Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Covid 19 update: a weird and scary new aftereffect

 Hey guys, just checking in to let you know what's going on not only with weight loss but also Covid 19 (coronavirus) recovery. We had Covid 19, with all the trimmings in May. We got the Pfizer vaccine in July. I'm still struggling with exhaustion, depression, metabolism and lethargy. My husband is working to regain his 17-lb (in 10 days) weight loss. So we're what they call "long-haulers" in that it's taken months to shake the effects of Covid 19. And most recently, I discovered a new post Covid surprise that's both weird and scary: hair loss. 

I've been noticing that clumps hair come out when I wash or brush my hair. There are masses of hair on the pillow each morning. I thought it was because I haven't been hungry or eating much. So I Googled "coronavirus hair loss" and sure enough, about one third of us "long-haulers" are experiencing effluvium (aka hair loss). I'm relieved to know what it is, but worried because this may be permanent, says the CDC.  It doesn't help the depression. 

The CDC explained that fever and stress of coronavirus is what causes the effluvium.  Both my husband and I had "revolving door" fevers that came and went for almost two weeks. Fever induced dehydration was a problem and that caused both weight loss and metabolism issues. We're working to rebuild electrolytes, particularly magnesium and potassium. But in the meantime, I keep shedding hair by the hands-full. 

As one of the long-haulers, and not a statistic, I'm lucky. If exhaustion, depression and effluvium are the worst that happens, I can deal. My breathing problems didn't get to full-blown pneumonia, just bronchitis. But the death toll keeps rising. My prayer email box has new Covid 19 cases and losses, daily. Please, get the vaccine. And wear a mask. For the health of it. You're too precious to lose. Love mar.  


PS, the short side of my hair isn't from hair loss. It's my new retro punk look, LOL. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Calorie restricting alone won't lose weight: study offers #1 weight loss tip

This blog is about how I lost 100 pounds, (top photo is today and bottom is 10 years ago) without gastric bypass or a "packaged" diet program. To lose weight, I wrote my own program, using elements of keto, intermittent fasting and a 1200 calorie diet like that used by gastric bypass patients with morbid obesity, on "My 600-lb Life." I also follow current weight loss research and trends. And recently, "Eat This Not That" shared a study that found that calorie restricting alone won't lose weight. Calorie restricting can actually keep a person overweight. 

The study in "Eat This Not That" revealed surprise links between extreme calorie restricting such as the 800 calorie diet, intermittent fasting, obesity, and even the more generous 1200 calorie diet (which I used to lose weight). The findings show that overeating alone is not what makes us overweight. It's WHAT we eat and not just how much. 

This should come as no surprise to anyone who is working to lose weight. However I see one problem: it presumes a dichotomy: that weight loss means either calorie restricting or eating certain foods such as a keto diet plan. The two are not mutually exclusive, as "My 600-lb Life" shows. The path to obesity is paved with overeating AND poor food choices. The 1200 calorie diet Dr. Now puts patients on, is very clear about what to eat and what to avoid. For example, it nixes "white foods" (potatoes, rice, white bread and pasta). 

The problem is further complicated by the fact that our bodies do not want us to lose weight. The innate survival instinct is to prevent weight loss, even with "My 600-lb Life" type obesity. The keto diet promises weight loss by restricting carbs and eating fats, fiber and protein. But keto is also not a very sustainable diet and calorie deprivation, regardless of kind, can also cause the body to store fat and stay overweight. Having said that, calorie restricting and eating a low carb, high fiber and protein diet is how I lost 100 pounds. 

So what am I saying? That weight loss requires moderation, of eating and over-indulging in overprocessed, calorie-dense foods with low nutritional value. Stay tuned the daily meal plan that helped me lose 100 pounds. 

Friday, September 10, 2021

Lose weight (I did!) with keto diet and calorie restricting food swaps for BBQ and pulled pork

Hi I'm mar and I'm a BBQ ribs and pulled pork addict! I was also very overweight and needed to lose weight. So I wrote calorie restricting 1200 calorie diet food swap recipes to satisfy my BBQ addiction. Here's how I lost 100 pounds (without gastric bypass) while still enjoying pulled pork, BBQ ribs and other smoked meat favorites! Oh, and these antioxidant rich fat burning food swaps boost metabolism, help prevent obesity and are keto diet friendly, too. You not only could, but should, eat these BBQ entrees for weight loss! 

First a little background. I follow the gastric bypass weight loss show "My 600-lb Life." The overweight participants on "My 600-lb Life" are shown, before (and sometimes after) gastric bypass, eating very non-calorie restricting foods. And though "My 600-lb Life" shows very extreme examples of obesity, they are nevertheless, not uncommon. 

About 75 percent of Americans are overweight. Obesity is a problem in others countries that eat the "western diet." The foods "My 600-lb Life" folks crave are the same foods that have led so many of us to obesity, so that's where I've begun with my calorie restricting 1200 calorie diet food swaps. And BBQ ribs and pulled pork are major favorites. But happily, these foods aid can be made to aid keto weight loss with antioxidant metabolism boosters, fat burning fruits and high protein meat.  

Begin with leaner cuts of meat to lose weight. I actually prefer pulled chicken to pulled pork. But if you want pulled pork, use pork loin. If you crave BBQ ribs, trim as much fat as possible and stew them in a slow cooker to "melt off" fat. Yes, keto encourages fat, so if you're hardcore keto, skip this step. If you're calorie restricting (how I lost 100 pounds), this alone will lower calories and make them more 1200 calorie diet friendly. 

Next, make sugarless BBQ or pulled pork sauce with erythritol or monkfruit sweetener instead of sugar. Erythritol is actually keto-approved. But my preferred way is to skip erythritol or any sweetener and sweeten BBQ sauce with fruit, to get fat burning, metabolism boosting antioxidant goodness. I've used all kinds of fruits in BBQ sauce: berries, peaches, mangoes, apples, pineapple, lemons, limes, even grapefruit! I chop fruit and add a little chopped bell pepper (rainbow preferred), simmer in water, add Worcestershire sauce, a dash of molasses, smoky chipotle (or liquid smoke), garlic powder, onion powder, celery seed and coriander. 

Braise ribs or simmer pork or chicken in sauce. Enjoy (and lose weight!) These diet food swaps are how I lost 100 pounds and am still keeping it off, seven years later! 

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds eating out: Weight loss tips for restaurants

In yesterday's post on how I lost 100 pounds eating out, I got sidetracked on salads and didn't address the many other diet pitfalls at restaurants. The gastric bypass reality TV show "My 600-lb Life" demonstrates the link between obesity and dining out, especially on fast food. It's difficult to find diet food swaps and a lot of menu items actually create the cravings that make us overweight. But you can dine out and still lose weight if you follow these 25 weight loss tips for restaurants. Part of how I lost 100 pounds (without gastric bypass) was learning to navigate such calorie restricting unfriendly situations with diet food swaps. 

1) This step is crucial for restaurants in particular and fighting obesity in general. Order water with your meal. Not drinking enough plain water is a big part how we get overweight. You can see the results of this on "My 600-lb Life." The morbidly overweight participants are always drinking soda or other sugary beverages. And water is an appetite suppressant because it fills the stomach. 

2) Ask for lemon with your water. Lemon is a good salt substitute, fat burner, system cleanse and antioxidant metabolism booster. It will help your food digest better and prevents dehydration which, believe it or not, you can get from drinking too much water without electrolytes. (Learned that in my recent bout of Covid 19). 

3) Skip the alcohol and caffeine before or with meals, or if you do, order red wine. I lost 100 pounds and drank red wine (in moderation) throughout the process. I just factored it into my calorie restricting 1200 calorie diet. Red wine has resveratrol, an antioxidant fat burner which increases metabolism. It's also, however, an appetite stimulant like caffeine so drink very sparingly. Green tea, an appetite suppressant, is the exception. Drink coffee or tea after meals because they do increase metabolism. 

4) Eat out at restaurants where meals are served in courses. Fill up on soup and salad to lose weight. Most friendly to the keto diet, calorie restricting, 1200 calorie diet and even intermittent fasting. 

5) Ask for salad dressing served on the side and use less. Learn from "My 600-lb Life" Penny Seager, who drowned her salads in dressing then wondered why she failed weight loss after gastric bypass. Yes, keto advises eating fatty foods, but balanced with fiber, fatty acids and protein. Eating too much saturated fat and transfat was how many of us got overweight (diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol) in the first place.  

6) Choose vinegar and oil dressing instead of creamy dressings to lose weight and hypertension.

7) Choose broth soup or consommรฉ over heavy creamy soups and chowders for weight loss. 

7) Order grilled, baked or broiled entrees instead of sauteed, fried or deep-fried options. Along with sugar, fried foods are a direct cause of diabetes

8) Choose vegetables or baked potato instead of French fries, mashed potatoes, scalloped or hash browns. Ask for light butter on the side. Baked potatoes make pretty good diet food swaps. They aid weight loss by filling you up and providing electrolytes.  

9) Skip bread or rolls if served with the meal. Ask to swap a serving of veggies like cooked broccoli which is high in antioxidant electrolytes. 

10) Try vegetarian or vegan food swaps. Eggplant Parmesan is just as good, if not better than Veal Parmesan. 

11) Trade mayo based salads for vegetable salads. 

12) Pick keto preferred parmesan cheese instead of cheddar or saturated fat cheeses on your salad. 

13) Skip croutons on salads. 

14) Go easy on sauces, dips, condiments and spreads to lose obesity and diabetes. Skip the sour cream on a baked potato. 

15) Use lemon or malt vinegar for fish instead of tartar sauce. Lemon can actually reduce hypertension by simulating a salty flavor in a healthy way. 

16) Choose broiled instead of deep-fried fish. Diet food swaps # 15 and #16 can can cut calories by 80 percent alone. 

17) Trade high saturated fat ranch and sugary BBQ sauce dips for mustard or marinara sauce dipping sauce. 

18) Use lemon as a salt substitute. 

19) Opt for Splenda or keto approved erythritol for iced tea or coffee.  

20) Eat slowly. Do not rush through the meal. This will help you feel fuller. 

21) Order from the ala carte menu instead of the full dinner menu; portions tend to be very large in restaurants and it's harder to stay on that 1200 calorie diet. 

22) Choose restaurants which post nutrition data on the menu. 

23) Vegetarian fish and seafood are sometimes better for weight loss but not as filling. Better grilled fish choices are: marlin, swordfish, grilled yellow-fin tuna and baked salmon. 

24) Order sorbet, sherbet or fruit with non-dairy topping for dessert. 

25) Choose fresh fruit from the salad bar for dessert! 

For more on how I lost 100 pounds, stay tuned! 

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds dining out: calorie restricting at restaurants

I wrote a post recently on how the "feel full" myth keeps us overweight after reading comments on a Facebook "My 600-lb Life" weight loss discussion group in which folks say they can't lose weight with calorie restricting on the 1200 calorie diet because it doesn't satisfy hunger. They're sure that foods like salads will never fill them up no matter how keto or protein-rich they are. Part of  how I lost 100 pounds (without gastric bypass) was by calorie restricting, using a gastric bypass 1200 calorie diet (and by eating a LOT of said protein salads ๐Ÿ˜€).  I also had to rethink satiation, hunger and food choices, especially when dining out. And I'm living proof that you can shed obesity and still eat at restaurants if you are will to make some diet food swaps. 

Case in point: last Saturday, a friend invited us out to Culver's to celebrate Covid 19 recovery. To maintain weight loss, I normally avoid fast food places like Culver's because the menu is not calorie restricting friendly! But I really wanted to visit so I figured I'd find diet food swaps that were 1200 calorie diet approved. I chose a cranberry bleu cheese salad with bacon and grilled chicken. It was only 460 calories with dressing and 44 grams of keto protein. There was also a pecan strawberry chicken salad and plain salad with grilled chicken all with high protein counts. The salad was delicious and super filling. I was actually more satisfied than my husband who had a patty melt and fries (after having Covid 19, he needs to gain not lose weight, LOL). I've found that fatty fried fast foods actually lower metabolism. 

I make these keto salads all the time and have created some delicious and filling diet recipes. I start with a base of spring mix or iceberg with purple cabbage and carrots. I've also used cole slaw mix. I add fresh berries (great fiber filled, metabolism boosting fat burners). I use various nuts and seeds (smoked almonds, pecans, chia, sunflower and my favorite, pumpkin seeds) which are also good fat burners for weight loss. Grilled chicken packs an intense protein punch and really helps lose weight. I've also used grilled salmon. I load up on vegetables high in electrolytes (tomatoes, avocados, red onions and cucumbers) Sometimes I make an Athenian or antipasto salad with olives and parmesan, bleu cheese or feta (more fat burners). 

The most important of the diet food swaps for salads is the dressing. You actually need some fat to properly digest leafy vegetables but I've seen overweight gastric bypass patients on "My 600-lb Life" literally drowning salads in fatty dressing. Dips, spreads and dressings are some of the biggest obesity triggers, even the diet ones. But you can lose weight and have your dips and spreads by using less. I use light ranch and/or light raspberry vinaigrette to get that piquant sweet and sour taste but I only use half the serving size. These salads are high in electrolytes, vitamins and minerals and actually boost my metabolism. 

Eating these super salads was how I lost 100 pounds, beat obesity and now avoid getting overweight again. They're helping me stabilize electrolytes lost in my recent Covid 19 bout. 

Friday, September 3, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds with the "pancake principle" or how "feel full" hype fails weight loss

For those who just tuned in, this blog explores how I lost 100 pounds and kept it off, without gastric bypass. Today we look at how understanding hunger (what it is and what it isn't) helps lose weight and how the "feel full" hype can fail weight loss. I'll illustrate, using what I call the "pancake principle", but first some background. 

"My 600-lb Life" is a show that that chronicles morbid obesity and weight loss after gastric bypass. A common complaint on "My 600-lb Life" and even in the comments in online Facebook groups about "My 600-lb Life" is that they can't lose weight with calorie restricting, such as on the 1200 calorie diet, because they won't get full. 

It's like feeling hungry is something to be avoided at all costs. People eschew salads for lunch, for example, because they aren't "filling." To which I say, so? That misnomer is part of how we get overweight in the first place. The road to obesity is paved with overeating in an attempt to feel full. But feeling full is not satiation of hunger. That occurs much earlier in the meal, but takes awhile for the stomach to recognize. 

Now to that pancake principle. When I made pancakes for my kids, they'd devour the first round quickly and want seconds, which went down more slowly. Because the pancakes hadn't hit their stomachs, they'd ask for thirds, which they couldn't eat because in the time it took to cook them, the previous two had filled them up. This pancake principle is part of why we overeat. 

We keep eating past the point of satiation because we fear hunger and (worst yet) we don't even know when we're full. And the more overweight we get, the more food our bigger stomachs need to feel full. Further, as we head toward obesity, we develop cravings which get worse the more overweight we get. But happily, those cravings subside as you lose weight. 

Part of how I lost 100 pounds by calorie restricting on the 1200 calorie diet and by deconstructing "cravings" (I've blogged about that earlier. I was surprised when I first began calorie restricting, how much I could eat on the 1200 calorie diet. After weight loss, I can eat salads, or even just a big box of spring mix and feel satisfied (actually really good because of all the minerals and electrolytes!) 
Even my rascally cat Mordecai (R) (who seriously overestimates his own hunger LOL) now thinks lettuce is a treat! His brother Moishe is not so convinced! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜

Thursday, September 2, 2021

"Perfect Strangers" Bronson Pinchot flaunts 60-lb Covid 19 lockdown weight loss

Looking up celebrity weight loss (or weight gain), I was tickled pink to find a video of Bronson Pinchot, (Balki of "Perfect Strangers") debuting his 60-lb weight loss. And the awesome thing about it was that he was able to lose weight during the Covid 19 pandemic lockdown! Plus, weight loss at 61 is wow-worthy in itself! 

Covid 19 lockdown was a time when many of us were getting overweight and even headed to obesity. Bronson Pinchot (one of my all-time favorite American actors, from one of my all-time favorite shows "Perfect Strangers" mid-80s sitcom in case you're too young to remember) actually got skinnier and super hot! especially with that bleach blonde fade! I think he looks even cuter than the Balki days! Who says 60s and almost-60s can't rock the hipster look?? Not me! (late adult onset punker, here LOL!) 

So what spurred Pinchot to lose weight? He says that his weight has always yo-yo-d, even on "Perfect Strangers", but recently when he looked in the mirror he saw "an old, fat man" looking back. So he cleaned out all the unhealthy food, gave it away and went to a plant-based diet. He's calorie restricting (by simply eating less) but not calorie counting. 

A lot of people, especially guys, eschew calorie counting. So maybe you don't have to micromanage calories but you do have to track, or at least control, something. Part of how I lost 100 pounds was calorie restricting with a 1200 calorie diet like the one used for gastric bypass. Pinchot's way way was to just delete everything but plant-based foods. Being in Covid 19 lockdown helped because there was no place to go to be around other food. 

When I started weight loss, I needed a plan to track eating and the calorie restricting 1200 calorie diet worked for me. It might work for you to lose weight or you might try Bronson's approach. Or keto. Or intermittent fasting (5:2 diet). Intermittent fasting helped me shed 35 pounds in 1992. It's all good as long as you work it and do weight loss in a healthy way. 

Bronson Pinchot said he also doesn't "do" scales. By which I think he's saying he doesn't babysit the scale daily. He'd have have to weight himself to know how much he's lost. But I get the point. Being over-obsessed with a number can actually derail weight loss as I've explained before. When I lost 100 pounds, I used the mirror more than the scale to track weight loss. 

What I mean is that we can say all we want about all body sizes being beautiful, but I do not feel my best overweight. Like Pinchot, I had an "epiphany" in which I saw my overweight self and didn't like what I saw. I acknowledged my obesity and got busy. There is a lot of self-denial in shedding obesity. But it is SOOO worth the payoff. Stay tuned to the end to see the adorbs so-Balki way he describes this <3 

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Weird weight loss fact: Eating can help you lose weight (for real!)

 A friend just shared an interesting tidbit that confirms a weird but true thing I've found in weight loss: eating can make you lose weight. And conversely, eating too little can keep you overweight or make you gain. It's down to a little thing called metabolism (something I've been battling to boost since getting sick with Covid 19 in May). Part of how I lost 100 pounds (without gastric bypass) is by eating. I'll explain. 

Eat This Not That has been exploring eating plans like intermittent fasting such as the 5:2 Diet and calorie restricting ones like the 1200 calorie diet (made famous by reality TV gastric bypass surgeon Dr. Now of "My 600-lb Life.") The consensus is (and what my friend and I found in our weight loss experiences) was that when you get too hungry, as in extreme calorie restricting or intermittent fasting, your metabolism slows. 

Your body knows it needs food to survive. As one doc pointed out in a recent Eat This, Not That article was that your body actually doesn't like it when you lose weight, even if you are overweight. So your body says, "whoa, she's not eating enough. We gotta conserve fat here!" This happens even with obesity such as people suffer with on "My 600-lb Life." That's why "My 600-lb Life" Dr. Now recommends a 1200 calorie diet vs. intermittent fasting. The trick to weigh loss is moderate calorie restricting. 

I know I've discussed this before but undereating (stalling metabolism, etc.) is a trap folks looking to lose weight fall into. It's self-defeating because we get discouraged at weight loss fail and quit the diet. And extreme hunger zaps resources. In my 100 pound weight loss, I made this mistake. So now, in maintenance dieting, to avoid getting overweight again, I use the 1200 calorie diet. 

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