Went on vacation for a long weekend, did I gain weight?

vacation

Short answer, no.

Long answer, maybe I will be up a pound or two tomorrow. After 4 days of visiting family, drinking lots of Jameson and eating 95% of meals at restaurants, I weighed myself this morning and found the scale exactly where it’s been for a long time.

That’s what I love about low carb vs. low calorie. I can eat a 700 calories bacon and egg breakfast or steak salad and not gain weight.

I hear about people ‘blowing’ their diet while out of town all the time. My best guess it that it has to do with feeling deprived or cheated during a diet. Once a vacation or a night out comes along it is easy to think ‘I deserve this’ or ‘I have been working hard, so one little cheat meal won’t hurt’. In my situation, I eat a lot of satisfying food every day so I don’t have that little devil on my shoulder whispering my ear ‘go ahead, do it, eat that whole pizza…’

 

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People weigh more in the morning, after sleeping b/c of ‘dead weight’

Um…

Did I just hear that from someone at my office? Did I just hear that your weight ‘settles’ while you sleep so you should weigh yourself after being up and around for a while…?

This is right up there with the reasoning that cyclists use to drop weight on their bike. ‘Grams = ounces = pounds = suck’. I am not saying that I disagree with any of that, however saving 14 grams by upgrading to titanium bolts is pretty insignificant when the actual cyclist can drop 15 pounds by eating better.

If you weight settles or not isn’t really the issue – that does sound ridiculous though. The issue is that if you are making good choices about your diet, there is no reason to fear the scale.

No more looking for your lightest pair of underwear to get weighed in, no more forcing yourself to go the bathroom before the weigh in…. no more being ridiculous. Let’s just make healthy choices and let the scale say what it will. The scale is just one small tool to help us stay on track to being more healthy.

Off Topic – more success with low carb

My boss just won Biggest Loser!

Ok that is a slight exaggeration – ok that is a huge exaggeration. My boss won this week of our company’s Biggest Loser challenge. The point is that he lost 14 pounds since Jan 9th. What is his secret you say? Well, he is eating low carb! And since I sit right next to him at work, I can guarantee that I haven’t heard any of the following statements from him:

went to the gym today

skipped a meal today

I better go to the potty before my weigh in

I am so hungry

I ate all my calories already for today

dinner consisted of rabbit food and/or microwave meals

I miss carbs

how many points do you think that is?

mmm, gotta love apple cider vinegar

If I hear any of these phrases, I will eat some humble pie. I doubt that will be the case. What is more likely though, he will continue to lose weight, not be hungry, not complain, and not spend hours in the gym.

“Apple…. Cider…. Vinegar….”

Wow.

I don’t know what else to say except “wow”.

I was given the tip to drink diluted apple cider vinegar to help with weight loss. I was asked my opinion about the topic and all I can come up with is “wow”.

It might work. Just like HGH might work, and Phentermine might work, and Jenny Craig might work. However I have 2 questions for people considering trying to drink apple cider vinegar:

  1. Why?
  2. Have you recently been hit in the head?

I wonder if fear of success is a factor here? Why do people get stuck out in the weeds with all these crazy ideas? Perhaps we should focus on the easy stuff, the low hanging fruit. Let’s not over complicate how to lose weight. Sugar and carbs cause your body to produce insulin. Insulin causes your body to store fat. The less sugar and carbs consumed equal fewer pounds of fat retained. Pretty simple, just rinse and repeat.

“What’s your goal?”

goal

“I noticed that you are still eating a restricted diet, if you are happy with your weight, what is your goal then?”

Goals are a tricky subject. They can both help and hurt us when it comes to things like saving money and weight loss. On one hand a goal is like a roadmap. We’ve all heard that line before right? Without a goal / map, how do you know where you are headed? On the other hand people tend to set huge goals and get discouraged easily if they are not tracking toward them.

I like to focus more on behaviors than goals. If we do the right things each and every day, the goals will take care of themselves. This holds true with both money and weight issues. I don’t want to say avoid setting goals, but perhaps that goals should be “I want to eat right and skip the carbs everyday for a week” instead of “I want to lose 10 pounds by June”.

Getting back to the question that I was asked over the weekend, I don’t have any weight loss goals at this point, however I do have the continued goal of avoiding sugar and carbs so I don’t backslide into my 38 inch pants!

‘Fat people are lazy’

homer

I read that statement in the comments section under an article about why people’s New Year’s resolutions to get in shape are unsuccessful. The comment simply stated that fat people are lazy. Of course it is easy to shame other people from the comfort and anonymous nature of the internet.

I disagree.

I feel that lazy is defined by knowing what you should be doing but consciously choosing to do something else instead. For example, last weekend I had budgeted time to clean my garage after I had made mess working on my motorcycle. Instead, I took that time to sit on my rear and read a book. To me that is lazy, I avoided the hard, boring work for something easier.

If a person that is not well informed on why humans get fat, let’s give them a break before judging them. If someone learns what works for them, but then decides to do nothing, then by all means, that person can be defined as lazy.

Calories in/calories out is widely accepted and very often used as the most basic rule of weight loss. I think it is an over simplification and it is discouraging to people who try to eat rabbit food and kill themselves doing cardio, only to see no results. Or worse yet, they lose a lot of weight, only to gain it all back as soon as the go off their ‘plan’.

In my opinion, people should start with the low hanging fruit. Initially cut out added sugar (and sugar substitutes) like dessert, sugar in coffee, soda etc. After that, cutting out cereals and processed carbs like bread and pasta, etc. We don’t have to go cold turkey. Especially if people have tried and failed before, they are skeptical and don’t have a lot of confidence in themselves when it comes to weight loss.

Let’s be supportive and encouraging, let’s teach and lead by example…. but let’s not judge, shame, or criticize other people when they are trying to make positive strides.

What do I actually eat in a day?

I am taking a day off from funny weight loss statements to write about what I eat. I don’t advertise being a low carber but when it comes up in conversation, I always get the question, “If you don’t eat carbs, what do you eat instead?”

Here is my all my food from yesterday – please note, I did work out yesterday in the evening, and I was coming off back to back cardio days from the weekend. Saturday I did a 4.2 mile trail run, and Sunday I rode the road bike about 15 miles. My carb intake goes up slightly depending on my exercising.

Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs (in butter) with shredded cheese and about half of an orange pepper. Large black coffee

Snack: a few ounces of cashews / peanuts and a string cheese (thanks to my kids)

Lunch (brownbag 90% of the time): premade chicken salad although I didn’t eat the corn – the other half of the orange pepper with a few extra ounces of broccoli/chicken from the day before

Snack (before lifting weights): 3 slices of cheese, scoop peanut butter and half a banana

Dinner: Large iceberg lettuce salad with avocado and oil/vinegar dressing

Snack: cashews /peanuts and a few ounces of grilled chicken (from day before)

Today is more of the same, eggs, grilled chicken, avocado, cheese, nuts. If I find myself at a restaurant for any reason, I just get some type of salad. Even Wendy’s and Subway have good salads. Please keep in mind that my house is filled with candy, treats and sugar. My kids are normal kids and eat normal stuff, I just don’t share it with them!!

If it is in the house, I will eat it

cute-candy

Countless times I’ve heard people say things like “if it is in the house, I will eat it”, referring to junk food or treats.

This always makes me think about addiction on a sliding scale of social acceptability. On one end of the scale, we have hard core drugs like heroin and on the other end we have cute little M&M’s.

My sliding scale of social acceptability and addiction: Hard Core drugs / recreational drugs / cigarettes / alcohol / gambling / unhealthy food.

When people are struggling with their weight, they look at ‘unhealthy’ food like heroin. They think that they must eliminate it from their reach, out of sight, out of mind. You can’t expect a heroin addict to get clean if their house is stocked with it, right? When people start off their weight loss journey the first thing that they often do is to clean out the kitchen, and rid their house of all the unhealthy food. They then load up on low fat ‘healthy’ food instead. Microwaveable meals and rabbit food, as I like to call it.

The challenge is that, the more socially acceptable the addiction, the harder it is to avoid it. It is just not possible to avoid all the food that makes us gain weight. Just because we avoid it in the home, doesn’t mean that we are not exposed to it at work, on the go, during holidays, etc.

The key is to break the addiction, not attempt to avoid it. I’ve mentioned this in a previous post, but after avoiding sugar and carbs for a while, the attraction fades away. It gets to the point where you won’t have to avoid carbs; you just won’t want to consume them!

There is another blog post in my brain percolating in the background about how when people purge their houses of the ‘bad’ food, they are really just surrounding themselves with ‘worse’ food. I will cover that one soon!

 

Those BMI numbers are a waste of time

We’ve all heard this one. People griping about how BMI charts and weight ranges based on height are inaccurate, unattainable, and a waste of time.

I certainly agree that different people have different body types, and targeting a weight solely based off someone’s height isn’t a perfect solution. However, if you are overweight, please don’t look at a BMI calculator or weight chart and decide the given range is ridiculous, therefore excusing yourself from doing anything at all.

Some people think that they would look ‘sick’ or ‘unhealthy’ at the weight listed on a BMI chart. If that is the case, then target 5 or 10 pounds over that range. At least you will be going in the right direction.

And yes, muscle is heavier than fat. But most people that claim this fact don’t have anything to worry about!

An example of a Height/Weight chart:

healthy_weight_range_chart

‘You gotta try this low carb dog food’

Ok I admit it, I’ve got a fat dog. It’s a long story and I will spare you the details but the bottom line is that my 120 pound dog should be about 100 pounds. In my office, it is pretty commonly known that my dog is overweight –  ‘I refer to her as my big fat dumb dog’ – so I had to chuckle recently when a coworker suggested that I use a low carb dog food. My coworker mentioned that their dog easily lost 40 pounds. The weight just fell off they said – no additional exercise needed!

Wait for it, wait for it….. wouldn’t you guess that the same co-worker has tried every fad diet out there. This person (who only has the best intentions) signs up for every Diet Bet, Biggest Loser, and other fitness challenge. One time this coworker printed an article and left it on everyone’s desk about these magic new Chia seeds that we have to add to our diets. For some reason this same person resists going low carb. I can’t explain why??

Anyway, I am going to look into the low carb dog food. If it doesn’t work, no big deal, but at least I will try.