Drew Harvey, the guy behind the fantastic blog Diet Tired, has emailed me so I can let you all know about “The Ultimate Calorie, Carb and Fat Guide” (there’s a screenshot of it on the Diet Tired Free Tools page).
It’s a fantastic printable resource that lets you see at a glance the calories, fat and carbs in standard portion sizes of a huge range of common foods.
One of the best features of it, for me, is that calories, fat grams and carb grams are given by portion size rather than by 100g or 1 ounce – much more convenient.
The two-page guide also gives you useful information on eyeballing portion sizes, and on how many calories you should be eating.
I’ve bought a good few diet guides and similar over the years, and this has to be one of the neatest ones I’ve seen – very compact, nicely laid out, and beautifully designed.
Best of all, it’s free – Drew informs me that all you need to do is sign up for the RSS or email feed from Diet Tired, and you’ll get a link to download it in the first post that comes through.
If you’ve been reading The Office Diet for a while, you probably know that I write regularly on Diet Blog too.
I’ve recently started writing for the excellent website You On A Diet – I’ve been a fan of their site for a while (you’ll notice they’re in the blogroll down on the bottom left!) Here’s the first two posts I’ve had published there:
Hope you enjoy reading them!
How’s your January been? Most of my resolutions were related to my work and study, but I did manage to go to two “Legs, Bums and Tums” classes at my gym (and I have the aching muscles to prove it!)
Today and tomorrow are your last chance to get my Dieting Basics ebook for just $4. The special offer has been popular all January – so don’t miss out on it. (I’ll be putting the price back up to $12 on Sunday 1st Feb.) The ebook has eighty-eight pages of great advice, along with some gorgeous (and funny) photos, and lots of tips, tricks and information. If you buy it and you don’t find it helpful, no problem – just drop me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll refund your money straight away.
But if you’re in a hurry, just grab it straight away:
I was getting changed at the gym, and overheard one woman saying to another:
“I’m constantly hungry. But it’s working.”
(She was a slim woman, certainly not someone who needed to lose weight.)
I wanted to say to all The Office Diet’s readers that it is NOT okay for a diet to leave you feeling hungry all the time. Healthy eating never means starving yourself: you need enough food to keep your body healthy and fit. It’s especially important to eat enough when you’re exercising.
Nutritionists recommend not dropping below 1,000 calories per day as an absolute minimum (and many say 1,100). If you’re tall or male, your minimum is likely to be significantly higher than this. It’s always a good idea to have a chat with your doctor before going on a diet, to find out what’s right for you. If you don’t want to visit your doctor, you can work out your recommended daily calorie intake yourself.
Those are figures if you’re not exercising: if you’re doing a daily gym session or an hour’s walk, you’ll ned to add at least 200 – 300 calories to fuel your body through the activity.
Many of us (myself included) are prone to eating when we’re not hungry. If you’ve been overweight for a while, you might find that you need to get used to the sensation of hunger again. It’s normal and good to feel hungry before a meal, and I personally enjoy my food a lot more when I’ve got an appetite for it!
Many dieticians advise thinking of your hunger on a scale of 1 – 10, where 1 is “absolutely stuffed” and 10 is “starving”. You should eat when your hunger level is about 7, and stop when you’re at about a 3.
Hunger becomes a bad thing when you’re feeling hungry hours before a scheduled meal or snack. If you eat breakfast at seven thirty and you’re feeling hungry at nine, you’re not eating enough. Don’t suffer through hours of hunger pangs – have a healthy snack instead.
Persistent hunger tends to make you irritable, unable to focus and tired: it’s not good for you, or for your work. If you’re feeling hungry on your calorie allowance, try adding an extra 150 – 200 calories per day. You’ll lose weight a little more slowly, but you’ll be far more likely to stick to it long-term.
Don’t forget that the Dieting Basics ebook is just $4 until the end of January – grab your copy now, the price will be going back up to $12 on February 1st!
With any big goal that takes daily effort, you need to stay motivated. This is especially crucial when you’re trying to change your lifestyle to lose weight or get fit.
Spend five minutes today thinking about why you want to lose weight (or maintain your current weight, or get fitter). And don’t feel bad if your motivations aren’t all “worthy” ones. Being desperately keen to fit back into those jeans you wore as a teenager just might be the thing that keeps you on track when the chocolate cookies are calling your name!
If you’re struggling to stay motivated, one way to give yourself an extra boost is to use your goal to help someone else. I recently received an email about the Pound for Pound challenge where Americans can sign up with their weight loss goal and track their progress. For every pound you lose, 10 cents (enough for one pound of food) is donated to a food bank to help families in your area who might otherwise go hungry.
(You can also donate directly, or collect Pound For Pound lids and seals from specially-marked General Mills products.)
For those whose goal is to get fitter, why not find a charity bike ride (such as the London to Paris Big Issue one) or a run which you could do to raise money for those in need?
Whether your motivations are a little bit “selfish” (like “I want to impress my relatives with how much slimmer I am, next Christmas”) or utterly selfless (“I’m training as hard as I can for this marathon so I can make lots of money for charity”), keep them in mind. Next time you’re tempted to have a second slice of cake, or to skip your planned workout, you’ll find that you’re that bit stronger.
I’m delighted to announce that The Office Diet has been included in a list of 100 top weight-loss blogs – you can find all the others at http://www.uspharmd.com/blog/2008/top-100-weight-loss-blogs/
The word “diet” has a lot of negative connotations, and some healthy eating/fitness/weight loss bloggers and writers prefer to avoid it altogether. I can see the advantages of promoting a “not-diet”: a holistic, balanced way of eating that avoids any connection with the idea of deprivation, restriction or faddy eating. (This is the philosophy espoused by the Ditch Diets, Live Light site, for example.)
However … I don’t think that “dieting” needs to be seen in too negative a light. For me, dieting to lose weight simply means tweaking eating habits a bit in order to make healthier choices. I’m a big fan of being mindful of calories, since it’s the only way I’ve ever succeeded in my (repeated) attempts at dieting. To lose weight, you need to use more energy than you take in – and few of us can manage that by exercise or positive thinking alone.
If the word “diet” has too many negative connotations for you, don’t think of yourself as being on a diet – call it:
“Eating healthily to lose weight…”
“Making some changes to my eating habits to be healthier…”
“Enjoying my food more by choosing things that make me feel good after I’ve eaten…”
Good luck with your diet (or not-diet)! And if you need a bit of extra help, why not buy my Dieting Basics ebook? I’ve dropped the price to a credit-crunch-beating $4 for the whole of January, and it’s packed with 88 pages of advice, tips and help. Just click here to find out more details.