012 – Awesome Snacking Tips from Elle Penner of MyFitnessPal

012 – Awesome Snacking Tips from Elle Penner of MyFitnessPal

LHD Podcast 012: Listen Here;

 

LHD Podcast 012 – Awesome Snacking Tips from Elle Penner of MyFitnessPal

Snacking Tips: From food swapping, to creative snacking to what to chose when you are faced with the dreaded snack vending machine – we’ve got it all covered with Elle Penner of MyFitnessPal.

 

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN:
  • What food swapping is and how it can make a big difference in your diet.
  • Great, delicious snacks under 200 calories.
  • How to prepare snacks for when you travel so you eat well and save lots of money.
  • When you are faced with a snack vending machine, how do you make the best choices…

Plus more great snacking tips.

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LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

 

 

TAKE AWAY

With a little bit of experimentation, you can make snacking healthier and curb your hunger pangs faster. Also, if you prepare some snacks before traveling, you can save money and eat better.

 
 

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Show Transcript Below----->

Transcript: 012_Awesome_Snacking_Tips_from_Elle_Penner_of_MyFitnessPal

Paul:        This is the LifehackrDiet Podcast number 012. Let’s get snacking!

Commercial:        Most diets are like going on a trip, the food is different, your activities are different and then it ends. You fall back into your old ways and the diet fails. LifehackrDiet.com is different because you make small changes to your lifestyle that get results. When you hit your goal your life that has been reinvented by you and change is permanent. LifehackrDiet .com, this is your last diet!

Paul: Welcome to the LifehackrDiet Podcast I am Paul Michaels your host. LifehackrDiet Podcast exists to empower you to get 1 step, 1 mile and 1 pound of weight loss closer to your goals of superior health, wellness and well-being.

Welcome you to podcast numbers 012, number 12. We are up over 2000 listens so far on the podcast which are very proud of. But what I need, I need a favor. I want to get to over 3000 or maybe 4000 listens by the end of the year and we don’t have a lot of time so I really need you guys to help. So please let your friends and family know about the LifehackrDiet Podcast, send links out on your Twitter, Facebook and other social networks and it would be great if we could hit 3000 or 4000 listens before the end of the year and I’d really appreciate all the help you can give, thank you.

So in the news today like literally today a couple of minutes ago, I just saw a report about an app called SyncSolver. And what this $.99 app does in the iPhone app store is it fills a gap. At this point in time FitBit is not supporting HealthKit on iOS 8 and it’s a bit of an issue. I have an opinion and my opinion is very straightforward and that is all of the data that I have created over the last 2 years and almost 5000 miles of walking, I think it belongs to me; I mean I created. And I have paid FitBit for their FitBit… I have FitBit 1, I have FitBit Zip, I paid for the devices. I would assume that they would have billed in overhead and all those expenses in the cost of the product. And I like my data, I like to do whatever I want with it. But right now there’s a bit of a corporate battle going on and so FitBit is not supporting data export out of the FitBit app into HealthKit.

But a gentleman by the name of James McAndrew, has created an app called sync solver and I have links to it on my Facebook page which is Facebook.com/lifehackerdiet and I posted it on Twitter as well and my Twitter handle is @lifehackrdiet. You can get a link from either of those sources and for $.99 you can download all of your FitBit data into HealthKit. And I have tried, it works great, I am still fiddling with it to see what else I can do so I will give you a report on the later but be sure to check that out.

And it never ceases to amaze me the creativity and ingenuity of people. We have a problem here, we have to juggernauts head-to-head, nobody is given in and then little James comes by and writes a little code and solves the problem. So thank you James. Maybe we will get you on our podcast sometime later I don’t know but thank you. It’s a lovely almost Thanksgiving gift.

And we have a great podcast today, it’s an interview with Elle Penner and she is a registered dietitian with MyFitnessPal and it’s a great interview, we just discuss snacking and she’s got some great ideas on how you can make changes so that snacking is more fun, you feel more full, it’s more nutritious so I have a really good interview coming up.

So I must apologize, I’m still trying to get over this cold. I think the coal is gone but it’s left me with a very ticklish throat so I end up coughing very easily and for long periods of time so there are a couple of little coughing sessions during this interview so I apologize in advance. I try to take all my medicines beforehand but it didn’t quite work.

So this interview marks the fruition of a promise I made which is in podcast 009, Tips for Supressing Your Appetite: Hacking Your Hunger. I said that I would try to get some professionals on to talk about snacking and Elle is that. So here we go, enjoy the interview with Elle and I will catch you afterwards.

[Interview]

Paul: I am thrilled to welcome Elle Penner to the Lifehackrdiet Podcast. Elle is a registered dietitian who is heading up the nutrition department at MyFitnessPal and actually she grew up about 30 minutes outside of Boston which is a stone’s throw away from where I am recording this podcast right now. So we are in the old stomping grounds.

She writes a healthy lifestyle blog; _According to Elle, _I will put that URL in the show notes. And _According to Elle _has the acronym ATE, which I’m sure is no coincidence. She is also driven to create ways for people to enhance their lives and that’s why she’s here to give us some great tips on snacking and ways in which we can enhance our lives. So welcome Elle and I am thrilled to have you here.

Elle: Thank you Paul, I am thrilled to be on your show, it’s a great opportunity!

Paul: So tell us a little bit about your role at MyFitnessPal and for those who don’t know what MyFitnessPal is, what is it?

Elle: Yes so I will start off by telling you a little bit about what MyFitnessPal, it is and it is a widely popular food and nutrition tracking app. We have a food database of over 4 million foods which allows our users to pretty much seamlessly track the foods that they eat. And we also allow our users to track their exercises and whether you have a FitBit or you have a wearable or you just manually track your exercise, our platform is a way for users to kind of see their energy balance, the nutrition that they are getting from their foods and just kind of helps them learn how to eat better and exercise more. So that’s MyFitnessPal in a nutshell.

And what I do there is I basically do all things nutrition. So on any given day I work with our engineers and developers and product teams to think about and put together new features for the up to improve its accuracy and just kind of come up with ways for users to… Users can do more with the data that they have. And then I am also part of our marketing team so I am the nutrition spokesperson for the company. I also head up the food and nutrition content on our blog which gets a lot of traffic and it’s a great source of healthy inspiring information. And so that’s pretty much what I do there.

Paul: And just to let people know, I have been using MyFitnessPal for just about 2 years now and it’s been a huge part of my journey. And the beauty of MyFitnessPal is its kind of like the country of Switzerland; it gets along with everybody. So nowadays you are having hold battles with Apple’s new HealthKit. You have some tracker manufacturers not plugging into HealthKit but they plug into MyFitnessPal. And so pretty much any product, tracking product you buy or any app that you use for tracking your food or your exercise or anything like that will have a plug-in feature that will allow the transformation of information from your app to MyFitnessPal. And is it one way? I think it is one way.

Elle: No, we go 2 ways.

Paul: 2 ways, yeah.

Elle: Yeah, so we will share in some apps, it depends on what device you have or what app you are using but our nutrition information I think it’s meal summary data can be synced into the other apps.

Paul: Right, so there is really no risk in downloading MyFitnessPal first of all it’s free and secondly it gets along with everybody.

Elle: Yeah, we actually partner with 80% of all wearables and 4 out of the 5 GPS tracking apps so…

Paul: So go to your app store and download it!

So today I wanted to talk about eating, one of my favorite topics and specifically about snacking. And I wrote a blog post a little while ago podcast 009, which is Hacking Your Hunger: Tips for How to Suppress Your Appetite. And I promised in that podcast that I would get a real professional on the show and have them talk about it so here is the fulfillment of my promise with Elle Penner.

So let’s talk about a bunch of articles that you have written for MyFitnessPal. I think they are excellent articles and what I like about them is they are for real people, they are things that anybody can do. And so that’s I think that’s awesome because we need to affect everybody’s lives in a positive way. So let’s start with food swaps, what is a food swap?

Elle: So a food swap is basically a simple way to upgrade whatever you are eating. It can be one ingredient, it can be a few ingredients if you’re cooking a recipe but they just kind of give you more nutritional bang for your buck. So if you’re trying to cut calories or get more protein in your diet or whatever extra vitamins and minerals, kind of swapping out an unhealthier food for a more nutrient dense food I guess is the definition of a food swap.

Paul: Great! So why do we go through a couple of them that you mentioned?

Elle: Sure, so some of my favorites are simple ones like I use this all the time; if you’re going to be having a taco with sour cream, throw on a little bit of Greek yogurt instead. It’s tart, it’s packed with protein, it’s low in fat so it’s actually more satiating than a dollop of sour cream.

Another one is instead of a hamburger bun that contains a lot of carbs, refined grains, yeah I use 100% whole grain deli flat so they are kind of like that feeling you are eating a bun without all the extra fluff.

Paul: I have a little version of that. I have 2 of my kids that are vegetarian. I make veggie wraps for them so I take a veggie burger partially cook it and then take a multigrained wrap and kind of fold it over the burger and then put it in my George Foreman grill and it kind of is on and it’s only 70 cal and it’s much healthier than a bun.

Elle: That’s great, that’s an awesome food swap!

Paul: Okay.

Elle: So another one is instead of traditional breadcrumbs, use Panko because Panko is a little bit fluffier and so it actually absorbs less or if you’re cooking something in oil. And one of my all-time favorites is using avocado in baked goods. So it’s actually… It’s a fat and it’s a pretty bland fat. So you can actually swap out about half of the butter in any baked good for some mashed avocado and it kind of gives you that same fact but it’s a healthier unsaturated fat Mono and polyunsaturated fat, mono and polyunsaturated omegas.

Paul: So I have a little avocado story too. I have a smoothie maker and I was fooling around with some recipes and one of the recipes was a chocolate smoothie and it used avocado and I had never done that before and it’s like, “Oh, this is not going to work.” And so I went through the recipe which is very simple, it was avocado and cocoa powder and a couple of soymilk or whatever milk you want to use. And blended it up and I was blown away with how good it tasted.

Elle: Yeah, you see that creaminess and healthy source of facts but yeah.

Paul: Yeah and then I tested it on the kids and it’s like, “Yeah, thumbs up!” So avocado is pretty amazing!

Elle: Did you tell them it was in there?

Paul: I had them tried first and then I told them. There is no way I would have got it down if I had told them first so they are kind of used to that.

Elle: Yeah.

Paul: And then I had sushi last night and I think one of your swaps is white rice for brown rice right?

Elle: Yeah. So milling and polishing of brown rice to make it white that’s all that happens during the processing experience. So it removes most of the B vitamins; magnesium, phosphorus iron, all those good kind of nutrients and also all of the fiber. So if you kind of skip the processing stuff and go straight for the brown rice you actually get a more nutrient dense food than starch.

Paul: I had no idea that was the difference.

Elle: Yeah.

Paul: It’s amazing.

Elle: Yeah, all rice is brown.

Paul: So can you confirm for me? I just feel like an absolute idiot but my daughter told me this and I just want to confirm that it’s true. White eggs are actually bleached white and they are actually originally brown?

Elle: No, I think that’s false.

Paul: Okay.

Elle: From what I read it kind of depends on the color of the shell depends on the chicken’s diet.

Paul: Okay.

Elle: I am not a farming expert but that’s what I have heard. And there is actually no nutritional difference between a white eggs and a brown egg, it’s just mostly like whatever kind of rocks and that kind of thing the chicken is around or picks up.

Paul: Okay, so that’s why I had you confirm it, excellent. So go ahead, move on.

Elle: Okay so do you want some more food swaps?

Paul: You missed my favorite.

Elle: Oh, what did I miss?

Paul: You missed my favorite. I think I will be embalmed by it when I die. And that is dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate.

Elle: Oh!

Paul: You can’t forget that one.

Elle: Yeah, so dark chocolate it actually I’m sure you have read the articles but it actually does contain more health boosting antioxidants than the milk chocolate just because mostly it’s less processed and less refined so it actually retains a lot of those healthy compounds.

Paul: Right and then another good one I think is instead of granola and milk, what is your suggestion?

Elle: Yeah so I mean I used to basically sit down with a big bowl of granola cereal and milk every morning and not even realizing that there’s probably 500 cal in that cup and a half, 2 cups of cereal. So these days I swap it out and I use a Greek yogurt or any kind of yogurt as the base and then I may be sprinkle a quarter of a cup of granola on top. Granola is great and is a source of whole grains and if you add some nuts it can also add protein but it is calorie dense. Most of them contain sugar so kind of going heavier on the protein and the yogurt and sprinkling a little of granola on top is a great way to swap out those extra calories.

Paul: Great, well those are great swaps. And for our listeners if you guys have swaps that you use, please let everybody know in the show notes. I think it would be great to have all of your input. So let’s move on to 10 simple snacks under 200 cal and I must say when I was writing the Hacking Your Hunger post, I was kind of surprised at how little or how few calories I need to actually satisfy my hunger pangs. And then you look at like what a bag of chips is or what other people eat for a snack, it’s amazing how little you need to actually satisfy your hunger…

Elle: Yeah.

Paul: … I think you illustrate that as well.

Elle: Yeah, I am by nature not a huge snacker. I prefer to kind of load up at mealtime I guess. Snacking is such a huge part of our culture and everybody is kind of eating on the go. And it actually is a huge area where people kind of consume a lot of calories that they don’t really think about because they are not necessarily sitting down and enjoying a meal and taking it in. And I love your article about kind of how you hacked your snacks and how you kind of used, paid attention to your hunger cues and really eat based on your hunger and not just kind of mindless eating.

Paul: Yeah, that’s the big challenge, is trying to separate the 2. There is so much emotional and kind of base core reaction that we used towards eating that you have to kind of separate yourself from that and realize when you actually are hungry and then what you can need to satisfy it.

Elle: Yeah. I mean even just where we schedule our days every minute of every day is scheduled and a lot of times eating is just based on schedule and I think that’s even snacks, snacking in the afternoon can be a habit for someone. It may not necessarily mean that they are hungry at all so yeah, being mindful around your snacks and actually making sure you are hungry before you decide to have a snack…

Paul: Right.

Elle: … It’s a huge way to kind of offset consuming excess calories is that you don’t really need.

Paul: And I think advertising pushes that as well. I think… Is there a chocolate bar that is kind of like take a break, was it? In the afternoon, take a break, have a chocolate bar or something?

Elle: Yeah, definitely.

Paul: … It’s a big part of it. So if you can just go through maybe a couple of your favorite snacks under 200 cal that you think people would enjoy that would be great.

Elle: Yeah. So when I snack I kind of try and keep it mostly whole food based. I try and avoid a lot of the package stuff. So having kind of a stash of fruits and nuts and that kind of stuff on hand helps. So some of my favorites are hard-boiled eggs with 2 tablespoons of hummus and a slice of whole-grain toast; that comes in almost a 200 cal. But it actually has protein in the hummus in the egg and then whole-grain toast offers fiber so it is actually really satisfying.

Paul: I would think so yeah.

Elle: Yeah! Also just something like a small banana and a serving of almonds which is 16 almonds is around 200 cal as well. A quarter of a cup of mashed avocado and whole-grain toast and a pinch of sea salt, this is actually quite a popular snack among these healthy living folks, it is called avocado toast so it’s a great source of healthy fat. You can kind of jazz it up if you want to sprinkle some nuts on or I like to add a piece of crispy prosciutto every now and then. That’s another great snack.

There is always the classic Apple and peanut butter…

Paul: Mhm, yes.

Elle: … You can throw on some chopped walnuts or something for some extra omegas and healthy fats, that’s great too.

Paul: One of my sons favorites, he sees celery and the first thing he says is, “Peanut butter.” And so we could be eating a savory meal and I put raw celery out to eat and I am crunching on it and he goes to the fridge and gets peanut butter and it’s like, “Gross, that doesn’t work.” But anyways so yeah you can use it many ways.

Elle: Yeah, for sure, celery is a great one. I love having my Greek yogurt in the morning around a couple or three quarters of a cup with just some fresh BlackBerries on top, it’s another great snack. Homemade trail mix is another great option it just takes a few minutes to throw together if you have all the ingredients. So pairing that with some air popped popcorn is a great snack as well.

Paul: Right. And that kind of segues into five make-ahead travel snacks. I was traveling yesterday by plane and I thought of you not only because we had this podcast today but also because of the way you came to kind of figuring this out so why don’t you tell us the story behind it.

Elle: Yeah, so that all happened when I was a traveling, I don’t remember where I was flying but hunger hits, you’re not expecting it and I ended up buying a $4 Greek yogurt after weighing the pros and cons of going to the food court and getting something that costs just as much but an entire meal at a fast food joints. But actually did go back and I paid the $4 for the Greek yogurt and it was painful, a little hard to swallow. But it was an opportunity that made me realize that just packing a simple snack from home I could have avoided that inner conflict completely, I wouldn’t even have thought about buying a snack because the food in general at the airport is so expensive.

Paul: Right.

Elle: And generally unhealthy.

Paul: And I have experienced recently where we arrived… my family was on vacation, we arrived back in the states and our flight was delayed like 4, 5 hours so it wasn’t going to leave till 2 in the morning.

Elle: Yeah.

Paul: So I think we were on… I think we were on JetBlue and they have fairly decent snacks so they were looking over all these grumpy people and they said, “Okay we’re going to cart in what we serve on the plane.” So they brought this cart filled with all the snacks that they have on the plane and that’s what we got to eat because all the restaurants and everything is was closed in the airport…

Elle: oh!

Paul: … And it was like, “Okay, so what are we going to do here?” So you never know when it’s going to happen but you have some excellent suggestions for preparing for it so why don’t you tell us those?

Elle: Yeah. So before I leave for a trip I kind of find a little bit of joy in trying to clean out my fridge and use of things that I have like fresh fruit, throw it in the bag if you have it, fresh fruits and veggies. If you have some carrots or bell pepper, chop it up and don’t to go to waste, you actually can bring it with you, throw it in a little baggie and to be there with you when you need it.

Another one is high-fiber cereal. So if you have like shredded wheat or another one of your favorites, just throwing a little bit in a Ziploc bag is great. Cheese so string cheese or if you just have a block of cheese in your fridge, again don’t let it go to waste. You can chop it up into kind of one of our servings and snack as you feel hungry. Fresh fruit, granola bars are another one. I always have a dash of granola bars, they are great for grabbing when you are on the way out the door for a hike or you are headed to the airport; those early morning flights can be kind of brutal.

And often times like I don’t really feel hungry the minute I wake up at 3 in the morning for my flight so I will grab a granola bar or like even an instant oatmeal packet, just if you have those at home, choose ones that are lower in added sugar and then when you are basically on the airplane all you have to do is ask for a cup of hot water and you can add your instant oatmeal to it.

Paul:        That’s a good one, that’s a good one. Now you mention something, couple times in your articles which I am intrigued by and I want to try this and that is you are using chickpeas and you are baking them or something like that to make them crunchy?

Elle: Yeah.

Paul: Tell me about that one because it sounds good.

Elle: This is another one of those fad health foods, health snacks that’s happening. There is so many recipes out there and there are many good ones. So the ones with chickpeas actually gets quite crispy so they give you that kind of crunch you are looking for in a snack, sort of a bag of chips or something. But chickpeas are great, they are high in fiber and they can actually contain a lot of protein and they are pretty bland so you can season them with savory or sweet or little bit of both and if you cook those ahead of time again they are a great snack to take with you.

Paul: So how do you cook them do you get them in a can or fresh? I don’t know.

Elle: Yeah…

Paul: Lay it out for me.

Elle: Yeah, so I have done this a few times. You can basically buy a can of chickpeas, train them, pat them dry so that it’s important to make sure that they are dry otherwise they would kind of steam and be on the softer side. So you want to dry them off and they literally just need like the tiniest bit of olive oil or whatever other kind of neutral cooking oil and then you roast them in the oven for probably anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes or depending on how high your oven is, 100° tends to work. But again kind of play around with seasonings or look up some spice combinations on the Internet, there is tons of good recipes out there.

Paul: That sounds great!

Elle: Yeah.

Paul: I’m going to have to try that!

Elle: Yeah. Have your kids try them too.

Paul: Yeah, I won’t tell them what they are first. “Here, try this.” It’s the only way we can do it.

So worse, worse, worse, worst case scenario; you are standing in front of a vending machine, you are starving to death…

Elle: Yep.

Paul: … What are the best and the worst things to get in that situation?

Elle: Yeah. It’s all about making the best choice in whatever situation you’re in. A vending machine is not ideal but it’s definitely not the end of the word you need to get some things from the vending machine you do it. I would say my 5 worst pikcs are they are typically more at eye level…

Paul: Right.

Elle: … Which makes them a little harder to resist. But packaged pastries, they are filled with corn syrup and preservatives. Chips and crackers, they are high in sodium, some of them still contain hydrogenated oils which aren’t too good for your heart health and cholesterol. Packaged cookies, it’s just like all these refined carbohydrates; candy it gives you a giant spike in blood sugar then your blood sugar crashes and it kind of leaves you in a cycle of creating more sugar again. And the all time least favorite is soda; having a soda is empty calories. It will leave you feeling any more satisfied than when you went to the vending machine in the first place so I would say those 5 are my least favorite.

But you know, there are actually, if you look a little bit harder, a little bit lower in the machine, there are some better options so there is usually an option for a selection of nuts. I don’t know if sometimes they will carry lower sodium options so those would be best but nuts provide protein and fiber and they will kind of keep you feeling full longer. Trail mix is another good one, it’s a good way to get that sweet and savory fix that you are craving. Many of them do contain a lot of candy but you can kind of eat your way around that or through on a few pieces of chocolate for good leisure.

Paul: Dark chocolate of course.

Elle: Yeah. Granola bars are great too usually, they are usually made with some sort of whole-grain like oats or flax which gives you more fiber and protein. Popcorn is another one depending on what it’s covered in. But if there is like an option for low-sodium or just slightly salted popcorn that’s not too overly flavored, that’s a good option as well. And then if you are thirsty I have to go with water. Sometimes it’s painful to pay $2 for a bottle of water but yeah, I definitely think that if you’re going for hydration especially when you are traveling, water is the way to go.

Paul: So I must say traveling yesterday I flew up to Canada and back and so there was a lot of time on the plane and in airports and I have to say that I took your advice and I brought granola bars, I brought my roasted almonds, I brought some fruits. And the irony of all of this is if you have a bottle of water they throw that out but they are fine with all these other things in your bag so let’s use that to our advantage. So I took a bunch of granola bars, different kinds because in a day if you are traveling you kind of get bored with one and you want to try another. I also love roasted almonds it’s one of my favorites so it’s always good to have that sort of stuff available. And then snacks and fruit, put it in your pocket, take that as well and it makes a big difference!

Elle: For sure; on your wallet and…

Paul: Yes.

Elle: … In terms of… Yeah, the foods that you’re putting in your body.

Paul: Yeah.

Elle: Again, one of my favorite hacks for traveling, I travel a lot, is bringing my own water bottle. So if you bring through an empty water bottle whether it’s one that you buy and you drink before and you get through security or one that you drink from home, bring your own water bottle, it’s a great way so then you can fill it up. Once your past security, many airports are actually putting in like these filtered water stations. So yeah, that’s great. I think that’s a great way to kind of stay hydrated and not spend $3 and a bottle of water.

Paul: And a variation of that, I, it’s kind of a funny thing. I like everybody used to drink my coffee and tea out of a regular mug and then I started using these thermal mugs that keep it really hot for the whole day. They also protect you from… Protect your computer, everything from spillage as well. So I have gotten so used to these things that I look at a regular mug as a dangerous thing. Like I can’t drink coffee out of the mug; first of all, is going to get cold really fast, secondly I could spill it!

Elle: Right.

Paul: And it’s so funny. So you could also take your thermal coffee cup drink, make sure it is empty when you go through and then there’s lots of coffee places beyond the security in the airports and you can fill up with coffee. And the nice thing about that is they are usually pretty big and they will last you most of your trip and keep it hot as well so that works well.

And I think the idea of baggies, just using baggies to wrap up all of these goodies that you are bringing is probably a good one. I am not sure if they have issues with other containers but if anybody has experience with that again I will leave information down in the show notes. And if also if you have suggestions for vending machines or other things that you can be when you travel or other travel tips we would love to hear about it. So please be sure to head out to lifehackerdiet.com and go to the podcast section and under each podcast there is a section for you to talk with everybody and give everybody your tips and advice as well so please do that.

So Elle those are great smacking tips. It’s actually getting your dinner… Sorry lunchtime for me and I’m getting hungry after talking about all this food. So I am going to put all the links to the blog post that we’ve discussed in the show notes and I know you are quite prolific out there so where can people get a hold of you and I will make sure to put those links as well in the show notes.

Elle: Yeah. I’m all over social media. I am on twitter, Instagram and Pintrest. My handle is Elle Penner Harvey. And like you mentioned before, my blog is According to Elle. I also write for My Fitness Pal blog which is blog.myfitnesspal.com and we have loads of great information, workouts, nutrition tips, recipes every day, a recipe newsletter. So if you’re looking for a health inspiration, another great place to go for sure.

Paul: What I would love to do a whole session on my fitness plan because I think there is just so many great features to it so maybe we can look at that in the future but everybody, go to your respective app stores, download My Fitness Pal, it’s free, it’s friendly and it really becomes a cornerstone for what ever you are trying to achieve. And there are lots of updates, they are always improving it so you just can’t go wrong with My Fitness Pal. So thank you very much Elle, really appreciate your time, wonderful actionable advice people can get right to it, we are heading up to Thanksgiving and they can just jump right in there and start using your advice! So thank you very much again.

Elle: Thank you very much for having me Paul!

Paul: Great, talk to you soon!

Elle: Okay, bye-bye!

[End of interview]

Paul: Told you it was a great interview. Now I have to try those chickpeas; traveling next week so I’m going to have to make some up and see how everybody likes them. Anyways as usual please let us know what some of your hacks are and what you do for snacking when you travel. You can get to any of the podcast by going to podcast.lifehackerdiet.com, find the podcast that is the one you want and click on it, scroll down to the bottom and there is a chat area there. We would love to hear what you guys come up with. I am sure there is some pretty inventive stuff so let us know.

Thank you for listening as each of us starts down our unique paths to leaner, healthier bodies, there are always challenges along the way which is why the_ LifehackerDiet_ community is so important. We would all love to hear your thoughts, questions, struggles and successes. Please add your voice to the discussion below and become part of the _LifehackrDiet _ community.

To get more LifehackrDiet _ content get sent directly to your devices as soon as it becomes available, please press the “subscribe” button in iTunes or follow us on Stitcher radio. We really appreciate reviews on iTunes and likes on Stitcher radio as those actions help the _LifehackrDiet Podcast to get noticed and benefit more people. Be sure to head over to the lifehackerdiet.com website for tons of free content on our blog, podcast, YouTube channel and downloadable LifehackrDiet easy_ start guide and also the DIY Weight Loss Gear Report.

Sign up for our weekly LifehackerDiet newsletter to stay on top of all of the latest actionable tips and content available for your own LifehackrDiet journey. All of this content is free and calorie free so you can consume as much as you want. Remember today is the first day of the rest of your life so make it count, have a great day.

***End***

  © 2014, Man Mountain Productions, Inc.

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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3 Strategies: Quit the Gym and Be Healthier!

3 Strategies: Quit the Gym and Be Healthier!

“The problem was that I didn’t have a plan B – I either made it to the gym or I didn’t. I had no other mechanism for getting exercise.”

Paul Michaels

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

I am a work-from-home Dad with three teenage kids and I never seem able to follow through on my goals of working out. So I quit the gym and in the past year I’ve lost 30lbs and walked 2,117 miles. How did I do it?


The Secrets of Eating to Lose Weight blog post outlines how you can hack your food. This blog post touches on how you can quit the gym and be healthier for it.

I am a work-from-home Dad with three teenage kids and I never seem able to follow through on my goals of working out. So I quit the gym and in the past year I’ve lost 30lbs and walked 2,117 miles. How did I do it? I am sharing my experiences at LifehackrDiet blog or you can listen to the LifehackrDiet Podcast or watch the LifehackrDiet YouTube videos, ALL FREE! In a nut shell, the LifehackrDiet utilizes technique and technology to make small changes that improve your health and overall quality of life.

Why I Quit the Gym!

When I went to the gym, I enjoyed myself, no problem. But what I found was between my work and home duties, the scheduled 90 minutes/three times a week would often and in fact, almost always get bumped off my schedule. I would say, “Ah, I don’t have time to do it today, I’ll do it tomorrow.” And then, tomorrow would come, another fire would need to be put out – you know the score. The result was my health kept taking a backseat to my other priorities.


After one year on the LifehackrDiet this is what I had walked. I had not been to the gym!

After one year on the LifehackrDiet this is what I had walked. I had not been to the gym!

The problem was that I didn’t have a plan B – I either made it to the gym or I didn’t. I had no other mechanism for getting exercise. I just felt awful, I was gaining weight, I was always uncomfortable and I had back issues. I needed to figure out something that worked for me and my lifestyle. That was the spark that lead to the LifehackrDiet origin story.

The LifehackrDiet (LHD) is a series principles and techniques (utilizing common consumer technology) that you can customize for your unique lifestyle.

LHD Principle One – Syncronicity

Police Album Cover
No, it’s not based on the 1983 Police song of the same name, but you can add that song to your playlist! It’s looking at life and your daily activities synchronously. So instead of grocery shopping or exercise you have to think of it as grocery shopping AND exercise.  Commuting or exercise becomes commuting AND exercise and work or exercise transforms into work AND exercise. You just have to shift your thinking and look at everything that presents itself in your day as an opportunity to burn some calories, build some muscle and get closer to your goals.

 

What works for me

Here are some concrete examples of what has worked for me and might work for you. Adapt these tips for making changes to transform your life.

Grocery shopping AND exercise.

Acting synchronously on the lifehackr diet plan; burning calories while shopping.

Acting synchronously on the LifehackrDiet plan; burning calories while shopping.

This is a screen shot of the Fitbit Dashboard captured from my account. The Fitbit One is a digital pedometer that records my steps throughout the day. It syncs wirelessly over bluetooth to my iPhone and updates my progress on the Fitbit iOS app and on the website. I love this system because it simply captures my every step and gives me credit towards my daily calorie burn. A blog posting about bluetooth digital pedometers and how to use them, is coming to this blog soon.


Instead of looking at grocery shopping as a chore, look at as an opportunity to triple multi-task; shop, walk/lift and listen to music/radio/audio books or the LHD Podcast. You need one extra ingredient which is good for you and the environment; a team of strong reusable bags that will be your weights for this LifehackrDiet tip. When you go to the grocery store, instead of wasting time looking for the closest parking spot, quickly park at the furthest spot from the store entrance, I guarantee it’s available. You are welcome to be organized with a shopping list but don’t fret about forgetting something and having to walk across the store to retrieve it – it’s good for you! When you have the reusable bags packed, make them heavy so that you are getting a workout loading and unloading them. Make extra trips from your mode of transportation to your residence, lift the bags up and down as you go, bend up and down or do squats as you lift and unpack. Make the once wasted chore into a weekly workout. You will probably burn anywhere from 200-500Cal depending on your circumstances.

Walking-while-shopping_Infographic-01-opt

Commuting AND exercising.

Acting synchronously on the lifehackr diet plan; burning calories while commuting.

Acting synchronously on the LifehackrDiet plan; burning calories while commuting.

Fitbit Dashboard. Total for day; 19,264 or 8.83 miles or 2,969Cal.

We all have our unique commutes to work so there is no boiler plate plan for getting the most out of it. Commuting usually involves some walking and lots of sitting or standing in a moving tin can. If you look closely enough you will find lots to hack. If you take the subway or a bus to work, consider walking a stop (or a few) on either end of your route.

If you drive or car-pool get out or park somewhere further away from your final destination, walk the difference. Hack parking by driving to the top floor of the parking lot (regardless of whether or not there are free spots along the way) and either take the stairs or (with caution) walk down/up the actual parking level ramps from and to your vehicle. Clearly riding a bike is an obvious way of burning calories while commuting but cycling the whole way to work/home might not be practical for everyone. If that is the case is there a compromise where you can cycle part of the way and then take public transportation to finish the commute? Think creatively about your daily journey and find ways in which you can hack it so that you are healthier beacuse of it. Taking even the simplest of these suggestions could add a 1,700Cal burn to your workweek which will make a huge dent in your weight loss.
Walking-while-Commuting_Infographic-01-opt

Working (at a computer) AND exercising.

Acting synchronously on the lifehackr diet plan; burning calories while working.

Acting synchronously on the lifehackr diet plan; burning calories while working.

Fitbit Dashboard. Total for day; 19,728 steps or 9.05 miles or 2,828 Kcal.


I purchased a very simple walking treadmill for less than $250 and scoured my local craigslist offerings for a specific Ikea Fredrik Standing Desk. I combined the two and for less than $350 I have a wonderful work space that allows me to walk while I work. I do all kinds of things on the computer from photo retouching, video editing, emailing, writing (I am walking as I write this) with absolutely no difficulty. It takes about 3 mins to get used to the feeling and in under a day you won’t even realize you are walking while working. I walk at about 1.0 – 2.0 mph and I take regular breaks where I am standing and working. My working days are shorter than the average (due to team Michaels’ duties) but I can get 5 miles in without difficulty. That’s just under 200Cal an hour which doesn’t sound like much but when you walk 5 miles that’s about 500Cal a day or 2,500Cal a week for free! To lose a pound of fat you need to burn 3,500Cal, using the treadmill desk you are 70% of the way there.
Blast through those calories with a walking desk using the Ikea Fredrik Standing Desk. Learn more at http://lifehackrdiet.com

Blast through those calories with a walking desk DIY with Ikea Fredrik Standing Desk.

Walking-while-working_Infographic-01-opt

Now Do You Believe Me?

After six months on the LifehackrDiet I had lost 30lbs doing and eating what I normally did with a few small changes.

After six months on the LifehackrDiet I had lost 30lbs doing and eating what I normally did with a few small changes.

When I say “Quit the Gym and Be Healthier” you can now see why. Although I would love to go to the gym and when I can, I do. The way to make a real difference for your health is by utilizing every waking minute as an opportunity for exercise.

Everyone can do this. Be imaginative and come up with ways to make everyday chores an opportunity for improving your health.

Thanks for Reading!

The way to make a real difference for your health is by utilizing every waking minute as an opportunity for exercise.

Does your gym workout consistently get cut from your schedule? Paul Michaels your host is a 50-year-old work-from-home-father of three teenagers, who finally gave up on the idea of going to the gym and in its place figured out how to live synchronously…

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN:

  • How your host, Paul Michaels lost 30lbs and walked 1000 miles in 6 months.
  • What doesn’t work, not having a plan “B”
  • LifehackrDiet Principle One; Syncronicity.
  • How to transform grocery shopping into a workout.
  • We all have commutes to work, here’s how you hack it.
  • Working at your computer can be a workout too!
  • Utilizing every waking moment for exercise…

PLUS MORE on how you can make small meaningful changes to your activities….

 

LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

TAKE AWAY
Although I would love to go to the gym and when I can, I do. The way to make a real difference for your health is by utilizing every waking minute as an opportunity for exercise. Everyone can do this. Be imaginative and come up with ways to make everyday chores an opportunity for improving your health.

 

Thanks for LISTENING!

Thank you again for your support,

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

 

© 2016, Man Mountain Productions, Inc.

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