Friday, August 13, 2010

Diet and Alcohol Consumption: Not Forbidden

Here's my summary and take on alcohol consumption while on my diet: drink, don't binge, have just one, and have it towards the end of dinner.

Go ahead and drink
People have been boozing it up for eons, and they seem to have done just fine. Our ancestors were not all teetotalers, so why should I? Seriously, some alcohol tastes really, really good, like fine wine. Which, by the way, I will definitely consume tomorrow, up at Cahill Wineries in Sebastopol, CA. So, it tastes good, people have been doing it forever, and unless I have some 12-step reason not to, I'm going right ahead.

So, the thing is, while alcohol is extremely delicious, drinking a lot of it is bad for a couple of reasons. If you're dieting like me, lots of drinks equals lots of calories, so naturally it's best to take it easy on the stuff. The other reason is that alcohol has that naturally inhibition-reducing effect. That's not good for us dieters. Less inhibition means we'll try to scarf down palettes of french fries covered in luscious mayonnaise and two or three burgers. Almost everything tastes better when you're drunk, and even if it doesn't, your inhibition to say "NO" has been dulled, so food just seems to find it's way down your gullet no matter what. I'm laying off the binge-fests because I need to keep my satiety center working in proper order.

Have just one, and have it towards the end of dinner
I can't say that I abide by this at all. I've gone wine tasting in the middle of the day, I've had two-three beers after dinner, along with a shot of vodka, and I drank a whole bottle of wine to my head a few weeks back. After the wine tasting day, I was hungry on the drive home, and I totally scarfed down a Double-Double, a cheeseburger, fries, and a Coke from In-N-Out. That was after having shish kabobs at my brothers, too. Not a good day. After a couple of beers at night, I tend to find my hand hovering around the peanuts or pistachio dishes, and while I don't pig out on them, at that time of night I shouldn't even be thinking about food. I only remember having an orange or some other piece of fruit like that with the bottle of wine the other night. That might be the way to go, but I have a feeling it's more like I drank so much wine and got full on the grapes I didn't need anything else. So with that said, I need to start working better on the one-drink-only-rule. Talk about a "lifestyle change." I think if I could do it, some of the above scenarios would stop, plus there is a minuscule possibility that my HDL cholesterol levels (the good kind) could go up with one drink a day. The other thing about having towards the end of dinner is that I want my appetite to be satiated while I eat dinner -- having that drink too early could slow that down, meaning I'll want to eat more and I won't recognize I'm full until too late.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mysteries of My Diet Revealed

Let there be no mistake about it, I have no intention of hiding how I'm going about my program. Over the past few weeks there are a couple of websites that have really been helping to track everything, and there is no reason to keep that bottled up.

Of course, this leaves me open to scrutiny, but I'll have to take the bad with the good. So, the two sites that I use most regularly to track everything are: -- this is your standard calorie-counting site. I used last year, got bored, and now I'm on to this one. There are plenty of features, including of course an iPhone app to ease the whole process. The tracking is useful to me, and have lots of fun scouring through my daily diet and letting me know all about what I should or shouldn't be eating. I will take everything with a grain of salt though, because in my heart I know that what I'm doing is working. So there. Here is my profile for MyFitnessPal. -- this one is a social networking site encompassing every kind of workout you can imagine. You track your distance, time spent, how you felt about the exercise, and can leave a little message about that particular workout went. It tabulates and summarizes week to week for you, and there are places to accept various challenges. For me, I'm trying the walk 100 miles in the month of August, and barring any unforeseen circumstances, it should be perfectly doable. Here is my profile for DailyMile.

Now, for the scrutiny. Have at thee!