I am resending this on the blog as my Christmas present to you. My girlfriend gave me a Yoda hoodie for Christmas with the quote – “Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.”
Those were Yoda’s words to Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back when Luke was stuck, unsuccessful and becoming frustrated with his failure. Luke precipitated that fabulous quote when he said, “Okay, I’ll give it a try.”
I always liked Yoda’s words. There seemed to be a deep meaning to them. How can you do something without trying? I never quite got what it was, but I always sensed there was a profound meaning in there some place. I don’t know how many years ago I heard that quote. It was in a movie theater when that particular installment of the Star Wars Trilogy was showing. Surely more than 10 years have gone by, maybe 20. Anyway, I finally got it.
I was riding my bicycle yesterday afternoon and just kind of playing with the idea of trying. What does it mean to try? That happens a lot when I am riding. I have told people that riding is my meditation. It just happens to burn calories. I don’t ride the bike for that, though. I do it because I love riding. Everything else is just gravy.
Initially, when I was mostly concerned about getting my weight down, I found that serving size and portion size were key concepts. So, I started reading food labels. I recommend that practice to everyone who wants to live a healthy life starting with controlling food intake.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has updated the Nutrition Facts label on packaged foods and drinks. FDA is requiring changes to the Nutrition Facts label based on updated scientific information, new nutrition research, and input from the public. This is the first major update to the label in over 20 years. The label’s refreshed design and updated information will make it easier for you to make informed food choices that contribute to lifelong healthy eating habits.
Serving Sizes Get Real
Servings per container and serving size information appear in large, bold font. Serving sizes have also been updated to better reflect the amount people typically eat and drink today. NOTE: The serving size is not a recommendation of how much to eat.
The nutrition information listed on the Nutrition Facts label is usually based on one serving of the food; however some containers may also have information displayed per package.
One package of food may contain more than one serving.
Snacking is kind of like the weather, everyone talks about it, but nobody does anything about it. Well, about over-snacking anyway. Seems like some of us just can’t pass up a sweet or tasty tidbit.
Anyone who works in an office knows the spot: The place where co-workers share sweet treats they brought from home, or leftovers from lunch meetings and birthday celebrations. Food appears out of the blue, and disappears just as quickly.
But why can some people walk right by the free snacks without stopping, or only go there when they’re hungry, while others can’t resist eating every time they see food there? Some may even go out of their way to pass the food-sharing spot just in case there’s something out.
Neuroscientists like Shelly Flagel, Ph.D. want to find out — and not just because of the long-term harmful effects of too many calories. The same variation between people can happen with drugs like cocaine and heroin. Continue reading →
The information on food labels was updated recently by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). I think they did a good job on helping the consumer to better understand the nutrients in food packages.
Below is an example of the updated label.
On the left is the old format, one the right, the new. As you can see the Serving Size and Calories are now more prominently displayed. Additionally, the number of servings per container is also given. In the past many folks would read the calories without paying attention to the serving size or number of servings per container. For example, a package of potato chips might have told you innocently that there were 150 calories per serving. Not bad, you might conclude … if you weren’t aware that the package contained four servings, so, if you ate the whole bag, you were getting 600 calories.
Here are some tips offered by Rush Medical Center on reading the labels:
Ham is the traditional Easter main course, unless you’re going to an Easter buffet with your family and have miles of different foods to choose from.
Beware the salt in Easter ham
So how many calories are in that ham, or how much can you eat without ruining your calorie count on Easter? And what about the salt? Ham and salt go together because salt is used to cure and preserve ham.
Here are some differing estimates that may help you with that ham dinner. Myfitnesspal.com puts a three-ounce serving of honey baked ham, spiral cut, at a very manageable 150 calories. Three ounces is a small amount, less than a quarter of a pound, however. The quarter pounder works for McDonald’s. Maybe it can work for you, too.
But then the salt kicks in. That three-ounce portion has 960 mg of salt, or 320 mg an ounce. We need around 2000 milligrams a day and medical experts say that many of us should cut it to 1500.
Another site good on calorie matters, SparkRecipes.com, puts 5.33 ounces of ham, presumably made without the honey this time, at 337 calories but with a sodium level of 2,273.4 mg. Experts recommend that adults consume below 1500 mg of salt per day.
Maybe the idea is that Easter only comes around once a year. Enjoy some ham and be done with it. Just don’t overdo it, particularly in view of the sodium content.
I think the old saw, “All things in moderation” comes into play here. You can enjoy some ham on Easter as long as you don’t make a pig of yourself.
Although this blog started out as simply a weight loss tool, it has since morphed into a guide for general healthy (and long) living. Nonetheless, knowing how to count calories and how we burn them is a super tool for living a healthy life. Hence, the following infographic.
I think calorie-counting is a very valuable tool when you are first getting started on weight control and living a healthy life. But, there are calories and there are calories. You need to know the food value of the calories you are consuming. You don’t want to eat a lot of empty calories.
Put simply, empty calories are calories that come from foods or drinks that have little or no nutritional value.
There are many common sources of empty calories. People may choose to limit or eliminate these foods and drinks from their diets to stay healthy and within their ideal weight range.
Helping children limit empty calories can set them up for a healthy life in the future. It can also help stabilize their energy and decrease mood swings.
Avoiding or limiting empty calories is a simple step toward a healthier diet and lifestyle.
What are calories?
Calories are units of energy. Scientifically, a gram calorie (cal) is the amount of energy needed to raise 1 gram (g) of water by 1° C.
From a scientific perspective, what is typically called a “calorie” is actually a kilogram calorie (kCal). This is a unit of energy made up of thousands of “small calories” equal to the large calorie often used to measure the energy in food.
Calories are an essential part of the diet. The body needs to burn calories to do the simplest tasks, such as breathing or blinking. When physical exercise is thrown into the mix, even more calories are required to stay healthy and alert.
The amount of calories a person needs every day can vary widely. Most recommendations are based on a diet of 2,000 calories per day. However, this number may be higher or lower depending on the individual and their habits.
A registered dietitian can help determine a person’s ideal caloric intake based on activity level, age, sex, metabolism, and height.
When I started trying to eat healthy and control my weight, I found that counting calories was a very useful tool. It also happens to be quite easy to use now that I have a smart phone which is always with me. There are all kinds of apps that make calorie counting a snap to do. But, what are calories?
This item from Medical News Today gives a useful answer.
A calorie is a unit of energy. In nutrition and everyday language, calories refer to energy consumption through eating and drinking and energy usage through physical activity. For example, an apple may have 80 calories, while a one mile walk may use up about 100 calories.
I have strong feelings about the damage done by artificial sweeteners, particularly in diet sodas. You can check out my page – What’s wrong with soft drinks? for more details. I cover both offenders, artificial and sugar-laden drinks.
A recent study by investigators at the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health measured how much artificial sweetener is absorbed into the blood stream by children and adults after drinking a can of diet soda. Results of this study are published in Toxicological & Environmental Chemistry.
The team measured the artificial sweeteners sucralose and acesulfame-potassium, which are found in a wide range of packaged foods and beverages. These artificial sweeteners, also including saccharin and aspartame, have received a lot of attention lately because it has been found that they are not inert chemicals with a sweet taste, but active substances that can affect the metabolism. (my emphasis) Continue reading →
Here is another super infographic where one picture is worth a thousand words.
NaturalNews says that avocados boost health in at least five ways:
1. Protein “Avocados provide all 18 essential amino acids necessary for the body to form a complete protein. Unlike the protein in steak, which is difficult for most people to digest, avocado protein is readily absorbed by the body because avocados also contain fiber. If you are trying to cut down on animal sources of protein in your diet, or if you are a vegetarian, vegan or raw foodist seeking more protein, avocados are a great nutritional ally to include not merely as an occasional treat, but as a regular part of your diet.”
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…
We really do have to use our heads when we decide to eat out. Some chains’ offerings make a joke out of our attempts at portion control.
One Chain’s Burger Platter Has Nearly 3,000 Calories and 10,000 Milligrams of Sodium
Perhaps you’ve eaten a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese. Picture having a second one. And a third. And then a fourth. Along with two medium orders of fries doused with a combined 18 packets of salt. For most people, that’s unthinkable. At Uno Pizzeria & Grill, it’s lunch: The chain’s Whole Hog Burger has hamburger, sausage, bacon, prosciutto, pepperoni, four types of cheese, garlic mayo, and pickles and comes with fries and onion rings. All told it’s more than a day’s worth of calories (2,850), three days’ worth of saturated fat (62 grams), and six days’ worth of sodium (9,790 milligrams).
That burger is just one of nine recipients of the 2016 Xtreme Eating Awards—conferred annually by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest and published in its Nutrition Action Healthletter. Far from doing their part to reverse the obesity epidemic, America’s chain restaurants are pouring gasoline on the fire, crossing fried chicken and waffles with Eggs Benedict, merging cheeseburgers and egg rolls, and repurposing macaroni and cheese as a sandwich filling. Continue reading →
I ran across these in my web wandering and thought they looked useful.
As a total peanut butter lover, I thought number one especially clever. I start every morning with a spoon full of peanut butter dipped in coconut oil. If that appeals to you, consider it number six free.
Lastly, I am not much of a drinker, my girlfriend considers me a cheap date as I rarely exceed one beer on a night out. So, number five doesn’t do much for me.
Please feel free to share any clean and healthy treats you favor.
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.
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 →