Four Golden Rules for Eating and Weight Loss

In 2009, I will be reviewing popular diet, weight loss, and fitness books published over the last few years. These reviews will give you a chance to preview books before buying them and allow you to compare different weight loss and fitness approaches to see what fits best with your lifestyle.

A SimpleWeight Review of I Can Make You Thin

Known as the “Dr. Phil of Britain”, Paul McKenna, PhD, has just released the US version of his weight loss/self help book, I Can Make You Thin: The Revolutionary System Used by More Than 3 Million People (Book and CD) (published December 2008). Although it reinforces much of what has already been published about dieting and weight loss, McKenna boils down most of the weight loss principles into Four Golden Rules of eating. By following these rules, McKenna is certain that dieters can change their eating behaviors and lose weight in the process. Below you will find the highlights of McKenna’s book:

McKenna’s Four Golden Rules for Eating
1. Eat when you’re hungry: Sounds simple enough but the trick is to listen to your body and learn your personal levels of hunger. McKenna provides a “hunger scale” with 1 being physically faint from hunger and 10 being nauseous from eating too much. He suggests eating when your hunger level is at 3 or 4 (fairly or slightly hungry) and stopping when you reach a level of 6 or 7 (pleasantly satisfied or full).

Bonus Tip – Thirst is sometimes masked as hunger. In other words, you may think you are hungry when you are actually thirsty. If you think you are hungry, McKenna suggests drinking a glass of water first, then if you are still hungry, eat.

2. Eat what you want and not what you think you should eat: McKenna stresses that there are no forbidden foods using his weight loss method and that you can eat whatever makes you happy. This approach works due to the checks and balances of the other three Golden Rules. By merely following the other rules, you can eat whatever you want as long as you are truly hungry, you enjoy every bite, and you stop when you are full.

Bonus Tip – McKenna encourages you to throw away any foods that do not inspire you to eat, like the low fat, low carb, no taste snacks in the pantry (unless you really like to eat cardboard).

3. Eat consciously and enjoy every mouthful: Point blank, eat SLOWLY and really taste and enjoy your food. When you eat slowly, your stomach has enough time to send a signal to the brain and the rest of your body that you are “full” and to stop eating. People who are overweight tend to eat fast, not allowing their stomachs time to send this “full” signal. As result, they will continue to eat until they are overfull or even stuffed. Slow eating also allows you to appreciate all of the flavors and textures of the food, helping you decide what foods you really enjoy and which you can pass up.

Bonus Tip – Slow your eating down to a quarter of what you are used to and chew each mouthful completely, setting down your utensil between bites.

4. When you think you’re full, stop eating: Knowing when you are truly “full” may be difficult for many people, but McKenna offers an easy way to tell when you are full. As soon as you’ve had your fill of food, every bite thereafter will be less enjoyable then the one before. Continuing to eat after this point will create an uncomfortable feeling in your solar plexus (nerves in the abdomen). At this point, you should stop eating no matter how much food is still left on your plate.

Bonus Tip – For card-carrying members of the clean your plate club, McKenna suggests giving up this mindset and only eating until you are full, leaving behind any food as leftovers or for the trash.

Strengths – McKenna’s Four Golden Rules are extremely simple to understand. He explains them in clear terms and offers sound and, for the most part, jargon-free reasoning behind each of the principles. McKenna also offers a no-nonsense summary of why our dieting patterns have failed and have actually reprogrammed our bodies to not lose weight. This actually becomes the premise for the book, setting the stage for readers to change their habits and adopt better eating behaviors for life.

Limitations – Although the Four Golden Rules are simple in theory, actually following through with them is a different story. For many of us, following these rules will mean overcoming years of poor eating behaviors, many of which are now part of our subconscious. If you can get past this huge obstacle – you’re Golden. McKenna also stresses that no food is off limits, yet pays no mind to the nutritional value of food. Although I don’t believe any food should be forbidden (because it just makes you want it more), nutrition should also be a factor in what you eat.

The Twist – McKenna provides a guided hypnosis CD which aims to reinforce his golden rules and other weight loss techniques mentioned in the book. The idea of using hypnosis to lose weight may scare away dieters from even reading the book. This would be a mistake, because the basic principles are sound and don’t necessarily need hypnosis to follow.

Have you read this book? Tell me your thoughts about I Can Make You Thin. What other health books would you like to see reviewed on

New Diet Books of 2008 for weight loss

Today, 2008 is 7/12ths complete, and summer weight loss has only a month to go. It’s time to get back to basics and review those 2008 new years resolutions, goals, and weight loss articles that proliferated in January.

Time Magazine wrote a piece titled: Weighing the New Diet Books which does a good review of the 2008 diet books.

I’m amazed at all the diet books out there, and they keep coming. Of course, I am tempted to write my own diet book. In fact, I have two working titles and I’ve been brainstorming outlines for a while. Besides that, What are the New Notable Diet Books of 2008 for weight loss

  1. Eat This, Not That!, By David Zinczenko with Matt Goulding, 304 pages.
  2. How to Eat Like a Hot Chick, By Jodi Lipper and Cerina Vincent, 168 pages. (Such a short book, What! Do Hot Chicks not eat much ?)
  3. Skinny Bitch in the Kitch, By Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, 192 pages.
  4. Slim for Live, By Dr. Gillian, 223 pages.
  5. The GenoType Diet, By Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo with Catherin Whitney, 317 pages.
  6. The All-New Atkins Advantage, By Dr. Stuart L. Trager with Colette Heimowitz, 362 pages.
  7. The No-Crave Diet, By Dr. Penny Kendall-Reed and Dr. Stephen Reed, 224 pages.
  8. The Spectrum, By Dr. Dean Ornish, 386 pages.
  9. The Ultimate TEA Diet, By Mark “Dr. Tea” Ukra, 306 pages.
  10. Women’s Health Perfect Body Diet, By Cassandra Forsthe 356 pages.

A couple of notables missing from Time Magazine’s list:

  1. The Flat Belly Diet, by Liz Vaccariello
  2. The 12 Second Sequence: Shrink Your Waist in 2 Weeks by Jorge Cruise, 256 pages.
  3. The Advanced Mediterranean Diet: Lose Weight, Feel Better, Live Longer, 304 pages.

Let me give you a hint (since my book is not yet published). I think you are what you read, and you are what you eat. So, if you read books about science, you’ll become a scientist. If you read books about diet and nutrition, you’ll soon adapt those habits as well. So, you can never read too many books. You’ll always learn something. However, It does not matter how many diet books you read, you still need to DO! Action needs to conincide with your reading Exercise, Fitness, Weight Loss, Diet, or even Cooking Books. If you don’t do, you’ll never reap the benefits.

What are some of my books in my Library that I re-read every so often?

I still recommend the free Hack Diet Book as a great starting place. For other great books, I recommend the following:

  • 8 Minutes in the Morning: A Simple Way to Shed up to 2 Pounds a Week Guaranteed by Jorge Cruise and Anthony Robbins
  • The 3-Hour Diet: Lose up to 10 Pounds in Just 2 Weeks by Eating Every 3 Hours! by Jorge Cruise
  • The Abs Diet: The Six-Week Plan to Flatten Your Stomach and Keep You Lean for Life by David Zinczenko and Ted Spiker
  • Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think by Brian Wansink
  • The Cardio-Free Diet by Jim Karas
  • You: On A Diet: The Owner’s Manual for Waist Management by Mehmet C. Oz and Michael F. Roizen
  • The Volumetrics Eating Plan: Techniques and Recipes for Feeling Full on Fewer Calories by Barbara J. Rolls

What about you? What is your favorite Diet or Fitness Book?

Chinese Diet gives us 10 tips to help with our Western Diet

A great article in The Independent titled:

Use your noodle: The real Chinese diet is so healthy it could solve the West’s obesity crisis – Healthy Living, Health & Wellbeing – The Independent.

I encourage you to read the article.  It provides a great list of Diet tips.  Some I agree with some I don’t, but still great food for thought.  I file this in the category of everyone is different, and each person needs to find the diet that works for them.  Here are the tips with my summary and comments.

  1. Stop Counting Calories:  The secret of the Chinese people is avoiding the empty calories of nutrient-free (sugary) foods. I think being in a western diet, we’re bombarded with sugary food.  So, its much more difficult for us to gauge portion sizes. I also have learned first hand that counting my calories helps me lose weight.
  2. Think of vegetables as dishes:  This goes well with our thought that Eat Plants and Protein.
  3. Fill up on Staple foods: If your staple foods are carb rich nutrient-free foods.  I disagree, but if they are complex carbs.  Then, well, it’s acceptable.
  4. Eat until you are full: Forget the eating to finish the plate or eating for social reasons. you eat when you are hungry, and you stop when you are not.  This takes a long time for us Americans to re-calibrate our stomachs, but over time, you will learn to listen to your stomach after you force it for 45 days or longer.
  5. Take Liquid Food: We’re not talking Starbucks.  We’re talking watery nutrient-rich soups.
  6. Bring yin and yang into your kitchen: Balance wet and moist foods (yin) with dry and crisp foods (yang).  In other words, a well balanced diet of Vegetables, with Protein, and Complex Carbs.
  7. Raw power?  Not necessarily: People overcook too many vegetables.  All you have to do is slightly steam broccoli or carrots.  Or just sautee them briefly to warm them.  This makes it easier for us to digest.  At the same time, RAW foods have more nutrients.
  8. Use Food to keep fit: Different foods help keep the body in balance and help the body fight different bugs.  I’ve always said that pizza helps sore muscles, and ice cream helps with headaches, but I think that’s just wishful thinking.  Remember, food is nourishment for every organ of the body.
  9. Drink Green Tea: Drink any tea, but green is the best.
  10. Practice Restorative exercise: Think Yoga, Think Tai Chi, Think Kung Fu, Think Balanced Aerobic Exercise with Rhythmic breathing.  While I agree, I also think High Intensity, 5 second methodical interval strength training can provide some of the same rhythmic benefits.

What a great list.  Every Culture has positive benefits.  Yes, certain diets are healthier than others, but there are food fundamentals that everyone can use regardless of diet.

Take a look at the book:

Why the Chinese Don’t Count Calories

Weight Loss – Back to the Basics

I recently read a ChangeThis manifesto, The New Time Management: Simply Focus on the Fundamentals, and Toss Away the Tips, By Francis Wade.

Francis describes 7 fundamentals he believes are critical for any professional to master Time Management. He makes the comparison to athletes who have to refocus on the fundamentals. For example:

  • Tiger Woods going to practice and making 1000’s of putts a day.
  • Or a Professional basketball player, such as Michael Jordan, taking 1000’s of free throws or jump shots a day.
  • Or Maria Sharapova, a tennis player who takes thousands of tennis swings a day.

All of these all stars, or professional athletes, practice fundamentals deliberately every day.

Can we stop there? As a hobby trombonist taking lessons with Professional Trombone Performers, They all stress fundamental practices such as learning scales, breathing exercises, note flexibility studies, and so on and so forth.

Image: 'THE TENNIS SESSIONS'[email protected]/711672576

Let’s rephrase Francis Wade’s Title:

Weight Loss Manifesto: The New Weight Loss System: Simply Focus on the Fundamentals and Throw Away the Tips.

Every day, we hear tips in the form of fad diets. Flat Belly MUFA Diet, South Beach Diet, Atkins Protein Diet, Mediterranean Diet, French Diet, Don’t Eat Anything Diet, See Food Diet, Peanut Butter and Jelly Diet, I could go on and on. As my brother says, in You don’t diet? you have a diet – now make it a good one.

What’s the deal? What should I do with all these fad diets? Francis Wade Suggest when it comes to Time Management Systems:

…The result is that the users of different systems are either raving fans, or failed adopters.
The fans are the lucky ones whose habits easily fit into the new system they are learning. The failures are those who get fired up for a few days, and after a week are forced to go back to their old habits.

My observation is that the vast majority of professionals take a bit from here and a bit from there to craft their own unique set of habits. Unfortunately, they do so without understanding the fundamentals, and the results in some cases are disastrous.

Their system of habits doesn’t work, but they don’t know why. It allows stress, missed appointments and forgotten commitments to occur too frequently, but they don’t know where to start to fix their systems.

Luckily for them, the 7 fundamental practices are perfect for the job or fixing, upgrading or adapting personal time management systems.

When a professional athlete’s game deteriorates, which happens to all of them at some point in time, they go back to the fundamentals. So must a working professional.

I would add so must an everyday healthy person. Everyday, we must be cognizant of our diet and exercise choices and focus on the fundamentals.

Often times, people start a new diet, see results at first, but then fall off the wagon. Why? Because that system doesn’t fit YOU. Everyone is different. Just as a professional must pick and choose what items fit in their own time management habits, we as healthy eaters must pick and choose habits that fit our own bodies and minds.

Okay, we understand.  Focus on the Fundamentals: What are the fundamentals of a becoming physically fit the abridged version?

Monitor your Biometrics at regular intervals

Possible examples:

  • weigh yourself everyday,
  • measure your waist line every week
  • Record your BMI every month
  • take a picture of yourself every month

Exercise, and be mindful about the exercise

Find an exercise you like and do it effortlessly.

  • Some people are Artists, I say then paint building sized murals that require dexterity.
  • Some people are outdoors people, I say hike in the forest, or garden.
  • Some people are shoppers, then I say go to the biggest mall you can find and walk and walk, and walk as much as you can as often as you can.
  • Do it everyday.

Eat Standard Portions

Healthy Eating has its own set of Fundamentals which we’ll talk about sometime in the future. Generally, I’d say:

  • Eat Protein and MUFA at every meal
  • Eat Plants as much as possible.
  • Learn what the correct portion is, and stick to it!

Retrain your Emotional and Social Eating

How do we do this?

  • Keep a Food Diary.  By keeping a food diary and writing down what you eat before you eat it, You’ll be mindful of what you are doing.  This will you stop binges.
  • Making your Weight Management Public and Social.  By sharing your goals with your friends, you are putting peer pressure on yourself.  It’s amazing how many people will not want to let someone else down, but they’ll let themselves down all the time.  In other words, if you tell your friend you are not going to eat ice cream today.  You don’t want to let that friend down.  If you tell yourself and only yourself, you are more likely to break that self promise since it is not out in the public.
  • Become a Positive person.

Some diets say exercise 8 minutes a day. Some diets say eat 60% protein, 30% fat, 10% carbs. Some Diets say eat fish and oil.  Some diets suggest walking 10,00 steps a day. Whatever it is, Focus on the Fundamentals.

Since Weight Loss is personal and everyone is different,  What are your fundamentals?

Lose Weight and Mosquito Bites

Mosquito picture from flickr

Mosquitoes Attracted to Obese

Big is definitely beautiful in the eyes of a mosquito. Research shows that obese people or even those who are overweight may be more likely to attract mosquitoes and, therefore, be subjected to more mosquito bites than those who are not obese. This does not bode well for people in the waterlogged Midwest or other areas of the US hit by recent flooding, where mosquitoes are out in greater numbers than usual.

According to Jerry Butler, PhD, professor emeritus at the University of Florida, one in 10 people are highly attractive to mosquitoes. Although genetics and the odors people exude play large roles in attracting mosquitoes, recent findings suggest that being overweight may make you more attractive to mosquitos for several reasons. In a June 2007 WebMD article, entomologist John Edman, PhD, and spokesman for the Entomological Society of America, explained that mosquitoes target people who produce excess amounts of uric acid. According to Mayo Clinic hematologists, one of causes of high uric acid levels in the blood is obesity.

Furthermore, Edman explains that mosquitoes can smell their targets from more than 150 feet away, a skill that can be troublesome for people who emit large quantities of carbon dioxide.

“Even over long distances, carbon dioxide is attractive to mosquitoes,” says Joe Conlon, PhD, technical advisor to the American Mosquito Control Association.

Research shows that larger people give off more carbon dioxide than smaller people. So, when given a choice, mosquitos will choose an adult to bite over a child or an obese person over a nonobese person. Pregnant women are also at increased risk, as they produce a greater-than-normal amount of exhaled carbon dioxide.

In addition to being overweight, Mayo Clinic lists additional factors that may attract mosquitoes, including:

  • Movement
  • Heat
  • Having type O blood
  • Being a Man

Want to lose some weight this summer and fend off mosquitoes in the process?

Check out these simple summer weight-loss strategies.

Visit WebMD for more suggestions on how to avoid mosquito bites.

5 Summer Weight Loss Strategies

Summer is the easiest time of year to lose weight, especially for those of us who endure long, cold winters. With summer’s abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables, not to mention, warmer weather, there’s no excuse for us not to be eating healthy and exercising. Adopting these simple weight-loss strategies into your summer plans may leave you more than a few pounds lighter come October.

Here are 5 Summer Weight-Loss Strategies to try this summer:

1) Get moving – self explanatory, but for those of you who see exercise as a big scary monster and run screaming when faced with it, think of exercise as a time to reenergize yourself. Exercise does not have to result in a pool of sweat (you know who you are). It can be as simple as a brisk walk with your spouse, playing tag with your kids, or biking to/from work a few times a week. Anything that gets you moving for at least 20 to 30 minutes a day is worthwhile.

2) Eat au natural – I’m not suggesting you eat naked, although some people may like to try this, but rather try to eat foods with the fewest ingredients and limit the amount of processed foods you eat. Processed foods can pack on the pounds, because they tend to offer less fiber and won’t fill you up as much as natural foods. One rule is to eat food with ingredients you actually know and can pronounce.

3) MUFA Me, MUFA You – Monounsaturated fat, or MUFA, is known as the “healthy” fat. MUFA keeps you feeling fuller for longer and studies show that MUFA may also help us stave off chronic diseases, including heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and depression. There are five main MUFA food groups:

* Oils that include canola, flaxseed, and olive oil
* Nuts and seeds that include walnuts, macadamia nuts, and sunflower seeds
* Avocados
* Olives, particularly the green variety
* Dark chocolate

Check out these great ideas to add a little MUFA to breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Also, make it a habit to eat MUFA snacks whenever possible. Keep in mind, MUFA is still high in calories, but a little goes a long way.

4) Divide and Conquer – Think of your plate as a clock – fill the space between 12 and 6 with fresh or steamed veggies; the space between 6 and 9 with whole grains and 9 and 12 with protein/fish. Throw in a little low-fat dairy and you’ll be good to go. By adopting this strategy, it should be easy to eat meals that are low-calorie, high nutrient foods, and to keep portions in control – just make sure you are using normal size plates!

5) Limit simple sugars – Simple sugars or simple carbohydrates refer to foods made with refined sugars or table sugar. Most foods made with simple sugars are essentially “empty calories”, providing very few vitamins, minerals, or fiber but remaining high in calories. They tend to leave us feeling unsatisfied and/or less full, prompting us to eat more. Simple sugars can also lead to a spike in blood sugar levels, giving us a short boost of energy, but leaving us sluggish and energy-zapped for hours on end. Simple sugars can be seen in foods under the names of corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, and glucose, among others. Foods high in simple sugars include sweets like cookies, cakes, and candy. Simple sugars also are found naturally in fruit and milk, but, unlike other simple sugar foods, these provide essential nutrients.

Have another great summer weight loss tip? Let’s hear it….

Eating Healthy, 30 minutes Walking, and 60 minutes Quiet Thinking fixes Health Problems

Just another reason to eat healthy and exercise.

As reported by Will Dunham from Reuters, Dean Ornish conducted some studies on men with prostate cancer who elected against surgery for remediation.  To try to combat the low grade cancer: the men in the study:

  • Ate Healthy,
  • Exercised 30 minutes a day, and
  • Meditated | Prayed | Thought for 60 minutes a day.

Guess what happened?  In three months time, they lost weight as expected, but even more encouraging is they actually changed Genes.  The healthy lifestyle activated some disease fighting genes and deactivated some unhealthy genes.  WOW!

Read the Original News source: Healthy lifestyle triggers genetic changes: study

I know many a people who say they can’t lose weight or can’t get healthy, because they have bad genes or they are big boned, or you name the excuse.  Well, here is a study that says even if you have bad genes, you can get healthy with lifestyle changes.  To steal a phrase from someone before me:  Yes we can!

What’s stopping you from committing to a healthy lifestyle?

I want you around.  I want you to live life! Enjoy what Earth, God, Metaphysics provide for you.  Happiness is health and family.  Frolic with grand children at the park, Watch your dog chase his tail, or just watching the trees blow in the wind.

Where do I start?

Well, Let’s Think about it.

What do kids get on their children’s menu at restaurants?  They get connect the dot pictures.  It allows the child to create a dog, lion, car, or any number of pictures by following the dots one at a time slowly and incrementally.  It’s much easier to connect the dots to draw a picture than to draw on a blank slate.

So, connect the dots!  Start Slow, be methodical and incremental.  Work up a ladder.  I’ll expand on this method later, but here’s the abridged version:


  • 0 days – 14 days: Commit to weighing yourself everyday for the first 2 weeks.

Don’t worry about the details. The fact that you are weighing yourself everyday is the accomplishment!

  • 14 days – 42 days:  Continue weighing yourself everyday, in fact, don’t stop weighing yourself for the rest of your life.  Add to that small amounts of exercise everyday.  I recommend the 8 minute weight workout, but you could also do 10 minutes of walking everyday, gradually build up.

You’ve got some great new habits now.  you weigh yourself everyday and you commit to your 10 minutes of exercise a day!

Lets add another dot.

  • 42 days – 56 days:  Continue your current weighing and exercise habits.  Now add tracking your diet everyday.  Keep a pen and paper handy.  Write down everything you eat, and just keep track, don’t worry about how much you eat.  Just log it.

We’re finding out internally what we do.  when we eat.  It will guide us in our nutrition plan.  Do I really eat 3 starbucks a day?  Do I have that many potato chips?  you can be amazed at what you eat without knowing it.  Again, remember the goal is to Identify and Track.  That’s the accomplishment for this dot.

  • 56 days – 84 days:  Pick one dietary change each week, and focus on that change.

Examples:  I recommend lowering your diet each week by 200 calories.  Or, Pick a food item that really causes you trouble.  For me it is french Fries.  If I cut out french fries, I cut out a ton of places I’d go to eat which means I make different diet changes.  I also have the challenge of large portions.  So, that can be my change.  Whatever it is, Pick one and focus while keeping up your habits.

  • 84 days – forever:  Rinse, Recycle, and Repeat.  What I mean, is this is lifestyle change.  we have to be willing to commit to the change and keep it at that.  it’s a change.  No going back.  Learn to love new foods and new ways of eating, Learn to love exercising, make it fun for you.  By creating these new habits, we can replace our old diet habits.

How do you connect the dots?  What’s your incremental lifestyle change you can make?  Can you commit?

Of course, I recommend simpleweight for managing this healthy diet and exercise planning.

My Top Three 5 minute MUFA Snacks for weight loss

Eat MUFA, mono unsaturated fat, for weight loss.
My favorite MUFA Snacks.

I know I blogged a while back about adding mufa to your diet for weight loss.  Of course, I feel bad if I don’t eat my own dogfood.  What I mean by that, if I write or talk about something as a positive, I try my best to live what I say.  This brings integrity to my life.  As a by-product, my actions can then speak louder than my words.

Since Jan 1, I’ve been trying to eat more MUFA and lower my calories.   From January to March, I was doing great. I lost about 10 pounds, and all was smooth sailing.

What did I do:  I try to eat MUFA at every meal.  I try to eat sensible portions, and I try to eat often.  Notice the word try.  I’m not perfect, but overall, I’ve had a good experience with MUFA.  There was a keyword you may have missed:  “was”.  From March until recently, I stopped eating MUFA at every meal, and I stopped eating sensible portions.  So, I gained about 7 lbs back from early in the year weight loss. When eating MUFA, Portions are the number key.

One of my personal nutrition challenges has been:  Finding:

  • Quick,
  • Portable,
  • Highly Nutritious

MUFA Snacks that I can eat on the run.

After some searching:  here are my top 3 MUFA snacks that can be had in under 5 minutes.

  1. My number one snack favorite is naked Almonds. Trader Joe’s has the perfect 200 calorie snack-sized packages of  naked almonds.  If I can’t do that, or I’m more economical, I’ll buy a bulk bag of naked almonds and make my own snack-size using my handy scale.  However, that takes a little more time.
  2. My second favorite snack is Dove 63% Dark Chocolate or Ghiradeli Square Dark Chocolate. Again, these are very easy to take and eat. However, Dark Chocolate is addicting for me. It can be very difficult to stop at just one chocolate square.  My MUFA Chocolate hack is only bring one square to work with me. Obviously, I have to stop at only one since I don’t have any more.  Additionally, I’ll try to break that square into 4 pieces so it feels like more than it really is.   When the whole bag is so close to me, I end up eating more than one.
  3. My third favorite MUFA snack is well, this is hard.  I like walnuts on my cereal, I like sunflower seeds on my salad.  I cook my egg whites in olive oil, and I’ll eat Peanut Butter and Jelly, but all of those items are lunch/breakfast/dinner items.  They’re not really snacks.I guess my third favorite would be adding two tablespoons of Peanut Butter to Fruit Smoothies.  It takes a while to get used to, but you get the punch of Protein from the PB combined with the MUFA, and after a few times, you get used to eating the Smoothie that way.  My favorite recipe is add a banana, to some frozen strawberries, add some 1/4 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of orange juice and the two tablespoons of Peanut butter and blend until smooth.  This makes a great snack or a great breakfast.

Of course, I’m interested to hear.  What are your favorite 5 minute MUFA snacks?

If you liked this post, you’d may want to read: Flat Belly Diet: A Skim Review

How to add MUFA to Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner for weight loss?

Eat MUFA for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.  Photo Credit:  Jeff Kubina

After writing my Flat Belly Diet Eat MUFA for Weight Loss post, I continued to do more research. Some people asked me,

How do I add MUFA (mono unsaturated fat) at every meal?

Basically, try to add: Avocado, Canola oil, Olive Oil, Nuts like almonds, cashews, pecans, and peanuts, Olives, Peanut butter and peanut oil, or Sesame seeds to your diet.

One of the best ways is to try to mix and optimize those ideas. For example: Traditional pesto is made from pine nuts, olive oil, basil, parmesan cheese. What a tasty way to get MUFA.

Here are some more specific ideas for each meal:

MUFA Breakfast Ideas for weight loss

  • Add Avocado in omelet
  • Spread Peanut butter on toast, bagels, english muffins, or apples
  • Sprinkle Almonds (nuts) on top of pancakes, waffles, and even french toast
  • Mix nut-based granola in your yogurt
  • Blend Flax Seed Oil with your favorite fruit smoothie
  • Add Sunflower seeds, Walnuts, or Pecans to your cereal or oatmeal

MUFA Lunch & MUFA Dinner Ideas for weight loss

  • Toss sliced avocado, chopped olives, or sliced nuts in your green leaf salad
  • Pour Oil Based Dressings on top of your salad specifically Olive Oil, Sun Flower, or Peanut Oil
  • Add avocado to a Mexican chicken or black bean soup
  • Instead of croûtons, add nuts and seeds to your or soup or salad
  • Add nuts to stir fry dishes
  • Ask for Olives in your Enchiladas or other Mexican Food.
  • Dribble Pesto sauce over a small bed of noodles
  • Add a dollop of pesto to dishes such as tomato soup or baked potato
  • Stir olives into your red pasta sauce
  • Sprinkle nuts on cream-based soups like tomato-basil, butternut squash soup, etc.
  • Add Avocado to your deli sandwich (Jimmy John’s is great for this)
  • Top your Chicken Sandwich, Turkey Burger, or Small Hamburger with Guacamole

MUFA Snack Ideas for weight loss

  • Eat Raw Nut based Trail Mix.
  • Spread Olive tapenade on a cracker or crostini
  • Spread Avocado and cheese on a cracker
  • Dip apples or celery in Peanut or almond butter
  • Have an Olive Loaf Bread slice with olive oil

Remember, the key here is you need to keep your quantity of calories down for maximum benefit.

As I detailed in my MUFA weight loss article, Nuts, Avocados, and Oils are all high calories foods. Yet, they are very filling so you need less food at your meal. Try to strive for 400 calorie meals with a vegetable and protein rich diet.

Now that you know my MUFA ideas, What’s your favorite MUFA meal idea?

Photo Credit: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner via Flickr, by: Jeff Kubina
Here are some other articles that you might like to read:

Flat Belly Diet for weight loss, eat MUFA

Eat Avocado to Lose WeightOne of my goals with this blog is I hope to browse the internet to read diet and fitness articles and give you the low down so you don’t have to search all over the place.

The article I saw tonight was by MSN and Prevention magazine titled:
Lose Inches of Belly Fat Now
Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Include Monounsaturated fats (MUFA) at each meal
  2. Have a clear calorie goal
  3. Eat Often
  4. Improve your attitude towards food. ( In other words, Think to lose weight.)

    • Manage Stress
    • Ask for help
    • Control Emotional eating

It seems that Omega 3 fats (Fish Oil and Flax seed) are the ones that have been getting all the buzz in 2007, but other oils such as MUFA’s are healthy too.

What are examples of MUFA’s (monounsaturated fats)?

  • Olive Oil, 9.8g MUFA in 1 Tablespoon, 119 calories
  • Peanut Oil, 6.2g MUFA in 1 Tbsp, 119 calories
  • Canola Oil, 8.2g MUFA in 1 Tbsp, 124 calories
  • Almonds, 12g MUFA in 1/4 cup, 212 calories
  • Peanuts, 9g MUFA in 1/4 cup, 207 calories
  • Most Nuts.
  • Avocado, 19.7g MUFA in 1 avocado, 322 calories
    (mmm, another reason to eat guacamole)

Now I notice one problem with this. Notice the quantity of calories for these foods. They’re high in calories Some people read, I have to eat more Fat to lose weight. Well, it works great, BUT, you must watch your calorie intake.

Notice Step Number 2.

Have a clear Calorie goal.

For the average woman, 1600 calories a day is a decent goal. For the average man, 1800 calories a day is a decent goal. Now, if I eat a MUFA at each meal, that does not leave much for other items such as Protein and Carbohydrates. Before I know it, I am at my calorie goal for the day, but I don’t feel full. What can I eat? Eat Vegetables! Many of these have very little calories. The key here is Journal your Food.

Eat Often

In Jorge Cruise’s book, the Three Hour Diet, he recommends eating every 3 hours. It’s the same in the Abs Diet, and Cardio Free Diet, and almost all other diets. The idea is to eat often to prevent you from getting starved. You also feel full, because you are eating all the time. Some people like to do 4 400 calorie meals. Some people say 5 300 calorie meals. Other people like to do 3 bigger meals and 2 smaller 100 calorie snacks. Regardless, by eating often, your body can easily burn the food into energy rather than eating a one or two huge meals. The body can not burn it all once. So, it stores some as fat.

Improve your attitude towards FoodEmotional Eater?

Most of us are emotional eaters. When we meet friends, we meet for coffee, drinks, dinner, lunch, or parties. All Social events where eating is concerned. We’re having fun when we eat a beautiful big meal where we’re stuffed. Come On, think about it. The Super Bowl, Thanksgiving Day, and July 4th Barbecues are all events with huge eating. We equate happiness with eating. So, what can we do? Change the equation!

Friends + Eating = Happy.

Couldn’t we change it to:

  • Friends + Morning Walk = Happy.
  • Friends + Hiking Trip = Happy.
  • Friends + pick-up soccer game or basketball game = Happy.
  • Friends + Ski Trip = Happy.

Notice the change? We’re social creatures. Making exercise a social event instead of making eating a social event. There is a strong correlation between living in an active community and physical fitness vs. a lethargic community and obesity. The obesity rates are higher in areas where exercise is not as social. So, Improve your attitude towards food. One way to do so is by making your exercise social.

Another way to do so, is by journaling. If you write what you eat, and then also write how you felt when you ate it. you can look back and help determine what caused your bout of emotional eating. Life is an experiment. We all need to find what works for us. The key though is to learn from others. Researchers are finding out what works for the majority, and that’s where you should start.

So, the Flat Belly Diet to me sounds like every other successful diet.

  • Eat less food than you Burn. (Food in < Food Out)
  • Eat the Right Foods.
  • Learn to control your Emotional Eating.
  • Measure your Goal Progress.
  • Make it social.
Photo Credit: Avocado via Flickr, by: ingserban
Photo Credit: Day 161 – Losing It, by: gotplaid?

Update:  If you like this post, you might like: How to Add MUFA to breakfast, lunch, and dinner for weight loss?