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Have you heard of the Paleo Diet? Join us for a discussion about the pros, cons, ins and yes, the outs of the Paleo Diet! Click HERE to start listening!

Nerd Fitness’ take on the Paleo Diet:  Beginner’s Guide to the Paleo Diet

In the news:
YouTube: Obese Man Asks for Help

Healthy Recipe Tip: Top 8 Healthy Breakfasts from Food Network. Find out if they are “Paleo approved”!

This week, Aaron and Don talk to Shawn Kibel, the “other half” of Element Opie Productions. The topic? MOTIVATION! Click HERE to start listening!

Healthy Recipe Tip: Garlicky Baked Butternut Squash

This is a surprisingly good AND simple dish. If you like garlic (at all), you’ll love this one!

I’M NOW EATING HEALTHY! I’LL NEVER HAVE ICE CREAM AGAIN!!

ice cream image

Come on.  That’s just silly. A sure-fire way to make sure you crave something is to be told you can’t have it. Everyone knows that…just watch half the romantic comedies out there.

If ice cream is your weakness, consider only allowing yourself ice cream on Saturday (or Sunday…the day doesn’t matter). That way, when you are tempted to stop at Baskin Robbin’s, or Braum’s, or Bruster’s (why do they all start with “B”?) and get a scoop, you can honestly say to yourself, “I can have a scoop Saturday”. It seems, at least to me, to make the self-denial more manageable when I can see the end. The “never again”, just seems to make it worse.What’s your “food weakness”? Try this technique. I think you might be surprised.

One more tip. Don’t keep a stock of “your weakness” in your pantry. Again, that’s just silly.

Tonight I was getting a snack (a pickle, of course) and I started thinking about food, eating, why people eat, why I eat, and reasons that I SHOULD eat.

The first thing I did was list reasons I SHOULD eat. I could only really come up with two.

  1. I’m actually hungry – This seems reasonable, right?
  2. I need fuel – I may not “feel” hungry, but if I’m about to head out for a 5 mile run, and I haven’t eaten in 4 hours, I need to eat something.

Then I started about thinking about some of the OTHER reasons I actually do eat.

  1. I’m bored – We’ve all done it. At least, I would expect that we all have.
  2. I’m in a social setting – Often we (I) feel socially obligated to eat. Less so now than before, but it still happens.
  3. It’s time to eat – Breakfast time, lunch time, dinner time. Even if I’m not that hungry, that’s usually reason enough for me to chow down.
  4. The Mt. Everest Syndrome – Because “it’s there”. There’s food, and that food just seems like it needs to be eaten.

It’s pretty simple and obvious. But sometimes, it’s the simple things that we overlook. Take a few minutes, investigate WHY you eat. Are you a bored eater? A social eater? Arm yourself with a little healthy introspection.

My ultimate goal? To eat when I should and why I should.

(This was originally posted on my original blog, Aaroneous Findings, back when I first began my journey.  However, since it seemed to resonate with me when I read back over it, I thought I’d re-post it here.)

One of my in-shape, thoughtful friends and her husband are coming over for dinner Saturday. She was nice enough to make sure that bringing cookies for dessert wasn’t going to throw a monkey wrench in my weight loss plans.

I told her to bring the cookies. If I want one, I’ll eat it. If I don’t, I won’t. No problem.

I’ve told a few people that I could eat the way I am eating right now for the rest of my life, and I truly believe that. It’s simple: cutting back on sugar in general, no sugary drinks, stay away from white foods (white rice, white bread, white potatoes), and eat reasonable portions. That’s it.

It’s NOT a diet. I’ve dieted plenty of times. I know a diet when I’m on one. I’m not on a diet, but I am eating differently. The big mental shift I’ve made is that when I’m on a diet, the DIET is the boss. The DIET says, “Aaron, you can’t eat that. Aaron, you can’t have that.”

Now, I’m the boss. No diet is my boss, and food is not my boss. When I’m presented with a choice of what to eat, or how much, I just ask myself a couple of questions.

1) Am I truly hungry? (If the answer is “no”, I don’t even go to the other questions.)
2) Is there something just as good and convenient that would be better for me?
3) Does this move me closer to, or further from, my goal?

I know it sounds a little complicated. But now that I’ve been doing it for a month, it takes a half second. Here’s an example.

Someone brought Dunkin’ donuts to work for my office last week. They sat on the table about 15 feet from my cubicle all day. I’ll be honest. In the past, I would have eaten 2 or 3 when they arrived, and then ANOTHER 2 or 3 throughout the day. Hey, why not? Free donuts, right?

But now, I’m the boss. Not the food…and not a diet.

I walked by the donuts at least a half dozen times that day. The first time I walked by I opened the box and took a look. I thought to myself, “Huh! Look at that. Donuts…lots of sugar. Not worth it.”…and walked on by. The second time I walked by, I didn’t even slow down.

It’s not a situation of “I can’t eat that”, but simply “I don’t want to eat that”.

I recommend that if you are considering going on a “diet”…don’t. Make some positive changes in your eating habits, be healthy, but YOU be the boss, not a diet. If you want to lose a few pounds (or a lot, like me), before you pop that pop-tart in your mouth ask yourself question #1.

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What ONE thing can you do to help yourself (in regards to eating) TOMORROW? Drink an extra glass of water? Eat breakfast? Single meat burger instead of double meat? Let me know if you do something and I will most definitely cheer you on!

I said from the beginning that I was going to be as transparent as possible during this journey. That being said…

The week between Christmas and New Year’s I was pretty loosey-goosey on my eating.  And, yes, loosey-goosey is a real word. Then last week, the week AFTER New Year’s I was on vacation, and I made a conscious decision to eat poorly.

I didn’t eat bad just to eat bad, but instead, I just ate the way I used to eat all the time. BAD.

It was partly an experiment, but mostly just a bad idea.

Since May I’ve hovered right around 240 lbs, give or take 5 pounds. I’ve been as low as 233, but never more than 245. On Christmas Eve I weighed-in, and I had crept up to 247 lbs. So when I stepped onto the scales on the 8th of January, I was hoping that I hadn’t gone too far north of 250 during my “experiment’. I was weighing in the evening, so I thought the results might not be good anyway. On top of everything, I had just ridden 16 hours in a car, and was feeling a little “bloated”, to say the least. I stepped on the scales, and…

270.0 lbs.

That’s right, 270 lbs. Two hundred and seventy pounds. Two. Hundred. Seventy. Pounds. I hadn’t weight that much since LAST February, almost a year ago.

Ouch.

I was 37 lbs over my lowest weight, and I had “gained” 16 lbs in two weeks. Of course, I knew that an evening weigh-in and morning weigh-in was not really apples to apples. I hoped that the morning might bring better results. I really didn’t expect a miracle…and I didn’t get one.

263.3 lbs. 

On a positive note, I had “lost” 6.7 lbs overnight. On a negative note, I still weighed 263.3 lbs.

That morning, I got back to my original “1 Meal – 1 Workout” plan. This morning I was curious, so even though I would normally only weigh once a week, I jumped on the scales again.

259.0 lbs.

Over four pounds in one day, and eleven pounds down since Sunday evening. Obviously, some of that must have been water weight.  I’m still up 12 lbs in two weeks. Not good. But at least I’m heading in the right direction. To be honest, it scared me just a bit.

Here’s what I learned:

  1. I still have one of the most efficient metabolisms on the planet. I’m better at converting food into fat than just about anyone I know.
  2. The grass is not greener! Eating bad is not the promised land. I don’t miss it.
  3. If you sit in a car for 38 hours and eat lots of bad food, you will gain weight.
  4. I’m ready to “finish” my journey. My tentative goal is 220 lbs. I plan on hitting it in 6 months.

 I’ve been on vacation for the past week, and I decided to do a little experiment. For the past 18 months, I’ve eaten quite differently then I have for all of my adult life. I tried to make smart choices each meal, lay off the bad stuff, etc., etc. All the stuff I’ve been talking about on this site and my podcast.

This week, I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, however much I wanted. If I was offered a piece of pie, I took it. If I was offered a second piece, I took that, too. For lunch today? Double meat jalapeno cheeseburger…my favorite!  Or at least, it used to be.

After my one week experiment, I’m officially BACK on the wagon. There was nothing that I ate that was as satisfying as running my first 5K. Sweet tea was not as sweet as going from XXXXL to XL shirts. No comfort food was as enjoyable as being comfortable in my clothes.

The grass is not greener on the other side of the eating fence. I’m not missing out on ANYTHING.

Family Episode? What does that mean? Meet “the 1 Meal – 1 Workout kids”, and find out what THEY think about eating right and exercising. Also, it’s a 2 year anniversary…find out the anniversary of what!. Click HERE to start listening!

In the news:
NY Times: The Most Popular Health Topics of 2011

Eat Less/Exercise More: Shop smart! Don’t by junk. Just by making a list and sticking to it, you can stock your pantry with healthy choices! You can’t grab a fistful of Oreos if there aren’t any in the pantry.

This week the guys discuss Snake Oil and Pixie Dust…also known as weight loss pills and diet supplements.  Are they safe? Are they effective? Also meet Kelly Duncan, our newest “test pilot”, and be encouraged in your own journey! Click HERE to start listening!

In the news:
NY Times: How Exercise Benefits the Brain

Eat Less: Take your time! Your stomach takes up to 15 minutes to send signals to your brain that it is hungry, full, etc.

Exercise More: Set yourself up for success. Going running? Swimming? Biking? Get your gear together the night before. Clear your schedule. Do exercise you enjoy. Plan a meal that you won’t dread making/eating afterwards. Make things easy on yourself in any way you can.

This week the guys discuss the Top 10 Reasons (Excuses) that people have for NOT eating right or exercising. Maybe your favorite reason made the list! Click HERE to start listening!

In the news:
CNN: Study shows the Weight Watchers more effective than physician supervision

Eat Less/Exercise More:
Overall we’re really just shooting for a calorie deficit, right?. So, what’s easier? To pass on the 500 calorie larger order of McDonald’s fries, or for a 200 lbs. man to run for 35 minutes at a 10 minute mile pace?

Our example person above, to have a 3,500 calorie deficit in a particular week by exercise ALONE, would have to run for almost 4 hours! Studies have shown that diet modification is easiest for most people, but the BEST answers is a combination. So eat less AND exercise more.