Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Low-carb, High-protein Diets Explained

Those of you who have read my blog for a little while know that one sure fire way to get me fired up is to spout the benefits of losing weight with a low-carb diet. My argument has always been that you lose weight by burning more calories than you consume -- period.

Today I found a blog posting that explains it all so well! It's from the Health and Beauty Tips blog, and I hope this link will get you there.

In the posting, Tom Venuto explains that when in a controlled setting, with accurately measured calorie consumption, all diets work.

However, when people are on their own, it can be easier for them to maintain a high-protein diet over a high-carb diet. The more protein people eat, the less hungry they get. You need to read the entire explanation, the information is very good!

The point is to control calories, get exercise and pick a diet that you can stick with.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Calories Burned Web Site

While trying to figure out how many calories are in the foods I ate today, I found a great web site for determining the number of calories I burned -- The Fitness Website Activity Calorie Counter.

It uses the amount of time I exercised and my weight to determine the calories burned. I like the fact that it lists racewalking separate from walking, and includes six walking speeds from 2 miles per hour to 5 miles per hour. Though plenty of people I know are faster than a 12-min mile, I'm not, so I can use this chart.

I discovered that even a low-key walk this evening burned 170 calories. Nice to know.

Why Won't Wolfgang Puck's Give Nutrition Information?

Occasionally, I eat at Wolfgang Puck's Express for lunch. Though the ingredients are high quality and the food tastes good, the costs are on the high side and I can't find nutrition information on what I ate.

I'm not necessarily trying to lose weight, but I have been thinking about the quality of the food I've been eating lately. Starting today I'm keeping track of everything I eat for the week and estimating the calories consumed.

I'm also tracking the estimated calories burned per day.

At Wolfgang Puck's, the pocket sandwiches drown in dressing and are served with fresh made potato chips. Though I ate only one-half of the Mu Shu Chicken Pocket I ordered, I did eat all of the potato chips. I'd like to know how much damage I did.

So, in an open request to Wolfgang Puck's Express, please make available the nutrition information of the foods you serve at your restaurants!

I did a semi-casual 45-min walk tonight. Not anything too strenuous, just a walk in the neighborhood.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Weightloss Scams Continue

I'm amazed at what people will fall for in a desperate attempt to lose weight or gain health or fitness benefits. One of the scams is to fake blogs that tout the benefits of so-called weight loss methods. A posting from a real blog goes into more detail on how this new technique is used.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bike Trails Were Crowded Today!

We started our half-marathon training for the News and Sentinel Half Marathon in Parkersburg, WV August 22. At 7:45 this morning we walked 5 miles along the Olentangy River Multipurpose Trail. Though it was already warm when we started, the trail is very shady and kept fairly cool.

It's a beautiful section of the trail and very popular with lots of athletes including runners, bikers and walkers. Today the trail was packed! There were several hundred people in marathon training groups running in packs of 10 to about 50 heading in both directions. It was great seeing so many people out there today!

The trail was so packed though, bikers were having trouble navigating around the groups of runners and walkers. Some chose to try to ride in the middle between the people heading in both directions. I don't recommend that. Most waited behind the groups until there was room to pass. One woman tried to go around a group and almost rode straight into me and my walking buddies! Along that part of the trail there was a chain link fence along the edge and there was no where for us to go!

I actually stopped walking (to avoid her hitting me) and yelled "What were you thinking??" She stopped her bike and got off so we could walk around her.

Anyway, other than that one bike rider, it was a great seeing so many people on the trail and it was a great morning to begin marathon training.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

When Putting PowerAde in the Freezer...

be sure the lid is on tight.

Tonight it was HOT when Deb and I went for our walk. According to the thermometer in my car, it was about 89 degrees and I could feel the humidity. There was little breeze and a bad air warning because of the heat and lack of air movement. We walked for just over 3 miles and did not walk very hard. We definitely are not acclimated yet and don't need to push it on days like this.

For the first time in a long time I forgot my water bottle and carrier, though I had a cup of water in my car. As soon as I got home I poured half a bottle of PowerAde over ice and stuck the half empty bottle in the freezer.

The PowerAde really helped and tasted great! I went back to get the rest of the bottle and discovered that not only had I laid the bottle on its side, but I didn't put the lid on tight! Red PowerAde poured all over my freezer!

Luckily it froze and did not spill on the floor.

Note to self: Carry water and put the lid on the PowerAde.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Weird Reaction to Breakfast

After a great walk with the Buckeye Striders yesterday morning, we went to a local restaurant for breakfast. I had some very tasty scrambled eggs with the meal. About an hour after eating, I started feeling sick -- headache, stomach ache and nausea. This lasted for most of the rest of the day.

Though today I feel fine, I could not eat any of the eggs the kids made for their dad for breakfast today. (Ugh!)

Eggs have bothered me on and off over the last year or two. It seems to be happening a little more frequently and a little more severely each time. Other than deviled, I can take or leave eggs. I very rarely crave them and usually eat them only when someone else has already cooked breakfast. (For the record, I love devliled eggs and mine are fantastic!)

The next time I visit the doctor I will bring it up. But from the limited research I've done over the internet it sounds as if I might be developing an intolerance to eggs. In the meantime, I think I'll skip the scrambled eggs for a while.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Getting Back on Track

Three miles tonight. Yep, I'm pretty proud of myself. Walked to the library, one loop around the park and back for a little over 3 miles. Though it was a little warm out, I walked harder than I have been walking recently. I even stopped at Noodles and Company on the way home to pick up a great salad for dinner.

I will begin my speed and distance workouts to train for the Parkersburg Half Marathon next week. (Parkersburg is in August.)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Toasty Tonight

I didn't get out to walk tonight until after 7! Even though it was late, it was pretty toasty. Though the intent of this walk was stress relief, I wasn't very effective -- I didn't walk hard enough to get my heart rate up that hard. I need to get out walking a little more to be acclimated before I work that hard in the heat.

Next week my time should free up. (I hope!)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Scents of Walking

Walking through the neighborhood today, my olfactory senses were unusually sharp making my walk much more interesting. The reason I'm so excited is that my sinuses are usually sore this time of year and I'm lucky to be able to smell anything.

Today's walk featured:
- honeysuckle
- fresh mown grass
- a cookout (ribs maybe?)
- roses
- fabric softener
- random flowering trees
- dogs (lots of dogs)

A good end to a stressful day!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Artificial Sweeteners and Weight Gain

Recent studies with rats indicate that the use of artificial sweeteners could actually cause weight gain because your body anticipates more calories than it is consuming, causing you to either eat more calories or maybe burn fewer calories.

I don't know the science, obviously, but from my own personal experience, I can't see it. I know it is not good for me (and I have cut back), but I drink diet soft drinks and use artificial sweeteners. It isn't even because of the calories. I just really like the taste. I have tried to use sugar or no sweeteners in tea (I put nothing in my coffee) but it just isn't the same. I don't enjoy it.

At the same time, there is nothing that will ruin a dark chocolate candy bar, an ice cream sundae or a piece of cake quicker than a diet soft drink. And when I'm enjoying an ice cold Diet Coke, I really do not want anything with tons of sugar calories. (Truth moment here: potato chips and French onion dip go GREAT with Diet Coke.)

There are lots of artificial foods out there that are not good for us and affect humans in unpredicted ways. So, while I am not discounting the studies, I'm not seeing it in my own experience.

For more information, go to this web site: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080210183902.htm.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday Morning with the Buckeye Striders

The great thing about being a member of a walking club is that every week a group of us get together and walk. Knowing there is that group of people waiting for you can help to wake up early on a Saturday and get out.

The only bad thing about walking with a large group of people is making sure everyone has someone to walk with. I mean, that's the point of being a member of a club, right?

The Buckeye Striders has members of all speeds and fitness levels. We all have a pace we are comfortable with and sometimes we have to alter it to walk with others.

Today we had about 13 people in our group. It was an out and back walk today, and it was really fun the way we took turns walking with each other! Some went faster, some went slower, we traded. It was a good morning!

Note: We met at Tuttle Park, which was especially beautiful today. The temps were mild when we started and it warmed up quickly as we went. We ended up going a little over an hour and I hope we got in at least 4 miles. We were not at our fastest. Still, it was a good workout!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dancing the Night Away

Though I have not been walking as much as I'd like, I made up for it at a family wedding last weekend. All of us danced so much my entire body ached on Sunday! Even as late as yesterday, my arms and shoulders were still sore. My legs felt heavy earlier today and I could really feel them when climbing the stairs!

It's not the same as consistent exercise or my regular walking workouts. But we all really got our heartbeats up, we sweated like crazy and it was a blast!

I wonder if I can count this as cross-training.