Recently in Dieting Category

Weight-Loss: Diet vs. Exercise

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When it comes to weight-loss, which do you find more important, diet or exercise?

In my experience, the answer is most definitely diet.  I tried going to the gym and working out with a trainer-developed program several times a week for about 6 months.  I took up jogging for several months.  I did feel great, but I didn't really lose much weight at all.  And it wasn't just offset by gaining muscle, because my clothes didn't really feel all that differently either.  I do think my body composition changed a little, but by an almost negligible amount. 

Both times I've tried dieting I had pretty immediate, and relatively significant, results.  The first time I just started paying more attention to what I was eating, stopped eating out so much, and made some common sense better choices.  I lost just shy of 40 pounds, which was the amount I was overweight.  The second time I tried the South Beach diet, eliminating carbs, sugar, and alcohol for two weeks and then slowly adding the good carbs back in after that.  I lost the 20 pounds I needed to lose. 

So, based on that experience, I'm convinced it's all about what you eat.  I'm not saying exercise isn't great for you in many ways, but I don't think it's the key for weight-loss.  It's great for your heart, and stress relief, and energy levels and, especially in my case, for bone density.  The key to overall health is both diet and exercise, but the key to weight-loss is diet.


What do you think?  What has your past experience told you is most helpful in regards to losing weight? 

Losing Weight In Your Thirties

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In my experience, losing weight is might harder in your thirties than your twenties.  I gained quite a bit of weight at the end of college.  And then I continued to gain when I started working.  I eventually said enough is enough and easily lost close to 40 pounds.  I barely remember what I did to lose it.  I started doing some moderate exercise, started paying a little more attention to what I was eating.  That was about it. I don't remember it being difficult at all.  Before I knew it, I was back to a very healthy weight again.

This time around, several years later, not so much.  I started eating out less and less, and cooking in more and more.  I started running (jogging) several times a week.  I went to the gym.  I continued to gain.  I finally tried the South Beach Diet and it worked.  Here are the top four things I changed that helped me lose weight over the last year:


  1. I replaced my usual cereal (bran flakes, shredded wheat, rice krispies) with quiche and turkey bacon.  I make the quiche with egg beaters so my cholesterol go out of control.  I use the South Beach Vegetable Quiche Cups to Go recipe. I bring 2 with me to work each morning and heat them up in the microwave.  My co-workers are always commenting how amazing they smell and wishing they had them.
  2. I greatly reduced the number of carbs with dinner.  I stopped eating large plates of pasta, white rice, bread and started eating a lot more meat and vegetables.  As a result I've actually greatly expanded my horizons and come across some really great recipes as a result. 
  3. I replaced my usual sandwich for lunch with leftovers from dinner the night before.  We make some great dinners and we always cook an extra serving of everything so I can have some for lunch the next day.  As with the quiche, I get comments several times a week how amazing my lunch looks and smells.  It's funny how people are so jealous of my "diet" food.
  4. I found other ways to satisfy my chocolate/sweets cravings.  I always have  fudgsicles (of the no sugar added variety) in the freezer and occassionally make chocolate milkshakes in the blender with unsweetened cocoa and artifical sweetener (splenda).  This really helped me get over the hump of the terrible cravings at the beginning.


What has your weight gain/loss experience been in your thirties?  What are some things that worked for you?

Restaurant Nutrition Info Surprise

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My boyfriend and I went out to eat tonight and I was really astounded by something.  I was reviewing the options to find something that wouldn't be too horrible for me that also sounded half way decent.

I hadn't looked at the options before we left and there were a lot of things on the menu that sounded good so I asked my boyfriend to whip out his phone and see if he could find the nutrition info. for me to help in my decision.



Grilled tender slices of chicken breast tossed in our Buffalo sauce with lettuce, diced tomatoes, Cheddar Jack cheese and a side of Bleu cheese or Ranch for dipping


NUTRITION: 932 calories/ 50g fat/ 26g sat. fat/3868mg sodium/40g carbs/36g protein/4g fiber



Breaded tender chicken breast cooked crispy, tossed in our Buffalo sauce and served on fresh roll with Bleu Cheese

dressing and celery sticks


NUTRITION: 713 calories/46g fat/20g sat. fat/2487mg sodium/50g carbs/33g protein/4g fiber


I was very surprised to see the grilled version had more calories, more fat, and more sodium.  I was also very surprised that a simple grilled buffalo chicken sandwich had nearly 1,000 carlories and 50g of fat.  This is a prime example of why I firmly believe all restaurants should print nutrition information right on the menu.  Sometimes it really is hard to tell which option would be better.  I personally tend to live by the rule grilled is better than fried, but apparently I was wrong, at least in this instance.

I also think it's completely ridiculous that restaurants serve such humongous portions that are filled with so much fat.  Maybe it's just me since I am a smaller woman and don't require a lot of calories in a day, but to have a burger on a menu that contains 1249 calories and 86 grams of fat is kind of wrong.  That is fairly close to the number of calories and significantly more fat than I am supposed to consume in an entire day.

In case anyone is curious, I ended up ordering (and enjoying)...


Featuring grilled sliced chicken, sliced bacon, American cheese, shredded lettuce, tomato, red onion and chipotle mayonnaise on toasted roll

NUTRITION: 546 calories/27g fat/8g sat fat/1010mg sodium/43g carbs/34g protein/4g fiber


So what do you think?  Were you surprised by the above nurtrition information?  Do you think restaurants should put nutrition information on the menu itself?   

Six Months of Work

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November 1, 2009:

May 1, 2010

Scale 02.JPG

Oh so close.  The initial goal was 119 and I had hoped to accomplish it by now.  The first few and the last few have definitely been the toughest.  Hopefully now that it's sprintime I'll be able to kick it up a notch.  New goal = 115.

Dieting Dilemma

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There is a couple that my boyfriend and I like to go out to dinner with every, or every other, weekend.  For a while, when I first started my diet in November, I opted to not go out.  At all.  It was easier for me to resist going out to eat than it was for me to go out to eat and not get something bad.  Once I lost most of the weight I wanted to lose, I started going out again.  I would look up restaurants ahead of time and plan what I would get before we left.  I've managed to find several different restaurants that I feel comfortable going to and can enjoy something that is acceptable on my diet. 

Lately, this one particular couple we go out with tends to want to get dessert.  Either at the restaurant we're currently at or to go out somewhere else specifically for dessert.  I have a (very) difficult time saying no to this.  I would be perfectly happy not getting dessert, since my parents brought me up with dessert being far from a regular occurrence, until someone else mentions it and then I really want it.

We went out last night and it was no exception in terms of the dessert situation.  The other couple shared a piece of strawberry-rhubarb pie.  Another friend got a chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream.  

For me this was a total lose-lose situation once the idea of dessert was brought up.  A classic Catch-22.  I was either going to be upset because I caved and ordered some, or I was going to be upset because I was going to have to sit there and watch them eat their amazing little slices of heaven while I sipped the rest of my water.

I ended up choosing the water.  My boyfriend, who is a saint (I think I may have mentioned this a time or two already on this blog), abstained with me.  He is a guy, under thirty, and is blessed with a fantastic metabolism.   In orther words, he is thin and healthy.  So he has no reason to watch what he eats as closely as I do.  Of course he has to pay attention somewhat since he still wants to be healthy and eating a lot of sugar and fried food and other crap just isn't good for you, whether you are overweight or not.  

Anyway, I do think it is prefectly reasonable to treat yourself to foods that may not be very good for you but you enjoy, every now and then.  And I do allow myself to go "off-diet" and indulge, but these are special treats, rather than regular occurrences.  The difficult thing for me is not to start down that slippery slope.  The slope is slippery, and also very steep, and I go down fast.  Once I get started, if I am not really careful, the treats will start to become more routine than every once in a while.  It's hard, but I know myself well enough by now to know when to say yes, and when to say no.  I am pretty proud of my willpower last night and the balancing act I did.  I treated myself to a nice dinner, but didn't go overboard by piling dessert on top of it.


If anyone has any suggestions on how to handle this recurring issue, please feel free to speak up.  I don't want to miss out on going out to dinner, but I don't want to be faced with this major stuggle every time either. 


About This Blog

Stories, advice, and random thoughts from a thirty-something female.

Many people in their thirties are dealing with common issues and concerns. Some of these include buying a home, establishing a career, starting a family, and dealing with aging parents. I will blog about all these things as well as other every day stuff as I make my way through this third decade of life.

You can read more about the author behind thirty-something blog on the About Me page.





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