Monday, June 07, 2021

#BestSongIHeardToday • Volume V

Volume I • II • III • IV  • V •  Team Tortoise Blogs

The #BestSongIHeardToday series is often centered around hearing great songs while exercising. These posts will tend to drift into health related topics but will always come back to the music that brought you here. This particular series is probably more about a self journal to help me stay on the path of healthy living that includes, listening to old and new tunes.

Painting by Gene Ritchhart

Losing weight is the hardest thing. During the pandemic I gained what a lot people call, "The COVID Fifteen." For me, it was actually twelve pounds of mostly home cooking and comfort carbs getting out of control. 

In February of this year, I started my patented Moderate-Keto Routine (notice I didn't call it the four-letter word, DIET). This process involves simply stepping up my game from my Regular Low Carb Routine. 

My Moderate-Keto Routine evolved from a couple earlier attempts in dieting using the Weight Watchers® counting calories/points method. I do give Weight Watchers credit for raising my awareness to the amount of carbohydrates I was putting into my body daily, and those carbs compared to proteins and fats. As we have all learned over the years with carb counting, carbohydrates turn to sugar, sugar turns to fat. It's one of the facts of life that doesn't get easier to face as I get older. 

I'm a real foodie live-to-eat kind of guy and can easily fall off the low carb wagon, it's just that now my ability to get back on that wagon seems to fit more of good routine than a dire diet situation. Ultimately, it's about living a low carb lifestyle so that when I fall, I can easily get back up rather than follow some diet marketing scheme.

  • Lesson Learned #1 - The faster I lost weight on a diet, the faster I gained it right back.

I come from a family that has the food gene. Most of us are built 4x4 stocky. From a DNA perspective, I didn't choose to be stocky, but I can choose NOT to be wider and stockier. 

Once I hit my late 30's, my metabolism began slowing way down while our food culture was packing more carbs into almost every packaged food. Around 2010, I started reading the nutritional labels on the back of packaged foods, and formulated a plan.

  • Lesson Learned #2 - Target and Eliminate specific high carb foods on a daily basis.
    Reward yourself with those same foods on an occasional basis. 
Eliminating specific foods on a daily basis is an individual decision. For me, the first thing I eliminated back in 2010 was my daily morning glass of orange juice. 

Now I'm not going to bore you with my current list of daily banned foods, but I will give you one example here that I added to my list in February of this year. If I had to pick one food category that is my caloric heroin, it would be bread. Within bread comes my favorite bread, toast and with toast comes the cherished butter and apricot jam. So now, my deadly toast habit is parked in a frozen loaf stored in my freezer, only to appear every now and then. No bread begets no butter and no jam. 

Oh, and another thing that shot my weight up this past year during the pandemic, I got into making frozen blended fruit smoothies with vodka or tequila. Yeah, "F*** You COVID-19!" 

Now with that being said, I needed to get back on the low carb wagon and lose some weight. Here is the most important lesson I've learned about losing weight.

  • Lesson Learned #3 - LOSE ONE POUND A WEEK. 
    (I use a digital scale and calendar to track my progress.)
If I lose one pound or more on my Sunday morning weigh-in, I just move one pound down to my next Sunday weigh-in. 

If I don't lose or even gain weight, my same calendar weight for that Sunday just gets moved to the next Sunday. For example as I write this, I've been currently stuck at the same weight for three weeks. I actually gained a couple pounds after eating pasta, pizza, and some tasty Mexican take out several days in a row one week. Yes, its okay to fall off the keto wagon now and then, just be disciplined to hop right back on and lose that pound a week for whatever your goal is, so you don't have to go into Moderate to Full-Blown Ketosis.

Now let's talk about Ketosis for a moment. Ketosis is a process that happens when your body doesn't have enough carbohydrates to burn for energy. Instead, it burns fat and makes things called ketones, which it can use for fuel. 

Keto-type diets often start with a two-week carb abstinence program to get you into full-blown ketosis. These diets work on the scheme of dropping pounds instantly and giving their paying customers instant gratification. Now just like any addiction, going "cold turkey" is not recommended, and a slow gradual approach is the long game for success in the body weight game. I do not believe in punishing myself living in Full-Blown Ketosis, it's actually not mentally or physically healthy over extended periods of time.

By simply being a little more disciplined in my low carb daily eating routine, I'll typically lose a pound a week without the torture. I follow a more natural process of Moderate Ketosis over a period of weeks or months until I get down to my goal weight number. I then go back to my less regimented Regular Low Carb Routine as a lifestyle for my maintaining my weight. 

I'll tell you though, moving from my low carb routine to moderate ketosis is still hard work, in fact the older I get, the harder it gets to lose weight. It can really get me down, do I just give up? 

Second to what I eat, is my aerobic exercise routine. I've said this many times over the years, taking a daily walk is one of the keys to one's physical and mental health and ultimately living a long life.

  •  Lesson Learned #4 - Take A Walk At Least Once A Day,
                                                   and/or Run (Jog) Every Other Day

Some form of aerobic exercise is the second most important thing to do in maintaining or losing weight. The two together form my Health is a Lifestyle Routine (thank you Mark Hunter).

I'm not going to tell you how long or how far you need to walk and/or run. Like everything else presented here, it's based on my Team Tortoise life philosophy, Slow and Steady. 

  • And, Lesson Learned #5 - Take Your Tunes With You
    I always have some tunes on my phone to listen to on that walk or run. 
Now remember my current three-week stall of not losing but actually gaining a couple of pounds. This past week, I'm out on the trail and Peter Gabriel's live concert version of Don't Give Up comes on with Paula Cole. The song just filled my heart with purpose and motivation and became the spark to write this post. 

Enjoy the new playlist my friends!


2 comments:

  1. Don't give up and keep exercising! Look forward to seeing you soon Doug. -Spencer

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  2. I have a bread addiction too Doug. Must be from our years in captivity when we subsisted on bread and water. Of course I’m kidding! We should pat ourselves on the back for maintaining our commitment to running ever since we enrolled in coach Kring’s jogging class 45 plus years ago. Love Peter Gabriel as the opening act in this weeks blog. Always enjoy. Thanks Doug

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