Crush Multiple Health and Lifestyle Problems to be Triumphant

Crush Multiple Health and Lifestyle Problems to be Triumphant

“You solve one problem — do the math, do the legwork — and you move on to the next. And when you’ve solved enough of them, you get to live a little bit longer.”

Mark Watney (Fictional Character from The Martian)

Astronaut, NASA

LISTEN TO THE LIFEHACKRDIET PODCAST

Be sure to check out the LifehackrDiet Podcast Show notes for content and links mentioned.

READ THE BLOGPOST

Nobody knows how to solve multiple life-threatening problems like NASA does. Let’s see how we can apply their wealth of experience to our health and wellness journey.

A LifehackrDiet reader/listener sent in what they struggle with;
“Been overweight most of my life, I don’t practice portion control, I eat unhealthy foods, drink lots of soda, work hard at my job and I’m too tired at the end of the day for exercise”

HOW DID YOU GET HERE?
In your youth, you might have picked up a bad habit here or a poor lifestyle choice there. When you’re young and strong few things seem to have consequences. Those little things add up over time, like coffee grounds at the bottom of your cup.

At some point, consequences begin to affect everyday life by making things a little uncomfortable. Then come the aches and pains, the minor medical issues that are a nuisance. Your lifestyle starts to degrade, moderate to severe medical conditions start to define you.

THE MARTIAN movie poster | ©2015 20th Century Fox

THE MARTIAN movie poster | ©2015 20th Century Fox

UNTANGLING THE MESS
Have you read the book by Andy Weir entitled “The Martian?” It’s a great read, refreshing, fun and smart. The movie based on the book is directed by Ridley Scott and stars Matt Damond. Both the book and the movie are a great ride and worth your consideration.

What does The Martian have to do with “Crushing Multiple Heath and Lifestyle Problems to be Triumphant?”

Once you learn about Mark Watney’s struggle (the main character), you realize the act of solving problems is the engine that fuels human survival – on Mars and in your life on Earth.

Mark Watney is presumed dead in an accident during a violent sandstorm on Mars. His crew members blast off from the planet at the last minute to save their own lives. We find out that Watney survived, but now he’s abandoned on the red planet for at least 4 years, until the next mission arrives.

Mark takes an inventory of what he has available for his survival. Not enough food and a temporary habitat that is designed to last for 30 days.

Those are only the start of his problems. Every day something happens to stack the odds against him! It would be too much for most of us and we would just give up. I’m not going to tell you his fate, you need to read the book and then watch the movie to find out.

Watney is determined to survive, “You solve one problem — do the math, do the legwork — and you move on to the next. And when you’ve solved enough of them, you get to live a little bit longer.”

This is true for Watney in the extreme predicament of being the only human on Mars, but does it apply to you and me?

The answer is YES. Every health deficit you untangle and solve will let you live a little longer and improve the quality and quantity of the rest of your life.

Image credit: 20th Century Fox/Entertainment Weekly

Image credit: 20th Century Fox/Entertainment Weekly

PROBLEM SOLVING
Let’s learn from Mark Watney, NASA and people who solve multiple life-threatening problems every day;

  1. You need to define your problem first.
  2. Figure out what your goal is.
  3. Write down a variety of solutions to your problem.
  4. Figure out the possible outcomes of each solution.
  5. Figure out the most effective things you can do to help you reach your goal.
  6. Plan how you are going to carry out the solutions you have decided on.
  7. Be totally committed to executing your plans.
  8. Adapt your plans as you need to based on incoming data.

 

DEFINE YOUR PROBLEM FIRST
This statement is true in all situations. You can’t solve something you haven’t identified. The anonymous LHD reader was clear about their problems;

  • Overweight No portion control Eating unhealthy foods
  • Drinking lots of soda
  • Working hard
  • Too tired for exercise

Being honest about your current state of health and lifestyle, will give you a clear list of items to work on. This will increase your chances of success.

In our circumstances, the solutions are to make small and permanent changes to our lifestyles.

Action Item: Start writing down your “My Problems” list today!

FIGURE OUT WHAT YOUR GOAL IS
Take a look at each problem and figure out what your ideal goal is. Do you want to weigh what you did at 20 years old? Are preparing to run a marathon?

Each goal requires a different set of solutions. The LifehackrDiet (LHD) reader didn’t share a goal, so I will pick one that I think most of us can relate to; weight-loss.

Let’s take a quick look at what the NASA influenced procedures would look like, for this goal…

Action Item: Write down your goals for each problem.

WRITE DOWN A VARIETY OF SOLUTIONS TO YOUR PROBLEM
My pain is your gain! The LifehackrDiet content is exactly what you need! The solutions I discovered losing weight and reinventing my lifestyle.

It’s important to take each problem individually and through the procedure, discover solutions. Let’s take a look at the LHD reader’s list.

Problem: 
No Portion Control (See Hacking Your Hunger. Tips for How to Suppress your Appetite)
Solution: Create a process for implementing portion control;

Physical – Don’t buy foods that are contributing to your problem. Can’t eat what you don’t have. (Refer to this podcast.)
Mental – Put yourself in a mental state of accepting change and see it as a positive (some tips here.)
Procedural – Place food into individually sized containers to limit portion size (How to Hack Your Hunger.)

Problem: Eating Unhealthy Foods.
Solution: Create a process of substituting healthy foods for current unhealthy foods.

Physical – Don’t buy foods that are contributing to your problem. You can’t eat what you don’t have. (Refer to this podcast)
Mental – Put yourself in a mental state of accepting change and see it as a positive (some Tips Here.).
Procedural – Gradually replace current unhealthy foods with healthy alternatives. (Secrets of Eating to Lose Weight.)

Problem: Drinking lots of Soda.
Solution: Create a process that is physical, mental and procedural to substitute healthier ways of hydration.

Physical – Drink less and less sugar or diet soda. (Refer to How to Stop Drinking Soda: Awesome Steps for Success.)
Mental – Put yourself in a mental state of accepting change and see it as a positive (Refer to How to Stop Drinking Soda: Awesome Steps for Success.)
Procedural – Wean Yourself off of sugar and diet sodas

Problem: Working Hard
Solution: Use variety of tools to analyze your work days (I use Timecamp and Rescuetime. There are plenty of other tools, just search “work productivity tools”.)

Analyze each task you do; duration, quality of work time, frequency and result.
Based on analysis make changes to be more efficient.
Based on analysis, empower others do some tasks.
Based on analysis, stop activities that aren’t helping the bottom line.
Based on analysis, extract yourself from workflows where you are blocking forward momentum.

Problem: Too tired at the end of the day for exercise.
Solutions: Find times/ways of getting to the gym or workout while you work.

Try exercising before work.
Try exercising while getting to work, while I work, getting home and all my daily chores (this is the LHD way that I have discussed in most of my content but also specifically 3 Strategies: Quit the Gym and Be Healthier! and this Blog Post. )
Exercise at lunch

FIGURE OUT THE POSSIBLE OUTCOMES OF EACH SOLUTION
Portion control.

Failure: Nothing changes.
Success: Eat the right number of calories to lose weight and regain wellness.

Eating unhealthy foods.

Failure: Nothing changes.
Success: Eat healthy foods and enjoy them. Lose weight and regain wellness.

Quit Soda.

Failure: Nothing changes.
Success: Quit drinking soda. Save money, lose weight and regain wellness.

Figure out how NOT to work too much.

Failure: Nothing changes.
Success: Less stressed at work, more time for yourself, employees are happy feeling empowered. Lose weight and regain wellness.

Figure out how to Get Exercise throughout the day.

Failure: Nothing changes.
Success: Get exercise every day, healthier, more energy, mentally sharper, feel good, look good, lose weight and regain wellness.

I want to point out that most people do nothing! Every day each of us makes decisions to ensure we aren’t hurt, injured or killed. With that deep-rooted need for survival as our guide, we should see that doing NOTHING is the most dangerous choice of all.





FIGURE OUT THE MOST EFFECTIVE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP YOU REACH YOUR GOAL.

These are the items listed in “Write down a variety of solutions to your problem” and analyzed in “Figure out possible outcomes of each solution.”

  • Enact Portion Control.
  • Shift to Eating Healthy Foods.
  • Quit Drinking Soda.
  • Become more efficient and productive at work based on lessons learned from data analysis.
  • Learn how to get exercise from everything you do in your day or make time to exercise (Even better, do both).

PLAN HOW YOU ARE GOING TO CARRYOUT THE SOLUTIONS YOU HAVE DECIDED ON

BE TOTALLY COMMITTED TO EXECUTING YOUR PLANS
NASA says, “Failure is not an Option!”
In the case of our example, failure means: Your health, wellness, quality of life and longevity would be severely negatively impacted. Commit to success instead!

ADAPT YOUR PLANS AS YOU NEED TO BASED ON INCOMING DATA
Everybody has individual likes and dislikes. Abilities and things they are uncoordinated at. Everybody’s metabolisms act differently; some things work for one person but don’t for another. This whole process is designed to find what works for you personally.

  • If something works well for you then do more of it. If something doesn’t jive, then find another way to get the same result.
  • By remaining open-minded, inquisitive and committed to the end result, you will find things that work for you.

Remember Mark Watney, stuck on Mars with hundreds of problems that could kill him at any instant? He says; “You solve one problem — do the math, do the legwork — and you move on to the next. And when you’ve solved enough of them, you get to live a little bit longer.”

This is as true for you too, as you Crush Multiple Health and Lifestyle Problems to be Triumphant.

 

CONTENT NOTES

Crush Multiple Health and Lifestyle Problems to be Triumphant

Listen to the PODCAST or read the BLOGPOST.

Nobody knows how to solve multiple life-threatening problems like NASA does. Let’s see how we can apply their problem-solving workflow to our health and wellness journey.

 

 

 

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN
  • An anonymous reader/listener wrote in with a series of problems to solve;
    • Overweight
    • No portion control
    • Eats unhealthy foods
    • Drinks lots of soda (100oz/day)
    • Works hard at their job
    • Too tired at the end of the day to exercise.
  • Paul explores how we find ourselves in these health and wellness craters. Lots of little bad habits and lifestyle choices add up over the decades until they become life altering health problems.
  • The answer is to “stop compounding our existing problems!” Start unraveling and solving each issue one by one.
  • The theme of the book and movie The Martian has everything to do with Crushing Multiple Health and Lifestyle Problems to be Triumphant. Listen to how Paul ties this all together.
  • Let’s use NASA’s methodology for taking apart our reader/listener’s list of intertwined health and lifestyle issues.
  • Below is a worksheet based on NASA’s methodology for untangling multiple health and lifestyle problems and solving them one by one.
LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
  • The Martian (Weir Novel) WikiPedia
  • The Martian (book) Amazon.com link
  • The Martian (Movie) on IMDB
  • Ridley Scott (Director) on IMDB
  • Matt Damon (Main Actor) on IMDB
  • Paul uses the online tool Trello for organizing complex solutions. It’s actually a really fun and infinitely useful piece of software! Check it out for free!
  • RescueTime is the heavy hitter when it comes to managing and analyzing your work time. Paul has been using it for about 2 to 3 years and it keeps getting better!
  • TimeCamp is also a great tool for figuring out where my time goes and it allows me to have integration with Trello so that I can start and stop TimeCamp timers right from Trello cards. I love how easy this product is to use.
  • LifehackrDiet.com Content Referenced:
    • 3 Strategies: Quit the Gym and Be Healthier! | PodcastBlogPost
    • Hacking Your Hunger. Tips for How to Suppress your Appetite | PodcastBlogPost
    • 10 Guaranteed Easy To Follow Survival Tips For Enjoying Eating Out On A Diet. | PodcastBlogPost
    • Secrets of Eating to Lose Weight | PodcastBlogPost
    • Awesome Snacking Tips from Elle Penner of MyFitnessPal | Podcast
    • Secrets of Eating to Lose Weight | PodcastBlogPost
    • How to Stop Drinking Soda. Awesome Steps for Success (Online Mini-Course)
    • Learn how to Workout at work to reach 10k steps every day (coming soon)
TAKE AWAY

Let’s work smart, not just hard at improving our health and wellness by learning from the smart people at NASA. Learn how to use NASA’s simple techniques to solving multiple life-threatening problems.

 

LETS US KNOW

What have you done, or will you do after listening to these WordPress professionals tell their stories of work and exercise co-existing? Let us know in the comment section. We can all learn from one another!

 

 

Thanks for LISTENING!

Thank you again for your support,

SUBSCRIBE Don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes, SoundCloud or Stitcher Radio to get automatic updates.

 

Please join the conversation and leave a comment below. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say.

 

© 2015, Man Mountain Productions, Inc.

COMMENTS SECTION BELOW

10 Guaranteed Easy To Follow Survival Tips For Enjoying Eating Out On A Diet.

10 Guaranteed Easy To Follow Survival Tips For Enjoying Eating Out On A Diet.

“Going into a hostile food/drink jungle without some sort of goal, strategy or tools and just winging it might seem very “Indiana Jones” of you, but Dr. Jones always has a goal (get the goods and get out alive), a strategy (always break the rules) and finally, tools (his whip and a pistol for backup).”

Paul Michaels

Founder, LifehackrDiet.com

LISTEN TO THE LIFEHACKRDIET PODCAST

Be sure to check out the LifehackrDiet Podcast Show notes for content and links mentioned.

READ THE BLOGPOST

For all those activities, I have been able to figure out goals, strategies and tools. When it came to eating and exercising enough to maintain a healthy weight, I was clueless!

10 Guaranteed Easy To Follow Survival Tips For Enjoying Eating Out On A Diet.

Just the thought of having to be on a diet and going out to eat or bar hopping with friends, probably evokes images of Indiana Jones (in Raiders of the Lost Ark) running from that huge boulder. Except in your version, you trip-up and are flattened by another failed diet! It doesn’t have to be that way!

Raiders-of-the-Lost-Ark-indiana-jones-510025_1600_1200 2

I love food, eating, going out to interesting restaurants and exploring exotic cuisine. The problem I had, and I suspect many of you share, is that these wonderful experiences just compounded my problem of weight gain.

Going into a hostile food/drink jungle without some sort of goal, strategy or tools and just winging it might seem very “Indiana Jones” of you, but Dr. Jones always has a goal (get the goods and get out alive), a strategy (always break the rules) and finally, tools (his whip and a pistol for backup).

3 years ago, lumbering through my life 35lbs overweight, exhausted, self conscious and a little befuddled, I was the opposite of Dr. Jones. I would have been one of those impaled skeletons outside the Temple of Doom. The camera would pan past my remains propped up on a stake, jaw open ready to receive food. Dr. Jones would look at me bemused, mop his brow and turn his full attention to his goal, moving forward with steely determination.

Why such a hellish fate? Well at 48 years old, I still hadn’t figured out how to eat properly and get enough exercise to maintain my wellness. There were many things in my life that I had figured out; how to take awesome pictures, be a technology whiz and on a good day, paddle down whitewater rapids with my sons, and stay “in” my kayak.

Paul Michaels Kayaking for 30 years, still sucks!

Paul Michaels Kayaking for 30 years, and he still sucks!

For all those activities, I have been able to figure out goals, strategies and tools. When it came to eating and exercising enough to maintain a healthy weight, I was clueless!

So what does Indiana Jones and whitewater kayaking have to do with
10 Guaranteed Easy To Follow Survival Tips For Enjoying Eating Out On A Diet? Let’s take a look…
Here are some goals, strategies and tips that will make you the Indiana Jones of the culinary and spirits jungle.

Set a Goal:

Enjoy eating and drinking but stay on track to lose weight.

Strategy:

Plan ahead. Be knowledgable. Act in YOUR best interest.

Tools:

Break the rules. Hack your food/beverages. Mix things up.

 

If you know you are going out to a restaurant or a bar in the evening, you can plan ahead to make sure you can enjoy yourself and stick to your goal, all without stressing out.


   

Tips

Tip 1. Hop on your smartphone and check out the restaurant or bars’ online menu. Get a rough idea of what they have and what you are going to want to eat. If there is a choice between fried foods, heaps of pasta swimming in cream sauce or a tasty hunk of grilled of chicken, seafood, fish or a straight burger (with one or no buns), clearly the better choice is the less adulterated food.

Tip 2. Plan your day and your eating so that you have a lots of calories in the bank to spend and aren’t staving when you hit the town. When my wife and I plan to go out on the weekend, I try to push out breakfast into brunch and still eat a regular or slightly larger meal. Then a filling but low calorie snack in the afternoon will hold off my appetite until we walk into the restaurant or bar. I start with water and then eat items that will satiate me and help me stick to my goal.

Tip 3. If you feel satiated, you will have the capacity to resist foods that don’t fit with your Goals. Do you know that you are going into “hostile” territory where you will be weakened or disarmed? I recently went to a dinner party at a friend’s house and they served bacon and phyllo pastry wrapped hor d’oeuvres for 3 hours before dinner was served – delicious but deadly! Solution: Eat part of your dinner before you go by grilling up a hunk of delicious chicken, seafood, fish or a veggie dish that is high in protein/fiber and which will keep you satiated through any temptations. When the real food comes out, you can finish up your dinner without standing out.

http://lifehackrdiet.com/-calories in cocktails

Hidden Treasure Troves of Calories in Your Cocktails Courtesy of FatSecret.com

Tip 4. Do the Research! Not all alcoholic beverages are created equal. By making Smart Choices you can have a great time and stick to your goal too! Here is a simple rule to follow; the higher the alcohol content, the higher the calorie count. By choosing light beers, wine spritzers and simple cocktails with low calorie mixers (soda water or diet sodas) and even vodkas that aren’t sweetened but infused with flavors, you can drink and still stick to your goal. Do a little research online and find some solutions that work for your personal tastes.

Tip 5. Drinking water can help suppress your appetite and alcohol intake. What else is essential to life but doesn’t have calories? Use water as a tool to help you feel full. Drink lots of water before you hit the restaurant or bar and your appetite won’t be foremost on your mind. Drink plenty of water during your meal to keep your snacking of calorie ladened hor d’oeuvres and bread to a minimum. If you are out drinking, start your night out with a couple of diet soda/soda waters so that your thirst is quenched.

Tip 6. Reverse the order of your evening out; eat first and drink afterwards. Last time I checked, there weren’t hard and fast rules about the order in which you must enjoy your night out. In fact, you will drink more on an empty stomach and then eat more because the calories in your drinks won’t satisfy your hunger and the alcohol will lower your inhibitions (result: your goal and strategies go out the window). Tell your friends straight up, “I’m hungry, I need to eat now.” Your goal will be met and everyone will have a good time.

Tip 7. Diluting your cocktails can help you consume less calories and alcohol, plus save you money. Cocktails, like most things nowadays are being super-sized with calories, alcohol content and price. Some of the creative cocktails like the Zombie can weigh in at 371cal or the White Russian at 257cal (see more here) . If you have three of those, you have basically downed a really good meals’ worth of calories. The solution is to have a glass of soda water or a diet soda chaser with which you can cut and extend your alcoholic beverages. Have a “mocktail” in-between your cocktails and drink them slowly, that way you can still fit in while sticking to your goal.

Tip 8. When ordering food in your favorite establishment, become a food practical-ologist. That isn’t a spelling error, I just made it up to describe the science of making everyday practical food choices, that are a part of reinventing your lifestyle. They go something like this; “Is that [food stuff/beverage] worth it? Can I find something else I will enjoy that will help me reach my goal?” Let’s take a simple example; a Five Guys Bacon Cheese Burger weighs in at 920cal. Go bunless and it cuts the calories down to 660cal which is a savings of 260cal. Although this might seem draconian at first, let me remind you, so is a life burdened with being overweight and declining wellness. Get over it! Very soon this will become a natural and a comfortable part of your lifestyle.

health-712980_1920 2

Tip 9. The simple act of packing an Emergency Snack, can be a lifesaver as you run out of work on your way to meet friends at the local restaurant or bar. It puts you in control of your hunger instead stressing out about not meeting your goal. My go to snack is roasted unsalted almonds. These little critters are a delicious crunchy burst of toasty flavor and if I eat one at a time and take my time chewing, a 1/8 cup serving or around 12 almonds (90cal) can satiate me for a long time. Buy yourself some sturdy small tupperware type containers, fill them with your favorite snacks and then pack them at the bottom of whatever bag, case or pocket you can get to in an emergency. Find what works for you and remember there are a world of choices. Check out some suggestions here and here.

Tip 10. Know your foe; “Everything at a restaurant is 10 times more decadent than what you make at home,” – Adam Roberts, author of the book “Secrets of The Best Chefs.
“Use shitty vodka in your well as it makes the most profit. “If your crowd doesn’t care, you shouldn’t care,” says Kate Gerwin of the bar Imbibe. Restaurants and bars are businesses and they exist to make money serving your pleasures. Your health, savings account balance and weight-loss goals are not their concern but they are yours!

It is a jungle out there, with foes who’s interests don’t align with your goals, peer pressure, old habits, many delicious temptations and weakened resolve. By having a clear goal, practical strategies and familiar tools, you have a greater chance of not ending up as an extra in the reboot of the Indiana Jones franchise (I am sure there will be one!).

Does it Work?

Within 6 months of exercising my inner “Dr. Jones” I had lost 30 lbs. If you came out to dinner with me now and saw what I ate, how much I enjoyed it, you wouldn’t have a clue that I was subconsciously making choices that aligned with my goal of enjoying food and drink while staying on track to maintain my weight.

Although these 10 tips might seem a little daunting at first reading, I assure you that if you take one at a time and put them into practice, they will all fall in line, giving you to the tools to relax and enjoy your lifestyle.

Although these 10 tips might seem a little daunting at first reading, I assure you that if you take one at a time and put them into practice, they will all fall in line, giving you to the tools to relax and enjoy your lifestyle.

 

CONTENT NOTES

Crush Multiple Health and Lifestyle Problems to be Triumphant

Listen to the PODCAST or read the BLOGPOST.

Just the thought of having to be on a diet and going out to eat or bar hopping with friends, probably evokes images of Indiana Jones (in Raiders of the Lost Ark) running from that huge boulder. Except in your version, you trip-up and are flattened by another failed diet! It doesn’t have to be that way!

 

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN:
  • How to setup an over-arching goal for your weight-loss journey.
  • 3 Great Strategies you can use when you go out for a night on the town.
  • Tools you can use to help you lose weight in any eating or drinking situation.
  • 10 Tips that will help you master your social eating and drinking while still losing weight.
  • We reveal how many calories are really in that cocktail you just ordered and how to mitigate them!
  • What a chef says about the food served in restaurants and bars – Please sit down before you read this.
  • It is still very possible to lose 30 lbs in 6 months and still eat out regularly – We reveal how.

Plus hear how you can put all these tips together in a strategy that will ensure you enjoy eating out or going to a bar while you are on a diet.

LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
TAKE AWAY

Within 6 months of exercising my inner “Dr. Jones” I had lost 30 lbs. If you came out to dinner with me now and saw what I ate, how much I enjoyed it, you wouldn’t have a clue that I was sub-consciously making choices that aligned with my goal of enjoying food and drink while staying on track to maintain my weight.
Although these 10 tips might seem a little daunting at first reading, I assure you that if you take one at a time and put them into practice, they will all fall in line, giving you to the tools to relax and enjoy your lifestyle.

LETS US KNOW

What have you done, or will you do after listening to these WordPress professionals tell their stories of work and exercise co-existing? Let us know in the comment section. We can all learn from one another!

 

Thanks for LISTENING!

Thank you again for your support,

SUBSCRIBE Don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes, SoundCloud or Stitcher Radio to get automatic updates.

 

Please join the conversation and leave a comment below. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say.

 

© 2015, Man Mountain Productions, Inc.

COMMENTS SECTION BELOW

Hacking Your Hunger. Tips for How to Suppress your Appetite.

Hacking Your Hunger. Tips for How to Suppress your Appetite.

“A healthy, well-nourished individual can survive for weeks without food intake, with claims ranging from three to ten weeks…”

– Hacking Your Hunger. Tips for How to Suppress your Appetite.

WATCH THE VIDEO

Be sure to check out the LifehackrDiet Video Show notes for content and links mentioned in this content.

LISTEN TO THE LIFEHACKRDIET PODCAST


Be sure to check out the LifehackrDiet Podcast Show notes for content and links mentioned.
 

READ THE BLOGPOST

“Stop eating with your eyes! Let real data influence when and how much you eat. This sounds much more draconian than it actually is. Simply put; eat sensibly, mindfully and with purpose.”

– Hacking Your Hunger. Tips for How to Suppress your Appetite.

I was winding down for the afternoon, scanning my news feed, and about to head off to prepare dinner for my family, when a spectacular picture of an aerial firefighting aircraft dropping fire retardant, on a wildfire caught my eye. The article discussed the roles of specific aircraft and the different types of fires they fight.

My mind drifted to a hunger pang and I started to calculate whether I should eat a snack before I make dinner or just muscle on through… I snapped my attention back to the image and article. Mmmm, snack or no snack? My eyes defocused, I tilted my head and the load of fire suppressant being dropped by the plane in the photo, kind of looks like a scoop of vanilla ice cream falling on the flames of…my hunger pang! I mean, the mountain top wildfire.

Disclosure: This blogpost is by no means intended to take the jobs that Wildland firefighters do, lightly, they are awesome at what they do and I highly respect their work – it’s tough, hot and dangerous! Please check out the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.

TIPS FOR HOW TO SUPPRESS YOUR APPETITE.

 

WHAT IS HUNGER?

The feeling of hunger is a physiological mechanism that is a failsafe that drives us to eat and survive until we can pass on our genes. In our modern society it has become a very effective psychological button that marketers can press causing us buy and consume more of their products.

True hunger is definitely still a huge problem in segments of our modern society, but I suspect since you are reading or listening to the LifehackrDiet, you are not suffering from food insecurity. Continuing to put this into perspective, if you are relatively healthy, and don’t have any blood-sugar related or other medical conditions, then your pangs of hunger are 99% psychological and 1% need. Don’t believe me? “A healthy, well-nourished individual can survive for weeks without food intake, with claims ranging from three to ten weeks…” – Wikipedia article on Hunger. Yikes!

UNDERSTANDING YOUR FOE

First off, I want to give credit where credit is due; Hunger thank you so much for your help in keeping our species alive over the last couple million years. Now that we number 7 billion plus and many of us are overweight, it’s time for you to go help some of the many species suffering from human influenced extinction.

In our modern, commercially saturated, mobile device toting world, where a city like San Francisco, has 39.3 restaurants per 10,000 households, our hunger is like the universe’s largest software security hole! Anyone with delicious looking food can gain entry and scramble our appetite algorithms. ENOUGH!

Stop eating with your eyes! Let real data influence when and how much you eat. This sounds much more draconian than it actually is. Simply put; eat sensibly, mindfully and with purpose. I have been using the LifehackrDiet philosophy for almost two years and I eat exotic foods, I go out to restaurants regularly and I enjoy dinner parties with friends. I eat what I want! The LifehackrDiet has trained me to eat only what I need and not to excess.

Fire danger dial-

TAKING ACTION ON HUNGER

Now that I have made the argument that eating for you and me is really just a luxury and not a necessity (tone = facetious), let’s wrangle this out of control obsession in a way that doesn’t put you into physical and mental shock. To ensure this doesn’t happen I am going to put you in-charge of reinventing your eating so that eventually you get the same satisfaction eating the things you like, but with fewer calories.

Free-style eating

HACKING YOUR SNACKS

To begin with, all of us are doing it wrong… We usually eat our snack out of their respective containers, grazing like a lazy cow on a warm summer afternoon. When do we stop ingesting the endless supply of delectable treats? If it takes your stomach about 20 minutes to register “we’re A-OK down here,” with your brain, that means there is another 20 minutes of unsolicited calories making it’s way down your gullet. I call this, “Free-style eating.”

Guac-and-chips-bentobox

LEARN TO BENTO-BOX YOUR FOOD

The FIRST thing you need to do is decide on a “reasonable” amount for your snack. It must be less than the free-style eating amount because you have to take into account that 20 minutes of excess. Then take out your decided upon quantities and place them in an appropriate container/dish. Put the original packages away, and start enjoying your snack – slowly! Your goal is to place the last piece of snack on your tongue, right when your stomach says “A-OK.” Actually I give you permission to enjoy what you are eating, one mouthful at a time. Enjoy the smell, the taste, texture and really appreciate it. Put smaller quantities in your mouth each time. As an example, if you are eating nuts, don’t fill the palm of your hand and down them like a Vodka shot. Take each nut, one at a time, chew them completely and enjoy them. I call this act of portioning our food, “Bento-boxing.”

Food Hack - Guacamole and Chips - Eat to lose weight on the lifehackr diet plan.

THE HACKING OF GUACAMOLE AND CHIPS

I often use this as my example of how to “hack” a snack because it is so clearly illustrates the LHD concepts and it is easy to understand.
The next step is to “hack” your snack into something better than the original, with fewer calories but the same satisfaction. Once I Bento-boxed the guac and chips I then started slowly reducing the quantity I ate. Over a week or two I was able to get it down to 100cal of guacamole and 150cal of chips, for a total of 250cal. Eating that everyday for a week, I’d consume 1,750cal.

Start the hacking process, by getting creative and auditioning other healthy and lower calorie substitutes for one or more of the ingredients. I prefer selecting a king-pin, one of the ingredients that I can’t live without, and keep that as a constant. In this example, guacamole rules! So I started the auditioning; carrot sticks, cucumber and zucchini spears, sweet mini peppers and sugar snap peas. All of them had their merits, but I decided on a tie; sugar snap peas and sweet mini peppers. Each of them reduced the calorie load of the snack by about 50%, maintaining the crunchy mouth-feel and even adding a delicious sweetness. When I eat this snack for a week (which I do!) I only consume 875cal which is a 50% savings over my previous iteration of the snack. To put this into perspective, eating the new version of my snack has saved me 45,500cal a year which could translate into a 13lbs weight loss!

MY SNACKING STRATEGY

Now that you know the theory of hacking your snacks, (you’ve seen an example and hopefully I’ve blown your mind with the data), let me fast forward and give you a breakdown of the types of hacked snacks I use to extinguish the wildfire of my hunger.

Remember the principle of the LifehackrDiet; YOU are the one who has to reinvent your lifestyle, not me. These are just examples to get you started.

dial-low

 

LOW INTENSITY SNACKING

  • Drink a 16oz glass of water – 0cal
  • Chew a sugar-free gum – 5cal
  • 1/2 cup of seedless grapes – 31cal
  • 3 cups of Smart ’n Healthy Popcorn – 60cal
  • 1 cup of Watermelon – 45cal
  • 1 rice cake – 50cal
  • 1-2 Carrots or Celery sticks – 35cal

 

dial-med

MEDIUM INTENSITY SNACKING

  • 1/8 cup of Roasted, unsalted Almonds – 85cal
  • 1/8 cup of Roasted, unsalted Peanuts – 80cal
  • 1 rice cake with exactly 2g of Nutella, thinly spread – 60cal
  • 1 medium Apple – 80cal
  • 1 Peach – 59cal
  • 1 small Banana – 79cal
  • 2 cup of Watermelon – 91cal
  • 1 cup of seedless Grapes – 62cal
  • 1 Outshine Mango Popsicle – 80cal

 

dial-high

HIGH INTENSITY SNACKING

  • 1/4 cup of Roasted, unsalted Almonds – 170cal
  • 1/8 cup of Roasted, unsalted Peanuts – 160cal
  • Any combination of fruit (Apple & Banana) – 160cal
  • 6oz of Boneless, skinless Chicken breast with a rub seasoning – 180cal
  • Guacamole and Sugar snap peas/Sweet mini peppers – 125cal

There is “YOUR” world of options available for snacking. Just use the LHD guiding principles to help you hack your snacks and lose weight while you eat and enjoy, one bite at a time.

What We Covered

  • Hunger has helped Homo sapiens rule, but now it’s just a button for marketers to press.
  • People have survived not eating for up to ten weeks, which is really scary!
  • Hunger pangs are a nuisance and often make us eat when we don’t really need to.
  • If we become more aware of our own bodies through data, we might eat what and when we need to.
  • LifehackrDiet has trained me to eat what I need and not to excess.
  • Put yourself in charge and reinvent your eating to get the same satisfaction with fewer calories.
  • Did you know it takes about 20 mins for your stomach to tell you brain to stop eating?!
  • Eating out of packages is free-style eating, stop doing it!
  • Portioning out your food in reasonable quantities and putting away the packages is “bento-boxing.”
  • Eat deliberately, slowly and enjoy your food. Taste it, smell it, enjoy the texture. Eat one piece at a time.
  • Your goal is to put the last of your food in your mouth when your stomach gives the “A-OK.”
  • Hack your snacks from “free-style ’n” to “bento-boxing” and then cut their size down in size, slowly.
  • If you took control of your favorite snack you could lose about 13lbs in one year, eating it everyday.
  • You need to hack your snacks, but I give you my list of snacks from low intensity to high.
  • Your snacking universe is as big as you want it to be. Go forth and hack any snack.

 

Thanks for Reading!

LHD Podcast 009 – Hacking Your Hunger. Tips for How to Suppress Your Appetite.

To begin with, all of us are doing it wrong. We usually eat our snack out of their respective containers, grazing like a lazy cow on a warm summer afternoon. If it takes your stomach about 20 minutes to register “we’re A-OK down here,” with your brain, that means there are another 20 minutes of unsolicited calories making it’s way down your gullet. Stop eating with your eyes! Let real data influence when and how much you eat. Simply put; eat sensibly, mindfully and with purpose.

 

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN:
  • Hunger has helped Homo sapiens rule, but now it’s just a button for marketers to press.
  • People have survived not eating for up to ten weeks, which is really scary!
  • Hunger pangs are a nuisance and often make us eat when we don’t really need to.
  • If we become more aware of our own bodies through data, we might eat what and when we need to.
  • LifehackrDiet has trained me to eat what I need and not to excess.
  • Put yourself in charge and reinvent your eating to get the same satisfaction with fewer calories.
  • Did you know it takes about 20 mins for your stomach to tell you brain to stop eating?!
  • Eating out of packages is freestyle eating, stop doing it!
  • Portioning out your food in reasonable quantities and putting away the packages is “bento-boxing.”
  • Eat deliberately, slowly and enjoy your food. Taste it, smell it, enjoy the texture. Eat one piece at a time.
  • Your goal is to put the last of your food in your mouth when your stomach gives the “A-OK.”
  • Hack your snacks from “freestyle ’n” to “bento-boxing” and then cut their size down in size, slowly.
  • If you took control of your favorite snack you could lose about 13lbs in one year, eating it every day.
  • You need to hack your snacks, but I give you my list of snacks from low intensity to high.
  • Your snacking universe is as big as you want it to be. Go forth and hack any snack.

Plus more about taking control of your eating habits. Eating is good, good eating is fun and healthy.

 

LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

TAKE AWAY

There is “YOUR” world of options available for snacking. Just use the LHD guiding principles to help you hack your snacks and lose weight while you eat and enjoy, one bite at a time.

 

 

Thanks for LISTENING!

Thank you again for your support,

SUBSCRIBE Don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes, SoundCloud or Stitcher Radio to get automatic updates.

 

Please join the conversation and leave a comment below. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say.

 

© 2015, Man Mountain Productions, Inc.

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Secrets of Eating to Lose Weight

Secrets of Eating to Lose Weight

“What if I told you there are 3 really easy steps that could wean you off of drinking sugar or diet sodas...”

The Quit the Gym and be healthier for it blog post outlines many ways in which you can hack your exercise. This blog post touches on eating to lose weight and how you can gain control and change your eating lifestyle, your way.

 

Confession

Confession; I love food and eating – I am not someone who skimps. One of my passions is trying exotic international restaurants, something I do regularly. So how is it that I was able to lose 30lbs in six months?!

In my opinion, one of the reasons many diets fail is because they cart off YOUR food and replace it with their diet proven foods. These foods don’t necessarily fit your taste palette or lifestyle and are often not sustainable, post diet. This is a diet imposing change on you.

Sushi-meal-http://lifehackrdiet.com/

On the LifehackrDiet YOU are going to make small changes to your food, that YOU feel comfortable with and eventually these will become part of your lifestyle.

There are two main variables that can effect your weight; your exercise (calories out) and your food consumption (calories in). As with everything in the lifehackrDiet, you just need to make small shifts in your thinking to come up with food solutions that work for you. I’m going to give you some example food hacks that fit my lifestyle and particular tastes. You can use them as a guide for hacking your own food..

Let’s start the unenviable job of the lifehackerDiet calorie audit. You can snack your hack or hack your snack – whichever way you like. I am passionate about this particular snack, although I’m sure I’d made a meal out of it in the past! Guacamole and chips – it’s just something that I end up eating almost every day.
 

I love guacamole and chips but it's just too many calories to eat to lose weight. The lifechackr diet plan helps you hack your food so you can enjoy it with fewer calories.

Guacamole and Chips…Before

Until recently I ate guacamole with tortilla chips but I had the unenvious job of doing a lifehackrDiet calorie audit, something had to change. I enjoy the Yucatan brand of Guacamole which weighs in at about 100 Calories for 3 tbsp which is a nice sized serving for me. The problem was the Tortilla Chips (which are delicious and I still eat them on occasion), 15 of them are 150 Calories. When these two delicious ingredients are eaten together, I could easily consume 250-300 Calories for a snack.

Hacked!

Hacked! Guacamole and Sugar Snap Peas/Sweet Mini Peppers

What’s more fun than auditioning food with a dollop of guacamole? Eating them! There were several “best supporting food” candidates; carrot sticks, cucumber spears, celery stalks, but for me the “best food” award goes to Sugar Snap Peas and Mini Sweet Peppers. You should definitely explore what you like but the result should be the same – 150 Calories cut down by 2/3 to under 50 Calories. I eat Guacamole and my chip substitute of choice daily and I have a satisfying, healthy snack that is 150 Calories or less.

Snack Hack, eat to lose weight

 

 
 

Regular French Toast

Pancakes and French Toast…Before

I have always enjoyed these two weekend breakfasts! I’m not sure if it was their taste, texture or the peanut butter and syrup I slather on top of them, regardless they are weight loss killers. A small single pancake can break the bank at 150-250 calories and that is without the fixings. I need a lot of those little pancakes to feel satisfied, so I could easily rack up a 850-1000Kcal meal! In my house we use Challah or Egg bread for our french toast and a satisfying meal also weighs in around the 750-1000Kcal range.

Hacked French Toast

Hacked! French Toast

I was not willing to give up on my favorite weekend breakfast so I started hacking. Early on I decided to drop the pancakes because I found french toast more satisfying and more hackable. Soon I discovered a Light Raisin Bread made by Country Kitchen that is 50Kcal a slice or Vermont Bread, Cinnamon Raisin at 70Cal a slice and when you prepare it french toast style it’s delicious and satisfying. I cook up 5 slices of the Country Kitchen (50Kcal each or 250Kcal for 5) or 4 slices of the Vermont Bakery (70Kcal each or 280Kcal for 4) with two eggs (50Kcal each or

100Kcal for two) and my favorite fixings (a thin layer of crunch peanut butter and a drizzle of Vermont maple syrup) and I am only at 550Cal! They taste so good that even my wife and daughter have converted. So by making a small shift in my eating I have saved anywhere from 200 to 454Cal per meal. Now I love my new French Toast even more than the original style.

Breakfast Hack, eat to lose weight
 
 

Food Hack - Chicken and Cauliflower - Eat to lose weight on the lifehackr diet plan.

 

Cheat Meal

There are days when being on the lifehackrDiet can be a little challenging. Less than ideal food choices, comfort eating, the munchies – we all have those days. So what meal can you eat a lot of, something that will really fill you up and not blow your calorie budget for the day? There are a select number of “cheat meals” that will surprise you when you enter them into your food diary. Here is one that I like

and you can hack to your food preferences; Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (white meat) with a Grill Mates Seasoning Blend for flavor, broiled or barbecued. The secret to prepping this meal is not to add any appreciable calories with the seasoning of the chicken (Grill Mates adds 5 Calories per serving). Marinades, butter, oils and the likes will make the calorie count soar. Also the addition of a vegetables like cauliflower, asparagus, peppers, onions, zucchini, portobello mushrooms and eggplant which when lightly coated with olive oil and thrown on to the barbecue or grilled until tender, are delicious. A 5 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast weighs in at around 140 Calories and a 10 ounce serving doesn’t even hit 300 Calories! Eat until you are stuffed and it’ll be less calories than all the junk you just shoved down your gullet in the weak moments, earlier in the day.

Other foods that apply to this “cheat meal” tag to varying degrees are; lean cuts of meat, fish and seafood but remember to eliminate any fats in the flavoring of your meal. If you are still craving flavor the roasted/BBQ onions, eggplant and peppers will compliment any forkful.

Cheat meal Hack, eat to lose weight
 
 

Ben-and-jerrys-http://lifehackrdiet.com/

 

Chocolate Ice Cream for Dessert…Before

  I seem to be making a lot of confessions on this blog. It must be that talking about food on a diet blog is cathartic or something. But here comes another one; I am addicted to Dark Chocolate and I love(ed) gooey chocolate ice cream with fudge chunks, bits of dark chocolate, veins of chocolate fudge, chocolate covered nuts…ahh. Bet you can guess that this sort of dessert is not conducive to losing weight! Let’s take the finest as an example; Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream – The cadillac of ice cream. A small 1/2 cup serving weighs in at 279Cal and who can stop at just 1/2 a cup! This is pure heaven but if you can stop somewhere between a 1/2 cup and 1 cup you are doing well! Let’s say a satisfying serving weighs in at around. 418Cal.

dole-banana-dippers-http://lifehackrdiet.com/


Hacked! Frozen Chocolate Dessert

  Giving up good chocolate ice cream has been a gradual process over a year or so but when I discovered Dole Banana Dippers at a 100Kcal a serving I had finally found a worthy alternative. This frozen treat contains 4 banana slices smothered in a reasonable helping of really nice dark chocolate. They are cold, with a nice mouth-feel; the contrasting textures of crunchy chocolate and meaty banana are surprisingly satisfying. You need to let them thaw for a couple of minutes so there is a ritual involved in their consumption and it takes a little bit of time to eat them.

So for a savings of at least 318Cal or more per dessert they are a worthy competitor for the holy chocolate ice cream.
The true test is that my wife, daughter and one of my sons actually choose to eat them on a regular basis.

If you were to switch out your regular Ben and Jerry’s ice cream for the Dole Banana Dippers 3 times a week you would be saving 954Cal, extrapolate that out to a month 3,816Cal and 45,792Cal a year! On occasion I do have a spoonful or two of heavenly ice cream but I am really happy with my hack and this summer I am looking forward to trying to make them myself.

Dessert Hack, eat to lose weight
 
 

 

Eating to Lose Weight

 
With a couple of substitutes, you can eat anything you want at home in restaurants and with friends. Keep record of what you eat in your Food Journal and let your Digital Pedometer record your calories out – your job is to burn more than you consume.

I have been able to lose 30lbs in 6 months this way with little difficulty.the Lifehackr Diet flowchart I don’t have any superpowers other than the lifehackrDiet technique and technology which Illuminates the workings of my metabolism and allows me to control my actions to get the results I want.

These are life long habits that you are laying down and it only takes 3 minutes a day everyday to maintain your weight. There some challenging days but the majority of them are good ones – just remember the choice is always and has always been YOURS to make. Take control with the lifehackrDiet plan, today!
 

Share Your Strategies and Tips

So what strategies and tips have you discovered? Please share what you have uncovered or struggles you can’t seem to beat, in the comments section below. You will help others and possibly reveal things all of us can try to achieve; Our lifestyle and wellness, reinvented!

Listen to the Podcast, here.

About the Author

Paul Michaels is the founder and resident guru of the LifehackrDiet.com website, podcast and youtube channel. At 49 years old Paul was able to totally reinvent his lifestyle by making small changes that eventually led to huge results. He lost and maintained 35lbs of weight-loss and walks an average of 3,000 miles a year while he works, plays and creates awesome content.

 

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Meal Hack – Chicken Cheat; Eat to Lose Weight.

Meal Hack – Chicken Cheat; Eat to Lose Weight.

The Super Duper Chicken Cheat!

Chicken Cheat

A continuing series; My pursuit of how to Eat to Lose Weight.

There are days when being on the lifehackr diet can be a little challenging. Less than ideal food choices, comfort eating, the munchies – we all have those days. So what meal can you eat a lot of, something that will really fill you up and not blow your calorie budget for the day?
There are a select number of “cheat meals” that will surprise you when you enter them into your food diary. Here is one that I like and you can hack to your food preferences; boneless skinless chicken breast (white meat) with a Grill Mates Seasoning Blend for flavor, broiled or barbecued. The secret to prepping this meal is not to add any appreciable calories with the seasoning of the chicken (Grill Mates adds 5 Calories per serving). Marinades, butter, oils and the likes will make the calorie count soar.
Also the addition of a vegetables like cauliflower, asparagus, peppers, onions, zucchini and eggplant which when lightly coated with olive oil and thrown on to the barbecue or grilled until tender, are delicious. A 5 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast weighs in at around 140 Calories and a 10 ounce serving doesn’t even hit 300 Calories! Eat until you are stuffed and it’ll be less calories than all the junk you just shoved down your gullet in the weak moments, earlier in the day.
Other foods that apply to this “cheat meal” tag to varying degrees are; lean cuts of meat, fish and seafood but remember to eliminate any fats in the flavoring of your meal. If you are still craving flavor the roasted/BBQ onions, eggplant and peppers will compliment any forkful.

With a couple of substitutes, you can eat anything you want at home in restaurants and with friends. Keep record of what you eat in your food journal, and let your digital pedometer record your calories out – your job is to burn more than you consume.
I have been able to lose 30lbs in 6 months this way with little difficulty.

I don’t have any superpowers other than the lifehackr diet technique and technology which Illuminates the workings of my metabolism and allows me to control my actions to get the results I want.
These are life long habits that you are laying down and it only takes 3 minutes a day everyday to maintain your weight. There some challenging days but the majority of them a good ones – just remember the choice is always and has always been YOURS to make. Take control with the lifehackr diet plan, today!

Please comment or tell us about your food hacks in the comments section below.

© 2014 Man Mountain Productions, Inc.

Snack Hack – Guacamole and Chips; Eat to Lose Weight.

Snack Hack – Guacamole and Chips; Eat to Lose Weight.

Guacamole and Chips…Before

Guacamole and Chips

A continuing series; My pursuit of how to Eat to Lose Weight.

I think Seasame Street should add a Guacamole Monster to their new “nutrition conscious” character lineup – I will be first in line at the audition!

Until recently I ate guacamole with tortilla chips but I had the unenvious job of doing a LifehackrDiet calorie audit, I had to convert it to a low Calorie snack. I enjoy the Yucatan brand of Guacamole which weighs in at about 100 Calories for 3 tbsp which is a nice sized serving for me. The problem was the Tortilla Chips (which are delicious and I still eat them on occasion), 15 of them are 150 Calories. When these two delicious ingredients are eaten together, I could easily consume 250-300 Calories for a snack.

Hacked! Guacamole and Sugar Snap Peas/Sweet Mini Peppers

What’s more fun than auditioning veggies with a dollop of guacamole? Eating them!

There were several “best supporting food” candidates; carrot sticks, cucumber spears, celery stalks but the for me the “best food” award goes to Sugar Snap Peas and Mini Sweet Peppers. You should definitely explore what you like but the result should be the same – 150 Calories cut down by 2/3 to under 50 Calories.

I eat Guacamole and my chip substitute of choice daily and I have a satisfying, healthy snack that is 150 Calories or less.

With a couple of substitutes, you can eat anything you want at home in restaurants and with friends. Keep record of what you eat in your food journal, and let your digital pedometer record your calories out – your job is to burn more than you consume.

I have been able to lose 30lbs in 6 months this way with little difficulty.

the LifehackrDiet flowchart

the LifehackrDiet flowchart

I don’t have any superpowers other than the LifehackrDiet technique and technology which Illuminates the workings of my metabolism and allows me to control my actions to get the results I want.

These are life long habits that you are laying down and it only takes 3 minutes a day everyday to maintain your weight. There some challenging days but the majority of them a good ones – just remember the choice is always and has always been YOURS to make. Take control with the LifehackrDiet plan, today!
 

Thanks for Reading

[cta]