Monday, June 25, 2012

Sugar: The Bitter Truth

As over 2 million other people have done, I've watched Dr. Lustig's video Sugar: The Bitter Truth.  I found it very interesting and insightful, along with inspiring.  I have watched it twice over, and each time I watch it I have a new found desire to quit eating sugar.  Having said that, you should have inferred that my first attempt was unsuccessful at quitting sugar.  Like probably the majority (if not the super majority) of people who have watched his lecture, I have failed to kick the habit.  The more I reflect upon days in which my sugar consumption is low, the more I realize that I am like a drug addict, seeking every possible spot in the house that might possibly have a single morsel of this white powdery substance.  My point overall is I would like to seriously take the steps towards quitting.

My Philosophy on Dieting

I have spent a lot of time studying about various diets and trying out different ideas I've had.  I've never really been one for fad diets because of my very basic core philosophy on dieting that still hasn't changed.  That is that dieting is about changing your lifelong eating and drinking habits, not about weight loss.  Because of this I have kept from trying or reading much about diets that promise huge results in a short amount of time.  All those types of diets lead to is a false sense of victory over the ever expanding waist line that is temporary at best.
    One of the most influential works on dieting that I have read is "The Hackers Diet" by John Walker.  It opened my eyes and helped me to see that exercise wasn't going to get me thin.  The 20 oz. bottle of Pibb Xtra sitting at my desk has enough calories for me to run for half an hour, and with my busy schedule I couldn't open enough time to burn off the calories needed to lose any meaningful amount of weight.
    I find his book to be more or less correct, but the only thing that should be corrected, in accordance with Dr. Lustig's findings, is that calories from fructose counts far more towards fat creation and weight gain than calories from any other source.

My New Philosophy on Dieting

After having watched Dr. Lustig's video I had to change some of my philosophy on dieting.  I still stick with the number one rule, that dieting is about changing your lifelong eating and drinking habits, not about weight loss, but I had to get rid of the idea that all calories are the same.  I still agree with a lot of what John Walker says in his book, and it still makes sense that a half hour of running equals to one bottle of coke.  If we get rid of the coke for water we'll save 1750 calories each week and lose about half a pound.  But as I look into cutting calories, which is still needed, I am looking into cutting more sugar calories.
    I'll take the glass of milk without the cookie, or some cheese and wheat crackers instead of that ice cream.  While doing this I also have to be careful about the amount of salt that is in things also, as this also leads to increase in blood volume, and therefore blood pressure and hypertension.

The Hard Part - Getting Others to Go Along With You

As anyone who has tried to work against the grain, or go against traditional ideas, or tried to stop smoking, the hardest part may be getting others to hop on the bandwagon.  We all know that eating Big Macs twice a week and having Pizza Friday consist of half a pizza per person isn't the healthiest way to live, and then washing this all down with super double or triple gulp sodas isn't doing yourself any favors, but let's face it, we enjoy eating.  It makes us feel good.
    The hard times comes especially around holiday's and celebrations.  You're going to have Thanksgiving dinner, so a little overeating is okay, have a slice of pie, or two or three.  Maybe it's not a holiday, perhaps a birthday, or a friend invites you out to eat.  To make it easier you should at least notify your friends and family and ask for their support.  Showing them that you are serious and enthusiastic can also help them to support you in doing this.  But I find the biggest thing that helps is to be truly converted to the new lifestyle.  Remember my basic core philosophy, diet is more about a change of eating and drinking habit, if you aren't converted to the diet, a change of lifestyle, then you won't have long term success.

Conclusion

Sugar is a poison, simple as that.  Once it's in our body it can do the same harm as long term alcohol abuse.  The government isn't going to do anything about it anytime soon, and ultimately we are responsible for our own health.  The supply will change naturally with the demand, so if more people start demanding low fructose (including sucrose) alternatives, the market will naturally shift, but we need advocates in our communities to spread the message, and this video.
    If you are going to succeed at a diet, you must be converted to it and willing to make a lifelong change of your eating habits.  This doesn't mean that you can't enjoy the things that you eat, but to not over indulge yourself.  Remember, an exception to the rule, is just that, an exception.  It does not replace or become the rule.  When you "cheat" don't use that as an excuse to cheat for the rest of the day, or the rest of the week, get right back on the diet.  Try to change whatever it was that caused the exception and remember to enjoy life.

Disclaimer

I am not a doctor, dietition or any kind of certified professional in giving health advice.  As with any changes to exercise and diet, please consult your physician.

Monday, June 18, 2012

First Post!

    As many hackers and slackers, programmers and engineers, project managers and middle managers have done many a time over, I am starting a new blog yet again.  Blogging has been something that I have been interested in doing for a long time.  I have tried many times to create my own website, use other sites like Geocities (who remembers Cape Canaveral there?) or even MySpace (didn't last long) or nowadays using Facebook.  There are so many distractions thrown at us everyday that sometimes I wonder how people even find the time to blog.
    With a recent change of work I've found that I have a little bit more time on my hands and have decided to start this process all over again.  I've learned some things from past experiences with blogging and I think that I have a few things figured out.

  1. Publish Once a Week
    To start with, I'm only going to publish one article a week.  This may change in the future, but let me get the hang of it to start with.  I want to spend time and make sure that my articles are interesting and that people are going to enjoy these articles and be coming back for more.
  2. Routine
    This pretty much goes along with #1, but I want it to be a routine, and by a routine I mean I want it to be published on the same day of week every week.  This way people have expectations, I don't waste anyone's time by having them come back each day and see if there is anything new that has been published.
  3. Gimmick vs. Style
    In all of this I hope to eventually find my own style, but I'm not good with having gimmicks.  Sure I'd like to have something that screams out that I'm different than every other blog out there, but gimmicks seem to take too much time and lead to a lower quality of work because I'm restrained to stay within that form.
  4. Lists
    As you can tell I don't mind making lists, but I'm not going to go out of my way to make a list each time I blog.  Lists should be short and enjoyable and make sense in the context, I won't just make a list to have a list.
    There it is, my years of accumulated knowledge brought down to a list of 4 items.

What to Expect

    This is a little hard to answer but I'll give it my best shot.  On this blog it's going to be sort of an anything goes.  Since my interests are largely focused on computers you can expect quite a few articles here concerning technology.  Another hobby that I have is to read fantasy/science fiction novels.  Generally I read epic novels, ones that consists of trilogies or more, not really sure when the last time I read a book that wasn't part of some trilogy or series.  I also like to do things myself, so you can also expect articles here and there about various projects that I'm doing.  One that I may put up in the coming weeks is a white box for photographing merchandise for sale on line (my wife runs a modest export business shipping small items back to Taiwan).
    Other than computers and technology I'm also somewhat into politics.  Some may say that I have Ron Paulian Politics.  I believe in small government, more freedom, less taxes and a sound dollar.  I've found it hard to get into local politics just because of my own time restraints and lack of knowledge in the area, but I support the efforts of many to go back to our roots.
    Pistols, rifles, shotguns are also some things which I may discuss here.  I am pro-gun and believe that you should be to.  Having lived out of country for 6 years in a country that doesn't allow guns, I don't believe that you are really any safer without them.  Murder, rape, assault all still plague the news stations every night, the only different is that people go to more barbaric means to accomplish the same end.
    Last of all you may expect some religious discussion on here.  I am a Latter-day Saint, commonly known as Mormon.  I joined the LDS church in 2003 after having traveled 23 of the 50 states in search of something, soul finding you might say.  Expect once in a while to have some insights that I feel like sharing.