Saturday, June 30, 2007

Weekly Progress

Current Weight: 221 lbs.
Body Fat: 30.2%
No Change Today

This week I'm going to focus on relieving stress, in addition to regular topics.

Week 1: 6 lbs
Week 2: 6 lbs
Week 3: 0 lbs
Week 4: 1 lb
Week 5: 1 lb

Friday, June 29, 2007

Another Friday

Current Weight: 220 lbs.
Body Fat: 30.2%
No Change Today

Heart healthy recipes from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: Cooking the Heart Healthy Way

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Body Fat

Current Weight: 221 lbs.
Body Fat: 29.2%
No Change Today

Your weight is only a measurement of your mass, a fundamental measure of the amount of matter, times the acceleration of gravity. Since we calculate the acceleration of gravity on Earth as 1g, anything times 1 is itself, and your weight is the same as your mass. But that doesn't tell the whole story.

A useful measurement that gives a more overall picture is the Body Mass Index (BMI). The National Heart, Lungs, and Blood Institute has an easy to use BMI calculator available. While this can be helpful, it only takes height and weight into account.

A more useful measurement when you are trying to lose weight is your Body Fat percentage. Typically someone who wants to lose weight actually wants to lose fat. And in the process of losing fat, through exercise, they may gain muscle mass. Muscle mass is more dense, and therefor weighs more, than fat, so one can actually gain weight while losing fat. However, muscle requires more calories than fat, so if you increase your muscle mass, it will be easier to lose, and maintain, a long-term fat loss.

There are multiple ways to measure your Body Fat percentage. From lowest to highest accuracy: circumference measuring, home body fat scales, skinfold calipers, and hydrostatic weighing. Scales, while quick, easy, and inexpensive, use Bioelectrical Impedance method of measuring by sending a low-level electrical current through your body. For a more accurate reading you cannot eat for 4 hours before measuring yourself, and shouldn't exercise for 12 hours prior to measuring, so the best time to measure yourself is just after you wake up.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Slow Down

Current Weight: 222 lbs.
Change 15: Eat slower

When you slow down the pace at which you consume food, you tend to feel full sooner, and eat less. Place your fork, or spoon, down between bites and chew slowly, savoring the flavors in your mouth. Don't speak with food in your mouth, but do have dinner conversations between bites to help slow down your eating. Chewing slowly and thoroughly will also assist in digestion.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Use Free Weights

Current Weight: 221 lbs.
Change 14: Workout using free weights

Free weights not only help you burn calories, but unlike exercise machines, they force you to work on your balance. Balancing weights exercises your brain, keeping it healthier and younger. While aerobic workouts are more efficient at burning calories in the short term, more muscle means more calories burned so don't be afraid of a little gained muscle mass.

If you want to increase your muscle mass, work your muscles to fatigue. At the point of fatigue is when new muscle mass will be created, and cause an increase in strength.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Eat a Big Breakfast

Current Weight: 222 lbs.
Change 13: Eat a Big (and healthy) Breakfast

Start the day with a big breakfast. Your body will become accustomed to the change in calorie intake and will speed up your metabolism early in the morning. It will also prevent you from eating more throughout the day. You don't have to eat immediately after waking, typically within 3 hours is acceptable, but try to be consistent, your body likes a routine.

If you don't eat breakfast, when you finally do eat you will feel more hungry and typically over-indulge. It is also easier to prepare a healthy meal if you give yourself time at home in your kitchen, than trying to find something good to eat at work.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Weekly Progress

Current Weight: 222 lbs.
No Change Today

Busy weekend, I missed Saturday's post, sorry. Finally making progress it appears, although slowly. At least I am maintaining the initial weeks' losses.

Week 1: 6 lbs
Week 2: 6 lbs
Week 3: 0 lbs
Week 4: 1 lbs

Friday, June 22, 2007


Current Weight: 223 lbs.
No Change Today

This week hasn't been very progressive, and it is disheartening. The 8 pounds in the first two weeks set a standard that has been hard to maintain, and while quick loss in the beginning is typical, little to no loss afterwards is not at all what I was expecting. We will see what Monday will bring.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Chew Sugarfree Gum

Current Weight: 223 lbs.
Change 12: Chew Sugarfree Gum

Chewing gum can abate the feelings of hunger, occupy the mouth of those of us with oral fixations, and sugarfree gum typically has less than 5 calories per serving (1 piece). Chewing gum can also provide a positive effect on your teeth by removing stuck-on food, and by causing your saliva to flow constantly, clear nasty bacteria from your mouth, freshing your breath.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Get a Good Night's Sleep

Current Weight: 223 lbs.
Change 11: Get 6-8 Hours Sleep Each Night

In order for your body to function properly, the average male needs 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night (6-7 hours for the average female). This allows your body to release serotonin, a monoamine, which is a neurotransmitter of the central nervous system. Depleted serotonin levels are known to cause depression and intense food cravings, especially for refined carbohydrates which mimic the sense of well-being created by serotonin.

Some tips to ensure a good night's rest are:

  1. Set a schedule. Go to bed at the same time each night, and wake at the same time each morning. Your body will adjust to this schedule; you'll get to sleep faster and wake easier.
  2. Don't eat before bed. Increased sugar levels will prevent sleep.
  3. Don't watch TV in bed. Watching TV will keep your mind active, preventing sleep.
  4. Write in a journal. If your mind is racing at bed time, putting your thoughts down on paper will assist you in relaxing.
  5. Wear socks to bed. Cold feet is a common cause of night wakings.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Exercise Regularly

Current Weight: 224 lbs.
Change 10: Exercise 30 minutes a day

A 30 minute workout 3 days a week is enough to help get your body healthy, but if you want to lose weight, you need to burn more calories. 30 minutes is long enough to get the blood flowing and start burning calories without becoming tiring and boring. Exercising every day ensures you'll burn For your workout you want to exercise in an rigorous method, performing exercises that will make you sweat.

Running is a poor exercise, as the impact on the knees is detrimental to your joint health. Swimming is one of the best exercises you can do, since it works more muscles than any other exercise, and your body is burning calories just trying to keep warm in the water. Other exercises you can do are riding a bike, tennis, raquetball, or any other high-energy, aerobic sport.

If you're not sure what exercises to do, search the internet, I'm positive you'll find hundreds of suggestions. Here's one I found just the other day: Effective Fat Burning 13 minute Workout.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Happy Father's Day

Current Weight: 223 lb.
No Change Today

I had a busy Sunday, so missed yesterday's post, sorry. Still working out the changes for this week. The first one will be tomorrow.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Weekly Progress

Current Weight: 223 lbs.
No Change Today

This week's progress had a good spike after the vacation, but it wasn't maintained.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Another Friday

Current Weight: 225 lbs.
No Change Today

Another Friday passes and I'm looking forward to Monday. I can feel a big change coming on, but I'm not sure what it will be...

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Current Weight: 225 lbs.
No Change Today

The weight loss was pretty quick at first, 8 pounds in the first two weeks, but now it appears I've stalled. While drastic changes are not something I'm looking for, I believe my body may need a shift from the direction it's been heading for the past 10 years. For next week I'm going to start looking more at more vigorous ways to burn the calories I'm consuming.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Take 10,000 Steps

Current Weight: 224 lbs.
Change 9: Walk more.

Walking is a great way to burn calories with low impact on the body. There are even whole diets based around walking, like The Step Diet. Walk everywhere you can. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park further out in the parking lot when you go shopping. Walk around the block on your breaks at work. Walk around the block after you arrive home from work.

If you cannot find enough opportunities to walk throughout the day, do it at home as part of an exercise routine. Take a 5 minute walk down the street and back each day. Eventually you'll want to be able to reach 10,000 steps in a day.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Keeping It Slow

Current Weight: 225 lbs.
No New Change Today

As I mentioned before, pushing too much at once is a fast way to fail.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Stop Drinking Soda

Current Weight: 223 lbs.
Change 8: Stop Drinking Soda

Every serving (8 oz) of carbonated beverage (soda) can contain over 30 grams of sugar. While there is no recommended daily allowance (RDA) for sugar, official US guidelines advise a maximum of 40 grams of refined sugar for every 2000 calories consumed. So 1 serving of soda for a 200 lb person is well over 50% of their sugar intake for the day. A typical can of soda is 12 oz, so you actually are consuming 150% the serving size of sugar, or over 45 grams.

Sugary beverages also fail to trigger a sense of fullness, which means you can consume a lot of calories without taking the edge off hunger. Drinking water in place of beverages that contain a lot of added sugar can significantly reduce your caloric intake, as well as the other benefits of drinking water.

In addition, soft drinks raise triglycerides, an unhealthy type of fat in the blood, which in turn lower HDL cholesterol (the good kind), he said. Low HDL cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease. It is also believed that high fructose corn syrup, used as a sweetener in most soft drinks, causes a decrease in insulin production increasing the risk of diabetes, as well as affect levels of the hormone leptin, which is involved in appetite suppression.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Brush Your Teeth

Current Weight: 223 lbs.
Change 7: Brush your teeth after each meal.

For the average person, every evening your metabolism slows down, preparing your body for rest. Eating in the late hours of the day is a sure way to store those calories as fat. One trick to prevent yourself from eating in the late hours is to brush your teeth after dinner.

Brushing your teeth cleanses your mouth and cleans your teeth, and while most people typically start their day brushing their teeth, it is best performed after every meal to clear the food stuck to your teeth. Otherwise, the food you just ate sits on your teeth, eating away at the enamel.

Once you brush your teeth, your teeth have a fresh, clean feeling, deterring you from wanting to eat immediately after, especially foods that contain citric acid, which reacts with the fluoride in such a way as to create a horrible taste in your mouth.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Weekly Progress

Current Weight: 226 lbs.
No New Change Today

This week's changes have been positive, but slower, possibly due to vacation eating.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


I'm taking my family on vacation to Disneyland in California for the next few days, so I won't be posting again until Saturday. We'll see how I did over vacation when I return.

Don't Skip Meals

Current Weight: 227 lbs.
Change 6: Don't Skip Meals

Eating breakfast can increase your metabolism, helping your burn more calories during the day. It also helps avoid overeating later in the day.

Many people skip meals thinking they can lose weight by not taking in the extra calories. The problem is, our body needs those calories, and it will tell us through hunger pains. Typically the most convenient way to stop these hunger pains is through eating whatever is at hand, usually junk food snacks and other processed sugary foods, which is far worse than eating a good healthy meal.

If you skip too many meals, your body recognizes the reduced caloric intake and may think it is starving, and instead of losing weight, it will lower your metabolism, conserving every extra calorie it can as fat, lowering your energy levels and gaining weight. So always eat regular, healthy, meals.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Drink Water

Current Weight: 229 lbs.
Change 5: Drink 62 - 91 ounces of water a day.

Our bodies are made up mostly of water; however, it is easy to become dehydrated, especially living in Arizona. While it is a myth that your body doesn’t feel thirsty until long after you are already dehydrated, by drinking a regular amount of water each day, you can prevent yourself from becoming dehydrated. When you urinate, your urine should be clear enough to see through it. If you cannot, then that’s a sign that you are becoming dehydrated.

Water has 0 calories, so as a drink, there is none better when you are trying to lose weight. It also clears toxins from your body and is an appetite suppressant. A common trick is to drink 8 ounces of water whenever you have the urge to eat, and then wait 15 minutes before eating anything. If, after the 15 minutes, you are still hungry, have another glass of water.

The latest dietary reference intake report by the United States National Research Council in general recommended 2.7 liters of water (96 fluid ounces) total for women and 3.7 liters (125 fluid ounces) for men, from all beverages and foods. The average person takes in about 1 liter (34 fluid ounces) of water through the foods they eat each day. That leaves about 62 ounces for women, and 91 ounces for men that you still need to ingest.

Water is also a diuretic. That means that it elevates the rate of bodily urine excretion. It does this by inhibiting vasopressin secretion. Arginine vasopressin is a hormone that is released when your body is low on water. It causes your kidneys to conserve water, but not salt, by reducing urine volume or concentrating your urine. Vasopressin also raises blood pressure by causing your blood vessels to narrow.

Tap Water Vs. Bottled Water
Typically the only difference between bottled water and tap water, other than the price, is the amount of nitrates and chlorine in the water. Chlorine is used in larger amounts in tap water to keep the amount of nitrates down, whereas in bottled water, there is less chlorine, and it can have up to the US federal limit of nitrates. This affects the taste of water, so while bottled water may taste better to most people, it can be less healthy for you.

Sunday, June 3, 2007


Current Weight: 229 lbs.
Change 4: Enjoy the things that bring you pleasure.

If you restrict yourself from all the things that bring you pleasure, you will become miserable, and it won't matter how much weight you lose. Happiness is a key to healthiness. Take one day a week and let yourself cheat. Eat those high sugar foods or drinks that you enjoy so much, but in moderation.

The more you restrict yourself, the more you will want the things you are restricted from. In my opinion, this is one of the main reasons most diets fail: you become so strict with yourself that you are unhappy and give up entirely on your diet. If you can have a day to just relax and enjoy the good things in life, it makes the rest of the week's work more worthwhile.

This isn't an excuse to go overboard, if you consume more calories than you can burn off in the rest of the week, then you won't have any gain. Have appropriate sized servings of your favorite ice cream, a slice of cake, a glass of soda, etc.

I chose Monday as my "cheat day" because it gives me a reason to look forward to Monday's. Most people stress about Mondays, more heart attacks happen on Monday than any other day. Also, if you allow yourself to cheat on a weekend when foods are more readily available, you have a greater tendency to forget the key word: moderation.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Weekly Progress

Current Weight: 229 lbs.
No New Change Today

I'm going to chart my progress on Saturdays to give me a good look back at the previous week. The changes I've made this week have been simple, moderate, and it appears, effective.

Friday, June 1, 2007


Current Weight: 230 lbs.
No New Change Today

Well, the first week has passed and I've already dropped 5 pounds. It feels good to get started, and while I was worried about starting my first blog, I'm actually enjoying writing about it.

I was tempted to add another change today, but then looked back over this week and remembered Wednesday's post, Take it Slow. Society has become such a tidal wave of information and motion that we all want to do everything we can as fast as we can. This tendency is only adding more stress to our lives, and I can't help but think this is a contributor to our weight issues.