My brain cells seem to be lining up this morning after a lot of thinking lately along with reading about different eating plans. It reminded me about times a few years ago when I was obsessed with looking at and finding RVs or trailers to buy ... or the times I would trade cars .. on and on and on. Luckily reading articles online is a lot cheaper than making the financial transaction to buy cars, SUVs or an RV.
Add to the fact, the past two nights I have stayed up late to watch the Reds lose two games in Los Angeles, the hounds and I have been starting our days a little later than normal. Today's game starts at 3:10pm local time so we will be able to get back on schedule.
While I wrapped up my reading about eating plans and nutritional targets this morning, Stella laid down by my desk chair and slept the whole time while Heidi was on her dog bed wrapped in the sleeping bag for her after breakfast nap. We took off for our walk this morning around 10:30am in 61° weather and a breeze whipping through the field.
With rain in the forecast for Thursday and Friday I heard the last mower in the neighborhood getting his yard mowed before the rain comes.
Stella was doing a lot more trotting this morning but the camera was never fast enough to catch her when she was applying 100% effort.
So what's with all this thinking I have been doing about eating plans? I've mentioned it various times in the past four months. My brain basically locked into that topic because I was not losing the weight I wanted to lose. Like most of the population it yoyo's back and forth with a few times where I fall off the healthy food diet, losing all control with junk food. THAT has not happened recently ... but the bathroom scale still shows I am stuck at my current weight, give or take a pound or two and have been for the past six months.
Keto is too extreme for me and there is no way I am going to survive on 20g or less of carbohydrates per day. I never looked at that diet as a long-term plan but seriously considered it just to lose weight. If I were to regain that lost weight, than what would have been the point of being strict?
I tried Paleo a few years ago and that gave me instant improvement by taking away my indigestion I was getting when eating healthy food. Plus I lost a few pounds but all that fat concerned me with a family history of cardiac problems. Yes, I remember I am not them and realized that my way of eating for the majority of my life was a lot different from them. Still ... causing my own heart attack lingered in back of my mind.
Over the past four years I found out what healthy food I could eat and which healthy food gave me indigestion soon after eating it or waiting to torment me hours later in the middle of the night ... like around 3am. Never fun and very frustrating. I also figured out no matter how healthy yogurt might be for me I needed to avoid eating all dairy products. Dairy products would lead me to taking tablets of TUMS for relief.
On top of that, some whole grains did the same thing. Yet, they are listed as being healthy food and a requirement. There were certain brand name wheat breads I could eat but I found the more I ate them the harder it was to lose weight. This story gets better. LOL
With no grains or dairy on my developed menu, the choices of food were getting less and less. Combing my physical reactions to different foods, combined with the different diets I was actually migrating to a very healthy menu of just a few foods that I could eat and enjoyed eating them. This took place over a few years but really focussing the past few months.
Since my brain cells have always "bounced around" a lot from thought to thought, I also did that with different diets. Lucky for me those spreadsheets I used to track the insanity gave me proof what worked and what did not work when it came to my meal plan. Those crazy spreadsheets gave my answers in a very clear format. Basically it was obvious when I looked at the data I collected.
They actually have a diet name for the way I was eating most of the time. US News & Word Report's diet rankings call it the Flexitarian Diet. It is ranked high in their study with a panel of nutritional experts. Yet ... I could not lose weight eating that way.
I've always gone with "moderation" on the foods I should or was told to avoid if I wanted to eat healthy. I've been pretty consistent with that policy the past four to five years. The few times I went back to eating the way I use to and did NOT log in my food into a calorie app ... I'd gain a LOT of weight back, meaning 8-10 pounds.
Some might think from my recent posts about diet talk and mentioning some of the books I have been reading about eating, that something might be wrong with my health that I am not fully honest about.
That is not true.
Nothing is wrong healthwise with me. I was/am just wanting to fine tune my eating plan for optimum health as I get older. With my Apple Watch being accurate in counting and tracking my heart rate plus my sleep patterns, I read that I am above average for a man my age in resting heart rate, heart rate dip during sleep and not reaching my maximum heart rate doing any kind of activity.
I want to keep it that way so I wanted to fine tune and double-check what I am eating to make sure I am getting all the nutrients for someone my age and at the same time lose the weight I want to lose. Am I fat in appearance? Not by what my friends say but by what I read in articles about nutrition and my BMR number I am and need to lose weight.
A friend of mine started dieting with me on the same day a few months ago. Some of you read his blog or his journal as he likes to call it, will know this story. After 3 months he lost the 30 pounds he wanted to lose but had a mild heart attack soon after. He told me the other day that doctors did not know why he had a mile heart attack but he suspects it was caused by his low blood pressure in the middle of the night.
We all probably knew a friend that died at a younger age, ate healthy and may have even been a workout addict. Like I mentioned before a lot of people in my rural area live into their late 80's or 90's and were not the type to drink bottled water nor eat all the fad diets. They may have smoked cigarettes their whole life and/or had a lot of fat in their diets ... still they lived a lot of years.
So nobody knows when it's time to check out, and everybody is different.
The past two days I had come to the conclusion based on all I had read in medical journals, blogs by licensed nutritionist, my personal experience and my spreadsheets ... I had a range of foods I could eat that were listed as healthy by one diet or another. I also knew each kind of eating plan never agreed on what to eat. To some oatmeal is healthy and by others it's a food to avoid ... just an example.
I know what foods give me indigestion and I'll avoid those. I have for months. I also know I cannot live on fast food cheeseburgers and pizza as much as I would like to and remain healthy from what I have read. I also know from personal experience eating that way is the fastest way to regain the 26 pounds I have lost since retiring in April 2014.
I also decided I did NOT want to splurge on carbohydrates nor did I want to go to the extreme that Keto suggests. I found when I would eat more than 100g of carbs per day I gained weight ... although carbs do NOT cause weight gain ... calorie intake does.
Yes carbs that are not burned turns to fat and weight is gained but at the same time calorie intake could be higher than the daily requirement during that time. One thing I did find when I did eat higher carbs and low-fat meals ... I felt lethargic, took naps, felt like crap. So much for the vegetarian diet.
I also found I felt better, less hungry and ate fewer calories per day because I was not that hungry, occurred when I at less carbs, more protein and fat. In some eyes that is a terrible diet for long term but it is what I feel best on.
Is there a happy medium balance between the two ways of eating?
I could see I was coming close to a final eating plan and end my insane obsession with what to eat and just enjoy life. I also know that if I don't track what food I eat using Cronometer where I can see the detail nutritional value of what I am eating (a free app) then I eat more than I should, gain weight and feel like crap like I use to.
I want to do this.
Avoid all dairy products, cut way back on grains eating smaller portions of grains that don't give me indigestion like pasta, brown rice and that specific brand name bread. I will go back to skinless chicken, more seafood and a NY strip steak only once per month. Pizza and cheeseburgers are allowed but no more than one per month if that. I know what fruits cause me to gain weight so I will avoid those and I know which beans give me indigestion, to avoid those ... but eat others.
I am going to lean toward lower carbs but will not go crazy if I eat 150g in a day. I'd like 50g per day but see I do well at 80g per day. For someone my age the consistent answer is I need .4g of protein per pound of body weight. I found today in reading that protein target could be between .36 to .68 grams per pound.
So yesterday afternoon I decided to come up with my own nutritional targets that I can put in Cronometer to see daily results. I wanted to stay at 50g of carbs per day, and I used .4grams per pound for my protein target. You can see by the process of elimination, once you have a carbs and protein target that leaves your fat intake to be only a blance of what is left out of a 100% of calories.
When I wrote those numbers down my fat intake would be off the charts. I didn't want that. For example: Calories 1750, Carbs 50g, Protein 80g and that left Fat 138g per day. The percentages would be Carbs 11%, Protein 18% and what is left is Fat 71%, WAY OVER the limits of most diet suggestions.
So I went digging again and found a good article "How Many Carbs & Protein Over 50 years Old" and brought those nutritional targets a little bit more into reality.
After reading their information and taking their "overweight" ranges I came up with these nutritional targets. I think with what I plan to eat and do eat most of the time this will be a good range of nutrients.
I dropped my calories from 1750 to 1600 because I want to lose weight. I took the lower percentage of 45% of calories for carbs (180g). I split the difference between .36 and .68 to come up with .52grams per pound or 26.5% of calories for protein. (106g) and that left a balance of 29% of calories for fat intake. (52g)
It will be the lower 1600 calories per day that will have me losing weight, not the amount of carbs I eat. I've seen that happen before when I was eating 1200-1700 per day. I have not been eating 180g of carbs based on the foods I eat. The fat intake is not 10% like some doctores or diets recommend but remember I said a few paragraphs before ... low-fat, high carbs make me feel sick, lethargic and at times sleepy in the middle of the day. It still falls below the recommended 30% by a lot of different diets.
Will I splurge every once in a while? Sure ... but that falls within my 'moderation' boundary and I don't see anything wrong with having a Five Guys cheeseburger or a pizza ever month or so. For example I had a pizza a few weeks ago for the first time in two months or longer. I can't remember the last time I had a cheeseburger from any fast food drive-thru.
I have cut out a lot of those foods I'm told avoid and like I told someone the other day, without noticing, I no longer have the nightly insane urge for candy, cookies, ice cream or sweets. Those cravings are gone.
As you can see, our morning walk is not really official until Stella turns to her right and walks as close to the house as possible to finish our morning walk.
Like I said on this blog on Blogger a few years ago or possibly my dieting post here in December ... my eating 'problem' has always been PORTION SIZE more than what kind of food I eat. Always has been.
If you read this far I hope I did not bore you. For those that read this far and are interested in an eating plan or trying to diet for whatever reason, I hope you found some useful information in my rambling.
I have a lot of these purple flowers in my yard. I never spray to keep them but I do mow over them. There are a lot of them in the front yard and always show up in the same part of the yard for the 21 years I have lived here. Cutting the grass at 3", taller than all my three or four neighbors. I have a green yard and theirs are already showing grass that has been cut to short and will look dead in the middle of the summer.
Heidi woke up around her normal time and let me know it was time for lunch. She has become a little more demanding lately with her nonstop barking and hopping up and down as she barks at me. She gets those front paws off the ground a good half-inch each time she jumps.
They went outside right after eating but didn't stay long. Stella checked out the neighbor mowing his yard along the edge of the highway and headed for the door to go back inside. Within SECONDS both of them were in a deep sleep for the rest of the afternoon. Nothing new there.
I need to clean their ears and cut there toenails today or tomorrow, maybe I'll try cutting their nails while they sleep. With baseball at 3:10pm, great overcast weather and all the windows open, it's a perfect time to continue reading the three books that seem to go on forever. That short time I was outside talking those two pictures I found three ticks crawling on my when I got back to my desk.
Healthy eating here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.