RUSSELL1960   31,472
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RUSSELL1960's Recent Blog Entries

Evening Snacks - Good News!

Monday, January 28, 2013

I met this guy at the gym yesterday who is on a crazy diet - he's trying to lose weight and build muscle at the same time. So he has decided to eat five eggs for breakfast and then two to three pounds of chicken later in the day. That's it, nothing else (no veggies, no fruit, no whole grains - just eggs and chicken). In my opinion, that's absolutely nuts! But he did say one thing that I've wondered about (although he takes this to an extreme as well). He is careful not to eat anything at night before going to bed. In fact, he eats nothing during the eight hours prior to bedtime. Should I refrain from eating at night as well? I've heard the opinion that your body has no time to burn off food eaten in the evening - so it goes straight into fat. So I've wondered if I shouldn't stop eating earlier, say, no more food after 7:00 PM so so? But I protest !!! I love my evening snacks and I'll say why in a minute.

With this question in mind I was drawn to read the Spark People article: Is Evening Eating Destroying Your Weight Loss Efforts? There I found a nugget of very good news that I was eager to hear: "From a metabolic standpoint, there is really no reason not to eat food in the evening. A calorie is a calorie regardless of when it is consumed. A morning calorie is metabolized in basically the same way as an evening calorie." Ah, so I can have my evening snacks afterall!

The article had some common sense advice about how eating most of one's calories during the day avoids the desperate evening hunger that can lead to a nighttime binge. It talked about how overeating at night can interrupt good sleep through indigestion and how that can become a vicious cycle because less sleep generates more ghrelin in the blood stream which stimulates appetite the next day. More sleep, on the other hand, produces leptin which helps suppress food intake. So you don't want your food intake causing sleep problems. Plan your meals so no more than a third of your calories are consumed in the evening - the article did recommend not eating two to three hours before bedtime, perhaps to avoid the indigestion problems.

Well, I found all this to be very good news! I can have my evening snacks! I have discovered that I feel much less deprived, and less like I'm on a "diet" if I can look forward to a healthy snack in the evening. Evening would be the hardest time for me to "fast". I do know well the unhappy vicious late night binge snacking cycle described in the article (a problem before joining spark people), accompanied with indigestion and poor sleep etc. etc. But I have discovered that I also have problems with the other extreme. If I go to bed hungry - that also interrupts my sleep. Hunger makes it hard for me to go to sleep and to stay asleep. So that doesn't work for me either.

I doubled checked my food trackers and I have not been eating more than a third of my calories at night I've been eating between 10 and 25% of my calories in the evening (snacks that I really enjoy by the way). I don't have indigestion problems anymore because these are controlled, planned, good portion control snacks - not binges. I'm sleeping well, and I'm losing weight. So I'll keep looking for those 100 to 150 delicious calorie healthy snack ideas and with this new information I can keep enjoying them in the evening. It works for me, I enjoy it, and I'm glad to know there is no problem with what I like to do. The huge difference for me has been learning to snack and track! I check to see how many calories are left for the day before evening snacking and I plan my snacks accordingly, being careful to stay within my daily calorie goal. A few radishes work if there are no calories left for the day. So I can usually have popcorn and other fun healthy things in the evening, sort of as a reward for good eating all day long. I'm glad to know that a calorie is a calorie, no matter when you eat it. That works for me!




  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WAYNE1997 2/3/2013 6:40PM

    Good to read your blog tonight as I just finished eating my dinner at 6:35. I gleaned some nuggets for change to work towards. I tend to have difficulty eating a small evening meal and have more than 1/3 of my calories in the evening. That may be a goal for me to move toward, but I just tend to get to many calories in a day if I increase the calories at breakfast and lunch. Maybe an evening snack would help me to moderate my dinners.

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ASHPATCH11 1/29/2013 6:26PM

    I would eat as normal you dont want to slow down your metabolism. Also eat how you will eat ur whole life no more diets just healthy eating that you can do for the rest of ur life.

Good luck either way!
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GODS_TEMPLE 1/29/2013 1:07AM

    I read somewhere on SP that your stomach can't tell time...or some such thing.

My hardest thing is eating in the morning, when I'm supposed to eat to get my metabolism started. I've never been a breakfast eater. I solved the problem by eating a Zone bar first thing in the morning as a 'snack'. Then I exercise and shower and I am ready for a good breakfast.

I'm like Ken...I was getting ready to send out the guys in white coats with a straight jacket when I started reading your blog...

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HEALTHIERKEN 1/28/2013 11:55PM

    " . . . I'll keep looking for those 100 to 150 delicious calorie healthy snack ideas and with this new information I can keep enjoying them in the evening. It works for me, I enjoy it, and I'm glad to know there is no problem with what I like to do."

Yes! yes! yes! I'm so glad you found this article. Reading the start of your blog I was afraid you'd fallen for gym-friend's nonsensical eating patterns when you were doing things right all along. Way to go, Russell : )
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A Good Feeling Accomplishment

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

This morning I stepped on the scale and guess what? I lost another pound and more significantly this puts me at the weight I had hoped to achieve when I first joined Spark People. That's just amazing. My goal at that time was to lose 29 pounds and to weigh 194. I started at 223 and now I'm at 194. So I did it. Here I am. It's a nice place to be. I feel better. I have more energy. I have become more focused in other areas of my life as well. I look better. I've learned a lot. My clothes fit better. I can exercise harder and lift heavier weights (in fact I can push 400 pounds with my legs - ok I admit it, I'm pretty impressed by that). Don't ask me what I can lift with my arms. That is another matter and we won't talk about that. But I feel more confident. I'm enjoying exercise and it feels really good to be taking time to take care of me. All of these good things have become reality and I love it but I am not satisfied. The confidence I've gained has motivated me to set a bigger goal and I will reach it. I want to lose 20 more pounds and get within what the Centers for Disease Control names as a healthy weight range for someone of my height. According to the CDC, I am still overweight (albeit no longer obese) at 194. So I'm going for 175 - healthy! So today I celebrate the accomplishment of the original goal and I celebrate the beginning of moving on toward my new goal. All of this feels really good and you can count on this, I will be at the gym later this afternoon!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ASHPATCH11 1/25/2013 4:24PM

    you rock you will be in that healthy range soon enough! Love this post! have a great workout and congrates thats really good!!


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EMMAJANEAUSTEN 1/24/2013 8:41PM

    Fanastic!

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GODS_TEMPLE 1/23/2013 12:51AM

    emoticon

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JULESJET 1/22/2013 8:26PM

    Awesome!
Fantastic!
You can do it!
Keep it up!

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FITMARTI 1/22/2013 1:54PM

    emoticon

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I Love Little Mini-Goals

Friday, January 18, 2013

I feel encouraged and motivated today. I lost a stubborn pound earlier this week. I had been stuck for awhile at 197 and I wanted to move on. I have things to do places to go! Goals to meet. This was no time to be stuck. So with the plateau busting program I've been conscientiously measuring everything I eat (using that dandy food scale I got for Christmas) and eating just under the lower end of my recommended food calorie range and exercising! The stubborn pound gave up the ghost. Another followed suit this morning and suddenly I'm upon a delightful set of little mini-goals again. I love them - they keep me motivated.
1. My next mini-goal is to lose one more pound! With that I will have achieved the target weight goal I set for myself when I started the Spark People program - 194 (29 pounds lost). Wow! A lot of work went into shedding each one of those pounds! I didn't have much faith that I could do this when I started but as I gain confidence I realized I could go further and really get to a healthy weight. So once I arrive at this wonderful milestone, I will continue on with my eyes focused on a new destination - 175.
2. My second mini-goal will be to lose an additional pound taking me to 193. With that I will will win the virtual "Lost 30 Pounds Trophy". I look forward to posting that on my Spark Page.
3. My third mini-goal. Well, perhaps it could be to lose two more pounds to put a little distance between me and the 193 mark (i.e. get to 191) so that I'm not in danger of losing my hard earned and prized "Lost 30 Pounds" trophy.
4. My fourth mini-goal - I love this one. Lose two more pounds (i.e. get to 189) and enter the amazing world of the 180s. That takes me all the way back to my college years folks. We're moving way back in time weight wise.
All along this journey, I've found that these kinds of little mini-goals really help me focus and do what I need to do to get there. Losing one pound or two at a time then celebrating each little accomplishment - yea I can do that and its kind of fun and builds a sense of accomplishment and success and even excitement. I love my little mini-goals. Now back to the first one - one pound to my original target weight goal. Wahoo!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WAYNE1997 1/19/2013 8:21AM

    Irv, Thanks for sharing your mini goals!! It is an encouragement for me. I am adding the 10 minutes of exercise each day goal starting today. I like the idea of working towards losing each pound.

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NUTRON3 1/19/2013 6:16AM

    they really do help

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GODS_TEMPLE 1/19/2013 3:10AM

    emoticon I know you can get that last pound loss in no time! emoticon

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HEALTHIERKEN 1/18/2013 9:12PM

    Great work, Russell! You're a great role model for us Sparkers, I have to say. Talk about perseverance, you've got perseverance down pat.
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BELLATRAVELLER 1/18/2013 2:34PM

    Your mini-goals sound great! I love mini-goals and like you said, every time you reach a new mini-goal, it's time for celebration!

Good luck! emoticon

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Starting the Plateau Busting Program

Monday, January 14, 2013

I completed the 90 day Spark Coach program today. Its been good. I've learned a lot and I've lost 26 pounds during this three month stretch and I feel really good about that. However, this past week has been frustrating. The scale doesn't seem to want to budge and I have stayed at the same weight all week. Eating two cups of ice cream yesterday at our church youth gathering didn't help - what was I thinking? I realize I've been quite fortunate to have been steadily losing one to two pounds a week and maybe it's not realistic to think that I will continue to lose at that rate to the very end - although I certainly want to. Also, I am not unaware of how good it is to be at my current weight compared to where I was three months ago and how good it is to be maintaining as opposed to gaining! Nevertheless, I'm eager (impatient) to move on. I don't want to be stuck here! I want to lose three more pounds to get to my original target weight of 194. That way I can move on beyond that and get started on my new target weight goal of 175 by summer (with in interim goal for my April birthday). So with these good goals calling my name, being stuck is simply not acceptable. Having completed the 90 Spark Coarch program as of today, I signed up for Spark Coach's 28 day Plateau Busting Program. I'm ready to smash this plateau to bits and get out of these upper 190s. The more distance I can put between me and 200 the better. So we'll see where I am 28 days from now, Feb. 11. Imagine starting the season of Lent in the 180s?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ASHPATCH11 1/16/2013 12:43PM

    you so got this and my the msg update today it looks like it kicked that platue in the butt! keep bringing it!!


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GODS_TEMPLE 1/15/2013 4:00AM

    Maybe you just have to drop your calories a little, or change up your exercise routine. But don't start stressing. Slow and steady STILL wins the race!

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HEALTHIERKEN 1/15/2013 1:59AM

    Happy plateau-smashing!
You can do this.
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EMMAJANEAUSTEN 1/14/2013 7:45PM

    emoticon emoticon

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LADYJ6942 1/14/2013 9:47AM

    The inital weight lose is always the fastest and easiest and then the plateau hits but with spark coach and many other resources here you can push through. Maybe review your journals or fitness journals or trackers to see what you were doing while dropping that maybe you stopped doing now. Maybe changing your meals or workout routine.

Weight lose is like a stubborn child and you've gotta keep digging away until you find the key that works. Good luck!!!

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Hmmm... Balsamic Vinegar

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

What do you do when you have a great tossed salad but discover that there is no salad dressing to be found in the house? That was my predicament recently. Not wanting to go to the store, I decided on a whim to try using balsamic vinegar as my salad dressing. I was rather stunned by the results. It tasted good to me, really good on my salad.

Then I had to wonder why do we have this custom of putting oil with vinegar on our salads? What does the oil add except lots of calories? Can I really taste the oil? Well, no. I couldn't really say that the oil adds anything that I would ever miss now that I think about it. I just added oil by habit, I guess.

A little more thinking got me really sold on the idea of letting the balsamic vinegar handle the salad all by itself. Salad dressings have 60 to 120 calories or more per two tablespoon serving (oil and vinegar has 140). Balsamic vinegar, on the other hand has ten, virtually calorie free. Wow, why waste one's calories on salad dressing when there is such a delightful alternative? I could give up the salad dressing without any sense of loss and have a chocolate covered cherry for dessert instead! With this line of reasoning in place, I bought myself a bottle of dandy balsamic vinegar just for my salads and I've been munching happily away ever since.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ASHPATCH11 1/16/2013 12:44PM

    I should use balsamic vinegar more thanks for posting!!

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ZAHNASGRANDMA 1/9/2013 8:32PM

    I use Balsamic Vinegar or lemon juice on my salad and some veggies.


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TRAZIJANES 1/9/2013 2:54PM

    A little Balsamic Vinegar is great on roasted veggies too... Love it.

Comment edited on: 1/9/2013 2:55:08 PM

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GODS_TEMPLE 1/9/2013 1:38PM

    Some people use lemon juice for some of their salads. My mom used to use pickle juice. Of course she didn't have to watch her salt intake...

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