Saturday, April 14, 2012

some tips I learned this week

I'm skimming/reading/listening to a few different books and learned some useful things from them.  Note that I've only just started some of them so there may be more discussion in future posts.

From Mark Hyman's books (Blood sugar solution and Ultrametabolism), you can get very good discussions about how bad sugar and refined grains are for you.  I think I mentioned this already in a previous post.  Another thing I learned this week is that high-quality fats contribute to weight loss by regulating insulin, as well as contributing to satiation.  I guess that's where that phrase "you have to eat fat to burn fat" comes from.  They also increase your metabolism which helps burn fat.  However, his definition of healthy fats is different from mine.  I'm pretty convinced that oils of any kind are not heart healthy and I want my heart to be as healthy as possible as I am prone to several heart ailments without a high-quality diet.   In my view, stick with nuts, seeds, and avocados for your healthy fats.  Also, in a departure from Dr. Fuhrman's recommendations, I actually like his idea to not get too hungry between meals but allowing a snack or two.  This week, my eating schedule was breakfast at 8 am, lunch at noon, snack at 3-4 pm (berries), and dinner at 8 pm.  It was liberating to tell the truth.  I didn't felt compelled to overeat to get to my next meal.

I started reading Brendan Frazier's Thrive.  I like how his first chapter is about stress.  Stress contributes to carb burning more than fat burning because of the well-known fight-or-flight syndrome that results from stress.  So limiting stress is good for weight loss.   He argues that the biggest stresses on most people is an unhealthy diet.  I don't know if that's correct but it's an interesting conjecture.  He is an athlete so seeks optimal physical performance.  The faster you can recover from exercise, the more you can train, and the better your performance.  A healthy diet leads to faster recovery times.  This is very motivating for me because I love to exercise and the more the better.  It's ironic that I love exercising because I have so little natural talent in sports!   I am slow slow slow.  But wait a minute, even though I was slow on the mountain bike trail today, I made it up a steep rocky/rooted hill that had the two guys in front of me walking and the guy behind me walking.  Ha! Of course, they passed me once we got to the top (with nary a nod to my awesome performance).  On a cautionary note, Frazier's recipes are appropriate for ironman athletes burning 10,000 calories per day.  I tried one out today with about 1/10 th recommended seeds and it was still very high-calorie.  However, it was useful because I went 7 hours between breakfast and lunch, with a 2.5 hour mountain bike ride in between.  

I'm listening to Psycho-cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz--I'm not too far along but I already learned something useful.  Motivational books don't work too well with me because I have a low self-image and can't convince myself that I can succeed if I believe I won't.  The tool (or maybe just one tool) in this book is visualization and imagination.  Now that I can do.  I fantasize all the time that I'm a fast swimmer and awesome mountain biker knowing well and good that I'm the slowest one on the course.  That's what's great about fantasy, it's all pretend.  So I can definitely see the value of fantasizing about my success with healthy eating.  The idea is to pick a goal and imagine in great detail what it would be like if you were there right now.  Like for example, say you want to lose 4 lbs in the next 2 weeks.  Imagine 2 weeks from now how you will feel and what you are doing.

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