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Posts Tagged ‘food’

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.

The Only Weight Loss Law

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Weight loss is eating less food than you need. It is that simple. Don’t make it complicated. You may think you need to work out hard at the gymn, lifting more weights, doing more crunches, and more pain and more sweat. That is the male mindset. We think that doing more work is the only way to lose weight. This is the fat loss formula.

You and I are are not wired to naturally think that eating the right amounts will really amount to losing weight. It really is not our fault.  I am not saying that you should not exercise. I am saying that exercise is in a supporting role in losing belly fat. Eating right is the main act.

Don’t Like Laws?

I am living proof that this works. If you eat less than your body needs, you have to lose weight. It is a LAW. It is the only LAW about weight loss. Ask me how I know……

Nearly one month ago, I got serious about losing the gut. I lost more than 10 pounds after changing what I eat.  I had been lifting weights and running my whole life. I always stayed very fit.  Here is a short story that proves my point.

About two years ago, all of a sudden, I gained 25 pounds. I thought at the time that I had been given defective advice from a chiropractor. I decided to try out a chiropractor to get adjusted and keep my posture in check. Nothing serious.

I was told by my chiro-professional that I should use the fitness ball to do sit-ups or crunches (whatever you like to call them). Over a period of weeks, my belly grew. I thought that my belly grew because I had put on too much “muscle.”

The fact was that my eating had gotten out of hand. I was dating a woman that is till the most sleek and svelte figure of any woman I had ever dated. She seemed to eat without concern for her shape. I thought, well, if that is good enough for her, that is good enough for me.

We ended up eating huge late night snacks (wine, cheese, bread, cookies) when we got home. I never had to think about eating right. This period of time coincided exactly with the time that I had started doing the new fitness ball exercises. So I naturally blamed the exercise, rather than the food.

So about one month ago, I got really tired of the gut. I kept my workout routine that I have been doing for years. But instead of following my instinct of cranking up the workout routine, I decided to count up everything that I ate. I was stunned to see all of the calories that I was eating in one day.

Suddenly I decided to start cutting out stuff that really was not even that enjoyable (extra pieces of cheese, a beer here and there, etc.). Pretty soon after a week or two, I had shaved my eating program down to fighting size. The fact is that I do need to watch what I eat. This last month, I changed my weekday diet to the following:

Breakfast

1-1/2 Cups Bran Flakes

1/2 Cup Milk

2 Glass Water

Coffee w/ 2% milk

Lunch

Carrots – one fistful

2 Oranges

Dinner

Spinach Salad with eggs, green onions, blue cheese dressing

1 Orange

2 Glass Water

Why does this menu succeed in helping get rid of the belly fat? It does one thing and one thing only (sounding like Brad Pitt from “Inglorious Basterds”) – it puts my body in a calorie deficit.  What’s so good about that? My body will start cutting into fat reserves if it needs more energy. The body uses fat and I lose my gut. Compare this program to what I was eating a month ago.

The above menu consists of 1,414 calories and that is less calories than I will burn in one day. That means, the body starts using the stored fat if it needs more.  So, I let my body lose its own fat, rather than me trying to sweat it off at the gym.

So, long story short…….on February 8, 2010,  I weighed 220 pounds. Yesterday my weight was 209 pounds. Need I say more? Note to self:  following LAWS gets results.

Belly Fat Male Weight LossGet your free E-Book on how to lose belly fat now in 5 easy steps – Click the book image to your left – provide your name and e-mail address and you will be reading this book in minutes – FREE

Fat Loss – This Is Really Simple

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

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

Get 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.

How Much Food Do You Really Need?

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Let me guess. Weight loss is on your mind all of the time. Because of your weight condition, you are constantly aware that you are probably eating too much or the wrong type of foods, right? It is a never ending reminder.

In the first article in this series I talked about how much you are eating now. In this article, I am going to talk about how many food calories you actually need.

As you might guess, the amount of food that you need is based on both calories and nutritional content. In this article, I am only going to be talking about calorie content. For today, let’s just forget about the idea that you need a well-balanced diet. We all already know that we need to eat the right amounts of all different kinds of foods. Let’s take this one thing at a time. This article is about calories only.

You can also imagine that the number of calories that you need is determined by how active you are. If you do nothing but watch TV and go to work everyday, you are not going to need as many calories as someone that is also running 4 miles and lifting a set of weights everyday.

Below is a table that shows the minimum food intake (quantity of food in calories) for people of each of three particular activity levels. Here is a quick explanation of the three activity levels:

  • Sedentary - lifestyle that includes only the light physical activity associated with typical day to day life.
  • Moderately active - lifestyle that includes physical activity equivalent to walking about 1.5 to 3 miles per day at 3 to 4 miles per hour, in addition to the light physical activity associated with typical day to day life.
  • Active - lifestyle that includes physical activity equivalent to walking more than 3 miles per day at 3 to 4 miles per hour, in addition to the light physical activity associated with typical day to day life.

The numbers in the table are estimated amounts of calories needed to maintain energy balance for various gender and age groups at three different levels of physical activity. By the way, energy balance means using all the calories you ingest in daily activity (or inactivity). The estimates are rounded to the nearest 200 calories and were determined using the Institute of Medicine equation.

Male Calorie Requirements by Activity Level

AgeSedentaryModerately ActiveActive
4 - 8
14001400 - 18001,600–2,000
9 - 1318001,800–2,200 2,000–2,600
14 - 1822002,400–2,800 2,800–3,200
19 - 3024002,600–2,800 3,000
31 - 5022002,400–2,600 2,800–3,000
50+20002,200–2,4002,400–2,800

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005. 6th Edition, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, January 2005 -  Written Reprint permission request pending.

So you may ask, so what? For many years, I could care less if someone gave me the above information. The difference is that this time, YOU have a weight problem. You need to estimate how much you are eating on a daily basis and find out how it compares with the above.

In the last article of this series, I figured out that on a daily basis, that I ate about 1,866 calories per day. Looking at the table above, a guy my age (53) and level of activity (moderate) I should only be consuming 2,200 calories per day. So, in my daily program, I should be experiencing weight loss because I am using 234 more calories than I eat.

So what is the problem? Well the problem is that I did not include all of the truth of my daily diet. I forgot to include the extra slices of cheese and ham on my sandwich, frito’s, and the occasional sweets.

OK, so let’s say that the real extra stuff I eat on a daily basis are:

Extra Stuff Frank Eats - Weekdays

Food ItemCalories
Extra slice of provolone cheese200
Extra slide of ham50
1 Bag of tortilla chips234
2 Cookies (store bought)100
Total584
So, NOW, I have a better idea of what I am REALLY eating. It happens this way. Often times, you do not count all of the things you actually eat. Now my Fat Formula comes out a bit differently. Apparently I am eating 350 more calories than I am using 5 times per week. Now this is getting really interesting.  Don’t you think?

I know you are very serious about losing weight. If so, you need to do the math. Only when you know the facts, YOUR FACTS, can you know what to do next. Remember, at this point, you are not talking about changing anything……. either eating or activity. But you need to figure out how many calories going through your belly every day.

When you get your calorie numbers together, the whole story begins to take real shape. Stick with me, but do not make any changes in your life yet. Come back for article #3 – Calorie Quality.

Belly Fat Male Weight Loss

Get 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.