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Tim's Cook-For-Yourself Diet Plan: Save money and lose weight

By Theovon in Op-Ed
Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 11:43:27 PM EST
Tags: Food (all tags)

My weight has been up and down over the past several years. I'd lose weight, but I'd have trouble keeping it off, and all the other problems that many people have. Looking back on it, I find that one of my biggest problems is lack of discipline. While I could keep myself under control for a while, that control would slip, and the weight would come back.

Over the past year, however, I have managed to find a diet plan which I have been successful with. As with anything that works well, the progress has been slow, but it has been steady. This diet plan is of my own devising, so your mileage may vary, but I think it's a lot of common sense that you've already heard anyway.

I would like to share with you some simple rules I have assembled which have helped me to lose weight. More than just changing habits and ways of thinking about eating, these rules have helped me to set boundaries which have made it inconvenient for me to eat foods which are fattening.

This article not meant to be profound, and it's not meant to be a nutrition guide. It is about controlling what you eat and controlling your desires to eat fattening foods.

Rule #1: Never eat at restaurants

By "never", I mean that going out to eat once a month won't hurt you, but eating out once a week is definitely too often. Restaurants give you more food than you need to eat, but most people end up eating it anyway. Plus, most restaurant food is loaded with fat and sugar, giving you way more calories than you need. Now, exceptions include when you have to go out of town -- just keep in mind that business trips will cause you to gain weight.

As for saving money, consider how much you spend at a restaurant for a meal. Let's consider a meal that is "only" $7. But then you want a drink, which brings it up to $8.50. Then there's 7% tax which brings you up to $9.10. And then, say, you're cheap on the tip at 10% pre-tax, which brings you up to $9.95. If you eat out once per day, 5 days per week, that's 20 times per month times roughly $9.95, which is $199. And that's just on lunch and only during the work week, which, traditionally, is less than a quarter of your total meals. Between the two of us, my wife and I spend less than $300/month on groceries, which covers all meals, all week.

Rule #2: Always prepare your own meals

This is the key idea behind the diet. If you always prepare your own meals, then you won't eat the junk food you get a restaurants. Plus, you have complete control over what goes into your food. Being in control over what you eat is very important.

Being in control over what you eat also puts you in control over how much you spend on it. Some foods are cheaper than others. You can clip coupons. You can choose which grocery store you shop at. You can save a lot of money this way.

Rule #3: Don't over-prepare

There are some people who really like to cook, and they end up cooking a lot of extra food. One of the reasons this diet works is because you have to put effort into eating. If you make a week's worth of food, not only is it too easy most of the time, but you'll eat a week's worth of food in less than one week, which is over-eating.

My pattern is this: Every evening, I prepare enough food for four meals. That's two servings for dinner each for me and my wife, plus lunch for the next day for both. We don't over-eat. Another problem is that if you over-prepare, then you'll get very quickly bored with what you made. If you get bored with the diet, you'll slip. Don't get bored.

If you insist on making a lot of food at once, I suggest measuring out specific servings for each meal. How much depends on your needs.

Rule #4: No sugar

This is very important rule, but it applies mostly to added sugar. While it's okay to have some honey with your tea, don't over-do it. Complex carbohydrates are acceptable, but adding extra sugar to anything is out of the question. Furthermore, while fruits are good for you, too much fruit juice can also be bad. Sugar, saturated fats, and trans fats are your enemies. Excess fat and sugar together are a sure fire way to gain weight. Still, you need to get a fair portion of your calories from complex carbohydrates, unsaturated fats, essential fatty acids, and other related things. If you have meat in your diet, like I do, you'll find it much easier to eliminate sugar than fat. You don't want to overeat fat, of course, but you can cut sugar out almost completely. Also, not everything that is sugar is called "sugar". Stay away from other sorts of sweeteners like "corn syrup", which can be worse than sugar for some people.

Another reason to stay away from sugar has to do with intestinal flora. Too much sugar will cause intestinal bacteria and yeast to overpopulate, taking away needed nutrients and leaving behind toxins in their waste products.

Rule #5: No sugar substitutes

Some artificial sweeteners, like aspartame, actually promote weight gain by slowing down your metabolism. But studies on other artificial sweeteners have been done that show that your body gets confused by them. When you eat something sweet, your body expects it's going to get an energy rush. When that rush doesn't happen, your body adapts by making you want to overeat things with more complex carbohydrates. You can do the necessary research, but the point is that anything that causes you to overeat is bad. So, sorry, you can't have soda anymore. No soda, no diet soda.

Rule #6: Learn how to cook

This may seem obvious, but cooking is more than just throwing some meat and veggies into a pan and cooking them. If food doesn't taste good, you won't eat it, and you'll slip off the diet. Herbs and spices are the key! Go buy a large variety of herbs and spices and experiment with different combinations until you learn which combinations work.

Or you can do what I do:

* Decide on something you want to eat (such as "curry chicken").
* Google search for 3 or 4 recipes of the same sort.
* Delete any ingredients which are against the rules or which you don't like.
* Combine what's left from the remaining recipes. Cook it.

The reason to do this is that you end up with something very much like what you were interested in, but you controlled what you put in and you got a combination of herbs and spices which are appropriate and taste good.

Rule #7: Exercise

Some people lose weight only by exercising, and some lose weight only by eating less. But the long-term most effective way to lose weight and keep it off is to make your body more efficient. Eating less will slow you down, so you must compensate by exercising. Exercising will make you want to eat more, so you must compensate by restricting your intake. When exercise is a regular part of your life, your metabolic rate is maintained at a higher level which helps you burn more calories all day. If your body becomes more efficient so that it can get more energy out of fewer calories, fewer free radicals will be produced, and you'll be healthier and live longer.

Rule #8: Don't eat when you're not hungry

When people are gathering to go out to lunch, one of the things I often hear is "I could eat." That person is going out for the social experience, which is fine, but the problem is that they are feeding themselves when they shouldn't be. Now that you're never eating out again, you're also not bound by any arbitrary rules about when you should eat, unless you have an employer with a strictly set "lunch hour." Keep yourself occupied until you're hungry enough that you can't ignore it anymore.

The second part of this is that people don't know when to stop eating. As it's said, their stomach is full before their brain is. Well, my rule is, don't even try to get full. Eat until you are reasonably comfortable and then stop. If you get hungry again later, eat some more. But whatever you do, never stuff yourself. Since it's your food in your own containers, you can just close it up and reheat it again later.

A rule of thumb that works for me is to eat about half of what I've prepared and then get up for some water (don't forget to drink a lot of water!). Usually, I can tell how full I am much more accurately when I'm standing than when I'm sitting. It's like how you don't realize how stuffed you are until you stand up to leave the restaurant. If you've reached the point where "hungry" has turned into "could eat", then it's probably a good time to stop.

Rule #9: There are no loopholes

I have encountered people who "went on a diet" but the whole time sought every loophole they could find. As a result, they didn't lose weight. Don't set up rules for yourself if you're going to take every opportunity to break them, and don't make your rules useless by following the letter of the rules while violating the spirit of the rules. For instance, this diet requires that you buy all your food from the grocery store. But just because you can find it in the grocery store doesn't mean that it's okay to eat. Be smart.

Some recipes for you:

"Meat, veggies, rice, and soup."

* 1.5 pounds of chicken, deboned, defatted, cut up in to bite-sized pieces
* 1 small package of diced ham (up to a cup, for flavor)
* 1 pound of green beans (or mixed vegetables or peas&carrots or whatever)
* 1 to 2 cups of cooked whole-grain rice
* 1 family sized can of "cream of chicken soup"

Put in a baking pan and bake for as long as the meat package says, which is usually like 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

If you layer this, it looks really appetizing. But more importantly, it tastes great too. Note that if the soup has some added sugar in it, don't worry too much, but also don't have this recipe every day either. Serves 4.

"Broiled veggies."

* 1 large onion
* 1 green bell pepper
* 1 red bell pepper
* (optionally any other items of this sort you want to add)
* 1 to 2 teaspoons of chopped garlic
* 2 tablespoons of olive oil (more if necessary, eyeball it)

Chop vegetables and mix with garlic and oil. Place in baking pan and broil for 5 minutes.

The broiling caramelizes the vegetables a bit and leaves them crunchy while softening the taste. It can be eaten as broiled, or it can be mixed with marinara sauce and put over whole wheat pasta. Serves up to 4, depending on what you put together.


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Are you overweight?
o No 57%
o Yes 21%
o Yes, but I don't care 5%
o Sortof 15%

Votes: 124
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Tim's Cook-For-Yourself Diet Plan: Save money and lose weight | 185 comments (160 topical, 25 editorial, 1 hidden)
comment about fat (3.00 / 5) (#7)
by speek on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 02:11:19 PM EST

I think fat is too-easily demonized. Most fats are actually good for you. Anything unsaturated - pretty good. Even saturated fats are not all bad, or maybe more precisely, not all typical sources of saturated fats are all bad. For instance, you can buy eggs from chickens that ate grass - these eggs will be high in omega-3 fats. Ditto beef raised on grass. Pork, I don't know - I never heard of healthy pork :-) I'd love to be shown wrong, mmmm, bacon!

The problem with demonizing both fat and sugar is that one can get the idea that protein is the best source of calories. But the body can only handle so much protein (studies with eskimoes suggest 30-35 percent of caloric intake from proteins is near the max). If ALL the rest is fat, that is not necessarily bad. If you cook your own food, it's not hard to ensure your meat food sources come from places that generate high-quality meat (I buy grass-fed chicken eggs from a local public market and grass-fed beef over the internet).

al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees

Cholesterol (1.75 / 4) (#17)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 03:37:46 PM EST

Watch out for cholesterol, though. Typical sources of fat and protein are also high in cholesterol, this can kill you. If you can't cut down on eggs and meat (chicken has as much cholesterol as steak), at least go to your doctor regularly and get on a cholesterol drug if you need to.

jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
No (2.83 / 6) (#18)
by speek on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 04:04:49 PM EST

This is what I'm pointing out as flawed. Seriously, if eggs and meat were so horrible, heart disease wouldn't be such a modern problem, and you wouldn't see so many cultures that eat far more of it than we without problems. If your fat intake is balanced, your body can handle cholesterol. The way we mass-feed our cattle and chickens leads to a fat content that is high in omega-6 and low in omega-3, and extremely heavy in saturated fats. Grass, however, is a source of omega-3 (as are most green-leafy vegetables), and eggs and meat from animals that fed on grass are likewise higher in omega-3's and less full of saturated fats. This is a big reason why it's a modern problem - we are not eating more meat than we used to, and what we do eat is usually less fatty. But that meat is of worse quality, and we've switched to pre-packaged foods high in carbs and low in fat. We've cut out the good fats and replaced them with carbs and bad fats.

al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Dr. Atkins has taught you well (1.50 / 2) (#19)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 04:11:25 PM EST

It is too late, I see.

jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
but one of many (none / 0) (#20)
by speek on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 04:21:05 PM EST

and still learning...

al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Life style (none / 0) (#152)
by DodgyGeezer on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 05:24:34 PM EST

Even if the relative proportions of different food types in our diets hasn't changed, our lifestyles have.  We're far less active than we were 150 years ago before the industrial revolution.  What are bodies have evolved to work with is rather irrelevant - it's time to change diets to match the new lifestyle.

[ Parent ]
Cholesterol (2.90 / 10) (#44)
by rob1 on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 05:12:38 AM EST

Your advice has been long debunked. Plasma cholesterol is not linked to dietary cholesterol.

What is? Well, there are two types of plasma cholesterol: LDL and HDL. In simple terms, LDL is bad and HDL is good. Trans fats raise LDL. Saturated fats increase both. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats decrease LDL and increase HDL. So, the best advice is to eat lots of PUFAs and MUFAs.

Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we. -- GWB
[ Parent ]

Saturated fat (2.66 / 3) (#42)
by rob1 on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 04:27:50 AM EST

is bad for a whole bunch of reasons. It increases bad cholesterol, it's artherogenic and it raises fasting insulin. MUFAs and PUFAs are much better for you.

Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we. -- GWB
[ Parent ]

Healthy port (none / 0) (#112)
by riverheart on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 10:18:59 AM EST

Healthy pork can be had: home-raise it, or find a friend to raise a pig for you. Free-range pork is delicious!

[ Parent ]
what do they feed free-range pork? (none / 0) (#117)
by speek on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 11:19:53 AM EST

I should know, because I've bought some locally, but I didn't specifically ask. I mean, pigs naturally eat grains if they find it, and they don't eat green-leafy stuff.

al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

These were home-raised pigs. (none / 1) (#119)
by riverheart on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 11:45:27 AM EST

The pig I got was home-raised, one of two pigs that became free-range by breaking out of their fenced enclosure and running around in the cow pasture and the woods. A friend of mine has a 60-acre farm, most of it in pasture, and it was she who raised the pigs.

Pigs do, indeed, eat green matter, if you feed it to them. These ate vegetable trimmings, corn cobs, grains, pasture grass, blackberries and other berries for which they foraged, potato peelings, and the like. At no time were they fed meat, despite the fact that pigs are more or less omnivorous and will eat meat if they have a chance to do so.

I'm not sure of what "they" feed free-range pork, though it can be found online and most producers appear to use an organic-grain diet. I know what these two pigs ate, and the resulting meat is delicious. Since we butchered them ourselves, the meat is also reasonably low in fat when compared with commercial pork, since we trimmed a lot of the fat while butchering.

[ Parent ]

trimmed the fat?!? (none / 0) (#126)
by speek on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 01:35:48 PM EST

What are you, some kind of sick freak!?

:-) tx for the info. I suspect there's a big difference between pigs fed organic grains, and pigs that are allowed to roam and find their own food.

al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Sugars aren't as bad as Faux Sugars (1.90 / 11) (#22)
by thelizman on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 06:34:24 PM EST

If you need a "sweetener", yes avoid artificial sweeteners. It's not merely aspartame or phenylketneurics, but the short artificially modified molecules are really just sugars that have been chemically altered so they don't impact blood glucose levels. Using natural raw cane sugar in small amounts won't kill you half as fast as loading up on saccharin or sucralose (which is toxic in large amounts).

In short, avoid anything that isn't 100% natural. I don't mean to sound like some hippy freak, but the myriad of chemical means through which foods are modified, preserved, or enchanced aren't done for your health, they are done to lower the cost of producing food. One only has to look at the makup of food and composition of the average grocery store. Manufactured foods take up 80% of the retail space, while natural whole foods (vegetables, fruits, grains, et al) are packed in one small department. We are still only finding the impact of things like high fructrose corn syrup and bleached enriched white flour can have on our metabolism.

And believe it or not, after a while (like when you grow up), you actually prefer a bowl of spinach leaf salad to a box of twinkies.

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
N.B. (3.00 / 6) (#26)
by The Fifth Column on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 08:43:01 PM EST

Drink only pure grain alcohol or rain water.

A man shall not lay down with another man and ravage his reeking, unshaven cornhole.
[ Parent ]

Holy crap (3.00 / 4) (#32)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 09:40:22 PM EST

thelizman: One part foul-mouthed insane right-wing reactionary, one part "precious bodily fluids" nut. Pray he never gets his hands on the button.

jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Don't Forget (3.00 / 3) (#58)
by dasunt on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 01:53:30 PM EST

In addition to drinking pure grain alcohol and/or rain water, don't forget to bomb the commies.

Purity of Essence, my friend. Purity of essence...

[ Parent ]
Brilliant logic (2.00 / 6) (#27)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 08:43:45 PM EST

Manufactured foods take up 80% of supermarket space, therefore they're bad for you. Brilliant.

jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Don't question him (1.33 / 3) (#30)
by The Fifth Column on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 09:11:17 PM EST

He's a registered dietician. What do you take him for, some sort of clueless pundit?

A man shall not lay down with another man and ravage his reeking, unshaven cornhole.
[ Parent ]

Clueless Troll: Pay Attention (2.14 / 7) (#31)
by thelizman on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 09:14:15 PM EST

No, you vacuous moron. Manufactured food have higher profit margins, ergo some 80% of retail space is set aside for them.

Your reading comprehension skills are why you are a shining jewel of the public education system.

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
You know (none / 0) (#66)
by sllort on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 03:21:21 PM EST

While you mock him, you might want to take into account the fact that sucralose is chlorinated sugar.

What he fails to mention is that "high fructose corn syrup" is also an artifical sweetener.
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]

Avoid High-Fructose Corn Syrup!! (2.66 / 3) (#116)
by hawaii on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 11:15:04 AM EST

A few months ago I started to avoid foods w/ high-fructose corn syrup. I didn't specifically cut down on sweets, actually in the beginning I ate lots of cookies (from Trader Joes, for example) that use cane sugar instead of the dreaded HFCS. Same with juices, I used to drink alot of cranberry and grape juice loaded with the stuff, I've since been drinking the 100% juice varieties instead.

The unexpected result : I lost about 10 pounds in about 1-2 months. I wasn't actively trying to lose weight, but after 3 people told me I looked like I lost weight, I weighed myself again and was pleasantly surprised.

One theory is that since most 'junk' foods have HFCS, by avoiding it I am thereby avoiding junk foods. However, like I said above, I was eating cookies, ice cream, popsicles, etc, but the 'healthy' variety without the HFCS. And also - I did cheat occasionally, at work sometimes I would get an iced-tea from the vending machine. But still I lost weight doing essentially nothing except blocking one specific ingredient from my diet.

[ Parent ]

I think this is why the Atkins diet works. (2.37 / 8) (#23)
by gordonjcp on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 06:42:32 PM EST

You're not eating overprocessed "junk food". It's very hard to fuck up grilling pork chops. You get a slice of dead pig, and you stick it under the grill until it's no longer translucent and it smells nice. Then you eat it. Simple. Much the same way our distant ancestors would have eaten.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.

Canda doesn't think so [n/t] (none / 1) (#60)
by kero on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 02:25:07 PM EST

[ Parent ]
Um, neither does Canada... [n/t] (none / 1) (#61)
by kero on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 02:28:29 PM EST

[ Parent ]
Atkins (none / 1) (#122)
by daviddennis on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 12:46:52 PM EST

I think the Atkins diet works (to those people for which it works, of course) because it restricts easy foods.

I can go to the vending machine here at work and buy a packet of pretzels or a candy bar.  Easy 200+ calories.

I can't buy a steak, or some bacon.  I would have to go home and prepare those things.

So there's a natural limitation to the number of calories of protein you can consume.  There's no such limit to carb consumption.  So if you can be convinced that carbs are bad, under most scenerios you will get thinner.

I have started a program that lets me eat food I cook myself and water for dinner, while sticking with easy to prepare processed food at lunch, since I have no time to prepare anything then.  I also consume two twelve packs of 1.5 litre bottles of water a week.  I went from six to eight cans of Coke a day to zero to two, depending on the day.

I've definitely started to feel better on this diet, even though it's not terribly rigourous as a diet.  And I've lost some weight, although since I've only done it for a couple of weeks, it's difficult to determine exactly how much.

Because I've always liked Chinese food, I've been cooking primarily stir-fries.  I probably consume a larger quantity of food than I did when eating frozen, but it's much healthier and free of a lot of nasty things, such as excessive salt.  I think on balance I'm eating a lot fewer calories than I used to.

So the idea does seem to work, even if I'm not taking it as seriously as many of you folks.

amazing.com has amazing things.
[ Parent ]

easy lunch food (none / 0) (#150)
by janra on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 03:22:57 PM EST

I pack a portable lunch. Sandwiches take only ~5 minutes in the morning; I usually make them immediately before I have breakfast. Carrot sticks and an apple, banana, orange, or other random fruit are also easy. No need for refrigeration if you're going to eat it before the end of the day, unless you work outdoors in the heat of summer.

It's way cheaper and tastier (and better for you) than buying lunch.
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]

News flash (2.40 / 10) (#25)
by EvilGwyn on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 06:47:56 PM EST

Eat well and excercise and you lose weight.

Who would have thought that?

Expand your excercise section (none / 1) (#33)
by RandomLiegh on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 10:20:18 PM EST

I'd like to see you address more about what kind of excercise you mean (heavy workouts, light aerobics, trips to the gym, walks to the park, how often, etc).

If nothing else, post what worked for you.

Thought of the week: There is no thought this week.

Doh! Forget the link. (none / 1) (#38)
by Azmodan on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 01:31:43 AM EST

Here it is : http://researchbuzz.org/archives/001404.shtml

[ Parent ]
Simple, get your heart rate up and keep it up (3.00 / 2) (#59)
by kero on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 02:23:55 PM EST

At least 45 minutes 4 or 5 times a week. How you do it probably doesn't matter as much as your just doing it. If you want specific excercies for specific purposes google is your friend.

[ Parent ]
Get your heart rate up? (1.50 / 2) (#65)
by sllort on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 03:15:37 PM EST

Are you saying terrorism is a health plan?
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
No (3.00 / 2) (#96)
by flo on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 05:56:48 AM EST

but color-coded terrorism alert levels are.
"Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
[ Parent ]
Is 45 minutes the minimum? (none / 1) (#70)
by Polverone on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 06:02:05 PM EST

I bike to and from work each weekday and bike to do some errands. My destinations are only a few miles away, though. Does raising my heart rate 20 minutes at a time, 10-14 times a week have any benefit? I feel like I'm in better shape than the year before last, when I just walked a few blocks to and from campus each day, but what does The Official Wisdom say of my short exercise periods?
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]
Duration of exercise (none / 1) (#90)
by dn on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 01:01:26 AM EST

Short exercise periods have similar health benefits in terms of weight loss, resting heart rate, blood cholesterol, etc. It's unclear how that translates into long-term things like atherosclerosis, life expectancy, and the like, mainly because the studies take so long. I expect that long exercise periods are better, but not dramatically.

    I ♥

[ Parent ]

It all adds up (2.50 / 2) (#148)
by kero on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 01:54:10 PM EST

Doing anything is better than nothing and going by how you feel is a good indicator that it works. Now it's a matter of deciding what you want to do. You are training your body to be good at 30 minute bike rides, if you want more than that you'll have to do more than that. Longer rides on the weekend, or taking a longer way home from work a couple times per week. If you are doing this for weight loss remember that when you first start you will be replacing some pudge with muscle and muscle is denser so you may not see a difference on the scale, but your clothes should fit better or be loose.

[ Parent ]
I control weight with exercise (none / 1) (#157)
by fleece on Sat Oct 02, 2004 at 02:38:53 AM EST

I was always skinny, until in my late 20s, when I realised I couldn't eat whatever I wanted to any more without putting on weight, even though my activity levels weren't that high.

I don't really eat less now than I used to(I eat fairly healthily, but I eat a more than I have to). but I still lost about 7kg over a few months after I found I had become slightly overweight, and have maintained my weight at the lower level just by exercising regularly.

I have a desk job, so all my exercise is planned rather than a side-affect of work.

I maintain my weight with 4 periods of exercise a week, moderately strenuous (running and martial arts training, which includes decent numbers of pushups, situps, etc).

This keeps me in shape, but by no means "skinny", like I don't have a six pack or anything, but I am an good shape..

I have done this for enough years that any time my weight creeps up, like in holidays, or if I am off my feet with an injury, I can easily lose that weight again by doing only 1 additional exercise session a week of about 30-60 minutes, but making it really strenuous circuit training type work, ie burpess, punching bag, etc, the kind of exercise that leaves you drenched in sweat and feeling absolutely spent.
I can't stress how important it is to make sure the at least some of your exercise is really hard work, if you are trying to lose weight, not simply maintain it. With 4 moderately strenuous and one strenuous session a week, I can lose half a kilo per week, without eating less
I don't waste money on gyms or anything, I exercise at home, and run near my home.

The obvious bonus is that I have am very fit, which is actually the driver for me, with the weight control being a good side affect.

I feel like some drunken crazed lunatic trying to outguess a cat ~ Louis Winthorpe III
[ Parent ]
Dieting (2.50 / 2) (#144)
by BlackHawk on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 09:22:33 AM EST

I'm too lazy a guy to have to go to a gym to exercise, it's just such a metal hurdle to jump, even though I don't mind the exercise itself. It's the wasted time that bothers me most...

I lost 33kg by killing dinner from my diet, slowly reducing shitty fast foods and moving to veges and natural unprocessed food, and adding a little exercise in at the end. I walk about 3-4 miles a day now and that's the only exercise I do. It's enough to tip the scales in my favour and generally lose 1kg each and every week. The walking is broken into six chunks, consisting of walking to and from the train station on the way to work. So, I have 8 mins walk, train, 15 mins walk, work, 15 mins walk, lunch, 15 mins walk, work, 15 mins walk, train, 8 mins walk. That's the sum total of all exercise I did to lose weight. I now also do pushups, situps and chin ups for toning up, and I do this at home at my convenience. So that's roughly 75 pounds of weight loss with very little effort required.

[ Parent ]

And get some good cookbooks (2.50 / 2) (#34)
by janra on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 12:00:20 AM EST

I seem to have started a small collection of "ethnic" cookbooks that I use for ideas. It's so easy now to find ingredients from other parts of the world, and I love the variety.

Just avoid the cookbooks they give away free in stores that use canned/packaged/pre-made stuff (usually with a brand name) as primary ingredients. :-)

My favourite is the "Heart-Smart Chinese Cooking" which is "heart-smart" in a way I wholeheartedly support - lots of fresh veggies and spices, low on added salt and fat. Yum...
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.

You're a bit harsh on restaurants. (2.60 / 5) (#36)
by Kasreyn on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 01:19:24 AM EST

There are plenty of restaurants where you can get a healthy meal at a decent price. You just won't see them advertised on TV much (except Subway, which I'm not fond of anyway). Drive around and keep an eye out, and be willing to give new things a try.

I'm not much of a fine diner, though. I eat out maybe once a month to save money. But there's no law saying that when you DO yield to temptation, that it has to be at McDonald's.


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Thanks for reminding me (2.28 / 7) (#39)
by Blarney on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 02:46:47 AM EST

Your article reminded me that although I'd consumed my usual workweek diet of 2 Liters of Coca Cola Classic (cost - $1.25) and 3 McDonalds double cheeseburgers (cost - $3.18), I had forgotten to take the two vitamin pills ($0.16) which keep me healthy by ensuring that I get 100% RDA of stuff. Not too expensive, you have to admit - and I don't even have to get out of the car for the burgers. Convenient!

Diets PISS me off. They make me mad, mad, mad. It seems to me that, with all the time and effort dieticians have put in, I should be able to go to the store and buy cheap pelleted food (certainly under $1/pound) which will satisfy all of my nutritional needs. People chow. Make it cheap, make it adequate. And thanks to the scientists of Flavor Alley, it can even approximate edibility. But no, all dieticians want to do is write books about how I should put tons and tons of effort into eating healthy.

There has been far more research into human nutrition than the nutrition of, say, cats, dogs, and horses. Yet I can buy cheap complete diet for these creatures. Why not for myself? I guess because diet book writers are lazy.

Tomorrow, I plan to eat 3 more McDonalds double cheeseburgers, drink another 2 Liters of Coke, and take another 2 vitamin pills. Thanks again for reminding me! I almost forgot the pills, and that would be bad. For some reason, if I go without vitamins for too long my teeth and fingernails get a bit loose in their sockets. I know THAT can't be good!

The reason is boredom (none / 0) (#40)
by brain in a jar on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 03:35:47 AM EST

If you eat the same thing all the time it gets really boring, myself if I try and do this I eventually lose my apetite for the food I'm bored of.

Life is too important, to be taken entirely seriously.
[ Parent ]

I'll venture a wild guess (2.40 / 5) (#50)
by The Fifth Column on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 01:17:30 PM EST

Tomorrow, I plan to eat 3 more McDonalds double cheeseburgers, drink another 2 Liters of Coke, and take another 2 vitamin pills.

And say you're just a little overweight. Disgusting American glutton.

A man shall not lay down with another man and ravage his reeking, unshaven cornhole.
[ Parent ]

You dork. (none / 0) (#104)
by Zeriel on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 09:08:36 AM EST

Obviously you're unclear on the concept of differing metabolisms. My base food intake for weight maintenance (not gaining, just not losing) is in the vicinity of 4000 kCal/day. And say you're just "venturing a wild guess". Subhuman Kuro5hin troll.

[ Parent ]
Weight vs health (none / 1) (#153)
by DodgyGeezer on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 05:40:08 PM EST

So many people associate being thin with being healthy.  You certainly don't sound healthy to me.  Not even close to it.  Getting 100% RDA doesn't guarantee healthiness either.  You will pay the price for your laziness later in life.  Good luck!

BTW, there's no such thing as a free lunch.

[ Parent ]

That's sad (2.83 / 6) (#55)
by janra on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 01:31:57 PM EST

Food is one of life's great pleasures. That people are willing to eat kibble makes me wonder what kinds of food they normally eat. Tasteless, pleasureless, with convenience a higher priority than anything... And then making fun of people who try for taste, pleasure, and quality.

I enjoy food. I like eating it, I like preparing it, I like dicing up the ingredients and smelling them cook. The heavenly smells coming from the stove are half the fun of a meal.
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]

Why we need variety (none / 0) (#160)
by dr15 on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:00:47 AM EST

We enjoy different tastes, because we are omnivorous animals. We can live on raw meat or blueberries for awhile, but only for a while.

Unlike carni- or herbivorous animals, we cannot produce our own vitamins. Being able to eat all kinds of stuff, we didn't need it.

That's why we have an urge to enjoy eating, we grow rapidly tired of eating same meals every day. This is to avoid lack of necessary vitamins, fats, minerals etc.

[ Parent ]

You are Morgan Spurlock (none / 0) (#103)
by MX5 on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 07:38:17 AM EST

and I claim my $5.

"Next week on the programme, bats. Are they really blind or are they just taking the piss?" -tfs
[ Parent ]

But you can! (none / 0) (#169)
by epepke on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 03:40:31 PM EST

Purina Monkey Chow</p.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

[ Parent ]
Nothing revolutionary here (2.80 / 5) (#41)
by brain in a jar on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 03:49:01 AM EST

But its mostly good advice. With a modicum of effort anyone can cook tasty food for themselves which is also healthy.

Processed food is generally crap, sugar, hydrogenated fats and salt are used to make dirt cheap (to produce) food taste OK. If you cook for yourself other healthier means can be used to add flavor.

Excercise is essential, I kayak at weekends and cycle to work every day, I sometimes have a hard time maintaining my weight (I lose too much without trying) because of my turbo-metabolism.

Finally on sweeteners, they probably don't harm most people directly (though I have a friend for whom aspartame (phenylalanine) is a poison for genetic reasons. I think the main problem with sweeteners is that they don't taste as good as sugar and that they help keep you addicted to sugar. With sugar (just as with salt) you get used to a certain level of sweetness and things which are less sweet than this taste bland or bitter. If you eat less sweet things then over time you get used to a lower level of sugar and you find that candy will usually taste sickly sweet, and that you no longer want sugar in tea or coffee.

Don't use sweeteners, train your taste buds to want less sugar. It is by far more effective.

Life is too important, to be taken entirely seriously.

Some sweeteners are bad (none / 0) (#154)
by DodgyGeezer on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 05:46:30 PM EST

I was at a B&B recently.  The sweetener satchets on the breakfast table had a health warning on the back.  It also stated that one should seek the advice of a physician!  Too bad I can't remember the name of the sweetener.  I suppose most people don't read the labels.

[ Parent ]
Complex carbohydrates (2.50 / 4) (#43)
by rob1 on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 04:51:58 AM EST

Complex carbohydrates aren't necessarily any better than sugars. Unless they are accompanied by fibre, they are digested just as quickly and are just as likely to produce a sugar rush. Actually, I believe that white rice and bread have the same glycemic index as table sugar. All non-fibrous carbs should be treated with suspicion.

I disagree with you about sugar substitutes. They should be embraced by anyone on a calorie restricted diet (which is the only type that has worked for me, see below). It's "free" food!  Serious dieting is so difficult that you need to grab any advantages that you can. Diet soda doesn't cause me to overeat at all; it causes stomach dilation so it makes me feel full.

I just want to add that I've tried many different diets, from low-fat to low-carb, and in my experience only low calorie diets work. It doesn't matter if you are eating the most pure, organic, natural food if you are eating too much of it. Of course it's easier to eat less food if you are eating fibrous grains, fruits and vegetables, but healthy food does not mean you can pig out. If you are serious about dieting, then calorie counting is a must, regardless of the quality of food you are eating.

(This is just from my experience. I admit I've never had any weight problems, but I am hyperinsulinemic.)

Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we. -- GWB

Sugar Substitutes? (none / 0) (#178)
by SoTuA on Thu Oct 07, 2004 at 12:49:08 PM EST

Serious dieting is so difficult that you need to grab any advantages that you can.

I don't see how adding something that tastes like shit instead of sugar is an advantage ;)

[ Parent ]

I am so sick of hearing (2.94 / 18) (#45)
by curien on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 05:49:20 AM EST

how eating fat makes you fat. It doesn't. Atkins issues asside, studies show that eating diets high in fat (especially saturated fats) are bad for your heart. This is a serious health issue, and it should be taken into account. But that doesn't mean that eating fat makes you fat. Eating calories makes you fat, in particular eating more calories than you burn.

Jesus Christ. I have a friend that's trying to lose weight, so she bought the low-fat peanut butter. I looked at the label and compared it to mine... they have the same number of calories per serving! The low-fat version added a bunch of sugar to make the stuff taste remotely palatable (so much, actually, that I can feel the granules as I chew it).

The sad thing is that these low-fat, sugar-rich "lite" foods fuck with your glucose levels, causing you to get hungry faster and consume more calories than you would have if you'd just fucking eaten the normal food in the first place.

Am I telling you not to drain the fat off your meat when you cook it? No. Am I telling you to go hog-wild with the lard when you sautee? Of course not. What I'm telling you is that just because something says "lite", don't assume it'll help you lose weight. The important number for dieting purposes is not the fat content. It's the total calories.

Exercise regularly, and you can probably eat as much fat as you want without having to worry about your heart (unless you're genetically predisposed to heart disease). For most people, it's a fuckload easier (and cheaper) to spend 30 minutes every other day walking briskly than to consume all this processed, high-sugar, "diet" food.

Blah... most of the article was quite good, you just struck a pet peave. Oh, one other thing. I've actually lost weight while eating at fast food restaurants every day. The key was 1) lots of regular exercise and 2) a meal was two items from the dollar menu and a water. This was generally the largest meal of the day.

I think you should stress drinking water more. You stress no soda, which is good, but the real key is drinking enough water. Without it, your body doesn't operate anywhere near as efficiently as it should, and operating efficiently equals burning more calories. Plus, if you drink more, you'll feel hungry less.

Another technique that almost nobody mentions is really simple in some places and some times of year. Just turn the heat down and wear less clothing (not so much that you're horribly uncomofortable, of course). The theory is simple: your body burns calories keeping  you warm.

This sig is umop apisdn.

drinking water (3.00 / 5) (#51)
by janra on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 01:19:33 PM EST

Plus, if you drink more, you'll feel hungry less

And the majority of people are normally slightly dehydrated. One interesting thing I learned is that if you think you're hungry, have a glass of water and wait ten minutes. If the hunger goes away, you were actually thirsty, not hungry - a lot of people don't know how to tell the two feelings apart, and since food contains water, eating will partly satisfy the thirst. (Of course, if you're still hungry after your test drink, then you actually are hungry.)
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]

Yes and no (2.50 / 2) (#76)
by egeland on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 08:12:31 PM EST

how eating fat makes you fat. It doesn't. Atkins issues asside, studies show that eating diets high in fat (especially saturated fats) are bad for your heart. This is a serious health issue, and it should be taken into account. But that doesn't mean that eating fat makes you fat. Eating calories makes you fat, in particular eating more calories than you burn.

The problem with fat is that it's very easy for your body to store it as fat - it's already fat! To convert complex carbs to fat burns quite a bit of energy. IIRC, it takes about 4 calories worth of complex carbs to store 1 calorie of it as fat.

The low-fat version added a bunch of sugar to make the stuff taste remotely palatable
What I'm telling you is that just because something says "lite", don't assume it'll help you lose weight. The important number for dieting purposes is not the fat content.

Absolutely right! And beware of added water diluting the percentage of fat. You might want to compare fat content of foods by percentage of calories, not by weight. Here's some info.

Exercise regularly, and you can probably eat as much fat as you want without having to worry about your heart

Umm.. no. Do limit your fat intake and do exercise every day.

Some interesting quotes
[ Parent ]
wait until after meal to drink (none / 1) (#89)
by chocolatetrumpet on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 12:28:11 AM EST

I used to drink a lot of water with my meals, especially if my stomach was feeling at all upset.

I was actually making the situation worse - water seems to interfere with digestion.

The best thing to do is wait 30 minutes after eating before drinking water. I actually notice a huge difference - just a childhood habit of drinking while eating that I needed to break.

Of course, stay hydrated all day long when you're not eating :-)

The truth is in the ice cream.
[ Parent ]

Start from basic ingredients (3.00 / 9) (#46)
by Stephen Turner on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 08:45:09 AM EST

One problem I have with American and Canadian recipes -- and it's starting to go the same way here in the UK too -- is that so many don't start from basic ingredients. They try and make it simpler by starting with such-and-such a processed sauce instead. (Even your sample recipe uses a can of soup!) If you look at the labels of these sauces, you usually find they are high in calories and in salt. You can eat much more healthily if you cut out all processed "ingredients" and go back to the real ingredients.

Food is getting *worse* in the UK? (2.00 / 4) (#49)
by The Fifth Column on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 01:13:53 PM EST

Is there a shade darker than black?

A man shall not lay down with another man and ravage his reeking, unshaven cornhole.
[ Parent ]

Hey! (3.00 / 2) (#101)
by Nursie on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 07:16:31 AM EST

British food is great!

Nothing beats a good roast joint of beef with yorkshire puddings and roast potatoes and gravy. And Horseradish.
Nothing I tell you.

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
What? Not even... (none / 0) (#158)
by hawthorne on Sat Oct 02, 2004 at 06:21:52 PM EST

yorkshire puddings[1] filled with sausage casserole and fresh boiled peas? [1] 4 oz flour, 2 eggs, .5 tsp salt, 8 fl oz milk - blend to a smooth batter, and pour into tins containing hot (at least 200C) lard or dripping. Bake until brown and well risen.

[ Parent ]
Toad in the hole? (none / 0) (#162)
by Nursie on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 01:32:23 PM EST

I do like the sausages, and toad is great, but the roast beef is better IMHO :)

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
Cooking is fun! (none / 0) (#161)
by dr15 on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:08:41 AM EST

Besides, cooking with raw materials is very interesting. You grow to appreciate the "pure" and original tastes, learn to know where the different tastes come from, and also to respect the food.

Fat people I've seen haven't been culinarists. They seem never even taste the food, just pour it inside like there's a famine waiting next minute. Or, they try to eat as fast as possible to hide how much and how often they eat.

When they start dieting, their relationship with food seems to grow even weirder.

[ Parent ]

I don't get it... (2.50 / 2) (#53)
by dimaq on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 01:24:28 PM EST

you say "don't overeat" and you start your recipe with 1.5 pounds of chicken???

shit man I consider myself heavier than I could be and my dinner consists of half a cup of rice. that is 90ml of dry medium grain rice, cooked in a steamer.

meat (1.50 / 2) (#78)
by egeland on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 08:30:42 PM EST

you say "don't overeat" and you start your recipe with 1.5 pounds of chicken???

Any recipe with meat in it is on the wrong track to begin with.
Look at this table where Fat as percentage of calories is shown.
Check out the scores for various meats. The only things higher in fat than meats are things we get oils from, like various nuts and seeds, olives.
Compare your rice, which comes in at 1.94% with chicken at 23.46% to 35.54% (depending on which part of the corpse one eats, and how one cooks it)...

Some interesting quotes
[ Parent ]
My God... (2.00 / 2) (#82)
by gr3y on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 11:40:54 PM EST

people like you disgust me. Human beings survived on a diet which includes meat for TENS OF THOUSANDS OF YEARS.

To assert that we did not is to admit a basic inability to arrive at a conclusion given the facts. We were not made to be vegans.

I am a disruptive technology.
[ Parent ]

Don't be so closeminded (2.50 / 2) (#127)
by ILikeCheese on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 01:52:26 PM EST

The issue isn't survivability, but either compassion (animals don't need to be killed for meat or imprisoned to provide us animal products like milk or cheese, so we shouldn't), or sustainability (it takes considerably more resources to make meat than vegetables. We could feed the whole world a vegetarian diet, but not one that was high in meat).

I'm not a vegetarian, but I consider these arguments to be valid. I don't understand why some people get so up in arms about vegetarianism/veganism.

[ Parent ]

Depends what you call sustainable (2.00 / 2) (#135)
by hobbified on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 05:53:26 PM EST

I think it would be horribly destructive to the human population if everyone stopped eating meat; if even 10% of people are like me, they'd go on killing sprees for hamburgers. There are other ways to achieve sustainability. They include:
  • Fewer people on the planet.
  • Improved technology, including biotech.
  • Find more planets.

[ Parent ]
feeding everybody a vegetarian diet (none / 1) (#151)
by janra on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 03:27:19 PM EST

Well, there's the issue of cropland vs. rangeland... Rangeland isn't suitable for growing plants we humans can eat, but cows can eat it. So in that sense, by eating cows (and other ruminants) we have access to a lot more food-producing land, which means we can feed more people.

Now people who raise cattle on food grown on cropland, that's just silly. We humans should get that food :-)

And I'm not a fan of feeding cows bits of other cows either.
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]

wrong, efficiency. (none / 0) (#166)
by dimaq on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 06:58:38 AM EST

when you have lots of land you have to minimize your own effort - it's more effiecient to have cows do the grazing for you, so you eat meat.

when you have little land you have to maximize the calorie output per unit area - thus you pluck rice by hand.

Nowadays you could make [most of] food straight from oil, which should be the cheapest option. I can only wonder why so few products are made this way.

[ Parent ]

Caveman diet (none / 1) (#146)
by jolly st nick on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 11:19:21 AM EST

Human beings survived on a diet which includes meat for TENS OF THOUSANDS OF YEARS.

The Caveman diet is very simple: eat everything you can get your hands on, whether it is meat, vegetable, or even barely digestible herbs. Survive long enough to reproduce, and die from an infection before you're even close to being old enough to be a drain on tribe's resources. Wash, rinse, and repeat generation after generation.

One of the evolutionary limits to brain size is the number of calories a massive brain requires. It's therefore likely any intelligent species is going to be omnivorous.

[ Parent ]

re:Caveman diet (none / 0) (#185)
by spring on Wed Oct 20, 2004 at 10:45:10 AM EST

Mmm... grubs....

[ Parent ]
I prefer not to think of it as meat-eating (2.00 / 3) (#86)
by Trevasel on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 12:08:21 AM EST

but as necrophagy. Mmm, delicious corpse flesh.
-- That which does not kill you only makes you stranger - Trevor Goodchild
[ Parent ]
Dead Thing Pie! (none / 0) (#100)
by Nursie on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 07:14:39 AM EST

Dead Thing Pie!
Dead Thing Pie!
Dead Thing Pie!

/Lexx quote
Flesh is tasty and good!

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
0.375 lbs of meat! (none / 0) (#155)
by DodgyGeezer on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 05:57:50 PM EST

That 1.5 lbs goes in to four servings, according the article.  That translates to 0.375 lbs per meal.  Not so bad.

[ Parent ]
My version of rule #3 (2.50 / 2) (#56)
by janra on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 01:40:49 PM EST

It's easy to avoid over-preparing if you make one meal's worth of food at a time. The only time I make more than my other half and I can reasonably eat in one meal is when the package contains more than we can eat. (Like spaghetti sauce, a jar of which is double what we need - so I make it all and freeze the leftovers for later. It makes an excellent base for chili, or I can just reheat it and have spaghetti again on another day, or for a hot lunch on a weekend, or whatever.)

My rule is: Never eat the same thing for dinner twice in a row.

For me, this means all parts of the meal should be different from the previous day's meal. If I had chicken yesterday, I'll have any meat but chicken today; if I had cauliflower yesterday, I'll have any vegetable but cauliflower today, and so on.
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.

How does that work with onions? (none / 0) (#99)
by Nursie on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 07:12:40 AM EST

They go in nearly everything!

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
seasonings don't count (none / 0) (#130)
by janra on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 02:53:12 PM EST

onion, garlic, all the herbs and spices, etc don't count. It's the core ingredient of the dish that counts in my rule :-)
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]
Won't be Popular (2.81 / 16) (#57)
by dasunt on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 01:48:57 PM EST

I've carefully read through your diet plan, and it lacks the ideas that create a popular diet plan.

For a plan to be popular, it has to have the following:

1) The Good Food Catagory (GFC). Anything from the GFC will make you slimmer, sexier, more muscular, smarter, and give you more sexual stamina. You can't eat enough of the GFC. If you only eat one type of food from the GFC, that is even better! You'll quickly shed weight the "healthy" way.

2) The Evil Food Category (EFC). Even one bite of the EFC will make you balloon up by 200 lbs, become impotent, go bald, and take 50 years off your life. (Note how the term "in moderation" is not used for either the GFC or EFC.)

3) The Twist. The Twist is why the GFC is good, and why the EFC is evil. It should be one simple ingredient, origin, or component that is easily identifiable by consumeers.

4) The Reason. The Reason is why the Twist works. It needs no link to the laws of physics, chemistry, or even rational thought.

Please advise your plan accordingly.

"Please advise your plan accordingly." (3.00 / 2) (#124)
by glor on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 01:22:51 PM EST

The plan and I have had a long discussion on this subject, and the plan is considering your suggestions.

Disclaimer: I am not the most intelligent kuron.
[ Parent ]

+1 FP, for Rule #5 (none / 1) (#62)
by sudog on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 02:47:43 PM EST

Sugar substitutes are bad in lots of other ways, but the deceptive fact of the matter is that your body adapts to them. I don't think it's confusion so much as simple survival traits.

Too bad none of the sugar substitute companies make this kind of information public, but most likely they *do* know about it already.

Stop lying in the poll you overweight fuckers (3.00 / 2) (#63)
by sllort on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 03:14:00 PM EST

Here, I'll make it REAL easy for you. Inches on the left, pounds on the right. If you are [ON THE LEFT INCHES] and [MORE THAN ON THE RIGHT] pounds, answer "Yes".
  1. 119
  2. 124
  3. 128
  4. 132
  5. 136
  6. 141
  7. 145
  8. 150
  9. 155
  10. 159
  11. 164
  12. 169
  13. 174
  14. 179
  15. 184
  16. 189
  17. 194
  18. 200
  19. 205
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
What about underweight (none / 0) (#92)
by the woing on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 02:14:57 AM EST

I am 80 inches tall. I weigh 195 lbs. I checked your source, and I am off the scale for height. Do I qualify as underwight? I am pretty sure I used to when I weighed 170.

[ Parent ]
You're overheight. [nt] (none / 1) (#95)
by flo on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 05:41:55 AM EST

"Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
[ Parent ]
BMI (none / 0) (#118)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 11:33:39 AM EST

According to the BMI calculator, you are normal. It's pretty hard to be underweight unless you're in a state of hunger. The body is very good at preserving weight as long as you're eating regularly. If you don't get enough calories, you'll become tired and inactive in order to preserve energy.

jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Gross Generalization (none / 0) (#93)
by Matimus on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 03:10:59 AM EST

I'm 5'8" and I weight 210 lbs. I know that I am overweight, but according to the chart I am 50 lbs overweight. The least I have ever weighed (since being fully grown of course) is 165, and that is when I was running cross country and was noticably lean. In fact, members of my family were concerned about me because they thought I was becoming too thin. I just have dense bones/tissue. My father is the same way. He runs/walks up to 4 miles every day, and prepares all of his own food with a healthy diet in mind. He weighs 185, we are the same height.

Those numbers are a generalization, a fuzzy average. If you don't like the way you feel or look, do something about it, don't go by some government/insurance chart.
sigs r dum
[ Parent ]

Those numbers are the key to the poll (none / 0) (#106)
by sllort on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 09:46:41 AM EST

And answering correctly. Nothing less, nothing more.
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
That's not entirely true (none / 0) (#131)
by braeburn on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 04:30:13 PM EST

Your BMI can vary based on a number of factors, including your build. Athletic people will generally report as overweight on the chart when they are not because of the relative densities of lean tissue/fat/etc.

For example, I am 6'5", about 215 pounds, but I have a lot of muscle mass. The chart you originally posted lists me as overweight, when in fact I'm pretty skinny. Of course, this is K5.

[ Parent ]

You don't understand. (none / 0) (#134)
by sllort on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 05:34:16 PM EST

The definition of overweight is what the government says it is. You are overweight; accept it.
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
I'm a libritarian (none / 1) (#149)
by Matimus on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 03:15:04 PM EST

I don't listen to the government.
sigs r dum
[ Parent ]
So THAT'S what liberatarians are. (none / 0) (#172)
by glor on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 07:32:29 PM EST

I guess I'm one too!

Disclaimer: I am not the most intelligent kuron.
[ Parent ]

by LilDebbie on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 03:14:24 PM EST


My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

Would this recipe work? (none / 1) (#67)
by nlscb on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 03:40:00 PM EST

Beans and rice.

1 can of black beans
1 onion
1 tbs of granulate garlic
2 tbs olive oil
1 1/2 cups of chicken broth
1 tbs chili powder
2 bay leaves
1 tbs oregano (Sounds pointless, but this is one is pretty key).
Some rice (just follow the instructions on the back)

Heat olive oil in pan
Fry garlic, then onions in pan until golden but not brown.
Pour into pan the rest of the ingredients (except the rice of course). Bring to a boil for 4 minutes and then simmer until thick.
Pour over (presumably cooked) rice. Your done

It's cheap, tasty, and filling. I realize rice has a lot of carbs - but most of the world survives on a dish like this w/o starving or getting fat. Well, At least is doesn't make me fat (but a bit gassy).

Comment Search has returned - Like a beaten wife, I am pathetically grateful. - mr strange

It looks ok (none / 1) (#132)
by the dehorned unicorn on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 04:38:01 PM EST

but it will depend a lot on the rice. White rice, sticky rice, will make you hungry quicker. Get brown or wild rice, or at the very least use bazmati.

[ Parent ]
The all-burrito-diet (2.00 / 3) (#69)
by professor bikey bike on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 05:59:38 PM EST

...is where it's at.

Sugar substitutes don't make you fat (2.66 / 9) (#71)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 07:25:11 PM EST

I can't believe we're voting up this quackery. Aspartame does not cause people to get fat. It doesn't "slow" your metabolism. Period. Sure, there are a ton of essays and subjective surveys on such reputable health sites as mercola.com and aspartamekills.com. This theory hasn't been backed up by research or logic. Several studies of aspartame have shown no weight gain in people who regularly consumed it. No studies have backed up the claim that aspartame causes weight gain.

There's a lot of aspartame sophistry on the Internet, typically saying: Aspartame breaks down into formaldehyde, therefore it's bad for you. Or aspartame somehow causes you to crave carbohydrates, which you then eat against your will and gain weight.

That argument is particularly stupid. If you end up foregoing carbs and then binging, how is it different if you drink a diet soda or drink nothing? You still don't get the carbs, and presumably you slink off later and eat a chocolate cake. Sorry, don't blame the Diet Coke for your own lack of self-control.

Now, aspartame is an artificial substance. And you probably shouldn't consume it every day - same as with other artificial substances. I'm not saying anything about headaches, dizziness, or the other nebulous side effects that people blame on aspartame - personally I think these ailments are hysteria, but whatever. My point is that it has not been shown to cause weight gain.

jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.

But they may have interesting blood chemistry (none / 1) (#137)
by Hobbes2100 on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 06:17:49 PM EST

Aside from its toxicity (or lack thereof), there is a noted phenomena that the mere presence of sweetness (whether from sugar, sucralose, aspartame, etc. etc), can cause insulin changes ... it's a behavioral effect like good old Pavlov's dogs salivating at bells.  

It's just humans insulin spiking at sweetness as opposed to actual sugar entering the blood stream.  This spike can cause a post-spike insulin drop that will cause a sugar craving ... which might be where you get into trouble.

I'll try to find some citations for you skeptics out there.

Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes? --Iuvenalis
But who will guard the guardians themselves? -- Juvenal
[ Parent ]

-1. health and diet (1.00 / 2) (#72)
by mcgrew on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 07:42:28 PM EST

Drugs and alcohol is the way to go. You want to lose weight? Get off your fat ass and stop stuffing your fat face. Simple.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie

The S plan diet? (3.00 / 2) (#98)
by Nursie on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 07:08:25 AM EST

Speed for breakfast, speed for lunch and speed for dinner!

If you need a snack between meals, b eer or wine is recommended as it has the calories you need to scrape by and survive and it also helps keep the fear away!
Don't worry though, you'll never feel drunk however much you have.

You'll also find you have a lot of extra time on your hands!

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
Yay, the E-plan diet! (3.00 / 2) (#102)
by MX5 on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 07:24:23 AM EST

absolutely, ecstacy + amphetamines + all-night dancing is a sure-fire way to lose your mind^H^H^H^H weight.

"Next week on the programme, bats. Are they really blind or are they just taking the piss?" -tfs
[ Parent ]

Weight loss on E+S (none / 0) (#142)
by BlackHawk on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 08:35:32 AM EST

I can lose 2-3kg in a night of E+S+Dancing, but usually most of that comes back in the next couple of days since it is water and waste lose i.e. you dehydrate and have no shit in yor body so weigh less. I have kept some of it off using this technique, but usually 1kg or less each time. It's certainly the most fun diet in town...hooray for E+S!

[ Parent ]
Even simpler (3.00 / 7) (#73)
by pdrap on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 07:54:47 PM EST

You can eat anything you want, but you have to figure out exactly how many calories you have eaten, and keep track of them. I do that on my web page here:


I have everything that I've eaten since March 17th this year recorded. On that day I weighed 160 pounds (I'm 5 feet 8 inches tall). Just under the critieria for overweight, but the trend was clear. Unless I did something immediately, I was going to be getting fat.

I've learned are that definitely, restaurants are going to be difficult. Most don't have any information on their menus for the tastiest foods. That means you have to choose something that you do know the value of, or can estimate reasonably, such as a hamburger, baked chicken, salad, or something like that.

It's also important to find foods that aren't so dense in calories. For example, instead of wheat chex, I eat oatmeal in the morning. Not the flavored oatmeal in packets either, but plain oatmeal with milk, and some splenda sweetener. Pancakes and waffles aren't too bad either, particularly if you use a sugar-free syrup. Not as bad tasting as you think. You've got to be honest about measuring too. Get a scale, and use the measuring cups. I was estimating every bowl of wheat chex that I ate at 300 calories, but one day I weighed that bowl and figured out that it was actually 500 calories. That error amounted to 10% of my daily budget, and left unaccounted for would have caused me to continually gain weight. Now I weight everything. If I wrote down that I ate 60 grams of cashew nuts, you better believe that it was 60 grams, not 61 grams, or 59 grams.

I never used to eat breakfast, but I found that without it I was roaming around the kitchen at night muttering to myself "gotta find 300 calories somewhere" and then grabbing 4 graham crackers (70 calories each) to round out the day.

Pickles are a great snack while you're watching television, and they are completely free. You can eat a whole jar of dills and they don't have significant calories.

Hot sauce and salsa are great substitutes for mayonnaise. If you get a sub sandwich, skip the mayo and chees, and add vinegar and mustard instead.

The biggest change that I've made in my diet is really not how much food I eat, but the quality of it. The little choices, such as salso instead of mayo, make the differences, and my current 2000 calorie a day diet doesn't leave me hungry at all, unless I've done something stupid like eat a vanilla malt which chews up 850 calories of the budget, but doesn't fill me up. A tin of sardines will fill me up just as much for 140 calories. Or if I really want some frosty treat a strawberry sundae from Dairy Queen will be less than half the calories of the vanilla malt. Not a difficult choice, since the sundae will also let me eat a cup of chicken ramen noodles and stay in budget.

Just this morning I weighed myself, and I now weigh 135 pounds, which is 5 pounds under what I targetted for myself. I'm just going to have to increase my food intake between 100 and 200 calories a day and see what happens.

You can't control what you don't measure, and you can't analyze a situation for which you have no data. So start writing down what you eat and how many calories are in that food.

+1 FP (3.00 / 2) (#80)
by rob1 on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 11:01:49 PM EST

Far better advice than the actual article.

It's amazing how foods that are equally satiating can have radically different energy content. If people don't even know the basic caloric value of everything that they're eating, they don't really have a chance. If you do measure calories, over time you can find really "efficient" foods that have maximum satiation and minimum energy. My current favourite is herbal tea with sugar substitute and a few drops of soy milk.

Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we. -- GWB
[ Parent ]

I disagree (none / 1) (#81)
by NoBeardPete on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 11:21:31 PM EST

You can control what you haven't carefully measured, and you can analyze a situation without hard data. Your results may not be as precise, but you can still come up with something. So the question is, "How precise do my results need to be, and how much work do I really need to do to achieve that?" If you've tried a more relaxed diet several times and failed, by all means, take careful notes and keep to the exact same number of calories every day. But don't recommend to everyone that they try this as their first step, because it's really more than most people need to do.

Arrr, it be the infamous pirate, No Beard Pete!
[ Parent ]
You have to be close (none / 0) (#121)
by pdrap on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 12:46:23 PM EST

Just a difference in 100 calories above what you need will cause you to gain weight. And, estimation combined with mental calculations don't work. Even after several months (since March 17th), I cannot reliably estimate my food intake without writing things down. Just the other day I was keeping mental tabs on my food, and in the evening I added it up, just to be certain before I ate that piece of pie for dessert (360 calories, for 1/8 of an 8 inch peach pie). Whoops! Good thing I checked, because my mental tally was 1750 calories, and I was really already at 2000 calories.

Relaxed diets can work, but only if the average error is accommodated for. If you can reliably estimate what you've eaten within 150 calories, then some days you're going to eat ~2150 calories, and some days you're going to eat ~1850 calories, to average 2000 calories. But, you're also not likely to know what days those are, and human nature being what it is, self-deception and temptation will set in. If you have the numbers right in front of you, and you've got the budget, you can eat that piece of pie and really enjoy it, without worrying.

Nobody would track their household budget the way they might track their food, because estimation of how much you spent isn't seen as a responsible way to manage your money.

And, by the way, keeping track of a full day's eating takes about 1 minute for me. I wrote my own software to do it, but there are programs available as well. If it's a big deal to get to the computer and turn it on to record things, then I suggest buying a cheap laptop off E-bay and leaving it on all the time in the kitchen.

If it's too much work to do what it takes to really control your weight, then there are two final suggestions that I have: first, be thankful that you're not a diabetic, because the consequences of not watching your food are more severe, and second, forget about dieting completely. Mental health and peace of mind should be important too, and worrying about that 30 pounds might be too much of a mental toll to extract just for the sake of the appearance of a person's body. Love thyself as you are.

[ Parent ]

Don't figure this stuff out from scratch (none / 0) (#147)
by NoBeardPete on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 01:32:47 PM EST

You seem to be assuming that the person on the diet doesn't already know their history in terms of what they typically eat. Take a hypothetical guy who wants to lose 20 pounds, and whose weight is already pretty much at equilibrium. He doesn't need to know exactly how many calories he's eating, he just needs to cut back a bit. Suppose he decides to start drinking a big cup of water with lunch in the cafeteria everyday at work instead of a big cup of soda. If he keeps the rest of his consumption patterns pretty much the same, he should see some weight start to come slowly off. Maybe he decides he'd like to speed things up a bit, and decides to stop getting a pastry with his afternoon coffee. Then he makes a point of taking his bike for a spin around the city a couple times a week.

He has no real idea how many calories his body is burning. He doesn't know how many he was consuming before he started changing his habits. He doesn't know how many he's eating now. But that doesn't really matter. What matters is that he's making changes in the right direction of a roughly reasonable size.

People don't generally find themselves suddenly in a brand new body where they don't know anything about how to eat in it. Most people have relatively constant eating habits, and many of them will find it easier to think of things as making changes away from those habits instead of planning out a whole diet from scratch.

Arrr, it be the infamous pirate, No Beard Pete!
[ Parent ]

A rare bird? (none / 0) (#156)
by pdrap on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 06:38:35 PM EST

What I see more often is the person who cuts out a particular thing from their daily regimen, and doesn't lose weight. And they are completely mystified as to why they aren't losing weight, since there is no actual record of what they are eating. They are obviously compensating for the missing soda at lunch somewhere, but there's no way to know what they've unconsciously changed.

[ Parent ]
Restaurant bashing (2.87 / 8) (#74)
by Smerdy on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 07:54:51 PM EST

The insuitability of restaurants is highly dependent on which restaurants are near you and on which you choose to attend. For example, in Berkeley, CA, where I live, I eat just about a majority of meals at restaurants. Almost all are family-run ethnic restaurants, and I only order vegetarian fare. I would wager that this diet is much healthier than that of the vast majority of people who cook most of their own meals.

Bingo. (none / 0) (#105)
by bakuretsu on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 09:26:33 AM EST

I do believe that you are correct. However, it bears mentioning that most people probably eat out at the basic chain restaurants such as Chili's, Applebee's, Steak & Shake, or whatever it is for your region. Those restaurants seldom offer even a vegetarian selection.

-- Airborne
    aka Bakuretsu
    The Bailiwick -- DESIGNHUB 2004
[ Parent ]
Good Article (2.33 / 3) (#79)
by pHatidic on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 10:55:28 PM EST

As a lightweight rower, I really appreciated this. The best thing about being an anorexic athlete is that foods that would normally be blah at best start tasting really good. I used to hate powerbars but after a 90 minute steady state workout they taste better than a chocolate bar. Similarly, strange and random foods I would normally never eat taste like candy. Last spring this happened with red onions, chickpeas, cottage cheese, and other random foods. Now that I'm not in season anymore and am a good 10 pounds heavier at least the thought of eating a bowl of chickpeas and black beans makes me sick.

In general though working out is really good. I can usually burn around 1,000 calories in 90 min and sometimes I would do that twice a day in addition to team practice. I was eating 3,000 calories a day and still losing a shitload of weight. However to lose weight you should only do long slow pieces at low heartrate because sprinting stimulates hunger more. For me, being 19 years old and having a max HR of 207 I like to steady state between 158 and 162. However that is even higher than most people go, partly because in rowing you can only row for so long on the indoor rowing machine because it puts pressure on the lower back. If I were biking then I'd just sit on the bike for 4 or 5 hours at a 145 HR and that would be pretty sweet too.

my trick (1.50 / 2) (#83)
by the77x42 on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 12:00:15 AM EST

As a starving student, I have very little money and even less time. I weight train nearly every day though and I keep a close eye on what I eat. I found the following to be the best method for making meals: Chicken.

Buy a huge box of chicken breasts from Costco. 4kg runs around $30 if you look for the sales. They are frozen, but so what. About 10 minutes before you cook, full up your sink with cold water and dump in about 5 breasts. Cut off all the fat and fry it in a pan with onions, peppers, and tomatoes. Through it all into a tortilla with lettuce and there you go. For something more filling, add cheese. Add salsa. Add low-fat sour cream.

A good thing is that they are small and convient enough for lunch, but the absolute BEST part is that you will NEVER get tired of them. I probably eat fajitas on average 4 times a week. That's about 50 a month. I've been doing this for a couple years now and I still haven't gotten tired of them. They are extremeley healthy and take minutes to cook.

"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

$3/lb for chicken breasts == Ripoff (none / 0) (#85)
by cryon on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 12:05:13 AM EST

No offense, but I think that is a ripoff. If that is really the price, you might want to try a regular grocery store. $2/lb is a decent price. Unless you live in Alaska or Tokyo or something....

[ Parent ]
kg, not lb. [nt] (none / 0) (#87)
by the77x42 on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 12:09:39 AM EST

"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

[ Parent ]
I am down with the whole lb->kg conversion (none / 0) (#128)
by cryon on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 01:57:30 PM EST

"4kg runs around $30" l kg = 2.25 lb, therefore 4 kg = 10.0 lbs $30/10lb == $3/lb That is about 50% more expensive than is normal

[ Parent ]
err... whatever works out to ~$2/kg i mean... [nt] (none / 0) (#88)
by the77x42 on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 12:12:46 AM EST

"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

[ Parent ]
"Through it all into a tortilla" (none / 0) (#125)
by glor on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 01:28:03 PM EST

This perversion of the English language has made my day.  Thank you.

Disclaimer: I am not the most intelligent kuron.
[ Parent ]

Keith Lynch went from 300 to 160 lbs 10 yrs ago (2.50 / 4) (#84)
by cryon on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 12:00:15 AM EST

He is actually the only person I know to do that and keep it off without surgery: Here is his website: http://keithlynch.net/ He is not selling anything; he is a computer programmer type. Lots of interesting things on his website. He eats as much as he wants, but only raw fruits and veggies. He cycles everywhere he goes. Never learned how to drive (he lives in Virginia, BTW).

Check out The Hacker's Diet (none / 1) (#113)
by riverheart on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 10:51:46 AM EST

Here's another person who's lost weight and kept it off, and written an (online) book about it: John Walker, founder of Autodesk and author of The Hacker's Diet.

My late husband followed this for a while and had a fair degree of success.

The website: http://www.fourmilab.ch/hackdiet/www/hackdiet.html

[ Parent ]

What worked for me (3.00 / 3) (#94)
by nebbish on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 05:39:38 AM EST

Never eat junk food, never ever - no ready meals or takeaways or anything. Never eat sweets, biscuits, chocolate or cake (replace with fruit instead, you'll be surprised how fast you get used to it and how disgustingly sweet chocolate tastes - and how nice fruit is). Ignore all that low-carb crap, bread, pasta and rice are cool so long as you don't stuff your face. Eat more vegetables. Eat less meat. Cycle to work.

It can be hard at first because you crave the foods you have given up, but you get used to it very quickly. It has the added bonus of being a cheaper as well. And after a couple of weeks when you start noticing the weight loss, it's great.

Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee

Why must be people complicate things? (2.25 / 4) (#97)
by birdsong on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 06:28:50 AM EST

Diets are way too complicated. Here's some thoughts. Eat food that is decent for you. If you can't figure this out, shame on you. It's pretty damn obvious. Then, take the engineer's perspective on thermogenesis. Work In = Work Out. There is no need to further complicate it. If you don't have enough physical activity, work out will include the storing of energy in fat. SIMPLE.

Um, the author seemed to make it simple (none / 0) (#133)
by the dehorned unicorn on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 04:46:53 PM EST

if you read it as the author pointing out that simple sugars are bad for you. Too many people either somehow don't know that, or just don't think about it and assume that it's ok.

<sarcasm>Heck, this is the 21st century, they've put a man on the moon. One would surely think that we've mastered this food thing. If candy bars were too bad for you, they'd have warnings like cigarettes do. And frozen dinner companies like Swanson knows what they're doing. I mean, they make entire meals; of course they're balanced and good for you. Again, the government watches over us. </sarcasm>

[ Parent ]
Balanced diet (none / 0) (#177)
by data64 on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 05:30:40 PM EST

I think getting a balanced diet is very very important and just eating less does not really help as it just leads to eating binges. Remember that your body just tells you that its hungry it does not tell you that it does not have enough zinc or potassium (for example)
For a simple balacned diet see the Canadian Food Guide http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hpfb-dgpsa/onpp-bppn/food_guide_rainbow_e.pdf

[ Parent ]
How to save even more and eat a healthier diet (3.00 / 6) (#109)
by riverheart on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 09:57:56 AM EST

I agree that cooking for yourself is important not only in losing weight, but in establishing a healthier eating pattern no matter what the end goal is.

You have, however, missed an important step. As someone pointed out in an earlier comment, you have used processed foods in your first recipe. Not only do you call for a canned soup, you call for a package of diced ham.

Many more nutritional benefits may be had by preparing your own food from scratch. At the very least, substitute home-made soup stock for the processed, salty, fatty cream of chicken soup.

If you truly want to make a change towards healthier eating, start canning your own food. A wide variety of foods, including soups and soup bases, can be home-canned if you have a pressure canner. You can add or remove salt, remove fat, and omit sugars. Making condiments such as jam is even easier, doesn't require a pressure canner, and with the right pectin, you can omit all refined sugars and sugar substitutes and make fantastic all-fruit jam. Making your own pectin from apples means you have no added dextrose to deal with, or try Pomona pectin. All the Ball and Kerr pectins that I've seen, including the no-sugar-needed varieties, have added dextrose. I'm a diabetic, and I like jam, so I make my own and control the ingredients.

You might be interested in learning that the family-size can of Cream of Chicken soup contains 5220 mg. of sodium. If you're splitting that over four meals, the soup alone contains over 50% of your day's recommended sodium. Add in the sodium from other ingredients - the ham in particular - and you're not eating an especially healthy meal. Moreover, according to a nutritionist from the University of Missouri, "Fifty-seven percent of the calories in one cup of canned cream of chicken soup, prepared with water according to manufacturer's directions, come from fat." (source: http://outreach.missouri.edu/hesnutrnews/fnr88-97/fnr88-12.htm)

For comparison, here's the ingredients list on a can of Campbell's Cream of Chicken soup and the ingredients for a home-made cream of chicken soup. The soup base yields 20 8-ounce jars. A can of Campbell's Cream of Chicken soup cost $1.09 at most of the grocery stores in the town nearest my home. You'll save a considerable amount of money by canning your own.
Chicken stock, modified food start, chicken fat, wheat flour, cooked chicken meat, cream, salt, water, cooked mechanically separated chicken, margarine (corn, cottonseed, canola and/or soyboan oil, water, beta carotene for color), contains less than 1% of the following: dried whey, soy protein concentrate, monosodium glutamate (do you want that MSG in your healthy diet?), dried dairy blend (whey, cladium caseinate), yeast extract, flavoring, vegetable oil, soy protein isolate, sodium phosphates, chicken flavor (contains chicken stock, chicken powder, chicken fat), chicken flavor, partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oil, butter. (Source: the label of a can of Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup.)

chicken, chicken stock (chicken, water, onion, celery, peppercorns, bay leaves, salt), milk, flour, margarine, onion, celery, carrot, thyme, basil, garlic. (Sources: the Ball Blue Book of Preserving for chicken stock, and http://www.jsonline.com/entree/cooking/sep01/ask19091801.asp for the cream of chicken soup recipe, substituting milk for the half-and-half.)

The home-made soup can easily be canned in quantity as a soup base by omitting the milk, flour, and margarine. Those three ingredients would be added when the soup is reconstituted. If you don't like salty food, you can lessen or omit the salt used in the stock. I generally leave it out entirely. You can also skim the fat from the stock when you make it, resulting in a much lower-fat soup to begin with.

If you really want a healthy diet, eliminate most commercially-processed foods from your diet and can your own. If you are meticulous about the canning process, it's possible to safely can low-acid foods such as soups and soup bases, meats, and more.

Chicken Stew. Mmmmmm. (none / 1) (#114)
by Nursie on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 11:00:24 AM EST

My favourite meal at the moment. You will need:
  • Some chicken breast
  • Some vegetables. I like using mushrooms, potato and parsnip. Butternut squash works really well too.
  • Bottle of Wine, red or white.
  • Chicken stock cubes (liquid stock is fine too)
  • some flour
  • Some wholegrain mustard
  • Coarse ground black pepper
  • Some Thyme, preferably fresh.
  • Optional: Bay Leaf, butter, cheese.
  • A big ovenable pot (with lid) to put it all in
Switch the oven on and heat it up hot. 200 degrees C is usually about right, but hotter doesn't seem to hurt. Dice everything fairly big chunks. Bitesize chunks perhaps. Put the chicken in a bowl with some flour and roll the chicken around in it until thoroughly coated.
Heat a splash of oil up in a frying pan, add the chicken and fry until the chicken has gone white all over. This stage is NOT to cook the chicken but only to 'seal' the outside.

Put the chicken and veg into the pot with thyme and optional bayleaf. If you have liquid chicken stock now is the time to add it. and then pour in the wine. you pretty much want to cover what's in the pot with the wine, so use a lot. If you have stock cubes (which I prefer to liquid for this dish) add a couple in now, more if you're making a lot. As a guideline I'd use one stock cube per portion you expect to get out at the end.
Now add a teaspoon of mustard per portion, and if you want it extra rich then a knob of butter and/or some grated cheese. It doesn't need these though.
Add black pepper to taste.

Now just put the lid on and put it in the oven. Check on it after half an hour to make sure it hasn't dried out, and then again after 45 minutes. It will be ready to eat at this stage, but can be left for up to another hour to thicken the sauce further.

If that looks complicated, it's not.
Simple version: Get some chicken and vegetables, chop 'em up and put them in a pot with some wine and then shove it in the oven for an hour.

I just went through it in detail for those food-o-phobes that like step-by-step instructions or feel lost.

Try it, it's very very tasty., The red version is richer, but both are delicious.

And the only thing unhealthy I can see about it is that there is probably salt in the stock cubes I use.

Meta Sigs suck.

With a bit of bread (none / 0) (#115)
by Nursie on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 11:04:44 AM EST

Forgot to add - extra good with a chunk of crusty bread on the side to mop up the sauce with.

Also, it doesn't matter too much what wine you use, cheap is definately the way to go as it tastes as good with the cheap stuff as with the better stuff.
Don't think I ever tried a rosť though.

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
look, i know the article's a little dubious, (none / 1) (#120)
by the ghost of rmg on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 12:19:29 PM EST

but that doesn't make it a troll. i think you got this guy wrong. i know it's easy to be paranoid with the election going the way it is and all the freepers are out gloating, but sometimes contrary opinion is just a contrary opinion.

rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
Did you mean to reply to something else? (none / 0) (#141)
by Nursie on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 05:26:57 AM EST

That I said, or someone else did?

I just gave a recipe for chicken stew and you're telling me I shouldn't call someone a troll for having an alternate view of the elections?

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
Tips on stews (none / 0) (#168)
by NoBeardPete on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 02:43:49 PM EST

When I was in college, me and some friends used to make big pots of stew or soup pretty often, at least during those times our usual meal plan wasn't online. One of the important things you should pay attention to is how long everything gets in to pot. Say your vegetables are going to include carrots, peas, potatos, onions, celery, and mushrooms. Carrots and potatos both cook very slowly. Peas, onions, and celery cook a bit faster, and mushrooms cook very quickly. The thing to do, then, is to add the carrots and potatos first, wait a little while, toss in the peas, onions, and celery, wait a little while, and then throw in the mushrooms right before you take the pot off of the fire. If you throw everything in at the same time, your carrots will be too crunchy and your mushrooms will be too mushy.

Arrr, it be the infamous pirate, No Beard Pete!
[ Parent ]

The beauty of this dish seems to be (none / 0) (#175)
by Nursie on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 01:20:04 PM EST

that it doesn't much matter about that, ordinarily I would agree with you - you don't want some things mushy and overcooked (especially carrots, I can't stand squishy overcooked carrots). But having made this in many variations over the past few months it always turns out good.
Maybe it's because I usually use pretty hardy vegetables like turnips and squash. Maybe it's because I put it in the oven rather than on the hob, but it seems to work either way.

Today I made one with just chicken potatoes and bacon (and the wine and stock and flour etc). I wouldn't recommend the addition of bacon though it makes it quite fatty.

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
Some good tips! (2.50 / 2) (#129)
by Deagol on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 01:57:46 PM EST

When I've dieted (on and off <g>), I've used the program "nut" (punch into freshmeat's serach) for counting calories. It's an awesome program, if for nothing else than to satisfy the curiosity of what foods provide what nutrients (carbs/fats/proteins, vitamins, amino acids, etc.). Check it out.

I've also been inspired by "The Hacker's Diet" which can be found online in PDF format.

USDA database (none / 0) (#176)
by data64 on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 04:55:02 PM EST

There is also this from the USDA which has a simple GUI, but definitely not as complete as Nut.

[ Parent ]
Mostly good stuff! Here's one or two differences: (3.00 / 3) (#136)
by Hobbes2100 on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 06:12:42 PM EST


> Rule #8: Don't eat when you're not hungry

I'll throw in a slightly different point of view here.  I think you should ALWAYS eat 4-8 meals (of moderate to downright small size).  If you aren't hungry when you get out of breakfast, eat anyways, just eat even less than you might otherwise.  I think that skipping any of these meals will set you up for a "binge".

As an anecdote, when you go grocery shopping on an empty (hungry) stomach, you find yourself going crazy on all sorts of stupid, needless items.  If you go on a full stomach, you go in, get what you need, and hit the road.

All that said, the only thing I wished the author had done was make some of the tidbits under "No Sugar" (about getting unsaturated fats, EFAs--essential fatty acids, and cutting just about all processed sugar -- NOTE:  especially HFCS high fructose corn syrup) their own points and that the water consumption tip should also be its own point.

Anyway, good to see "thought geeks" concerned about their diets.

Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes? --Iuvenalis
But who will guard the guardians themselves? -- Juvenal

Doh! (none / 0) (#138)
by Hobbes2100 on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 06:18:55 PM EST

> get out of breakfast,

That would be getting out of bed ... and going to breakfast.

Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes? --Iuvenalis
But who will guard the guardians themselves? -- Juvenal
[ Parent ]

Whew (none / 0) (#139)
by dn on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 07:57:33 PM EST

I was worried you slept in an omelette.

    I ♥

[ Parent ]

Good advice! (none / 0) (#140)
by omegadan on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 02:51:29 AM EST

I think you should ALWAYS eat 4-8 meals

It's also better for you blood sugar (a daily issue for me...). The difference between eating 2500 calories in 5 meals instead of 3 how much your blood sugar goes up. Basically, the lower the better.

Religion is a gateway psychosis. - Dave Foley
[ Parent ]

I lost 33kg this year (3.00 / 3) (#143)
by BlackHawk on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 08:49:52 AM EST

and I did it with a diet plan far simpler than anything you'll see published in magazines. Using the twin maxims of GIGO and EnergyIn - EnergyOut <0 I concoted a super diet plan of skipping dinner each night. It doesn't get any simpler than that, in one fell swoop I was able to knock 33% of my calories out of my diet, with no ill effects at all.<p>Now, to deal with the hunger you will no doubt feel at the start of the diet I instituted my "drugs for dinner" meal replacement scheme, like "Limits" and Wieght Watchers, but substituting booze (spirits served neat) and pot for meals. This allowed me to effortlessly lose an average of 1kg / week for about 25 weeks, then I had to add some light walking into the mix to get the next 8 kg to shift. I walk the last mile to work rather than taking the bus, and lately I walk 1.5 - 2 miles at lunch time too.

I've gone from a fat 116kg down to 83kg, which is a reasonable weight for me.

At the same time I have slowly reformed my eating habits, because I am looking to keep the fat off from now onwards. I stopped visiting fast food restaurants and dramatically lowered my intake of staples (rice, bread, flour, potatoes) reasoning that these foods are staples because they are full of energy...perfect for removal.

As I reached the end of my diet I also became a vegetarian, but that was for ethical reasons rather than dieting. I am generally vegan, but misbehave now and then. Now I feel really healthy again since all that animal fat isn't clogging up my system anymore. My skin is clearer and smoother to touch, I have lost about 10 years in appearance (currently 36 but told I look mid - late 20's) I can move faster and get around far quicker...it's all good and I encourage you all to give it a go if you can.

Looking for decent motivation to make the change? Just remember, girls think fat geeks suck arse, but skinny geeks are not so shabby :-) Instead of walking down the street and being mistaken for a Kodo beast I now get admiring glances from the girls again. That's worth every single Mars Bar I didn't gobble and every so called "meal" I didn't eat at McFatCunts. Hack your wetware now, while your still young enough to enjoy the results.

I'd say it in a few words. (3.00 / 2) (#145)
by Shubin on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 09:42:22 AM EST

The best diet ever : learn to cook and while learning, eat everything that you've cooked. Eat only this. Weight loss guaranteed.

Veggo! (none / 1) (#159)
by TheMealwormFarm on Sat Oct 02, 2004 at 07:55:46 PM EST

It was only a matter of time until weight loss articles popped up here.

Anyway, I think people should go vegetarian. Cut out as much animal fats as possible. Make sure if you're a vegetarian to watch your carbs and get a lot of beans, nuts, and tofu. (I was raised on tofu, so I can't believe there are people who don't like it!) They also sell meat substitutes which are pretty similar to the real thing, although I would probably eat these in moderation as they are heavily processed. Contrary to popular belief, you can be a vegetarian without depriving yourself of important nutrients.

"Grandpa, didn't you wonder why you were getting paid for doing absolutely nothing?"
"Well, I figured the Demmycrats were in office again."
I ws raised on Soya milk (none / 1) (#163)
by Nursie on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 01:39:27 PM EST

and still like it, but can quite understand why people don't. Tofu IMHO is foul. It is only even edible when heavily cooked in sauce or it just tastes like polystyrene.

Does anyone still believe that crap about not being able to get nutrients if you're vegi? I love my meats but don't feel the need to justify it that way myself....

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
fatties (1.00 / 9) (#167)
by ShiftyStoner on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 08:10:03 AM EST

45% overwieght, what a fucking surprise, NOT!

I find that one of my biggest problems is lack of discipline

Glad you said that. I'm fucking discusted that they are calling obesety a disease now.

It's not a fucking disease. Fat people are seen as lazy with lack of self control. Should we look at them diferantly, its whats on the inside that counts and all that jaz. Hell no, because when it comes to big ol fat cows whats on the outside portrays whats on the inside. A stupid lazy pathetic subhuman peice of garbage that doesnt deserve life who has no self control whatsoever.

All you fattass whiners need fucking killed. No joke. Your a god damned plague on society/humanety. Your no good to any not even yourselves, and your fucking miserable anyways.

I wish all you fat fucks would just kill yourselves simultaneuosly. Then humans would have to clean up all your worthless fat bodies. Doesn't matter it's not gana happens. All you fatasses are to fucking weak to kill yourselves anyway. Even though deep down you know damn well thats what you should do.

taking up all the resources and space, making life hard for people. What gives you the right to live.
( @ )'( @ ) The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force. - Adolf Hitler

Your keyboard must be broken. (none / 1) (#170)
by BuddasEvilTwin on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 05:14:07 PM EST

  I noticed a few typos that might help your track down the problem with your keyboard.

overwieght = overweight
discusted = disgusted
obesety = obesity
diferantly = differently
whats = what's
jaz = jazz
peice  = piece
doesnt = doesn't
fattass = fatass
Your = You're  (You are)
humanety = humanity
simultaneuosly = simultaneously
gana = gonna
thats = that's

  I pray, for the sake of your reputation, your keyboard problem is fixed ASAP.  I know I wouldn't want my keyboard to give people the impression I was a semi-literate highschool student!

Good luck!

[ Parent ]

um (none / 1) (#173)
by ShiftyStoner on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 09:40:07 PM EST

 for the sake of my reputation? to fix my keybourd would damage my reputation.

 and wtf, i droped out in 8th grade, and that's the impresion i want to give. Your overestemating my education. Me in high school, lol don't go spreading that shit around. Trying to destroy my good name. I hate school, school is a big ass brainwashing facility.  
( @ )'( @ ) The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force. - Adolf Hitler
[ Parent ]

How old are you Shifty? (none / 1) (#171)
by GenerationY on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 05:55:36 PM EST

Age can be a pain. I eat and drink a lot less than I used to, exercise about the same and I'm now a bit overweight (6'3"/180lbs, technically that is 'ideal' by some calculations, but the reality is a that I used to be very skinny, now I'm a skinny guy with a bit of a gut). Its just age I figure, although I'm reviewing my diet quite closely now.

Don't get too comfortable, it could be you next.

[ Parent ]

shit (none / 1) (#174)
by ShiftyStoner on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 09:51:38 PM EST

you could be 250 and i wouldn't consider you a fatass, necesarily. it depends on weather or not you can grab ahold of your stomach fat and stretch it out 6+ inches or not.

im 6'0 and weigh 180. the only fat on me is in my gut, because i drink alot and am a stoner. plus stress. i will never be fat though. can't happen because i don't stuff my gut to its max everytime i eat and im active. i eat until im not hungry, cept sometimes when im stoned ill eat a hole box of donuts or something but thats a rarety. i couldnt sit on my ass all day stuffing my face. like the fat people do.

stupidity is a huge factor as well, some people are just to stupid to know how to eat. they don't understand that they could walk off one or 2 tweenkies, and really can eat whatever they want as long as they do something and don't go threw a box of tweenkies every other day. then the'll starve themselves making there fatasses even fatter in the long run. they all just need killed, they are way to stupid and lazy.
( @ )'( @ ) The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force. - Adolf Hitler
[ Parent ]

I remember seeing an anecdotal case study recently (none / 0) (#181)
by ibsulon on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 07:47:19 PM EST

where a skinny man and an overweight man decided to eat the same food and exercise the same amount. It turns out that the skinny man ate about the same and the overweight man not only ate more, but exercised less. The overweight man gained five pounds in two months before aborting the study and resuming his previous regime. I'm lucky to be skinny, yes. (6'1, 165-175 flux) but whereas I used to be able to eat everything and anything, I now eat a bit less knowing that I gain weight more easily than even three years ago. It scared me going up to 185. The good news is that I lost fifteen pounds in a few months. The bad news is that I know people who don't have the same metabolism who can't do the same thing.

[ Parent ]
i fluxuate (none / 0) (#182)
by ShiftyStoner on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 03:37:55 AM EST

about 10 pounds a day.
( @ )'( @ ) The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force. - Adolf Hitler
[ Parent ]
Mushrooms! (none / 1) (#179)
by cathryn on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 03:11:28 PM EST

Mushrooms amplify the 'volume of a meal' don't add many calories and are tasty too. Here's my system, take any recipe, little bit of meat, green onions, whatever -- add gobs of mushrooms.

evening activities (none / 1) (#180)
by Rhodes on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 06:31:46 PM EST

Great idea, but I have evening activities which prevent my cooking every night- somehow going to sleep becomes more important than cooking dinner. And the evening activity is a martial art- exercise which helps me burn calories.

You missed one... (none / 1) (#183)
by McSnarf on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 06:29:04 AM EST

Do not cook with "ready-made meals"
Canned soup, TV dinners and most industrially-prepared food contains a lot of stuff you do not want. Colourings, flavour (artificially created), some stuff that is not even listed on the label because it is "part of the production process and removed"...

Nice post (none / 1) (#184)
by Prophet themusicgod1 on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 01:30:54 PM EST

but more or less irrelevant, as I see it.

You can only eat healthy if your socio-ecconomic situation warrents it. As documented elsewhere on this site I've in the not-so-distant-past been starving[and btw, a big 'fuck you' goes out to the person who wrote 'kill the poor', and I've also been in situations where all I have had to eat, and all I could get to eat was cheese on top of fat coverred pizza bread, with oil and salt on it. totally unhealthy, but kept me moving. And fuck, I was greatful for that bread, because it was a hell of a lot better than starvation.

This was all I could eat because I worked/slept[what little i slept] throughout the day/night, with no time beyond a five minute shower and some sleep or so between shifts, for months at a time. While admittedly some of this time was spent in university, taking classes, and that itself is a large cost, had it not been for the university i wouldn't have even gotten that far. You cannot even afford food at 2$/hr which is the only alternative to welfare or going to university or being born rich.

When you work a 20 hour shift, and the only food available for miles is subway, or worse macdonalds, and if this happens for weeks on end, you will gain weight and become less healthy. Some jobs are worse than this, and some are better but your health level will in large ways depend on what you do for a living.

Personally, I'm living off of ichiban noodles and some canned goods and leftovers that my parents sent me for thanksgiving, and i'm very thankful, even though I'm not exactly healthy.

I think it's easy to forget why a lot of people eat really unhealthy food to begin with ; there's nothing else available. I realize some people do have healthy food available, and just do not eat it, and I realize that the more people who are in this group the more unhealthy food will be provided in the marketplace[possibly to the exclusion of healthy food]. This could be a problem. I suppose I could be wrong about this, and if I am please someone correct me, but I can't be the only one who has lived off of [even sometimes moderately expensive] totally unhealthy food for lack of alternatives.
"I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet."swr
Tim's Cook-For-Yourself Diet Plan: Save money and lose weight | 185 comments (160 topical, 25 editorial, 1 hidden)
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