Category Archives: weight loss

Weight loss facts that work

Since eating temptations abound around Valentine’s Day, I thought I would share these observations on weight.

“…. There are facts about obesity of which we may be reasonably certain — facts that are useful today,” says researcher Krista Casazza, PhD, RD, from the department of nutrition sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, in a prepared statement, WebMD reported.

Here they are:

1. “Your genes are not your destiny. Moderate environmental changes can promote as much weight loss as even the best weight-loss drugs.”

I love this one. So often people use ‘bad genes’ as an excuse for their weight problems, ignoring completely their own bad eating habits.

2.”Even without weight loss, physical activity improves health.”

Another winner. I have reiterated this statement in at least 25 different posts on this blog. Eat less; move more; live longer.

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3. “Physical activity or exercise in the right amounts does help people lose weight.”

Amen. Listen to Uncle Sam.

4. “Continuation of conditions that promote weight loss helps people keep the weight off. Think of obesity as a chronic condition.”

Likewise, I think of good eating and exercise habits as chronic, too.

5. “For overweight children, involving the family and home environment in weight-loss efforts is ideal.”

6. “Providing actual meals or meal replacements works better for weight loss than does general advice about food choices.”

Both 5 and 6 sound like first rate advice.

7. “Weight-loss drugs can help some people lose weight.”

I am not going to argue with the experts here, but I sincerely doubt that the weight stays off if they don’t change their eating and exercise habits. I repeat my recommendation to pay attention to what you eat and exercise regularly. That will melt the pounds away. You won’t need drugs.

8. “Bariatric surgery can help achieve long-term weight loss in some people.”

The study was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health. Our tax dollars at work.

I would like to say for the record that I don’t believe losing weight works. It is only temporary at best. If, instead, you get your head on straight and aim to live a healthy life by eating intelligently and exercising regularly, I can promise that you will never have a weight problem.

Tony

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Are you guilty of information avoidance?

Next month I will complete my seventh year of writing this blog. What started out as a ‘weight loss’ blog has developed into a total mental and physical health resource and I am grateful for the following it has developed. I can honestly say that within six months of starting the blog, I began to feel conversant with various aspects of my own personal health. I had learned and paid attention to how much I was consuming at and away from the table. What’s more I kept my exercising activities in focus also. I believe that as a result of that experience I have not only lost over 10 more pounds since starting, but have maintained that healthy weight with nearly no fluctuations outside of five pounds, plus or minus. One of the aspects of that experience is that I am willing to confront anything that looks like a developing problem when it appears on my radar.

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I wanted to discuss that because before starting the blog for the majority of my life I had struggled with a weight problem. Because I have an athletic background, my activities disguised my poor eating habits for years. Hitting my late 20’s, however, the chickens started coming home to roost and I gained weight and declined in health for years afterward. One of the features of that period was a reluctance to truly face the problem. I wouldn’t weigh myself as regularly. I wouldn’t admit that I was tiring a lot earlier than previously. Continue reading

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Tricking Your Brain Into Helping You Lose Weight

If, like many folks, you overindulged during the recent holidays, perhaps this item I wrote back when the blog was still in diapers might be of help.

Besides, I think the brain is amazing and we can’t know too much about it.

Tony

One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

Regular readers know that I am retired and have been taking courses from The Great Courses for some time. Lately, I have become fascinated with the brain and how it functions.

The latest class I am studying is “The Neuroscience of Everyday Life” taught by Sam Wang, Ph.D, Associate Professor of Molecular Biology and Neuroscience at Princeton University. Additionally, Professor Wang is the co-author of the best-selling book Welcome to Your Brain which has been translated into 20 languages.

Here is the best-selling book Professor Wang co-wrote

I have only just begun reading the book, but I ran across a passage on page 36 that I thought would interest and benefit readers of the blog. The following is from a two-page write-up titled Tricking Your Brain Into Helping You Lose Weight.

This is the conclusion of those two pages:
“Early food exposure influences dietary preferences in adulthood, and eating habits…

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Metabolism and weight loss – WebMD

As my blog title says, I am one regular guy writing about diet, exercise, etc. Professionally, I worked 20 years as a financial journalist. After writing this blog for nearly seven years, I consider myself to be a newbie health journalist, but still just a regular guy. I still find myself in deep waters when it comes to body chemistry among other medical subjects.

So when I ran across the extensive write up on metabolism by WebMD, I thought I would share some of it. You can read the whole thing by clicking the link.

Metabolism is the body’s engine. It’s the energy you burn just to keep your heart beating, your lungs breathing, and your other organs running. Unless you’re an elite athlete, resting metabolism accounts for 60% to 75% of all the calories you burn each day, and it varies a lot from person to person.

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If you’re counting calories, knowing your resting metabolism can help you figure out how much you can eat without gaining weight.

People who have a naturally high metabolic rate can eat more, without gaining weight, than people who burn calories at a slower pace.

The bad news: It’s hard to boost your resting metabolism much beyond its natural set point, though it is possible to slow it down.

Are you familiar with the TV show The Biggest Loser? I know it has been around a while and has a certain popularity. I watched it a few times, but was never comfortable with it. It seemed so unnatural and I had a feeling it wasn’t truly healthy either. Continue reading

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Guys – Get that check up

I started writing this blog for guys nearly seven years ago. The idea was that women did a great job of keeping track of their health; men, not so much. Over the course of writing it, I have found that more than half of my readers are women who are paying attention to their  health, so the focus shifted from guys to simply good health and living past 100. But, according to this little infographic, guys still don’t do a very good job. With 34% of men over age 20 overweight or obese, guys need to wake up.

I hope this little Men’s Health 101 from Texas A&M University Health Science Center gives you a wake up call.

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Tony

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Merry Christmas and Season’s Greetings!

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Oh wait, I did.

Tony

One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

I hope this edible Christmas tree will give you healthy ideas about your eating this holiday season and in the coming year.

While you are thinking about it, don’t forget that you need to exercise, too. You won’t be exercising just to burn calories. Exercise benefits your brain and body in many ways. Check out the exercise tags at the right to read further on this.

I hope you will enjoy all the benefits of good food and exercise! Eat less; move more; live longer. Healthy eating is healthy aging and we all want that. Okay, we seniors are more aware of it than you younger folk, but keep at it and you will come realize and appreciate it too.

Best wishes for this holiday season!

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Tony

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Fitness funnies early in the week

Seems I have accumulated enough of these to share them with you, so here goes.

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Yes, I will take any excuse to run a picture of Wondy.

 

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As a child of the ’40’s I spent hours reading comic books and still respond to the wonderful graphic simplicity of the art.

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Have a great week!

Tony

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How to battle holiday weight gain – Rush

In deference to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday which ushers in the holiday season, I published yesterday my post – Healthy eating tops for the holidays.

I thought this write up from Rush University Medical Center was a worthwhile follow up. The Rush dietitian has some good detailed suggestions and examples.

Trying to lose weight during the holiday season may be unrealistic, given that the average American gains one to five pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, a six-week span marked by celebrations, eating and drinking.

This is especially true for people who are already overweight.

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A review of studies evaluating holiday weight gain determined the average gain between Thanksgiving and New Year’s to be only 0.8 pounds. However, people who were already overweight or obese gained as much as five pounds. A more recent evaluation also found that obese people experienced greater increases in body fat over the holiday season compared to people in the normal weight range. Continue reading

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Filed under holiday eating, holiday weight gain, Weight, weight control, weight loss, weight mainetenance

The science of weight loss – Infographic

As I have said repeatedly in these pages, it’s not about losing weight; it’s about living healthy. If you do that, you won’t have to worry about losing weight. I think this infographic supports that.

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Tony

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Some foods make you hungrier – Time

Deciding to eat intelligently is a step in the right direction when it comes to living a long healthy life. But it is only an early small step. You can get tripped up even with the best of intentions.

Eating right is not as easy as it sounds. Time magazine recently produced a page entitled 9 Foods that make you hungrier.

It seems that “’The sight, smell, or taste of some foods will trigger the cephalic food response,” according to Dr. Belinda Lennerz, an endocrinologist and researcher at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

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The bread basket is a prime culprit in restaurants because it triggers your body’s ‘give me more’ responses and spikes your blood sugar levels.

Eating a small amount of anything around meal time will probably goose  your appetite rather than mellow it out. But some foods are worse than others. Continue reading

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I Changed My Fuel And It Changed My Health’s Trajectory

Lots of good straight information here. So much of weight control has to do with making good decisions, like having small meals, choosing good snacks, etc. As a snacker, that one resonated with me. Check out my Page – Snacking – the good, the bad and the ugly for more details. probiotics yogurt

Tony

Our Better Health

All calories are not equal. Yet we continue to count them in hopes of managing weight and health. Correcting this flawed thinking will forever change your relationship with food, calories and your weight. Changing your fuel just may change your health trajectory.

Consider the significance of changing the fuel you use in your body. It could make the difference between getting promoted, being injury and illness free, lean and healthy, and even finding romance (or not). It can, and I am living proof. When I began to think of calories as more than just a number, I lost 84 pounds, reclaimed my health and looked years younger. When I only counted calories, not considering their source, I was obese and unwell.

Many know the value of this truth about calories. Professional athletes serve as ideal evidence for this argument. The difference between first and last place is often seconds of…

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Harvard on Simple Weight Loss Principles

Seconds on the lips; a lifetime on the hips.

We have all heard that old cliche and nodded knowingly. But the fact that two-thirds of us are overweight and half of the heavies are actually obese demonstrates that not enough of us are acting as if we believed it.
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I have written an entire page entitled How to lose weight – and keep it off breaking down the principles and techniques I have used for the past several years to reach my ideal weight and maintain it. I am a regular guy not a saint or superhuman. You can do it, too.

Now comes Harvard Medical School with an item echoing and elucidating my sentiments on weight loss and weight maintenance.

“The pleasure of eating a candy bar lasts but a few minutes. Burning off the calories it delivers can take nearly three-quarters of an hour. Continue reading

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Being Thin ≠ Being Healthy (Or Happy!)

This has some wonderful ideas in it. Once we refocus our minds on the positive goal of living healthy, we never need to look back at the old losing weight situation. It will no longer exist.

Tony

All About Healthy Choices

0516c425c67a7e7188462cd28730e3a02ec607-wmAs of 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Over 42 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese. With an expanding population in quantity AND SIZE, it should not be surprising the weight loss business has skyrocketed. The various industries participating in addressing this growing epidemic includes:

  • The food industry

  • The exercise industry

  • The lifestyle coaching industry

  • The health care industry

I can tell you from personal experience as a physician that successful, LONG TERM healthy weight loss is best achieved by those people focusing on pursuing a healthy BALANCEDLIFESTYLE rather than focusing simply on weight loss. People need to understand that being overweight is a SYMPTOM of an underlying problem. It is the RESULT of a PROCESS that includes hormonal factors, behavioral factors, lifestyle factors and emotional factors. As everyone knows, treating symptoms doesn’t address the ROOT CAUSES

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Eating in moderation

This post demonstrates the difficulty of trying weight control without the proper tools. For my money the number one tool in weight control is portion control and its corollary serving size. These are absolutes that can be followed by anyone willing to put in the effort.

Check out the following for more details on portion control

How to lose weight using portion control

Serving size and portion control – Keys to weight loss

A fresh look at portion control and portion distortion

How to lose weight using portion control

Tony

Focus on food safety

Pizza size is all in the eye of the beholder (Photo: Valerio Capello). Pizza size is all in the eye of the beholder (Photo: Valerio Capello).

In 1978, I visited the USA with two colleagues on a mission to study meat quality. After travelling by car for many hours to reach Texas we got very hungry and stopped at a pizza joint in Oklahoma. We had a choice of small, medium, large and very large pizzas. We settled on one medium each as one should eat in moderation, but huge pizzas each covering half of the table arrived. We couldn’t even eat half of the pizzas.

This highlights that there is no universal measure of eating in moderation.

What is moderation?

Eating in moderation seems to be practical advice for a healthy diet, but a new study suggests that it is an ineffective guide for losing or maintaining weight. The scientists found that the more people liked a food, the more flexible their definitions of moderation were. And who…

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How Adding Protein Helps in Losing Fat and Gaining Muscle

In the six years of writing this blog, its aim has veered from the narrow weight loss to the much broader healthy living. I think living a long healthy life is a much more valuable goal than just dropping a few pounds. Nonetheless, with more than 60 percent of us overweight and 30 percent outright obese I am aware that most people want to lose weight.

In view of that I thought I would share this recent research from McMaster University on losing fat while gaining muscle.

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Researchers at McMaster University have uncovered significant new evidence in the quest for the elusive goal of gaining muscle and losing fat, an oft-debated problem for those trying to manage their weight, control their calories and balance their protein consumption.

Scientists have found that it is possible to achieve both, and quickly, but it isn’t easy. Continue reading

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The Only Downside to My Weight Loss and Waist Loss

We talk a lot about the benefits of getting down to a healthy weight and having a trim waistline. Obesity is one of the acknowledged targets of the government with new dietary guidelines out for 2015.

I can attest to the benefits of reducing excess fat from your body. Your clothes fit better, indeed, you get to go out shopping for a new wardrobe with the latest fashions and nicer looking outfits. You have more energy and your disposition generally becomes more sunny. Lastly, you get wonderful feedback from your friends and acquaintances on how good you look.

Yet, as a person who has experienced all that, there was also one significant drawback to my trimming down from a 44 inch waist to a 34 inch one. Can you guess what it was?

I’ll give you a hint – it has to do with the current season.

Okay, it is very logical and yet I was totally surprised by it, like a well-written piece of fiction. When you drop all that fat – insulation – you become much more sensitive and vulnerable to the cold. That’s right. When winter comes around, I get out what we used to call long johns. Now it is ‘base layers.’ I start wearing my base layer in late October here in Chicago. Once the temps fall below 40F, I wear long johns. And I keep them on through March.

I wear long johns from October through March.

I asked my doctor about this phenomenon. Since it is my skin – on the outside – that feels the cold, why should what happens under the skin have an impact on my sensation of cold? This seemed a reasonable question. I understand the principle of insulation, but it is the outside that feels the cold so what difference does it make if we burn off 10 inches of fat – insulation – underneath the skin around my waistline?

The answer which is simple and obvious never occurred to me. It has to do with our core. Our major organs are in our midsection – the part that is insulated by the fat. When we burn that fat off, we figuratively expose our major organs to the cold. And, we get a very real sense of the cold that we never had before. So, we need to cover up with more insulation – to replace the fat.

A system like this provides wonderful protection against the cold wind.

The good news is that the solution is a simple one. I now ‘layer up.’ The long johns are the first line of defense against the cold. They are a good one. I have also become the biggest fan of the Eddie Bauer stores. They sell all that wonderful mountaineering equipment which weighs very little but affords super protection against the cold. I have purchased from them some excellent ‘systems’ which include an outer water repellent windproof shell which goes over a thin down-like jacket. It does the job. There is no wind that can blow through that combination. And, it is lightweight too.

When the temp drops below 20F, I put on my flannel-lined pants over the long johns for extra protection. I happen to be a dog owner and as every dog owner knows, there is nothing colder than taking Fido for a leisurely walk in freezing cold, because Fido doesn’t rush or even walk fast. So, the dog walker is very exposed to the elements.

Regular readers may be wondering how this sensitivity affects my bike riding which I continue year ’round here in Chicago. Because cycling is such an excellent cardiovascular activity, I have little problem with the cold. I do wear several layers and the cold does not deter me from riding.

So, the good news is that there is an excellent technological answer to the downside of burning off all your fat. You can still enjoy outdoor activities as before. Just dress correctly for the temperature. For further details on dressing correctly for the cold, check out my post – Cold Weather Cycling Tips.

With that in mind, I hope you can set about your own weight loss program with a clear view of what you have to look forward to.

Tony

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