Tag Archives: potato chips

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.


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


Filed under hunger, Weight, weight control, weight loss

Is There a Way to Control Your Cravings? – Infographic

I firmly believe that you can learn to control your cravings. Knowledge can set you free.

As a former fat guy, I still often crave sugar as well as salty treats. I regularly snacked on chocolate and then potato chips when I was busy losing my battle of the bulge. Now I simply realize that I am doing myself no good by eating that good tasting, but non-nutritious stuff. I understand the impact of those sugars, fats and salts on my body and choose not to cave in to my cravings. As I wrote in How to lose weight – and keep it off, I know that everything I eat becomes a part of me.

If that doesn’t work for you, perhaps understanding the source of your craving might be the key. Check out this list I picked up on the web that shows what minerals you are really needing when you reach for the junk. Good luck!



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Filed under cravings, junk food, Weight, weight control, weight loss

How to Find a Healthy Snack

Choose popcorn over potato chips for a heart-healthy snack, says WebMD.


As you can see from the illustration there are about a third of the calories in popcorn as potato chips, more fiber and significantly less fat. And that assumes you are eating only one serving of each. I remember the old potato chip ad, “You can’t eat just one.” A serving of potato chips comes out to about 10 chips. That’s not a lot and likely not satisfying. If it leads you back to the bag for more chips, that’s like doubling down on a bad bet.

You can eat a lot more popcorn than potato chips and not be doing your body any harm with extra calories or fats.

Also, with popcorn, make sure you pop it fresh. Be very wary of microwave brands. They often have lots of fats and calories inside that you don’t need. When I have popcorn, I make it fresh and splash a little soy sauce on it which eliminates the fats completely.

Ice cream can be a killer with its fats and sugar calories. WebMD has some good suggestions, here, too. They suggest sorbets, sherbets, light ice creams or frozen yogurts for a fraction of the fats and calories. As you can see from the illustration you are way ahead (weigh ahead?) with any of them.


As with potato chips single serving size for ice cream is ONE HALF CUP. I have never seen anyone serve themselves that small of a portion. So, again you run the risk of doubling down on a loser in terms of calories, fat and your general health. Choose wisely.

For more on this important topic, check out my Page – Snacking – the good, the bad and the ugly.

Buon appetito!


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Filed under arteries, popcorn, portion control, portion size, potato chips, snack foods, Snacking, Weight

4 Vacation Days = 6.2 Pounds. Worth It?

My answer to the question in the headline above is yes. I’m just back from four amazing vacation days in New York and my first weigh-in this morning since I left home last Thursday told me I’d gained 6.2 pounds.

That’s a lot, granted, it will likely take me several weeks, if not longer, to lose those pounds again. But I think it was worth it. I can’t eat like a monk all the time. Keeping breaks like this weekend to a minimum is important but having one or two times a year to enjoy eating again is important too.

The good news is there wasn’t a lot of junk food involved — until Sunday when chips, butter cookies and snack cakes were the foods of choice as we flew home. Other than that, we feasted on wonderful foods, from sushi to seafood, and didn’t go wild with buttery sauces or other empty-calorie choices.

Some lessons from this mini-getaway for when you vacation:

1. Walking alone isn’t enough to counter increased calorie intake. We walked four and more hours a day all over New York, but ate more. I got out of my usual exercise routine of at least an hour per day on an exercise bike, even though there was a workout room in my hotel. Shame on me for that. Try, try, try to maintain some regular exercise even when on vacation.

2. Use a scale. I didn’t feel heavier, especially on mornings after days when we’d done a lot of walking. But obviously I was gaining weight. Trusting how you feel doesn’t work in my experience, use a scale to keep track.

3. Plan to recover. I expected to gain weight while away and have a plan for getting back into my routine this week.

4. Don’t give up. A gain here and there isn’t the end of the world as long as you don’t give up and go back to old, bad eating habits because of it. Stay with it.

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Can you Celebrate Without Eating?

I’ve been doing pretty good at not over-indulging on this New York vacation – until Saturday. This was the day to show my wife some of my Brooklyn roots – read great pizza and pastry spots – and to have dinner on Staten Island with five cousins and a family friend at an Italian restaurant.

We all talked about how we’re trying to eat better and several of us tried to order healthier fare – one cousin had tilapia with clams, mussels and other seafood, my wife had stuffed sole; I had a seafood assortment – clams, mussels, shrimp and scallops over linguini with a simple red tomato sauce – and left more than half of the giant serving (a cousin took it home).

Not bad you say? Maybe but we also had fried zucchini for an appetizer, along with red peppers covered with cheese and several other hot appetizers. When time for dessert came, my wife and I split a chocolate mousse.

All this after we had New York Sicilian-style pizza for lunch, stopped for Italian butter cookies in a Brooklyn neighborhood where my cousins once lived, and bought a shopping bag-full of Drake’s cakes and Wise potato chips to bring home for family and friends.

Is all this the beginning of the end of my food resolve? No, I had known this would be a big food day and allowed myself one for this vacation. Today, it’s home and back to a more usual routine. The battle continues then, Saturday, food won.

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My Vacation Challenge – Enjoy but Don’t Go Overboard

I’m about to take a four-day vacation in New York, the city of my birth (I’m a Brooklyn boy); and also the city with more food choices per square inch than any city in the country, I think.

I’ve been fasting all week, not eating dinner, to prepare. I have my weight down to 198.8 this morning (a new low in the past two years of weight loss for me). But I know there will be gains in New York. We’re planning stops at a childhood pizza place (Sicilian pizza is a New York wonder food), at Junior’s (a Brooklyn favorite now in Times Square too) for cheesecake, and a big Italian dinner Saturday with cousins on Staten Island. There’ll be an elegant evening meal somewhere as well at least one night while we’re there.

Vacations are for fun so starving myself isn’t really an option. Eating in relative moderation will be, I’ll try for smaller portions of my New York favorite junk foods (Wise potato chips anyone? Can you say Ring Dings?). And my wife and I have picked a hotel with a workout room so we can do something akin to our usual workouts every morning before hitting the streets, and the eats, of New York.

Biggest Loser trainer Jillian advises exercising as part of any vacation. Good advise. Weather permitting, we’ll also be walking miles and miles, New York is all about walking and public transit, we’ll only have a car Saturday for the trek to Staten Island.

I’m hoping to blog about my New York food experiences, watch this space for more. And comment on how you handle eating on your vacations.

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Can You Control Your Weight if you Snack?

By way of introduction, I play backgammon on a website that has players from all over the world. Following is a dialog I had over a game with a friend who lives in London named Aimee.

Aimee: love your blog! not too sure about the snacking theory though, working off the cals so mathematically is a man’s thing lol

Tony: thanks, aimee … funny you would say that because a woman reader said she thot it was only women who counted calories so carefully. .. great fun doing it, glad you liked it

Aimee: but it’s your approach of saying it’s ok snack as long as you work off the calculated calories … i tend to think the metabolism is more complicated than that … in women’s eyes at lest lol … but yeah i’m enjoying it. will keep popping in every now & then to see what you come up with next :°)

Tony: but, what is your problem with that? why suffer hunger when you can snack and still be in line with your budget?

Aimee: as far as i’m concerned, snacking is bad. full stop. you can’t snack & just ‘work off’ the calories in such a clear-cut way. snacking is a bad eating habit & for hardcore weight watchers, or people who have very slow metabolisms, snacking is a dangerous downwards slope! BUT i liked your take on it for me, coz men don’t watch the pounds in such an assiduous way, your idea is how to keep healthy & still be satisfied hungerwise & stick iwthin a budget. so in that regards it’s fine, i was just commenting on it before as it’s not how a woman would see it (as a general rule, that’ all)

Tony: why IS snacking bad? if you aren’t getting too many calories, what is wrong with it?

Aimee: irregular eating habits are very unhealthy, and certainly not conducive to maintaining steady weight! that said, if you snack at the same time every day it’s not so bad, and even less so if you snack on fruit or veg. but people generally fall into bad habits when they convince themselves that they can just ‘burn off’ the extra calories of a snack. the body absorbs different amounts of fat at different times of day, so it’s not a rule that works in every case!

Tony: “the body absorbs different amounts of fat at different times of day, so it’s not a rule that works in every case.” are you saying the laws of thermodynamics are inconsistent? my statement was mathematical ….

Aimee: crikey, i don’t know about ‘thermodynamics’ lol but i do know that metabolic rates can differ quite substantially depending on time of day, stress levels & other variables that i can’t think of right now! my whole point about this was that i was disputing your mathematical approach … even though logically you’re right, our bodies are not abacus’ !! :°)

Tony: that’s the point about the laws of thermodynamics … we do burn the same amount of calories with our activity … now, our weight may vary from day to day based on water retention and elimination, but the calorie math works

Aimee: not convinced tony. you’ve made your point, but i’m not a convert lol

Note for the record: As of March 2014, Tony has followed his system and weighs 150-155 pounds. So he has not only maintained his weight, but guided it downward over the past four years. Just sayin’.


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Filed under calories, healthy eating, men and healthy eating, men's health, Snacking, Weight

Designer Salt – How about Just Less Salt?

Pepsi is working on a designer salt to take sodium off its Lay’s potato chips, the Wall Street Journal reported today. There’s a link to the story on our news page here where you also can check out other food news of the day,

What a fascinating concept – salt with less sodium in it. Food companies are starting to feel the heat over salt, fearing that local, state and national governments will start forcing them to take salt out of their processed foods.

Can a potato chip work with this new salt? Pepsi hopes so. I actually buy low-salt chips on the rare occasion I still buy potato chips these days. Low-salt can be fine, but in general stay away from chips and salty things. It’s hard to find anything good, nutritionally, about them.

Editor’s Note: The sodium we consume is a major health consideration. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 1500 mg of sodium a day for adults. That’s why it is critical to read the labels on the foods we eat. Many foods have a high sodium content and we don’t even consider it.

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