12 Healthy Foods that will Make You Fat

by Christine on July 29th, 2010

filed under Diet, Food, Nutrition, General Information

Sushi

  1. Salads. I love salad. I know, that’s unusual. How often has it happened that you show up at a restaurant and look over the menu and all you see are high-calorie-value-options. But then you see “salad,” and you think, “Ah ha! I can eat healthfully now!”  The problem with salads are two-fold:  Firstly, the toppings.  Cheese. Almonds. Dried fruit. Croutons.  Bacon Bits.  All of these items add up significantly! The second problem: Dressings. Most are laden with oils, salt, and fat. In moderation, that’s not a problem, but if you’re like me, you want to douse your greens with some flavor.  Your best option if you’re going to pick a salad: Mix up some homemade dressing and carry it with you. My homemade dressing is: equal parts red wine vinegar and lemon juice. Add a little water, some salt, and some dill.  (Add a dash of olive oil if you want, but I typically don’t.) On its own, this dressing has ZERO calories. It’s worth putting in your purse or keeping in the fridge. Just in case.
  2. Sushi. I have several issues with sushi. For starters, they are filled predominantly with white rice. White rice (CARB) doesn’t do a thing for you other than raise your glucose levels and then make you crash about an hour after eating it. It’s bland, meaningless filler, devoid of nutrition and vitamins that you can find in other foods. Secondly, let’s talk about the sodium. In a typical serving of Sushi (9.5 oz) there is about 1182 mg of sodium! That’s a whole heck of a lot!  You can typically find the salt in the seaweed wrap, in the rice, and in any sauces.  And let’s talk about the salt. In Wegman’s Hoisin Peanut sauce for sushi, there’s a ton of sodium (620 mg) and a ton of sugar (12g). There’s nothing healthy in it.  So, sushi, I say shame on you! You are not a health food!  If you are stuck with Sushi or Sashimi at a party, pick that bad boy apart and just eat the fish or veggie in the middle. THAT part is good. The rest is naughty!
  3. Dried Fruit. While I admit that dried fruit is healthy (it’s fruit, after all), they pack more calories than if you got them served fresh. For instance, 10 rings of dried apple is 156 calories; a regular apple is less than 100 calories. Half a cup of raisins is 219 calories; half a cup of regular grapes is 52 calories. If you LOVE your dried fruit and must indulge, do so in moderation!
  4. Granola. Holy calorie nightmare, batman! One cup of granola has about 597 calories! Plus, many types of granola are high in saturated fats.  I don’t know why granola is associated with a skinny, hippie lifestyle, but if you eat this stuff regularly, you’re going to be anything but skinny.
  5. Wraps. Many people opt for wraps instead of regular bread when enjoying a sandwich.  The problem with wraps is that there’s more surface area to them than regular bread, so you can pile more food in the middle. Case in point: A Honey Baked Ham Turkey Bacon Ranch Wrap has 705 calories. Red Robin’s Caesar Chicken Wrap has 1244 calories.  A Ruby Tuesday Turkey Burger Wrap has 658 calories.  None of those are diet-friendly choices. If you really feel like indulging in a sandwich, why not wrap the outside with a big hunk of lettuce?
  6. Veggie burgers. These bad boys are becoming pretty much standard in most restaurants and offer a “healthy” alternative, especially for vegetarians.  One good reason to choose a veggie burger is because it cuts out saturated fats. Also, the portion sizes of a veggie burger is typically much less (2.5 ounces, as compared to 5.0 ounces for a burger).  They are also higher in protein.  These all seem like great choices, right? The problem is when you start slapping on the extras. Have you ever seen just a plain veggie burger, on a bun? Nope. They’re loaded with cheeses, sauces, veggie-chili, ketchup, etc.  A quick perusal of calorie counts shows an average veggie burger cashes in at 650 calories!  At that nutritional price tag, you’re better off choosing something else.
  7. Diet, microwaved meals. While many of these frozen meals offer yummy variety, quick cooking, and low-calories, the amount of salt they put in the dishes in order to preserve them on your grocery store shelf is deadly.  Most meals clock in around 600 mg (or more) of salt in each meal! Holy smokes!  You’ll be so bloated it’ll be a shock if you can squeeze your butt out of the cafeteria chair after that. Steer clear, my friends.
  8. Bran Muffins. I checked out a few bran muffin recipes, and most of them are extraordinarily high in cholesterol and carbs. That being said, they are an okay (not good, but okay) source of fiber and protein, and don’t always have high amounts of calories and fat. Not all bran muffins are created equal, so if you must have one of these, read the labels carefully. Personally, I wouldn’t touch these with a ten foot pole.
  9. Rice cakes. Remember back in the 1980s when everyone was chowing down on rice cakes as the latest diet craze? I don’t know about you, but rice cakes are inexorably linked in my mind to weight loss and waifish figures delicately grazing on them. But are they really that healthy? Well, they are low in calories (about 35 calories per cake) and can be filling. The downside is that they offer pretty much zilch in terms of nutrition. They have very few vitamins, devoid of fiber, high in carbs, and a high glycemic index. For the same caloric price tag you can wolf down a big cucumber, and I guarantee it’ll keep you feeling fuller for longer.
  10. Half and Half. Most people enjoy their coffee in the morning, and there’s a lot of people out there that put enough sugar and cream in the coffee to kill a small village. But not you, health-conscious person! You use half and half! But is it really as good as you think?  For a little container of half and half, it’s 20 calories. “What’s wrong with that?” you ask.  But think about it…8 oz of half and half is 160 calories, whereas 8 oz of skim milk is only 80 calories. If you’re watching calories, this is a significant difference. My advice? Replace that half and half with a dash of skim milk.
  11. Bottled Tea. Tea isn’t necessarily that bad for you. Lipton’s Unsweatened Tea has 0 calories, after all.  But if you grab a SoBe Green Tea found in so many convenience stores, you’re chugging down 240 calories and a whopping 61 grams of sugar.  At that calorie price-tag, you might as well chug a Red Bull.
  12. Juice. Most of us are aware that juice is pretty high in sugar. Many companies add a ton of extra sugar as well. For instance, a regular 8 oz cup of Tropicana Orange Juice has 108 calories and 21g sugar, whereas 8oz of SunnyD has 128 calories and 30 g sugar.  But let’s take a look at the carbs in these drinks, too: 25g and 31g, respectively!  Between the sugar and carbs, you’re better off just saying no.  If you’re going to drink some juice, get a fresh piece of fruit and juice it yourself. You’ll cut out a lot of added sugar by going the natural route.
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Are you eating enough?

by Christine on July 28th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Good morning, Revolutionists!  I hope that this hump-day is treating you all kindly!

This morning I wanted to talk about whether you can “take a day off” when you’re “dieting,” but first I wanted to address a few other things floating around my mind. Tune back in later today for a word about “taking a day off.”

  • SHOUT OUT TO MY FRIENDS! Thank you very much for the wonderful people that visit my blog and post comments. Your comments encourage me and give me hope that people are indeed reading and visiting me!  Thank you Maggie, Traci, Amanda, Freckle, Patrick, Clyde, and Allan!  It’s funny…I look at that list and see three guys on it! This surprises me, because I’ve always figured that the weight-loss realm (blogging and otherwise) were ruled predominantly by women. Boy was I wrong! I follow many men’s blogs, and I find them all to be extremely insightful and inspiring. I’m so glad that men blog about weight-loss!
  • BLOG ROLL UPDATES! I want to update my blog roll! If you want to be included (and aren’t currently), let me know by posting a comment on here. Similarly, if you could add my blog to your roll, I’d be appreciative.
  • I’M GUEST POSTING TOMORROW! If you don’t real Miz Fit’s blog already, you should. She’s brilliant and inspiring! But tomorrow yours truly will be guest posting there, so check it out!

I also wanted to address I comment I received in the mail the other day:

forgive me, i don’t mean to be nosy, but are you eating enough calories?  what you wrote about seems like so little… is it enough to keep your metabolism going and to keep your strength up?  off my soapbox. :)

First of all, thank you for taking the time to write me, and to be concerned about my well-being! Your email was touching, and I really appreciate it!  But to address your comment…it’s true that I don’t eat very many calories! I typically average 800-900 calories per day.  According to some sources, this may be considered “dangerously low” and even meet some criteria for anorexia! However, I have a very differing opinion of calories than many sources do. You see, I believe that every individual has a very unique “calorie setpoint,” or, rather, the amount of calories needed to maintain one’s weight. Doctors and the USDA offer very vague and general guidelines that make sweeping generalizations about an individual’s body composition, lifestyle, genetics, medical conditions, etc. For instance, all these doctors and charts and RMR/BMR calculators say that I should be eating 1500-1700 calories a day. However, I know this from experience — that’s far too many calories for me!  I believe my calorie setpoint is about 1000 calories, which is why I am aiming for 800-900 calories per day in order to lose weight.  I believe my calorie needs are much lower than what doctors and charts recommend because of many factors: my height (I’m short), my job (sedentary), my genetics (overweight, all of them), my medical conditions (hypothyroid, among others), etc. All these factors play into the fact that my metabolism just isn’t as spry as some other peoples’.

I honestly believe that every individual out there needs to carefully evaluate his/her calorie intake and tweak it for him/herself. You just can’t follow a doctor’s chart or following very vague guidelines that don’t take into your own, individual physiology!  If you’re going to try to lose weight, you need to figure out what your unique calorie setpoint is (generally done by trial and error). Otherwise it’s just not going to work.

But to answer your other question: Is it enough to keep my metabolism going and keep my strength up? Absolutely! I have never felt better, more energetic, or healthier. Too much food makes me feel sluggish. With this current lifestyle, I don’t eat much, but I eat all the freaking time — every 2 hours!  And, because I often choose to eat healthy foods, it’s easy to keep the calories within my low-range. After all, how many carrots and lettuce do you think you’d have to eat in order to eat 800 calories worth? A lot, my friends!

For more information about this, and seven other “tips” for how I’ve lost 90 pounds so far, then check this post out.

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Yes you can do it!

by Christine on July 27th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, General Information

This morning I was making the first of three rounds of catching up with my blogs. I have the blogs I follow separated into three categories, and I do my best to hit the first group in the morning, the second around noonish, and the third in the afternoon. I seems that a lot of my bloggy-friends are having issues today finding the motivation to continue on with healthy eating, exercise, and staying committed to the promises they made themselves. I think this is due, in large part, to a hectic summer schedule, weeks of hauling children around, vacation schedules, and so forth. If you find yourself as part of this group, here is what I want to say to you:

YOU CAN DO IT, AND YOU CAN DO IT NOW. Don’t give up. Please don’t say, “I just have to get through this week, and then I’ll be back on track with the diet.” Please don’t excuse your behavior and say, “Well, I can eat like crap because I’m on vacation and I deserve it.”  Please don’t say, “I have been too busy to exercise. Once the kids go back to school, I’ll get back to the gym.”  All of these phrases are self-defeating and are the things that people who are not committed to their own health and well-being might say.  These are things that people say who think everyone else in the world is more important than themselves.

You are probably a very good person. Caring. Generous to a fault. The type of person that can’t say “no” to bake sales and PTA appointments. The type of person that stays late at work because the boss asked you to. You’re probably the type of person that is constantly tired, increasingly irritable, and tries to live a life of “convenience foods” in order to accommodate your busy schedule.  You’re probably the type of person that puts everyone’s needs before your own.

I have heard each one of you say, not so long ago, “I am important. I am worth it. I am fully committed to lose this weight and keep it off.”  And yet, lately, you are letting go of this resolve. You are letting life interfere with the goals you set for yourself.

Don’t fall into this mid-summer trap. Don’t let your busy life swallow you up. I promise, you will find yourself standing knee-deep in regret come September, re-affirming the goals you set at the beginning of the year and wondering how on earth those 10 pounds crept back on.  Don’t let this happen to you!

I want to say this to you: You’re important. You’re worth it. The world will not fall apart if you say “no” to one activity today, in order to allow you time to go to the gym.  The children will not burst into flames if you say “no” to that special pizza party and instead decide to cook a healthy meal at home.  You can do this, because you are worth it.

Besides, there are plenty of ways to fit in happy summer memories without compromising your individual goals.  Your goals are probably to enjoy the living crap out of summer, and to spend quality time with your family.  You can do all of this by taking a bike ride with the family. By hiking in the woods. By renting canoes and going for a ride. By playing frisbee with the kids. By packing a healthy lunch and going for a picnic in a park filled with flowers.

If there’s not time to be active and cook healthfully, then start saying “no” to activities that are preventing you from being healthy.

You can do this, and you can do it now. Please stay focused and please stay committed. Because you’re worth it.

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In other news….

Yesterday was an infuriating day for me at lunch. I ran out of soup here at work, so I decided to run down to the little store on the corner to get a side salad with a scoop of tuna fish. It’s a take-out joint, but I ended up waiting well over an hour for my salad! I would have left, except that I had already paid for the salad.   I finally said something to someone, and they were extremely apologetic and offered me a $6 credit to a lunch in the future. I’m not sure I want to go back. I know they were just busy (the staff was working so hard!) but the experience has left a terrible taste in my mouth. When I took the salad back to work, to eat at my desk, I only ate about half. I had lost my appetite!

For dinner I was craving a hamburger. It had been ages! I defrosted some ground beef and made homemade patties. I weighed each…pre-cooking they were 4.5 ounces each. I ate one. My husband was supposed to have only one, then put the rest away for leftovers in the week, but he ended up eating all three extras! I added some corn on the cob (I ate 1/4 of it) and a little scoop of homemade guacamole. Delicious!

After dinner we took a short walk (with my cat trotting at our heels the whole way). Then we sat outside to read our books outside for a bit. around 9 p.m. we headed to the gym for a workout. I still don’t feel well, so I took it easy on the stair-stepper. Then I had us do some crab-crawls, and downward-dog-leg-lifts, followed by 200 situps.

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Friday Update & Doctor’s Visit

by Christine on July 23rd, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, General Information

Happy rainy Friday to you, Revolutionists!

Here’s a general update on my food and my life.  Yesterday it was purely painful to sit through work, not just because it’s a pretty painful job, but because I felt miserable. For breakfast I had a handful of almonds (100 calories). I had some orange juice that I sipped on all day (120 calories). For lunch I had some chicken noodle soup (120 calories).

After work I went over to a friend’s house. My head was stuffy and congested, and I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open! I begged him to let me take a nap before having dinner. I probably should have gone home and canceled my plans, but I have a big problem overextending myself saying no and canceling when I’ve committed to a plan.  He graciously said yes, and was patient as I zonked out. I don’t even remember laying down.

When I woke up, we made homemade crab cakes. I wish I had thought to look up the calories of the ingredients as we were cooking, but I was really out of it.  Normally I would take a mental tally of everything! We used: canned crab meat, lowfat mayo, and spices. Then we lightly breaded the cakes and fried then in EVOO. The cakes were pretty small, but because of the oil I’ll guesstimate the crabcakes at perhaps 200 calories, but really it was probably less than that. We made some cous cous (75 calories) and a side leafy green salad with light cesar dressing (60 calories).  I was stuffed, and the crab cakes were wonderful!  It was lovely to have dinner with a good friend, and we always have so much fun making homemade food.

Yesterday’s calories rang in at: 675. Much lower than normal, probably because I didn’t have a mid-afternoon snack.

Today I woke up and still felt miserable.  I was talking to my co-worker about this lingering cold, and he recommended that I call my doctor. Because I have some underlying health issues that may be contributing to this cold feeling worse than normal, I thought, what the heck? So I called my fantastic, awesome, amazing doctor and she said, “YES COME IN RIGHT AWAY.”  Oh boy!   I hope she gives me some meds to feel better soon! I have lots of questions for her about my underlying health issue, so this is actually very good, very productive to see her. Also, I haven’t seen her in many months, and she’s going to be blown away by how much weight I’ve lost! She’s the one that suggested the gastric banding surgery in the first place, so I am going to be happy to show her how successful I’ve been with the surgery. I owe much of my healthy, happier life to her. She believed in me when so many other doctors completely gave up on me.

Eating when you’re sick is difficult, I’ve learned, when you’re a normal-weighted person. As a fat person, I’d eat all the time, no matter what. “Loss of appetite, what is that?” But now I understand!  NOTHING sounds good to me. I crave nothing, and actually the idea of food pretty much repels me. Isn’t that funny how a body’s physiology changes?  To ensure I eat enough today, I’ve planned some of my food out:

Breakfast was some cheerios without milk (50 calories).  Mid-morning snack was almonds (100).  Lunch will be Healthy Harvest soup (180).  Mid-afternoon snack will be cheerios with skim milk (120).  Dinner will be out, since I have last-minute shopping to do. I suspect I will get soup of some kind, or perhaps a salad. I don’t feel up for any meat. I’ll guesstimate (250  calories) for my meal. Plus lots of water, all day, for the PEWC challenge! That makes 700 calories….a little low for me. Maybe I’ll throw in an evening treat of some kind to push that number to 800.

Here’s a fun note from my archives! A year ago today I heard John Williams conduct the Boston Pops at Tanglewood, for his annual Film Night. I love John Williams! He’s a god!!  Here’s a photo of me, from that night, with a photo of me, today at work:

Sorry for the “Pretty-girl, ‘facebook'” pose there. I often do not have anyone to take photos of me, so I have to take the pictures myself. It’s not a matter of me trying to look like a “hot girl” — I’m 32 years old and married for Christ’s sake! — but it’s a matter of convenience. I recently read a blog where the author was slamming the use of this “hot-girl pose” (aka: taking a picture of yourself, by yourself) but for me, it’s a matter of convenience. Just so we’re all on the same page.

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8 Easy Secrets of My 90-Pound Weight-Loss Success

by Christine on July 19th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Diet, Food, Nutrition, Exercise, Gastric Banding Surgery, General Information

8 Easy Secrets of My 90-Pound Weight-Loss Success

I have lost just about 90 pounds on this weight loss journey so far. My goal is to lose 100 pounds, and I am about 10 pounds shy of my goal. The end is finally in sight!

It’s hard not to compare my weight loss this time versus all the attempts at weight loss that I’ve made in the past. What am I doing differently this time versus previous times? What’s working? What tips do I have for others that want to lose weight?  This post explains exactly what I’ve learned so far, and why this is working for me and other attempts have not.

I want to preface this list with a quick comment about weight loss surgery. 17 months ago I had the gastric banding surgery. Yes, the surgery has helped me lose weight, but NO the surgery is not necessarily a magic tool that has enabled my weight loss. In fact, my surgeon told me that most people who have weight loss surgery aren’t successful at all! Why not? Because some people don’t change their habits, or learn to “eat around the band,” meaning that they are gobbling up ice cream and milk shakes, which may be “easy” to eat, but are smothered in calories. No, the surgery isn’t magic cure-all, but it has helped.

  1. Weight-Loss should be easy. I can’t stress this enough, and I know you’re probably sitting there looking at me like I’m off my rocker. I’m serious though. I’m devoting far less effort and energy into losing weight this time around than last time. Sure, this may be due in part to the weight-loss surgery, but not entirely.  You see, prior to my recent loss, I was: counting calories, measuring food. I was going out of my way to eat healthfully. I exercised a minimum of an hour a day, six days a week. I worked hard to find the perfect combination of cardio vs. weight training. I paid for a personal trainer. I paid for weight watchers. I obsessed over the scale. I tried Atkins, South Beach, Zone, Master Cleanser, and a zillion other fad diets. And you know what? Those fad diets are HARD because they force you to live dissimilarly than your usual lifestyle. Fad diets are hard work.  Let me repeat this: weight loss should be easy.  If you’re spending hours and hours a day actively “working on losing weight” then you need to take a step back and re-evaluate how you’re going about your weight loss. This time around I try hard to make good eating choices, but I don’t always get it right. (In the past, I’d be 100% diligent to my plans, but with ZERO success on the scale.)  I try to get some exercise in, but I don’t always succeed. The point is, I’m just trying to live well and do the best I can, but I’m not obsessing and going nuts over trying to lose weight, and you shouldn’t either. After all, don’t we have families and careers and more important things that we should be spending the better part of our time on?
  2. It’s 80% about the food and 20% about the exercise. When I first started out losing weight, I had all but given up on exercise. I don’t like working out. I don’t like going to the gym. At the start of my current journey, I had given so much blood, sweat, and tears at the gym with ZERO reward that I flat-out burnt myself out. So when this new weight loss journey began, I wasn’t exercising at all. It didn’t matter. I’m no scientist, but just an observation of mine: the more weight you have to lose, the less your weight loss is about the exercise. Instead, focus your attention on getting your eating under control, picking healthy options, eating often (more about that below).  As you start to lose weight, you’ll naturally have more energy and will pick up the exercise factor, as it fits into your life. As you inch closer to your goal weight, you should exercise more and more. Exercise is crucial to weight maintenance, but not so much about weight loss.  Because I’m so close to my goal weight, I exercise perhaps 3-4 times a week, but I don’t freak out about it if I miss a gym session.
  3. Eat small meals, and eat often. I realized about 30 pounds into my weight loss journey that I was no longer eating “meals” at all. Instead, I was grazing. Snacking. All day long. I’d nibble on this, and I’d nibble on that. This is entirely due to the band, and without the gastric band I never would have discovered this important aspect of weight loss.  So this is what my prior-to-weight-loss dieting attempts would look like: I’d either skip breakfast or have some oatmeal. For lunch I’d have a 6 inch sub from subway, with vinegar as dressing. For dinner I’d have some steamed veggies and grilled chicken. Period. The end.  The food choices were seemingly good, but I was eating too much, and only at two sittings. Your body apparently doesn’t like this. Today, I eat 5-6 times a day, but only 150-200 calories of food at any given sitting. I never eat a “meal” anymore.  The great thing about eating small portions of food is that I can pretty much eat whatever I want, and I think the variety is really healthy for my body. I’m less obsessed over eating “diet food” and allow myself to eat “real food” during these mini-meals.  (I eat a lot of soup these days, especially at restaurants, because it’s the perfect portion size!)
  4. Pay attention to your body, not the USDA. Okay, do a little math now. If I’m only eating 150 calories per meal, 6 times a day…that means I’m eating….900 calories a day? Say what? Are you crazy? No I’m not!  So in my quest to lose weight, I scrutinized how many calories a typical woman should be eating, according to the USDA.  They say 2,000 for a sedentary female 19 to 30 years old. BMR calculators told me I should eat 1,774 calories. Well, no wonder I wasn’t losing weight!  I was either trying to eat “just right” and follow one of those crazy guidelines, or pretty much starving myself trying to save as many calories as humanly possible.Now look. I’m not going to tell you to eat only 900 calories a day. I also don’t think you should listen to the USDA. Instead, listen to your own body. I truly believe that every person has their own calorie setpoint that they like to be at. For me, I think that my weight-stabilizing point is around 1000-1100 calories. To lose about a pound or two a week, I need to target 800-900 calories per day. This is the point that works for me, but it may not work for you. You need to experiment a little bit to figure out what your calorie setpoint is, but the only way you can do that is to pay close attention to your body.
  5. Avoid carbs, but don’t eliminate them entirely. I mostly eat whatever I want these days, but there are a few nit-picky little trends that I’ve identified. I don’t know if these really contribute to weight loss or not, but I figure they were worth mentioning.  Because of my gastric band, I avoid carbs. They get stuck in my stomach and it’s quite uncomfortable. Consequently, I just avoid eating bread products, pastries, pasta of any kind, French fries, rice, and things like that. That means no pizza!! Boohoo!! My favorite food is forevermore off limits to me! On the other hand, I don’t completely cut out the carbs. My opinion is that if you’re going to eat carbs, take them from real living plants: rice, potatoes, quinoa, etc.  Stay away from things that are mixed with man-made products (bread, pasta) and are refined, processed, and look nothing like their main ingredient anymore.
  6. Eat real food. Quit feeding yourself “fat-free” and “sugar-free” and “low-calorie” garbage. Look, the stuff is gross and for good reason: it’s not real food.  Treat yourself to real food, and yes, please eat foods that are rich in fat. I’m talking about real cheese. Avocados. Almonds. Eggs. Even indulge in real ice cream on rare occasions, and butter, and olive oil. (You know that candy bars and potato chips aren’t “real food,” so let’s not even go there.) Stay away from foods that are processed and refined and look for food that has real flavor.  Now, remember that I only eat 150 calories at any given sitting, so 150 calories of butter or cheese is not going to go very far. I might eat some hummus with 1 Tbs of feta cheese on tomato wedges. Or peanut butter on an apple slice. Watch your portion sizes carefully, but ahead and eat the real stuff.
  7. Stay away from soda, even diet soda. For that matter, avoid anything with man-made sweeteners, carbonated fizziness (which only helps to EXPAND your stomach), corn syrup, or processed crap.  Okay, I’ll have a beer maybe once a week, which I probably shouldn’t, but as a general rule I don’t consume sodas anymore. I used to drink Diet Pepsi like it was going out of style. No more!
  8. Drink water, but do so carefully. This is a little trick that my weight loss surgeon taught me.  One hour prior to eating, chug a shit-ton of water.  Then while you are eating your meal and for one hour following your meal, don’t drink anything.  The theory behind this is: (1) the water prior to your meal fills you up, and (2) avoiding water during your meal means that you are not physically flushing the food out of your stomach. Because the food remains in your stomach (3) you end up feeling fuller, for longer.  It really does work. Try it sometime.

BEFORE:

AFTER/IN PROGRESS (about 90 pounds lost):

Me (July 2010)

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