Random Thoughts at Christmas – 2020

Sunday 12/20

Random Thoughts

Thanksgiving is now three weeks ago. The scale read 175.4 two weeks ago and as always I reminded myself never get too high, never get too low. In a past life I would gain five pounds in a weekend just doing weekend stuff followed by an agonizing week or two to lose the pounds I found. I have a funny habit that if I believe a particular strategy works I try to do more of what works and less of what doesn’t work. The strange thing is what works doesn’t always work again which is frustrating as hell.

The Digital Devil surprised me this morning at 173.8 and I always have to remind myself to never get too high, never get too low. Honestly I shouldn’t be surprised. I can’t remember the last time I had a beer (I majored in beer at college). When did I make chili? One week ago Sunday according my recent Pandemic Pantry One Bean Chili post. Part of my Pandemic Life is to be kind to old people. At my age it’s not easy finding people older than me to be kind to but our friend across the street qualifies at the spry age of 80. So last week I traded a healthy portion of chili and some homemade Texas Corn Bread with the spry one in exchange for two beers. A fair trade no doubt and I drank one that night and the second the following night. So the last time I had a beer was nearly a week ago Monday. This is not rocket science. If you’re not sucking down 300 extra liquid calories a night your weight should come down.

All of this is intentional since I believe this calorie restriction strategy is working. The last time I bought beer was well over a week ago. I’ve added beer to my Don’t Have It in the House List along with potato chips, ice cream and M&M’s. If it’s not in the house you can’t eat or drink it. So not buying beer translates into less beer consumed. You don’t have to go crazy restrictive with your own not in my house list. Allow some relaxation of self-imposed austerity. For example, pizza is not on this list. Pizza is a food group and absolutely essential for good health and a long life. Additionally my total alcohol consumption pattern is different. Single malt scotch or bourbon on ice, single shot, not every night.

Losing weight is hard. Keeping the weight off is harder.

That’s it. Do the hard things you know you need to do. Speaking of hard things time to continue pecking away at the keyboard on my book.

Random Thoughts One Week After Thanksgiving 2020

Thurs 12/3

Thanksgiving is now one week in the past and the time has come to see if I’ve managed to take off what I put on for the holiday. The digital truth teller read 175.4 and again I remind myself never get too high, never get too low. The downward trend in happy numbers began in pre-pandemic February. Unfortunately the reason why I lost five pounds was a GI bug. Back then I wrote the following in my journal (lightly edited for the blog to remove the F-bombs):

Tues 2/25

I was hit with viral gastroenteritis. It’s been quite a few years since I’ve had a bout of stomach flu and I forgot how unpleasant this can be. Last night I pushed down some baked potato despite a lack of appetite. I was in bed at 7:30 pm fading in and out of alertness. I was up numerous times during the night either drinking water or peeing. The first time I got up the chills were so bad I thought I might have the full blown flu. This morning I feel washed out and headachy so I took some ibuprofen. The headache is gone. The washed out feeling is improving. Despite advice to the contrary I had three mugs of coffee. Nothing worse than recovering from a stomach bug with no caffeine. I managed to eat a piece of toast but I’m still not hungry. At the The Boss’s suggestion I took a sick day. I feel good enough to work but decided not to push it. I will be home most of the day recuperating.


What happened in February could have been Covid but I’ll never know without taking an antibody test. I began the year at 192 and the downward trend was ignited by a nasty stomach bug. You hear so much nowadays about people putting on weight from the pandemic. Too bad my book won’t be finished anytime soon to help the people struggling with weight gain. I’ll keep pecking away at the keyboard. Promise.

For a hint on how to take off or maintain your weight check out The 90% Solution.

Now I can’t believe I’ve been pecking at the keyboard for over three years and pretty much gotten nowhere on the book.

Eat More Dried Fruit

The researchers found that people who ate dried fruit were generally healthier than those who did not, and on days when people ate dried fruit they consumed greater amounts of some key nutrients than on days when they skipped. However, they also found that people consumed more total calories on days when they ate dried fruit.

Previous research has found that poor diet contributes to nearly half of deaths from cardiovascular disease in the U.S., with a lack of fruit being a major factor. According to the researchers, fruits provide an abundance of nutrients, including fiber, potassium and several heart-healthy bioactives.

Penn State. “Eating dried fruit may be linked with better diet quality and health markers.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/11/201124150849.htm (accessed November 30, 2020).

Journal Reference:

Valerie K. Sullivan, Muzi Na, David N. Proctor, Penny M. Kris-Etherton, Kristina S. Petersen. Consumption of Dried Fruits Is Associated with Greater Intakes of Underconsumed Nutrients, Higher Total Energy Intakes, and Better Diet Quality in US Adults: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2007-2016.. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2020; DOI: 10.1016/j.jand.2020.08.085

More Random Thoughts on Sunday After Thanksgiving 2020

Sunday 11/29

Never get too high, never get too low. Trust the Process which has been developed and refined for nearly 45 years of weight loss followed by weight gain followed again with weight loss… The Truth Machine today displayed 177 and I am both pleased and relieved. I survived another Thanksgiving feast! Reading this you might think I’m compulsive about my weight. Guilty as charged. You get kind of obsessed with your weight when you never want to be 370 pounds again, ever. I am 70 inches tall. In high school I was the shortest (and heaviest) power forward on the hardwood. I had a decent shot but was better at rebounding because I took up so much space. I was also Captain of the tennis team but that’s a whole other story.

The roller coaster of shifting weights has been the story of my life. A constant struggle. A battle between the food within reach and my brain, one saying yes, the other saying well, here we go again. Part of the problem of losing a lot of weight is complacency. Knowing what works and what to do is not the same thing as doing that thing. I got lazy and allowed myself to balloon back up to 200-205. The Truth Machine had lost its policing effect. My brain started rationalizing, hey it’s a hell of a lot better than 370! Besides most people gain weight as they age…

I’m old enough now to remember what life was like before unsocial media. One (of the many) things I dislike about unsocial media are those dumb ass reminders in your online photo collections: One Year Ago Today…Two Years Ago This Week, etc. Well, at Thanksgiving this year for me, this unsocial media feature got a bit less unsavory.

“I saw a Memory on my photo timeline the other day. We were on the beach in Rhode Island and you looked heavier than you do now.”

“You mean fatter.”

“Not fatter, just heavier. You look really good now.”

And this ends the story of the best Thanksgiving ever observing Covid-19 pandemic guidelines while preparing turkey in a way you’ve never done before. Random Thoughts the Day After Thanksgiving 2020. The turkey turned out great and I got validation my weight loss efforts were working (again). The Mojo is back. I’ll be working on my book for a few hours today.

The Apology Post – 11.01.20

Before we go any further I am guilty as charged. I’m spending a lot of time with https://lifeunderwriter.net/ and even more time at my Day Job so the posts here have been somewhat sparse. I promise to be better. A lot of time has also been devoted to my Pandemic Weight Loss Program. I started the year at 192 pounds. This morning the scale was 176.2 pounds. A lot of folks have been on the Pandemic Weight Gain Plan. And for faithful readers who want to know more about my weight plan you’ll just have to buy the book (if and when I ever finish writing it). But for now, here’s the latest I’ve stumbled upon in the plant based diet craze.

CONCLUSIONS: Young adults who increased plant-centered diet quality had a lower diabetes risk and gained less weight by middle adulthood.

A Shift Toward a Plant-Centered Diet From Young to Middle Adulthood and Subsequent Risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Weight Gain: The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study — Diabetes Care 2020 Nov; 43(11): 2796-2803. https://doi.org/10.2337/dc20-1005

Small study (n=206) but still interesting.

CONCLUSIONS: Replacement of red and processed meat with cheese, yogurt, nuts, or cereals was associated with a lower rate of type 2 diabetes. Substituting red and processed meat by other protein sources may contribute to the prevention of incident type 2 diabetes in European populations.

Replacement of Red and Processed Meat With Other Food Sources of Protein and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in European Populations: The EPIC-InterAct Study — https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/43/11/2660?rss=1

Another interesting study but with serious limitations as the authors themselves point out:

A limitation of the current study is that the food substitutions were inferred based on a statistical model that compared individuals with different average intakes while no one actively changed their diet.

Well, I’ve actively changed my diet the past several months. I know increased exercise did not contribute to my weight loss (I have some physical limitations and actually cancelled my gym membership due to the virus). Hopefully I’ll find the time to review and document the changes that generated the loss.

I am not a Vegan

“Are you a vegan?”

No.

“Are you a vegetarian?”

No.  I just don’t eat as much animal proteins as I used to.

“So where do you get your protein from?”

Plant-Based-Sources-of-Protein

Plant-Based Protein Chart

Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license. This means you are free to use my work for personal use (e.g., save the file to your computer or share via social media) as long as you do not modify the image or use the image for commercial purposes ($).

Original posting is from Dana McDonald RD LD aka the Rebel Dietician.

Match a Weight Loss Diet to YOUR DNA (psst… doesn’t work)

“There was no significant difference in weight change among participants matched vs mismatched to their diet assignment,” the researchers wrote. There was also no DNA/diet interaction for waist circumference, body mass index, or body fat percentage.

“I had this whole rationale for why these three [DNA variants] would have an effect,” said Stanford’s Christopher Gardner, co-author of the $8 million study. He previously led a smaller study, in 2010, finding that overweight women whose genotype matched their diet lost 13 pounds in a year while those who were mismatched lost just over 4 pounds. “But let’s cut to the chase: We didn’t replicate that study, we didn’t even come close. This didn’t work.”

The source article can be found here.

Beware of companies selling you stuff based on junk science. 

How to Eat to Lose Weight

It’s important to provide information on the healthfulness of food choices, rather than to simply recommend decreasing portion sizes.

There is a link to the study abstract in the source article here.

Small number of subjects but a crossover design RCT.

English Translation:

Portion sizes and food choices matter.

(so if you go out for Tex Mex eat half the number of tortillas you usually eat and take home half of what’s on your plate for another meal).