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Good Habits #1 – How To Eat Hamburgers Without Dying Young

Like any red-blooded American, I like hamburgers.  I really like them.  A lot. Of course, it’s not the healthiest thing you can eat.  I’ve seen butchers cutting steaks, and I’ve seen the fatty scraps of meat that they cut off and push to the side.  This is the stuff that goes into the grinder. So the stuff that makes hamburgers is just about the highest calorie beef offering there is.

And as I discussed in my last piece, sometimes the extra calories come from the stuff we put on top of the other food.  So after slathering two buns with mayonnaise and topping the fatburger with tons of cheese, you’re taking the first step on the long road to myocardial infarction.  Add a side of fries and a sugary drink (or a beer, if you’re a real patriot), and you’ve taken the second and third steps. I may go into more detail on these other things in a future piece, but for now, back to the beef.

Obviously, given the choice between dying horribly of a heart attack and giving up hamburgers forever, the heart attack is the preferred option.  So foregoing hamburgers is not a realistic scenario. One is painful and usually ends in death, but the other is simply un-American. If I’m not eating hamburgers, how can I truly be free?  I’m not sure if this is exactly what Patrick Henry was talking about when he said “Give me liberty or give me death”, but I see an obvious parallel.

The typical fatburger (say, 80% to 85% lean) has around 280 calories per patty.  Add the rest of the stuff on a burger and the calories add up quickly. And god forbid you have a double hamburger or cheeseburger.  If you regularly take in that many calories, you might as well just lie down and die and save the healthcare system the cost of dealing with all of your imminent chronic diseases.

Fortunately, there are entire databases of alternatives to use instead of the fatburger.  I use the Cronometer app, but it’s not the only thing out there. Using any one of these databases, we can look up dozens of substitutes to ground beef.  

One choice is dead birds instead of dead cows.  Two, in particular, are noteworthy. The first one I noticed is ground chicken.  A single patty of this stuff is only about 160 calories. There is a serious problem with this, though.  

In my home state of Georgia, putting a piece of chicken on a bun when it hasn’t been breaded and fried is the worst sort of heresy.  Even thinking of eating grilled chicken can place you on the path to perdition.  What profit a man if he gains good health at the cost of his immortal soul? So I tend to pass on this.

The other dead bird I found is ground turkey.  It also has about 160 or so calories per patty.  And you don’t lose patriotism points by replacing beef with turkey since turkey (unlike beef) is native to North America.  Remember, Benjamin Franklin once proposed having the turkey be our national bird, instead of the bald eagle. So it’s super patriotic.  I’m glad that didn’t work out, though. Having a bird of prey as your national symbol is so much better than having a bird people use for target practice.

There is a problem with this one as well, though.  It just doesn’t taste the same. Technically, that’s true with the chicken as well.  But the blasphemies associated with grilled chicken that I noted above render any discussion of taste moot.  But as for ground turkey, you’re not truly having a hamburger. It’s just a turkey burger. And turkey burgers are fine, I suppose.  But if I want a true hamburger, this is insufficient. So I’ve had to look into other things to replace ground beef.

Those of us who like fish might consider salmon burgers.  Salmon may be the healthiest fish there is, loaded with Omega-3 whatever and other goodies.  And the calorie count is only about 130-140 or so. The problem is…they suck. I don’t know what procedures the salmon burgers are put through in the shadowy recesses of whatever soulless, corporate processing plant makes them.  But they’ve managed to take one of the best-tasting fish on the planet and make it horribly bland. Hard pass on this one for me.

There are always the vegan and vegetarian products.  I’ve tried the Morningstar brand patties, which have about 90 calories.  But they taste more like sausage than hamburger. So…no. I mean, I like sausage, but I don’t want a sausage burger.  And there are new-fangled scienceburgers that have emerged of late, notably the Beyond Burger and the Impossible burger.  But it turns out, they’re not that healthy.  

Four ounces of the Beyond Burger clocks in at about 250 calories, which is not noticeably better than the fatburger.  And the Impossible burger checks in at about 290 calories. It’s actually slightly worse than the fatburger.  So if you don’t want to eat animals, these are both possibilities for you.  But otherwise, don’t waste your time.

There is one other healthy type of ground meat that you can oftentimes find tucked away in the corner of the meat section:  Ground bison meat. The calories are about 160 to 200 per patty, and you still get patriotism points for eating a North American animal.  And for the climate-conscious, pasture-raised bison actually have negative carbon emissions.  Most importantly, the taste is pretty good.  It’s not exactly like beef, but it is sort of beef-ish.  It’s lower in fat, which makes it slightly more bland than beef, but a little judicious application of seasonings can overcome that.

But after all of this, I realized that there was an obvious thing I had overlooked: Really lean beef.  Beef that the butcher made from scraps after carving off the excess fat.  Ground beef that is over 95% lean tends to have about 160-200 calories, about like the bison.  So it’s a healthy hamburger that actually tastes like a hamburger.

So I don’t have to give up the food my country is best known for.  I don’t have to resort to eating alternative meats, although some are pretty good and I’ll occasionally do that.  I just needed to get healthier beef. And I also needed to watch out for the rest of the stuff on the burger. So I go easy on the mayo and the cheese, and maybe get a whole wheat bun or some other healthier bread.  And I’m never going to be one of the crazies who drops a cholesterol bomb (A.K.A. a fried egg) on top. Bacon is still fine, though.

And lastly, I watch the sides.  I discovered that french fries can add another 200-300 calories.  A soft drink can add about 140-350 calories, depending on its size.  Unless you drink the aspartame-laced chemical concoctions, commonly known as diet soft drinks.  And a twelve-ounce beer will add roughly the same number of calories as a twelve-ounce sugary drink.  So I’ve learned that if I want to keep eating hamburgers, I’ll need to be mindful of what I’m having with them.  But I’ll save that discussion for a later piece. 

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Bad Habits #1 – The Perilous Habits Of Bachelors Who Can’t Cook, But Often Try To

As I mentioned in my last piece, when I actually started tracking what I eat and where most of my calories come from, I noticed a few foods that were providing a disproportionate number of calories.  And it wasn’t necessarily the ones you might suspect. Sure, meats (particularly the fried and barbecued kinds) produce a fair amount. But I noticed that some of the things causing me to go over on the calorie count were not meat.

The presence of some of these items could be traced back to bad habits I’d acquired when I was a bachelor.  I’d been told that it’s generally healthier to cook for yourself, so I gave it a shot. The problem is, I’m a pretty lousy cook.

There are a few exceptions.  Like any red-blooded American male I can grill up steaks, hamburgers, and hot dogs with ease.  But I ran into trouble with anything more complicated than that. I’ve burnt things to the point where they were almost pure carbon.  I’ve created unholy concoctions that probably violated the chemical/biological weapons provisions of the Geneva convention. I’ve baked cookies that had the consistency of hockey pucks, and were probably more useful as projectiles to drive the neighborhood kids off of my lawn than as food.  The only thing I haven’t done is cause a fire or explosion. Yet.

I occasionally try to follow recipes, but that comes with it’s own set of challenges.  I’ll spend hours trying to find a good recipe on AllRecipes.com or some similar site. But it can be discouraging.  I’ll find something that looks great, only to discover that I don’t have half of the ingredients needed. Or that a recipe requires something be marinated for several days.  Or just takes entirely too many steps. Brown this thing for ten minutes, while sauteing this other thing, then add this other thing with these additional things and simmer for hours.  I don’t have the patience for all of that.

So when I cook it’s usually some variant of Irish cooking, as defined by the comedian Denis Leary, (put everything into a pot and boil it), Cajun cooking (put very unusual and exotic things that most people don’t consider to be food into a pot, along with outrageously hot peppers and sauces, and boil it) or stir fry (put everything into a pan and try not to burn it).  I rarely get good results. At best, I get something bland. At worst, I get something that the houseflies aren’t even interested in. But there are a few solutions that could be deployed to remedy whatever horror I’d created in the kitchen.

One was a common solution deployed by the Italians.  Smother it in melted cheese. Whatever affront to decency I’d cooked up could be improved noticeably with the liberal application of cheese.  I tended to go with the Mexican blend. But there was a problem. I noticed when I started using the Cronometer app that one ounce of Mexican blend (which is really just a finger-full) was 100 calories.  This was true of just about every type of cheese that I liked. And I tended to dump more than a few finger-fulls on my culinary crimes against humanity. So the number of calories I was getting from cheese were nearly as much as the rest of the meal.  Other solutions I occasionally tried, such as dousing the vile victuals with barbecue sauce or other sauces, were almost as bad.  

And even when I tried the healthy meal that almost no one can screw up (salad), I was making mistakes.  I would drench the compost pile that is salad with dressing. And I thought that by using vinaigrettes I was being healthy.  I wasn’t. The sheer volume of pretentious French dressings (and I don’t mean that gross orange stuff) that I inundated the salad with were giving me more calories that the rest of the salad combined.

Fortunately, when I started tracking these things with the app, I was able to Drill Down into the details of my Diet (see what I did there?) and see where I was going wrong. So when I transgress against all of the laws and norms of food preparation (a nightly occurrence), I now know a few new ways to redeem the end results of my questionable adventures in cooking.

One of them is the other Italian solution.  Bury it in tomatoes.  Emptying a half a can of peeled tomatoes on one of my kitchen borne travesties only adds about 75 calories.  And buries the shameful evidence of my failure.

Another trick, which I should’ve picked up from the Cajuns earlier, was to soak the monstrosity that I’d created in copious amounts of hot sauce.  My father tells me that he and his army buddies used to do this to their rations to make them edible. And although I think military rations are probably noticeably better than my cooking, I’ve discovered that even the abominations birthed in my kitchen can be redeemed with sufficient Tabasco sauce.  And my sinuses have never been clearer. 

As for the salad, I discovered that fat free dressings are noticeably healthier than the others.  Unfortunately, they taste like something that is fat free.  And by that I mean…gross. But I also noticed that Greek yogurt based dressings are also noticeably lower in calories.  These taste very good. And also, they’re sold with the fancy schmancy dressing next to the produce, not in the condiments aisle, where the great unwashed of humanity buy their dressings.  So I’ve switched to these, and not only am I healthier, but I think these things just make me better than other people.

In a nutshell, the things we dump on our food to make them edible can be the things that make us gain weight.  I guess we all know we should go easier on condiments and what-not, but I never really understood what I was doing to myself until I actually started measuring it.  Less cheese or other toppings, and healthier dressings and sauces is an easy way to knock out a couple hundred calories from my diet.

I’m sure it might occur to anyone seeing this that I could always just try to be a better cook.  I tried. I’m hopeless. I need to douse just about everything I cook in something to scarf it down.  I’m just going to need to watch what I do the dousing with and how much dousing I do.  It’s not always easy. I’ll admit, the fact that cheese could be a problem was demoralizing, since mac and cheese is one of the few things I can cook well, apart from the aforementioned grilled offerings.  But this doesn’t mean I can’t have it. I just need to go easy on the cheese part. Or run a few miles before I eat it.

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Exercise #1 – The Value of Exercise and the Honey-Do List

I’m planning to do several pieces about exercise and how I’ve managed to incorporate it into my regimen and around my schedule.  As I’ve mentioned in previous pieces, I’m a CPA, and it’s easy to pack on pounds when you’re a CPA, or in any other sedentary occupation.  

I used to exercise when I could, but oftentimes wouldn’t feel up to it.  I’m sure many of you have been there. After a long day of mundane, mind-numbing work, you’re just not in the mood.  And when you work in accounting, literally every day is mundane, mind-numbing work.

I’d try to watch what I ate too.  But the pounds kept packing on. And I, like many people struggling with weight gain, seemed surrounded by people who seem to have no difficulty keeping the weight off.

There was one person in particular at work who was incredibly infuriating.  I won’t mention his name. He knows who he is and what he’s done. Which, specifically, was to eat every unhealthy thing imaginable and still stay fairly skinny.  This guy would eat McDonald’s, Arby’s, Burger King, Chick-Fil-A, you name it. And despite being about ten years older than me, he weighed what I weighed when I was ten years younger.  At least, using visual reckoning.  It’s not like I put him on a scale or anything.

He never seemed to gain a pound, and he worked really long hours, showing up before me and leaving after me most days.  I began to suspect that he had some mystical superpower that rendered him immune to trans-fats and saturated fats. Or at least that he had a tapeworm.

But none of that was true.  Late one evening, when I was actually leaving at the same time as he was, I discovered the truth, when I saw him leaving while wearing a goofy helmet and a fanny pack.  He’d been riding his bike back and forth to work. This translated into about an hour of bike riding each day. Which is a decent amount of exercise. No wonder he could eat whatever he wanted.

When I started using the Cronometer app, I understood why.  Not only can an hour long bike ride burn about 800 calories a day, but your activity level affects your resting metabolism as well.  That means you’re burning more while doing nothing.  I’d known for a long time how even light exercise can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease (and also, just about every other disease), but I’d never understood how significant it was for weight loss.

Everybody has a Basal Metabolic Rate.  This is what you burn doing nothing. And how much you burn depends on things like weight and height and age and sex.  But if you exercise moderately (as I do) 3-5 times a week, for at least thirty minutes, the total number of calories you burn in a day is the BMR plus 50% of your BMR because of your higher activity.  And any calories you burn directly through exercise are on top of that. Since I tend to burn at least 400 calories a day exercising, the amount I can eat each day without gaining weight is just under 3,400 calories.  Eating less than that is a lot easier than eating less than the 2000 calories that a sedentary man would need to.

So that was the secret.  Exercise. Now, I used to run a lot (five miles a day), and my weight didn’t change much.  But I realized when I started using the Cronometer app that it was because I had a few other bad habits that I needed to get under control.  And I’ll go into great detail about that…some other time. But for now, I’ll talk about exercise.

I stopped running when my knees started to creak a bit.  My doctor told me to avoid high impact workouts. My wife talked me into going to the gym, but I was never a big fan.  The workouts were entirely too dull and repetitive. Dull and repetitive is what I do in my day job, so I didn’t want to do that after work too.  But I noticed something when I saw an aerobics class at the gym.  

One of the moves they made was an axe chopping motion.  And it occurred to me that if I was swinging an actual axe, I could get roughly the same benefit.  And it just so happened that I had an obnoxious tree in the backyard that dumped berries (inedible berries) all over the patio.  And it blocked the sunlight, causing the grass to slowly wither.

My wife had wanted me to cut it down for a while.  So I did. A piece at a time. For an hour or two after work each day.  In Florida, where I live, the sun doesn’t go down in the summertime until seven or eight o’clock (give or take thirty minutes), so I had plenty of time for this after work.  After a few weeks, I’d sawed off the extraneous branches, chopped down the trunk, and then chopped the stump out of the ground.  

The pounds were flying off.  Naturally, they were replaced by (sometimes debilitating) muscle soreness, but I worked through that.  And maybe the work itself was dull and repetitive, but unlike the workouts at the gym, it produced a tangible result.  I had a visible goal to work towards.

Then, when the tree was down, I took down two more that were overhanging the power lines stretching through the backyard.  I couldn’t do it every day, though, because it was Summer in Florida. So it rained. A lot. Almost every day. And my backyard flooded like crazy when it rained.  And the reason was because those trees I had murdered were getting revenge from beyond the grave. Which led me to my next task.

The patio, which really just a collection of pavers, was a jumble, made so by the leftover roots from the deceased trees,  So over the course of several weeks, I pulled up the pavers, chopped up the roots, dug a ditch around the patio and all the way to the front of the house, then sloped everything so that the water would run out of the ditch and to the front yard.  Then I put a pipe in the ditch and covered it with gravel and dirt. I’d made a fully functional French drain and lost another dozen or so pounds. And after that, flooding wasn’t so much of a problem in the backyard.

Turns out, the exercise wasn’t just good for my waistline.  Exercise produces the “good” HDL cholesterol, which offsets the “bad” LDL cholesterol.  And if you’re wondering what HDL and LDL stand for, I invite you to deploy the power of Google to find out.  I don’t feel like pronouncing elaborate medical terms just now. Or any other time.  

And exercise is good for the blood pressure as well.  It makes your heart stronger, which reduces blood pressure.  Also, when we sweat, sodium comes out in the sweat. Too much sodium in your body increases blood pressure, so if you can sweat it out you can counteract that.

That last bit depends somewhat on where you are on the planet, though.  In Florida, you can start sweating within seconds of going outside, so you don’t need to exercise at all for it to happen.  You could also just sit in a sauna to get this effect. Of course, in Florida, the outdoors is a sauna, so going to an actual sauna would be sort of redundant.  On the other hand, you could probably jog all day in Antarctica and never sweat at all.  Although you should probably never go jogging in Antarctica. But the point is, exercise in most normal places will produce enough perspiration to offset any salty foods you may have had that day.

You know, the last thing most of us would rather do is house chores, either inside or outside.  And those of us that aren’t lonely incels know that our wives/girlfriends/whatever frequently have a list of projects they’d like us to do.  This irritating list is called the “Honey-Do” list in the vernacular. All of these things I did were things my wife had asked me to do, but I never got around to.  But suddenly, the list wasn’t so aggravating, since it was contributing to weight loss.  

And instead of paying money to go to the gym, I didn’t spend a dime.  Well, except on the gravel and pipes, but that wasn’t so bad. If anything, I got paid to do the work, since the value of my house probably went up, if only a little.  Also, all of my vital numbers: weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, etc., were improved the last time I went to the doctor.

This is the trick to adding exercise into your regimen: finding a way to work it in with everything else.  And finishing tasks on the Honey-Do list was one way for me. Mow the lawn, clean out the garage, fix the sink, move assorted heavy things, and so forth.  The Honey-Do list is never complete. But doing these little tasks for thirty minutes to an hour a day was all it took to get the exercise I needed. The weight just melted off.  

I’d found a way to squeeze some exercise into my otherwise busy schedule, lose some weight, improve my house, and make the missus happy.  I guess it’s slightly unmanning to realize that one way to lose weight was…to do exactly what my wife said to do. Being forced to admit that she occasionally has a point is incredibly annoying.  Fortunately, it’s not the only way I’ve found to squeeze in some exercise.  But I’ll talk about that in a later piece.

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Thanksgiving Diet Advice is Actually Terrible

So the Holidays are upon us, starting with Thanksgiving.  And every year, news sites, especially the health and fitness ones, inundate us with advice on how to lose weight.  Most of which is asinine. So here’s some of the awful advice I’ve found out there, in no particular order.

More than a few people think you should eat before you eat.  Now eating breakfast is not a bad idea, but pre-partying with lame snacks like eggs and peanut butter and crackers and veggie plates, before getting to the awesome food of Thanksgiving and Christmas, is kind of a buzzkill.

Who in their right mind would eat more of this to eat less turkey?
Had to look it up. Crudite means veggie plate.

Some people say “police your portions” or “skip seconds” or “slowly savor your food”.  Discipline and self control are generally good things, but when is the last time anyone had fun doing those things?  Apparently, somebody out there thinks that the only way to avoid weight gain over the Holidays is to not have any fun over the Holidays.

Nope
Also nope.

Some other advice involves drinking.  Like “sip slowly” or “intersperse water with alcoholic drinks” or (strangely) intersperse alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic drinks, which apparently includes alcoholic drinks like wine. 

Not sure what exactly
this guy was trying to say.

Not only is this nonsensical, but they’re hitting us with the discipline thing again. How can we resist a bowl of eggnog? This just isn’t reasonable.

Some people say focus on family and friends; that the Holidays aren’t just about food.  That’s kind of crap. You can focus on family on Labor Day or Memorial Day, too, but the food is less awesome than on Thanksgiving and Christmas.  So, the Holidays are at least partly about the food.

Other ideas include dumping the turkey skin.  Or basting the turkey in fat-free chicken broth.  Or using yogurt or fat free sour cream in dips, instead of regular sour cream.  Or using less oil and butter. In other words, dump the most flavorful bits. No thanks.

Srsly?

Another idea from the Internet diet gurus is to avoid the sweets, or at least limit them.  No pie, no cranberry sauce, no nothing. The problem here is that when I go home, the pie selections include pumpkin pie and pecan pie.  And peach cobbler, which isn’t really pie, but is still kind of awesome. And one of my cousins makes the best rum-flavored cranberry sauce, with actual rum in it.  I’m not passing on any of these. Not ever.

One lady even advises to throw away leftovers.  This offends me on many levels. When your whoever cooks for you spends hours making Thanksgiving dinner, the least you can do is eat leftovers for the rest of the week so that they can get a break.  And if it was you, then give yourself a break. Also, I’m from the part of the country where we reuse empty pickle jars as drinking glasses. So this waste is just an insult to my ancestry. And lastly, I gather that wasting food is just bad for the planet, contributing to emissions or some such.  So don’t do this. Save that food. Freeze it if you have to.

😳

Now there is a little bit of good advice out there, like making sure you exercise over the Holidays to balance out the excess, or helping with cleanup to burn off a few cals here and there.  But here’s a crazy idea: It really doesn’t matter what you do over the Holidays.

There’s a saying that everyone thinks was from an old greek philosopher (Aristotle) which is actually from an American philosopher (William Durant) who was simplifying something the Greek guy said.  

The saying is “We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”  And this applies to your diet. Because what matters in your diet is not what you do on one or two days out of the year, but the entire year.

Let’s say you go nuts over Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve.  Actually, let’s say you misbehave for the full month of December, and Thanksgiving.  If you’re behaving yourself for the other eleven months or so, you’ll still lose weight.  Because you can’t eat enough over the Holidays to wreck your diet. Your stomach isn’t big enough.  If you eat too much, you’ll just throw up. I know, because I almost did that once at Golden Corral.

One thing I learned quickly when I started using the Cronometer app to track my weight loss progress was that this is a marathon, not a sprint.  It’s about averages over time. And if, on average, you’re burning more than you’re eating, you’ll lose weight. So I’m going to keep track of my food and exercise over the Holidays, but I’m not going to obsess about overdoing things.  I’m going to chow down and watch football and goof off like any red-blooded American.

So my advice is to just go nuts this Holiday season.  Eat, drink, and be merry. You’re not going to be fat because of what you do over the Holidays.  You’re going to be fat because of what you do for the rest of the year. Have a great time, and then make up for it starting January 2nd of next year.

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I Have Fewer Chins Than I Used To

So I’ve managed to lose about 30 pounds in three months.  Keeping the weight off has been increasingly a problem as I get older.  It doesn’t help that I’m a CPA by profession, a rather sedentary job which lends itself to a certain portliness.  I also got married not too long ago, and I discovered that the first few years of marriage are like the first few years of college.  Meaning, you put on some serious poundage. Except that unlike in college, the weight increase is from eating too much, not drinking too much.  In marriage, the heavy drinking doesn’t start until you’re about five years in.

The weight gain also resulted in other complications, like high blood pressure and high cholesterol and acid reflux and sleep apnea.  There are ways to treat these, but it’s better just to lose some weight and not have to bother. But the big kicker for me was being told I was pre-diabetic.  Type 2 diabetes runs in my family. I want to delay that, so that’s why I’m losing weight.

I’ve finally found something that gets results.  No fancy gimmicks or supplements or diet programs.  A friend of mine turned me on to an app called Cronometer.  He’s also in a rather sedentary profession (insurance sales and financial planning), so he had many of the same troubles I do.  He told me he’d lost 40 pounds over the course of four months. And not long after I had a rather scary doctor’s appointment with some worrying results, so I thought I would give it a try.

There are no tricks to it.  You put in your weight, height, and activity level, and a few other things then you just keep track of what you eat and how much you exercise.  The app tells you if your calories burned on any given day are more or less than what you ate. If you burn 500 more than you eat each day, you lose a pound a week.  If you burn 1000 more than you eat each day, you lose two pounds a week. Since I’m an accountant for a living, this sort of approach suits me, since it’s not all that different from totalling up receipts.  But I think anyone could use this. It only takes maybe five minutes after each meal to record your food.

It also lets you track the various nutrients so you can assess if you’re getting a balanced diet.  You can also keep track of your sodium and cholesterol, which helps if you’re trying to get your blood pressure and cholesterol down.  

I’m surprised at just how much is already in their database.  Almost any brand of store bought food is there. And oftentimes you can enter it by scanning the barcode with your phone.  And if you prepare a home cooked meal, you can create your own recipe to keep track of the calories.

I also discovered quite early that this doesn’t work if you don’t add some exercise.  And the app allows you to track that too.  It has every imaginable type of exercise, from jogging to gym workouts to housework and yardwork.  There’s even an entry for, uh, marital procreative activities.

After a few days of tracking the food I ate and my exercise, I was able to identify what I was doing wrong.  The app let me look at the details of where my calories, cholesterol, and various nutrients were coming from.  In the accounting world, this is called drilling down. Seeing the relationship between my diet and the calories and nutrients I was taking in allowed me to identify bad habits I had and identify the good habits I needed to adopt.  

And I was gratified to note that it didn’t require major changes.  I didn’t have to adopt a diet named after a doctor or a geographic area or a geological period or whatever.  I didn’t have to completely alter my life or give up things that I loved. I just needed to add a little discipline and moderation.

So, I’ll be making occasional blog posts and YouTube videos detailing some of the things I’ve discovered: bad habits I eliminated, good habits I adopted, challenges I’ve had adapting my regimen to my work and life schedule and some of the things I’ve learned about health, fitness and nutrition..  Hopefully what I find will be of some value to anyone who wants to lose weight and has been struggling to figure out how.

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