Tag Archives: dieting

I’ve lost six years. How? By getting enough sleep and admitting to myself, “I’m a carb-aholic.”


me sleepingI know this sounds like the start of one those Maria Osmond and Terry Bradshaw weight-loss ads. “I lost weight and so can you.” Don’t worry. I’m not selling anything. I’m advocating sleep. And if your story sounds like mine, maybe a brief change of diet. I emphasize brief, temporary, nothing drastic.

I couldn’t figure it out. I weighed the same as I did a decade ago. I was eating the same, exercising regularly, but I was feeling doughy, thick in the mid-section. I was able to grab flab where I had never been able to grab flab before.

pyramid egyptianI was starting to look like an Egyptian pyramid. You’re supposed to look like an upside-down pyramid.

I watched those YouTube videos: WHAT NOT TO EAT, LOSE BELLY FAT, GET SIX-PACK ABS. You’ve seen them; the shirtless guys who make their living by working out and selling their exercise programs on YouTube. While they have different methods of how to look like them (dream on), they all agree. Diet matters.

I did some reading. dietitians and other qualified health professionals (they wear shirts) say when you’re tired, pooped, when your feet and your mind are dragging, you seek energy to get your weary body across the finish line. You eat to make up for the energy you didn’t get from sleeping.

That’s been my situation while anchoring the morning newscast. Up at 2 a.m., I was dragging by 10. And I craved and overdosed on carbohydrates, the bad ones. Sugary cereals, too many slices of wheat toast (too much of a good thing) ahem, doughnuts a few times a week, (too much of a bad thing) and cookies before bed.

Author Nate Miyaki likens carbohydrate feeding to fueling up your car. “If your car has been sitting in the garage, it doesn’t need gas. Loading up on carbohydrates is like trying to fill up a full tank. It just spills over the side. In the human body, that overspill equates to sugar backing up in the blood stream and excess body fat storage.”

That’s me. Mr. Pyramid.

Right after Thanksgiving, I cut out the evil carbs. Not all carbs and not forever (keep reading), but the low-fiber, scant-nutrition carbs the body tends to store at the waistline and below: pasta, low-fiber breads, and sugars. Instead of toast, I had oatmeal (sweetened with Splenda, sprinkled with cinnamon and maybe some apples), brown rice, and I skipped the cookies. For desert, a carton of low-carb yogurt, the weirdest flavors I could find because they add some adventure.

I haven’t felt deprived or hungry, and by staying away from the evil carbs, the body has had to get its carb-fix by turning to the carbs stockpiled at my waist. I dropped three, maybe four pounds the first week. Another three or four I lost on the second. On the third week, another three. And when Christmas Eve rolled around and my neighbors dropped by with their plates of fantastic baked goods, I took some deep sniffs (smelling doesn’t take in calories or carbs), sealed all the goodies into air-tight plastic containers in my pantry for safekeeping, and then went upstairs and tried on jeans and slacks that the laundry and dry cleaners had shrunk over the past six years. I didn’t squeeze, tuck, or suck-in my gut to get into them. They fit. Some a tad loose.

Mission pretty much accomplished. I went downstairs, turned on the game, and had hot diet Dr. Pepper.

Now, I haven’t sworn off bread, pasta, certainly not cookies. I’ve paced myself on the neighbors’ holiday treats, and I look more like an upside-down pyramid again.

And I get my sleep.

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NY’s resolution advice from a former fat guy


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If dropping weight–and keeping it  off–is your New Year’s resolution, I admire you. I did a long time back (I was “husky” for the first 18 years, three months of my life), and to encourage you and set you up for success, I offer these few fat-free morsels of advice.

Commitment

Don’t go into this because, “Well, my wife/husband/etc wants me to lose weight.” You’ll never make it.  This isn’t about them. It’s all about you. You have to be thinking, “I’m tired of this. I’m tired of failing at diets. This is it. No turning back.”

Once you say that, and believe it, you’re pretty much there.

Those Twilight guys don’t supersize it

You’ve heard this before. There’s no magic diet, no secret pill. From the time you wake up to when you turn-in at night, you had to have burned off  more than you took in.

That said… 

Stay out of the fast food restaurants!  If you go, your diet will be dead on arrival. Check the menu nutrition board. Some combo meals are double the calories of  what some people should consume in a day! (That goes for the fish and chicken sandwiches,too.)

I’m not saying  give up fast food forever. But stay out of the drive-ups until you’ve accomplished your goal, and then limit your fast food fix to maybe once or twice a week. And if you have the cheeseburger, no fries. Must have fries? Then no burger. Get the salad with no-fat dressing.  

Lace ’em up

You know all about the doctors’ warnings. If you can’t see your toes let alone touch them without bending your knees, you know you’ve got to start slow. But start: a half-mile brisk walk every day, then work up to a mile, then two miles… (and don’t knock walking. Do it vigorously, you’ll work up a sweat.)  

Move that muscle and shake that fat

I’ve bought my share of at-home exercise equipment to use during winter and I’ve seen it break apart before the daffodils come out in spring. That’s because most of the inexpensive, at-home exercise equipment isn’t meant for people who exercise every day. It will soon break with everyday wear. The cheap, lightweight and flimsy bikes, trampolines, and other contraptions are  made for people who will use them a few times, then give up and store them in the garage or basement (Someone in the physical fitness trade told me this).   

You’re better off getting a fitness club membership, and it’s worth the cost if you use it ( See commitment).  The clubs offer a variety of  reliable equipment–the staff should show you how to use it effectively–and you don’t have to worry about maintaining it or tripping over it to get to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Gyms are also a gathering of  kindred spirits, so don’t be embarrassed. Everyone is in the same boat, pointed in the same direction. 

Confession: It’s not that hard, but don’t tell that to all the people who will admire you for sticking to it. 

From experience, I can tell you, losing weight is tough for about a week. Once you get into your new routine of eating less crud and more of the good stuff, and getting a daily work out, the pounds will fall off–maybe not as fast as you’d like, but as you’ve heard it before, this is a not a short-term thing. This is a lifestyle. You have your whole life ahead of you.

Want to see a photo of me when I weighed 40 pounds more than I do today?

No way.

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