One of the most startling findings is the notion of constrained daily energy expenditure. This is the idea that the human metabolism adapts to our activity levels to keep our daily calorie burn in a surprisingly narrow range — no matter how hard you work out
Now I understand how my low exercise levels during year one of the pandemic factored into my weight loss efforts. My metabolism reset and it spent calories on other life functions. Here’s the part of the interview that hit home for me. The quote refers to a recent television show The Biggest Loser.
Contestants went on this show and were put under a brutal routine of intense exercise, coupled with near starvation. You can lose a lot of weight that way. But it’s not sustainable. Your body pushes back hard by slashing its metabolic rate.
The Take Home Lesson
DO exercise for all of its associated health benefits. But exercising more is not exactly the best strategy for losing weight.
Herman Pontzer is an evolutionary anthropologist at Duke University. His theory argues that human metabolism has evolved to the point where how we eat and expend our calories is more important than what we eat. I think I’ll put his recent book on my list of books to read.
“We can’t escape from the fact of our eating; no matter what, we are killing living things so that we can live ourselves. If it’s not an animal, it’s a plant or something else.”
Deborah Madison is a chef, writer, and author of 13 celebrated vegetarian cookbooks, including the modern classic Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.
Today is the 5th of July and I have the day off from work. Yesterday was the real 4th of July holiday which was celebrated in a typical American fashion, a cook out by the pool. I didn’t have to cook which made the fourth a special fourth for me. I know how much work and preparation goes into hosting a large gathering and my heartfelt thanks go out to our relatives in Claremore, OK.
The morning started with a little tree trimming in the yard followed by some deep thoughts no one should have on the Fourth of July. Reminder to all who read this: these are random thoughts. If I lose you, just stop reading.
The level of personal indiscipline since leaving Colorado has been astoundingly high. In plain English my diet has regressed. The rules and lists I’ve crafted over the years were not adhered to since coming back from the Rockies. I blame Colorado. The State of Craft Beer https://www.coloradocraftbrews.com/colorado-breweries/ overwhelmingly managed to delete the #1 item on my Do Not Have It in the House list. Beer is back in the house.
The folks in Colorado make real good beer. The Mountain Man and his Colorado Girl keep plenty of the good stuff in their fridge. Pizza out twice during the trip meant more good craft beers. We also stopped at Casey Brewing in Glenwood Springs, which is the only brand name I remember. Back home I continued the Colorado theme with some Odell and Blue Moon. As I’ve done for years I am monitoring my weight daily. I need to. See my previous post Consistent self-monitoring of weight: a key component of successful weight loss maintenance — Random Thoughts 01.02.21. To repeat myself – There’s beer in the house.
Abandoning old habits is hard especially when the old habit is just so damn satisfying. But if you want (or need) to lose weight you must change your habits. Colorado was fun and a lot of old habits crept back into my routine. I shouldn’t be surprised that some of those habits are still sticking around. The weather got hot back home in Oklahoma and there’s nothing like a really cold beer on a hot day…
One of the books I’ve been reading is Aging as a Spiritual Practice by Lewis Richmond, a Buddhist priest and meditation teacher. I’m nearly halfway through the book and it’s exactly what you’d expect from a Buddhist priest and meditation teacher. But every now and then we all need stark reminders of the obvious which we tend to forget about. Richmond reminded me of the value of being flexible.
“I hate when people say they want to go plant based or give up meat. But won’t mind eating chicken, eggs and bacon. I need to find vegan friends.”
Anonymous Twitter user
Flexibility, honest respect for differences in opinion, and critical thinking skills all seem to be in short supply, especially in younger generations who have become willing victims of confirmation bias on social media platforms. Maybe if they spent more time reading books…
So before you label me a hypocrite I have created a new list called Things That Are OK to Have in the House and BEER IS BACK. Food and drink that get put on this list are subject to swift removal if the trend-line on the Truth Machine takes a sharp turn to the north. Yet even after a month of indiscipline the number stands at 170. Check back next month for the next exciting installment of my lifelong struggle.
Deborah Madison is not and never was a vegetarian. She wrote vegetarian cookbooks. Flexibility!
Researchers have found that eating disorder behaviors, such as binge-eating, alter the brain’s reward response process and food intake control circuitry, which can reinforce these behaviors. Understanding how eating disorder behaviors and neurobiology interact can shed light on why these disorders often become chronic and could aid in the future development of treatments. The study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, was supported by the National Institutes of Health.
Laura Wright is a vegan cookbook author and blogger based in the Niagara region of southern Ontario, Canada. Her most recent post is 25 Vegan Chickpea Recipes and can be accessed at https://thefirstmess.com/. Y’all might remember my earlier post 25 Vegan Soup Recipes – the First Mess. Again I take no credit for these recipes and Laura isn’t paying me any royalties for advancing her brand. This is merely another Giant Sticky Note that serves as a reminder to Self to try these recipes. And before I forget…
This blend of spices is literally stolen from the chefs at https://www.badmanners.com/. The last time I took a theme on a spice blend the author tracked me down and threatened something close to legal action if I didn’t give her credit and a link to her website. So this time around I’m giving credit AND three links. I’m also not going to write down any instructions for making a roasted vegetable and chickpea filling for burritos. I suggest you go to the original recipe at https://www.badmanners.com/recipes/roasted-chickpea-and-broccoli-burrito if you need detailed instructions.
My Tips, Hints, and not too Secret Secrets
A really good tortilla makes all the difference. But today I’m going to wrap this filling in a Greek style whole wheat pita for lunch. I tend to roast vegetables for at least 40 minutes with a good stir midway through to prevent sticking. You can also add more olive oil at this point too. I hope I have a lime in the fridge. The last time I made this filling The Boss used it as a topping for a Taco Salad. She liked it. I hope she was telling the truth because when you cook up a pound of dried chickpeas it is a LOT of chickpeas. One cup dried will produce between 6 and 7 cups of beans. I used about 4 cups for today’s mix. The other 3 cups went into a Sweet Potato and Chickpea Stew (no link yet, recipe is still in draft form).
I used some metal pie pans as roasting pans because I didn’t want to use the big pan which is a pain in the ass to clean because of its size. Preheat your pan(s) before roasting. I leave the mixing bowl uncleaned and use it again once the veggies are roasted and done. Let the mixture cool for a bit, toss everything back into this bowl, mix well again to capture the spices that have stuck to the bowl and then adjust your seasonings.
Previous studies looking at blood sugar after eating have focused on the way that levels rise and fall in the first two hours after a meal, known as a blood sugar peak. However, after analyzing the data, the PREDICT team noticed that some people experienced significant ‘sugar dips’ 2-4 hours after this initial peak, where their blood sugar levels fell rapidly below baseline before coming back up.
Big dippers had a 9% increase in hunger, and waited around half an hour less, on average, before their next meal than little dippers, even though they ate exactly the same meals.
Big dippers also ate 75 more calories in the 3-4 hours after breakfast and around 312 calories more over the whole day than little dippers. This kind of pattern could potentially turn into 20 pounds of weight gain over a year.
My self imposed beer ban has ended. And to avoid any feelings of guilt and shame I created a new list. My new list is Things You Can Have in the House but Only on Occasion. Last week the trip to the store started as any other trip to the store. I had a short list and planned to stick to the list. But when I was in the store I found myself mesmerized by the beer choices while standing in front of the colorful cans all calling out to me. I broke down and bought a six pack. My three month self imposed beer ban ended and immediately on the way home the rationalization began.
I promised myself I would closely monitor my weight (an empty promise since I weigh myself daily). I probably lost my taste for beer and I won’t drink any (nope). I committed to drinking just one can a day (that lasted just one day). In the end I could only justify my purchase by making up a new house rule so I could drink the one beverage that caused me to create house rules to begin with. I know I’m being too hard on myself. But that’s what people do when they know they can eat and drink themselves back up to 370 pounds. I never want to weigh that much again so I am always pretty hard on myself.
When I tell people I used to weigh 370 pounds they don’t believe me. With my sense of humor a lot of people really don’t know if I’m kidding. Well, I’m not joking. I used to weigh 370 and I never ever want to wear 44 inch waist jeans again. Beer was one of the culprits way back when and beer could easily become my Number One Nemesis again.
Then during the last week of March all hell broke loose. We left home and our normal routines for four days of bonding with Tiny Humans. That was the good part of the trip. As you may have already guessed the bad part was me being bad. I had three restaurant meals via delivery to the house.
Although some restaurants provide high-quality foods, the dietary quality for meals away from home, especially from fast-food chains, is usually lower compared with meals cooked at home. Evidence has shown that meals away from home tend to be higher in energy density, fat, and sodium, but lower in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protective nutrients such as dietary fiber and antioxidants.
A couple of beers I found in the fridge found their way into my belly. I did not weigh myself while I was gone. I ATE CHOCOLATE CAKE THREE NIGHTS IN A ROW. I might have eaten some chocolate chip cookies too. Maybe even a few pieces of chocolate here and there.
Too much sugar is unhealthy – that we know, but it’s not just down to the many calories. Even moderate amounts of added fructose and sucrose double the body’s own fat production in the liver, researchers have shown. In the long term, this contributes to the development of diabetes or a fatty liver.
I was completely out of my normal routine and beginning to believe I had lost all control. I feared the worst.
We got back home on a Thursday evening. On Friday morning I approached the bathroom scale with immense trepidation. The Truth was about to unfold and when the number came into view I had actually lost a pound since the Sunday before. I was very bad and still lost some weight. Sigh. Of. Relief.
Yesterday morning I was at the grocery store with my short list of things to buy. When I got to the beer aisle I kept walking. I reminded myself of my new list and promised myself it was OK to put beer on the Things You Can Have in the House but Only on Occasion list. Then I went to the liquor store and bought myself a bottle of Monkey Shoulder blended single malt scotch. It was my reward for surviving a multi-day period of dietary indiscretions.
The 90+ Study finds link between moderate Alcohol Consumption and Longevity
I haven’t had a beer in three months. When I go to the grocery store I typically stand in front of the refrigerated beer case for several minutes surveying the choices. The cans are colorful, designed by those whose understand the science of attraction and they are successful in making me stop and browse. The most surprising thing besides not recognizing most of the choices was the fact I still have no desire for a beer. Real world proof the less you have something the less you want it. This is probably true for most things except chocolate and pizza.
For the first time in a long time I’ve been thinking about removing beer from my Don’t Have It In the House list. The scale tells me I’m holding steady at 169-170. For years I dreamed about reversing the ravages of time believing I could disprove the long held belief that everyone puts on a pound or two every year the older you become. Well this “inevitable” weight gaining process doesn’t have to happen. You have to be disciplined about what you eat and what you have to make sacrifices if you want to avoid taking up two seats instead of one on the bus and/or diabetes, and…
“Weight change is a common symptom when people are having difficulty coping with mental health challenges. A majority of adults (61%) reported experiencing undesired weight changes since the start of the pandemic, with more than 2 in 5 (42%) saying they gained more weight than they intended. Of this group, adults reported gaining an average of 29 pounds (with a median gain of 15 pounds), and 1 in 10 (10%) said they gained more than 50 pounds. For the 18% of Americans who said they lost more weight than they wanted to, the average amount of weight lost was 26 pounds (median of 12 pounds).”
American Psychological Association Stress in America February 2021 Harris Poll
You have to make hard choices and oftentimes difficult sacrifices. Like keeping beer as Number One on the you know what list and being extremely disciplined when tempted standing in the store where temptation rears her fangs. I am not a saint nor do I plan on placing beer on a Never Eat or Drink list. I’ve merely chosen to drink a lot less of the stuff because I know this beverage puts the weight on for me.
Besides I’ve gotten a lot of expressions of shock from people who haven’t seen me in a while. I guess dropping over 20 pounds will elicit such comments. I’ve had to pull my belt in by two notches. But I really think my face lost weight because faces can and do lose weight. What you think?
The short and simple answer is no. This eating pattern worked for me until it didn’t.
For example, researchers told 51 adults with overweight or obesity to eat 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day, either as three meals or as mini-meals (with at least 100 calories each) every few hours. After six months, the grazers had lost no more weight than the three-meals-a-day eaters. And when Schoenfeld analyzed the data on weight from 15 trials that lasted two weeks to a year, “there was no difference if people ate, say, one meal or five.”