Monday, April 30, 2012

Guest Post - 1 Meal 1 Workout

Today I'm welcoming Aaron from over at 1 Meal 1 Workout.

This is Aaron before.....

And this is Aaron after........



Aaron has been visiting my blog and I invited him over here to share his amazing story and answer some questions about his journey.  I think you'll be inspired!

What was your motivation to start a diet and stay on it this time?
Really 3 things came together to motivate me. I was 41 years old and in horrible shape. I was bumping 400 lbs, I was tired all the time, and just generally felt bad. My son's 4th birthday was coming up, and I knew that he was approaching the age where he would start playing sports. I had always dreamed of one day coaching his Little League team, but knew that the reality was that I wouldn't be able to in my current condition. On top of that, my employee physical showed that I was diabetic and had high blood pressure.
Lastly, my sister had passed away from lung cancer the previous December, and one thing kept going through my mind. My sister's health had been stolen by disease, and the ONLY thing that was really wrong with me was that I was fat and lazy. I decided that it was time to make a change and take my life back.

What do you do on the days when you really want to eat junk food?
Honestly? On those days I usually eat some junk food. I don't have an "official" cheat day. My basic philosophy is that I try to make the best choices I can at each meal, just taking it one meal at a time. If I really want a hot dog, I eat one. But there's difference. In the "old days", I would have eaten three or four!

Whats your favorite form of exercise or activity now?
Walking, running, and hiking! I run/walk (or rualk, as I call it) 3 times a week. As a family we try to hike any weekend that we can. I also do some push-ups and (assisted) chin-ups. One of my goals for the year is to be able to do 25 GOOD push-ups, and 1 good chin-up. I've never been able to do a chin-up in my entire life.

Do you use "diet" meals like Jenny Craig or "Weight Watchers" or have you changed your cooking methods to healthy alternatives?
My approach to food was pretty simple. I quit drinking sweet drinks. No more Dr. Pepper or sweet tea. We opted for whole wheat pasta instead of regular whenever possible, and just cut back on breads and simple starches in general. Another big thing I did was a simple rule of "no seconds". I had always been a "if seconds are good, then thirds and fourths must be even better" sort of guy. By cutting out the seconds, I created a clear boundary for myself, while at the same time didn't overly restrict myself as to the types of food I was eating.

How do you stay motivated?
A couple of ways.  I wear the same belt today that I was wearing when I started two years ago.  I've added about thirteen notches to it. Every morning when I put it on it reminds me of how far I've come, and where I started. Another thing that I did early on was to consciously make a paradigm shift in regards to exercise. Most of us, when we get up in the morning to go to work, if we're tired, maybe don't feel just right, we STILL go to work.  Why? It's our job. It's how we support ourselves and take care of our family. I decided that I was going to put exercise on the same level mentally as my job. If it's time to exercise and I'm a little tired, I still exercise. Why? It's how I take care of myself and my family. I don't give myself the option to just not do it.

What's the one food you still crave the most and what do you do when you crave it?
I'm a cheeseburger guy. Always have been. I still eat them, just not in the quantity that I used to. My standard McDonald's meal before was a double-quarter-pounder, large fries, and large Dr. Pepper. Now, if we end up at McDonald's (which we do, since my son is five), I get the small cheeseburger, small fries, and some kind of zero calorie drink. It's about 1/3 the calories of my "old" meal.

What do you do when you fall off the wagon for a few days?  (if you do)
The other day I was joking that had fallen off the wagon, been drug by it for a couple of miles, then the driver backed up to see what the noise was, ran over me, saw it was just me and took off, running over me a third time. We all have some days that are better than others. I've distilled my entire philosphy down to this:  "1 Meal - 1 Workout". What that means to me is that I approach every meal individually and try to eat the best that I can at that meal. Likewise, I approach every workout as an opportunity to be healthier. If I blow it at a meal, then I jump right back on it on the next meal. If I miss a workout, I don't use that as an excuse to miss the next one. Basically what this approach has done for me is take away the excuses and the reasons to procrastinate. The old "well, I blew it Friday night, so I'll just get started again on Monday." I did that for years, and Monday became next month, which became next year, etc., etc.

Talk a little about your podcasts.
So after coming up with this "1 Meal - 1 Workout" philosophy, I was really interested in trying to help other people. I wanted to see if what I had learned during my own journey would be transferable. I started blogging about it (something I had really done since the beginning), then I added the podcast in attempt to reach more people. My goal each week is to entertain, encourage, and educate. Mark and Don, my co-hosts, and I, interview experts in the field of health and fitness, talk about our own struggles and triumphs, and basically try to be another tool in the toolbelt of someone attempting to take control of their life and be healthier.

Are you still trying to lose weight or are you at the weight you want to be?

Right now I'm down 150 lbs or so, and I could probably stand to lose another 20 - 30 lbs. I was injured last fall and just recently have become healthy enough to be able to get out there and exercise like I want. I expect to burn that last bit off in the next three to six months. My real goal this entire time has been to be healthy, and I am.  My blood sugar is good, my blood pressure is good, and I feel great. I can run three miles at a decent clip and have the energy to go and do everything that I want.

Thank you Aaron for sharing a fun (love the 13 notches in the belt!) and inspiring true story.  It's heartwarming to me when I see people like you who have struggled with, and then overcome, their weight issues.    My mom always says that if my story can help just one person a day, I will have reached 365 people in one year.  It adds up!

Aaron will be featuring me on a podcast sometime in June.  I'll keep everyone posted on that so you can tune in and hear what we have to say.  It's sure to be exciting!  In the meantime, head over to Aaron's blog,
 1 Meal 1 Workout, for more diet and nutrition tips, plus a full line of podcasts that feature dietitians, nutrition experts, coaches and loads of good information!





Tony isn't a licensed nutritionist yet, so he can't give anyone advice on what  to do.  Please consult your doctor for his professional opinion on a diet/nutrition program that will work for you.

Tony's blog is a journal of his experiences and what has worked for him.   He lists general guidelines and suggestions only.  He is NOT a professional.
 
 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Q & A - Inspiration


It's really neat to get letters from readers telling me the positive impact I've been able to provide for them.  After all, that's the main reason I began this blog in the first place.  Below is a Question and note I recently received:

Question:  

I'm really inspired by your weight loss story, and it's just weird, but I'm starting to lose weight at the same time and same starting weight as you. My biggest ever was 215 pounds, and now, I'm just a little below 200 pounds. 

I'm really astounded at how you were able to do it. I hope you could help me answer some of these questions.
  1. What was your motivation to do this?
  2. What was your height when you started and when you ended? Did you gain height while losing weight? 
You're really an inspiration for me. I hope you could reply soon. 

You don't know how much this means to me. 

Answer:

First off, congratulations on the weight loss-  thats great! After seeing positive results it only gets easier and easier so the hardest part is over.

to answer your questions

1) My motivation was to just be happier in life.  As you probably know, being overweight is a very sad thing for some people and can lead to having alot of bad feelings.  Eventually I was tired of being unhappy and decided to change the way I looked in order to make my life better.

2) when I started I was 5'7 and I'm still 5'7 so I did not get taller while losing the weight.
Keep up the great work my friend.  You can acheive any body you want as long as you want it.

I love hearing from people!  Please feel free to email me with questions, or to just let me know how you're progressing on your diet and exercise program.  I try to answer as soon as possible.  With my school schedule it sometimes takes me a little longer to respond than I like, but I will answer questions thru the Q & A as soon as I can.  I've found that many people have the same thoughts and concerns, so if you ask a question, chances are, other people want to know the same thing.  Thanks!

Tony isn't a licensed nutritionist yet, so he can't give anyone advice on what  to do.  Please consult your doctor for his professional opinion on a diet/nutrition program that will work for you.

Tony's blog is a journal of his experiences and what has worked for him.   He lists general guidelines and suggestions only.  He is NOT a professional.
 
 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Best foods to eat for weight loss

Oatmeal- Why? 






1. High fiber and whole grain this food will keep you fuller for longer.

2. Low glycemic therefore your blood sugar stays at a more constant level giving you more energy throughout the day and reduces sugar cravings.

3. It absorbs the favor of what you put in it- throw in a tablespoon of natural peanut butter and it tastes like a whole bowl of peanut butter.

4. Low in calories for a large amount. If you take one cup of oatmeal and add 2 cups of water and cook it that is well over 1lb of food for 300 calories!

Chicken- Why? 







1. Boneless and skinless chicken breast is very low in calories.

2. Chicken is almost entirely protein which has a high satiety rate to keep you full.

 Apples- Why? 





 1. They have a very high satiety rate because of their high water and fiber content.

2. The sweetness of apples comes from fructose ( as well as other sugars ) which digests slower to give you more energy for longer periods of time

Beans- Why? 





 1. Beans like kidney beans are very high in fiber and protein which keeps you full.

2. They are very versatile and can be used with many foods.

Green vegetables- Why? 





1. Very high in fiber and very limited calories. Foods like celery and broccoli are great for staying full.

2. Celery is great for a snack with a table spoon of natural peanut butter. This gives you healthy fats and a lot of fiber.

Nuts- Why? 







1. Nuts are high in fiber which is great for keeping you full.

2. The healthy fats in nuts are also great for satiety.

One thing that I want to emphasize is portion control of anything you eat, especially nuts. Just because a certain food is very healthy doesn’t mean it can't also make you gain weight. The comparison I like to make to people is that I can eat 3000 calories worth of fruit a day and gain weight where if I ate 2000 calories worth of cake I wouldn’t (assuming my maintenance is between 2000-2900.)   Although the fruit is obviously healthier and will benefit your body far more than the cakes' empty calories, you will still gain more weight from the fruit because you are eating more calories than you are burning. So be careful with foods high in fat like nuts and peanut butter because they are high in calories but very healthy. I always like to advocate setting a portion to eat when it comes to these foods.


Tony isn't a licensed nutritionist yet, so he can't give anyone advice on what  to do.  Please consult your doctor for his professional opinion on a diet/nutrition program that will work for you.

Tony's blog is a journal of his experiences and what has worked for him.   He lists general guidelines and suggestions only.  He is NOT a professional.

Monday, April 16, 2012

How to eat healthy when you are busy

One of the biggest reasons or excuses people give for eating unhealthy is that they have no choice because they don’t have the time to cook. As a result many people end up getting fast food, ordering in, or going out to eat. Unfortunately these are usually not the healthiest options available. 






 Now, it is true that cooking and food preperation can be time consuming but there are a few ways to save yourself a few hours a week!

This is what I do- if I am busy I will set aside 1-2 hours 1-2 times a week to cook food in bulk. I'll pick up 5lbs of chicken, some ground beef or steak, some rice or pasta, and some steamable veggies. 










 I cook all my meat on a George Forman grill and put the rice or pasta on the stove.  I love my George Forman grill.  It works great.  Hey George, give me a call!!!



Once it's all done I have food for lunch and dinner for the next 2-4 days. Now I know that not everyone is going to want to eat the exact same thing day in and day out. So this is what you do. Make a menu of quick meals you can make and make them day by day. By this I mean for lunch if you want a sandwich you can use the premade chicken and put it on some whole wheat bread, throw some veggies in the microwave and you have a healthy 5 minute meal. ( this also works with tortillas). 






Now for dinner you can have the chicken or steak with the rice or pasta but add some sauce to the pasta or some fat free cheese. The main idea behind this is to use the premade steak, chicken, ground beef, pasta, rice, and veggies as a base then add things to it in order to not get bored or sick of what you are eating. 


Don’t forget to wash it all down with a diet beverage of your choosing.


See, it's easier than you think!

Tony isn't a licensed nutritionist yet, so he can't give anyone advice on what  to do.  Please consult your doctor for his professional opinion on a diet/nutrition program that will work for you.

Tony's blog is a journal of his experiences and what has worked for him.   He lists general guidelines and suggestions only.  He is NOT a professional.




Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Slimming Foods - Recap

I hope you enjoyed my week long series on Slimming Foods.  To recap, the list is as follows:

Oatmeal

Apples


Tomatoes

Hot Peppers

Pears

Cauliflower


Fish

Grapefruit

Actually, that's 8 days worth of winning foods.  I hope you take the time to incorporate each of these items into your food schedule.  Enjoy!
Tony isn't a licensed nutritionist yet, so he can't give anyone advice on what  to do.  Please consult your doctor for his professional opinion on a diet/nutrition program that will work for you.

Tony's blog is a journal of his experiences and what has worked for him.   He lists general guidelines and suggestions only.  He is NOT a professional.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Slimming Foods - Grapefruit


Our final slimming food of the week is grapefruit.  Grapefruit has long been touted as an aid in weight loss.  Eat half a grapefruit per day or try drinking 3 servings of grapefruit juice per day.

If you're eating half a grapefruit and it's a little too tart for you, you can sprinkle a little artificial sweetner on it, or a bit of honey.  Some people even like chunks of fresh grapefruit on their salad.

Tony isn't a licensed nutritionist yet, so he can't give anyone advice on what  to do.  Please consult your doctor for his professional opinion on a diet/nutrition program that will work for you.

Tony's blog is a journal of his experiences and what has worked for him.   He lists general guidelines and suggestions only.  He is NOT a professional.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Slimming Foods - Fish


A lof of people don't care for fish.  If you're one of them, I encourage you to give it another try.  Properly cooked fish don't taste, well, fishy.  Steamed white fish is one of the highest ranked, filling foods out there and it's packed with protein.

Don't want to steam it?  No problem....  Grill it or place it in your broiler for a few minutes on each side.  Sprinkle with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic salt and a squirt of lemon juice.

Especially good for you is fish for lunch, with a salad or fresh veggies.  Go ahead, give fish a try!

Tony isn't a licensed nutritionist yet, so he can't give anyone advice on what  to do.  Please consult your doctor for his professional opinion on a diet/nutrition program that will work for you.

Tony's blog is a journal of his experiences and what has worked for him.   He lists general guidelines and suggestions only.  He is NOT a professional.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Slimming Foods - Cauliflower


Did you know that cauliflower is one of those foods that you can eat in unlimited amounts?  Plus it's loaded with  vitamin C.

Eat it raw, add it to salads, or cook it.  You can either steam it or boil the flowerettes until fork soft.  Some people like to mash it like mashed potatoes with a little butter and parmesean cheese.  My mom's favorite cauliflower recipe is to boil it, drain it, add a little olive oil, garlic salt and breadcrumbs.

Tony isn't a licensed nutritionist yet, so he can't give anyone advice on what  to do.  Please consult your doctor for his professional opinion on a diet/nutrition program that will work for you.

Tony's blog is a journal of his experiences and what has worked for him.   He lists general guidelines and suggestions only.  He is NOT a professional.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Slimming Foods - Pears


Pears are another good choice to add to your daily fruit intake.  Pears have high levels of pectin, which helps to promote weight loss.  And who doesn't like that?

Eat them raw, along with a slice of cheese if you like.  Chop them up and add them to your salad too.  Feel free to poach them and sprinkle them with a little cinnamon or nutmeg for a sweet dessert.

Tony isn't a licensed nutritionist yet, so he can't give anyone advice on what  to do.  Please consult your doctor for his professional opinion on a diet/nutrition program that will work for you.

Tony's blog is a journal of his experiences and what has worked for him.   He lists general guidelines and suggestions only.  He is NOT a professional.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Slimming Foods - Chili Peppers



If you can tolerate hot peppers, then today's tip is for you!  Spicy chili's contain an antioxident called capsaicin.  Studies show that calorie burn in the hours following a meal containing capsaicin are nearly doubled.

So if you enjoy hot peppers, add them to salads, eggs, meat dishes and fresh salsas.

Tony isn't a licensed nutritionist yet, so he can't give anyone advice on what  to do.  Please consult your doctor for his professional opinion on a diet/nutrition program that will work for you.

Tony's blog is a journal of his experiences and what has worked for him.   He lists general guidelines and suggestions only.  He is NOT a professional.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Slimming Foods - Tomatoes


Today we are featuring the tomato!  Tomatoes are heavy with water and fiber, so they will help to fill you up.  Eat them alone or chop up on your salad.  But don't sprinkle them with a heavy dose of salt!

Did you know that tomatoes increase in nutritional power when you cook them?  So go ahead and make a sauce, cook them, or make soup.  Ummmmmm......  good!

Tony isn't a licensed nutritionist yet, so he can't give anyone advice on what  to do.  Please consult your doctor for his professional opinion on a diet/nutrition program that will work for you.

Tony's blog is a journal of his experiences and what has worked for him.   He lists general guidelines and suggestions only.  He is NOT a professional.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Slimming Foods - Apples


Apples are a fast and easy snack, plus they're really good for you.  They have a high water content as well as having plenty of fiber which helps prevent blood sugar spikes and they help you to fill up.   Plus, they are super easy to carry around.

Be sure to wash them well and eat the peel too.  It's loaded with iron, magnesium, fiber and vitamin C.

You can't go wrong with an apple.  Slice it up and toss it in your salad or eat it as a snack mid-morning or in the afternoon.

Tony isn't a licensed nutritionist yet, so he can't give anyone advice on what  to do.  Please consult your doctor for his professional opinion on a diet/nutrition program that will work for you.

Tony's blog is a journal of his experiences and what has worked for him.   He lists general guidelines and suggestions only.  He is NOT a professional.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Slimming Foods - Oatmeal


My first slimming food for the week is oatmeal.  Now before you start groaning, listen to this.....

To begin, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  One thing you should never do is skip breakfast.  Oatmeal is loaded with fiber, is an excellent source of protein and will help you stay full for longer.

Don't like it plain?  Try adding fresh fruit, cinnamon, nutmeg, artificial sweetener, a tablespoon of natural peanut butter, or a tablespoon of honey to your oatmeal.  Try eating a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast for one week and take note of how you feel.  I find that I feel less hungry by the time mid-morning rolls around.

Extra bonus?  It helps to lower cholesterol!

Tony isn't a licensed nutritionist yet, so he can't give anyone advice on what  to do.  Please consult your doctor for his professional opinion on a diet/nutrition program that will work for you.

Tony's blog is a journal of his experiences and what has worked for him.   He lists general guidelines and suggestions only.  He is NOT a professional.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Weeks Worth of Slimming Foods


Starting tomorrow, we're going to run a "weeks worth of slimming foods."  Each day we'll feature a different food item that is proven to help shrink your appetite, aid in dropping pounds or helps to shrink your appetite.   Want to know what they are?  Of course you do.  See you tomorrow!

Tony isn't a licensed nutritionist yet, so he can't give anyone advice on what  to do.  Please consult your doctor for his professional opinion on a diet/nutrition program that will work for you.

Tony's blog is a journal of his experiences and what has worked for him.   He lists general guidelines and suggestions only.  He is NOT a professional.