Tag Archives: Education

10 Secrets to a Low Calorie Lifestyle

17 Oct

I can hear the complaints already. Ok…yes, this is a manly blog. Yes, we like to report on everything masculine, manly and all-together XX (vs XY – mind out of the gutter). But something that is becoming all-together socially acceptable for men is the topic of being more healthy in terms of diet. We here at IaMW have decided to embrace this trend and run with it. So here are 10 secrets to a low-calorie lifestyle, as told in the latest issue of GQ:

1. Reduce!
When you’re young—in your twenties, say—it’s easy to think that no matter how many pounds you put on, you’ll always be able to starve and exercise yourself back into fighting shape. Here’s some bad news: Weight gain is self-reinforcing. As your weight climbs, your body’s metabolism adjusts to maintain your new girth.

The solution? Don’t let yourself slip in the first place. Maintaining a low weight over the course of your entire life is about more than looking good; it’ll preserve your overall health. By being vigilant about how much you eat—no matter how old you are—you’ll save yourself from a lifetime of fending off weight gain and the health problems that accompany it.

2. “Low Fat”? No Thanks
If you grew up in the ’80s, the notion that fat is evil is probably lodged deep inside your brain. But remember: It’s calories you’re concerned about, and you needn’t obsess over where they’re coming from. Certain low-fat foods replace fat with sugar and can actually end up containing more calories: Low-fat yogurt, for example, can contribute more to your daily caloric intake than the richer, creamier (and tastier) full-fat stuff.

3. Learn Your Portions
Even though you’re eating the right mix of things, you’re almost certainly eating way too much of everything. According to Walter Willett, chair of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, for an adult male, a healthy portion of meat is “about the size of the palm of your hand and as thick as a deck of cards.” The more fat or sugar an item has—i.e., the more it resembles dessert—the smaller the serving size. You probably have a good feel for it already; test yourself on these items:

1. An average serving of peanut butter should be the size of:
(a) a Ping-Pong ball, (b) a pea, (c) a tennis ball.

2. A serving of cheese should be the size of:
(a) a wheel of Brie, (b) your fist, (c) a stack of Post-it notes.

3. A serving of pasta, rice, or potatoes should be the size of:
(a) your netbook, (b) your cupped hand, (c) a travel tube of toothpaste.

(Answers: 1.a; 2.c; 3.b.)

4. Starting Now: Less Meat
Want to know where most of your calories are coming from? Follow the lead of two anonymous GQ editors—one a fish-eating vegetarian, one a barbecue fan—and record what you eat for a few days.

Vegetarian
29% Non-meat protein
18% Grains
10% Alcohol
16% Snacks
14% Dairy
5% Fruits/veggies
8% Seafood
Total calories: 10,472

Carnivore
26% Meat
31% Grains
16% Alcohol
12% Snacks
7% Dairy
8% Fruits/veggies
Total calories: 13,126

5. You Can (Almost) Never Go Wrong With Fruits and Vegetables
As a general rule, you can eat them until you’re full. One of the great triumphs of modern supermarket shopping is the sheer variety of produce on offer—half a dozen kinds of apples, a few kinds of pears, kiwis, mangoes, papayas—and you’ll improve your chances of keeping a healthy amount of fruit in your diet by cycling through different varieties. For veggies, avoid steaming and boiling; they may be the lowest- cal options, but you’ll be bored to death within days—and return to your old, higher-calorie way of eating. Instead, sauté, roast, or grill them.

6. Eat Protein, Curb Hunger
Protein—especially the sort found in lean meats and dairy—is another great way to trick your body into satiety. When digested, it causes the release of a hormone called CCK that makes you feel full. Combine lean protein and fruit—say, yogurt and strawberries—and there’s a perfect breakfast.

7. A Lower-Calorie Night Out
First the bad news: Alcohol is calorie-dense, and a few drinks add up quickly. But by having a glass of water with each drink, you’ll wind up ordering fewer of them (and have less of a hangover the next morning, too). Per serving, wine has the fewest calories, then beer, then cocktails.

8. Keep It Simple
Instead, try focusing on just a few basic ways of cutting back—a salad instead of a burger and fries for lunch (800 calories less) or the petite portion of steak when you’re out for dinner (200 calories less)—and once you’re doing that consistently, adopt another, like buying smaller dinner plates to use at home (you’ll put less food on them).

9. It’s Okay to Indulge—Every Once In Awhile
You will slip up and help yourself to a coma-inducing plate of nachos every now and then—don’t let that derail you. “This is not all or nothing,” says Harvey Simon, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “It’s not a question of changing everything all at once. That doesn’t work.”

10. Stock Your Low-Cal Pantry
We went grocery shopping with Mark Bittman—bestselling cookbook author, New York Times columnist, and with his latest book, Food Matters, vocal booster of low-calorie eating—to find out how to stock our shelves. Wheat berries? In. Snackwell’s cookies? “Those,” says Bittman, “are the death of America.”

• Olives: For snacking.
• Whole-grain crackers: “Kavli, Wasa, Ryvita, Ak-Mak—they have real guts.”
• Hummus and avocados: For the crackers.
• Popcorn: “Put a fourth of a cup of popcorn in a paper bag and throw it in the microwave. Add lime, salt, and hot sauce like sriracha.”
• Cooked, peeled, vacuum-packed beets: For salads, snacks.
• Olive oil, vinegar (balsamic, white wine, apple cider), and Dijon mustard: For salad dressing.
• A bag of lemons: “Lemons add zest to baked fish, salad dressings, chicken dishes, whatever.”
• Steel-cut oats: For breakfast.
• Wheat berries, bulgur, quinoa, barley, millet: “They’re cheap, they keep forever, and they’re lower in calories than processed grains.”

Alternative Uses for Bourbon

25 Feb

Have you ever sat down and through to yourself, “I wonder what else I could do with this bourbon?  I mean…It’s tasty but does it have any more practical purposes?” I thought so.  Well even if this post does nothing else than provide you with some interesting conversation piece at your next sausage-fest, the March issue of Esquire Magazine provides us with the answer to that very question! Here are a few alternative uses for that bourbon that has been on your shelf since you bought your house:

Mouthwash. Ethanol kills the bacteria that live in your mouth by denaturing their proteins and dissolving their lipids.

Local Anesthetic. Interferes with neutral signal transmission, slowing the function of your nervous system but can cause tissue damage due to its ability to break down cells, so it should not be poured on open wounds.

Cough Suppressant. A hot toddy can help beat a cold. The vapor breaks up mucus and honey soothes the throat.

Temporary Vivaciousness. Easy.


OJ: Pulp Up the Jam

11 Nov

Punny titles aside, the November 2010 issue of Men’s Health Magazine (the issue with True Blood’s Ryan Kwanten on the cover) teaches us that it is much healthier to drink orange juice that has pulp in it than juice that does not.  In responding to a reader-asked question on the topic, Men’s Health tells us that those tiny bits of fruit flesh do more than just add texture – they’re packed with disease-fighting phytonutrients.  Specifically, juice with pulp contains 30 percent more anti-inflammatory flavonoids and cancer-fighting limonoids than OJ that’s been strained, according to Jairam Vanamala, PhD, an assistant professor of food science and nutrition at Colorado State University. He says that its most healthy to eat fruit in its natural state, so 100 percent orange juice with pulp is the next best thing to a whole orange.

12 Days of (Free) Christmas…

13 Dec

The funny thing about the recession is that every magazine on the shelves is talking about how to do everything for less.  I mean everything. I will spare you some of them, but one caught my eye and I thought that it would be worth posting.  The November 2009 issue of Men’s Health magazine, the one with Jason Bateman on the cover, has a full section on how to save money during the recession and various statistics about how spending habits are changing.  One section was titled “12 things that don’t cost a cent.”  For your pleasure, here they are…

Music – listen to full-length albums at lala.com and spinner.com.

Directory assistance – Dial (800) FREE-411 for phone numbers

Television – Hulu Desktop (hulu.com/labs/huludesktop) streams shows – 30 Rock, Lost and more – from a computer’s HDMI out port to a connected HDTV.

Brains – MIT’s OpenCourseWare portal (ocw.mit.edu) provides lecture notes, project examples, homework, and tests from real classes in 35 fields, from biology to architecture to economics.

Software – Open Office (openoffice.org) has word processing, spreadsheet and presentation programs that are nearly identical in look, feel and features to Microsoft Office.

Wi-Fi – know before you go with wififreespot.com, which catalogs hotels, cafes, and shops with free web surfing in your hometown or travel destination.

Grub Reviews – your paper’s bloated dining critic is limited to one meal a night, typically at an over-hyped joint.  But chowhound.com‘s user reviews help you find authentic and downright delicious spots from diners who share your tastes and budget.

News – The Wall Street Journal charges for its online content, but if you have an iPhone, you can download its free app and enjoy the same stories at no charge.

Books – Pull up public-domain books, from Twain to Dickens to Poe, on your cellphone with Project Gutenberg’s nearly 30,000 digitized, downloadable books.

Shipping – before you check out at your favorite online store, visit freeshipping.org for coupon codes that can cover the expense of shipping.

Languages – Learn to say “Where’s the bathroom?” in 36 different languages with the BBC’s online guides.

City tours – Learn from the locals with free city tours through the Global Greeter Network (globalgreeternetwork.info), which pairs groups of visitors with knowledgeable volunteers.

Science Fiction Books – Not Just for Nerds

27 Nov

In the November 2009 issue of Details Magazine, with a fab-tastic Glambert on the cover, the “Words” section caught my eye.  The spotlight is on Brandon Sanderson, an up-and-coming author specializing in science-fiction.  Here is the excerpt:

“If the epic-fantasy genre seems suited only to people who play Magic: The Gathering and own Star Wars bedding, consider this: Robert Jordan’s unfinished Wheel of Time series has sold more than 44 million copies. That’s a lot of readers who were left on the edge of their seats when the author died in 2007—including Brandon Sanderson, the 33-year-old writer who was chosen by Jordan’s widow to complete the series using the notes her husband left behind. Today, Sanderson is releasing the first of the three concluding volumes, A Memory of Light: The Gathering Storm (Tor, $30), and is facing expectations from fans who make a tween girl’s passion for the Jonas brothers look like what it is: child’s play.”

Below are 4 additional sci-fi selections that are worth reading.  Choose to do so…if you dare.

1. Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer [Little, Brown, $26] – “The literary wonderkind you love to hate puts a pomo finish on Michael Pollan in this polemic about carnivorism and food production.  Foer’s usual stylistic trickery (e.g. a Swiftian endorsement of eating dogs) doesn’t make reading about castrated piglets much more enjoyable, but maybe a subject like this shouldn’t be fun.”

2. Evening’s Empire by Zachary Lazar [Little, Brown, $25] – “In 1975, when the author was 6, the father he barely knew was shot in the head in a parking garage.  More than 30 years later, Lazar tells the haunting story of this outwardly conventional accountant’s secret life – while painting an indelible portrait of the Space-Age suburbs and an American dream built on fraud.”

3. Changing My Mind by Zadie Smith [Penguin Press, $26] – “Analyzing her father’s comedy obsession, 50 Cent’s film Get Rich or Die Tryin’, and E.M. Forster in her first collection of essays, the novelist effortlessly shifts her tone from academically stiff to whimsical.  Bits like the piece about having multiple linguistic personalities offer insight into the author and will appeal to super-fans hoping to better understand Archie Jones of White Teeth.

4. Invisible by Paul Auster [Henry Holt, $25] – “In this novel with multiple (possibly unreliable) narrators, a young poet is sucked into the orbit of an older French couple in 1967 New York, until a shocking violent act derails their association. As usual with Auster, things are more complicated than they appear, and a Russian doll-like series of tales within tales unfolds – all in the author’s crystal clear prose.”

Is it true if you don’t use it, you lose it?

22 Sep

6a00d83451e0d569e201127945beef28a4All 40 Year Old Virgin jokes aside, research shows that you need to keep your brain active and stimulated in order for it to function at its optimal performance.  In the October 2009 issue of Consumer Reports magazine there is an article on how various things can keep your brain active, which can lead to a longer lifespan and reduce your risk of dementia.  While it may be fun to be a crazy old person (I mean, what have you got to lose?), I would prefer to live a long life.  Personal preference?  I don’t think so.  Follow these rules throughout life and you may be living longer:

  • Develop a new skill or refresh an old one. Learn a new language, plan an instrument or get a hobby studying art – and get out of the house to do it.  Intellectual stimulation can be very fun and it is a good way to keep your brain healthy.
  • Eat less meat, more fish. Several magazines have published reports on how healthy fish is for your brain (yay, Omega 3’s!), and this adds yet another.  A couple years ago the world’s two oldest women, both 114, each were asked what they think was the biggest contributing factor in their longevity.  One said “eating a lot of herring.”  The other said “minding my own business.”  There you go.
  • Stay Productive. This combines the first one with getting out of the house in a sense.  Make to-do lists, even if they are not “musts,” and start checking them off the list. Stay productive!
  • Stay physically active. This will help your mind by increasing  oxygen and blood flow to your brain.  It will also keep you in better shape, which could help you live longer as well.
  • Feed your head. Studies suggest that social engagement and lifelong learning may continue to improve cognition well into your life, and loneliness could trigger dementia. To preserve a healthy brain: go for a walk with a friend or a pet 5 days a week, travel with family or friends, join a gym, sign up for a reading club, or start a new hobby. Just some ideas.

tbrn77l

Work Advice: Avoid the Afternoon Crash

21 Sep

0208bc0769mj200909septp11jpgw300A nutritionists advice on staying alert all day without any caffeine, pills or 73-hour energy.  This post is brought to you by the September 2009 issue of Men’s Journal Magazine.

7 AM: Start with Breakfast – if you eat sugary cereals your sugar could spike, only to crash later and cause you to become lethargic. Oatmeal typically provides the right carb/protein ratio to get you going without the crash.  The more natural, the better.

9 Am: Snack Intelligently – when you start to get hungry reach for natural peanut butter and whole wheat crackers.  These metabolize slower and maintain blood sugar levels.

11 Am: Take a Speed Walk – Japanese researchers found that a 3-minute speed walk every half hour increases oxygen to the brain and keeps you more alert.

12 PM: Hydrate often – Thirst can be mistaken for hunger.  Keep a reusable water bottle handy…a good rule of thumb is an ounce of water for every 2 pounds of body weight per day.

2 PM: Eat a Smart Lunch – Heavy food makes you tired.  Instead, go for grilled chicken & avacado on whole wheat to carry you through the day.

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