Do you have what you consider to generally be a healthy diet?
I’ve been trying to clean up my eating habits a bit lately. I’ve done a pretty good job of it but sugar, and carbohydrates in general take a little more effort to reduce.
Specifically soft drinks and the occasional bakery product (cake donuts) seem to be the final sticking points. I don’t have a lot of either of those things but I have them fairly frequently meaning I’m not exactly overdoing those items but I have a hard time stopping entirely.
I’ve figured out all the basic “rules”…more fruits and vegetables, lean meat (usually skinless chicken for me), less salt and sugar and less carbohydrates.
Smaller portions eaten more frequently with less prepackaged/prepared food.
Eliminating more sugar and salt also reduces the desire to eat those foods not particularly good for you.
I’m just curious as to what kind of diet you have and whether you consider that you’d like to do better or maybe you are doing well already?
As a bit of a runner, I need an extra 4000-5000 calories per week. I definitely stray into the junk food realm from time to time, but I try to have carbs that are less processed and low GI (brown rice, sweet potatoes, etc).
And Vectrex, if the food really runs out, you can always eat 18650s. Then your food needs will be dramatically reduced.
I've had a weight problem for over 20 years now and I've been trying to lose weight doing some of the same things you are doing like cutting down on sugar (mostly soda) and fast food. It's hard as hell but I keep trying. I just wish I could get out more and exercise but it's tough since I am my father's sole caregiver.
I think the best thing that many people could do (me included) is to just give up soda.
I just saw an interesting video. Your body keeps your PH in a fairly narrow range (or you die) So much of what we eat is acidic (meat, dairy products, soda of course) and vegetables are generally alkaline.
They balance out the acidic food but if you eat little alkaline food and a lot of acid food that can’t happen. So calcium and some other minerals are converted to balance out the acid but now you are robbing your body of needed minerals. You kidneys have to work harder as well.
Soda isn’t necessary of course and giving it up would be very beneficial. I’ve gotten a good start by only drinking soda out of a juice glass (smaller glass) and by only filling it halfway but I’m still having a hard time completely giving up the caffeine. That’s my goal however. Sugar is acidic as well by the way.
I’m not overweight and do exercise in part by going to the climbing gym 3 times a week. That’s been a motivator for me to clean up my diet as well.
I think it’s interesting to learn more about the food we eat and how our body uses it. I tend to do the right thing more easily if I really understand the underlying processes.
I think for me it’s going to be more about making eating right a habit just as eating poorly can be.
I've struggled with my weight since I was a pre-teen. Processed food in general is the killer. I've really cut down on pop, now only have the occasional Coke Zero or other diet drink. Also avoid any sweetened teas. I've found that cutting out the chips with the sandwich at lunch and eating more fresh veggies and fruit, nuts and yogurt is helping me lose a few pounds. I'm not cutting out beer (that would be stupid ), but have altered consumption somewhat by cutting out the single one after work 2-3 days a week. Drinking lots of water really seems to help too. There's some very interesting nutritional research going on out there if anyone is interested:
The other side of it is exercise, which is key for me. I am very active, have been for the last 25 years, first as a runner, now a cyclist. Over the last 12 years since I started detailed tracking, I have averaged 335 hours active cardio, just riding my bike, which works out to ~6.4 hours per week. During the cycling season, May-Sep, That number goes up to 10-12 hours a week. I used to take it easy in the Winter, often taking off 2-4 weeks over the Holidays. I am a big guy and I would easily gain 5 pounds a week during that off period, then have to work all season to lose the weight gained. Last two Winters I rode straight through and avoided the usual weight gain and my average cardio per week has climbed a little to 7 hours per week over the last year. My weight has stabilized pretty much, and now during the season I'm losing actual weight, not what I put on over the winter.
I think so…I’m not really fat, just a few extra pounds around the mid-section. But since I’m generally average build with large chest, shoulders, and thighs from martial arts, some BMI nuts would say I’m over weight or possibly even obese. But BMI only takes height and weight into account, not body shape or if the weight is muscle. Someone who lifts weights a lot has a heavier body than a similar couch potato person, but the body builder is not over weight or fat.
No need to stop having the odd treat like a donut here and there, or a chocolate bar. Cutting them out means you crave them more, which causes you to compensate by eating other things in excess.
Again, don’t get crazy about “low fat”. Mother Nature made us to consume some fats in our diet. In fact, fat is required in the processing of some minerals, so you don’t want to cut it out completely. I eat juicy steaks, burgers, chicken breasts, etc. I use real butter when I want it, like on a cob of corn, regular milk not skim, and that gives me the fat content I need in my diet. I find when I eat with a bit of fat, I feel full longer and don’t need to snack.
Our bodies run on energy from glucose (sugar), so you don’t need to eliminate sugar, just monitor it so your insulin levels don’t run constantly high (leads to diebetes). If you don’t eat anything with sugar, then your body converts carbs and starch such as potatoes and bread into sugar.
Salt (sodium) is also a requirement in our diet and is needed for proper nervous system and cellular processes. Our blood plasma contains about half of the salt in our bodies, and bones have about 40%. We can process and eliminate quite a bit of excess salt normally, so basically salt isn’t such a bad thing. Just don’t get crazy with it as too much might lead to hypertension. A large portion of salt comes from processed foods, so you probably don’t need to add much salt to your diet unless you don’t eat processed foods, or if you excercise a lot. If you eat more naturally, you can add salt to taste without any major concerns. But also make sure you consume potassium which is also essential and helps regulate sodium levels in the body. Bananas, strawberries, broccoli, etc. all have potassium.
Overall, I’ve found that many nutritionists and government guidelines are simply wrong. They insist we need to eat more grains, breads, and such. But we’re made to eat animal meat, fat, and some fruits and vegetables. We’re not supposed to eat all the corn and starch based products that we have in the stores these days (corn starch, corn syrop, and many other fructose bases on labels are all corn based processed sugar, not at all natural), which are there because they’re inexpensive to make but sell at high profit prices. What you see prepackaged in the stores is to make money, not be healthy, even if they have logos for healthy choice, heart wise, blue menu, or organic.
I used to buy low fat, low sodium, and low cholestorol products. But I would get mild headaches, and feel weakened or mopey. Once I dumped that crap and started making more of my own foods (wife makes it actually!), I felt much better and my energy levels increased. B12 vitamin is essential for energy and is found naturally in red meats. Cholestorol is essential in many body processes, and in fact, we need to consume cholestorol in order to be healthy. I get full chem bloodwork done every other year, and my doctor told me my cholestorol was getting high and I needed to cut out high cholestorol foods. Once I clued into why it was high (low cholestorol diet) and starting eating more natural cholestorol sources, my cholestorol levels dropped back to healthy levels and all my levels are great now. So even doctors are wrong on WHY our bodies are out of whack.
It’s simple…many foods we eat are made for profits, not because they want us to be healthy - as long as you keep buying, they don’t care if you’re healthy or not. Eat natural like Mother Nature intended, and you’re likely to be healtier for it.
And don’t forget to excercise in some fashion. 50 years ago people worked hard and were fit because of it. Today people sit at a desk and watch TV or play video games after dinner. So it’s expected that today people get less excercise. I don’t “work out” specifically, but I’m into geocaching, walking, hiking, martial arts, etc., so I get enough excercise to stay fit.
YMMV and I’m not an MD. This is for general guidance only.
I mean really, you only need protein and fat to survive, carbs just help with energy. Because fat can be used for energy just takes longer to release.
My brother is a semiserious college bodybuilder, he’s 21 but there’s only one guy bigger than him in the gym. He doesn’t use roids either. But being a bodybuilder, he has to bulk up then slim down. Starting in fall, he’ll weigh around 210 this fall, he’ll bulk up to around 235. That’s due to not wanting to get to little nutrition for the muscle so you have more than you think you need. And then starting in spring he’ll go down 15 or 20 pounds. He does this by carb cycling.
Carb cycling is great because you can still eat A TON on one day of the week. Make sure to google it and develop a plan, but heres the gist of it. 6 days a week you get low carbs as in less than 100, preferably 50. Then on one day, usually like Saturday or Sunday, you kickstart your metabolism by eating a ton of carbs. And by a ton I mean this. We go over to my dad’s house to visit(divorced). We’ll have lunch usually but we’ll eat 4000-5000 calories during just that lunch. This usually consists of each: 15 tyson chicken nuggets w/ ketchup, around 3 cups of fries, 1/4 bag of family size Cheetos(these are great for carbs, they are made out of corn for cripes sake), 1 quart of ice cream. This is necessary because of this. Carbs are generally fuel for energy, so when you get less than you need for your daily energy, your body goes into a sort of starvation mode, where it stops burning as many calories. So you have to trick your body into thinking your getting alot of carbs for the next week by having this “cheat day” where you eat alot of carbs mainly. It’s kind of like intervals on the cardio equipment. The reason this works is because fat can be used for energy also, so if your body isnt getting enough energy for the day from carbs, it starts burning fat. But to keep your body from going into the starvation mode and burning less calories, you have a cheat day.
He usually looses weight pretty fast with this, around .5 lbs a day. But he is a weightlifter, so he needs more nutrition than a office worker. And he still gets 200g of protein on low carbs days. This should work on everyone too. I can’t really do it because I’m still living with my mom at 15(yay, birthday yesterday) and she doesnt have alot of money, so she can’t afford to buy a bunch of beef(which my brother uses on the low carb days) being it’s around $3 a pound where i live. He usually gets 80/20 because of the cost but when 90/10 is on sale he buys a bunch and freezes it. Make sure to drain the beef after you cook it. Then just sprinkle a little bit of salt on it and it tastes AMAZING, we usually just brown it like taco meat, not crisp it. Then of course just have a glass of water with it. And make sure to get enough water everyday. And at least 7 or 8 hours of sleep, sleep actually can make you lose fat if you haven’t been sleeping enough.
IF YOU DON’T LIKE WATER: I just don’t like water all day, so what I do is I buy those sugar free crystal lite style water flavorers. Try to get grape or cherry, or orange. Because the lemonade is acidic and after a have a gallon of that I usually get some acid reflux. You can get it at walmart cheaper, around $2 per 6 2 quart packs. but I live alot closer to picknsave so we have it here for 3.50 or when it’s on sale for 2.50 to 3 bucks. so, it’s costing you like 60 cents per 2 quart pitcher. If I ever just feel hungry for a snack during the day, I’ll just keep the pitcher next to me and keep drinking it. I find that I don’t actually get hungry from not giving into my cravings, but that I was actually thirsty.
To sum it up:
Carb cycling to lose weight
when hungry, just drink the sugarfree juice
Beef is great for low carbs
Edit: Just realized you didn’t specifically say you wanted to lose weight, just assumed it.
Edit2: To be healthy, it’s really about activity, as long as you don’t eat too much all the time, and you don’t eat only bacon and eggs all for your meals, you’re gonna be alot healthier than the rest of america. I myself don’t see how people can get 300+ pounds when they are less than 7 foot, I would be disgusted with myself.
I have a naturally fast metabolism and a physically demanding job. Other than that, a little regular cardio, like hiking and some light weight lifting keeps me fit. Also, I think that a major key to keeping from getting fat is simply eating until you are not hungry, instead of eating until you’re “full”. As an American, I have a ton of obese friends (pun intended). When we go out to eat, they usually eat twice what I eat. Most have desk jobs and complain that they are too tired to go to the gym. The thing about weight loss is that when you start, it SUCKS BAD! You are sore from even easy workouts and you feel like you’re starving. The GREAT thing about the body is that you will adapt and after a while you can do a hard workout, eat a smaller, healthy meal and feel great. It just takes time and DEDICATION.
To be honest, I like that it’s hard to stay in shape. If it was easy, everyone would do it.
I think, for me, it’s not as much diet as lack of physical activity. I used to walk 4-5 hours a day/night. Now my knees are going bad (probably from all that walking ) and since the stroke, I don’t exercise. With the guard job, I sit all night long, as I can’t leave the shack, so no exercise there, except opening up a junk food snack. LOL, my diet is not balanced. I drink 3 cokes a day and consume another 1,000+ calories of cheap junk food snacks and just sit all the time. I never used to be inactive, always working or walking. I think the inactivity is the biggest factor, with diet being second. It never mattered what I ate, when I was active. I was always thin then.
I’m not overweight by the way. I’m 6’1” and 183 lbs.
It’s more about eating a healthy diet for me. I’m not about trying to fight cravings with total discipline. I’ll eat whatever I’m craving (after a few days of discipline) and usually I won’t crave it as much after that.
It’s true that we need sugar, salt, fat but we get enough of that without trying so it’s still true that most people need to greatly reduce those things.
Also, even though the body is set up to adjust to (for example) too much salt it’s still harder on the body by forcing it to work harder to get rid of that excess.
If you’re maintaining a healthy weight, it doesn’t hurt to listen to your body every once in a while. Not all eating is about calories . . vitamins, mineral/chemical needs, and even bacteria (ick) are all natural parts of digestion.
I say go ahead and continue to take the longer view and enjoy some of your cravings while monitoring trends.
We as a family are failing a little, two small kiddies, my busy season and toni pretty house bound till September (maternity leave) mean we’re off our regular diet.
I’m not so bad as my job is pretty active - carting heavy tool totes, up and down ladders, some lifting etc. I found taking pasta for dinners helped a lot, best if I make something myself, but since toni does not do pasta, cous cous or rice it can be wasteful.
Before having the two babies, we’d buy all our meat at the butchers, all our veg at the market, home cooked decent meals at night. It was our routine. With the babies, we’re eating more convenience food/take aways which is not to good, plus we’re British, a night does not work unless we have a few pints of ale and a bottle of wine for toni.
I’m sure that once Luke is a bit bigger and less demanding, we’ll revert back to our old diet, we’re foodies, and love home cooked meals with decent ingredients, the difference doing a stir fry with super market meat or butchers meat is shocking, the butchers stuff cooks nice, the supermarket stuff, you have to pour off all the water/fat/crap half way through cooking.
For me, decent ingredients cooked properly and a reasonable amount of activity (preferably work based, I will not go to a gym to be bored senseless) is the key, its worked for thousands of years, why should it not work now?