Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

A happy and a healthy new year to all!
(and take it easy on the champagne tonight, it's got lots of calories!)

Monday, December 29, 2008

This Week's Results

Holding at the same weight as last week (217 lbs.) for a total weight loss of 19 lbs.
(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

A Tribute to the Single Pizza Slice...In Haiku Form

I eat just one slice
I used to eat multiple
Now one is enough

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

Eating Slowly

For most of my life I've been the sort of person who pretty much just wolfed-down their food as fast as possible.

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

Merry Christmas!

Have a very merry (and healthy) Christmas!

(Photo: Dano)

Monday, December 22, 2008

This Week's Results

Two more pounds lost (this is starting to get repetitive, which in this case is a good thing).
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

Photographing Calories

This website has an interesting collection of photographs of 200 calories-worth of various foods.
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?

(Photo: CreativeCampus)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Explaining This Thing of Ours

In the past few days, I've been asked by several people about my weight loss and how I achieved it.

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

It's In Your Head, Not Your Stomach

This article from BBC News points to research which indicates that most of the excess weight that all of us would like to lose (at least 70% of it anyway) is caused by genetics - specifically "metabolic flaws" in your brain.

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

This Week's Results

Two more pounds lost for a total loss of 17 lbs. since I've been on the SLD.

Some observations:
  • 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

Taking Your Oil on the Road

I keep a bottle of ELOO at home as well as a bottle in my desk drawer at work.

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

Something Healthy From Dunkin' Donuts for Breakfast

About once a week I've been treating myself to a fairly healthy menu item from Dunkin' Donuts. They have an egg white veggie flatbread sandwich which is tasty, satisfying and not too bad on fat/calories.

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

(Photo: HowardN2got)

Friday, December 12, 2008

NY TImes Article on Fast Food

There is an article in the New York Times which highlights some research on fast food nutrition.
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

(Photo: VirtualErn)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Skipping Lunch

I've been skipping lunch this week.

That was not my plan when Monday rolled around, but that's what happened.

Three reasons for this:
  1. I've been really busy at work this week.
  2. The cafeteria in my office building has sub-par food.
  3. 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

The Downside of Taking Your Oil Before Bed

There as been a fair amount of discussion about the best times during the day to take the oil, bearing in mind the requirements of the two-hour window.

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.

(Photo: SqueakyMarmot)

Monday, December 8, 2008

This Week's Results

Two more pounds lost for a total of 15 lbs.

My weight loss graph is starting to resemble another graph I have which tracks the price of gasoline.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Oil and Water: Revisited

A few weeks ago, I wrote that I've been taking my ELOO "straight" in a shot glass.

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

Read This

There is an interesting article (not new, but it's still relevant) in Slate Magazine about how fat everybody in the world is getting.

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

(Photo: bravenewtraveler)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My "Go-To" Recipe

I'm not much of a cook, and as I've said before I eat way too much pasta. So here is a meal that's almost as easy to make as a bowl of spaghetti and is much healthier.

Throw into a wok:
  • Sliced red and green peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Mushrooms
  • 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
Enjoy straight-up or serve over rice.

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

This Week's Results

One more pound lost last week for a total of 13 lbs. so far.
I'm very happy with the downward trend...which I'm sure will continue.