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The main idea is to eat mostly vegetables. Literally.
Meal composition should favour fibrous and watery food, like (hearty) soup, stew, salad, and stir-fry. These are high volume but low-caloric-density foods.
Good weight maintenance doesn't come from just the diet & exercise pair, but from the diet, exercise & active hunger management triplet.
As of May 2012, this website has been getting around 1000 visits per month. Wow! I'm very pleased to be sharing with so many of you!!
Listen to your body within the following framework:
The personal balancing of these factors influences appetite, weight, and health.
posted December 28, 2012
I've found that applying the concepts of the Volumetrics diet really helps. Watery or fibrous foods (at all, or almost all meals) reliably prevent ravenous hunger by allowing volume. Think soups, stews, salads and stir-fries. I also eat a lot of pressure-cooked vegetables.
General note: the vegetable diet works reliably (for me at least). I've lost 25 pounds 3 times in the past four years (but put them back on after getting distracted). But sustainability is an issue. I'll report back if the volumetrics concept gets me past the 6 month and below the 200 pound mark.
posted February 15, 2013
Just a note: I'm finding, surprisingly, that there are benefits to being (slightly) hungry. Slightly better alertness, assertiveness, and energy. Who knew?
posted February 28, 2013
214.6 lbs this morning, down about 25 lbs from when I started in November. Going well. It's occurred to me that I haven't had a ravenous hunger attack in a while. I wonder if that's related to my weight (BMI) being under obese level now.
posted March 23, 2013
209.2 lbs this morning. Weight loss a bit slow for the past month, probably owing to some disruption from getting into a new work environment. I clearly find that if I neglect my vegetable processing (large salads, and lots of steamed vegetables), I start to get a bit uncomfortable. Give me a day back on the diet, and I totally relax.
posted March 31, 2013
I've now firmly come to the conclusion that active hunger management is equally important to diet & exercise for good health. A little hunger keeps you alert and active (like the hunter/gatherers we are by nature). Too much hunger leads to over-indulgence. The vegetable diet seems to provide the tools to maintain the right balance.
posted March 31, 2013
I watched Eat, Fast and Live Longer with Michael Mosley. Quite an eye opener. He indicated that excess of protein leads to over-active cell replication, which leads to problems, whereas the right amount leads to a shift towards cell repair. Fasting (multi-day, alternate-day calorie restriction - 600 cal for men, or even 5-2 involving 2 days of calorie restriction) promotes good health markers (ldl, tridlyercides, fasting glucose, blood pressure, ifg1) and cell repair. I'll have to re-evaluate the "for the rest favour protein" statement. His show also indicated that aiming for the bottom end of normal weight range, and 1900 cal/day for adult males (what I eat anyway when I'm losing weight) is best for overall health and longevity. So mostly, the vegetable diet seems compatible with good health. Just don't exceed daily requirements for protein (one chicken leg is a little less than half daily requirements), and get your IGF1 (insulin-like growth factor 1) evaluated, to make sure it's at the low normal range. See CRON diet and CRSociety.
One quick way of evaluating your aging is to balance on your weak leg with your eyes closed. 30+ seconds in your twenties, and degrades rapidly after that.
posted May 20, 2013
I've taken on a new responsibility which involves getting ramped on a new technology (drupal), so I've had little time for food, meaning I've been eating out more than usual. Still, I've mostly stuck with "more vegetables", and my weight has only crept up by a couple of pounds. Now, with great relief, I have restocked my fridge with salad, stews, and vegetables for steaming. I've noticed that I haven't been hungry much, which confirms my theory that when you're losing weight, you're going to be mildly hungry most of the time. So, hanging in around 207lb, time for another bout, see if I can make it to under 200.
Without a doubt, though I've lost 35lbs in this round (since last November), I'm still a good 30 lbs overweight (I just have to look at my stomach, it's not rocket science). Also without a doubt, I feel better already than I have in years. Oh, and I'm bicycling fairly intensely (for an old guy) at least once a day, sometimes two or three. Any excuse (especially with the great spring weather we've been having in Toronto) will do.
If you're trying to lose weight, don't drink beverages with calories. Limiting your beverages to water and green tea is good.
Soups and stews are good, though, as they registers with your body as a meals.
If you are satisfied by 3 lbs (about 1.5kg) of food per day, then if for example you maintain the Okinawa-diet-recommended average of one calorie per gram, you are consuming 1500 calories per day. This would achieve gradual weight loss for a normal female; 1800 calories or so for a male.
In general, leaning toward low density foods is consistent with the vegetable diet.
Small snacks of nuts seem to calm appetite. Almonds, brazil nuts, hazlenuts for example.
There are several types of hunger:
If you have cravings, deal with it in the short term by having a modest meal. Then adjust your daily eating pattern so that they don't occur, or occur minimally.
If you have evening hunger, have a light snack (like an apple and a few nuts). Then just live with it. Better to adjust your daily intake than have meals late at night. Waking up mildly hungry is ideal. With practice, you'll have mild hunger or appetite late at night, no more. If you do, wait until morning to eat.
More than half the dry weight of your stool is bacteria (see gut flora). Thousands of types, and about 1000 trillion reside in your gut. Changing your diet can change this environment radically. This can lead to occasional indigestion. Be patient and mindful.
Include aerobic and resistance exercise, as well as stretching. Include exercises for legs, core, and arms. So for example
in the morning, with
We are creatures of habit. Habits are powerful determinants of behaviour. So establish a routine of food preparation and related behaviours. After a few weeks it becomes habit. Self-discipline is then limited to developing habits, and re-enforcing them or changing them slightly from time to time.
Remember that behaviour shapes attitude more than the other way around. So establish the behaviour, and mold the attitude around it.
Put another way, discipline is more important than willpower. The former is sustainable, the latter only works in short bursts.
In the end it's up to you. Here are some tips:
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