Dot to Trot

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Archive for the category “Why We Get Fat”

Learning To Say “No” Again

This morning I find myself sitting down with a cup of coffee and a book I read more than a year ago – Better than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin. I find myself in need of remastering one simple yet special word.

In a world where nearly everything is at your fingertips, it’s a word you don’t hear very often — “No.”

“No” was my essential tool in losing 150 pounds over 4 years.  But if you don’t use it you lose it. And I haven’t used it for a long time.

The Vacation Is Over
I just got back from a weeklong visit with family in Texas. It was fun but I discovered I lost the ability to tell myself “no” when it came to snacks, desserts and alcohol. I told myself, “Your on vacation. Enjoy it.”

The problem is my vacation has lasted 373 days. Read more…

Thinking About Eating Before A Workout? Think Again

An interesting article in the New York Times about the potential benefits of fasting before exercising. I know a lot of bodybuilders and athletes play with timing their meals and workouts. And scientists like Jeff Volek have studied ketogenic diets and athletic performance. Well a new study looks at us regular folks and how when we eat may play a role in lowering insulin levels.

Gee, I wonder where I heard that before?

Anyway, it’s nice that science is starting to put to the test the “benefits” of fasting.

‘Foreign Diets’ Are Dieticians’ Unicorns

An interesting read was making the rounds this weekend in the twitterverse. It was a perfect take down of the latest variation of the Mediterranean diet. According to this version, the people of the Mediterranean don’t eat red meat or butter so neither should you. Wow!

Just one tiny problem. The article’s writer, Joanna Blythman, is an investigative food journalist and someone who has actually traveled around the Mediterranean. She’s learned about their most popular foods. Turns out, dishes aren’t so free of red meat and butter. You can read the article yourself.

diet myths

Sorry, but there isn’t a mythical foreign diet. The best way to get healthy and stay that way is to eat real food and avoid processed foods (a.k.a., fake food) rather than healthy fats.

10K vs. 15K Steps? Does It Matter?

Saucony Hurricane ISO

Caution — Shoes are much, much more neon yellow than they appear! More steps a day just wear these puppies out sooner.

Here’s an interesting morning read about mail carriers in Glasgow, Scotland and heart health. Those who deliver the mail are far more heart healthy than their counter parts working a desk job. Why?  Glaswegian mail carriers deliver the mail by foot!  While The New York Times article is focused on whether we should target 15,000 steps a day vs. the current 10,000 step recommendation, I think they are missing another piece: strength.

If the Scots deliver the mail on foot, that means they are also doing a lot of weight training too. A mail bag loaded with bills, letters, flyers and Amazon boxes adds up in pounds/kilograms.

Yes walking is good for you. However, if most Americans can’t even get 10,000 steps in a day, what’s the point of upping the number of 15,000. Also the mail carriers in Scotland deliver by foot. That means they walk for nearly 8 hours a day, 5 days a week and get paid to do so. In the US, somewhere around 100 million employees are sitting at a desk.

Does your manager encourage you to get in a chunk of your 10,000 steps while you’re on the clock?

I’m curious if the study actually looked at their diet. If you had to walk every day for your paycheck wouldn’t you eat better too?  Again walking is healthy, but you can’t out walk a bad diet.

 

 

Want To Get Healthy? Then Give Up Dieting!

I’ve been in need of some motivation lately. Thankfully I found Nerd Fitness’ YouTube Channel. Although I’m a frequent visitor to their site, I wasn’t aware of the videos. This one is great for anyone thinking of “going on a diet.”

 

My 30-Day Keto Challenge

keto cookbook

An amazing keto cookbook that I’m relying on as I start my 30-Day Keto Challenge, eating up to 80% healthy fats a day.

For the last week I’ve played with my diet to see what works in minimizing my menopause symptoms and it’s looking like a strict ketogenic diet is the way to go. When I say strict, I’m talking about reducing both my carbs and protein intake while increasing healthy dietary fat.

However, there are a few other changes I’m making to my diet and lifestyle that will go into my March 30-Day Keto Challenge. I’ve been easing into those changes in February so it isn’t such a shock to my system, but they are significant.

Dot’s New Macros*
As for calculating my macronutrients, there are a lot of good ketogenic macro calculators online (here and here). I’m a fan of nutritionist Maria Emmerich and after listing to a podcast of her answer questions about keto and menopause I decided to go with her calculator.

  • Daily Calories – 1706 kcal
  • Daily Macros (calories/grams/ounces)
    • Fat – 80% (1346.4 kcal/151.6g)
    • Protein – 17% (290 kcal/72.5g/10 ounces)
    • Carbohydrates – 3% (51.2 kcal/12.8g)

Read more…

A Calorie Is Just A Calorie, Right?

No, it isn’t true: A calorie isn’t just a calorie. The quality of the calories is far more important. Need proof?  Here’s your tweet of the day courtesy of Dr. Ted Naiman (if you don’t follow Dr. Ted’s tweets you really should).

tweet-of-the-day

 

 

Can’t Sleep? Try Sleeping Under the Stars

camping-in-dolly-sods

Besides being fun, camping can reset your circadian rhythm. I always sleep better in a forest.

Having issues falling asleep at night? Just not getting in your full 8 hours of shut-eye?  Try a weekend in the woods…seriously.

I’ve written before about how a good night’s sleep is critical for weight loss. Unfortunately modern technology is disrupting our sleep patterns.  Thankfully there is a possible solution:

Go camping. Read more…

Proof Eating Out Isn’t Great For Your Waistline

jan-22-weightAs expected I gained weight back after my 7-day fast. However, I think I could have minimized the weight gain if I didn’t miserably fail at my other monthly challenge – giving up alcohol for 30 days. I broke my fast with a birthday dinner and that included wine. OK, not a biggie. I made it to my birthday. So why not celebrate, right?

Well, it didn’t stop with the birthday. The next day we met up with friends we haven’t seen in ages. And the wine flowed.

The next day I didn’t have time to go grocery shopping so we went out for dinner…and I ordered a glass of wine. Soon we’re going out to dinner nearly every night for the last two weeks, which means a glass or two with dinner. Ugh!
Read more…

January Reading: The Case Against Sugar

sugar

My first read of the new year, The Case Against Sugar by the man whose done more to influenced the nutrition debate over the last 10+ years than anyone else, Gary Taubes.

I try avoiding sugar as much as possible. It jacks up my blood sugar and insulin levels too much. It’s why I don’t eat fruit (with the exception of the occasional berry).

The only way to really avoid it is to not eat any processed foods — it’s loaded with sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup or the more than 50+ names sugar goes by.  But is sugar really the new tobacco?

Today I start Gary Taubes’ new book, The Case Against Sugar. As readers know, I’m a huge fan of Taubes. His Why We Get Fat is the book that saved my life and set me down my ketogenic path.

Taubes did a great job taking down the bad science behind the idea that dietary fat (saturated fat in particular) was causing heart attacks, obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and recent growth of cancers. Looks like he’s putting the spotlight on the real culprit.

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