Tag Archives: dieting

Sweet success

Mark Haub, I want to shake your hand.

Or perhaps you’d prefer a snack cake.

Thanks to the research you conducted at Kansas State University — Go Wildcats — there is now empirical evidence that weight loss depends on the calories going in…and not the nutritional value of the food.

Haub, a human nutrition professor, put himself on the ‘convenience store diet’ as part of a class project, restricting himself to 1800 calories a day comprised of Twinkies, Nutty Bars, Oreos, and even Doritos.

Haub shed 27 pounds in two months, and his other health factors improved as well.  Lower triglycerides.  Lower bad cholesterol.  Higher good cholesterol.

He did take a multivitamin and drink a protein shake each day, and tried to eat a vegetable serving as well — usually something green.  But at least two-thirds of his daily diet came from snack foods.

In the CNN article, Haub sounds a little conflicted by his success.   Personally, I feel vindicated.   Although my diet is not as junkie as his study, I have never eaten as healthy as experts recommend, and have gotten my share of flack about it over the years.

Now, when I reach for Froot Loops as a snack, I’ve got scientific proof —

It’s diet food, people.

Name calling

Have you ever heard of Gourmand Syndrome?

It occurs when a certain section of the brain’s right hemisphere is damaged.  Patients become obsessed with food…specifically ‘fine dining’ choices.

For example, a snowboarder recently sustained brain damage in a near-fatal accident and awoke from a coma experiencing intense cravings for basil pesto, a food he had no particular feelings for prior to the fall.

I’m fascinated by this disease…because I think I have its polar opposite.

You see, I experienced a hard blow to the head at an early age.  It wasn’t coma-worthy — just involved some stitches and a scar to the forehead.  But I think it may have made me obsessed with the ‘non-fine dining’ choices on menus.

Goodness knows that’s the type of food I crave to this day.  And if I can blame a whack on the head and call it Junk Food Syndrome — instead of a lack of self-control —

Sign me up.

Up all night

I was a bit under the weather Friday and slept about 30 minutes the entire night. It was agony.

How do people who suffer from chronic insomnia deal?

I was doing a bit of reading on the subject online and discovered The Insomnia Blog by Dr. Michael Breus, a clinical psychologist and self-proclaimed “Sleep Doctor.”

Dr. Breus has a formula that he says will help you get all the sleep you need; wake up before the alarm goes off; and keep you from gaining the weight that can sometimes go along with insomnia.

This guy must be rich.

Here’s what he recommends:

  1. Figure out your typical wake up time
  2. Count back 7.5 hours
  3. Set an alarm to tell you when to go to bed  (and go!)
  4. If you wake up 10 minutes before your morning alarm for three days, you have found your perfect bedtime.
  5. If you still need your morning alarm to wake up, then move your bedtime back by 15 minutes until you wake up just before your morning alarm.

After reading this, I realize why I don’t usually have insomnia.

  • I usually get about 7-8 hours sleep.
  • Rory Dog is the ‘alarm’ that tells me to go to bed.
  • I wake up each morning before my morning alarm goes off (Rory Dog again).

I’m cured.

Wake-up call

A Pop-Tart and a multivitamin.

That was my breakfast every morning before elementary,  junior high and high school.  It was the compromise I reached with my mom because I really didn’t like to eat first thing in the morning.

I still don’t.  My stomach doesn’t wake up until lunch.

My current compromise?  A lactose-free chocolate protein drink — which I actually kinda like — because I still  feel like I should eat something.  (I respond well to guilt.)

Well,  look out — the breakfast tables have turned!  A recent study by researchers in Germany has revealed that eating the morning meal has no impact on the rest of your day except to add to the total number of calories consumed.

You heard me.   Breakfast isn’t the ‘most important meal of the day’ like we’ve always been taught, especially if you are trying to watch your weight.  When folks skipped breakfast in the study, their caloric intake for the remaining meals was unchanged.

So, if avoiding the morning meal currently works for you?

“Keep doing what you’re doing,” the researchers advise. And in this case, doing nothing is just dandy.

Take that, guilt.

Color crime

If you have a few extra pounds on your person, don’t blame yourself.

Blame Benjamin Moore.

A study published in a recent issue of Contract magazine reveals that people who eat in kitchens and dining areas painted red, orange and yellow feel hungrier.  The sunnier hues apparently make food more attractive.

To eat less, we need to surround ourselves with blue light and blue tones…or, at the very least, use blue utensils and dishes to help curb our hunger.

Now they tell me!

My entire house  is a tribute to the colors red, yellow and orange.  They’re even in my bathroom.  I have always loved their energy and fire, but now I guess — deep down – I was really just looking for another excuse to eat.

This revelation has its advantages.  Now, if I gain a pound or two, it’s not my fault; it’s the yellow paint in my kitchen.  And all those red dishes.  Or maybe the orange FLOR tiles in the living room.  Heck, I even have a red leather love seat.

I’m the victim here!