The 7 Deadly (Holiday Diet) Sins

Avoid the 7 Deadly Holiday Diet Sins1. Gluttony

I was in my professor’s office one day when she and a classmate were talking about paying a third party $35 to keep them from gaining wait over the holidays. I exclaimed dismay over this plan and said I would never pay to stay the same weight – they should be getting some weight loss for their dollars. Giving me that “cautious she’s cray cray” look, they explained that the goal of the holiday season is to not put on weight.  Well, that’s easy. If you don’t want to put on weight, don’t be a glutton. Period. Don’t pay some fool to help you not gain weight; just don’t overdo it. Eat before you hit a party. Choose between food and alcohol when you go to holiday parties. Alcohol is expensive when it comes to calories. Holiday treats are expensive, too. So choose one – the one you think you can’t live without and leave the other one alone. Now go take your family to a movie with the $35 I saved you.

2. Lust

Is this supposed to be about the mistletoe?  Kiss everyone you can and give them hugs but keep your clothes on. Hugging is good for your health and mental well-being and kissing actually burns calories; so have at it. Running away from angry spouses can also burn a lot of calories and will motivate you to run longer and faster than you have in awhile.

3. Greed

I’m guilty of this when it comes to gifts.  One year I spent the entire month of November and the first week of December dipping chocolates and baking cookies. I spent the second week of December eating them. Yeah, kind of gluttony but it was truly more I just couldn’t dream of giving them away so I ate them so I wouldn’t have to.  I do the same thing with gifts. I’ll buy my friend an awesome gift and after a week I just have to keep it for myself – so I go out and get her something else so I can keep the cool item. I’m the worst friend that way. If you are greedy, buy stuff; not food.  Then you can’t eat it if you want to keep it.

4. Sloth

You don’t have time to exercise with all of the shopping, cooking, reshopping (if you’re greedy like me), wrapping, and partying to be had during the holiday season. Exercise. Just Exercise. Don’t talk yourself out of it. Power shopping is not exercise. Power drinking is not exercise. If you didn’t put on your exercise clothes and break out a sweat, you can’t count it. Get up early and get it over.  No, exercising does not entitle you to a few more treats. That trap will give you belly fat every single time. Exercise to keep your heart healthy. No, you can’t exercise more to give yourself the chance to eat more treats – exercise is for your heart only.

5. Wrath

The holidays bring family and family usually means one type of drama or the other. Even if you have a peaceful day with them, you know you’re secretly seething inside about something and they are, too.  And you all reach for the comfort of egg nog, homemade candy, baked goods, etc …and they say the turkey is full of stuffing….every one of you are stuffing some kind of anger. Or maybe you’re one of those people who go around correcting people from Merry Christmas to Happy Holidays.  (I’m just going to say it.) Shut up already! Everyone can call it what they wish and no one designated you the Christmas (or Holiday) police! Nobody!  *sigh* My rant just saved me from an entire box of cherry chocolates. I feel better and I don’t care how you feel, you bossy old cow. Go eat something and you’ll feel better. No, wait, I feel so bad I said that!

6. Envy

Keep your eyes on your own gifts. Don’t stuff your mouth with your sister’s cheery chocolates.  They. Are. Not. Your’s.  See your skinny friend with the mounds of whipping cream on her pie?  Keep your eyes to yourself and be happy with your fruit pie. Go wild and have a slice of mincemeat if you wish – but no ice cream or whipping (steal a teaspoon of rum sauce if it will keep you from whining.

7. Pride

Ah. This is the sin for which we should all strive. On December 26th, step on the scales and take a good look at yourself in the mirror. If you didn’t gain weight (or if you lost it) you should be very proud of yourself. Look how good you look!  If you gained weight, you sly old fox, you should be proud of yourself because you enjoyed the holidays a lot more than everyone else.


P90X Training Wheels

P90x Abs Workout can move you toward an exercise planIf you’ve talked about exercise at all in the past few years, we’d bet money someone has brought up P90X during your conversation. When you asked what it was, we’re betting you were regaled with tales of how difficult this workout is. “It is killer!” “Don’t worry if you can’t do all of it at first, it’s the hardest workout you’ll ever do!” “You’ll die doing it but it will make the biggest difference!”

You get the drift. And, if you’re anything like Sherry, you run away. Fast! She is a firm believer in not killing herself while exercising.

Brooke and Emma, however, were very interested in P90X  and kept reminding Sherry: if you want to ride the bike, you have to get on the bike (training wheels and all).  Someone swiped a pirated copy of P90X off of the internet to give it a try (we won’t tell you who because we have yet to find a decent cake that can be baked with a file in it).  The pirated copy gave us all a chance to try out this notoriously hellish workout regimen wherein the man who developed it talks at you continuously about how hard it is and takes you through his full week of routines. It’s not a bad workout except for three things: 1) Tony (the P90X guy) doesn’t stop yakking his sales pitch the entire time, 2) the guy doesn’t even do his own workout, and 3) it’s pretty much been developed for men and involves a lot of getting down on the floor and getting back up again.

So Tony starts out telling you how hard this workout is; how you probably won’t be able to keep up. Then he proceeds to sell you on the system you already just (allegedly) spent your good money on for the entire workout time.  We found that annoying. As he chatters at you in his annoying nasal voice, he continuously stops his workout to tell you to keep working out or to look at his helpers who are doing variations of his workout.  He doesn’t even do the entire workout! Sherry got so distracted by his avoiding his own workout she had to stop working out so she could count the number of times he didn’t really do what he was requiring us to do (well, that and she really needed to curl up in a fetal position and go to sleep a couple of times).  She’s correct – he doesn’t and it’s pretty annoying when you couple it with the thousands of times you will end up off-beat in the counts. You’ll think you’re a bigger mess than you thought until you figure out (credit Sherry again – she is willing to interrupt her exercise routine to analyze the tape) they have cut the tape in several places. Gone are the Denise Austin workouts of the 80s where Denise does the workout routine, doesn’t secretly stop the tape to get a break while making you work through it, and talks about funny stuff instead of pitching product sales. And check out the ladies he has selected to show you how to (not) do his continuous routine. They are buff and don’t really look like traditional curvy women. Everyone is doing a lot of “guy stuff” and there is a lot of get on the floor/now get up/now get down on the floor routines that feel very exercisus interruptus when it doesn’t really have to be so. Why not get on the floor, do all of the floor stuff, then get your butt up and do the stand-up stuff?

So why, after previewing P90X, did Brooke purchase the entire workout system?  Well, because it works. Tony has some very good ideas.  First, you do something different every day. This is great because you end up with a very comprehensive workout system and the only thought you have to put into it is: What day is today?   Second, despite its being annoying you will actually get an excellent workout. (Sherry insists Denise Austin is equally excellent so we tried her old tapes and Denise does an excellent job that is more tailored to women. You really have to work to hold in your laughter resulting from views of the 80s style workout gear Denise wears which, we guess, is good for strengthening your core. ) Third, it works if you stick with it. Much of what annoying guy does includes reps of extremely short routines that even Sherry has a tough time working up a moan against because it’s done and you’re moving on to something else before you get to the moan. This means a much more effective workout because you do stick with it. Who can argue that they can’t do this or that for 30 seconds?  So it gets done.  Fourth, if you really don’t like what is being served up on a particular day – you can switch things up and take a Denise Austin day without feeling like you messed up your routine. Fifth, the abs workout. We’re going to give you this because it really works to strengthen your core and give you a nice waist. And it only takes 15 minutes of your time! Tony says to do it every other day to give your body a chance to recover.  If you try this abs workout and love it – you’ll probably want to explore getting the entire workout system.

The Abs Workout  (do 25 reps of each move)

  1. Ins-N-Outs – sit on the floor with your hands slightly behind you and legs extended forward. With feet off the floor, bring your knees up to your chest and straighten them back out (feet still up off floor) and hold for a few seconds. Extend your legs again. That is one rep.
  2. Bicycle  – sitting in the same position (feet off the floor and extended) pump your legs in a circular motion as if you are riding a bike. One full rotation is a rep.
  3. Reverse Bicycle – sitting in the same position (feet off the floor) pump your legs in a reverse circular motion as if you are making the bike go backwards. One full rotation is a rep.
  4. Crunchy Frog – still sitting on the floor get into the same semi-reclined position as for ins-n-outs except your arms will be held out in the air as if you are holding a great big ball. Bring your legs and chest together while simultaneously hugging your arms around your legs. Return to the original semi-reclined position. That is one rep.
  5. Wide Leg Sit Ups with Counter Stretch – Lie down and spread your legs to shoulder width. Work to keep the flat of your back on the floor.  With one hand behind your head, sit up (reaching straight out with the other hand), stretch to touch the toe opposite your outstretched hand. Lie down.  Repeat while alternating hands and legs. One up and down is one rep.
  6. Scissors – Lie flat on your back and extend one leg straight and the other leg up in the air (feet flexed and as straight as possible). Hold the position for 3 seconds. Switch leg positions. When the original foot is back in the air, you have completed one rep.  
  7. Foot Prayers – Lie flat on your back and press the soles of your feet together in the air. With your arms at your sides (for balance) rock your hips and lift your “foot prayer” up to heaven. Lower back down (do not touch your feet to the ground).  This is one rep.
  8. Heels to Heaven – Still flat on your back, extend your legs straight up in the air with your feet flexed. Work to keep your body at a 90 degree angle while pushing the heels of your feet up toward the ceiling (this will raise your hips up toward the ceiling also). Hold for a count of three and release. This is one rep.
  9. V Snaps – Lie down flat. Keeping your bottom on the ground, bring your head and your legs up into a position that looks like a V (arms straight ahead or up over your head). Push your head and legs toward each other (the snap) and release. Each snap is a rep.
  10. Leg Climbers – Lie on your back. Bring your legs up so your feet are still on the floor but near your bottom. Extend one leg in the air toward the ceiling. Keeping your extended leg stable, use your hands to “climb” up your leg and touch your toe and then “climb” back down your leg until you are lying back down. Do this 12 times for each leg – you get a break of one rep because you made it this far.
  11. Kayaker – Sit with your legs extended. Bring your legs off the floor by about 3 inches (you can bend your knees if your wish) and interlace your fingers and twist your body over to one side. Touch the floor and twist to the other side to touch the floor (feels a bit like you’re paddling a kayak). Twisting back and forth touching your knuckles to the ground each time.  Each time you are back at your original side, you have completed one rep.
  12. Stretch 1 – Lie down on your back and extend your arms over your head. Try to touch one wall with your feet while trying to touch the other wall with your hands. (Love this stretch!)
  13. Stretch  2 – (in yoga this is called the Child’s Pose) get on your knees.  Fold yourself over until your forehead is touching the floor and your bottom is touching your heels.. Your hands relax at your sides. Relax.

And you’re done!

High Fructose Corn Syrup is Not Your Friend

high-fructose-corn-syrup is bad for youYou’ve had a bad day. You feel pretty terrible and your troubles seem insurmountable. You really need a pick-me-up. You head for the pantry the minute you get home and pull out a treat. It’s sweet, it’s gooey, and it’s most definitely over-processed food. You know it isn’t good for you but you really don’t care. It works. A few minutes later, you’re blissful, ready to get some dinner and happy to finish your evening. Sure, you still have all of those problems but they just don’t seem quite so terrible.

Why did that sweet treat do the trick? The secret is most likely sugar – and, to narrow it down a bit, most likely sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). HFCS is a super sweet concentration derived from corn; it’s cheap to make, easy to use, and (an added bonus) extends the shelf life of foods in which it is used.  Pretty cool, don’t you think?  Manufacturers think so. They know more about it than you do. First, they know it’s highly addictive. Canadian scientists equate the potential addiction to that of cocaine. Ridiculous, you think. We thought so, too. But HFCS has been shown (via MRI studies) to stimulate the pleasure centers in your brain and to elicit behavioral reactions similar to those elicited through cocaine use. No, this doesn’t mean HFCS is the same as cocaine; only that it is highly addictive. For food manufacturers, this equates into increased consumption which, of course, means increased profits.  Second, rats fed a diet of foods high in HFCS become nervous and anxious when the sweet stuff is removed from their diets. Think about your friends who go on No Sugar Diets.  We don’t know about yours, but our friends report headaches, bad moods, and general anxiety as they attempt to succeed at eliminating sugar from their diets. It’s okay to refer to it as an addiction. Professor Bart Hoebel, with the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, has named it so and reports it makes you fat. In fact, he mentions the problems we’ve all experienced if we’ve successfully stifled our sugar addiction – cravings and relapse are part of the process.

What are the potential effects of fructose on your various organs and systems? That’s the bad news. The happy feelings you derive from HFCS foods come at a heavy price. Science News reported the effects of fructose in its June 2013 edition:

Brain: Unlike glucose (i.e., table sugar), fructose does not adequately curb the hunger signals in your brain. So you remain hungry – and you continue eating. Also, pleasure centers in your brain are stimulated – creating a dependency.

Liver: Fructose ends up in your liver when it’s consumed. Its chemical bond is different than that of table sugar – which does not break apart until it is in the intestine.  Fructose breaks apart in the liver and may be packaged short-term as glycogen to provide energy or as fat. This flood of energy overstimulates your mitochondria (i.e., the power plants of your cells) and the excess energy is turned into liver fat; increasing your risk of fatty liver disease (a liver disease that is usually associated with alcoholism and can cause cirrhosis).

Kidney: Fructose that seeps into the liver may increase uric acid increasing your risks of contracting gout, high blood pressure, and kidney disease.

Abdomen: Fructose is responsible for much of the fat that accumulates in your abdomen.

Pancreas:  Fructose increases insulin resistance which increases your risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Bloodstream:  Triglycerides circulating in the blood can harm both your heart and your liver.  Additionally, it can cause rashes.

As we move toward our Cupcake Time Diet, we hope you are willing to move away from foods containing high fructose corn syrup. However, this does take somewhat of a commitment since HFCS is found in so many foods:

Bread: Some commercial bakeries use HFCS in their bread. To avoid it, you would need to carefully check labels or take the time to bake your own bread. Amazing that we often have to make our own food if we want to avoid all of the chemical additives.

Salad Dressings: Again, you would need to carefully check labels to avoid HFCS or make your own.

Tuna: Avoid purchasing Sunkist Tuna Lunch To Go as it contains HFCS.

Canned Goods:  HFCS can be found in canned fruits, vegetables, and even baked beans. Again, checking labels (or canning your own) can work to help you avoid it.

Mac & Cheese:  Making your macaroni and cheese from scratch is easy and it tastes better. Give it a try!

Cereal:  Check the labels of your cereal. Be wary of anything listed as a syrup or corn derivitive.

Crackers:  Even though we think of salty when we eat crackers, a quick check of boxes reveals tons of crackers that include HFCS on their labels.

Soup:  Campbell’s condensed vegetable soup contains HFCS. Is there nothing a mom can feed her kids that doesn’t contain this stuff?

Yogurt:  Danon and Yoplait list HFCS on their lists of ingredients. Trader Joe’s French Village yogurt does not.

Ketchup: Heinz ketchup lists both corn syrup and HFCS on the label. Check it out.

In short, read labels to find out the hidden ways HFCS is tucked into your diet. When you identify the products, walk away. Cooking from fresh, finding alternative labels, or avoiding certain foods altogether are ways you can eliminate HFCS from your diet. Don’t replace it with other sugars; work to only eat sugar when you intend to.

Body Tricks

sundial is like your circadian rhythms To those of you who are now following us via email, we did send out the tentative Cupcake Time Diet Plan on Wednesday night. If you didn’t get a copy of it, let us know and we’ll happily forward you one.

We have really learned a lot during our adventures with dieting. Failure is not always a bad thing because it can teach you lessons you never knew you needed to learn, even if it does keep you in your fat pants. This is one thing we did learn: if you eat late at night, you will gain weight.

When the kids were little, Sherry always gave them a Midnight Snack. This was a small snack that was part of their bedtime routine – first they would get into their jammies (bath time some nights but not always), then a snuggle in bed with Sherry while we read a book together (we read everything from Where the Red Fern Grows to The Black Cauldron Trilogy to Anna Karenina), and, lastly, a Midnight Snack before tuck ins.  We laughingly called it Midnight Snack because it always felt so late when  snack time rolled around (usually 9:30 p.m.).  In fact, Sherry played a pretty good April Fool’s joke on Brooke when she was around 6 years old (Brooke claims she is still in need of therapy because of this and says you should not try this at home).  You see, Brooke would often fall asleep early in the evening and wake up just in time for her bedtime routine.  So on the morning of April 1st, Sherry convinced Brooke it was nighttime as she woke her early in the morning. A sleepy little Brooke joined her sisters for a Midnight Snack of brownies and milk.  It was dark (just like it was at night when Brooke would wake up in time for her snack) and Brooke was still a little drowsy (typical) and pretty anxious to return to her warm bed for the night. As they finished the last bits of their brownies, the sun began to rise. Brooke was confused and panicked to think that the sun had forgotten it was night time and she would now be required to stay awake “all night” and wait for another night to show up.  For a long time, she could not be convinced that she had actually slept through the night – she is sure she was somehow cheated out of a full night’s sleep. 

Anyway, Midnight Snack time remains an endearing part of our bedtime routine.  However, during the past few years the midnight snack seems to have grown in direct proportion with our weight. And it no longer is part of our bedtime routine; it seems to have become a part of our stay up routine.  We found ourselves working late into the evening and then actually eating our Midnight Snack, well, at midnight to wake us up so we could stay awake even longer. Soon we were shocked to find our clothes telling us we were fat with every zip and every button. We shook our heads in disbelief because we were gaining weight while, at the same time, generally eating less and trying to lose weight. It wasn’t until we started trying different diets, that we realized that we were eating late at night to create enough energy to stay awake. Late night eating – when your body is ready for bed – increases weight because your body is converting those calories into fat. Just like poor Brooke watching the sun come up, your body can be confused and left to operate at less than optimum capacity when your activities don’t match the time of day.

Your circadian rhythms create a continuous loop wherein your body knows when to store energy (i.e., bedtime) and when to prepare to use it (i.e., breakfast time). Your thyroid gland gives you a great big dose of thyroxin as your feet hit the ground each morning to prepare you to be awake and alert for your day. You need to treat yourself to a good breakfast (even if you hate breakfast) in order to keep your food intake aligned with your circadian rhythms so you enjoy can enjoy optimal health and energy.  Skipping breakfast can make you fat, too.

So, if you want to lose weight, don’t eat at night. Instead, go to bed and get a good night’s rest. Sure there are times when you’ll need to stay up late but if you find yourself staying up past 11:00 p.m. on a regular basis you’re doing yourself a disfavor.  Getting adequate sleep and eating only during the times when you are most likely to expend energy are two of the most important tips for being healthy and maintaining a healthy weight. Doing otherwise will leave you exhausted and weighing more than you want. Who needs that?

Ghrelin S’More & Elizabeth Park

Ghrelin Matters When You DietWhy does ghrelin matter in weight loss?  We talked your ear off about ghrelin yesterday. Here is why it matters.

Ghrelin makes you hungry. If you are lacking minerals and vitamins, it will make you hungry. If your body needs something you aren’t providing, it makes you hungry.  Even when you’re dieting…no, especially when you’re dieting, you need to listen to your body. It’s really important for you to get back in touch with whether you are eating because of actual hunger or for some other reason.

Your grandmother (well, maybe not yours but somebody’s you know) was right.  You don’t eat all night long. Breakfast means you break a fast. It’s hard to break a fast if you stuff your face with treats all night. So stop doing that!  If you stay up late at night your body will ask for food because it is trying to find the energy to keep you awake. Ghrelin is driven by your circadian rhythms so it will increase at night if you don’t go to bed at a reasonable time or if you keep your lights for hours after the sun goes down. Don’t eat. Go to bed!

Use diet time to understand how ghrelin is your friend. It is your friend. We promise. And this diet we’re cooking up for you will make you very happy that ghrelin is your friend. Because ghrelin is sometimes satisfied when it is fed something sweet. You’ll have to wait until we have a stronger proof but things are looking very good.

Oh, wait! We promised you pictures of the tulips in Elizabeth Park.  Sorry it’s taken us awhile but we did want to share this with you.

Tulips at Elizabeth Park Tulips at Elizabeth Park Tulips at Elizabeth Park


Don’t you just love them!

When you diet, you shouldn’t be constantly hungry or feel completely deprived. Yes, you need to eat fewer calories or you (like us) wouldn’t be checking out the diet alternatives. But deprivation is not going to help you meet you goal of losing weight and then maintain it.

Everybody gets tired of losing 20 pounds when it’s simply the same 5 pounds taken off and then regained 4 times. So let’s figure out a way to break the cycle and experience a true 20 pound (or more or less – you decide) weight loss.

Well, it’s past 10 p.m.  So go to bed already!

Our Thoughts on Skinny Dipping

Dips add calories and weightHow many times have you (or someone you loved) made a healthy snack of fresh fruit and then proceeded to dip each and every piece in a high calorie, sugary sauce before eating them?  The dip keeps us from being skinny – so skinny dipping would truly follow the no dipping rule. Have you ever skinny dipped?  Brooke has but she says I’m not allowed to tell you about it.

Why do people even need to dip in the first place?

We were discussing this last night as we cleaned out our fridge.  You see, our city just changed garbage collection night from Tuesday night to Wednesday night. But they sent out myriad notifications a month before making the change. Glancing at the notices cluttering our doorstep and mailbox, we saw “Change in Your Garbage Collection Day” and assumed it was a timely notice. So we didn’t take the garbage out on Tuesday and kind of laughed at the people who persisted in hauling the trash to the curb on Tuesday night: only to be awakened to the sound of the garbage truck early the next morning.  What?!?  They sent the notices out early so – not reading the notice in full – we missed garbage day anyway. We keep perishable food in the fridge or freezer until garbage night to cut down on the nasty smells and then haul it all out to thaw and be carried away to the landfill.  Anyway – that’s what we were doing; removing 2 weeks of old perishable food from our fridge.

Sherry was never a big dipper and she never really provided opportunities for her children to dip. Steak sauces?  Nope. Ketchup with fries?  Only if it’s that strange concoction of mayonnaise, ketchup, and other secret ingredients that is rumored to have originated in Utah (so many of you might have never heard of it).  Barbeque sauce?  Never. We did not participate in dipping activities.  Indeed, we would glance at public dippers with a look of confusion and wonder what compelled them to dip.

Dipping makes you fat. Dips are loaded with sugar (or salt and MSG) that your heart just doesn’t need. Dipping increases your food costs because you have to buy all that dip. And yet people continue to dip. Are these just frustrated smokers trying to find something to keep their hands busy during dinnertime?  Or is there something else going on?

A friend explained his dipping by saying he dips to add variety to his diet. We think him wrong.  We suspect he is confused and he is actually trying to produce the exact opposite.  But that takes us back to our fridge cleaning activity.

As we cleaned, we developed a theory.  We were focusing on the foods we were tossing out – they weren’t really old but grapes, blackberries, apples, and grapefruit went into the trash nonetheless.  We bought the grapes because they looked good and, once we got them home, found them to be sour – unlike the last bunch of fabulously sweet grapes we’d purchased the week before. The blackberries were so bitter they left a nasty taste in our mouths. We used to gather blackberries in the Oregon wilds and they were so delicious they’d be gone before we could get home. But these berries were nasty. The apples tasted like storage apples – no crispness; just soggy and mushy- like.  Although we’d had fabulous luck with grapefruits most of this winter, these grapefruits were from a batch that were old and stringy.

That’s when it dawned on us: people dip to provide a consistent taste in food!  A bitter berry drenched in sauce is just as edible as a naked sweet berry. If you don’t like the taste of an apple, dip it caramel and you can silence the nasty.  See what we mean? Fruits and vegetables can be delicious or terrible – they are available year round but their quality, sweetness, and freshness varies.  Many of you would have eaten the fruit we discarded (using your ninja dipping tactics) and, because we aren’t dippers, we rejected it.

Should we become dippers?  We actually considered this but we are hoping to lose weight; not gain it. So no. But here’s the thing. When you have a bad day and you pick up something to eat you can’t afford to have it taste bad.  Fresh food is so inconsistent that just doesn’t work so everyone turns to ice cream or cookies because they provide a level of consistency that comforts us.  And we think (hence our theory) that the inconsistency of fresh produce is what has kept us far away from fruits and vegetables for years.

The solution? Hey, we have no idea! We just figured out the problem. And since we’re busy trying to fit cupcakes into your diet maybe you can work on this one for us.

Good Ghrelin, Where’s My Cupcake?

cupcake puppyYes. This is the cupcake diet but that doesn’t mean you eat cupcakes all day long. What were you thinking?  You’ll get a cupcake soon. Now stop your whining!

We’ve been doing some research and it seems our idea just might be on the right track. Science News published an 8 month study that actually added a sweet to breakfast for the experimental group but those people otherwise followed the same diet as the control group.  Guess what.  At month 4 all dieters had lost pretty much the same amount of weight (33 pounds each) but in the last 4 months of the diet, the control group people gained 22 of those pounds back while the people who ate dessert with breakfast lost another 15 pounds each!

Yup. That’s what we’re saying. Cupcakes rule!  And if you read up on how not to grow like a Sumo Wrestler, you’ll understand why you eat that cupcake for breakfast instead of later in the day.  Apparently eating the dessert for breakfast not only satisfies your craving for sweets (meaning you’ll be less likely to cheat later in the day) but it successfully regulates ghrelin, the hormone that makes you feel hungry.

Even as we work toward a great new diet for you, we’re fine tuning and perfecting it so that you can lose weight without suffering or having to welcome the pounds back as soon as you’re finished.

The diet plan we laid out yesterday? It’s no good. We aren’t going to tell you what we’re doing with this until we figure out how to eat more cupcakes. So please be patient.

This morning Brooke ate watermelon for breakfast.  She is anti-seed. Well, actually she seems to be a bit anti-watermelon. The seeds may just be the presenting problem. She’ll know better once she has a chance to eat it a second time. Hahahaha  She’s now protesting as she thought that was the end of all watermelons on this earth.  How can she love all forms of watermelon candy and hate the real thing?  So mysterious!

Bye for now. We need to go bake some cupcakes.

Satan Diet Be Damned. We Want the Cupcake Diet ©

sad-satanReally. We’re going to do this.  Our small insurrection is evolving into a great idea. At least we think it might be. We’ll let you know as we go since we’re making this up as we go.

You are cordially invited to follow along as we create the Cupcake Diet©. We started out by discussing what has to happen for this to be a good diet.

  1. We want results! We do not want to diet for 3 weeks to lose 1.2 pounds or we’ll be dead before we lose enough weight for even our clothes to notice.
  2. We don’t want to suffer. If this diet makes us suffer, we won’t play.
  3. The diet must be healthy. We don’t want to hurt ourselves in the long term.
  4. The diet must be easy. We are too busy for complexity. It has to be easy to remember what we can eat.
  5. We want cupcakes!  We really think this is doable.
  6. Protein has to be involved because we fear hypoglycemia (the soup has meat).

As we go along and fine tune how this diet works, we’ll keep you posted.  Since we’ve loved the Satan Diet, we’re going to incorporate the portions of that diet that seem to spell success.  Success defined as being able to lose at 3-8 pounds each week if the diet is followed.

What we’ve got so far:

Day 1 – Eat as many cupcakes as you want in addition to the food you would regularly eat. This is your early celebration       for the weight you’re going to lose! Make a batch of Ultimate Soup.

Day 2 – Eat all of the fresh fruit you want with the exception of bananas.  You can also have ¼ c of nuts.

Day 3 – Eat all of the fresh fruit you want until noon.  No bananas. Eat only vegetables for the rest of the day.  But no potatoes, peas, or corn. Eat 1 cup of Ultimate Soup as an early dinner.

Here is what we’re thinking. We tried just doing a double down of the Satan Diet but 2 days of just fruit drove us over the edge. We were grumpy and cranky and had to take angry naps just to pull it together for the evening. We went for a walk to discuss things – and we just really think 2 days of fruit fruit fruit is not realistic. It’s nice to look forward to a warm meal for dinner and the soup is mostly vegetables with a little bit of meat so it met our needs.

The tulips are all in bloom at our park – it is a wondrous place to be this time of year. We’ll try to remember to take a picture of it so you can enjoy it with us.  If you try this diet out with us, let us know how you do. We really want this diet to be one that you can use!

Weight Watcher’s Points Plus Gains and Losses

ImageWell, we followed the Weight Watcher’s Points Plus diet in an effort to lose a bit more weight after getting fabulous results on the Satan Diet. We hoped to at least maintain our losses – if not lose more weight. We’re ready to talk about what we gained, what we lost, and whether we’d do it again.


What We Gained:

  • The freedom to eat what we wanted to eat. And we absolutely loved it!  Easter Candy was an issue for a few days until we clued in to the fact that 24 points worth of candy isn’t enough to sustain a person for the day.
  • The knowledge that those vegetables we are learning to like have less of an impact on weight than the apple pie and macaroons that we love so well.
  • The coolest website to go to if we need to know the point value of restaurant food.
  • The conviction that the weekly Weight Watcher’s classes are probably very important. They provide the social support and teach you the tenets of good nutrition if you will actually attend and listen.
  • The belief that this is probably not a terrible way to live….when maintaining weight loss. It’s rather inconvenient and it isn’t very effective at letting you lose weight. But it isn’t terrible, if that makes sense.

What We Lost:

  • Our faith in our ability to write down every morsel of food we ate. We would eat without realizing it (or eat and not record) so at the end of each evening we had to sit down and do reconciliation of points to see if we could have a bedtime snack. Brooke often felt like the crazy cat lady looking for bitty slips of paper with her food intake recorded on them.  She hates feeling like a crazy cat lady.
  • Two weeks of potential great weight loss. Ouch!
  • Not weight. Neither of us lost weight on this diet and we were convinced we would. Sherry stayed the same and Brooke gained 2 pounds.  We would lose .4 pounds just to gain it back a few days later. We kept waiting for the scales to give us great news but it never really did.
  • We lost our deeply held belief that a traditional, sensible diet is the way to lose weight and that crash diets are bad. Don’t judge us. Do the math or read about it here.  We have come to firmly believe you can lose weight quickly, spend that same period of time learning about altering your relationship with food, and making a commitment to long term maintenance of your new weight.  Then use a sensible diet as your long term eating plan. But lose the weight first if at all possible.

 Weight Watcher’s Points Plus:    1.8

                           Educational:   2.5          Doable:    2       Did we lose weight:    1

What’s Next?  This is our plan. We’re going to use the Satan Diet once a month to lose our 5 pounds of weight. Then we’ll continue to look at other diets to find the best one for long term maintenance. We don’t exactly love either of the two Weight Watcher’s diets for the long term. We know we won’t record all the food we eat every day. It just won’t happen. The Original Weight Watcher’s was hard to follow because it lacked choice and it was too strict. We are thinking we’ll explore the diets that come as phone apps and evaluate them next.  A lot of people have told us about them. If you know of one you’d like us to consider, leave us a note and we’ll take a look at that app.