The Lighter Side of Weight Loss

Because weight control and healthy living require discipline, I sometimes fear that I sound ponderous in these posts. So, herewith some fun ones. Enjoy! c131c9277e489db75734b3fb34877ea7Couldn’t resist a pun one.3f1b4432b96071b0ee46985d7cd18166e26893ec8cf0f5232863645ce7a5f20c6c9785662d9501e312f1daed89634b3b33373d8edd4398d25629fbad380a2040

Enjoy the day!

Tony

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Secrets for Living a Longer Life – WebMD

Regular readers know that I am a big fan of WebMD. I often quote from them to share ideas with readers. They have just run an item on living longer that has some wonderful suggestions. By no small coincidence, I have also included many of the same suggestioins in this blog over the past five plus years. However, here are a few that were new to me:

Profiles of two partners looking at each other while arm wrestling

Profiles of two partners looking at each other while arm wrestling

“Be Conscientious – An 80-year study found one of the best predictors of a long life is a conscientious personality. Researchers measured attributes like attention to detail and persistence. They found that conscientious people do more things to protect their health and make choices that lead to stronger relationships and better careers. “

As a person who considers himself to be conscientious I was happy to learn that it may be instrumental in my living longer.

Choose Friends Wisely – This seems logical if not obvious. Our friends’ habits rub off on us. “Studies indicate obesity is socially “contagious” —  your chance of becoming obese increases by 57 percent if you have a friend who becomes obese. Smoking is another habit that spreads through social ties, but the good news is that quitting is also contagious,” WebMD said.

Nap more. As a retired guy, I like (and practice) this one a lot. “A recent study with 24,000 participants suggests that regular nappers are 37 percent less likely to die from heart disease than occasional nappers. Researchers think naps might help the heart by keeping stress hormones down.”

I fully understand stress hormones and their effect on the body. Check out my s t r e s s tag at the right to read further on it. I recommend the post – Super Tools for Handling Stress.

Forgive – “Letting go of grudges has surprising physical health benefits. Chronic anger is linked to decreased lung function, heart disease, stroke, and other ailments. Forgiveness will reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure, and help you to breathe more easily. These benefits tend to increase as you get older.” This was certainly a nice one to learn. Forgiving makes even more sense now.

The last three I will mention are near and dear to my heart. Namely, make sleep a priority, keep moving and lose weight.

Sleep –  “Getting enough good quality sleep can lower the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and mood disorders. Sufficient sleep will also help you recover from illness faster. Burning the midnight oil, on the other hand, carries serious health risks. Sleeping less than 5 hours per night boosts the risk of premature death, so make sleep a priority.” I agree with this so wholeheartedly that I have written a Page on it – How Important is a Good Night’s Sleep.

Keep Moving – “The evidence is overwhelming — people who exercise live longer on average than those who don’t. According to dozens of studies, regular physical activity reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some forms of cancer, and depression. Exercise may even help you stay mentally sharp in into old age. Ten-minute spurts of activity are fine, as long as they add up to about 2.5 hours of moderate exercise per week.”

Since the mantra of this blog is eat less;move more; live longer, I rest my case. I did especially like that WebMD mentioned that you “stay mentally sharp” from exercise. Check out my Page Important Facts About Your Brain (and Exercise Benefits) for a lot more information on the benefits the brain derives from exercise.

Last, but now least, Lose Weight – “If you’re overweight, slimming down can protect against diabetes, heart disease, and other life-shortening conditions. Belly fat appears to be particularly harmful, so focus on deflating that spare tire. A 5-year study of Hispanics and African-Americans suggests eating more fiber and exercising regularly are effective ways to reduce belly fat.”

To read the entire 18 reasons cited by WebMD.

Tony

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Serving Size and Portion Control – Keys to Weight Loss – Infographic

I hope you will take the time to study this infographic. There are loads of fascinating and useful facts and observations in it.

In my battle of the bulge, I found serving size and portion control to be the keys to my victory. Once you take charge of how much you are consuming, the battle is won. To continue on to robust good health, of course, you need to add regular exercise, too.

If you click on the illustration, you get an enlarged picture.

If you click on the illustration, you get an enlarged picture.

Tony

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What is a Yoga Trick for Getting to Sleep Quickly?

Regular readers know that I started doing yoga more than 30 years ago while in my 30’s. I did it religiously for the first couple of years, then slacked off some. But, I never stopped doing yoga. I use yoga techniques when I do stretches on bike riding breaks. The yoga breathing sends oxygen-rich blood to my leg muscles and refreshes them to extend the ride.

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I wrote previously about being in Las Vegas on a trip with my girlfriend and dealing with the huge portions of food being served. Another difficultly of being here is that your mind gets going gambling and then when you finally get to bed, your brain is still in high gear.

This Royal Flush is the kind of hand that can keep a player from falling asleep.

This Royal Flush is the kind of hand that can keep a player from falling asleep.

What to do?

Going back to my practice of yoga, the one technique that I have carried forward and used probably every day of my life is breath control. I think it may have saved my life on more than one occasion.

If you aren’t familiar with breath control in yoga, I will share my experience. I learned from a yoga teacher that I was dating, there may well be other further techniques that I don’t know about.

What I do is called diaphragmatic breathing in which you lower your diaphragm by extending your stomach outward (making a potbelly). This is done to a count of five and the result is that the inhaled air reaches deep into the lungs which doesn’t occur in regular breathing. You can hold the breath for a beat or two and then exhale to a similar five count.

Besides sending oxygen-rich blood around to your muscles and brain, this also has a wonderful stilling effect on your mind. Remember, when you are stressed, you breathe shallowly – your breath comes in short pants. The yoga breathing is the opposite of that and has the opposite effect. It calms you down.

Whenever I find myself stressed in any way, the first thing I do is to relax and breathe diaphragmatically. This slows my racing mind down and allows me to make clear decisions as opposed to panicked ones.

Now you know the first part . I recently took a yoga class from The Great Courses. In this class, the teacher extended the yoga breath which I have described. In her version, you inhale diaphragmatically to a five count, then, instead of exhaling, you expand your chest and inhale for a further five count. This results in considerably more oxygen getting into your system and also has a stronger impact on slowing your breathing and heart rate.

While practicing yoga breathing concentrate only on the breath you are taking and nothing else. Feel the oxygen entering your lungs and circulating through your body as you inhale. Release the waste air on the exhale thinking only of that. Clear your mind as you fill and empty your lungs.

I have found that using this new technique at night can result in putting me to sleep in no time. It really relaxes me and takes me right down.

If you are having troubles getting to sleep or would just like to fall asleep faster, I suggest you try it.

Finally, because so many readers are concerned about their weight and waistlines, a good night’s sleep is very helpful in controlling your weight. When you sleep badly, or too little, you are more likely to be snacking on sugary, calorie-filled, confections in the afternoon to get an energy boost. So, a good night’s sleep can help you cut down on bad snacks, too.

Tony

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Infographic: What Thousands Years of Breeding Has Done to Corn, Watermelon and Peach

Tony:

Regular readers know how much I like watermelon. To read further about modern watermelons, check out:
Vita-Mix: Drinking a Watermelon
How Healthy is Watermelon?
More Good Reasons to Eat Watermelon

Tony

Originally posted on Cooking with Kathy Man:

Enlarge image . . . . .


Enlarge image . . . . .


Enlarge image . . . . .

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Lose Weight Listening to Music

Tony:

Hoteliers and restaurateurs know that taste is only one aspect of a good meal. A recent British survey examined consumer responses over eighteen evenings. Diners were treated to classical music, pop music or no music during their meals. Results showed that people were willing to (and actually did) spend more money on the evenings they ate to the strains of classical music.

There are some fascinating ideas here. For a full rundown on weight control, please check out my Page – How to Lose Weight (and Keep it Off).

Tony
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Originally posted on Our Better Health:

How what you hear affects your food intake.

By Dee Van Dyk

How music affects the body

Music, said English poet and playwright William Congreve, has charms to soothe the savage beast. But does music have the power to quash the dieter’s appetite?

Maybe. After all, consider how widely your moods and memories are associated with music. Joggers know that you can press yourself a little farther with the right tunes coaxing you on; soothing music in the doctor’s or dentist’s office can help calm frightened patients. Spiritual music can inspire.

According to Brooklyn doctor Edward Podolsky, fast music ratchets up your metabolism and muscular energy, accelerating your heartbeat and elevating your blood pressure. A slow beat does the exact opposite.

What effect does music have on appetite?

Taste is the most obvious sense associated with food, but it is by no means the only sense we engage to enjoy…

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What About Maintaining My Weight While Traveling?

I think it takes a special focus to be successful eating while traveling and not pack on any pounds.

I am currently in Las Vegas. I would be on vacation if I were stlll working, but I am retired, so I guess this qualifies as just traveling. My girlfriend still works, however, so it is a vacation for her.

In any event, I had to write this having just experienced an amazing breakfast. We are staying at Caesars Palace. Serendipity 3 is one of the hotel restaurants. The food is good, but the servings are brobdingnagian. I love that word. If you aren’t familiar with it, it comes from Gulliver’s Travels and refers to anything colossal in size. That’s what our breakfasts today were.

The cup dwarfed the spoon

The cup dwarfed the spoon

I hope the photos I shot with my iPhone get the point across. The coffee cup held at least 12 ounces, maybe 16. You can see how it dwarfs the spoon. But the main culprit was the main course. I ordered two eggs over easy with pork sausages and dry rye toast. I consider this a nice healthy meal. The plate was a good 13 inches in diameter. So, it held a LOT of food. The sausages were probably an inch in diameter. Even the toast was about 1-1/2 times normal size and thickness.

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I mention this because while traveling, sitting down to eat meals is kind of a celebration and I think you need to defend yourself against getting carried away in the moment.

I managed to finish the eggs, but left one whole sausage. I had some strawberry jam on a half slice of toast, but ended up leaving one entire slice, also. Nonetheless, I really felt full to bursting when we finished. I think even though I didn’t finish I had managed an assault on my digestive system.

The point of all this is that I felt I had to discipline myself not to ‘clean my plate.’ I always hate to waste food, especially in a restaurant where I am paying premium prices, but I concluded it would have been more damaging to me to finish that huge serving. I really didn’t want to waist the food either.

Tomorrow, we will be eating a more modest breakfast.

Tony

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Slow Down for the weekend – Infographics

Two of these have to do with slowing down your life. That seems appropriate for the weekend.

Besides these lovely ideas, please check out my Page – Why you Should Walk More for a full explanation of the benefits of walking. I consider walking to be the Cinderella of the exercise world, totally unappreciated, but really the belle of the ball.

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The little infographic is one of the best explanations of why just trying to lose weight is non-successful most of the time. if you get your thinking straight first, you can be successful at losing weight. But, it is more than just not looking bad. If you are willing to alter your life to remove excess pounds and integrating intelligent eating and regular exercise, you will see  you pounds melt off and stay off, not to mention having more energy and a generally more positive outlook. For the full story check out my Page – How to Lose Weight and Keep it Off.

82e630b94db3c2d18250c7db6a62b460Slow down your life. Learn how to meditate. Take some time every day to let your mind savor stillness. Our hustle bustle daily lives too often leave no time for this and we pay a heavy price. You can learn more about relaxation and the brain on my Page – Important Facts About Your Brain.

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Why A Journalist Scammed The Media Into Spreading Bad Chocolate Science

Tony:

In fact, that’s exactly what he did Wednesday, in a story for io9 that’s gone viral. Bohannon, a science journalist who also has a Ph.D., lays out how he carried out an elaborate hoax to expose just how easily bad nutrition science gets disseminated in the mainstream media.

As a journalist who still consumes financial, political and diet stories, this was particularly worthwhile. I know how hard legitimate journalists works to ‘get it right.’ Sadly, there are some folks who call themselves journalists who are anything but.

Kudos to Mr. Bohannon.

Tony

Originally posted on Cooking with Kathy Man:

Earlier this spring, headlines around the world trumpeted an exciting bit of news that seemed too good to be true: “Eating chocolate … can even help you LOSE weight!” as Britain’s Daily Mail put it.

From India to Australia and Texas to Germany, news organizations shared findings published in the International Archives of Medicine in late March.

The problem? The study they were based on was pure junk. And the person behind it, John Bohannon, would be the first to tell you that.

In fact, that’s exactly what he did Wednesday, in a story for io9 that’s gone viral. Bohannon, a science journalist who also has a Ph.D., lays out how he carried out an elaborate hoax to expose just how easily bad nutrition science gets disseminated in the mainstream media.

Diet science, Bohannon stresses, is still science – and reporters need to know how to cover it. “You have…

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What are the Worst Restaurant Chain Meals of 2015?

With the plethora of junk offered by fast food chains, this is not an easy one to answer. However, Nutrition Action newsletter takes a good stab at it. In their words, “… our winners have what it takes…a total disregard for the obesity epidemic and the coming diabetes tsunami.”

The Outback Steakhouse Crime Rib

The Outback Steakhouse Crime Rib

Outback Steakhouse offers a cut of beef which the authors call a ‘crime rib.’ The 16 ounces of meat (a pound!) delivers 1400 calories without the side orders which include baked potato with a chunk of blue cheese, bread and butter. They total it at 2400 calories, 71 grams of fat, your quota for half a week, and 3,560 mg of sodium vs a daily recommendation of 1500 mg.

Among the most well known restaurants are IHOP which features an amazing omelot. “A 1,300-calorie sausage omelette alone would strike many as a tad on the heavy side. But this one comes with three buttermilk pancakes (or hash browns, toast, or fruit; but this is IHOP, after all). Remember when three pancakes alone was a big breakfast?

”Add four tablespoons of syrup, and you shuffle out with a day’s calories (1,990), plus a bonus 42 grams of saturated fat, 4,840 milligrams of sodium, and 1,035 mg of cholesterol (two to three days’ worth of each). And don’t forget the passel of white flour and the 12-or-so teaspoons of added (refined) sugar—the kind that doesn’t occur naturally in fruit and milk.”

Kind of scary from a healthy living point of view.

Sonic comes in with their Pineapple Upside Down Master Blast. ““SONIC’s real, vanilla ice cream perfectly mixed with pineapple, salted caramel & pie crust pieces” comes in a 32 oz. cup topped with several inches of whipped cream.”

This 32 ounce behemoth (this is AFTER your meal) contains 2,020 calories, 61 grams of fat and 4-1/2 grams of trans fat, not to mention 29 teaspoons of sugar.

As a Chicagoan, I have to include the Uno Pizzeria and Grill write up. I confess I have loved and consumed lots of their classic deep dish pizzas over the years.

Here is the skinny on a small 1-1/2 pounder: 1,470 calories, loaded with cheese and saturated fats.

To read about all Nine of the Worst Chain Restaurant Meals click the link.

Tony

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Think Like a Tree – Infographic

Stumbled across this somewhere surfing. Thought it was really fine.

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Tony

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6 Things Mentally Strong People Do – Infographic

I think this has a lot of applications regarding living a long healthy life.

To read more positive thinking posts, check out:

How You Can Benefit from a Positive View on Your Life – WSJ
Breaking down 8 Barriers to Positive Thinking
How to Become a Positive Thinker
7 Exercises That Train Your Brain to Stay Positive

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More than half the packaged food you buy in grocery stores has too much salt – The Washington Post

Tony:

The Washington Post seems to do a good job of looking out for healthy ideas for us. I think everyone needs to understand that they are getting TOO MUCH salt from the packaged foods they buy. A lot of folks cut down on table salting their food, not realizing how much they get in their processed foods.

Please check out the following to read more on salt: High-Salt Diet Doubles Threat of Cardiovascular Disease in People with Diabetes
How Much is Too Much Salt?
Some Sneaky Salt Statistics
Where Does All the Salt in Our Diet Come From?

Tony

Originally posted on Learn about nutrition with me!:

By Lenny Bernstein April 2

More than 90 percent of us consume too much salt (guilty!), which, as you know, contributes to high blood pressure. For some reason, blood pressure varies noticeably by region of the country, so a team of researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention decided to determine whether there also are regional variations in the amounts of salt in the packaged foods we buy at the supermarket.

They didn’t find any. But what they did find, according to a report released Thursday, is a bit sobering: More than half of what we buy contains more than the recommended amount of salt for each serving we consume. Meat and pasta mixed dishes (I assume they’re talking about frozen meals and the like; I’m still seeking an explanation) were the top culprits, with better than 80 percent of each containing too much salt in the three…

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Fun With Weight Loss

I thought these were fun. If they help you to eat less/move more and live longer, so much the better.

Foreign Language factoid

Foreign Language factoid

Isn't her smile perfect?

Isn’t her smile perfect?

One picture is worth a thousand words

One picture is worth a thousand words

Tony

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WORLD NO TOBACCO DAY – QUITTING SMOKING FOR GOOD!!

Tony:

My sentiments exactly. Please check out my Page How Bad is Smoking to read more on this modern plague.

Tony

Originally posted on mandaleept:

quitting smoking

The tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing nearly six million people a year.  More than five million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while more than 600,000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.  Approximately one person dies every six seconds due to tobacco, accounting for one in 10 adult deaths.

Of all the risk factors for ill health, tobacco smoking is responsible for the greatest burden on the health of Australians, accounting for 7.8% of the total burden of disease in 2003.  Tobacco smoking is a major risk factor for:

  • Coronary heart disease;
  • Stroke;
  • Peripheral vascular disease;
  • Numerous cancers including cancers of the lung, mouth, oesophagus, larynx, kidney, pancreas, bladder, stomach and cervix;
  • And other diseases and conditions.

In 2003 an estimated 15,511 people died in Australia as a result of tobacco…

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Nine Diet Mistakes that Are Making You Tired

Tony:

For a balanced release of energy choose low-glycemic carbohydrates such as 100-per-cent stone-ground bread, 100-per-cent bran cereals, steel-cut and large-flake oatmeal, milk, yogurt, soy beverages, apples, bananas, pears, oranges, dried apricots, berries, nuts, seeds and beans and lentils.
There is wonderful, useful information in this piece. Once again, a recurring theme is how processed foods bring us down. It’s so much better to keep out food choices simple and natural.

You can check out my Page – Snacking – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly for more.

Tony

Originally posted on Cooking with Kathy Man:

You eat too many refined carbs.

Carbohydrate-rich foods are metabolized into blood glucose, the only form of energy the body can use immediately. But not all carbohydrates are created equal.

Highly processed, refined carbs (e.g., white bread and crackers, refined breakfast cereals, sweets and sugary drinks) rank high on the glycemic index.

That means they cause large spikes in blood glucose followed by sharp drops, which can bring on fatigue. Sugar also blocks the activity of orexin-producing cells, brain cells that stimulate wakefulness.

For a balanced release of energy choose low-glycemic carbohydrates such as 100-per-cent stone-ground bread, 100-per-cent bran cereals, steel-cut and large-flake oatmeal, milk, yogurt, soy beverages, apples, bananas, pears, oranges, dried apricots, berries, nuts, seeds and beans and lentils.

You skimp on protein.

Protein-rich meals help you feel more alert by counteracting drowsiness that can be brought on by consuming excessive sugar or carbohydrates.

Including protein at meals…

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