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Coffee Drinkers live Longer Big Study Finds

June 25th, 2017 ernie Posted in Diet No Comments »

Recently the results of a large study were released. This study found that coffee tends to reduce inflammation. Which in turns causes our body to age if not kept in check. It has long been known that coffee will dehydrate a person’s body and this may be why inflammation in the body is reduced. Whether it is joints that are slightly inflamed or our organs, reducing the inflammation allows the body to recover and repair those areas. But can too much coffee also not be good for you? That is the question that many people are asking. Basically we think that common sense should apply.  The theme of our web site and our own life has been everything in moderation.

Coffee Drinkers live Longer Big Study Finds

Many people find drinking coffee or anything with caffeine in it will keep them up at night. Some feel that it irritates the lining of the stomach. Other folks just don’t like it and prefer tea or cola drinks.

Keeping with the everything in moderation theme why not only drink coffee in the morning and avoid it at night or late afternoon. If it bothers your stomach, try an alternate that has caffeine in it or have it with food to dilute the coffee. Try another type of drink to see if that works.

It may not work for everyone but if it shows that coffee drinkers live longer big study finds, then I am going to drink coffee in moderation at least to make sure that I am receiving some of the benefits. Of course the writer happens to like coffee as well, but only in the morning or early afternoon.

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diet What is an Age Appropriate Diet Wellness Plan

March 21st, 2016 paulr Posted in Diet No Comments »

What is an Age Appropriate Diet Wellness PlanDiet and exercise go hand in hand. Our last post discussed age appropriate exercise. We wanted to add some thoughts on what is an age appropriate diet wellness plan. Bottom line is that everyone should eat a well balanced diet to maintain their health. They should also eat the appropriate number of calories that matches their daily activity. For example someone who is working physically all day will need more calories than someone who sits at a desk all day.

You need to be careful about this aspect other wise you will gain weight as the years go on. I was told one time that I would gain about 10 pounds for every decade. While I am pretty active, the weight has been adding every year until I took control of the situation and made sure that I did not over eat.

What is an Age Appropriate Diet Wellness Plan

Aside from eating a balanced diet and managing total intake, there are other aspects that seniors for example need to pay attention to. Calcium loss is a big issue for many seniors, both men and women. Both diet and exercise leads to improved bone mass. Exercise can help delay the lost of bone mass, however lifting weights for some people who suffer from severe bone loss is not recommended.

Diet can contribute to bone mass. Eating foods that are rich in calcium for example coupled with calcium and vitamin D will help to manage the loss of bone in crucial areas of the body. Adding exercise that increases metabolism coupled with a corresponding diet can do wonders for managing bone loss.

Losing weight and keeping your BMI level down to 25 or less also helps placing less pressure on bones and joints. Make a plan and follow a well balanced diet and exercise plan today. Every little bit helps.

For more diet information and ideas about losing weight, click here.

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Weight Loss Wellness Lifestyle Trends

February 21st, 2016 paulr Posted in Diet No Comments »

Weight Loss Wellness Lifestyle TrendsBaby boomers have been influencing our lives for the past 50 years. They are the single largest group to ever impact our economies. They impacted our life styles and many of the trends that we are familiar with. Diet programs and weight loss wellness lifestyle trends are now being influenced by this generation. They are now aging, retiring in droves. Many are figuring out what they want to do with the rest of their lives.

One trend is that they are done with diets and diet plans. No more starvation or giving up their favorite foods. No more fad diets and no more expensive diet plans. Instead they are beginning to focus on wellness and balanced life styles.

Weight Loss Wellness Lifestyle Trends

Baby boomers, millennial and older adults are saying they want to enjoy their lives. They want to live a healthy retirement and they want to extend their lives. Many are becoming convinced that balanced food consumption, balanced exercise programs with age appropriate exercise is becoming more the norm.

Eating healthy foods, managing quantities and regular exercise appears to be the new wellness lifestyle trend that is quickly becoming popular. Not only do they get to enjoy their food more, many consumers actually save money. By not investing in diet plans or investing in many of the diet medications and over the counter pills.

There is more money to use for other things now as well. Now they can really allow people to enjoy their retirement. Don’t forget to exercise as well. It does not have to be aggressive exercise. Going for a fast walk every day is one of the best activities a person can follow. Low impact walking protects your joints and still gets your heart rate up.

Try the new wellness lifestyle approach today to improve your life! For more diet information and ideas about losing weight, click here.

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Diets That Really Do Work

June 26th, 2015 paulr Posted in Diet 1 Comment »

Diets That Really Do WorkWe recently read an article about diets that really do work and were surprised by the results. It is important to understand the criteria before we discuss the results. The study determined that for a weight loss program to be successful, the consumer must lose weight and keep it off for more than a year. Many weight loss program participants  lose weight quickly in the initial few months. Then they seem to reach a roadblock of sorts and in many cases will even gain the weight back that they lost.  For example people on the Atkins diet, Health Management Resources, OPTIFAST, and SlimFast all lost weight quickly in the first few months and then seemed to gain the weight they lost back again. If you cannot lose weight and keep it off then what have you achieved.

Diets That Really Do Work

Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig both passed this test of helping people lose weight and keeping it off for longer than a year. The key difference for these two programs appears to be the support structure that goes along with them. There is some peer pressure and also some pressure from the organizers to lose weight and keep it off. There is also focus on forming habits which help people to change the way they eat and exercise.

Exercise is important and improves overall well being and health. Exercise also burns calories and will help to deal with some of the calories you take in each day. Fundamentally it is the food you eat and the number of calories you take in. If you want to lose weight you need to limit the amount of calories you eat each day and lose the bad habits such as snacking and eating high calorie foods. Fast foods and prepared foods are notorious for high calories and high fat content. Jenny Craig and Weight watchers help with all of these concepts while providing ongoing support. This is the key to their success.

More information is available about diets at the following link. Click here.

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A Different Kind of Diet Plan

November 22nd, 2014 paulr Posted in Diet No Comments »

weight loss A Different Kind of Diet PlanWe saw this joke on line and thought it would bring a laugh to readers who are trying to lose weight, the writer included.  It does illustrate the fundamental truth that you have to be active in order to to have a successful weight loss plan! Anyone on a diet and anyone who has tried to lose weight in the past knows that not only do they need to watch what they eat, cut down on intake, but also they must become more active so that they burn more calories than they are taking in. This is the fundamental issue. If you want to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you take in each and every day, otherwise you will not lose weight, you may even gain weight! That is a different kind of diet plan.

We hope you enjoy the following little story!

A Different Kind of Diet Plan for Weight Loss

A Newfoundlander was terribly overweight, so his Doctor put him on a
diet. ‘I want you to eat regularly for 2 days, then skip a full day.

Repeat this schedule for 2 weeks and when you return, you will have
lost at least 3 kilos.’

Two weeks later the Newfoundlander returns and the Doctor is shocked
to see he’s lost 25 kilos.

‘This is amazing!’ exclaims the Doctor ‘Did this happen by just
following my instructions?’

The Newfoundlander nodded…’I’ll tell you though, by jaesuz, I t’aut
I were going to drop dead on dat 3rd day.’

‘From hunger, you mean?’

‘No, from all dat fockin’ skippin!’

Whether it is a walk around the block to get started or a couple of hours at the gym each day, burning calories from exercise is a good thing to do. But there are other benefits as well. You will improve muscle tone, your cardiovascular will improve and your overall well being will improve. Walking around the block could even improve your social life since you will meet other like minded people in your neighborhood. This can be a great way to meet people.

For more information about diet and weight loss, click here.

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Diet – Try Two Meals a Day

September 7th, 2014 paulr Posted in Diet No Comments »

Two Meals a DayCould it be possible that two meals a day be better than many small meals or even three meals a day? Most of us have heard that eating a number of small meals, usually six, each day is the best way to maintain your body weight. Also your energy and your overall health. Now recent studies are finding that these multiple meals may be over rated. Fewer meals may be the better answer.

Two Meals a Day – The Study

Fifty four patients with type 2 diabetes were split into two groups. Their diets were reduced by 500 calories per day.  The first group had three regular meals plus snacks between meals and after their main meal at night. The second group was limited to two meals a day. They had a large breakfast and a large lunch between noon and 4 pm. They kept their same exercise habits and they maintained this eating approach for two weeks and then switched. Both groups also maintained 50% carbs, 25% protein and 25% fat

Two Meals a Day – The results

Both groups lost weight, but the group that was limited to two fewer meals lost more weight than the other group. They had lower fasting blood sugar levels. They lost or decreased the amount of fat in their livers.

Eating 6 meals per day makes it very difficult to control the calories in total that they eat. While eating only two meals per day, most people will eat fewer calories and possibly lose more weight. The study doctors were not confident that the group eating two meals per day did not eat fewer calories and lost more weight as a result.

They also recognize that it is difficult to not eat a meal at supper time. It is ingrained into our culture and the body is looking for a meal, unless a large lunch was consumed late in the day, which may be one way of compensating for the two meal a day approach. There may also be a tendency to gorge oneself especially if you are overly hungry. With a small number of meals, by the time it is time for the second meal most people are overly hungry. They may eat more calories which negates the weight loss potential.

If you are serious about dieting and losing weight, click here for more info.

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Posting calories on the menu in California

February 24th, 2014 paulr Posted in Diet No Comments »

Posting calories on the menuOne of the best things about restaurants in California is that they post the number of calories against each menu item. This information may not stop you from ordering a particular item, but it sure makes you think about it before you do. If the average person needs 2000 calories a day and the item you are ordering is 500 or 800 calories, you might just begin to rethink your order.  It can be complex to keep track of all of the calories, however if you focus on the big items and reduce your calories accordingly, it may help control your weight. At least this is what your government is hoping will happen. Posting calories on the menu in California is here to stay and spreading to other cities.

Posting calories on the menu – Eating Less

For those of us that pay attention to this sort of thing, it means you can control how many calories you eat when eating out!

The biggest challenge for people is knowing how many calories are hidden in these meals with the sauces and additives that are always part of the meal. Many restaurants will show a range of calories. This is designed to give you a feel for the sauces that you may or may not add and how many calories they contain.

If you are calorie counting this is another tool to help you while eating out while in California ! It is surprising just how many calories are in the sauces and the added items on whatever meal that you order. Many people will just go ahead and consume these sauces without thinking about  actually how many calories that you eat.

As a general rule when you see a range of calories on any menu, you can be sure that any sauce, mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise etc are the items that are going to be in that range of calories. Fast food restaurants  who are Posting calories on the menu in California are sometimes the worst. They automatically add all of the above items unless you tell them not to. It becomes a special order if you want to hold the ketchup and mayo! This is a great way to manage the total calories that you contain.

For more diet related information, click here.

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Jawbone & FitnessPal

July 4th, 2013 paulr Posted in Diet No Comments »

Jawbone UP WeeklyI recently received one of the new jawbone devices as a birthday gift and have been using it for a couple of days. I have been using it for 4 days now and it accurately logs my sleep pattern , times I woke up remembering how many times I had a deep sleep and light sleep etc. You have to remember to tell the jawbone that you are going to sleep.

You do this by pushing a button on the end of the device to switch it from daytime to evening. I try to do this before I turn out the lights at night.  It is pretty accurate from what I can recall about my sleep. I do recall when I have woke up during the night and also that I am having light sleep  times, but not how many. The Jawbone records all of this and provides it on a handy graph on your smartphone.

Jawbone – Monitor Your Steps

The first day I was not  walking nearly enough, lol, they say that you are supposed to walk 8000 more steps every day. The only day that I met that objective was when I cut the lawn and managed to get in 12,000 plus steps. I have to do more lawn cutting I guess or make sure I park the car a long way from wherever we are going shopping etc. I need to get in a brisk 10,000 step walk every day. In addition I did go on a treadmill and found that it does not accurately record your steps on a treadmill if you are holding on to the treadmill. Next time I will try it without holding on and see how many steps I take in 30 minutes of treadmill work.

Inactivity Reminder

I also set it to vibrate after 30 minutes of inactivity, it has gone off a lot. It is amazing how quickly 30 minutes goes by. In fact since I have been writing this article 30 minutes has passed and it is already vibrating and telling me to get up and get moving. I think that this feature is a really great reminder.

MyfitnessPal

I also integrated it with fitness pal and that also works but not as well as I think it should. For some reason it is not passing the information back and forth as accurately as it should. Meals recorded in Myfitnesspal do not always find their way back to Jawbones UP application on my iPhone and vice versa. I will have to play with that some more and see what I am doing wrong or if this is feature that still needs some work.

Update

I have used the Jawbone for about 4 weeks now and really enjoy wearing it and finding out how active I have been. It is difficult to get all of the steps in that I need to simply because of my schedule and lifestyle. Fortunately I do a lot of my own landscaping and yard work. This helps but not enough to make up for the total amount of steps I want to put in every day. The suggestion by the experts is 10,000 steps per day which is difficult to achieve, but I am gradually getting better at it. For information about dieting, click here.

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The Fast Diet

June 21st, 2013 paulr Posted in Diet No Comments »

the fast Diet, Nutrition and ExerciseThis is another fad diet that we came across and do not support. It is called the fast diet. However we wanted to write about on our blog and provide our comments for people to consider. Your comments on the “The Fast Diet” are welcome. Both success and failures are useful to help people understand what can be possible with these diets. In addition what the impacts may also be. Basically you need to eat only 500 calories a day for two days a week.

This is exactly what the latest blockbuster diet from Britain recommends. It is authored by London-based doctor Michael Mosley and writer Mimi Spencer. It outlines a weight-loss plan that limits a person’s daily intake to 500 calories twice a week (men get 600 calories, women get 500 calories). But allows dieters to eat whatever they want on the remaining five days of the week.

Fast Diet

You suffer during two days of the week. You eat normally during the other days of the week. During the two days were you are only eating 500 calories a day, there is a chance you are going to feel faint, weak. You may also have headaches. This situation creates potentially dangerous situations for a person when they are operating a vehicle for example. Or trying to perform at work and participate in every day life. Concentration can be very difficult if you are distracted due to hunger, low blood sugar and general weakness. If you are susceptible to low blood sugar situations, you may not want to follow this diet. Or at least follow it under the supervision of a doctor or at the very least a family member.

Also when you fast for two days or only eat 500 calories, many people will eat many things they might normally deny themselves. They might actually over indulge on these days when they are allowed to eat normally. Some people may over eat the night before that they are supposed to cut back on calories. They do this with the idea that they will eat enough to carry them through to the end of the two days were they can eat again. We think this just defeats the purpose. If you are following this diet, the best results will be gained by eating normally before and after the 2 day diet of 500 calories.

Changes in Food Intake

With these drastic swings in food intake, there is a good chance that some harm can be done to the bodies systems. Regular bowel movements can be upset for example. This can cause constipation etc. In fact if you are already susceptible to this health related issue there is a good chance that this condition could be aggravated. The same applies to many other health conditions.

We feel that before you embark on a diet like this one, consumers should really consult their doctor. Assess the impact and concerns that the doctor might have regarding this type of diet. In addition we believe that a balanced weight loss program is far superior to any of these fad diets. By balanced we believe that a weight loss program should involve your current health. Also anaging your food intake and also increasing your activity level within proper health levels. Consumers need to consider all of the facts before they embark on a diet of this sort and also take into account their own health situation as well. If you are already struggling with some health issue, there is a good chance that this type of diet will only make it worse. Be careful and use your common sense when dieting.

For more information on this sort of diet program, please refer to some of the other posts on this website. Remember the best diet is the balanced diet and exercise program over a longer period of time where you form the correct eating and exercise habits that fits your lifestyle and personal objectives. For more diet related articles, click here.

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Dieting can be Humuorous

June 7th, 2013 paulr Posted in Diet No Comments »

diet humor Diabetes and losing weightWe saw this particular joke being circulated by email and decided to include it on our web site to add a little diet humor to the entire dieting subject. If any one is offended just let us know and we will remove it.  It pokes fun at ourselves and the governments who are trying to deal with health care and the epidemic of over weight people in the country! We all need to enjoy a little diet humor once and awhile even if it means poking fun at ourselves.  We also tend to be a little like this short poem from time to time as well. Hope you enjoy.

Diet Humor

In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth and populated the Earth with broccoli, cauliflower and spinach, green and yellow and
red vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.

Creme Donuts. And Satan said, “You want chocolate with that?” And Man said, “Yes!” and Woman said, “and as long as you’re at it, add some sprinkles.” And they gained 10 pounds. And Satan smiled.

And God created the healthful yogurt that Woman might keep the figure that Man found so fair. And Satan brought forth white flour from the
wheat, and sugar from the cane and combined them. And Woman went from size 6 to size 14

So God said, “Try my fresh green salad.” And Satan presented Thousand-Island Dressing, buttery crotons and garlic toast on the side.
And Man and Woman unfastened their belts following the repast.

Healthy Vegetables

God then said, “I have sent you heart healthy vegetables and olive oil in which to cook them.” And Satan brought forth deep fried fish and
chicken-fried steak so big it needed its own platter. And Man gained more weight and his cholesterol went through the roof. God then created a light, fluffy white cake, named it “Angel Food Cake,” and said, “It is good.” Satan then created chocolate cake and named it “Devil’s Food Cake.”

God then brought forth running shoes so that His children might lose those extra pounds. And Satan gave cable TV with a remote control so Man would not have to toil changing the channels. And Man and Woman laughed and cried before the flickering blue light and gained pounds.

Then God brought forth the potato, naturally low in fat and brimming with nutrition. And Satan peeled off the healthful skin and sliced the
starchy center into chips and deep-fried them. And Man gained pounds.

God then gave lean beef so that Man might consume fewer calories and still satisfy his appetite. And Satan created McDonald’s and its
99-cent double cheeseburger. Then said, “You want fries with that?” And Man replied, “Yes! And super size them!” And Satan said, “It is good.” And Man went into cardiac arrest.

God sighed and created quadruple bypass surgery.

Then Satan created Cuts to the Health Care System.

Amen

While this is a little short story or poem depending on how you look at it there is a lot of truth to this story in terms of the foods that we eat. We can chose to eat the high calorie rich foods or the good foods that we know that we should eat to keep us healthy and also avoiding gaining more weight. It is really up to us regarding what we decide to eat and how we look. We have to learn to avoid the temptations that we all deal with. For more diet information, click here.

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The Heart Attack Proof Diet

December 7th, 2011 paulr Posted in Diet No Comments »

Two Meals a DayWe watched a special put on by CNN’s Dr Sanjay Gupta about how following a specific diet pretty much ensured that you would avoid having a heart attack.  This Heart Attack Proof Diet is at least for most people. If you have genes that suggest your family is prone to having heart attacks you may at least improve your chances by following this kind of diet.  The message in the interview with a variety of people who are following this particular diet is

  • Eat vegetables as much as you can
  • Avoid oils of all kinds or at least limit them
  • Avoid Dairy, but do not forget to add calcium to your diet
  • Reduce meat, at least red meat which is the kind that contributes most to heart attacks.

The people in  Papua New Guinea highlanders, rural Chinese, central Africans and the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico all follow this diet and heart attacks are virtually unknown in these cultures. There has to be something to this diet, however it is very difficult to change historical eating habits of North America were everyone eats some kind of meat and dairy everyday! In addition we eat lots of prepared foods which is high on cholesterol inducing chemicals and also very high in salt. Both of these contribute to heart attacks in our society.

Getting the Message Out

Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr. who is and was a surgeon is trying to get the message out that if we reduce or eliminate dairy and meat based products, we will suffer many less heart attacks and be able to lead a more healthy lifestyle well into our old age.

One study of 17 people who had had 40 cardiac events before going on the diet, had no events at all after being on the diet over a 12 year period. Pretty impressive. Is this for real, who knows, but it is worth checking out. Also from a common sense perspective, just consider that the oil and fat that you drain off even lean meat is going into your body and in small amounts and apparently it ends up in your arteries as plac that builds up and prevents the blood flow. Just let the oil cool and harden at the bottom of the pan and you will get the image of what can happen with this plac in your blood stream.

Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr. has written a book on the subject and sure this sounds like a money grab, however if CNN is promoting it, surely it cannot be all bad. If you have purchased the book or downloaded the CD , we would be really interest in your comments on the diet and whether it is for real or not?

Heart Attack Proof Diet – Partial

In the mean time, following this diet plan on at least a partial level is only going to help. Reducing salt intake and cholesterol is also only going to help and may add years onto your life. What have you got to lose other than a longer healthy life to spend with your family and friends. Giving up some of your favorite foods or at least reducing foods is only a small thing compared to living longer.

The worst mistake that consumers can make is to eat out all of the time at restaurants. The food will taste great, however it is loaded with salt and often is deep fried at some point which adds all kinds of fat and calories to your diet. deep fried food is definitely not friendly to your heart and should be one of the first things to be eliminated or at least significantly reduced.

Most people find this really difficult to do and will just fall back to their old ways. To start with consumers have to put more time in to preparing foods that are friendly to your heart and avoid the salt laden foods that are already prepared and frozen in the store. Just read the labels and you will quickly realize just how much salt there is in these foods. For more information on dieting, click here.

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Diet & Will Power

November 21st, 2011 paulr Posted in Diet 1 Comment »

Common Sense NutritionThis post is all about diet and avoiding eating more than you should, ie Diet & Will Power. My wife is constantly trying to lose weight. However she has no willpower and cannot avoid eating sweets as well as munchies that are available in our house most of the time.

In fact if there are deserts in the house, she will have a helping for breakfast instead of a regular breakfast. If we can avoid having some of these foods in the house then we cannot eat these things. We have found this is one of the most significant ways to help to manage our diets. Keep the snacks out of the house!

Food in the Home

Yes if there are desserts in the house,  guaranteed it will be eaten before the morning arrives or sometime shortly after. She would rather have dessert for breakfast instead of having a proper nutritional breakfast. In fact she does not even like breakfast, but will have dessert if it is in the house for breakfast. The only way that she seems to be able to have any control over what she eats is to avoid having the food in the house. We find that if we buy peanuts or chips, we both start snacking.

Couch Potato

She will sit down and eat them while watching a TV show or just munch on them during the afternoon. There’s no way that you can let them sit there. This is a terrible way to try to control your diet so we have found that the best way is to avoid buying all those kinds of things. If we’re having a party for some reason the people we have those kinds things in as the host of the party.

If you fall into this category and cannot avoid eating food that’s in the house the best approach is to have food that are low calorie can nature. Fruits and vegetables are a good example of the kinds of foods to have in the house. In fact weight watchers has recently changed their scoring system to include  most if not all fruits and vegetables to zero points. This means that you can eat as much of this kind of food as you want.

Get Out of the House, Go For a Walk

Another approach is to get out of the house even if it’s just for a walk or go to an exercise gym. Participate in something that gets you moving to start to burn calories. Sitting in the house watching TV eating high calorie food is just a recipe to gain weight.

So this is the season to maintain your weight or to lose weight, avoid having all of these high carb and calorie foods in the house.  Avoid foods such as peanuts chips, pretzels and other foods about type. Instead have lots of fruits and vegetables in your home to munch on whenever you have the urge to eat something. Also avoid any kind of dips that go along with these things unless it is zero  calories and zero carbs. Also avoid food that has a lot of salt in them.

Read the labels on every food that you can eat to avoid high salt content. Also to make sure that you’re eating low-carb  low calorie food if you’re on a diet and cannot avoid or do not have the willpower to avoid eating. Especially important while you’re sitting watching TV reading a newspaper or just quietly reading.

Get up and move around even if it is housework or going for a walk or going to the gym or biking. Anything that gets you away from the fridge away from getting any kinds of munchies. When you feel the urge to read something get out of the house and go for a walk. For more information on diets, click here.

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High-fiber Diets and Weight Loss

November 7th, 2011 paulr Posted in Diet 1 Comment »

High fiber DietsThere are all kinds of diet plans out including High fiber diets out there. And most make claims that they just cannot deliver. They have lots of disclaimers so even if you wanted to, you would never be successful at making a claim against them. So what about High fiber Diets and weight loss? Is this another fad? We are from the old school that you do not get something for nothing, you need to work at it and you need to exercise some control. That means exercise and watching what you put in your mouth. But what about a high fiber diet, will it help with weight loss?

According to some doctors, if you’re overweight and want some help losing weight, start eating foods high in fiber. Dietary fiber is not a magic weight loss weapon, but it has the power to help fill you up without filling you out.

Here’s why: One of the most effective ways to lose those extra pounds is to control hunger and also control eating because you are are bored, the dieter’s Achilles heel. Hunger and boredom are affected by many things, including when you eat, and the composition of your meals — the amount of fats, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, water content, activity, how busy you are and whether life is interesting or not.

Eating healthy high-fiber foods makes you feel full, so you can resist eating more food than you need. Fibrous foods also can take longer to chew, giving your brain time to get the signal that you have had enough to eat.

How Dietary High fiber Diets Helps Weight Loss

If you choose high-fiber, water-rich foods — such as broth-based vegetable soups, salads, fruits, and vegetables — instead of foods without fiber and water, you can eat the same weight of food but feel full on fewer calories.

A 2009 study in the journal Appetite compared the satiety or fullness factor of apples, applesauce, and apple juice with added fiber before lunch. People who ate an apple before lunch ate 15% fewer calories than those who ate the applesauce or drank apple juice. This suggests that the fiber in the whole apple was more filling even when compared to the juice that had added fiber.

Beyond the fiber content, crunching and chewing a whole piece of fruit stimulates your senses and takes longer to eat. So psychologically, it may also be more satisfying than beverages or soft foods. Chewing also promotes saliva and the production of stomach juices that help fill the stomach.

Eating fruits such as an apple also takes more time to eat than drinking a glass of juice. You can eat an apple while walking or just working at your desk. But if you really want to lose weight, you need to get up and get going. combining a high fiber diet with more activity will accelerate the process of losing weight.

Fiber at Breakfast Is a Healthy Weight Loss Habit

Cereal is one of the morning rituals that has high fiber and helps to keep weight off. In general, eating cereal — especially high-fiber cereals — is beneficial for weight loss. Studies that look at what people eat show those who eat more carbs, more fiber, and cereal in general weigh less than those who eat less fiber, carbs, and cereal.”

How Much Dietary Fiber Gets you to a High fiber Diets

Most women should get at least 25 grams and most men 38 grams each day to gain all the health benefits of fiber, most people get only about half that when not on a diet and even less when dieting, especially on low-carb diets.

Studies show that people who eat 35 to 45 grams of fiber a day are less hungry when losing weight and lose more weight than people who eat less fiber.

Does Type of Fiber Affect Your Weight Loss?

Fibers come in a variety of forms in our diets:

  • Fiber is either soluble or insoluble: Soluble dissolves in water, insoluble does not. Both of these types are fiber are found naturally in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts.
  • “Dietary” fiber refers to the fiber found naturally in the foods that we eat.
  • “Functional” fibers such as insulin are added to packaged foods to boost their fiber content. These fibers are isolated or extracted from a plant or animal source, or they are manufactured.

Although all fiber is healthy, research indicates that fiber from whole foods may aid weight loss the most – likely because those high-fiber foods are also low in calories.

There are lots of side benefits to eating the right amount of fiber. Not only will you trim your waistline with a high-fiber diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts, but also reduce the risk for heart disease, diabetes, obesity, diverticulitis, and constipation.”

Add Fiber Calories Wisely and Slowly to Begin Weight Loss

Slowly adding more fiber to your diet can avoid bloating and gas by giving your body time to adapt. It is also important to drink plenty of liquids while aiming for High-fiber Diets.

Here are a few tips that anyone planning to increase their fiber intake should consider:

  • Eat whole fruits instead and avoid  fruit juice.
  • Snack on veggies instead of chips and other fattening foods.
  • Use vegetables as a main course.
  • Consider a vegetable salad instead of a starchy salad as a side dish with meals.
  • A bowl of vegetable-based broth soup before meals adds fiber and makes you feel full.
  • Begin your day with a high-fiber cereal topped with fruit and low-fat dairy.
  • Eat more beans, but beware you will have lots of gas.
  • Eat whole grains and limit them to a few servings each day.
  • Adding nuts and seeds to your weight loss plan is a great idea, but keep the portions small because they are high in fiber and calories.

Striking a balance between what you eat, exercise and your weight is a tough thing for many people. But it can pay off if you stick to it. For more information on diets, click here.

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New Diet Guidelines for the Average Person

October 21st, 2011 paulr Posted in Diet 2 Comments »

Losing weight the healthy wayWell if you read our last post which was a summary of the US Governments New Diet Guidelines, we are assuming you are confused and wondering if you can eat anything at all. You may be also wondering if you have to give up all of your favorite foods with pizza possible at the top of the list. Well this writer does not think so and it is not based on any kind of scientific study, nor is it based on lobby groups. Or opinion is based on experience and a little bit of common sense. Common sense usually is the best approach to many things in life and this is just one more.

Common sense says that if you eat 5000 calories every day and sit on the couch you are going to get fat. Just think about if for a second. The Tour de France bikers participate in races that span 5 to 6 hours and cover up to 200 kilometers. During this time they will burn between 5000 and 7000 calories. If you are not burning calories you either have to limit your intake or increase your activity to avoid gaining more weight and also to lose weight.

But the new diet guidelines are more than just calories. They are also about making sure you get the right amount of vitamins, fibre and minerals to keep your system running well and staying healthy. This is also very important because if you are not well , then you are sick, become lethargic and likely will gain weight.

Diet Guidelines – Study the Guidelines

Remember they are guidelines. They are not a bible that you have to follow religiously. Rather they are a set of instructions that you should follow most of the time if you want to avoid gaining weight and also stay healthy. Print out the list of things you can eat and those you cannot eat. Carry it with you and use it as a reference. After awhile you will know it by heart, but until you do it will be a handy reference for you to refer to each time you are deciding what to eat.

They Are Really a Guideline and not a Law

This is so important. While you want to follow these guidelines as much as possible, what is important to remember is that these new diet guidelines are just that. Follow them as best you can, at least 90% of the time , which means you may fall off the wagon once in a while, but that is ok as long as it amounts to only 10% of your food intake. They are a guideline so use them as guidelines !

Portion Control

Use small plates. It just makes so much common sense. We all love big plates so that we can pile all of our favorite foods on them. If you use a small plate you will reduce a few hundred, maybe even a thousand calories. Drink a glass of water with your meal as well to fill you up and you will be surprised at how much less food you eat. After awhile it becomes habit to eat less.

We love going to buffets and they all have these huge plates. You can pile so much food on them of all different types. We have learned to take the desert plates instead of the dinner plates when we are browsing the main course buffet lines. You cannot get that much food on them. You have to go back for seconds. But that is just fine since it limits our caloric intake! By the time we finish these little plates we are starting to feel full and often decide to not continue eating.

You have to use small tricks like these to limit your food intake other wise it is just to tempting to just keep on eating.

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New Diet Guidelines

October 7th, 2011 paulr Posted in Diet No Comments »

New Diet GuidelinesThe following is a summary of the new US Government dietary guidelines. In our next post we are going to discuss these guidelines and how the average person may be able to apply them!

A new term has been coined by the US Government and they want you to  avoid extra calories from Solid Fats and Added Sugars (SoFAS). Also consumers  who eat a lot of SoFAS also tend to eat a lot of refined grains which should also be avoided. They want consumers to move away from our over reliance in the past on sugar and sodium and saturated fat.

If it tastes great, then you probably should avoid it and of course that means pizza, which is major source of food types Americans enjoy and  are advised to avoid.

We also need to cut back to 1,500 mg of sodium per day for people over age 51, African-Americans, and people with high blood pressure.  Everyone else are advised to cut back to less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. There is salt in just about everything, so start by putting the salt shaker away! Avoid processed foods were salt is very high. Read the labels and look for low sodium levels in foods. Also avoid fast food restaurants that do not have low salt menus and low calorie foods.

The New Diet Guidelines focus on two major themes:

  • watching calories to achieve and maintain a healthy weight
  • tipping the balance of calorie intake: More calories from nutrition-rich foods, fewer calories from solid fats, sugars, and refined grains

The new American guidelines suggest:

  • Eat more seafood — at least 8 ounces a week
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Substitute healthy oils for solid fats (such as margarine)
  • Lower your sodium intake
  • Avoid fast foods
  • Exercise more
  • Read food labels
  • Substitute whole grains for refined grains
  • Eat more beans and peas
  • Get plenty of fiber, potassium, and vitamin D
  • Eat/drink more nonfat or low-fat dairy products
  • Replace high-fat meats with lean meats
  • For some Americans, drink less alcohol
  • Get off your SoFAS

The new guidelines point to specific sources of SoFAS and refined grains that we should not eat.

Dietary Guidelines: Worst Foods for Solid Fats

Solid fats make up almost a fifth of the total calories in American diets. They are a major factor behind the obesity epidemic.

The 10 foods that give us the most solid fats (and the percentage of solid fats from each food):

  • Grain-based desserts (10.8%)
  • Pizza (9.1%)
  • Regular cheese (7.6%)
  • Sausage, franks, bacon, and ribs (7.1%)
  • French fries (4.8%)
  • Dairy desserts (4.7%)
  • Tortillas, burritos, and tacos (4.6%)
  • Chicken and mixed chicken dishes (4.1%)
  • Pasta and pasta dishes (3.9%)
  • Whole milk (3.9%, just ahead of burgers at 3.8%)

Dietary Guidelines: Worst Foods for Saturated Fat

The body makes its own saturated fat — and we don’t need any more from our diet. High intake of saturated fat is linked to high cholesterol levels, which in turn are linked to heart disease.

The 10 foods from which Americans get most of their saturated fat

  • Regular cheese (8.5%)
  • Pizza (5.9%)
  • Grain-based desserts (5.8%)
  • Dairy desserts (5.6%)
  • Chicken and chicken mixed dishes (5.5%)
  • Sausage, franks, bacon, and ribs (4.9%)
  • Burgers (4.4%)
  • Tortillas, burritos, and tacos (4.1%)
  • Beef and beef mixed dishes (4.1%)
  • Reduced-fat milk (3.9%)

 Dietary Guidelines: Worst Foods for Added Sugars

Added sugars make up 16% of the total calories in American diets. Like solid fats, they’re a major factor in obesity. Far atop the list are sugary beverages.

The 10 foods from which Americans get most of their added sugars:

  • Soda, energy drinks, and sports drinks (35.7%)
  • Grain-based desserts (12.9%)
  • Fruit drinks (10.5%)
  • Dairy desserts (6.5%)
  • Candy (6.1%)
  • Ready-to-eat cereals (3.8%)
  • Sugars and honey (3.5%)
  • Tea (3.5%)
  • Yeast breads (2.1%)
  • All other foods (15.4%)

The new dietary guidelines say we should get more fiber in our diets.

The guidelines’ top 10 selected sources of dietary fiber :

  • Beans — navy, pinto, black, kidney, white, great northern, and lima (6.2 to 9.6 grams)
  • 100% Bran ready-to-eat cereal (9.1 grams)
  • Split peas, lentils, chickpeas, or cowpeas (5.6 to 8.1 grams)
  • Artichokes (7.2 grams)
  • Pears (5.5 grams)
  • Soybeans (5.2 grams)
  • Plain rye wafer crackers (5.0 grams)
  • Bran ready-to-eat cereals — various types (2.6 to 5.0 grams)
  • Asian pears (4.4 grams)
  • Green peas (3.5 to 4.4 grams)

Dietary Guidelines: Best Foods for Potassium

The new dietary guidelines say we should get more potassium in our diets.

The guidelines’ top 10 selected sources of dietary potassium :

  • Baked potatoes including the skin (738 mg)
  • Prune juice, canned (707 mg)
  • Carrot juice, canned (689 mg)
  • Tomato paste (664 mg)
  • Beet greens, cooked (654 mg)
  • White beans, canned (595 mg)
  • Tomato juice, canned (556 mg)
  • Plain yogurt, nonfat or low fat (531 to 579 mg)
  • Tomato puree (549 mg)
  • Sweet potato, baked in skin (542 mg)

Dietary Guidelines: Best Foods for Calcium

The new dietary guidelines advise Americans to get more calcium in their diets.

The guidelines’ top 10 selected sources of dietary calcium:

  • Fortified ready-to-eat cereals (250 mg to 1,000 mg)
  • Orange juice fortified with calcium (500 mg)
  • Plain yogurt, nonfat (452 mg)
  • Romano cheese (452 mg)
  • Pasteurized processed Swiss cheese (438 mg)
  • Evaporated milk, nonfat (371 mg)
  • Tofu, regular, preserved with calcium sulfate (434 mg)
  • Plain yogurt, low fat (415 mg)
  • Fruit yogurt, low fat (345 mg)
  • Ricotta cheese, part skim (337 mg)

Dietary Guidelines: Best Foods for Vitamin D

The new dietary guidelines advise Americans to get more vitamin D in their diets.

The guidelines’ top 10 selected dietary sources of vitamin D :

  • Salmon, sockeye, cooked (19.8 mcg)
  • Smoked salmon(14.5 mcg)
  • Salmon, canned (11.6 mcg)
  • Rockfish, cooked (6.5 mcg)
  • Tuna, light, canned in oil, drained (5.7 mcg)
  • Orange juice, vitamin D fortified (3.4 mcg)
  • Sardines, canned in oil, drained (4.1 mcg)
  • Tuna, light, canned in water, drained (3.8 mcg)
  • Whole milk (3.2 mcg)
  • Whole chocolate milk (3.2 mcg)

 

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Ten Fattening Foods

September 7th, 2011 paulr Posted in Diet No Comments »

Ten Fattening FoodsSo what are the worst foods, anytime during the year and  the calorie-packed culprits that we should stay away from? The experts say  that there really are no “bad” foods. A few bites of even the most fattening food can fit into your diet. But there certainly are foods that are worse for us than others.

When you check out the nutritional numbers on these foods, keep in mind that most adults need fewer than 2,000 calories, 65 grams of total fat, and 20 grams of saturated fat each day. If you are not an active person, you may need to limit yourself to even less calories each day.

There are many foods that fall into the heavy calorie list, however the following will give you an idea of what to avoid or to limit the quantity of each that you eat. I am using a calorie counter at the moment and find that I sometimes have to really limit portion size in order to meet my calorie limit. I eat everything, just not a huge quantity!

Alcohol

Probably the number one calorie counter is alcohol. As with anything else if you limit your intake, you can limit the calories. A simple rum and coke is loaded with calories. Change to diet coke to limit your calories. Choose light beer and avoid the creamy liquors if you want to control the calories that you take in while enjoy a drink with dinner or a liquor over dinner.

Macaroni and cheese

. It’s an all-time favorite comfort food for both kids and adults, but it can wreak havoc with your diet. A 12-ounce serving of Stouffer’s macaroni and cheese has 529 calories, 25.7 grams of fat, and 10.6 grams of saturated fat. Calories can climb higher when ingredients like high-fat meats or sausage are tossed in. Modify the recipe by using a low-fat cheese, low-fat milk, and stretch it with additional vegetables to improve the nutritional profile and still taste great.

Cream-based soups, bisques and chowders.

“Warm soups and chowders feel so nutritious, but if they are loaded with cream, they are also loaded with calories. Soups also tend to be high in sodium, and if you crumble salty crackers into the bowl or top with cheese, the sodium level soars even higher. A one-cup serving of Harry’s Lobster Bisque (Costco) has 380 calories, 27 grams of fat, 16 grams saturated fat, and 1,240 milligrams of sodium. The New England clam chowder at Chili’s, meanwhile, has 940 calories, 65 grams fat, and 34 grams of saturated fat. Choose soups that are broth based, like vegetable or minestrone, and pair it with a salad or a whole-wheat roll.

Cream- and cheese-based casseroles,

or those topped with cheese, bacon, fried onions, or buttered crackers. One serving has 568 calories, 40 grams of fat and 21 grams of saturated fat — and this is for a side dish! Creamed, scalloped, and au gratin dishes may start out with healthy ingredients like broccoli, green beans, or potatoes. But when you add cream, butter, and canned soups and top them with cheese, bacon, and/or fried breadcrumbs, you can easily quadruple the calories. Reduce calories by substituting low-calorie mix-ins such as fat-free sour cream, low-fat cheese, or reduced-fat soups.

Cheesecake treats.

Cheesecakes are typically loaded with artery clogging fats. In just one slice of chocolate Oreo mudslide cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory, you get 1,050 calories, 71 grams of fat, and 34 grams of saturated fat. And don’t think ordering a muffin will save you when you’re craving a cream-cheese treat. Starbuck’s pumpkin cream cheese muffin has 490 calories, 24 grams of fat, and 6 grams of saturated fat. Better to skip these rich desserts and satisfy your sweet tooth with a 150-calorie Skinny Cow ice cream cone — or suck on a peppermint for a mere 20 calories.

Chili and stews loaded with ground beef, sausage, and/or cheese.

When you make them yourself, with small portions of lean meat, lots of vegetables and beans and a sprinkle of low-fat cheese, chili and stews can be nutritious and filling. At Chili’s, a bowl of chili with cheese will cost you 500 calories, 35 grams of fat, and 15 grams saturated fat. At Quizno’s, the bread bowl chili has 760 calories, 23 grams of fat, and 7 grams saturated fat. “Stews or chili have the potential to be very hearty, high in protein, and a great meal as long as you control the high-fat ingredients such as ground meat, sausage and cheese.

Pies topped with whipped cream or ice cream.

These winter favorites often start with healthy ingredients, like heart-healthy nuts or antioxidant-rich fruits, but they also include high-calorie ingredients. “Rich, buttery pie crusts on the top and bottom, sweet fillings, and the customary whipped cream or ice cream topping make these pies decadent and full of calories. A slice of coconut cream pie at Denny’s, for example, will set you back 701 calories, 32 grams of fat, and 20 grams saturated fat. Shoney’s apple pie a la mode has 1,203 calories, 53 grams of fat, and 23.7 grams of saturated fat in one serving — equivalent to the total daily calories in some weight loss plans. “Skip the crust(s), add a dollop of light whipped topping, and serve yourself only a sliver” if you want to enjoy these desserts.

Cookies.

Enjoying one small cookie is not a problem. Most small (about 1 -2 ounces) cookies are around 200-250 calories, which is not bad if you eat only one — but who can stop at one?. The CD-sized cookies you commonly find at bakeries and restaurants pack a real caloric punch. At Dunkin’ Donuts, the peanut butter cup cookie (4.5 ounces) has 590 calories, 29 grams of fat, and 13 grams saturated fat. At Panera, the shortbread cookie (2.5 ounces) has 350 calories, 21 grams of fat, and 12 grams saturated fat. So split it in half, or take along a 100-calorie pack of your favorite cookie.

Fried side dishes

chili cheese fries, onion rings, and plain old French fries. Sadly, the most popular vegetable in the U.S. is the French fry, which is loaded with fat, calories, and salt. Most people think nothing of adding a side of 6-ounce fries to their order at McDonald’s, even though it adds an additional 570 calories, 30 grams of fat, and 6 grams saturated fat. Sharing a Chili’s Awesome Blossom (1/2 portion) gives you 1,355 calories, 101 grams of fat, and 18 grams saturated fat – all before the entree. A serving of Del Taco’s chili cheese fries has 670 calories, 46 grams fat, and 15 grams saturated fat, while White Castle onion rings have 750 calories, 39 grams of fat, and 6 saturated fat. Have a side salad with your entrée and skip the high-calorie, deep-fat fried appetizer, and look for something that is not fried and has vegetables.

Creamy pot pies with pastry on the top and bottom.

It looks innocent enough but when you have pastry on the bottom and top, you get a double dose of high-fat crust plus the filling. The individual Boston Market chicken pot pie has 780 calories, 47 grams of fat, and 17 grams of saturated fat. Forget the creamy pie and enjoy a roasted chicken breast and a whole-wheat roll for a fraction of the calories.

More Tips to Avoid  Weight Gain

Beyond limiting the most fattening foods, here are some more general expert tips for avoiding winter weight gain:

  • Have plenty of low-sodium soups and stews that are broth- or tomato-based and contain lots of vegetables. Studies show that eating broth-based soup before a meal can fill you up. This will help you eat fewer calories during the meal.
  • Heat up your food with spices and peppers to give it more pizzazz so you won’t miss the high-fat ingredients.
  • Use only lean meats in casseroles and other dishes. Even then, remember to keep portions reasonable.
  • Drink plenty of water with your meals
  • Include plenty of lean protein in your diet to keep you feeling full and satisfied
  • Replace cream in recipes with fat-free half-and-half or low-fat milk
  • Use 2 egg whites instead of each whole egg in recipes.
  • Get plenty of natural sunlight, and stay fit to keep your metabolism perking.
  • Keep your menus simple and reduce the number of choices to reduce the temptation to try everything,
  • During the holiday season, “keep your routine as normal as possible. If you do splurge, just get right back on track. Avoid Thanksgiving dinner extending all the way to New Year’s Day,”

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Fallen Off Your Diet Plan!

July 7th, 2011 paulr Posted in Diet No Comments »

Fallen Off Your Diet Plan Portion ControlVacation at all-inclusive resorts, business meals, holiday parties, gourmet meals, and celebratory dinners can easily take you a long way off your diet plan. This will ramp up the calories, salt and fat that you intake. When you are busy going to these events your exercise plan tends to suffer as well. You are not burning off the calories either.  Everyone of us will blow his or her calorie budget every now and then. When you have fallen off your diet plan like this, don’t worry, just get back to the routine as quickly as possible. If you panic and give up, your going to gain weight again. Now is the time to refocus and start again with your diet plan.

Should we worry about this temporary situation? Is this diversion from your plan temporary or is it a symptom of a longer term trend? What should you do next and how do you get back on track with your plan to lose weight or to maintain the weight you want to be at when you have fallen off your diet plan?

Here are a few answers that we have picked up from around the internet on various web sites from experts and none experts. Decide what works for you and get back to your plan!

Fallen Off Your Diet Plan – Relax (For a Moment)

Considering that you need to  eat 3,500 calories to gain one pound of body fat,  it’s unlikely that a single overindulgence will show up on the scale. This is the good news, one meal is not going to ruin you if you eat sensibly and exercise regularly the rest of the time and get back to your routine, experts say.

Also if this occurs once and awhile, and the rest of the time you adhere to your plans, you probably will be ok. If you are over indulging often, there is a great danger that you will start to gain weight unless you really turn up the exercise routine.

Even a week at an all-inclusive resort can be managed if you get right back to your regular plan when you return. It may take a week or two before you will be back to your regular weight, but then this is within your expectations. Again get back to your routine as quickly as you can.

With the size of most restaurant meals most people cannot help but overeat somewhere between 500 and 1,500 calories every single day and if they do not work this off through exercise, they are going to gain weight for sure.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up, Get Right Back to Your Plan

If you do fall off of your plan for whatever reason, don’t get discouraged. Every one does this from time to time. The important thing is to recognize that you only fell off the plan for a day or a week while you were away, and you are going to get right back on your plan. Watch the portion size on everything and try to reduce your portions to the point that you are eating fewer calories than you need.

Plan Your Diet Over the Course of Several Days

Most people eat more sensibly during the week and take in more calories on the weekend. During the week it is easier to be more disciplined and you do not have the distractions  you may have on weekends when we tend to go out with friends or visit with family.

If you eat more calories than you should at a party on a weeknight, consider that one of your “weekend” days and compensate for it accordingly on the weekend. Plan your calorie intake over a week so that your average meets your goal. There is more flexibility this way and it is much easier to cope with every day life if you can average things over a week.

Resume Sensible Eating as Soon as Possible

If you over eat one day cut back the next day over several meals. If you skip meals you may find that you are hungrier and more likely to fall off your diet again. Eat smaller portions until you have compensated for the over indulgence.

If you have been on a vacation, it may take a while week to get back after you have fallen off your diet plan after you return. Be patient and eat properly for the week following until you are back on target.

  • Cut back throughout the day with a series of small meals packed with fiber-rich fruits and vegetables:
  • Wait until you’re hungry. Then have a light breakfast such as a bowl of low-fat yogurt and berries.
  • Mid-morning snack: A piece of fruit and an ounce of low-fat cheese
  • Lunch: A big salad with lean protein such as fish or chicken, or a whole-wheat pita pocket with lettuce and tuna or turkey
  • Afternoon snack: A cup of vegetable soup and an orange
  • Dinner: A piece of fish and plenty of vegetables
  • Skip the Scale

Most foods contain salt and some foods have salt artificially added to help preserve the food. This extra salt helps the body to retain fluid and can contribute to perceived weight gain.  It may take a few days for the body to rid itself of this excess salt and the corresponding fluid weight.

Pick a day once a week to weigh yourself. The worst day is probably Sunday evening after you have enjoyed the weekend festivities.  Friday morning may be a good day to do your once a week weigh in, when you are at your lowest weight for the week if you have been sticking to your plan.

Continue with Your Normal Exercise Routine

Over compensating for the extra calories by over-exercising will leave you burned out or worse, perhaps even dehydrated. This is the wrong approach when you have fallen off your diet plan.

You could strain a muscle, you could hurt a joint and muscle soreness may set in. Injuries will just slow you down or cause you to stop exercising contributing to your frustration and possibly more over eating. Stick with the plan and exercise more minutes rather than going faster, lifting more weights or stressing your body more than normal.

Track What You Eat for Every Meal and Snack

Setting a caloric goal for the day and recording what you eat keeps you conscious of what you’re eating, in terms of calories as well as salt intake, and other essential minerals and vitamins.

Track your calorie intake carefully. Every time your hand heads towards your mouth, more calories are adding up. Still you need to make sure that you are also eating sufficient calories for your body type and activity levels. Track your calories and stick to your plan when yo have fallen off your diet plan.

Comments are welcome.

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My Fitness Pal

January 28th, 2011 paulr Posted in Diet 1 Comment »

My Fitness PalWe have just discovered an iPhone app that works on the iPhone, the iPod and the iPad called My Fitness pal, which I have to say is one of the best tools that we have seen for helping people manage their calories intake, but also their sodium, carbs and vitamins. If you are serious about losing weight, using My Fitness Pal can help you to do that.

It will take some effort to record all of the activities and food. The payoff of course is knowing how your food intake affects your weight. Just knowing that the snack your eating has 500 calories in it helps. You may decide to eat a little less. Note that there is no need to eliminate various foods. Control how much you eat by monitoring the caloric intake. Don’t forget to add exercise and the calories that you burn. You can use these extra calories to either treat yourself or contribute to the weight loss your aiming for. My Fitness Pal is a great tool. Start using it now.

My Fitness Pal

This app is so good that we are recommending it to any one who wants to keep track of their food intake and see how it affects your weight. You start of by installing the app and then registering with the online application. You will need to create an ID and a password. Once that is complete, the next thing is to create a profile. Nothing too invasive, however it does ask you your current weight, some information about your lifestyle and how many pounds you want to lose in 5 weeks time.

With this information, the My Fitness Pal app will calculate how many calories you are allowed to eat every day in order to achieve the desired weight loss. This becomes your objective, in other words you cannot exceed this amount. If you exercise, walk etc then you will be able to enter that into your daily diary and add some calories if you want, while still achieving your objective.

Every day you enter the various foods that you eat. There is an extensive online list of various foods and typical meals along with sizes to search and add to your daily diary. As long as you record everything and do not cheat, you will have an accurate representation of the amount of calories, carbs, sodium, fat and vitamins that you are eating every day.

My Fitness Pal – The Big Surprises

I have been using the MY Fitness Pal for a week now and have had a couple of surprises. For years I have avoided adding salt to my food, preferring the natural taste and also trying to keep blood pressure under control. To my surprise even with this approach, I am far exceeding the salt intake that I should be because of the type of foods I am eating.  Not a lot of processed foods, but there appears to be sodium in everything with sodium being added. I am starting to be more judicious about the foods that I eat now, even more than I was previously.

Another surprise is the number of calories that are in various portion sizes. Even with splitting meals with my spouse, I am finding that the meals served in America are so large and contain so many calories, that it is impossible to stay within the limits of the calories I should be eating every day. This re-enforces what we have always known and that is that you must chose foods that are naturally low in calories to lose weight, or you need to exercise like crazy!

Exercising Helps

On various posts on this blog we have said that energy in less energy expended  will equal weight loss only if the answer is negative. By entering the time and type of exercise into your myfitnesspal app, you will have an estimate of the calories burned and you can also see the impact this has on how many calories you can eat as a result each day. Exercise really does help, even if it is just walking!

Update Your Diary

Keep your food diary up to date and the app will do the rest for you, in terms of tracking calories, fat, carbs, sodium and vitamins. YOu can generate various reports on your smart phone as well as access the web site with a PC and generate additional more detailed reports as well.  This is a great little application that can be used by anyone with a smart phone, although the web site indicates that it has been developed for the Apple products.

We will add mote posts about this app in the future and talk about our success as well in terms of losing weight. However in the mean time, comments are appreciated from our readers who have had experience with this app or others that will help us all manage our weight, our sodium intake and maintain a healthy life.

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New Years Resolutions – Lose Weight

January 1st, 2011 paulr Posted in Diet, Exercise, NY's Resolutions 1 Comment »

Lose WeightLet’s face it we all gain weight over the holidays. There are parties to go to and then there are the meals, not to mention all of the snacks that are everywhere. We consume thousands of calories with the drinks, the food and the deserts and lets not forget the snacks and munchies that seem to be available everywhere. It is very difficult to Lose Weight at this time of the year.

Unless you are a robot, it is really tough to avoid or resist all of these temptations. We all love to snack and when the food is so good, why not. Now it is time to make some new years resolutions, but will we stick to it?

New Years Resolutions – Lose Weight

I am sure you have made New Years resolutions in the past and you are probably going to make some this year as well. I know that I have and I will make some more resolutions which I will probably break within a few days of having thought about them or even gone as far as writing them down.  Doomed to failure , right!

Well they do not have to be broken right away. Many people some really drastic resolutions that call for them to make significant changes in their lifestyle. These are really difficult to keep. There are too many temptations and let’s face it our will power is just not up to it. Who wants to turn down that piece of chocolate cake or that extra helping of food.

My solution this year is to make smaller resolutions that are aimed at something I can actually complete. For example, instead of saying I am going to lose 50 pounds this year, I am going to focus on losing one pound a week and I am going to utilize small plates at supper which will limit the amount of food that I can pile on my plate! Hopefully this will work and if I lose some weight or half the weight I am trying to lose, well I will consider it to be a success.

Lose Weight – Small Portions

It is all about limiting the number of calories we intake. If we can eat smaller portions pretty soon our bodies and our stomachs will tell our brains that we are full after we have eaten a small amount. Using a small plate is one way of doing this, so that you are forced to think about filling up a second time.

Stay away from buffets, were the natural tendency is to always eat more than you planned. I always take a little bit of everything, but before you know it I have an overloaded plate! This is where the small plate really works well. By the time you finish the first plate and are heading back for the second you are going to feel full and you just may avoid a second helping.

Most of us do not have the will power to stick with it, so playing these little tricks on our selves, is a great way to condition our bodies to expect less. Try it.

Exercise

We cannot write a post about New Years resolutions without talking about exercise as well. Many people will go out and buy a membership at a gym, only to quit a month later. Actually the gyms love these people, because they pay for a full year and then never use the facilities. Talk about profit margin!

Get out there and move. Walking around the block, walk around the mall if it is cold outside, whatever works for you, but move and get some exercise. If the gym works and you will stay with it, it is a really great way to exercise and get it done, but you do need to form the habit of exercising daily for at least 20 minutes a day!

Diet

Lastly there is diet. New Years resolutions cannot just be “I am going to lose weight”, or ” I am going to lose 10 pounds”. There has to be more than that. It has to encompass, eating less, exercising and of course diet. You might eat smaller portions, however if you are still eating high fat content foods, then you are probably going to lose some weight if you are reducing your portion size, but you could lose a lot more if you watch your diet and eat  food that is going to help you lose weight.

Eat salads and low fat foods, which means you have to limit what you eat that is deep fried, food that has a lot of sugar in them etc.

Good luck with your New Years resolutions. Remember – smaller portion sizes, exercise 3 times a week, eat a proper diet and set reasonable achievable goals! Comments and suggestions are welcome!

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Eat Less – Move More

November 21st, 2010 paulr Posted in Diet, Exercise 5 Comments »

Eat Less - Move MoreThis was a post By Madison Park, CNN on November 12, 2010, which we wanted to repeat on our blog with full acknowledgment, since it incorporates many of the things we have been saying over the past months on our blog. We used the terms Energy In must be less than Energy Out in order to lose weight. Tony Posnanski put it much simpler, ” Eat Less – Move More”. this mantra is useful for everyone who is trying to lose weight or maintain their current weight.

Eat Less – Move More

Here is the post, repeated verbatim!

(CNN) — There were no diet pills, shakes or detoxes. And no, it wasn’t caveman food, grapefruit, Twinkies, Taco Bell or Subway sandwiches.

Tony Posnanski’s 200-pound weight loss was straightforward, almost dull.

“He changed the way I ate,” wrote Posnanski, 34, who went from consuming 10,000 calories a day to 2,400. “I got rid of processed foods. I ate fruits, vegetables, lean meats. It is pretty boring, but the results aren’t boring.”

The basics of weight loss are simple: Eat less. Move more. But consumers still flock to the newest best-seller diets, hormone injections, alleged hunger-controlling cookies, enthralled by glowing testimonials about sumo-to-svelte slim downs.

“There’s nothing sexy about ‘eat your fruits and vegetables,’ ” said Keri Gans, a registered dietitian. “We want to hear something else.”

“Consumers need to understand that health and the ideal body weight are not found from a gimmick. It takes hard work. The end result is long-lasting success.”

This week, a CNN.com story about a professor’s diet experiment went viral, drawing more than 125,000 Facebook shares and more than 1,200 viewer comments. Some blamed portion control for the obesity epidemic in the United States: “People in France have fattening food but are thinner than Americans because they eat moderate portions. It’s how much you eat that matters”

Humor About Slimming Down

Others found humor: “Well, it’s not like Twinkies are food, so no wonder he is losing weight.”

People are attracted to these types of stories for one simple reason, Gans said.

“Most people think if they can eat junk and still lose weight, they’re going to sign up for that,” said Gans, author of the upcoming book “The Small Change Diet.” They don’t realize that losing weight can happen without deprivation or gimmicks.

It’s a lesson that Posnanski learned after trying a slew of diet products. Over-the-counter diet pills made his heart race. Weight-loss shakes left him hungry.

At 400 pounds, Posnanski learned he might never be healthy enough to have children with his wife, Rebecca. His doctor said he needed bariatric surgery. In February 2008, he vowed to change.

Posnanski, an iReport contributor in Orlando, Florida, stopped spending $30 during 3 a.m. drive-thru binges at Taco Bell. He stopped polishing off boxes of pizza and buckets of chicken.

Reduce Portion Sizes

He practiced what he had always heard — he reduced portion sizes and ate healthy.

There was no immediate difference, he said. “My pants were still large after that first day. But I felt like I could do this. It was different.

“Before, I would tell myself I’m going to do this for a little while. That day, I was like, ‘You know what — I’m done. This is the rest of my life.’ ”

That’s the key to weight loss, experts say. It can’t be a temporary fix; the changes have to be lifelong.

“It’s like the tortoise and the hare,” said Dr. Sam Klein, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. “You need to be the tortoise here. Rapid, short-term weight loss is not the way to go. It’s the slow, steady approach. Small changes you stick to forever is key.”

A drastic diet of snack cakes helped nutrition professor Mark Haub tried lose 27 pounds in 10 weeks because he reduced his caloric intake.

Critics warned that his over consumption of Twinkies would have long-term consequences and questioned whether such a diet could be sustained.

“Please bear in mind this was a class exercise to illustrate issues and concerns that occur during weight loss,” Haub said. “This project is not to promote a diet.”

The basic premise is that people can lose weight eating anything from Twinkies, apples or baby food, as long as they reduce calories.

“Most people find out on their own. They do the cookie diet or cabbage diet for a week or two, then inevitably, maintaining something that eliminates major food groups [is] just such an unrealistic lifestyle change, it doesn’t work,” said Katherine Zeratsky, a registered dietitian at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

That initial weight loss isn’t likely to last.

There are successful plans such as the low-fat diet and the Mediterranean diet that improve cardiovascular and metabolic health while also encouraging a range of healthy foods, Klein said. And programs that bring awareness to portion size such as Weight Watchers can help, because they essentially direct people to reduce calories.

“It’s not taking a single cookie to make you lose weight, a pill or product,” said Gans, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. “Eat your whole grains to lower cholesterol, fruits and vegetables to prevent cancer. The key to weight loss is about eating and creating a healthy relationship with food.”

For people who hope for shortcuts, Klein said: “There’s no magic bullet to lose weight and keep it off.”

Smaller portion sizes (no fewer than 1,200 calories) and daily physical activity can lower cardiovascular disease risks, he said.

Posnanski, is a former yo-yo dieter and restaurant manager, who gave up what he called “gimmicky” diets. He shared how he has managed to sustain his weight loss:

  • Monitor portions and keep track of food intake
  • Stay away from processed foods, and eat mostly vegetables, fruits, lean meats and whole grains
  • Work out one to two hours a day

“I don’t believe in quick weight-loss diets,” Posnanski said. “I believe in the rest of my life.”

What a great good news story that should motivate all of us. Feel free to leave comments on our blog.

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Diet Fads

August 22nd, 2010 paulr Posted in Diet 2 Comments »

Portion ControlThere are a huge number of diet fads available in the market. They all have one thing in common and that is they are all trying to make money off people who really want to lose weight and need to lose weight for health reasons. Most of these diet fads do not work at all and if consumers follow them they risk harmful health side effects due to lack of vitamins, minerals and good quality foods. For me this is a situation were business is really trying to take advantage of people who have real problems and are willing to spend a lot of money. Unfortunately these same people either do not follow the instructions or they get disappointed and give up early. Losing weight is all about changing habits, eating right and exercise. The fad diets just care about making money by selling you something.

You just have to watch the biggest loser on TV to begin to understand what these people are going through and how hard it is to lose weight and keep it off. They work for months, and I mean work hard to burn calories to lose weight. They combine exercise with starting to eat properly and watching their food and calorie intake.  This is hard work and takes conviction and perseverance to be successful. The companies that sell all of these diet plans and diet products are there to sell you something and not to support you over the long term. All they want to do is to sell product.

So what are you supposed to do if you want to lose weight. With all of these fad diet plans, advertising of miraculous weight loss with no work, how do you avoid being taken in and spending a lot of money to try and lose weight?

Well the answer is pretty simple, however most people will not like the answer. It is really simple.  If the energy you take in, in terms of food is greater than the energy you burn in daily living and exercise, then you are going to gain weight. Burning more calories and energy than you take in will ensure that you lose weight. Taking in the same amount of energy that you are burning every day will ensure that you maintain the same weight.

If you are not one to exercise very much other than daily activity, then you must limit the calories that you intake every day. Read labels and assess the number of calories in each serving. Stay under 1500 calories a day if you want to lose weight. Don’t forget to count sauces and other things you add as condiments. They contain a lot of fat and calories which you do not need. Even mustard, catchup and deep frying anything is not a good idea. Take some general vitamins to ensure that you are maintaining your proper level of vitamins in your body as well.

This seems pretty simple and it is really simple, however it takes a lot of control to say no to some of the things that you enjoy eating. Deserts, fried foods, sauces, overeating and snacking are all things that you have to get under control and reduce. If you do not then you will just become frustrated and stay at the same weight.

Diet Fads – Financial

The financial side of weight loss is staggering. If you apply self control, you are going to reduce the money you spend on food. You avoid spending money on fad diets, when you lose weight. Also you need less medicine and less doctor visits and you have less health issues. These things all save you a great deal of money. Use these factors as motivators to help you stick with your own plan to lose weight. Avoid all of these fad diets that are out there.

Feel free to leave us comments about your experience with fad diets and losing weight. Spam comments will be deleted.

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Weight Watchers and Alcohol

August 7th, 2010 paulr Posted in Diet 2 Comments »

Weight WatchersA dieting web site would not be complete with out having a post on Weight Watchers. We do not claim to be experts about weight watchers, nor do we offer any advice about this form of dieting, however it does work for many people and if it works why not try it. With weight watchers discipline seems to the the key to success.

Our reason for writing about Weight Watchers on this post is based on a conversation I had with a friend who has joined weight watchers and to date has lost 12 pounds. He has not changed his exercise routine, has a regular job behind a desk, yet he has managed to lose 12 ponds and wants to lose another 5 pounds to get to what he considers to be his optimum weight.

He mentioned that he follows the plan and counts his points everyday to make sure that he does nto exceed his daily allowance of food intake. Vegetables are free points, while many of the meats and starchy foods are from one to several points per serving. He is allowed 13 points per day and 35 points extra for the week. If he can stay at this level of points each day, he will lose weight and reach his goal.

Weight Watchers – Alcohol

We were at a party having a martini and I commented that his drink was probably around 9 points in that one drink. His look was of astonishment. He could not believe that there were so many points in one drink. My rational for this number of points was as follows.

He had mentioned that a regular beer ( Canadian) was 3 points. There were 3 ounces of liquor in his martini and so we figured that one ounce of liquor is equal to a beer, hence 3 points per ounce time 3 ounces is 9 points. He was almost at his daily limit with one drink!

He finished the drink and then switched to beer, taking full advantage of his 35 weekly points that he is allowed to go over each week. This guy can also pack away the beer and in the past at our parties would easily drink 10 beers in an evening. Note: that his wife always drives home, so there is never a drink and drive issue for my friend.

This was the really interesting part. After his martini, he limited himself to 4 beers to stay within the 35 point limit extra for the week. This is when I really realized that he was committed to losing weight, because this man really loves his beer!

Weight Watchers and Alcohol

I do not know what weight watchers opinion is regarding alcohol, other than you probably should limit the amount of beer and liquor you drink to avoid gaining weight from your drinking.

If anyone knows or has comments feel free to weigh in and provide your comments. We welcome anyone’s comments that are valid and real. Comments that are of a spam variety, will be deleted.

Alcohol has lots of sugar in it and the body will convert it to fat quickly. Counting the number of beers or hard liquor you take in is a great way to manage your weight loss. Or avoid gaining more weight. Weight watchers will I am sure, want you to limit the amount you drink for health and weight issues. However there are lots of other reasons to manage the amount you drink every week as well.

Aside from issues of drinking and driving, gaining weight, you can actually also damage your liver. Also other parts of your body if you drink too much as well. If you fall into this category, you really need to deal with your drinking level first. Then start managing  your weight loss as well, whether it is through weight watchers of some other diet plan.

My friend is committed although he does fall of the wagon from time to time. He is committed to losing weight and avoiding other health issues that over weight conditions can cause.

Bottom line

You need to make your own decision and commitment to lose weight. Weight watchers is only a tool that you can use to help you lose weight and manage your weight in a structured somewhat scientific method.

We hope that you can make the decision and follow the plan. After all it is not free. It does cost money to join which is part of being committed to losing weight. Think of it this way. The money you save on reduced food intake as well as reduced alcohol consumption will easily pay for your Weight Watchers member ship.

Good luck and we hope you found this post interesting. As we said comments are very welcome. As long as they contribute to the general theme of this post and are positive and helpful comments. Anything else will be deleted. Thanks to Weight Watchers for helping my friend lose weight. We hope that he continues to be successful in losing weight!

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Low Fat Diets

July 7th, 2010 paulr Posted in Diet No Comments »

Healthy Balanced Diet to Lose WeightThere are literally thousands of studies available about dieting. No one knows  which one is best. Low fat diets, low carb, low this and low that. With so many diet plans available and most of them if not all of them waiting to take your money how is the average person to know which one is best for them? Most of these diet plans are looking to make money from you and it will cost you whether you buy a book, join a club, join a web site. It does not matter.

This post you can read for free and it is probably the only thing you can do for free so enjoy it while you can. First we will start off with an excerpt from WEBMD which follows, then after that we will add some comments of our own. At the end of the day you need to make your own decision regarding what you want to do about your weight. After all it is your body and your life, you need to decide how much you are going to spend and how it will be spent to lose weight. Low fat diets are not always the answer.

Low Fat Diets

Here are the study results for one study that looked at Low Fat Diets!

Study Shows People on Low-Fat Diet More Likely to Keep Weight Off

By Jennifer Warner, WebMD Health News

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

March 1, 2010 — A low-carb diet may offer quick results. But a new study suggests that a low-fat diet may be best for long-term weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight.

Researchers found obese people who followed a low-fat diet may be more likely to keep the weight off three years later after starting the diet than those who followed a low-carbohydrate diet.

“Although participants in the low-carbohydrate group lost more weight at 12 months, they regained more weight during the next 24 months,” write researcher Marion L. Vetter, MD, RD of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and colleagues in the Annals of Internal Medicine. “In contrast, participants in the low-fat group maintained their weight loss.”

In the study, researchers started with a group of 132 obese people. They weighed an average of 289 pounds before starting either a low-fat diet. A calorie restricted diet with less than 30% of daily calories from fat, or a low-carb diet with fewer than 30 grams of fat per day for 12 months.

After six months on the diets, the group on the low-carb diet experienced the greatest weight loss. But by 12 months there was no significant difference in weight loss between the two groups.

Longer Term Results

Three years after the study began and two years after the diets ended, researchers followed up with 40 people in the low-carb diet group and 48 in the low-fat diet group.

They found people in the low-carb diet group weighed an average of 4.9 pounds less than before they started dieting. While those in the low-fat diet group weighed an average of 9.5 pounds less than they did at the start of the study.

Researchers say while both diets appear to offer weight loss benefits, the pattern of weight change was different between the low-carb and low-fat diet groups.

“The differences in weight regain between the two groups probably reflects initial weight loss,” write the researchers. “Participants who lost more weight during the first 12 months tended to regain more weight by month 36.”

End of article from WEBMD

So what do we think about this particular study. All they are saying is that one diet was slightly better than another diet! That’s it and these people appeared to not lose very much weight either.

So what should you do? Should you chose one diet over another? Should you buy the book on low fat diets or low carb diets?

The sad result in our opinion is neither! Get hold of your life and seriously limit your portion size, decrease your salt intake, eat well balanced meals  and start exercising!  There is no easy way to lose weight, it takes hard work and it takes discipline.  Forget the deserts, the second helpings, the buffets and whatever else you indulge in. Go for walks, go to the gym, reduce your intake and lose weight!

The equation is simple. Energy into your body less energy burned for the day = plus or minus weight gain. Nothing else. Forget all of these fancy weight loss programs. Eat sensibly and eat carefully, in restaurants share meals – it will cost you less, dring water instead of soft drinks and forget the deserts.

As you can see we are not fans of these diet plans.  If you have comments or would like to add to the comments please feel free to do so.

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Casino Buffets and Your Diet

May 7th, 2010 paulr Posted in Diet No Comments »

Common Sense DietHave you ever gone to one of the buffets offered by many of the casinos around the country? They are really great deals for the price and the food is usually excellent. The problem with buffets and your diet, well not really the casino buffet, it is more with the people who go to them, myself included, is that we all tend to over eat. It is human nature and of course we want to get our money’s worth , don’t we? Casino buffets and your diet really do not mix.

If you are on a diet and you go to one of these buffets with a group it can be very difficult to maintain your diet while everyone around you is filling up on the foods available at the buffet. Some of the larger buffets will have over 100 items on display for you to chose from and let’s face it , all of the food is excellent. The selection is so great that even if you only took one table spoon of each item, your plate would be over flowing by the time you got to the end.

Inexpensive Compared to Other Choices

Some buffets at some of the smaller casinos cost around $10.00, while the buffets at the larger casinos in Vegas can go as high as $25 per person. The food is all good, no, great and the selection is fantastic. The difference between a $10 and a $25 buffet will be a combination of  decor, presentation and at the higher end buffets, sometimes there will be more exotic foods. Either way you can fill up your plate very quickly and blow your diet plan without any trouble at all. Casino buffets and your diet really do not mix. So what is a person supposed to do when asked to go to one of these casino buffets?

Alternatives to Buffets and Your Diet

You could of course refuse to go to the buffet with the group or family, however for most people this is a non starter. Everyone wants to fit in and besides the family or group you are with want to enjoy the buffet as well as your company.

You already know that once you get in there, chances are you will probably over eat. Casino buffets and your diet just do not mix.  But there are a few things you can do to control your over eating at a buffet and minimize the damage to your diet plan.

Discipline is one thing. You need this every day of your life while on a diet, so it is no different here, just a little more difficult to stick to it. Before you walk in, you need to tell yourself that you need to be extra strong to avoid all of the temptations.

Next, avoid looking at the desert area. This is a major source of calories, so just do not look at it. If you cannot see it and don’t know what they are offering then you will not be tempted.

We all know that it takes a while for the stomach to tell us that it is full and that is why we often feel so uncomfortable. We have over eaten and did not stop when we knew that we would be full.

Eat Slowly

So, eat slowly. Enjoy every bite and let your stomach tell you when you are full. By eating slowly your stomach will have the time to realize that it is full and communicate to your brain that it does not need any more food.

Next, the casino buffets often provide small plates and very large plates. These large plates really do hold a lot of food, more than most people can eat at one sitting. When I am trying to control how much I eat, I grab one of the small plates and use this as a natural way to limit the amount of food I put on my plate. Combined with eating slowly and having to get up for another plate naturally limits the amount of food I eat.

Lastly watch what you drink. At a casino buffet, you can have just about anything you want to drink and as many drinks as you want. Some casinos will even offer free beer and wine with their meals. You can drink chocolate milk, soft drinks or coffee or juice and as much of it as you want. If you are trying to manage your diet, stick to water. It is better for your digestion  and there are no calories when you drink water.

Buffets and Your Diet – To summarize:

  • Avoid the desert area
  • Eat slowly
  • Use a small plate
  • Drink water with your meal
  • Enjoy your time with your family and friends

Casino buffets can be very tempting. However if you follow these few simple rules, you can still manage to stay within your diet plan and enjoy your time as well.

The buffets offered by the casinos have a full selection of salads and low calorie foods as well as all of the high calorie foods. Stick to the salads and low calorie foods while at the buffet. All of the food with the gravies and sauces, while they taste good, are high calorie and also are full of salt which is another health issue for many people.

Following these few simple rules and guidelines can help us all to maintain our diets and also avoid gaining weight while we are on vacation.

If you have other tips or ideas, please leave a comment on our blog.

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Weight Loss Diets and You

February 28th, 2010 paulr Posted in Diet No Comments »

Weight Loss dietss and youThere are so many weight loss diets out there it is hard to choose between them. Weight Loss Diets and You is a very personal struggle and expensive for most people. One thing for sure is they are all trying to make money by selling their products and their services. So how does a person choose between one or another? Which one will work best for you over the long term? Which one will harm your body the least? There are thousands of people selling diets, doctors, exercise guru’s, dietitians and more. Who do you believe. We all want to lose some weight, some more than others, but somehow we just cannot seem to lose those extra pounds. In fact we gain a couple pounds every year.

What I have come to conclude in life about just about everything is that if it sounds too good to be true then it is too good to be true. Many people get duped by the fast paced flashy advertisements. They want to lose weight so badly they are willing to try anything. I have also learned in life that if you don’t have to work for it and put some effort in, then you will not appreciate it and will just go back to your normal ways. So all of these weight loss diets that promise weight loss in a matter of weeks are promising more than can be achieved.

Weight Loss Diets and You

We are going to list some of the weight loss diets and a short description of each. We are in no way supporting these diets. We do think that everyone must make their own decision and do their own homework to determine which one is going to be best for them. We are trying to gather some unbiased information about diets to help people who read our posts. Please add your own comments if they are helpful to other people.

Atkins Diet
Metabolism Diet
Rice Diet
Cabbage soup diet
Sonoma diet
Soup diet
Low fat diet
Calorie diet
High protein diet
Mediterranean diet
Cleansing diet
Weight Watchers diet
Crash diet
Natural diet
Raw food diet
Mayo clinic Diet
Lemonade diet

Just looking at the names of the above diets gives me the shakes. I cannot imagine following a cleansing diet for example or a raw food diet. They just seem so counter intuitive. If you have ever watched the biggest loser, they talk about portion control, managing your total calorie  intake, eating a balanced diet to make sure you get all of the essential minerals and vitamins. The biggest loser also talks about getting enough exercise to allow you to create an energy deficit and as soon as you have an energy deficit you are going to lose weight!

Weight Loss Diets and You – Complex Organism

Your body is a highly complex organism that requires many different foods in order to maintain the chemical balance it needs to be healthy. Why would you ever limit your food intake that essentially robs your body of key foods and vitamins it needs to maintain your health? In fact what you are potentially doing is making yourself ill while losing weight! Now that is a scary thought.

Eating in moderation is just another way of saying manage your portion control. You really have to wrap your mind around that so that you do not over eat. All of these diet plans are aimed really at making money and not your well being. Most have no scientific support and in fact many are just plain bad for you.

Following a weight loss diet on any of the above diets does not really deal with the reason you are overweight in the first place. Obviously you have eaten too much. Can’t argue with that. But why have you gotten into the habit of eating so much? Is it boredom? Are you trying to hide from something? Are you looking for comfort when you cannot get it from anything else or anyone else? It may be one or all of these reasons.

In my case, my family always had desert for supper and often a snack just before we went to bed. Can you imagine if I did that today! Never the less, I still have a craving to eat something, anything, just before I go to bed. Now that is a long term habit. The worst time to eat is just before you go to bed  and yet that is what my family did for years. They were very active and had an outlet to burn the calories off.

As you get Older

However when you get older, this just will not work. First of all you are not nearly as active , your metabolism slows down and you tend to eat more as well. On go the pounds and boy are they tough to get off. So far I have found that a little bit of exercise has helped along with eating sugarless gum just before I go to bed.

The exercise increases my metabolism, and burns some calories as well which helps to create an energy deficit. The sugarless gum gives me that fix I need just before I go to bed, which is really just feeding my habit with something that is very low in calories. This is a win win solution for me.

I have been able to lose 10 pounds over the past month using this approach. If you want to call it a weight loss diet you can, while I prefer to call it limiting my intake while managing my habits in a manner that lets me remain satisfied and lose weight.

This is by far a better approach to weight loss diet programs. I continue to eat a balanced diet to get all of the vitamins and minerals I need and I am not missing any of my favorite foods, just limiting the amount I eat at each meal.

Weight Loss Diets and You works for me . Maybe it will work for you too.

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Biggest Loser Training

February 21st, 2010 paulr Posted in Diet No Comments »

Biggest Loser TrainingThe last episode of the Biggest Loser shown on Tuesday Jan 19 was one of the better shows that we have watched. They tried a new experiment on the show to see how it would turn out. I think it was a really big success. Biggest Loser training took a different turn on this particular show. What they did was split the contestants into two groups. The first group became the trainers. The second group were the ones to weigh in at the end of the hour. Based on their weight, the person going home would be decided by the person losing the least weight on a percentage basis.

Partner Support

Everyone had to work out as usual and watch their diet the same as usual. But now it was their partners that were doing the training and the motivating. There was lots of short term buzz around this change. I think it had a lot of long term benefits for the contestants.

Bob and Jillian or is it Gillian, had to teach the training side of the group what they should run their partners through each day as well as the last chance workout.  The training group also got to do a last chance workout as well and then these trainers walked their team members through the same last chance workout. Although this is just a short term experiment, and they could never replace the professional trainers, the contestants now have some experience setting up a training program and also motivating their partners. This will be extremely useful over the long term when all of these people head home for real and have to face the real world.

When they go back to their home towns and their gyms, they will now have a much better idea of what to do to take more weight off or maintain their weights.  You might argue that they already know this, however it is much different when you have to lead vs. just follow instructions. I think this was a great thing to do and it will pay dividends for the contestants over the long run.

Biggest Loser Training – Twists to the Biggest Loser

Of course each Biggest Loser show will introduce some side issues for every segment and last night was no different. One couple apparently are gaming the show. He lost the required 12 pounds to avoid going below the yellow line while his partner who was doing the training only lost 1 pound. The previous week she had gained a pound. She was accused by the professional trainers, Bob in particular, of gaming the show and not really trying to lose weight. When she made some lame excuse and would not admit it, Bob lost it  accusing her of lying and not being honest with him or the other contestants. There was a huge yelling match which was embarrassing for everyone. No one came to her defense including her husband.

I think that is exactly what she was doing and just will not admit it. We have to wait till next week to see how this will be handled by the trainers and the contestants.

The other twist was that the couple ( two guys) who won immunity got to choose which team would switch at the last minute for the weigh in. Turns out it was a good thing they did not choose the couple who was gaming it. Each week the show gets more and more interesting as these people who weigh over 500 pounds at the start take more and more weight off.

Biggest Loser Energy Deficit

One of the comments that the professional trainers, Bob and Jillian, made to the lady who lost one pound only was that based on her work outs she had to have consumed 7000 calories every day to not loose more weight.

They were referring to energy deficits. If you work out for 12 hours and burn 7000 calories, then consume 7000 calories you are not going to lose weight. If you consume say 4000 calories, in this scenario you will lose weight. Remember the average person burns approximately 1500 to 2500 calories each day without working out. This is just from normal activity ( not couch potato activity).

She either did not work out that much and therefore did not burn the calories or she ate as many calories as she was burning. She obviously knows what she is doing, but not fooling anyone, especially the trainers. They do not like this type of game play especially when they get so personally involved with the people on the show. Bob’s point was, don’t lie to me, we know what you are doing so you may as well admit it.

I am sure there is more scandal and excitement to come next week on the Biggest Loser.

Biggest Loser Training

There are other elements to the training that is done at the Biggest Loser. They recognize that there is some underlying reason that these people gain weight. If they do not deal with this issue,  they will just gain it all back when they go home.

Both Bob and Gillian are really good at getting under the skin of the contestants. They get them to own up to their underlying issues. Also to deal with them and become a much better stronger person as a result. Only once they have owned up to their issues will they lose weight at the Biggest Loser ranch and also keep it off. You have to give them credit. They deal with the weight issues. They deal with the health issues. Also they deal with the personal issues that have caused these people to gain the weight they have.

We all have to search deep to gain the level of commitment they build up on the Biggest Loser show. As I said we really admire the trainers and the show, Biggest Loser.

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The Biggest Loser and You

February 14th, 2010 paulr Posted in Diet No Comments »

Biggest LoserBoth my wife and I are fans of the biggest loser. We watch this show religiously and even look forward to the night it is on. Maybe we cannot believe that some people can get so big. Or maybe we cannot believe what they look like when they lose all of the weight. Maybe we cannot imaging Bob or Jillian yelling at us the way they do to motivate some of these people  into working out.

Whatever it is , we find it entertaining and motivating at the same time. We sit there and watch the show and we are really rooting for these people to lose weight and not get booted off the show. Sure there are some that are gaming the show and those we do not like and besides they are just fooling themselves.

The biggest loser is a reality show and it is watched by millions of people every week. The biggest loser is also an intensely personal journey by up to 20 people who have to bear everything to get on the show and to lose weight. There is no privacy left. These people are prepared to show the world what they look like with all of the weight they have gained and also to talk about their fears and their issues that helped to get them were they are. I think the audience is silently cheering for all of these people to be successful and get their lives back.

Could You Take the Heat and be the Biggest Loser

My wife and I watch the show and wonder if we could take the heat so to speak of Bob or Jillian getting on our case. Especially making us go that extra mile. Let’s face it , it is pretty intense with one of the coaches screaming in their faces. The contestants giving it their all, up to the point were they get physically sick. Could you do that? I am not sure I could, yet these people are motivated beyond belief. Some of them losing up to half of their body weight.

Of course the program shows the most intense episodes with the trainers yelling at them and making them work very hard. This is made for TV situations to make it more exciting and also at the same time make us really feel for these people. What we do not see is all of the hours of training that they actually go through. Every once and a while one of the contestants will let slip a remark that they worked out 11 or 12 hours per day in order to lose the huge weight numbers they achieve each week. No one wants to go home so they put the extra effort in to meet their goals and stay at the biggest loser ranch.

Is It Healthy

The contestants are closely monitored by medical staff. We noticed that when someone does faint or is having difficulty, the medical team is not far away. After all these people are putting an incredible strain on their hearts and someone had better monitor them. So far no one has been seriously hurt on the biggest loser and we hope it does not happen.

What is good is that they not only exercise. They are also taught about the calories they eat. What they need each day and how to maintain an energy deficit. Jillian Michaels made a statement on HLN that fundamentally you need to create an energy deficit. Especially if you are going to lose weight. You can exercise all you want and you will get stronger . But if you do not also manage your caloric intake, you will not always lose weight.

On the biggest loser, they teach them about good diets and eating properly. They give them hints about eating out and how to avoid the high calorie foods. They also work with the contestants to help them overcome their private issues that may have contributed to their weight gain. Let’s face it the biggest loser has a good thing going. It is helping many families lose weight across the US and Canada and maybe around the world.

How to Become the Biggest Loser at Home

With out all of the support, the medical team, a bad ass trainer like Jillian on your case and the time to train like they do while at camp. How does someone become their own biggest loser at home? Everyone is different and has their own problems. However there are a few things we have noticed from watching the biggest loser that we all need to focus on.

  • Decide that you really want to lose weight
  • Decide that you are going to commit to making it happen
  • Surround yourself with like minded people and supportive people
  • Get to the Gym
  • Get checked out by a doctor
  • Manage your caloric intake
  • Create an energy deficit
  • Stick with the program, don’t give up even if you get discouraged

In Summary

The above eight steps are pretty tough and the most difficult of the eight are the first two. You need to decide for yourself and make the commitment to yourself that you are going to lose weight. No one else is going to be able to do it for you and they certainly cannot talk you into it. This is a big commitment and you have to be ready to make that commitment and become your own biggest loser.

Find a buddy to work out with and also to help with diet planning. It is so much easier when you have someone who can work with you and motivate each other. When you are down and having a bad day that is when your buddy needs to step in and push you back on track.

There will be bad days. Let’s face it on the biggest loser they have them all of the time. The second week weigh in is notorious for low weight loss and even in some cases weight gain. This is when a supporting team mate can help you out to keep you going.

We would love to hear your comments on the biggest loser and other diet and weight loss ideas.

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Common Sense Diet

January 15th, 2010 paulr Posted in Diet 1 Comment »

Common Sense DietMany people are looking for the quick fix to their weight and diet problems. They see the advertisements on TV with young in shape good looking men and women who are pushing whatever product they have. It may be some sort of exercise equipment or diet or medical treatment or some sort of concoction that they should take to improve their weight problems. For the majority of people these gimmick just do not work because they do not deal with the underlying problems or the real work it takes to reduce weight and improve your overall life style.

The main message of this post is as follows : Develop a common sense plan around the food you eat, the nutrition you get from these foods and the amount of exercise that is right for you. Without a plan that you can focus on, most people will just not be able to  lose weight or improve their situation

The bottom line is to reduce your intake and get moving, exercise more and burn of those calories.

Common Sense Diet

So what does it mean to follow a common sense diet? Without getting into how many calories you are eating or how many calories you are burning off, the common sense diet really means that you need to limit your intake of food and focus on good nutritional food.

More and more we are seeing that when we go to restaurants, that we are not satisfied unless there is a huge plate of food in front of us. Part of this satisfaction is getting value for money spent. We seem to equate the more food that we have in front of us vs. the amount we are spending is a good thing. Consumers love going to buffets were they can eat as much as they can put into their mouth or going to a restaurant where the restaurant offers large sides of vegetables, pasta’s or other high carb food.

Must Finish the Plate

Of course once we have this immense quantity of food in front of us, there is the feeling that we must consume all of this food. We ordered it and we have been taught since we were young to always finish our plate. So we order or receive large amounts of food and we consume all of it. Before we know it we are gaining weight at a rapid pace.

The message is to practice some self control and cut down on the quantity you are eating. Use whatever trick you need, but reduce the quantity of food that you take in every day. Use a smaller plate, stop snacking, snack on low calorie foods, split portions with a partner and avoid those places were you just cannot maintain your self control. It is the old adage, you cannot take a kid to a candy store and expect him or her to not ask for some of the candy in that store. Adults are exactly the same. If it is in front of us we will eat it.

Split Portions

One common sense diet approach is to split portions between you and a partner when you go out to a restaurant. We have found that most restaurants support this request and will gladly give you another plate so that you and your partner can separate the portions any way you like.

Some restaurants have a minimum order requirement. If you really like this restaurant, then just order a salad for one person and have the other person order the main course. You can split the meal after the meal is delivered and reduce the number of calories that you are taking in.

A big advantage of this approach is that you also reduce the cost of eating out!

Foods You Eat

Anything that is deep fried, regardless of what it is should be avoided. The fat content from the oil that it was cooked in will contribute to many more calories that you can believe. Focus on foods that are not deep fried such as vegetables that are steamed, meat that is not breaded and fried and stay away from desert. If you really must have desert keep your portion small and split it with your partner. That way you will both benefit from less calories, save money and reduce your weight.

Common sense diet – Snacking

Snacking is one of the most difficult things to get control of. Yet in some cases is the single biggest contributor of weight gain.

There are two problems with snacking that cause weight gain. The first one is that we lose control of how much we snack and how many calories that we actually consume. A bowl of peanuts, chips etc taste great, satisfy some inner urge. Before we know it the entire bowl is gone. Repeated daily or several times a week will definitely contribute to weight gain. It really does not matter what you snack on, unless it is just fruits and vegetables with no salad dressing, everyone loses control of how much they eat and will gain weight.

The second problem with snacking is what we snack on. Many of us like salted peanuts, chips or sweet deserts. These kinds of snacks will contribute to weight gain. As well as possibly high blood pressure from all of the salt intake. If you must snack, then cut these types of high calorie foods out of your die. Switch to other low calories types of foods. Fruits and vegetables are good examples.

Chew Gum

Another common sense diet snack reducer is to chew low calories gum. Benefits to chewing low calorie gum include the lack of calories. Also the sensation of chewing you get which will contribute to the satisfaction of chewing on something. It gives you something to do instead of snacking.

In summary for a common sense diet, reduce the amount of food you intake. Split portions, avoid snack foods and desert. Use common sense diet approach to everything you do. Use tricks such as smaller plates. Split portions. Avoid fried food and eating steamed vegetables with spice flavoring instead of salt.

We would appreciate your comments and positive contributions to this subject. For more diet information and ideas about losing weight, click here.

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