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Everything posted by Vintage

  1. If I'm picturing what you're describing as doing pull ups standing up correctly, what you're doing is starting the pull up from part way in, basically. When I'm hanging from a bar and beginning a pull up, the first thing I do to initiate the movement isn't bend my arms, it's retracting my lats and sort of pulling down on the bar - it's a movement that starts in the back and shoulders, and that part is hard. But when you start standing, you bypass that part in a way. So when you try to do the full movement, you're weaker at that initial pull with the lats and your muscles are completely exhausted before you get to the top. Does this all sound correct? If that's what's going on, I would suggest working on your back/lat strength and your ability to retract your shoulders. Rows (either bent over rows with something heavy or inverted rows on a table or on your pull up bar with your feet on something tall and sturdy) will help. As will just practicing this initial movement. Hang from the bar, then activate your lats and think about putting your shoulder blades in your back pockets. Your shoulders should close a bit (if you were just standing with your arms straight up, closing the shoulder would mean bringing them straight down in front of you). It's probably an uncomfortable movement, and it should be. This is an active position, and it should probably feel like work at first. Eventually this will be the automatic way you hang from a bar, though. This is actually the bottom of your pullup position between reps, just for future notice - you don't need/want to be dropping down to a true dead hang, shoulders pulling out of the sockets position between reps, you just need to straighten your elbows.
  2. It helps me to remember that part of the reason that there's all these bits of conflicting advice out there and no two calculators will give you the same number and whatnot is that the precise bits and little details of nutrition tend to be very specific to an individual, and because eating doesn't happen in a vacuum - it's affected by all sorts of factors. An exact, very detailed diet for one person has to take into account their individual physiology, their lifestyle (including exactly what they're doing for exercise when, what they do the rest of the day, how much they sleep, how high their stress level is, do they like to/have time to cook, do they have other people to feed or rely on someone else for meal prep...), their preferences and tastes, and so on. This means that even for the best experts in the field, it takes some trial and error to find the perfect plan for someone and it periodically has to be re-evaluated as things change (life events, goals, needs, whatever). Rather than finding this discouraging, I find it relieving: I don't need to get it right immediately because trial and error is just how it has to be done. Which brings me to a second thing I like to keep in mind: It's not all or nothing. Very few people follow perfect nutrition all the time. Arguably, no one does. I once read an article from a top nutrition guy in the athletic world and his number one advice to other nutritionists is to remember that you're programming for a person, and it doesn't matter how perfect the plan is if the person can't or won't follow it. We have to face the imperfections in our lives and in people. Results trump a "perfect" plan every time. People laugh at the person who orders the bacon double cheese burger and milkshake but then asks for a side salad instead of fries, but in reality they're still passing on an extra 400 calories or so. It's not perfect by a long shot, but it the day before they ate those fries too, then they're doing better. Nutrition is a lifelong thing. You're always going to need to eat, though what you're trying to accomplish with your food might change over time. It's ok to have a long learning curve, it's ok to have days that aren't "perfect," and it's ok to take the option that may be second or third best on the list of "in a perfect world with an ideal diet, this is what you'd do" if that's the option that actually works for you right now.
  3. Nutrition isn't one-size-fits-all, and dairy is an excellent example of this. People have a range of reactions to dairy. Some people are ok with certain types of dairy (for instance, some people can eat yogurt or certain types of cheese but don't tolerate drinking milk), some people are fine with all types, and some react to any dairy at all. Reactions range from sick for days to mild stomach discomfort or increased stuffy-nose problems. It's worth eliminating it completely for a while just to see. But I would honestly suggest doing that elimination separately from other paleo related changes/eliminations, so that you know what it was that caused the change if you notice a big difference. Bolson is right, primal allows dairy (though many primal recipes are written to be easily adjusted for dairy-free because it's acknowledged that some people can do dairy and some can't), so that's a good source for recipes.
  4. Yep, store-brand cereal is a good one. Milk is actually pretty darn cheap, as is ice cream. Potatoes and sweet potatoes. Peanut butter (in a sandwich, on fruit, in a protein shake, from the jar...), ground beef, beans (they're cheap and easy to make and eat in bulk), rice (add butter!). Cook in butter and olive oil. Eat full-fat dairy. Dried fruit and nuts. Pop tarts. Track it in detail. It's tough to believe you're getting 6,000 calories, to be honest (though it's possible). And if you are, you might need to see a doctor.
  5. For the bench... I have big boobs too. I aim right for the nipple line, because I find this puts me in the best position for the press. Too low and I tend to start to lose tension in my upper back and contact between my scapula and the bench, plus it's definitely a weaker position for me. I've had several lifts fail when I drifted too low. But that may be individual - everyone's body is a bit different. Find what works for you, and don't make it harder than necessary. Lifting heavy is hard enough. I don't worry about whether it's cheating or not. No one accuses the big 350 lb barrel-chested guy of cheating. He has to factor in that extra body weight against the weight of his lifts just like I have to count my boobs as part of my body weight. There are all sorts of places where you can think like this. Tall people have to move extra inches to get below parallel in a squat. Long armed people don't have to bring the bar as far in a deadlift. Short armed people have smaller range of motion for a bench press (making it easier), but short legs may make it hard to get stable contact between the floor and the feet. Every time I do a damn wall ball, my short self has to jump to get the ball those extra few inches to the 10 foot target. In this, training mirrors life. Do the best with what you have - the assets AND the challenges, and in the end you measure yourself (and others) by the amount of work you put in, not on where you started. You would never want to be that person who minimizes someone else's successes by saying "yeah, he may have busted his ass week in and week out to put 40 lbs on his squat, but he's short so it's a lot easier for him than for me." So don't do that to yourself. Woah. Sorry for the mini sermon. I didn't intend that to be quite so preachy.
  6. This is a tough one because I understand the spirit of the regulations. A vignette from my time as a pre-k teacher: One of my students, J, was rather picky and his parents worried that if the only thing available for him at lunch was the (fairly well rounded if pretty processed) lunches provided by the school as part of tuition, he simply wouldn't eat and would waste away. Seeing as J was carrying about 20 extra lbs on his 5 year old body and the rest of the staff and I had worked with enough children to know that they'll almost always eat what's available if other options aren't given and no one turns in into a battle of wills, we disagreed, but hey - it's their kid. So they chose to pack his lunch every day. And every day, that lunch box contained: -a ziplock bag of pre-grated cheddar cheese -a slice of kraft American cheese -a ziplock of kix cereal (the fruity, neon colored sugar kind) - several strips of bacon -a "fruit" roll up or a packet of fruit snacks - a slice of wonderbread or an occasional bag of fritos, corn chips or lays So yes, I get where this regulation is stemming from. And in reality, I would guess that 9 out of 10 of those notes sent home are because a lunch didn't contain a bit of protein or contained 150 grams of sugar or whatnot - of course, those incidents don't make the rounds on facebook. But the application of it is most definitely faulty, and if I were that mom I certainly would have been pissed. I certainly don't have a great solution.
  7. I know how that goes... When people are fairly new in our program, high rep burpees are typically replaced with sprawls (with or without a jump) when the coaches start seeing those sorts of form break downs. Basically you do the first part of the burpee - plant your hands, jump your feet back (landing in proper push up position, not with a sagging midsection or your butt sticking way up), then jump them back in and stand up. Because you're not thinking about getting down to the ground, it's easier to think about keeping that core tight and not collapsing. These can still be done very fast without pauses, so they're a good sub when the purpose of the burpees in the workout is intensity and constant, fast paced movement. And then in warm-ups, when we don't need to be moving at the speed of light, everyone does the stricter burpees. A good coach will be absolutely on-board with you making that alteration if you explain what's going on.
  8. How strict are your burpees? A lot of people (I have to watch myself as well) will flop a lot when doing burpees quickly at higher reps, especially as they get tired. When they jump their legs backward into the top of the pushup position, they don't keep their core stable and their hips drop or flop straight down to the ground, so that when the spine has to absorb the impact from the toes jamming back into the ground and the rapid shift in your center of gravity, the lower back is in a weak position - this can put a lot of strain on the lower back when you do it over and over. It tends to happen again on the way back up if your core is loose and you're jumping back into what is essentially the bottom of a deep squat with a loose lumbar spine. It doesn't happen in push ups and planks because those aren't dynamic, quick movements and you're thinking about core stability, hip position and tightness. Try slowing your burpees down and doing them strict. Think about splitting it up into 6 positions - 1) upright, 2) hands and feet on floor close together, 3) feet jumped back into the top of the pushup position, 4) bottom of pushup, 5) feet jumped back in outside of the hands 6) stand and jump If that eases some of the pain, it'll give you a better idea of what you need to be doing differently.
  9. Nutritionally I know of absolutely no difference between smoothies and un-blended foods. Chopping the food up doesn't change any nutritional properties, no matter how tiny. The biggest problems people have with smoothies seem to be portion control and not paying attention to just how much sugar they have in them. When we drink our calories we tend to go overboard. Measuring things out a few times and doing the math on how many calories, carbs, sugar, servings of veggies, etc you're getting in each portion is a necessary step. Keep in mind that a smoothie with some extra healthy fat and protein will keep you full much much longer than one without.
  10. I had to learn to pull my head back out of the way (and then bring it back forward immediately after the bar had passed). You want the bar to travel in a vertical path, so your face needs to get out of its way a bit. I learned that lesson the hard way - but do it with an empty bar for a while to nail down the movement pattern and it will be habit before you get to a weight that will do any real damage. Remember too that your dip at the beginning of the movement shouldn't involve tilting your torso forward. I've seen some people have extra trouble with the bar-meets-chin issue because they bent at the hips and let their torsos tilt instead of bending at the knees.
  11. Rower! Go stalk craigslist for a concept II. Unless you have a specific reason for getting a bike or an elliptical, I'm a huge fan of rowers. I want one. It's great cardio, when used with good form it's a more posture-friendly exercise than a bike, and they can be stood on their end when not in use so they take up less space.
  12. I started out in a very similar situation. The good news: having a consistent workout routine helps with all of that other stuff - I noticed myself becoming more consistent and persistent in pursuing goals and taking care of responsibilities. Also, in 10 years of dealing with cycles of depression and anxiety disorders, I've never found a medication or form of therapy as effective as regular exercise that I enjoy has been over the past year. I found out that I could be on the precipice of a full-blown panic attack, but forcing myself to get into a tough workout and focus on that made it disappear. There really isn't much room in your brain for anything besides the workout and its physical effects. What worked for me: 1) consistency. I made a deal with myself that I would show up to work out at the same time, two days/week for the first 3 months No Matter What. One day I was running a high fever, and I spent an hour on the floor just stretching - but I went anyways because I needed to stick to the routine. It was a manageable commitment (one hour, two days per week, for 3 months). By the end of it, the habit was fully formed and I was ready to increase days and add stuff in. 2) Eliminate choice and guesswork in advance. I had a set time to work out - I never got up in the morning and went through a "should I work out now or in an hour? Or I could do it tomorrow." process. In the beginning I planned it out and stuck to it - working out was what I did at a certain time, no questions, no ambiguity, no decision or motivation in the moment necessary. I kept this up in the gym itself. I had a trainer that programmed my workouts for me, so all I had to do was show up and do what I was told. No thinking necessary, no deciding after 20 minutes whether I should stop at 3 sets or go to 5. The same thing could be accomplished with a set (progressive) routine - steve offers several on the nerdfitness site, but starting strength is popular for barbell work and couch to 5k is popular for those who like to run... in the beginning, simple and well-rounded is ideal. No need to find the perfect program. Find something that lays out a specific plan that you can keep going on for a few months and stick to it. 3) For me, I had to work out outside of my house in a specific place. It made it so that there was a set aside time and place to get my work done. I was there to work out - I left my school books and laptop and whatnot in the car. The people around me were in the same mode. 4) Performance based goals. Pick something specific that appeals to you and lay out a plan. Have something to work towards that excites you. Weight loss alone wasn't all that motivating for me, so I chose goals that went hand in hand with that but were more explicitly focused on making my body stronger and faster and healthier.
  13. Both, possibly. Practice will fix them both, though. Try starting by doing kick ups on a box/sturdy coffee table, low wall - whatever. Something sturdy, hard, flat, and wide enough to plant your hands under your shoulders. Start around knee height. Stand upright facing it, put your hands up above you (and lock them out and activate your shoulders while you're at it), put one foot behind you in a sort of narrow/super shallow lunge, and transfer all your weight to the front leg. Your back leg should be straight the whole time. Then... well, kick. Think of your back toe to your fingertips as a straight line - your hands shouldn't plant way before your leg comes up and vice versa. Plant your hands as you tip down like a lever, and actively push against the surface from your palms through your shoulders and core. To start with, keep your base leg down. It doesn't really need to leave the floor, though you should feel your weight transfer off of it and it might come off a few inches. If you leave that leg hanging down toward the ground and you're on an elevated surface, you're not going to tip over, so you won't have to worry about it at all. Just plant your hands and do the kick, feel some of your weight transfer to your shoulders as your back leg comes a little above horizontal. You're not trying to get to vertical at all.Repeat. Do sets of maybe 10. Then as it gets comfortable, kick a little bit harder and let your base foot leave the ground for a second as you go slightly closer to vertical. Then lower the box. If you don't try to bring your base leg up, you're not going to overshoot and end up on your back, so it's a good way to get the coordination and confidence with the kick up a bit at a time without that worry. Key things: Active effing shoulders! Push hard against that surface from before your hands are even touching it. Arms are locked out at all times. Core tight. Squeeze your butt a bit. And point your toes. It doesn't just look nicer - it will help your keep your whole body tight and stable. And do some hamstring mobility if that's a problem.
  14. Are you doing walk ups or kick ups? If you're doing walk ups: try adding in kick ups. The biggest barrier to this for most people is mental - you kind of just have to go for it and realize you're fine. This will allow you to do more handstands more frequently - it's a whole lot faster to just walk up and kick up than it is to lay down and do the whole walk up thing. And kicking up tends to help people do a better job of really really activating their shoulders and locking out their arms. Your natural tendency will be to push against the floor. Once you've got a secure kick up straight to a wall (or if this is where you already are) practice actually moving your hands away from the wall and do some "free standing" kick ups. Stay close enough to the wall that if you overshoot, you can gently (hopefully) tap the wall with your heels and correct back up to vertical. Even if you can only hold it freestanding for a second or so at a time without your heels tapping, it's ok. This adds in an element of wrist/forearm strength and shoulder stability that walk ups and kick ups straight to a wall don't do as great a job with. And if you're doing all kick ups, sprinkle in a few walk ups. Other than that, I agree with the premise that doing them frequently with shorter duration (with a few longer ones spread around) will help a lot. Also: overhead carries and holds are awesome. Do them with the same type of form as a handstand (arms locked out, shoulders are activated "pushing up the sky", core is tight and ribcage is down). Do them with whatever is around... plates at the gym, dumb bells, kettlebells, a heavy backpack, a box of stuff, a small child...
  15. Just keep in mind that nutrition is not an all or nothing thing, nor is it one size fits all. You need something that works for you in your life right now. There are a ton of complicated, hotly debated questions surrounding optimal nutrition (how often should you eat? Exactly how many carbs/fats/proteins. How soon after/before a workout should you consume X amounts of carbs... and so on). The reality is that for most people, especially those in the beginning stages, this minutia isn't remotely worth worrying about and is more likely to be overwhelming and discouraging than anything. Chip away at the big-picture stuff (do your calories consumed match your goals? Are you exercising regularly in any form? Are you getting a decent amount of protein in at pretty much every meal?) and you'll find that process can take you a long way. One specific recommendation - look into getting a copy of Well Fed. It's definitely my favorite paleo cookbook (though I don't eat strict paleo, I do work hard to de-center my meals from grains and starches, and this book offered me a lot of great ideas) and it really helps address the question of how to make this work in our busy lives day in and day out. They actually just released Well Fed 2. The woman who wrote it has a pretty awesome blog here.
  16. I'd suggest plank and hollow holds (and maybe supermans) to start with. But do them perfectly. If that means scaling them, then scale them. For a plank (actually, a lot of this applies to hollow holds, too), you want your hips to be down, but your back should be hollowed a bit. Think about tucking your rib cage towards your pelvic bone and (vice-versa) and holding your bellybutton close to your spine. Tense your abs like someone's going to poke you hard in them. Hell, have someone poke you hard if you need help figuring out how to do this. Keep your head neutral and your shoulders active (push against the floor some so that your shoulders aren't loose and sagging). To scale this down, there are several options. One is to do them on your hands (like you're in the top of a push up) instead of on your elbows/forearms. You can elevate your hands to make it even easier. You can also cut the time into smaller chunks. You'll get a lot more out of doing a few 20 second holds on your hands with awesome form than you will holding for 60 seconds with poor form. Hollow holds are pretty similar actually. Lie on your back with your arms at your sides and lift both your shoulders and your a few inches off the ground. The key here is that your lower back should be pushed towards the floor - I think about the same rib-cage to pelvis cue to make this happen. You should see the belly part of your shirt wrinkling. Hands stretched above your head and both feet out straight is tough - start out by tucking up in a loose ball with bent knees and arms straight but pointed down. Supermans are pretty much the opposite. Lie face down, arms straight up and legs straight. Tighten everything and lift your chest off the ground while doing the same with your legs (keep them straight - your thighs should come off the ground eventually). Squeeze the bejeesus out of your glutes. Just a note - this movement aggravates certain injuries for some people, so pay attention if you have any sharp pains.
  17. Do you have a foam roller? If not get one today. Then spend some time on your IT bands (basically you'll be rolling the strip of tissue that runs from the side of your hip to the side of your knee - you'll know when you're on it because cuss words will come out of your mouth reflexively), quads and hamstrings. Then spend more time on your IT bands. Stretch, making sure to hit your hip flexors. Then do some slow, controlled squat standups and bodyweight squats with good form. Squat to a box/ low chair/step/ coffee table if needed. As the soreness and stiffness fades, get back to your regular routine with reduced weight. If it gets worse or isn't getting better, see a doc.
  18. Dumbbells aren't a good substitute for a barbell in that you can't use them just like a barbell and get the same results. But the argument that you can't get strong without a barbell is bull. I'm a girl with a 215 lb barbell squat and unweighted pistols leave me walking goofy for days. Look into advanced bodyweight routines and use your dumbbells to add difficulty. A good bodyweight/dumbbell program doesn't look like a barbell program and that's absolutely ok. Waldo (and others) can give you more specifics. If you want to learn to lift with a barbell eventually (I'll admit that I love it, which I didn't anticipate), start plotting how to get access to one. But if you don't really care for the idea, (or in the meantime), work with what you do have.
  19. If I changed my food/exercise plan every time I looked in the mirror and thought I saw more fat... Pretty much everyone I know has those days. They don't feel good, but they don't mean much. You need more information before you get anxious or make changes. Take measurements and photos (being able to put two photos side by side is totally different than looking in the mirror). The scale isn't awesome, but it's another measurement. Get scientific about it. Gather data, compare it objectively, then make changes accordingly. As far as diet, I honestly don't think you're getting enough protein. I know it's much much harder without meat/eggs/dairy, but do some research and find a way to get a significant amount of protein at every meal. Trade this out for some of the fruit, which does have a lot of sugar. Pick hearty vegetables (ice burg lettuce is worthless, for instance) and try adding some avocado or nuts to your salads - this might make you want less salad, but it will be more nutrient dense. Unless you're eating a ton of processed foods, I wouldn't worry about sodium levels. Consuming way more salt in a given day than usual can make people bloat, and so can your monthly cycle, but in general the panic over sodium was way overblown for people without heart problems (and even mainstream medicine and nutrition is recognizing this now).
  20. For the goals, I'd say start out with a couple of accomplishments that really appeal to you. Honestly, that's a very individual thing. Do an unassisted pull up? Deadlift your bodyweight? A 10 second free-standing handstand? 20 push-ups on your toes? Those are all realistic starter-goals. For (mostly) guys, the idea of putting on 10 lbs of muscle might be motivating - but for a lot of women at least we might be more motivated by focusing on the strength progression and treating muscle mass gain as a by-product. Find something that motivates YOU. Then break those into action steps. The big thing is to focus on very concrete, measurable achievements. The length of time it will take to reach the goal is also less important if it's something that you can break up into progress steps (i.e. it isn't an all-or-nothing proposition). Write out the goal, then write out some logical stops along the way (i.e. if you're wanting a pull-up, a part-way point might be a 20-second negative descent). Then write out what steps you're going to take. Don't get super hung up on finding the absolutely perfect series of steps - you can modify along the way depending on what results you're seeing. Food wise, don't forget about sweet-potatoes as a carb-source. You don't necessarily have to focus on eating at a significant surplus, but if you increase your exercise (weight training burns more calories than some people realize), you're going to have to increase your caloric intake accordingly. It doesn't sound like you need to be losing any weight.
  21. Just to add - when you do the hangs (in piked position or with knees bent and thighs parallel to the ground as a scale), keep active shoulders/lats. In other words, you shouldn't feel like your arms are pulling out of your shoulder sockets - keep your shoulders down away from your ears and your shoulder blades pulled down and back. It will make it much harder, but this hits a lot more on those lat and shoulder muscles that are often lacking in toes-to-bar (and pull-ups!)
  22. I think there's a distinction to be made between focusing on maximal strength gains (which does require eating at a surplus and being willing to put on weight and get bigger) and strength training while losing weight. Will you be gaining strength like you would while eating big and minimizing cardio? No. But that doesn't make it pointless. Personally I enjoy strength training, it keeps me motivated and it's helped me retain muscle. But for the exception of a few breaks for re-feeding, I've been eating at a deficit and steadily losing weight for a year now, going from 205 lbs to 150. My lifts have all improved dramatically (mostly through developing technique and my body learning to use my muscles better), though they've slowed down in the past few months and I know that the fix to that is to start eating to support lifting. I'm totally happy with my results, and I don't think I would have been as consistent with eating and conditioning if I didn't have strength training in there as well. I feel confident that when I do make the switch to focusing on strength gains I'll have built a good base. So I'd say if you enjoy lifting and you're seeing any results you like, then stick with it. Just because you're not seeing the biggest possible gains, doesn't make it a waste of time.
  23. I don't know exactly what you want to include/limit in your diet, but... *Jerky (turkey, beef, etc) is a go-to snack for me. I keep it in my car. Try to find the good stuff - without extra sugar and chemicals. It's more expensive, but you don't need much at all. A strip will tide you over for a while. *Trail mix and nuts - just make sure you're getting stuff that will relieve cravings, not create more, and that you monitor quantities. Serving sizes are very small for nuts and dried fruits. *Popcorn - the plain stuff. Adding some salt is fine. If you can find the more natural microwave kind, go for it. Otherwise, you can make your own microwave popcorn bags with just plain brown lunch bags and kernels (much cheaper). Google will give you instructions. *Cottage cheese - High in protein and reasonably cheap. I salt and pepper mine. In college I did this by thieving salt and pepper packets from fast food restaurants. *carrots (and any other veggies you like raw) *Almond butter - add it to your fruits in small quantities. The fat content will keep you fuller longer. *Tuna - the stuff in cans. Packed in water. Check your brands to minimize mercury content, but you still don't want to live off the stuff. I actually eat mine with a small bit of soy sauce (you guessed it - from packets stolen from restaurants when I was in college), or 1/3 of a mayo packet. In general (but especially if food selection is a problem), pay close attention to portion sizes and overall quantities with snacking. Don't eat out of the container - pour out a serving and put the rest away immediately, and know what a serving size is of things and what's in it, for example.
  24. I'm glad you started on the food diary. That would have been my first recommendation. And yes, writing down when you're eating (both absolute time and what happened before/after) will be a huge help in seeing patterns. But also remember that the pattern of having a craving for a certain food (or type of food like sweets or starch or salty things) and immediately allowing yourself to stop, get that food and eat it is a habit in and of itself. As is the act of browsing the junk food isle or going into a fast food restaurant until you see something that looks good and eating it. I'm guilty of both of those habits. There are times that I'll just have a craving for something bad for me - I'm not physically hungry and I don't have a specific food I'm craving, but I have the impulse to eat for pleasure. I don't do well with strict elimination diets, so I deal with these bad habits by planning out meals (including planning times that I'm going to splurge a little bit), thinking about how what I want will fit into my nutrition for the day, and practicing delayed gratification. If it's 3:00 and I want some sort of treat at Starbucks or what not, I'll say "ok, what have I eaten today and what do I plan to eat later/tomorrow/this weekend? If I eat a pumpkin scone now (like 400 calories and ridiculous quantities of sugar), what will I need to eat/not eat for dinner to compensate? Would I rather save those sugar grams and calories for tomorrow evening so I can have a couple of margaritas at happy hour with friends?" Or if I'm craving something specific I'll make the decision to have it - but at some future time. I'll be walking on campus and french fries will pop into my head. Instead of stopping at the nearest fast food place and cramming them in my mouth I'll say "I can have fries tomorrow with my lunch/dinner and I can plan out my other food accordingly." Often the craving subsides before then, and if not I can at least plan around it a bit. Choices (even impulsive actions - yes those are choices) in general are all about consequences. When we spend some time evaluating what the potential consequences of a choice are in advance, we tend to like the outcome a lot more.
  25. I agree with the above comment that you should be relying on fats and proteins to keep you full. And veggies like greens and broccoli should make up the bulk of your vegetable intake. They'll do a much better job of that. Carbs create a full feeling quickly but don't sustain it, and the way they affect blood sugar tends to increase hunger and cravings later. But carbs are not evil. Some people (depending on individual physiology, activity, what else you're eating, and so on) seem to do better with higher or lower amounts of carbs. Look at the bigger picture; If you don't feel good or aren't performing as you want at super-low carb levels, then eat your half a sweet potato. Yes, you'd probably lose fat faster without it (at least for a while), but if that's not a diet plan that fits well into your life and that makes you feel healthier and that you'll want to stick to, then it probably isn't worth it. But I would suggest that you spend some time tracking what you eat and how it affects you. Record what you ate, when you ate it, and info that will let you know how it's working for you (weights and measurements, yes, but also whether you felt weak or fatigued during workouts, how soon after eating you were hungry, if you were grumpy or depressed or lethargic, etc.). Give it around 6 weeks and then decide how it's working for you. Tweak as needed.
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