Backup Plan

Typically, I try and plan my meals for the week on Sunday.  This generally works quite well for me.  Once in a while though things go wrong.

Something with the kids comes up and you don’t have time to prepare a meal.  You leave for work and forget your carefully prepared lunch and snacks at home.  The meal you brought is stolen out of the fridge (OK, that’s one far fetched).  The meal you brought as a day or so past its best before date. etc…

For whatever reason, you have no food and now you face a situation where your plan has failed you.

What do you?

Oh might as well go to McDonald’s for a double quarter pounder and you may well super size that fry and coke.  Or perhaps some less extreme version of the same bad idea.

Have a backup  plan!

instead of throwing the day away nutritionally have a backup plan. Obtain and store at work  or home some appropriate backup food.  I like to have myoplex lite bars on hand.  Meal replacement shakes are also a good idea. It could be anything else that falls within your meal plan, like packets of instant oatmeal.

You should also have a couple of backup fast food meals in mind.  Subway is good place to get something relatively healthy, as long as you make the right choices.  As is the Japanese noodle place (whose name escapes me, there is one in Bayshore for the Ottawa folks). So scout out the websites of the some local fast food places and see what fits in your plan.

Do you have a backup plan?

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My first post is up at Losing It In Ottawa

My introductory post is up at Losing It In Ottawa.  Have a read and let me know what you think.

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A new Pal on My Fitness journey

I have been using SparkPeople to track my food and exercise.  I liked it; it was good. I ignored all the razzmatazz about points and all the extras on the website.  I liked the iPhone and iPad apps.  It was a good functional way to track.

I remember looking at MyFitnessPal a few years back. The site was great, but what ultimately turned me off it was how slow it was.  I would enter in a new food and then wait, or try and search for a new food item and wait… rinse and repeat.

My new friends at Losing It In Ottawa were using MyFitnessPal and so I thought I’d take another look.  Let me say that things have improved significantly. The website is much more responsive and they have mobile apps for iPhone, Android, and a beta BlackBerry app. It does everything SparkPeople does (that I care about) and does it as good or better.

Meal tracking is easy and the food database seems better. The MyFitnessPal website doesn’t assault the visual senses like SparkPeople does.

Both SparkPeople and MyFitnessPal are free.  I’d recommend you give both a try, but I’ll be sticking with MyFitnessPal.

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I made it to the big leagues!

I have been welcomed as one of the new bloggers on Losing It In Ottawa.  I am very excited to be joining this team.  I look forward to the community support that I will receive and the support that I will get.

I feel privileged to have been selected to join the group and a responsiblity to make the most it. I also feel the burden of representing all the men out there on their weight loss journeys.

Wish me luck and drop by on 7th to see my introductory post on Losing It In Ottawa!

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Self Sabotage

I’ve come to realize that I sabotage myself when I start to get successful at losing weight.

Here is a typical scenario, I’ve been logging my food and drinking plenty of water.  I start seeing results on the scale.  I almost immediately take my foot off the gas and start to coast a little.  I stop tracking my food. I know this will lead to bad choices, but I do it anyway.  I stop drinking as much water as I should.

Inevitably the scale lets me know I’ve gone off the rails.

It’s so frustrating.  I let myself down and that realization seems to make things worse.

Eventually, I do dust myself off and get back on the horse.  I’d be so far ahead of things if I didn’t do this to myself.

The questions is Why?  Why am I afraid of success, or am I just creating excuses for myself?

Do you self sabotage?

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If you are not peeing clear…

… then you are not drinking enough water.

Water is a very important part of a healthy lifestyle.  It ‘greases’ almost all of your bodily functions. Without water you wouldn’t make it more than week or so.

The role of water in weight loss is well documented. It helps with appetite suppression, it helps flush toxins from your system, it makes your skin look and feel better, the benefits are endless.

Yes, there is such a thing as too much water. 8 glasses a day should be enough and you could easily drink double for a normal person without any issues.  If you have kidney issues though you may want to double check with your doctor.

Also remember that when you are working out intensely in hot weather your water requirements go up.

If your pee is yellow you are not getting enough water.

How much do you drink?

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When to eat?

When do you eat? The old standard is ‘three squares per day’, meaning breakfast lunch and dinner from the four food groups.

Today, most advocate eating several small meals per day, usually 5 or 6. I was first introduced to this concept when I read Body-for-Life. The basic idea is to get your metabolism going and keep it going throughout the day.

The meals should be small and balanced. Each meal should be between 250 and 400 calories.  I’ve been told that no meal should be more than 600 calories, even on  a cheat day. As your body will have trouble dealing with more than that and will end up storing the excess as fat. Any opinions on this statement out there?

There are different ways of getting 5-6 small balanced meals in. Body-for-Life advocates taking the complication out of it, by advising the palm size method.  Your protein serving, be it chicken, beef, pork, etc…, should be no larger than your palm.

When you first start eating this way, you might think that you can’t survive on that amount of food. The real problem you’ll soon find is that it’s a challenge to actually eat that often. Having the food ready to go is difficult and actually finding the time in your typical day is difficult.  It’s easy to get caught up in your daily routine and not be able to find the time to eat.

As a solution to some of these problem, different programs will often recommend meal replacement shakes or bars. They have the proper calorie and nutrition makeup, while being very easy to prepare and eat in almost any situation.

The real solution, though, is planning.  As the saying goes, ‘if you don’t plan, you plan to fail’. Plan your meals for the week, buy your groceries to fit this plan, and prepare your meals in advance, or at least know when you will be preparing the various meals. If you simply believe that you’ll have a stir fry for lunch on Tuesday and you end up at work without access to a stove you won’t have much success.

So, when do you eat?

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