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The Immutable Laws of Fat: Facts of Weight Loss. 2/7

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Thursday, November 03, 2011

So today I shared a true fact of weight loss with a friend, and she looked at me like I was a weight loss messiah, a SuperJenn, a veritable Jenn Craig with a different last name, so I wanted to share the factoid with you.

Here we go, it's a goodie, so hold on, here it comes...

**When buying Halloween candy for distribution to oddly dressed minors, buy candy you don't like. That way, if there is some left over, there is no temptation.

See, I'm a bleeping genius!!!

So how did you like that? Pretty impressive, wasn't it? But wait, I have more!

**The vast majority of adults can't tell the difference between hunger and thirst, therefore it is a good idea to stay well hydrated throughout the day and when in doubt, have a big fat glass of water 20 minutes before a meal. (Medical fact isn't nearly as much fun as Halloween candy tips).

**TMI factoid: your pee should be very light yellow/colorless and clear if you are well hydrated.

But wait, there is more! If you act now, you can get another tip at the amazing rate of only $19.99, shipping and handling are extra!

One of my favorites:

**Take a salad to a potluck/carry-in/work buffet. That way you have no excuses for mashing naughty food into your face when you can start out by piling a plate with salad (or some other healthy dish).

Ok, so I shared my tips. Do you have some? I'd like to hear them! Really, I would.
The problem with tips is that sometimes it is hard to know if they are true or bogus.

I'm totally guilty of hearing a tip and doing a search of medical literature to see if it has a foundation in fact. For example: Drink coconut water, it is high in potassium and in a pinch you can use it as an IV fluid. Now doesn't that sound like a tip that came flying out of the bull$hit factory? Well, it's actually true. I hope I never get a coconut infusion. Ever.

Starvation mode? Largely a product of the behind of a large mammal named a bull, but also involves a long and detailed argument that I don't want to enter into here.

Some I haven't researched or haven't made up my mind about:

I'd love to know if the one about not losing weight as quickly if you swim as when you burn the same number of calories doing other exercise is true.

Does working out in the am really mean you burn more calories all day? (I hope so)

Is it true that being on your period means your metabolism is in high gear? (I doubt it)

Is it true most women can only gain about a pound of muscle a month, so the whole "you're gaining muscle" argument is largely for making cowpies?

Anyway, share your tip, I'd love to hear them. Pretty please? With no aspartame on top? I promise I won't search for them in the medical journals, unless they seem absurd, and then I will search, but I won't tell anyone.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I'd love to know if the one about not losing weight as quickly if you swim as when you burn the same number of calories doing other exercise is true."

    I actually read that you burn MORE calories in the pool doing the same amount of work because your body has to work harder to stay warm. Of course, this thermal load theory is from the same person who extrapolates it to "if you put an ice pack on your back for 30 minutes a day or take ice baths you will lose weight super fast." Its from "The 4 hour Body" and he has all kinds of kooky ideas. But the pool temp thing makes logical sense so I kinda believe that part.
    2312 days ago
    Great tips Jenn! I am happy to be catching up on all your blogs again!
    2315 days ago
    Interesting questions. According to this page, with an aggressive strength training program and proper eating to support it (which may mean not diet-level calories), women can gain up to 1/2 lb muscle a week (up to a point).


    Glad that your question sent me looking-- I never knew much about how to actually gain muscle-- I always thought it just happened.
    2322 days ago
    emoticon for sharing!
    2323 days ago
    You should totally research this "fact" because I'm dying to know if its true: Accelerate your weight loss by cutting carbs after 2pm.

    Love your blog!
    2324 days ago
    My tip is that if we want to lose weight then it's easier to not put the calories in rather than putting in the calories and then having to exercise a lot to use them up again. It's the First Law of Thermodynamics - Conservation of Energy. I find I can operate fine at around 1,200 cals.

    BUT, in order to maintain the weight loss, we need to exercise and be active - so we might as well establish these habits early. Because people maintaining weight loss without exercise are so rare they're a statistical anomaly. Also, there are loads of other health benefits to do with exercise.

    However, as I'm still losing & have never yet managed to maintain even 1oz of weight loss in the past - this is all theoretical still for me.
    2326 days ago
    I honestly think that If you exercise in the AM you do burn more calories. When I work out in the morning I'm more motivated to get up and more around more. When I wait til later in the day I don't feel so active. So... I think there is some truth to burning more calories in the morning. I also heard that splitting your workout into two separate times helps burn more calories also. One of my favorites "myth" is eating ice. My grandma eats it to lower her blood sugar. I love it because it keeps my mouth occupied while buring calories at the same time. Love your blog!
    2327 days ago
    I will say that the day before I start my period, I tend to clean like a mad-woman. My mom did the same thing. But once I do start, I'm not worth 2 cents!
    2327 days ago
    I've just discovered your blog and love it! Just a note about swimming: I don't know if it is true or not but the majority of my weight lost was from me eating healthy and swimming every single day. I live in Az so we get a long swim season here ;)
    2328 days ago
    Track and be mindful of both your eating and exercise. The rest is details - there are actually many ways of eating and activity that will result in losing. It is when I eat mindlessly that I start gaining, that's my one simple truth.
    2328 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2328 days ago
    *secret* I love when my pee is clear! It makes me feel like I am clean on the inside!
    Here is an oldie but a goody- Park farther away from the store, use stairs not elevators, and if you are lucky like me I am able to ride my bike to work instead of taking the streetcar.
    When I want something sweet I eat a banana. I feel like they are filling and curb my sweet tooth.

    2328 days ago
    2328 days ago
    After reading enough material on nutrition and exercise to fill a small library over the past twenty years, I was recently caught off guard when a trainer told me that weight loss is really 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. My mind still doesn't want to connect with this information. Even if I eat super clean, my biggest results come when I exercise like a mad woman.
    2328 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/5/2011 8:28:31 PM
    My Tip: I read it somewhere and it is my mantra, whenever I feel myself waiver I say to myself!
    "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels!" emoticon
    2328 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/5/2011 7:05:54 PM
    LOVED reading through these tips!!! I keep my water bottle with me at ALL times in order to keep myself hydrated and NOT eating!!!
    2328 days ago
    Set some rules around food and drink - formalise them and then review every week. If they don't work for you then change them into ones that work for you - the simpler the better.

    I have 7 rules and they work for me. I journal every day and know the secret "fact" of weight loss. Calories in versus calories out - simple and actually works. What normally doesn't work is our ability to count...

    Selective amnesia is normally the order of the day...

    Good luck with reaching your goals and staying focused...
    2328 days ago
    Try becoming a vegan. It is a lot easier to lose weight if you don't eat any meat or dairy!
    2328 days ago
    Don't go grocery shopping hungry, you are more likely to buy crap you don't need or want
    2328 days ago
  • KIPPER15
    The other way to have Halloween candy in the house is to be short and have a very tall husband who puts things out of reach. I have a fear of heights, so to climb on the top step of my 3 step stool scares me. It works with potatoe chips too:) emoticon
    2328 days ago
    Most people are not able to put on a pound of muscle a month. A guy on a good weight lifting program might put on 9 pounds of muscle in a year.

    2328 days ago
    Strength training is just as important as cardio! The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn naturally.
    2329 days ago
  • MILLIE5522
    I've just discovered a great way to avoid temptation while waiting for the kettle to boil (a perennial problem). While its boiling do a jog on the spot! I can hear you laughing, but hey if it keeps me away from the fridge and I will be burning a few extra calories AND toning up my butt and thighs I shall continue to do it! emoticon = emoticon = emoticon
    2329 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/5/2011 10:31:39 AM
    I read some place that diet and exercise is 98% of the battle, the other 2% is hormonal balance: but without the the 2% the 98% will fail.

    Get a full hormone panel done. I have gain 30 pounds in a matter of weeks, three years of trying every diet, my former doctor thought 2 1/2 hours of exercise a day was reasonable (good thing I don't work)and monthly visits to the doctor to report my failures. I changed doctors.

    I found out all my hormones were off.

    The new doctor did an extended thyroid panel, because I was on thyroid meds but my labs shown up as normal and I was still have thyroid symptoms. The old doc was going to take me off the meds. The full panel showed, my body does makes all the thyroid hormones except for the T3 uptake. My body was making but not using the T3 thyroid hormone. She increased my meds...the first month I lost 5 pounds!

    My adrenal glands weren't functioning properly, I'm now on supplements

    I also found out my estrogen and testosterone levels were both below 5. I'm on natural hormone replacement for that too.

    I feel like a new person and I am FINALLY seeing results! My muscles are coming back, I have energy and I am finally losing weight.

    If you are doing everything "right" and you are not seeing results. The thyroid is the keeper of bodily functions, it's important to make sure your thyroid is 100%...not only for weight lost but for all the other things the thyroid controls (lipids and sugar levels, blood pressure, bone health). Chances are if you have a sugar or lipid have a thyroid issue too. Find a doctor that will listen and get am extended hormone panel done.
    2329 days ago
    Halloween tip: Don't buy candy at all! I buy lots of little toys and temporary Halloween tattoos and eyeball gum from The kids love it, it last until next year when I don't get very many trick-or-treaters, and no calories!!!!

    Chocolate craving tip: Kashi dark chocolate almond granola bars - 130 cal, whole grains, dark chocolate, tasty and sooooo satisfying!

    Re: swimming vs other exercise - calories are calories so I can't image you would lose weight less quickly with swimming....BUT do make sure you are doing some exercise that stresses the skeleton (i.e. walking, running, weight lifting) to keep your bones strong! Don't want to lose weight by losing mineral mass :-).

    Keep up the good work!

    2329 days ago
    swimming is one of THE best cardio exercises because it is easy on the joints AND is built in resistance training all in one. And who cares how many calories one type burns over another anyway--DOing it as opposed to NOT doing it is what counts!!
    2329 days ago
    My tip for the day is adding you as a friend. You are such a fun writer and I love the way your quirky mind works.

    And for the record: for some reason, I lose MORE weight when I swim than when I choose other cardio ... but absolute tops is weight-lifting. Which I hate to do. But I do do. And that's no "do-do." It's true.
    2329 days ago
    yep that is one thing i am trying to do MUCH less of.
    2329 days ago
    I love eating and I could do so all day long... So I've found out this amazing fact: you can eat lots of veggies stick and still lose weight. I carry carrot sticks with me almost everywhere. Shredded food is wonderful too because it makes my mind believe I'm eating a lot when it's only 20g of hard cheese.
    I just love your style! Keep up the good work!
    PS: I can't find 'cowpie' in my dictionary - what does it mean?
    2329 days ago
    Blaming weight gain on muscle gain - yes, this is mostly a myth. However, weight stall on muscle gain is legit. I've been doing some intense resistance training for the last month and I haven't lost that much weight (maybe 2-3 lbs) but I can feel the difference in the way my pants/shirts fit, and I'm almost down two notches on my belt.

    People say "muscle weighs more than fat" which is a physical impossibility. Muscle is more DENSE than fat, so you can be losing fat & gaining muscle & staying the same weight but losing inches.

    One thing that has aggravated me lately is the "carbs at night" myth. There is no science to support it!
    2329 days ago
  • CANNIE50
    I am devoted to Strength Training and I NEVER attribute weight gain to muscle. I can see that my biceps are more defined (about the only muscle that is visible due to me still carrying extra insulation). I know that the ONLY thing that will ever get me to a healthy comfortable weight for my body, will be consuming less food. I S.T. because it does lend some toning (which I don't see but others comment on) and, mainly, because so much of this journey feels out of my control, and makes me feel weak (i.e. Halloween candy). By lifting weights, I feel strong and in control and as if I am actually getting somewhere, not just waiting around for my flipping fat to melt off and go away. Lifting weights does for me what yoga does for most people, it calms my mind. I know a body with more muscle burns more fuel but I don't strength train with the idea that I will ever be able to "eat everything I want". Thanks for blogging - your blogs are a treat.
    2329 days ago
    Get your workout done 1st thing in the morning so that nothing else can get in the way of it!

    2329 days ago
  • KGIRL160
    When having a chocolate craving attack - I indulge in a 110 calorie cup of hot cocoa.. fixes me up without fattening me up.
    2329 days ago
  • KGIRL160
    When having a chocolate craving attack - I indulge in a 110 calorie cup of hot cocoa.. fixes me up without fattening me up.
    2329 days ago
    I've never heard about your metobolism speeding up when yuo have your period. But I do know you burn more calories than usual when working out on your period!

    You can gain way more than one pound of muscle in a month. My gym has a uber fancy scale that measures how much muscle you have and I've gained a lot of muscle in a month.
    2330 days ago
    Staying well hydrated and not bringing junk into the house are big ones for me. One of the hardest for me to learn though was you DON'T have to finish what you've been served! Whether at a restaurant, or what you served yourself at home. Take your time, and when you're full, STOP. No one will die because you didn't finish what was on your plate. Not even the starving children in whatever country. Really.
    2330 days ago
    I don't have a tip, but I do like the idea of bringing a salad to potlucks! Usually I just bring something really sweet like brownies or cake, because I'm pretty sure when my wisdom teeth got pulled they extracted my sweet tooth also, so I don't even think about touching whatever I bring. And any that is left over goes to friends or family. Salad is a better idea though...then I'm not shoving sweets into the faces of those around me.
    2330 days ago
    I bought dollar store bubble gum to hand out to Trick or Treaters. I can't chew gum right now because of my braces.

    Whenever we go to a potluck thingy, I usually take a fruit or veggie tray. I eat from that for the first 30 minutes or so... then allow myself to look over the other options.

    If it's not in the house, I can't eat it. While this is a good one, I work at a different house where I have no control except for what I bring for my own meals. And since this house has small children in it... (sigh...) and a father addicted to potato chips... (double sigh...)
    2330 days ago
  • THEMIS27
    The "gaining muscle" factoid is true. We gain muscle so ridiculously slowly. People brand new to weight lifting can gain a bit more easily, but that ability quickly deteriorates the more we lift. So yes, blaming weight gain on new muscle is largely for making cowpies. I have access to a study on it if you're interested.
    2330 days ago
  • JOYCE12356
    Here's an interesting one: "fidgeters" tend to be thinner than their non-fidgety counterparts.

    So, I guess the theory is, if you're stuck sitting for a good portion of your day, you should fidget. It helps to burn extra calories.

    My problem with this one is that I predominantly fidget right-handedly and right-leggedly. :) So, am I going to end up with a nice tight right arm and leg and be flabby on the left?

    Now I have to learn how to be an ambidextrous fidgeter. Maybe that will help with some whacky theory on brain function too?
    2330 days ago
  • BOOMAC1961
    Great blog! No tip comes to mind right now but I sure have enjoyed reading yours and everyone else's. Great sense of humor! emoticon
    2330 days ago
  • BLOSSOM2344
    Halloween tip -don't buy candy, buy Halloween theme pencils, erasers, finger puppets, plactic rings and little toys (be careful about what you give the under 3 yrs old ghosts). The first year I did this, I felt a little guilty about not giving out sugar, right up until I heard 1 little princess running back down the walk yelling "Mommy! We got PENCILS!" She was so excited, and suddenly I was the cool house on the street!
    2330 days ago
    Great Blog! My little thing that helps me not snack in between meals.... I chew extra sugar free gum. Every time I feel like going to find something to snack on I pop one or two pieces of gum in my mouth and then I don't even want to snack. Since soda is a big problem for me it also helps keep me from grabbing another soda because it tastes strange with spearmint flavored gum :)
    2330 days ago
    Thanks for the reminders. I hate it when people tell me that I gained muscle... So dumb! I don't even lift weights right now... just running LOL! (Running causes you to actually lose fat along with a little bit of muscle mass). People just repeat the soundbites they hear... Glad to see that you actually do the research! :)
    2330 days ago
    Well, if you insist...

    My tip: Denial is just a river in Egypt. Which, I guess, should read DeNile, but anyway. Meaning, let yourself have a treat. Don't say *I cannot eat [insert evil yet delicious food here]*, because that's exactly what you're going to end up binging on at 2am, while planted in front of the fridge. Have some chocolate/ice cream/pie/whatever, just don't go crazy with it. Have SOME, not the whole package/carton/pie/whatever. If you just can't have it, due to binging concerns, find a substitute. Find something that can be a treat, so you don't feel deprived. Or denied. Or DeNiled.
    2330 days ago
  • NUMD97
    Segueying on what Moetr345 said below about pre-tracking: I'm finding that using basic staples for breakfast (cereal, usually, so I can horde the calorie allowance for dinner) and lunch (loading with salads and a lot of veggies to get those done, too), I can be more liberal and varied with dinner.

    When I'm good, this usually works quite well.

    The key for me is to be more consistently "good".

    emoticon [still don't know what this emoticon is, but it seems to fit]

    2330 days ago
  • MOETR345
    Awesome blog! Great tips!

    Mine (that I need to follow more often) is to pre-track my food for the day as much as possible. That way I don't start aimlessly rummaging through the pantry, but instead can use any "spare" calories to fill in any gaps in my nutrition, or have a small ice-cream guilt-free (knowing it fit in my ranges).
    2330 days ago
    Here's a gooder:

    If you don't buy tempting snack foods like potato chips, cookies, and chocolate, they won't be in your house so you won't eat them.


    I know, right? Freakin' genius right here folks.

    2330 days ago
    This is great! It was fun to read your blog and all of the comments.

    My tip is for eating at restaurants. I sincerely think that they've figured out that keeping restaurants colder makes people more likely to order heavy, comfort food meals. If I order hot water with lemon before I order my meal, I feel more comfortable and find it easier to choose something lighter and better for my body.
    2330 days ago
    Hear anything on coconut oil reduces belly fat? The front desk girl at my gym bought some to take 2 tablespoons a day! I cook with it, never heaping tablespoons to whittle my middle! emoticon
    2330 days ago
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