In general, I’m not a fan of self-help articles or columns. They’re always so damn tedious, the tone overrides the message.
That said, here’s MY self-help column of the year. And, of course, it’s on a subject which I have no qualifications or expertise. That subject is weight loss.
Huh? “You’re already thin, you Man-orxeic!” And yes, I am. But, I decided to drop another 5 lbs during the winter to a) get to my optimal cycling weight, and b) give me some kind of off-season challenge. And c) yes, I know, I’m nuts.
Anyway, I’m almost at my goal, so I decided to share “my secrets.*”
1) I stopped eating all sweets. (Well, except for one piece of toffee each night. ) Now, don’t get my wrong, I’m as weak as the next guy and used to LOVE having a piece of cake or cookies with milk every single night at bedtime. And I still would….if we had them in the house. But, I decided we’d stop picking them at when supermarket shopping, so they’re simply not an option because they’re not around.
2) Substitute good for bad. But, I have to have something at bedtime, so I substituted a bowl of grapefruit. For me, that’s not like substituting tofu for a burger. I LIKE grapefruit, so it was a no brainer. (But, I also put my one piece of toffee on the side.)
3. Eat slowly. I know, you’ve read this before, but it works. I eat just a little slower (but still, admittedly faster than almost everyone else.) As a result, I feel fuller more quickly. And then I eat less when I go back for seconds.
4. One big salad a week for dinner. Another no brainer. I like salads. Never thought of them as a meal until recently, but why not?
5. No french fries, few potatoes. I must have some Irish in me because I love potatoes of every stripe and color. So, this was hard, but I just asked Nancy to cut them out and instead — yuck — substitute vegetables. Or at least some veggies (oh, how I hate that nickname), I can stand. Spinach, broccoli, and asparagus make the list. I draw the line at cauliflower and beets, however.
6. Half a beer. I would never call myself a big beer drinker. In fact, I get sick on more than 2 beers. But, I would call myself a regular beer drinker. Probably about 1 beer a day. But, now instead of pouring myself an entire beer, I just pour a half glass (we have a beertender, which makes it easy). Same taste, half the calories.
7. A jar of nuts. I snack throughout the day from a jar of almonds we have on the kitchen counter. I grab a small handful whenever I’m hungry. Helps stave off giant cravings later on.
8. I still eat crap. I’m not a monk, for crying out loud. I’ll still eat a burger, pizza, etc. I just try not to gorge myself. So, instead of 2 burgers for dinner, I’ll start with one, eat it just a little more slowly than a rabid dog, then go back for another HALF burger.
9. I still eat crap, II. When I’m coming back from a bike race, I always stop at McDonald’s. It’s a vice. But, I let my thrifty side show by ordering off the $1 menu: 2 burgers, 1 small fries. Saves me money and calories.
And that’s it. That’s all I’ve done. Sure, I could do better. But, for now that’s plenty.
* The real science is here, btw: http://www.menshealth.com/weight-loss/truth-about-calories