Archive for the ‘atkins’ Category

I hate gimmicky diets!  Low-Carb, no carb, low fat, high fat, grapefruits only, whatever, they all serve one purpose- to make some schmuck who wrote a book rich.  Eventually, I hope to be that book writing schmuck.  But for now I have no book.  What I do have is a wife with relatives that swear by the “South Beach Diet”- isn’t the pretentious name alone enough to make you gag?

So, as an act of marital love (akin to watching a boring chick flick times 1000) I’ve agreed to do South Beach with her for at least one month.  So what is South Beach?  Think Atkins but more veggies and a bit less steak.  I get two weeks of pretty much just veggies and protein, then I am “allowed” to reintroduce whole wheat and such.  You aren’t even allowed to eat fruit during the first two weeks.  Does that sound healthy to you?  I thought so.  But oh well, I will try it and report back to you.

This is day one of South Beach for me.  For breakfast I had one of those brand name South Beach breakfast bars and about five strips of turkey bacon.  I was able to make it through my time in the gym with a fairly decent workout and some pretty intense leg exercises.  My meals for the rest of the day include turkey breast on greens and whatever my wife makes for dinner tonight.  Wish me luck and pray for me.  HA!

Since Atkins is dead, and I am loathe to make fun of the departed, I bring you a new object of scorn and ridicule. I present to you, ladies and gentlemen, Screech (a.k.a. Dustin Diamond). This Z-list former child star made an appearance on last season’s Celebrity Fit Club. Yes, I know, I know, why am I watching this mind rotting drivel. But bear with me.

Screech spouted some of the stupidest ideas I have ever heard about weight loss in my life- sadly they weren’t anything new. There are lots of people who buy into the Screech philosophy of weight loss. And that buy-in is why so many spend their lives losing and gaining weight in that vicious yo-yo cycle.

Here is some common weight loss B.S.

1. I don’t need cardiovascular and resistance training, I can just take some (insert weight loss drug here) and I will get slim.

Well, while you might get slim, you won’t get healthy. Health is the result of a good regimen of exercise and proper diet. What you will get from following B.S. advice #1 is fat.  You’ll get fat as soon as you stop wasting $40 bucks a month for those possibly dangerous weight loss pills.  But I guess that is better compared with the health effects of taking one of those fat loss supplements for far too long.

Don’t just aim for weight loss at all costs.  Aim for good health!

I just have to cut calories and I can lose weight.

It is a really simple equation, take in less calories than you burn and you will lose weight. But once again, it doesn’t mean you will be healthy. You can lose weight eating nothing but refried bacon, but it wouldn’t be a good idea. Focus on a balanced diet that allows you to consume less calories than you need during any given day.

While you can lose weight on a diet of pizza and lard, it isn’t a good idea. Trust me, I tried it in college.

I am healthy where I am, I don’t need to lose weight.

You may be, you may not be. You don’t know. So start exercising and eating healthy. If you stay the same weight then chances are you were right. But until you hit the gym or the pavement (or both) you won’t know.  Bottom line is that weight is often an over-rated indicator of health.  Instead look at the measurement of your waist, heck, look at your belly.  Does it hang over your belt?

Bottom line, start living a healthy lifestyle of regular exercise and a balanced diet.  See where it goes from there.

Coming soon.  For those of you who didn’t see this train wreck go on Youtube or flip to VH1 and check out the last season of Celebrity Fit Club.

You need to check out this month’s copy of Men’s Health magazine. Here are a few articles and tips from the latest copy for your enjoyment:

The TNT (Targeted Nutrition Tactics) weight loss plan by Men’s Health

An interesting diet plan that seems like a twist on Atkins. For the most part it seems like a run of the mill low carb diet except for the fact that by the fourth week you have two days a week to eat lots of carbs- and the rest of the week is low carb. It is fairly interesting, can’t say I am completely sold, but swing by and check it out.

Men’s Health has it packaged as a 12 week weight loss program. And you all know how crazy I am about challenges and programs that are numbered in weeks (Two Week Total Transformation Challenge!!). I have never been crazy about low carb diets but then again it has been a LONG time since I tried one. Plus with the cost of steak these days (thanks a lot federal subsidies to ethanol- the biggest waist of cattle feed) I am not sure I could afford a low carb diet.

A Beach Body: Bingo [A Weight Free Workout]

Four simple exercises for those without dumbbells or kitty litter containers full of rocks.

Know More, Grow More [not available online]- The most interesting and surprising part of this article was the author’s comment that “You should be able to do a chinup with as much weight as you can bench press.” The author, Micheal Boyle, notes that once your bench press exceeds your chin-up by more than 15% the risk of shoulder injuries “rise significantly.”

Boyle suggests a simple test. Grab the closest chinup bar and see how many reps you can pound out. Now go to the bench press and put your body weight on the bar (he doesn’t say whether to add the bar’s weight into the equation) and see how many reps you can do. If you can do more bench press reps with your body weight than you can do chin-ups you are at risk for shoulder injuries. See Page 118

The Traveling Man’s Eating Plan

An excellent article for those who spend a lot of time on the road or out of the home. Here are the author’s tips (check out the complete article here)

  1. Forget about the menu. Know what you are going to order before you even enter the restaurant.
  2. Consider staying at a Bed and Breakfast. These usually offer home cooked meals (more of a healthy selection and less junk).
  3. Manage temptation. Ask the hotel to stock your mini-fridge with food fit for a diabetic. “This is a frequent request, and most hotels oblige by swapping out high-sugar junk foods for milk, cheese, vegetables, diet soda, and fruit[.]”
  4. Keep your laptop on your desk.
  5. Invite a new client to dinner- Apparently when eating with strangers men ate 35% fewer calories than when eating with friends and loved ones.
  6. Be your own man- Don’t order the same nasty food as the group. Show yourself as a leader and someone who is in charge of their own body.
  7. Keep a stash of protein bars, but use caution. Aim for low calories protein bars. The author recommends Snicker’s Marathon bar.

Today’s health tip is easy and simple to implement in your daily nutrition plan. Not to mention cheaper!

Replace Most of the Red Meat you Eat with Chicken and Turkey.

Why? Several reasons.

  1. It’s lower in calories.
  2. It’s lower in cholesterol.
  3. It’s lower in unhealthy fats.
  4. It has just as much protein.

Compare beef, chicken, pork, and turkey. [1, 2, 3]

A cut of beef (sirloin steak) has 21g of protein and 13 g of fat; A cut of chicken (breast) has 24g of protein and 1 gram of fat; A cut of pork (loin) has 19g of protein and 16g of fat; and a cut of turkey (breast) has 24g of protein and .8g of fat.

Applications: At breakfast replace regular bacon with turkey bacon. Regular bacon can have as much as 39g of fat and 6g of protein (serving size 3 slices), while a similar size serving of turkey bacon has only 8.4g of fat and 6.5g of protein. At lunch put down the regular sloppy Joe in favor of some turkey sloppy Joe (light on the sloppy). At dinner try replacing your sirloin steak with chicken breast.

Relax, You Can (and Should) Still Eat Some Red Meat.

Don’t cut out red meat completely, just eat less of it. And when you do eat red meat try purchasing some beef round cuts. At 25g protein and 8g fat per serving they offer the best combination possible of high protein and low-fat. Want to eat something even better for you? Try Bison meat. It is tasty and healthy- with 30g of protein and only 2.5g of fat per serving. Only downsides: it is a bit pricier than steak, but not by too much; your local store probably doesn’t carry it so you will have to order it through the mail. Try ordering from suppliers like this one.