What Really Works for Weight Loss?

Oprah pulling fat

If it was out of the bag?

What really works for weight loss? No this isn’t going to be some sales blog for all my products, etc. I know what works, the same old sage advice “Diet and Exercise”, but what if you know what works, but you just can’t make yourself “do it”? That’s where I’m at. I just don’t have the motivation and some of the stuff I’ve done in the past doesn’t work as well now that I’m older and “post menopausal”. LOL.

I was getting in and out of the shower today and was looking at my body. I know, don’t hate, and I don’t. I just don’t like very much and it doesn’t feel as good as it did when I weighed what I am supposed to. I remembered how flabbergasted I was when I saw the picture of Oprah pulling 65 pounds of fat behind her in the wagon as a representative of all the weight she had lost this particular time. That led me to remember a WeightWatchers leader mentioning about getting a pound of fat and take it home and play with it, feel it, look at it. Yuck! So I was thinking how ugly that 65 pounds of fat would have been if Oprah had unleashed it in the red wagon instead of having it all neatly packed into the bag.

I’m thinking I’m really tired of making the same old resolutions this year that end up not being kept (doesn’t say much for my integrity does it? LOL). I think this year I’ll make a resolution to get more motivated by buying a couple pounds of fat. I can see a roll of fat that runs under my boobs across the front and then it kind of indents, and then the big belly fat below that if I was 30 yrs. younger someone may mistake for a small child growing inside. LOL. But my skin is sort of like the bag around the fat in Oprah’s red wagon. It keeps it somewhat contained. I think it’s time to unleash it and see what it’s really like, figuratively speaking of course. See if that works any better than anything else I’ve tried to stay motivated. Desperate times call for desperate measures. LOL.

Anyone else with any new ideas for staying motivated to lose weight in the new year? I’d love liposuction, but then that would lead to plastic surgery, and then, OMG where does it end?

Oh, speaking of losing weight and good food, I added a link to a food blog today. There is a beautiful recipe for Christmas pudding on there, that if you’ve ever wanted to try it or even see that it’s a real food, this is the place! A ton of recipes. Not all “diet friendly”, but I know how to substitute for most things. Like I said, I know what works, I just may not always do it. LOL.

Happy Holidays everybody, what ever that is for you, and Merry Christmas, Happy New Year for me.

Dieting During Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving dinner

Traditional Thanksgiving

Are you dieting while trying to make it through the holidays? It just seems wrong doesn’t it? Makes me think God has a sense of humor. He gives us all this bounty and if we partake in it we will be “waddling” until next year when we do it all again.

I’m not going to bore you with all the statistics like so many people will gain at least 10 pounds between now and after the New Year, or how many people end up in the hospital every year because they don’t clean all the stuffing out of the turkey before they put it away in the refrigerator. I’m not going to put up a bunch of recipes of food that no one wants to eat because they are so strange, even if they do cut 300 calories off of a traditional side dish.

I’m just going to share with what I do to shave the calories and the fat, but still be able to enjoy all the usual Thanksgiving dinner dishes.

I substitute eggbeaters for everything that calls for eggs. About a 1/4 cup is equal to 1 egg, although some say on the side of the carton to use 1/3 cup for baking. I use Land o’ Lakes fat-free half and half, or Carnation canned skim milk for anything that requires milk. Last but not least I use Country Crock Shedd Spread, or something similar for anything that requires oil or butter.

It is totally amazing how much fat and how many calories you can cut just making these small changes. I haven’t quite gotten the hang of substituting Splenda for sugar, but I’m working on it. I just prefer to experiment sometime other than the holidays with my pies. LOL. Using the items listed above instead of the whole fat stuff works well and no one seems to know the difference if you don’t make the mistake of bragging about it.  The minute you tell someone it’s all “low fat” of course there will be someone who complains or says it doesn’t taste “quite right”. This is one secret you want to keep to yourself.

To A Skinny St. Patrick’s Day

Oh no, I didn’t mean me. I meant leaner corned beef. LOL. I know that on the WeightWatchers Rickter Scale (4pts. for 2 oz.) but I don’t care. I have waited a whole year for the price to drop back down to something reasonable, and I’m eating it! I usually buy very lean corned beef, I boil it with the spices for long enough to cook most the rest of the fat off of it, and the rest of the year it jumps back up to about $3.49 a pound vs. $1.59 to $1.79 a pound now. It’s not so much that $3.49 a pound is super expensive, it’s the principle of it.

I have a certain line I rarely cross when it comes to grocery shopping. I just won’t pay over a certain price for certain items. If I can’t get (diet) soda for $2.50 a 12-pack, then we drink water. I did buy eight 8-packs the other day, which up to this point I had refused to buy because I think it’s more grocery trickery, but hey, it was only $1.49 an 8-pack. Who could hold out on that?

I don’t pay $1.00 for tuna when it’s not even albacore. I don’t pay over a dollar a can for chili, or a dollar a box for mac and cheese. My son accused me of being addicted to shopping once because I stock up pretty good when something’s on sale for a decent price. I explained to him how much it irks me to pay full price for something when I know what it costs on sale. Mayo, $4.00 a jar. Ridiculous and now the jars are 2 ozs. less!

So for dinner I will be cooking corned beef, carrots, potatoes, and cabbage. I will fill up basically on the veggies, mainly cabbage at 0 pts. (which at one store is free with the corned beef), a few carrots and a red potato and figure about 10 pts. I know myself too well to think I’ll only have a 2 oz. slice of beef so I’m allowing for 4 ozs.

It could be worse. We could eat big slabs of bacon here like they do in Ireland. LOL

Wednesday Weight Loss Tidbits

On Thursday. I actually gathered this stuff yesterday. I don’t know why it never made it this far, but it didn’t. I thought some of it was interesting enough to share so here it is today.

Did you know?

Research shows LAP band surgery is a cheaper way to fight obesity and diabetes than diets, exercise and other weight-loss methods Tracking 60 obese patients for two years, the study found the lifetime health care costs of gastric banding was $98,900, compared with $101,400 losing weight through conventional methods. Now I don’t know if that included the $6000 to get it done or not, but for the $2500 difference I think I’ll do it the good old fashioned way.

In addition to prevention of diabetes, decreased urinary incontinence may be an additional benefit of weight loss. I know even skinny ladies that wet themselves a little when they sneeze, cough, laugh to hard. I guess they have to figure out their own way to stop. I just need to lose weight. I wonder if this works for stress incontinence too?

The American College of Sports Medicine has release new guidelines for adult exercise. The average adult should get between 150 and 250 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week. So what’s that, 2 and a half to 4 hours a week? This exercise should burn between 1200 and 2000 calories per week. This level of exercise, coupled with a reasonable diet, will prevent unwanted weight gain. A greater volume of exercise or more intense exercise will lead to greater weight loss. Duh? Therefore, there is a “dose-response” effect for exercise. Activity levels of less than 150 minutes per week will result in minimal, if any, weight loss. Exercising more than 150 minutes per week will result in mild, 2-3 kg weight loss. Activity of 225 to 400 minutes per week (4 to 6 hrs) will result in 5 th 7.5 kg weight loss. An average of 200 to 300 minutes of exercise per week is needed to maintain weight loss, but more is better when trying to prevent weight re-gain. I don’t know how much a kg is equal to in pounds, but obviously I want less of them.  To me this is a pretty disappointing picture and not very complete, as I do know some exercises are more beneficial than others for less amount of time.

I read an article on dieting that finished with  “make dieting fun” yesterday. I can see making exercise “fun”. Go out and play like you did as a kid at recess, get an exercise buddy, play things you liked to play as a kid (when age isn’t a problem. LOL) but dieting? I don’t see any way to make that fun. As close as I get is trying a new recipe and to me even that’s work. I’m open to suggestions here if any one has any.

We all know beans are a great addition to any diet. They add fiber so they’re filling, loaded with good stuff, usually hardly any fat, etc. Did you know that there is an enormous amount of people who don’t eat beans just because of the “fart factor“?  I have always known they can cause gas, but I never really thought that much about it. Beans contain a sugar called oligosaccharide and we lack the enzyme required to break the sugar down. When the sugar arrives in your lower intestinal tract intact, it ferments, creating a buildup of gas. The gas isn’t absorbed into the intestine, so the body expels it. I had heard once that if you cook a potato with your beans that it absorbs the gas. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but this article says if you soak your beans, the sugar slowly leaches out. It says to change the soaking water a few times to keep the sugar from being reabsorbed. You just need to be sure and rinse them and then rinse them again. It says to rinse after cooking also, but I use that water as the base for my beans because I’ve usually thrown onion and/or garlic into cook with them, so I think I’ll skip that part. I have heard that product “Beano” was pretty good. Anybody try it?

And last but not least, until yesterday I would have said YoChee? WTH? I guess it’s the next big thing coming down the pike for weight loss edge. You take nonfat, plain yogurt and drain it through a cheesecloth or coffee filter for 8-24 hours. Once it’s completely drained of all it’s liquid you can spread it and use it to replace cream cheese, mayo, butter, etc. It’s also supposed to be good for cooking etc. in place of cream. It makes smoother, creamier, whatever. The website is www.YoChee.com and it’s pretty cool. Has recipes and tells what it is and how to use it. I may actually give this a try. It’s good for up to a week in the frig. I can’t remember if they tell you on the site that you can use cheesecloth or a coffee filter because they have drainers for sale. I picked that up in another article.

Sorry this is so long. I just had so much to share. Anybody else?

Pork Loin and Acorn Squash by WW

Sticking to my plan of cooking more WeightWatchers recipes last night I cooked a pork loin with acorn squash. Pork loin was on sale super cheap if you bought a big one, so I bought one that made about 3  three or four pound roasts. I usually don’t have a special fondness for pork loin because it always seems to come out so dry. This was really nice and there was glaze left in the bottom of the pan to spoon over the pork after it was cooked.

I need to get used to acorn squash again. With this glaze it had just a nice, slight orange and sweet flavor without overpowering it. The BF said it was really good and he knows not to say that if he doesn’t want to eat it again. LOL.

Usually when I do a roast I just sprinkle some tried and true combo of spices out of a jar, but this calls for a little salt, pepper, sage and garlic cloves. Here’s what I did.

  • 3 lb. pork loin roast
  • 1/2 TBLS. salt
  • 1/2 TBLS. fresh ground pepper
  • 4 TBLS. sage
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 6 TBLS. real maple syrup
  • 2 acorn squash, halved and seeded

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a roasting pan with foil. Spray foil with Pam or whatever you use. Rub roast with about 3/4 of your spice mix and garlic. Cook for about 20 min. Take the balance of the mix and rub around the edges of the acorn squash.

Take the pork out of the oven and put the squash, cut side down around the pork in the roasting pan, and shove back in the oven for about 30 min.

Mix the orange juice and maple syrup. Pull the pork and squash out of the oven and turn the squash cut side up. Baste everything with the orange juice and maple mix. Cook 15-20 more minutes or until internal temp of pork reaches about 160 degrees and the squash is done. Baste 2 or 3 more times while finishing the cooking. I finally on the last 5 minutes just poured what I had left all over everything.

Enjoy. If you’re counting points, this is approx. 7 points per serving. I’m open to suggestions if you want to put any in the comments below.

Wednesday Weight Loss Tips

I get so tired of the same old advice about losing weight. Everyone gives the same tips year after year, pound after pound. Occasionally I run accross good ideas that I’ve never seen before or some new news that I think is interesting to share. I think today is one of those days.

I was reading an article in my local newspaper (Wednesdays have the food and wine section) about freezing treats. I found this article interesting because 1) the writer is on her own weight loss journey 2) it made sense.

She freezes almost everything she eats to fulfill her sweet tooth desires from brownies to peanut M&Ms. Her idea is that it takes her so long to eat 2 Double Stuffed Oreos when they’re frozen compared to 4 to 6 she would have eaten had they not been frozen. Because it takes so long to eat them, they’re also much more satisfying. I can remember eating Snickers frozen as a kid. They would get so hard it would take forever to finish one. She does warn about being careful as you bite so you don’t crack a tooth.

She also freezes certain fruits and vegetables and eats them that way. I went to the store the other day and bought blueberries and grapes. She had mentioned these specifically (she’s addicted to frozen grapes) so I thought I’d give it a try. I didn’t have room in my freezer for the big bag of grapes, but did freeze the blueberries.

When they come out of the freezer it seems so strange. They’re beautiful, but they sound almost like you’re banging marbles together. I tried one and I really thought the freezing had taken a lot of the flavor away, but when I had a bunch in my yogurt this morning I thought they were quite the little surprise for the mouth. Now I’m looking forward to freezing the grapes with anticipation. I’m always looking for something that moves my hand to something healthy the way it likes to grab at cookies, so hopefully this will be an enticing answer. I like grapes a lot already but if it’s a choice between a handful of grapes and a handful of Doritos, sorry to say grapes aren’t the first thing I go for.

I know. Some old, sage advice. Keep cookies and Doritos out of the house. LOL.

Day 3 Still Here, All of Me

Doesn’t that sound familiar? It usually takes us awhile to gain all the weight, but we want it off NOW! LOL.

I skipped the gym yesterday, but not because I was wimping out or came up with excuses, but everything I’ve read says your body needs time to heal. I guess that’s why they always suggest working out 3 days a week vs. 7.  I actually did pull something in my neck and rotator cuff, so I thought the day for healing was probably a good idea. When you’ve been sedentary for so long it’s easy to pull something somewhere. I went this morning tho, and I discovered the machine that put the pull in my neck, so I’m either doing it wrong, or I need to wait to use that machine.

I also know an exercise with resistance bands that fixes the pain in a rotator cuff,  so I found a machine that does the same basic motion. It worked. I feel 89% better tonite than I did. What cracked me up is there is a promo going on at that gym and it starts with a “free” consultation for people who have pain there. If it’s done right, and the fact that it’s a consultation, I’m sure it leads to hiring a personal trainer. Whoo! Skipped that one.

Diet. Not perfect, but good. I had a lot of voluntary cooks the first week, and when I have to cook I do have a tendancy to grab the lesser of evils out of the freezer based on least amount of time to cook. I am using the cookbooks, but I probably would be a lot better at it if I planned ahead, which I know so now that I’m talking about that again, I may actually do it.

And then there’s just plain life. Why can’t we get the same credit for doing life things as exercise. Oh I know there’s a chart somewhere, but I take every opportunity to park far away from the store in a parking lot, walk like I’m in a race up to the store door, walk normal through the store, walk like hell back to the car, unload, walk like crazy back to replace the cart, walk again to the car like a madwoman, then squat into the car. That’s exercise. That’s interval training. LOL.