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Posts Tagged ‘weight loss’

We just came back from a trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands (I know, poor us).  While we made both our breakfasts and lunches on the trips, we splurged on dinners and I splurged on calorie-dense tropical drinks (I choose the lowest-sugar ones I could).

We got home late, thanks to both of our planes being delayed, but thankfully I’d taken the next day off, which allowed me to do the most important part of coming back from a vacation and getting back on track with healthy eating: Go to the grocery store ASAP.

When we got home, the fridge was practically empty, and the next morning was a scrounge to find food, but right after breakfast, I headed-out to all of the stores.

Why is this so important?

It’s too easy, after a trip like this, to continue to eat out because it’s what you’ve been doing the last week or so and there’s no food in the house. This, I believe, adds to the weight gain of vacations. The quickest way to break this is to get healthy food stocked back up in your house ASAP. It took me 3 hours, but the photo shows our fridge now, well-stocked with healthy food options. And, we’re back on track.

So the next time you plan your vacation, also plan a half day to hit the stores and stock back up. Your weight and your blood sugar will thank you.

 

Our fridge stocked with lots of fruit and vegetables, lean dairy, and good protein options, including eggs, deli turkey, and tofu. In the giant green bowl is my chopped veggies for snacking.

Our fridge stocked with lots of fruit and vegetables, lean dairy, and good protein options, including eggs, deli turkey, and tofu. In the giant green bowl is my chopped veggies for snacking.

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Check out this Lifehacker article, What I learned from weighing myself 15 times in a day. Not only is it fascinating, but it’s funny too (come on, you know you laughed at the poop thing).

And it’s a good reminder not to stress about a few pounds, particularly if you are female, as you can fluctuate a lot during any given day.

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A Clean Eating magazine opened to a page with a dog's leg in the middle of it.

My boyfriend’s dog doesn’t think much of the magazine either.

For some points program, I was given a year’s worth (which I think it 10 issues) of Clean Eating Magazine. Constantly on the hunt for good recipes that are low in processed foods, I thought this would be a good fit. But, the magazine has so many flaws in it it’s honestly not worth reading it.

Some of my comments are below (note: I received a couple of issues at once, so I was able to really assess the magazine over a sample of more than one):

  • June 2015 issue, according to Alicia Rewega, Editor-in-Chief (page 5), is supposed to be easy issue, “so everything inside is simple to make with just a few quick steps…”  But when I actually looked at the recipes, most had 12-20 ingredients. I’m sure they are easy enough to measure out, but anything with that many ingredients isn’t “easy and simple to make” to me.
  • Clean Eating, although not always, is usually tied to fitness/bodybuilding. But the recipes in the magazine are very low protein, many with only 8-12 grams of protein per serving. This seems like audience confusion to me.
  • Pay 74-75 of the June 2015 issue has a weeklong meal plan, but it’s incredibly unrealistic. For example, Wednesday’s breakfast is 2 Dark Chocolate Cherry Hazelnut Energy Balls and 1 hard-boiled egg.  The Energy Balls are 151 calories for 2, and a hard-boiled egg is 70 calories. So breakfast is 221 calories. Um, seriously?  That’s not enough energy! You’d be starving in an hour!
  • It’s really hard to distinguish what is an advertisement and what is an actual article. There’s a very tiny “ADVERTISEMENT” note in light gray on the corner. This bugs me since this is my profession and making a clear distinction is really important from an ethical perspective.
  • In the May 2015 issue (page 21) asks the dietitians the best time to take vitamins. These dietitians clearly aren’t “up” on their research. Maybe they should read The Atlantic’s The Vitamin Myth: Why We Think We Need Supplements.
  • In the May 2015 issue (page 17 “Traffic Signals for Food” and page 25 “Run to Stay Young”), they report on studies with VERY low numbers of participants (30 participants? Are you kidding me?), which is an inherent flaw in nutrition and health research design and shows very little concern for quality science reporting. The staff should really read I Fooled Millions into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss. Here’s How. and then hire an actual science reporter before publishing studies.

I could point out more, but I think that’s enough to prove what I mean. This magazine has some serious flaws and I definitely don’t recommend it.

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If you haven’t read this article yet, I highly recommend you do. It really shows how much of our nutrition science is totally false and skewed. It also shows the laziness of a lot of health reporters/editors, who we rely on for accurate information.

I Fooled Millions Into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss. Here’s How.

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A fashion model walks a catwalk in Paris

“Raquel Z -Stella McCartney” by fervent-adepte-de-la-mode is licensed under CC BY 2.0

France took a step in the healthy weight direction this month by banning fashion models under 18 BMI. But does that go far enough? Nope.

Most of my readers know me personally, but for those of you that don’t, I currently am a size 0-2 and have 16.8% body fat, which is considered extremely lean. I’m often told I’m almost too skinny and have often been compared to a fashion model body. I don’t say this to brag, but to give some background. So, I used an online Body Mass Index calculator to see how much weight I’d have to lose before I’d be “too thin” under France’s new law.

17 lbs

Seriously? I can’t even imagine how horrifically thin I’d be at that weight.

Then I decided to have fun with some celebrities whom I consider to have amazing bodies. To be under an 18 BMI:

  • Drew Barrymore would have to lose 18 lbs
  • Natalie Portman would have to lost 10 lbs
  • Brooke Shields would have to lose 22 lbs

I doubt anyone would encourage these women to get to these sizes. The general public, for sure, would find them a lot less appealing and probably try to sign them up for treatment.

So, while I applaud France doing something, they still didn’t do enough.

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A table full of storage containers with portioned food in them.

Click on the photo to see the source.

 

Lifehacker Vitals posted a blog post about Exercise vs. Diet: Which is more important to weight loss. It was a really informative article, but also introduced me to the idea of “kitchen training.” I spend 6 hours a week in the gym training, but I’ve never thought of the time I spend preparing healthy meals in my kitchen as “training.”

So I started devoting a chunk of time each week to it and I’m surprised at not only how much it helps, but also how much I’m able to prepare in an hour or so a week! There are a lot of things, like baking chicken and cutting it up, where about 20 minutes worth of the activity is passive, meaning you can use that time to do other things. That’s where you see the real time savings.

That got me thinking, how much time does it really take to do some basic things in the kitchen that would mean healthier eating and money savings?  Check out some of my findings below and do some timing of your own!

 

Making espresso and milk at home

Active time: 1 minute to load the coffee in my brewer

Passive time (brewing on the stove): 6 minutes

Total time per week: About 14 minutes since my espresso makes multiple shots per brew

Coffee and milk supplies from the store for a month: $12

Starbucks latte 5 x per week for a month: $80

 

Making salads at home for lunch

Active time: Preparing chicken for baking: 10 minutes once per week to prepare the chicken and cut it afterwards, portions into the freezer, wash the pans used, etc.

Passive time (baking): 20 minutes once per week. I use this time to chop the cabbage and other ingredients I add to the salad.

Daily active time to put the salads together: 2 minutes

Salad and (including chicken) supplies for a month: $40

Daily salad from Salata with extra chicken, 5 x per week for a month: $220, not to mention the time saved going to Salata to get the salads.

 

Unloading the dishwasher

2 minutes and yet I never do this! I can totally spare 2 minutes once per week.

 

Washing dishes

I had tons of dishes including pots and pans to wash the other day. It took 12 minutes. Typically it takes me 5 minutes or less.

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Me, “I need 4 oz of chicken in each salad to get my protein…how the hell am I going to ballpark 4 oz of cubed chicken? (long frustrated problem-solving pause) Oh wait! I bought a food scale a while back!” (pulls out scale, zeros it with plastic container on it, and perfectly portions 4 oz of chicken into containers.)

I bought this one in case you are curious: Weigh Masters ProChef Kitchen Scale

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