"Diabetics misguided on healthy weight"

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Here’s an interesting article (click here) that has some parallels with the advice in my book. The article discusses how a survey of diabetics shows that they generally have misconceptions about what constitutes healthy body weight.

I think similar results could be found if the study were expanded beyond diabetics. I hear quite frequently that I need to gain weight because I just don’t look healthy.

10. Keep a food diary for 2 weeks and then use my book to figure out how to calculate your food needs.

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Well, we’re a quarter of the way through the year and I’m finally finishing off my ten tips to stick with your New Year’s Resolution. Hopefullly you’re still going strong and I also hope that you have found these tips useful.

My final tip is to keep a food diary for two weeks and then use my book to figure out how to calculate your food needs. As I write this I realize that this is probably THE most important tip yet. Too bad I saved it for last. My bad.

For many people the weight problem isn’t really lack of exercise, it’s how much food they’re putting in their mouths. While exercise helps counter overeating, keep metabolism pumping and allows you to eat a couple more bites a day it isn’t as important as how much food you put in your mouth.

Most people (myself included) would really rather not know how many calories they eat. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard something like, “life’s too short to worry about calories” I’d probably have about $20. But, I’ve learned that that attitude is simply denial. Just use that same argument on other things to see its folly. Let me try it.

Life’s too short to…
…worry about saving money.
…look at the speedometer every once in awhile.
…visit the dentist.
…visit the doctor.
…worry about grades.
…worry about job performance.
…bother raising my children well.
…maintain my car.

Doesn’t work, does it? Unfortunately, I know people with some of these attitudes and it hasn’t paid off for them.

If you want to lose weight, you need to become intimate with your calorie intake. Does it take some of the fun out of eating? It hasn’t for me. In fact, it’s made eating more fun (more on that in a bit). Reality is reality. If you eat too many calories, then you eat too many calories whether you know it or not. I think it’s much more useful to know than not know it.

So how has calorie counting made eating more fun, you ask? I rarely overindulge anymore and so I avoid the guilt and uncomfortable, overstuffed feeling that comes with it. I know aproximately how much food I can eat, so I savor my bites and stop when I’m supposed to. Also, stopping gives me quite a feeling of empowerment.

In order to become an expert calorie counter, I recommend simply writing down everything you eat for two weeks. There are plenty of resources available to give you the calorie counts. Just Google “calorie content” or “calorie counts” and you’ll be sure to find something.

Usually, I can tell why someone is overweight by just reviewing a two day diary. The reason I recommend two weeks is that by the end of two weeks chances are high that you’ll be able to make pretty good estimates of the calorie content of your food without writing it down and looking it up. Then calorie counting will be simply embedded in your brain circuitry. It’ll become almost automatic.

I will warn you. If you are overweight, chances are that your calorie intake far exceeds your calorie needs if you were to just maintain a normal, healthy weight. Be prepard for a schock. I know I had one on my day or reckoning.

Finally, please buy a copy of my book (see the links to Amazon.com on the right). It’ll teach you how to equate your calorie intake to your weight.

Good luck.

Follow up to the KC Star Magazine

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I was very pleased to see my book featured in the Star Magazine and I’ve been pleased with the response. My hope is that those who discovered me will learn something useful.

For accuracy sake, I’d like to clear up two inaccuracies in the Star blurb. First, I didn’t gain and lose weight for years. I only gained, until figured it out. Second, rather than starting with the Zone diet, I ended with it. The Zone was the last piece of the puzzle I needed to be successful because from it I learned how to optimize my calorie intake without getting terrible hunger pains (or is pangs?).

If you’d like to receive an e-mail each time I update this blog, please send an e-mail to smcmenemy@hotmail.com, subject: “few bites”. Also, I promise not to share your information with anyone else.

Thanks again!

Kansas City Star Magazine

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For those of you that learned about my book and blog in the Getting Started section of the Kansas City Star magazine – Welcome!

I try to post new entries once or twice a week (or whenever I have some worthy thoughts), so I hope that you will bookmark this site as a favorite and check back often. I also welcome you to post your comments and questions to my blog. If you send your e-mail address to smcmenemy@hotmail.com (Subject: “Few Bites”) and I’ll be happy to send you an e-mail whenever I’ve updated my blog.

Also, I hope that you will purchase my book. There’s a link to the right that’ll take you to Amazon.com where you can purchase it online. Buy it with other books and it will help you qualify for Amazon’s free shipping program. If you are local to Kansas City, the book is also available at Rainy Day Books in Fairway, By the Book in Liberty and Biscari Brothers Bicycles in Liberty. These retailers will be happy to assist you. I’m also willing to mail you a copy. The details on ordering through the mail are in the Getting Started section.

My weight loss story isn’t a new, revolutionary program that’ll allow you to melt the pounds off while you eat nothing buy cake and ice cream. Rather, it’s a collection of most of the information that allowed me to gain control over my weight. All this information is “out there”, but it took me years to collect the pieces and to connect the dots to make it a success for me. Many times I heard or read something and it simply didn’t register, until much later. For example, I’m now a big believer in the BMI (body-mass index). I knew about it for several years before I dropped the weight, but I refused to believe what it was telling me.

I’m still collecting pieces and I think it’s important keep weight control top of mind, which are two reasons why I write this blog. I’d love it if what I’ve learned can help you figure it out too. Please join me.

-Seth McMenemy

9. Join groups that meet for recreational activities.

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I’ve mentioned this tip several times throughout my blog. Joining or starting a group or groups that are built around some sort of exercise or activity is a great way to burn calories and keep your mind off of food.

I ride my bike on most Saturday mornings with a group of people. Over the course of the last few years, over 200 people have ridden with us at one time or another, but there’s a core group of about 10 – 15 that come back week after week. I always look forward to catching up with everyone and having others to discuss cycling culture with (very few people in the general population know much it). As I’ve said, we meet on most Saturday mornings throughout the year – even during the winter. We also host a charity ride in May and participate with eachother in other events around the region including other organized events and weekend getaways. Not only do I derive great social benefit for having these people as my friends – as all are top-notch people that I’ve learned a lot from – but, it just makes it that much easier to get out and burn calories when you have friends that you want to spend time with and they just happen to share your passion for activity.

Clubs exist for all kinds of activities. They can be as informal as the group of people I ride with on Saturday mornings or much more organized and/or geared more toward competition. I know of clubs for running, road cycling, mountain biking, triathlons, kayaking, basketball, soccer, volleyball, rock climbing, skiing and so forth. And within each of these general categories there always seems to be several variations. For example, within my area of expertise – cycling – there are about a half a dozen competitive teams in my area, two major cycling clubs and numerous off-shoots of those clubs that have smaller numbers of people that are located closer together geographically.

All it takes is a little effort from you to find these out. I recommend surfing local athletic websites to find out about the clubs, meeting times and any requirements. Also ask around in your local retail establishments that specialize in your activity for such groups. They can usually point you in a good direction for your level of experience. Finally, don’t forget to ask co-workers and friends. They can be founts of knowledge.

If you’re still having trouble finding a group that meets your needs, start one up. Maybe you enjoy running, but there isn’t a group that close enough to you to make it convenient. Just post a flyer at the local community center, ask stores to post flyers and see if you can get an announcement in the local newspaper. Set a regular time and place to meet to start your activity. Keep at it and soon others will join you. But, chances are there is already some sort of group in your area of interest already nearby. You just have to find it.

Remember, the group activity gives you extra motivation to get out and burn calories and at the same time absorbs some of the time that you may have been absorbing extra, unwanted calories, which is a double bonus for your waistline.