Tag Archives: diet

Down 14 pounds: There might actually be something to this whole “don’t eat wheat” fad

So I lost 14 pounds in 8 weeks recently.

That’s very close to 2 pounds each week, which is a good healthy amount of weight to lose, if that’s what you’re going for.

Here is my entire year’s worth of Monday morning weigh-ins.  Click to see the full resolution image.  You can see that I went down and then up and then down again this year.  I hope to be more stable than that in 2016.  And I think I might know how.

kurts-weight-2015

The yellow highlighted section is the 8 week time period where I lost those 14 pounds.  You can see that it was very nearly a straight diagonal line for the entire 8 weeks, as opposed to a whole bunch of water weight loss at the beginning with less loss at the end.

So what was my secret for this weight loss?

Well, at least part of it was due to me not eating anything with wheat in it.  And I also tried my hardest to avoid added or processed sugar.

Here is the whole story with some excruciating details if you have some time to kill.

Scale

Not a diet

Back in September, a person that I look up to told me about his “strange” eating habits and he also told me exactly why he took up those habits.  He said that if I tried these habits the fat would just melt off me.

He was not proposing a diet.  He was proposing a different manner of eating.  No calorie counting.  No exercising.  Just five simple rules.  Five things to avoid … avoid like the plague.

At the time I was skeptical.  But not anymore.  There really is something to this.

The rules

The rules are actually pretty simple to remember … but aren’t always super simple to practice in this day and age:

  • don’t eat wheat
  • don’t eat flour
  • don’t eat rice
  • don’t eat corn
  • don’t eat sugar unless it’s naturally occurring, like in fruits

rules

Wheat and other grains

So you may have noticed the huge popularity of the gluten free movement recently.  Most of the gluten free camp believes that genetically modified wheat is basically slowly poisoning us all.  They claim that our digestive system doesn’t fully process this wheat.  They claim that it is a pro-inflammatory agent to our body’s cells.  And they attribute all manner of diseases and sicknesses to the wheat and gluten in our supposedly natural and supposedly healthy diets.  Most wheat haters also dislike barley, oats, and rye for all the same reasons.

wheat

Flour

Most flours are made from wheat, but they contain very little nutritional value … even after being enriched with vitamins and minerals.  So the people who are against wheat are even more aggressive in their hatred of flour.

flour

Rice

Although rice is not claimed to be as bad for us as wheat and the other grains, it is suggested by all manner of nutritionists to try and minimize it in your diet.  Rice … especially white rice … has very little nutritional value so filling up on it is not really going to be very good for your overall nutritional well being.

rice

Corn

Most people think corn is a vegetable, but it’s actually a grain.  And yes, grains are bad for us as I explained earlier.  The corn we eat today is highly genetically modified, just like the wheat.  And our bodies aren’t super great at processing corn either.  And everybody already knows about the high starch and sugar issue with corn.

corn

Sugar

Well, sugar has always been the enemy, so that’s a no brainer.  Naturally occurring sugar is probably not going to hurt us too much.  But the problem is that we eat the non-naturally-occurring kind of sugar.  The processed crystals that we add to almost everything.  We eat a lot of processed sugar.

And we drink a lot of it too.  If you are addicted to sugary drinks, please please please try to wean yourself off of them.  It won’t be easy.  It won’t be quick.  It’s a full blown addiction.  You will get headaches.  You will crave them.  You will go into withdrawals.  But if you drink one 12 ounce soda each day, you are increasing your risk of diabetes by about 25%.  If you drink only one soda per week, I will not nag you about it.  But if you drink several or more per week, then you are very likely causing your body harm.

Many sugar haters go as far as to say that processed sugar either causes cancer or feeds it.  Whether that turns out to be the case or not, you have to agree that naturally occurring sugar is probably better for your body than artificially created and processed versions.  Right?

sugar

No, no, no?  So what CAN I actually eat?

Basically grain is the enemy.  Well, grain and sugar.  If you strictly cut off grains and added or processed sugar items from your menu, you will lose weight.  Even without exercise.

Fat is NOT the enemy, so don’t worry about fat free or low fat foods.  Calories are not even the enemy.  There is absolutely no need to count calories.  Just eat a reasonable portion and then eat again when you get hungry again.  Don’t eat just because it’s time to eat.  Eat because you are hungry.  That’s good advise for anyone.  Not just people who are trying to lose weight.

Eat all kinds of oils and fats without worry.  Eat all manner of meats (red, poultry, pork, fish, shellfish), eggs, vegetables (fresh or frozen), leafy greens, fruits, nuts, seeds, berries, beans, legumes, oils (olive, coconut, avocado), butter, almond butter, honey, mushrooms, dairy, toppings, condiments, etc.

This plan is in the same vein as the “hunter/gatherer” diets that are popular, like the Paleo Diet, but not nearly as strict.  For example, there is no restriction on dairy like in the strict Paleo Diet.

hunter

Suggestions

I get it.  It’s hard to avoid breads and chips.  Those things are everywhere!

I ate a lot of meat and cheese and mushroom omelette and scrambled egg dishes for breakfast during the 8 weeks that I was being strict and trying to lose some weight.  But fruit smoothies are also a good idea or a nice change from the eggs.  Flour-free banana pancakes are difficult to make without burning them, but they are a super tasty treat.

Here are a handful of lunch and dinner ideas.  Taco salad without the chips.  Any type of salad with meat on top.  Avocados on top of just about anything … salad, meat and cheese, etc.  Baked or grilled fish fillet with spices or blackened.  Marinated chicken breast or pork chops or steak with toppings such as mushrooms, peppers, onions, avocados, cheese, sun dried tomato, etc.  Cook any meat in wine.  Add jerk or blackened spices to any meat.  Soups.  Dips without the chips.  Zucchini with lemon juice and spices.  Polish sausage or brats with sauerkraut.  Eat any manner of sandwich wraps and soft tacos, but eat them with a knife and fork and leave the tortilla shell behind.  If you want a juicy burger, load it up with toppings and condiments and eat it with a fork and knife and leave the bun behind.

Now what?

Since I lost the weight that I wanted to lose and I’m now at what I believe to be my ideal weight, I’m adding in occasional suger and occasional wheat and other grains.  But I will try to minimize my sugar intake and my wheat intake with the hope that I will maintain this weight over the long term.

I will provide an update to this post when the jury has reached a verdict on the long term viability of this plan.

Thanks for reading this article and thanks for your interest.

Kurt

How I lost 20 pounds in 7 weeks simply by making healthy choices

Ideas From The Crowd

crowdsourcing

A few months ago I came to the realization that I was 20 pounds overweight and needed to do something about it.  I asked my Facebook friends for suggestions and got some really good ideas:

  • P90X
  • Wii Gold’s Gym
  • Hollywood Fast
  • Hollywood Cookie Diet
  • Cut out all junk food & sugar
  • Replace simple carbs with complex carbs
  • Eat right & exercise (no fad diets)
  • Cut portions in half
  • Avoid artificial sweeteners
  • Avoid processed foods

… and I also received a few not so great ideas:

  • NASA high tech fat sucking machine (Thanks, Mick)
  • Get a tapeworm (Thanks, Joe)
  • Cocaine habit (Thanks, Norm)

I thought about these options and did some online research.  I wasn’t wanting to spend a lot of money and I really didn’t want another fad diet.  I wanted to change my unhealthy eating habits for good and I wanted to start exercising regularly again.  I found some online chatter about eating like a diabetic and that sounded interesting so I looked more into it.

Eat Like A Diabetic

balancedmeal

I had always thought that diabetics could not eat sugar at all.  But that’s not true.  Diabetics are really supposed to eat well balanced meals in order to keep their blood sugar levels balanced.  And portion sizes are pretty important too.  Most of us eat about twice the portion size that we really need to be healthy.

Many dietitians suggest the following for breakfast:

  • small portion of medium-fat protein
  • small portion of starch
  • small portion of fruit
  • small portion of low fat dairy
  • a little fat

… and for lunch:

  • small portion of lean protein
  • small portion of starch
  • small portion of fruit
  • small portion of vegetable
  • a little fat

… and for dinner:

  • larger portion of lean protein
  • small portion of starch
  • small portion of fruit
  • small portion of vegetable
  • small portion of low fat dairy
  • a little fat

… and one snack is also suggested:

  • small portion of starch
  • half portion of low fat dairy

Dietitians are recently suggesting that diabetics do not need a starch at every meal and they are also cutting out some of the dairy because it contains the hidden glucose of lactose.  Also, many dietitians believe that 5 smaller meals versus 3 larger ones equaling the same daily caloric intake keeps the body’s metabolism and blood sugar more level.

Major Points To Consider

dessert

A couple major points are in order.  Avoid junk food!  Avoid fried food!  Minimize sweets!  This healthy meal plan does not include soda … the two allowed drinks are water and low fat milk.  Most people should probably drink 8 glasses of water each day.  There are many reasons … it flushes out toxins … it carries nutrients to your cells … it maintains healthy tissue.

This healthy meal plan does not include big desserts.  Occasional small desserts are fine, though.  A certain amount of sugar is necessary for a balanced diet.  Naturally occurring sugar is suggested, though, like the sugars occurring in fruits.  Do not add sugar to your food!

If you want to occasionally have cookies in a meal, then you should skip any other carbohydrate content of that meal like a slice of bread and have the cookies instead. This is an even trade and the total amount of carbohydrate ingested during the meal will remain the same.  I wouldn’t suggest eating cookies at every meal, though.  Or even every day.  Maybe twice a week or so would be okay.  Give yourself an occasional treat for being good.  If you do it too often, though, then you’re not exactly being good!

This meal plan suggests foods that are low in cholesterol and low in salt and low in added sugar.  Restaurant food is often high in cholesterol and high in salt and high in sugar.  If you eat often in restaurants, you will likely not be able to lose weight unless you are very very very careful what you choose from the menu.

Now let’s talk about portions.  Portions are very important.  For a meat in your meal, many dietitians suggest 3 ounces which is about the same size as a deck of cards.  This doesn’t sound like a lot of food but by the time you finish a meal that includes a meat and a starch and a vegetable and a fruit and a milk, it all adds up to quite a filling meal.  And a balanced meal, which is very important.  The whole time I’ve been eating like this I’ve rarely ever noticed that I was hungry.

Real Food Examples

Here are some examples of actual foods that fit within this meal plan:

  • small portion of medium-fat protein
    • 1 ounce of pork sausage
    • or 2 strips of bacon
    • or 1 ounce of regular cheese
  • small portion of lean protein
    • 1 ounce of white fish, tuna, salmon, shellfish
    • or 1 ounce of chicken breast or turkey, no skin
    • or 1 ounce of ham, pork
    • or 1 ounce of low fat cheese
    • minimize red meats and eggs
  • larger portion of lean protein
    • same as above, but 3 ounces instead of 1 ounce
  • small portion of starch
    • one slice whole wheat bread
    • or 2 ounces of low fat granola
    • or 3 ounces of multigrain pasta
    • avoid white bread, white rice
  • small portion of fruit
    • 3 ounces of fresh or frozen berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.)
    • or 3 ounces of mango
    • or 3 ounces of apple slices
    • or 1 measuring cup of 100% fruit juice
    • minimize citrus, bananas
    • fresh, not canned fruits
  • small portion of vegetable
    • 3 ounces of raw broccoli, cauliflower, carrots with low fat ranch dressing
    • or 3 ounces of steamed broccoli with garlic powder and grilled onions
  • small portion of low fat dairy
    • 1 measuring cup of low fat milk
    • 3 ounces of nonfat yogurt (add 1 tsp pure vanilla extract or 1 tsp honey for flavor)

Don’t Forget To Exercise

exercise

Regular exercise is important to maintain a fit body that won’t fall apart as you get older.  And regular exercise can also help you drop unneeded fat weight.  Exercise doesn’t have to be a regimen that you force yourself to do and ends up giving you sore muscles for days afterward.  A simple daily brisk walk can do wonders.

For two months, I’ve been on a regular routine of three times a week walking very briskly … like over 4 mph … for about 3 miles.  The brisk walk isn’t all that hard, but it gets the heart pumping and gets the sweat flowing anyways.  The hardest part for me is the getting to bed an hour earlier than I’m used to and getting up an hour earlier than normal.

What I’ve Been Eating

I’ve been keeping track of what exactly I’ve been eating for two months, so here are some details that show exactly what I’ve been eating.  Now everyone’s body chemistry and metabolism is different, so don’t get mad at me if you don’t have the same results as I did.  The healthy eating meal plan I described above does not include counting calories.  It includes eating the right portions of a rounded set of healthy choices.  I only counted the calories for fun to see how many calories I was taking in each day on average.  This is not a calorie counting diet.  This is a new way of eating that will make you healthier and thinner in the long run.  I was using an iPhone app called MyFitnessPal to track my calories in case you were wondering where the calorie numbers came from.

myfitnesspal

WEEK 1

  • Monday August 9th
    • was not keeping track at first
  • Tuesday
    • was not keeping track at first
  • Wednesday
    • was not keeping track at first
  • Thursday (1,538 net calories)
    • Exercise: Brisk (4 mph) walk for 3 miles or 45 minutes (minus 289 calories)
    • Breakfast: Fruit/Yogurt/Granola: 3 oz frozen mixed fruit, 3 oz nonfat yogurt, 1/3 cup low fat granola, 1 tsp pure vanilla extract, water (300 calories)
    • Lunch: half Sicilian shrimp appetizer, half Greek salad with meat, water with lemon (445 calories)
    • Dinner: 2 helpings of the following: 6 inch flour tortilla, 1/2 Tbsp salsa, 1/2 oz feta cheese, 1/2 cup romaine lettuce, quarter small tomato, 1.5 oz rotisserie chicken white meat, water (312 calories)
    • Snacks: fruit and nut trail mix, Fruit/Yogurt/Granola, herb roasted nut mix, tortilla chips and salsa (770 calories) (I was eating about 3 snacks a day for the first 2 weeks)
  • Friday (1,031 net calories)
    • Exercise: Mowing lawn with push mower for 90 minutes (minus 636 calories)
    • Breakfast: Fruit/Yogurt/Granola (300 calories)
    • Lunch: 2 helpings of the following: 6 inch flour tortilla, 1/2 Tbsp salsa, 1/2 oz feta cheese, 1/2 cup romaine lettuce, quarter small tomato, 1.5 oz rotisserie chicken white meat, water (312 calories)
    • Dinner: Denny’s Prime Rib and Blue salad, water with lemon (600 calories)
    • Snacks: gala apple, Planters South Beach nut mix, chocolate chip granola bar, low fat graham crackers (455 calories) (I was eating about 3 snacks a day for the first 2 weeks)
  • Saturday (1,133 net calories)
    • Exercise: yard work for 1.5 hours (minus 636 calories)
    • Exercise: Brisk (4 mph) walk for 3 miles or 45 minutes (minus 289 calories)
    • Breakfast: Fruit/Yogurt/Granola, water (300 calories)
    • Lunch: dip consisting of 2 Tbsp nonfat yogurt and 1 Tbsp light mayonnaise and a tsp yellow mustard and chili powder and Cayenne pepper and curry, raw broccoli dipped in the dip, 1 slice whole grain bread, 2/3 Starkist herb/garlic tuna pouch, 1 cup 100% apple juice  (373 calories)
    • Dinner: salad consisting of romaine lettuce, raw carrots, raw broccoli, tomato, and 3 oz grilled chicken breast, water (195 calories)
    • Snacks: Planters South Beach nut mix, unsweetened apple sauce snack pack, low fat graham crackers, 1/2 Naked Juice Green Machine smoothie, Walgreen’s small bag of yogurt pretzels (these things are terribly fattening and I would not suggest them! 4 servings and 600 calories in one small bag!), 1 oz BBQ potato chips (455 calories) (I was eating about 3 snacks a day for the first 2 weeks)
  • Sunday (1,722 net calories)
    • Breakfast: low fat graham crackers, 1 cup low fat milk, 2 servings of pound cake, water (495 calories)
    • Lunch: dip from yesterday’s lunch, 3 oz grilled chicken breast in the dip, 1/2 cup fresh mango, 1/2 cup raw cauliflower in the dip, handful of low fat granola, water (400 calories)
    • Dinner: 2 helpings of the following: 6 inch flour tortilla, 1/2 Tbsp salsa, 1/2 oz feta cheese, 1/2 cup romaine lettuce, quarter small tomato, 1.5 oz rotisserie chicken white meat, 1/2 Naked Juice Green Machine smoothie (382 calories)
    • Snacks: chocolate chip granola bar, pineapple cake, vanilla bean ice cream (445 calories) (I was eating about 3 snacks a day for the first 2 weeks)

Week 1 Complete … 5 pounds lost

bathroomscale

WEEK 2

  • Monday August 16th (1,856 net calories)
    • Exercise: Brisk (4 mph) walk for 3 miles or 45 minutes (minus 289 calories)
    • Breakfast: Fruit/Yogurt/Granola, water (300 calories)
    • Lunch: Greek salad with no meat, low fat Italian dressing, water (390 calories)
    • Dinner: whole wheat wrap filled with grilled chicken breast, leaf lettuce, tomato, 1 slice Swiss cheese, onion, banana peppers, black olives, water (440 calories)
    • Snacks: herb roasted nut mix, egg salad sandwich, 8 oz apple juice, fruit and nut blend trail mix (this was extremely high in calories it turns out!) (1,015 calories) (I was eating about 3 snacks a day for the first 2 weeks)
  • Tuesday (1,827 net calories)
    • Breakfast: Fruit/Yogurt/Granola, water (300 calories)
    • Lunch: Greek salad with no meat, low fat Italian dressing, water (390 calories)
    • Dinner: 3 oz baked salmon, 1/2 cup fresh mango, tossed salad with carrots, tomato, low fat dressing, water (254 calories)
    • Snacks: fruit and nut blend trail mix (this was extremely high in calories it turns out!), low fat graham crackers, beef steak jerky (883 calories) (I was eating about 3 snacks a day for the first 2 weeks)
  • Wednesday (1,474 net calories)
    • Breakfast: Fruit/Yogurt/Granola, water (300 calories)
    • Lunch: whole wheat wrap filled with grilled chicken breast, leaf lettuce, tomato, onion, banana peppers, dill spear, water (364 calories)
    • Dinner: oats & honey granola bar, 1/2 Naked Fruit Green Machine smoothie (260 calories)
    • Snacks: 2 oats & honey granola bar, herb roasted nut mix  (550 calories) (I was eating about 3 snacks a day for the first 2 weeks)
  • Thursday (1,232 net calories)
    • Exercise: Brisk (4 mph) walk for 3 miles or 45 minutes (minus 289 calories)
    • Breakfast: Fruit/Yogurt/Granola, water (300 calories)
    • Lunch: whole wheat wrap filled with grilled chicken breast, leaf lettuce, tomato, onion, banana peppers, water (359 calories)
    • Dinner: 2 helpings of the following: 6 inch flour tortilla, 1/2 Tbsp salsa, 1/2 oz feta cheese, 1/2 cup romaine lettuce, quarter small tomato, 1.5 oz rotisserie chicken white meat, water (312 calories)
    • Snacks: 2 oats & honey granola bar, herb roasted nut mix  (550 calories) (I was eating about 3 snacks a day for the first 2 weeks)
  • Friday (2,569 net calories)
    • Breakfast: Fruit/Yogurt/Granola, water (300 calories)
    • Lunch: whole wheat wrap filled with grilled chicken breast, leaf lettuce, tomato, onion, banana peppers, water (359 calories)
    • Dinner: 2 slices of Kelsey’s pepperoni pizza, garlic knot, water (760 calories)
    • Snacks: fruit and nut blend trail mix (this was extremely high in calories it turns out!), oats & honey granola bar, herb roasted nut mix, Dunkin Donuts chocolate frosted donut,   (1,150 calories) (I was eating about 3 snacks a day for the first 2 weeks)
  • Saturday (1,261 net calories)
    • Exercise: Brisk (4 mph) walk for 3 miles or 45 minutes (minus 289 calories)
    • Breakfast: Fruit/Yogurt/Granola, water (300 calories)
    • Lunch: oats & honey granola bar, 1/2 Naked Fruit Green Machine smoothie (260 calories)
    • Dinner: fruit and nut blend trail mix (this was extremely high in calories it turns out!), 1/2 Naked Fruit Green Machine smoothie (630 calories)
    • Snacks: oats & honey granola bar, herb roasted nut mix (360 calories)
  • Sunday (1,520 net calories)
    • Breakfast: oats & honey granola bar, water (190 calories)
    • Lunch: salad with grilled chicken breast and low fat dressing, water (500 calories)
    • Dinner: salad with grilled chicken breast and low fat dressing, water (500 calories)
    • Snacks: oats & honey granola bar, low fat graham crackers (330 calories)

Week 2 complete …2 more pounds lost or 7 total pounds lost

bathroomscale

WEEK 3

  • Monday August 23rd (681 net calories)
    • Exercise: Brisk (4 mph) walk for 3 miles or 45 minutes (minus 289 calories)
    • Breakfast: no sugar added applesauce with cinnamon, water (50 calories)
    • Lunch: Greek salad with no meat, low fat Italian dressing, water (390 calories)
    • Dinner: peanut butter crunchy granola bar, water (190 calories)
    • Snacks: herb roasted nut mix, twice (340 calories)
  • Tuesday (1,483 net calories)
    • Breakfast: Fruit/Yogurt/Granola, water (300 calories)
    • Lunch: Greek salad with no meat, low fat Italian dressing, water (390 calories)
    • Dinner: 3 ounces roasted turkey breast, green beans, honey glazed carrots, 1 measuring cup milk (469 calories)
    • Snacks: Chips and salsa (324 calories)
  • Wednesday (1,176 net calories)
    • Breakfast: Fruit/Yogurt/Granola, water (300 calories)
    • Lunch: Greek salad with no meat, low fat Italian dressing, water (390 calories)
    • Dinner: baked non-breaded catfish fillet, honey glazed carrots, green beans, 1 cup milk (395 calories)
    • Snacks: very thin slice of cheesecake, about one ounce (91 calories)
  • Thursday (1,633 net calories)
    • Exercise: Brisk (4 mph) walk for 3 miles or 45 minutes (minus 289 calories)
    • Breakfast: oats & honey granola bar, Naked Fruit Green Machine smoothie (400 calories)
    • Lunch: whole wheat wrap filled with grilled chicken breast, leaf lettuce, tomato, onion, banana peppers, 1/2 Naked Fruit Green Machine smoothie (499 calories)
    • Dinner: 3 ounces Cajun spiced non-breaded shrimp, green beans, raw blueberies, 1.5 cup milk (353 calories)
    • Snacks: vending machine chocolate chip cookies, vending machine apple juice, oats & honey granola bar (670 calories)
  • Friday (1,586 net calories)
    • Breakfast: Fruit/Yogurt/Granola, water (300 calories)
    • Lunch: green salad from salad bar with raw veggies and hot wing sauce as dressing, water (273 calories)
    • Dinner: salad with grilled chicken breast, tomato, raw broccoli, water (303 calories)
    • Snacks: oats & honey granola bar, Mrs. Smiths slice cherry pie, vanilla Blue Bell ice cream (710 calories)
  • Saturday (158 net calories)
    • Exercise: mowing yard with push mower for 90 minutes (minus 636 calories)
    • Exercise: Brisk (4 mph) walk for 3 miles or 45 minutes (minus 289 calories)
    • Breakfast: 1 slice whole wheat bread, 1 teaspoon seedless strawberry jam, Frigo low fat cheese stick (188 calories)
    • Lunch: 3 ounces turkey breast, water (285 calories)
    • Dinner: 2 helpings of the following: 6 inch flour tortilla, 1/2 Tbsp salsa, 1/2 oz feta cheese, 1/2 cup romaine lettuce, quarter small tomato, 1.5 oz rotisserie chicken white meat, water (312 calories)
    • Snacks: oats & honey granola bar, low fat graham crackers (330 calories)
  • Sunday (1,250 net calories)
    • Breakfast: oats & honey granola bar, water (190 calories)
    • Lunch: IHOP Spinach, mushroom, tomato omlette with fruit (400 calories)
    • Dinner: 4 ounce baked salmon filet, brown rice, cooked broccoli, milk (520 calories)
    • Snacks: low fat graham crackers (140 calories)

Week 3 complete … 4 more pounds lost or 11 total pounds lost

bathroomscale

WEEK 4

  • Monday August 30th (1,138 net calories)
  • Tuesday (1,526 net calories)
  • Wednesday (1,113 net calories)
  • Thursday (1,311 net calories)
  • Friday (1,748 net calories)
  • Saturday (1,058 net calories)
  • Sunday (1,606 net calories)

Week 4 complete … 4 more pounds lost or 15 total pounds lost

bathroomscale

WEEK 5

  • Monday September 6th (1,437 net calories)
  • Tuesday (1,624 net calories)
  • Wednesday (1,386 net calories)
  • Thursday (1,390 net calories)
  • Friday (2,439 net calories)
  • Saturday (1,526 net calories)
  • Sunday (2,343 net calories)

Week 5 complete … zero pounds lost or 15 total pounds lost

bathroomscale

WEEK 6

  • Monday September 13th (1,220 net calories)
  • Tuesday (1,073 net calories)
  • Wednesday (1,406 net calories)
  • Thursday (1,450 net calories)
  • Friday (1,305 net calories)
  • Saturday (1,256 net calories)
  • Sunday (1,474 net calories)

Week 6 complete … 3 more pounds lost or 18 total pounds lost

bathroomscale

WEEK 7

  • Monday September 20th (1,240 net calories)
  • Tuesday (1,430 net calories)
  • Wednesday (1,302 net calories)
  • Thursday (1,348 net calories)
  • Friday (2,245 net calories)
  • Saturday (2,713 net calories)
  • Sunday (1,232 net calories)

Week 7 complete … 2 more pounds lost or 20 total pounds lost

bathroomscale

Things I Learned

  • You don’t have to starve yourself to lose your fat stores
  • Small portions do not feel like small portions when you eat a well balanced and well rounded meal
  • Diabetics do not need to avoid sugar completely … they just need to be careful.  Diabetics need to eat balanced and well rounded meals.  Surprise, that’s good advise for everyone!
  • It’s completely possible to live comfortably on about 400 calories per meal, plus about 400 calories in snacks each day
  • Salads with meat added are a simple way to get the correct portion sizes of your protein while also getting your vegetables at the same time
  • Exercise does not have to be painful or hard in order to be beneficial
  • All vending machine snacks are super high in calories, no matter how healthy they look
  • Restaurant food is 2 to 3 times the calories and portions which is considered healthy by most standards
  • Salsa is not bad for you, but most tortilla chips are quite high in calories
  • I really like the Greek salad served by my cafeteria at work … and it’s not too bad for me either

References

My wife found this book Diabetes Cookbook for Dummies that she really likes.

diabetescookbook

Ezine Articles:  Diabetic Diets: What to eat and what to avoid

Top 10 things I learned on my summer vacation road trip

10) Do not start a new diet before your vacation
This one is actually pretty obvious.  I don’t know what I was even thinking.  It’s pretty much impossible to eat healthy while on vacation.

junkfood

(http://www.abc.net.au/reslib/200812/r320235_1425804.jpg)

9) It’s possible to discharge an iPhone 3GS faster than it can charge if you play podcasts while also using the GPS receiver
This actually surprised me.  I specifically bought a car charger for my iPhone so I could try out some GPS navigation software on our trip.  I figured as long as I had the iPhone plugged into the power cord, I wouldn’t have to worry about draining it on the long trip.  I was wrong.  With the GPS program running and the iPod app playing podcasts that I had downloaded earlier from my PC, the iPhone drained faster than it charged.  I did not appreciate this situation.

iphonegps(http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/gadgetlab/2009/08/tomtom_83913_tt-for-iphone-incar-landscape-uk.jpg)

8 ) A pop-up summertime thunderstorm can ruin a nice sunny beach day
We had only been on the beach for a total of about 15 minutes.  Just enough time to get sunblock on all the kids and let them go out and play in the surf for a few minutes.  Then we heard the thunder.  There was a pretty bad storm that suddenly had formed and was heading right for us.  It was a beautiful sunny day one minute and we were running from a lightning storm the next.  We tried to find other things to do.  We hung out in a souvenir shop for a while.  Then we sat in our cars at a park for a while and ate our picnic lunch.  The storms kept building right over the beach.  We eventually gave up and went home.

(http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/radar/radardata.html)

7) It’s completely possible, although possibly quite expensive, to wash a pickup by driving it completely into a lake
If you back your pickup truck down the boat ramp just to wash out the bed … then you might be a redneck! I just hope this poor guy is able to laugh at this later!  (This is no joke.  We witnessed this with our own eyes, by the way.)

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_h3eSm8qSU)

6) Always check the trail online from town before driving up into the mountains where there is no chance of any cell phone signals (or grab a trail map from the welcome center)
We drove to a small waterfall in the Smokey Mountains of southwest North Carolina first thing one morning and were planning on visiting larger waterfalls later in the day.  This first small waterfall was only maybe 50 yards from the road pull off.  But while walking to the waterfall, we went past a forest service sign that had details about climbing and rappelling.  The trail split and one trail went directly to the waterfall and the other went on up the mountainside.  After experiencing the waterfall, I thought it would be fun for me to check out the other trail and see if I could get to the climbing and rappelling rock and take some photos while the rest of the family had a snack back at the car.  After walking uphill for about 2/3rds of a mile, I finally gave up with no climbing wall in sight.  Had to turn around and go back.  My little hike up the mountain was recorded on my GPS, but there was no cell connectivity so I had no Google map overlay to look at.  After we got back into town, I brought up the Google map overlay onto my GPS hike.  See the screen shot below.  It turns out I was only about half way to the climbing face when I gave up and turned around.

img_0390

(http://mobile.accuterra.com/)

5) North Carolina experiences the same temperatures as Florida, only with slightly less humidity
It was pretty hot and pretty humid in central North Carolina while we were there.  We’re talking the middle of July.  But every time I brought up the current conditions for North Carolina and compared them to the current conditions in Central Florida, the temperature was always the same within a couple of degrees and the humidity was always worse in Florida.  I probably checked about 4 times during the week that we were there and the results were always the same.  So I guess it actually did feel just a little bit nicer up in North Carolina compared to back home.  After all, it’s a slightly drier heat up there!  🙂

heat-wave(http://media.trb.com/media/alternatethumbnails/story/2010-08/55334161-03051444.jpg)

4) It is utterly impossible to lock your keys in the ignition of a Nissan Xterra SUV
We bought a 2004 Nissan Xterra recently and drove it on our vacation.  One time at a gas station I was trying to write down the mileage and the car was turned off and the keys were in my pocket, which is where they belong when they are not in the ignition.  Well, the odometer doesn’t work unless the key is on, so I had to turn the key on to write down the odometer reading.  When I was done I needed to go in to use the restroom, so without thinking I locked the door with the power lock button and shut the door.  Just as I was shutting the door, I realized the key was in the ignition still.  Turns out that the car doesn’t let you lock the doors when the key is in the ignition, or maybe when the key is turned on.  So even though I tried, I was not able to lock my keys in the car.  Now, if it wasn’t in the ignition that would have been a different story, but my keys are usually in my pocket or in the ignition.  I tend not to leave them laying anywhere else, knock on wood.

nissanxterra(http://saloncars.com/catalog/images/08NissanXterra.jpg)

3) After a long hike through a narrow trail in the woods, if you stare at a large flat sign you will experience this really freaky peripheral vision motion after effect illusion of the sign melting away from you
After walking back down the mountain trail about 2/3rds of a mile from looking for the climbing and rappelling wall, I stopped at the bottom to read the forest service signs again, because there were details about the climbing wall there.  According to my GPS records, I had walked downhill on this woodsy trail at about 2.5 miles per hour for approximately 14 minutes without stopping.  Well, when I stopped and looked at this big billboard of a sign, I experienced something very weird and interesting.  My eyes and brain were totally still in “moving through the woodsy trail” mode and so when I stopped to look at this big stationary wall of a sign, it looked like the sign was melting away from me.  At least in my peripheral vision, the sign seemed to be moving away from me.  It was pretty freaky and it took about a minute before I could see normally without getting a bit dizzy.  Scientists call this illusion the motion after effect or waterfall illusion.

Here is a nice example:  http://www.michaelbach.de/ot/mot_adapt/index.html

2) Waterfalls are really cool … but not real fun if you forget your water shoes
We saw some pretty cool waterfalls on our vacation.  One of them, Looking Glass Falls, is 60 feet tall and at the bottom there was a big pool where tourists can swim and play.  It’s common sense that you would bring water shoes or at least flip flops or sandals if you’re gonna visit a place like this.  After all, everyone knows that the floor of these creeks and waterfalls is covered with sharp jagged rocks, right?  Well, this Florida boy found out the hard way.  I was wearing my good tennis shoes and did not have anything else in the car to wear.  I wasn’t gonna ruin my good tennis shoes, so I chose to walk around barefoot in the water.  Not a great idea.  The rocks are slippery in addition to being sharp.  Pretty uncomfortable to walk on.  I actually slipped once and messed up my big toe, but I won’t go into the details.  A week later my big toe is still recovering from my poor planning, though.  And the bottoms of my feet are probably all cut up too.

waterfall-family-for-blog

1) Dry cereal is completely okay with everyone in the family for dinner after arriving home after a long drive
After a very long drive home and returning to a house that is pretty much devoid of real food.  The boys were perfectly content and happy to sit and eat dry cereal for their dinner.  They were just happy to be home again.  🙂

cheerios(http://www.comesatradehub.com/images/products/8912164569.jpg)

I lost 20 pounds in about 6 weeks without exercising and without starving

I have nothing against exercising. It’s very good for you and everyone should do it every day or at least every other day. My problem was that I was having lots of lower back aches and pains and exercising always seemed to make it worse. It was a Catch-22 situation: I needed the exercise to strengthen my lower back muscles, but whenever I exercised … my back would hurt. So I decided I would lose the 20 pounds that I’ve been overweight for the past 5 years or so and then I would try to get back into exercising and see if the missing over-weight would make things easier on my back. I figured it was worth a try.

I started eating only fruit for lunch every day. I would get an apple and a banana and a small fruit cup from the cafeteria at work. I would eat it slowly and would usually feel pretty full after only 2 of the 3 items. Then I would eat the 3rd item a couple hours later for an afternoon snack. After a couple weeks of eating like this I stepped on the scale and had lost like 4 or 5 pounds. That was a pretty decent start. Then I got a wild hair and went hunting for nutritional advise on the Internet and found something called Calorie-Shifting.

Here is the official website for the diet: http://fatloss4idiots.com/

. Fat Loss 4 Idiots website banner

I’ll admit that it looks pretty gimmicky. And it almost looks like one of those websites that might take your money and then disappear from the face of the earth the very next day. And I’m not willing to pay good money for nutritional advise anyways. So I did some more searching and found this site that actually reviewed this calorie-shifting diet: http://www.weight-loss-for-busy-people.com/idiot-proof-diet-review.html

The review website is a bit critical of the calorie-shifting diet, but also admits that the rules are mostly sound nutritional advise. The 10 rules that form the basis of the diet are listed on this review website. (Not sure that’s allowed by the diet sellers, but that’s not really my problem.) The only thing you’re missing by not paying for the actual diet is the personal menu suggestions … which would be cool, but I’m a tightwad so I decided to try out the rules listed on the review website and see what happened. Here are the rules that are listed on the review site:

.10 rules of diet

  • I don’t quite understand rule #4. I stayed on mostly carbs for 3 days or so, then switched to mostly protein for 3 days or so. Rule #4 contradicts that scenario, so I didn’t follow that rule.
  • I didn’t eat 4 meals a day. Instead I ate my normal 3 meals a day with at least a snack between each. But the snack had to be mostly carbs or mostly protein as appropriate.
  • Minimizing the condiments was not easy, but it is probably good advise for everyone at any time. Diet or no diet, most condiments have lots of fat and sugar that make them taste so good. Mustard is probably the safest condiment out there, but I didn’t even eat it during my diet trial period.
  • Portion control is a problem for most of us. I went out of my way to make sure I put on my plate what I was going to eat during the meal and never went back for seconds. Portion control alone could possibly account for much of my weight loss.
  • I didn’t drink anything but water. Not even juice, not even milk. This won’t be easy for most people, but it was easy for me because I already don’t drink sodas and already drink mostly water.
  • I didn’t walk daily because I wasn’t exercising at all during my trial period.
  • It was kinda hard to avoid sweets, but I managed. It was during the holidays, so that made it especially hard. When sweets or desserts were served, I would just eat a small bite or two instead of a whole large piece or two.

On my carb days, I would eat whole wheat toast or an english muffin with some of that fake buttery flavored spray and just a small amount of natural no-sugar-added jam. Remember jams and jellys often have lots of sugar, so minimize their use. My other meals consisted usually of spanish rice on a whole wheat wrap with just a little salsa or a nice helping of real mashed potatoes. My carb snacks were usually a Nature Valley pecan crunch flavored granola bar or a handful of Wheat Thins 5 grain crunch flavored crackers or a fat free blueberry muffin from the WalMart bakery.

On my protein days, I would eat sausage and bacon or eggs or the like for breakfast. My other meals consisted of various meats with some beans or eggs thrown in for good measure. Meats are pretty easy to find, but avoid lunchmeats and hot dogs and other highly processed meats. I made sure my protein days coincided with work luncheons and holiday dinners and such. The hard part about protein days is finding a side on a restaurant menu or finding a snack. Most of the sides are usually carbs, so I usually chose the vegetable side. When eating at a restaurant, I always ate half the meal and saved the other half for my next meal. Restaurants always give you way more food than your body needs. What I settled on for protein snacks was a little bit of chipotle flavored or lightly salted peanuts and a little bit of beef jerky snack. But neither is terribly good for you in large quantities. Peanuts are mostly fat and beef jerky type snacks are highly processed and not too good for you.

On this diet I probably lost about 3 or maybe 4 pounds each week. Nowhere near the 9 pounds in 11 days that is promised by the calorie shifting website. But then again, I wasn’t following their menu suggestions that I would have to pay for. 3 to 4 pounds a week is a nice weight loss rate. Much more than that is considered dangerous by most nutritionists, anyways.

.Kurt Leucht Christmas 2007

I lost exactly 20 pounds total by New Years. I started at 180 and now I’m at 160. This was from a couple weeks of eating just fruits for lunch and about 4 or 5 weeks on the pseudo calorie-shifting diet. I don’t look much different in this recent photo, but in the mirror my face does look skinnier and I can see less fat under my shirt and my belt is actually 2 notches smaller. I can now comfortably wear jeans that I haven’t been able to wear in over a year. How much of this weight loss can be attributed to the calorie-shifting diet? I don’t know. But a lot of the principles listed in the diet’s rules are wise nutritional advise, so that counts for something.

Kurt

ADDENDUM: I forgot to mention above that I am not continuing to calorie shift now that my little weight loss experiment is over. I only did it to see if I could lose 20 pounds. And I’m not completely convinced that the weight loss was primarily due to the calorie shifting. Most nutritional experts will tell you that leaving out major food groups is not a good idea. Most nutritionists suggest eating the right kinds and amounts of carbs and proteins and healthy fats at each and every meal.