Don’t Go Nuts!

A major theme on this site over the next few months, or even years, will be on identifying and discussing factors that affect weight maintenance after dieting loss.

News headline about losing and gaining weight

There are many weight loss programs that help people lose weight, but sadly most people regain their losses in as little as a year. That is not acceptable.

A Subtle Food Risk

One of the more subtle temptations that can often lead to gaining weight for even the most health conscious people is the attraction of healthy, nutritious foods that still have lots of calories. It is one of those that became the first real threat to my weight maintenance program not long after I got my weight down to its appropriate level.

Nuts of various kinds are quite nutritious and used properly can be a valid part of a person’s diet as it has been for me. But they can also be a dangerous food to have around if not used properly.

In the last week or so…


How to Modify Frozen Diet Meals

One secret I have found to migrating from a low calorie weight loss plan to a long term maintenance plan is learning how to use frozen meals like those from Weight Watchers (Smart Ones) and Lean Cuisine as a base, making a few improvements to suit your needs. Here are a few of my thoughts and suggestions—ideas that work for me.

Frozen diet dinner collage

Start With the Right Attitude

A lot of success in any area is learning how to think about what you are doing, and that is true in this case as well. Any change or adaptation should be done for a reason.

These meals are often fine just as they are, and I appreciate the way they help make weight loss easier by offering good meals with sometimes a very limited number of calories. You do not need to “fix” anything unless there is a legitimate reason to do so.

Often, however, there are good reasons for improving dishes as far as enabling them to better meet your personal needs as you transition to a long term healthy eating pattern. My intentions here are to share some of my goals and how I try to reach them.

Adding More Size to the Meal

While working hard to lose weight, it is obviously necessary to eat a good number of meals that we think of as just a way to get by until we can eat a snack or another meal. We discipline ourselves to do it because we are committed to our weight loss goal. But this is not a good long term permanent approach to eating.

There are a number of ways to add to a meal designed to assist with weight loss and make it a fully satisfying one for a long term regular healthy eating. I have been experimenting with these ideas for some time, to some extent even before I thought about allowing myself to increase my daily calorie intake much.

The easiest way is…


Fitness Report: June 2015


The month of May was a very exciting one for me personally as far as my Getting Fit At Last program is concerned. Not only have I lost additional weight as hoped, I have also developed some new and positive eating habits that should have long term value for my good health.

Obviously, I enjoy eating, all too much perhaps, which is certainly one contributing factor to my initial weight problem. The good news for me now is that I am finding new joy in eating some great foods that I enjoy just as much as the fattening foods I ate before, but which add nutrition and good taste without the high calorie count.

Continuing Weight Loss

In the world of music it is not uncommon for a singer to have a remarkable hit and then have to sing that same hit over and over, perhaps for years. Now I may not be going on for years, but just as the musician may appreciate the fact of having a hit become successful enough to never get tired of singing the song, I am happy to sing my song of “four more pounds!”


A Life Under Construction

sign: under construction

On my desk I have a sign that reads, “The road to success is always under construction”. When it comes to weight loss and getting fit this is certainly true.

It is important to keep this in mind and acknowledge it as an acceptable if not desirable part of the process if we want our journey to be a happy one.

Getting Fit Under Construction

There are three aspects of a fitness program that are clearly affected by the basic nature of the process, each of which is parallel to the idea of being “under construction.” Think of yourself driving down the road and running into a sign reading “Construction Ahead.” When you do you know these three things are true.


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…


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….


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.


Counting Calories for Weight Loss

As my first step in getting fit I chose to focus on my diet. Here are some of my thoughts and actions to date. It seems important to me to reinforce some of these ideas in my own thinking because they call for a permanent change of lifestyle which is not to easy to establish firmly.

Diet is Central for Weight Control

Avoid weight loss fraud

It would be nice if there were an alternative. But a pill cannot eliminate excess weight if you eat too much. Neither can you exercise enough to offset poor eating habits, although exercise does help reach the overall objective.

On Nerd Fitness (one of the better exercise/weight lifting sites) the question is raised, “What burns more calories: cardio, intervals, or weight training?” But the answer might be surprising. Instead of naming one of the three, Steve Kamb’s answer starts off this way: