Category Archives: Diet

The Gum Trick

gumEver use the gum trick?  I use it often at work to prevent overeating or mindless snacking.  All that’s needed is a pack of your favorite chew-able

The gum trick is simply popping a stick of gum when you’re finished eating.  Or better yet, before you’re finished.  It serves two purposes, freshening your breath and making your taste buds unwilling to accept more interlopers.

Consider this: Have you ever eaten after brushing your teeth? Likely not. Not only is eating post brushing counterintuitive, it also gives your chosen dish an unnatural minty finish.  I wish my 23 year old self had that kind of common sense when downing a beer shortly after a pre-night out teeth cleaning. Ok, my 33 year old self…

In any event, the gum trick serves the same purpose.  Next time you find yourself in a position to mindlessly munch, pop a stick instead.  Eat less, have better hygiene

I’ve Done Something Horrible…

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I’m ashamed to admit it, but I’ve given up bacon.  It’s surprisingly painful to say out loud.

Before I’m put on suicide watch, let me clarify.  I’ve not eliminated bacon completely from my diet, just from my daily breakfast sandwich.

It once consisted of egg , cheddar, and crispy bacon on a whole grain roll.  Now only the egg and cheddar remain.  Several dollups of Siracha have gallantly tried to pick up the slack in bacon’s absence.

I know eating bacon every day isn’t good for your health.  All that added salt and fat.  I had always tried to minimize the fat by nuking my strips on paper towels.  The salt, and I supposed nitrates, I ignored. Or, rather, celebrated.

But they’re all gone now.  And I’ve grudgingly adjusted to the lack of crispiness in my sandwich.  I’ve also adjusted to mildly lower grocery bills.

So the horrible thing I’ve done has made me a little healthier, and a little richer.  Think about what can you cut from your diet to deliver that kind of effect.

I’m betting it’s not as drastic as giving up the heaven endowed gift of bacon.

This %#!^*$*! Thing is Only a Tool

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That’s my scale. Damned thing added 3 more pounds from my holiday celebrating than I had anticipated. But instead of cursing the scale, I thanked it. It reminded me I was the one who’d supplied the higher readout.

Although it may seem so, a scale doesn’t render judgement. It only offers feedback. And a small amount of feedback at that. The numbers on the scale define your health as well as the balance of your checking account does your credit score. Important, but not all encompassing.

I prefer judging health by overall fitness, clothing size and fit, the mirror, daily energy, sleep habits, and self-confidence. You shouldn’t need a scale to know your weight is going up.

Yet, shows like The Biggest Loser make it seem as though the numbers that peer up at us determine our self worth. The numbers don’t matter, what you do with them does.

So use the scale as it was intended, as an early warning system when you’re veering off course. The highway rumble strips of dieting.

Diet Trend Alert: Fasting

fasting

In the unending battle against the bulge, purported dieting breakthroughs are announced with regularity.  I think I’ve spotted the first of 2013.

Fasting, in this form, is abstaining from food for several hours for health benefits, not religious dogma.  Fasting proponents suggest a key contributor to the obesity epidemic is the cue to eat at all hours.  To wit: Taco Bell’s promotion of the “4th meal“.

So fasting is used to limit your food intake to a smaller daily window.  For example, a Men’s Health article and accompanying book, (ah, synergistic marketing) touts limiting food intake to an 8-hour window.  Caloric intake for the remaining 16 hours is discouraged.

By effectively skipping “4th meal” you not only limit calories but also force your body to use fat stores for fuel.  There’s even purported evidence it can decrease your risk of developing cancer and other diseases.

My Two Cents.

What your telling me is if I fast, essentially eating less food, I’ll lose weight?  Remarkable! (Insert eye-roll).   Ultimately, fasting as a diet strategy is as groundbreaking as announcing, “people post dumb shit on Facebook”.

But, can it work for you?  Well, yeah, it could.  We all have our habits and hangups with dieting.  Perhaps limiting your food intake to an 8 hour window will help kick-start your healthful eating in 2013.  But I’m not convinced.

See, what fasting isn’t is a panacea for the obesity epidemic.  Unfortunately that’s how it’ll likely be reported and marketed.  Look no further than the Men’s Health ad for its 8-Hour Diet Book:

Discover how to eat as what you like, as much as you like, ….and lose up to 15 pounds in 6 weeks!

Shame on Men’s Health.  I thought they knew better.

Experiment with fasting if you wish, but as always, eating more minimally processed food in reasonable portions is the best option for sustained dietary success.  This includes avoiding the Taco Bell drive through at midnight.

What I Gain from Doughnut Day

IMG_0280Every New Year’s Day my wife and I indulge in doughnuts.  Specifically, a whole box of doughnuts.  All in the above photo will be downed within 24 hours by two people.  Doughnut Day is a once a year treat.  And is the highlight of what has become for me the fattest day of the year.

See, I don’t always take my own advice regarding the holidays.  I eat too much.  Drink too much booze.  And rarely exercise.  Perhaps that makes me typical.

Doughnut Day is the culmination of it all.  After weeks of poor dietary habits and laziness today I’ve reached my unhealthiest zenith   Or, more accurately, nadir.

But my indiscretions the past several weeks Always provides me with something.  Motivation.  I cannot wait to work hard in the gym.  I cannot wait to fill up on veggies and lean meat.  I cannot wait to not feel mildly hungover.

This isn’t about resolutions.  This is about knowing myself.  I’ve repeated this pattern before so I don’t fret about the 3 pounds my frame has added recently.  I’m confident in my ability to reactivate the good habits.

Here’s the lesson for this new year, instead of a resolution, concentrate on knowing thyself.  Learn how YOU handle your diet and health.  Concentrate on what motivates you.  What slows your progress.  Filter out the rest.

Now, which doughnut to start with?