After 1000 Days, My Top 3 Weight Loss Tips

Yesterday was my 1000th login day at MyFitnessPal and a friend asked me for my top 3 tips from my journey.

I took a little time to think about it, and here they are.

  1. Eat whole, unprocessed foods. If you are truly hungry, eat, even if it means going over your calories a little bit every once in awhile (as long as you are eating healthy whole foods.) No need for “fads”, like eating every 2 hours or not after 6pm. Listen to your body and eat when you feel it’s right.
  2. Treat yourself every once in awhile. Don’t call it a “cheat”, it’s a treat to reward yourself for a job well done. When treating, make sure to choose something really worth the calories, not some crappy Oreo cookie. Treat yourself to a piece of chocolate cake or dinner at your favorite chain restaurant. And LOG LOG LOG. Don’t hide your choices, always log!
  3. Soul Search to figure out what made you overweight in the first place. It’s a long process, and you might not ever be “cured” but once you understand what’s inside your brain, you can learn to live with it.

    It might feel scary to keep your food diary “open” to your friends, but it will force you to be accountable for your actions, and that is a good thing. Don’t ever be ashamed of your food choices, just strive to get better.

Remember that nothing happens overnight.

Food choices don’t magically become healthy in one week; it might take months before you transition to whole foods.

Baby steps! You are in this for the long haul, not for a quick fix! it’s a lifestyle not a diet!

1000 Straight Days of Logging Into MyFitnessPal

Whoo hoo.

Today marks the 1000th day of login days at MyFitnessPal!

Even though I am in weight-loss maintenance, for me, it’s important to continue logging my daily food intake. It keeps my calories and other nutritional data on track and since my diary is open to my MFP friends, it keeps me accountable.

Happy 1000th day to me! :)

1000 days of logging in at myfitnesspal

Slow Down, Relax, Enjoy Food

Lately, I have had a terrible habit of eating way too fast. I’m downing my meals so quickly, I barely have time to taste them. I’ve noticed that I’m also more hungry lately too, like hungry right after I’ve eaten a full meal. I know it’s because I’m not allowing myself to enjoy what I’m eating and not giving enough time for my stomach to tell my brain that it’s full.

I used to be a better/slower eater, but for some reason, the last few months, I’ve backtracked.

So, just a few minutes ago, I ate a banana for my mid-morning snack, and I s-l-o-w-e-d down and savored the taste and texture of the banana. I’m going to make a conscious effort to try the same with all my meals.

900 Days of Logging at MyFitnessPal

Today I am celebrating my 900th straight day of logging into Next month, it’ll be 3 years since I started on my healthy journey! What a wonderful experience this has been!

It all started with a quote on a Facebook friend’s wall on July 20th, 2009:

God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it’s me.

After various unsuccessful attempts to “get healthier”, I saw her post, and for some reason, it clicked! I knew this time would be different, I knew this time I was going to stick to it no matter what!

I started tracking my calories on, but a few days later, I found that was better, so I copied all my food info from fitday. Ever since then, I’ve been logging in and tracking my food, even before MFP kept track of the total log-in days. I don’t think I missed more than one or two days of tracking, even while on vacation.

I wasn’t always perfect in the foods I chose, but I logged them anyway, and now looking back, it’s awesome to have a record of my food diary, and how I’ve evolved through the years.

In fact, here is a screen shot of food diary on July 21st (click for larger version):

first day of food diary

During the last 3 years, I have lost (and maintained) 65+/- pounds. I’ve never felt healthier! I’m going to be 50 this year, and I didn’t feel this good, with so much energy at 30!

Life is good! Happy 900th day, next stop 1000!

Good Housekeeping Drop 5 Lbs – New Cooking Channel Show

I was curious about the new show on Cooking Channel TV: Good Housekeeping Drop 5 Lbs (with Melissa d’Arabian), so I made sure to DVR it.

The first episode opens with the recipe, Chicken Breasts with Apple Curry Sauce and it looked scrumptious; I love the idea of sweet & savory for dinner.

But I was a little puzzled when she suggested topping the steamed broccoli with a tsp of margarine. MARGARINE? Do people still use margarine?

It was even funnier to look at the recipe online, and see they suggested, “trans fat margarine” – LOL. I assume they meant “trans fat-free margarine” but even still, to suggest margarine over a whole food like butter is silly.

trans fat margarine

For example, after googling “margarine brands”, I found Smart Balance Buttery Spread contains 80 calories per tablespoon, that’s 26 calories for 1 tsp. Organic Valley unsalted butter contains 100 calories per tablespoon, which equals out to 34 calories per tsp. That’s hardly enough of a difference to recommend margarine over butter!

Plus if you choose the butter, you’ll save yourself the consumption of icky ingredients like artificial flavors, monoglycerides, sorbitan ester of fatty acids, disodium EDTA, along with a dose of GMO (genetically modified) vegetable oils, plus all the pesticides and toxic fertilizers.

But getting back to the episode.

I whole-heartedly agree with the advice that you need to measure your portions; I think a kitchen scale is a more accurate way than a measuring cup though (I love to weigh in grams) but it’s better than eye-balling it. Two & half years later, I still weigh most of my food. It really does help keep your portions honest!

On the whole, I’m not a fan of Good Housekeeping, it’s a bloated ad-driven magazine, but at least the show seems like a fairly good idea. No, the tips and hints aren’t anything new, but if it helps inspire someone to begin a healthier lifestyle, then that’s all that matters.

I’ll continue to DVR the episodes, so we’ll see how it develops.

New Jennifer Hudson – Seeing & Hearing Double – Weight Watchers Commercial

Ugh, I know she has a lot of fans, but I find ALL of the Jennifer Hudson Weight Watcher commercials extremely annoying. Her voice sounds like screeching nails on a chalkboard, and this new commercial is no exception.

The commercial opens with the “old” Jennifer in a tight-fitting bright pink dress singing on American Idol, as the new improved, thin Jennifer comes from behind, singing in a creepy duet with her former self.

Ugh. Jennifer Hudson x 2 = even more annoying because she’s competing with herself to out-sing and (hard to believe) it gets more offensive than her “It’s a New Day” commercials!

Gawd, it’s not even January 1st yet, and I can’t even think about how many times we’ll have to listen to this awful commercial for the next couple of months! Where are my ear plugs?


Before I get a million Jennifer fans coming down on me, I should clarify!!!

I NEVER said she was a bad singer in general and I do not dislike her. It’s her commercials that annoy me.

There is a big difference hearing her sing one song, than hearing the weight watcher commercials played over and over ad nauseam.

UPDATE #2 January 2, 2012:

Okay, I admit the newest J Hud Weight Watcher commercials are not bad. The one with her singing “I am you, you are me, gotta stand up if we’re gonna be free” – with the other women who lost weight on the program. Her voice is strong without being over-the-top and it’s enjoyable to watch. There is another new commercial that is also equally better.

Emeril on Dr Oz Show

Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse was on the Dr Oz show the other day, and I’m not a regular Dr Oz fan, but I just happened to catch the show. At first I thought that Emeril would be the one getting advice from the doctor concerning his obesity problem, but I was shocked to realize it was Emeril that was giving the audience health advice!


Emeril’s Must Have Items to Revolutionize Your Health – watch the 4 part video of his appearance.

Does anyone else think it’s strange that an obese chef is dishing advice regarding how to live a healthy lifestyle? His three must-have items? Spices, non-stick pan, and gluten free pasta.

Seriously? You have to narrow your list of items that will “revolutionize your health” and those are your three picks?

How about adding more vegetables to your meal to bulk it up? Limit the processed pasta and eat more “whole” grains? Start your day with breakfast? Drink more water?

The worst part? He tucked in a sly promotion of his own non-stick fry pan! He claims you can save calories and fat by using non-stick. No, Emeril, you don’t need 3 Tbsp of oil to saute vegetables in a stainless pan! I sometimes don’t use any oil at all, depending on what the dish is!

And besides, what is so wrong with cooking with fat anyway? I’ll take cooking in my seasoned cast iron fry pan with a tsp of coconut oil over his toxic fuming non-stick pan any day! Ha!

This situation reminds me of when Kirstey Alley was pushing her crazy weight loss products while obese, or when Dr Phil wrote his diet book!

During the Dr Oz interview, Emeril avoids revealing any details about his own personal medical conditions, he does mention that he’s been trying to live healthier for the last two years. I’m wondering if he has diabetes, or a pre-diabetic condition, and that is what triggered his desire to “get help”. But at the same time, how can he expect people to take him seriously when he’s clearly still struggling with his own demons even after 2 years!

I admit I always watch him when he is on HSN, selling his cooking products, but I find his sales tactics to be very questionable – following the typical HSN sales banter: ooh better order now, these are flying out the door. Our inventory won’t last the day!

In fact, it’s ironic that while he’s now claiming to be healthy, just last weekend he was still hocking his “fry right or don’t fry at all” home frier on HSN. Talk about mixed messages!

So, why do I continue to watch him if I don’t really like him? Well, I like watching HSN Cooking shows to learn about new kitchen products. And secondly, I used to really like him years ago. I enjoyed watching his TV shows and thought he was a caring person. I guess I am hoping to perhaps find bits of the old Emeril underneath the sly, pushy salesman. I’m still waiting!

Can’t Lose Weight? Check Your Coffee Cup!

I was having trouble understanding why a certain someone in my life (who shall remain nameless…hint hint DH) was having trouble losing more weight, even though he was basically eating the same food as me. Sure, he probably isn’t as diligent as I am, but there still had to be more of a reason.

His last blood test showed great numbers for his cholesterol, but the triglycerides were high. I suggested that maybe he needed to start lowering the amount of sugar in his coffee. He previously told me that he was drinking about 3 cups of coffee daily, each with 2 tsp of sugar.

So, the other day, we were talking and then he admitted that he drinks 4-5 cups of coffee, not just 3! WHAT?!!! YIKES! That’s 5×2=10 tsp of sugar every day! NO wonder he hit a weight loss plateau!

10 tsp of granulated sugar = 163 calories with 42g of sugar! That’s twice the daily limit!

So, we are working on lowering the coffee consumption as well as slowly lowering the sugar. I hope this works!