A Method to Lose Weight, Avoid the Food Orgy of Extra Large Servings

This method worked for me. Thirty pounds and counting. Every person is unique, with their own goals and aspirations. The trick to this method is to record everything and make sure that the calories you consume are greater than the the calories used to live. It is a simple method based on mathematics and how the body uses food as energy.

We are surrounded with food, wine, deserts to-die-for and succulent snacks that smell and taste good. The portions are huge, we get our money’s worth. Food is cheap, abundant and available anywhere, at anytime, in any quantity. The television has lots of food advertisements, two channels dedicated to food and how to prepare it. Celebrity chefs everywhere telling us to eat and revel in the abundant food.

We are bombarded by advertisements for weight loss programs, books on how to lose weight and the latest fad diet with lots of mumbo jumbo about no carbs, drink grapefruit juice, eat our prepared meals (Jenny Craig is one of many), buy our specially formulated food, drink juices, cleanse, and the list goes on and on. What the purveyors of these products and services do not tell you is that the basic premise underlying all their programs is; reduce your calorie intake, expend more calories than you consume. What they are trying to do is the same thing you can do on your own without spending a small fortune on special foods, counseling and whatever else they offer in services.

Every diet and fad to loose weight goes back to; the calories eaten must be less than the calories used. That is all, nothing else. It is not hard to do and there is no diet, just informed choices.

This is the method I used. It works. Between January 23rd and May 12th I have lost 30 pounds. I went form 200 to 170. It works. The method is a food diary where you record everything you eat.

I found a site called Lose It. http://loseit.com/. It is a is a food diary. I use it to record everything I ate. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and all tastes. Why? Everything you put in your mouth has calories. Some items have so little they are listed with zero calories, but most have some calories. Would you believe that a quarter cup of chopped onions has 16 calories. Every calorie counts.

I recorded everything. I looked at food labels and made some buying decision based on the calorie information printed. An example, bacon, I stopped buying regular bacon, 80 calories for two slices. I started buying Canadian bacon, 3 slices, 60 calories. That is 20 calories not eaten. When buying bread I got whole wheat. Whole wheat is supposed to take longer to digest than white bread and should you feel full longer. Also, watch the calorie count per slice. Stay away from the 100 or more calorie per slice whole grain breads. The higher calorie count means the slices are bigger than normal. I also checked the sugar content of foods. The lower the better, no added sugar is best and definitely NO HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, corn sugar or artificial sweeteners. Who needs the extra chemicals. Refined flour and white sugar should be avoided if you can. (It is not really necessary.) These are easily digested, leaving you feeling hungry in a much short period of time compared to whole grains. I noticed this when I had cereal for breakfast, I was hungry and ready for a snack by 10:30 am. When had eggs, Canadian bacon and whole wheat toast, I did not feel hungry until about 12:30 pm. Just in time for lunch.

Drink water. Many people mistake thirst for hunger. Also do not snack when you are bored. Go do something, take a walk clean the house, just do something to take your mind off of snacking. Hunger gets worse, it does not go away. Cravings and the munchies fade away when you are active.

When you are limiting your calories, keep in mind the recommendations on nutrition. The web sites where you log your meals will provide the nutritional breakdown for everything you eat. If you have to create a custom food, make sure to record all the information and not just the calories. This will help when you have to analyze what you are eating when you hit a plateau and the weight loss stops.

You will hit the plateau, some sooner than others and some more than once. A plateau may be the result of your body thinking that it is starving or facing a food shortage. At this point it will hold on to every bit of fat until it is convinced otherwise. Increase your calorie intake for a few days. Go over the recommended daily calorie intake, then go back to it. The pounds should start to disappear.

Weight loss does not happen overnight. It takes time, usually months. Lean about a balanced diet that provided the nutrition your body needs. Cook, this way you know how many calories are in the meals you prepare instead of guessing what the restaurant does. When you eat out, look for places that publish the calories in their dishes, or look up the estimated calories on what you plan to order before you go to the restaurant. This takes a little planning but it can be done. Most restaurants pack extra unnecessary calories into their food. The dishes have too much oil, some have cheese, sauces thickened with flour, corn starch, cream, butter and who knows what other high calories additions.

Also, there will be days where you have no control over what you have available to eat and as a result you go over the recommended calories for the day. Treat it as a necessary over day and enjoy yourself. Live is just for living and not suffering just to loose weight. So the weight loss takes a little longer, so what, live, have fun.

Recommended nutrition parameters lifted from the Livestrong web site.

A healthy diet should get 45 to 65 percent of its calories from carbohydrates, and contain 21 to 38 grams of fiber.

For heart health, limit your intake of dietary cholesterol to less than 300 milligrams a day.

Your daily protein needs vary, depending on your gender, age, weight and activity level. In general, most healthy adults need 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For example, an adult weighing 150 pounds needs about 55 grams of protein a day.

A high-sodium diet may increase your risk of developing high blood pressure. To reduce your risk, daily sodium intake should range from 1,500 to 2,300 milligrams a day.

My goal is to get my BMI down to between 18 and 20,which according to some, is the ideal for someone my height. I have read about another method of measuring recommended weight. It is a ratio; waist measurement should be less than 1/2 your height. It is not finalized and still under discussion according an article I read and can no longer find to reference.

This method has worked for me. I am no longer fat and all the indicators the doctors look at have returned to the extremely normal range. I feel great and the long term goal is, never return to an overweight state. A side effect of my weight loss is, many people in my office have noticed and some of them have started using a food diary. Many asked what was my diet and my answer; none, no diet, just eat less calories than you burn and you will loose weight. No conditions, exceptions, no mumbo jumbo or special conditions.

The end result for me. I have to go out and replace my wardrobe with clothes that fit. I just love shopping.

Quicken Essentials Review – Bad, Stay Away

This Christmas I stopped using Quicken Essentials and switched to iBank from IGG Software, Inc. Why did I switch? Quicken Essentials is a program that is lacking in features, has confusing registers and to make things worse, difficult and complicated way to reconcile your accounts.

If you use Quicken Essentials to download transactions and do not use it to enter transactions to track your spending, the registers do not become a complicated mess when you reconcile to your statements. To me this is not the preferred method of using a program like Quicken, iBank or any of the others.

Quicken Essentials’ difficulty starts when you use it to enter transactions to record your activity and then download transactions from your bank accounts and credit card accounts prior to doing a reconciliation. After the download, all hell breaks loose. You have no idea what was added or what was matched without inspecting each transaction with a blue dot. Also, if you do not know what the balance on the account was before the download, you have no idea if it changed, which is the only way to determine if new transactions were added. This is a major headache.

If you have more than one account or an account with many transactions, it turns the download and checking into a lot of unnecessary work. Eventually you will put off using Quicken Essentials or delay keeping your records up to date because of the difficulty to get things done quickly and efficiently. Why give yourself an unnecessary headache. Life already has too many of these without adding one that can be avoided.

If you are using Quicken 2007 and do not plan an changing your Mac or upgrading to Lion or later, leave well enough alone. If you are getting a new Mac with Lion or plan to upgrade, choose iBank. It does what quicken 2007 does and adds some additional functionality.

Stay away from Quicken Essentials unless you enjoy complexity. I am not even going into the missing features that were part of Quicken 2007 and dropped in Quicken Essentials, such as tracking your loans or brokerage accounts.

Intuit has really abandoned Mac users with this junk. It is so bad, they announced that they were updating Quicken 2007 to run on Lion. My question is, if Quicken Essentials is worth anything, why update such an aging program?

Sarah Palin – An Obscure Historical Footnote

Last week Sarah Palin announced that she will not be a candidate for president.  The former half-term Governor of Alaska has called it quits.  There is now no reason for the media to follow her and report on her activities.  They were just waiting on her to enter the presidential primary.  The  history books will record her as not finishing her term as Governor of Alaska.  A footnote in the historical record.

Her legacy will be the answer to the Daily Double trivia question on Jeopardy.


Thursday, the fourth one in the month of September, in the year of our Lord, 2011, Miami-Dade County passed the new budget for the new year. This has been covered extensively by the Miami Herald and is published on the County’s web site. See them for details.

Anyway, in a nutshell the budget demands that the employees pay for the bad decisions made the the County Commission and the previous administrations of the County.

What is He? A Politician or a Preacher

Who am I referring in the title? His name is Rick Perry, he is the governor of Texas. This person held a religious event on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, in Houston, Texas to ask god for answers to the nations troubles. The press reports that it was well attended by thousands of evangelicals.

The following quote is taken from the AP news article ( http://m.apnews.com/ap/db_16028/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=Bp8qNUAh ): “The event was Perry’s idea but was financed by the American Family Association, a Tupelo, Miss.-based group that opposes abortion and gay rights and believes that the First Amendment freedom of religion applies only to Christians.”. This group is an extreme fringe group. Perry mixed politics and religion freely during his quasi religious event. He even huddled with, what passes as, ministers to pray. His words show that he, denies the truth, does not accept responsibility and blames someone else. He is appealing to a republican fringe, who by voting often, give the impression that they are the mainstream voter in the southern and central states.

He is actively courting the righteous right. He is not interested in moderates and liberals.  He is mixing religion and politics and does not see the difference. The religion he uses is exclusionary, no Jews, Muslims or the non-evangelicals. He should become another one of the many exclusionary evangelical preachers, instead of coveting the presidency.  The really scary thing, how many sharing this view have been elected to Congress, state legislators, as governors, to school boards, county and city governments. How many are now running for elected office?

How to Stop Smoking

This is how I stopped smoking. Your results may vary, it depends on your self control, willpower (lots of it) and the strength of your desire to stop sucking on fags. The steps I took worked for me and as of 7/28/2011 it has been 2 years, 10 months and seven days since my last cigarette. No drugs or expensive aids were used. Stuff the stop smoking marketing and putting money in the drug makers pockets.

Just so you know what you are getting into. Cigarettes are one of the most addictive things you can get hooked on. When you try to stop cold turkey, you get headaches, weird feelings and a craving that you would kill your mother over if if she stood in your way of getting a cig.

Now, here are the steps I took to quit. The time it takes depends on the willpower and self control, the stuff I mentioned earlier as being essential.

The first thing you must do is recognize that you are addicted to cigarettes. One you recognize and accept this condition, you must then determine if you want to quit. This is very important. If you do not want to quit, you won’t. Period! Stop here and go light one. If you cough often, think about coming back and reading more.

Next, you must determine what activity is linked to having a smoke. One of the most obvious for most people is, dinner and a cigarette after you have finished eating. Another is coffee and a cigarette or drinks with cigarettes. The list goes on. First, identify the links.

Why must the activity and cigarettes be identified? One of the things you must do first is break these links. After dinner or eating, do not smoke. Do something else. Anything but smoking. Break the links. This step us very important. Skip this step or fail to identify the links will cause you to fail in your effort to stop smoking. This step should take you about two to three weeks. You can write it down or not. I did not write anything down, just a mental note.

I did not say that this would be easy. It is hard and takes commitment. Here is the good part. Keep smoking. Just do not smoke after dinner, or with drinks at a party, or with coffee or any activity you have identified with smoking. Here is the zinger.

At the same time you are breaking the links, you must also stop caffeine.

Caffeine is also an addictive substance. You have to stop drinking coffee, Coke, Pepsi and any other drink with caffeine as an ingredient.

When you stop caffeine you will get headaches and feel weird for a couple of days. I used a painkiller for the headaches and they eventually will pass after a day or two. Once you have stopped or broken the addiction to caffeine, it takes about two to four weeks, you can now start to break the cigarette addiction.

At this time, you should have broken the link between cigarettes and your activities linked to cigarette smoking, as well as, your addiction to caffeine. Now is the time to start weaning yourself of of smoking and the addictive drug nicotine.

You start by counting the number of times you smoke in a day. Make note of them. This is important because you are going to cut down the number of times a day you have a cigarette. You are going to wean yourself off the noxious weed slowly, until you are down to one cigarette a day. When you reach one a day, you just stop. You are still addicted to nicotine, but it is a mild addiction easily broken. If you are going to use the drugs, now is the time. I did not, so keep reading for the method that worked for me.

This is the method I used to wean myself of the cigarettes. This is where the willpower and self control mentioned at the beginning of this post becomes very important.

You now know how many cigarets you smoke a day. The day you decide to quit, the regimen to follow is simple but hard. Backsliding is permitted and even desirable. Do not let guilt about backsliding and sucking on a few more fags impede your progress.

Start by only smoking when your body tell you that you must have a cigarette. You will know the feeling. Headache, shakes, weird feeling. When this is your state, go smoke. Enjoy it. Have two if you want to. Do not smoke again until you get the feeling.

After a two weeks, you should be smoking less. In some cases not much less. Now is the time to to power throughout the feeling of needing to smoke. When you get the feeling that you have to go and smoke, try and delay going to smoke. This takes will power and self control. Do not worry about breaking down and going for a smoke. Failure at this point is acceptable and should not be a cause for guilt. The goal is to reduce the number times you smoke a day. What I did was to drink a lot of water. This helps to flush the toxin called nicotine from your system and takes away the urge to do something with your hands and mouth. Drink a lot of water.

You are not just breaking an addiction, you are substituting the activity of smoking with some other activity. The activity can be anything else. Smoking alleviates boredom when you have nothing to do. It give you something do with your hands and mouth.

As you wean yourself off of tobacco, the number of times you smoke per day should be decreasing. If the number of cigarettes is not decreasing you are not trying to break your addiction. Give up and start over when you are ready to quit.

When you keep reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke, you will eventually get to smoking one cigarette a day. Do this for a week. Now is the time you to throw away the pack and stop smoking. Your addiction at this time is mild to minimal and it is just the habit and mouth feel of smoking you have to get over. Try not to substitute eating. You will put on a lot of weight.

When you finally stop the hard part begins. You will get urges and have the desire to smoke constantly. It will take one month before the urges diminish. The urge will never go away. They just get less urgent over time.

Once you pass the first month, you should be able to claim that you are smoke free. The longer you are smoke free the less likely you are going to start smoking again. Be warned, once an addict always an addict. To start smoking again, all you need is an excuse. Some people quit many times before they are successful.

Give this method a try. It worked for me, it may work for you.