Sugar in Your Food

Sugar, specifically simple sugars in many forms, has become one of the most harmful ingredients in our food. It is a large contributor to the plague of obesity that currently contributes to many health problems in America.

This brief post will not discuss the topic, but instead serves to introduce an infographic I have prepared to point out the importance of checking our food’s sugar content by looking at the nutrition label for hidden sugars.

infographic of sugar hiding in your food


Ranting About Salt!

All things evil are not black! Clearly. Indeed, some of the great evils of the world are white: sugar, salt, and processed flour.

It is not that they have no value, but that they have been made harmful do to the way they are used. In my view, salt is the worst.

Salt Is An Invasive Ingredient

salt packages

One of my interests is gardening. In fact I have worked with Minnesota Master Gardeners now for twenty years. One of our ongoing concerns has always been invasive plants.

One of these invasive plants, buckthorn, originally occupied a large area on my property when we bought it. Fortunately, after considerable work and expense, we ridded ourselves of it for the most part.

Unfortunately, I have not had such good luck getting rid of this invasive ingredient in our food, excessive salt. That is why I decided to rant a little in this post about salt—to vent a little.

Why I Find Salt So Challenging

Salt is like an invasive plant in many ways.

  • Its excessive use has spread rapidly.
  • Its widespread use is is harmful to its environment, in this case our bodies.
  • It is hard to get rid of.

Almost everyone knows that the over use of salt is a major contributor to any number of health issues. For a real eye opener…


Fitness Report — January 2015

December proved to be a good month overall in my personal getting fit at last project. As the year came to a close I could only be thankful for the positive change in the direction of my health brought about by my getting fit at last project. I am really looking forward to 2015 and to the goals I have in mind for the next twelve months.

December Weight Loss

While getting fit means more than just losing weight, there is no question that losing excess weight remains as my number one objective at this time. It has been over the course of the last year and will remain so for most if not all of 2015.

Weight loss chart through Jan 2015

As the graph indicates, my weight loss for December was modest, as it has been over the course of the year, but still steadily moving down which is most important. On a personal level reaching the 215 mark has been a cause for celebration. While I am still considerably overweight, this marks the half-way mark in my overall quest to lose eighty pounds.


The Third Best Christmas Gift

When I got up on Christmas morning I received an unexpected gift. I was so excited about it I thought immediately about making a blog post celebrating it as the best Christmas gift.

Decorated Christmas tree

But before I could even put a single finger to the keyboard I realized that it was at best second to what I received the day before, and by the time I could start writing I realized it was at best third to another!

The Best Christmas Gift

When we write online, our audience comes from all over the world. My primary website is Success With Money. It has readers from countries all around the globe, so certainly not all are Christians—even in America which is primarily Christian there are many other faiths as well.

But even if people come from very different backgrounds, there is one thing about the life of Jesus that is worth considering for all mankind…


Dr. David B. Samadi Nails It!

Portrait of Dr. David Samadi

When interviewed on a network news show today (December 20, 2014), Dr. David B. Samadi, Chairman of the Department of Urology and Chief of Robotic Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and contributor to the weekly Sunday Housecall program, was asked to comment on safe eating over the holidays and how to lose weight in the long term for those who were overweight.

He managed to state in a matter of just a few sentences just about everything a person needs to know to lose weight and establish healthy eating habits….


Celebrate Weight Loss Milestones

Today I reached another milestone along the way to personal fitness. Now to figure out how to celebrate! No, it will not be with food.

No longer obese!

Man weighing

Finally this morning, after losing a full thirty-five pounds, my scale dropped below 220 pounds (at least momentarily until I grabbed that first cup of coffee). So officially I am now just overweight, not obese.

Of course I know I am at the very top edge of being overweight. I also know that I am less than half way to my goal of a fit weight. But it feels great nevertheless.

From a fitness point of view there is little difference between my weight yesterday and my weight today, but reaching this point has been a marker, a sub-goal along the way toward my ultimate weight goal. I have had my eye on it for some time.

It is important to set major goals if we want to achieve anything in life, and certainly that is true of getting fit. A weight goal is one of them.

It is equally important, perhaps more so, to have intermediate goals, so we can recognize our progress and be motivated by our achievements….


Hanging On One Day at a Time

Like a lot of other things, sometimes success with a weight loss plan is a matter of just hanging on. I like to think of it as succeeding one-day-at-a-time.

Some Days It Is Hard

calendar with dates circled

For several days I have been on a mini-plateau with my weight loss. This is pretty normal. Eating something with a little more salt than usual or whatever can bring on a little stall.

It is harder to exercise the self-discipline needed on days when the scale doesn’t cooperate (how could I gain two pounds in one day without eating much of anything!) even though we know it is temporary. It helps to have some method for giving a boost to our motivation on days like this.

For very short plateaus like this it is only necessary to have a very short—intense but short—boost in commitment and focus. My approach is to collapse my view of the project at hand, to forget about my long term goals, and focus on maintaining my diet for just one day.


Three Tools for Controlling Calories

There are three key kitchen tools used by those who become successful at losing excess weight. They are simple tools but powerful ones nevertheless.

Nutritional Labels

Nutrition Label

When working on a weight loss program, the number one consideration has to be controlling calories. And the number one help for this is the required nutritional information found on food packages.

There are two primary numbers to look for to get it right. First, look at the calories per serving. Second, look for the serving size or servings in the container.

The importance of checking the servings per container was never more obvious to me than the time I got a salad at one of the popular fast food joints and discovered to my great amusement (I laughed out loud to tell the truth) that one packet of the salad dressing was represented as containing 5 servings!

In order to lose weight you have to get your meals down to just a few hundred calories per meal. Carefully reading the calorie and serving size on labels enables you to make effective food choices.


Which Diet Plans Work Best?

Last night on the news I heard about another study of diet plans showing the same results as many others before. But it seems that most people seem unaware of these facts from the way they buy into every new diet fad that comes along.

What is the Weight Loss News?

Weight Loss Plans Compared Newspaper

The primary author of this latest report is Renee Atallah of the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Lady Davis Institute at Jewish General Hospital of McGill University in Montreal in a study on behalf of the Canadian government. The study conclusions were released on November 11, 2014.

The results of using all types of diets were similar, whether low fat, low carb, or otherwise. All help lose about the same amount of weight over time; all typically result in some gain back after people stop using them.

Some particular plans seem to help people lose weight a little faster at the beginning, but people average the same at the end of a year, about 16 pounds in previous studies but only around 5 pounds on average in this one.

Honestly, to me the average results are not too impressive for any of them. It appears to me that people have adapted to dieting as an inconvenient interruption in eating patterns rather than permanent change in eating habits so that the benefits of trying any of the popular weight loss plans is becoming increasingly less permanent.

Only Weight Watchers shows any real advantage and even then not in losing weight. The difference is that apparently because some people stayed in contact with their support group they fared a bit better in maintaining their weight loss over time—the study continued over two years.


I Want to Be Overweight!

Yes, I want to be overweight. How can that make sense? Well, in a strange, perhaps slightly perverse way, it does.

How Can Being Overweight Be Good?

Scale with word help

When I began my fitness journey I weighed 255 pounds. This morning I weighed 224.8 pounds. During these initial months there has only been one word to accurately describe my condition: obese. An ugly sounding word isn’t it!

Now I am zeroing in on a different word, overweight. Naturally I do not like the idea of being overweight either, but it is oh so much better than obese.

With my height, I need to get down to 220 pounds to reach the top of the overweight category. That means I need to lose another five pounds to make it. At that point I will still be a long way from even the top of the normal weight range, but it will be a step in the right direction.

To be successful tomorrow it is essential to feel good about what we are doing today so we will be able to make the effort to keep moving ahead. This has a really important impact on our effort to get fit.