Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
(this is not surprising, since I had almost no exercise last week - not to make excuses but my squash partner is away on vacation)
I'll be leaving 2008 lighter than when I entered it, and I hope to say the same for 2009.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
My usual "pizza meal" used to be at least two slices, sometimes three or even four.
Since the SLD I can actually walk into a pizzeria and walk out after only eating a single slice.
At least when it comes to pizza, I'm cutting my consumption at least in half! It's one of the interesting facts about pizza- it has a universally accepted standard portion size and that you can easily measure your consumption by counting slices.
(Photo: The Pizza Review)
Friday, December 26, 2008
Since I've been on the SLD, I've been eating more slowly. Part of this is a calculated effort on my part to slow things down, part of it is that I've been less hungry and that has a natural tendency to slow my eating down.
This article highlights several good reasons why eating slower is better for you - and the majority of them are directly tied to weight loss.
Link: 9 Strong Reasons to Eat Slowly
(Photo: Spring Dew)
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
My weight loss total is now 19 lbs.
I'm pleased with this result, because I had a few holiday dinners last week plus I really did not have much time to exercise.
If I can repeat this in the coming week, I'll enter 2009 with >20 lbs. of weight loss.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Some are not so surprising: we all know that celery has very little calories. There are others that did surprise me however (cheddar cheese, m&ms, bacon).
Check it out. It might make you think twice before eating something.
NB: Make sure you click on the images and not just look at the thumbnails, as many of the thumbnails don't nearly show the full amount of the portion (e.g. celery).
Link: What Does 200 Calories Look Like?
Friday, December 19, 2008
In the past it was kind of easy, I'd say "diet and exercise" or "Weight Watchers."
Now with the SLD, it's not so simple. The problem is if you try and explain the SLD in 30-seconds it does sound kind of "wacky" to most people, especially when you get to the "I drink olive oil twice a day part."
What I do is sort of ease them into the ELOO part of the equation.
I first talk about the set point and the whole idea of flavorless calories.
Then I talk about the two-hour window and then at the end (almost like a punchline) I talk about drinking ELOO in the middle of the two-hour window.
It sounds alot better than a conversation such as this:
Friend: Hey Alan, how have you been losing weight?
Me: By drinking olive oil.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
So, like so much else in life...we can just blame our parents.
Link: Obesity 'controlled by the brain'
(Illustration: Patrick J. Lynch)
Monday, December 15, 2008
- Two pounds a weeks seems to be pretty much the going rate for me (which BTW, pleases me greatly)
- For those of you metrically-inclined: since I now weigh 219 lbs, I've crossed under the magic 100 kg. threshold. I live in the US, so 100 kg. does not really hold much special significance for me. When I go below 200 lbs. however, that will be another story.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
If you ever watch the TV show Mad Men (and you should -- it's a great show), which takes place in the early 1960's, everyone there has a bottle of booze in their desk drawer -- but we live in a different era now.
Anyway, whenever I'm going to be neither at home nor at work for any period of time, be it a few hours or a few days; I take some oil with me in one of these little bottles (pictured).
They hold three ounces (which for me is three doses or a day-and-a-half's worth of oil) are fairly secure and only cost me $1 each at Walmart.
If I have my oil with me, I have no excuse for not taking it and thus messing up my SLD program.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
It has 290 calories and 9 grams of fat. I would not want to have one every day, but as a weekly treat it's not bad.
By way of contrast, a chocolate frosted doughnut has 230 calories, 11 grams of fat and most importantly you will not feel the slightest bit satisfied after eating it.
Link: Egg white Veggie Flatbread Sandwich
Link: Chocolate Frosted Doughnut
Friday, December 12, 2008
There is no big surprise here: the cheap menu items are really unhealthy.
What's somewhat surprising is just how unhealthy they are.
For example, a burger that Jack in the Box sells for a buck has 23 grams of fat.
Link: The High Price of Cheap Eats
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
That was not my plan when Monday rolled around, but that's what happened.
Three reasons for this:
- I've been really busy at work this week.
- The cafeteria in my office building has sub-par food.
- I've not been all that hungry.
I'll repeat the last one (and make it a bit bigger) in case you missed it:
I've not been all that hungry
I don't recommend skipping meals and I don't plan I doing this very often, but as I've said before I think that it's crucial for success on the SLD that you only eat when you are truly hungry and at least this week that's not been the case for me. I'm not about to force myself to eat a meal when I'm not hungry, that's how I became overweight in the first place.
Link: Knowing When to Put the Fork Down
Link: Three Squares?
(Photo: Danielle Walquist)
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Some have suggested that you can take the oil, and then go to bed. The theoretical upside to this is that if you take the oil and go to sleep, you are sleeping for the 2nd hour of the two-hour window, thus making it easier on yourself.
There is a big downside to this: what about tooth brushing?
If you take the oil before bed, you can't brush your teeth!
As for me, I don't have much trouble finding two, 2-hour windows during the day. So I'll stick to brushing my teeth in the evening.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Recently, I've slightly altered my method and I think this "new" technique is making taking the oil quite a bit more palatable.
What I've been doing now is adding ice-cold water to the oil, and then shooting it down in a single gulp. I've been adding 2-3 tbs. of cold water to the 2 tbs. of oil I've been taking with each dose.
I then chase it down with a tall glass of either water or plain seltzer.
I believe that the cold water makes the oil go down a bit easier and helps to minimize any flavor that the oil might have.
I've also been nose-pinching while swallowing the oil, which does eliminate the oil's odor (and hence the flavor).
Link: Oil Drinking Method
(Photo: Shereen M)
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Of particular note is the fact that us Americans no longer have a monopoly on being overweight.
(But don't worry, this is still a great country)
Link: Please Don't Feed the Humans
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Throw into a wok:
- Sliced red and green peppers
- Snow Peas
- Bean Sprouts
- Bamboo Shoots and/or Baby Corn and/or Sliced Water Chestnuts (you can buy all of this together in a can in the Asian Foods section of your supermarket)
- Some Extra-Firm Tofu (or some grilled chicken if you're not a vegetarian like I am)
- Splash in some Sesame Oil and some Soy Sauce
What you can do is prepare enough vegetables for several portions and keep it in a container in the fridge. Then you can wok-up some in just a few minutes whenever you like.
(Photo: Brendan Adkins)
Monday, December 1, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Allow me to weigh-in on this issue.
I think that daily weigh-ins are a bad idea. Firstly, even if you are consistently losing weight every week you will not necessarily loose weight every single day. In fact you might have individual days where you actually gain weight.
If you weigh yourself daily, you will not really get a clear picture of the overall long-term trend, which is what really matters.
Secondly, I really like the idea of getting a weekly "reward" -- the good news that you get when you weigh-in at the end of the week. This gives a better idea of your overall weight-loss trend and after all, long term weight-loss is what you are seeking.
Friday, November 28, 2008
One item caught my eye: The Vegetable Sandwich
I ordered it, and it was awesome.
Spinach, red and green peppers, broccoli, mushrooms and black olives, served hot on a roll.
No cheese and most likely much heather than a slice of pizza, and definitely more satisfying.
I'll be ordering it again for sure.
See if your local pizza joint has it on the menu, and if not I'm sure they can make you one.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
For those of us trying to lose weight, I have one Thanksgiving wish for you:
Don't do it.
You don't need to.
Stay on your program, eat a nice healthy meal of moderate size and then move on to the next day.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Again, I'm pleased with this week's results which which was the same amount of weight loss as the prior week. Given that I had very similar eating and exercise patterns to the week before, this should not have been a surprise.
I think the fact that the pounds are coming off relativity slowly (3 lbs./week average) is a good thing, and will hopefully allow me to maintain the weight loss once I hit my target weight.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
There is a simple reason for this: Too many carbs, not enough actual vegetables. I suspect this might be a common explanation for those of us vegetarians who are overweight.
Many people assume that vegetarians eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. If only this was the case for me.
My diet contains much too much pizza, pasta, bread, etc.
The fact is, I love carbs. This is why, even at the height of its popularity, I never attempted the Atkins Diet. I would have been miserable and unsuccessful.
Since I've been on the SLD, I've been making a real effort to eat a lot more vegetables, and keep the carbs to a minimum. I still have pizza and pasta, but I'm also eating salads and stir-fried vegetables. Sometimes, I'll just have some fruit for lunch.
After being a vegetarian for years, it took the SLD to finally get me to eat healthy.
(Photo: Indigo Goat)
Saturday, November 22, 2008
But now I enjoy a special protection of particular interest to those of us on the SLD: Connecticut is now the first state in the nation to impose quality standards for olive oil.
Even before the SLD, I would buy name-brand oil from reputable stores, so I've not had what I'm sure is the unpleasant experience of exposure to sub-standard oil. But, it's nice to know that going forward the state will be right there to protect me.
Way to go dudes in Hartford!
Link: Connecticut takes on slippery olive oil standards.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
In chapter 7 of the SLD book, Seth Roberts talks about how the fast-food and packaged food industry has some responsibility for the obesity epidemic, largely due to the creation of "ditto foods" -- foods that taste the same every time and everywhere.
In particular it explains how McDonald's got their fries to taste like they were still deep-friend in beef fat (yuck!) even after they switched to 100% vegetable oil a few years back.
This article explains how they are able to do this, and why.
It's a pretty good read, check it out.
P.S. There is also a movie version of Fast Food Nation (2006), that's very entertaining (it's a narrative film, not a documentary) and informative -- I highly recommend it.
Link: Why McDonald's Fries Taste So Good
(Photo: Darwin Bell)
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
The other day I was slicing some vegetables during a two-hour window. I was planning on cooking and eating them later, but during the prep work I had to make a conscious effort to avoid the normal nibbling that would usually occur.
It occurred to me that this would also be a big problem if I was doing actual cooking during the two-hour window, as the "tasting" that is usually part of the process would have to be avoided.
So far this has not been a problem -- I've yet to do much real cooking during this period (I don't do that much cooking at all anyway). But I can easily see how this could be a real problem for those cooks out there.
Fortunately it's only the tastes that "count", not the smells. Otherwise maintaining the two-hour window would be pretty much impossible.
(Photo: René Ehrhardt)
Monday, November 17, 2008
I'm very pleased with this result, and it's pretty much what I was expecting as I had a "good" week -- where "good" in this case means eating well and getting plenty of exercise.
I think that 2-3 lbs. per week is about the most I would expect on a program such as this, and quite frankly if I can keep up at this rate I would definitely call my SLD experience a success.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
This morning when I woke up, I was not particularly hungry. Instead of eating breakfast, I took my morning dose of ELOO and then did an hour of exercise. When I was done exercising, I was really not very hungry at all and it was almost time for lunch anyway.
Bottom line: I ended up skipping breakfast - which is not what I was planning to do, but between the oil and the exercise I really didn't have any appetite, and I was not about to "force" myself - that would negate the whole point of the AS that I'm trying to achieve.
(Photo Alana Elliott)
Saturday, November 15, 2008
In fact, I'm drinking some right now as I'm writing this.
I've been on many weight-loss programs throughout the years (Scarsdale, Weight Watchers, etc.) and one thing I never did with any of those programs is moderate the amount of coffee I drank. When I was hungry, I would reach for a cup of coffee. After all, coffee is tasty, satisfying and by itself does not have any calories.
It's also bad for you.
While studies have shown that moderate coffee drinking can have some health benefits, I would definitely not classify my coffee drinking as "moderate."
Now, it's a different story. I've been drinking much less coffee since I've been on the SLD, and I have the two-hour window to thank for it.
On a typical weekday, I usually have one cup first thing in the morning and another with breakfast which I have to finish before 9:00am so I can take the oil around 10:00.
The resulting 9:00-11:00am coffee-free window falls right during what used to be my prime coffee drinking time when I would typically have 2-3 more cups.
The net result here is that I'm drinking less than half the coffee that I did prior to the SLD.
This can only be a good thing.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Some like to "float" the oil on top of a glass of water (either plain water or sugar water) and then sip it.
Others try and mix the oil with other foods and then clip their nose while eating it.
Still others suggest holding a mouthful of water before drinking the oil down.
What I've been doing is measuring the oil in a small shot-glass-sized measuring cup and after making sure I have a nice tall glass of cold water at my side, I simply "shoot" it down as quickly as possible and then immediately chase it down with a full glass of water.
Drinking it fast and then following it down with water insures that I don't get much in the way of any residual oil taste or smell.
(Photo: David Sifry)
Thursday, November 13, 2008
In addition to playing squash several times a week, I try and do an hour on the exercise bike whenever I can.
The two-hour window can come in handy when used in conjunction with an hour of exercise.
- Since you really should not exercise after eating, I take the oil dose at least an hour after my most recent meal.
- I do an hour of exercise on the bike, drinking plenty of water during that time.
- When I'm done, the two-hour window is over and I can eat (but only if I'm hungry, of course)
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Most of us probably attribute that loss-of-appetite to simply "feeling sick."
Perhaps it can more easily be explained by the fact that since your sense of smell is diminished by the nasal congestion, your ability to taste is pretty much shot as well. Since your taste is gone...well you've just adopted the SLD without even knowing it!
Do you know anybody afflicted with anosmia (no sense of smell)?
If so, are they thin?
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
As Seth Roberts mentions in the book, you can use the SLD as a tool to help mitigate your hunger while on one of these other programs, thus decreasing your appetite and increasing your chances of success.
However, I think you do need to be careful about accounting for the caloric content of the oil.
For example 1tbs of ELOO contains 120 calories and 14 grams of fat. Using the Weight Watchers points formula, this would equate to 3.5 points per tablespoon, or in my case 14 points per day since I'm consuming 4 tbs. daily.
I would suspect that if you don't account for at least some of the points in the oil, and consume your full daily point allottment, you will actually end up overeating and not seeing much weight-loss.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
I also know a few people that have had lots of success losing weight by simply adopting a "never eat anything after 6:00pm" type of regimen. This would require you to either eat a big lunch and skip dinner altogether or to start eating your dinner at 5:00pm or thereabouts -- not very compatible with many of our work schedules.
I think that one would need to be careful about adopting either of these policies in conjunction with the SLD, as they both are somewhat at odds with a central tenant of the plan: eat when you are hungry, but only when you are hungry.
When on the SLD, I don't think that multiple mini-meals per-day are necessarily a bad thing but two points to keep in mind:
- Make sure you are actually hungry before eating any of these meals (mini or otherwise).
- 5 or more meals during a typical day would be pretty tough to schedule and still have one or two two-hour windows for ELOO consumption.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Lately, I've noticed I've been leaving some food behind. Not always, and sometimes not very much but there has on occasion been food still on my plate when I push it away.
I think that sometimes we feel we need to finish what we are served, no matter how big the portion is. Since I've been on the SLD, I've been eating slower and I've found I'm much more deliberative between bites. At some point in the meal, I'll often come to the realization that I'm not actually hungry anymore. That's the point at which I put the fork down and stop eating.
Another added benefit of the slower pace at which I'm consuming food it that I think I'm actually enjoying meals more, taking time to actually taste and savor what I'm eating.
(Photo: Ralph Hockens)
Friday, November 7, 2008
I think that it's important that before eating something (particularly a "bad" food, we all know what they are) you need to ask yourself a few questions:
- Why am I eating this?
- Do I really want this?
- Am I really hungry?
This net reduction will not occur by magic. If you are eating because it's "time to eat" or because you have nothing better to do, then you are not leveraging the AS. Remember: you need to reduce your total calorie intake by at least enough to offset the additional calories you are consuming. In order to achieve the weight loss you are seeking, you of course would need to offset more than the additional calories which have been added -- perhaps considerably more if you want to achieve significant weight loss.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
For nearly two weeks, I've eaten three meals daily....and that's pretty much been it.
This has not been difficult. In fact it's something I've barely noticed due to my decreased appetite.
I've been on many weight loss programs over the years, including a very successful experience with Weight Watchers about six years ago.
This is the first time that I've been able to eliminate between-meal snacks.
I suspect that this will become a key factor in any success that I have with this "diet."
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I think that for the SLD, water consumption is particularly important for its palate-cleansing effects.
I've been drinking lots of water during the two-hour window and I think that this insures that residual food tastes are flushed away.
This is key since you can't brush your teeth during that time.
Monday, November 3, 2008
After one week, 4 pounds lost.
I went from 236 to 232.
For reference purposes, my weight in the past 10 years has ranged from a high of 254 to a low of 179.
My short-term goal is to get down to 199, after that I'm going to re-access and then set a new goal.
As of now, the SLD seems to be working.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
During a normal workday, I'm usually taking the oil at 10:00am and again at about 3:00pm.
That's four solid hours during the day when I'm not eating anything. I think I'm fairly typical and that like many overweight people, I don't usually have four hours during the day that I'm food-free.
I wonder how much introducing four food-free hours into your day would, in and of itself contribute to weight loss?
I would think that it can certainly lead to a re-training of oneself, and help take the focus off of food.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
So far what I've experienced seems to come in at least two forms:
- The type of classical loss of appetite that one experiences when one is upset or nervous. Of course the good part is that the AS is occurring without the accompanying emotional distress.
- The other type is similar to (but still somewhat distinct from) a "motion-sickness" type of loss-of-appetite.
I believe I'm also experiencing some de-sensitivity to foods. I can look at someone else eating and not necessary feel like *I* need to eat as well.
Friday, October 31, 2008
It's not really a diet, in the sense that unlike pretty much every other weight-loss program I've tried, you can't really "cheat." When you are hungry, eat. If you see something you want, you can eat it. The key is, you will simply be wanting less -- and that's how you will lose weight.
Not only have I been having smaller portions, but I've been eating slower, taking smaller bites and pacing myself. This is a by-product of the program and not really something I've been making a conscious effort to do.
I have not had a single between-meal snack for the past week. Frankly I've not really been craving any.
More to come....