Sunday, February 3, 2013

Gain weight and feel hungrier with bread. Mmm....bread.

I've been eating bread - largely because lately I've been making bread - and holy glucose has my weight suddenly taken a jump. Like overnight. I'm up to 229. So for February I'm going to hit a pretty hard lowcarb diet to counter the carbohydratishness. I should also point out that I'm waking up hungrier than I have in more than a year, as I eat more bread. I am at once gaining weight and feeling hungrier.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

LateSummertime and the Livin' is Easy

Happy Another Mushroom Season, folks. The boys and Grandpa and I went on the hunt for oyster mushrooms today. Found nada this time around. We'll probably go back out tomorrow. The shrooms are really popping up like crazy now that we're finally getting some rain.

Summer is winding down, schooltime is coming back up and our family is slowly getting back into our routine. Getting back into the normal dinner time. Getting back into normal bedtime. And me...I'm back into my healthy eating routine and seeing my weight go down rather than up.

Summer for me is hard, fatwise. Partly because of lack of routine. It's hard to be in a routine when it's blazing hot out, the Big Lake beckons and friends are inviting us and the kids over to lounge on the beach with a brewski.

It's cooling down and I think I might have to get back into chopping wood for our fireplace again. I suspect that burns a calorie or two.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Michigan Crab Boil

There's all sorts of talk about the hunter gatherer diet. I think one of the reasons those guys were so freakin' thin is less about What they ate and that they had to go tromping around through the woods to get it before they could eat it.

I've recently gotten a bit addicted to Michigan crayfish.

Today some friends and I went Up North and dipped a huge pot of big ol' crayfish. Flipping over rocks, walking through the river...

These here are rusty crayfish. An invasive species of crayfish in the Great Lakes region. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says, and I quote:

A potential control of this aquatic alien may be as close as your cookbook. They can be used for a variety of tasty dishes. Michigan's fishing regulations place several restrictions on the use and sale of rusty crayfish in Michigan.
The DNR says to eat them. So we are.

Monday, July 16, 2012

2012: No flying cars and we're still debating the human diet


Dieticians need to stop MESSING with my HEAD and just settle on what does and does not work dietwise. Calories in calories out works and then it doesn't....some stand by the theory and some don't.

How hard can this be?

How can we possibly be here in 2012 and not have a firm understanding of what makes folks fat and what makes them Not Fat?

How can we could JUST be learning this stuff. We were supposed to have flying cars by now instead of having our scientific minds mired down in trying to figure out how the hell human beings can keep from getting too fat.

Very frustrating.

Here are four myths I read about today in a CBSNews article
  • A calorie is a calorie is a calorie
  • Calorie counts are always accurate
  • Counting calories is the key to weight control
  • Cutting 3500 calories equals one pound of weight loss
The last three I don't much care for. I've done pretty well so far counting calories and assuming 3500 calories equals a pound of weight loss. So I'm just going to throw those three out.

But I am trying to track down exactly about this whole business about calories from different foods functioning  differently in the body. Here's what the article wrote:

In the past few years, we've learned a lot more about how our bodies react to identical calorie levels from different foods, and a new Harvard study is further proof.
Another recent study found that saturated fats, like those found in butter, whole milk, and fatty meats, may override the body's natural satiety mechanism (which enables you to feel full), whereas unsaturated fats, from plant sources like olive oil, avocado, and nuts, may enhance satiety, even when the calorie levels don't differ.
A key study from Wake Forest University found that, even at the exact same calorie and fat levels, monkeys fed trans-fats gained four times more weight and 30 percent more belly fat compared to those given meals made with natural, plant-based fats.
And a recent Penn State study found that, over a 12-week period, dieters who consumed whole grains rather than refined grains lost more belly fat, despite the diets otherwise being identical.
All of this means that quality may be more important than quantity when it comes to the fate of the calories you consume.
So there it is.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I've gained some weight

I haven't blogged. I haven't Tweeted. I haven't lost weight since last I wrote.

And worse...I've gained back three pounds.

I'm not back at 220 again, but I'm climbing and that is cause for concern. I need to nip that in the bud. So! How am I going to nip that in the bud? I need to assess what's going on that I'm doing wrong so I can go back to doing what is healthy:

So what's happened that I'm gaining weight again? I shall reflect in the numbered list below:
  1. A supportive community is critical to weight loss and I haven't been keeping in touch with the supportive and supporting community that came from blogging and tweeting.  Posting my progress and thoughts online and reading about others' efforts really kept me moving forward more than I thought. And supportive comments from folks I've met online were very helpful. I need to keep up with the small, personal online community if I'm going to meet my goal for the year.
  2. Summer Festivities - As I've mentioned before, I have a weakness for beer and barbecues and summer in Muskegon, Michigan is pretty much jampacked with beer and barbecues. Friends come over on a hot evening and you have beer or other cool beverages, and you put some burgers on the grill...somebody always brings chips. Or you go out to some summer festival where there's tons of ice cream with the kids and hot dogs and elephant ears and popcorn and sodapops. Folks say that summer is a great time to lose weight....I disagree. I need to cut back on the carbs again, and that means less beer more water. This is going to be hard. But it's gotta be done.
  3. Not enough exercise - It's been hot and I don't exercise when it's hot. I just don't. We don't have AC in the house, either. So we just roast and wait out the summer heat and eat ice cream and of course cold beer when the friends come over. To remedy this I may start going into my basement to exercise late at night or early in the morning. It's about 10 degrees cooler there.
I think that's it for now.

See you sometime later this week.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Woo! So you've lost weight! Slap me some extra skin, bro!

Down to 215. I'm 35 pounds lighter.

Confessional time: Here's a dirty little secret about weightloss. For a while I think I actually looked slightly LESS flattering at 35 pounds down than I did when I had lost only 25 pounds.  That's changing now that my skin tighted up, but for a while the excess skin was noticable to me.


It wasn't super prounounced, but I could see it. My skin just felt looser. Like I'd put on some sort of fat suit or something, even though I'd lost weight.
Turns out, it takes a while for your skin to shrink to match your actual size. This is a new concept for me. I know, I know. I'm a slow learner. But one of my goals here is to chronicle the process of weightloss and this is one of them. Extra skin.

Extra skin is one of the many reasons you're supposed to lose weight at the recommended 2 pounds or so per week. Cuz any faster and your skin doesn't have time to keep up with weightloss and could actually lose some of its elasticity. I may be frustrated at the slow pace of weightloss, and that I've failed to meet my goal two months in a row....but on the plus side, my skin had tightened up considerably over the past two months so I FEEL a little thinner even though I haven't really lost much.

Obviously, the bigger you are, the more loose skin you're going to have.

But the good news is that for most of us our skin is going to tighten back up over time.  Here's a great article with details about the process of your skin returning to normal. Hint: It's complicated. Eat a healthy diet, hope for a good genetic code for your skin, don't lose weight too fast. That's pretty much how it goes. Don't panic too soon, you probablly won't need surgery. Give it time. Lost of time. Like a year or two before you start to worry.

Extra skin or not, you're going to be healthier and live longer when you lose weight.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

And this is why it's bad to lose weight through diet alone

This is traditionally the point at which I'd become frustrated in diets past. And once again, I'm frustrated. I'm at 217. Still. After about a month of being at or near 217. This is what is technically known as a Weight Loss Plateau.

See...I theorized early on in my diet that I should have a diet plan that closely matches my current lifestyle so that I could maintain it for the rest of my life. I made some modest changes to my physical activity. But most of my changes were dietary. I ate fewer calories, ate more vegetables.

Here's the problem with that, though. When you lose weight through reduced calories, you lose muscle --> and when you lose muscle your metabolism slows --> and when your metabolism slows, you need fewer calories to get by.

And when you need fewer calories to get by....suddenly you find that a reduced calorie diet isn't causing weight loss anymore. Oops.

Here's what the Mayo Clinic has to say:

A plateau occurs because your metabolism — the process of burning calories for energy — slows as you lose muscle. You burn fewer calories than you did at your heavier weight even doing the same activities. Your weight-loss efforts result in a new equilibrium with your now slower metabolism.

At this new equilibrium, calories eaten equals calories expended. This means that to lose more weight, you need to increase activity or decrease the calories you eat. Using the same approach that worked initially may maintain your weight loss, but it won't lead to more weight loss.

So I've been getting up in the morning and taking long walks. Lifting weights in the basement while watching Scrubs on my Laptop via Netflix. Also...a nasty flu has given me a healthy headwind. Though we're back to the muscle loss thing.

The moral of the story: An effective weightloss regimen needs some form of muscle building or muscle maintaining exercise.

Dieatary change alone is going to lead to a hard core plateau as your body constantly slows its metabolism.

Here's some suggestions from the Mayo Clinic:

  • Reassess your habits. Look back at your food and activity records. Make sure you haven't loosened the rules, letting yourself get by with larger portions or less exercise.

  • Cut more calories. Reduce your daily calorie intake by 200 calories — provided this doesn't put you below 1,200 calories. Fewer than 1,200 calories a day may not be enough to keep you from feeling hungry all of the time, which increases your risk of overeating. In addition, this reduced calorie intake should be sustainable. If not, you'll regain the weight you've lost and more.

  • Rev up your workout. Increase the amount of time you exercise by an additional 15 to 30 minutes. You might also try increasing the intensity of your exercise, if you feel that's possible. Additional exercise will cause you to burn more calories. Consider adding resistance or muscle-building exercises. Increasing your muscle mass will help you burn more calories.

  • Pack more activity into your day. Think outside the gym. Increase your general physical activity throughout the day by walking more and using your car less, or try doing more yardwork or vigorous spring cleaning.

The next challenge is, what type of exercise would I incorporate that I'd be willing to do for the rest of my life?