BEWARE THE SOFT BREAD PRETZEL

Me 2So April is off to a decent start with getting in shape and getting off my duff more. I’ve been tracking my steps and logging my exercise and calories with Lose It! I am a much bigger fan of this application than My Fitness Pal. Cheaper (if you go in for the premium $30 a year versus $50 a year) it has more features in the free and paid versions in comparison to My Fitness Pal plus a more user friendly interface equals win, win, win in my book.

Soft PretzelNow let me tell you about yesterday… BEWARE THE SOFT BREAD PRETZEL and MARGARITA MONDAYS.

I know that sounds silly but these two things were my downfall yesterday.

5:30pm comes around and I still have 1,100 calories left out of my 1722 allotted for the day. Feeling good and feeling spry, I decided to try this soft bread pretzel of uber tasty goodness one of my fellow foodie friends was raving about. In the car I go with the hubby and off to our local watering hole we drove. An order of these things consists of two pretzels roughly the size of my fist and a half cup of beer cheese.

Now the pretzel may have been an issue in and of itself at 388 caloriesfriday-the-13th-reboot-planned-for-2015-149618-a-1385536466-470-75 *ouch* but if the pretzel was a stalker then the drink was killer. *insert Friday the 13th music here* I tend to drink a vodka cranberry (clocks in about 175 calories) or beer or (About 145 calories) so this is where my mind was when the waitress told us about Margarita Monday… margarita mix is loaded with sugar… it was a bad d
ecision.

A Margarita breaks down like this – 10 oz Margarita – 550 Calories (4 oz. tequila, 4 oz. margarita/sour mix, 2 oz. triple sec, lime juice, 1 tsp. sugar) YIKES!!!

So between the Pretzel, the drink and the beer cheese (yeah that’s stuffs about 150 calories in 4 tablespoons) I was sunk. One hour long pit stop later and I had 147 calories left and hadn’t had dinner yet >.< Let’s just say dinner was really light and I took a 45 minute walk before bed and was still 200+ over.

Lessoned learned but it was a wakeup call. It also shed some light on my past eating habits. There was a time when I’d have went in for both of those pretzels and a couple of drinks without much thought… this explains a lot. It explains about 30 lbs ^_^

We’re Back…

Me 2We are still alive out here but things have been slow going and progress has been minimal but kicking we still are… Rome was not built in a day and we are no different.

 

 

Rome day bricks

The mindsets have been all over the board but we have not given up so here we are, shifting our gears out of first once more.

My challenge for myself this week:

No worthless Bread (ha ha) as in no giant yeast rolls, not town house crackers, no white
bread, no Flour Tortillas, no English muffins, etc.  And water water water… and more water.

pouring water in a glass collection isolated

I have fallen in love with Corn tortillas so it’s those and whole grains this week ^_^

For the most part, I have removed bread from my diet but when I do indulge, it’s usually by eating the worst kind to indulge in… Oh, buttered yeast rolls, how I love thee… Anywho let’s see if we can 86 them for this week.

Nothing in Life is Free – Artificial Sugars Are a No Go

Me 2It seems perfect doesn’t it? All the tongue pleasing yumminess of sugar but no calories. It’s a soda lovers dream come true… only it isn’t. It can be a physiological and psychological nightmare. I have seen a lot of people suffer from this (myself included) so I thought I’d share.

Nothing like having no idea why your body is craving something or behaving a certain way. Now you will know.

Artificial Sweeteners Cause Metabolic Confusion

One of the reasons why artificial sweeteners do not help you lose weight relates to the fact that your body is not fooled by sweet taste without accompanying calories.2,3

When you eat something sweet, your brain releases dopamine, which activates your brain’s reward center. The appetite-regulating hormone leptin is also released, which eventually informs your brain that you are “full” once a certain amount of calories have been ingested.

However, when you consume something that tastes sweet but doesn’t contain any calories, your brain’s pleasure pathway still gets activated by the sweet taste, but there’s nothing to deactivate it, since the calories never arrive.

Artificial sweeteners basically trick your body into thinking that it’s going to receive sugar (calories), but when the sugar doesn’t come, your body continues to signal that it needs more, which results in carb cravings.

Besides worsening insulin sensitivity and promoting weight gain, aspartame and other artificial sweeteners also promote other health problems associated with excessive sugar consumption, including:

    • Cardiovascular disease and stroke4,5,6
    • Alzheimer’s disease. While poor diet is a major driver of Alzheimer’s in general (the primary culprits being sugar/fructose and grains, especiallygluten), the key mechanism of harm here appears to be methanol toxicity—a much-ignored problem associated with aspartame in particular.

In a previous interview, toxicology expert Dr. Woodrow Monte (author of the book While Science Sleeps: A Sweetener Kills7), explains the links between aspartame and methanol toxicity and the formation of toxic formaldehyde.

******   Read More HERE and HERE   ******

You don’t have to take my word or any word for that matter. Just look around you. How many truly fit people do you see drinking diet coke or eating food made with artificial sweeteners?  You won’t see no-artificial-sweeteners11-590x483many and in some cases you won’t see any. You well see a variety of overweight and struggling people doing this. People with diabetes, high blood pressure, joint problems and bad knees. You won’t see a 130lb woman that jogs in the morning ordering a diet coke. Just like you won’t see a 180lb man that works construction eating Sugar Free Snack Wells. It’s boxed and marketed garbage that belongs in the trash.

If all of this sugar free, fat free stuff “worked” and was “healthy” all of us on the diet roller coaster would be fit and trim by now instead of embarking on yet another year of “trying to get thinner” . Food for thought.

Benefits of Cutting Back On Sugar

Your heart will do a happy dance.

Within a few weeks, you might expect to see a 10% decrease in LDL cholesterol and a 20 to 30% decrease in triglycerides. Your BP would head in the right direction too.

You won’t have to borrow your teen’s acne cream.

Systemic inflammation is a known acne trigger.

You’ll sidestep diabetes.

Eating added sugar promotes the buildup of fatty deposits around your liver. These contribute to insulin resistance and undermine the work done by your pancreas.

You won’t have to fake-smile.

A Columbia University study found women who eat a diet high in added sugars and refined grains are more likely to experience anxiety, irritability, and mood swings.

You’ll sleep when you’re supposed to (for a change).

Give up added sugar, and you should be more awake and alert during the day, and also better prepared to catch some Z’s come bedtime.

You’ll finally lose that extra 10 pounds.

Scaling back your sugar habit by 200 calories a day could help you drop 10 pounds in five to six months. Now that’s sweet!

Healthy Swaps

Swap Macaroni & Cheese for Spaghetti – A Healthy Favorite

Try the new whole-wheat pasta blends. Even the kids will like it if you top the spaghetti with your favorite tomato sauce. Voila! You’ve turned a childhood favorite into a high-fiber and nutrient-rich dish. Macaroni and cheese may be an old-standby, but it’s low in fiber and loaded with fat and calories.

Fat-Free Frozen Shrimp & Prawns

Shrimp are a tastier and healthier alternative to breaded fish sticks. You can buy them already cooked and shelled. Eat them cold with cocktail sauce, grill them, or sauté with veggies in a stir-fry.

Frozen Meals Can Be Healthy, Too!

Look for frozen meals that feature lean protein, plenty of vegetables, whole grains, and a low-fat or simple sauce.  Avoid fried frozen food, or creamy casseroles. Frozen meals that are baked, grilled, steamed, or sautéed are healthier and lower in calories.

Easy Ways to Burn Calories

Drink coffee.  Caffeine can help boost calorie burn for up to 3 hours. Not into coffee? Try tea.

Hold (un)steady. Using a stability ball can kill 260 more daily cals than parking your butt in a chair.

Go Paleo-lite. Cut carbs 2 days a week. Odds are, you’ll lose more than full-time devotees.

Grab some gum. Chew to thwart snacking. Translation: You’ll likely eat up to 10% less.

Turn down for what?! The room temperature sweet spot for melting fat: a cool 64°F.

Order Thai.  Spices in this tasty grub can spike your metabolism by 23%.

Take a day off.  Strength training twice a week versus thrice a week can yield the same muscle.

Stay sane.  Stressed women work off about 104 fewer calories than those who are calm.

Skip the second.  Knocking back two beers may slow fat blasting by 73%.

Get fidgety.  Tapping your feet or pacing can burn hundreds more cals than being still.

Sweat for less.  Just 10 minutes of moderate exercise helps rev metabolism for an hour.

Healthy Budget

We all know dieting and/or eating healthy can be a big pain in the bank account. Fresh fruit and organic milk isn’t exactly cheap. Worth it, yes… budget friendly… not in the slightest. So here are a few ways to decrease that dent in your wallet.

7 WAYS TO LOSE WEIGHT WHEN YOU’RE BROKE

By Michael Martin

So you have some cash-flow issues, but you’re looking to lose weight. You have to tighten your belt, but subsisting on ramen will only bloat your belly.

(And although Kraft may be eliminating the radioactive-orange coloring from its Mac ‘n’ Cheese, it’s still not going to do you any favors.) Thing is, you can eat like a king in good times and in bad, stretching your paycheck while reducing your waistline. Just follow these guidelines in terms of filling your kitchen with smart sources of protein, metabolism-boosting good fats and belly-blasting lunches and snacks.

1 STOCK UP ON CHEAP HEALTH FOODS AND COOK AT HOME

Now’s the time to forage through the produce section. Bananas are ideal for snacking or pre-workout energy, and they’re high in fiber, which aids weight loss. Spinach contains antioxidants and a compound called thylakoids, which a Swedish study found curbs food cravings by up to 95% and increases weight loss by 43%. Don’t pass up the frozen section: Veggies on ice contain the same amount of nutrition. Peanut butter’s high fiber and good fats will keep you full for cents per serving. For more suggestions, check out these 9 Super-Cheap Health Foods.

2 SWAP MEAT FOR PLANT PROTEIN

While grass-fed beef and wild salmon are good sources of belly-filling protein, you can get fat-burning benefits at a fraction of the price. Plant-based proteins such as legumes—lentils, chickpeas, peas and beans—have been shown to speed up weight loss. One Spanish study found that four servings a week whittled subjects’ waistlines, and another study published in the journal Obesity found that eating 160 grams of legumes led people to feel 31% fuller.

3 SWAP BOXED CEREAL FOR OATS

Aside from generally being sky-high in sugar and basement-low in protein, breakfast cereals are pricey. A 12-ounce box can run upwards of $6 for a dozen servings. By contrast, there are 30 servings in a two-pound container of Old Fashioned Quaker Oats (the silo-shaped package, not the instant packets), which rings in at under $4. Oats are high in soluble fiber and anti-inflammatory compounds, which increase satiety and have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Sprinkle a serving with cinnamon (one of the best fat-burning spices) or top it with fruit.

4 KNOW WHERE TO INVEST

It’s not about lowering your grocery bill at any cost. Just spend wisely. A bottle of olive oil should be first on your list, for salad dressings and cooking oil; its heart-healthy benefits can be had for pennies a serving. Avocado and coconut oils can be used for stir-fries and are unsung weight-loss superstars: A Penn State study found that people who ate three tablespoons of avocado oil daily lost 2% of their body fat in one month; coconut oil’s medium-chain triglycerides speed up metabolism. Almonds have also been proven to torch fat and support lean muscle, thanks to their rich stores of the amino acid L-arginine. For more ideas, check out these Fatty Foods That Make You Skinny.

5 PACK THESE CREATIVE SALADS FOR LUNCH

Because the first thing you did when your cash flow dried up was start brown-bagging it, yeah? We asked 11 diet experts what they eat for their midday meal, and most of them shared homemade salad recipes high in colorful veggies for fiber, certain proteins for energy and healthy-fat dressings. If you stock up on a range of healthy components—including underdogs like chard and watercress, which are superfoods healthier than kale—you won’t get bored. And if you fear the mid-week wilt, measure out portions and pop half of them in the freezer, cycling them into the refrigerator the day before they’re needed. Incorporating last night’s leftovers will stretch your dollar even further.

6 CUT OUT BOOZE

That $10 bottle of Pinot Grigio has 112 calories a glass and will only give you the munchies. Plus, it’s pure sugar, which the body digests before anything else. If you usually drink a couple bottles a week and cease that ASAP, you’ll save $80 and 4,800 calories a month, or enough to lose about a pound and a half before you even hit the gym.

7 WATCH YOUR PORTIONS

You may be overeating the good stuff. The American Dietetic Association recommends that a serving size of protein should be about the size of a deck of cards. By this measure, some chicken breasts, salmon and steak that you pick up from the freezer case can sometimes contain two to three 3-ounce servings. You don’t need a scale; just eye the proportions, and fill the rest of your plate with whole grains and veggies.