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I Couldn't Do This Without Jess

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Yesterday Jess made my lunch for me with ingredients I specified, but he made it taste so much yummier than I could have. (I think the key is the spices he included in with my chicken and stewed tomatoes!)

Just now he lovingly stopped me from having a piece of pizza after dinner (which I DID NOT really have room for) and ran down to send the leftover slices with his parents so I wouldn't fantasizing about it all night.

He goes with me to the gym, he models healthy behavior for me, he praises my efforts and admires the results. I could never, ever have done this without him!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KCIR1959 9/3/2007 10:28PM

    Jess is the man! Your Mom sure did a great job of getting into shape, 170 to 130, wow.

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_Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think_ by Brian Wansink, Ph.D.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

I wish I had "blogged a book report" on all the weight management books I've been reading (You: On a Diet; Eat, Drink, and Weigh Less; Secrets of a Former Fat Girl; Winning After Losing, maybe even others I can't think of at the moment??), but I'm starting now with my latest read: _Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think_ by Brian Wansink, Ph.D.

This book was great because it was filled with studies I've read about in fitness magazines, plus tons of other studies, but it was written BY THE RESEARCHER HIMSELF! And it was written in an extremely easy-to-read way...I finished the whole book in just a couple days.

To sum it up, Wansink is basically saying that the world is full of hidden factors that influence our eating - what we buy and eat, how much we eat, how often, how much we like what we've eaten, how fast we eat, everything. Some are things we've all heard of by now (e.g., the size of the plate) and others were really surprising (e.g., how quickly/how much your dining companions are eating).

Wansink does NOT say that we should try to avoid mindless eating. What he does say is to mindlessly use GOOD eating habits instead of bad ones. As we all know, weight loss/maintainance/gain is based on the balance between calories in and calories out. If you eat the same number of calories as you burn, you will stay the same weight. If you severely restrict the number of calories you eat, you will lose weight quickly but you will be miserable (evidence: ME back in May!!!!). So Wansink wrote about what he calls the "mindless margin" which is a balance of calories in vs. calories out that is so small (+/- 100-200 calories in either direction) that you don't notice it, but it can make you gain or lose 10-20 pounds in a year. He's saying that if you just give yourself three little rules (for example, always be the last person to start eating and pace yourself with the slowest eater), you can tip that mindless margin in your favor and very slowly lose weight without even noticing it.

I am all about using psychological forces to make my healthy lifestyle easier. I think it's completely necessary because I do believe that a lot of hunger and self-behavior management are based on psychology. So, I'd like to try a lot of the tips in this book. However, I think his basic solution is flawed, at least for someone like me.

The problem is that in order for his "mindless margin" plan to work, you have to otherwise be pretty consistent, and not "make up" the calories in other ways, and just in general I think it's not exact enough. If you don't even notice the 100 calories that are gone, how are you supposed to notice when you're accidentally 100 calories OVER? I think it's a GREAT idea to try to limit the discrepancy between how many calories you eat and how many you need (in other words, eating as many calories as you can and still lose weight) so that you can lose weight without feeling cranky, but in order to do that, I have had to count calories BIG TIME.

So, I thought the research results were fascinating and the tips are great ideas, but I did have that one major problem with the book.

Here are his tips (there's one at the end of each chapter, all based on his research results):

*Eat until you're NOT HUNGRY as opposed to eating until you're FULL. Eat 20 percent less unhealthy stuff and 20 percent more healthy stuff.
*Put everything you're going to eat on a plate and then put the rest away. For food that has evidence of how much you've eaten, like chicken wings, wait to throw away the bones until the very end so you can see how much you're eating.
*Use small dishes, boxes, bowls, etc. and don't have a bunch of food options readily accessible.
*Keep unhealthy food stored away where you can't see it and snack only at the table on a clean plate to make snacking less convenient.
*Be the last to start eating, pace your eating with the slowest person at the table, have more of the healthy foods and less of the unhealthy ones, have gum instead of snacks, distract yourself before you start to snack, never eat directly out of the box.
*Use fancy descriptive names to make healthy food sound more appealing, and focus on atmosphere (soft lights, soft music, tablecloth, etc.)
*Have small amounts of your comfort foods.
*Teach yourself to have healthier or smaller portions of comfort foods.
*Talk about healthy food in a positive way.
*Offer variety (of healthy foods, to your kids)
*Half of the plate should be vegetables, the rest should be protein and starch.
*Make serving sizes "offical" by serving in ziplock bags or mini tupperware containers.
*Don't be fooled into thinking everything at Subway is healthy just because some of their food is.
*Order something small or share it.
*Design three easy, do-able changes that you can mindlessly make without much sacrifice, and a checklist to help you remember to follow it.


Shopping Spree

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Ann Taylor Loft again, of course. All sale stuff was buy one, get one half off. I got khaki and black capris (former wide leg, latter fitted), three short sleeved, V-neck sweaters identical except for the colors, and a pair of heels. Pants are size 4, sweaters size XS!! :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROLOHA 8/30/2007 9:53PM

    Woo-Hoo! Shopping can be such good reinforcement!

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Back to School Challenges

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Probably food is going to be the biggest challenge. It takes a ton of time and effort to plan and prepare all my food at night after a long day of working and the gym. And every other day, after I do all the food preparation, I have to then drive to Jess'!!!

The best solution I can think of is to make the planning easier by buying items that are prepped to go, even if they cost more, or doing all the prep work as far in advance as possible.
*precut veggies
*fruit that naturally comes in single serving sizes, like apples
*prepare multiple servings of a dish at once and store in separate tupperware containers
*hard boil several eggs at once
*precook multiple servings of whole-wheat pasta
*pre-bake a few chicken breasts
*put nuts and cereal into single-serving baggies
*do the planning, if not the actual preparation, for several days in advance
*have simple routines, for example two yogurts and one Total per day

Another challenge is spreading the food out throughout the day so that I don't eat everything too early and feel hungry by the end of the day. I should delay the start of my eating as late as I can, and when I do feel like eating throughout the day, see if I can hold off with a drink or a piece of gum or a distraction first. Save some food for a pre-workout snack.

Another major challenge is getting enough sleep. It's a must. Just do it.

Wow, I'm really up against some huge challenges. I'll get there, I know I will, but it will be a learning process.


My September Goals

Thursday, August 30, 2007

At my WW meeting today I received a September calendar with a different tip or question on each day. 9/1 says, "A new month brings new opportunities. What is your weight loss goal for September?"

Great question especially for someone like me (a teacher) for whom September does bring fresh beginnings and fresh challenges. are my September goals!

By the end of September, I will:
1. Weigh no more than 135 pounds.
2. Have new clothes to wear to work that flatter my new shape!
3. Run at least 6.0 miles in 60 minutes. (Currenly my best is 5.87 miles in 60 minutes or 6.0 miles in 62 minutes.)
4. Be signed up for the Tufts 10K for Women.
5. Have a meal plan/prep routine for school days that is not overwhelming.


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