Tag Archives: dieting

Starting to Intermittent Fast? Tips to Make It Bearable

6 Feb

If I could out-exercise my fat, I would strongly prefer it! I love, love, love food. And as such, it’s the kitchen that makes me fattest, and therefore, intermittent fasting helps me way more than my running, strength training, or abdominal workouts (which I do all of nearly every day). Body weight is calories in vs calories out, so even with all those physical activities I can eat over what I burn. The fasting is a good way to stay OFF a diet (no way, I don’t wanna torture myself, limit myself, make sensible choices, or miss out!) but still maintain my weight.

Find the time of day that works best for you. If dinner to dinner makes you suffer, try to fast from breakfast to breakfast instead. Experiment with time of day before giving up.

I suggest splitting your fast with a sleep. Even if I’m starving at dinner, I always wake up feeling normal. Going to bed in the middle of my fast helps a great deal.

Fast on your busiest days. I do it on work days so I’m automatically focused on something else.

This isn’t in any book, but the components that help me get through a fast are: Fiber, protein, and sodium. Those three things have left more feeling less starving, and able to complete the fast better than anything! I thought pasta would be good, but carbs left me hungry after just an hour or two! Not fair. And the 3 suggested components should be together, because chicken and salty dip alone left me hungry also. So make sure it’s fiber, protein, salt. Nachos before a fast (with chili, black beans, or refried beans as part of it) is absolutely perfect *chef’s kiss*. Chili with wheat thins (or crackers crumbled in it if you’re not addicted to Wheat Thins like I am) is another favorite of mine. Soup with chicken and beans was good. Stir fry. Sushi. A ham & cheese sandwich with tomato soup. Rice and beans with chicken. Starting out well seems to set the whole tone. Don’t eat more than you usually would (defeats the purpose), eat smarter.

Stay hydrated! If you feel icky, try Gatorade or one of those green nutrition drinks with all the vitamins and minerals. Sparkling water is also a treat. Before, during, and after the fast drink a lot!

Speaking of beverages, I still have my morning (black!) coffee during a fast. those Itty calories aren’t going to un-do the benefits, but caffeine withdrawals will make everything worse.

Keep busy, don’t fixate on it.

If you are just not going to make it–try drinking some chicken broth before cheating and having a burger. The salt really helps pull you through, but it’s light enough not to ruin everything. I mean, this is a band aid and a bridge, but for your first couple, if it’s too tough, try the broth before quitting.

Keep your exercise schedule. I work out hard, I’m even hypoglycemic, but fasting and exercise doesn’t cause me trouble. CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR OF COURSE. And, bonus, it even leaves me feeling satiated for awhile afterwards.

Avoid food commercials. Don’t smell food–this is THE most terrible for me. Don’t go into the cafe, lunchroom, or dinner table, because it’s torture. Just take a walk. Do something else. Don’t think about it, watch it, smell it, or be near food.

When you break the fast, eat slower! You will want to hoover your food. But every time I’ve eaten after a fast, my stomach/mind takes a long time to realize I’m full. So don’t eat a big portion, and don’t eat too quickly.

DON’T QUIT, just try a different strategy or start slow, or play with the variables.

And if you just can’t do a 24 hour fast, try a different one. There are at least 5 fasting schedules, and any one of them are going to cut down calories. So don’t feel like a failure and quit–just try a 16 hour fast, or a different type. And you can work up to 24 hours over time, or just keep one of the other fasting intervals.

Sure, they’re showing you GYM, but weight loss mostly happens in the KITCHEN.

How to Eat Less (At Least, What Worked for Me)

12 May

I used to have a magical metabolism.  I ate whatever I wanted, in whatever amount, all the time and was still thin.  I was never a heavy kid or teen.  And I got a little more hefty my first year of college when I was living off Domino’s Kickers and gummy worms, but only like 5 extra pounds.  I had this gift of a metabolism until I turned 34.  Then, things started catching up with me.  Suddenly, I had to pay attention to what foods I ate and how much.  And I did not like it.  It was different.  I had never, never had to pay attention before!  And it first, it was like I noticed it, but it didn’t really impact my weight.  But my clothes just fit different.  Then, clothes I’d worn since 6th grade, suddenly just didn’t fit.  Then my cute-stuff shorty-shorts didn’t fit the same.  Then, I suddenly couldn’t wear my jeans.  Abruptly, my weight shot up!  At an alarming rate, too.  Once the number budged, it just kept going up and up.  I was upset and heartbroken, yet I didn’t really want to stop eating like I had.  I love food!  So I tried to out-exercise it.  Instead of just the 1 mile per day, I added strength.  And crunches.  Those did help tone me, but did not fix my clothes situation.  And I was determined not to buy a whole new wardrobe!

So I knew I had to reign it in.  And it was a slow process, with a lot of embarrassingly loud stomach growls as I retrained my body.  Here are some hints that helped:

–>here is a key point:  -small daily** changes<– 

Seriously, don’t punish yourself.  Just like anything else, you have to work up to it.  Yes, hold yourself accountable.  Have goals.  But just go for one small change in habit every day.  Just one.  And when that gets slightly easier, challenge yourself a bit more.  Until you’re really getting somewhere.  Accountable and challenging, but don’t beat yourself up or too push too much, too fast.

-packing snacks in zip locks or tiny tupperware.  Because my appetite could have polished off a bag.

-Prioritize.  When I am trying to get my food under better control, I suddenly have to choose between foods instead of having them all.  Just do your favorites.  If you could take or leave donuts, don’t let yourself auto-grab a donut just because someone brought them to the meeting.  If you love pasta–fine.  But have smaller portions of light foods the rest of the day to counteract all those carbs.  Choose solid calories (vs drinks) because, let’s face it–it’s a waste to drink your calories and feel starving afterwards.  And remember, artificial sweeteners are 100x sweeter they so increase hunger.  Make what you eat count.

-Drinking more water.  And yes, at first this makes you feel even more hungry, but over time (like a span of months, so don’t give up) I think it really does help.

-Picking the right snacks.  Produce was like eating nothing at all.  I was starved out of my mind, hangry and cheatee.  But a handful of nuts, especially those flavored ones with wasabi or chipoltle were somewhat satisfying.

-Honestly, what really helped in those very early stages was adding a bit of soup broth to my water.  That salt (bad long term) really helped get my hunger back in check.  Just don’t over-do it, because soup is too salty for the heart and hydration status.

-Use smaller plates and tupperwares so you don’t SEE deprivation, and so you can clean your plate without overindulging.

-eat more fiber

-eat more protein

-I’m not good at eating my meals slower–ain’t nobody got time (or patience) for that, but I would pack a bag of Triscuits and just eat one every time my stomach growled at work.  So I’d work on a bag throughout the whole morning.  More power to you if you can stand to eat your meals slowly, chewing extra and all that.

-KEEP BUSY.  It’s all caps because it’s a big factor.  Don’t just sit there thinking about hunger, cheating, your next meal, or how you want to give up.  Focus on work.  Do extra chores.  Do anything to take your mind off of it.  Yes, it’s very preoccupying, especially in those first 2 months.  But keep busy, busy.

-Did you know belly fat stimulates hunger hormones?  Which doesn’t seem fair, since the problem just keeps perpetuating.  So doing that exercise is actually helping reduce the hunger too.

-When I’m fatigued and tired, I make shitty choices.  I grab the ice cream, skip the workout, then feel regretful.  So get your sleep!

I’m not gonna lie.  It takes a long time to reign it back in.  There will be times you’re super hungry, healthy meals that leave you totally unsatisfied, and some cheating.  But do stick with it in the long run.  I’m back in my jeans, back in my cute clothes.  And more than that I feel better, and have more energy than when I accidentally got fat.  It’s worth it, and as cliche’ as it is, YOU’RE worth it.

 

Intermittent Fasting

20 Feb

I love food.  But I want to fit into my pants so I’m trying it.

When I heard about intermittent fasting I was VERY skeptical.  My mom bought me a book.  I was still skeptical because the author only had a Bachelor’s I think.  But he name-dropped Marion Nestle and I have 3 of her books and trust her knowledge for the most part (I can’t get on to encouraging owners to make their own pet food).  So I hung in their and finished the book.

What I like about it is you don’t have to moderate your foods and portions and think about what you’re eating all the time.  And I like that you net less calories during a day even if you have say, Taco Bell.  I also like that fasting is giving the middle finger to big food corporations that are marketing abusively and hurting us ultimately for their own profit.

I was/am suspicious about hypoglycemia.  The author says the disorder is under diagnosed, overrated, and probably people who think they have it are actually just anxious about not eating.  Except, I had symptoms before I ever knew what blood sugar was, let alone hypoglycemia.  I wasn’t making shit up or having symptoms because of some anxiety.  I had and have some low blood sugar side effects.  But I tried to disprove it by looking up real research on Google Scholar, and everybody across the board was complementary of Intermittent fasting.  They even said it could be a cure for diabetes!  So I figured if people on insulin could fast without a problem so could I.

I tried it.  At first I wanted to get used to it so I just skipped breakfast and snacks every work day.  Which amounted to a 16 hr fast.  And it was kinda sucky.  I thought about food a lot.  Felt hunger a LOT–not just briefly either like the book promised.  And my stomach growled loudly, despite (always) drinking copious amounts of water.  I felt like I might get a headache and had a sort of lightheaded feeling.  Concentrating on work was difficult.  I felt like I looked pale, and I was definitely peked.

We started having a spoon of that super-food powder and on the 16 hour fasts, that does help take the edge off and fix the headachey/lightheaded feelings.  Not so much for the 24 hr fasts.  That headache is here to stay despite many asprins and boat loads of water.

Finally after 3 weeks (taking of weekends) of fasting for 16 hr every work day it wasn’t totally terrible.  So I thought I might try 24 hours.

I went dinner to dinner and got so hungry by noon that it was suffering until 5 Pm when it was time to break the fast.  I skipped our run, strength workout, and our creative intervals because I was so hungry.

The book said if one time doesn’t work, just shift the fast to a different time of day.  So even though my lunches are usually a smaller portion size, and less substantial foods than dinner I tried going lunch to lunch.  Oh and it made a big difference.  I still got hungry in the morning, but only for a few minutes at a time (vs. voracious and constant on the other).  So I have no idea what the difference is, but lunch to lunch is what my body prefers.

So after having finished 3 weeks of 16hr fasts per day and now 24 hr fasts twice a week for 2 weeks:  I don’t like how hard fasting is.  Nor do I like how I feel during a fast.  I do think I’m fitting into my clothes better and I like being able to eat the same as always at other meals and not upset my entire eating everything.  I also really like sticking it to the crooked food companies.  I do not think this way of eating will be a long term thing, and I don’t think I could sustain it over the long term.  Just because being hungry sucks.  But I will try–and hopefully with practice it will get easier.

Next American Beauty

24 Oct

America the Beautiful 2

a documentary following up on one of my favorite documentaries (“America the Beautiful) EVER.  And that’s saying something.  The first was about the harsh beauty industry and it’s treatment of women in order to make lots and lots and lots of $$$$$$.  This one focuses in on the obesity epidemic and health and dieting industries.

95% of all diets fail.

1/3 of American adults are obese.

1/3 children are overweight.

400,000 die from obesity every year and this was widely publicized   The figure was according to the CDC, a VERY trusted source.  Proven erroneous.  25,814 is the true number.

Thin people are perceived as attractive, intelligent, and of a higher class.  This is evolutionary according to a researcher on the documentary.  But I don’t buy that.  Super-thin cavemen would not thrive.  They would need to eat more frequently, they would not have great insulation, thinness would not support an appropriate muscle mass for escaping predators. . .

BMI invented by a mathematician 1830-1850.  Never intended for

Overweight Side Effects:

spinal problems, higher instance of miscarriage, joint problems, increased cholesterol, skeletal problems, increased heart size, and increased blood pressure, and stroke.

Raw Diet=uncooked.  No animal products, no caffeine.  Blame animal products for heart disease.  They say “You will be completely disease free.”  My comment:  What the fuck is this bull shit?!  They are drinking wheat grass shooters as a part of their detox.  Wheat grass offers vitamin K, the end.  Which no one is lacking.  $80 for a gallon of grass juice!  That is rich people throwing away their money.  I say that’s privilege.  And who can stick to such a regimen?  It is hardly realistic.

Smoking helps with weight loss.  What?!  So this is not about health.

Diets= deprivation, then regain and increase weight.  It is NOT lack of discipline!  This does not work long term.  A restrictive diet can only be maintained short term, and by those with unnatural devotion.  Psychological willpower must overcome biological drive to eat.  Biology dominates the psychological restriction.  Decreasing calories slows metabolism, which is why people gain all weight plus back.

Adolescent boys with eating disorders:  Which goes against everything I know about eating disorders.  Our capitalistic society preys on, and objectifies WOMEN.  To learn over 1 million males struggle with eating disorders was shocking.  Especially straight males.  All of the boys of the documentary lost weight because they wanted to impress girls.

Famous (tall) black model was 103-117lb during her entire career.  4 hours cardio per day on no calories.  Thinner is better.  Get thinner, thinner, thinner!  Kate Moss=bad representation.

A woman with an eating disorder is 12x more likely to have a daughter or a sister with an eating disorder.  Insurance companies don’t cover eating disorders enough.  They make sure the suffers live, and pull funding, before life skills are formed, not to mention before mental stability is realized.

Eating disorder suffers fight back with denile and defensiveness.  Dieting ability is a diagnostic precursor for eating disorders of all types:  Anorexia, binging behaviors, or compulsive overeating.

50 billion dollars a year on diets/dieting products.

On any given day in the U.S. half of all women are on a diet.

1 in 4 men are on a diet.

Almost half of American children between first and third grades say they want to be thinner.

In 1970 the average age for a girl to start dieting was 14.  By 1990, the average age fell to 8!

I don’t know if I trusted the information in this documentary like I trusted the first documentary in the series.  I felt like the “facts” and “interviews” were manipulated.  Also, I felt the documentary was skewed toward–fat is not unhealthy, BMI is wrong and inaccurate, lawmakers trying to help the obesity problem are corrupt, eating disorders are more prevalent then overweight people, average woman in America is size 14, etc, etc. . .

 

Losing Battle: Losing Weight

23 Jun

Recently, I tried to educate readers of a weight loss blog how women’s self esteem is tied to patriarchy, which is driven by capitalism. As expected, my comments were not well-received–by at least one person.  Edit–received mixed reviews.  The cool blog-owner herself was open to my stance and asked for some feminist blogs-yay!  It’s really cool to think about the personal being political, and how all of our actions tie in to the bigger picture.  Anyway–here is a more eloquent version of what I tried to say in my comment on the weight-loss blog post:

Evidence:

It is clearly in the best interest of a capitalistic society to make money.  Look how the recession is hurting everyone.  North America plain has to have money to operate.  We must have our businesses profit in order for our government to operate.  We depend on the jobs, the products, and the taxes.  And what better way to make money than to convince people they NEED certain products?  For example, tell people body hair is unacceptable.  Wait, don’t just TELL them.  Inundate them with images of hairless people.  Make product commercials showing how HAPPY people are when they remove their body hair, and show them frequently.  Go a step further and really deride hairy people.  Make them the UGLY villain in a lot of television shows and movies.  Show how disgusting hair is, and how people with it are sad and lonely.  Maybe even make hairy people disappear entirely to prove how unacceptable it is to have hair.   Certainly show that it is natural to be hair-free.  Really press the issue that hair is unsanitary, a nuisance, and people have been trying to remove it sense Eve had to wax in preparation of donning her leaf.  And eventuallythe public will come running.  They will buy razors, shaving cream, pay for expensive wax treatments, get electrolysis.  The moral is the same with weight loss:  Make women feel uncomfortable in her own skin–and you’ve got a gold mine.  You can squeeze so much money out of her in her quest to become beautiful that your company will reach the top of the stocks.

Other evidence:

It is just undeniable that the media conveys an ideal of females that is unattainable.  Media is the tool that ties capitalistic goals with patriarchal motivation.  Women are unconcerned whether corporations such as Wal-Mart make money or go broke.  But they are very concerned with men finding them attractive.  All our society has to do is show females through the media that men like you when you are thin.  Then she will pay for a weight set, Pilates video, and diet pills to get that way.  See?  The patriarchal ideals represented by the media just made some lady send money, that she wouldn’t have spent otherwise.  It’s big business!  The actresses are mostly thin, models-obviously underweight.  Magazine ads feature skinny gals.  Everywhere you look are thin ladies with unblemished skin.  This is no accident.  Being blasted with images of perfection slowly erodes a women’s confidence, which in turn, encourages her to spend money so she can “fix” herself.

The big evedence.

Different cultures do not act this way.  There are female-positive cultures that value women for their brains rather than objectify them for their beauty.  Some society’s think bigger is beautiful, because it means you are well fed translation-wealthy.  Also, this is not the natural and unchangeable way of things because in different eras, thinness was not equated to beauty as it is now.  Those Victorians were chubby-trons!  They liked pale skin and chunk bodies, because it meant they did not have to sweat in the fields.  The pale and chubby were also the ones who had more money.  See a trend here?

I saw a documentary that profiled some island without television or media influences.  They were VERY traditional on the island.  They also liked a lot of chub, because it meant you had a lot of food to eat (more on this later).  Anorexia and bulimia were unheard of.  Girls and women WANTED to gain weight on that island.  Everyone saw the ideal women as a fatty-britches.  Then, (American) television was introduced.  A mere six months later, there were eating disorders on the island.  Women began precipitously dropping weight.  Their standard of beauty was entirely changed within 6 months of TV viewing!  Imagine how ingrained we are in North America after decades of media programming???

Tell me, what is the result of patriarchy?  (White) men are in power.  Business executives, politicians, pretty much everyone who makes rules–is male.  Sure there are exceptions, but they are notable, because they aren’t the norm.  By keeping women focused on their bodies, and competitive with each other, men are successfully keeping ALL the power.  If a female is hungry, she’s not thinking about how she can change the world.  If a women is bitching about another gal, she isn’t noticing that she’s making 70 cents to every man’s dollar in the workforce.  Not only do women play-in to the patriarchal ideals fed to them instead of carbs, when they indulge in diet culture, they are supporting the notions financially as well.  All while ardently defending the (false) idea that wanting to be beautiful, thin, and ideal to men is THEIR choice, and the natural way for women to be.

Sometimes I wish people watched more documentaries so they would know these facts for themselves.  If everyone just watched the evidence in “America:  The beautiful” they would know how the vicious beauty industry worked to keep patriarchy intact to encourage product sales.  Instead of railing against me when I tell you to be mindful of your motivations to lose weight, you should be railing against a harsh system that made you feel less than worthy in the first place.

Phat Chance [10-15-06]

16 Jan

Anyone that knows me, knows I’m 5’2″. I cannot weigh very much, because there is no place for it to go–I’d be a total fat-ass! I realize taller people are going to weigh more and should wear a larger size than me. I’m not prejudiced against people that are bigger than me (I am NOT anti-fat, just anti-being in denile about wearing your correct size, whatever it is). I have worn a size 5 since my sophomore year of high school. Though my measurements have actually increased by an inch, I now wear a size 2. I just get disgruntled when size 10s refuse to buy a size 10, and instead wear a size 5. No one but you knows or cares what size you are! If size 5 is ACTUALLY a 10, what are people who wore old size 5 supposed to wear? Is this why childrens clothes look age-inapropriate these days?!  Negative sizes–don’t even get me started!  Just another way that our patriarchial society tries to make women disappear and appropriate the power of females.

Just today I tried on a slutty sailor costume that was a “small” and it was jumbo-tron. Ok, ladies–you are not wearing a size smaller, the sizes are just getting larger to appeal to your vanity. Yes, it’s true America has moved toward an unhealthy obsession with weight, and Hollywood stars and models are much too thin. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t support this culture of eating disorders.  BUT lots of people say–oh I am ideal because I wear the same size as Marilyn Monroe who wore a size 14-16.

The standards for women’s dress sizes have not remained constant over the years; they have changed as the size and shape of the average woman has changed. (Clothing manufacturers assume most women don’t want to wear clothing of a size identified as “Large,” for example, so they adjust their sizing so that the average-sized woman takes a “Medium.” If the size of the average woman has increased over the years, then the very same size that was a “Large” fifty years ago might be a “Medium” today. This is what has happened to women’s dress sizes since the 1940s: a woman who weighs more now than she did twenty years ago might actually be wearing a smaller dress size today (like me).

What was a size 12 in the 1940’s is now a size 8, because women on average have gotten larger (super-size me–anyone?!), and because women feel more comfortable buying dresses in smaller sizes. Marilyn Monroe, often considered the standard, “all American” icon wore a size 16 during much of her heyday. She almost certainly did not wear dresses equivalent to today’s size 16 and the white dress she wore in “The 7 year Itch” is a size eight by today’s standards.

Marilyn Monroe’s measurements: Height: 5 feet, 5½ inches, Weight: 118-140 pounds, Bust: 35-37 inches, Waist: 22-23 inches, Hips: 35-36 inches, Bra size: 36D.

Marilyn Monroe:   38-23-36

Jennifer Aniston:    34-23-35.5

Heidi Klum:           35-24-35