August 29, 2005

Weight Loss Total Second Week

I started this current weight loss attempt on 14 August, if you slide down the page you can see how things have been going since then.

Broken Scale ImageThe second week is over. In my head I hear Chairman Kaga of the Iron Chef declare "Time is up and the week two battle is ooovvver!"

That is what each week is a small battle unto itself. Sometimes you win the battle sometimes you lose the battle. But the war wages on.

This week I definitely won the battle. I didn't succumb to the lure of the dancing Cheez-its as I had done last week and was anxious to see the final tally. So I got up and stepped up to the scale and was amazed by what I saw.

In only one week I had lost 16lbs!

I know it's hard to believe but the scale doesn't lie.

How could this be? Did the law of physics change during the week?

Broken Scale ImageDid the weight loss fairly visit me during the night and magically reduced my weight?

My wife got on the scale and she also lost double digits for the week. I got on the scale again and this time the results were different but still a massive weight loss. Every time I got on the scale the numbers were different. While my scale doesn't look as bad as the one pictured here it operates just like it. Obviously they are both broken.

Payday is coming up and a new scale will be purchased. Hopefully the new scale will show about the same weight as the last when it was working. I filled in 2lbs for a loss on the thermometer because the second week of any attempt when I have been this good easily equates to 2lbs.

Hopefully this week will be a continuance of last week. I am currently on the second to last hole on my belt and I am ready to start using the third hole from the end. Wish me luck.

August 27, 2005

Journaling To Success

One Weight Loss Tool & Technique From My Bag

Here is an article that talks about what I indicated in last Sunday's post that I was going to do to assist myself in losing weight. Marc indicates that you must know and keep track of what you are eating and its caloric value to move in the direction you wish to go.

I let Weight Watchers count my calories for me. I punch my weight into my Palm Pilot and it tells me each week how many points I am allotted. This week I am allowed 30pts a day plus 35 extra points (for the week) to used as I see fit.

The points system is essentially a way of tracking your caloric intake. How much is a point? Well they have a formula, you enter in fat, fiber and calories and out pops how many points an item is.
Weight Loss Food Image
I have a calculator also on my Palm Pilot that lets me punch in the figures and determine the point value. The program also has a way to enter your daily food, look up points in a database of thousands of existing items. Plus a database of 90% of the local restaurant menus with all of the point totals.

I only calculate the points one time and the item is remembered for future use. Weight Loss Food ImageTake a Ham sandwich, 2 slices of high fiber bread toasted, 2 slices of lean ham, lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles and mustard equals 4 points. If I use the same ingrediants each time I will just have to enter the starting letters then scroll down and select the previously entered item.

Weight Watchers has this also online for a small fee, it makes tracking your intake easier. You can find out more about Weight Watchers method here.
If You Don't Track Your Diet… You Are Wasting Your Time
By Marc David

Frankly, I'’m puzzled whenever I hear this from somebody who'’s frustrated with their lack of gains:

Me: So what are you eating? How many calories per day and how many do you need?

Them: I don'’t know. I just eat.


Yes, it'’s true. People don'’t track their diets, donÂ’t calculate their calories and just guess at what they need. They have no idea where they are going, very little facts on how to get there and yet are frustrated and mad when 6 weeks later they don'’t see the results.

Imagine, for a moment, that'’s it'’s 6-months from today. And youÂ’ve made no progress. Wouldn'’t you be frustrated?! I sure would.

But here'’s the deal, there'’s a real simple method to make sure you don'’t end up like so many people you'’ll hear about. Please donÂ’t be the person who just “eats” or does whatever without a plan. If you arenÂ’t tracking your diet you are wasting your time!

Let me explain…

In order for your body to change, you must do something different. Let'’s suppose that you want to burn as much fat as possible. What'’s the first thing you should do now that you have a long-term goal in mind?

Here'’s a h-i-n-t!

Make a plan!

A quick plan for losing fat:

1. Determine how many calories a day you need based on your situation

2. Track your daily food intake (yes you should count calories)

Bodybuilding manuals go into great detail about how to calculate your caloric intake, giving formulas and such.

Anyway, a typical conversation might go like this:

"Excuse me? My wife made spaghetti bolognaise yesterday, I can't be asked to weigh my meals in order to count the calories, can I? (What would she think about me (not to mention what I would think about myself ;-) ?)

I tried to go to and calculate the calories, but it totally eluded me how many grams they were and looking for pasta and meat in different categories is a hassle anyway, so the site was no use for me with that.

Good heavens, there must be a way to go without the calorie counting, mustn't it?"

Despite what you may have heard…

Tracking your diet (counting calories) is important and I'll tell you why and how you can get around the whole calorie counting ordeal.

You see, in order to lose fat or gain muscle you need to know what you are eating in order to do such.

Let's say you need 3000 calories a day to maintain your current weight at your current activity levels.

Now you decide you want to lose fat.

Training more and more, more cardio, longer sessions will just tire you out. You can bump up the cardio and do certain fat loss tips and techniques but overall keep in mind:

Where do I burn the fat:

80% of fat loss comes from diet and 20% from cardio.

As you can see, the area you want to manipulate is the diet.

Back to the example.

You decide to lose the fat. You know you need 3000 a day to maintain. You do some calorie calculations and find that you want to be aggressive and cut your calories by 20%. It's aggressive but it's just enough to get fast results without making your body go into a 'starvation mode' and hold onto everything it's got.

Except you don't want to count calories.

That's sort of like saying...

I want to start in New York and get to California but I don't want a map or directions. I just want to drive West.

It just won't work. You might zig zag here and there. Maybe one week you'll eat less and lose a pound. The next on vacation you'll overdo it and gain 5 pounds. Who knows. You won't.

But do you have to count each calorie? And especially when you look at homemade items that have some many ingredients? What do you do?

While this isn't the most accurate method, I just basically get a good estimate by looking up the general food item, quantity I consumed and input that.

Over time, because I eat a lot of the same things for breakfast, I already know the calories and I don't need to track it anymore. I know via portions that a bowl of oats is such and such calories and how it adds into my total daily allowance.

I personally do not weight each piece of food. I will go to lunch, look at what I'm eating and know generally what portions of what I ate.

At the end of the day, I know roughly that I'm 20% below my maintenance for fat loss and 20% above for weight gain.

The problem that most people have is exactly what you describe.

They DO NOT want to track what they eat.

The bottom line is, if you don't know where you are, and where you are going, you really don't know how you'll get there and it's no wonder so many people are frustrated.

Look, you don't have to track every single piece of food you put into your mouth. And I know that when there's a home cooked meal, you aren't likely to know what's in it. But you can and should generally get an idea.

Eventually you can track your portions if you tend to eat a lot of the same things every day.

If you don'’t track your diet, you are wasting your time.
Marc David is an innovative fitness enthusiast and the creator of the "The Beginner’s Guide to Fitness And Bodybuilding" method. He can show you how to reduce your body fat thru diet, how to gain weight or create more muscle thru an abundance of workout tips by training LESS! Not more. He dispels many "bodybuilding myths", tells you what most people never realize about nutrition, and what the drug companies DON'’T WANT YOU to know. Go here to find out more about The Beginner'’s Guide to Fitness And Bodybuilding.

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August 23, 2005

Eat Junk Food and Lose Weight!

What's Your Cheat Meal?

I found the below article on the net and it is used here with the author's permission.

The title says it all "The Miracle of a Cheat Meal."

I guess there is a greater good that can come from allowing yourself one cheat meal a week. It is part of Weight Watchers (WW) current plan.... ....sort of.

With WW you are allowed X amount of points (points are calculated based on calories, fat & fiber) a day plus a large amount of at-large points that you can use any time during the week. Each week you start off fresh.

Just to give you an idea, based on my current weight I am allowed 30 points of food a day, plus I have 35 points in the bank to be used during the week any way I want. This can easily fund a cheat meal once a week.

The truth is that you can eat anything in moderation and this concept of at-large points or a "cheat meal" is a way of moderating your junk food intake. As Martha says, "It's a good thing".

So what is your cheat meal?

Mine is a veggie pizza
, unfortunately funds are short, maybe after payday. Computer tip of the day: Drool and keyboards don't mix.

The Miracle of a Cheat Meal
By Gerald Gore

One of the greatest tricks that I use to stick to my diet is to allow myself a cheat meal once a week. For that one glorious meal I can have whatever my heart desires. I can eat pizza, cake, and ice cream, anything I want for that one meal. I believe that anyone who plans to diet for long periods of time should follow this principle. There are several reasons why I feel cheat meals are the key to dieting success.

First of all, we are all human. No matter who you are, you are going to have cravings for foods that you are not suppose to eat. The longer and stricter the diet, the more temptations you will have. It is human nature to want something that we are not aloud to have. Dieting is no exception to this.

The cheat meal approach to dieting allows us to break down and control our temptations. If we are craving pizza on Wednesday and our cheat meal is on Sunday, we know that within four days we will be able to satisfy our craving. We tackle our temptations with the approach that we can hold off the additional four days before we eat what we have been craving four. Under the traditional diet programs, we would not be aloud to cheat at all. From my experience with dieting over the years, the temptations for foods we want do not go away. In my case they become stronger over time. Having a cheat meal once a week allows me to stick to my diet by controlling the beastly temptations before me.

Another advantage to a cheat meal is that it is an award for us. Dieting is not an easy task and we should never expect people who are changing their eating habits to all of a sudden loose the desire to eat unhealthy food again. Dieting is a goal that should be rewarded not only physically, by the way your appearance will change, or mentally, the increase in self-esteem, but also should be a reward for the taste buds as well. Each week should be like a little goal to try and make it to the next cheat meal without breaking your diet. If you succeed, you eat whatever you want without any feelings of guilt whatsoever. You earned the right to that sixteen-ounce bowl of ice cream and you should not be ashamed to eat it either.

There is another benefit to the cheat meal approach in dieting. After time, you body will adjust to the current caloric intake that you are on. If you eat the same thing everyday, or the same amount of fats, proteins, etc., your bodies metabolism will eventually slow down to adjust to the current caloric intake levels. Cheat meals along with some other changes I make to my diet in the week allow me to shock my system. I keep my body guessing throughout the dieting process. I constantly adjust my carbohydrate, protein, and fat levels to keep my metabolism from slowing down. The cheat meal, if done once a week, is another way to effectively shock your body into maintaining a high metabolism.

In conclusion, if a cheat meal is to work effectively it has to be done once a week not once a day. The main objective of the cheat meal is to allow an individual a process or tool to use to defeat temptations that may arise during a diet. The second advantage to a cheat meal is that it is a weekly reward for all the hard work you put into your diet. The final advantage is the cheat meal is another way to shock your body. You keep your body guessing as to what your daily caloric intake is, therefore allowing yourself to maintain a higher metabolism.

Gerald Gore is the owner of the online fitness review site One4Fitness. For more health and fitness related tips and reviews on workout equipment visit GeraldÂ’s site at One4Fitness also offers a FREE Health and Fitness newsletter, subscribe here.

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August 21, 2005

Weight Loss Total First Week

Weight Loss Nemisis Cheez-it
Well the first week is in the books. I know you all want to known.

How did I do?

Were records set?

Did you meet your first week goal?

The truth is the first week was a disaster. I succumbed to the lure of the dancing Cheez-its.

This first week I was working out the details of how I was going to proceed and basically just "phoned it in". Which means that I didn't try at all. I justified it to myself by internally complaining about "this, that or the other thing" that happened this week that threw me off of my game. I mean after all it couldn't be my fault I didn't succeed, could it :) ?

That being said, how can I improve this week?

The method I'm taking to improve my chances of success is to start journaling everything I eat. I am going to utilize my palm pilot and keep track of the foods I eat and utilize the Points system that was developed by Weight Watchers.

I had previously signed up for the Weight Watchers at Home program and have all of the information. Add to that a food database & points calculator on my palm pilot and I can keep track of points on the fly and give this system a chance.

A co-worker of mine has signed up for Weight Watchers online and says that the tools and info are worth it to her. She recommends it highly. Me I'm too cheap, go for it if you can afford it.

I also put up a weight loss goal thermometer on my sidebar to let me and the rest of the world know at a glance where I stand.

So how bad did I do........?

Weight Loss for the first week was... .5 lbs

August 19, 2005

Food Pyramid of Ireland

Any Weight Loss Requires Healthy Eating

Part of my journey to a new self will have to be a change in my lifestyle. Below are guidelines that I have always been aware of but never really attempted to follow.

I don't anticipate following these guidelines to the letter any time soon, but I need to be more aware of what constitutes a good diet.

Since I feel that I have to be more aware of the building blocks for a good diet I figure that many of you reading this might also benefit from this reminder.

Food Pyramid Image

Credit: Southern Health Board, Ireland

That said here is the food pyramid of Ireland. I must say this is one of the prettiest pyramids I've seen.

There are many food pyramids out there and I will discuss some of the others in the future. This pyramid is fine example of the many pyramids used around the world.

Here are their guidelines to utilize this pyramid.
How to use the Food Pyramid

Each plate is one serving. The number of servings you need each day (for adults and children) is given for each shelf of the Food Pyramid. Choose whatever combination of plates you like to make up your total number.

Drink water regularly - At least 8 cups of fluid per day!

Top Shelf:

Very small amounts
Choose oils, margarine or low fat spreads labelled “high in polyunsaturates” or "“high in monounsaturates"” which are healthier for your heart. Use sparingly.

Second Shelf

Choose Any 2: Meat, Fish, Eggs, Beans & Peas
Choose 3 servings during pregnancy

Third Shelf

Choose Any 3: Milk, Cheese & Yoghurt
Choose at least 4 for teenagers and 5 servings if pregnant or breast-feeding. Choose low fat choices frequently, except for young children

Fourth Shelf

Choose any 4+: Fruit & Vegetables
Choose green leafy vegetables regularly for essential folic acid.
Choose citrus fruits and fruit juices frequently

Bottom Shelf

Choose Any 6+: Choose high fibre cereals and breads frequently. If physical activity is high, up to 12 servings may be necessary

August 17, 2005

Navy Weight Loss Secrets

How I Lost 30lbs in 3 Months Without Trying

I remember the first time I thought I was fat. It was early in 1979 that I looked in the mirror and said to myself "Walt, your fat". I was 182lbs and confused being out of shape with being fat. I didn't let it bother me, I was well under the Navy standards at the time.

By March of 1980 I was up to 205. This was the maximum the Navy would allow for my height. I deployed on a cruise to the Mediterranean onboard the USS Saratoga, an aircraft carrier. I worked the midnight shift and didn't concern myself with my weight.

Aircraft Carrier USS Saratoga CV-60 Image

In June I decided that I would re-enlist early. This was three months after starting the deployment. It occurred to me as my date for a physical approached (a requirement to re-enlist) that I might be pushing the line for weight since I was right at the line of 205 when we started this cruise. Imagine my surprise when at my physical I weighed in at 175lbs.

In three months I had dropped 30lbs without even trying. Now if only I could bottle that. So what happened during these three months? What was my secret? How did I lose the weight?

Since I worked the night shift I was asleep during the hours that the Geedunk store (Geedunk is Navy for a store that sells junk snacks) was open. This kept me from snacking on junk like I did in port.

Weight Loss Food ImageMidrats, the midnight meal, which served as my brunch or breakfast was usually not great. Many times it would be leftovers from the evening meal, PB&J or sliders (greasy hamburgers). During this period I ate a lot of olives. They would open a large can each night and I would eat around 20 whole large olives.

This did two things

1. It slowed my eating habit since you had to eat around the pit it took some time.
2. It kept me from other junk.

Bottom line is the midnight meal, while you could live on it, wasn't usually appealing.

Breakfast was the big meal of the day, eggs, bacon, french toast, cereal etc... Then when I got off shift since most of the crew was coming on shift and the weight rooms were empty. I would go and workout with the shipmate that also worked the same shift.

I did this for 3 months. You think I would have noticed, but there were no scales around and it didn't even occur to me since it wasn't on my mind until I decided to re-enlist.

Well that was the only time I was consistent with eating right or should I say eating less junk food and exercising. That was many moons, 3 kids and a wife ago.

So there you have it the Navy's weight loss secret is....

...(Sorry, no magic weight loss pill or herbs)

the secret is to eat right and exercise.

August 15, 2005

Big or Fat?

I received a comment that asked:

Are you big or fat? Because, so many people mistake being big for being fat. If you are big and healthy, you are okay.

He then wished me all the best.

Is this assumption true? Are there many people who mistake being big for being fat? If so where is the transition point?

Personally I think it is the other way around. I think there are many people out there that mistake being fat for being big. What do you think?

My response is first off thanks for the comments and best wishes as I move forward.

I am 46 years old, 73 inches tall and weigh 260 lbs. When I was 210 I might have been big but now I am fat.

I would have to say at this point that even though I hide it well the reality is that I am carrying at least fifty lbs of fat that I shouldn't be.

So far (knock wood) I'm healthy but it is just a matter of time before it catches up with me if I fail to do something about it. Thanks again for the comments

August 14, 2005

It's Taken 5 Months, But Begins Now!

The start of My Weight Loss War has taken a detour of five months. Immediately after the start my hours at work were drastically altered. Just when I thought they were steady and I was accustom to the schedule they were abruptly altered once more.

I think my schedule is solid now although quite strange. 7pm - 7am Sunday - Tuesday and every other Saturday.

My weigh-in day will be Sunday prior to heading off to work.

Today, my official starting weight is 260.5 lbs.

I guess it is time to pull out the points program on my Palm Pilot and start the day fresh. It is also time to update the restaurant database that has what each entree runs in many of the most frequented restaurants in the USA and Canada.

August 13, 2005

Do You Know These Tricks To Help Conquer Food Cravings?

by Tracy Lee

Food cravings are crafty -- they appear from nowhere and hit you just when you least expect them, don't they?

And the critical thing is that the way you respond to your food cravings might just make or break your success at weight loss and maintenance.

That's why you need simple ways to deal with cravings whenever they pop up.

Now, veering off from your eating plan occasionally will not be earth-shattering, but if you make a habit of giving in to your eating impulses, your moments of weakness will certainly catch up with you.

The good news is that if you can remember these tips that I am going to share with you today, you will be able to conquer those pesky cravings of yours!

1. Avoid being hungry

Eat 5 times a day -- 3 meals a day with 2 planned snacks, but remember to moderate your portions for each of your meals.

Once you start eating 5 times a day instead of the usual 3, you'll find that you'll be hungry less often, and you'll automatically have fewer cravings throughout the day.

On top of that, eating 5 times a day also helps to boost your metabolism level, so you'll be burning more calories throughout the day than before. And that's why this is my number one tip!

2. Catch your cravings early

If you can catch your cravings early, you have more control over them.

So, when do cravings start? A craving starts with a thought of something good to eat. It can be triggered by encountering a situation in which you see or smell tempting food, or by just thinking of something good and dwelling on the idea.

After a while, you'll be able to recognize the situations which are likely to make you start craving for certain foods.

The moment you catch the cravings coming on, you can start to put the tips below into use. The earlier you can catch your cravings, the better chances you have of overcoming them.

3. Ride out a craving

Believe it or not, you can simply wait out a craving. Sometimes we may even mistake a craving for actual hunger. Don't dwell on thoughts of food or eating -- distract yourself!

By playing the waiting game for about 20 minutes, it can help you to distinguish between the craving and actual hunger.

In the meantime, get busy by doing something else to distract your mind: take a walk, play a game, or concentrate on your work projects. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that the craving has subsided after some time has passed. If you still want something 20 minutes later, chances are that you are truly hungry. By giving yourself a little time to take a pause before giving in, you may find the craving will disappear altogether.

4. Drink your water

Sometimes all you need is just a glass of water, that's all! Many times, we can mistake dehydration for hunger or cravings. Take a moment and drink a glass or two of water; it may be just what you need.

And this has another side benefit too -- even if you were truly hungry, the water will help to make you fill fuller (without adding any calories to your daily intake), so you'll not need to eat as much later.

5. Temporarily ruin your taste buds

After drinking your water, if you find that your craving still does not go away and you cannot stop thinking about eating, what you can try to do next is to disrupt your sense of taste or smell.

Try a strong mouth mint. Or you can brush your teeth or dab some cologne or strong smelling ointment under your nose.

This may only work for a while, so you must get busy doing something else to take your mind off eating. After a while, you will find yourself not thinking of the craving, and before you know it, it is already time for your next meal.

6. Giving in to your craving BUT only just a little

You will face the biggest danger about cravings when you give in to them.

What happens to a lot of people is that when they give in to the craving, they also lose control of how much they eat too.

Thus, please be extra careful when you decide to eat something to satisfy your cravings.

Don't overdo it. Eat an amount that seems reasonable and appropriate.

For example, you should never allow yourself to finish an entire carton of ice cream or a whole bag of chips in one sitting. What you can do is to take a small serving out and put the rest away. Alternatively, you can buy small portions to begin with. In most cases, you will find that the first few bites actually satisfy the craving anyway!

7. Don't fool yourself

If you are dying to have a chocolate chip cookie, you know that the low fat energy bar is not going to do the trick. So, what should you do?

Well, there's no point trying to fool yourself.

That's right, go for the "bad" choice. But remember: "Moderation, moderation, MODERATION!"

It is fine to allow yourself to indulge in what you really want, provided you watch your portion size. You will not feel deprived, and you'll be able to sustain these new healthy eating habits for the long haul.

On the other hand, if you abstain completely from all your favorite foods, you are more likely to eat that energy bar AND the chocolate chip cookie.

Easy, right? I'm sure they'll be able to help you manage your cravings better. So go ahead and try out the 7 tips above... _today_!

Copyright 2005 Tracy Lee

About the AuthorTracy Lee is the owner of the "Weight Loss for Women Over 40" site. Get the latest news, tips & tricks that can help women over 40 to lose weight safely and permanently, and your complimentary copy of our Special Report "9 Little-Known Insider Weight Loss Secrets To Help Women Over 40 Make Those Extra Pounds Disappear" instantly here.

August 12, 2005

Tips and Motivational Advice for Keeping Fit One Day at a Time

by Beverley Brooke

Let's face it...

Losing weight and feeling great isn't easy.

BUT the journey is well worth it!

Many people commit to their health and well being via a New Years resolution. Why not? The New Year is a great time to make a fresh start and commitment to your health.

How do you remain motivated however for an entire year?

The single most important piece of advice I can offer you is this:

Don't give up, and pick yourself back up when you stumble or fall.

Everyone slips here and there. Just because you had one cheat day doesn't mean your entire fitness and exercise program needs to be ruined.

On the contrary. Everyone slips now and again.

The key to sticking with a program is to make the slips MUCH less frequent than the days you are firmly committed to your program.

So have that piece of chocolate on occasion and don't beat yourself up for it.

Here are some additional great ideas for staying motivated throughout the year:

Tip 1

Don't make a habit of skipping breakfast.

You should never skip breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day, and revs your metabolism to burn calories each and every day.

When you skip breakfast, you are more likely to overeat and then feel guilty later in the day.

Tip 2

Don't weigh yourself every day. In fact, you should weigh yourself only once a week, and when you do you should do it at the same time wearing nothing.

Why? Your weight actually fluctuates a good 2-5 pounds from day to day.

Much of this is associated with fluid retention, thus has nothing to do with your actual fat gain or loss. Weighing yourself too often can be discouraging rather than encouraging.

Tip 3

Grab a partner in crime.

Find someone that can be your partner in fitness. Call them when you are feeling unmotivated, and have them do the same.

You are more likely to stay motivated if you have someone to lean on when times get tough.

Tip 4

Don't skip a workout because you are tired.

Did you know that working out will actually help invigorate you? If you are truly exhausted, consider toning down your workout, but never give it up completely!

Tip 5

Reward yourself on occasion.

All work and no play is not the way to go when it comes to your overall health and well being.

Consider booking yourself for a massage or other pampering treat each month to keep you feeling great mentally and physically.

Last but not least, remember to take small steps.

Don't set outrageous goals. You won't lose 10 pounds in one week, but you might lose up to 2.

Over inflated goals will only serve to defeat you in the long run. Set reasonable goals and you will find yourself much more motivated throughout the year!
About the Author

Beverley Brooke, Editor of Health & Finesse - Free health, diet and fitness articles and weekly newsletter.

August 11, 2005

Action Plan to Take the Weight Off This Year

By Kathryn Martyn, M.NLP Platinum Quality Author

Addicted to Restaurants

Are you addicted to restaurants? So are lots of Americans. What used to be a "treat," going out for dinner, has become more common that cooking at home, and we think we're better off? Think again. Restaurant eating, fast foods and highly processed foods are turning us into a nation of tubby's. It's time to take back control of our waistlines.

You choose where you eat, and you choose what you eat. Here are some suggestions to begin to make better choices.

Restaurants Exist to Make a Profit

The bottom line is restaurants exist to make a profit. They pile on the extra butter and rich cream sauces, carmelized sugar toppings, cheese sauce, double-deluxe, new improved, and whatever they can do to make the food so enticing, so delicious, we just cannot resist. Fine for an occasional splurge, but not everyday fare, and herein lies the problem.

Extra Value Meals

McDonalds started the trend by offering slightly larger portions for a bit more money, and every other food establishment quickly followed suit. Extra value they called it. Who wouldn't order a bit more for only pennies? Today nearly every restaurant, fast food or sit down dining, serves gigantic quantities that boggle the mind. There is usually enough food served for two, sometimes three meals.

Reading in Restaurant Confidential (get a copy of this book and read it until it sinks in), the calorie count in the typical restaurant meal is so staggering it ends the surprise of why obesity is rampant and on the rise. Cheese fries with Ranch dressing are listed at having over 3,000 calories and 217 grams of fat (91 of them saturated). That's an entire day's worth of food, and it's considered an appetizer. Most people don't just eat the cheese fries either, so add in the rest of your day's calories and you end up with far more than you may realize.

Anyone who eats out regularly (at least once a day) is likely consuming closer to 5,000 calories a day, which easily explains their being overweight.

Getting the Calories Out of Restaurant Food

Unless you mentally make it okay to pay good money for very plain foods, you're not likely to solve this puzzle. Here are a couple of painless ideas you can put into action at restaurants:

1. Just say NO to super sizing. The size you ordered is already too big. Stop super sizing and you'll save money (see How to Save Money and Lose Weight).

2. Skip the bread and rolls served with most meals. Most family restaurants still serve a bread basket with your meal. Unless it's a fresh baked loaf, or some special bread, just skip it. You don't need to fill up on ordinary bread when you're paying good money for a meal - just push it away - it's not that good. You can do it, if you want to - it's not that hard to simply choose not to put a roll on your plate. Try it, just once and see if you don't walk out of that restaurant feeling strangely powerful.

If you can't skip the rolls, at least skip the butter. That's right. Eat it plain. Bread all by itself is good enough.

3. Stop ordering drinks with your meals. I stopped buying the soft drinks many years ago when I realized they are a huge cash cow for the fast food restaurants. For pennies, they sell you a squirt of syrup and soda water and act like they're doing you a big favor by only charging you $1.29 for a giant 64 oz. soda. Start saving those dollars. If you take the meal home, just don't get a drink, and if you're eating it there, ask for water, or at least switch to diet drinks. Never drink "fat pop."

5. Trim visible fat and skin. You really love the skin - of course it tastes good, it should, it's pure fat. Do you want to get leaner, or do you want to eat fat? You choose. I never eat chicken skin, and never eat the visible fat hanging off a steak, good taste or no. You have to decide what you want more, the second's worth of pleasure of a yummy taste, or a lifetime of carrying around an extra 40 lbs?

6. Ask for a doggie bag at the beginning of the meal. When the food is served, immediately portion off some to take home for tomorrow. Some restaurants always serve too much. Do this at those establishments to get used to the idea.

7. Get a copy of Restaurant Confidential and start checking out how much you're eating. Yes, I mentioned this twice. It's important. If you think eating out isn't causing part of the problem, I say, you're fooling yourself. This little book can help you realize what's been going on, and then you may find it easier to choose other dishes, split the meal into two, or skip some extras.

8. Order one dinner and ask for an extra plate. Many restaurants will do this for $1.00 or $1.50 extra and it's well worth it. Then share the meal with your friend and you split the cost straight down the middle.

Turn Eating Out Back into a Treat

If you really want to get a handle on your weight problem, then first look at where you eat, second what you eat, and third how much you eat. If you absolutely cannot give up going to restaurants or fast food places every day, then you must start ordering plain, unadorned foods. I you can't do that (which I can't) then just go out less often. Turn it back into a treat, a special occasion type thing, and then eat whatever you want. Find what works for you, and then do it.

Train your Eye to Accept Less Food

Start training your eye to accept less food on the plate. We've taught ourselves to expect heaps of food, but your body doesn't need such huge quantities. Frankly, it takes a very tiny amount of food to supply our needed nutrients.

If they developed a pill which contained all the calories and nutrients our bodies required, no one would want to take it. We like to eat. Eating is pleasurable, it's part of the makeup and experience of being human. Take back control of that most basic of human needs. Cook at home for friends and bring joy back into your life through food.

If I Ate Out More Often I'd Gain Weight - it's That Simple

I know I maintain my weight with an average of about 2,200 calories a day. That's more than most dieters strive for, so how do I get away with eating that much -- I make better choices.

If I started eating out at restaurants more often, I'd suddenly be eating nearly double what I eat now (calorie wise), without even trying. Double the calories and guess what? Weight gain won't be far behind.

Trying to radically change your approach to food or exercise is rarely successful. More people that are successful at losing weight and keeping it off do so by making changes and incorporating them into their lifestyle. Start now. Choose one habit (such as eating out every day) or regular food you eat, and decide to cut back on how often, or the quantity. Set a plan, and do it.

Make a deal with yourself and keep it. If you find you cannot - that you set yourself too strict a cutback, then modify it and do it again. Keep at it and you'll be successful.

If you eat out every day during the week for lunch, here's a plan to make a small change. Carry your lunch one day a week, or save the extra from dinner out on Sunday night for lunch on Monday. Get together with your coworkers for a walking lunch every Wednesday. If there's a gym of fitness club in the vicinity of your work, join along with your coworkers and make an agreement to work out together three days a week, at lunch time. Take brown bag foods you can eat at your desk those days.

These small changes add up to big results. Try a couple in your daily life and see what happens.

Kathryn Martyn, Master NLP Practitioner, EFT counselor, author of Changing Beliefs, Your First Step to Permanent Weight Loss, and owner of

Get the Daily Bites: Inspirational Mini Lessons Using EFT and NLP for Ending the Struggle with Weight Loss.

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August 10, 2005

10 Benefits You Get from Using Trekking Poles For Hiking

by Robin Shortt

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act but a habit.

I remember watching my boys growing up. They would go to their Scout meetings and bring home a pole that they had cut from a sapling. They made it into a pole by stripping the bark and carving different designs into it. They would talk about how they used it for hiking and on campouts.

Today things have changed a lot. The Scouts still make their trekking poles, but more hikers are now going high-tech.

Todays poles have much of the same benefits the scouts used them for.

Hikers also use two of them for hiking. Which double the benefits.

1.This includes pack weight distribution to the arms, thus increasing indurance.

2.Makes keeping your balance easier as you cross rivers and streams as well as rough terrain.

3.Lowers stress on the joints, knees, hips and lower back.

4.Gives a more upright, hiking posture. This in turn will make breathing more efficient.

5.Helps you go up those steep inclines. Also helps you keep your balance on the declines.

6.Dispite some drawbacks concerning them, the advantages far outweigh the drawbacks.

7.Trekking poles today are high tech in design and with adjustable telescopic features make them ideal for summer and winter. Most are made from materials such as aluminum or titanium.

8.Trekking poles have adjustable wrist straps and can have plastic or cork handgrips.

9.How to use your trekking poles is done by keeping your forearm parallel to the ground on flat tarrain. If you're assending the poles will need adjusting. You will need to make them shorter, so you will not over reach. The opposite is also true as well. When going down a hill you will need to lengthen the poles.

10.Its very easy to use trekking poles. Just walk naturally one arm forward with the opposite leg. The poles will soon become apart of you as you walk.

As you become used to using the poles you'll find how easy it has become to hike and how much faster and farther you can travel.

Check out your local Scout Shop for a good quality set of poles. You'll also be financially helping out the Scout troops in your area.
About the Author

Val and Robin Shortt are experienced campers and own three outdoor websites For more tips like these and to registerfor their Free newsletter visit: Good Night Camping Equipment

August 9, 2005

Do You Eat Breakfast?

by Cheryl Haining

It is not a myth. Eating breakfast is an important part of attaining and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The morning meal enables your body to refuel itself after enduring a nightlong fast or 10 hours or more. It assists in re-energizing your body’s metabolism and providing sufficient amounts of energy and nutrients for you to survive the earliest part of the day. Remember breakfast is the first opportunity for you to replenish your body’s exhausted energy reserves. Whatever you do don’t waste this opportunity. While breaking the nocturnal fast is important, eating appropriately is just as essential. Eating a good breakfast, low in fat, and rich in dietary fibre and micronutrients will mentally and physically set you up for anything the day may throw at you.

Why Breakfast is Important.
By choosing not to eat a well-balanced breakfast you may be putting your health in danger. Studies have shown that people who regularly skip breakfast are more likely to be overweight and have less energy than those who always eat breakfast.
The consumption of a healthy breakfast has been shown to improve short-term memory. People who regularly eat breakfast have less fatigue and lower cholesterol level than those who skip breakfast. Research has demonstrated that children who eat correctly at breakfast perform better in class and produce higher marks than those who do not. If you want to have an improved, healthy body then it is vital to eat a nourishing breakfast. Research has shown that skipping breakfast causes a lowered metabolic rate, which means fewer calories burned throughout the day. Over time this has the potential to lead to an unhealthy Body Mass Index.

What is a healthy breakfast?
Choose foods that are natural and unprocessed. Eat whole fruit rather than fruit juice. Whole fruits provide extra fibre. Vary the colour of the fruits you eat. Different coloured fruits and vegetables contain different nutrients.
Yogurt, wholegrain dark bread, high fibre cereal with soy or low fat milk, are excellent choices. Try making your own delicious museli, (email me for a recipe). Three to six servings of protein a day is recommended. Protein sources include eggs, tofu, fish, lean meat and nuts. Mix and match from the above items or add your own healthy favorites.
If your excuse is that you don’t have time for breakfast, here is your answer. Herbalife has a product called Formula 1. It is a scientifically formulated dietary food that contains an exclusive blend of select proteins, vitamins and minerals. It is low in fat, cholesterol free and an excellent source of dietary fibre and essential amino acids. A Herbalife breakfast is made in a minute and fuels your body right through the morning. It is the ultimate fast food and so good for you. Find more information on this product at

Start The Day Right
Don’t fool yourself “Fuel” yourself. Build breakfast into your basic routein every morning. You will soon notice a great improvement in your energy and well-being. A great morning leads to a great day.

About the Author
Haining is a skin care, body shape and nutrition coach. She has her own successful business. Her mission statement is to ensure everyone reaches his or her optimum body shape, size and condition. Contact Cheryl at or email her at

August 8, 2005

5 Simple Weight Loss Tips

by Gary Gresham

Not long ago I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and my doctor told me to lose weight or my life would be shortened by many years. Being overweight most of my life I knew it was time to get serious.

I know how hard weight loss is and I want to share a few things with you I found along the way that helped me lose 70lbs in eleven months. I believe these weight loss tips can help you too, no matter what diet you chose to follow.

Tip #1 - Eat Smaller Meals More Often

Eat breakfast, and then a couple of hours later have a snack. Eat lunch then a couple of hours later then have another snack. In another couple of hours you can eat dinner. Just make your choices are sensible. I buy the small peeled carrots in the bag that are ready to eat so I can eat healthy snacks.

Most diet plans leave you feeling deprived, but all of that chewing makes you feel more satisfied. Eating every few hours also raises your metabolic rate which means your body will burn fat and stop storing fat. Once you get used to this small change, you'll discover this weight loss tip really works.

Tip #2 - Eat Lots Of Vegetables

Eat raw vegetables and salads because they are low in calories, low in carbohydrates and are loaded with vitamins. But if you cover your salad or vegetables with dressing, you may as well forget about losing weight. Always get your salad dressing on the side because dressing is high in fat.

A good weight loss tip I discovered is dip your fork in the dressing before you fork the salad. This gives you a small taste but keeps the amount of salad dressing you eat to a minimum.

Tip #3 - Drink Plenty Of Water

I fought this tip at first because it was just too hard to believe. But I changed my mind when I saw the benefits. Drinking water not only makes you less hungry but you will notice a big difference in the way you feel.

I drank a lot of diet sodas all of my life, but changing to water gave me a cleaner feeling and it actually helped me shed pounds once I switched. Any doctor will tell you to drink more water because it's good for your overall health. If you change your mind about drinking more water, it could be the one tip that makes a big difference in your weight loss.

Tip #4 - Walk

Oh no, the dreaded exercise word. That's what I used to think, but just walking 20 minutes everyday helps burn fat and gives you more energy. Go out of the door and take a walk whether it's before work, after work or even during your lunch.

I started by walking around my subdivision before work and was amazed at the difference it made in my weight loss.

Tip #5 - Lose Weight Slowly

You should not lose any more than 1 to 2 lbs a week. If you lose weight too quickly your chances of gaining the weight right back dramatically increases. Losing weight too quickly can also cause health problems.

Look at losing weight as a long marathon and pace yourself so you can cross the finish line. Only concentrate on the next pound not the whole amount of weight you want to lose. In the end, you'll not only complete the marathon but you will dramatically improve your health at the same time.

I am not a doctor and I would recommend you consult your doctor before you start any diet or exercise plan. This weight loss tips article was written only to share my personal experience with you with the hope that you will benefit from it.

Choose a healthy diet plan that you can live with the rest of your life because it is the only way you'll keep the weight off. These weight loss tips will work for you if you keep an open mind and believe they will work.

Copyright © 2005 1 Stop Shopping
About the Author

Gary Gresham is the webmaster for There he offers you sources to help you choose the healthy weight loss approach that fits you and your lifestyle best.

August 7, 2005

What is a healthy eating plan?

by Cheryl Haining

Healthy eating is important for everyone, from babies to the elderly. Learning to eat well is more than just eating a variety of foods so that your body gets the proper nutrients. It is also about enjoyment of foods and maintaining a healthy weight. Anyone can eat for good health. It involves 2 simple steps. First is to eat foods from all the different food groups. The second step is to eat a variety of foods from each group every day. Sounds simple. However so many people are not following a healthy eating plan. Busy lifestyles, availability of fast food, advertising and a lack of understanding of what healthy food is, all work against people trying for healthier eating. Unhealthy eating causes illness and weight problems. Type 2 diabetes is increasing dramatically and is directly linked to the increase in obesity. Heart disease and some cancers are also linked to obesity.

A study by the Medical Journal of Australia found that 56% of Australian adults are considered overweight or obese. This is a 61% increase in obesity since 1991 Un-treated obesity poses significant, even life-threatening health risks.

Everyone understands the importance of having car/home/ insurance. Have you considered the importance of nutritional insurance? This means eating the foods that will protect you against future disease, and understanding the benefits nutritional supplements can provide.
If you are currently not following a healthy plan you will be surprised that you are most likely not eating enough. You may need to increase the amount of food you consume.

Daily Food Suggestions
Fruit 2-3 serves, Vegetables 5-7 serves, Protein 3-6 serves, Whole grains 2-3 serves, Dairy 2-3 serves

Antioxidant Super Foods
Antioxidants help prevent cellular damage. Eat plenty of foods rich in antioxidants such as almonds, berries, citrus, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, and bell peppers.
1. Top your cereal with almonds or berries; add tomatoes to sandwiches, soups or stews; layer your whole grain bread sandwich with slices of peppers and fresh spinach.
2. Pack a snack bag of nuts, baby carrots, grape tomatoes, and bell pepper slices for a nutritious pick-me-up between meals.
3. Protein snack bars carry easily for quick energy and a tasty treat.

Calcium is the super nutrient that keeps bones and teeth strong. Now research shows that low-fat dairy also helps people lose weight! The best sources of calcium come from the cow.
1. Start your day with a protein rich breakfast. Add a bowl of whole grain cereal topped with skim milk and fresh fruit for a breakfast of champions.
2. Snack on low-fat yogurt or cheese between meals for an energizing treat.
3. Calcium-fortified juices and cereals are excellent alternatives to meet your three-a-day requirement.

Fibre does wonderful things for the body, from lowering cholesterol levels, keeping you regular, and perhaps preventing certain cancers. Grandma called it roughage and we need plenty of it each day.
1. Read food labels to find whole grain breads and cereals that provide three or more grams of fibre per serving. A bowl full of bran or high-fibre cereal is a great start to meeting your daily needs.
2. Eat whole fruits and veggies for a healthy dose of fibre. Aim for five to nine servings a day. Juices don't contain as much fibre as whole fruit.
3. Dried beans and lentils are loaded with fibre and protein, so add them to soups, stews, salads, eggs, and salsas.

Soy is a super nutrient and excellent source of protein. It can lower cholesterol, which can help prevent cardiovascular disease. 1. Tofu takes on the flavour of foods that it is cooked with. Try a stir-fry of colourful veggies and cubed tofu with a light Asian sauce for a quick meal. You can also find cereals at the store loaded with both soy and fibre. Serve with skim milk and you'll get three super nutrients for breakfast.
2. Take a soy protein bar for a quick snack or lunch during the day. Soy nuts are another great portable snack option.

Most of us don't get enough of this precious stuff. As a result, we may look peaked and feel fatigued. Our bodies are composed of more fluid than anything else, so water is a vital nutrient for our well-being.
1. Fill up a 2 litre water bottle each morning and keep it with you for quick and refreshing drinks throughout the day.
2. Don't rely on thirst; this sensation diminishes with age. Drink often and choose from nutritious liquids, including 100% fruit and vegetable juices, skim or low fat milk, broths, water, and herbal teas.

Never skip meals. It is important for your metabolism t eat 3 meals a day plus 2 snacks.

By following a healthy eating plan you will maintain your body in optimal fitness. You will decrease your risk of developing life style diseases. Your body will reward you by being in peak condition.
Cheryl Haining is a skin care, body shape and nutrition coach. She has her own successful business. Contact Cheryl at or email her at
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