack only a predetermined number of calories with you .

2. Planned snack time – as strange as it might seem, you do need to eat to lose weight. If you don’t eat regularly, your metabolism takes a siesta.  Although your metabolism never really stops (unless you’re dead), it does get lazy when you do not give it fuel. Also when you go hungry all day, you are going to binge and think that it is OK. It isn’t OK. You should eat every 3 to 4 hours to keep your motor running.

Here are ten snacks that I have used that I would suggest you consider:

1. Sliced Vegetables - carrots, zucchini, cucumbers, or anything else. In the early days of losing weight, I would carry a resealable bags of baby carrots with me. Maybe not your first choice for a snack, but you cannot beat vegetables for nutritional value. It surprised me how quickly I got accustomed to eating carrots. The one aspect about is that I can eat more vegetables without worrying about calories, so that I get satisfied by “filling up.”

2. Fruit - apples, oranges, pears, grapes or whatever you like. The advantage of fruit is that there is nothing you need to do to prepare it. You just grab it and take it with you…ok, well you will need to put grapes in a bag of some kind otherwise they will roll around on the car floor.

3. Yogurt - either guys love or hate yogurt. I love it, because I like sweets and yogurt is a good proxy for something sweet that I shouldn’t be eating. There’s a lot of good stuff going on in yogurt. The best thing about yogurt, is there isn’t any preparation required. All you need is a spoon. Or better yet, just shake it and drink it!

4. Raisins – being nothing but dried grapes, I could have included them in the list under fruit above. But, there is one aspect of raisins that I believe deserves special mention. Raisins are really easy to carry around and can go places (like in your pocket) that most other food cannot. They’re nearly indestructible but make sure you count them in advance so that you know how many calories you’re getting. It would be very easy to eat fists of these things with the heel of your hand.

5. Snack Bars – these can range from granola bars (on the lower end of the calorie scale) to energy bars on the high end. Snack bars rank the easiest of snack foods because they are manufactured specifically for the on-the-go eater. This is the first choice of many of my clients for snacks.

6. Hard Boiled Egg - the great thing about a hard boiled egg, is that it is about the nearest thing to being as satisfying as meat. A hard boiled egg is easy to transport, you do not need to worry about breaking it, because you will break it. Carry a little package of salt, if you so desire.

7. Rice Crackers – usually you can find these in the “healthy eating” section of the grocery store. These crackers are sold in a bag and come in plain, cheese, caramel corn flavors and probably more. The brand I buy has about 70 calories for 9 cheese flavored crackers. The good and bad news is that these crackers really taste good. You MUST (I repeat must) separate yourself from the bag, otherwise you will eat the whole thing. Ask me how I know!

8. Nuts – almonds, peanuts, cashews are good choices, but make sure that you know how many calories are in these guys before you take them with you. Remember to count how many you pack. Don’t go hog wild with a big bag.

9. Trail Mix – although intended as a high energy snack for high country people, trail mix is a healthy alternative to binge eating. Although trail mix tends to be very high in calories, all you need to do is read the label, measure it out and put it in a baggie.

10. Pretzels – without the beer.

So, there you have it, 10 snacks. These should give you plenty of reason to make sure that you do not skip meals. Take these snacks with you. You need to realize that these snacks will work for you to lose weight, if you make a habit of eating on cue. Whichever snack you choose, make sure that you have it available for where you are going for the day. Put them in your briefcase, lunch box, or in a bag in the car seat next to you. Better yet, buy snacks that you can keep in the car and do not even have to remember to take with you. Please do not skip meals. You’ll get fat.


Don’t Drink Water and You Will Get Fatter!

Fat Butt Guy Floating In The AirOK, I won’t bore you and tell you again that you need to drink more water per day. You already know this. Weight loss and drinking water are absolutely related.  Perhaps knowing the scientific reasons for drinking more water will help you decide to drink more water, but probably not.

BUT, if I were to to tell that when you drink more water, that your body will burn its own fat, would you finally decide to drink more water? Let me give you the facts. I will also give you an exact plan that you can use to drink the water you need.

Everyone has an established habit about drinking water. When I was a boy, my Dad used to love to go fishing.  My Dad is and was a minimalist. He would go out with the absolute minimum amount of equipment because sometimes he would need to walk through the woods for a mile or so to find a secluded fishing spot.

Water, was not on my Dad’s list of things to carry a mile. We would be out for the whole day with nothing to drink, at all, all day. I was very thirsty, but I refused to complain, because I learned early that that is not what men do. So I grew up, as water-independent, as a desert camel.

Maybe you have reasons for how much water you drink. The Institute of Medicine recommends that men drink 3 liters of water per day. The Mayo Clinic shows that about 80% of your water intake comes from water and other beverages, and 20 % from foods. Foods like tomatoes, watermelons and other succulent fruits and vegetables are nearly 90% water.

To know why you need to drink more water to burn fat, you need to know these three facts that will change your mind:

  • Fat Metabolism Slows Without Water - being even 1 percent dehydrated can cause a significant drop in your metabolism, which can also interfere with weight loss. Just so you know, metabolism is measured in how many calories your body will burn for you per hour.  From an article on water’s effect on fat metabolism :  very simply, your liver is the organ that metabolizes (or burns) fat. Fat is burned in the liver into usable energy for the body. This is the process of burning fat and is the major process for losing weight. When you don’t drink enough water, it is actually your kidneys that can’t do their job due to the lack of water. OK, now your kidneys are the organs  that  filter waste products from your blood and they require a lot of water to work properly. When you are low on water (dehydrated) the kidneys slow down and the liver has to pick up the slack to filter out the waste. This means that the liver now has to do the kidney’s job of ridding  your body of toxins and is now too busy to metabolize fat, thus fat metabolism slows down and you lose less weight. So when you are low on water, you aren’t burning as much fat!
  • Don’t Get Any Fatter Now, By Drinking More Water Now – from Dr. Melina Jampolis , Physician Nutrition Specialist she states that published in 2008 in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, people who drank water before meals ate an average of 75 fewer calories at that meal. This may not seem like much, but if you ate 75 fewer calories at lunch and dinner for the next year, you could lose about 14½ pounds! Drink water before a meal and you won’t gain more fat.
  • Drinking water burns calories immediately - Wendy Bumgardner a certified marathon coach, states that  drinking water burns calories within one hour. She states that for every 1 liter of water you can burn about 50 calories (which is about 5 M&M’s, plain, not peanut). This is not many calories, but is based on the fact the stomach needs to warm the water and uses about those many calories. This is also backed by findings of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, December, 2003. The big finding is that for men, the calories burned comes from stored fat.

Based on these huge findings, here is what to do with water to get your body into a fat burning machine. Just do these two things:

  1. Drink 2 – 12oz glasses of water before every meal and drink 1 – 12oz  glass of water between any smaller meal or snack. As I advise my clients, if you are at a restaurant, do not even order food before you drink two glasses of water. If you follow this one routine before you eat 3 meals and 2 snacks per day, you will have drunk nearly 3 liters of water per day. I do this every day and it is a habit that I have gotten accustomed to really quickly.
  2. Watch Yourself! - do you frequently have headaches? You might need more water. Check your urine. Do you urinate very little.  If your urine is smelly or yellow, you might be low on water. Is your skin dry? Is your mouth dry? These are more signs of dehydration. Watch how you feel and look. Adjust the water in step #1 up to more water if these or other symptoms are frequent.

OK, right now, just drink a glass of water, and then think about what I just told you. Based on statistical facts, if you’re reading this, you probably need to drop some weight. And further that if you are fat, by scientific fact, you are not using water to lose your weight for you. How many times do you need to be told to drink more water? Please follow someone’s advice. I hope that this article has finally lit a fire under your ass, to make a change that will allow your body to lose weight itself.

Won’t that be nice?


The Truth About Eating More Frequently

This is the final article in this five part series on male weight loss basics. This topic is dedicated to answering the question about whether eating more frequently can help you lose fat. Let’s start with a statement of the myth.

The Myth

I’m not sure about you, but I have been told many times that if one eats smaller “meals” and more frequently, this favors quicker weight loss. The reason (as heard on the street) behind this is that eating smaller meals initiates and maintains a high metabolism rate. I was told that this metabolism rate is dependent on a higher blood sugar level, provided by the smaller and more frequent meals.

The Truth

Well, the truth is that your metabolism rate (basal metabolism rate as measured in food calories per day) isn’t dependent upon your blood sugar level at all. It’s dependent on at least six other things based on research started many years ago:

1.Height
2.Weight
3.Age
4.Gender
5.Lean body mass
your lean body mass (how much does your “skinnied-down self” weigh). If you’ve got a large % of body fat, your lean body mass is much lower than your overall body mass (your weight on earth)
6.Activity level

However, when your body is digesting food more frequently, there are additional calories burned from the very process of digesting food (called thermogenesis). This might sound like a lot of unnecessary clarification, but there are two important things to remember from this:

1.Metabolism rate does not change with food ingested
2.You can increase calories used if your body is in digestive process more often

These two things take together intimately can change things for you. So, although eating more frequently doesn’t change your ongoing metabolism rate, it does increase calories used simply due to the work of digestion your body needs to do for what you just ate.  To favor fat weight loss, when you eat more frequently, your overall daily calorie intake can’t exceed what your body will use in one day.

According to Wikipedia, about 70% of our total energy expenditure is due to basic processes of the organs within the body. About 20% of one’s energy expenditure comes from physical activity and another 10% from thermogenesis (or digestion of food).

When you eat more often, though, that DOES mean that your blood sugar level is higher more often. That’s a problem if you are trying to lose the fat. Because, when your body uses up calories, it will use the energy available through this enriched blood sugar level, rather than body fat. This means that you aren’t going to be using up body fat.

You’re probably wondering now, OK, then how do I lose body fat? Well the answer is that if you increase energy usage by eating more frequently AND you limit your daytime food intake to less than what you use, you will induce fat loss. Another thing, don’t exercise after you have eaten because the calories that your burn will be blood sugar calories. You want to burn fat calories, so eat after you go to the gym.

Belly Fat Male Weight Loss

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Fat Loss – This Is Really Simple

Over the last week, I have had my eyes opened as to how much I really eat. It’s not that I eat huge meals or overindulge in sweets, alcohol or fast food (at least not regularly – meaning not weekly). I have a couple of personal male weight loss stories from earlier points in my life, but this time, it is a little bit different. This time, it is a matter of my age asking me to eat less food.   The first two articles in this series were exactly what I learned from just simply listing what I ate this week- as best I can remember. This article is about looking at the numbers a little closer.

Since this whole weight gain thing has really gotten my attention, I decided to pay a lot of attention to each specific thing I eat. I mean down to the smallest detail  – pat of butter, a splash of half & half in my coffee, and whether I had one or two beers last night.

Remember, at this point, we are not talking about changing anything. We are just watching what I eat. Don’t change anything about yourselves yet!  That comes later. I know you’ll want to make changes based on what you read here. But try to resist the temptation. I HAVE made some changes. I can make changes, because I already have my weight management program in play. You don’t,  So don’t start it yet. Not today at least.  I have good reasons for telling you this. Keep reading.

I have seen a couple pounds come off, in a few days. In addition to giving you the real truth about how this works for me, I am also going to give you the layout of the chart I use to add up my calories. Sound too simple? It is.

OK, so here goes…..

Let me make one confession. I have never counted calories in my whole life. I never had to. Although I had a couple spells where I got chubby – in college (from eating too much dorm food) and after my 3 sons were born, I still never counted calories! I thought that that was very middle- aged-woman-ish.  Ooops, OK there I said it.  So this whole thing I am doing this week, is something I thought I would never have to resort too.  Today, I am OK with it.  I realize now that this is going to be a simple math game….I just need to eat less calories than I use.

Here is an excerpt from the last 5 days including my meal from this evening.  Alright, so it’s Saturday evening and I’m counting calories, so what.

Male Weight Loss the easy way....do the math

Male weight loss made simple...just do the math

A couple of notes to make before I go further. As I mentioned earlier in this column, I had arthroscopic surgery on my left knee, in the early autumn of 2009,  after a lifetime of jogging. However on Sunday night this week,  I was celebrating my sister’s birthday at her house, and, my brother-in-law and I (acting like knuckleheads), were rocking-out in the living room and I wrenched my knee. So, no exercising for me this week….no walking, at least. This means, that I have spent the last week in a sort of a “sedentary state” (meaning…… bump on a log). That means I am probably only using about 2,000 calories per day.  My observations from this:

  1. The fat loss formula says that I am over consuming calories – more than my 2,000 calories usage. On a daily basis, I may add.
  2. Notice how “little things” can add a lot of calories:
    • Half and Half – 20 calories per “splash” in my coffee – OUCH! I thought this stuff was calorie-free!
    • 1 Slice of provolone cheese – 200 calories. I used to consume these by the sheet!
    • Clam chowder in a bread bowl (at Panera cafe) is a delicacy. Unfortunately it is 890 freakin’ calories! That is probably enough to run your lawn mower for an hour (just kidding).

Don’t change anything you eat yet. Look at just the few things that I am changing. I have already managed a couple pounds even though I was not very active. You can do it too.Belly Fat Male Weight Loss

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Weight Loss in The New Year

Fat Man Tight Pants

These Pants Fit Last Time

Happy New Year guys. Congratulations on making it through the holidays…….I mean that sincerely.  Have you ever thought about what a paradox it is to even  think about losing weight on the very first day of the year? We just finished some of the biggest celebrations of the whole year, and now we are left thinking about how bad we look. The BIGGER paradox is, why we should feel bad about ourselves, in order to improve our appearance. But we do. We male of the species, are LARGELY (pun intended), all in this together. This picture to the right is a blunt reminder of what we experience.

But this blog is about us men, looking and feeling better, intelligently. Working HARD to lose weight, is stupid. You have come too far in this life to consider that.  I wouldn’t do that and I wouldn’t recommend you doing that either. Yet this blog is also, not about “go nowhere” diets, berries, slim drinks, or pills. Let’s be honest, if taking “stuff” would solve the problem, you would’ve already done that, right? It isn’t about working hard, taking more “stuff” or restrictive diets. It is about living and enjoying in a healthy, intelligent way. And we are intelligent.

At the fitness center (the “gymn”),  of which I am a member, I see a boat load of guys joining every year, immediately after the new year.  They are embarrassed to be seen in such bloated shape, especially in mixed company. They have hope in their eyes, yet avoid mirrors. They wear long draping sweat shirts and sweat pants to cover themselves.  Honestly, they know they are “fighting” a losing battle. They eventually stop coming in because the hard work is punishing and pointless to them.

Last Tuesday, I ran into one of the guys I know at the gymn. He is a garbage man and for our purposes here, I’ll call him Fred. He is thick in the waist and attends the gymn regularly. He fills a garbage hopper all day long, in all sorts of weather conditions, AND THEN, comes to the gymn and does his schtik. During the current holidays, he told me that he had been doing 12 hour days on the job.  On this occasion, he was on the treadmill next to me. He ran for one hour solid – about 5-1/2 miles in total! I was so impressed. After Fred finished, he shut off the machine and turned to me immediately and said “how much longer can I continue to run like this and still have such a huge gut?”  That of course is the question.

If any of this sounds familiar, then you are not alone. If we put men on the moon, built pipe organs, split atoms….then we surely can gain back the handsome male in ourselves.  Are you coming along?

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