Archive for Food

Lose Weight By Eating at Home

The average fast food meal contains many hundreds of calories more than a comparable meal that you prepare at home.  In short, fast food meals are generally not healthy.

After a busy day at work, it’s difficult to rush to the store to buy healthy, fresh ingredients, and then rush home and spend 45 minutes in the kitchen preparing a healthy meal.  So we often take the easy way out and buy hamburgers or fried chicken or pizza that may not be the healthiest alternative.

To lose weight, you should avoid fast food and eat at home.  But where do you find the time?  Here’s how:

First, start by planning your meals in advance.  Every weekend pull out your calendar and look at your schedule: what days will you be home early, and on what days will you be working late.  It’s the late days that take the most planning.

Then, on the weekend, when you have time, do your shopping and then pre-prepare as many meals as possible for the week.  You can make a double batch of lasagna (with healthy ingredients) and freeze it or refrigerate it for use later in the week.

Focus on quick and healthy meals.  It’s not hard to barbecue a chicken breast and make a salad.  Pasta can be prepared quickly if you have the ingredients ready.  Plan ahead.

For fresh vegetables, stop by your local grocer on the way home.  If you have your meal plan, you know that today all you need to buy is fresh broccoli, or beans, or lettuce, or whatever you are cooking tonight.  If you know exactly what you want to purchase, it’s a quick trip.

As an added bonus, planning ahead and cooking at home can save you a lot of money, while you reach your weight loss goals.

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Thanksgiving and Weight Loss

Today is the Thanksgiving Day holiday in Canada.  The American Thanksgiving holiday happens in November.  What do we do to celebrate?  We eat.  We eat turkey, and mashed potatoes, and stuffing, and gravy and pie.  And we eat a lot.  What can you do to lose weight during a holiday?

The short answer is: not much.  A holiday is not the time to be trying to lose weight.  Take the day off from your diet and enjoy the food.  Losing weight should not be your goal.  Your goal should be to not gain weight.  Here are two tips:

First, skip a meal.  If you know you will be having a huge dinner, sleep in, have a late breakfast, and just have a small healthy snack instead of lunch.  You may eat more calories at supper, but if you have virtually no calories at lunch, the total number of calories you consumed for the day may still be reasonable.

Second, get some exercise.  Go for a walk.  The advantage of exercise is it helps burn calories, and while you are walking you probably won’t be eating, so it’s a win-win.  Take the entire family for a walk.  It will be fun for everyone, it will help with your weight, and it will build your appetite for the evening meal, which for today, enjoy it.  You can get back to your healthy eating tomorrow.

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The Secret to Weight Loss

It’s been a while since I posted on this blog, but today I had to share the most obvious tip there is when it comes to weight loss, and the only method known to man to guarantee that you lose weight: eat less.

Yes, I know that is an obvious statement, but think about it.  You can go on a fancy diet, like the Atkins Diet or the South Beach Diet, and you can exercise like crazy, and you will lose weight.  That’s great, but the simpler method is to eat less.

I like to eat pizza.  Every weekend we have pizza.  I like to eat 5 slices of pizza.  How can I lose weight?  Only eat 4 slices of pizza.  Simple.  I’m eating less.

For breakfast I like to have a bowl of cereal and two pieces of toast.  If I have a slightly smaller bowl of cereal and only one piece of toast, I will still feel full, but I’m eating less, so all else being equal I will lose weight.

But wait, you say: If I’m eating less, won’t I be hungry? At the start, yes, you might be hungry.  Your body is used to eating 5 slices of pizza, so if it only gets 4, it may think it’s hungry.  Here’s the amazing part: you will adjust.  Your body will adjust.  It will get used to 4 slices instead of 5, and after a week or two you won’t feel hungry at all.

The best way to quit smoking is to gradually reduce your cigarrette consumption.   If you smoke 20 a day now, drop down to 19 each day for the next week, then 18, and so on.  It works the same with food.  Very gradually reduce your portion sizes, and before long you will be eating less, and you won’t even know it.  Try it, you’ll see.  Eating less really works.

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Weight Loss Plan on Track

Well, I have now finished the first week of My Weight Loss Plan. How did I do?

Quite well, actually, thanks for asking.

I started the week at 198 pounds, and today I weighed in at 194.5 pounds, for a loss of 3.5 pounds on the week. I of course realize that some of that loss is water weight, but I’m happy; I wanted to lose weight, and that’s what I did.

How did I do it?

First, I gave up carbs for breakfast. Every morning I ate eggs (you can read my egg post for more details). For lunch and dinner I ate a lot of vegetables and chicken and salads. There are lots of things you can do with those foods, so it wasn’t boring at all.

Precor 9.33 treadmill

Second, I did a moderate amount of exercise. During the week I went for one 30 minute walk, I did one cardio session (30 minutes of walking and jogging on my Precor 9.33 treadmill). I also did two twenty minute weight training sessions.

Why only 20 minutes each? Because I knew, since I’m just getting back into it, my muscles would be tired and would need time to recover, so I didn’t want to over do it.

Also, one problem with exercise is that it makes you hungry, so I wanted to exercise enough to get the benefit of exercise, but not so much I just had to eat more to satisfy my hunger. (I’m using the Turbulence Training concepts discussed here earlier).

Week one was a success, let’s see how we do in Week #2.

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Eggs, Diet, and Weight Loss

Yesterday I talked about my plan to lose weight, and I said that as part of My Weight Loss Plan I am going to eat eggs. Here’s what I mean:

To lose weight, I want to keep my carbohydrate intake low, and focus only on good carbs. Therefore, during the week, I’m going to skip having cereal for breakfast, which is high in carbs and sugar, and replace cereal with eggs, which are high in protein.

Today for breakfast I took one whole egg, and three egg whites. (I buy the egg whites separately; it’s easy, and I’m not wasting the egg yolks. I like one whole egg for flavor, and the egg whites for volume with fewer calories.) Today I chopped up some fresh spinach, some feta cheese, and some black olives.

I mixed the egg and egg whites, poured them into a frying pan coated with olive oil, and made an omelette. Once cooked enough to allow for flipping, I flip in over and dump on the spinach, cheese and black olives. I fold it over, and put the pan to the side of the stove for one minute (I don’t want the eggs to cook so much they get rubbery, but I want the spinach limp and the cheese somewhat melted).

Then it’s put it on a plate and eat.

How hard is this? It’s easy, because I do most of the preparation the night before. I chop the spinach, feta cheese, and black olives and put them in a Ziploc container, so in the morning all I need to do is dump them on.

One word of caution: I find that with this diet I need to nd drink lots of water to counter balance the salt in the olives and the cheese, and to keep me regular.

Tomorrow, some thoughts on exercise.

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Weight Loss Program Tip 5 – Eat Low Density Foods

One of the greatest secrets of success in every weight loss program is to fill up on low density foods. A low density food is a food that has fewer calories in every bite.

For example, a piece of cake is loaded with dozens of calories in every bite. A vegetable has relatively few calories. You would need to munch on a lot of carrots, or beans, or broccoli to get the same number of calories as you would find in a small piece of cake.

Eating low density foods works as a weight loss technique because if we eat a vast quantity of food we can trick our brains into thinking we are full. A big heaping salad looks filling, even though it contains few calories.

So start your meal with a soup or salad. Drink lots of water or tea (without sugar). And eat lots of vegetables to fill up and jump start your weight loss program.

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Weight Loss Program Tip 3 – Avoid Junk Food

This tip is a no-brainer. Every single book about how to lose weight will tell you the same thing: avoid junk food.

Soft drinks are nothing buy sugar and water. They provide no nutritional benefit, but are loaded with calories. Fast foods like fries and hamburgers and milkshakes are the same: lots of calories, no nutritional value.

Instead of drinking soft drinks, drink water or tea. Instead of getting a burger and fries, order a sandwich. For more information, read about weight loss and Wendy’s.

And remember, you can bring a snack of carrots or beans to work; you don’t need fries and a soft drink!

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Baked Beans – it’s the sugar that makes them taste good

Beans are great. They are full of fiber, which makes you feel full faster, and maintains a more constant blood sugar level, all of which promotes weight loss.

Unfortunately, baked beans are served in a sugar sauce, and that’s bad. You eat the beans, the sugar hits your system first, and it’s game over.

Stick with plain red kidney beans, and throw some hot sauce on them for extra flavour.

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Yogurt

Have you ever eaten a salad and felt unsatisfied because you didn’t get to crunch anything? Croutons don’t have a lot of calories, and they add a satisfying crunch to your salad.

However, croutons are really just toasted bread, and are often devoid of anything nutritious.

Instead, try slicing up some roasted almonds, or put some pine nuts in your salad. That will give you a crunch, and provide some nutrition as well.

Tomorrow: yogurt

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Croutons – small but deadly?

Have you ever eaten a salad and felt unsatisfied because you didn’t get to crunch anything? Croutons don’t have a lot of calories, and they add a satisfying crunch to your salad.  And eating salad  is a great step towards your weight loss goals.

However, croutons are really just toasted bread, and are often devoid of anything nutritious.

Instead, try slicing up some roasted almonds, or put some pine nuts in your salad. That will give you a crunch, and provide some nutrition as well.

Tomorrow: yogurt

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