Tuesday, May 11, 2010

On Diet, Nutrition, and Weight Loss

As much as I hate to admit it, I feel as if I’ve let myself go over the past few months. Okay, I know, I know: relax, Mike, take it easy, Mike,; have a bowl of potato chips, Mike; that second helping of pasta is too tasty too pass up, Mike—LIVE A LITTLE, HUH?

Problem is, I have been living more than a little these day. Having just returned from a wonderful vacation with my lovely wife, my belly is not what I'd like it to be. But more to the point, my overall health is not what I expect it to be. Now don’t go rushing to conclusions: I am very healthy, nothing going on here that one would consider major, save for some weight gain. Only getting away from what I’ve made a habit of over the past several years, successful programs and practices that allow me to go through life with healthy cholesterol numbers, good blood pressure, and the ability to fit into a nice pair of jeans.

The good news? I know what needs to be done and how to do it. That’s one of the main reasons I created this blog and my video site, livelife365.com—to share my knowledge and successes on how to eat right, lose weight, maintain a healthy, happy, lifestyle, every day in every way.

I may sound like a broken record, but for me, it all starts with fiber. But I also have a chip problem, as this video will attest:


And I used to think that I had a handle on it, as this video demonstrates:

Reward Your Weaknesses (By Turning Them Into Strengths)

Alas, as the years go by our metabolisms slow, those cheating ways (see above videos) take their toll…and sometimes you have to slap those chips from your hands, and grab the almonds. Why almonds? They are loaded with fiber, have healthy fats, can lower your cholesterol, and are a wonderful alternative snack to, say, POTATO CHIPS!!

The key, though, is the fiber...and portion control. I mean, you can cram handfuls of healthy snacks, like almonds, into your maw all day and still gain a bunch of weight—there’s no getting around the calories consumed versus calories burned ration. What am I talking about? This:

Empty Calories

But by adding fiber to the mix, your hunger pains decrease, because fiber stays in your system longer, thus taking more time to digest. Besides being full of nutrition, fiber also:

· aids in regularity

· alleviates constipation

· reduces the risk of heart disease

· regulates blood sugar

· provides energy, which helps you lose weight

Several years ago, I lost over forty pounds in six months. Since that time, I have gained some of that weight back. But any time I need to drop a few pounds, I always return to the program I used back then. What do I do?

1. Count my calories. Every day. I keep a dietary journal and keep track of everything—and I mean everything—that I put in my mouth

2. Make my calories count. I make sure I eat plenty of vegetable protein, lots of fruit and veggies, and maintain a balanced diet.

3. Limit my caloric intake. Depending on my weight loss goals, this can be 1500-2000 calories a day.

4. I workout often, walk daily, and strive to burn many more calories than I consume. Burn goals: 2500-3500 calories a day.

5. I do the math. The math is simple: you have to burn 3500 calories more than you consume to lose one pound.

6. I keep score. I weigh myself every morning at the same time. If you don’t know where you stand then you will never get to where you need to be.

7. I load up on the fiber (see above and this video)…

And this video:


I also cut myself some slack, by taking the weekends, kind of, sort of, off. By that I mean, I will eat a slice of pizza for lunch on Saturday, but not overdo it so as to sabotage all that hard work I put in during the week.

And speaking of pizza—stay away from the carbs, especially the empty carbs (like those aforementioned chips). Since I am counting my calories and making them count, as well as limiting my intake of food, I have little left in my dietary regiment to add empty calories to my diet…unless I want to gain weight, rather than drop those excess pounds.

The other key is this: SACRIFICE!

You have to remember that that belly didn’t happen overnight; it took months of pigging out and sitting on your duff watching bad TV. So dropping all that “Dancing With The Stars” weight will take time too.

My goal is the same it was when I lost all that weight the first time: Two Pounds a Week.

Here’s a video that may help:


And lastly, here are a few of my favorite foods that taste great and help me stay fit and lose weight:

· Beans, lentils, wild rice, quinoa, soybeans

· Broccoli, artichokes, asparagus, spinach

· Tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, cabbage

· Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds

· Apples, bananas, oranges, kiwifruit, papaya

· Water, fruit juice, green tea

· Oatmeal, flax seed

Eating right is a daily activity—so is living a healthy, happy, long and fulfilling life. Sometimes snacks get in the way. The good news is you can always choose to change for the better. I have hundreds of videos that can help at my website, livelife365.com. Hey, they helped me. They can help you too.

Until next time…




Unknown said...

Very educative article.I like food but I an not overweight.keep up the good work

Paul Eilers said...

Mike, another excellent post!

And I do appreciate your honesty. Most folks who blog about health would never admit they fell off the wagon, even if it was just for a day or two.

Have a great summer!

Katherine said...

In from Tribal blogs.... first time visiting. I watched EVERY video - you are lots of fun and full of great information.

Unfortunately I suffer from gastroparesis (delayed emptying) and am very limited in what I eat. That much fiber would KILL me. I have "no metabolism" as well - I go w/o eating and gain weight - my body goes in starvation mode and hangs on to everything it can.

What I have found works though is having a smoothie daily that includes almond milk, frozen fruit and raw spinach. Things I could not eat "alone" - but mixed up in to a smoothie I am able to tolerate it. (and although I don't like bananas, I will put 1/2 in and it tastes pretty good!)

Lisa said...

I think your suggestion of being sure to have enough fiber is a great one. I know I'm more prone to cheat when I'm starving & I also know that fiber will allow you to feel full for a longer period of time. Thanks for some great ideas!

Rick said...

Great going, keep it up, none of us are perfect, and don't forget about sodium! Snacks are loaded with sodium and sodium will cause water retention and bloating. I had 2 sausage biscuits from McDonalds this morning, got home and looked it up, and each one had 1080 mg of sodium! There goes my sodium allowance for the day!
Great going with your healthy eating and blog.

Unknown said...

Diet plan including healthy food item,witout skiping meal is a effective way of weight loss.

Susan Blake said...

Hi Mike! I consider myself a flexatarian - mostly vegetarian - but I make sure I'm 75% fruit/veg. to 25% proteins from grains/meat. Since hubs joined me in this he has lost 18 lbs in 2 months without starving or feeling like he gave anything up! Knowing how bad sodium is for me, I'm no longer tempted by chips. That took awhile!