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How You Diet

Discussion in 'Society and Culture' started by ShinyTop, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    In another thread I note that Leon posted a warning against pasta. Through the years I have read about so many different diets and warnings about certain foods that when I entered my current diet I would do nothing but watch calories. I do intend to find some exercises I can do when the winter finally lifts. It will probably be mostly walking although my knees will probably limit that. I started some limited excercise earlier but got my back out of whack, probably from lifting a 27 inch TV and need to ease back into that.

    But the particular post that caught my was a warning against pasta. My method of dieting has been to limit byself to two diet meals a day, usually 300-600 calories each. I have dry whole wheat toast for breakfast and then the two meals I mentioned. If I have stuck to it I allow myself a 100 cal bag of popcorn late at night. I make sure I get some protein each day and allow myself the occasional cheat. I drink a liter of water each day during work and my other liquid intake is either more water or Diet Cokes or unsweetened tea flavored with lemon. And I eat very few sweets and next to none fried food. Have not had a hamburger or fries since I started the diet and I love those.

    The diet meals I eat are either Marie Callendar or Healthy Choice. So what caught my eye about Leon's warning? Many of the diet meals I am eating are pasta and veggie based with some meat.

    I started my diet the last weekend of September. As of this morning I have lost 60 pounds. I am still 40 above my weight when I retired from the Army reserves and still 20 above my weight when I quit smoking and I intend to keep going. (Now you know why you don't see me post pics of myself.) When the weight actually goes and you have to find clothes you have not worn in over ten years it is not that difficult to keep going.

    So what diets work for the others on the board?
  2. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Stanley said, despite having eaten a large plate of spaghetti. So it's not pasta per se, but large amount of it. The Healthy Choice and other diet plans make appropriate portions. You need energy and they balance out the meals nicely, including pasta.

    Now, I know too many (especially Italians) who make this their mainstay meals -- throughout the day -- and that's a recipe for obesity.

    PERSONALLY, (and I know this doesn't work for everyone) I stay away from all pasta because, 1. I love it and won't have the discipline to stop. 2. I never get enough -- as Stanley-- hungry in no time, which is fooling my brain while I've already packed enough calories.

    Sorry for the long explanation, but it needed to be clarified.
  3. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    Thank you.
  4. Swamp Fox

    Swamp Fox Veteran Member

    So what should I eat instead?
  5. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Really depends, man. I don't know anything about you, your body type, your daily activities, your stress levels, your favorite food, etc...
  6. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    I'm sure y'all won't be surprised that I have a take on this since I often participate in diet/exercise topics.

    First off, doing a calorie diet is a bitch and IMO not the best way to go, not that it won't work if you stick to it. It's a bitch because it's very dissatisfying. I can't think of any better way to feel deprived than to go on a calorie diet.

    As far as no pasta, damned good idea! I take it a step further: don't eat white stuff! White stuff is pasta, potatoes, bread and sugar. These things all have in common that they are very refined and when they reach your stomach they go right through your stomach lining into your blood stream as glucose ("blood sugar"). This reaction occurs very quickly and your blood sugar spikes which provokes a reaction from your pancreas in the form of insulin. The insulin protects you from your blood sugar going too high by signaling the cells to take up the sugar and convert it into fat to store for later use. These blood sugar spikes are very bad for you and repeatedly overstimulating your pancreas can lead to insulin resistance, a pre-diabetic stage. Do not eat white stuff or anything like it, or at least eat only very small quantities. It turns directly into fat and screws your pancreas along the way. You should eat proteins and complex carbohydrates instead.

    My idea of a good diet is to limit meat/poultry/fish to no more than 6 oz. serving size. Fill up on vegetables and fruit and eat starches in only very small quantities. Forget about the Grand Slam for breakfast. My breakfast is fruit, cereal, milk, and my lunch is fruit and yogurt. BTW I also add a couple tablespoons bran and a couple tablespoons flaxseed meal to my cereal. I actually eat more for dinner than I should but I work out more than is necessary to use up the extra calories. You should eat some fruit with every meal including dinner. I skip desserts because of the sugar. I've got used to the spartan breakfast and lunch, and I get my satisfying meal for dinner. My diet works because I don't feel deprived, and for that reason it's easy to stay on my diet.

    One final thing, don't buy into this common mistake: A diet is not something that you go on until you get back to a good weight. No diet will work unless you make a permanent change in your eating. To be sure you need to be a bit more restrictive to lose weight until you reach your target but if you go off the diet then you'll eventually returned to your previous overweight. So whatever you do pick something that you can stick with for the rest of your life. Oh and also your diet won't work if you don't add a healthy amount of exercise too. Sure you can deprive yourself and get to some target weight and stay there without exercise but your system will be running on less fuel than is healthy. It's like letting an auto engine run at idle all the time. Things gum up. You need to get out and exercise and combine that with a wholesome diet to maintain health and look good.

    Afterthoughts: Food is color coded. If nothing else eat lots of different colored foods throughout the day: red, yellow, green, whatever, anything but white which you should avoid. Color in many cases is influenced by which antioxidants are within, and the more colors give you a larger variety of different antioxidants. This is why Asian cooking is so good (at least for me) is because so many different vegetables go into each dish. Good luck!
  7. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Solid advice, especially on white stuff.
  8. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    Thank you! It took me 6 fucken' decades to learn that.
  9. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    I remembered a bit more to add:

    The refined starches go through your stomach wall and directly into your blood stream causing a spike in blood sugar. The complex carbohydrates, fats and proteins travel on to your intestines where they are slowly released. They cause a gradual rise and fall in your blood sugar level rather than the spike. Your pancreas isn't over stimulated. Even better, the slow digestion keeps your hunger satisfied longer. Eat white stuff and you'll be hungry an hour later.

    Just throwing out a concept: It's not fat that makes you fat. It's refined carbohydrates that make you fat. They go right into your blood stream, cause an excess, and then get stored in your cells as fat. That is the fat that makes you fat. The stuff that passes on to your intestines gets released more slowly and can be burned as fuel before your body is forced to store it.

    I have another sign that my diet works. About 2 years ago after a routine blood test my doctor strongly urged me to go on statins. I didn't like the idea because there are some very scary possible side effects and statins are expensive. I looked at myself and I saw a pudgy guy getting near to being fat. I had suspected that diet could help me look better and maybe address that cholesterol issue too. During the next year and a half I lost about 20% of my weight, and just recently had another blood test. My cholesterol and gone down to just an insignificant amount over the high normal limit (205 to the 200 normal) and I asked my doctor again about statins. He said no way. I asked him if any doctor would recommend taking statins if your cholesterol was basically normal. He said nope. (Actually I think there are some mavericks who advocate everybody taking statins, and probably some people with certain histories might want to take statins.)

    It's astonishing how many people do all the wrong things to address health issues when many of their problems might be cured by eating a sensible diet and getting sensible exercise. I feel so damned stupid that I didn't figure this out decades ago. It's funny that living a healthy lifestyle would make you healthy. :)
  10. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    When I started working out back in the twenties, the one thing I attacked was information. One of the athletes at the gym who was training for Ironman told me, "you will come to the gym and you will see all types of people. People who will be spending 2-5 hrs per day at the gym, eating the most healthy food, but little of it to keep the weight down... and yet, one common question to me is, "why am I not getting passed my hurdles? I am stuck at the same level I was when I started a month in to it. You know what the problem is? People don't know what they are doing, there's too much information out there, conflicting information, and people will follow a theme that they either read first or something that resonates with them, but most of it is 90% pure counter-productive garbaaaage".

    Not verbatim but I was one of those folks. I weighed very little but wanted to get mass. I did it for years and all I did was look like a stick with small muscles. Then I met a few people (I was lucky, there were plenty of juicers and show offs) that put me on the right path of information and exercise.

    One thing I will add here, Greg, is that while the core of the information you provided (and I agree with) is spot on, there are small variables that will deviate for many based on many things that are going on with their bodies/minds.
  11. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    Thank you. Yes in fact I just got back from my workout and I was thinking about this topic and a few additional things occurred to me.

    I wanted to add a disclaimer that my way is not definitely the only way and may not even be the best way towards a healthier lifestyle and diet and weight. However I believe that to some degree most of what I said applies to most people.

    To some degree each person has to work out what is best for them, and let's understand that they are betting their health and their life and their well being on selecting a good choice. I'll state one thing unequivocally though, there is no solution that doesn't involve both diet and exercise, and that diet must be maintained throuhout life. (I don't mean that there aren't necessary changes as people age.)

    I just detest those lose weight quick crash diets and I detest overly simplistic calorie counting or fat counting diets. I'll be surprised if that is the correct way for anybody. If for no other reason those kind of diets are not satisfying and it takes almost inhuman will power to stay with them--and let's not forget that you can't just lose your weight and then go off the diet. That's the biggest flaw in calorie counting. There are no quick fixes and fixes that involve deprivation will not work except for a very small minority.

    I don't mean to say that everything I've discussed applies to everybody without exception, but I'll appreciate if anybody can come up with any flaws or untruths in my discussion. I'll be happy to admit I'm wrong if there are any flaws and I'll be happy to get a more correct understanding of this subject.

    People, you should study this subject as if your life depends on it, because it does.
  12. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    The post advising against general white foods was way too pointed. Investigations into starches reveal that many starchy and many white foods do go all the way into the intestines before being digested. Pasta, mentioned in particular, often depends on how it is cooked. Al dente pasta does not carry the same prohibitions as many of the other white foods. And processing, as mentioned, has the most to do with any white food's effect on blood sugar, except maybe sugar.

    I am 61 years old and have some experience with diets. I also watch my cholesterol and blood pressure. I visited my family practitioner and my cardiologist before starting this diet. The best diet is the one that works for you without any reliance on what "they" say. And strict adherence to any named diet, in my opinion, has a higher chance of failure than common sense and some education about foods.

    The two main things I avoid in my diet are sweets and fat. And I count calories. For reasons I do not intend to go into rigorous exercise is not in the cards. I am happy for those who can and do.

    My main advice to anybody wanting to lose weight is do what works for you. Don't attach your hopes to one plan or another. Its too easy to get discouraged. Let yourself eat moderate portions on Thanksgiving and get back to your diet the next day. Don't beat yourself up when you go on the road and have a more difficult time getting the food you need or want. If you have more than swim suit looking good 5 or 10 pounds to lose you must remember the goal has to be long term, not weeks or a month. When you reach a plateau and don't seem to lose anything for several days or a week stick with the diet. Set your goals 10 pounds at a time and if everything still feels good set the next goal. After a while you will find you cheat less because you don't want to lose the same weight twice. Once the weight starts coming off and you dig into storage closets for clothes you have not worn in over a decade the benefits outweigh the allure of the cheat. My wife had some oreos in the house last week. I took one bite and it sure was good. And then threw the rest of the cookie in the trash. 150 calories each! When one cookie is more than 10% of your daily goal you start politely ignoring those who say, "but, its your favorite cake" or "just a little won't hurt".

    And don't start the diet if you don't have the common sense to know you can't go back to 1000+ meals after the diet. But then, if you don't have that much common sense you won't get very far anyway.
  13. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    Well I disagree. Starches are IMO the most common dietetic sin.

    I'm about your same age. Just curious, what is your BMI? My BMI is 12.7, right exactly in the middle of the normal band. While this can be influenced by having "thick" or "thin" bones (to use the usual explanation) I am right in the middle between thick and thin, and I'm right in the middle of the average BMI, now, now after over a year of diet and exercise.

    I'm sorry to confront you, but if you're so good then why is diet still an issue for you? For me actually it's a struggle. I have to work hard every day not only marshaling myself to keep exercising but also to restrain myself from eating too much. It is a struggle for me but my BMI 12.7 shows that I am winning the battle.

    Those of you who are thicker or thinner "boned" than average physique will need to adjust your BMI target. I'm fortunate that I'm right smack in the middle of the average band.
  14. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    I like pasta. I have it rarely. I measure my portion and that portion is strictly 2 ounces (uncooked weight).

    In fact I'm intending to have it soon, maybe even this week. I'm fascinated by focaccia bread which is the best accompaniment for pasta and ??? meatballs or whatever.

    I can't eat this for more than a couple times a month, and even then only 2 ounces.
  15. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    You may confront me all you wish, I will respond as I wish. Your request for BMI is pretty pointless, now isn't it? I have lost 60 lbs and have more to lose so my BMI is obviously not where I want it. Before I began my diet my bmi was over 40. But I am not aiming for a BMI, just to feel better and to decrease my mobility constraints. You are more athletic than I. Did you really need to hear that? Can I not have opinions and even knowledge different from yours unless we have a run or a weigh in? Your desire to compare BMI's has no bearing on the discussion of starch in diets. And your desire to be right about that or any other diet method kind of belies your earlier statement that not all diets work the same way. Where did I say I was good? There is nothing in my post where I claim to be better than anybody, I only say what has been successful for me and offer advice to others on how to diet. I am sorry if you think that steps on your toes.

    Yes, in my opinion you were way too broad in your statement about white food. Here is a good source. It does not say all starches are good but does list many that are healthy and talks about pasta under Surprises. Post your own links. I don't believe my posts should be accepted as gospel but your flat statement is a disservice to others who may be dieting. Long grain rice, pasta, especially when not overcooked, whole grain foods, new potatoes and beans are among starches that can be eaten on a diet. As for starches making sugar spikes, either I am not experiencing them or am dealing with them since I started this diet the last weekend in September. My post was about a correction to one point you made and an explanation of what I am doing. Nothing more.
  16. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    There is no confrontation here and I'm sorry if I miscommunicated to you. I'm passionate about this subject.
  17. Brazbit

    Brazbit Nah... It can't be.

    Well I may not know balances and guides and which color to eat when but so far I have done decently on my own diet, if you want to call it that. All I have done so far is to continue eating like I always have just in smaller quantities and, when possible, slower.

    Speed and portion size kind of go hand in hand. If you slow down and give your body time to realize it is full you are far less likely to overeat. In these times that we live in it is all too common to grab something on the way out the door or swing through a drive-thru and gulp food down as we rush from one task to another. Then out of habit we eat at the same pace even when at home. Your body does not have time to realize that its needs have been met when eating at this hectic pace and so the tendency is to keep throwing more at it until suddenly you realize you ate too much.

    Portion control and substituting high calorie for low or zero calorie when possible has made it so that this shirt I am wearing has gone from almost too tight to wear in public to being on the verge of doubling as a tent. There is almost enough room for a second person in this thing.
  18. Greg

    Greg Full Member


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