Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Eating Tips

This year, a bunch of people have asked me for eating tips. This is because I went from 220+ pounds to 185 pounds in a couple of months. I didn't mean to lose that much weight--I just wanted to come up with an eating schedule that would save me money in graduate school.

I recently posted the following at 43things. I hope it will be helpful to someone. I shared these tips with a few people I know, and I found out that they recently lost a bunch of weight as well. I don't think there's anything unique about this. The basic idea is to eat smart. Just think about what you're eating, why you are eating it, and what you think it is going to do for you.
It's all about eating more often (you should never be hungry) and eating smart. I never expected to lose weight; I just wanted to get on an eating schedule to save money while in grad school. After a couple of months, I found myself almost 40 pounds lighter.

Some general rules:

* Cut out soda

* Cut out high-fructose corn syrup.

* Cut out PROCESSED sugars (fruits and veggies are fine; flavored juices are not)

* Frozen fruits are fine -- they'll keep better anyway; microwave them if you can't stand them being cold and hard.

* Cut out orange juice; try tomato juice and grapefruit juice instead (grapefruit juice will make you feel fuller longer)

* Cut out salad dressings except for vinigrettes (vinegars and grapefruit juices have a similar beneficial effect on keeping you full and lean)

* Avoid bread unless it is made with whole grains. The worst part of a McDonald's cheeseburger is the bun. Read the ingredients on most bread -- it is nearly impossible to find a bread without high fructose corn syrup on it. There are simply too many empty calories in most breads (an "empty calorie" is a calorie that does not make your stomach feel full because your body has not been adapted to process it; this is much of what's wrong with high fructose corn syrup).

* Consider quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah") as an alternative to rice. Lots of protein. Plus it's LEAFY (rather than grassy) so it has amino acids in it.

* Nuts (especially almonds) are wonderful. High protein. High fiber. Vegetable fats. However, each day try not to eat more than an Altoids-tin full of almonds and a tablespoon (or 2 MAYBE) of peanut butter. That's all you need.

* *NATURAL* peanut butters are wonderful. Unnatural ones are awful. Look at the ingredient list. Generic Meijer peanut butter is JUST peanuts and is CHEAP. This is ideal.

* Ground flaxseed is wonderful. Add it to everything. Omega-3's and all the benefits of nuts.

* Proteins stay in the stomach longer and so keep you fuller longer and keep your meals small. Fish stays in the stomach the longest, but you shouldn't eat more than 3 servings of fish a week because of all of the heavy metals found in fish.

* Soluable fibers stay in the stomach longer and, as an added bonus, pull cholesterol out of the blood. Insoluable fibers are also filling and keep you regular. RAMP UP fiber intake though--natural selection needs to act on your GI cultures so that you are setup to process all of that fiber. This can take up to two weeks if you aren't used to that much fiber.

* The longer things stay in the stomach, the more calories you burn digesting them. You actually work out your body by eating proteins.

* The colder things are in the stomach, the more calories you burn processing them.

* The heavier your food utensils are, the fuller you'll feel.

* GREEN TEA is wonderful. If you didn't like one green tea you tried, try another type. There are as many varieties of green tea as there are of black tea. Don't group them all together. Try taking green tea supplements. Try to drink multiple cups of tea a day (maybe 4 or 5).

* MAKE YOUR LUNCHES IN THE MORNING: This forces you to eat them rather than going out. Plus, the additional activity in the morning wakes you up and increases your calorie burn.

* Increase physical activity: take the steps, walk, hold your arms at a right angle when carrying groceries rather than letting your arms hang, be as inefficient as possible in your locomotion, add instability to your locomotion, do chair lifts, do pushups in the morning (one set of 30 is a good goal)

* TAKE LOTS OF VITAMIN D. There are some weight/health benefits of dairy, but they come with increased cancer risk (because human beings are only marginally well adapted for cow's milk). Vitamin D has so many benefits and everyone needs more of it. Among those benefits, it will reduce the cancer risk of dairy intake. I take 1000 IU's 3 times a day, plus I try to spend at least 15 minutes in the sunlight. You probably don't want more than 15,0000-20,000 IU, but that's hard to do.

* MEN: Get lots of blueberries and lycopene. Lycopene is in most red fruits and vegetables, so focus on red fruits and vegetables (watermelon, TOMATOES, etc.).

* Cinnamon can be added to most everything, and it probably should be. It has lots of benefits. Among those, it will decrease diabetes risk.

* SPICEY THINGS increase meatabolic activity. Make your food spicey. Remember that vinegar is a great thing to have in the diet, so try hot sauces that use vinegar.

* EAT WHEN HUNGRY. It's okay to eat often. Eat things that stay in your stomach longer (add grapefruit juice or vinegar before the meal to help increase this time). Just try to eat smart when you eat. Eat until full and STOP. Make sure you're actually hungry. Very often you're THIRSTY, so keep a bottle of watter nearby. **TEA** (like green tea) will do wonders in keeping you feeling full.

* COFFEE can be great (caffeine isn't necessarily bad). However, be sure you don't add much to it. Also consider skim milk options if you must have milk. Don't drink as much coffee as tea, but don't be afraid of coffee. It's much better than pop.

Some meal ideas from my schedule:

* Breakfast: **POST** Raisin Bran (Post's has no high-fructose corn syrup and has 8g of fiber, 4g soluable and 4g insoluable) with 2g ground flaxseed added. I also add frozen strawberries, cherries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries as well as 25g of protein powder (and as of recently 1 heaping tsp of fiber sure, which gives 5g of soluable fiber)

* Between Breakfast and Lunch 1: 1 fiber choice chewable tablet (2g soluable fiber) (this is recent; I don't like the sugar content of these though)

* Lunch 1 (around noon): Slim-Rite Ultimate (Kroger version of Slim-Fast Optima; Target has a cheaper version that is just as good) shake and a red delicious (produce #4015) apple (lots of soluable fiber in the apple keeps you full; if you need more, try a #4016 apple).

* Between Lunch 1 and Lunch 2: 1 fiber choice chewable tablet (2g soluable fiber) (this is recent; I don't like the sugar content of these though)

* Lunch 2 (around 3pm): 1 cup of Dannon Light and Fit yogurt (any flavor) mixed with 2g ground flaxseed and initially frozen (they melt during the day in the refrigerator) strawberries, cherries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. I also add a handful of almonds. Recently I've added 1 heaping tsp of fiber sure as well.

* Dinner (around 6pm): Something hearty. Good protein. Lots of vegetables. Try to get 3 servings of fish per week.

I haven't figured out how to work exercise into my schedule yet. Optimally, exercise is great for the body. However, if you can just EAT better, you'll do wonders for yourself. (I don't mention it here, but I also focus on healthy nutrients that have nothing to do with weight loss directly--you should find out what nutrients are best for you and adust your own diet accordingly)


Anonymous said...

hi,i think that what you wrotte is great i had a baby 2 years ago and before i became pregnant i was 130 lbs and im 5'3 so i looked great,i never had issues with weight or anything but when i got pregnant i gained 75 pounds and i lost 30 after giving birth but gained it back after i stopped breast feeding,and now im so sad that im stuck at 200 pounds i have never been this fat and my family isnt eather,so i dont know what to do anymore,sometimes i get so drepressed because i dont know what to do...can you help me..thanks

Ted Pavlic said...

Just give some of the tips above a try. Even if you don't lose weight, I think you'll be eating healthier.

Healthy eating *should* bring you back to your body's proper equilibrium. Just have patience, don't weigh yourself, and keep calm.

Best wishes.

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