I used to eat footlong Subways like they were going out of fashion. It wasn’t at all unusual for lunchtime to involve an entire 12” meatball marinara sub with cheese and calorie-packed chipotle sauce.
However, in recent years, I had weaned myself off footlongs and onto mere six-inch subs. Over time, the new habit of eating smaller subs firmly established itself, and I no longer craved footlongs. in fact, the mere thought of eating a footlong sub was often overwhelming, as I knew that my stomach couldn’t easily manage that volume of calories for lunch. (This is great example of how habits can change your underlying motivations, but I digress.)
For reasons that aren’t entirely clear to me and for the first time in a long time, my well-established six-inch sub habit was challenged a few days ago. I was queuing up in Subway at lunchtime when I was struck by an overwhelming urge to order a footlong.
I was at the gym today running on the treadmill when a news story came on the overhead television. The story stated that certain plate colors were linked to the amount of food people put on them and therefore had a profound effect on weight loss.
That’s a new one…
Now, I’m very interested in the psychology behind weight loss and eating habits and decided to do a little research on the subject.
As it turns out (not surprisingly), there are numerous different opinions and so-called studies that indicate which plate color is associated with allotting different portion sizes and the amount of food we eat because of it.
At least, that’s how I see it. I’m 6’2″ and a notch or two under 200lbs. Consult a BMI chart and I’m technically overweight, but I feel pretty healthy, and I’d rather trust my own subjective measure than one so simplistic as BMI.
But here’s what I’m not: what most guys want to be. You know – toned, lean, buff, head-turning. And I wish I was, as many of us do.
If you were to embark on a diet, detox or new exercise program, what would be your motivator? The end result? The challenge of willpower?
What about doing it because you can feel the difference in your body?
Forget about seeing the difference. Ensuring you’re happy with your next beach photo on Facebook is motivating, but knowing that your body is benefiting from your new regime is more important. By feeling what your body is going through, you’re learning a skill: listening to your body. It may seem simple, but is a great asset when dieting or generally being conscious of your health.
According to Science Daily, the number one reason why diets fail is because dieters underestimate the amount of calories they consume.
In reality, it goes far deeper than that. Miscounting calories isn’t the problem. That’s only an indicator of a far greater issue: that the dieting measures most people take are overly prohibitive.
Many of us associate dieting with restriction and sacrifice — doing things we don’t want to do in order to improve ourselves. That association (and the subsequent actions we take as a result) is typically what trips us up when it comes to losing weight.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. I have discovered that you can lose weight and keep it off without making any drastic lifestyle changes. Furthermore, I’ve made it my personal goal to reveal this truth to as many people as possible, which is why you’re reading this.
Honestly, sticking to any sort of routine is hard. Hell, I have trouble remembering to unload the dishwasher when all is said and done. That’s why I find the profane and to-the-point nature of UFYH so inspiring.
What’s this acronym? It stands for Unfuck Your Habitat. It’s part website, part Tumblr blog, part Facebook community, part app. It’s designed to help lazy people like you and me and everyone else out there improve their environments a little bit at a time. The primary principle is 20/10 – you spend 20 minutes performing an activity like doing the dishes and 10 minutes resting.
You see them everywhere. You recognize their names. And yes, they’re some of the most influential people you know.
These are what some like to call celebrity doctors, who have millions of followers that hang onto their every word. Whether or not it is deserved, these people are widely respected for their “wisdom.”
Celebrity doctors are not going away anytime soon, as the medical industry draws of tens of millions people in each year. Here at Healthy Enough (including yours truly), we watch some of these celebrities on TV and other forms of media every day.
Does that mean we should take all of their advice to heart? In other words, are celebrity doctors all they’re cracked up to be?
Before we dive into this question, let’s figure out why they’re so darned irresistible in the first place.
Tom: The following is a guest post by Renee Knight: a freelance writer, editor and storyteller who loves covering health topics. You can find her at ReneeKnight.com.
I eat chocolate just about every day – and I think you should, too.
I let myself enjoy this sweet treat as a mid-morning snack and I don’t feel guilty about it or worry what it’s going to do to my waistline. In fact, I feel pretty good about my choice.
The key is, I’m not eating a milk chocolate candy bar filled with caramel (though that’s certainly okay once in a while). Instead, I’m choosing to get my chocolate fix from dark chocolate – a sweet treat that actually provides health benefits.
That’s the beauty of dark chocolate – not only does it satisfy my sweet tooth, it’s also good for me. Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants that help protect the cardiovascular system and even might help promote weight loss. Even better, eating a small block of dark chocolate keeps me from splurging on a bowl of ice cream or a calorie-filled candy bar later in the day.
My seat right now at the local Starbucks is a prime location to watch, follow, and track one consistent (and usually unconscious) habit that many people do once they’ve paid for their order. As a matter of fact, 12 out of the last 19 people have done this exact same thing.
Want to take a stab at what they’re doing?
Let me give you a hint: it’s not smart. It’s downright dumb.
As a matter of fact it can be a real pain in the neck (literally). It’s called Tech Neck and it involves this simple formula:
While standing, whip out your iPhone and crank your head and neck down so much that you completely wipe out the front of your neck, almost resting your chin on your sternum.
Some even call it Text Neck. Either way, you’re headed for disaster.
I know you can’t envisage missing a text, e-mail, status update or lolcat during those 45 seconds it took to order your grande, sugar-free, no foam, soy, iced mocha latte whatever.
I mean just standing there actually waiting; well, that might be really too simple. And it’d be far too quiet to just be with yourself.
Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
~ Dr. Seuss
Although weight loss doesn’t have to be a painful process, there are usually what I like to call “emotional start up costs” as you find your feet. It’s expected. We embrace it. Hooray for positive change!
Unfortunately, these costs are often accompanied by something far more damaging and insidious. Surprisingly, the source of this negativity is your friends and family – the people who are supposed to love you, house you, feed you, cuddle you when you have nightmares, hold back your hair when you’ve had one too many tequilas, drive the getaway car if you should decide to rob a bank, and so on.