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changes in attitude

2004-04-30 15:56:10.330144+00 by Dan Lyke 23 comments

Damn it. I enjoy bar food, a good plate of fries and a sandwich involving large quantities of meat and cheese to complement a good dark beer: all good. Except that since whatever change I had late last year that's leading me to get my weight down, I regret it in the morning. It's not like I feel actively bad, it's just that I kinda think I really should've had a salad. And I need to change my breakfast routine. Here's where I start pondering ways to structure my life the way it was back in the glory days, where I was getting tens of hours of hard exercise a week... Sigh.

[ related topics: Dan's Life Health Food Beer Physiology ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-30 18:21:24.362179+00 by: meuon

As I have been hobbling.. starting to get back to normal after a broken ankle.. I have not been as active as I have.. and after 5 months it shows and I feel it. You are right. Good bar food is wonderful. But you NEED a job doing construction to be able to eat it often at 40+. Or.. rafting and skating.. or.. caving.. or.. Gosh, although good sex can be workout and leaves me sweating and panting, can you consider that an exercise routine?

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-30 19:37:19.49166+00 by: Diane Reese

Dan, here's where I pull out the boring things I learned by going to WeightWatchers meetings every week for almost two years. Yes, it's important to evaluate what you eat daily (and more importantly, the portion sizes of what you eat), but there needs to be room in a conscious approach to healthy living for occasional binges. (WW now even builds a minor splurge into their program each week.) As long as you're aware that it's a splurge, and you won't be doing it Every Single Day (and probably not even every single week), it's fine. No Guilt, Move On. Do you eat salads for lunch or dinner fairly often? Do you eat healthily most of the rest of the time, without overdoing either portions or heavy loads of calories or fat? Then you're fine. Enjoy a night of bar food, and go back to being conscious the next day. Just don't make it a daily habit. ("And don't 'should' on yourself!")

And meuon, yes: anything that works up a sweat can be counted as activity points. :-) I might not go so far as calling it an "exercise routine", but...

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-30 19:39:09.945883+00 by: Diane Reese

Oh, and I do recommend changing one's breakfast routine, it can make a lot of difference in a healthy approach to food (and weight loss or maintanence).

And drink a lot of water. Not, not that much, I mean a LOT. More. There. Like that. LOTS of water. Trust me, it makes a difference.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-30 19:46:41.447946+00 by: Shawn

can you consider that an exercise routine?

In a word, Yes. A friend even likes to daydream about it one day becoming an Olympic sport.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-30 20:55:19.911204+00 by: meuon

Re: Portion Control: I like to eat out, as do some friends of mine, and I watched the consistantly, at nice resturants as well as dives, make one good order and a spare plate. It's not that they are cheap or poor, that ain't the problem.. the problem is a Chicken Fried Chicken Dinner at the Big River Grill is probably 6k+ calories if you lick the gravy and sauces off of the plate. Most portions are huge. Way too much to eat alone. So Pam and Clem eat what they want... but split it in order to get decent sized portions. Nancy and I have been doing the same things sometimes, luckily neither of us are picky eaters.

It works..or at least it helps when eating out if y9ou have a friend to share with.

Shawn.. Can I be a judge?

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-30 21:40:34.838214+00 by: markd

Re: the water thing. Now that I've been getting my Necessary Allotment of water each day (1 fl oz per 2 lbs body weight, for those of us stuck pre-metric), I've been feeling better. But after I splurge, usually something high-sodium or alcohol related, I feel pretty miserable (not quite a hangover, but similar) the next morning, which I chalk up to dehydration. Usually after I drink a quart of water, I feel much better.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-30 22:31:42.927842+00 by: Dan Lyke

It's weird, I don't think it's a remorse or regret thing, and it's not like I actively feel bad, it's just that there's something in my body that doesn't like it.

On water: Yep, I think the start of this whole weight loss thing (which has actually mostly been fortuitous) was when I realized that most of the time when I thought I was hungry I was really thirsty.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-30 23:48:43.720668+00 by: Shawn

Thanks for reminding me, meuon. I need to reinstitute my policy of dividing my portions in half and taking the latter home for lunches.

#Comment Re: Sex Olympics made: 2004-05-01 00:14:05.818915+00 by: concept14

Shawn-- When I hear someone brag about qualifying for the sex olympics, I assume that their event is the talkathon.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-05-01 00:34:40.627223+00 by: Diane Reese

I realized that most of the time when I thought I was hungry I was really thirsty.

Bingo. You've hit the nail on the head. Good sleuthing!

#Comment Re: made: 2004-05-02 19:51:29.979682+00 by: Shawn

I didn't say anything about anyone bragging, or even being a contestant.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-05-04 15:01:46.204189+00 by: ebradway

I have to chime in on this one... Diet has become a central focus in my life lately. When Asha and I moved in together, we decided to not have any cooked food in the apartment. We managed to go three weeks on 100% live foods (we wavered when we went to Asheville for a weekend and couldn't stand not being able to eat at our favorite restaurants).

The Raw/Living Foods diet is pretty amazing. It's harder than hell to put into practice as so much of our culture revolves around food and warm, cooked food, does create a greater sense of security (comfort). But the benefits are pretty amazing. No "food coma" after eating. Better digestive efficiency (I don't completely believe all the claims, but I do know that I become alot more regular). I also found that a surprising amount of my "spare tire" was actually an accumulation of stuff in my bowels.

And hydration is vitally important. Asha learned that lesson this past week. She always drank at least 1.5 to 2 gallons of water a day. She had some specific skin issues that would get worse if she dropped below 1.5 gallons but didn't seem to get better. She doubled her water intake to 3-4 gallons a day (that's about 16 ozs an hour - it's really not that bad) and the issues went away. I carry two 32oz Nalgene bottles with me at all times. I've found that I now take "sips" of 4-8 ozs. And cold water is painful...

As far as exercise goes, I practice Ashtanga yoga and highly recommend it. It's not easy - but then again, maintaining good health in our society isn't easy. But my health is more important to me than anything else.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-05-04 18:27:22.210471+00 by: meuon

And cold water is painful... - a clue for a previous friend that could only drink iced drinks.. she was not drinking enough by a long shot and had gotten too used to the world of cola's and such.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-05-05 00:01:56.077365+00 by: Diane Reese

I can't stand room-temp water (or any other sort of drink). It's gotta be cold (or hot, if intended as a hot drink) or I can't drink it. And I drink lots of water every day... iced. To each their own version of healthy, I guess, but there's no reason a large quantity of water can't also be cold water.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-05-05 17:33:17.555803+00 by: polly

i've heard that cold water helps burn calories faster, something about the body having to work to convert the water from cold to body temp OR something like that, who am i? not a doctor, lol.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-05-05 19:50:22.558704+00 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

If I remember my physics right... Raising a gram of water 1 degree Celsius takes one calorie. However, the big "C" Calories we measure food in are really kilo-calories. A liter is a kilogram of water. Body temperature is, what, roughly 37 degrees Celsius? So if you drink a liter of water at 15 degrees C (roughly 60 degrees F) your body needs to raise the temperature of that water to 37 degrees C, burning 22 Calories. If that water is 7 degrees C (45 degrees F) that's 30 Calories. If you drink from just melting ice you're up to 37 Calories.

Assorted sources say 2lbs a year is an excess 50 Calories a day. If a 170 lb person drinks that recommended two and a half liters a day (per that 1 fluid oz per 2 lbs body weight) as 45F water rather than 60F water that's roughly a pound per year. Chew ice cubes rather than drink tap water and you can eat an extra small cookie per day.

More significant than I expected, actually.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-05-05 20:03:51.728289+00 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

(Some further searching around makes me think that 5 (whoops, make that:) 10 minutes of brisk walking burns roughly 50 calories, just to put the icewater thing in perspective)

#Comment For what it's worth... made: 2004-05-05 20:58:15.923585+00 by: baylink

I went from 242 to 215 over about 3 months, and all I really did was "skip one carb". I either drank water instead of something else, or I dropped the starch (usually fries or tater tots).

Oh, and one other thing: I have incipient GERD, and I'd been on prescription Tagamet about 10 years ago. I went back on OTC famotidine (20mg bid), and stayed on it hardcore (no skipping or "I feel better now")... and concluded that some of my weight gain had come from using food to cut acid, rather than drugs.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-05-05 22:11:28.140069+00 by: Larry Burton

I had about the same weight loss with close to the same beginning and ending weight over a six month period. I had problems with indigestion at 240 but by the time I reached 218 the indigestion problems were gone. I don't think it was chronic enough to be referred to as GERD but it was at least once a week. I get indigestion about once a month now.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-05-06 00:06:11.876699+00 by: Shawn

Apropos the splitting portions thing, I found that if one doesn't want to skip a carb completely, ordering the children's size fries and/or drink works pretty well. I find that size is really all I need to fill me up.

I was diagnosed with IBS a few years back. On the advice of the doctor, I started eating an apple each day and cut out things like onions, carrots, etc. I also added a yogurt every morning and switched to acidophilous milk. The biggest factor, however, was reducing stress. The diet changes helped, but I didn't really start getting better until I learned to accept that I can't do everything - and to not let other people's stress infect me.

I'm still on the yogurt and milk, but only occasionally have an apple, (long story - I'll just say I don't often have the extra time to wash, core and cut them) and I almost never get IBS symptoms any more.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-05-06 04:49:03.836155+00 by: Dan Lyke

On the ferry ride home I realized... If there are 150 calories in a bottle of beer, and 12 oz. is a little over a third of a liter, then...

No, wait, even with the alcohol you can't get it that cold. Never mind.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-05-06 14:28:24.897693+00 by: flushy

What about Ultra lite beers? They may have less calories!

Perhaps there could be a formula : ultra light beer @ Y degrees = 0 total Calories once your body processes the cold beer.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-05-06 15:47:02.081123+00 by: Dan Lyke

So if twelve ounces is a third of a liter, and you're raising the temperature from ice water, that means you burn about 12 Calories. "Lite" beer runs 100-110 Calories per 12 oz.

Interestingly, this article claims that a good bit of the calories in beer come from carbs that harder liquors and wines don't have. So drinking wine or hard liquor is equivalent to lite beer.