My diet is better than yours is…over?

ABC’s My Diet is Better than Yours ended somewhat abruptly last week, I thought. The series has been showing two one-hour episodes back-to-back, which appeals to those fo us who are into binge viewing these days.

Shaun T, the host of My Diet is Better than Yours. One of the most emotional TV hosts ever.
Shaun T, the host of My Diet is Better than Yours. One of the most emotional TV hosts ever.

The first hour last week was the final week contestants would have their trainers.

I was looking forward to seven weeks, or seven hours, of watching them try to lose weight on their own. but that time period was all compressed into the final hour show with a final weigh-in ala Biggest Loser, except without the studio audience and confetti at the end.

 

My take-aways from the show: Continue reading “My diet is better than yours is…over?”

My Diet is Better than Yours: worth a look

ABC this week premiered a new show, My Diet is Better than Yours, that sounds  a bit hokey but was fascinating viewing for me. It’s a variation of Biggest Loser on NBC.

On the ABC show, contestants get to pick a diet plan and diet plan advocate to follow and train with. The five diets all have some wacky elements to them but they’re basically about eating less processed foods and exercising more, which is really the secret to any successful weight loss.

shaun-t-2-600x450
Shaun T, host of My Diet is better than Yours

What I found most interesting was the low self-esteem all the contestants expressed. It was really sad to hear about all these  unhappy people hiding behind food. I’ve done it myself and still do it, so I understand, but it’s still sad to see it on the air. Continue reading “My Diet is Better than Yours: worth a look”

2015 — a setback year in my battle against fat and sugar

My 2012 angioplasty set me on a path to change my eating habits to lessen the chance of future heart problems. I went on to drop nearly 30 pounds over the first two years after the surgery.

But 2015 proved a setback year for me, so much so that last week I went out to buy some 40-inch-waist pants again, after having thrown out the ones I had back in 2012.

Nathan's hot dogs and waffle fries, wondrous stuff.
Nathan’s hot dogs and waffle fries, wondrous stuff that led to my gaining six pounds in four days of New York City eating

Studies have pointed to increased risk fo heart problems for men with waists larger than 38 or 39 inches.

I’ve hovered between 38 and 40 most of my adult life, getting as high as a 44 at one point. I find my equilibrium waist, the size I feel most comfortable with, is normally around 39, which puts me in dubious territory heart-wise.

So what happened last year? I got tired of always being hungry, for one thing. Also, a variety of external stress factors as the year wore on simply wore down my resolve to eat well.

I gained 14 pounds over the course of the year, but six pounds of that came in December thanks to a trip to the place of my birth, New York City, where I ate all the foods I grew up loving — all high in fat, sugar, salt and calories.

My eating binge continued into the Christmas-New Year’s holidays as I once again ate chocolate and candies I have largely given up.

With a new year here now, it’s time for me to jump back on the low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar bandwagon, which will mean  a return to hunger pangs but, also hopefully, a return to a smaller waist size as I drop enough pounds to go back to my 38-inch-waist pants.

John

 

Sugar is in the health crosshairs again

I’ve written about how sugar is being demonized as the real cause of heart disease and other health problems. I’ve also said sugar has been the most difficult on the evil triad of foodstuffs — fat, salt and sugar — for me to give up. I’m down to about 100 grams a day, with much of that coming from bananas (16 grams each, I eat two a day, so 32 grams of sugar there to start).

I've found two brands of low-sodium,low-sugar ketchup, Westbrae and LocalFolks Foods.
I’ve found two brands of low-sodium,low-sugar ketchup, Westbrae and LocalFolks Foods.

The anti-sugar movement got a big push forward this week with new Food and Drug Administration recommendations that we should eat no more than 50 grams of sugar a day. The recommendation, the first time the agency has put a cap on sugar consumption, got massive media play, including this New York Times piece.

Sugar, like salt and fat, is in most every processed food. Items “like low-fat yogurt, granola and wholegrain breads, as well as in ketchup, pasta sauce, canned fruit and prepared soups, salad dressings and marinades,” reports the Times. Continue reading “Sugar is in the health crosshairs again”

Another knock on processed meats, this one from WHO

Processed meats, such as hot dogs and cold cuts, are full of sodium and other things that have led me and many others to avoid them in recent years. I’m always amused by Subway calling its sandwiches healthy when they’re filled with high-sodium processed meats, for example.

Nathan's hot dogs and waffle fries, wondrous stuff.
Nathan’s hot dogs and waffle fries, wondrous stuff.

Another knock on processed meats came from the World Health Organization (WHO) recently. It pointed to a link between an increased likelihood of cancer and the consumption of processed meats. The report also threw in red meat as a possible cancer causer. Continue reading “Another knock on processed meats, this one from WHO”

Lose It! weighs in on fast food menus

Lose It! is a calorie-tracking, weight-loss app I’ve been using since long before my angioplasty in 2012. I love it’s versatility and ease of use, especially when I’m offline but still want to find food in a database it offers that stores on my phone.

My Almost healthy burger creation for McDonald's
My Almost healthy burger creation for McDonald’s. Lose It! says get the smallest burger possible at fast food places.

I’ve written about the badges it sends out to encourage healthy eating. Now it apparently has started an e-newsletter with eating tips as well. I received one last week that gives some fast food tips, along with other articles. Continue reading “Lose It! weighs in on fast food menus”

Always hungry? Welcome to my world; this might help

Since my 2012 angioplasty and the complete change in my eating habits which followed, it’s fair to say that I am always hungry. It’s really not possible, I’ve found, to eat enough low-fat, low-salt, low-sugar food to fill me. The only exception is when I make whole wheat pasta and eat large portions of that.

Eating watermelon doesn't fill me up, although it's high in water content.
Eating watermelon doesn’t fill me up, although it’s high in water content.

A theory I heard years ago about feeling hungry had to do with over-consuming sugar. But my sugar consumption is way down since giving up cakes and chocolate candies of many kinds. Have you had the same experience with hunger since trying to eat healthier? Continue reading “Always hungry? Welcome to my world; this might help”

Americans are eating less, finally, but what about the salt?

Americans are consuming fewer calories, finally, according to widespread media coverage of recent government statistics. But there’s still too much salt, fat and sugar in most people’s diets, in my opinion after looking at the statistics involved.

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“Calories consumed by the typical American adult, which reached an alarming peak in 2003 having risen inexorably since the late 1970s, are undergoing their first sustained decline since the US government started monitoring them more than 40 years ago,” notes the Daily Mail, a British publication that provides an interesting overseas view of America’s bad eating habits.

“The most dramatic fall has been in the amount of sugary soft drinks consumed by Americans. The average American drinks 25 per cent less of such drinks than since the late 1990s, when he or she drank an astonishing 40 gallons a year,” the Mail reports. Continue reading “Americans are eating less, finally, but what about the salt?”

Purple potato chips — make them fat-free, salt-free

Potato chips are difficult to squeeze into a low-fat, low-salt diet, but I found a way to make my own with no salt and no fat thanks to a handy microwave device, Top Chips chip maker, that I bought last year. I’ve come to make them as a special treat from time to time, usually making one large russet potato into chips.

Purple potatoes can be turned into fat-free, salt-free chips in minutes.
Purple potatoes can be turned into fat-free, salt-free chips in minutes.

I recently ran across purple potatoes at our local farmers’ market and wondered what those would taste like turned into chips. I was a little surprised to learn the inside of the potatoes was not actually purple. A few purple flecks were noticeable but other than that they looked like regular potatoes. so these must have been a hybrid of some sort since information I’ve found about true purple potatoes shows them with a purple color inside. Continue reading “Purple potato chips — make them fat-free, salt-free”

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