Monday, December 19, 2005

Happy New Year and random thoughts

We're only 2 weeks out from 2006 and another 2 weeks of food, food, fudge and beverage. I tried Rachel Ray's 5-minute fudge recipe. Easy & dee-lish. Just make sure you have plenty of people around to help you gnaw on it or it's dangerous to waistline.

On Thanksgiving Day I went with my family to the local turkey trot 5k. This was the first time with my new son. He had a good time bundled up in the stroller. This was my 12th turkey trot in 13 years. It has become quite a tradition. Several of my family members make a point to join me. My wife, Dad, father-in-law, brother-in-law and his girlfriend have been out there with me for many of those years. My cousins and their friends use to join, but I haven't seen them out there for a few years. I still see and hear from several people who I've introduced to T-Day running over the years. And, I typically see the person who introduced me to it on a cold November day in 1993. She's still a great runner and she's usually at several of the races each year. I remember thinking that running 5k (or 3.1 miles) seemed nuts, especially on a cold Thanksgiving day. I figured everyone would run off an leave me. Nah. I found that there were plenty of people my speed and slower. It was a long 3 miles, but it has turned into 13 years of good quality exercise. Hopefully, we'll continue the tradition so my son can pass it along.

I was able to run my second fastest 5k ever. Not terribly fast at 21:23 (21:29 by the race clock), but still much better than I thought I could run even ten years ago. This year was a good year for running, for the few I did (new son). I ran in 5 individual races and one relay race. In two of the races I set personal course records and I ran a strong five mile leg on the relay race. I also tried a cross country race. Wow! That was fun. It was quite an ankle workout, but it was a nice change of pace from the usual road race. Of course, I credit much of this performance to watching the ole' calories and it was worth it. I can't describe the feeling of running that last mile in a 5k. You've been pushing at about 85% - 90% of the max for more than two miles and you kind of have an out-of-body experience. My legs are turning over automatically and smoothly, my lungs are sucking in air near capacity and I think that all the slow trudges, the consistency of exercising regularly and watching my calorie intake over the past year was worth it. And, I also thank whoever for letting me have such a great experience. I am thankful for every day that I get to move my body and enjoy the outdoors.

Good luck over the next few days. Have fun and indulge some. If you can keep yourself from going overboard now you can definitely do it in the blah, ho-hum months ahead of us.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

You Are What You Eat Part II

As I wrote in the previous post, I believe the old saying "you are what you eat" is true literally and figuratively. Our bodies are mostly made of the atoms from the food we eat.

But, I think there's some figurative truth to the old saying. How you eat, how much you eat and what you eat defines you. There's so much of our own emotion wrapped up into our palates that it becomes difficult to separate our eating habits from ourselves, sometimes to our own detrimant. And, I don't just mean health-wise detrimant.

Of course, health is the most obvious thing that will slip if we don't exercise some self control. But, we also miss out on enjoyment of food if we narrow our choices too much. People are all over the spectrum. We have the vegetarians and the "meat-and-potatoes" crowd. Then we have the low-carbers, the low fatters, high-protein bunch. Those that skip breakfast, others that skip dinner. Some just eat pizza.

I think it's beneficial to understand what drives my eating habits. When I was gaining weight, eating voluminous amounts of good food drove my eating. When I lost weight, eating specific amount of calories per day without feeling hungry was the main driver. As I maintain my weight, I seek to enjoy a wide array of foods in moderation while being conscientious about keeping a well balanced calorie budget (i.e. calories in minus calories out).

To a lot of people that doesn't sound like fun. But, to me it wasn't fun being overweight and I realized that overstuffing myself on good food detracted from my satisfaction. I still have to fight the very same urge I had when I was a kid - "that tastes good, I want more." But, it's easier than it use to be.

Whatever drives our eating habits also becomes our filter for what others are saying about eating. There are those who I talk to who've read my book that get it. I can tell they have read and understand it. Then there are those that read and I realize they don't get it. They read "rabbit food rabbit food rabbit food" or something like that because whatever is driving their own eating habits prevents them from actually understanding the real message of my book, which is eating in moderation, eating a wider variety of food and understanding how calories work. Anytime they hear the words "weight loss" or "diet", their minds default to "rabbit food" (as in, "I'd love to lose weight, but I don't want to eat rabbit food") so they can scurry on with their eating habits having rationalized away yet another opportunity to learn.

I realized this when I ate a bite-sized chocolate bar at my parent's house. My Mom said to my son, "your Daddy's eating something he tells others not to." I replied, "you can eat anything you want, just don't eat two pounds of it in one day" knowing that while she has read my book, she really hasn't READ it.

So what's driving your eating habits?

Saturday, November 05, 2005

You Are What You Eat

We all hear that at a young age. It's literally true. Almost every atom in our bodies came from something we ate (with the exception of the stuff we breathe in). Our amazing bodies automatically break down the food we eat and use it to build and rebuild our body structures and to fuel our activity.

But, I think there's yet another truth to "you are what you eat". (more to come...)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

"85% is what I put in my mouth"

I saw some show this past weekend on fit celebrities. One of them was Angela Basset (google her if you don't know who she is). She is a very fit 46 year old actress. They asked her about her secrets.

She said that she can do 1 hour of cardio five days a week and works hard with her family. But, she said when she can't do that, "85% of it is what I put in my mouth."

I agree. People tend to spend a lot of time figuring out how to burn more calories, but not enough time trying to figure out how to eat fewer calories. From an time and effort standpoint, it's much easier to avoid a few calories than have to burn them off later.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Why do we eat so much?

"Why do I eat so much?" That's the most important question that you have to answer for yourself if you ever hope to lose weight.

Humans, through the results of thousands of years of trial and error, have figured out how to make calories bountiful. Thousands of years ago we worked all day to gather and chew enough calories to survive. Now, all the calories we need for one day costs a couple bucks and can be consumed in a few minutes. So, now it's very easy to over consume and gain weight.

It's easy to over eat, but why do it? There are many reasons. Habit, boredom, stress relief, lack of willpower, love for food, lack of commitment to and poor meal management are probably some of the more popular reasons. For me it was a mix of poor meal management (meaning I didn't eat enough fat and protein to feel satisfied), habit and love for food.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Lunch with an old friend

I ate lunch with an old friend a few days ago. My book became a topic of discussion. Something seemed to be annoying him about my interest in weight loss. He kept asking me, “Has this become your life?” It took me some time to figure out what was “eating” at him. I think I finally understood when he said something like, “It’s no fun if you have to count your calories.” I’ve heard this complaint a lot. Eating is a very personal matter and few people relish in the thought of having to control what they eat. Many of us desire to be one of those lucky people we hear about who can eat anything they want without any dire consequence. So much so, that we often delude ourselves into thinking we are.

“I want to enjoy my food. I don’t want to have to worry about what I eat,” he continued. Don’t we all? I responded that if that was your priority, then that’s fine. I have a different set of priorities. We all make choices. I’ve decided that I don’t like carrying extra weight around. I like to be able to ride my bike fast and I like to run without feeling my love handles bounce up and down. In order for me to meet those priorities, I have to be aware of how much I eat.

Additionally, I do enjoy my food, even though I stay aware of the amount I’m eating. But, I’ve learned that there’s much more to enjoying food than eating vast quantities of it. We have to eat several times each and every day so there’s no shortage of opportunity for me to enjoy my food. Why stuff myself to the hilt when I’ll have another opportunity to enjoy food in a few short hours? I focus on enjoying the taste of my food and working with an assortment of foods that help me achieve my goals.

Believe me, when I taste something that’s really good, I still have the instinct to open the hatch and pour it in. But, my awareness for achieving my weight control goals helps me fight against the urge. I slow down, enjoy every bite and then usually have leftovers that I can enjoy again tomorrow.

What’s wrong with that? It’s similar to how Lance Armstrong approached the Tour de France. Lance, as much as anyone, enjoys kicking the pants off his opponents. The Tour de France is really 21 individual races, each with the opportunity to kick pants. Lance was strong enough that he could have probably gone out and won many more of these individual races. But, he realized that would work against his overall goal of winning the whole race. So, he conditioned himself to override that urge to let loose through most of the race and saved it for those three or four opportunities that he thought would give him the best chance of an overall victory. That takes a good understanding of your overall goal and the maturity to override you competitive urges.

Similarly, achieving your weight loss goals takes a good understanding of your goal, constant awareness of that goal and the maturity to override the urges that will prevent your from achieving the goal.

Friday, August 19, 2005

South Beach Diet

A friend recently asked for my opinion on the South Beach Diet. I read Arthur Agatston's book and think is worth a read from anyone wanting to lose or control their weight. In my opinion, he starts you out in an Atkins-like phase of carb-busting, which lasts a couple weeks before you start to re-introduce "good" carbs. Then, from there, the diet seems very similar to the Zone in that you eat meals and snacks throughout the day and eat a mix of carbs, protein and fat to ward off hunger pains. Plus, he gives plenty of recipe options to use, though, I must admit, most of them seemed a bit more complicated for my tastes. I did, however, enjoy the various ricotta cheese desserts.

Of course, I also believe that there is plenty of valuable information in my book, "A Few Bites A Day" and "A Week in the Zone". Both books can be had for about the same price as the South Beach Diet. Still, all three can be purchased for less than $30 and are worth thousands of times that if they can help prevent health problems and lead to a happier, healthier life.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Lance Armstrong (no nickname required)

On this eve of Armstrong winning his 7th Tour de France in a row, I thought it fitting to reflect on what I think of the guy. I'm a year older than Lance. I'm a former junior bicycle racer myself. And, I think I may have been in close quarters with him at one point in my life.

I can't be sure of it, but I think Lance may have been in attendance at an Olympic Training Center cycling development camp I attended in Colorado Springs back in the 80s. I remember a cocky Texan who the coaches seemed to dote over. All of us there figured he was in a class of his own. I remember him saying that the only hills he has in Texas are the highway on ramps

Little recognized outside of the cycling community is Armstrong's quadruple threat.

1. Everyone knows Lance has the genetics to kick ass. When I read his book and discovered that he was kicking butt in his first races, it dawned on me how dim my cycling career prospects were from the results I posted in my first races. I wasn't buying no Camaros at 17 from my race winnings, that's for sure.

2. Lance is brilliant. The decisions this guy makes are incredible. Decisions as minute as what size tire to use for a particular stage of race are crucial and overlooked by his rivals. I could go on and on about the decisions - tactical, personnel, equipment, energy economy, training and so forth, that he makes that sets him apart from everyone else, but that'd take too much space.

3. Lance has a demon inside, balanced with a human conscience. I'm a big fan of the old Buffy the Vampire Slayer spinoff Angel. For those who don't know, Angel is the hero and sometimes villain of that series. He's an ancient vampire named Angelus who had his human soul restored as a curse from a band of gypsies that were upset that Angelus killed one of their own. So the demon vampire and human soul co-exist in this one body. Most of the time, Angel (the human) is in charge, but when he really needs to kick some ass he channels Angelus (the vampire). In the end, Angel is the champion of champions that saves the world over and over again, like waking up each morning to eat breakfast.

I think there's a lot of parallels between Angel's character and Lance (not to mention only a one letter difference in their names). Lance has a human soul, but there's a competitive demon inside that he channels when he needs to and that sets him a part from the pack. Without it, he'd just be another talented bike rider. Maybe he would've split these last seven TdF victories with Jan Ullrich if he didn't have the demon to push him. Jan appears to be a really good guy. Anyone of us would be lucky to call him a friend. Full of talent, but he lacks that demon to drive him to not eat too much in December or to spend his time analyzing his equipment in October to take more seconds out of the time trial.

I don't know what put that demon in Lance's body. It wouldn't be fair for me to speculate why it's there. Genetics? Environment? One can only speculate. But, for sure, it's there.

4. Single minded focus. Very few people have the ability to focus singularly on one thing. Cancer. TdF. Clicking off the fastest time in his last TdF time trial. Armstrong knows what he's after and he quickly gets back on track after any derailments. Sometimes this singular focus can hurt those around him. But, in the end it elevates him to a new level and allows him to do some mighty great things (LAF for example).

Most people can easily recognize Armstrong's genetic ability, but few recognize the others. But, I believe, it's the combination of these four things that sets him apart from everyone else. Without any one of these things, Armstrong would have likely slipped into oblivion about 3 or 4 years ago.

Lance, Thanks for the memories. I'm glad I was here to witness your ascension to greatness. I'm definitely not equipped to judge this, but if you made any deals with any higher beings to do some good if you were given a second chance you sure haved seemed to fulfilled your end of the bargain many millions of times over.

I know several cancer survivors who were inspired by your story. Some won their battle. Some lost. But all felt connected to something great because of you. All felt less lonely as they faced their demons.

I'll never ask you for anything. I have no expectations for you. You've done so much. Thanks dude. Somehow, I have feeling that you won't stop amazing me.

In a nutshell...

A guy stopped me in the street today and asked how I keep so trim.

A few of my cycling buddies and I had just rode our bikes to eat breakfast on a hot, July day in the midwest. Our tight cycling clothes revealed our trim bodies.

"In a nutshell," I replied, "eat less and exercise more."

Sunday, May 15, 2005


It's getting easier for me judge whether someone will be successful in achieving their weight goals just by listening to them and watching their body language to determine whether they're committed to the task or not.

I believe everything you need to know to lose and control your weight is either covered directly in my book or referenced there because that's all the information that I used to lose 30 extra pounds and keep it off. But knowing information and being committed to achieving a goal is two different things.

Some people know they aren't committed to the goal. For them, having to modify their lifestyle is simply too high of price to pay to lose a few pounds. Unfortunately, many of these people are sorry down the road when they suffer a heart attack or adult onset diabetes or one of the other myriad complications that may result from a lifetime of abuse to the body.

Others think they're committed, but aren't. These people aren't good at being honest with themselves. For example, when discussing investments these type of people always discuss their winners, but never their losers. Likewise, with weight loss, they tend to remember the days they followed the plan but not the days (or even just a few bites in a single day) that they didn't.

Knowledge (my book), consistency (previous post) and true commitment are the three key ingredients to achieving your weight loss goals. If you haven't succeeded in the past, think hard about which of the these three areas stands in your way.

Sunday, April 24, 2005


One key to my weight control, that I don't touch on in my book, but nonetheless is very important is consistency. By this I mean consistency with my diet and exercise.

I was riding my bike a few days ago in perfect weather. Most days aren't like that, but I exercise on the bad weather days as well. In the winter, summer, snow, rain, cold, dark, strong winds and heat - I'm out there.

Many of my friends aren't very active unless the weather is nice. And that's when it occurred to me how vital consistency is to my weight control success.

I once believed that I burned many more calories than I really did during exercise, which contributed to my weight problem. When I first learned how few calories I actually did burn, I was shocked. I went through the normal stages of denial and frustration. "Well, if I only burn a couple hundred calories in a 1/2 hour workout, why even do it?"

The answer is summed up best by personal finance author, Jean Chatzky. "We tend to overestimate what we can accomplish in a day and underestimate what we can accomplish in a year." So true.

In the whole scheme of things, one exercise session isn't going to make or break my health. But, the calories I burn during all of my exercise sessions over the course of a year makes a huge difference. For example, I exercise 5 days per week for anywhere between 20 minutes to 4 - 5 hours. Over the course of a typical week I burn around 2,000 additional calories by exercising, which is less than 1 pound (or 3,500 calories). But, over the course of a year that adds up to to 100,000 calories or 30 pounds.

If I only exercised when the weather was nice, that extra calorie burn would be much lower. Consistency keeps me on track.

Same goes for diet. We often think, "I'll splurge just this one time." Once isn't likely to make a difference, right? But, splurging again 2 days later and again in 3 days adds up over the course of the year. And, as the title of my book indicates, it only takes a few bites a day to make the difference between being in control of your weight or having your weight control you.

So, from now on, I'm going to keep the thought of consistency in mind whenever I think about skipping exercise or eating more than I should. Maybe you will to.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Excuse #4: "I'm just naturally filling in"

About five to seven years ago, I seem to recall this notion circulating about society that we each had a natural weight. I recall it, because for some time I believed it.

We don't think about it on a daily basis, but we each have a set of mental models, or frameworks, that help us understand the world around us. Many of those models were handed down to us in school and by our parents or picked up from our friends. Language is one such model. Has a common word ever caught your eye funny? You look at it, you know you have read the word thousands of times before, but all of sudden something looks strange about it.

That's your mind testing your mental framework. Language is something we learn at a very early age. Spelling comes shortly after. As adults, speech and reading comes to us so naturally that we don't even have to think about it. But, occassionally or brains tend to poke holes in those frameworks and when that happens things we've taken for granted without question for a long time suddenly seem strange.

Religious and political beliefs are other examples of mental frameworks. You hold certain beliefs on how the government should be involved in our lives and that helps you decide who to support by voting for the people you think are going to best put your beliefs into practice.

I'm sure that it's no surprise to you that we each have a mental framework about how weight loss works. The natural weight framework was alive and well in my head at one point. I had resigned myself to a life with a chubby belly, love handles and puffy cheeks.

Thankfully, I'm not the kind of person that sticks with a mental framework that doesn't produce the results I'm after. In other words, I may be stubborn in the short term, but not in the long term.

Eventually, that old framework collapsed and I replaced it a new framework under which I lost 35 pounds, gained 5 back to get to a more optimuum weight and have held it to within 4 pounds of that weight for over three years now. I detail this new framework in my book.

If you've been having a tough time with your weight loss, perhaps its time to knock down your weight loss mental framework, or belief system.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Race Scheduling

We've had some really great days of weather this Spring where I live. I love to exercise outdoors. I exercise outside through the winter, but it's especially nice not to have to bundle up, feel sunshine for a change, see the trees in bloom (which have been spectacular this year) and see a few people the trails coming out from their long winter hibernation.

By this time of year I have a decent idea of which events I'm going to participate in. You should too. Events, such as 5k runs or MS 150 bike tours are a great way to keep yourself motivated and burning calories.

I manage my event schedule like a pro. I have a certain set of events that I like to repeat each year and then I sprinkle in a few new ones. Some of the new ones stick and become a part of my regular schedule, some don't. I enter 5k races, bike events and I'm thinking of trying an adventure race.

For the events I repeat each year, it's fun to see how my fitness level compares with the years prior.

Check out websites with event calendars in your area so you can start participating in events that'll keep you interested in exercising. I recommend not bogging your schedule down too much with too many events. When waking up for an event begins to feel like a chore, take a break for awhile and resume at a later date.

Also, look for ways to involve your friends and family to promote healthiness and give yourself a little extra motivation for the event.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Excuse #3: "I'll just run twice as far to burn those extra calories."

I'm amazed about how hard I'll work against myself sometimes. If your brain is anything like mine, then you may find your inner voice coaxing you to eat more than you know you should and providing all kinds of reasons why it's okay. One excuse I used often was that I would workout more to cover the extra calories.

However, this has a few inherent problems. First, using this crutch too often nulls out any benefit I receive from exercising. In other words, I'd have to exercise more all the time just to stay even. Second, as with the previous excuse, I simply wouldn't follow through. Third, we tend to overestimate how many calories used during exercise (and underestimate how much we eat). So, even if I did extend my exercise time, it'd rarely be enough to truly balance the additional calories.

This kind of thinking definitely contributed to my weight gain. I figured that I was active enough to burn all the calories that I was eating. But, the scale told a different story. When I put numbers to my calorie intake and use I was astonished. The imbalance was large. No wonder the needle on the scale kept creeping up.

Learning how to estimate my calorie intake and use was a major key to gaining control of my weight. I describe the simple techniques and calculations I use to monitor my calorie flow in my book. These techniques have been working for me for four years now. Some friends and family members think I'm crazy for tracking my calories. But, to me, having a good sense of my calorie balance is like using a watch to figure out what time it is.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Excuse #2: "I'll start eating right tomorrow."

Raise your hand if you're guilty of procrastination. Me too. But, as I have learned, telling yourself that you are going to make a change at some distant future date is only a crutch. January 1, our birthdays or after vacation are popular future change dates. Trouble is that there's not much different about those dates than any other date, like today. We're just letting ourselves off the hook, trying to ease the pain and guilt of our actions today for making a promise to ourselves that deep down we know we won't keep.

Ben Franklin said it well, "You may delay, but time will not." I constantly remind myself of this. Even though I've achieved my weight goal, keeping it there means that I have to stand guard against my procrastination demon.

Don't get me wrong. I do enjoy food and treat myself often. However, as I mention in my book, I can enjoy food without eating mass quantities. But, my procrastination demon tries to convince me that I can eat mass quantities and cut back on the portions next week. I have to make the decision every time I eat to eat the right portion.

I'm not sure what other advice to offer you to ward off your procrastination demon except to stop lying to yourself. If you are not able to make the change RIGHT NOW then you probably won't be any better equipped to make the change then. I made my change on February 7, 2002. There was nothing special about that date, except that was the day that all the pieces came together for me and I figured out, or at least had a good idea, of what I needed to do. I wasn't certain yet, but I gave it a try and started to see immediate results. There simply was no reason for me to wait until some special day in the future.

And, when I do find myself starting a trend of increasing my portions and thinking that I'll get back on the portion control next week, I just shake my head (to loosen the grip the procrastination demon has on my brain) and say to myself, "no, I don't need the eat the whole thing right now."

So, I strongly encourage you to stop telling yourself that you'll make a change sometime in the future.

Do it today.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

"A Simple Plan"

The April 2005 issue of Runner's World magazine had a weight-loss theme. "The Simple Plan" provided advice very similar to the advice in my book like balance calories in with calories out, eat a meal or snack every 3-4 hours and eat more protein and unsaturated fats to help from getting hungry as often. This issue also had a great article on Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee's amazing weight-loss. Check it out if you get a chance.

The "Simple Plan" was adapted from Madelyn H. Fernstrom's book, "The Runner's Diet" (Rodale 2005-Available in May, 2005). That might be worth a read as well.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Go with your gut

Here’s a new spin on the old phrase. In terms of weight loss, your gut doesn’t lie. It gives you an instant report card on how well you’ve balanced the calories going into your body with the calories you’ve burned over the course of your life. No if’s, and’s or but’s (well maybe some butt’s too).

Most people believe they do a decent job of balancing their calories in and out and on a daily basis they’re probably correct. But as the title of my book suggests, only a few bites a day can make a big difference over the course of a month, a year or decades. One hundred extra calories a day, or three bites of a chocolate chip cookie, can add 10 pounds each year.

Sometimes it takes decades to add the pounds. If you’ve seen the 1980s Star Wars/Star Trek satire, Spaceballs, you’ll understand this. The space travelers in the movie found that they arrived millions of light years from their intended destination because someone originally set course a millionth of a degree off. Ooops. Similarly, gaining only one to two pounds per year adds 30 to 60 pounds over three decades.

If you’re ever in doubt on how well you’ve balanced your calories simply take a quick gut check. You don’t even really need to calculate your BMI. Just look down. Is your gut or butt hanging out? Those are sure signs calorie intake has exceeded your calorie burn.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Excuse #1: "The BMI must be wrong."

When I first calculated my BMI (Body Mass Index) it was over 25, which basically meant I was fat. I didn't believe it. I was active and ate relatively healthy - I couldn't understand how I could be considered fat. I rationalized it by thinking that I was naturally thicker than whatever scale was used for the BMI.

Over time; however, I learned more about the BMI. I learned that it didn't necessarily mean I was fat. Rather it meant that my chances of suffering from a weight-related illness was much higher than someone with a BMI less than 25.

I also learned that men should probably be on the medium to high-range of the BMI, or 23.5 - 25 and women should be closer to the medium range of 22 - 23.

I decided to start losing weight as I was approaching a BMI of 30 (the low end limit of obesity). My initial goal was to get back to 25. I thought that would be about all I could do. Once I figured out how to take off the pounds, I made it down to 25 in about 3-4 months and kept going. I bottomed out around 22 and now keep it at around 23.2 - 23.5.

Now I'm a big believer in using the BMI to target your ideal weight range. But, I also think it's important to fully understand the BMI. To learn more about BMI and how I used it in my weight loss you can buy my book by clicking the link on the right hand side or Google BMI or Body Mass Index to read what others on the web have to say about it.

Calculate your BMI:
Weight (lbs) / Height (in.) / Height (in.) x 703

If your above 25, then you should definitely learn more about the BMI and make it a goal to lower your BMI to 25 or lower.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Excuses Excuses

Excuses are a main obstacle that stands in the way of people achieving their target weight. I know. I had them too.

"The BMI (body-mass index) must be wrong." "I'll start eating right tomorrow (or next week, or next year)." "I'll just run twice as far to burn those extra calories." "I'm just naturally filling in." "Everyone has a 'natural' weight they become." "Everyone else is overweight." "I burn 1,000 calories per work out, so it's okay to eat this." "Life's too short to count calories." Any of these sound familiar? Have any more of your own? If so, please share with me in the comment section.

Over the next few weeks, I'll address these excuses. In the meantime, consider your weight loss goals and target weight (if you don't know your target weight you can do a search for Body Mass Index on the web or buy my book from Have you achieved those goals?

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Nut snacks

Most of my friends know that for my afternoon snacks I usually eat some nuts. Typically, to reduce the oil intake, I'd eat some roasted peanuts along with some cashews or party nuts, which contain a lot of oil.

Now I found a way to get rid of the oil and cut some costs. I buy big bags of baking nuts like pecans or almonds at Costco and throw a couple cups of nuts at a time into the oven at 350 degrees for 12 - 15 minutes to toast them.

They taste great and I get a premium, healthier nut for much less money.


Calorie Terminator

I love the Special K commercial on the air now where a woman is joining her friends for breakfast at a restaurant and she sizes up each plate with an internal computer readout that calculates the calories. She looks from entree to entree, sizing up the calories on each, until she sees the 100 calorie cereal.

That's me. It was easy to train myself to estimate calories. I just carried a calorie book around for awhile and looked up everything I ate and also looked at the nutritional panel the food packages. Within a few short weeks I found that I could estimate a calorie count to within 25 - 50 calories.

Not perfect, but good enough to keep me from eating those "few bites a day" that can add up to weight gain over the course of months or years.

Holidays are over

I made it through the holidays again without gaining a pound, but I still enjoyed great food.

The biggest misconception I run into is that others think I must only eat "rabbit" food to control my weight. And, I don't think they believe me when I tell them that's far from the case. I control my calorie intake using a variety of methods that include controlling my blood sugar, smart snacking and simply being aware of how much I'm eating and whether I'm full or not.

What the others are too busy to notice is that while they are shoveling their second or third helpings into their faces, I'm sitting there watching them. I've already finished and I'm waiting for the "full" feeling to come before I stuff any more food in there.

But, they still can't figure out why they just can't lose those stubborn pounds. Hmmm....