Sunday, 26 December 2010

Eat Less, Move More: Solutions to problems.

The fact is, in order to lose weight and be healthy, we need to Eat Less, Move More. The problem is that most people (apart from bodybuilders) just can't/won't do it consciously. In Determinants of the Variability in Human Body-fat Percentage, I listed a number of reasons why people eat what (and as much as) they do. Here are some solutions to the problems that cause over-eating and under-moving.

1) Parents: If you've been raised to be a plate-clearer, use a small plate which makes a small amount of food look like more.

2) Genetics: Eat foods that satisfy your appetite for as long as possible. You have to find out what they are by experimentation, as everybody is different.

3) Peer pressure from parents, siblings, friends, business partners & significant others: Thank them but politely decline. If they persist, reduce the level of politeness until they get the message.

4) Religion/tradition: Start a new tradition of not stuffing yourself silly at religious festivals. Then spread the word!

5) Culture: Try new foods. They won't kill you and they may actually taste good. Learn to cook. Herbs and spices or a splash of Worcestershire/Sweet Chilli Sauce can make horribly-bland foods (e.g. boiled/steamed rice) eatable.

6) Time: Be prepared. Pack a lunch-box with sufficient provisions to get you through the working day/night. Microwave cooking/heating saves a lot of time. It only destroys nutrients if you add a lot of water to the food before cooking (which is not necessary) and then throw the water away after cooking, or overcook foods. All cooking methods that raise the temperature of food to >70°C denature proteins. Denaturing proteins only changes their 3-D structure, which actually makes them easier to digest.

7) Habit: Habits can be changed.

8) Media: When an advert for something moreish is broadcast, flip channels for 30 seconds or if that's not possible, look away and hum a tune to mask the sound. Make sure that there's no food in sight while watching TV to prevent mindless nibbling. Keep a bottle of low-calorie drink nearby to sip on regularly. EDIT: I now watch TV on my computer with Ad-blocking, which eliminates all TV adverts.

9) Physiological & psychological reasons: Maintain a stable blood glucose level by not eating foods that are made mostly out of grain dust (a.k.a. flour) and/or sugar and/or other refined carbohydrates. If you're very active and you need to eat a lot of carbohydrate, choose grains that still look like grains (e.g. rolled oats, rice, quinoa etc), fruits, shoots, roots and tubers. Either get sufficient sun exposure or supplement with ~5,000iu/day Vitamin D3 to reduce the risk of low mood due to Seasonal Affective Disorder. The long-chain omega-3 fats in oily fish help to stabilise mood. Magnesium helps to reduce anxiety (also muscle cramps).

10) Allergies & intolerances: Avoid foods that are very moreish.

11) Geography: Eat locally-grown foods from Farmers' Markets, where possible.

12) Season: Eat foods that are in season, where possible.

13) Boredom: Keep busy. Do something!

14) Exercise: This has always been a problem for me. Exercise used to make me hungry, resulting in me eating more calories than I burned exercising. Solution: If I dress warmly enough, that stops me from getting the munchies due to feeling too cold.

15) Beliefs: I'm not going to try to change your beliefs.

16) Senses: Avoid supermarket aisles that contain junk foods. What your eye can't see and your nose can't smell, your heart won't grieve over.

17) Hunger: Don't let yourself become really hungry as that encourages over-eating when you do finally eat. Don't go food shopping when you're hungry, as that encourages the buying of junk foods.

18) Comfort: Don't buy larger clothes/loosen your belt. If your clothes are getting tighter, let that suppress your appetite. If your clothes are getting looser, buy smaller clothes and/or tighten your belt. Never loosen it.

19) Shame/Self-loathing: If that suppresses your appetite, make the most of it.

20) Current fatness: N/A.

21) Willpower: Hopefully, the above solutions will help you to resist temptation.

I hope that you all had a good Christmas/whatever.

Continued on Move More: Solutions to problems.


CarbSane said...

Willpower? Isn't that a dirty word?? LOL.

Great list Nige.

Y'know, I think many of the obese are even somewhat afraid to learn to cook or for fear they may become even more "foodies" than they think they already are. And of course chefs like Mario Batali might dissuade one from going that route.

But the success of both my and my husband's weight losses has definitely been influenced by preparing really great food at home.

Watching the shows has educated us in two ways: 1. Realizing just what goes into restaurant foods and to a lesser extent pre-prepared dishes/fast foods, and 2. LOTS of basic techniques and different ideas for foods. We've definitely expanded our food universe. "Advice" is often not to do that and presuming that diets like Atkins work because the selections of foods are limited, but that's the opposite of how it has worked for us.

Have a great day!

Nigel Kinbrum said...

I can resist anything....except temptation!

I felt inspired to write this list having finally nailed the problem of over-eating after exercising. After my latest ALT & lipid profile results, I need to do something positive.

My cooking usually (except at Christmas) involves microwaving some permutation of frozen meats & veggies with a bit of LoSalt, flavouring & EVOO.

Have a great one yourself!

Anonymous said...

The often repeated USELESS NOSTRUM to "eat less and move more" does NOT work.

And the TOP opbesity researcher in the world has said this. Dr. Jeffrey Friedman.

His understanding of obesity is much gretaer than yours, your heroes or mine.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

It does work Razwell. I am making it work. Now go back to your deluded world of "TOP EXPERTS" and don't bother posting here again.

chmeee said...

Good list. I see you mentioned exercise again - I saw a reference to it in a recent post of yours. You probably know of it, but have you tried high intensity interval training ? Works for me. Mostly.....

Good to see you've resumed posting again and a Happy New Year to you.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

Hi chmeee. I did try HIIT....once. I had two major problems with it.

1) I'm built for comfort, not speed! I have a longish body (where most of my weight is carried) and shortish legs. This makes running very fast very uncomfortable.

2) I overheat easily and sweat a lot. A ten-second sprint resulted in me huffing and puffing and sweating heavily for about 30 minutes. That was also very uncomfortable.

So, I think I'll stick to fast walking. Happy New Year to you, too.

Jay said...

Eating less
re paragraph 2
Granted we are all different, nevertheless there are certain foods that are more satiating than others.
This has been the subject of research and whilst meat and fish are more satiating than average, potatoes are about 50% more satiating than them.
Eating more potatoes (sweet potatoes, yams) can help you eat less overall:
Low carb does not work for everybody.
Moving more
You only need to move once and that is away from Yateley. I Googled it and it appears to be somewhere that 'you cannot live without a car' and it has 'more fast food restaurants per head than anywhere in the UK' If you never visit these restaurants where would you want to walk to? I live in Cambridge and can find somewhere interesting to walk to seven days a week. I also took up folk dancing (ceilidh and contra not display dancing like morris) when I was 60, it's easy to learn and good fun.
Move to somewhere that the majority of journeys are on foot or by bike.
I'm sending you another email.

Jay Bryant